Wednesday, December 22, 2010

With rain falling nonstop for nearly the past week there is not a lot to report. All my riding has been on a trainer. I've got out for a few runs, but nothing serious. I'm getting a little cabin fever. Up in the high country it's been snowing. If I can get up there without getting too wet it could be a lot of fun.

I think we all kind of knew it but yesterday it was confirmed. Bonnie is a bit of an endurance athlete too. She goes to Town Hall to work out at a Jazzersize class most days. She found out that after she pulls yet another two-a-day today (she is doing today's first work out as I write this) she will have gone to class 200 time this year. Keep in mind that we are out of town for nearly 4 months out of the year. Way to go Bonn!

Ride on!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nobody but me and the girls on the trails this morning. The weather has been great so morning runs have been warm, maybe too warm. This past weekend I was able to put in a good run. I hit trails through May Valley down to Hurkey Creek. Then I picked up the hwy in Garner Valley to Paradise Corners. From this shot you can sort of make out the hwy I'm headed for. That 'cloud' is smoke from a prescribed burn.
Bonnie and Finn picked me up and we had some holiday fun down in Palm Desert. Speaking of Holiday fun the house is decked out. Figures, decorate for the holidays and it gets warm, sorry Taylor. Ya gotta love this time of year. Eric and I got out for a ride yesterday. It was a lot of fun, long over due, and too short. I hope we can get out at least one more time before he heads back to Big Bear.
Ride on!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The seasons are changing out here in CA. This time of year I switch from outdoor spinning to indoor. Because of this change my view goes from this:
To this:
I also switch from N.P.R. downloads to dvds and old race coverage of the Tour and Ironman.
We had a week off for Thanksgiving. Taylor our niece came out for a visit so we were off the hill a bunch doing all things SoCal. I didn't get a lot of time to train but when I did it was mostly spent on the trails running. With a snow it's a little tricky but that just means using some different muscle groups to avoid slipping. I got my new Petzl Myo headlamp last week. I look forward to putting it to the test with some night runs this week. I went with the belt pack to keep the weight off my head and extend the battery life.
Ride on!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finn and the girls and I hit the trails this morning. I thought it might be good for us to get out before the snow starts to fly this weekend. Yep, I said snow. And you know why it's going to snow? Because our niece Taylor is coming from Wisconsin for a visit and every time someone from Wisconsin comes out for a visit they bring their weather with them.
Having a Dad that likes to do endurance events Finn has learned the value of rest.
Ride on!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Man it gets dark quick now a days. I thought I would ride home last night but no lights meant driving, rats. I guess I should just have lights with me when I leave in the morning. The flip side is it's pretty light by 6 a.m. and relatively warm by 8. The nights are getting pretty cool, we've have fires just about every night this week. I gotta admit I do better with running when it's cold then I do biking. This weekend Eric and I are hoping to get a good ride in down in La Quinta. Maybe we'll head up the mountain for bit of a work out. Whatever we decide it'll be fun.

Ride on!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well the show closed, we've had our first production meeting for the next show, Eurydice, Grandma is on her way home, and off season is over. Work is slowing down a bit so now I can think about next season and start training again. As usual nothing too serious. Just spinning and running. I think I'll concentrate more on running up through the first of the year. Last year I was on a bike a lot so I think this will be good cross training. I'm tempted to sign up for 12 hours of Temecula this weekend just to see what a month of goofing around does to a body. Well better run, and I mean that. I have class in about an hour and a half and if I want to get some trail time in I gotta run.

Ride on!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's show time again so that means Grandma is in town to take care of us. Finn and I went down to San Diego last week to pick her up, as well as some lighting equipment. While waiting for her flight to come in we killed some time at Seaside Village.

This week is tech week so not a lot of time to hit the trails. Me and the girls have been getting some runs in, but nothing serious. We come across some new trails around campus that I'm excited to try on a bike. It can probably go without saying, but not a lot of time for blogging, gotta run.

Ride on!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I think we're fully recovered from the 508. I'm not on the bike much but I've been running and hiking. Yesterday I ran with a weighted backpack and felt good. Bonnie has caught up with the class she is taking and this week we finally are totally cleaned up from all of the 'stuff' around the bike room that we used for the race. Bonnie got inspired and really did a 'service master' type cleaning. It just goes to show you that even though the race is done the work isn't. Have I mentioned I have the best pit boss?

So far the first couple of weeks of the off season have been good, and it couldn't happen at a better time. We are busy with school and the first show of the season, as well as Bonnie needing to put the finishing touches on that class I mentioned earlier. Right now I'm enjoying cross training, and spending some much needed down time with the family, and friends. Thursday I'm slotted to go for a hike good friend who is visiting from Alaska. It is really good to see her, it's been too long since she was by for a visit. Though I haven't been riding much that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about the next challenge. Eric, the crew member who did all of the slow driving for the 508, has this loop he'd like to try. It goes from Big Bear to Palm Springs, to Idyllwild to Banning, and back up to Big Bear. It's about 240 miles and lots of climbing. We're going to try it some time before the snow flies.

Ride on!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We finally took on the 508 this past weekend. Brad and I have been talking about this one for years. Usually when we were walking some techie part of a 24 hour mt. bike race. Here's how it went down.

We picked up Grandma from Ontario Wednesday night. She came to town to take care of Finn while we were out pushing limits. Thursday we picked up my sister Shannon in Palm Springs. It was good to have her back on the crew again, she been doing this for years with us. Friday we packed up the rental van. Our good friend Eric round out the crew. He's raced 24s, but this was his first time crewing with us. He swung by and we headed out to Santa Clarita. Once we got there we got together with Brad and his crew and set up the support vehicles and bikes for the race. This meant putting on signage and lights.
Saturday morning Brad and I rode over to the start. Our crews met up there, wished us luck, which we needed, and took off for the first place we could use support. This is what it looked like 24 miles into the race.

Our first 100 miles went off with out a hitch. Our crews were leap frogging with us. Brad and I were feeling good. Then it happened...about 115 miles into it Brad had a mechanical. While climbing a long grade somehow his rear derailleur got caught up in his rear wheel sheering the hanger and part of the derailleur itself. Thoughts of his race being over flooded our minds. I took off and let my crew know what had happened. They then alerted Brads crew. After Brad's bad luck with the mechanical, it was all good. The race director happened to not be far behind and he was able to get in touch with a team that had and extra bike that Brad could use. My crew was able to run into some locals that knew of a bike shop that was relatively near by. That shop had the one derailleur Brad needed. Sean, our good friend and expert mechanic got Brad's bike up and running and before long Brad was back on his bike. All together Brad lost about 2 hours. It was good to see the spirit of the cycling community in action. It was also impressive to see Brad pull out of a bad situation. It would have been really easy for him to fall into a funck, but he didn't. He is one of the strongest racers I know. The rest of the race when off without a hitch. I didn't get to see Brad again until the finish line Sunday evening. Bonnie Shannon and Eric were spot on. Every time I needed something they were there. Always positive, supportive, and encouraging. This is a tough race. They needed to drive behind me at speeds between 5 and 40, a lot of it below 10. I don't know about you but a few hours in a car is usually enough for me. They spent 31.5 hours in a car. I know at times they would have rather been on the bike then in the car. I'm truly blessed to have these people in my life.
There were a lot of views like this.
We had great weather the first day. Nice temps, and good cloud cover.
Bonnie and Eric sending me on my way down to Death Valley.
We caught the climb up Towns Pass just as the sun was setting, it was beautiful. This is were the crew started following right behind me. They would do this the rest of the race.

After Towns Pass it was dark and we were headed to Badwater. Strangely enough we hit our high temps of the race though this stretch, mid 90's. The night went well. I had a little stomach stuff going on but nothing serious. I had no idea but we were in the hunt for the podium as of sun up. After the Baker time station there is a long 21 mile climb. This come after we've put in 385 miles. It hurt but the sky was incredible, so it kind of took my mind off of it.

The rest of the race was a grind. A lot of climbing, and wind. It took us 8.5 hours to cover the last 120+miles. I got a treat just before Amboy. Gary showed up to cheer us on. It was good to see another friend out there. He too was positive and energetic, I picked up on some of that energy. After climbing out of Amboy I got another treat. Danial and Margret were there to cheer us on as well. It was great, just what we needed. We rolled over the finish line in about 31.5 hours. Both Bonnie and Brad thought we could do it in around 32 or so. I thought they were nuts, I was hoping for 36ish. Once again I need to trust my wife, when will I learn.

I was spent. My Knee was really bothering me. I think it set in during the climb out of Baker. I'm still limping around on it today.
We had a great race. These guys are the best. Notice Shannon is already sleeping. I think Eric is too but I can't tell with the glasses. Bonnie is the only one that looks alert. She got to do the rest of the driving that day.
Brad didn't have the race he was hoping for, but that just makes you want to come back and do it next year. We both learned a lot and accomplished our first and main goal of finishing.
We ended our weekend at our friends house in Joshua tree. They have a couple of dome homes that they rent out. It was the prefect place to recover. If you ever need a place to stay in J tree just do a search for 'Joshua tree dome home' you won't be disappointed.
Ride on!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bonnie's been working hard getting all of the race info compiled and in one place. Once again, Brad and I will be in good hands. For those of you who don't know, instead of using numbers to identify racers in the Furnace Creek 508 totems are used. I'm a Crap and Brad is a Pygmy Hippo. I picked mine, Brad kind of was assigned his. It's a long story.

Ride on!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome to Fall. Out here in Ca we just got hit with Fall 2010 and it feels like it. Finn and I got the wood burner set for a fire should we need one. For the first time since we've bee back from WI we have our windows closed. I wonder what conditions will be like in to weeks as we ride through Death Valley. My guess is a lot of hot and a bunch of cold. Brad and I are putting the final touches on prep work for the 508. Bonnie compiled a great reference book for the team. It has the route, official rules, check list...I think we both felt a bit better after we did some research about what we were getting into. This is a big race, we'll be stretching ourselves and knowledge is power.

Ride on!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just got back from a good solid ride. About 75 miles and 4,500' of climbing. I think this will be the last substantial ride I have time for before the race. Which is fine seeing as it's about 2.5 weeks away. Logistically things are coming together. Grandma is flying out to take care of Finn. Lights for the car have been delivered. Brad is going to take care of crew car signage, I have the tubeless tires mounted on the bike as well as a new computer. I usually use a Garmin Edge 305 but the battery life is only 12 hours and I'll need a lot more time then that. The hotel at the start and the house at the finish are all taken care of so I guess now all we have to do is race. I have a feeling it'll be here before we know it.

On a different note all the students have arrived and are auditioning for class placement. Tomorrow we put them in classes and have some fun stuff to do around campus before classes start on Wednesday. Finn and I get to lead a hike while Bonnie will be kicking it at Jazzersize.

Ride on!

Monday, September 6, 2010

We don't quite have the beautiful natural water features out here in C like we do in WI...
But the riding is just as scenic.
We been back for about a week and a half, I've had some good rides with friends as well as on my own. It's been good to get some hard climbing in. With school picking up I think the plan is to just maintain the fitness I have for the 508 which is a little less then a month away.
Ride on!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It goes by so quick. It seems like just yesterday we were headed back to WI for the summer. This past week we made our pilgrimage back to SoCal. We had some great stops along the way, enjoying warm summer nights with a full moon rising. We'll miss everyone back in WI but we are looking forward to meeting our new students and catching up with returning students. Over the years I've really grown to love the changing of our seasons. It feels so good to get off the hill and back to my roots for the holidays and summers. But it also is good to come back to a place of our own.

Enough reflection, let's talk bikes. I wrapped up the summer with a long ride. I met Brad early in the morning, each of us with about 20 mile in. We then tacked on another 45 before we met up with Rachel. From there we rode all over Kettle and up into Delefield, hitting the Lapham climb twice (Rachel's idea, ouch). Yesterday I got out for my fist road ride ever in Idyllwild. The altitude and grade were apparent. In 35 mile I climbed 4,000'. Today I'll get a short ride in as well as a long over due hike with Gary and Cool Hand. I'm looking forward to my usual Saturday morning hike with Finn and the girls, a tradition I just love.

Ride on!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You gotta love summer, we had another great weekend. Bonnie and I flew out to Colorado for a wedding on Friday. This is the first trip we've taken without dogs or Finn since he was born. The celebration took place in Evergreen, which is just west of Denver. The wedding was a lot of fun and it was good to see friends from back in CA, as well as folks we haven't seen in years. We also got the chance to have breakfast with a current student of ours. All in all it was a great weekend. We missed Finn and the girls but it was good to have sometime to ourselves. Thanks for taking care of the family while we were out of town Grandma.

Here is a shot of the view outside of the cabin we stayed at. We were at an elevation of nearly 9,000' and it felt like it when I went of runs.

We spent Saturday morning exploring Mt. Evans. Its the highest paved road in the U.S. just over 14,200'. We could really feel the elevation here. There was a lot of cyclists making their way up the mountain. I'm pretty sure this is something I have to try, both cycling and running...maybe in the same day.

We got back late Monday night so I didn't get back on the bike until yesterday. Just a couple of hours around the area. Today I hope to get out for a bit longer. Friday it looks like Brad and I are going to put in a long day, I hope I can hang with him.
Ride on!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Good news is from what I can tell Sean did great at 24/9, bad news, as you might have guessed, we weren't there to witness it. Carpenter family has been spreading the flu bug around. So far I've been able to miss it but Bonnie and Finn have not had such luck. I guess that what happens when you get a bunch of people together with new germs.

We came back from the lake, (the Carpenter family summer get away) Monday morning. The plan was for me to ride back up Tuesday and back down on Wednesday. Feeling good Tuesday morning I headed out at about 3:00 a.m. The ride was nice and rather uneventful with the exception of almost being T-boned by a deer. I was in the aero position when out of the corner of my eye I see this deer bolting across a soy bean field. Quickly I sit up and hit the brakes, just missing out on a collision. This was the closest I've ever been to a deer. I got up to the lake in about 11 hours and started the r.r. as I wasn't sure how I would feel he next morning and I had to do it all over again. Wednesday morning I was up at about 1:30 and out the door about a half hour later. Once again all things when pretty smooth. The only time I felt really uncomfortable was when I was in a casino at 3:15 in the morning looking for a bubbler to fill my bottles. Can you believe there are folks up at that hours gambling? I guess they were saying some type of things about me. I got back to Waukesha around 1:30. Overall the rides went well. I just had one mechanical in 400 mile and it was the saddle bag, the bike was fine the entire way.

I think this is the biggest mileage week I had since riding back to Wisconsin, from California a few years ago. It is nice to get some big miles in before we fly to Colorado for the weekend, where I won't be cycling at all, however I am packing running shoes.

On a final note...Way to go Sean, sorry we couldn't be there.

Ride on!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We've been getting hit with a lot of rain this past week. Finn is diggin' the new water features in the yard. More of my miles have been spent on the trainer than I would have liked. I did get out for a nice ride this morning for about four hours. I love getting in a solid ride before the day starts. It makes everything else just feel more laid back. Next weekend is the 24 hour race up in Wausau. For the first time in a few years I will not be racing, instead team Carpenter will be crewing for Sean. He has crewed with us in the past and now it's our turn to return the favor. It'll be strange not racing, but I'm looking forward to the new point of view.
Ride on!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What a great time of year if you're a cycling fun. Each morning I wake up and watch the 3 hour coverage of the previous evening's Tour coverage in about an hour 45. Then after walking the dogs and getting some breakfast Finn and I head out to that days stage of Super Week. For those of you that don't know Super Week is actually two weeks of road racing throughout southeastern Wisconsin and the Chicago area. After enjoying a morning of live racing I get Finn back in time for his nap and head out of a ride for a couple of hours.

Here's Fin putting his own touch on cheering for the racers...harmonica instead of cowbell.
Ride on!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just another day riding in Waukesha county. Rural roads, small streams and lakes, no surprise I grew up loving cycling in this area.

Ride on and on!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This past weekend was great. I got my first long ride in on the road bike and it felt nice. The trip was about 200 miles with 5,000' of climbing. Conditions were prefect, nice tailwind, light traffic, and moderate temps. To be honest it was a little too nice, it didn't even feel like training.
The rest of the weekend was spent boating, jet skiing, fishing and just general fun with my family. Finn caught his first fish, and grandpa was there to help. Sunday was a big day not only for our country but my family as another Carpenter took to the starting line. Cait, my brother's daughter, competed in a local triathlon. It's a small low key event that draws some pretty serious folks as well as a lot of people just out for a good time. I was able to ride along with her during the bike portion and her sister ran along with her to the end. Next year it sounds like Cait's brother and sister might compete as well. How cool would that be? Watch out Steve and Connie, a good tri bike will cost you $2,000. Too bad your kids aren't all the same size.

Here is a shot of Cait and her friend that got her into tri before the race.

Here is Cait just after she finished. She should be proud, it looks like she pushed hard.

This next week I think I'll slip back into a routine again. I'll probably get more spinning in as the Tour has started. Not only that but we are in that time of year where T-storms are predicted daily.

Ride on!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I've been starting to settle into a routine and managing to get two to three hours in on the bike a day. Tomorrow I'll get my first long ride of the summer in. We are headed up to Boulder lake for the holiday weekend. If all goes well it'll be about 180 mile day. The only bad thing is I'll be missing out on a ride with teammate Brad, Sean, who built up my bike last week, and Rachele who is training hard for Ironman Wisconsin. It's probably best, at my fitness level right now I'd be slowing them down.

Ride on!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer time and the livin' is sausage...really. Well yes! Good news, road bike is up and running thanks to Sean and Johnny Sprockets. We are on our way to the 508.
Ride on!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Aahhh, it's good to be riding around lake country again.

Ride on!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mom and Pancho Villa got the garden in. Now let's hope the deer and the rain cooperate. If so, we'll have quite a harvest. As you can see we are back in WI. After a fun trip across country we are back were it all started. This morning I got up early and put in some good time on the trainer. I'll spend the week on the trainer and Song. Friday I head down to Chicago where Sean and I will build up the road bike. Speaking of Sean, he raced the Lumberjack today, I hope he had a blast. While coming cross country I was keeping a close eye on the RAAM. I was following Paul Carpenter pretty close as he is a professor and the university where I got my M.F.A. and for simple reasons...we share the same last name. He had to pull out early do to things that the RAAM will cook up. I hope to get in touch with him once the dust settles. When I was thinking of doing the RAW he was a great help, and I know I could use his sage advice for the 508.

Ride on!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This has been what riding has been like lately.
Nothing too hard, and usually with friends. I been working with past members of biking club so we try to get out on the trails around campus when we have time. Tomorrow we are headed down to Hurkey creek to do a lap. It should be fun, I haven't ridden out there since last fall. This weekend we'll be running the Idyllwild 10k. Running club thought it would be a fun way to end the year and I couldn't agree more. We'll run the race, get cleaned up, head over to graduation, and then...SUMMER!

An update on the road bike. I won't be going with a Siren. Things are really taking off at Siren which means time is tight. I need to get on a road bike as soon as summer starts and there just isn't room in the line up to pump out a road bike. And let's face it Siren is after all a company that builds and designs great mountain bikes, and only once in a great while pumps out a road bike, time permitting. I got a great deal from Bear Valley Bikes over in Big Bear. Eric will be dropping it off later this week. Then the plan is once we get back to Wisconsin, head down to Chicago and have a good friend, who works at Johnny Sprockets, finish building the bike up and have me fitted. Then pack on the miles.

Ride on!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I got out for a ride with one of or former students who is on campus helping out with end of the year shows. He has been working with us for the past month but this is only the second time we've been out for a ride. That doesn't seem right. We hung around campus hit mostly trails off the hub. Only two more weeks and then I can get out a bunch more!

Ride on!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Guess which musical we closed yesterday...

"25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is the last show of our season. It was well received by the public and a good show to end the year with. We had our graduating design student design the lights and a former student design the set. Both did a fine job. I enjoyed working with both and hope to do so again in the future.
Because of late nights, training has suffered. I've come to the understanding that true training will not pick up again until summer, which is two weeks away. It's not ideal but I'm good with that. This is just the rest I need before I start to pack on the miles it will take to be in shape for the 508.
I suppose it's a good thing I'm busy since the weather is being rather unseasonal. It's been pretty chilly here on the hill and yesterday it snowed off and on all day. Graduation, which takes place in the outdoor amphitheater, is only 12 days away. A day that we're usually thinking about hydration, now we're considering what layers to sport under those robes.
Ride on!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I needed to head down to San Diego for light equipment so the girls and I took advantage. It started out with a sunrise hike along the way...
and then some time at the beach. I though I'd get a picture of something other then Chance and Lucy romping around in the surf.
Training has been light this past week, i think it'll stay that way until school is over for the year. We are already dreaming of summer, trying to figure out which way we should go to get back to WI. Thinking about friends and family we miss so much, and reminiscing about the places and roads I started my love of the bike on.
But before all of that here are shows to be done. We start tech week for the final mainstage show of our season. We have guest set designer, another one of our former students. He is doing a great job and it's fun working with him again. Also worth noting the light designer is a current student. He gets put to the test today at first tech, I can't wait to see his design in action. The person who designed the second show of the season is back designing in the dance department. Also very good to have him back on the hill. The only bad part is the three of us have only managed to get out for one ride. We have got to work on this. On of them is from Big Bear, home of the mountain stage of this years Tour of CA. The stage almost goes right past his house. If we didn't have a show on the day of the mt. stage we'd be staying at his place for sure. Oh well, watching stage racing on T.V. while sitting on your trainer is better for you.
Ride on!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First time on a horse.

Ride on!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Got out for a ride yesterday morning. We had some stuff we had to take care of in Hemet. Bonnie and Finn drove down and I hit some single track and then the fire road down. Good for a couple of hours in the saddle.
The Yucca are marching all over the landscape

Something to think about when I cut back on running and riding.
The girls and I got out for a ran this morning on the way to school. Nothing like the smell of wet dog in the office. I think Chance will be a shop dog today.

Things are really picking up here at work. Again I'll need to be happy to just maintain my fitness.
Ride on!