Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Couple More Things

Click the Flickr link or box to the right for some more Key West photos, more still on the way. Click here and enter keywest for the password to see the professional wedding photos.

I was looking at the traffic sources for my blog and found a couple interesting Google searches that found their way here:

addison rose riding: could be fun, watch out for the prickers.
benefit of shoe trees: I guess they help dry wet shoes but I'm not really sure.

Like I Said ...

No rest for the weary. We headed up North this weekend. The weather was perfect, warm afternoons and cool nights. Rose (Andrea's mom), Scott and Ben (not the Key West Ben) came up, as well. We had some good camp fires, an awesome cookout and a couple great rides. Friday, around dusk, I went to check to make sure my marker flags were up at the driveway so Scott and Ben could find the place. On the way back a saw a small black bear hanging out around one of our ponds. It took off when it saw me but I still hustled back to camp.

Saturday we rode at Rifle River. It was our first time there, even though it's probably the closest trail to us. Not knowing the trail, we went through the hardest hilly part first. Looking at my Garmin's data it seems we climbed around a 1,000 feet over the first three miles. The trail flattened out nicely after that but we were a little gassed after the early workout. We ended up out on the trail for about three hours.

After our ride, we bathed in one of the local lakes. It was COLD but it felt good on the tired muscles. After a quick recovery chocolate milk we headed back for town and some grub. We found a good deal on prime rib and potatoes in Mio so we stopped there. After dinner Ben and I went to the club to watch the Wings crush the Pens.

Sunday, we headed to Grayling to scout Hanson Hills. It's the site of this Sunday's race. It's a great trail, it has lots of climbing but none of the extreme grades that we found at Rifle River or that seem prevalent downstate. We spent about an hour and a half tooling around before heading back toward camp.

We stopped at Scott's motel on the way through for a quick shower. Once back at camp, I fired up the grill for a nice tri-tip (a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin, also known as a Santa Maria steak). We added some homemade macaroni and cheese with a salad. We closed out the night with hobo pies and a rain shower.

I don't have any pictures but Andrea has posted some.

Monday was mostly a day of rest while watching the Wings clobber the Pens. Tuesday we had an MMBA Mid-State meeting. I'm once again chapter president.

Last night I finally bought a new lawn mower. My yard is just too rough for a reel mower. I unboxed, assembled, filled and mowed in the time it took to mow with the reel. Sorry greenies I need the power of petrol.

This weekend we're back up North. We're racing Sunday, it's our last scheduled race until the end of July.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

... And We're Back

It was an awesome trip and a perfect wedding. We got to visit with friends and family, had a few cocktails, ate some great food and had a really fun time. No rest for the weary, however. The lawn is out of control, the house is a disaster area and the dogs are in need of much attention (although they must have a good time because they slept the full first two days they were home).

Once the lawn is mowed (not an easy task mowing two weeks worth of growth with a reel mower) and a wide enough path is cut through the house to safely escape, we're heading North. Because of the unusually high amount of snowfall this winter, it's been a long time since we've been up. I'm sure there's some work that needs to be done around there. We also need to pre-ride the Hanson Hills race course. It'd be nice to get the kayaks out but I'm sure the river is still really, really cold. Heck, the air is still really, really cold getting down near freezing at night.

We also still have to finalize the plans for the reception. It should be quite a bit easier than the wedding planning, seeing how everyone here is on Michigan instead of Key West "time." We're meeting with the DJ tonight and will meet with the "caterer" soon. I'm anticipating a very relaxing July.

I'll leave you with some random photos, there are more on the Flickr site and many more left to load.







Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're Here

Well we finally made it. After a plane leaving an hour late, missing a connection and a 4 hour Atlanta layover we found paradise.

We saw a beautiful sunset on the plane on the way in. I didn't get a picture of that.

Our first stop was, naturally, Capt Tony's.

Ben was playin', bonus.

When Ben got too inebriated (he wasn't the only one) to play, we headed next door. I'm not sure what it's called but it use to be Bone Island Bob's.

(editor's note: The bar's name is the Drunken Parrot)

Key West beer pong! Their tables are a bit more narrow than the East Lansing tables.

From Key West with love, See Ya!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Defeat Without the Agony

Sunday was the Fort Custer Stampede, it's a good race on a fun trail I'm familiar with. Luckily, My fitness, skills and confidence are starting to come back. But I rode the race way, way too conservative. Something like a wild maverick pandering to a new base. I was on the new race bike for the first time, ever. I must have screwed-up something when I changed the grips over from the Superlight because the grip came loose early but it didn't end up being more than a minor distraction, much better than mass destruction. Because of the new bike, the upcoming trip (to the keys and down the aisle) I let my early-lead slip to the last entering the singletrack. I continued to be way to easy and polite for more than half the race. I finally got upset near the end and pored it on but ended up a day late and a dollar short. I still have 5 series races left with an optional sixth. As soon as we get back it'll be time to focus on becoming the front runner I'm capable of being.

24 hours from now (disregard the time on this blog, it's wrong) I'll be back in paradise.


I'm going to try and make some posts from down there but I'm not sure what we'll find for Internets connections.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Shoe Tree

I saw this at the Detroit Free Press this afternoon.

It's only a few miles from our cabin. I don't know the story behind the tree. We usually tell new visitors that everyone throws them up there and the Amish come and pick-out the ones they like when they need a new pair.


So the plan was to run a 5k at the beginning and end of the season, without training, as a fitness gauge.

That was a stupid plan!

Sunday I "ran" the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. During the "run" I never really taxed my cardiovascular system so this is a poor gauge for aerobic fitness. I did tax some muscles in my leg I had forgotten all about. They were in a groove for the first mile and a half but then went on strike faster than a UAW member at a GM plant. My production line was shut down and my pace ground to a halt. I tried to recruit some "scab" muscles to fill-in for the striking "run" muscles that have been neglected for the past few decades. Unfortunately, my internal union struck a deal between the run muscles and cycle muscles and the cycle muscles wouldn't cross the line. In the end I was able to negotiate a temporary contract that allowed us to get to the finish line.

After the race I provided plenty of beer to both the run and cycle muscles, hoping they'd get drunk enough to forget the days activities and get back on board with the program. It didn't work. Both stayed on strike for the next two days, so I stayed in bed, on the couch or in the lazy chair. We finally reached an agreement to scrap the stupid plan. No more running without training. Everyone's back to happy again. Which is a good thing since we'll be in Key West in less than a week. Isn't it funny how these contract negations always get done just before everyone goes on vacation?

Next up, Fort Custer Stampede this Sunday. Followed by 10 days in paradise.