Yesterday, I got out to the Southern Kettles and it was beautiful and fast. It's amazing how much greener it has gotten in a week, it really changes the flow of the trail because it is harder to anticipate what is coming.
This post it has a dual purpose. First, I have to thank the folks at the Southern Kettle Moraine chapter of WORBA. The work they have done out there in the past year is awesome. The Emma is sure to become a destination for riding and the new stuff on the orange adds a level of difficulty that the Muir end was missing. I will at some point actually get out to help you guys one of these days.
Second, the Muir WEMS race is about a month off and the organizers released the course. I did a lap of it yesterday (yes, I did the short backwards on the orange, slowly and ready to walk if someone was coming the correct way) and the lap is sweet! Pretty much all the fun and climbing that Muir has to offer packed into one lap. Now, if there was just some way to cut out the half mile of fire road...
I started playing music when I was 25, and went a little crazy with it. If you scroll down and look at the right you will see some music that I have written and recorded. I figure that I could share it after all the time I put into them. They are all quite different from each other.
For the past month or so things have been hectic for me. Organizing and running a conference, having friends stay with us for 4 days (twice), trying to find a locale for worship for Reconcile, and trying to stay on top of training. Training has certainly taken a back seat, I was supposed to be racing already which would allow me fewer hours on the bike per week. But that has all changed and it looks like my first race won't be until late June. So now I have to stay motivated a month longer before the real fun starts.
I'm not complaining, it has been good, just not what I had planned. It is all just a part of life, which with every day I am more convinced to live one day at a time. People make plans and God laughs.
So no race reports yet, but if you like the theological side of this blog keep an eye out. I have more of that coming soon...
If you rode a bicycle in the Milwaukee area Wednesday you know that it was ridiculously windy out. Like blow you off your wheels windy, which is probably why I saw less roadies out than usual. As for me, I went to Crystal Ridge to check out the bike setup one last time before racing on Saturday. That and to see if it's allergies or the cold my wife brought back as a souvenir from the Brooklyn office. The jury is still out on that one.
It was an eventful ride for being Crystal Ridge. Scott got a pinch flat on the new single track. Word to the wise, there is a dip-down with some rocks as a bridge where the first rock you hit has a tube eating-rim-bending sharp front edge. We tried to buffer it with a few logs but the next lap they were already gone. Well, Scott didn't bring anything and I forgot my pump, so Scott had the long walk--at least it was nice out. I continued onward.
After popping out of the new section I started up a longish climb. No leg buster, but steep and long enough to get your attention. That is when I heard a horrible grinding pop and click sound. When I looked up to see what it was, I saw the tallest tree in the area was very dead and a burst of high wind was making it groan. I simultaneously had thoughts of the stories of people being killed by tree-fall in storms and sprinted as hard as I could up the hill (as the dead tree was already slightly downhill). I could feel that part, if not all of that dead tree, was coming down.
It was, I glanced back as the groaning got worse and saw a huge branch break off from the trunk. I mashed the pedals again, which doesn't do much in 2:1 uphill from a basic standstill. Thankfully, nothing fell my way, because it sounds pretty absurd to answer the question "What happened to you?" with "Oh, I was hit by a tree."
The rest of the ride was plagued by an annoying brake pad on the front, which fell completely out at some point on the car ride home. I have about 12 rides on these brakes and I am going from happy to not sure about them pretty quick.