Sunday, December 23, 2012

Recuperation 3

Post Concussion Day #51. Popped-in to work for 3-4 unofficial hours. Hauled boxes of books around until the little old woman inside my brain took her cane to the side of my head: WHADAYA DOIN HERE, EH?!?

Post concussion Day #52. Stamina and abstract organization (i.e. getting someplace on time with what I need, dressed, breakfasted and prepared) seem to be the next hurdles.

Post Concussion Day #55... good God, it's day #55. Was at work last night as our book fair brought in $6000 over three hours. Woke up tired this AM, but not wiped-out. Progress!

Post Concussion Day #58. Spaghetti supper with a crowd at friends’ home tonight. Sound hasn’t bothered me for awhile now, but it did tonight. On the way home, stoplights were spears through my eyeballs.

Post Concussion Day #57. I tend to push my bed times because I somehow think I’m going to cheat the day and gain a couple more hours if I stay up late. Today, the whirlies were back but I'm choosing to look at it logically and rationally with a calm mind and peaceful @#!$! thoughts laced with bunnies and kitties and vampire bats and a few rabid dogs because THIS IS #@!$*^! IRRITATING!

Post concussion Day #58. Feeling better today. Good thing I'm not prone to irritation or anything. Three unofficial hours at work last eve. Headache today.

Post Concussion Day #59. You HAVE TO do yoga! along with a long-winded explanation of how great it is for whatever ails me is just not what I need to hear when I mention to you that stamina and abstract organization are my next hurdles. My dealing with memory struggles and fatigue is not your “just like the time I ____” unless your blank is filled-in with the words HAD A CONCUSSION.

Post Concussion Day #60. I'm feeling similar to that of being three days beyond the ralphing part of the stomach flu...OK, but not 100%. Tight neck and shoulder muscles cause headaches. A heating bean and contoured pillow are my best friends. Wide awake at 4:30 AM for two days in a row. WTF?!?

Post Concussion Day #62. Up until midnight making Spring Break plans. Whoopie!

Post Concussion Day #64. Wiped out. I’m going on two nights of not-enough sleep. Sleep patterns have been bizzarre: nights of 10 hours, then a night of five.

Post Concussion Days #65-69. This is the first entire week that I've felt back to normal at home...been running errands like a madwoman, digging through thrift store piles, started an old-bicycle project.

Post Concussion Day #70. Curt letter from HR on Friday afternoon has kept me awake for the past two nights...finally able to sleep after figuring-out it resulted from the neurologist filling-out out the Return to Work form incorrectly and HR communicating it to me in their imbicilic manner. This is not what I need right now.

Post Concussion Day #71-74. Three half-days at work this week...headaches after 4 hours. Not migranes. Man, little goobers take a lot of eyes and ears...and I DO this for a living?!?

Post Concussion Day #75. My first whole Surly Furious since September!

Post Concussion Day #...let's see, it happened 9/23, so today is number ...I found a winter beater bike on CraigsList...working half-days...overhauled the front hub...Day#78???...damn, the pet hair around this place...IT'S COLD OUT....

Is there such a thing as Adult-Onset ADD?

Post-Concussion Day #80. Today's watershed moment: I got to a meeting almost on time with almost everything I was supposed to have along! Back to work half-days.

Post Concussion Days #85-90. Back to work for about 6 hours daily. Finally seeing progress dealing with complex thought processes and interruptions. Fewer headaches. Still some sensitivity to loud sounds. Feeling around 85-90% of normal...whatever that is!

- OB

Friday, December 07, 2012

Recuperating 2

Post Concussion Day #32. Cleaning up around the house takes just too much walking back and forth. Yardwork = getting up and down. Makes me dizzy!

Post Concussion Day #33. Went in to work for a couple of hours, unofficially (if HR asks, I was home watching the grass turn brown), to deal with some organizational tasks. I still can’t filter auditorally or visually – everything has the same significance and it takes a ton of concentration to focus. Many coworkers glad to see me – heartwarming. Left with a headache and tight neck and shoulder muscles.

Post Concussion Day #34. Spent the day sleeping and reading USADA documents...maybe the need for a nap wasn’t due to the concussion....

Post Concussion Day #35. Breakfast at Barbette. Lots of yardwork. Exhausted.

Post Concussion Day #36. Mark says I can consider going back to work as soon as I consider making a sandwich to be “making a sandwich” and not “multitasking”. Sticking to a sequence is surprisingly challenging! My Experiences with (hopefully) Temporary ADD

Post Concussion Day #37. Spent the afternoon finally able to start through my desk piles for the first time in 5+ weeks: misc. stickie notes, financial stuff, papers, bills, filing, clutter....

Post Concussion Day #38. Coffee with a friend with a short ride afterward. Riding straight ahead on a bicycle = fine. Changing directions while walking around a school library = queazy. No balance issues. I feel at home on the bike.

Post Concussion Day #39. Sunny day! Felt pretty darned OK. Answered work email. Writing anything takes me twice as long as usual. I haven't been writing writing yet...I miss it, but I can't really stomach it right now.

Post Concussion Day #40. TODAY, impatience set in. Tues. and Wed. I felt relatively OK except for some fatigue. Still spent the majority of each day on my arse. Today I woke up with the whirlies and they stuck around for the day. Criminy. Yes, everything is moving forward...bla, bla, bla....

Post Concussion Day #41. Biked downtown to meet Mark for lunch. Meeting coworkers and lots of skyway walking was exhausting. I definitely felt “flat.”

Post Concussion Day #42. Sitaround Saturday. Met up with friends for supper -- I'm not an extrovert, but I sure enjoy getting out and being around people.

Post-Concussion Day #43. Posted four sets of cycling shoes on CraigsList and needed a nap...there’s all the pictures, the taking, the uploading, the descriptions.... A dull headache seems to be the pattern after a few hours of concentration.

Post Concussion Day #44. Friends who have gone through similar say this is when it gets tough: feeling better enough to have some relatively normal days, but not consistently enough to depend on feeling well every day. It’s easy to do too much and then I pay for it.

Post Concussion Day #46. I’m finding that I'm better able to concentrate without exhaustion, multitask (multitasking is two things, like cooking while doing laundry), work through a list, filter out a lot of extraneous visual and auditory stimuli, drive freeways without fatigue. I’ve felt “relatively OK” for three days! “Relatively OK" = fatigue and maybe a slight headache, but not feeling wiped out. Progress!

Post Concussion Day #47. All my past experiences (illness, injuries) tell me how healing "should" progress, but Progression doesn't seem interested in my preconceived assumptions. Writing, wording, organizing, filtering noise, multitasking...all are still tiring, but not exhausting anymore. I met up with WD for his bicycle commute home through Lowry Hill. It felt great to be out, but really? Hills??

Post Concussion Day #48. Woke up tired and headachy with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth...which, you know, isn't so far-off given I'm clawing out of a pit with regards to my fitness level.

11/10 weeks. You know how you feel coming off the stomach flu? Feeling better, attitude better, but still fatigued and droopy? That's about where I'm at. I'm getting used to a new ebb and flow. It seems that each week adds a day that I wake up feeling relatively OK--three so far this week--but I'll then deal with whirlies and fatigue for a few days. I haven't been too impatient yet...tough to be ancy when I'm feeling queazy.

-The Old better by fits and starts  Bag

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Post Concussion Day #2. Drove to work. Nauseous. Went home.

Post Concussion Day #3. Oozy road rash and oozy ointment was making my cheek a sticky gross mess. Washed it all off and slapped on a sheet of Tegaderm. Went for a walk on a breezy morning today and returned with no leaves, hair or small dogs attached to my face.

Post Concussion Day #4. Work for a half-day. The face surely gets students’ attention (whoa! harsh penalties for late books!). 6th graders said I look gnarly. I find work to be challenging to my thought processes: the constant interruptions take quite a bit of mental effort.

Post Concussion Day #5. I napped for 4.5 hours today--rest keeps the queasiness at bay. I overdid it yesterday. Crushing fatigue.

Post Concussion Day #6. Facebook is about the only thing I can concentrate on these days...then I nap. I’ve heard from three friends who’ve had similar experiencs. Looks like this will take a couple months.

Post Concussion Day #7. Easy paddle around Christmas Lake.

Post Concussion Day #8. Mark and I went back to the scene this morning armed with Garmins, texts, and a phone screenshot from last weekend. The accident site was pretty benign--fat, curving, tree roots, well-placed 3" tree--means I was complacent. I'd feel better if it was something gnarly.

Post Concussion Day #9. Went to work for the morning because I thought I should. It took me about 2 hours to write a coherent email to staff. Vertigo. Napped.

Post Concussion Day #10. Freeway driving exhausts me—do you have any idea how much multitasking is involved?

Post Concussion Day #11. Dr: Stay home through October 12th. I was amazed at how much stress that relieved.

Post Concussion Day #12. I'm finding my brain to be overly sensitive to things I didn't previously think much about: vitamins, caffeine, noises, carbs, sugar, music, rambling conversations....

Post-Concussion Day #13. Hmmm....what should I do today? Maybe I'll try SITTING AROUND since I HAVEN'T DONE ANY OF THAT LATELY.

Post Concussion Day #14. Today I'm going to shake things up and nap in the easy chair first, THEN the guest bed.

Post Concussion Day #15. Today’s watershed moment: grabbed a pencil to write down something and my fingers felt like fingers, instead of like stumps. I tolerated Pandora for an hour or two. Greg Brown radio=perfect. James Galway radio=drill in the side of my head...and I’m a flute player. Wilted during a quick errand run to grocery store and hardware.

Post Concussion Day #16. Vacuumed, groceries, made soup, and had conversation with a friend over lunch. Then a 2-hour nap after it all.

Post Concussion Day #18. I'm actually thinking it would be nice to get out for a walk....haven't DONE it yet, though. Headlights at night pierce my brain.

Post concussion Day #19. Last-minute appointment at neurologist. Clinic surrounded by road construction. Between the driving and the construction, my blood pressure was sky high, my legs ready to give out. Neurologist: Stay home until December 11. Me: DECEMBER 11?!? Options to go back early.

Post Concussion Day #20. On the way to WI, I show Mark the 2 Instagram pics I took of the Drive In..."hm, nice" he says, to which I respond "won't it be nice when you have a partner who can make intelligent conversation again, instead of 'look at the pretty thing I just made'?" to which HE responds, "at least you've stopped drooling!" Making it through the packing list: egads.

Post Concussion Day #21. Rainy morning breakfast after an evening of pizza and belly laughs with a crowd of friends...bit of a headache this AM, but it's all good medicine. Riding in car=fine.

Post concussion Day #24. It was a big, wonderful annual weekend away with friends. Lots of chatter. I was surprisingly OK not going mountain biking (drizzly weather). Pooped!

Post Concussion Day #23. Worn out. Slept late. Napped. Jammies all day.

Post Concussion Day #25. Lazy midday paddle with friends on Lake Minnetonka. Hmmm...retirement? I continue to be challenged by working my way through a list.

Post Concussion Day #25. Whoa! First day I've felt motivated to get outta my jammies by 8:00! Coffee with a friend, 1.43 mile walk with the dog, made granola, shuffled office piles.

Post Concussion Day #26. Went to work for a few hours in the quiet today (school isn't in session). Too much chatting, didn't get much done. Pooped at noon, left around 3:00. Too long. Supper out with friends, lots of talking. My head is tired.

Post Concussion Day #27. I was able to think ahead enough to have laundry going while I was making breakfast then vacuuming--this is new! Packing myself, some food and the dog for the weekend went a TON more quickly than last weekend.

Post Concussion Day #28. I continue to be challenged visually (clutter breaks my concentration) and auditorily (vacuum=fine; overheard phone conversation at grocery store=SHUT UP YOU)

Post Concussion Day #29. Back home after a weekend with family. Beautiful weekend and day.

Post Concussion Day #30. Did some work from home that seemed to take forever. I have energy for concentrating until about noon. Things still take me about twice as long. Hopped on the bicycle for about 4 miles...felt at home.

Non-Epilogue. Healing is micro-incremental, but is steady. I continue to be amazed with what our brains typically filter for us, and with what multitasking REALLY is (driving, grocery store). I'm not ancy yet at being away from work--my work involves some pretty intense multitasking and I'm clearly not ready (if it didn't involve a zillion 8-year-olds, I'd be fine!). My reading and my physical activity are gradually increasing. The brain's control of endurance is surprising--after the accident I was immediately exhausted, and I continue to have little energy. Any mood swings seem to involve easy irritation, but no depression. It all amazes and fascinates me.

-The better Old each Bag day

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


The helmet mystifies me.

Granted, the chunk of missing plastic came from the spot in the helmet where the visor clips in, however there are scratches and gouges going in three different directions, two significant. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a fairly high-speed crash on some technical section, but there was nothing high-speed about my day. My other injuries, besides slight road rash on my left cheek, include a raspberry on my left shoulder and another on my right cuts, bruises, broken anything or road rash.

The jersey and knickers are intact. Shoes, gloves, elbows don't even show scuff marks. The front wheel is slightly out of true.

September had been a hellaciously busy month at work, and I hadn't been riding much. I wasn't feeling any need to push my pace or take features more complicated than a rock or two. The guys were off hammering, I was pulling up the rear and we'd regroup periodically. The trail was like cement due to a lack of rain, and was covered with a fine dust that rode a little greasy...earlier, I'd thought I'd let some air out at the next stop.

On the second lap I was happily wheeling along, and then I was standing there, looking at the trees and the trail: Whoa! I'm in the woods.

About the time Mark (WD) and crew were beginning to wonder about me, a rider came through and told them I'd spilled, that he'd helped me and hung around for a bit, that I was a little banged up but would be along. Mark texted me and started salmoning his way back down the trail.

I have no memory of the rider who helped me, no memory of the spill. I don't know if I had a loss of consciousness or if I functioned with amnesia. My awareness returned while standing in a spot that, according to my Garmin, was not where I spilled. I don't remember getting up and walking with my bike. About 10-15 minutes are lost. About 40 minutes are cloudy.

The Garmin implicated a curvy piece of trail that angled ever so slightly downhill. It wasn't anything gnarly (we initially thought it happened at a technical hairpin nearby), and according to the GPS I was going 6.5 mph. Given my vaporous recollections, the best I can put together is that I grabbed for my Camelbak bite valve, leaving me with a relaxed one-handed grip on the bars. As the trail curved right, there were exposed roots. I must have bobbled enough to be tossed forward and left. My helmet and face met a 4" tree on the left side of the trail before hitting the ground.

A beautiful kick-back day, greasy conditions, one-handed, roots, tree...the perfect storm.

- The Old forensics Bag

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Sunday 9/23

Monday 9/24

Tuesday 9/25
Blessed Tegaderm

Wednesday 9/26
Half-Day of Work (and a 7-mile easy trail ride)

Friday 9/27
Second of Two Days Spent Napping 
Wed's Half-Day at Work (and 7-mile easy trail ride)

Saturday 9/29

Sunday 9/30
Attitude is Good!

Sunday 10/7
Two Weeks Later

Now I'm concentrating on healing the INSIDE of the head.

-The recuperating Old Bag

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I looked to my right and narrowed my eyes.
...trees...trail...bright sunny day....
A studied look to my left brought the same conclusions. My right hand was on the saddle, left hand held the bars.
I’m out mountain biking.
I looked right again and squinted.
I’m mountain biking at Wirth Park.......No....this is...I’m at Murphy--I’m riding Murphy.

I’m at Murphy by myself?
It rolled around in my mind. Slowly the morning’s parking lot gathering coalesced in the fog of my thoughts. Snapshots of faces and clothing, bike pumps and helmets.
Wade’s in town. We’re all mountain biking.
My phone chimed as a text came through. I pulled it out of my jersey pocket and unlocked the screen. There was comfort in the act. I knew what to do.
WD: Heard you were down; waiting at the steps for you :-(
Me: Nit quite sure where I am 
They’re waiting for me. They’re at the steps. We always regroup at the steps when we ride Murphy. They’re probably wondering where I am. I think I’m at Murphy. There’s a group of us....
...I don’t know how to get to the steps....
I looked down the trail right, then left.
WD: Are you disoriented or just not certain where you are?
Me: Its coming at Murphy...remember talking to some guy? obviously I wiped out 
There was hazy wisp in my mind: Yup I’m fine along with someone’s presence. I moved off of the trail and faced the woods—a rider was bound to come by eventually and I wanted some privacy in my bewilderment.
Did I talk to someone? I don't know where the steps are.
WD: Yes, he came by and said he waited with you, but you seemed ok.
Me: vague recollection of talking to him. Think I was out for a minute there
WD: that’s not good at all! Are you moving along the trail or are you just hanging out somewhere?
I don't know how to get to the steps.
Me: Can you come back? I’m standing here
WD: Yes. Go to your map app. And snap the screen and send it to me so I know where you are.
He’ll come to me. I don’t have to find the steps.
I heard a rider coming down the singletrack from my right. I watched him out of the corner of my eye and turned to see his back after he crossed behind me.
The trail goes from right to left. I know which way to go!
Me: Someone just rode by—I’ll start walking that direction. will snap map screen and send
I know which way to go to get to the steps!
 As I fumbled with the screen shot, two riders stopped next to me. I think I was out for a bit, I said. I’m meeting friends. I touched my face then looked at my fingers. There was dirt and blood.

They told me the steps were quite a ways, and they walked with me for a bit. One pointed to a horse trail that led to the gravel road which would take me to the trailhead—I liked the idea of heading back to the car. I called WD.
I’m heading back to the parking lot. Two guys just showed me a trail that leads to the gravel road. 
The directions were simple. I repeated them before thanking the riders, and they left. I turned to cut through the woods where I could see the horse trail.
Which way do I go?
I looked down the singletrack, but theriders were gone. I started through the woods.
I’ll figure out something when I get there.
Once on the horse trail I could see the gravel road. From the road I could see the trailhead just on the rise. I could see it. I threw my leg over the bike.
I’m at Murphy. There are six of us. It’s Sunday.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspiration 100

This time I was the supportive spouse....

Saturday, May 26, 2012


choosing to climb 8000 feet
over 100 miles
on loose gravel
into 31 mph winds
and 93 degree heat
was tough
but when the urge came to
start cussing
and damning
I didn’t
because the only one chasing me
was myself

- TOB dnf with wd

Sunday, March 04, 2012


I got Betty back in the early 2000s and loved the ride...until a couple summers ago when I quit loving the ride.

I made changes to the stem and to the seatpost to make it a bit more comfortable for a bit more time, then I dropped my name into an 18-24 month queue for a custom road rig. I’ve never been interested in the carbon bike that everyone has, and the steel ride I wanted just wasn’t found on the LBS floor.

Until one day it was.

In my size. Fillet brazed 853. Gloss black with white panels.

And I took it out for a long ride, just because I was curious.

It was lively.

And for the next ten months the ride picked small battles with the custom-lugged-953 in my head. My LBS buddies would comment on the bicycle when I’d stop in, and I’d leave saying I like it. The ride is what I’m looking for...

...but for just a few more $$ I’d eventually have my dream bike, whatever that was. It had been clear when I’d signed-up, but the edges were getting hazy.

And then there was a deal.

And the deal and the ride and the stolen LHT and the upcoming gravel grinder and the fact that I really do fit a standard off-the-shelf bicycle just fine so-why-would-I-spend-a-ton-of-$$-on-custom all added up to a logical conclusion.

And it turns-out the things I questioned about the bike ten months ago are the very things that make me love it: long-reach brake calipers and brazons for a rack mean it’s a ride for a variety of purposes, seasons and conditions.

One ride for everything. Old-school.

-TOB turns-out Old School is hip

Saturday, February 11, 2012


It’s been about a week since the LHT was pinched and I’m getting past it.

It’s not in the same league as a family member having health issues. It’s not the same as losing a significant other. No one has cancer, has lost a job or is foreclosing on a home.

The frame was purchased due to a contract provision at work. In exchange for taking a couple years' pay freeze, we all received a sick day’s worth of pay to purchase fitness equipment. I built up the Trucker using parts from boxes and from an old cracked frame. I didn’t have much out-of-pocket money into it.

And, can I be honest about my attachment to it?

I'm not sure I liked the ride.

Can I say that without the converted taking it as heresy?

A girlfriend asked me about the ride last summer. She said she’d commuted on one for a bit; insisted upon getting the bike even though her husband thought she’d be better off on something less hefty. She’s a wee thing and it turned-out pushing a heavy bicycle made commuting to work feel like work. So she sold it. I was wrestling with the same dilemma.

It doesn’t have the get-up-and-go that I like, I told her, but I guess that’s not what I’m looking for in a commuter. I’m tired of carrying my stuff on my back. After loading down a ‘cross bike, the LHT can handle groceries and it’s stable. I’d had fun building-up the bike, and it was a pretty thing, but I didn’t love it. I wasn’t sure Wheel and I would ever go touring even though the idea appealed.

The frame was likely to go up for sale sometime this summer. The bits would have gone back into the garage drawers where they’d have mingled with the rest of the quilt pieces until the next build. I’d have moved on to another commuter.

So yes, I’m out some bucks and some bits.

Bummer? Sure.

Devastating? No.

-The it's just stuff  Bag

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Stolen LHT

My Long Haul Trucker was stolen! Cub Foods, St. Louis Park MN 5 pm Sunday 2/4.

Pieced together from old parts...barely used Ultegra triple 9 sp from the early 2000s, Dura Ace skewers from 2000 and Open Pro blue anodized rims...there isn't another like it * sigh *

  • BLACK Surly Long Haul Trucker frameset, 56 cm
  • BLUE rims (old Open Pros) with 
    • Ultegra 600 hubs (1996)
    • Dura Ace skewers (2000)
    • back wheel: butted spokes, blue nips
    • front wheel: heavy-gauge spokes, silver nips
    • 9 sp Ultegra 12-27 cassette
  • BLUE Salsa lip lock seat collar
  • BLUE handlebar tape, silver plugs
    • Silver bars, non-ergo 
    • black rubber pads in hook under bar tape
  • Ultegra, 9 sp triple (2002-04?)
    • 172.5 cranks
  • Silver Thomson stem, 25.4mm, 5 degree, 90mm (not as pictured--that was a test stem)
  • Chris King headset, silver
  • silver and black spacers (not as pictured)
    • black Ahrens Wisecracker bottle opener 
    • black cable hanger
  • Shimano BR-R550 cantis
  • Eggbeater pedals with a bit-o-blue on the spindle
  • black Jagwire cable housing
  • Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded tires
  • Avocet O2 saddle, cromo rails, covering loose around edges
  • Silver seatpost off an old LeMond
  • Tubus Vega black rear rack
  • Arkel Utility Basket panniers (grocery getter size, black and army green, long bag straps), 2, with a lb of Dunn Bros Brazil beans!
  • seatbag with tools, spare
  • Zefal frame pump
  • 2 Zefal Spring waterbottle cages
  • BLUE BARMITTS around the handlebars and brake levers
  • black Race Blade fenders, detachable 

    -The PISSED OFF Old Bag

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Through the Window

    I want


    bicycle, the one that says

    goin' somewhere...and

    maybe I'll think about coming back....

    - OB and I want to go with it

    Friday, January 20, 2012


    In 1996 I bought my first road bicycle.

    I had ridden thousands of miles on a Giant Prodigy comfort hybrid during the previous four years; had seen the coast of Oregon and the Canadian Rockies a week at a time from an upright position. As I watched riders on road bicycles fly past me on those tours, I didn’t really understand the wow-you’re-doing-this-on-a-hybrid comments. I simply assumed they had fitness that I didn’t.

    It was during a tour across Minnesota that summer that I rode my first century. The day’s route was about 70 miles, with an extra 30-mile option around mile 60. It was a relatively flat course with a couple of rollers, and the decision point was late enough in the ride that my friend and I had plenty of time to think about it.

    The day was perfectly blue and perfectly mild. By the cutoff we were still feeling fresh. We had nothing to do all day but ride, so we did.

    Over those 30 highchair-positioned miles I pondered road bicycles as small groups of them passed me with riders on the hoods, in the drops, on the tops. Somewhere around mile 75 my lower back started aching, and the extra foam of my lycra-covered saddle that had been so comfortable...well, it wasn’t anymore. The bull-horns on my hybrid didn’t allow the hand positions that would give my back and backside a break.

    The light bulb warmed, then illuminated.

    A couple weeks later I was off to find a road bike.

    It was a LeMond Zurich that convinced me I could give up a granny ring for the double -- one test climb up Williston Road was enough for me to know that a lighter weight bicycle and different position meant I could go places more easily and more comfortably than I’d ever imagined.

    It was cycling nirvana.  

    I’d never need to, nor why-would-I-ever-want-to, buy another bicycle.

    - OB I was pretty naïve in '96

    Thursday, January 12, 2012


    In January it’s easy
    to say yes to a 100-mile gravel ride in May.
    When the weather is beautiful,
    in January it’s easy
    to say yes to a 100-mile gravel ride in May.
    When training is effortless on 50-degree sunny days
    when the weather is beautiful,
    in January it’s easy
    to say yes to a 100-mile gravel ride in May.
    As temperatures plummet to single digits I mourn
    when training was effortless on 50-degree sunny days
    when the weather was beautiful,
    in January when it was easy
    to say yes to a 100-mile gravel ride in May.

    -The just what-the-hell was I thinking?! Old Bag

    Saturday, January 07, 2012

    My Fault

    Last Thursday saw record high temps across the upper midwest. One area of MN recorded a 60 degree day, one of only ten 60 degree January days to be had in the last 120 day out of a possible 3,720 January days to hit 60 degrees. Our chance of a 60 degree day in January is...well, it’s infinitesible. But that's the winter we're having.

    And, hitting the mark this year is my fault...our fault.

    Last February, we test rode fat bikes over piles of snow on the playground of the neighborhood school. I told Wheel, “If we do this, we’ll have the first brown winter in six years.” But, he was having none of that argument, and we put down our money.

    In April we got our Fatbacks...

    ...that have seen 2” of snow...

    ...over the span of one afternoon.

    Over the past eight months, we’ve had them out on bare trails, sand, gravel, singletrack, rail lines and a few fire roads. The bikes are a hoot. But I knew it would happen: we’d get snow bikes and then all of us would face down the brownest winter in a decade.

    I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't make a big deal about it. We feel bad enough.