Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Josh, Kay and I are going to Vegas today for Interbike. Sweet. Airplanes. Cool bikes. A break from the norm for 48 hours.
I didn't think I was inordinately excited.
It's 2 am and I'm still awake.

Nope, I'm not excited at all.... I just can't sleep.

There was a loud 'boom' around 9 tonight.

It seemed to come from somewhere in the parking lot. 'Twas a big boom. Somewhere between the noise of ten car doors slamming at once and that of a 12 gauge shotgun.

So I wandered outside where about 15 other neighbors were wandering. Believe that, huh? We actually got off our couches and away from our simulated computer- and Tv- based lives to talk to one another.

Turns out someone had thrown some sort of homemade 'bomb' at an apartment window across the complex. Best we can tell it was constructed from a Gatorade bottle, aluminum foil, and some sort of cleaner. Unfortunately the occupant of the apartment was at work. How boring.

Who knows. Maybe somebody was just pulling a prank. Or maybe it was malicious. Either way it made a totally killer bang.

I think Tim and I are gonna' have to concoct some Drano bombs now.
Time, it's changing me
It's hard to see who I am
Touched, I'm touched by many things
So many things
I don't understand

But seasons pass and I discover
Above all this there's Another
Helping me to hold on to what
is timeless

So the autumn can color me gold
And the winter can dress me
in snow
But it's You I see,
the timeless part of me- Selah

Friday, September 21, 2007


Our futon is so cool. It looks cool. Plus, when you're done sitting on it you can fold it out and sleep on it.

But who really wants to sleep where everyone else's bums have sat?
Sleeping has begun to cause me great grief. Several months ago I went through a period where I couldn't sleep. Now I have to fight to get up after 10 hours of sleep. Yawn. Quite annoying.

I went running tonight. Killed the right knee. I stopped as soon as I noticed it was giving me pain. arrg. It's still complaining some. I don't know what I'll do if I can't run. Bike, I guess. It's just never as refreshing as a good run.
One more week of craziness and the bike season starts to wind down.
I'm kinda' looking forward to it. I'd like some longer rides.
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
- green day

Monday, September 17, 2007


Years ago, when we we're traveling through Tennesee, Dad introduced us to this weed called Kudzu. I think it was imported here during the prohibition to curb alcoholism. Or maybe erosion. Can't remember which.

All I know is that it can cover fences, cars and houses at an outstanding rate. (I hear if you want to make it grow faster, you put it under a concrete block and fertilize it with motor oil. this stuff is insane.) I went into Akin's health food store to get some vitamins and they had little caplets of it for sale. Donno' what it's suppose to do. But they were selling it.

And it gets worse. I saw two patches of it in the Sarcoxie area this weekend. At that rate all of the 417- area code, and part of 573- should be covered by next June. I think it's time somebody imported a bunch of alcoholic goats.
The MS weekend was long, and painful. Back to back centuries hurt.
My bike looked and sounded absolutely horrendous after all the miles and rain. So I pulled it all apart tonight and gave it a good going over. All I have to do is get the chain back on.
I hate the last couple hours of a century. It's not that my body is worn out... I'm pretty much worn out at the 60 mile mark. But in that last stretch my mind starts to go. And suddenly I'm facing all of my 'demons' and life frustrations. So I'm there trying to push my body on and pray through my life at the same time. It's really unique actually. Painful. But unique. I love this sport.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Check this. Stage 2, Springfield Finish. My coworker Josh is the dude in the black shirt in the last few seconds at the end. We were pretty pumped.

MS 150 starts tomorrow. It'll a be a busy day. Willard to Joplin. These peeps are crazy. They'll do great.

I have some parties to hit on Saturday, but I'm hoping to overnight in Joplin with them and ride back. Should be a blast. I hear there are some hills. Sweet.
It was playing on the radio tonight. Totally.

...stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain. - - Superchick

Live it out loud for Christ!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Street racin'

Man. Life is too short. In another 40 years I'll be brushing my dentures. Scary.

The Tour of Missouri leaves Lebanon tomorrow around ten and heads up towards Columbia. Tonight the Lebanonites were having a little pre-party, so we took the truck and trailer up to join them.

It was pretty sweet. They set up a street sprint with a radar gun and all the little kiddos would race down the street one at a time trying to coax everything they could out of their training wheels. I get a kick out of how competitive they can be.

Later they had a longer street sprint for the older guys. I've never felt that I am a great sprinter and tonight proved it. In three tries I never made it over 30 mph. I guess I'll have to work on that.

I ended up tying for 2nd with some dude on a fixie. I know, I tied with a single-speed bike. Is that wrong or what? I'm so gonna' start working on my sprints.

The cool thing was they were handing out cash prizes. My fixie partner and I were suppose to split it, but he insisted I take the larger portion. Felt bad about that. After all... he was at the disadvantage. Nice guy.

So I'm a little richer. And we got to promote the shop. Way Cool.

Next year we'll have to have armadillo races.
I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing
I'm alive, I'm alive. - Flyleaf

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Running. Armydillos.

So in yesterday's Tour of MO a couple of riders hit an armadillo. I dunno, but I found that funny. I mean, you're cooking along, and suddenly there's an armadillo. Whaddya' gonna' do? Not like the little bugger's gonna scurry for it's life. And screaming at it prolly wouldn't help. Guess you could try to bunny-hop it. If squirrels are nature's speed-bumps, than armadillos must be the ultimate stop-all.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Dan Schmatz of St. Louis. I was so looking forward to seeing him in todays stage.

Speaking of which, watching the pro tour was so awesome. I feel like I have finally had a taste of the TdF. And by taste I mean a very measley tip-of-the-tounge hint. Like the way mom would let us 'taste' her coffee as kids. But it was incredible to be standing a few feet from riders like Contador and Hincapie. And then meeting Brad Huff was pretty sweet. A lot of the riders around here know him pretty good, but for me, there's still some awe. And I'm a fan.

I took some pics with Cory's camera, so when he's done listening to his emo music I'll get them downloaded.
I'm dying for a good run. Maybe a bunch of us should plan on doing a run together. Last year we did an event out in rogersville the first weekend in October. (Josh? hard to believe you we're still single back then.) This year that event won't happen until Oct 20th, but there is a 5k at Ridge Runner Sports we could do. It'd be fairly flat. What more could you ask for?

Plus, you should get done in plenty of time for Springfield's Walk-For-Life.

If some of you have been thinking of doing a 5k, it'd be a great way to start. Hey you could even power-walk it. Or walk/run it. Sure, you might not have time for the full "20-weeks to your first 5k" program. But four weeks should be more than enough for most of you. Remember you can WALK it. you'll finish in about 50 minutes. And I'd be sure to save you a bagel.

And then, if you enjoy that enough we can always follow it up the next weekend at the Sunshine Run. (And the weekend after that everybody hard-core can dust off their bikes and toe the line with me at the Wildcat Duathlon. Let's set some PR's!)
All right. Done with my shameless plugs.

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now thee alone I seek
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee! -- E. Prentiss

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Don't tell me...

I oughta' post more regularly instead of saving it up for painfully long posts that even I rarely bother to read...
This is the big week at the bike shop. All year we've been helping customers switch from couch potato to century rider. It is so cool to help these people out in the final week before the MS. For some it will be the first time, and they're quite scared. Other's are doing it again, just to enjoy the camaraderie and prove -- to none but themselves -- that they haven't lost it.

In some ways that's the essence of humanity. Striving for something. The apostle Paul knew that. He was all about running. Pressing for the mark. That kind of thing. Not just pressing for anything, but that high calling. Yeah, centuries rule. Just think what Heaven is in comparison.
Flies wash they're eyeballs with their hands. Sweet. Humans can't do that. They have too many gross habits like picking their noses and shaking each other's hands. 'nough said.
The tour of Missouri is in Springfield tomorrow. I'm planning on digging out my little World Championship cap, my fixie, and my VIP pass (thanks, Kay... and Felt), and Partying for an hour. Woo Hoo! Been dreaming of going to a pro-tour race since I was 16. Too cool.

And everybody's invited. So pack up the kids and hit the JVIP area between 2 and 4 (riders arrive here between 3 and 4) I'm guessing we may not see another pro-tour in MO for awhile. Besides, after 10 years, it's the Discovery boys last race. Bring a tissue. Might as well enjoy history while it happens.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Race lessons

As I was packing at the hotel, I picked up my Bible and it flipped open to Psalms.124: "If it had not been the Lord..." Right then I remembered that barrier coming up towards me. "If it had not been..." Not to mention the fact that we had an entirely safe trip; the car held up; the bodies and minds stayed refreshed. Truly, I'm blessed. ..

In Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy -- at least in the movie version -- it is recommended to always carry a towel with oneself; or to at least always know where that towel is.

I have found that extremely true in racing. For instance; I hate driving in my chamois, so I wait to change into my racing clothes until I get there. I simply tie the towel around my waist and I can change anywhere. Of course toweling-off after a race rules, too.

This week I upgraded from a towel to a pillow and a blanket. The blanket offers more coverage, plus you can lay it down anywhere -- like on the parking lot in the shade between two cars -- and nap comfortably for several hours. Talk about race recovery.

Jason actually has the words to "hey there delilah" memorized. Kid needs a guitar.

Yesterday's race was a lot of fun. I felt really strong. I was in the front making breaks. Winning primes. I was the man.
When we rounded the corner at the bottom of the last climb I was in second position. Some dude clipped a pedal and I heard the bike scrape along the ground behind me. The whole peleton freaked out and hit their brakes like a bunch of lemmings after a trip to the tree of knowledge. This was it. Me and the race leader. He accelerated. My legs? The same legs that had been 'controlling' the race? Yeah, they wilted like butter on hot pancakes. I fought with everything I had and finished 11th. From 2nd to 11th. In 50 seconds.

It's the hardest lesson to learn. Racing isn't about getting attention, or hearing your name. It's about the finish line. I don't care how many laps you lead. Yeah, it sucks to sits in the back of a bunch of squirrley cat 5 riders. But sometimes that's what it takes to have the strength for the finish. That little yellow stripe across the road. That's what matters.

So I decided I would sit in today. At the start it wouldn't have mattered. Even after a long warmup I didn't have the strength to chase a sea turtle, had it chosen to break-away. But midway through the race they finally came around.
It was a beautiful course: A beautiful sweeping downhill stretch to the finish, and a nice hill on the backside, with a bottle-neck corner leading into it. In warmup, I was placing bets with myself how many riders were going to eat it there. I smelled burnt rubber more than once during the race from all the cyclists freaking out on their brakes. Yeah, I didn't like it much. At one point I was coming into the corner on the outside next to the metal barricades. Some racers decided to move up a few places on my inside and forced me over to the barriers. I looked up and saw the metal foot right in front of me.
A lot of praying. A lot of screaming 'Stopping!'. And a lot of crazy bike skills. Somebody clipped my rear wheel, but we kept it upright.
So we raced on. Several breaks kept forming, so at one point I went for a mid-race prime, hoping to segue that into a break. I didn't win the prime-- it was neck and neck but I wanted to save that final kick for the race finish -- but we did get a little gap. Unfortunately nobody in the gap felt strong enough to hold it so -- in spite of my screaming (Pull! c'mon, work it! Pull off! let's go!)-- we dropped back. Good call. Little energy wasted.
Coming into the final lap the winner went right to the front and pulled all the way up the hill. I figured he would blow up. Just kept chugging. We rounded the corner and he was gone. I was blocked in, until everybody started sprinting, but got out just in time to fight for it. Ah, it was so painful. I kept grabbing gears.. It hurt so bad but I knew it would be over ten seconds.. so I grabbed a few more gears and stood on the pedals.
I doubt there's been any happier 3rd place finisher.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 124

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Gateway Cup

First off, I want to thank all of my friends for their support as I tinker with racing. I've dreamed of this for so long, it totally rules to be chilling here tonight... in a totally rad hotel just few blocks from the university loop where the race concludes tomorrow. So far I haven't done anything outstanding, but I have had a lot of lessons in two days. Let's see tomorrow how well they've been learned.

I have won two primes, though: 2 t-shirts, a backpack and a pair of socks. Plus the pride of beating guys out at the line. Xqii.

After hearing about my 11th place finish, my dad sent text message:
Hang in there. Maybe one of the ten will get kicked out 4 drugs.

Real funny, dad.

Cory and I wandered around St.Louis today. The tours of the Arch were completely booked out, but we still got to get close to it. It's grand. Not beautiful. Grand.
Then we wandered around downtown some and settled for supper at Hardees.
I gotta' say I like St. Louis better than Chicago. It still has the big-town busyness, but not the dirtiness. Or snobbiness.

If I weep, let it be as a man; longing for his home - Rich Mullins