Weekend meanderings...

Congratulations to my daughter, Alexa Brown, and her debate partner, Selena Kraus on their winning of the State Debate Championship yesterday at Ankeny. Way to go girls!!!! Zack and his partner were State Champs last year, so now Alexa gets to wear the crown this year. No wonder I never win an argument here at home!

I took Saturday off the bike (outside of the normal morning and evening dog walks in the neighborhood) after riding for 9+ hours this past week (Sunday to Friday with Saturday being a rest day). Today was the 1st day of "this current week" and I got up early to head out to Banner Pits to join the group ride loops at Banner from 8-10. The ride is that early so we make sure to ride while the ground is still frozen. If you wait too long after that, things start to soften up enough due to the freeze/thaw cycle and that causes trail damage by leaving big tire ruts in the singletrack.

Today was perfect for a morning ride. Temperatures were about 25-30 and the dirt was frozen solid which made for quick riding. About 7 or 8 of us NUTZ showed up to ride bikes early on a weekend morning. My only worry about doing group rides is that the speed can end up being closer to racing if you have the right mix of people. I love to race, but it's a quicker pace than I want to go at this stage of the year in the off season. And sure enough, we were rockin' as Rick Blackford led the pace. My legs gave out in the middle of lap 2 and I had to back off the pace and crawl up the power climbs by the end. It was a good reminder of how out of shape I am for the harder effort riding at the moment. But, fun nonetheless. A good effort like that is not a bad thing every now and then in the middle of base training, but this old man got cooked. I earned my Casey's donut that Matt brought for all of us. And I skipped the post ride beer as it was only 10 am....

I am heading off this afternoon to hear baritone Todd Thomas sing his concert in Des Moines for the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild and then we have a masterclass tonight at Simpson with Gayletha Nichols from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Congrats to Simpsom Alum Abby Rethwisch, who graduated last month from Simpson, and Shannon Prickett, ’09, who both won the Iowa Metropolitan Opera Auditions yesterday in Ames. Both ladies advance to the regional competition.

Ta for now.

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