Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

I'm glad I met my goal, but man today was a biatch. 100 miles exactly, 10 hours of ride time, 14 hours from start to finish, it was cold, I wanted to quit, and I'm out of shape again.....ride report will come later.

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Hundy update

Hundy update....2:45pm in Granger with 55miles down. Feelin much better. I had ridden to DeSoto and back to the house this morning. Forgot the wallet and bonked on the way home. Wanted to quit but hoped that the chili and water for lunch would help. Just might make it.

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One last attempt

Thanks to everyone out in cyber-world that wrote or called to motivate me to get out on the gravel again. Even my boss told me to get out and give it one last shot.
Plan is to leave at sun-up and ride west. Weather is calling for a high of 24 with light winds. Currently 5 degrees at the house. I better bundle up.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

No Cup O' Dirt????

Up at 4am, on the bike by 4:45. Dark, 19 degrees, slight wind, perfect day for a ride. No clouds, just enough light that I was using my small commuter light and could see just enough. I had planned on a long day, since I hadn't been riding at all. I figured the early start would give me 2 hrs of riding in the darkness and still allow for a slow and steady ride into the mid-afternoon.

All was good for the 1st 4 miles, the pavement to the gravel wasn't too treacherous and the initial gravel stretch was frozen but had traction. However, the next 2 miles was a frozen pond of death.....my pace was down to 6mph at best and I was riding the last 10 inches of the shoulder trying to find traction in what little snow that hadn't been blown off the road. After a series of linked recoveries, I hit the pavement just outside of Grimes. 6 miles total and 50 minutes. It would be a long day. I started north again and it just got worse (I didn't think that was possible). I decided that I shouldn't push my luck and road the pavement back to the house. 12 mile ride in 1:25. I suppose that if it heats up this afternoon and melts everything (without turning it to mud), that I could finish the ride. However, I think that my fate is sealed within the 1/2 inch of ice that presently appears to cover all of the local gravel roads.

I'll have to think of a creative solution if I want to get my December hundy ridden.

Friday, December 19, 2008

That sucked....

Not the ending that I was hoping for....the Griz played poorly in the 1st half and the D picked it up in the 2nd half, but the offense never played well. At least it was a fun trip.

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Sticky Fingers

Finger licken good ribs, chicken and pulled pork at Sticky Fingers. It was as good as advertised.....with a full belly it is now time to attack the tailgates.

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Arrival at Chatty

808 miles, 4 stops and 12.5 hours to Chattanooga. I made it safely. The roads were clear and I stayed ahead of the storms. I met one of my old college roomies, we had a quick dinner and went to the convention center for Griz pep rally. It was packed...and the faithful were drinking the place dry. Dave and I ran into a lot of old college drinking buddies and many lies were told. The best quote of the night came from coach Hauck. "game time is 8pm, I expect all of you to be tailgating at 4pm and lubed up for the game." Gee coach.....anything for the team.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Road Trip time....

This is how I feel tonight as I pack for my 13hour drive to Chattanooga. I'm headed to watch the Griz win a National Championship :)




Look for remote cell phone posts of the trip. I hope that the Griz win. If not, it will be a long drive back.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big Mountain Ski Report


From my old home town ski area. http://www.bigmtn.com/ This mornings ski report. In the old'n days they wouldn't have shut down the lifts and I wouldn't have missed a day of skiing. Now I wonder why I have poor circulation in the fingers and toes. At least the scenery was alway good.
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12:41 UpdateWe've opened Chair 2! We're now offering skiing on Chairs 2, 6, and the Magic Carpet, with lift tickets still at $18. Dress warm, and we'll see you up here.
10:15 am update. Checking back with you all, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but no Chair 1 this morning due to winds still over 20 mph with wind chill values at -64 degrees from tower 10 and up. Chair 2 continues to be on hold due to weather driven electrical problems but we will continue to put up all exhaustive efforts to try and open that chair as the day goes on. We will however be riding on Chair 6 and the Big Easy Carpet. It is still blustery out there so please bundle up and keep a hot beverage at your side. Have a good one guys.

8:15 am update. Well guys just checking back with you, the jury is still out on what lifts will be running today, fortunately I did hear a report the winds are somewhat dying down at the summit but please check back in around an hour or so for our updated report.
We have plenty of wicked snow to open with on this balmy Sunday morning with 1” new inch of snow on the summit and in the village, the only thing we are dependent on at this time is the wind. Currently the summit is at negative 25 degrees not including the wind chill, with winds 25-30 mph and gusts 45-50 mph. So lets all pray, pray, pray that the elements take a lull so we can all play, play, play and rip it up! We are expecting to be riding chairs 1, 2, 6 & 7 when we get up and running. Please stay tuned for our updates on today’s conditions and opening terrain.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pardon me boys....

is that the Chatanooga Choo-Choo?

THE Montana Grizzlies took care of business last night against James Madison. The Griz took advantage of several JMU turnover and won bigger than the score indicated.

Now I'm working on a road trip to Chatty for the national championship game. A 12 hour drive to see them win will be worth it. At least gas is now cheap :)

It will be against either UNI or Richmond. I'm pulling for Northern Iowa as they are local and I hate the east coast bias.

Any UNI fans out there?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Anything ELSE you want to tell us?'

WARNING-IF YOU STILL BELIEVE READ NO FURTHER.....
We broke the news about Santa to the girls last week. Holly was getting tired of the statements. "Kids on the bus are saying..." so when we saw the opportunity we decided to take it. When we told them, I think that they already knew in their heart. It was still a little sad, a little bit more of lost innocence.

The funny part was tonight. We were discussing that they still needed to get their pictures taken with Santa. I asked them what they wanted from him and they scoffed at the idea. We explained that they would still get presents from the north pole. This just started the conversation again and brought up more questions..."Did you bring the presents down in the middle of the night?" One question led to another, but the funniest statements were how somethings now made sense. Like how Santa really liked sugar cookies but wasn't so hot for milk.

Then they wanted to know about the Easter Bunny. "I suppose you are the ones that hid the eggs in the yard!"

"Yes is was us"

"Did you eat the carrots as well!"

"Some got put back into the bag"

"What ELSE have you been hiding!"

"What do you think about the Tooth Fairy?"

Monday, December 8, 2008

10 degrees & windy = no riding for Tom

Well, I wimped out on the hundy yesterday. It was 10 degrees and windy at 5:30am, so I went back to bed. I ended up sleeping in until 8:30 so my body must have needed the rest. I did figure out that I may have a few more opportunities than I originally thought, so I should be able to complete by month-end.

The good news is that the Griz won this past weekend. This puts them into the semi-finals against James Madison. I have a co-worker that is a JMU alumni. She was originally talking about a roadtrip to the game, but a 16hr drive and a Friday night game will make that impossible. We do plan on getting together to root our respective teams on to victory. Tune into ESPN2 this Friday night to watch the mighty Griz. It will be a tough game but if they win then I'm drive to Chatty for the national championship game.

Big storm coming to Des Moines tonight. Hopefully it will go north so the biking doesn't get too screwed up.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

100 miles this Sunday? Anyone? Bueller?

I still need to get the details together, but I think that my final dirty hundy of the year will be this Sunday the 7th. The weather will be cold in the morning, but light winds and frozen ground could make for a decent day. Besides that, I'd like to keep next Sunday open for a possible day trip to the Cross Nationals in KC. After that, the in-laws are in town and I won't be able to break away.

If anyone would like to join for all or part of this ride, I'd like to have you along. I'm thinking of making this a ride to celebrate the finishing of my cup O'dirt. I'll probably leave early for a 60 mile loop and then head back to the house. I could then meet others that want to ride the remaining 40 miles. Maybe loop back to pick anyone that is only up for a short ride (last 20 miles?).

Depending on everyone's schedules the ride could end at my house for some chili and beers to celebrate. Or, depending on the route, the ride could end conveniently at a local bar :)

If that appeals to you, leave a comment and I'll work on a route with possible meeting points/times.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holidays are for family

Wow, I guess I didn't realize that I hadn't posted for over 2 weeks. Even that last one was pretty lame. The short story is that I haven't ridden much since the last hundy, work has been busy, the economy and financial news are holding my interest, my parent's flew out from Montana for Thanksgiving week, fun was had by all.
It's too bad that we only see the Grandparents about twice a year. The kids really enjoy their time together (as do Holly and I). The logistics are just too much for monthly or quarterly travel. We have talked about sending the kids out to Montana a week or two prior to our normal summer vacation. It would be a good experiment for all involved.

The easiest way to catch up is by pictures (and it is the easy way out for me).


A mini concert by the girls for "Papa and Gram". They don't do too bad considering that they just started playing these instruments this year.
video
Papa, Maddie and I joined the annual Turkey day ride at Ashworth pool. We were late to the start and it was cold (28 degrees), but after we got to Denmans trail, we had fun. We rode the 7miles of singletrack and got back to the parking lot to see about 50 riders starting to warm-up with a few cold brews. We opted out and drove to Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee.

Maddie led Papa through the woods to show off her riding skills. I'm sure that he was impressed as she cleaned the majority of the trail.The formal meal of the week.

Grandpa was on potato duty. He tried to get out of it claiming he never learned how in Vietnam. We didn't buy his excuses.

Gram and the girls prepared cookies all day Wednesday and Friday.Tom is showing off his "mad" carving skills.The grandparents and the girls.