31 December 2007

bye bye '07

The year of moving. We moved twice this year, and we just moved to a new house over the holiday's and boy, was that a drag. It's still a drag because there's still alot of stuff to be put away.

Story... We were moving a few final car loads yesterday, from the old house, to the new house (that's still pretty old) and what the hell... the NEXT door neighbor's (at the old house) walked up and introduced themselves. We've only been living there over six months and on the last day we were going to be there, they finally say 'hi'. I mean we've exchanged hello in passing, but never more than a word. I guess we're partially to blame for not walking over and saying hi as well, but we were busy trying to find our way around town and find shelter from the rain. The good part of this story, is when we finally got all of our crap over the the new house we were out in the back yard with the dogs, and the new next door neighbor's at the new house, walked up and said hello, and we had a nice chat. So it was nice to meet them, and in a kinda sorta evil way, I hope the new renters at the old house are loud, messy and obnoxious. Ok, I guess not that would be bad karma.

Other news... So we were at a Christmas party with some folks from L-girls (disclaimer: Lgirl=wife=Laurie) work the other week. It was a standard household pot luck style party complete with the big cheese and crackers trays, and little jonnies in the crock pot.

Since I didn't know anyone, I got to talking geeky computer stuff w/ a husband of a guy L-girl works with. So we were talking about snow and cold weather and hockey and that kind of thing. I said, yea, back where I grew up in Minnesota it was cold... And we skated on the rinks outside. And he said, I'm from Minnesota! St. Cloud. I was like woah 'SO ARE WE!!'. A fellow Stearns county compatriot! We were most definitely 3rd cousins or something... Well maybe not. That was a pretty amazing small world moment. His last name was Sand and he moved away when he was young, but still has many family members there.

Now on to 2008, where there will be lots of School, some work, and hopefully lots of kick ass competition to keep hope alive!

Peace out and see you on the other side.

27 December 2007

bike sticker

I saw a sticker on a fender of a fellow bike commuter on the way to work today that read: "Live Free or Drive"

Gotta love it. Sounds like a good motto for 2008.

If you want to get tough, move to Portland and bike commute all winter. You won't think it's so bad going out riding when it's in the 30s and rainy. Before the past few weeks, that kind of riding sucked pretty good. I would probably opt to not ride. But with some good equipment (rain wear and fenders), after a few weeks of pretty shitty weather, it's no big deal. That is if you can handle the depression that goes along with the endless winter here (no snow, cloudy all the time, super short days). And when it did snow here on Christmas day, people were literally dancing in the streets. I'm not even talking about accumulating snow. Just the wet crappy snow that melts when it hits the ground. And on the local nightly news, we got today classified as a white Christmas. KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD!

19 December 2007

Here comes the rain again...

It's been a busy time after the cx season ended, first with finals, and now moving. That's right, moving. How are you spending your christmas vacation? No vacation here.

Aside from the big storm that caused all the problems on the coast a few weeks ago, it's been pretty decent weather-wise, until this week. I guess it's not even too bad, considering what the bike commute might be like if it would be 10 degrees cooler with the same winds and precip. 40F and gusting wind driven rain isn't bad compared to 30 with wind and snow. Of course if it was snowing like that here I think the city shuts down. But the cascade mountains are getting snow now, finally, as the skiing reports that I've heard so far have been pretty ugly. The skiing in the midwest however, is awesome this year, for the first time in 8 or so years according to my brother. Speaking of my Brother, he's engaged to Danielle now... Congratulations!

So next week we are going to move most of our stuff from Sellwood to Westmoreland (next to sellwood). By 2008 we should have everything moved. The bad news is, moving sucks no matter what. The good news is it's still a very walkable neighborhood and we'll have ample room for a basement bike shop / renewable energy laboratory, and a huge back yard for the greyhounds to do their racing (even though they're retired-they still like to go at it every once in a while).

More updates as necessary.

28 November 2007

Phone number

We canceled a phone number. Do not call 503-327-8643 any more, but instead roll back to the 541 phone number (610-9679). That number has not changed and it's not new.

Right now, it's 36 degrees and raining at 40 feet elevation. You'd think it was about to snow if you knew better. But I don't think it is going to yet anyway. Based on the temperature, and the precipitation, which is not all water when it hits the car windshield but then immediatly melts (you know it has that slushy look to it when it hits the window and then the wiper blade swipes it away.) So it may be snowing in the PDX at some point this winter, since we still have just under a month to the solstice.

In other news, 2 finals next week, one the week after.

Coming soon, a demonstration of a solar powered robot that we built in circuits class.

15 November 2007


The first ever experience cx (cyclocross) was a race I watched at riverside park in St. Cloud, MN, my hometown. The weather was cold and windy, and the race looked really hard. There was a bunch of beer and pork chops. There was a few people there but most were racing. There were no crowds.

So up here in Portland cx I've got into it a bit more, doing some of the races in the cross crusade series. They know how to throw down a cross race out here. There is a Halloween edition in astoria (that I missed), but you'll see costumes in each of the 7 weekly races. There are huge crowds every weekend. Last weekend was the official un-official world championships of single speed cyclocross. Estacada has a pretty good venue watching and racing. We're talking costumes. A tequila shortcut, dodge ball zone, lady in a bikini cheering all day, tons of intoxicated people yelling at all the riders. Here are a few picks I caught of the action...



Here's the leaders going through the tequila shortcut. It was a rowdy bunch.

the lead pack.

So I did not race in the world championships. I didn't attend the qualifier on Saturday, because of other stuff I had to get done. It was a spectacle, that's for sure. I did race the regular singlespeed race for the regular cross crusade, so that was just fine. I placed better than I have before getting top 20, so that was cool, but I got outsprinted again!!! Second week in a row. This time it was after the muddy run up with the crowd, and I was ahead of this guy by a bike length. Then we both had to get off the bike, and run up, only I pushed my bike instead of shouldering it, like a good cx boy. Well, I couldn't run fast enough to stay ahead of him and by the time I realized I should have picked up my bike it was too late. oh well. I'm learning.

State championships is this weekend at Hillsboro stadium. The only thing that might keep me away is electric circuit's homework and a chemistry test on Tuesday. After this weekend you can still race for 2 more weekends in Portland if you want to, a psuedo cross race on the 25th and the grand prix of cyclocross on Dec. 1st and 2nd.

So this time of year I've usually had the bike hung up. This year I've been biking to work every day (4 days / week) and I only drove the car to school a few times. And cross racing. So that's all. We are staying in Portland for Thanksgiving going over to Laurie's brothers house.

06 November 2007

Oil Record High, Dollar Record Low

Up on yahoo fiinance this morning (oil record high, dollar record low)... another day another dollar... or is it? What it is, is a broken record.

School is keeping me too busy, and work is keeping me entertained. Cyclocross is keeping me alive.

I did not improve my placings this weekend at Barton Park (Cross Crusade #5), but I did finish, and I did crash, got up, and then sprinted (unsuccessfully) for 29th place. Next weekend is the World Championships. Rumor is that trebon, cameron, craig, decker, etc are all going to be there. Just qualifying for the finals on sunday will be admirable. It's looking to be muddy, for once. We've had amazingly dry weather for the past few weeks.

15 October 2007

Bunny hop CX barriers

Adam Craig doesn't need to get off his bike to go over CX barriers. Check out the Cross Crusade #2 video for proof.

So I went in the one gear division again. Got caught behind a crash at the start, and it took me 1/2 a lap to catch up to this guy. So that's not good. Then in the end I worked up to 19th or so 22nd. I was pissed because I did n-1 laps (even though I didn't get lapped) so I will be looking to start further up in the field for next time for multiple reasons (noted above).

Like CC#1 the weather (sunny / warm) was very not cross season like (rainy / shitty). But today it was more like it. It wasn't even that bad. It didn't rain all day, and I didn't get wet on my commutes (well not very wet anyway=not perfectly dry). That might change tomorrow, we'll see.

The worst part of winter here is going to be the daylight, or lack thereof. I guess that's why Laurie ebay'ed one of these. Like that's going to take place of the sun.

peace out.

14 October 2007


Found an interesting post on the huge amount of oil that we burn each year...

That's a lot of oil.  (Are we using it efficiently?)

13 October 2007

The weather...

It's sunny today. So it was the first what you'd call really nice day since Sept 27th, so I'm calling everything before Sept 27th summer, and between Sept 27th and yesterday winter... and today and tomorrow are fall. Then based on the weather forecast:

we go back to winter on monday until further notice. So we got here in June just after it supposedly stopped raining, It was pretty much very nice until September 28th it started raining. Based on that experience, we have about 8 months left to wish it was nice outside. But wait, the days start getting longer in only 69 days. Wait. 69 days is alot, and the damn time didn't even change yet. I'm trying to come up with ways to think the worst is over, but really it hasn't even started. When can we move back to Bend?

Oh it's not that bad, check back with me in 6 months to see how converted I am to being a PDXer...

Hornings hideout tomorrow. I changed gears on my bike from 42X17 to 36X17, so I should be better off. I'm hearing the course is much more difficult (technically speaking) than alpenrose. It will be a true test of toughness, endurance, and a sure ticket to the hurt locker for 45 minutes.

Enough blogging I'm going outside.


08 October 2007

run what you brung

Well, here we are in Portland, after a start to the cyclocross season. The laps at Alpenrose were long and bumpy, and you better be ready to start and stop and then get going fast again, and then jump off your bike, jump over stuff and get back on really fast. I think my gear is too big, because I was going super slow on some of the uphills. And I may have had too much air in my tires, because the bumps felt extra bumpy. But then in some of the grassy sections it felt like my brakes were rubbing, because I wasn't going faster. TJones rocked the single speed division. I was 27th out of 80+ in the category. Over 1000 raced total. CX is huge here.

The race wasn't too exciting for 27th place, but I did get passed by the naked guy (wearing only size small unda pants). Then I passed him, because I didn't want to look at his ass all day, and then I ate dirt on the barriers in the middle of the velodrome, and I couldn't catch back up to him. So I got beat by the naked guy.

And a guy took a picture of me...

It was really tough, but I'm already starting to plot out how I can make my bike go faster next week.

27 September 2007

Have you seen me latley?

It's been pretty crazy around here with the job, and school starting this week. So let's just say it's been super busy here, but the weather has been pretty awesome. All I hear about is how it rains constantly in this city, and since we moved here in June it's probably rained 5 times or less. Now watch, tomorrow will be the beginning. Hopefully more of the days will be like today, it was damn near perfect.

In skiing news, the Portland Oregon dryland XC skiing workouts begin this week (Sept 29th). More information here. The cyclocross season is also underway, but I have not yet raced. That's still the plan.


19 September 2007

iceland bike tour photo blog

Day 1: near Hella to Landmannalauger

The Start of the Sprengisandur Route


Dual photos

Geo Thermal (Fumerals)


DAY 2: Landmannalauger to Hyranyar
In the hut


A little break

Headed to Hyranyar

Glacial waters


DAY 3 Hranyar to Nydalur
Icelandic Sunrise

Day 3

Power lines

Lake 2




Long day


Day 4 Nydalur to Laugafell

Rest Day @ Laugafell

Pool at Laugafell

Day 6 Laugafell to Akureyri
Time to start the descent


Road or River?


A more complete flickr slide show here, in case this wasn't enough for you... (make sure and click the photo for the captions.

11 September 2007

Iceland Part 1

So here we are in Portland, and it's been a few days since we've been back from the tour.  I finally got around to putting some of the photos up from the iceland adventure.  Flickr photoset here. 

So the trip started out a little lame.  We had two segments to our flight.  One from PDX to MSP, and then the next day, we were flying from MSP to Reykjavik.  We split this up, because we got decent airfare w/ iceland air from MSP, and planned to stay at our friend Patti's house to get a good night sleep before the flight to iceland.   Problem was, we had a layover in chicago on the way to MSP.  So we were stuck in a holding pattern above chicago, until we got low on jet fuel, and the pilot decided to get gas in Detroit.  So we got gas, and by the time we finally got to chicago, all the planes to MSP were gone.  Our options were spend 50 bucks on a cab and 69 bucks on a hotel, only to get 4 hours of sleep to make our flight at 7:20am, or sleep at the airport.  We chose the airport.  They setup cots so it was not complete hell, but then the guards come by at 4am to wake everyone up and it basically stormed all night, but we did have a good view of the lightning storm.  So we didn't get a good nights rest.

The next day we were off to iceland.  We hit the blue lagoon hot springs / geo thermal site.  It was pretty sweet.  We then hit the hotel in sellfoss and put the bikes together and rested up, for tomorrow the bike tour would begin.

In other news, I started a new job here yesterday, up on the hill, at the OHSU SON as a DBM.

More tomorrow.

05 September 2007

Iceland Bike Tour

We're back!! it was an awesome trip. more photos and stories soon...

17 August 2007

Crude, trips, planes and economics.

Well, here we are in portland, as a strong hurricane starts to ramp it up toward the gulf of mexico. So, I'm not a professional stock or commodities trader, but if I was, I would have loaded up on crude oil futures today. But the fact is, I really don't even know how it works to buy Sept07 crude, but what I do know is, if Dean stays strong, and rolls into the Gulf as a categorized hurricane, it will threaten some oil refineries, and well, the price of oil will hit about $100+ a barrel. Well see what happens there. The chart here is the graph for today and oil traded at about 71.50 a barrel.

We're going to iceland next week for a bike tour. It should be totally major and hopefully we don't bring too much stuff that we don't need, since it will just add extra weight. It's a bit stressful trying to plan such a trip, without even having been on a multi day bike tour in america, let alone a foreign country. Luckily we're going with some experienced professionals.

So next Wednesday we'll be up and on our way to MN where we will catch a plane to iceland the next day. We don't make airline trips too often and now I have to wonder if this might be the last trip we take on an airplane. Not by choice mind you, but I strongly believe that the era of low cost air travel is going to be gone at some point in the not so near future. The cost of fuel will be too much to keep it going (because it's not going to get really cheap again like it was before about 2005.) (but maybe I read too many blogs like this and this).

I don't really consider myself one of those coo coo for coco puffs retards that goes around warning of economic collapse, and stock up on rice and water. But (IMHO) we have some major issues with our economy. It lives on growth. It needs growth. We proved it this week when the stock market was going insane, on credit woes and slow housing stats. Our economic engine requires factories to build more cars, construction workers to build more houses, and which in turn requires OPEC and other oil producing nations to drill more oil (because that's what we need for growth). So with all those new houses, and new cars, we can then use more energy that creates more pollution.

OK, so you say, "the new houses are energy star efficient" and "the cars now get better MPG" but i say that's fine, but what about the 500 houses in my neighborhood that are 50-100 years old and they are all crappy energy wasting shacks, even though most of them cost over 400k. And honestly, are we just going to line up all the SUVs that were sold in the late 90s thru now, to line up at the junk yard? NO, they are going to be driving for at least 10-15 more years. Peak Oil has already happened:
This was taken from here in the February 2007 issue. Note that proven oil reserve discoveries hit a 'peak' in the late 1960s, and have fallen ever since, and is expected to keep falling, as shown. At some point, production will be forced to fall (because there's only so much discovered oil), and when that happens, there will be a supply/demand issue. When you look at that graph, it's hard to imagine we can keep growing production.

I guess what I'm saying is, I've come to the conclusion that we're all screwed, because I don't think there is enough oil left to keep fueling the economic growth long enough for us to figure out another way to grow our economy without it. See, lots of us have retirement money in the stock market and if that bombs then what happens? I know I had history classes and I think that happened sometime around 1930 something. And that's not even taking into account the possible global climate changes that may or may not happen (like what? oh, maybe hurricane Dean).

Your president is not going to fix it, and if you think you're going to get a new president that will fix something, think about this:

1988 - Bush 1
1992 - Clinton 1
1996 - Clinton 1
2000 - Bush 2
2004 - Bush 2
2008 - ???? Clinton 2????

What the hell is this? Our government is really a one party system.

See you after we get back from Iceland.

08 August 2007

Funny Youtube

you might have seen this, but in case you have not, you will hate me for putting this song in your head for the rest of the day:

03 August 2007

Books, Bikes and Bridges

I've had a problem finishing books lately. It might be because of school, or whatever, but it's not because the books aren't good. Here's what I'm in the middle of.

1. Freakonomics. A good book, but I had to stop, because it seemed like the author implied that every scenario in the book was indirectly caused by the legalization of abortion. It just got old, and I started something else....

2. A Sunburned Country. I read the book A Walk in the Woods by the same author (Bill Bryson) and it was laugh out loud funny. One of those books that you don't want to end. If you have not, you should read 'A walk in the woods'. So you'll want to read it at home and not on the bus (or somewhere else out in public) because you'll be busting out laughing. A sunburned country is also good, but I got distracted by:

3. The Road That Has No End. I've always had a dream to pack up the panniers, and rolling out on a multi day (or week) (or month) bike tour. That's what this book is about. Except these folks didn't stop, and I think they are still out riding around somewhere. Anyway, I didn't finish this book because I borrowed:

4. Bowerman and the men of Oregon. This book chronicles the life of Bill Bowerman, coach of the U of O track team, and notably the excellent distance runners that have come out of that school during his tenure. He was a superb coach and also innovated running shoes, and you could say, that he invented Nike. This book is awesome (after you get through the first few chapters it really gets good) and I will finish it (because I have to give it back to my friend Sean who I borrowed it from) So, I was reading Bowerman and then I saw this at the library:

5. With Speed and Violence. This is another book about climate change and I'm in the process of reading this one now. All the usual stuff like rapidly melting glaciers and polar ice. This book is brand new, so the information is pretty current (for a book), and it's pretty freaky. Now I'm sure you could go and find books that debunk the whole climate change theory, (or at least the theory that climate change is caused by humans) but whatever the case, no matter who you are, you can't argue that it's happening. This book hypothesizes that some major changes might come on faster than we've previously thought (like in the span of years or decades, rather than centuries or longer). After only reading 25% of this book these are my thoughts: Basically, we are screwed. I say that because it's business as usual here in america, we want more and big and then more again. There's nothing wrong with that, but we still run on oil to fuel our economy. The only way we will change, is through government mandated electricity generation reform (more renewables, less coal) and government mandated gas and carbon taxes to fund those renewable programs. I'll have more thoughts on this stuff in the future. I also may post a full book review on this one when I'm done.

I never got around to posting a race report for the cascade classic. It was pretty awesome... Our team had a guy finished 2nd in the GC, so basically we worked for him, and secured his spot on the podium. He took us all out for lunch afterward with all the money he won, so it was pretty fun. Last year (in the midst of my blood giving) I was 4th from last, this year I was 35th out of 70+, and I even won a bucket of red vines in the crit. Maybe next time I'll sprint for some cash, and not just end up with a giant tub of candy.

I was stunned to see the coverage of 35W falling down in Mpls. What the heck! Being from MN, the story was extra crazy. I predict that the next bridge to fall will be this one (picture on the right). It's the sellwood bridge in Portland, Oregon. It opened in 1925. Now that's old. Did they even have cars back in 1925? Even if they did, the cars now are MUCH heavier and the traffic is MUCH busier. The have outlawed big trucks and buses from crossing this one, but still. It is almost 2000 feet from one end to the other, and it's 75 feet high. I just hope I'm not biking across it when it falls. (Click here for Portland's plans to replace the sellwood bridge).

New blog format!! woo hoo!

10 July 2007

Excessive heat warning today

Forcast high: 101° F

No A/C in the house. Yea.

07 July 2007

Next weekend: Cascade

Last year I completed the Cascade Classic (Cat 3), and managed to finish, but it wasn't very good. I'm hoping to be a little closer to the front, maybe top 20? Last year I was giving blood every week, so I was just a little bit off, as would be expected. We'll see how the Time trial goes on Friday. I ran a 1/2 marathon on the 4th, up at Sauvie Island. It was pretty big (over 1500 finishers), and it was a pretty hot day (at least a couple people required medical assistance.) I ran a steady race, finishing in just under 1:23. Not my PR, but pretty close.

And the Tour started today, on 7/7/07!

29 June 2007

Bike commuting... Rain...

I've started taking two classes at PCC, and I've been bike commuting to get to school. Fortunately, Portland is great for bike commuting (bike lanes, dedicated bike trails, lots of bike commuters). Unfortunately, you still have to know where you're going. My first class was Monday at noon. I left a good hour early, to ensure that I'd have enough time to bike to North Portland, to get up to PCC Cascade campus. So I knew that the school was off Killingsworth, what I didn't exactly know was where on Killingsworth, so when I got to Killingsworth, I didn't quite know which way to go... So... I asked for directions (I know - not very 'manly'). The gal that I asked said... "PCC? Portland Community college? I know there's a PCC on 42nd," she even asked her friend, to confirm. So, I look at where I am... which is like 3rd. hmm 42nd minus 3rd, thats almost 40 blocks. So I put the 29er in TT mode and race up the road. Finally make it to 42nd and although it is a PCC building, it's not where I need to be... So I go up a couple more blocks and ask another lady. "Where's PCC?" she says, well, you overshot it by about 2 or 3 miles... So I have to rewind and race back, all the way to where I was, and then some, to where I needed to be. Only about 25 minutes late, ughh. I don't think I missed too much importance on the first day though. I was really close to where I needed to be the first time I asked for directions. (See, it's not always good to ask for directions -- or I suppose you just need to ask the right person).

Then on Tuesday, I had to go to yet another PCC campus (Sylvania). I was studying the map for the correct route, because there really wasn't a straight shot, and there are sizable hills between our house and the campus. So I found the best route, and I didn't go the wrong way, but it was a grind getting up the hills on my SS 29er.

Since we got here, I've been a bit anxious to get out running on a rainy day. Well, I thought yesterday would be the day. I started out in a light rain, and about 5 minutes into it, it stopped raining. Then when I got done w/ the run, it promptly started raining again. I was sort of worried, because I had to bike up to the Sylvania campus again, but yesterday it had been raining intermittently, so I figured it would stop. It didn't. I was pretty wet by the time I got to campus, but I wore a rain jacket, and brought a dry shirt. I just need to get some fenders. Wouldn't you know, that the sun even popped out during class, but then when class ended it was raining again. We have had pretty nice weather, and I'd say yesterday was probably the rainiest day since we got here.

19 June 2007

Well, here we are, we live in Portland now. It's been one week plus one day since we took the final car drive over the cascades to SE Portland where we live now. We do still have some stuff stored at the townhome (Laurie's Mom's place), but not too much.

So we moved out of our house in Bend that had a square footage of about 1550. Right now that seems like a mansion, compared to the little house we're renting. I did a rough sq ft calculation with my tape measure last night and it came to 676. The parents old cabin on Lake Alexander was much bigger than this place. On the bright side, I suppose our energy bills will be lower?! I'd feel much better about this house if we weren't paying as much as we are for rent. But we do live in an excellent neighborhood (sellwood) that's quiet and there are many good restaurants within walking distance. Plus the bike commute to alot of places (like downtown) is much easier than the drive, and the drive isn't bad either, Parking is the problem.

We went on a road ride up the willamette to St. Johns bridge, and then took Germantown road up through forest park. It was an awesome ride through the woods with lots of climbing, we just need to find a better route through downtown, on the way home, if there is one.

Tonight there is bike racing at Portland International Raceway (as there is on pretty much every day in or around Portland).

So that's all right now. Here's a picture from the Criterium at Mt Hood Cycling classic:

Mt Hood

30 May 2007

Mt Hood stage race - cat 3

I've been slacking in the blogging department lately, but I had a stage race last weekend, and we've been moving to Portland and it's been busy.

Last weekend was the Mt Hood stage race. I did it last year, in the cat 4 division, and this year I was in the Cat 3s. The field was strong, and about 80+ strong to start the race. On Thursday there was a 66 mile circuit race that consisted of 3.5 laps around a course that was about 18 miles. 9 uphill and 9 down. We went up the hill 4 times, and each time the main pack got smaller. There weren't any real break aways, just some tempo riding at the front. I did not ride at the front that much, until the last lap, when I sprinted ahead of the field for about 30 seconds. It wasn't really an attempt at breaking away, Just a surge or whatever. Then I went back in the pack, and stayed in until about 1 kilometer to go, when the pack slowly pulled away and shattered. I ended up 28th and about 1.5 minutes back from the winner. It was Therapeutic Associates teammate Scott Gray who won the stage, so that meant he was in the leaders jersey, and he would be the last to start in the next days individual time trial. Sweet!

Back when I did triathlons I think I was a pretty good time trialer, because I rode alone, alot. Now I do alot of group rides, and few solo rides out in the wind. So my time trail skills are not on par with where they maybe should be. I got passed by 4 people (we started 30 seconds apart, so do the math) and finished the TT over 6 minutes behind the winner of the TT, but I only moved down one spot in the GC (overall standings) so that wasn't all bad I guess. oh yes it was I was 52nd in the ITT.

The big day was Saturday, 89 miles in 90 degree heat through the mountains east of Mount Hood. It was super tough and my teammate spencer and I almost were dropped on one of the climbs in the middle of the race. The pace was hard, on the uphills and people were getting dropped on most of the climbs. The downhills were easy, and I was surprised that nobody pulled through, to increase the pace. Most of the downhills were straight open roads and we were going fast, but there was constant breaking, which got a little annoying. By the time there was 20 miles to go, there were probably 30 people left, and one guy off the front by minutes (he would win the stage). I was not cramping, so I guess I drank enough, but I knew I was feeling it, but I think everyone else was tired too. Scott (teammate) dropped his chain with about 15k to go, so I waited for him and pulled him back to the pack. It was nice of me to do, but I think he would have made it back anyway. He was still in the top 10 overall, and stood to move up in the GC because he's a great climber. I held on to the pack until about 5k to go when the race got really hard and turned onto the road that goes up to the Mt Hood meadows parking lot. I limited my losses, and finished in 26th just over 7.5 minutes back from the leader, and I beat pro mountain biker Evan Plews. If you're pro, and you don't want to have some no-name cat 3 say that they beat you on their blog, then you should be racing with the big boys, and the other pro mountain bikers like Carl Decker. I moved into the top 25 after Saturday's road race.

On sunday was the criterium, and our team (Therapeutic Associates) won all of the primes. The crit course was super fun, but there were crashes, all which seemed pretty minor. I suffered in the back of the pack, when I should have been in the front, because I think it's easier riding in the front, with less braking into the corners, and less chasing out of them.

So the race was a success, but I need to time trail faster. I used my old bike w/ areo bars and a disc wheel and still lost more than 6 minutes (in the end of the 4 days I was less than 12 minutes behind). Laurie got some pictures of my back in the criterium, and I'll post those if I can find the camera cord after we are finished moving to Portland (we move for good on Monday June 11th). I'm planning to do the cat 3 Cascade classic in July in Bend.

Later Skaters.

21 May 2007

P3 2007, 7th

Finishing 7th

It's finally over, all the training, stress and planning for PPP07 is done, and the race went off superbly. I ended up finishing 7th place in the mens elite division. Everything went pretty much as good as I could have hoped for. I took one warm up alpine run and thought, well, this is going to be nuts. I have to say though, when the gun went off, I had my best alpine leg in my 3 year PPP history. I could actually see the leaders when we started the nordic leg (but that didn't last long). The conditions for the nordic leg were unbelievably good. It was firm and fast. The bike was good, I actually passed people unlike last year when I didn't see anyone until the run. After the first mile of the run, I got into a rhythm and was able to go pretty good. I didn't tip over in the kayak, but I also didn't enjoy any minute of that leg. I think I paddled OK, but I don't paddle often, and think a bit more practice would have come in handy. I would have been able to concentrate on going forward, rather than staying straight and upright. OK, so I know this is the most boring race report ever, and I don't have any really good stories, except that I didn't have any common PPP problems, and went as fast as I could. There were good stories though. I heard of one guy who lost his ski in the alpine leg, and had to climb back up to get it, and then when he finally got done with the bike leg, he had to run the 5 mile run in socks, because his support crew wasn't there with his running shoes. My neighbor who borrowed one of our kayaks tipped over twice. XCO all star Brayton (5th overall) was in 3rd, when he tipped over on the river, losing minutes and missing the podium, in his first ppp. The US Ski team had a couple of teams entered, and they went fast, with the mens team posting the 3rd fastest time of the day. I guess the moral of the story is, the PPP was a major success for me considering from last June 2006, until February 2007, I gave a pint of blood every week to get rid of extra iron, which took a tool on my training and fitness. My goal was to get back to where I was last spring at this time, and I think I did it, and then some. 2+ minutes faster. So that's good news.

Ski ya later!

18 May 2007

I got some ink.

Ok, not much, but hey, this is the Bend Olympics.


10 May 2007

fitness update and cookies

Yesterday we baked cookies. I made the recipe that's on the back of the bag of chocolate chips (toll house). Laurie made vegan cookies. Luckily I froze 1/2 the batch, hoping to save some for a later date. So now there are approximately zero thawed toll house cookies left (ate em), and I'm real close to digging into the rest that are in the freezer; only thing holding me back is my 'belly ache' from eating all the cookies. There's still quite a few vegan ones left though. I have pretty much zero self control when there are cookies in the cookie jar. dang.

So the fitness is coming together. I was able to keep up on the Tuesday night 'hammerfest' ride from sunny side sports. Chris Sheppard was in the house, and Megan Elliot (GF of euro pro Chris Horner). This year, the Tuesday ride has become the CSLB ride (Chase Steve Larsen's Brother). Mike Larsen moved to town a few weeks ago, and he can ride. Anyway, after getting my ass dropped many times this spring on this ride it was sweet to be in the front group until the end, especially since the group that started out this week's ride was huge. Yeeaa! I'm also running a fair amount. The bend olympics is coming up, but I have not XC skied since late March, and I haven't alpined or kayaked since last years ppp. In fact (this is sad) I've taken 4 chairlift rides since moving to Bend in May 2004, All of them having to do with doing the PPP twice. 1 ride for warm up, 1 ride up for the race. I am going to TRY to get up to the mountain once before the PPP but if I don't, oh well, the race will start for me if I can make it to dry land after the nordic leg, then watch out, cause I'll be chasing!

After the bend olympics, I'm doing the Mt Hood stage race. It will be my first Cat 3 endeavor that was not during weekly phlebotomies. I raced in and finished the Cat 3 cascade classic stage race last year, and it was pretty bad, but I finished and not DFL and not even bottom podium (but close). I raced good in the Cat 4s at hood last year, (I even won some money for being top 10!) and am looking forward to racing at hood again, but this year in the 3s. This year the format for the 3s is 4 stages in 4 days starting on May 31st. I'm a bit concerned that I haven't done any road races yet this spring, but Hood consists of 2 climbing stages (Thursday's 66 mile circut race and Saturday's epic 87 mile road race), an 18.5 mile TT on Friday and a 30 minute criterium to wrap it up. I hope to have the fitness to hang on on the climbing days, and the TT is solo, and the crit is only 30 minutes. Back in my triathlon days, the TT would have been a cinch, but the lack of a TT series in Bend this year, and my unexpected withdrawal from the DRVTT fest, I have not had much practice. Oh well, that's why I have a disc wheel :P

I'm thinking I'm going to sport THESE at Mt Hood this year... (whadya think?)
that's all, Thanks for reading.

07 May 2007

Moving to PDX

So goes the story of life, we've lived in Bend almost exactly three years ago, and now we are making plans to move to Portland, Oregon. By June 15th, we'll be fully moved over to the 'rainy side' (but on the plus side, I'm hearing that it's supposed to be pretty nice weather there from about now, until about September when it starts raining non stop for 8 or 9 months). I'm wrapping up my duties with Merrill Corporation. That means I QUIT!!! And no, it has absolutely nothing to do w/ the convention I went to last week.

Why in the hell are you moving out of bike mecca, xc skiing paradise, trail running heaven, that is Bend, Oregon, you ask?? Well, that's a good question. I once told my wife on lovely winter day XC Skiing, "it was hard for you to get me to move out of MN, but it will be even harder for you to get me to move out of Bend!". Well, turns out, I'm the instigator this time... I will be going to school full time starting next fall at OIT's Portland campus. The program I'm enrolled in, is a BS degree in renewable energy systems, and it lasts 3 years. Essentially it's an engineering program that focuses on renewable power. We'll see where that road leads.

Laurie found a nursing job at OHSU and we found a place to live in a SE Portland neighborhood, that should be good for bike commuting. It will be the first time either one of us will have lived in a city larger than Bend, (or Fargo, ND, or St. Cloud, MN if those are counted as larger than Bend) We're both anxious, excited, scared. It seems like I already miss Bend a little bit. But Bend will still be here, only 3 hours away.

We sold our house, and holy crap. we're moving. It was a tough decision to
move away from Minnesota 3 years ago, but we wouldn't trade it for anything. We've met so many great friends here. Moving now will be a bit easier, although we've got quite a bit of stuff, and some of that stuff might have to go, or find storage. I'm still going to do a bit of skiing (XC Oregon - PDX squad), but snow will be further away, so maybe I'll have to sharpen the hockey skates, as Portland actually has some ice arenas, that is if I have time between the homework.

Our new address will be

8005 se 8th ave
pdx, or 97202

Write that down.

email is the same.
cell phone will be the same (541+619+9679)
blog will continue.

30 April 2007

Twenty one.

Well, here I am back in Bend, Oregon after a nice weekend of not being in las vegas at a convention. The whole trip to Vegas was sort of a blur, basically worked the whole time and slept the other time. We did get done at about 4:00 on Thursday, and had a nice dinner at the NY NY hotel. I was surprised at the will of some of my co-workers to 'hit the strip and gamble' after 2.5 long days of convention work with very little sleep. But then after thinking about it, most of them have children, and when they are away from home they have to take advantage. I was perfectly content with going up to the hotel room to sleep. But I did manage to hit a few slot machines.

I put 5 bucks in a nickel slot, pulled the lever, and BAM 48 bucks. Cash out, after one spin. Then I went over to the deal or no deal slots and within about a minute i was up 8 bucks. So, I wasted the rest of the 8 bucks and change, and stormed out of there with almost 45 dollars more than I came in with! Hot damn. If everyone could say that when they left vegas it wouldn't be vegas! I had some temptations to play some 21 (three card poker), but the minimum was $10 per hand, and I figured if I played 4 hands, and lost all four, I'd be down, or where I started, and depressed that I just lost all that money. Even though it wasn't that much... One of the wives of my co-workers won a Grand. sweet.

Latest news on the iron overload front is I'm officially 100% de ironed, with no phlebotomies in sight. I stopped going in for weekly phlebs at the end of February, when my ferritin was 30. A month after that (at the beginning of April), my ferritin went up 5 points, so I had another phleb. Today my Ferritin tested out at TWENTY ONE. That was the best news I could have hoped for. Now it's time for some steak!!!!!

Parting shots from Las Vegas:

Convention before:
Before the beginning

Convention during:
Full on Arbonne

The strip, as seen from the walkway between MGM and NYNY:
The Strip

Statue of Liberty, NY NY hotel:

We actually did make it down here on the last day (view from Bellagio entrance):

I was still smiling after the chaos.
proof that I'm here.

With this post a new format is also being rolled out, to accommodate larger photos. Thanks Blogger, for making this easy.

25 April 2007

Arb0nne N.T.C. 2007, Las Vegas

What am I doing here? How did I get here? When can I go home?

I'll just start from the beginning. I signed up to help out at the convention, as the 'IT geek'. Merrill (company I work for) does -alot- of printing work for Arbonne. It was a trip to Vegas and hey, what the hell, why not. Can't be that bad.

Left Bend @ 4:15pm tuesday, when I thought my plane left at 4:45pm. Needless to say, the gal at the ticket counter basically said, if I'd have been one minute later, they may have not let me board.

The airport in Vegas. Notice, there are very few signs that say "to Baggage Claim". They want you to gamble at the airport.

Got to NY NY Hotel at about 9:50pm, call Stephanie (the project manager for this task, think NBC TV show apprentice). the task: sell as much arbonne stuff as possible in 2 days. Go to MGM grand garden arena to help setup the computers. La la la, that happens, and when it's all said and done, it's about 1am, off to bed ASAFP. Slept horribly.

Next morning wake up call at 5:30, in hopes to find breakfast, before going to the convention to begin selling crap. Best I could find with the time frame given: 2 Starbucks scones and a coffee. Yippie skippy.

Arbonne doors open up at 7:30am. we had 2 stations, with 4 registers (read: laptops running a db program) each, and by 7:45am, both areas had lines until about 4pm. That whole time I was running a laptop that was acting as a cash register with one 15 minute break. I'm not really complaining but it was extremly busy, overall it wasn't too bad, everyone was nice, nobody was mean, and there were no computer melt downs (whew). out of the what seemed like five thousand people that came through my spot there were literally 3 men. (there are some 16500 people here, 99% women). yea.

We also had drop boxes where people could drop off an order for pick up tomorrow. We got WAY more of those than we expected. We were assembling those until about 11pm.

Photo inserted 4/30/2007
Here's what the scene looked like at 9:34pm:

If this get's pulled off tomorrow (it will), it'll be a work of art from Stephanie. It seemed like we were in way over our heads at times today, and would never get done. now all we have to do tomorrow is alphabetize ten thousand bags for pickup. How long will that take if we start at 6:30am. If big races (like the Birkie, or Twin cities marathon) can do this for participants post race bags, we should be able too...? right? we'll see...

4/30/2007 update: We did get them mostly alphabetized. Except somehow the S and T piles got overlooked, and there was madness trying to get those alphabetized while people were trying to pick up their stuff.

Anyway, this blog post was way too long for how late it is, and how tired I am. But my blog has been lame lately, and I needed to spark it up a bit.

One more full day in viva LV, and then back to Bend on Friday. Big races coming up.

Photos added on flickr, may be inserted into this blog post at a later date.