3/31/10

Passover, Easter, Spring and what not...

It's official, the door has been opened to let Elijah in and the temps are warm enough that it's okay to keep the front door open. ;=) So spring has sprung!! We went to the annual Seder last night up at the temple in Des Moines. About 180 sat down for the dinner. Easter break is this weekend having the usual Monday off of work. I'm not sure why colleges don't give Good Friday off, but they instead give the Monday off and call it "Easter Monday". In a timely fashion for Easter, the flowers have popped out just outside my office door. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the underground steam pipes kept that section of earth pretty warm all winter long...

I hit up Banner Pits yesterday during my lunch hour. It's good to ride now that the floods and snow melt have subsided, but a lot of sticks and limbs need to be picked up along the way. Nothing major (only one tree). I moved a dozen or so limbs, but blasted through everything else since I was on the earth and limb eating RIPster. A little bit of mud in a few spots, but not bad at all. Here's what the RIP looked like after I did 2 laps on the north side and one lap of Riverside before loading up and heading back to work...

Ravens are Rippin'

A little bit of mud on the tires, but nothing that really slowed me down or prevented me from riding the loops. I was the first bike on Riverside according to the lack of tracks. Lots of deer droppings all over the trail from the winter. So be prepared for dung!

I think I'll get some singletrack in today before going in to work, and then do a pavement ride with the wife on the bike trail after work before the evening's concerts.

I'm looking forward to 80 degrees today and tomorrow. Now that's more like it...

3/27/10

Mass is removed and More Black Hills pictures...

I had a successful surgery yesterday. Checked in at Iowa Ortho at 10:30, got prepped and went for surgery around 12:15 or so and it took about 45 minutes or so. Tara had to drive me home thanks to the IV of Happy Drugs they gave me in the left arm and my right arm was totally numb from the IV in that arm to deaden the pain. I tried scratching my nose and literally poked myself in the eye since I couldn't feel anything. The mass was sent off to pathology to make sure it is okay, but I immediately got the feeling back in my thumb and first two fingers as the mass was pinching a nerve. That made the surgery worth it as I need that right hand for playing the piano, shaving, brushing my teeth and what not. All of that has been hard to do the past few months due to the numbness.

So. I'm happy the thing is out of my arm. I've got stitches and a bandage for 10 days until the follow up which I have to wrap in plastic to take a shower.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Okay, I downloaded some photographs from the Black Hills trip. The first one I managed to capture a pretty decent shot of Mt. Rushmore. When I was there, I was concerned that the pines up by the faces were all brown and possibly getting attacked by beetles or some bug. You can see how many of them are brown...

Mt. Rushmore

Alexa and her friend Jordan enjoyed our Rushmore "Monumental Breakfast" and the visit...

Mt. Rushmore with the girls

We had lunch with Grandpa at the Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City...

Dad and the girls

Then we headed down to Crazy Horse to check it out. A lot of progress has gone on since my childhood in the 70's when we lived in Rapid City. They still have a long ways to go, but I can't believe how much of the mountain has been blasted away for the beginnings of the horse to start to take shape. We should see a lot of development in the horse over the next decade...

Crazy Horse in the mist

Crazy Horse on a cold day

Of course, the girls had to visit Dinosaur Park which I think was built in 1937...

Bronto

Stegau

3/24/10

Surgery mixed with shot bearings on the C7i...

I had called LifeCycle Fitness technical support to schedule a "technician" to check my C7i. That was on a Friday and I was promised a return call within 24 hours to schedule. Well 24 hours turned into days which turned into weeks.

Yesterday knowing that the C7i was out of warranty, I decided to open it up and have a look. I took the crankarms off and then the next doohickey plate that got me into the main bearing area. I took both sides out and overhauled the bearings. I found 3 of the bearings were shot and actually had the same size in stock in a bearing kit I bought a few years ago. So repacked everything and reassembled it all. Those are not the only bearings in this unit, but they are the main bearings for the crankarms and that's where I was hearing creaking and felt something amiss. I got it all put back together, washed the grease off of my hands and suited up for a short intensity session.

Paydirt! Now the crankarms turn smoothly and the wattage readings are consistent with what they used to be. I was able to hold two 10 minute MSP intervals at levels I expected and now know why I couldn't make my numbers 10-12 days ago. The shot bearings (and the left side inner plate was loose causing the left crankarm to wobble out a bit during the pedal stroke). This was causing about a 40 watt (+/-) additional effort which was skewing everything.

The phone rang last night at around 8 p.m. and guess who it was? It was the technician that services my brand of exercise bikes making the call to set up the service. Hmmmmmm....will call within 24 hours maybe should be retitled "will call within 24 days!!!!". Anyway, he was nice enough and we chatted about what I had done and he agreed I had done well and he gave me the web address where I can buy any part I need for the C7i in the future. I canceled his visit and will not be required to pay anything. Cool.

Surgery on Friday. I went to the Doc yesterday to review the results of my MRI. He feels it is a simple benign tumor called a Lipoma that needs to be removed since it is pinching on a nerve causing my right hand to not function normally. Of course, it will be sent to pathology to make sure it's nothing else. My family Doc got it right on the initial visit back in February. He took one look at it on my first visit and said "that's a Lipoma". But I had to go to 2 other doctors (the first thought the surgery was out of his expertise due to the intricacies of a hand) as I got passed around in the "system", have X-Rays, an MRI and wait it all out wondering what the heck it was. Yippie for America's health care!!! My 6th visit on Friday will be the actual surgery and a follow up 10 days later to take the stitches out and make sure everything is okay. What could have been 2 visits, has turned into 7 when all is said and done and who knows how much in $$$$ for my insurance provider. Plus the amount of missed work has been very difficult to work around and reschedule all of my student's lessons. So Friday, no food or drink in the morning. In at 10:30. Surgery for an hour at 11:45. Designated driver (Tara) to bring me home since I have to be on an I.V. of legal drugs. :-) He said I should be up and around fine by Friday evening, but no hard exercise or yard work for a week. I'll have to lay off the weights and take a recovery week on the bike which I will be due to have anyway next week.

3/22/10

Snow is melted and my first round trip to Carlisle...

The 4 - 5 inches we got on Friday night quickly melted off of the roads and the bike path thanks to the pavement being warm enough to keep the snow from lasting long at all. Sunday when temps hit 37 by 11 a.m., I bundled up with my layers and headed out on the trail to ride to Carlisle and back. Round trip is 26 point something miles and I wanted to see how the new 130mm Thomson stem felt on the Dos Niner. The stem is a result of a fitting session I recently had to see what position on the bike has me pumping out the most power for a sustained period. It turns out I have been riding in too low of a position with too short of a stem that was robbing me of some power on the Dos Niner and JET. "Too cramped" is what the fitter said and too much curve in my back. Hmmmm.... Everything felt fine to me, but he is the professional fitter so I'm giving his suggestions a try.

Not to mention, I've cut the steerer tubes a bit too short on those two forks, but thanks to angles of stems, the plumbing solution was available (even though it looks a bit odd). I felt pretty good (actually really good) with the new position and now think I could even benefit from some bar ends. Those Ergon grips with the short bar ends that work with twist shifters look good, but I'll wait to see what the Dos feels like on dirt and climbing off road before doing anything else.

Regardless, I had a nice ride for the first round trip to Carlisle and back this year. The 13 miles out was against the wind and even though I was trying to keep it in lower HR work zones, it was a bit of effort to keep moving forward. Turning around at Carlisle and having the wind behind my back was a full 3 gear difference. I was flying on the way home and did my usual 10-12 minute interval on the final 1/4 section from Summerset Road to Indianola. It's uphill the entire way with several steeper sections that are like built in "juiced efforts" that mimic more what climbing off road is like where you have to up your watts for short burst of time even though you are at the end of your tether which recreates the over/under interval scenario for LT.

It felt good and has been nice to be off of the C7i trainer all week long. I still need to do some work on the trainer the next 2 weeks since it has the power meter to make sure I am hitting my targets during intervals as race season approaches in April. But I can now mix it up outside thanks to the weather breaking to the favorable side. Tara will ride the Carlisle trip today as she gets off of work early and the temps will be mid-50's with sunshine.

3/20/10

Spring Break Delivers!!!

First off, let's recognize March Madness when it needs to be recognized....

Way to go UNI!!! That was a fun game to watch today as the #1 seed gave up the ghost to University of Northern Iowa. I watched most of the game against UNLV as well, but the Kansas game was a real eye opener.

==========

Now, to earlier in the week. I took my daughter and her friend Jordan for spring break out to the Black Hills. Sights seen included Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Hill City, etc... . They were all enjoyed as was Rapid City.

In terms of my riding.....

.....switch to my fully warmed up baritone singing at the top of my lungs to a line in Jingle Bells:

"Oh what fun it is to ride on a well-equipped 5" sleigh...."


RIP with XT triple rings

The Black Hills was still in the spring snow melt-off phase up in the hills, so that left the new and wonderful IMBA designed and built playground in Rapid City - which is more commonly known as M-Hill - to ride. I could have hit Storm Mountain, but saw a lot of snow when driving by on the way to Mt. Rushmore with the girls and I didn't want to fight the mud and snow in an effort to salvage some sort of ride. I'll hit it my next trip. So M-Hill being a lot lower in altitude and having the benefit of more sun was perfectly dry except for about 4-5 spots on each climb with only a bit of snow/ice here and there. Maybe 1-2% of the trail was not dry. Not bad at all.

Although I had the camera along on the trip, no way I was lugging that thing along on M-Hill for my training rides. I had GU, water bottles, cell and my iPod. Nothing else. Plenty of photographs available of M-Hill. Here's a pair as IMBA blazed one of the trails...

Digging it:

mhill

Now the completed trail section from the photo above after the digging and work was completed (this one is a blue diamond color coded moderate trail):

mhillfinished

Here's a video of M-Hill (before IMBA finished the initial trail work). Men's Journal named the Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park as the best mountain bike park in America in their September 2009 issue. Pretty cool and well worth the drive out across the prairie to experience it.

The "old days" had all the singletrack being very narrow on M-Hill. Pretty much deer path width of 4 - 10". Now, with the IMBA sustainable trail building, these things are beautiful. No such singletrack exists in Iowa in terms of the width. This year's Fat Tire Festival XC race will be a blast because you can now pass without any fear of falling over the side of a cliff like when it was only 4" wide. You had to pay so much attention to the front wheel's tracking on that older narrow singletrack which is hard to do when you are in the red zone. Now, you can hammer and let the front wheel wander a bit without fear of plunging down the side of the mountain.


The weather was perfect with temps in the 50's, 60's (actually up to 70) and allowed for a 3 day intense training block on M-Hill. I had the RIP 9 outfitted with Maxxis Ardent 2.4's front and rear figuring this bike with these tires would be about the best combination for Black Hills riding that I have ever owned. Was I right? Yes!!! Finally I own a bike that is designed to eat up the rocky terrain, jumps, and the tires only brought it to life flying down these DH descents (black diamonds and blues as well).

From Dad's house to the trail head, it's about a 15-20 minute warm-up ride on the paved bike path. Perfect warm-up length and it allowed me to get the blood flowing and do a few high efforts to get ready for that opening 25 minute climb. On the way home, it was a perfect 10 minute big ring interval to flush the legs of whatever I had left after spending some high efforts on the long climbs.

Tuesday's goal: 110 minutes of effort included some work through muddy sections that had me turning around looking for alternate routes, but the summit was reached twice and the reward was the high buzz one gets from descending on an IMBA bermed "slalom" like trail.

Wednesday's goal: 120 minutes of effort included different routes up and down M-Hill with a lot of middle ring grunt climbing. Temperatures were near 70 and the blue sky and views were spectacular!!! I hooked up with a pair of guys that did the climb without helmets. At the top, they said it was time to get "high" and I thought they were reaching in their backpacks for some doobies, but instead they pulled out full face helmets and arm gear. Dang! What was I about to go down with these guys? No problem as I went down the black diamond descents with them bashing through the rocks and catching a ton of air in my lycra. ;-)

Thursday's goal: Feeling the effects at age 48 of two consecutive days of riding, I awakened to find out that rain/snow was in the forecast (80% chance) with noon being the start time for precipitation. I had been riding in the afternoon and if I wanted a full 24 hours of recovery before Thursday's ride, I wouldn't be able to ride in the rain. So I decided to go early in the morning before I had recovered. Warm-up showed I was pooped, but I somehow managed to get it going. My plan was to leave whatever I had left in my legs on the trails. The first two 20 - 25 minute climbs were in the middle ring grinding it out just like I would on my 2 x 9 XC race drive train. I've raced M-Hill on my Dos using the 2 x 9 29T/42T rings, but the RIP was a much heavier bike and my middle ring is a 30T. I pushed it through with the lungs screaming, my legs on fire and my heart rate in no-man's land. It looked like quite a few others were out with the same battle plan as I had: "get some spring riding in before the next bout of winter weather hit". On the third climb, I went back to try the far eastern/northern route that was too muddy to ride on Tuesday. I figured it would have dried out more in the 70 degree temps of Wednesday. I got about 1/2 way up and hit what I call bike stopping/clogging mud. That's the problem when running a 2.4 in the rear. There is not much room for mud to collect before the chainstay and arch become built in brakes with the mud building up quickly on the them. So I turned around and went back to the dry trail eastern route climb. Legs were spent, so I went to granny ring. On I climbed and about 1/2 way up on the steepest section, the legs/lungs/heart said "enough". I was already at 120 minutes and had used up my glycogen stores. So I bagged it, turned around and bombed down my final descent. 140 minutes for the day and the legs were empty. Totally empty.

End result was a nice three day block at altitude and in the real mountains completed. It was a successful trip and following a crazy snowstorm drive home from Sioux City to Indianola with cars and trucks going in ditches, I earned a well deserved 2 days of rest on Friday/Saturday. That was an 8 hour training week (up from the previous week of 5 hours 20 minutes). The weeks are building now as XC race season rolls into view.

M-Hill is really an amazing marvel. I have ridden there for years when out visiting, but now that the IMBA trails are built it is really a new ball game for Rapid City and the Black Hills. M-Hill is a huge feather in Rapid City's cap and the Fat Tire Festival HQ's there each year. These trails are not to be missed. Whether you go out for the annual Black Hills Fat Tire Festival or are just out on vacation or passing through - they are a must. Bring your legs and lungs for the climbs and your DH and slalom skills for the descents. I leaned my 2.4 Ardents over on their edges at top speed relying on the grips, technique and berms to get me through the high speed turns. Sharp jagged rocks were hit head on with not even a scrape or scratch on the casings. The tires delivered big time along with the RIP. Talk about a sure footed sled! I took every jump except one on the descents and marveled at how different a 5" travel 29"er is with a 3" or 4" bike. I will be back in June for sure with the RIP for the sheer fun of it all, and hopefully in May to do the Fat Tire Festival XC race (where I will be sure to use a 27T granny ring!!!). My RIP is way too much bike for anything in Iowa or the midwest, but it is right at home in the Black Hills. I am blown away by it.

Many thanks to my Dad, sister, Troy, and Cody for a nice visit.

3/14/10

Black Hills, here I come...

Following the 9 hour drive tomorrow (Monday), I'm looking forward to some of this for the rest of the week...

Post ride dirt check...

Black Hills singletrack....

Rocky going up

3/13/10

MSP Intervals...

It's that time of year. The raising of the lactate threshold time that is. I've been doing all sorts of the shorter duration intervals the past two months (SMSP intervals), but yesterday began the deep pain cave stuff.

I thought I would have a go at it on Tara's LeMond trainer since the C7i seems to be a bit out of whack with some bearing issues. I didn't really have my heart set on knocking it out of the park yesterday (my mind is on my right wrist/arm and all the X-rays and the MRI I had on Thursday/Friday), but wanted to start this phase and see just what I could deliver at this point.

So yesterday looked like this:

10 minutes warm-up
10 minutes @ 200 watts
10 minutes @ 280 watts
10 minutes @ 200 watts (Oy!!! Tough to recover and keep it going.)
1 minute @ 280 and I pulled the plug and bailed. I simply wasn't ready for a second full 10 minute 280 watt interval and that kind of pain cave yet. I should have started lower - maybe in the 240 - 260 watt range.

Exhausted

Cool down, live to fight another day.

Today was a bit better, but I'm still not easing in like I should. Today I climbed on the old C7i that needs new bearings and service, so I'm not sure what the heck the wattage reading is in terms of accuracy. But I figured 260 being day 2 in a row in this block and all.

It unfolded like this...

20 minutes warm-up
10 minutes @ 200 watts
10 minutes @ 260 watts
10 minutes @ 200 watts
6 minutes @ 260 watts (Oy!!!! - I had to pull the plug and bail again...)
2 minutes recovery
8 minutes @ 200 watts - ah to heck with it...
Cool down

pooped

Okay, so the heart rate today at 260 watts was 171 - 174, but yesterday at 280 watts on Tara's LeMond the heart rate was only 158 - 163. Hmmmmm....which one is more accurate and how to figure it out? I know something is wrong with my C7i, but how far off I don't know. The 260 watts on the C7i feel more difficult than the 280 on the LeMond, so perhaps the shot bearings are making me work much harder and if the heartrate is the indicator - that proves the case. I'll know once the bearings get replaced. I probably need to try a third source for power measurement to see if the LeMond or the C7i is way off.

Regardless, that is telling that I had to bail on both days during the 2nd 10 minute interval. I don't think I was quite ready to jump right in at those higher wattages for the duration in this block - obviously. Reviewing my journal from last year, I worked my way up a bit with the first few blocks to increase the LT. This year, thinking I was in some kind of better shape and with loftier goals, I decided to bang out at a higher effort from the get go figuring I could take the pain. Fail. Lesson learned. I should have done this 3 day block with 220 - 250 (or 260) watt intervals on the C7i, but the shot bearings have skewed everything up. Tomorrow for the 3rd day, I'll cut back - or just do them all on the LeMond. Or maybe ride outside if the sun pokes out of the clouds after all this rain.

Maybe I am just bored stiff of all the indoor training with ZERO training rides outside due to the winter and all the snow. I had a lot of hours logged in outside by this time last year (including a 3 hour ride in 78 degree temps!!!). Not so this year.

I will have a few days to recuperate and actually do some riding outside on actual singletrack in the Black Hills. No power-meter, just fun riding for fun's sake. Perhaps when I get back at the end of the week, I will be ready to hit the 240, 260, 280 and beyond MSP intervals. Then I start adding the tempo bursts into them every few minutes for even more pain.

The first XC race is 4 weekends away, so I need to get some successful (as in complete the prescribed durations) MSP work completed. Hopefully, the service work will be performed on my C7i before I climb aboard it again to knock out the intervals. Luckily, I am a bit ahead of schedule for my interval work compared to last year as I started earlier while still doing the weights.

3/12/10

Spring Break!

It starts NOW!!!

And I started it off with a frustrating phone call to Life Fitness Technical Support to ask about service for my C7i...

HomeGymBike

The frustrating part is there is $100 "travel charge" just for the technician to come out and take a look at it. Then the charge is $100 per hour plus parts for any repairs beyond the "travel charge". Ah, yes, the gift that keeps on giving!! I guess I can't complain, it's the 2nd service it has had since I got it in 2002 and it gets a lot of use.

I think the bearings are shot as I hear a lot of grinding and due to that, even though my heart rates are way up in ranges that should measure more wattage output, the wattage numbers are very low compared to the heart rate reading. In other words, I'm working a lot harder than what the machine is measuring. Or the "motherboard" is shot and the readings are way off. When I hop over on Tara's LeMond trainer, the heart rate and wattages match what I have in my training journal from previous years on the C7i. That's why I think something is wrong with the machine.

At least the technician is supposed to call within 24 hours to set up his "travel visit and $100 pocket change". I want to make sure I'm here when he does his visit, so will schedule it for after spring break. I promise to be kind to him.... ;-}

I'll be heading out to the Black Hills with Alexa, snow skis, a mountain bike, Alexa's friend and we will try to get in whatever recreation we can based on the weather and conditions. Zack and Tara both have to work, so they will stay at home. We will take next weekend for a trip to Kansas City for all of us to finish up the break with some nice BBQ.

The snow has done a fairly orderly melt the past 10 days. In spite of that, I noticed Banner Pits got some flooding yesterday and the creek/river north of Scotch Ridge on 65/69 is way over its banks and flooding out all the farmland in that area. An inch of rain is supposed to come tonight which will add fuel to the fire, so river crests should be on Sunday according to the news. Then a week of the 50's and sunshine are forecast which should start to dry things out a bit.

3/8/10

Sing For Your Supper!!!

Tara and I had my voice students over on Saturday evening for our traditional "Sing For Your Supper" dinner that we host. The rule of the evening is very simple: you have to sing if you want to eat.

It's always a fun evening and we have 7 years of memories with all the students I have taught since coming to Simpson. The students are allowed to sing whatever they want, be it serious, silly, sad, happy, creative, etc... . We had everything from opera arias, musical duets, solos from musicals, jazz, art songs in French, German, Italian, Russian - you name it. It was a fun evening. Two of my students were unable to make it. One was in Chicago for some dental work and the other was a no show - hey, what's up with that LIZ!!! The other 14 were there and were joined by Gayla and Chuck Tighe who have been to every one of the events in the past 7 years. Gayla plays piano and Chuck helps out in the kitchen and enjoys listening to all of the students perform.

Due to Tara's new job, we actually did not hold the event last year. She was feeling swamped last year with all of the paperwork, so we skipped it last year as there were no open weekends. This year she felt like there was time and there was an open weekend with no recitals or conerts this semester. So March the 6th it was.

I got up at the crack of dawn and went to secure the brisket that I was going to smoke all day on the Big Green Egg. It turned out really tasty. we did not have a lot of leftovers which meant I finally bought the right amount of meat for a change. Rice and beans, salad, fresh cornbread muffins, fresh strawberries and pineapple rounded out the meal with the usual smattering of beverages.

A few shots from the evening...

Brandon and Tad started off the evening with a duet from Phantom of the Opera (of course, mocking a recent performance that I did with one of my soprano colleagues at Simpson). Brandon used his counter-tenor and sang the soprano part and we all grinned and giggled until it hurt with their rendition:

Brandon

Lydia spiced things up with a pair of jazz numbers...

Lydia

Megan warmed up and really let it all out in her Puccini aria...

Megan

Joe pulled off a great rendition from a musical...

Joe

Mark tried his best to recall those words that Schumann set in Liederkreis...

Mark

Bethany and Sam did both sides of the Starbucks "guy meets girl" song...

Bethany

Sam

Marie gave us some serious Russian...

Marie

Kenzie sang the old chestnut of Brahms "Wie Melodien..." (I have to get a new house because her voice is too big for our current house...)

Kenzie

Deaven sang in Russian and as you can see, Max enjoyed it while on the floor. Then she let it rip with "Meine Lippen Sie K├╝ssen so Heiss" (You kiss my lips so warmly!) a bit later...

Deavon

Lauren sang "What a Movie" from Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti...

Lauren

Tara and I had to earn our supper, so we did the waltz duet from Franz Lehar's Die Lustige Witwe which ends with a nice kiss...

TheMerryWidowKiss

I didn't get as many pictures as I hoped, but c'est la vie. Fun was had by all and we will do it again next year. I've got a great group of students and it is always fun to have them over for this informal event.

3/5/10

No Surgery - YET!

Well, after arriving in time to fill out all the paperwork and get ready for the surgery yesterday, the surgeon was perplexed at the growth on my wrist as well as its location. It's opposite my wrist bone and up a couple of inches. After he pushed and prodded and checked some things, he went to get his partner to check it out. They both agreed that they were not capable of performing the surgery in their office due to the complexity and said I would be needing a specialist via a hand surgeon. It seems what my general doctor thought was a lipoma, is not. They are claiming it is a cyst and that tendons are involved. A hand surgeon would be able to perform the surgery with ease whereas they would not be able to do it. In the olden days they would whack it with a Bible or some other huge book to rupture the cyst. Mine has a huge artery right over it making that treatment not the proper direction to go...

So, they made an appointment for me across the street from Mercy Hospital in Des Moines to consult with a hand surgeon next Thursday. I know it will get taken care of, but the process of getting to the end goal via general practitioner visit, surgeon number one visit, surgeon number two consult and eventual scheduling of the actual procedure that will remove the growth in my arm means missed time at work and a bit trying on my patience (no pun intended). In the meantime, the cyst has grown enough to put pressure on the nerves and my right thumb and index finger are pretty much useless. I cannot even squeeze shampoo out of the bottle with the right hand now due to the numbness.

Bring on the hand surgeon!

3/3/10

The BIG MELT OFF has begun...

Several feet of snow that has accrued throughout the winter is slowly starting to melt as temps hit the 30's during the day. It looks like we might hit the upper 40's or even 50 this weekend which should start to melt all of this accumulation. Finally! A year ago I was riding 2 hours+ outside several days a week to build a base. This year, it's been an hour at a time in the basement on the C7i.

Speaking of "melt"......I need to melt off the few pounds I put on the past few weeks doing the weights and eating everything in sight while growing the muscles. I've got about 4 pounds to "melt" off and it will be a minimum of an hour a day on the bike to take that off sooner, rather than later.

My rebuilt race wheels arrived yesterday from Mike Curiak before he took off for his Alaska adventure. I've had the DT Swiss 240 hubs since 2002. This is the 3rd set of rims in that time frame. The new build is on NoTubes Crest rims and the wheelset came out at 1640g with yellow tape and valves...

ProperlyPackedShipping

WeighIn

1640g

Sweet looking wheels.

By the way, I will be having surgery tomorrow to remove whatever the growth on my wrist is (probalby just a fatty deposit). I discovered it last month during opera rehearsals, so tomorrow is the scheduled surgery up in Des Moines to remove it and run tests on "it". I'll be back at work on Friday.