Saturday, December 31, 2005


Well, I’m once again down in the twin cities. Alison and I just arrived here last night to spend some holiday time with her side of the family, as we spent the last week in the Minot/Westhope/Mohall/Bismarck, ND areas with mine (lots of driving). We had a great time seeing lots of family there that we don’t get to spend enough time with. It was our biggest Christmas Day crowd for quite some time- 19 people in the house up at Westhope. It was a little sad, being grandma Jensen’s last Christmas, because of her cancer, but it was a great Christmas nonetheless as we got everyone together. Mohall was great too; we introduced our other grandma (grandma Rhoads) to Alison, and to Jamie, my brother Adam’s wife, and even though she suffers from pretty bad memory loss (she’s in an Alzheimer’s home), she seemed to put together that we were all family and she did a lot of smiling. Good to see. Minot was packed, as we all stayed at my Aunt Avis’s (thanks Avis!). Mom and dad are in the process of moving, and haven’t found a new house yet, so it was great to have Avis’s hospitality to house all of us.
I managed to squeeze in a singlespeed ride throughout Minot one morning, and was amazed at how small everything seemed in the town I grew up in. My elementary school is just tiny compared to how it looked when I was half my current height. I was a good ride, but man, I’ve got to fix that failing drivetrain on my 1x1- that’s on the menu for this week now that I’m near bike shops that deal in singlespeeds. I’m hoping to stop by One on One Bike Studio in Minneapolis this week. I’m sure there will be tons more vacation fun this week before returning to students next week. More later…

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I love my woman!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mech addict

I decided this morning that I might just be a boring person. The thought entered my head as I was reading about different steel alloys in the bicycle glossary section of I’ve always been interested in bike mechanic articles, and lately I’ve been reading a lot about manufacturing frames. Good stuff to me, but I think I’d be pretty boring to talk with. Oh well. If that subject tickles your fancy, you should check the site out. I know there’s a few of you that would love to know the difference between lugging and brazing vs. TIG welding steel mixed with chromium and molybdenum. Oh yeah.

Friday, December 16, 2005

No need for the trainer tonight...

Rough ride tonight. Edward is in town so we had a little heavy snow throw-down with the two of us and David K. Lots of fun, but I got worked with the normal summery 32x16 singlespeed setup. Ouch, I’ve gotta get an 18 tooth freewheel for the winter. You just can’t push the same gear in all the snow, especially as heavy as it was tonight. The trails I was so excited about a couple nights ago were just about unrideable this evening. But we trudged all the same. I can’t say I’ve hit the wall like that in a while though. I earned my dinner. The riding will be easier tomorrow as far as town goes, cuz the plows have finally ventured out now that enough cars have crashed. We had the melt, then freezing rain, then cold fluffy snow wipe-out mix the past couple days, and it’s all slip-and-slidey out. I bet the dude with the Pug is lovin’ it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rediscovered turf..

So I got really bored last night and decided to wander the streets on my singlespeed, as I do on many occasions. The plan was to check out the Christmas in the Park lights at Lincoln Park down by the Red River. Never got to looking at the light though, cuz I discovered that some off road trail that I had though was long overgrown was again ride-able down near the river. It even includes a bit of singletrack. On top of that, while riding it I bumped into a rider who works at the Ski and Bike Shop, here in town, and found out that there’s a Pugsley owner in town. Sweet! I’ve got to see it sometime. It was good to actually see someone else out riding for fun in the winter. Both of us were surprised to see each other, as the dark snowy riding around here this time of the year is usually accompanied by solitude. Anyhow, I hope to see the Pug soon; it’ll motivate me to someday buy some huge snow tires for my 1x1 I’m sure. I better go to work first.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Eat it winter

Well I don’t usually post crude material on this blog, but this was too funny to pass up. Some riders in the Minneapolis area decided to tell the cold months what they thought of them. Keep riding.

Trying to move the beast...

Almost sold my van today. Still might sell it soon, but not today. Dude came over and took a look see, cuz he’s got the same vehicle himself and could use it for parts, but I couldn’t quite sell him on it for the price I was asking. Part of it was that when we jumped the old beater to listen to her purr, she sounded like a pretty congested cat. So with a crappy sounding engine, severe power steering leak, a possible bad transmission and a huge amount of miles, she didn’t look so appealing in the end. I was offered $200, which is half of what I’d listed, so I’m gonna wait a few days to see if anything else turns up, and if not, I may just go for the low offer. I need this van to be gone when I move in January.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Another snow day in snowy McSnowville

Shoveled some snow. Cleaned my room. Cleaned my room some more (it was ready for some work). Got the van ready for sale. Worked, wait no, I don’t work. Winter has hit the flying community hard up here this past four weeks. This van needs to sell so I don’t have to join the minimum wage masses at WalMart. Today we can’t fly because the runways are covered in ice and snow, with braking action reported poor. With the recent crash in Chicago I think we’re a bit hesitant to send out students on slippery runways. A good call, but I sure could use some work. Oh well, back to riding my sweet bikes in the snow and watching movies. Someday I suppose I’ll be a grown up, but I’ll enjoy the time off for today. (And be productive with other tasks of course, I’m not a total bum.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I hit up my indoor trainer last night for the first time this season. Not bad. It’s definitely far inferior to riding outside, a meager simulation to keep me from getting lazy during the freezing months, but it gets the workout job done. I have no plans of stopping the outdoor fat tire rides right now, as it’s actually pretty warm (low thirties today), but I still have to simmer the road riding skills with the trainer. There’s no off season, just a slow season. Also, I went to the climbing gym this week with Alison and pretended that I’m still a climber. It went ok; I was surprised at what I was able to climb after a lot of neglect to the sport this season after Edward and Kelly are no longer here to get me out to the real rocks down the road. I may head back to the gym today, we’ll see. It would be nice to make a routine of it again.

In other events, the Jensen family has been in a different mood than normal this week, as we are dealing with cancer. My grandmother has been coping with colon cancer for the past few months, and it appears now that it will take her life. She has always been an incredible woman in our family, and it’s sad to see this happen. The good news is that God is always ultimately in control, so there’s really nothing to worry about in the long run. We’ll look to Him for our strength.
Also on the topic of cancer, the Lance Armstrong Foundation (link found on the right column of this blog), has a tool to write to your state representatives to encourage funding of cancer research. It takes about 5 minutes of your time, and can help to save lives in the future when dealing with cancer. If our representatives don’t hear from us, how will we be represented? Let them know if this subject is important to you, as it is to me.
Direct link to the congressional action page.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Ice. More Ice. Even More Ice. How much ice can you stick on a car? A friggin’ lot if you live in North Dakota. Getting back from the cities was quite a trip this weekend. We had to retreat from the highways to a hotel in hopes of not joining many other travelers in the ditch. It was the most freezing rain I’ve seen in a while, and I think if anyone was confused as to whether or not winter has hit here in the north country, it pretty much slapped us in the face to let us know it most definitely has. I stood in a parking lot in Fargo Monday morning, I put my arms out, and started to slide without trying across flat ground covered in glare ice during 40 mph winds. So yes, it’s crappy out. (But no, I’m not going to stop riding my bikes.) The cold season is tough, but not successful in stopping me. Eat it winter. You make a scene every year and stick your chest out like the big kid in class, but me and my Surly are just gonna trip you when you walk past our desk. I will be enjoying the fat tire snow rides with whoever else is enlightened to not hide with their tails between their legs.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bird's in the oven...

Alison and I are down in the Twin Cities for Thanksgiving, visiting her family. It’s always good to get down here. Turkey’s in the oven, and even though I just got up (insert laziness joke), dinners only a couple hours away. Should be tasty.
The ride down here seemed to take sooo long this time. Al and I were shooting for Chipotle, our favorite burrito grill for dinner, and the timing was not right. We were super starvin’ two hours out from dinner. We had a couple apples to tide us over, but that didn’t quite do the trick. I resorted to eating a questionable old granola bar found in my flight bag. Al didn’t want any. I lived, she lived, and Chipotle was wonderful when we finally got there. The wait did give me a chance to read a great article in Bicycling magazine however. They did a piece in the latest (Dec. ’05) issue on people who ride not for fun, but necessity. We all see the beater bikes chained to trees in various workplaces around town, and there are of course riders to go with them. It was an article focused on the poor who ride out of not being able to afford a car, but who obviously need to get to work. (I can relate somewhat, but I’m a rich rich man compared to the people in this article.) It took a look mainly at the Spanish-American demographic group in Los Angeles. There’s a big difference between myself, commuting on an expensive Surly 1x1 to get to my flight instruction job, and an immigrant riding a WalMart bike to a temp agency, who may or may not find work to support their family. I always find it shocking to read of how poor many people in our country are, and how a huge portion of our citizens would rather ignore that fact than do anything to help change the situation. Anyhow, it was very interesting reading, I recommend it.
For now I’m going to spend some time with family and enjoy Thanksgiving, thankful that we are very blessed, and even though money can be tight sometimes, we are quite wealthy when it comes down to it, considering in the world we live in.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mud and singlespeeds...

Well, I figured out how to get pictures from my cell phone onto my computer after only a few months of trying. So now you will all be blessed with grainy, grainy pictures of things I find interesting. Today is your first one- yesterday David K and I rode at Turtle River, and got very muddy in the process. This picture only shows my bike at about %50 of how muddy it got during the day. Good times. We were actually wishing it was colder so the ground would freeze instead of being so mucky, but we had a good time anyway. The horse trails were our turf, instead of the normal singletrack rides, as they had the least amount of stickiness. Gotta lot of cleaning to do on the poor Surly, but it’ll shine again soon. Good rides.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Rollin' with a smile at midnight...

Some rides just feel better than others. I had a good ride tonight. Full of turkey and pie (fuel suited more for a singlespeed commute than a road century), had a good night with friends, and the temperature was behaving nicely for a November night- 32 degrees. That’s a whole bunch of degrees for a winter commute at midnight. Commuting has it’s “why do I do this” moments, but it also has the “oh yeah, I remember” moments too. I remember.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Early bird...

Well remember earlier this week when I was frustrated at not working all week. Yup, still haven’t. Grand Forks has been plagued with funk weather ever since I returned from Tom and Erin’s wedding. I totally would’ve stayed in Bismarck this past week had I known. Still haven’t ridden the local singletrack there on my Surly. I thought about heading out to Turtle River to ride today with my roommate, but I had to bake a pie. Yeah, sounds like a stupid reason not to ride, but I literally had to bake a pie. I’m going to an early Thanksgiving dinner tonight hosted by Alison and her roommates. Should be a good break from the sitting and thinking about work. I think I’ll ride there to make up for the lack of singletrack this afternoon. Hopefully the turkey won’t weigh me down too much so I can make it back home.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Good spew.

I just read a great mechanics article on Surly’s website on singlespeed drivetrains:
Man, I don’t know how mine has lasted as long as it has. They’ve pretty much convinced me that it’s gonna break at any moment, lookin’ at the wear and tear I’ve put it through so far without replacing parts. I’d say it’s high time to throw on a new drivetrain altogether, but alas, I may have to press my luck for awhile longer, seeing as the finances aren’t there. Maybe I’ll sell the stereo out of my dead van to fix my living bike.

Can't tell if I have a job...

This is the third day in a row I have had no work. And that after a weekend off, and Thanksgiving Break next week. Uggh. Flight instructing should not be labeled as a job, but more of a grad school type of a situation where one is poorly compensated for their time and work, and not guaranteed to be able to pay the bills. If it weren’t for the bills, I would absolutely love all this time off. I have so much time to bike, run errands, clean house, whatever I need to do, but man, I think I saw a tumbleweed blow out of my checkbook the other day. I’m going to post my resume online at a few places and see if anyone is looking for an over-educated under-paid individual these days. Hopefully in mountainous terrain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The chill has arrived...

Winter. It’s definitely here. The wind chill in breezy Grand Forks is currently -2F. Every year I forget how unpleasant those kind of temperatures feel, but time has proven that they won’t stop the riding. One must be a crazy person, but nonetheless, riding is still fun when your snot is freezing inside your nose. I’ve always said, if people can be out skiing in the winter, I can be out riding my bike. Since the little bit of work I have these days keeps getting cancelled, I think I’ll head out and do some pedaling tonight, possibly to the local bike shop to help a friend pick out parts for his rockin’ new Surly Karate Monkey singlespeed that he’s building. Sweet bike, I totally approve. Should be a good time.
In other news, Alison bought me my wedding ring today. I definitely like it. I went the titanium route, since gold and platinum are too sparkly for my taste. I’m not a sparkly dude. I was wearing it around for awhile today, and her roommates said I was acting like a girl. :) Probably. Oh well, it’s exiting to think that we’re getting married in less than three months! Well, I’m off to forage for some dinner.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Weekend in Bizzo...

Well I’m going to have to say that this past weekend was great. It was wonderful to get to visit Bismarck again, which I have decided is the best town in ND for sure. Mom and Dad- I’m going to have to pretend you’re still there sometime to visit the town itself. :) But yes, I’ll be coming to Minot to see you too. :)
Tom and Erin’s wedding was also a good time, seeing as it was the main reason for the trip. It was great to see a bunch of you college friends, but we sure missed the Paasch’s- you guys better be at my wedding! :) It’s always nice to get everyone together for reunions now that everyone (minus myself, whoops) has moved off to all sorts of exotic places. And seeing good friends get hitched is always fun. Alison and I are sure lookin’ forward to having our own wedding soon too. All these other weddings are makin’ us anxious. :) We’re getting invitations ready, so be on the lookout for yours…
I’d have pictures of the weekend, but the only camera I was sporting was my phone, and I still haven’t figured out how to get those onto my computer. Probably costs 5 bucks a picture anyhow.
Well, seeing as my only student for today called sick, I now have the rest of the day (much like the whole day so far) to take care of errands and chores. I better get my apron on and my checkbook out…

Friday, November 11, 2005


I’ve finally taken a trip home. I’m sitting in my parent’s living room in Bismarck this morning. I’m in the wedding of two of my friends this weekend, and helping my parents move to Minot. I think the weather today is supposed to be unusually warm for Nov. 11th- something like 65 degrees. I totally should have brought my road bike, but I suppose I’ll be a bit too busy. Anyhow, speaking of that, I think I should probably get workin’…

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Less than a week...

So my van didn't even run for a week before breaking down again. Most people would finance a replacement vehicle, but I'm being stubborn, so as not to end up in the "American Dream" of being so buried in debt that I can't breath. Ideally, I'm going to stick to only school and home debt. You can live without a car for periods of time, even in America, where there's gas in our veins. It's inconvenient, but life’s not about convenience sometimes. Sometimes it’s about getting tougher. The budget will balance someday.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Next on the Pommel Horse...

Well myself, along with a couple friends of mine mess around with an under-used program on our computers from time to time out of humor’s sake- Microsoft Paint. And today I received a bizarre and hilarious entry to our paintings from my buddy Eric from Duluth. Man it’s funny. This is the caption he sent with it-

"Near our home in Duluth, there is a set of railroad tracks that we pass overwhen driving up the hill. Whenever we drive over the tracks we always say thatwe see a herd of White Tailed Deer doing gymnastics in the area near thetracks, and the squirrels are generally doing the judging (although, i haveseen a fox fill in in the event of an absent squirrel)"

Yes, he’s a grown man. No, I don’t know what provoked this.

Fair weather Nov. group ride...

Well another Turtle River ride went down today, and it straight up rocked. I didn’t even ride my geared bike cuz singlespeeding was so flippin’ fun. I’ve decided that I end up going faster on the one-speeder cuz I have to. There’s no other choice, cuz that’s the one gear I have. I read from other ss’ers that that happens, and they end up dropping their geared buddies on rides. Fun. Also, I’ve assimilated someone to ride singlespeed with. My good friend David was out on the trails with me today, and he’s pretty much decided to purchase a Surly Karate Monkey, which is a sweet steel 29’er (29 inch wheels), with horizontal dropouts, making it one cool singlespeed frame. Yeah that’s right. If you didn’t know how cool that is, now you do. Fast and smooth.
Anyhow, the GF bike forum is growing a little more each week. People still seem timid to post group rides, as not everyone knows each other, but that’s what it’s for. They’ll catch on.
Winter isn’t here yet! It was 50 degrees during the ride today, and it’s Nov! Excellent. It can just stay this way and we can just skip the forty below sadness that we are normally crushed with come January. It’s no wonder my van is dying if I ask it to drive in that crap. Brr. Bedtime. More later…

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fixie project update...

It’s sweet what you can do with some tools and an old bike. My fixie project has been moving slower than ever, but the bike is ride-ready. Still more to do with it to make it a complete project, but that will probably happen in the spring if I happen to have any money. And we’re only talkin’ like $60 buck, but hey, there’s lots of other bills and this is an unnecessary project. Anyhow, here is it, a ‘70’s vintage Schwinn le Tour, converted to one fixed gear. Had to re-space the rear axle and re-dish the wheel after taken the old geared freewheel off, and since their was no provision for a regular, reverse thread lock-ring on the hub, I cranked down a normally threaded lock ring off an English thread adjustable cup bottom bracket against the track cog. Wow, that was a lot of shop talk. Sorry if you don’t care, but I’m proud that it worked. I've tried to post pix of the bike, but so far something isn't working. You'll see it soon. More on that project as it slooooowly progresses….

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fixin' for some sweet rides...

I worked on my fixed gear bike tonight. It's still not completely built up as I want (got no money), but it's rideable. I through on the mustache bar Edward gave me, and it's lookin' very retro. I took it for a short ride in the beautiful weather tonight (freezing rain), and it was totally fun. Needs fenders though, I had a nice streak up the back at the end of the spin. And it's definately getting an e-brake installed. Fixies can be death traps in town. Motorists don't know what it's like to ride a bike anymore. And I guess I can't blame them for not expecting cyclists out in craptastic weather, but still, I don't think people pay much attention when they drive. It's a bit unnerving. But anyhow, the fixie is sweet, and I plan to work on it further, and do more riding with it until the snow stays, then it's definatley Surly time. Off to bed...

Git your cooling on...

Stayed up 'till two last night, and my van's cooling system is FINALY working properly, at least for now. Replaced the old thermostat, which was busted clean in half, and the associated gasket had turned to a gooey pulp, not really looking much like a gasket at all anymore, so the repair was needed. The fix was a mess, cuz my radiator has no draincock, so it's lower hose had to be pulled, resulting in no good way to drain in a organized way. Fluid everywhere; sucky cleanup. But anyhow, that problem is fixed. Now I have to figure out what is grinding/clunking when shifting into gear, and sometimes when I start/stop. Scarey. I don't think it's the motor/transmission mounts, so it could be something internal. Yikes. Gotta buy a new vehicle. Hopefully this one can limp for awhile, but if not, I have my Surly, and it doesn't hate me like my van does. More later...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why Buttons?!

Usually clothing isn’t a much discussed topic on my blog, but today I decided that on a long sleeve button-up shirt, their should be Velcro at the cuffs and not friggin’ buttons. I don’t know about you, but it takes me forever to get the buttons on my cuffs together, because one hand is useless in the process. Is this efficient? Surely not. Would Velcro be easier, although not fashion appropriate, yes. I don’t need to be fashion appropriate. The elderly have wonderful clothing. It’s designed to be comfortable and easy to manage. The only thing wrong with it is that it’s usually cotton, and merino wool or synthetic fibers would be a higher-performance material, but the elderly aren’t typically doing much performing. I dig their Velcro and easy straps though.


We'll I'd anounced my van was dead, and I may be temporarily wrong. I went in to Dietrich's yesterday (the bus station I work at part time), and the mechanics and I poked, prodded, kicked and shook the van to the point that we got it started. The alternator seems to be charging again, and we now suspect bad connections rather than the alternator itself. So, at least temporarily, the van is rolling down the road. I'm still saving for something else, cuz I no longer trust this vehicle after it has broken on me repeatedly in the past couple months, and is at an insane mileage on the first engine. Although, the engine itself seems to be the best thing left on the van. Anyhow, I may try to replace the thermostat today or tommorow, since that's under 10 bucks, and we'll just see about the clunky transmission mount. I haven't figured out if I need a lift for that or not. Man, bikes are so much simpler, and less costly. But cars don't make you show up to work with a sweaty crack. Nasty. I'm sorry I did that to you.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Singletrack at last...

Well twice now I’ve authored a marvelously entertaining blog entry for you all to read, and while posting it my trashy internet connection has sent it off into the black whole of computerized frustration (I don’t know what happened to it.) So anyways, I went riding today at TR with some friends. Brought the geared Trek and singlespeed Surly. Fun. Dang fun. Like I said, I had a great entry written, but it’s gone. This is all you get. Deal with it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

nice commute...

Hey folks. I'm sittin' in the good ol' Tabula coffee house in between work at the sim lab. I rode the Surly to work today, as I am carless. It's not so bad. Inconvient at times, but really only when I don't plan well. If you plan out your day ahead of time and give yourself realistic time frames to get things done, biking to work can be great. The wind is howlin' from the south today as it does often in Grand Forks, so the ride to the lab was super easy. Not sure how the return trip will turn out, but I can work it and get sweaty going home if I need to. I might go out for some more riding tonight too, but I'm not sure yet. I'll see what's going on. The bike forum is starting to get going, with more people signing up. We're up to six, which is very small, but every fire starts with a spark. Just looking at the bike racks as I commute around campus, I can see some sweet bikes, and I know that riders are out there; the word just has to get out about the forum for it to be sweet. Sunday should be good, as I posted a Turtle River State Park ride, and got some people together for some singletrack. Might take the singlespeed for a few laps, but I think I should ride my poor Trek 8000 that has been suffering from a hard case of prarie-induced lack of riding. Someday I hope to take it home to the moutains. Anyhow, stuff to do; more later...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Short cities trip...

Well I ate like I’m spoiled this weekend. Steak for free, good coffee, and I even experienced a “chocolate fountain”. Yeah, didn’t know those existed, but I’m pretty sure I want one. Alison and I went to a fall banquet thinger at the place holding our wedding reception, in order to decide what everyone will be eating. I expected little samples of various food options, but nope, I get to my plate and wham!, a whole New York strip steak as just one of the things to eat. A the chocolate fountain- it’s this crazy heater fountain machine that cascades warm chocolate down three tiers, and you dip fruit or pretzels or cream puffs or whatever into it, and it’s mighty tasty. You might just see one of those at the wedding, but we’ll see. I think I should just buy one and go into the chocolate-dude industry, cuz they rent for a pretty price. Anyhow, the food tasty was delicious. Then today Alison and I had our engagement pix taken at a waterfall in the cities, which was really cool as the leaves are all fiery this time of year. And to top things off we did make that trip to REI and did their gift registry thing, and that was fun. So yeah, I felt spoiled this weekend, but, , I had sure had a good time…

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sorry for the delay...

Wow, I need to get on the ball here with the bloggin'. Lazy month. I've actually been doing some work at the airport, and my van has needed so much attention that I've been lazy with other things, such as this site.
I think my van situation can be compared to a game of Jenga. We're on the last few block pulls, and it's all gonna come apart soon. I've had motor/transmission mounts failing, a nasty power steering leak, a bad thermostat, a bad radiator cooling fan motor, and now I'm getting random indications of alternator problems. Time to push it all into the river, I tell ya. Vans are supposed to be retired before this kind of 200,000 and beyond mileage. It's time to start building a van retirement fund, so it can stop working after all the years of service to society. And my word has this van served. Here's a photo showing you just how hard.

Not many vehicles can handle six bikes, three full packs of camping and climbing gear, plus an Edward full of Krispy Kremes. Impresive.

On the bike front, I've decided to try and be proactive in getting more group rides going in Grand Forks, in order to try and make the town more interesting for those of us who ride. I found a sweet free forum site, and started this:
Hopefully people will use it and it'll get things rollin' here on the prarie, even through the winter. I know there's some more crazies out there who ride snow. More on that project later.

On the wedding front, Alison and I are doin' well, getting everything going for the big day, which is Feb. 4th, 2006. Not to far to go. We're heading down to the cities tommorow to sample reception food and get the engagement pix taken. I think we might do some window shopping at REI too, so that should be fun. I can't spend though.

Anyhow, it's off to work a while, then hopefully get some fall weather singlespeeding at the end of the day.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

55 degrees, rain, and almost seven hours of riding...

Such was the Headwaters 100 this year of 2005. Some might think this would not be called fun, but some are quite wrong. 700 riders registered this year, although I heard only 600 rode. Rain is just water. Water is life-sustaining. And 55 degrees is not cold when you're riding. The only times I got cold on the ride were when I stopped at the food stations to eat way to many cookies and linger too long while talking to the old folks of the little towns that the stops were in. Nice folk. I'd have taken pictures while at these rest stops, but because of the rain, my camera stayed in my van, which, in other news has been sick. 208,000 miles sick. I feared the worst, but through some wrenchin' and feelin' manly, I've got 'er up and running again, at least for a while. She's got to last a bit longer, until I get a job that pays me. I'll let her retire someday, after all the great trips she's driven. Anyhow, I'm always blogging when I should be sleeping.....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Airport Sittin'

Well I'm currently sitting at the airport doing nothing, waiting for a late flight, so I thought I better shoot an update to the ol' blog. Last weekend was quality, as you can see from my picture. I spent some valued time in the woods with my lady and three other friends. There was much hiking and paddling, and I even got cussed out by a beaver (paddled too close). I was stunned to see how much beavers look like a creepy wet version of my cat Mullet. The leaves are changing in Headwaters country right now, and let me tell you, it's beautiful. I'm going back tommorow night to sleep in my van, then get up Saturday morning and hammer a hundred miles on my Lemond after not training. It'll be wonderful. Who needs to be in shape when you have great scenery and fresh air to keep you going (and tons of food provided by the ride officials). I'll have to try and take some pictures, but I don't know if I can lug Al's digital camera with, as it's a bit huge, and both my cameras are in craptastic shape, working about half the time. I'll see what I can do. Anyhow, I have a lot of nothing to do for a couple hours, so I'm going to get going on that. There really should be some free coffee out here.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Whoa! Big month!

Hey all. I've been terrible at blogging this month, cuz there's been sooooo much going on. First off, everyone reading this probably already knows that I asked Alison to marry me, and it's happening this February!!!! Yeah, so my mind hasn't really been sitting in front of my computer blogging. Sorry. Also, we've both been working hard at the flight instructing scene, and that's always frazzeling. It's been crazy. I've got 6 students there, and I'm working for the bus company too. There hasn't been a lot of road biking in towards the end of the season like there should be, but what can ya do? But, in road bike news, Al bought a sweet Specialized Dolce for herself and has joined the road scene, so that' s exciting. I don't know how much riding the ND weather has left for us, but we'll see. I'm heading down to the Itasca region in a couple weekends for the Headwaters 100. I haven't gotten in a century yet this year, so I need to go stop slacking. Time to push it and stop becoming a soft-bellied old man. (No offense to any soft-bellied old men reading this.) Anyhow, back to the busy rush of work.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Back in town..for a bit..

Back in ND. 57 degress this morning. Ahh. No more TX heat. However, the trip was great, and watching Adam and Jamie get married was worth all the hot temps. I thought I'd make it through the cerimony without tearing up, but I leaked a bit when Jamie came through the doors for the first time and Adam and my dad teared themselves. It's always when other people lose it that I do. Oh well, right venue for crying, and it shows I'm not a robot.
Now that I've sat in a vehicle for two days straight again on the return trip home, I'm going to drive to the cities this weekend for Alisons birthday and graduation party. It will be well worth the extra travel though. And speaking of her, she just got her first flying job! She'll be working with me at UND, teaching all the youngin's to land. (Not that we weren't in the same boat a few short years ago.) Should be fun.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Meat and Air Conditioneers

Yeah, it's hot here. I'm in Denton at my brother's apartment now. We just managed to fix his air conditioner in his car so Texas doesn't kill him before he even gets to his wedding on Saturday. It was a good time. Dudes workin' on machines, grunting, drinkin' stout beer, well actually ice tea, but all the same. Fun project though. We'll be running last minute wedding errands around Dallas tommorow, and then traveling a bit more the next day to Gilmer, TX which is where Jamie, my bro's finance is from, and consequently where the wedding is goin' down. I'm exicted to see Adam and Jamie get hitched, and also for the tasty food at the reception, since I think of event food with much anticipation. :) We ate some mighty tasty Texas pork ribs today at a BBQ joint, which included hot sauce, country music, and a huge EAT MEAT sign on the wall. Cool. They even had a poster of a cow, diagraming where all the different cuts of beef come from. Now I know where brisket is from, and why round steak is so inexpensive (it's ass meat). Well, that's all for now, I need to hang with my family that I don't see enough. Good times.

Monday, August 01, 2005

OK City

Trip's a go. I'm sitting here in Oklahoma City. Wireless internet has been added to a great number of hotels, so I can blog away from home. We've traveled very very far, and yet the scenery has not. I think I've almost driven the entire expanse of the midwest, and it's all corn. Corn corn corn (and the occasional wheat or sorgum, whatever sorgum is. I'd probably eat it though). Bicyling magazine has kept me going during my turns away from the wheel. I haven't gotten out on two wheels during the trip yet, but still plan to. I think it'll have to be in the morning, cuz it's flippin' hot here. I saw the van's thermometer hit 104 a couple times. Sick. Won't be moving here, let me tell you. Anyhow, I'm gonna catch some rest before the final drive to the Dallas area in the morning, that is if I can get to sleep after the all day jelly bean bender I've been on in the van. Aahh.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Quick trip home

So I find myself in Bismarck, ND tonight, which for at least a little while is still home to my parents, before they move back to Minot, ND. Tommorow starts the Texas road trip for Adam and Jamie's wedding. I took the long way home today, skipping the interstate highway route that I take most, and drove the backroads instead. I'm gonna have to say they take you through some beautiful parts of this state. I took highway 200 over so I ended up coming in to Bismarck from the north. I even included some gravel action to drive through the buttes that drop you down into the Missouri River Valley (this town actually has a valley to go with their river- Grand Forks just claims one). They river was lookin' sweet, with people kayaking out to the many sandbars to camp. Mist was forming in the valley at sunset, and I felt like building a campfire of my own. It even smells great here. I'm too used to the smell of processing sugarbeets and potatoes. Fresh air is something to cherish. If there's time amist all the packing tommorow I need to spin a short ride on the Lemond, which of course came with me on this trip. Bismarck is officially a nice town in my book.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

more headwaters spinnin'

Well I've definately found a sweet oasis of outdoor fun only two hours away from Grand Forks. Itasca was a blast again. The parks "Wilderness Drive" has got to be the best road riding I know of anywhere remotely close to my windy farmland city. Sorry I don't have any pictures from either of my latest biking trips there, but I don't have a working camera right now. Plus, I'm usually having too much fun to remember to take a picture. Yesterday I got to log another good big hill ride, spinning 100k (62 miles) with my friends Dave and Andy. During one of our laps around the park and thunderstorm beat down on the south side of the forest, while we were biking around the north side. Good timing. Thunder and giant dark clouds always up my average speed (and strangly always make the ride more fun.) This trip sure pumped me up for the Headwaters 100 in Sept. My friends with sexy road bikes and travel-benefitted airline careers should definately show up. Notice your official heads up. :)
I have yet to backpack in Itasca, so I'll have to leave the Lemond home next time and break out the boots. By map, it appears that there are too many cool trails and backcounty campsites not to enjoy the park by foot. I'll definately have to take a camera on that trip. Tom if you're reading this you're invited when I go. I don't think Itasca has any wild horses. :)
This weekend I'll take off for TX, to go to my brother's wedding. Congrats Adam and Jamie! (In advance, as I'll probably not be bloggin' during the trip.) Should be good times, despite the 40 hours on the highway. Road trippin's always a good time, but this particular trip will be all prarie drivin'. Yikes. Might have to drink caffienated coffee for once. I'll have updates on that whole escapade later.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Sweet. I'm going to Itasca for more road action tommorow. My buddy who wants to hit the road offered to pay my trip costs so I can go and he can have a riding partner. I think that's a handout I'll accept. Summer!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A toast to 7.....I guess in that case the police looked the other way on the whole drinking and driving thing...silly Johan Bruhneel.... Posted by Picasa

7's a charm

As expected, today marked the 7th tour victory and final competive race for Lance Armstrong. I did manage to wake up at 6:30 (although I didn't get out of bed) to watch the final stage of the Tour, and it was sweet. It was cool to see Lance and his opponents chatting and taking it easy on the way into Paris (the race was pretty well decided yesterday so they didn't really race much today), then when it mattered the peloton picked it up and the finish to the Tour was great, with Alexander Vinokurof (yeah I don't know if I spelled his name right) wailed one last time to take the stage. Nice. Anyways, everybody should ride their bike today to celebrate the end of the Armstrong career, which entertained and inspired us. And also try to pay attention to all he's done for the cancer community. All those trendy little yellow armbands you see people wearing mean something.
Have a good one all.


Well today was a relaxed day to follow a busy one yesterday. I actually got to work a bit at my job, being at the airport from noon to midnight. I only got paid for 6.3 hours, but apparently partial pay is all a flight instructor can get for hard work. It was a large amount of pay in my world, so that's good. Today I watched history as Lance nailed his last time trial, and with it his seventh tour. Yes, there is one more stage, but nobody is close enough to take him out at this point. Good job Lance! (Yes, I know he'll never read that.) I was moved by the performance, so I decided to ride one of my normal training loops as a time trial, and surprised myself. The fastest I've ever ridden it was an hour and seven minutes. Today I rode it in just over 58 minutes! And I say that not to brag, but to share my excitment. It's good to push yourself to new levels. Plus, I had to get a good ride in here today because I was not able to ride the Lewis and Clarck 100 century event back in Bismarck, because gas is for the rich these days. Someday I'm going to that event. It's on my road.
Also during this fine saturday I tried to fix my clothes dryer that does not want to dry clothes. Laundry mats are another form of slot machines, eating up all your money, so I'd just assume fix my broken dryer fast. Turns out it's the motor, so it looks like I need to check the classifieds for a new old machine. It's been a fun project though. I think the best part was watching Mullet insist on getting into every part of the ripped apart machine, then getting afraid and hissing at all of them that he considers threatening. :)
Well, off to bed. I have to get up in just a few short hours to watch the final ride into Paris. Don't miss it- it's the last time to watch our American champ!

Monday, July 18, 2005

80 km in 1 day

Although not as epic as the Tour, myself and a cyling buddy from college, along with several old guys who are faster than us, went to Lake Itasca State Park in MN this past saturday to spin some miles. The park has a great 16 mile scenic loop, with a twenty mph speed limit (whoops, my max speed during the ride was 33.2) and very little traffic, and makes for a great road ride through the woods. It was a tough half century (in miles), as we flatlanders are not used to having to climb hills, and the road is pretty much short climbs and decents the entire loop. Much fun though. I do like a good hill climb (or mountain when I can stumble upon one). The woods are amazing as well. I love it when you run into low light under tree canopies, and it seems surreal, like you are traveling through a painting. Not to get cheezy and poetic, but that's just how it feels. One can't find a feeling like that on the couch. I don't understand how people dislike the outdoors just because there's no anti-bacterial peach mango handsoap (with shea butter). I think I'll have to backpack that park soon, as it's only a two hour drive away, and it would be nice to take it all in at a slower pace than we did this weekend. Nevertheless, road miles make a man happy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

3607 kilometres in 21 days

More than I can ride. The Tour de France is going great for the American cycling fan (not that there's that many of us). It seems Lance is gonna do it again. Holy crap. To win the Tour even once it takes so many things going right and nuts of steel (or carbon fiber). Winning seven times in a row is borderline sick. But nevertheless I am surely a Lance fan. I hope he does it. It's good to see Americans getting psyched over something other than a sport where you hit, pass, or well, hit or pass a ball. Racing a sweet road bike over an entire country in a month, consisting of flatland sprints, mountain passes that will make you cry and smile at the same time, team time trials, the rich French culture, crazy fans (yes cycling has those too), and countless other things contributing to an epic ride is just plain cool. If I could ride just one of those famous mountain climbs at my own pace I'd be one happy man. Not that I'm not. Today's stage pumped me up and I managed to hold above 25mph for over a mile sprint on my sweet Lemond Buenos Aires, despite the heat index in the upper nineties. Watch the Tour. Learn all about it. It's way cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Thought I might tempt some of you out there to join me on the Superior Hiking Trail sometime soon......


Friday, July 08, 2005

The long of the short....

Well it's time to elaborate on yesterday's blog. This past weekend was a much needed Grand Forks relief session. The north shore of Lake Superior is indeed superior. And I have to say that the many folks who put together the Superior Hiking Trail did an amazing job. What a sweet trail! It's currently somewhere around 220 miles stretching from just north of Duluth, MN to the Canadian border. The through-hike would take approximately two weeks at a decent but not overzealous pace. If there was some way to swing a trip like that and still have enough money to survive I'd totally be there. I can't afford to miss that much work though in my current stage of life. But just getting out there and backpacking the 10 mile stretch that we did this weekend was great (and it's a start at completing the whole thing). We (me, Alison, and our friend Jess who many of you know), hiked from Castle Danger township to Gooseberry Falls State Park. One mile into the trail section, we met a hiker walking quickly the other direction, just folding his pocket knife after keeping it out for his previous few miles. He told us that he'd just run into two adult bears sitting in the middle of the trail, and he'd quickly retreated back in the direction of Castle Danger rather than going around them. So, we needed to decide whether or not to continue. I'm going to have to give the credit of pressing on to Jes, as Al and I probably would have turned around without her. She pointed out that we came out there to backpack, so we'd better do it, and I agreed. Good job Jess. :) We made lots of noise along the trail, and saw no bears ourselves, although the mud of the trail was littered with fresh bear prints. Cool. Since there were so many prints, we decided to press on past the backcountry campsite we planned on spending the night at and went all the way to the state park campground. Being the fourth of July, it was full, but the rangers have a little secret stored away for tired backpackers at the end of the day. It's called the Davis Area, consisting of the best three campsites in the park, which lay right on the shore of Lake Superior itself. Ultra sweet. And we had hot showers. Not bad for roughing it. And I have to say that that lake tastes mighty fine after it passes through my filter. MMM. Not all full of chlorine and other city crap.
The day after I rode my singlespeed back to the van (I had stashed it in some bushes nearby the park the day before our hike) and picked up the girls. We headed up to Palisade Head, where they humored me for a bit while I did a local favorite climb, Danger High Voltage (5.8). It's a nice combo of face and crack climbing, exposed over the lake. I'm gonna have to go back and lead it next time. Much fun. The rest of the day was pretty low key, as we were all super sore from the backpacking, not to mentioned bit up by bugs and itching. I apparently was bitten my a spider or something, as my leg is still swollen pretty good. All part of the game. We hike in the critters homes and become there food sometimes.
That night we camped at Eckbeck campground north of Tetegouchi State Park, and got to watch thunderheads light up the north sky while mowing down smores. Did I mention trips are flippin' great! In the morning we played in the Baptism river after filtering some water out of it, and then went to check out the waterfalls of the nearby Temperance River. All of these places fall somewhere along sections of the Superior Hiking Trail, making it one of the top ten hiking trails in the country.
Oh yeah, the police. I had a fierce case of the hiccups on the drive out to the north shore, so I was trying to kill them off by taking consecutive short sips of water from my Nalgene, and consequently wasn't paying attention to the speed change through Grand Rapids (Hwy 2 changes speed limits about every 10 feet all the way out there). I got pulled over, but apparently I looked embarrassed enough that the officer let me go with a warning.
Overall, the trip was absolutely wonderful, and I'm very impressed with the Superior Hiking Trail. I'm going back. Anyone want to come with?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Short of the long

I'll soon write a decent blog of this past trip's happenings, but here's the short of the long: backpacking a section of one of America's top 10 hiking trails, climbing exposure over Lake Superior and camping on it's beautiful shores after a long trek, bears, spiders, my sweet singlespeed, waterfalls, silhouettes of nighttime thunderstorms from camp, many a glowbug and even hiccups that lead to dealing with police. Dang trips are cool.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Wind, rain, and vacation...

It's mighty wet here in Grand Forks. I feel bad for the farmers; it looks like an insurance year. But don't worry all. The nation will still have food of sorts, because McDonald's will always be producing, um...burgers I think, in their labs...ehr, kitchens. But hopefully our farmers will be able to produce some real food if anyone is still interested. Someday I'd imagine the rain will cease, and we'll all go outside. I'm going outside this weekend if it works out. Flight ops is closed for the fourth, so the Superior Hiking Trail in NE MN is my destination. Mmmm....backpacking after many hours logged in front of that television that makes me lazy. Some nights I think I've heard my expensive backpack groaning from inside my closet. It's embarrassed that I own such a fine piece of equipment and make it sit and wait for adventure for so long. I shall answer it the correct way and head out for some good miles with some good friends on a good trail....hopefully, if the rain will stop. There was a break last weekend and I managed to fit in a short hike and canoe paddle excursion to nearby Lake Itasca State Park in MN. Stuck my feet in the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi, got served by many a mosquito, and had a generally excellent time. Weekends!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I do miss the posse ride......

There once was a well honored, non-scheduled event that went down quite often here in Grand Forks amongst myself and a few of my close pals. We'd get on our bikes, fresh off the couch, bored of being bored, and go on what we dubbed a "posse ride." Yeah, I had to look up the word posse in my dictionary just to make sure I spelled it right. The point of the rides was simply "somethin' to do." We'd pedal aimlessly through the different areas of town (usually having to turn around a couple times- this town's not big), stop for food or beverage if needed, fixate on riding "that sweet set of stairs", or enjoy a nice gravity race (starting at the very top of a parking garage and rolling down with no peddling allowed- much needed careening fun for the bored cyclist.) Usually there was need to stop and let Edward fix whatever strange item he built as his bike. But it really didn't matter what kind of bike a person rode on these rides, just that we all got out and rolled down some pavement, or dirt, or stairs, or unmanagable Red River Valley mud and water. It was always a good time. However times have changed and most of the posse has moved on to other locations. Such is the way of posses. And it's ok, each members ended up in some cool places out there, as I imagine I'll do sometime relatively soon. But the time I had in Grand Forks with my adventursome friends was great. I hope all of you out there are still riding/climbing/hiking/general ruckusing and getting off the couch.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Don't get too caught up....

This past weekend I was able to make it home to see my parents along with my beautiful lady, Alison, and it was great. There was of course much eating (thanks mom and dad!), cleaning my delapitated old van, road biking in hail, and checking out the coolness of the people of the past in ND at the North Dakota Heritage Center. People were tough out on the prarie before heating and air conditioning and grocery stores. They built mud huts. They shot stuff. They ate/wore the stuff they shot. Cool. I should learn to shoot and eat something someday. The grocery store and Webber grill are so nice to me though. But anyways, the Center not only displays how people got by, but also the underlying principle of people living off each other whatever the external circumstances. People have lived through some crazy stuff, and enjoyed each other's company through it all. We should all remember the important people in our lives and enjoy their company through whatever situations life sets in front of us. You're not going to think of your bills and job and titles and degrees when you're laying on your death bed, you'll be thinking of the people you love. Make sure not to slip into going crazy about all the business you have going on in life- pay attention to the people God's blessed you with and enjoy life! And road bike in some (small) hail, too- it's fun!

Monday, May 16, 2005

General Update

Laziness has obviously taken over me concerning this website. Whoops. The past couple of weeks have been quite full of activity however. Mostly work. Some action. I will have to say that it's nice that the public school year is winding down though. I rather enjoy the summer in it's middle-school kid free-ness. I got hit with a dodgeball upon stepping out of my bus the other day. Kids wouldn't be so bad if you could retaliate. :) Lawyers. :( Not that I would have done anything bad, but a return dodgeball to the head would do wonders in teaching who's boss. :)
Anyway, the summer flight schedule got underway today, and I'm bumbling my way through teaching three new courses. Should be crazy, but I'm happy to get some new experience and get away from teaching brand new student pilots to land. Uggh. I think my back has reached it's stress limits, and I will be happy with my new semi-compentant students.
In other news, outdoor climbing was supposed to have happened this past weekend, but rain showed up and washed that away. I did however make a detour to Alison's home with her to visit her family, and it was just as good as climbing. There is, after all, more to life than the hobbies. :)
With that, I'll consider you generally updated as to my goings-on, and I'll post more sooner than I did this past couple weeks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Take a lesson from a little dude named Mullet

So I've recently decided that all of us should take a lesson in relaxation from my cat. Yup, my cat. I've determined that he can relax like no one else (granted he doesn't have much going on upstairs). No matter what is going on, Mullet (yes, somehow my former college roommates and I decided on this name, and believe me, it fits this cat) is always quick to chill. As we speak he's upside down on the floor behind me, no doubt dreaming of a buffet where one does not need opposable thumbs to be served. There can be all kinds of craziness going on around this cat- being attacked by Furious George, the house's other feline, or Edward, (roommate, and another form of animal), but Mullet will quickly return to relaxing after the hustle is over. No grudges, no worries. He's got his mind made up to live life happy. He finds a good time in simple things (playing fetch with pop bottle caps and wearing grocery bags.) He's not upset that he's confined to live in somebody's home his whole life. He's not even upset that someone cut off his manhood (well, I guess he's probably just gotten over it.) He loves to follow you around the house, jump in your lap and snif your chin. In contrast, Furious George, mentioned before, has got the opposite take on life. He's always looking out the window, angry, and demanding what he doesn't have. He wants people to give him what he wants, and then leave him alone. We've all got a lot going on to make us crazy or want different situations, but I think Mullet's got some answers for us. Love the simple things in life. Don't spend all your time wishing you could "get out the window", never being happy with what you have. Enjoy being with the people in your life. Take a nap when you need it. And if you really want to, wear a bag on your head, (but I think that might just be a Mullet thing.)

Mullet recently crawled into this grocery bag on his own, slung it around his neck, and proudly went on his own sort of little backpacking trip around the house. (He does this every so often.) Posted by Hello

After his little jaunt with the bag, he decided to plop down with all feet pointed up for some relaxation, although apparently no one brought him the beer he ordered. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Angry dogs a' runnin'

So much wind and a lack of work has caused me to start running on a regular basis. I have free time to ride, but I just haven't been able to get motivated to ride into the invisible force of energy that punches you of your bike known as Red River Valley WIND. Ouch. I think running is equally as painful, but it ends sooner. It's been going ok, despite some lessons I should have been able to skip if I would think ahead. One example is that I've learned in my last few times with the running shoes on that one should not attempt to go fast equipped with three hot dogs topped with Cholula pepper sauce in one's stomach. My attempt on my road bike to ride a century off two McDonalds cheeseburgers (yes, I used to subject my body to such filthy non-food) should have taught me better. Anyway, hopefully there will be a break in the wind at the same time I have a break in my dwindled down schedule, and I can experience the goodness of my Lemond again.

Friday, April 15, 2005

one little stamp...

I almost made a mistake tonight. I have a check to send to the university, and I need a stamp. I thought, I'll just ride over to the P.O. and take care of business. Then I realized, today is none other than April 15th. Poor suckers. I'm staying home, content in having recieved my tax refund months ago. My stamp can wait till tommorow.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pretty clear to me....

I was reading in my bible this morning, and I went through the first three chapters of the book of Galations. It seems so obvious by reading this and many other sections of the New Testament that faith, not human effort, is how one reaches God. It's so strange to me to see so many people in the world doing all sorts of things by their own means to try to "get to heaven". And I'm talking about people who claim the Bible as their holy book as well, not just other religions. I wonder if they've read it lately, because it seems so clear to me by reading it that faith in Jesus Christ is our connection with God, and not rituals, good works, laws, or other forms of human effort. I guess it shouldn't be that big of a shock though to see people missing this, considering that the Bible calls the Gospel the "narrow path", and few follow it. It's just frustrating how we as people turn so quickly from God's plan to others we've made up ourselves. Take some time to read the Bible; the truth is mapped out very clearly.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Little bit o' history

For any of you who are interested in climbing, I've run into a couple books lately that have caught my interest that I thought I'd reccomend. "Climbing Free", by Lynn Hill, who was the first person to free the nose of El Capitan, and "American Rock", by Don Mellor are some great reads. You get a full perspective of climbing throughout it's development, and the cultures, methods, and gear that have gone along with the sport. I never realized how different rock climbing has been over the years. And I don't just mean the actual act of climbing rock, but the whole atttitude and focus of what the sport is from region to region. Any climber out there would get a lot out of knowing the history of the sport, and the ethics that go along with it. Plus, it will make you happy to know that the best climbers of old considered 5.9's and 5.10's to be very difficult, so you're not weak, climbing's just gotten insane. :) Gym's and bolts have uped the ante. Anyway, that's my personal rant about rock for today. For those of you not at all interested, I apologize, for those of you that are, sweet.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sharing is good

The rest of the world decided to share some good weather with Grand Forks somewhat consistently the past week. I've heard rumors of seventies coming to town this weekend. Going outside without grimacing is a priveledge not to be taken for granted. Summer is good, and I will be playing.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Hey all. Sorry I have not posted lately. Spring has come, and I've been either out of town or running around here in GF. I finally posted some shots from the Moab trip this year. Hope you enjoy them.

Edward cleaning "Siebernetics", (5.8), on Wall Street, after I made the mornng's lead of it. Edward and I are finally each growing a pair and starting to lead trad.  Posted by Hello

On the way up into the La Sal mountain range on my Buenos Aires. One of my riding partners called this climb "heinous", and I'd have to agree. I didn't quite make it all the way up, being as I was sick.  Posted by Hello

Riding down the Portal Trail, after riding up Poison Spider Mesa. Quite exposed- some sections require walking if you're smart about living.  Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Back again

Well, as expected, UT was spectacular. Rocks were climbed. Bicycles were ridden hard. Sand coated every piece of gear and everyone of the trip by the end of the week. Things did go a bit lighter paced than previous years, however, as several of us Moab-goers came down with sicknesses upon reaching the wonderful town. Unfortunate, but we pushed hard in the desert despite it all. I was quite surprised at exactly how far one’s body can be pushed with the simple fuel of fun, even when sick. Fun is a necessary element to everybody’s lives. Too many of us try to skip it in the name of productivity. I think playing hard at the hobbies you enjoy and spending time with the people you care about makes you more productive in the long run. Take a break. Go have fun.
I’ll post some shots and highlights of the trip as soon as I get pictures developed and scanned.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Treadin' South

Hey all. The UT trip has finally shown up, so I will be out until the 20th doing fantastic things in the sun, not freezing. I'm sure there will be pictures and tales upon my return. I'll be sure to post some of the highlights. I'm rearing to go, especially after it warmed up here a couple days ago and I snuck in the first road-ride of the season. I forgot how nice forward progress is after many dark days of riding my indoor mag-trainer. Anyhow, I must go pack for happy days. More later.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Official Residence of Cold

I've decided that Grand Forks must be the official residence of Old Man Winter. For the past few days, it's been -10F or lower when I wake up to drive my bus, while the rest of the state is sitting around 20F. Cold is hovering over this town. The Badlands out in the western half of ND have been hitting the lower fifties on a semi-regular basis, yet Grand Forks remains in the pipe-cracking, freeze your nosehairs together bitterness. My van is getting angry that I make it operate in this stuff all the time. It deserves the upcoming trip to the desert, where it will escape this horizontal version of Mt. Everest.

Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm pleased to tell you all that a congratulations is in order for Edward. He has graduated! Great job man! No more school. After a long battle with flight courses that wouldn't die, it's time to share your 100% wool cycling shorts and mountaineering jacket attitude with the rest of the world! Congrats Edward!  Posted by Hello

Not Norse ENough

So I tried to cross country ski yesterday after not taking part in the sport since about high school. I don't know if I had fun or not. It seemed like a whole lot of work to not get very far. I think I'm much more efficient on foot or bike. Didn't seem to get my heart rate up either, but that's just cuz I'm not skilled enough on skis to get a good grove going. Yes, I'm afraid to say the old men around town were passing me. Slightly embarrassing, but I know I can take them to singlespeed school. Anyhow, it was a decent way to pass a northern Sunday. Moab is making me Mr. Anxious!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Shelter or Tomb....

So I haven't updated on the finish of my backyard snowcave as promised. Yeah, it might be dead. We had a couple days of warm weather, one including some pretty decent rainfall, and the cave has done a bit of slouching. So, it is now more of a dilapitated ice pile with a living space inside, and I don't know if I dare sleep in it. At least it gives the neighbors something to look over the fence and sneer at. They wish they were cool.

Yeah, so we've all seen the cruiser kids about town with their giant spoilers mounted on their frontwheel drive Hondas and have to laugh a spell. But I laughed a bigger spell Wednesday, when I saw my first spoiler equipped school bus. Yes, school bus. How I wish I'd have had a camera handy. Not quite sure what the dude who installed that was thinkin', but it does turn heads.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Last night I ran some errands by bike, something I do regularly, unless of course it is cold to a ridiculous level, which it has been quite often this past month, so it felt great to get out again. And just like many other town commute rides, I was yelled at by a motorist. It was the classic "get off the road!", backed up with their favorite finger. Common. My favorite rendition of this situation was a "Off the road, Lance!", shouted at my good friend Andrew last year, since the only famous bike name that the majority of this country's citizens are aware of is none other than Mr. Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong probably doesn't do a whole lot of commuting on a 30 pound single speed with full fenders in the snow. Nonetheless, it provides something for angry people to yell. In a strange way I've almost come to enjoy the displays of often times reason-less irritation from those in cars during my commutes. It's part of the ride. Spices things up. And sometimes I think it's people's strange way of showing respect to the guy who digs adventure and does things differently. It used to make me upset, but now when I see some college kid hanging out the window yelling at me just because I'm on a bicycle and they consider this an obvious target for harrassment, I just smile and pedal on.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


We've all been there. On the couch when we were planning on excersising. It's a difficult dilema to overcome. Next tv show pops on and it's funny. Too tired to stick to the plan. I'll just do it tommorow. Or "dinner has turned to a brick in my stomach and I just can't move." Somehow I've actually been able to beat those little monsters in the back of my head and have been getting ready for Moab quite diligently, and let me tell you, it feels good. As simple and boring as working out inside vs. the outdoors and be, it always leaves you feeling about 300% better than when you were trapped on the sofa by all the internal forces of lazytown. So next time you're thinkin' "I should really (insert whatever form of movin' about you prefer)," get up and go.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ladies and Gentleman- the esteemed Beardy McBeardington. Although it appears he is sporting a fashionable mullet in addition to his namesake facial hair, I do think it may just be shadow. Nonetheless... Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

UTAH Bound

I am again getting excited today for the upcoming trek to Utah. I posted a couple shots from last year's trip to demonstrate the sweetness of the Moab area. I think I better get down there.

Riding the descent off Porcupine Rim, near Moab, UT.  Posted by Hello

Incredible Handcrack (5.10c), Indian Creek, UT Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Muppet fun

So I was just looking at the picture I posted on 1-19-05 of the snowcave in my backyard, and I noticed a face looking at me from over the fence. You can get a decent look if you click on the picture of what my roommates and I are convinced is Ralph the piano playing dog from the Muppets.
After several lazy/sick days, Edward and I returned to working on the snowcave today (longest production of a simple shelter ever), and it can sleep a couple people comfortably. It should sleep three once we finish (hopefully tonight after workin'.) Then we'll do some long awaited winter camping in the rugged outskirts of the backyard. It'll do for now. I think a Badlands trip is in order again soon, Tom! I'll bring the horse repellant!

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Boy did I get sick this week. And I mean going to the doctor sick! Apparently I got some virus that's like mono or influenza, and then some nasty bacterial infection on top of it all. Feever, chills, sweats, dilusions, soup, and orange juice; that was my week. Watched a few good movies though, and started a good book. There's something to that. I am looking forward to heading back to work though, as somehow nobody informed my bill collectors that I was under the weather.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Weekend Off

Well I find myself with this weekend off. I would go somewhere but for lack of cash, so I think I'll be doing things about home that I should have done sooner. Cleaning. Taxes. Cleaning. Should be some singlespeeding and hanging out with people mixed in their as well. And I think I'll call my brother, who apparently is engaged and hasn't called me yet. Congrats if you're reading this, bro! I'll talk to you soon. Anyway, it's off to make some pancakes and coffee to start the day late. It's so great that I slept past 5:30!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Coffee required

Yeah, so -6 degrees makes for a cold ride to the local coffee shop. Gotta love this state! I'm ready for my warm bed.....

Outside itch.

So I'm getting excited for this March. Since I work two school-related jobs (flight instructing at a university and driving a public school bus), I get a spring break should I choose to leave town. And as in the previous three years, I'm planning on heading south to Moab, UT. Much fun. Some of my outdoor-savy counterparts have also been feeling the itch to run about the outdoors after a lot of frozen winter days, so I think we'll have another good trip lined up soon. I just hope I can manage to get in a bit better shape before heading down. More diggin' in the backyard I suppose. The snowcave has been at a halt lately, as Edward and I have been letting work and the cold make us lazy. Haven't given up yet though. There's plenty more of this season. It is getting slightly warmer, too. I'm sure there will be a larger quantity of riding and hiking coming up in the not so distant future. The worst of the cold should be behind us for this year.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Snowcaves and overdue singlespeeding

Yesterday was pretty entertaining. The temperture hit 33 (a sixty degree increase from last week), so I decided that since I still wasn't flying (pesky clouds) with my students, I would work on the snowcave my roommate Edward and I are building. It's our first snowcave, so hopefully it turns out. If any of you out there happen to be Eskimos you can let me know your thoughts on quality snow-home building. Yes I know, Eskimos live with central heat and air just like I do; bad stereotype. Anyway, I also went singlespeeding with my trusty 1x1 after several weeks of way too cold. I still had a 36mph headwind going north, so it wasn't all splendid, but I ended up having a great ride overall. For those of you cycling nuts out there, I'm sure you've experienced the calm, dead air feel of riding with the wind at the same speed it's blowing. Well it's even cooler when you are doing it in blustery night winter weather. Everything around you is howling, but you feel quite nice. It's like your cheating the elements. Anyways, there will be more on the snowcaving as it is constructed, or simply falls over.

My trusted Surly 1x1. (There's an American flag sticking nowhere but straight out in the nutty night wind in the background, but it barely shows in this shot.) Posted by Hello

Birth of a prarie snowcave. (still birthing) Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Of friends, food, and the Source of it all.

Well yes, it sure is cold here in ND at the moment. It would be very easy to find myself complaining, seeing as most of my hobbies are outdoors, and the current weather is smiting them. Times have been great though. I think the cold has been good to me in ways, as I've spent a lot more days inside spending time with friends hanging out/eating instead of my usual running around outside. God blesses us with relationships for sure, and it's important never to take them for granted. And man it's good to cook a tasty hot meal when it's cold out! Hopefully winter doesn't turn me into a total soft-belly. :) Anyways, point is that we should always be thankful for the lives that God has given us, reflecting on His nature, and not our own wants. Plus, it's not like He doesn't know what we like about life, He made us! "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Live life thankfully!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

-20 Degree Start

Hello all. (As if I can say all quite yet, as no one really knows this page is out there.) But hello to anyone who does find themselves reading this posting. This blog site was created by myself, as a way to spend a minus 20 degree saturday afternoon in the beautiful frozen state of North Dakota. (Tonight I have exciting snow piling plans- no joke. Maybe part joke.) Either way, I also have plans that this site will also be a way for all you out there that may be wondering from time to time what that tall Danish/German/Norwegian/Whatever boy up in ND is doing these days to find out exactly that. I'll hopefully be diligent enough to post regularly and keep you interested in all of my thoughts and doings. (And if I can manage enough smarts to post pictures I'll do that too.) You should also be able to drop your own comments on any text/picture postings, once again if this blogger programming stuff turns out to be easy for partially techno-illiterate me. Enjoy!

Looking fantastic Posted by Hello
This is me about three years ago. There is no other reason for posting this shot other than my own trying to figure out how exactly to post shots. :)
P.S. The sideburns have not survived to present days.