Friday, September 29, 2006

you know, i am, and have always been by nature,
an extremely modest person.
but this photo, taken by momma squirrel,
at wednesday's 1/4 rage, just before i started,
is really testing my resolve.
i mean, LOOK at this scene:
single-speed cross bike--a ralph, no less--
[none of this surly stuff for me, thanks]
casey's winter cycling gloves, no bottle,
long-sleeved skinsuit,
very colorful cinelli hairnet,
and a red COWBELL!!
hop on the bike, throw a quarter entry fee
in your pocket on your way out of the house,
ride a couple miles to a bike race,
promoter's scooter at the start line...
is this living, or what?
i may be in big denial about my age,
but SOME things are going quite well:
i raced with many of my friends, got my ass handed to me,
knocked a couple minutes off my previous time,
went home and lifted weights, and my back is great,
get to do a couple more races this weekend,
and get my ass handed to me AGAIN.
life is good, and for that i am thankful.
terri, thanks for capturing this moment.
izzy's gonna rock!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

YOU write the caption.
[the writer of the best one really will win a prize.
just leave it in the comments section.]
willie nelson's public statement regarding his recent arrest for possession of marijuana and mushrooms: "it's a good thing i had a bag of pot, and not spinach. i'd be dead now."
how long before donny is seen
riding one of these?
and what ARE the angles of this frame?
just another reason why i love interbike...
[we need to make a trip next year.]

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

this is why we love interbike
featuring the crank brothers sisters
at the demo expo in the desert.

[nothing more to add]

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

special announcement!!

the red meat athlete beef-eating cycling team
the iowa cattlemen's beef festival at
the grand concourse at the iowa state fairgrounds
on sunday, october 8,
will see the official launch of the all-new
"red meat athlete beef-eating cycling team."
the team will race a full road season next year,
with a strong emphasis on iowa and mid-west-based events,
but will see action wherever real meat is served in large servings.
the team's roster consists of men, women and children
who prefer the delicious taste of a different kind of beef.
see the article below for details:

Google Image Result for

the team's major sponsors include a number cow
and cow-related producers,
including heinz, big daddy's barbeque, and tums.
the team's bicycles will be serviced by steve fry,
aka "fry guy" [how apropos, eh?]
clearly a red meat-eating guy.
Hamilton to race Nevada Silverman triathlon

Tyler Hamilton,
whose two year ban for blood doping ran out last week,
will be part of a professional relay team in the
Nevada Silverman Triathlon on November 12.
The team will also include Ernest Kimeli and Erik Vendt,
and will be aiming for the $100,000 up for grabs
for the first team that can break the eight hour mark
for the full distance course
(3.8 km swim/180 km ride/42.2 km run).
While Hamilton's credentials are well known among cyclists,
the other two members of his team are also accomplished.
Ernest Kimeli has run a 2:11 marathon and 1:04 half marathon,
while Erik Vendt is a world class swimmer,
winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics
and is the American record holder in 1500m free (scm)
and the former American record-holder in 1500m free (lcm).
He was the first American to ever break
15 minutes in the latter event.
"The competition for the $100,000.00 has just heated up,"
said Frank Lowery, of Lowery’s Multisport Races.
"This high profile relay team, led by Tyler Hamilton
will surely put the pressure on other professional
relay teams that have registered for the Silverman
including Chris Lieto, Jamie Patrick and Brian Astell.
We could witness a historical athletic moment
if one of these teams breaks 8 hours on our course."
So far, no relay team has managed to beat the
eight hour mark in a full-length triathlon.
The organisers specified that they will carry out
drug testing at the event.
"All participants will be subject to testing
which will be conducted in accordance with the
World Anti-Doping Agencies International Standards for Doping Control.
The specific details of the testing program
will be announced to all participants
prior to the event," they stated.
watch this space for results . . .

my daily horoscope
for september 26, 2006...

Today's Outlook: Yesterday's struggles continue as aggressive Mars forms an irritating quincunx with electric Uranus. After touching suppressed emotions, our tendency today is to act impulsively without thinking through the consequences. We want to make light of what has happened and it could be difficult to find a comfortable middle ground. The transformational Scorpio Moon only intensifies our feelings. Even taking action now may not solve the problem.

i know this is juvenile and all that, but--even as 53 is just a few days away, i still feel juvenile at times, and hate it when the stars tell me what i already sense. suppressed emotions, impulsive actions, no thought of consequences, make light of things, intense feelings, actions may not help, and the always irksome condition when uranus is electric.

watch out on the ride tonight. maybe my earlier excursion with dave will settle me down.

and did i mention that i was attacked by a couple of ground-dwelling HIVES of bees yesterday?
ungrateful bastards. "EAT ORTHO!!" i screamed as i soaked their hives.

probably where the electricity comes from--i found a bee in my shorts a couple hours later. got away before i could kill it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

random thoughts while following
the elite men's world road race...
15:46 CEST 220km/45.8km to goThe front group: Marcus Ljungqvist (Sweden), Vladimir Efimkin (Russian Federation), Stuart O'Grady (Australia), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Nicki Sorensen (Denmark), Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium), Andrey Kashechkin (Kazakhstan),Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spain). But the rest of the break comes back.Brazilian Luca Pagliarini does a rear wheelie as he rides up the second climb, off the back of the bunch. Impressive!
now them's style points!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

the lord works in strange ways;
of this there can be little debate.
one person's lord, or agent therefor, has been
responsible for maybe 75% of
the world's greatest and bloodiest conflgrations,
including most of the world's current trouble and strife.

it is said that god's handiwork is found everywhere, as a result.
at the same time, the presence of "the other side" in whatever
form or name that may take is likewise omnipresent.
just as one's man's trash is another man's treasure, so too with
religious articfacts and holy symbols.

who hasn't seen, or gone to eBay to see, the tortilla with the
face of jesus, or a moldy bread with the virgin mary's profile.
just after i moved to mason city,iowa, in 1983, just two blocks
from my home a statue of mary started crying "real tears," which
were bottled and given in exchange for a "contribution."

[i always feared, or longed for, something a bit more dramatic--lightning and
revelations-scaled upheavals, but a miracle is a miracle.]

but, we get what we get, and we are happy for it, right?
so perhaps this explains the joyousness felt by the owners of
the religious symbol proudly displayed at the site given below.
and so, without further comment, behold [and yes, there IS music]:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

quarter rage?
i'm GLAD i won!!
dq hosted the first of several wednesday night races
at the trails, somewhere south of my house.
it was a noisy, boisterous event, complete with
a film crew filming the event for the discovery channel.
everything was in place for a special performance.
well, to make a long story short,
i pulled out another trail-scorching ride.
all along the route there was
the joyous ring and peel of cowbells,
and the cries of adoring fans and spectators
i'm shown here, accepting my congratulatory
kisses and gropes from the podium girls.
[thanks, donny]
seriously, i had no idea that single speed cross bikes
were considered that sexy!
it's gonna be a great season. see ya next week, fools.

it's time to
ask the mostly reverend!!
once each week,
i reach into the mailbag at the orphanage,
and pull out that one letter that really tugs at my heart,
that cries out for special loving attention,
that comes from the heart of a tortured soul,
that asks something so private, so personal,
so deeply held that it begs for me to share it with my readers.
it's now that time again!
so let's see what the mailbag yields...
"dear the mostly reverend,
i live in a small town, and . . ."
dear readers--
would YOU like to have YOUR questions answered by
the mostly reverend? he knows quite a bit of stuff,
has done quite a few things over the years,
and thinks he knows even more.
he's given lots of sage advice over the years,
and will no doubt give more
in the years to come.
the mostly reverend's advice is probably
about the same, or better, than the advice
you'd pay a shrink $200 an hour to ignore.
so send your questions to:
"ask the mostly reverend," at today's sermonette,
simply by hitting the "comments" link.
you WON'T regret it.
[and, yes, you can ask a question "for a friend" who has this problem,
and is too embarassed to ask.]

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

single speeds and fixed gears
i love this time of year, as september segues into october . . .
the rides get a bit shorter, they take forays onto gravel,
and folks get a bit more adventurous on their bikes than they
would dare to from april to august.
lights appear, fenders go on, people ride at night, and
--and this is what excites me most--
people take routes ignored during the rest of the year!
DAMN! what's that shit all about?
the beauty of bicycling is the speed and variety that this form of
getting around affords. you can ride on highways, streets;
you can race through alleys, whatever.
a kid [regardless of age] can pretty much go wherever
he or she damned well pleases.
and that SHOULD be a large part of why we all ride bikes.
[if it ISN'T, then, seriously, look inside yourself.]
but one of the things--is it a trend?--happening these days
that really makes me happy is the resurgence of
single speed or fixed-gear bikes.
the kind of bikes most of us
[at least those of us my age or so]
learned to ride.
simple bikes, with or without fenders; "bombers" we called them.
you could go out and ride fearlessly on those bombers.
you would go out so far that you risked being
late for dinner. but it didn't matter:
you were out riding your bike, with friends, alone
it didn't matter.
you were out exploring your environment.
discovering new roads, exploring dead ends,
dirt roads [they didn't call them "b" roads then].
you discovered the young farmers who
cultivated marijuana;
you knew where all the ditch weed was, too.
i didn't have a car until i was married
and separating for the first time.
i didn't need too: i had a bike.
by the time i bought a car [1971 saab 96]
i'd had six bikes.
still have my sixth one,
a 1974 motobecane "le champion"
[my first encounter with campagnolo]
it was my first race bike,
and before that, my first ragbrai bike.
when i retired it from racing, it became my first cyclocross bike.
what's the moral of this sermonette?
if you get a bike, enjoy the hell out of it.
try doing different things with it
and try doing them in different places.
[read: change the tuesday night world's route!]
it will be good for you, your friends, and your bikes.
[the bike pictured above is an ira ryan fixed gear.
learn more at]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

today's sermonette

racing in colorado:

south of denver, mid to late september. nrc event, parker mainstreet omnium, day 2. the road race. pro 1/2 is 105 miles, five laps of a 21 mile loop with 1450 feet of climbing each lap. 105 riders. go. three or four miles into it, the wind comes up, howling at 20-30 mph from the north.

observation: the truism that iowa's hills are flat and windy STILL is true.

but they're NOT at 6200+ feet.

short day. good beer.

ego saving event: rider comes up to me and says, "you're the devil, aren't you?"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the lessons of youth . . .

it's an interesting and occasionally amusing process, the acquisition of knowledge and experience that all kids go through as they rush through early life.

many things simply must be learned first-hand, and no amount of hinting, nudging, or telling will suffice. one must see it with their own eyes, or it just doesn't make sense; it doesn't seem real.

on the other hand, though, the road to wisdom CAN be paved by someone else. one can only hope that the person or persons paving that shortcut has some idea what they are doing.

well, rest assured this little girl has already been pushed, pulled, and pedalled down roads that have had a variety of surfaces: blacktop, concrete, grass, gravel, mud, street, county road, state highway, trail, b-road, what-have-you. helmet? what? but that first decision, one's first bike, that "randy ride" we always remember, THAT has been taken care of, and for THIS child, it's not going to be some over-geared, hootchie gootchie hi-tech piece of exotica.

nope. today, i got this girl her first fixed gear bike. no brakes. pedal forward, go forward. pedal backwards, go backwards. [just like uncle d-bax.]

and she's already crashed twice. got up, brushed off her knees, and got back on. both times, no whimpering. [lucky for her!] but she cried when she had to go inside for dinner. gotta dig the instinct for the saddle.

photos of the bike will be posted later.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

it appears that the hackers or bugs
who had taken control of donny q's blog
have wrested control of mine from me.
hear me, and hear me well:
i DO NOT negotiate--nor have i ever negotiated--with bugs.
and, by god, i'm NOT going to start NOW!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

but who will do a telethon for this guy?

Monday, September 11, 2006

running away . . .

there are days when the tides come in, and days when the tides go out. there are other days when you find yourself stuck in a backwater of murky crap that seems so familiar that you don't even notice the smell.

i'm not really sure what kind of day i had today. raining again, i rode to the dentist [got soaked, but whatever], then had lunch with an old girlfriend; one that i REALLY was crazy-goofy about. i don't get that way very often, despite what lippold might say. but she was one of those women who didn't try to challenge me, or try to change me, or that stuff. but i have had a tendancy to close in, to keep secret, to guard, and try to remain inpenetrable and unaffected. that's not always so good in relationships, but it works pretty good for staying OUT of them. she enabled me to get free of those self-imposed restraints, and it was loads of fun.

however, i found that knack of remaining closed quite useful during my career as a public defender: it didn't really matter what the accused supposedly did--or didn't--do. do my job, it doesn't matter; don't think about it, don't let it bother you. but in the four years since i left that post, i've spent a lot of time thinking about that [as well as many other things, duh]. lunch with my former lover gave me a brief chance to re-examine my feelings from those few years back, before i got a phone call from a woman whom i had the pleasure to represent while she was awaiting being charged with some VERY serious crimes [she had caused the death of another, it would be alleged]. we were to appear in court tomorrow for the first time. but a quick call this afternoon changed all that. after two months of representation, many hours of talking and what-have-you, just legal stuff, and thought, and work, she called to tell me she was going to discharge me, and retain someone else.

no comments, no explanations, no nothing. what can i do? nothing. probably won't even get paid for it.

but it really bothers me, the weeks of emotion i put into it, and then--poof. gone. done. i hope things turn out well for her, i really do.

but i wish i could get some sort of feedback. some relationships beg for closure.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

things that are good for you . . .

there was supposed to have been a race today: a fun one, the targhetto
time trial, an official start to the end of current season, and the beginning of my next season. i haven't done it every year, but i always enjoy it, and have
determined to do it this year again. after four years away from racing, i want
to get as much intense, race-pace effort as possible, even in this easy-attitude
time of year. [1]

i was going to do the race on my single speed ralph cross. when the race--as wally and beaver would say--was called onaccounta rain, i called some friends and suggested that we ride anyway. i got a favorable return message, posted the notice, and headed out to do some errands. first was switching the gearing on the ralph from a 1.9:1 to a 2.5:1. last year, the high cadence was a blessing, and badly needed. my legs hadn't done a lot of spinning for a couple years, and they needed it. but after the year, i realized i needed more top end, and this is good. i really enjoyed the virtual motor pacing had done at my friends' expense this year, but it's time in my rehab to get some top end of my own. [2]

i also needed batteries for my off-road bike computers. and dog food.

after getting greg's help removing the too-large cog, i put the bike together, and then headed out. it was decided this would be a "beer and . . ." ride. our gang was riding two single speeds, a track bike, and a big ol' mountain bike. we rode around town, on streets, trails, through downtown and such. [3] we stopped at several bars i hadn't been in before, or not for a long time. five of them, in fact [there may have been more]. i felt like a little kid with an excellent fake i.d. [4] we were running stop signs and red lights, cutting through back yards and jumping from trail to trail, and some were working on controlled skids. [5] we had some killer onion rings, and some popcorn. [6] we also did some excellent ambassadorial work for the sport and lifestyle of cycling, as folks genuinely seemed intrigued by the fact that we were riding in the rain. [7]

but mostly, we rode our bikes and talked about life, little kids, old amusement parks; oh, and we heckled some little junior high kids. good fun. [8] we rode places i've not ridden before. compare that to yesterday, when i was all lyrical about roads i've ridden for forty years. [9] we acted like little kids running stop lights, laughing, charging up hills and chasing each other. but by spending over 6 hours outside today, in the drizzly rainy, rolling up and down large and small city hills, we all racked up some easy tough-guy points. some riders don't really understand the concept behind them. they aren't given willy-nilly, and they don't always have an even exchange rate. but when you GET them you know you are better for having done whatever it takes to earn some tough guys points. [10] they spend well in april, may, june, whenever.

observations: fenders are quite nice this time of year; those clear, velcro-closure rain jackets are great deals, for 20-some dollar rainwear; riding this time of year does wonders for one's bike handling skills. there's more than just a couple reasons 4s and 5s crash more than 1s and 2s. riding this time of year ought to be required before one upgrades.

ride your bike, and treat it well. most bikes love to play in the rain.
today's sermonette...

a series of memorable and forgettable rants, ramblings, and stories from the road.

"tell me a story."

and so it always begins. we're riding along, taking in nature, and to make the miles pass, someone has to talk. i do it for a living, so i'm not often shy about it.

so what did i do today? well, the morning began as it usually does: coffee, oatmeal and harry potter. feed the dogs, let them out, and back in, and then head out the door to meet rooby [and it turns out fairbairn, newell, and gummi]. mental note: it takes four minutes longer to get there than i'd thought, from the orphanage to ankeny. very moist this morning. a nice ride on roads i've been riding for nearly forty years. yeow. scott and i talk a LOT about wrestling, drinking, and folks that do either or both. we also avoid pulling. talking about old race courses [fairgrounds crit, maxwell roadrace], tillson's hill. rooby and i demonstrate how to drop people: attack, wait for the momentary pause, then jump and bridge. then go home, happily.

later in the day, i drove to ames and did a wedding in brookside park. i've done a lot of things in brookside park over the years; a LOT of things, but i never thought i'd do something so legal and so much a part of the fabric of mainstream america as unite a man and a woman in holy, or at least legal, matrimony. and i think i lined up the wedding of the videographer and his fiancee. afterward, i went to the tip top lounge and had a beer with a fast-talking son of a mobster from vegas named bobby passilamas, or something. just ended a 40-month stay in a federal prison in illinois for gun-running: ak-47s, buy them for $120, selling them for $450 to the el foresteros motor cycle gang. gave him my business card. i'm fearful he'll call. talked with another guy wearing a t-shirt that said: "i didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. i don't want to say anything; i want to talk to my lawyer." i gave HIM a card, too. he'll make a good client.

not bad for a saturday.

give thanks for your bicycle, and ride it tomorrow, too.