Friday, May 27, 2011

Not Complaining.

847am
Its been a strange spring for weather. I can remember complaining about it back in April when it was in the 30's for temps. Now its almost June and the lows are still in the 30's for temps. Just as there is fast, faster and ludicrous speed, the weather went from crappy, to bad and now is ludicrous bad.
My Trek rep stopped in this week and said in his 13 years this is the second worst spring for bike shops (said 2000 was bad too) and that made my think good and bad. 
Bad that it is so crappy, but good in the fact that I planned well enough to weather it out no problem.
Once again, I hear that its gonna be better starting next week. If I had a dime for every time someone told me that.

Also, I stopped complaining about the weather cuz its been kinda bad everywhere. And not just a few degrees colder, I mean, at least I still have roof on my house. Compared to the south we have nothing to complain about here (anymore).

Saturday has the road group doing an extended ride. About 90 miles total leaving at 7am. Also, this 12 hour MTB race is only 20 minutes away. At press time I am torn.
Most likely will ditch the group ride. Too far. Too early in the year. Too early in the day.
And will not race the MTB. Just not feeling it.
Maybe a road ride out to the MTB race. Get the best of both worlds.
Either way I plan on riding a bike.
Plus now we all have an extra day to get in some extra miles this weekend.

Do it for real!

DLD

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Racing\Demo stuff

Demo fleet. So far.  

 People ask me why am I still racing my MTB in Citizen class. Ive been racing now for about 10 years on and off. Some years faster. Some years slower.
While I have never dominated a Citizen class race I for sure could move up.
But I dont want to.
For me racing isn't about placing. My reason to race has nothing to do with results. For me its just another way, a different way, to ride my bike.
I choose to race in the Citizen class because all(most) of the riders there are doing the same as me. Just out for a cool bike ride with others.
The fact that we are all going as fast as we can (or not) is immaterial.
 
Move up a class and the mentality changes. Just a move up to Sport class and I can feel the  "mood '" of the race change. Too many aspirations of someday getting to a World Cup. Too much aggression. Too many riders caring a bit too much on what place they will take. Ive seen this for 10 years now. Ive seen rider after rider move up a class, get beat up a little and just quit cuz they no longer can medal.
 
That leads me to question their love of riding a bike. That leaves me to believe they are not there cuz they love riding bikes, they only ride to win. And when they cant win, they will ditch it for some other sport that they can win, whatever that is.
Im not saying that you should not try hard and do your best. Im not saying you should not train. Im not saying its bad to go fast. I have a lot of friends who are fast AND love to ride a bike.
 
Im just sayin' you should be there cuz you love to ride and keep everything in a good perspective. If your fast, thats cool. If your not, like me, thats cool too.
If you are there cuz you love to ride, fast or slow has nothing to do with it and you are all the same in my eyes. Which led me to cross racing. Im not dissing the MTB series. Its awesome. I will still do as many as I can. But......
I love the atmosphere of the local cross scene here in Wisco. If fact I love it so much that the store will focus its  " racing  " budget entirely on cross racing. 
 
Its just so laid back. And thats not entirely by design. It just has not  grown big enough yet. Its just big enough to get some attention, but still small enough to keep a simple attitude.
So that is why Im putting together a traveling cross bike demo unit and putting on a race here this fall. I want to get in on the ground floor and hope that when the series grows (and it will), the attitude wont change and that everyone will still race like their racing in the Citizen category.
During the Halloween race every year you see riders throw away their results just to ride with some elaborate costume. Not ever caring if their being scored. That.... is something you will never see in a MTB race. And that..... is why I like cross.

And my love for cross bikes doesn't hurt the cause either....
Bring it on.

DLD

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First (any) New Bike

The smile.
I think everyone remembers their first new bike. Last nite I brought home a bike for my grand daughter. Her first. The smile says it all. She had to have it in her bedroom with her all nite. We've all been there!

Tonite I get to do it all over again with my grand son. Their only 3 months apart.

I get to see this a lot in the store. Parents come in and get their kids a bike off the floor. The kids are pumped. It makes me a little pumped too remembering the way I feel when I got a new bike. Good times.

My first bike was a Schwinn fastback. Complete with a 5 speed shifter on the top tube, banana seat and sissy bar. I rode it around in the house and crashed into the TV(some things never change) putting a big scratch in it (TV, not bike). My dad was not impressed.

I experienced that feeling for quite some time. I remember in 2008 I got my first Madone. It was a 5.2. 

Just like my grand daughter I had to have in my bedroom with me. True. That total pumped feeling. Cant wait to ride it!

While I still do get that feeling, sort of, its a little bit subdued by the fact that I own a bike store now. I can basically ride what I want. The feeling is not the same cuz the bikes are not really mine. I just use them. Its hard to explain to you guys. Im sure you have no sympathy to anyone who rides a 9k retail Madone. I know I wouldn't.
But maybe you can give me a little? 

DLD

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend Update

Pretty much the highlite of my weekend.
While things didn't go as planned it was good to get out this weekend. Never made it to the bike race Sunday. It just did not work out for me. Rain all afternoon and nite on Saturday.

We did manage about an hour and a half  of riding Saturday morn. But no longer did we get to the car it started pouring. 

So we drove around and stopped at every coffee and ice cream shop we could find.

But I was pretty bored. To the point of going to a movie in Eagle River Saturday nite. I almost never go to movies as my A.D.D. never lets me sit for more than an hour. But I survived. Sunday morn we just did not get up in time to race so we stopped at more coffee and ice cream shops and drove home.

So it was a strange weekend. But was still better than not. It seems that we got our token 2 days of sunny and warm weather for the month as its now back to rain in the 40's today.
Did get in almost two hours yesterday. On the Madone.
Im likin' that bike more everyday. Am thinking of getting a 90mm dish wheel for the rear. Keep the front at 65mm. 
Also I have dug out the track bike. Am getting thoughts of circles in my head.

I mean more than usual.

DLD

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday and Out.

File photo. Forgot camera in store.
Not here long today. Heading up to the northern regions of Wisco. Gonna do some bike riding and racing. But not after a quick stop at the HP.
The day is starting out well. Blueberry muffin was still warm out of the oven at the coffee shop and I saw an eagle in the park.
gonna get some stuff done at store (its payday) and Im out by noon.

A much needed break from reality.

Bring it on.
DLD

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SBC Truckster

SBC wagon. 813am
Putting the final touches on the team car. Ive secretly had some decisions to make on this. How much stuff do I take? Do I get a bigger car? (Like a Suburban?) Do I get a trailer?
Why did I stress on this you ask? I have had some plans. Secret plans.
The stuff you only think about when your alone.
I am putting together a mobile demo unit. Cross bikes only.
Its the SBC Crossbike World Tour. Coming to a race near you.
With the help of Trek and Blue Competition I will bring 5 assorted bikes for all to ride and demo. All summer long. Showing up to at least 10 races with at least 5 being WORS. Along with that starting in June the store will host a cross bike ride on Thursdays. Also making those demo bike available for anyone to ride. More on that later.
I thought of everything.
Also.... I have hooked up with Ryders Eyewear. Ryders are now a product sponsor of the WORS series and will have a factory tent there. At most events the glasses in the tent will be mine. On top of that I will be bringing tubes, tires and assorted accessories to vend at selected races along with the Ryders and the cross bike thing. And thats a lot of stuff to haul around. Hence the vehicle dilemma.
But throw on a 3 bike Thelma hitch rack and a Thule box on the roof and Im good to go.
3 bikes on back, two (maybe three) bikes on roof with box full of stuff, fold the rear seats down and I will be able to carry tent, bike stands, tools and inventory no problem.
My first race will be Wausau WORS. The balance of the schedule is still to be announced. And I still have a ways to go to this all together but at least I have this piece of the puzzle in place.
I think this is going to be fun. And lots of work but fun work.
And thats the best kind of work.
If you have'ta work.

DLD

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Humpday

HP buddies.  813am
Kind of a gloomy day. Nothing specific to talk about. Was raining but looks like it will dry for a cross bike ride for me later.

Tonite is the Wednesday Nite Worlds Championship Social Ride. If its not raining I might show up but I have a part time guy starting this aft so I might just spend some time with him instead.
So its most likely the cross bikes(s) for me.

Trek Cronus or Blue Norcross?
Such decisions I have to make everyday.
No wonder Im so stressed out.  :)

DLD

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Project \ Schedule

FFF (fat tires fit fine)
Another breathtaking morning on the HP. The sun was uplifting to say the least. I always find it amazing how much better I feel after several days of sun.
So here's my new project. A Surly Long Haul Trucker. 26 in wheels.
This is the bike that I will transfer all the stuff off my 11 year old Fuel to. I was looking for something to do with that stuff. Its all good XT. So.... the death of an old bike is the birth of a new one. Im kinda pumped due to the fact that this is my bike. Not the stores. I know what your thinking, no... its not the same. I now own two bikes! This one and Pinky.
Who else is old enough to remember the phrase  " keep on truckin  ". I think it was the late 70's when everyone said that now and then. Remember the  " keep on truckin  " guys? They were everywhere.

Anyway, I will fill my spare time with this build. Will have to work in into my sched. Which is a problem for me. I am terrible on my schedule. Being a store owner you get asked to do tons of stuff. Community stuff, donation stuff. Help out with this and that. Really, I can only do about 50% of what is asked of me and there are times I end up doing two things at the same time. I need to learn to use my phones calender better. Yesterday I had planed a ride but remembered that I had 10 eight year old Cub Scouts coming in to talk about safety and maybe a tire changing seminar later in that afternoon.
So I had to ditch the ride. I also scheduled way to much stuff to come in. I spent the entire morning receiving. It was a crazy day yesterday.
And I sure can try to even out my schedule better. Its not hard. Just need to give it more thought. The store is now busy enough to bring in some part timers to help out.
Its Tuesday, and I have not been on a bike since last Wednesday. Thats nuts.
I will not let that happen again.

And thats a promise.
DLD


Monday, May 16, 2011

Dominating Weather (and a deer)

Have never photo'd a deer on the beach. Until Sunday.
Had a lot of time on my hands this weekend. No riding. So I made up for the void with multiple visits to the HP. Sunday I got this pic of a deer running along the beach. I have seen the tracks (check several posts ago) but never actually has a chance to take a pic. Until Sunday. Seen him coming,  pulled the camera out, turned it on and took the pic in less than 15 second. 

Sun! 835am today.
I again returned this morn for an extended stay due to the sun. Its was out for the first time in days. No fog or rain today. I hung out to try and make up for lost time.

Making up for lost time seems to be the theme this spring.

I know I complain about the weather a lot. But the weather has such a huge impact on my life. Im pretty sure more than most.

First off, it for sure affects my business. With temps still in the 40's (39 here this morn) the store is just not as busy as it was a year ago this time. I know its not sales lost, just sales postponed but still. 

Then there's the ride time. I know we are all in the same boat here. I ride in spring for weight loss. To burn calories. If I get a little bike fitness with it then thats a bonus. But really, I need to stay extremely active to lose weight. Diet alone does not work for me. Just when I start to get things rolling with maybe two nice days in a row, we get hit with 5 days of cold\rain\fog. I am not an indoor rider. I just cant do it so I must wait for the weather is nice enough to ride. And be nice enough to ride in my daily window to do so. I remember weeks in March that I got in 10 plus hours. I have not been on a bike since last Wednesday.


And Im not a very patient guy. But all we can do it wait for it.

And complain as we are waiting. Tonites low is a predicted 35 degrees.
Could be worse. Could be Lake Tahoe at 28 degrees and snow.

DLD 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Unfortunate Saturday Post

Best I could do on short notice....
If your reading then your in the same boat as me. Weather related posting is getting old.

Spending a cold, dark, rainy, foggy Saturday morn in the store. If I cant ride might as well work. It seems we have had highs in the 40's for like forever.
And weather related posting when its in the 40's is getting old.

Have not seen the sun more than a few hours in many days.
Seasonal depression disorder runs rampant.
I almost cant help but complain.

Complaining about weather related posting in the 40's is getting old.
I do have something to look forward to.

Next week Im cuttin' out to head up to northern Wisco to do some goofin' and riding and racing.
I love those weekends where we head out for a few days with absolutely no plans. No even sure where we are going or staying. Will make that up as we go. And its a long time coming. Pretty sure I have been in the store everyday since mid March. So...... bring that on.

Stay warm and dry.


DLD

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday w\floods w\fog

Huge rain. Flooding off the parking lot onto the beach. HP changes.
Lots has happened since we talked. First off, blogger takes a crap and lost a couple days of posts. Whatever. Stuff we take for granted. Although I do pay Google for what I use.
But its up and Im back at it.
The weather once again headlines. If its not pouring, its foggy. The it gets cold and the fog go's away, then it warms up and the fog returns only to drop another 20 degrees and pushes the fog away. Sounds like a week of weather.
But this is just one day.
Cold weather pushes fog back to lake. For now.


I left the store for a ride the other day. It was 49. I had layers on. Halfway thru a two hour ride it hits 72. And I am suffering with all the clothes I was wearing. I took off as much as I could but still suffered. I need a SAG to follow me with assorted levels of clothing.

I just heard that sometime next week the weather should break. 
Ive been hearing that since mid March.

This weekends riding is up in the air. 
I will be at some point. Just don't know when.

DLD

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One of those days....

Cross bike fun.
Today was in fact, one of those days. or should I say yesterday. Depending on when you read this.  Its about 530pm Wednesday as I type and most likely this will also be Thursday morns post too. 
I had a bunch of stuff going on today. Bike fitting at 830am. And a Tri fit at that. Tri people are just too picky about position. They want to get as low as possible, but then too low takes away from power and they look at me like its my fault. Anyway, that took longer than I thought and I was in catch up mode all day.
But not in too much of a catch up mode that I got in about 30 miles late morning.
I have priority's.
The more I ride these days the better Im feeling in the saddle. Right now Im shooting for some longer endurance rides. 
At least as long as I can.
Hope to be in the HP tomorrow morn. Then another fit at 830.
And a bike ride. The Madone needs some love.
And Im just the guy to give it.

DLD

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mornings

Deer on the beach. 833am
Some days when I take an extended visit to the HP I just think about how lucky I am to be able to do so.

For many, as was with me also for many years, life did not grant us the luxury of waking up slow.
The alarm go's off when its still dark and up you are. Very quick.
Now, I do not need an alarm. I can wake on my own (although my wife's 450am alarm wakes me anyway). And thats very refreshing.
I think of having to wake and zoom to work. Now.... I wake and hang on the beach. Very relaxing. And I am grateful to be able to do so everyday. As in all lifestyles there are some drawbacks, but my mornings are not one of them.

Today I saw these deer tracks on the beach. My Happy Place is full of deer to the point of them being tame. You can almost walk up to them.
Usually, when you think of seeing deer you think of woods and fields. Its really weird to see one walking on the beach, sometimes in the lakes waves. It's just a place that you would not expect to see a deer. And thats what I love about my HP. You see things that you would never normally see. Every morning visit brings me something new.

Soon it will be warm(er) in the morn and my HP run will be by bike only. That scenario will jump start my weight loss. A good morning ride before I eat anything, followed by some low fat protein. I really thought I would have had a month of this in the books by now but as in many other things, the crappy spring has put that a month behind schedule. 
Another thing has filled my mornings. Bike fitting. I have finally put my schooling to good use and already have had 3 fittings in the last week. I do them either in the morning before the store opens or after it closes. No distractions. My clients have my complete concentration. And I must say things are going very well. I get kinda pumped when I can help someone get even more enjoyment out of cycling.
And I still cant believe thats what I do for a living now......
DLD

Monday, May 9, 2011

Game on.

MTB bike. Cross bike. Same graphics! Both in big ring. Thats how I roll. 835am
The weather has turned just enough. The store exploded this Fri\Sat. I knew it was coming and have been waiting a long time for this to come but its now here. Goona hafta increase staff. Was so busy I had no time to blog!
So its game on in the bike store world. About time.
The weather has turned just enough. Friday had my laying down 3 full hours on the Madone. Shorts and sleeves. It felt very good to get some easy miles in. No ride Saturday, store too busy. Sunday had me rolling an hour and a half with the cross, both woods and road, then another hour and a half on the MTB in the woods.
I love double duty days. 
So its game on in the bike riding world. About time.

The weather has turned just enough. When it becomes less of a chore to ride I do start thinking of training. Just a little. Really it means I just ride more. But I schedule my rides as opposed to just getting out whenever. Thats about as structured as I get. Mostly cross bike.
Im the happiest when on a cross bike.
For real.

DLD

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday Nite Worlds Championship Social Ride.

I lasted 34 minutes and chased for another 10. Left for dead.
This ride has evolved from a social, lets ride and talk and grab a beer afterward... to a complete beat down and leave for dead ride.
And thats kinda sad for some. It really selects who is able to participate.
I am most likely the slowest guy there. But really only on the hills. I realize my weight holds me back when going up and I expect to get dropped at those times. But in the past I pushed hard and in a short time the group would wait up, most of the time at the next stop sign. I zone 5'ed for 11 minutes, even had two separate riders pull back to help (thanks guys!) but after redlining for over 10 minutes off the back  just ran out of steam. The group rolled thru 2 stop signs during that time.
If they had held up for just 70 or 80 seconds I would have been back in the group and fine.
Dont get me wrong.... Im not complaining about the speed, believe me if I could I would too. I have been dropped in this ride a zillion times and expect it to happen.  I just complain when the group does not feel the need to hold up for those who fall off the back. At 20mph it only takes 20 feet off the back and your done.
And thats why this is no longer a social ride. And that is why I will no longer participate unless it changes back to the way it was for the past 10+ years.
Maybe its time to show the MTB some love on Wednesdays.
And then there's the Thursday cross bike ride starting soon.
And that one will be totally social for real.

DLD

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

4.05

815am
May 4th and gas just hit 4.05 in Danoville. Gonna be another one of those summers where you need to prioritize your gas consumption. Maybe some of those bike races that are farther away my get dumped for a ride locally. Summer vacation plans change. 5 bucks per in July?

This is the time I tell everyone to commute by bike. That its easy and you can do it.
Ditch the car during the week so you can save the gas money for the weekend to drive to the bike stuff. Im stocking up with racks and bags. Commuter stuff. The store now has four times more of that stuff than last year. Its a financial gamble of inventory. I think its going to work out.

But after I get down off my soapbox after preaching the glory of bike commuting, I realized I never had the time to think about myself. What can I do? Me, myself.
Everyone has some issue to why they cant commute. Too far away? Too much to carry? What if the weather turns bad? Cant get to work late for issues like flats?
Here's what I tell them:
Too far? Then just pick one day a week.
Too much stuff? Rig your bike to carry more, leave some stuff at work.
Weather? Figure out a ride. Bus? Friend? Leave rain gear at work?
Road delays? Get hardcase tires and attend one of our upcoming flat tire schools.
But again, Im so ready to figure out your issues I never consider mine. Like having to take my grand daughter to daycare every morn, and what if I need to deliver a bike to a customer? What if I need to run to get something for the store? I have more.
But in the end those issues are no different than my customers. And I will figure out a way.
Soon. The higher the gas prices, the more you save.
Im thinking I'll ride a cross bike and use a backpack, leaving as much as I can at the store.
Its all trial and error at first and all of our circumstance's are different.
But once you iron out the kinks you are good to go.

Now.... I just have to practice what I preach.
Bring it on.....

DLD

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May?

Depressing. 930am
This is starting to really get on my nerves.
This is the kind of shit that really tries my patience. I no longer have the clothing to wear on a 38 degree bike ride. Its all at home, put away in the basement. So... I just do not ride.
Tomorrow sounds like a little warmer.

Ten years ago I owned a trucking company. A pretty big one. I worked too much. But thats not what Im going to complain about here.
Im going to complain about things that impact my business that I have no control over. Stuff like that just freaks me out.
At that time it was the fuel prices. I was buying about 9 thousand gallons a week. Throw in 20 cents more per gallon and that was pretty much my salary for the week. Gone and nothing I can do about it. Try to charge more to cover it but that was easier said than done. Very stressful.
And here we are now with the temps still in the 30's in May. At this time last year we had almost 20 days over 60 degrees already. If any bike shop near here says that their April was up from last year they are lying. The spring push has not hit yet and at this time last year it was done.

The store has quietly turned two years old last Sunday. I cant believe its been two years already. I have learned so much and continue to do so everyday. As I get smarter the store does better. But there are many thing about this biz that I have yet to learn. Like what to do when you stock the store for spring and it does not come. All you can do it wait....... and wait. 
Again.... a little stressful.  But its not sales lost... just sales postponed.
I ordered a ton more bikes because the cold weather will give us more time to build'em.
And that will just give us more time to sell'um later.
And thats called time management.

Bring on spring!
Cuz when it hits.... I will be ready! 
Make sure you are ready too!

DLD
 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Update

845am.
Busy weekend with bike riding. Saturday had me rolling out the Madone for the breakfast group ride. The cross winds were raising heck with the aero wheels. It was windy.
So I decided to cut that ride short and get back to the store to grab the Superfly since I was probebly going to race it Sunday and still had not thrown a leg over it since last November.
Good thing I did as I found that I needed some new pads in the rear brake. After a hour on the roads and 30 minutes in the woods I deemed it ready to race. At least the bike was.

Climbing with a smile. Weird.
Sundays race went well. As well as could be. Didn't set any time records. After some thought and consideration, I again decided to ride in my age group and not clydesdale. No real reason. Looking at my time I finished 6th out of 10 in age, or would have got 4th out of 6 in Clyde. I would rather race in a category with more riders in it. Even tho Im sure none of them are 260 pounds.


In racing Im easy to please. Don't fall down, don't take last and pass someone on the last lap. I do all of those and its a good race. So Sundays race was good considering all the climbing. I just don't climb well. All fitness aside its just tough to get 260 pounds to the top of any hill and Im just working so much harder than others. But Im used to it and hope to improve in my power to weight ratio in weeks to come.

Speaking of..... with the race Sunday I did eat a bit more but will resume the limited intake today. Along with a recovery spin this aft. Cross bike. Cant wait. I believe the weight is on the way down. I really don't need to weight myself, I just can tell by the way I feel. I always feel starved.

And in a way it feels good.
DLD