Thursday, December 30, 2010

OU Game with Ethan

We are trying harder to give "experience" gifts to the boys (they really don't need more stuff to cram in their rooms). Experience gifts cool because of the consequential gifting, that I got to take Ethan to dinner and a ball game. We had a great time and OU thumped Norfolk State.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Riding

Hitting the Athens trails for a frozen bike ride.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Yay, Winter, wait its still Fall

Really?  This cold and this much snow and it is still Fall.  Second significant snowfall of the year and the school has already used all of its calamity days.  At least Michael learned a good lesson.  It is OK to spend the bonus day before your chemistry exam playing video games instead of studying because exam day is cancelled (he could foresee this I am sure).  I made it out as far as the Dr. office.  Roads were pretty nasty so I went back home instead of on to work after.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

It's December already!?

Really? What happened to fall?  Now the days are short and cold.  We have snow on the ground.  And... it isn't even winter yet.  Have not been on the bike other than a couple of stints on the indoor rollers.  Running? Well, too scared on account of it has been deer (gun) season).  Plus, did I mention its dark when I get home? Oh, and cold too?

Let's see.  Wheels.  I had won a set of brand new WTB Speed Disc SS 29er wheels on eBay for $65!  They aren't the best wheels, but wow that is cheap.  A few days later I get a shipping notice.  A week later I get a notice that says, sorry, we did not have these in inventory and will need to cancel your order.  Seriously?  Hope it was an honest mistake.  Will still need to share a set of wheels between the two frames.

Shelly and I got each other our Christmas presents last week, new cell phones.  Sprint had a holiday special so we get them for free (with a rebate).  Amazing what phones have become.  We got the LG Optimus, an Android 2.2 phone.  Big plus?  Purple, for Shelly of course.

Cycle Path ordered me a Surly cog for the Monocog.  Seems like a very well made piece.  I am still amazed at how easily the whole gear train spins as a single speed.
Life, school, work, kids, cold, dark, lack of sleep, etc really takes a toll after some time.  Decided to try and spoil Shelly.  The older boys went to my folks for the night.  I brought home Lam's Garden (one of her favorites).  Made some dark chocolate mousse and while it was chilling, lit the fire in the wood stove.

Finished putting up the Christmas tree and decorations on Saturday.  Log homes just look so natural with a pine tree in them.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


November 22 and it was 70 degrees, that isn't supposed to happen.  Just put the new (very used) Monocog together with parts off of my d440.  I had hoped to go for a short loop at lunch, but since, luckily, work was slow so I got to take a two hour single-track vacation.  I headed to the Athens trails and rode Rock House, Athens Trail, Finger Rock, Thunderbunny, and Sundown.  What a blast.  After almost 20 miles, my legs are noodles today, but a rigid single speed is a ton of fun.

The blue Monocog Flight 29er at the Blue Ash Rockhouse.

More blue.  Took this on my way home last week.  The camera phone does not capture how vivid the double rainbow was.

Monday, November 22, 2010


First up: my new to me though very used Redline Monocog Flight 29er.  It is about time I try out single speed.  Why? Should make me stronger.  Rigid? Sure, should make be a better rider.  Besides, makes me think of riding my BMX bike when I was a kid.  Will pull parts from other bikes to give it a ride soon..

Next, the Thomspon stem.  Very well made piece of gear.  Should last forever.

I also shot some photos of my two drop bar bikes.  These bikes are for sale as I need to replace them with a single modern road bike.  Particularly, a Masi Gran Criterium.  For 2011 they are steel and sweet. Interested in either?  Drop me a note.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wild day

Ever bid really low on something on ebay not expecting to win, then do?  Just won a set of SS wheels to go on the Redline Monocog Flight 29er frame I snagged off craigslist this week.  The frame is an '08, same year as my d440.  It has seen a ton of use, lots of nicks and rubs in the paint, but still in very good shape.  The headset that came with it is going to have to be replaced though.  Between that and youth gun season, I don't think I will head to Lake Hope tomorrow for my first SS ride.  Seriously thinking of making it a drop bar bike.  Looking forward to the legs burning!

Can't decide if I should repaint the Monocog?

Mounted a Thomson 120mm stem on the d440 this week.  Each ride left my hands hurting.  Fells good with the new stem.

Bike pictures to follow.

Brock had his 6 month checkup today too. 20.0lbs.  Big boy.  he had to get 4 vaccines (shots) too.  He is a sad little feller tonight.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Indian Summer

Indian summer ended with a short trip to Lake Hope State Park and a mountain bike. If the roads are this covered with leaves, you can imagine what the trails were like. I hit the ground a couple of times (once pretty hard) because of them. But that aside, it was a great and much needed trip.

As warm as the weekend started, it ended with cold. With as crazy as life has been the last six months, this was our first fire of the season. Just something about a fire, but I have a feeling the next one will be in the wood stove.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Night Ride

I couldn't stand it.  I have been couped up inside at work and home or just too busy to run or ride except for an occasion trainer ride (amazing how long time lasts on a trainer compared to the road or trail).  I threw a couple LED head lights that I use for working on stuff or gathering wood in the dark on the bike and on my head.  Just a 2+ mile test last night.  Need more light than that! It was fun though.  Sorry, no pictures.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What a year, so far.

Just checked my workout log.  So far this year, 49 miles (6 hrs, 25 min) of trail riding;  155.4 miles (22 hrs, 46 min) of running.  Can't believe I have run over three times as much as I have been on a MTB trail.  I have not ridden the Athens trails once yet this year.  I have only managed a total of about 600 miles on the bike.  Katsu does more than that in a month!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An evening at the lake

Just ran across this picture on my phone. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped Shelly and Ethan off with their kayaks at Lake Snowden. Brock and I went for a walk while they paddled.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Brock had me up at 3:30a yesterday. I did manage a nap from 5 to 5:30a though (not sure that was a good idea!). Left a message at work that I would be in late and decided to get some stress relief before my 9:30 meeting. What to do, go back to bed? Nope, it was sunny and 49 degrees out. Nice fall morning so I grabbed my helmet and my mountain bike for a gravel road loop. I have also been seriously looking at getting/converting to single speed.  So, I did the loop in 4th gear without shifting (32 x 18T).  Short, only 6.5 miles, but it felt better than sleeping.

Met Jeff at soccer practice. While the boys practiced, we hit the road for a 3 mile run. Great weather, great friend, and two great workouts in one day. In my best Steve impression, it was just great. I needed it.

After practice, Ethan and I headed to the church to pick up Michael from youth group.  We had 1/2 hour to kill so Ethan wanted to kick the ball around.  Ouch, that right ankle still hurts when I kick.  Just don't heal like I used to.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Alexander Alumni Soccer Game

The 2010 edition of the Alexander Alumni Soccer Game was on Saturday.  While I stay pretty fit, this game always hurts some.  Running a 5k in a straight line or biking, even on trails, does not prepare your body for the impacts, turns, and stops of a soccer match.

On top of that, hits and impacts with the ground just hurt a lot more than I remember.  I'll spare you the picture of the strawberry on my back side.  Took a hard hit to the ankle.  No subs means you play through the pain.
While technically my side lost the match, I was able to walk away from the game.  Win?  We'll do it again next year.

More photos of the match here (provided by Mr. Dibenedetto).

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hocking Hills Indian Trail Run

Ran my first competitive run in forever, the trail run at Hocking Hills State Park. Very nice race, well organized, great weather. All in, my Garmin says I ran 3.6 miles in 31:16. Not too bad for a trail run. While I know it wasn't a marathon, I couldn't help of thinking of Eric today, if for no other reason than to be amazed that he ran 26.2 miles.

I picked up my pace around the 3 mile mark expecting the 5K to be 3.1 miles. I was a little depressed when I realized it was longer and the end was up a nice grade, though it was on the paved road. Ended up 5th in my age class and 21st overall (out of 229).  Still, I am pleased and will have to make this an annual event.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

What a drag

For the 3rd time this year I got to ride at Lake Hope on Labor Day.  I had intended to hit all the trails except for Sidewinder.  Intentions...  Ended up skipping Yosemite Ridge and a section of Copperhead though to get out of the woods and back home in time.  Front brake has been dragging ever since I crashed in April.  A good workout to ride with the brakes on.  Picked up the front wheel and spun it, it would turn about 3/4 of the way around.

Well, last night, I loosened the caliper bolts and pulled the brake lever, letting the caliper align itself.  Turns out the lower mount and the upper mount are no longer in line.  Must have tweaked it during the crash.  Three shims latter, the wheel spins free!

I also got in a 3.5 mile run last night.  This is the longest run since Brock was born.  Felt good.  Hopefully the Indian Trail 5K next week wont kick my butt too bad.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Not the weekend we planned, but did accomplish some things.

Hit Lake Hope for the first time since Easter (other than taking Ethan for a pre-ride of his kids race).  The only thing slow about the trails was me.  Was good to be out though.

Hope Furnace in to Bobcat, Wildcat, Copperhead.
Sunday ended with a moon-lit run.  Smashed my previous 2 mile best time of 16:10 with a 15:32.  Don't know what got into me.

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Friday, August 20, 2010


A lot going on...

The fam started back to school this week.  Meaning, I am now up at 5:30 to get ready before they do and then make sure they do.

I have actually been able to run 5 times and ride once in the last two weeks.  Got my first pair of purpose made running shoes, just for running.  All in effort to run the Hocking Hills Indian Trial Run in Sept. (Just the 5k).

I also gave in on changing my own tires, on the back of the Buell at least.  The tire really kicked my butt, luckily Athens Sport Cycles were great to me (as usual) and changed my tire.  Shoulder is still a little sore from busting myself with the tire lever.  Good news is I have new skin on the bike and will be back on the road.


Monday, August 2, 2010

2010 OMBC - Lake Hope

Sunday was the OMBC stop at Lake Hope. I was way too far out of race shape to participate, but Ethan raced the kids event. It is the longest kids race on the OMBC schedule with 3.5 miles of gravel roads, singletrack, and asphalt. He came in first overall in just a little over 27 minutes! Great job E.

Ethan, just about to make the turn up the connector to the finish.
Brock, ready to cheer on his big brother.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quilt Barn Ride '10

First ride in a while...  Felt good to spend 3+ hours on the road.  Nice day for it to boot.  Did not take photos of all the quilt barns this year.  More information on the ride and some of the quilt barns here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Just in time for the screaming hot weather (should hit 98F today). Picked up a small "easy set" pool. Ethan spent over 4 hours in it yesterday. Felt really good to jump in it after a run.

Speaking of running, ran for the first time in a couple weeks Saturday and got a 13 mile bike ride in yesterday. Got a Garmin Forerunner 305 for a late fathers day gift. Nice tool.

Stay cool.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For Sale

A few items for sale:

1. Adidas road shoes size 42. Light use, they are just a little too small for me and I replaced them. $20

2. Syncros OS Gain MTB bar. 670mm wide. New take off from my Redline. $15
3. Misfit Psycles FU2Bar, used. Good condition. $30

All are OBO.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nickel and Dime and Lost Time

Hey, what happened.  I used to have ESPN-Classic.  But now when I try to watch the World Cup games in the evening, I can't.  It is listed on Dishnetwork's website as part of my package.  Have a couple other issues as well, so after three phone calls and over an hour of my life that I will never get back, ESPN-Classic is an add on.  Oh and my receiver is old and is having trouble, so that will require replacing.  But thanks for being one of our long time valued customers.  Not valued enough that I am treated better than a new customer.  $95 for my receiver replacement, new 24 month contract (have not been under contract for years) and no Classic.

Rural living has its price, satellite is the only TV option other than O.T.A. (which I suggested we use, it is free, did not go too well with the fam).  Satellite is the only option for Internet service (expensive, serious lag, and another dish in the yard).  Phone?  No cell service (funny story about Sprint offering data service for home even after I told them we did not have coverage there, she said I did not need cell coverage, this is data).  Land line is expensive because everywhere I call is long distance unless we get a regional package.

But at least we get to hear obnoxious ATV's at all hours.  Ah, the country life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Different Kind of Work Out

Worked outside on Saturday rather than work out. Spent 3+ hours on the tractor getting to know my new loader. Great tool and it is a whole new tractor now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Training Decline

Here it is. My training plot from January to now. I think I can see a recent trend. My sleep quality plot has an decreasing slope to match the decresing training slope since March. Oh well, they are worth it.

Did run 2.2 miles tonight, first in a while.

Unrealated, got my new Kubota LA463 loader on my tractor today. A bit different than operating a loader on a skid steer, but this thing is going to get used all the time. Good news, if I take the bucket off, I have 6" to spare putting the tractor in the barn.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roller advice

Don't ride rollers when you are tired.  You may not concentrate and fall off.  It will wake you up though.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Going Pro

Just collected my prize money from the Tuesday TT series.  All in, $20 for the season (that is a net loss of $5 after entry fees).  I am now thinking of quiting my day job and do this racing thing full time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Final TT

Rode the final TT in the Team Athens Spring series last night.  Since Brock was born I have ridden a total of 20 miles (excluding TT #5), all of which have been on rollers in the basement and 6 miles of running. It showed.  The effort level was way up along with my heart rate.  Managed 34:31.  I was really hoping for 34:00.  Lack of training and lack of quality sleep can really mess with your fitness level.  We'll see if I can get into race fitness for the Farmhand Classic XC at Bob Evans Farms this fall.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


In my ever ending quest to get slower by training, I lost time again in the TT.  Excuse this time?  Brock.  I could have fallen asleep on my way out there.  By the end my legs felt like I was wearing my work boots covered in mud.  I was glad to finish.  Very little riding in the last 3 weeks and a real lack of quality sleep.  Good news?  Katsu's genius scoring system has me in second place!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Back to some training.  Ran twice on Friday.  Only 2 miles in the morning until I got rained out, so I did an afternoon set of intervals.  I am running a 300m in what I would race the 400m 18 years ago...

I bough a used set of rollers from craigslist today.  Took 10 minutes to get used to them.  Did a quick 30 minute workout.  More work and more attention than the regular stationary trainer (and less boring).  Should make me a better rider.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I skipped the Tuesday Time Trial #4 today and it looks like I won't be able to bike to work on Friday for Bike-to-Work day either. But, I have a great reason. Pleased to announce the arrival of Brock Edward Mansfield. Born May 17. No small potato at 8 lbs 14.6oz.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

No baby yet

Still waiting.

Haven't been able to do any training at all this week.  Tuesday TT was postponed to next week due to rain.  I am going to be hurting for sure.  Muskingum Mayhem is Saturday followed by the Wilkseville to Wilkseville Grand Fondo this Sunday.  Enjoy, sorry I won't make either.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Training Woes

Time trial results are in... I lost a few more seconds to my first time.  I was even a bit slower than when I had a respiratory infection.  I have been doing a lot of running and riding and I am only able to go further at the same slow pace.

Played soccer on Saturday.  A friend called and they needed another player.  20 minute halves on the U12 sized field.  Wow I am sore today.

Feeling old.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scioto Hills

Spent Friday eveining and most of the day Saturday at Scioto Hills camp near Wheelersburg. Scioto Hills hosts a men's retreat each year and we (the team from Albany Baptist) are invited to provide the music for the couple of sessions. Great to hang out with a bunch of men trying to honor God and to play so much music. We got to stay through Saturday evening this year which meant we got to stay for the smoked pork and ride the zip line. Did get in a cross country 4.1 mile run in the morning too. Looking forward to next year.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday Time Trial #2

34:35. Lost 8 seconds to my first time. Not to make excuses... I missed work Friday due to a respiratory infection and am still trying to recover. The wind was strong too. On the ride back to town, I thought I was going to have to stop and loose what lunch was left. Then, crossing E. State St. I got a cramp in my right calf. Coasted across and tried to unclip from my pedal, a hard thing to do with your calf muscle in a knot and you toes pointed straight down. That there is some kind of pain! Very sore this morning. Wow I feel old.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday Time Trial #1

34:27, 11.32 mi. Not bad for my first race. Was expecting 18mph average, hoping for 20. Got 19.7 so I am reasonably pleased and have room to improve. Now the cool part, I am in the points lead. I am sorry for the team member that drew my time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Road bike riding

While killing some time waiting for concurrence from NASA, I headed to the shop and turned out an oversized bushing for the pulley. Installed it Friday night. No wobble. Got to ride around Meigs and Vinton counties on Saturday afternoon, 26+ miles. Shifts better. Not perfect, but as good as a 15 year old bike will get I suppose. Sure felt good to make the full loop without any mechanical issues.

Ran 5K on Sunday. Getting ready for Team Athens Cycling Tuesday Time Trials. Should be fun. Check Team Athens for more information.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Been that kind of week

The upper pulley on my Specialized Epic road bike's 105 rear dérailleur is very loose. Shifting has become slow as a result. Stopped in to the Cycle Path of Athens for a new one. Of course, this is a 10t narrow pulley that was only used for 2 years back in the 90's. Great.... What to do?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rousing the Gravel

The 2010 Athens Gravel Rouser. A nice 50+ mile back road ride out and back from Athens to Lake Hope. Weather was great.

Took the "cross" bike. With 38c wide knobs and drop bars, it was the perfect bike for those roads. Skipped the 10 mile single track though. Instead, I rode out the service road to the intersection of Wildcat and Copperhead to make sure the riders/racers made the turn onto the right trail. (After missing a turn last year, I would have really appreciated a marker).

BBQ with slaw and cookies were waiting for us when we got back. Thanks to Athens Bicycle for sponsoring the event. Thanks to John at the Cycle Path for fixing up my derailleur before the ride. And thanks to Toscano's for the BBQ. Look forward to next year.
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Boy #3


4D ultrasound. Amazing image! Due 5/20.
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