Monthly Archives: January 2017

It is the heat that makes it so hot!!!

Last weekend I did a ski “Tour” on the Birkie trail.  What the hell is that anyway?  Ok, it was almost a race – not really but yet.  We skied pretty much at a certain time, we skied over the start line.  There was a timer.  There was a finish line…  So not a race, but pretty much the same thing.  I am going to call it a tour though, because that is what the sign up said.

I will skip right to the punch line though – I got trounced.  Liz completely destroyed me.  I crumbled so bad at about 35k.  Liz just skied away from me for the last 10km.  KaPow! She had fast skis, and I did not somehow…  She was gliding away from me on the downhills.  But, I will not make excuses.  I was way way off where I wanted to be.  I can confirm that seat 13A is not a great place to prepare for ski racing.  I have spent way way too much time in that space of late.

But, to get back to the title of this entry.  It was pretty cold on race day, about 5d Fahrenheit at the start, and cold again the next day when I was dropped at the airport in Duluth.  I took about 16 flights and about 53 hours later I arrived in Sydney.  When I stepped out of the airport, I was hit in the face with a wall of heat.  It was 100d Fahrenheit.  Yow, a swing of almost 100 degrees is hard to take in one short period of time.

Before and after. Dead feeling.

Before and after. Dead feeling.

I was in Oz for almost 10 days.  It was hot, but glorious.  Sydney, Manly Beach, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Noosa.  A tour, for sure.  Adelaide was to go to the Tour Down Under bike race.  (It was won by an Australian).  Sydney, Manly, Melbourne and Brisbane was all work visiting each of our retail stores in those towns.  Noosa (which I am told is where everyone in Australia wants to retire to) was to visit my friend Simon Thompson and to do an awesome MTB ride with the guys from Venture Cycles.

I had an awesome trip.  It was so good, I decided I needed to dance.  So, here it is.

Here are some of the things I learned while in OZ.

  • I didn’t see any snakes.  They are there.  Waiting for the person who is not paying attention, I am sure.
  • They are no longer making UTE’s.  What the hell?  That was just about the coolest thing in Australia.
  • Saw lots of signs warning about drop bears, but did not see any.
  • Mountain bikes are fun.
  • It is clearly the heat that makes things hot.
  • There are 19.6m coffee shops in Australia.  Which actually is not fair, because there are 20 something million people in OZ, which means some people do not have their own.
  • The Australian english language actually has a lot less words in it than regular english.  They are forced to use a word like “Casual” to mean everything from not formal to part time worker to temporary code…

That is all.


I guess you will not see these sweet rides in Australia any longer. RIP!

I guess you will not see these sweet rides in Australia any longer. RIP!











Trucks in Australia have these awesome snorkels, in case you need to drive through a river to get away from the crocodiles. Everything Australians do is so extreme!









Manly Beach!

Manly Beach!


Don’t go in the water in Oz!


How many things could kill you in Oz?

Haven’t we all heard about just how many things could kill you in Australia?  Is it really true?  Do a google search, seriously, you will get a back a huge list of things that will kill you – including Russel Crowe.  But, geeze – spiders, snakes, rock fish, crocodiles, hoop snakes, drop bears etc…  I will just leave that there for you to think about.

Anyway, I am going to Australia for work next week.  There are bikes and bike stores there, so I will go there.  It is pretty simple actually.  If you have bikes, and you have bike stores, I want to go there to learn something and paint it Trek – somehow.  That is kind of who I am.  It is a burden, I know.

Ok.  My friend Simon lives in Australia, and suggested that while I was down there I should come for a visit.  Awesome idea, I thought.  We could catch up, go for a bike ride, get a beer together, do something Australian (as we have traveled all over the world together but never Australia).  I got after getting my plan together, packing up my gear etc…  I am all ready to go.  The anticipation is building.

Then tonight, he and I are having an email exchange about the trip and other things going on in our lives.  Everything is going swimmingly, towards the plan.  Then out of the blue, he says “Hey, take a look at what was on my deck last night!”, with a photo attached.



WTF?  So do I cancel?

I mean, Simon has lived there most of his whole life and he is terrified of snakes.  So seriously, do I cancel?


2017 Event Schedule – It is real now.

Along with the goals that I threw up onto the site last week… Thought I would go out on a limb and lay down a schedule of events that I want to do this spring/summer/fall. There are a lot, but I would love to do a bunch of 2 wheeled events.

HS racing
Enduro racing
MTB Enduro racing

So, without any further delay or no disclaimers, here it is.


Of course it will change, but here it is as I am thinking of it now.

A person has to have some goals in life!

Every year the calendar starts over.  It is an amazing phenomenon.  January happens again, as does July, as does Halloween, as does my birthday, as does the 3rd wed in August.  So, if you have a favorite day, say the 14th of May, don’t fret it will come around again.  If you have a bad day on June 11th, you will get a do over the following year.  It is a wonderful thing.

It also means that every day that goes by after Jan 20, is one less day that we will have to hide our embarrassment that we elected an orange buffoon into the highest office in the country.  (But I digress.)   This post is about a much better topic, in how I hope to make sure that 2017 is a great year.  The things I hope to get done this year from a lighthearted perspective, and from a serious perspective.  The ways I hope to be a better partner, to enjoy my personal life more and to be a positive influence, and of course to ride a 2wheeler a bunch.

2017 goals

1.  Plan with Liz an adventure to Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu or… not sure if we will take the trip in 2017, but it is time to get it planned at least.

2.  If Pearl Jam announces a show anywhere in the world, I will be getting tickets.  Yes I have seen a lot of Pearl Jam shows over the years, and yes this one is perpetually on my goals, but holy crap guys there is still no shows announced for 2017 anywhere.  I am getting a little bit nervous.

Need this somewhere in my life this year.

Need this somewhere in my life this year.

3.  Attend Flanders and Roubaix pro races and ride Flanders & Roubaix citizen races.  New team, new riders makes my favorite pro bike races even more exciting to attend.

4.  Take the whole extended family on a vacation to Ride Whistler and Squamish.  I offered skiing this winter or MTB and they chose MTB.

5.  Do a MTB trip with Lloyd in the Alps.  This, like seeing Pearl Jam is always on my goals.  But, it is particularly important given that I completely failed last year and had to bail on the trip plan.

Ben exercising my bike this week in Chatel. This is why I need to get there. DUST!

Ben exercising my bike this week in Chatel. This is why I need to get there. DUST!

6.  Finish my garage.  Yep, new house new garage.  Almost there, just need to be sure to not get distracted with spring this year and get it done.

7.  Drink more water. 125oz per day.  The human body is made mostly of water.  Rinse it and repeat people.

You can check your amount here.  Seriously!

8.  Take Liz to NYC.  I have to get her to stop reminding me that she has never been there.

9.  Ride 6 CX races and State Championship CX race.   Given my new job and how much time I spend in seat 13A, I am not sure that I can put a goal of winning races down any more.  But, this past year I failed and only did 2 races.  Lame.

10.  Landscape the house.  This kinda goes along with the garage.  Need to make the landscaping and yard function for us this spring/summer.

11.  Ride some MTB Enduro races.  There are 3 or so that I can do in the midwest, but it would be cool to ride one somewhere other than the midwest.

12.  Ride a few Moto Enduro events.  The Loose Moose and Roselawn and Leaf River would be awesome.

13.  Ride a bunch of D16 HS races.  Just like my mountain bike season and CX season got stepped on last year due to the new job, my HS season was stepped on last year, and I only got in 2 races.  This year I will not let that happen.  I will ride  a bunch of races so that I can participate in my sport.

14.  Host a big cabin motorcycle trail ride.  With the help of Pete Caron, I have discovered a ton of great riding up in the Cable area.  I hope to host a weekend of trail riding with some guys so that we can explore those trails together.

15.  Ride a race with Russel.   Not sure how if we can do this.  My new job, his new job, he lives in SC…  but I am leaving it on the list until I get it done.

16.  Read more books.  I used to love to read.  Again, the new job has killed this activity for me as well.  I will get back to it this year though.  As a jump start, I am listening to an audiobook already on Jan 2nd and I am partly through a physical book.  It is such a great pastime and makes your brain work.

17.  Volunteer somewhere.  I wanted to do this last year, but again I failed due to a new job that is all consuming.  Given our current political, social and cultural divide in the USA, I think this is my best course of action.  I cannot solve all of that divide, but I can be part of easing it in some small way.

18.  Do more night MTB rides.  Dang these are fun.  With the new house, I think we can even do some at night from the house.

19.  Publish a dance video from traveling.   I have been developing some sweet new dancing skills and I think I need to show them off.  I travel, I dance.  What could be better than combining those 2 things?  (Just a reminder of how cool it is below.)

20.  Help to get a trail in from Nordic Ridge to the Camba trails

21.  Ride my MTB at a trail network that I have never ridden at before.

22.  Visit Hanna and Adam in Seattle

23.  Help Ali and Thomas with their house

24.  Get my eyes checked.  Yes, I think it is that time again.

25.  Social Media a lot less.  Social Media is not the same as human interaction.  I am going to err on the human interaction side this year.  Facebook/Twitter/Instagram are all pretty lame when you think about it.


So that is it.  A much smaller list, but I think a list that I can actually get done this year.  If I get that done, it will be an awesome year.

See you out there somewhere.