Sunday, January 29, 2006


Ouch. Well now I know what it feels like when your apendix gets angry. If I didn't have enough going on lately, this topped things off. Thursday night I got a terrible stomach ache, which kept me up all but two hours of the night. Friday I cancelled all my flights to stay home and sleep, which still didn't happen for the most part. I called Alison to drive me to the doctor when she got done working, which was around four, but at two in the afternoon, I jumped in the truck and drove myself to the emergency room, cuz my stomach was super grumpy. The doctor only took a short look at me before sending me into surgery, because my symptoms were textbook for apendicytis. I'm back home now, and recovering. Pain killers are wonderful. Doctors are too. If these weren't modern times, that little apendix of mine could've meant the end of me. Crazy to think of that. Medicine does a lot for people. I'm sure glad it happened this weekend and not next, and also that my apendix hadn't ruptured, otherwise I would've missed my own wedding. Yikes. Anyways, these painkillers are putting me to sleep, so I'm gonna continue the lazy healing proccess so I have some energy this weekend. Thanks doc.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Steel is real

Thought I'd post a couple shots of the new drivetrain on the Surly. It's pretty sweet, minus my cheaptastic cranks, which need to be replaced soon. I feel a little stupid with the fierce bashguard considering there isn't a rock to hit anywhere near my home here in the prarie, but I plan on using it during mountainous trips this summer. I've ridden Porcupine Rim enough now in Moab that I'd like to do it on the ss instead of my geared suspesion equipped rig. A challenge for sure, but tons of fun all the same.

You can see that the new apartment is still getting organized. That's our spare bedroom, which is currently box and bike central. Hopefully soon it will be an office/workout room. Anyhow, I'm a sleepy man right now so I'm gonna sleep...

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Yikes, scary blog comin' from the folks at Surly today...
Keep your eyes open out there...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My butt hurts.Yesterday, while I was riding in to work I had a little run-in with a little car. Now, there have been many occasions in my riding life where I've witnessed a dumb-ass behind the wheel pulling idiot moves, but yesterday was a new one for me.Suffice it to say that a car passed me too close. I raised up a finger (in mittens I might add.) The driver stopped in the middle of the road. I rode by his window and gave him a small piece of my mind. That bit's happened many times to me.The new part was that this evolutionary mishap made the mental leap to attempted murder. He gunned the motor after I was back on the right side of the street... and hit me. Full-on ran me down. Wow.Despite my immediate reaction to get his plate number, I couldn't focus on it and away he went. I was pissed.I was pissed, but now I'm sad. I'm sad that I don't trust people to have their fellow humans' lives in mind. I'm sad that this particular guy is so full of rage that he stooped to a first degree felony because I was on a bike.But mostly I'm just kind of generally sad. Sure, I'll get over it. All I got was a bruise on my butt that looks like Marlon Brando (the later years, not the svelt Wild Bunch Brando) and a tacoed rear wheel (I think the Nice Rack may have saved my life) on my CrossCheck, so that's cool.But I'm sad that people do this to each other. I'm sad that we can't all just wave at each other and smile like idiots when we pass. I'm sad cars can't just give me a little more room. And I'm sad that this particular dude won't ever get it.
posted by Skip Bernet

Catchin' up..

Busy busy. I have done more lifting of other people’s stuff this past weekend than I’ve ever cared to do. I finished moving out of the duplex and into the apartment Alison and I will be in after the wedding. Being as my roommate Chris and I were the last dudes out of the place after several other people have come and gone, we had a lot of abandoned junk from the other dudes. Good thing I have a pickup now, cuz we had to make quite a few trips to the thrift store and random dumpsters around town. So I had moving in addition to wedding planning, and a new semester of flight student keeping my crazy this week. But things slowed down a bit, and I was able to throw on the new drivetrain for my Surly. Man it’s sweet. I’m riding the 34x20 for snow riding right now, which is kinda slow in the clear, but we’ll see how it goes in time. I also got a 17tooth freewheel on the other side of my flip/flop hub that equates to my old 32x16. I upped the chainring in front to a 34 to increase overall chainwrap so things will last longer. But long story short, I’m ready to ride when I can manage to get away from all my business.
In other news, I think I’m going to be doing some bike building at Scheels, one of the local bike shops on the side of my “full time” flight instruction gig. Gotta eat, and the weather’s been trashy. We’ll see how that goes. As long as they understand I need to make my own hours things should be ok. Anyhow, bloggin’s turning to ramblin’, so I’m gonna run…

Thursday, January 12, 2006

new semester o'kids

I managed to swing 8.9 hours of contact (paid) time yesterday with new and old students. 7.8 of it was briefing, so my voice is a little scratchy, but it was nice for a pilot to get paid for once. The next few weeks should be busy, with nine students, moving, and a wedding arriving. Might not hear too much from me, but we’ll see.
Singlespeed drivetrain arrived in the mail a couple days ago. I installed the two new freewheels, but I can’t quite get the chainring bolts out to replace the chainring yet. Park Tools makes a tool for the job that only cost 4 bucks, but I failed to think of buying one with my last purchase of parts. I can’t count on the local bike shops here to stock much of anything either; not because they don’t want to, but because not many riders live here, and tools would just sit of their shelves. I’ll have to go to Lowe’s or Menard’s and see what I can create on the cheap. Then my all steel workhorse of a drivetrain on my steel bike will be ready to crush things. Mmmm.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Plannin' and Packin'

Back in Grand Forks. I’ve been doing a mixture of wedding planning and packing. I move into the apartment Alison and I will be living in this weekend, and she’ll join me after the wedding, which by the way is coming up fast. I’m pumped. People talk about cold feet and nervousness before marrying someone. Well I’ve got some pretty hot feet; I can’t wait to marry her! Four weeks to go. I’m sure it will go by quick considering all that has to be done to finish getting ready for the big day, not to mention starting a new semester with a full load of students and moving. And somewhere in there I’ve got to fit in a few rides so I’m not a soft-bellied husband. Anyhow, off to bed before another day of getting’ stuff done.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rays MTB Indoor Park

Cleveland figured out how to solve the problem of winter. Very cool.

Congressional Response

A few blog entries ago, I gave a link to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to contact your federal representatives to plead against proposals to cut funds to cancer research. I used it to contact my representatives, and two of them, Earl Pomeroy and Kent Conrad have recently written back to me. Below is Congressman Pomeroy’s email response in it’s entirety as sent to myself, and soon I will post Sen. Conrad’s as well. Remember to be represented- contact your representatives on issues important to you!

December 30, 2005

Benjamin Jensen
1967 25th Ave S
Grand Forks, ND [required-

Dear Benjamin:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your opposition to cuts in cancer research programs. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

Like you, I am deeply troubled by proposals being considered in Congress that would result in cancer research funding cuts. If legislation like this is passed, it could have a devastating effect on the future of cancer care. Prior investments in cancer research and programs have resulted in tremendous strides in healthcare improvements and have laid the groundwork for future progress. Cutting funds for cancer research is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

Because of woefully inadequate funding levels in a number of critical health, education, and other programs, the House actually first rejected the conference report on the Labor, Health and Human Services bill, where funding for cancer programs is located. Unfortunately, after some of the bill's funding was tweaked, the bill was brought to the floor and was passed by only two votes. I opposed this legislation.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration, but it is unclear whether the Senate will be able to pass the bill. My hope is that the bill will be reconsidered by the House and that funding levels for critical programs such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute will be increased.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will keep in touch.


Member of Congress