Friday, December 30, 2011

Finally rode with someone for the first time in a while on the road. The lucky rider to ride with me was Liebo. He was home after returning from Tuscon before heading to Beijing. Theses kids and their big time lives. I remember back when I started racing....HA. I guess next year with a racing age of 30 I'm one of the old guys, which makes my old guys growing up really old. I won't name names.

It was fun to talk to him and hear stories from his trip to Tuscon and the shenanigans that took place. It made me think of two things. One, I'll be hearing stories like this all year racing on team full of college students. And two, my life has changed quite a bit as my shenanigans was throwing a two year a birthday party and deciding whether or not to eat another cookie, or if the calories from drinking a root beer were going to be ok. I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's still fun to think about.

Well the ride itself went pretty well. We battled a nice heawind for half the ride as we headed towards Bunker Hill. Once we arrived back in the B-burg we hit up Starbucks and chatted a bit before going our separate ways. We plan on doing the same tomorrow and are trying to get Birdman out, but he has already called and said he has to wash is hair and it will be wet and if the temperature is under 40 his head will get cold, and blah, blah, blah, so we will see.

Breeze On

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finally I was able to get out and do a ride with Birdman on the weekend. Took a few emails and texts, but it finally happened. The first thing I noticed when we met up was that he had the same exact glasses as I just got for my birthday. They just got instantly less cool. We had a good time, and he might have had less of a good time as the last 1hr his butt was on fire and he had to unload. I hope he made it.

Last night was one of our family Christmas parties and it was a good time, well the last hour of it was a bit nerve racking as I was watching the Lions do one of their fall behind and catch up by the end routines. Not cool guys. Most had left before the end and told me maybe next time. I had made some fun phone calls/texts after that. It's going to be a fun week of family get togethers as that is the best part of the holidays. Plus with Madelyn now being older she loves open gifts. It was fun watching her put a stocking on her foot like a sock, is she so smart or not smart enough? Also her birthday is just two days after Christmas. It's going to be a busy week.

So count another 6 day riding week in the books and everything still feels pretty good. This week I'm going to start with some light intervals and see how it goes. I can't believe how much that surgery helped. Now I just have to continue my build processes slowly.

Ok I probably should start shopping.

Breeze On

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This past weekend Madelyn and I headed up to Michigan to visit the family and do a little biking. When we arrived Friday I headed out for a ride with my dad, Nick, and Forrest out by the Saginaw River and down the rail-trail to the Bay City State Park. It was a cold day, but a fine evening for a bike ride.

Out with the fellas.

Look closely at the picture and you can see two bald eagles in the trees. Not quite two turtle doves. It's pretty awesome seeing these birds in the wild. There are a few pairs in the area.

Out by the Saginaw Bay. Sometimes you don't realize how nice the area you lived in is until you go away. It may not have mountains or be warm, but there is plenty to see and do.

My dad and I gripped it and ripped it around the marsh for fun. He did pretty well for an old guy who doesn't ride and I felt pretty good for a guy who use to walk around like an old guy and hasn't ridden in a while.

Breeze On

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I have some sad news to write about, Jack Havercamp of Jack's Bicycle Shop passed away quietly yesterday afternoon. Jack was a great supporter of myself and an even better friend of our family.

Everyone has that one bike shop that they always go to, and once my dad got into cycling Jack's Bicycle Shop was the one we visited. Jack's was like no other bike shop.

First of all it is located in a renovated garage behind his house. So needless to say it is quite small, but there were plenty of goodies located inside. When ever you needed that random part chances are he had it stuffed in a drawer somewhere. It could have been the most random thing in a completely obscure place, but if you described something you needed he would know exactly where to look. Our mechanic from the past two years Will, who lived in the area, loved the shop and Jack, he would always rearrange one thing when Jack wasn't looking and of course he would spot it right out. Our number holders over the past two years came from Jack's as they were made from reflectors that came on the bikes in the shop. It was no problem as they were just sitting in a drawer.

Secondly there was pretty much one employ, Jack. Of course his two grandsons Nick and Chad would step in now and again and in the past few years helped out quite a bit more. It made it easy to grow a relationship with over the years. You knew just about everything about him and he knew just as much about you and your family. Whenever you went you had to make sure you had time to talk because you weren't just going to run in and run out. Some of the time spent was just waiting on the UPS man to bring the package of the day. It was fun to also peek on what everyone else was getting.

Like I said he was one of my biggest supporters and would always ask me or my dad what races I was doing and how I was doing. He also hung newspaper clippings of me on the walls and has one of my Marian national championships jerseys framed hanging on a wall. You want to know how good the relationship was. Well my dad has purchased 37 bikes from him. You don't buy that many bikes from one person if you don't like them.

Thirdly I always got a kick out of the business hours sign. It just basically boiled down to if I'm here or home it's open, if not, then we are closed. You could basically go any time on any day and if he wasn't sitting in the shop or outside on the picnic table a quick knock on the door would do the job. Mostly his wife Betty would answer as Jack was back listening to some music as he loved to do. Going to Jack's was sort of our coffee shop ride. We would ride over if we needed something and when it was nice just sit outside at the picnic table and chat.

Lastly he was always there to give you a deal. Just because something had a price on it doesn't exactly mean that is what it would cost. I could go there and pick up two items that cost $9.99 each and he would say just give me $15 and we will call it good. It's really helpful when you don't have much money, but there are so many things you need to buy.

Another thing I'll remember is doing the Jack's Halfway to St. Patrick's day Ride from Bay City to Clare, with a stop in Stanford for lunch/ice cream. It was the first long rides I did. Everyone who would do it would ride together the whole 60miles and get a room at the hotel. That afternoon and night everyone would hang out down in the bar/restaurant, drink, eat, and cha just about everything. Like I said you knew Jack well, but also all the other customers. It was a giant family. Then the next day you would all ride back. I probably was hardly 14 the first time, and I remember how cool I thought I was for riding that long. Great times.

There is one more thing I have to say and I really didn't want to put this at the end because it is much more then a footnote. Jack along with my Grandpa David Flaherty and Papa Eugene Rytlewski were part of what I easily consider the greatest generation as they fought in WWII. Jack was in the Navy and was a member of the US Army's 149th Special Combat Engineers on the June 6th, 1944, participating in the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach, Normandy. I think it is very important to remember all those who served during this time. Thanks!

Hanging out at the shop with Jack, his grandson Nick, my Dad, and Forrest.

The Rite Aid Pro Team on sponsored Fuji bikes, which Jack sold, and Jack with his original Fuji road bike out front by the sign.

Thanks for everything Jack! You will be missed.

Breeze On

Ghost Ride

Yesterday I had quite a bit to do. First I had to take Madelyn to daycare, drop Katie off at school, go to the North side of Indy to the doctors, squeeze a ride in before an afternoon of subbing, pick Madelyn back up, then pick up Katie and drop her back off at Library, feed Madelyn dinner and finally pick Katie back up. I had all my things packed up including riding gear, things to clean off with after and dress clothes for subbing. Everything went smoothly, including the doctor who said it was ok to start up a bit more riding but that would have to wait one more day.

I got back to the parking lot of the school, got the bike out of the car, and got dressed. I had just about everything on including my helmet when I wen to throw on my gloves. Blast no gloves and the temp was barley above freezing. No way could I got without them. They'd be ice cubes in less then 10min. So I cleaned up, changed clothes and got ready to teach. I thought I'd just hop on the rollers when Katie finally got home, but by the time we all arrived home it was 7:30 and no way it was happening. I was wiped out and fell asleep in my chair in less then 5mins from closing my eyes at 8:30. I woke back up at 2:30 in the morning and felt well rested. I went back to bed though as there isn't much to do at that time, unless your my dad who is just in the middle of his work day.

On a side note I just so happened to be subbing for my wife who had meetings in the afternoon. So I spent 3.5hrs in her shoes. Those are not easy shoes to fit in.

Breeze On

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Another busy week has come and gone. I've been filling my time productively with teaching the youth of America. It may be only as a sub, but if I can make a difference in one kid's life.....HA! Nobody as been hurt or presumed missing on my account. I even have been able to sub as an assistant in my wife's class. I've heard all the talk about her being a great teaching and I finally got to see it in person. She really is special and truly earned the teacher of the year award last year. Those kids are lucky to have her.

As for my body this week as been the best I've felt in the whole year. Except for the day after therapy on Friday, my side muscles and shoulders were sore from the core work I did with a medicine ball on a exercise ball. Boy my upper body is week and the injury had nothing to do with that. All I had to is look into a mirror to figure that one out. This year I think I will focus more on doing upper body strength, core strength, and stretching. Something that everyone should do all year for overall health and injury prevention. Now I just need to find some balls.

Breeze On