Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Got some fun bicycle paintings in the works right now! Working with a few ladies that are starting up a mountain bike touring co. for women. The painting will become their logo & I thinks it's gonna be cool! Then another painting that's going in a shop down in Tucson AZ. Sketching some ideas for the next Bicycle Times cover and below is a sneeky peek at some inside art for the next issue of Dirt Rag. I wish I would have done this piece larger (now that I'm done), but when I look at the finished piece it still makes me smile real big. Success!
Gonna sit on the trainer tomorrow morning for 90 min. Yeah!!!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
...but what a pain.
Finally got the trainer out for the first time and it was all the suck I remember it to be. Actually, it wasn't THAT bad but it's just boring. I bought the movie Tropic Thunder at the HyVee pre-used DVD $3.99 bin so that should give me a better 1.5 hr workout next time! Basically it comes down to two choices for winter riding: Deal with the excitement-level shrinkage & ride the trainer indoors; or deal with the other shrinkage and go ride in the cold.
Here's to a mild winter!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Of course this one is bike-related. Aside from learning web-design and other personal growth blah blah... I have a goal to become a Category 3-level in bicycle racing. I did a couple Cat5 races this summer, felt good & wanted to get more racing in to get my 10 mass-starts in so I can move up to Cat4 where I should be but weekends always seemed to get full of other more important activities. So next year, I will line up at my first races as a 4 and have to earn 20pts in order to make it to 3 before season ends. I think if I stay healthy and launch into spring in the same fitness levels I am ending November with, I'll be good. Been riding with a bunch of Bicycle Shack racers and from seeing their 2009 results it looks like they've been placing well in local races. Time to kick it up a notch and reach the 3s before I turn 40 in a couple years.
Here's me in my tshirt (left; yellow tire; forgot my jersey!) mixin' it up with some young cat fivers in the 2009 Tour of Lawrence campus circuit race. Stinkin' 6th that day because I ran off the road (actually a sidewalk) into the mud while attacking on the last climb. Went from first to sixth pretty fast. Legs felt really good that day, too. Learning experience!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
November, for the most part, is treating us very kindly. Got out & rode again this morning. Been getting around 100mi per week in and still haven't dusted off the dreaded trainer.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It's tough to get motivated on my own to get these pre-dawn (start time) rides in, so it's great to have a great friend & close neighbor that shares a similar obsession with cycling & fitness. Not sure what exactly happened as I rolled up to his house it was dark. No lights on. He's swung by my house too many mornings where he's witnessed the same — my alarm blaring & me sleeping through it — or completely forgetting to set it. Anyway I could tell Joe wouldn't be joining me this morn, so I could turn around and ride the mile back to my house and get some needed sleep or head out into the dark chill and get a few miles in.
In my head I planned a familiar route, but one we hadn't done in some time. 20-25mi loop around Longview Lake. Well, things felt good after the sun began to peek up. I went off route a bit to throw in a steep, long hill. Then another. Then instead of making a left I decided to go right. It was just so good to be out, the rising sun now beginning to radiate a bit of warmth on my clothes. Legs felt great! My cyclocomputer is fried so I have only in my head an estimate on miles I've put in, but I figured as I rolled close to home that it "felt" like about 30. Google-pedometered my route after I got home and it ended up a little more than 41.
Bikes fly when you're having fun. See you out there next time, Joe!
A few pics:
Friday, October 23, 2009
For the past 3 years, we've had an annual flock of thousands of grackles descend upon out back yard and completely pick clean every last crabapple from our little tree. They are swift and efficient and fantastically noisy... then on their way.
I think they'll be here soon.
I feel the grackles may be arriving in other aspects of my life as well. I sense a swooping change. Not sure if it's welcome change or something I may resist, but I have this premonition that things are going to get real noisy and real chaotic soon. As always, there will be opportunity within the maelstrom — if anything to just enjoy the spinning for a while. Maybe, like the grackle, I'll use this as a necessary refueling in order to reach another destination.
I'm sure I'll treat this like I always do, and just approach each challenge like a good squirrel would.
Life's short. Have fun with it.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Took the family up to Omaha zoo a couple weekends ago and decided to swing by the Strategic Air & Space museum in nearby Ashland, NE. The kids were anxious to get out of the van after 3+ hours, and I, of course, am always excited to look at aircraft of any kind. Jack was impressed by the rockets on display outside the front entrance, then stopped and stared in awe at the SR-71 Blackbird on dramatic static (stratamic?) display immediately as you walk into the front atruim. I'll surely go on a little more about this when I have some time, but I figure I'd start small & work my way up.
There were some cool airfield dioramas that I found some interesting .75" high subjects:
...and continuing with my fascination for small, cute things, I found this little XF-85 Goblin (Parasite - quite a fitting name). It was under a wonderfully massive B-36. Learned a little about it at the museum but my daughter was ready to move on & get out of there. "Boring" was uttered several times. My boy Jack loved every second of it. Fascinating little plane.
More to come later...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Love Autumn for its color. Its temperature. The lengthening shadows & contrast of the low sun angle. But warmish (71°F) days usually come at a price.
I try to look at headwinds as an opportunity to "pretend" I'm doing a sustained climb, since we really don't have them in this terrain. Fortunately, there are plenty of roadside distractions to keep my mind off the wind & the lactic acid. Eventually we always get that massive tailwind and our load is dumped and we feel light as a feather. Maybe even get some good reading or thinking done in the meantime. Ahhhhhhh...
Enjoy your ride.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Taking a little break from painting to challenge the brain a bit, but I think my old Mac must be getting stupid. Used to play chess with a dude in our mailroom over our lunch hour, but he's since been fired, become dependent on gambling, bourbon, heroin & meth and is now taking his Filipino mail-order bride back to her homeland to live (i.e. he's skipping town on his bookies and drug dealers). I guess we all could use a fresh start.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Went for a solo ride in the rain last night and then another misty, chilly ride before the sun lifted an eyelid this morning. I love this time to reflect, ponder & meditate about the wonders of the world.
The feel of the cold water spraying off my front tire onto my shins.
Pupils dilated & straining to see through the warp-drive streaking drizzle.
The smells of a wood burning stove eating the season's first white oak.
The muffled sound of leaves crunching under my tires like I'm rolling over al dente corn flakes.
And cold air has a flavor. It is different in the fall than the same temperature air of spring. I can't describe it. It just tastes good.
Things appear to be dying all around us, but I think they are just now coming to life.
Enjoy the ride.