Many Cyclova XC members aren't your typical Midwesterners, and get down and party. Following is a video of the team getting warmed up for the last team ride. Notice all of the people that started to gather around to see what we were up to. Why Minneapolis was never the same after this! It's amazing to see the fanfare that Cyclova XC has generated in it's relatively short existance thus far!
A few of my favorite parts of this video include Andrew J up at the front picking the good lines, Tommy K, Mikey L, Greg, & Kathi tapping out a rhythm on the pedals, Dave G rockin' the guitar, Ben J getting in some dirty dancing, Alan L taking it easy with the ladies on the couch, and my trying to figure out what to do with the barrel at the end.
In all seriousness (and obviously this post up until now wasn't), come join us for a group ride or run this summer! Check out our Facebook Group page, cyclovaxc.com, or the events calendar for the full scoop. We are all about having fun and we think you'll find it refreshing to not be shunned if you're not an elite athlete!
And if you're wondering where this clip was taken, it was from the May Day Parade in the Powderhorn neighborhood of South Minneapolis. This was one of many "floats" which blew my mind. Bicycle were certainly a common theme throughout the parade. Check it out for yourself next year!
Get out there and ride or run (or ski if you're in the southern hemisphere)!
My efforts were aided greatly by the fact that all blogger labels (they're called "tags" on other, more advanced web pages) have their own RSS feeds. So I found a feed reader and kept adjusting it until it would automatically publish all the links with the labels Cyclops, Birkie, Ski, and RUN (I'm stuck with all caps on "RUN" since apparently I typed it in that way the first time I did it and I haven't figured out how to change it back yet....sigh....computers are annoying).
Anyway, the archive page can be found here. You can also get to it by clicking on "Archive" in the nav bar up above, or by clicking on the big CyclovaXC shield at the bottom of this post. To get back, click on the big CyclovaXC shield on the upper left of the Archive page, or click "Home" in the nav bar (all of this should be fairly obvious...but you never know).
I think the best way to navigate this page is to click through the various issues of "The Cyclops" since those have a list of all the articles from the previous two weeks.
So...yes...there are probably other fancier ways to make this page more navigable...but the only people who KNOW what those ways are have gotten some kind of degree in computer science and they aren't about to just give them away to me for free now are they? So, until the money starts rolling in...you're stuck with my duct tape solutions (which are actually pretty good I have to admit).
Zulma and I are doing a baby shower on Saturday June 26th. It's the weekend after Grandma's Marathon, so you should be ready for a little R & R. The actual baby shower (which amounts to grilling out and relaxing as far as I'm concerned...while you guys bring some diapers so I can stock up) takes place at Noon. However, if some of you want to come around 9 or 10 and do a bit of a bike ride that would be cool too. Chippewa Falls is a nice place for pushing the pedals (you'll know after you do the Chippewa Falls ride this weekend).
Soooo, if you do decide to come out on the 26th and do a bike ride, you can rest assured that there will be a grilled hamburger or two waiting for you when you roll into Irvine Park at 12 or 1 or 2 (depending on how far you want to ride...however, I can't guarantee burgers if you get there super late).
I've sent this baby shower information out to a few of you already, but if you haven't gotten it don't be offended, it's probably because I don't have any way to contact you either by phone, or facebook, or email, or twitter (and if that's the case it's probably because you've made a decided effort to avoid me), so please just assume you're invited and come (unless you're a member of my immediate family...if I haven't sent you an invitation it's because you're NOT invited [however, just try to keep the family at home right, hahaha!]).
Anyway, here's the baby shower invite I've been sending out...it's another example of awesome writing, which is why I've included it here:
Zulma and Ben Jonjak would like to invite you to Zulma's Baby Shower at noon on Saturday June 26th. We'll have food there but knowing me it probably won't be enough so feel free to bring some more. Our plan is to do some grilling at Irvine Park and then maybe set the bear and cougar free and watch the carnage that ensues (or maybe just play volleyball...definitely grilling though). As you all know, people have baby showers because they're about to have babies (well, I'm not going to have a baby...that would be physically impossible [that movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger was pure fiction...sadly] but you know what I mean). With a baby on the way, we're trying to stockpile up some diapers, etc., so you can bring some of those or check out the baby list at Target and Walmart if you want to bring something (ask for Zulma and Ben Jonjak and I'm sure they'll point you in the right direction). The most important thing, however, is that you bring yourselves!
So let me recap:
What: Zulma's Baby Shower (and Ben's)
When: Saturday June 26th at noon (and going to whenever, probably dark)
Where: Irvine Park
(come in on the 70th street entrance, there's a ice cream shop that looks like a Dairy Queen called "Grammy B's" right before the entrance...there's also the Leinenkugel brewery about a block away and that's no accident) If you get lost, just give me a call. Hope to see you!
Living in San Jose, I was able to catch Stages 3 & 4 of the Tour of California as the ride rolled through the Bay Area. Luckily, the weather improved from the heavy rains that plagued Stage 2 up North.
Stage 3 went from San Francisco down to Santa Cruz, mostly along Hwy. 1 with two climbs jutting inland. I rode along Hwy. 9 from Saratoga to Santa Cruz to catch the finish, rocking my sleek CyclovaXC kit (shameless plug)!
There was a mass of humanity down by the boardwalk, even though we arrived over an hour before the finish. To get some good pics, we settled down near the 200m-to-go marker.
David Zabriskie, Levi Leipheimer (local favorite from Sonoma), and Michael Rogers succeeded in the breakaway, pictured right before the final turn. David ended up winning the stage.
Shortly after, Lance and Levi did a (for lack of a better term) victory lap, going backwards around the last turn & pumping up the crowd.
Stage 4 started in downtown San Jose, weaving its way through the East Bay mountains towards Modesto. The most difficult climb was up Sierra Road, which must've been tough considering they hit in on mile 8. I decided to watch further into the route, halfway up the Calaveras wall. Although it's a short climb, it's right after a sharp turn making it all but impossible to keep your momentum.
The peloton rolled through about a minute after that, headed by Teams Garmin-Slipstream, RadioShack, and Columbia-HTC.
Francesso Chicchi from Team LiquiGas ended up winning the stage.
All in all, it was really cool to see pro riders in person for the first time and the turnout from fans was impressive. The rainfall we're having this late in the year is rare, and adds some irony to Amgen moving the race from February to May.
Full-res versions of my pictures from both stages can be downloaded here.
The Minnesota River meanders across the southern portion of the Twin Cities metro, intersecting with the Mississippi in the Fort Snelling area and then going west through Bloomington, down toward Shakopee, and on.
Nearly this entire area is covered in trails for varying user groups, on both sides of the river.
The south side of the river has a nice "jeep road" going along the river all the way from the Hwy 55 bridge to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. This is a nice cruise on a mountain bike.
The north side of the river however is where most people take their mountain bikes out. Officially, the trail stretches from the Indian Mound Park in Bloomington to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, also in Bloomington. This is about 11 miles of trail and a nice mix of fast single track, double track, a bit of gravel roads, and a few moderately technical sections as well. There are a number of access points to the trail, to view them, click HERE.
If you find yourself riding through the middle section of the trail during the late summer months, you'll notice the itching nettles encroaching over the single track. When riding through this on a hot sweaty day, the nettles really burn. Once when riding with a friend through here, he commented that if you ride fast through this section and get some wind going, the nettles don't itch/burn as bad. Ever since, we call that section "wind on chins".
A major highlight and break from riding that I always enjoy is crossing Nine Mile Creek on the raft. The old raft pictured below was replaced last year after someone cut the ropes and the raft floated away. In any case, be careful walking down the slippery steps with your slippery bike shoes and use the ropes to pull yourself across.
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I hadn't been to a baseball game in about 7 years until last week, when ironically I went to two games at the new Twins stadium, known as Cyclova XC Field (whoops, I mean Target Field).
Anyway, new Cyclova XC team member Dan Knoblauch and I were there along with our ladies and cycling was the last thing on our minds as we had just gotten done with a long ride. Our focus was on eating as many $1 hot dogs as possible (Mondays are dollar dog nights at the stadium). Naturally, we got thirsty.
At first he appeared to be a mirage, but then we saw he was real. A handsome figure carrying many beers approached us whom looked like "Floyd Landis, the Beer Man". Being a man of good taste, "Floyd" was selling Grain Belt Premium along with some other swine water. We got ourselves a couple of Premiums, gave the man a tip, and he was off to sell more sustenance to the rest of the crowd.
Were we hallucinating, or just imagining this? We weren't certain, so we tipped back a few more brews while contemplating whether the 2006 Tour de France champion had just served us beer while watching the Twins crush the Detroit Tigers.
Why don't you be the judge? Does this beer man look like Floyd Landis?
The image to the below left was taken at the Twins Game last week while the image to the right I took at the 2009 Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race here in the Twin Cities.
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In Peru, when people do races, EVERYBODY in the race wears the race shirt that is handed out with your entry fee. It's not like here where everybody wears their favorite race singlet thus causing a rainbow spectrum of color to go sprinting off into history at the start of the event. Nope, in Lima, everybody is dressed exactly the same (which makes it hard to spot people since nobody's wearing fantastic CyclovaXC gear).
However, all of this makes me think that Lima would be a great place to put on an event. We could make up a bunch of CyclovaXC singlets and then have our runners go right through the center of town where we'd be sure to irritate the motorists and stop traffic and cause a bunch of accidents (any one of these plus the race would ensure that we'd end up in the local paper and wouldn't that be some great free advertising for the club?).
Well, that will be in a year or two.
For now, my wife and I are busy bringing a little baby into the world, so the focus is a little splayed out at the moment...but rest assured, soon there will be THREE little runners in my household (so imagine a third that's a cross between the two in the above picture and you'll have a pretty good idea of what the world's in for).
will go to the feeding of my pregnant wife. However, that only inspired about HALF of you to send in your checks...which is a pretty poor reflection of character I might add...I mean, seriously, I guess I'll have to threaten a young puppy in my next article to get you guys to send your checks in.