Thursday, February 28, 2008

Winter River Bottoms

This is a water pipe that sprung a leak about a mile west of the Cedar Bridge

I have a four day weekend and so I went down to the river bottoms today. Started at 35W bridge and went to the Bloomington Ferry bridge. This was the best section. Fast but icy so make sure you have studs if you ride them or it will be no fun, and leave your front brake at home. Everything in this section was buffed out nicely and made for a joyous 1:10. Then I headed to the Mendota bridge. Not many people ride this section. It is mostly hikers, thus the trail is like riding a horse trail. I didn't mind it at first but it got old after 2 hrs of it. I was running the innova studed tires and only about 18-20psi. Those tires are so stiff I think its possible to ride them flat. I make it so that pushing down with my two thumbs I can compress the tire about 3\4 of the way to the rim. If I was really serious, I'd try stans tubeless. I'm sure Brendan has experimented with some studded tubeless systems. Care to share any tips Brendan? Anyway, the conditions from Mendota to 35W vary. There is soft sections like your riding through an inch of sand, to supper rough, to fast and icy. Its all ridable but you have to crank out a little more juice to go at a reasonable pace. I finished up in just over 3hrs. Good ride.

I have my final speed skating race on Sat. First and last metric style race. It will be just me against the clock. All the good guys will be there. I'm signed up to do the 500 and 1500 meter races. This speed skating stuff really kicks your butt, the legs are just fried after every workout. There is no easy day on the ice. Working out with Mike Anderson and Andy Kostka this season has really helped. Andy is about my speed but Mike is an animal and he really pushes us. Speaking of those two here is a report on last weekends Marathon Championships in Bemiji. This was the 50KM, the day previous Mike got second in the 25KM. I might try it next year, sounds fun.

Another awesome day of racing in Bemiji. It was a bit warmer this morning, but it seemed colder since the sun wasn't out. About 5 laps or so into the race, the sun came out and it was beautiful, I was actually over dressed.

The first 20 laps (of 50) were VERY casual and quite civilized, generally 1:55-2:00 minutes per lap (1k). At one point, Matt Trimble crashed so we all stood up and waited for him, no luck though since his blade fell off his skate. About 2 laps later, one of the women fell, so we all stood up again and waited for her. The main pack was about 15 skaters, with appx. 20 race starters.

With 30 laps to go, I launched an attack. I got a pretty good gap and managed to break up the field. The only skater to really respond was Charlie Stangl. Once he caught up to me, we worked together to eventually lap the field.

As we caught the field, I noticed there were two skaters about 25 seconds off the front, Erick, the flying Dutchman and Matt Trimble (he got his blade back on, but was about 15+ laps down at that point). I hit the front and attacked again, I think Charlie had enough fun at this point, he looked kind of 'funned' out. This time, Andy Kostka hopped on and we caught the two off the front. Once we caught the two off the front, We all kind of worked together, eventually dropping Matt, then catching the main pack again.

At this point there were about 10 laps remaining, I figured I was on a roll and went for it again, this time no one showed any interest. I guess I was just in a hurry to get the race over with. I managed to get about 3/4th's of a lap on the field, and won the race.

Charlie Stangl took off on the last lap and ended up skating it alone for second place. Andy was third, a few seconds behind Charlie. The Flying Dutchman was 4th, quite a ways back from Andy. It was great to see Andy and Charlie do so well beating all the seasoned veterans like Bruce Anderson and John Koppi.

Hopefully there will be some complete results posted somewhere, I haven't seen any yet. Here is what I know, kind of:

1) me
2) Charlie Stangl
3) Andy Kostka
4) Erick ?? (the flying Dutchman)
5) Bruce Anderson ?
6) John Koppi

This really was an excellent weekend of racing and would highly recommend it to everyone. I guess the weather was really what added the most fun, these things are NOT fun when it's cold out!

Later, Mike

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ride and Glide

This morning Sam went to Theo-Wirth and did the Loppet course while I went to the oval to do a little racing. Not many people at the track as alot of people were up in Bemiji for the marathon Championships. Mike Anderson took 2nd in the 25km race up there. Him and another guy broke away early and lapped the field on the 1km track. He really wants to go for the win tomorrow in the 50km race. Anyway I raced the 800 meter and the 1000 meter. They had the 4 Jrs from midway, me as the only senior, and 2 other master men all together. The 800 was first and off the line I tried to drop in between some of the jrs before the corner but the front one stood up for no apparent reason. I hit one of their blades and almost took one out but he kept it upright while I was forced way wide. I was all tense after this and my form was crap which meant I was going nowhere fast and just wore myself out trying to catch back up. In the 1000 however, the jrs did not want to start out fast so as soon as I found myself on the front going into turn 1, I opened a gap up. Its extremely difficult to pass in skating because you need a good run on someone, so I figured if they wanted to win I was going to catch them off guard and make them work to get it. I could hear them behind me say "hey, why is he starting out fast." I kept myself relaxed and the strokes long the whole time and I won by 25 meters. My first rookie win of the year and only my 3rd race! I know they are just jrs but they are fast and they have been skating most of their lives.
In the afternoon after Sam was done skiing we did our first "base" training. 2:45hrs out to Manning.It was of atomic proportions. Well he did ski for 2:30hrs prior so it was expected. I was getting tired as well. Not quite to bonkville but just kind of cold and clammy. I forgot the camera so sorry, no pictures.
Floyd has been calling me and rubbing in the 80 degree weather and sunny beaches. He was having fun taking the pt cruiser down the HALEAKALA road. I bet Janet, his wife, had her hand imprinted into the "oh crap" handle when they reached the bottom.
Time to eat some more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mike Hall took a nasty hit to the face last weekend. Drop him a get well would you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Google maps

Go to google maps some time and zoom into the twin cities area. View the satellite image and you'll see a bunch of roads highlighted in blue (if you live in the cities find your house). Now there should be a "street view" button up by the satellite, map,and traffic view options. Click on that. If your really bored you can follow your bike routes or roam the neighborhood to see if you can recognize someone. Be careful downtown though. This will be nice to scope out rides for a trip someday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Semi Pro

I forgot I had these pictures from the bike swap. Sam is out of town again. He went up to Bemiji for a ski race again. The Minnesota Finlandia race I guess. They had alot of snow fall up there this week so it should be great conditions.

Paul putting together his winter TT outfit.

Floyd talking to Eben in Salt Lake. enjoying the view of the oval from the new addition they put on the skating center.

I went skating today. Me and Floyd were the only ones out there today. The place was surprisingly deserted. Floyd got a call from Bonnie Blair last night. He is going out to Pennsylvania April 19 to be inagurated into the speedskating hall of fame. Pretty cool. He leaves for Hawaii on monday and will be there for 2 weeks. Lucky. I would like to ride up that one road that goes from sea level to like 10,000 ft. Its suppost to be one of the best climbs of the USA.
Member: Eric Oftedahl
License: Cross Country Racer
Request to change category from Expert to Semipro
request: Approved

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bicycle Repair Man

Last sunday Doug showed me his t-shirt from Ore-to-Shore last year which looks like these superman costumes.He is nothing compared to the Bicycle Repair Man.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mora Vasaloppet

Pun intended.

While I was sweating in a crowded building on sunday at the bike swap, Sam was out in the -30+ wind chill racing the Vassaloppet. Conditions were slow as the wind driven snow put allot of drag on the skis. He actually fell at the finish because he unexpectedly hit a patch of wind blown snow which is like hitting the brakes. Cold snow in skiing is like the muddy races of mtb races. It just takes so much power to keep going it feels like an uphill battle. He surprised himself in the end though, coming in 26th out of 233. Brutal race. He said it was a Chequamegon like effort.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Winter training is working nicely

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bike Swap

Twin Cities Bike Swap this weekend. Just like Dick says," Why buy new, when slightly used will do". Its in the Blain Sports center this year and its going to be a full house.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chuck Norris Facts

I was just on and thought these were pretty funny.

Chucks Favorites: Picked by the man himself
# When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

# Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

# There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

# Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.

# Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.


Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
# Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

# Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

# There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.

# When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

# Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

# Chuck Norris’ hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

# Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

# Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

# Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

# Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost

# Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a DeltaForce marathon on Satellite TV.

# Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.<

Sunday, February 03, 2008

City of the lakes Loppet

I ran support for Sam in the City of the Lakes Loppet today. Perfect weather and very nice conditions. I used the cross bike to meet him in 4 different spots along the course. This was his first major race so he had to start in the last wave, 25 min behind the 1st wave. This meant for lots of passing and alot of poles being stepped on. The corners were sketch as the others ahead of him were digging down to the icy snow by snow plowing. The better skiers step turn fast and don't do much damage to the corners, but the less experienced push all the loose snow into berms. He finished with a time of around 1.33.05 placing 119 out of 708. There were only 4 guys that had a faster time in the 3rd wave and 14 from the 2nd wave, and he was 15 min off the winners time. Next time he will be in wave 1.
Congrats to Jay Richards who took 27th. Stellar racing Jay.