Saturday, February 28, 2009

Walking the dog

Bodhi chewed threw his brand new leash yesterday. After I finished some grad school stuff today we wanted to take the dogs for a walk but then realized we only had one leash. So.....I used a section of wire from a CB antennae as a makeshift leash for the little guy. I also installed a backpack loaded down with water bottles to tucker him out. Today he weighs exactly as much as Dharma does. 49 pounds. He's just about to turn 7 months old.

Impala LT1????

As I'm heading home tonight, this vehicle pulls along side of me and stays right with me. I glanced over and then began yelling, "Where's my phone??!!" Luckily I found it quickly enough to snap a pic of this car. I had to work under a lot of pressure as Heather was a bit upset from all the drama. This thing was......done and I can only apologize for the cell phone pic at night while doing 65mph. It was gold metallic with GINORMOUS rims (had to be 26-28). I wish they would have taken the time to paint the axles and that stuff though. Just seems silly not to. It was just as tall as my Jeep. my mind....this was a 1994-1996 Chevy Impala with nothing less than the LT1 350 Corvette motor. My buddy Pablo (who actually performed the ceremony at my wedding) has one of these with that motor in it and it is PIMP.

Jeep might be gone

Well I listed the Jeep on Craigslist today at around 3:00. At 3:10 I received an email from a guy in Colorado Springs that wanted to look at it. Heather and I were going to dinner so he met us at the restaurant and checked it out. Looks like I sold it for an even $4000. While he was looking at it I had 2 more people stop and ask about it. One of them left and the other lady wanted to buy it for her 16 year old. Now the hunt for a Van truly begins. I'm supposed to meet up with the buyer of my Jeep on Monday evening and get a money order and toss him the keys. There's a Van up in Denver that I'm gonna check out ASAP if everything goes according to plan.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leadville #3

Well the times were posted and I gotta say....I'm pretty happy with the results. This was Scott's first race ever and being in the snow makes it way harder. He's also a guy that doesn't spend much time at all on a bike so I was impressed with his ride. As a team, we got 6th place which is fine by me. For some reason, I didn't do too well individually on the 2 mile loop. I think I was top 5 overall for individual times on that lap. I'm super psyched about the 6 mile loop though. If my math is right, it looks like I turned the fastest lap there which is good. I hadn't done a TT in a long time. I've never done a road TT but I have done several mtb ones and I really like those.

In other news, I am detailing the Jeep little by little and once it's done, I'll officially throw it up on the market. The motor is done and I'll tackle the suspension and underside tomorrow. We're hoping to be able to look for a Vanagon over spring break.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

True Chaos

We startd in 30 second intervals today so it was definitely a race against the clock. This is, by far, the strangest/coolest thing I've ever seen. This guy ran both of his loops on a unicycle. This is him finishing. My hat's off.

Golf Couurse Chaos

Super fun race today put on by the crew from Cycles of Life and Cloud City Wheelers!! The course consisted of an inside loop of 2 miles on snowmobile trails made on the highest golf course in North America. Afterwards, we headed out for a 6 mile loop on paved/ice roads. This was a team relay and my partner Scott had never done a mtb race before and he doesn't spend much time on a bike at all but he was up for the challenge. I started and then Scott did a fine job on his 2 mile loop and then I headed out on my longer one. I don't know how we did yet as a team but we sure had fun. I'll be anxious to see my times as I felt really good on the bike and I don't think I could have gone much faster at all. Hopefully results will be up soon.

No shortage of views today at all. This is looking down the finishing straight of the short loop. Wish I could say I spent some time looking around today but I did not. I haven't done a mtb time trial in years but I spent most of the time during the road section down on top of the bars staring at the monitor.

This is the only pic I got of Scott and here he is after his second and last lap. Not too shabby for a guy who had no idea what he was getting in to. Good job buddy!!

I was actually taking a pic of the Divide in the background but that Saab really looks hot too. Who would not want one of those? Too bad they can't hold as much dog as a Vanagon or I'd be on the prowl.

Temps were darn near in the low 50's after the race and this deck was perfect for hanging out with all the fine folks from the day and enjoying a few cold beers from race sponsor Dale's Pale Ale. Sterling Mudge knows his way around the grill and threw down with some good burgers and his better half made some real good chili and corn bread.

Mountains east of Leadville.

Friday, February 20, 2009

old bike

A lot of people are posting up some pretty sweet pics of new bikes on their blogs lately. In a fit of jealousy I am posting this diamond in the ruff. When I moved out here I was without a bike at all. Somehow this bike set up as a single speed found it's way inside the U-Haul from my good friend Adam's garage. I rode it as a SS for several months before I started riding regularly again and got another road bike. This bike is perfect for the snow races in Leadville so I built it up with some extra stuff I had laying around and some other goods I sourced from TK. I ordered some 2.4 tires for it and last race I aired them down to 15 psi. I wish I could find a wider tire but there's only 3 more races left. That fork has been blown for years now. I air that bad boy up to maximum pressure and it's darn near rigid. I'd love to find a true rigid fork for it but I need 9" of steer tube and so far I've come up trumps on ebay. I suppose I could buy one but I got nothin in this thing so I hate to. It does pretty well.

Tomorrow's race is at North America's highest golf course. I believe the course is just under 10,000'. It's supposed to be pretty quick. Temps are supposed to be a high of 35 so I'm sure it'll be brisk in the morning. I'm hoping the snow sets up hard. It's supposed to be fast and that sounds good to me after riding in deep snow for much of the last 2 races. Tomorrow is a realy so my friend Scott is coming down tonight from Denver and he's gonna be my partner. He's never done a mtb race on even dirt before so this should be fun.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

random ramblings

In the last 3 days of training, I have had 3 flats on my road bike. Not real thrilled about that. Tell ya what I'm even less thrilled about: the fact that since we've been home from work, Bodhi has taken 3 dumps on the floor and 1 pee. What's with the number 3?

He's been doing intervals in the kennel for the last several hours. 30 minutes in and then a trip outside. While he has gone poddy during the last 3 trips out, he has yet to produce a solid movement. So....he's right back in the kennel for yet another session.

I tried to give him away to some unsuspecting person that I work with today but they actually laughed while walking away from me. I really talked up his good qualities too like that he's almost lost all of his teeth.....he has a great appetite....he's regular.....he always responds to his name when you insert the word food in there either before or after the name....he's brown.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

We decided to take the pups for a walk by the river yesterday. Hurricane winds were in effect. It was nice to walk somewhere else other than our usual town walk. Unfortunately, Bodhi did provide a little drama (shocker). I walked him over to investigate a bag that was stuck on a barbed wire fence. The wind picked up and caused the bag to make some noise and it scared him. He got a little caught up in the fence. Everything is fine but he did suffer a small cut on the nose. This in no way slowed him down for the rest of the day. He is now probably right at 6 months old (lost another baby tooth a few days ago and has another one just about to come out). He's now weighing under a pound less than Dharma. He is still stubborn as ever. This could have been a mistake of monumental proportions.

This is the South Platte River downstream of the last spillway before dumping into 11 Mile Reservoir. I have not fished this stretch of river in probably 2 years. This time of year the fish generally hold in deeper pools. With the wind howling, it was tough to spot them but I still saw some really nice fish in that 18-20" range. This stretch of river is really nice to fish on into the wee hours of the morning under cover of the night. The truly big browns come out at night (particularly in the fall) and you can pitch huge streamers quartering downstream and they will utterly destroy it. It's quite exciting.

Both of these shots are pretty skinny water and it stays this way pretty much throughout the year but there are some really deep undercuts and pools that hold monsters. I get goosebumps.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I don't usually do this but I'm gonna hit on something here. Recently, Colorado Springs made the decision to close a good number of drug/alcohol treatment beds. my opinion...I don't feel like Colorado takes mental health issues as seriously as they should. In Colorado Springs, there are 10 (maybe 12) beds for adolescents who need acute psychiatric care. Just to compare...there's probably closer to 75 beds available for adolescents in St. Louis. I really feel like this is an attitude that's gonna have to change. I think there are 5 military bases in Colorado Springs. The number of soldiers returning home from overseas with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is overwhelming. My point is that, somethings gonna have to change. Now we've always noticed that there seem to be a very large number of homeless people in Colorado Springs. However, the number of people that are setting up camp or sleeping on the side of the road is staggering lately. Yesterday, as we drove a short (few miles) leaving the city of CS, we saw no less than half a dozen tents that were clearly within view of major thoroughfares. With the economy the way it's just gonna get worse. Now I've never engaged in much conversation with these individuals but I'm gonna guess that it's not an effort to be trendy and "find themselves" but more an issue of mental health. I hope I haven't offended was really just more of an observation. The other night after dinner my friend commented on the fires that you could see burning along Fountain Creek (I think) and couldn't believe they were all people in tents. pics.
The Misses and I put both mutts on lockdown (in their kennels) and we took off yesterday to run some errands. On the way back and just off I25, there is a junkyard that I always look down on when I'm driving by. They have some really nostalgic stuff in there. It's not like a junkyard in the true sense. You're not gonna see creatures of all types lurking around it and pulling parts like vultures on the hunt. This appears to be more of a museum (in my mind) and probably only allows certain folks in. We ventured into the city and found it and we got out and looked around through the fences. Heather and I are both very fond of the classic vehicles. While I generally am more attracted to the older Chevy's and the Euro stuff (mainly German...Audi, Porsche, and VW...with some BMW stuff), Heather's more of a Ford girl with the ocassional Mercury thrown in but for sure, All-American. I had to deal with no less than half a dozen homeless guys to get these pictures for you. A few of them were nice (as is the case with most of mankind) and a few were really put off by the fact that I didn't have anything to provide them with. Enjoy the pics and know that......nothing went down in order to get them.

This is an older Ford. It's a 2 door business coupe. Years ago, my wife purchased one of these and it was driven to her garage in St. Louis for her to work on/learn on as a hobby. I'm not sure if she had anymore tools than a pair of Vice-Grips and possibly a bent screwdriver but she was determined. I never saw it but I think it needed some TLC. I do recall that it was a 6 volt and was gonna need a swap to 12 to make it practical. moved on to another owner.

I'm a fan of the older trucks. This is late 40's?? Maybe early 50's?? I love the wrap around glass.

This truck was similar in age to the white one but in much better shape. The pin striping is killer.

Love the white walls. My buddy Gunnar has one about this age that he picked up down in Mexico last year to build for his wife. He did some work on the suspension and stuffed a 350 TPI motor into it. It scotts along pretty well and is probably a true sleeper.

You can just make out the Tbird in the background. We're going back tomorrow to see if they'll let us walk around for a while. It's amazing to me that these cars are as old as they are and that they're in such decent shape. The metal back then was so thick. I think one of these trucks probably weighed in at just about 4500 lbs. back then. Very cool.

A buddy of mine (Leo) that I went to college with was in Denver on business towards the end of the week. Like me, Leo used to be a teacher but then decided he'd had enough. He went to law school and now spends a ton of his time on flights that lead him to different towns so he can work on cases. Sometimes I get that way. I think his beef was generally with students and he just got tired of it. Mine is always with the adults. When I say adults...I am not referring to parents either. I will say that this is one of the few schools I have worked at where parents actually give a crap about their child. It's refreshing that they inquire about things or make sure that their child is getting dealt a fair hand. What's amazign to me is that there are many times (far too many) where it feels like I don't WORK at a middle school but that I AM IN middle school. That is the part that I do not like the most about my job.

Anyway...Leo came down here in his white rental Mustang and we grabbed dinner in the Springs. We then came back up here and walked to some of the local watering holes and had a few beers. I took him for a drive the next day. We actually took my Jeep off-road for the first time since I revamped the suspension and steering well over a year ago. We ran an easy local trail called China Wall that only had a bit of snow on it. The Jeep did real well and the day was fun despite having to back down a section of shelf-like road because some scrub in a new Rubicon with temp tags wasn't aware that this trail had a loop to it. I watched him go up and I guess he got sketched out and decided to turn around (off trail I might add). If he'd have gone up another 40 yards he would have seen the signs for the "chicken exit". Way to Tread Lightly dude. Sorry there's no pics of the day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


So I'm in Target with my wife tonight picking up some necessities. Shortly after walking in the doors, we're passing the women's unmentionables and I see this woman enter the main aisle. After her comes her son who was probably 4. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something that catches my attention. He appears to be walking funny. Upon closer inspection, he has something attached to his right foot and it's being drug along. It's black. I only saw the kid take about 3 steps before he realized something was impeding his forward progress. At that same instant, I realized what it was and hit Heather on the arm for her to look. Somehow, the kid stepped between a bra and the plastic hanger it was on. It wouldn't have been such a big deal if it were an A cup but it appeared to be at least a C.

A few minutes later, we're over in the tv section looking for a replacement S cable since Bodhi decided to chew through the one we were using at home. Here comes a guy with 3 boys (all pretty young). The youngest is singing something but in his excitement, he was botching up some of the words and it took me a minute. This kid was singing (over and over again) "I like to move it move it. I like to move it it." The dad couldn't keep a straight face. What a great shopping trip.


These are some pics from last nights drive. It's such a beautiful drive up to Leadville. This is the Continental Divide just south of Leadville. Somewhere out there is the Holy Cross Wilderness area and then the Mount Massive wilderness area is just south of that. We skirted around both of those areas via Halfmoon Creek Road. As always, I saw plenty of mule deer (easily in the hundreds, many elk, and I'm sure I missed several of the allusive Bighorns as normal).

This is just as you're dropping down into Johnson Village which consists of a KOA, a bar, a gas station and about 10 white water rafting companies. In the summer...that bar is CRAZY at night as most good river guides worth their own spit drink their earnings each day. And quickly. Those guys/gals party hard. This is Mount Princeton.

This is further away from JV. My windshield has seen better days.

Tennessee Night Jam

Race #2 in the Leadville series was last night at Ski Cooper on the killer nordic trails. The course was supposed to be about 10 miles. The conditions were excellent. The snow was much more hard packed but there were still some soft areas that made riding difficult. I think it was in the low 20's when we started.

I thought the start went well. It was quite obvious to me that I am still suffering from training like a 13 year old these last 2 weeks. I want to be fast again but I've been training harder than I did when I was racing in my 20's and it's having a lot of negative impact. I had not been on a bike since my botched workout on Wednesday night (where I finally summarized that doing my hard workouts every other day had done so much damage).

About halfway through the race I got the worst cramp I've ever had. It was down near my appendix and it hurt to pedal and it hurt to breathe. I tried to deal with it but I ended up having to get off and walk on a flat road. It went away and I started riding again but it came although not quite as bad this time.

The finish last night was pretty much tailor made for me and I felt super both times we went up it. Longer gradual climb on pavement. When I hit that I could see 4-6 riders strung out in front of me and I picked off 2 of them but I'm not happy at all that I let the others have a pass. I did not sleep well last night. I'm not mad. I still had a really good time despite the cramp and the cold. I'm just disappointed in myself. I'm really gonna be bummed if it equals a result out of the top 10.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's been pretty darn nice in the afternoons up here this week so I've been riding my bike to work. It's still been in tle low 20's in the morning but my ride is so short and it's so nice to not drive the big Jeep. I continue to struggle with my XT disc brakes. On the colder mornings they just freeze up right when you hit them ang the pistons don't retract. I have to take them apart and work on them and then they're good to go until the next morning. I've given some thought to going with mechanical discs this year but I think I wanna try Avid's hydraulics first. I really like the way the hydros feel.

I'm heading to Leadville tomorrow night for the second race in their winter series. Tomorrow we are supposed to be racing on nordic ski trails at night and it should be fun. I am not going to race the Orbea tomorrow b/c of the issues I'm having with the brakes. It's hard enough riding in the snow and I just don't need any more resistance. I built up my SS 26er with gears again and am going to be riding that. This week has been the first time I've ridden a 26er in probably a year.

I've been training way too hard and I'm overcooked. Apparently I can't train like I did when I was 25. Things were going captain crazy well a few weeks ago and then suddenly they came halting to a stop. I haven't done anything for the majority of the week. Tomorrow night I'll either be recovered and things will go well or I'll blow sky high. We'll see. This is the first time I've trained for XC type fitness in almost what? 8 years? Things were really coming around quickly and I decided that if 2 workouts a week were producing then surely 3 would do even more. Rookie move. It's kinda fun to be getting back into the mentality that I want to ride as aggressively as I used to. Only now...there's no anger and I think it's gonna actually allow me to be even tougher despite being older.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Freed dog to....any home

Any backyard, junkyard, sideyard, whatever. I'd tell the SOB to take it to the streets and stand there with a thumb out but he can't even do that. He just got back from going outside where he took a huge dump. Not even 5 minutes later, he leaves another massive pile on my clothes. I wont mention any names here but someone (not me) stepped in a piece of it. Evidently the laws of physics (kinetic energy) came into play as it rolled off the offending jeans and made it's way to the carpet. Beautiful way to start the day. I may slather him in BBQ sauce tonight and tie him up for the mountain lions. Probably wouldn't work either. I'm sure the collar would break and he find his way up onto the deck and drop a deuce.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ruh Roh

We usually walk the dogs every evening. Tonight we were on our walk and we're coming down 24. For those that aren't in town and haven't been here: 24 is the only artery that runs through town. It's 4 lanes and in the evenings it's quite busy with everyone coming back from working in the Springs. We're on the sidewalk and walking against traffic when Bodhi's collar breaks (it's a metal prong collar and it looks like 2 of the prongs separated) and he's off like a prom dress. It was right in front of Sonic and, while their food is subpar, they have great grass that the pups love to roll around in. Luckily, he ran around in said grass but I freaked as cars were cruising by at 35. He would dash to the edge of the sidewalk, inches from traffic and I'd scream and then he'd bound back into the grass. At one point I dove but just missed. Next, Heather dove and.....not so much. As frantic as I was about him getting hit, I tried to fake being nice and get him to come to me but he wasn't havin' it. This lasted for at least 5 minutes. It was probably very entertaining for the people stuffing greasy burgers down their trap. Fortunately, one generous soul got out of her car in the drive thru and brought something (I think it was french fries) and the fat man came a runnin' right to her. She got hold of him as he wolfed down food. Not sure what to think about the collar. I've used the same style of collar on Dharma for 7 years now and never had any issue. Her's is actually difficult to get on if you don't know what you're doing. Thankfully, Bodhi is not a dark spot on the road. Instead...he just got done eating potting soil and now he's on the couch farting.


The good news is it looks like I found a guy that's willing to trade me a pretty clean 85 GL. He's up near Pocatello, Idaho. I'll get more pics/video of the motor and interior tomorrow. The bad news is that I may pass on this one. The GL is just a straight up van and I really want a Weekender edition at the very least.
Heather was not too happy about me looking for a Vanagon in the first place. However...she has suddenly warmed up to the idea (that's not the same as giving in...she said so). With our lifestyle, I think the Vanagon has a lot of positives to it. The Jeep has been good but it's just more than we need and camping would be really fun in the van and it'd be nice to have the extra room as Bodhi is gonna take up some space. I realize that getting an older vehicle is a bit of a gamble. I guess I'm looking at it like I know that and that even a new vehicle can have issues (albeit not as likely).
There are so many great places to camp up here that it would be nice to be able to just get in and go. I think we'd go a lot more too if everything was already pretty much loaded for an overnighter or long weekend. We're close to that now with my Jeep but we still have to get everything out of the camping corner of the garage and then there's barely room for Dharma. Sometimes I put stuff on the roof but it's a problem when those afternoon storms pop up in the summer.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bodhi likes ears and cleaning ears with his tongue and really getting down in there and extracting all the wax he can find. He will sit there and clean out Dharma's ears for up to 15 minutes. It's quite a sight. Then again I've actually found him inside the dirty fireplace snacking on coal too. He's a royal pain.

Here's the latest mutt stats:

Dharma: soon to be 7 years old and right at 50 pounds (been rockin' that girlish figure for years)
Bodhi: right at 5.5 months now and a whopping 44 pounds!!