Tuesday, April 28, 2009


You guys who raced Opus tonight got off easy. At most, you had 45 minutes of pain.

Big Jim took 20 of us out for a good ol' fashion 3 hour leg rippin' lactic acid fest. It ended with a 30mph rampage back into Waite Park that dropped everyone but Charlie Schad and me (and I would have been the next one to fall if they hadn't sat up).

We previewed the "Sprinters' Classic" course for Saturday's race. After tonight's ride, that race is going to be a picnic.

OK, maybe not.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun with Katie

When I'm not at work or hanging out with the boys in Spandex, this is my world. I wouldn't trade it for Bill Gates' billions or Doug Swanson's sprint.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


The short version: Ray: 4th, Jim 6th, Charlie 12th, me 17th of 34 in the Masters 35+ field.

In the Pro/1/2 elite field, surprise, surprise, Doug Swanson crossed first. Last week it was crushing the field in the final sprint; today he roared across a gap that Daniel Casper had opened on a solo break, then won the breakaway sprint handily.

The long version: sorry, I'm too blame tired for any play-by-play. Kudos to Chad Macy (NOT Fat Chad this year) who showed a clean pair of wheels to the rest of the 35+ field, though Mark Mliner wasn't far behind. The two of them snuck in behind Ray who wasn't able to anticpate their sprint, but still did very well for the team.

I felt great all race, knowing that I wouldn't be likely to contest the sprint a mile after the big hill. I was right, but I surprised myself by chasing down attacks, spent a fair amount of time at the front trading pulls with Mark from GS and Goblirsh from LSC, and even went on a flyer with Goblirsh and 2 others that stayed away for half a lap before Mliner and GS finally pulled us back.

Big Jim proved that he can stay off the bike all winter and still put us all in the hurt locker. He went away on a solo attack that stuck for half a lap or so. Charlie worked like a dog throughout the race to chase erstwhile breakaways.

Next week is the "Sprinters' Classic" right here in my back yard. It has one good hill that's several miles from the finish, and a looooong straight slightly downhill finish. I have a fair chance for a good finish there. Big Jim and I (and maybe Charlie) will ride it Tuesday night to figure out the timing for a good ending.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tossin' a bone...

...to you Katie junkies: here she is hamming it up at Grandma's place yesterday. She also spent an hour at Great Aunt Ardele's nursing home entertaining the entire wing of residents. She had every little old lady and man chasing her around at full speed, waving both hands madly and yelling "hi there, cutie!"

I thought that one tiny little Japanese lady was going to wisk her away to her room and keep her there. Both Katie and the Japanese lady thought the other one was the cutest thing they'd ever seen. I thought that they both were.

She got ahold of a yellow "Caution: wet floor" stand-up sign and pushed and pulled it around the dining room, even though the sign was taller (and maybe heavier) than herself. I made the mistake of trying to hide it, but prevented a full-on meltdown by hastily producing it again. Several residents followed her around the dining room trying to get her to let them give her a hug, but no go.

No physical therapist or speech clinician could have done so much rehab in so little time for so many cute little old ladies and guys. Hmm, maybe I should rent her out. But then I'd be bored to tears, since she's my main form of entertainment these days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


First race of the season--Durand, Wisconsin. Also the first win of the season for Doug Swanson and Grandstay. When I looked down the hill to the beginning of the sprint zone, all I saw were green, orange, and white jerseys spread across the road. By the 50 meter point, Doug was so far ahead, Gregg Brandt and Adam Bergman didn't have a chance. Here's the finish, complete with yours truly cheering:

My race (Masters 35+) ended a lap early, when Charlie and I (of Team Sparky fame) traded hard pulls to (mostly) reel in Mike Johnson and Guy Alvarez on the back side of the 3rd lap, just before one of the leg benders. Charlie popped, and I did one more pull to the bottom of the hill, figuring that our man Ray could easily pick the pair off by the top of the hill. Which he did.

Unfortunately, he got boxed in during the sprint and had no chance to finish it off. Hats off to Mark Mliner, who you never see for the whole race until the last 100 meters. A man after my own heart, except faster. Anyway, I got a great 3-lap workout to get me a little further along in my fitness. I should be ready for crit season.

The real fun for the weekend came in camping with Soulmate and Katie in the Katiemobile. We stayed in the Durand city park, which I can highly recommend for any of you RVers out there. The 'mobile worked perfectly, and we all 3 slept like babies and woke up to the birds singing. Then we drove back to St. Paul to drop Katie off with the grandparents and Soulmate and I went to Kinkaid's (from gatoraid to poached halibut, the ridiculous to the sublime) and then to the opera. We stayed overnight at the grandparents' and just got back this evening. We're all tired but looking forward to next weekend in Cannon Falls.

The Katiemobile is up to the camping part; we'll see if my legs are up to all 3 laps of the KWMRR.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter--He is Risen!

Happy Resurrection Day--He is risen indeed!

We had a lovely Easter service this morning, followed by an Easter feast at our house. Soulmate's parents and sister and family came bearing dish after dish of delicious dinner fare. Soulmate prepared the Easter ham with help from our ancient edition of "Joy of Cooking".

Katie was quite pleased with her pink Easter dress, and sashay'd around church like a princess (when she wasn't disrupting the service by squealing loudly or stuffing her face with fruit snacks).

Soulmate's dad and brother-in-law helped me figure out a couple of key items on the Katiemobile. The awning is very nice, and will come in handy for race warm-ups this summer. I think I have all the water, electrical, and propane systems figured out, now I just have to de-winterize the water system so it's ready for this weekend.

We plan to camp in Durand, Wisconsin Friday night so we can drive to the race there Saturday morning. This will be our first try at RV camping, so I think I'll have the RV to the local dealer to have it checked out this week. I want them to drain the anti-freeze out of the water system so nobody gets poisoned, and to make sure I know how to avoid Robin Williams' dumping downer in the movie "RV".

If I can get done with work in time on Tuesday, I hope to make it down to Plymouth for the first "Tuesday Night Worlds" at Opus. I'm pretty sure I'll get dropped quickly, given my lack of training this winter and early spring, but who knows. If I don't make it down, I'll go riding with Soulmate and Katie. Same diff.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day of Darkness

Jn 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
He said to them, "I AM."
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, "I AM,"
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
"Whom are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."
Jesus answered,
"I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go."
This was to fulfill what he had said,
"I have not lost any of those you gave me."
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave's name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
"Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
"You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"
He said, "I am not."
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
"I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said."
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
"Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
Jesus answered him,
"If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
"You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it and said,
"I am not."
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
"Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
"What charge do you bring against this man?"
They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you."
At this, Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
The Jews answered him,
"We do not have the right to execute anyone,"
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered,
"I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered,
"You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
"I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
They cried out again,
"Not this one but Barabbas!"
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!"
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
"Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
"Crucify him, crucify him!"

Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him."
The Jews answered,
"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God."
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
"Where are you from?"
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
"Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin."
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
"If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge's bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
"Behold, your king!"
They cried out,
"Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Shall I crucify your king?"
The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar."
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
"Do not write 'The King of the Jews,'
but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'"
Pilate answered,
"What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
"Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,"
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Top Secret Training Camp

I smuggled these photos back from GrandStay's top secret training camp this weekend. All in all, it was pretty painful (for me, at least).

Daniel Casper missed, but he phoned in to say he was keeping up by training a minimum of 8 hours a day out west. Jim Bell worked a full day and THEN rode 8 hours a day back in Lake Wobegon.

Dougo missed with some lame excuse named Stella (around 8 pounds, born Friday night at 2am, says brother Dan). Anne and Stella are doing fine, Doug snapped somewhere 'round midnight apparently. Congrats, and don't worry--sleep deprivation doesn't affect your racing in the least. I think it just affects your memory. I forget.

We didn't just hammer the hills all weekend; we relaxed as well. Nothing funnier than watching bike racers play pickup basketball (I can laugh because I didn't play).

What??!! A Revolution SPY??? Don't worry--we dropped him every time we started any super-secret training exercises. Oh, and I stayed back with him just to make sure he didn't see anything sensitive.

OK, so I got dropped more than Schlicht. C'mon, I'm twice his age!