Monthly Archives: December 2007

64 days! Christmas, new year.

Now it is almost the new year! It looks like it outside. A few days ago, we had another 8 inch snow storm. Wow, this winter is starting out huge. We are bumping up against 35 inches of snow in December. That is a record. I do not think I have seen this much snow at our house since we have lived here. I have run through a ton of gas in the snow blower, and shoveled more this month than all of last year.

Christmas has come and gone. We stayed home this year, for the first time in a long time. No skiing for me with my knee this year, and we did not want to go anywhere else. So, we stayed here. Built snowmen, threw snow balls, hiked around on the frozen lake and generally did family winter things. I received a cool set of Carhart insulated overalls from my wife. She thinks that is a goofy gift, but I was positively chuffed over them. That along with an insulated hoody from the girls, makes working on skis or bikes or motorcycles out in the garage – no worries.

So, it is only 64 days now till the first race. I know it is 65 down in Florida, but looking out my window it does not seem possible to be racing in 64 days. My knee is great, my training program is coming right along. Mary Daubert wrote me a kick ass program, that goes in 4-5 week segments. I am starting week 2 of a segment now, so it is getting harder. But, I have to admit that I really enjoy it. I know that GNCC races are 3 hours, and they are going to be hard, but I feel like I will be as prepared as I can be – being a guy from a place with 18 inches or more of snow on the ground at the first of the year.

I was down in Chicago one day this past week. There was no snow. So, I know that in February we will be able to get down to southern Illinois and do some riding. I am going to be ready for that.

Looks like we will be making the Florida race after all. I think that Scott and I will drive down to Florida, do the practice day on the 2nd and race the first GNCC on the 4th. I think that my family will be going down to sit on a beach somewhere in Florida. I will probably join them for the days in between, and then make it up to Georgia for the 2nd race with Scott. (I think Scott is planning to go to Daytona in between the Florida and Georgia races.)

My suspension is on its way back from Factory Connection. All my other items to finish building my practice bike should be here at the end of next week as well. Minus graphics and maybe a steering damper, I think that my practice bike should be ready to ride by the weekend of the 11th of January. Waterman indoor, here I come.

Joe

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8 degrees and super windy

Yesterday, it was 39 and raining the whole day. In the middle of the night, the rain turned to an ice storm. The wind howled and kept me up for most of the night. The ice covered everything. The ice brought down trees, and powerlines and froze cars to the ground. This morning, the ice storm turned to a snow storm. The temperature dropped, and the wind has continued to howl.

The real temperature high was 8 degrees. The “feels like” temperature was -19degrees. Ugh. It was so cold, that it was almost impossible to go outside. If you did go outside, you could only handle being out there for a few minutes.

It is hard to believe that the first race is in Florida just 73 days away. That is going to be really tough for 2 guys from Wisconsin.

Joe

76 days, Knee Status, working on bikes, training!

Ok.   Just 76 days to go till the first race! Florida in October. You know, that is really early for 2 guys from the Snowbelt. But, we are going to give it our all. This adventure is just going to be the greatest time of our lives, or at least we are telling ourselves that now. Should be sweet fun though. Lot’s of hours behind the windshield of Scott’s diesel van. Sleeping in my pop up camper trailer. Working on bikes in campgrounds. Trying to stay fit. Trying to stay married. Trying to stay employed. And of course, trying to win a couple of age graded GNCC championships.

76 days is not that far away though.

So Scott’s wife Mary, runs a little business as an athlete trainer. She has a pedigree that I know that I am certainly not worthy of. 4 years with the Australian Institute of Sport, a professional mountain bike racer who rode for the Subaru Gary Fisher Mountain bike team, 5 time Australian Mountain bike Champion, 2 time American Series Mountain Bike Champion, 2 time World Cup Winner, 2 time Olympian, 24 hour solo World Champion… Wow! I sometimes feel silly just asking her for training advice, as even in her current 4 months pregnant state, I don’t think I could keep up with her on a bicycle if she didn’t want me to. You can check her out at Up and Over Fitness here in Lake Mills, Wi. No website yet, but maybe eventually.

My specific program starts this weekend. Kind of goes in 4-5 week blocks. It is going to be a challenge, but now that my knee is past just basic rehab, to get 3 hour race fit by March 4. 76 Days!

So, speaking of knee… The Therapist basically told me that there wasn’t anything he could do for me anymore. He implied that I am pretty much where he would expect me to be in February. So go to it. We fit braces on the 7th, and I will start getting to the indoor MX track in late January.

Yesterday we started working on bikes.

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The shop

We pulled suspension from bikes to be shipped off to Factory Connection. We stripped one of the new bikes down to the motor and the frame, to prep it for build up. New bikes are really really fun. No mud, nothing bent, no oil splattered, no cracked anything… They are like working on a pro bike. Unfortunately, that new bike feeling only lasts for a short while. I am enjoying it while it lasts though.

Joe

typical-joe-stymied.jpg

One last shot. This is my normal look in the shop. Ummm….what is the bolt supposed to be doing?

10 weeks, Asia, GNCC prep – yow!

Ok.  It is 10 weeks after surgery.  I am on my way back from working in Asia for 10 days.  Scott wants to work on the van tomorrow.  The race shop at Scott’s house is set up to have multiple bikes in a “Work In Progress” state.  I need to do some Christmas shopping.  Jason Weigandt says that after January 8 we can get some race numbers sorted for our GNCC effort.  – Yow!

The knee is feeling pretty good.  As I said, I was traveling for the past 10 days, and other than the airliner days I did pretty good at training and working on the knee.  I have great mobility – about 90% of the OEM knee.  I have decent strength in my quad – about 80% of the OEM knee.  I am feeling pretty good about things.  I feel like my fitness overall, is where it needs to be for our plan.  I am regularly riding the trainer for an hour.  I am doing conditioning class.  I am swimming.  I just don’t yet know how it will be on the moto.  I will find that out in late January.

Asia for 10 days!  Yow!  Shanghai China for a couple of days.  Japan for a couple of days.  Taiwan for 10 days.  I actually really like Asia.  Asian people are friendly.  They have a can do attitude.  They enjoy foreigners.  The food is not always good, but always interesting.  I don’t enjoy how work at home piles up while I am gone, and I don’t enjoy being away from my family.  But, there are worse places to go for work.  Plus, you see the craziest things in China.  For example, I saw 2 people on a scooter going the wrong way down a 4 lane hiway, on the white line between the 2 lanes of cars going the other way.  OMG!

Tomorrow we will start the mechanical prep in earnest.  Scott has put a bunch of work into the van, but we will work on it together tomorrow.  The first 2 of our race bikes will begin to be stripped and built back up tomorrow.  I love this stuff.

Yow!  (4 times in one post!)

Joe