September 26, 2008

Cheeseheads here we come.......

Not much going on except, packing and doing a few more errands. I am on vacation and just waiting for the other five friends to get off work at some point during the day. We plan on heading out sometime to Cheesehead land sometime today so I will be off grid for a while!

Think of us riding the country roads in WI with the leaves turning, spending a lot of time sitting by the lake and the fire pit. We can't wait! Of course there will be the stop, shop and tour at the Leinenkugel Brewery and maybe a day of golf but those are the only things we have planned. WoooHooo!

Ya'all stay safe out there and I will give a full report when we get back from recharging our batteries!

September 24, 2008

Where do these people come from?

So, I was driving to work this morning, yup sorry folks, lots of errands to run and was running late this morning. I know that is not a good excuse but it is truthful. Anyway, I came to one of the many 4-way stops on Prairie Ave in our fair city. I did my part and came to a complete stop. I looked to make sure no one was pulling out even though it was my turn. All of a sudden a dude on a mtn bike comes riding up to the intersection as I started through. He had the kahunas to wave me through the intersections as he kept biking and swerving toward the back end of my vehicle so he did not have to stop.

Ok, so this dumb #$%!, who was also not wearing a helmet, did not stop and then was telling me, who was in a 4 wheel drive SUV, even though it is a small SUV, but still telling me what to do when he was TOTALLY in the wrong for not obeying the traffic laws. Made me crabby. People like that give the rest of us bikers a bad rap. The worst part is how many vehicle drivers get aggravate by these type of riders and they proceed to take their aggravation out by yelling at other bikers just because it is guilt by association, you know we are both on a bikes. That is were the similarities end for MOST of us...VERY FRUSTRATING!

So, then I get down to the Prairie and Russell intersection which can be kind of a mess in the morning but anyway there is a pedestrian just walking out in the middle of the intersection on the service road. He was not watching for traffic. He just decided he was made of whatever alloy or maybe he was super human that nothing could damage him I guess.


September 23, 2008

The straw boss.....

I got home after work and decided to mow the backyard. Abe decided he needed to be in the backyard also. I decided to put him on the chain to keep him out of the flower bed, grass clippings, and trouble. Of course I had to open the back gate so he could supervise me otherwise he barked at me. Anyway this is a picture of the straw boss!

September 22, 2008

Weekend recap........

Friday after work I headed to an estate auction in the historical district (yes, I rode my bike there). They were selling a house and its contents. I really went to be able to see in the house. The house is a craftsman house but kind of a little oriental on the outside. What a neat place. It would need some work but had a BIG kitchen with subway tile and the dining and living room had the wood beams on the ceiling. I later learned the owner had died in February, his family lived out of state and obviously didn't want anything to do with the house and some of his possessions. HOW SAD it was to walk through there and then to see people rummaging through things in boxes. I just watched how careless some people were being. I could not be as disrespectful as some of those individual were to this guys property. UGH......made me sad. There were things he valued and people just did not care. Kris met me at the house so she could see the inside also. Not sure how much the house went for but someone will have a house with a lot of character!

I passed the CPR/AED test and skills test! They have changed a few things, which drives me crazy but I guess they want us to keep spending the money to take the classes. Other good news was that we were to have five in the class and only three of us showed up so the class zipped by VERY fast. We were done at 1:00pm instead of 5:00pm. I was glad for that.

I had ridden my bike down to the Red Cross building and of course the way back was the way I used to ride back home from work. It has a little uphill that I used to get a little winded on. Well, on Saturday this did not happen...PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE!

Saturday afternoon was spend doing laundry and few things around the house. Then it was off to Avera to meet Kris after her class. I decided to ride my bike there also. I took a route that I had thought about Kris riding to commute to work. It worked pretty well except for the road being closed on 9th street. Of course they had just blocked this off Friday so I decided to walk through the mess...I know breaking the law! Anyway the route was good. I hooked up with Kris at said meeting up point and then it was off to Puerto Vallarta to meet friends for the best Mexican food in town. YUM-O. The other fun thing is that we go there enough they know what we like to drink and eat and then we tease each other with is always fun. They always try to teach us some Spanish which is always funny. So I did a little over four miles of riding my bike for errands. Last year I would not have thought twice about taking my SUV. Makes me feel good and even though gas is less now than it has been in a while (Casey's on Burnside $3.17/ gallon), I feel great riding the bike as it is helping the environment and also my health.

Sunday, I took Kris to her last day of class (physical therapist 2 1/2 day class) on geriatric exercises, seems fitting since she just turned 50.....haha, anyway me and the Abester headed to a retail chain store so I could pick up a few things then home to tackle the cleaning of the Bravada. WOW, I shampooooo-ed the carpet, did conditioning of the leather seats, vacuumed it out, washed the outside and of course it rained last night but no big deal. It was very dirty. Sunday night we dropped it off at the mechanics for a new ball joint and other repairs. Last week it was a new fuel pump. Anyway things that needed done before we hit the road on vacation. I am sure our mechanic is going to look at the Bravada and think it is not the same vehicle as he worked on last week since it is SO CLEAN! I only have to do the Rain-x on the windows yet so that is good. Lots of money spent on a vehicle with 158,000 miles but we decided we would start looking next fall so we needed to limp along with the Bravada for another year....I only hope it is nice to us from now until then!

Last night was spent downloading CDs from our collection to the ipod for vacation. I have a lot more to do but we got a good start. Kris got an itunes card from my sister and brother-in-law for her birthday so she is going to download some of her favorite tunes that we do not have. The ipod thing is very fun that is for sure. Amazing technology! We also started laying out things for vacation. Kris's aunt is so excited for us to use the cabin. She also told us to take the pontoon boat out and make sure we have some bonfires......ok, twist my arm! They are so generous!

Well, happy Monday everyone! Hope you all have a good productive week!

September 21, 2008

September 18, 2008

Biking, CEUs and Abey..........

This week I biked to work a lot. Good thing the weather has cooperated...well, it is windy today. The Bravada seemed to make it's fuel pump quit working. Seems ironic since it has had that expensive gas to pump through it, nonetheless, it had to be towed from the luge, as we lovingly call our driveway, Monday night. Darn cars, always something when they get old. I guess kind of like us. Anyway we were glad this happened now instead of in Vermillion or Yankton last weekend or for that matter our up coming trek to the Cheesehead state.

So, Kris has been driving the Sidekick and I have been biking all week. Here is the DOWN SIDE. Abe our dog that goes to work with me in the afternoons has been home all week with Wrigley the parakeet. Abe has been giving me the BIG SAD eyes when I head out on my bike after lunch. So tomorrow I will be driving part of the day (afternoon) so Abey can be the afternoon office manager at work. He so loves his title! Someday I will get that bike trailer fixed up so he can ride to work in that on the cooler days.
(First pic Abe with sad eyes. Second pic Abe at work. He loves to sleep under my chair so this is a pretty normal spot for him, even when he was just a puppy he would curl up under my office chair. I do have him an a chain at work as not everyone likes dogs and he pretty much loves everyone!)

I got all my CEUs done for the first responders class...WHEW! Now all I have left is the CPR / AED class on Saturday! This will be a HUGE relief to have done!

Have a great evening! I am heading out to brave the wind that I will be biking directly into!

September 16, 2008

Commuting milestone for me.....

I hit a milestone today kind of. Well, it is for me at least. I know some of you out there either do not keep track of your miles or have LOTS of miles under your helmet already, so this is nothing compared to what you all do but I decided in May to keep track of my miles. I thought it would be fun to do and it would be a so called bar set for my riding next year. ...drum roll please...

With the commute today I went over 100 mile of commuting and errands done on my bike. This is a lot for me since last year I commuted by bike not once! My commute to work is only 3.54 miles round trip. The rest of the miles come from newsletter meetings at Michelle's and Monks, MS150 first spoke sign up at Spoke N sport, and breakfast at 334. I plan on doing more commuting by bike next year.

I do need to get some cool weather gear for this fall... any suggestions?

Back to commuting......

So, since it was so nice yesterday, I decided to bike back to work after lunch. The normal areas were a bit sore on the body after a ride but they will be fine. The only issue was my ankle was a bit sore. Some of you maybe know I have a terrible right ankle and it seems that biking has not really bothered it. It was strange pain yesterday. It was fine for a bit then a burning ache would set in. Not sure if it is just from the weekend ride, or riding my bike without my bike shoes. Last night I took some good meds before going to bed and this morning it was fine. So, today on the commute I wore my bike shoes just to make sure that it wasn't from biking with my regular shoes, but guess what?....yup, I forgot my regular shoes, so I am looking real sporty today with my bike shoes on! At least most of the office is carpet so I am not clicking around!

This will be a busy all of them have been lately! Lots of works stuff to do but I also have my continuing education to do for being a certified first responder. I have my CPR/ AED for professional rescuer all day Saturday at the Red Cross office. Hand over the $70.00 and take the is the only place I can get it done before my certification expires. I also have 12 hours of education to get in before the end of the month. I am able to do this online but it all takes time and of course I would rather be doing other things. I had intended on doing this Saturday but the CPR class came up so that takes priority at this point and the internet classes will be done in the evenings. There are a few of the C.E.R.T. (community emergency response team) group that took additional classes through Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and then took the NREMT (national registry of emergency medical technicians) test to become certified first responders. I really do not want to take those classes and test again so it is in my best interest to pay the money to take the classes and get it done, the end of the month! Procrastination, you just have to love it!

My co-worker is going to start coming back tomorrow after her lengthy illness. This will be nice but not sure how long she will be able to work and what she will be able to do at this point. We are backed up on a few things so we will see.

Vacation is right around the corner! YEAH! We can hardly wait. We are going to WI for a relaxing time. There are six of us making the trek to Kris's aunt and uncles log cabin. Lots of recharging will happen I hope! We are taking the bikes to ride around and see the different colors autumn has to offer! We are also going to tour the Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls which will also be a great time!

I need to look at cool weather cycling gear also at some point....soon!...

Get on your bike this week and treat yourself to the wonders that South Dakota (or insert your own state) has to offer in the fall! It is a great time of the year to bike!

September 14, 2008

Play and Marg ride

Friday we hit Yankton and the play, The Women. It is really a good comedy about women and their relationships. The all women cast was pretty good. Yes, this is the play that is out in movie form so now I want to see the movie! The bummer is that we were kind of rushed on Friday night and then the play didn't get over until almost 10:30pm. We had to hit the groc story for bananas and kiwi for the Margarita ride on Saturday. So once back at the Clubhouse we both crashed!

Saturday we were up early to get ready for the ride and drive to Vermillion. I fixed breakfast, scrambled eggs, brown rice, little butter and Parmesan cheese on top. We loaded up and headed out to rain / fog crap. We all decided we would rather have rain than wind. Arrived at Pros Bar in Vermillion the launching pad for the Marg ride a little after 7:30am for registration packets. Of course the usual Lane Hogs were there helping get things going. Not sure what time we rolled out for sure but it was after 8:00am. Some riders optioned to wait out the rain a bit before starting but we didn't. Our group consisted of three people, me, Kris, and Kono. I had the ipod speaker going playing tunes, by the way it worked great and we absolutely LOVE IT! I will have to post pictures of the contraption on the bike later. We took off from Vermillion and headed west, one down hill and then all flat to begin with. We were singing along to the tunes and going at a nice easy pace. I had told Kris that I would ride with her since this was her first EVER BIG ride so whatever pace she felt good at going is what we rode. Kono hung with us for the first five miles and then took off which was fine and in fact we told her our intentions and if she wanted to hang with us or go her own pace that was all fine. So we make it to Meckling after crossing the roughest railroad tracks ever! They were bad. A couple people crossed after us and pinch flatted. Anyway Ron was helping support our little group so she was there with Daniel and the dogs. We stopped and had a banana. YUP, I had a WHOLE banana there...UGH! If you read this blog you know I have such LOVE for bananas......

Anyway, we headed out again and made the water stop half way into the ride. We were greeted by Biking Brady honking Fordzilla or the great almighty Steve (whatever name wins the name the van pole), Mrs CDV and kids. We had not met Mrs CDV before so we had to chat about Disney! We took off again for the last half of the ride and of course the next half hour was spent talking Disney! Both of us were doing fine and singing to music as the miles clicked away. Couple more stops for us to refuel with Gu, Kiwi, and change the batteries in the speaker. We had the speaker volume pretty high the first half of the ride so we burned through 4 AA batteries in about 1 h 45m of ride time which with our stops I am guessing it was more like 2-2 1/4 hours. So not bad. As we turned the corner to head to HWY19 Kris could see the hill we had to climb to get back into Vermillion. I had told her about this hill before and I have walked up the hill in my youth as I was not able to bike up it. I told her to do what she could and if she needed to walk don't worry about it. You see this was her first ever 30 mile ride. The furthest she had ridden was 20 miles and since that time we really didn't have the time to get back out on the bikes to put in a lot more miles. Plus this was the first ride since she turned 50! Anyway I took the lead and headed up the hill. As I am almost to the top a rider passed me and it was Cycling Cathy, you go girl! I made it to the crest and pulled off to cheer another group of riders chugging up the hill. And to my surprise Kris was still pumping up the hill and not walking. She was getting tired but the hill was not going to beat her! She did a really great job! She was so sure she was going to have to walk up the hill and I really think she surprised herself! She later told me she just put her head down, kept pedaling and didn't look up the hill.

We got back to Pro's Bar and loaded up on the Mexican food. Both of use made taco salads and then had our margarita. Kris had a couple drinks out of hers before she spilled in on the table. No harm. We ended up drinking beer after that or I guess I had motor oil (Guinness) as they called it. We sat with some FAB members, Mr Mayor, Tammy and Jody, then they all took off for Sioux Falls. Then our table filled up with the biking bloggers. CDV, Biking Brady and Mrs Biking Brady, Hammer, Cycling Cathy, myself and Kris. What a great and fun group of people. Lots of bike chatting and laughing. We were invited over to CDVs house for a gathering of FAB, MS150, Lane Hog, riders. Unfortunately we could not stay long. We had to be back in Yankton to pick up Kris's moms TV stand she had finished down there. We did get one beer in, saw their Disney pics and family pics from their busy summer before we headed out. Of course we had to have some food to go with us on the road (Mrs CDV, I need the recipe for the tortilla wrap thingies!)

Once in Yankton the TV stand was picked up, we got back to the Clubhouse and cleaned the place up and tried to fix the toilet that had been running and singing to Ronnie and Kono when they got there Friday night (good thing we turn the water off to the place when we leave!) The toilet had different guts in it then I have seen before and also the shut off valve by the toilet had dripped some water so I decided that it would be good to call a plumber next week to have him replace the guts and valve. We are also in need of a new kitchen faucet so Kris suggested that since he was going to be there to fix those items to get a new faucet and have that installed also. Calls were made and all owner parties agreed. We packed up and headed to Sioux Falls. Our intentions were to hit the German fest but you might have guessed it....toooooo tired! We also stopped at two places to look for a new faucet. One of our friends is in Brandon taking care of her grand kids and she said she would take the faucet back to Yankton with her on Sunday for the plumber to install. No new faucet yet so have one more place to look this morning!

All in all it was a great weekend. Get this, Kris had a great time on the bike and started talking about riding this next year and maybe getting a different bike to ride. I think she might be hooked!

BIG THANKS to the Lane Hogs and all the Vermillion area bloggers to make this a fun event! You sure do meet some great people in the biking community!

September 12, 2008


Last night we started packing up for the trip to Bridge City tonight. We have plans/tickets to go to the play tonight, The Women, not sure if it is the one that is just coming out in movie form or not but it should be fun. We love community theater and of course seeing plays in the old Dakota Theater is a lot of fun.

Hard to pack for the weekend since we will be doing the Margarita ride tomorrow. The weather could be a bit cool in the AM but will warm up nicely in the upper 70s by noon-ish and guess what?...when I looked at the weather last night they are talking 3-6 mph winds....WoooHooo! Anyway we are doing shorts with two layers of shirts so if we get hot we can shed off a layer. This time of year is hard figuring out clothes but layering is good so that is where we will start.

This will be Kris's first ever 30 mile ride and will be her first bike ride since she turned 50! We plan to take it slow and enjoy the scenery and chat along the way. I also have to rig up my ipod to my ihome bike speaker. It is pretty cool. We will be rolling and jamming that is for sure!

I am thinking we are going to head back home Saturday night. I have lots of work to do so I plan on sleeping in Sunday and then heading to work for a good chunk of the day. Depending on how tired we are we might try and hit the German Fest in Sioux Falls Saturday night instead of staying for the Ribfest in Yankton. Nothing says recovery after a ride like beer and brats!
We will see...plans are still up in the air on that one!

Have a great weekend and maybe we will see you at the Margarita Ride!

September 11, 2008

Kris' b-day party!

I forgot to blog about Kris's 50th birthday party from Monday night....SORRY FOLKS.

The birthday girl, Kris! (she is actually talking to my sister when I took this picture as it was her birthday also!)
After Kris was humiliated at work by some funny pictures I copied for one of her co-workers (I was forced at gun-point to hand the pics over..haha) we hit Spezia's for supper with a bunch of friends. What a fun night. Lots of laughs, good food, good beverages and time spent with family and friends. Doesn't get much better than that!

L to R: Jackie, Pam, Luther, Joan, Rose

L to R: Christi (Gilly), Mary, Cheri (Traup), Nanci (Kono), Ronnie

L to R: Joan (Kris's mom) and Jackie

September 10, 2008

Nice night for riding.........

I got a few commuting miles (7.01 miles-not big like some of you but not bad for me) in yesterday. I did drive to work in the morning and home at noon then hopped on the bike for the after lunch commute to work. It sure was nice but a little breezy but that was mostly at my back. The commute home was a little more fun. It had clouded over and the wind was coming out of the south, of course the direction I was heading. It was a bit cool but might have been to warm with a jacket. Hit the home front and then decided to ride to the FAB newsletter meeting at Monk's. Let me just say that 8th street from Minn Ave to Phillips is not fun at 20 mph (Yes, it is downhill)! I am lucky to have fillings in my teeth after that! The meeting went well and we pretty much have things all ready so it is a matter of a few questions that need to be asked, information gathered and then getting it over to Bald_N_Surly to do they layout. These meetings are always fun and of course lots of just chatting about biking and whatever. We did notice a lot of bikers down town, riding past Monks with no helmets on!

I found it hard to figure out the right clothing for the little ride last night. I left the jeans on and put on a pullover and it worked ok. Might have been a bit warm on the way down there but it was just right on the way home. It was a nice night for a bike ride. I had a couple girls laughing at me as I pulled up behind their car and I had my blinky headlight on. They were in the backseat, turned around a few and laughed. Not sure it was at me or if they thought the blinky light was pulling them over. Pretty funny. I ignored them so no harm done. I did meet another biker on the road at 9th and Prairie. That was cool and we both said hello to each other with out headlights blinking at each other.

All in all a good night to get out, ride and chat about biking!

September 9, 2008

Bike Dispensers

What if you could get a bike from a dispenser to ride, would you do it? Read about them here.

September 8, 2008

Astana's newest member?

Lance and Johan back together? That is what is being reported by Velonews. Lance Armstrong will be back racing for the 2009 season. Armstrong has told US Anti-Doping Agency's to re-enroll himself in the testing pool.

Ok, not sure how I feel about this. On one had it will be great for the sport. If he does well, it will bring more money back into the sport, I would guess. On the other hand, I am one that believes that once you retire you should stay retired. I know people have a change of heart and that is their right but it seems some athletes come back and end up quitting because of whatever reason or make a fool of themselves. Do I think that Lance will quit or fall on his face, hell no. He, I am sure has thought thinks through enough to know what needs to be done to win. He is a very driven guy and once he sets his mind to whatever the goal is there really is no stopping my opinion!...but you never know....

So, will Floyd Landis ride in the TDF 2009 knowing all this? His suspension is up the end of January 2009......could be interesting cycling season next year!......One thing is for sure, I am fired up about it and ready for the TDF to start! 10 mths....UGH

September 7, 2008

Baseball, bikes and Christmas music

It was a good weekend.

Friday evening started off with the Canaries game and what a game it was! 12 innings and WE WON! It was the first EVER win of the American Association Championship! After the game we even got on the field with the plays and Mackie and I walked around the bases. Amazing how coushie the infield was! It was really cool to feel the energy on the field with all the players.

Saturday was kind of wild. Went out to breakfast with Kris, her mom and couple friends. Then I went off in search of a new seat post for one of Kris's birthday presents. I finally found one but got sidetracked looking at all the fun cool weather clothes the shops are getting in. Might have to purchase a few things so I can ride longer into the fall. I got Kris's bike all fixed up with the new seat post, the new rear rack and the new trunk. It is looking pretty nice. I also adjusted her front shocks to make it more of a stiffer ride and easier to pedal.

Sunday morning we decided to ride out bikes down to Cafe 334 for breakfast. Breakfast was great and the ride was a bit brisk but it sure felt good. We made it home just fine and since Kris was not happy with me being encouraging on her first 20 mile ride I decided that I would change things up so when she pulled in the driveway I walked up to her and said, "Boy, your bike skills SUCK!" She looked at me and couldn't believe I had just said that but then I said, "You know you get crabby with me that last time I said encouraging words!", we laughed and I did say it looked like the hills went better and of course she agreed an thinks the changes on he bike were the right things to do!

Tonight, Mackie and Gilly invited us over for a pre-birthday supper for Kris. We could not decide on dinner music and then next thing you know we are singing Christmas carols! It was fun. I guess it must be getting close to the season retail wise as Sam's is getting Christmas decorations in already!

It was a fun weekend even though no big rides were taken. Oh, ya, the Old Fisher is working great. Those boys at Harlen's do great work!

So tomorrow is Monday and it is my sisters 51st birthday and Kris's 50th birthday! Congrats girls and I hope you have a fun and special day!

September 4, 2008

The bike is ready and plans are being made.....

Here it is ALMOST FRIDAY! I hate short weeks as they do not seem short at all.

Tonight was fun, we met with friends to plan our Wisconsin trip we are taking in a few weeks. We went to Stubbies, a smoke free bar, which was nice. We of course had to taste the beer to make sure it was fresh and of course not just one glass can taste the freshness of the beer. We have our trip pretty well planned with RELAXING, golf and bike riding. Should be FUN. We are actually going to celebrate Kris's 50th birthday a few weeks late in Wisconsin. You see she turns 50 on September 8th, the same day my sister turns 51, but we are all so busy with work stuff we put off the celebration for a few weeks! We are hitting Spezia's for supper on the 8th with 14 other friends for a evening of fun. I think we even have some people from Yankton that are road tripping up to partake in the event.

Tomorrow night we are going to the Canaries game. I have not been to the minor league ball game since last year when we went with Kris's mom for Lutheran night at the game. We each had to bring a hot dish to pass and there was a free will offering...just kidding.. This year the Birds are contenders for the league championship! We have front row tickets for the game so that will be great.

Harlan's called and my bike is done....YEAH! The only bad thing is that not only the big chain ring was bad but so was the middle chain ring so $244.40 will be the total bill for that fun Saturday morning ride (see previous post)! Oh well, I need to look ahead. The bike is in good shape and will last a lot more years with these new parts!...I HOPE! It will be all ready for the 30 mile margarita ride on the 13th. I have also ordered a speaker (you can get them for a lot less on hook up the new ipod to. It actually comes with a bracket that hooks it up to the waterbottle cage but I think I will be rigging something up in another spot so I can still use that cage area for energy drinks. I hope it works ok. I have a fun mix of 70s thru 90s music to play for the ride.

This weekend I plan on taking the bike out for a little ride around to make sure it feels ok but the rest of the time will be spent working and also working on continuing ed for first responders class.

Everyone have a fun and safe weekend!