Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's amazing how quickly this meme has traveled. Fatty whelped it a mere week ago and already it's made its way to the East Coast, Seattle and Alaska, and now it's hovering somewhere over the midwest. He'd grown tired of the tagging games that ask non-relevant questions of bicycle bloggers, so he started his own bicycle-related meme.

This one is ever so much more relevant to my life.

But, if BSNY sees fit to answer it, then I suppose I'll take to the keyboard as well, pushed to the overhang by Tim by the way Tim, which child DO you love the most?? , Snakebite and Vito.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
It would be the one bicycle that gets me there -- wherever THERE may be -- with a few good friends and a few good beers and a few good burgers afterward.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

Given my criteria above, I guess I've got about a dozen of them. But a cyclist's existence revolves around the constant perusal of materials and geometries and frame techniques. The dream changes as all these aspects change.

So, basically I'm working toward my dream bike in the same vein as is my friend who is into everything automobile but who drives a used Caravan because it's cheap and hauls a lot...not that I'm cheap...but I can haul....I look at quite a bit of bling, but am pretty content with what I've got.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
All this woods-and-knobbies hoo-ha is a barrel of fun, but after growing up on the prairie looking across the expanse imagining everything that's out there and beyond, I've got to be able to see off into the distance. Trees are beautiful and all, but they're so in your face. My favorite route would be on the road.

Believe it or not, I might choose my commute -- it's got trails, busy streets, quiet roads, hills, a funky coffee shop, Frosties, shopping, misty morning lakes, and even a vista overlooking a park-reserve. AND, home is at the other end.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride for the rest of her / his life?
Yeah well, not everyone gets it.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I ride both, and which I prefer depends upon where THERE is (see #1).

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
Yup. Parking lot test ride. As long as there's garage space there will be room for one...when my back goes or when I lose my sense of balance: a recumbent trike!

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Hmmm, which would be more fun...can't floss....

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
No decision there -- ice cream goes. Cholesterol, sugar, carbs, fat, chocolaty goodness, a cool bit of heaven on a hot riding day, stirred up with a bit of malt powder...bleck, hate the stuff.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
Why is TOB such a babe? Born that way. Can't help it.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
Considering the bear is far enough away to be a dot on the horizon, and the mile-wide river between us provides no hope of crossing, I think to myself you know, it's too bad I'll never get to see one of those things close up and I turn for home.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.
Brother Yam
Fat Lad - who owes me

- OB so I cheated on the numbers a bit....

Friday, July 25, 2008


These days, we're like June...bustin' out all over.

We got skis: skate skis, cross country skis, crud skis, downhill skis, ski poles, ski waxing bench, ski wax. We've got yer bicycles: road rides, track bikes, vintage bikes, travel bikes, mountain bikes, commuter rigs, bike stand, bicycle tools, bicycle wheels, bike grease, leftover bicycle parts....

When yer overseeing herds of these things, they overtake the place. Certain things you got to do keep them happy and content. Each one needs a stall of its own. Space for exercise. Spots to spread out. A place to git fixed when fixin' is needed.

We looked for a new homestead, we did. But damn. One that's close to the city with a good-sized barn was just tough to find. And what're people thinkin' finishing-off their basements FER CRIS'SAKE? Do they scrape their ski wax right off into the berber? Drip lube right onto the maple flooring? Spray the winter muck off the drivetrain right into the marble bathtub?

That's just sellin' yer saddle, if you ask me.

Priorities, pardner. Keep 'em straight.

- O durned right B

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cantwell, AK

Signs of the Times?

- ob

Saturday, July 19, 2008

89 S. 10th, Mpls

Go to Hell

...and if you do go, get whatever the day's special is...or opt for the Mahnomin Porridge, Rosti Potatoes and Toasted Sausage Bread.
Share the bread.
The rest is all yours.
You won't need any more.

- The Old I like it when the day starts with the right attitude Bag

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Step-Dog

brown eyes
intent on me
ears droop
when I leave the house
without him

nobody around
but the cats
he'd herd them
but the one spits
and the other can't see him

in the meantime
he listens for the garage door
always patient
in his impatience
when you throw it I'll go get it

- tob because I'm the step-mom

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Snot Rocket, Epilogue

Just When you Think...
PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

I'd been fighting a cold for a couple weeks, but was finally feeling normal again and was back on the commuting trail -- off to a day of training on a chilly May morning. It felt great to be riding.

The familiar exercise-induced nasal drain began and I didn't think much of having at-it. I hawked one out of the left nostril. It sailed off onto the limestone trail. Didn't think twice about the right one.

But I should've.
Thought twice, that is.

As I began the exhalation through my right nostril, the rumble came from the interior. Given that I’m not as proficient with this side, I was a bit concerned, but once things started to dislodge it wasn't like I could stop. I took in another quick breath and blew again.

It blorped its way outta my sinus into the nasal passage. Damn, I thought this cold was overwith!

Quick breath. Blow!

It bubbled toward the right nostril opening...








After all these years, I know what I expect to see after blowing a snot rocket. It's that quick flash in my peripheral vision that assures me I haven't sailed one off to a place it ought not go. And I didn't see this one.

Often a bad flier ends up staying right on the nose. Quick wipe of my nose with my gloved hand. The glove came up clean.

I looked at my leg. It was clean.

Did it land on my bicep? Nope, clean.

Tricep, forearm, wrist, hand? Clean.

Armpit? Waist? Jacket front? Clean!

Back of my calf?!

Shoulder? Foot? Top tube? Hip?




Where the hell did it go, these things don't just disappear!

Oh God, please let there not be anyone behind me...

It had to be somewhere. It came out big and bad and I knew it hadn't found its way to the ground. I stopped and put both feet down. I felt around my neck and headband. I looked behind me. I was NOT about to walk into a building of strangers with something dangling from somewhere, even if the plan was to head straight to the restroom.

At this point I needed all my tactile facilities -- I took off my gloves and went to unbuckle my helmet....

...found it....

I peeled it from under my chin like goopy rubber cement. Yep, the volume looks about right. I slapped it off onto the grass next to the trail where it belonged.

- T sometimes O it's just not B glamorous

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This Is


for Chris

who saw

and said this

- The not so Old Bag and don't be forgettin' it

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Need a Vacation

from my vacation
Hatcher Pass
Willow, AK side

9:00 AM


It’s a beautiful place, and I haven’t experienced enough of it yet. I hate to be home already, yet I need to refuel. I’ve never been so exhausted while on vacation.

It’s surreal, the daylight in Alaska. Everyone said to manage time there not by visual clues but by the clock. Eat at supper time, not when dusk hits. Get up at 6:00, not at sunrise. Go to bed by the clock, not by the dark.

Because dark doesn’t happen this time of year in Alaska.

I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I even wore a watch for the first time in years so I could more easily keep myself on track. Didn't work. The Logic of the Clock was lost on me.

Sunrise is around 3:45 AM.

5 PM in Alaska is mid-afternoon coffee and dessert time, according to my eyes and brain.

9 PM AK looks like 5:00. 5:00 = early supper, to me.

The picture to the right? MIDNIGHT, for God's sake!

Between the constant daylight and my body still fighting Central Daylight Time I was a zombie after two weeks...and if you've never been a zombie movie fan, they don't have especially good verbal or navigation skills. Putting together a string of thoughts was especially tough. Walking in a relatively straight line, not as difficult. Turning corners? Laborious.

We got off the plane back in Minneapolis last Saturday night at 9:30. By the time we were dropped off at the house, the street was dark and porch lights had popped-on.

I'm home.

- OB

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Snot Rocket, Part 3

Consistency and Origins

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about desirable snot rocket consistency and origins. Velocity may be one key to the successful snot rocket, however increasing mucus thickness makes for higher degrees of difficulty. And there are certain mucus characteristics that velocity can’t overcome, that one just doesn’t mess with.

Every cyclist's MUCUS NEMESIS? the head cold type...the stringy, tapioca pudding-like rumbling that births itself in the deepest caverns of the sinuses and insists upon coming out in one long connected mass.

One just doesn't have the luxury of using valuable oxygen to wrestle out a glob of goo that insists on remaining attached to itself...not to mention living through the odd stares of and possible hazards to those nearby if things go awry.

We may ride when we're sick, but everyone knows to leave the deep ones alone.

- TOB ...but sometimes they sneak up on ya....

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Snot Rocket, Part 2



As the years have passed, the snot rocket has become as common a part of my cycling repertoire as the warm-up. I can’t do without it. My nose runs when I exercise...that watery, wispy type of nose-run which matches up with everything else that just plain loosens and flows during exertion: muscles, joints, blood, tears, mucus.

So, how’s it done? Everyone has their opinion and style. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find this advice from Steve over at Steve in a Speedo (personally, my CORRECT and INCORRECT versions are just the opposite of his).

Twin City Track Club has got a great how-to diagram.

Every athlete has his or her opinion as to what makes an efficient snot rocket, however two variables are key: aim and velocity.

Myself? I blow to the left side, regardless of nostril. While keeping my left hand on the brake hood and left elbow close to the body, right hand pinches right nostril, head turned slightly to the side, exhale sharply out of left nostril positioned over left bicep. Works like a charm. I watch it sail off to the pavement. And, if there are problems, my arm takes the hit which I can subsequently see and deal with.

Right nostril? Like I said, I blow to the left regardless of nostril. So, the left hand pinches left nostril, left elbow wings out to the side, exhale sharply out of right nostril positioned over left side of body. This position opens up my whole body to the possibility of taking the hit if I mis-aim. Also, my head is in a slightly different position due to the necessity of blowing the flier underneath my arm: nose pointing more directly down to the pavement, causing more of a bend in my throat, effectively slowing down the air velocity.

If I ever have problems, that's the side.

- OB now that I think about it, left-nostril-over-left-side and right-nostril-over-right-side makes more sense

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Thanks Tim!

There’s nothing like a gracious bikin' host.

During our visit to the Anchorage area, Tim made sure we saw some great mountain biking. He did a ton of footwork rounding-up two days' worth of bikes for us and even brought out friends and beer.

Eklutna Lake trails -- July 2nd

Eklutna Lake trails around 10:00 pm

What more could a girl ask for than a bike that matches her outfit...
(photo: Mark)

...except for a cool one after the ride?
(photo: Mark...he's always about the beer)

Lake at the top of Powerline -- July 4th

Tim on Powerline

Wheel at Powerline

We coulda brought skis?! these two said the skiing was good....

Looking down at Anchorage (an awesome descent!)

I supervised the clean-up

-OB and for a few Alaskan Ambers he may do the same for you!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Always Pack the Glass Slippers

bring the shoes and pedals, even if you figure your hiking boots will be just fine for a couple of rides....

because Cinderella
would frown upon

wearing these clodhoppers

with this gown

to THIS ball

- OB well hell, now if it were a hoedown....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The Great One

I'm on my second week in Alaska...haven't had a minute of down time, and with nearly 24 hours of daylight I'm running ragged.

Happily ragged.

OB bikin' later