Monday, May 31, 2010

Bike to Work week

Once again, I'll be leading a bike convoy from Minnehaha Park to downtown Minneapolis for Bike to Work week. I realize that National Bike to Work week is long over, but the City of Minneapolis decided to be different this year. Hoping for a warmer morning to encourage more participation, I believe. Here's the basic details of what will be coming, starting next Saturday the 5th of June:

Saturday, June 5 (Kick Off)
Twin Cities Heart Walk - Hosted by Target Field! more...
National Trails Day
Greenway Challengemore...

Sunday, June 6
Grand Old Day - See Bike Walk Week in the parade or stop by the booth! Free bike parking on the Ayd Mill bridge and a free transit pass to help you get there. more...
Tuesday, June 8
Film Screening: Beyond the Motor City - 7pm, Oak Street Cinema. Q&A to follow with director Aaron Woolf and local bicycle business leaders and activists. more...

Wednesday, June 9
Women's Wednesday - Wear red to support women's health and join the fun with morning and evening rides and a photo contest. more...

Thursday, June 10
Bike Walk to Work Day - Featuring Celebrations Locations all over town. more...
Nice Ride bike sharing program launch - Noon ride along Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, from the Central Library to Peavey Plaza

Sunday, June 13
Bike to the Twins Game - Presented by OptumHealth (wut?). Gift bags to the first 1000 fans who bike to the 1:10 pm game. A bike corral will be setup just off the Cedar Lake Trail on Glenwood in Ramp A in addition to the 400 ramps around the ballpark.
Volunteer for one of the events, to lead a ride into town or to help spread the word in your neighborhood or office. Bike/Walk is looking for sponsors and more celebration locations for these events. Contact the organizers for more information.

Check out the Bike to Work website for more info, and don't forget to register. Hopefully, I'll see you Thursday morning if you're a South Mpls to Downtown commuter!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog up

This past Friday, a few local bike types responded to a call put out by Mr. SnakShak to have a beer or three at the end of a long work week. The timing turned out perfect as the two weeks prior were cold and rainy, but Friday was partly sunny and the temps cracked into the 70s. Beers were drank, tales were told, laughs were laughed. I'm glad I went, and if the call goes out and schedules allow, I'll do it again. And next time I'll try to post something here in advance to get the word out to more like minded folk.

Laughs were indeed laughed.

Brother Yam and Jim K. ponder the imponderable.

Kay and Joe enjoy the first sun we've seen in weeks.

A beer/bike tableau.

I think his hair really is getting fuller and thicker.

Despite Joe and Molly's valiant attempt, Brother Yam and I won the "Cutest Couple" award. But it was a close contest.

Yam influencing the judges.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Angel, my Angel

Long time readers of this blog may remember that I have a special relationship with The Angel Formerly Known as Specialized. She first came to my attention during the 2006 Tour of California, and became something of a celebrity in the cycling world in 2007. Sadly, Specialized decided not to renew her as a spokes-angel for the 2008 cycling season. I lamented this fact in January of 2008 on the blog, and surprise surprise got a comment from the angel herself, Jana Ireton:

Hello Pete,

I see my heavenly news travels fast. I wanted to personally send you kisses saying thank you for posting me on your blog these past couple of years. I'm very happy that you've haven't forgotten about me and hopefully you never will.

Many Thanks, Jana

With kisses! Clearly, this was a high water mark for this blog. But just as time heals all wounds, it also makes memories fade. And I'm sorry to say that I kind of forgot about The Angel. But apparently, she didn't forget about me. I was surprised to get another comment from Jana on last week's Duathlon post.

Hi Pete, awesome job on all your multi-sports, especially the 7K event with your wife. My dad and I just participated in the Avia Wildflower Triathlon 2wks ago.

I wanted to send you the wonderful news that I will be wearing the wings again this year for Tour of California 2010. It has been 2 years since my last appearance and I am happy to announce I have a new sponsor this year with Team Echelon as "The Angel of Echelon".

Please see press release here:

My mission this year as protector and healer extends beyond the road race of energizing the peloton at TOC working with the Echelon beneficiary partners and spreading good will and encouragement to those who need it the most. Team Echelon is gearing up for our Gran Fondo on May 23rd this year in Napa, CA. Our fundraising partnership benefits LIVESTRONG® and local cancer institutions, Queen of Valley Hospital and the Martin O’Neil Cancer Center. Later this year in the fall on Sept. 26th, another Echelon Gran Fondo will follow in Portland, OR with the gracious assistance of professional cyclist Chris Horner serving as our ambassador. For anyone who would like to support our cause in the fight against cancer may do so at The Angel of Echelon's Team Page:

Please look for my wings on the horizon at TOC 2010 Stages 2, 3, and 4.

Your Angel of Echelon,
Jana Ireton
(please credit all photos taken by Michael Sexton)

This can only mean one thing: Ms. Ireton is positively smitten with me. And she's gotten a snappy new outfit to impress me.
The Angel of Echelon

The Angel of Echelon

The Angel of Echelon

The Angel of Echelon

More high res photos (by Michael Sexton) of the lovely new outfit can be found here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hello, Sierra Nevada reps!

Pearls Before Swine

Substitute the word "blogger" for "cartoonist" and "blog" for "comic strip" and you have my plan for free beer in a nutshell. 

Sierra Nevada Beer!
Sierra Nevada Beer!
Sierra Nevada Beer!
Sierra Nevada Beer!

FYI, my mailbox is not exceedingly large, so you may want to consider UPS or FedEx.  Whichever offers refridgerated delivery service.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I have multisported. Or, Just Du It.

Regular readers may remember that in March I ran a 7k event with my lovely wife. What I did not mention in the post about the race was one of the conversations wife and I had while running/walking:

Wife: Oh, by the way, I signed us up for a Duathlon.
Me: A what?
Wife: A duathlon. 2 miles of running, 14 miles of biking, followed by 3 more miles of running.
Me: US??

Fast forward to last weekend, when the duathlon was upon us. Our friends Eric & Val drove down from St. Cloud Friday night so we could all hit the road bright and early Saturday morning.

On our arrival, we unloaded the bikes and walked our stuff down to the transition area. Though for me, it was more of a "stuff storage" area. I swapped out the clipless pedals the night before for an old set of platforms so I wouldn't have to change shoes. And if you don't change shoes, it's not really a true transition, is it? Here's a photo of the lovely wife in the stuff storage area modeling the shirt she got:

The race itself went much better than I expected. When it comes to running, I either have days when it's a torturous thing that I wouldn't inflict on my worst enemy, or it's something to be tolerated. I believe actual runners call those "good days." Anyway, Saturday was a "good day" for me. We more or less ran the first two miles as a group. Eric, who is always the fastest of the bunch, took off ahead around mile 1 and the rest of us made it to the stuff storage area close together.

Wife and I made great time on the first half of the out and back bike portion, thanks to a fantastic tailwind. But as all cyclists know, a fantastic tailwind on the first half of an out and back course is a terrible thing to have. Because when we turned to the "back" portion, there was Mr. Headwind. Beastly. We slogged our way the remaining 7 miles and somehow managed to stay upright, despite the 30+ mph gusts.

When we hit the final 3 miles, I somehow lost the Wife. As we headed up a small rise I noticed she was about 100 yards behind me. I slowed my pace a bit and figured she would catch me, but didn't want to stop because I wanted to take advantage of how good I was feeling. Make hay while the sun shines and all that. Now if you follow her blog, you know she's been plagued with more injuries over the last 2 years than anybody should have to put up with. And she was taking it easy, so she never did actually catch me.

I had told myself I would run to the turn around point (1.5 miles) and could take a walk break if I was feeling crappy, or could switch to a walk run plan if needed. After turning around I started walking for probably 1/4 of a mile. At this point, a tiny little woman passed me. Reading the race results later I found she was 50 years old. She was running a casual pace and I thought "I can do that." So I tucked in behind her, and every time I wanted to stop I thought "She's not stopping" and kept running.

My final time was just over 2 hours, which I was extremely happy with. I finished faster than the Wife, and it may be the only time I can ever say that. Not that it bothers me that she's a better runner than I am. Far from it. I know that the only reason I finished ahead of her was her Achilles tendon and luck. And I'm OK with that.