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.