31 December, 2006

10 best of 2006

Why bother wasting time with a lot of words. Here are the 10 best photos of 2006. These are pretty much all the best photos, but some also show great times. I think they are in chronological order too.

Grand Marais sunset, Feburary
Heidelberg, March
Racing my shadow outside of Paderborn, March
Waiting for the train in Konstanz, April
Racing in Switzerland, May
Cow and mountains, June
World Cup 2006, July
TdF 2006 in the Alps, July
Sailing in 14 foot waves, August
Ripping Sean's legs off, November

29 December, 2006

progress

Today I figured out how to unicycle.

starting out

Then about an hour later I was able to go a little ways, then at 2 hours or so I could go quite a ways. My side to side balance is great, just the front/back is hard. Once I got it down I was able to go, it was actually pretty hard on the legs. Not only to you have to push one pedal stoke per tire revolution, but also push back to stop from going to fast. My legs are kinda tired. ha.

I figured it out
I dont know why people keep filming me this way where I am sideways...but cant do anything about it now.

28 December, 2006

Believe it or not

I can still ski. Since we still have no snow in Duluth I cruised on over to Ironwood to ski at ABR with some friends. It was actually quite good, a 1hr 45 of classic early on, then some lunch and then 75 minutes of skate. I felt quite good, must be all this rest I am getting, maybe I'll be able to ski for Nationals, which is coming up very soon. But anyways skiing, Chris and I did all of the trails at ABR which is just under 40km.
Skating went surprisingly well, and I was able to move rapidly when I felt the need for speed. And as usual classic went well. Even in Ironwood the snow was way way below normal, for some reason I remember the average amount of snow being something like 19 feet, there was about a foot or so today.
Other than that not a whole lot is happening here, well I suppose Christmas happened, which is fairly big. I had a good haul, a nice sleeping bag and a unicycle. The B├╝hlers (family friends from Germany) sent over a package. In it was deodorant for me, I think they are trying to say something...

coming soon!
Best pictures of 2006

24 December, 2006

snow-mobile

I refuse to let nature win and not give me a white Christmas, instead of complaining about it more, I did something about it.

A real snow-mobile


Tess enjoyed the snow throwing, can you find her?
The dogs and I are now happy
Finished product.




This was awhile ago, its the gingerbread house from the german house with our class notes in it. burn baby burn.

22 December, 2006

40 seconds of fun

Last night a few of my friends and I went and played some pick-up hockey at a local rink. There were a bunch of people there who I assume are on or had been on the high school team. They are thought they were great, but were really not that good. For not having played since last Christmas break I and the others did quite well.

Today was "season pass holder appreciation day" up at spirit mountain. Since one of the guys I was playing hockey with has a pass he invited me along. So I brought the snowboard out after quite a few years in storage. I went with some of my oldest friends up there, it was great to hang out with them again, I even got invited to go climb some mountains after j-term. I think I just might.
But anyways, Spirit Mountain is a lot smaller and more boring than I remember. Long lines, short hills. We timed a downhill, it was 40 seconds long. Then probably 5 minutes up. Lame. I also did not find snowboarding nearly as fun as it used to be. Therefore I want to sell my snowboards. So if you know anyone who is in the market, Ive got a smaller board with smaller boots. What size im not sure. and a bigger board with 9.5 boots. The bigger stuff was used only one season so it is in great shape, but really I need money and having a snowboard I dont use is unnecessary. Contact me somehow if you want it, or know of others who do.

21 December, 2006

Balance Practice

Well, school is done, for now. I think everything went pretty well. We will just have to wait and see. Ive been pretty lazy the last couple of days and not done anything. Today I decided to take the cx bike into hartley to ride some single track on it, since it is only 35 or so outside. To my surprise and dismay I found that quite a bit of the trails had a layer of ice under a thin layer of dirt. I could have used crampons on a few of the hills, but my toe spikes had to do. Surprisingly I made it around pretty well, eventually I figured out how to ride in these weird conditions. The ride ended up being quite nice. Good balance practice.

Other than that it is pretty good to be home, hangin out with the dogs, who are as strange as ever. Eating the fluff of stuffed animals and food off the counters. This evening I made jerked pork, it was quite good, and had quite a kick to it. Now I can impress people at school with my new dish. Hopefully tonight I can play some hockey. Beat up on my friends.

18 December, 2006

racket sports

Today Brandon, Finn, Peter, Jake, and I played either racket ball and/or badminton. It was intense, especially on the badminton court. I was dripping sweat, fun times.
Also Karl, a kid in my house got the Nintendo Wii, right before finals, uh oh! haha. It pretty fun, the motion controls make it really entertaining, to play and watch. Observe below Katie and Sarah boxing...Make sure you have sound.

entertaining, or?
I also noticed yesterday something on my T-Mobile vest I had not before...

16 December, 2006

Finals are fun

I am actually serious. Finals week is a great time. No class, a little bit of papers or studying here and there. But in generally there is not really that much to do, as long as you have been paying attention in class and all, youll do fine. I also enjoy watching the masses flip out about everything. Since there is so much excess time, finding time to ride is quite easy. With this weather its a must.
Today after handing in my German paper, I saw the Northfield guys rolling out. I thought about hurrying to get ready, but decided against that. I just took my time, it was cloudy at that point, so I had no idea of how long my ride would be. About 20 minutes after starting out going west (into a mostly head wind, it was SW then) the clouds cleared and it got nice and sunny. Soon the wind that there was dropped off a bit too, it was nearly calm and nearly 50. I just kept going, it was great. I think I almost got the 4 corners of rice county, I at least hit all the big cities. All in all it ended up being a 4.5 hour ride of just under 120 km. I feel great right now, not tired at all.
I wonder how much longer this weather will last. I have mixed feelings, yeah it makes biking easy. But no snow? In winter in MN? depressing...It either needs to stay warm without snow, or be cold but with snow. Cold without snow just sucks.

15 December, 2006

A green December

Finals have begun, for most people. I don't have anything due until Saturday, and no test until Monday. No better way to blow some time then by riding bikes. Plus the weather is not normal December. It was nearly 50 today and was 40 something yesterday. See what noaa says for the rest of the week. Yesterday we (Brandon, Finn and I) went riding. Finn said we should meet at 1:00. Brandon and I were there, but Finn was 20 minutes late...We went west instead of the normal southerly start, off across the mighty 35. When we were over there Brandon made a new friend.

However, Finn kept his distance.

We then continued cruising and eventually turned and got a tail wind all the way home. It was a good 2 hour 20 minutes or so.

Last night/earlyish morning there was a meteor shower. One website said it would be best view at 6 a.m. I got up to view it, but
Fog, can't see much through that.

So I went back to bed for a bit. Once I woke up I decided to go bike before it became windy like noaa suggested. So I took off in the 45 degree morning with wet roads. I had a great time just cruisin, for the first part I was going into a mild head wind, about at the point I turned around the wind really picked up. That made me quite happy. When traveling at around 30 km/h, there was no headwind. It was great. It ended up being just under 2 hr 30.
On to the green December, here are some pictures of selected green spots from the past two days.


Still don't believe in global warming? It does not take a scientist to figure out that this is not normal...

Just before dinner my faith in mankind (at least Minnesotans) was restored. I opened up a copy of the Star Tribune and found this poll.

What should be done to keep people off the ice?
69% Chalk it up to natural selection and just let them be (Finally! people are fun.)
16% Arrest them for public endangerment (Lame)
15% It's every Minnesotan's right to test the ice when he or she sees fit(Strange)





12 December, 2006

No jacket

in December. Another way to describe this weather is that the geese are flying NORTH. Birds flying north in December? Something is very wrong.
Needless to say I have abandoned ski training for the time being, even though it is the racing season. I am just finding it very hard to stay motivated without the snow and with 45 or 50 degrees. It is supposed to be like this all week. So much for studying for finals!
Tomorrow is finally the last day of class. Horray! Then I have nothing until Saturday. Some nice long bike rides are in store. Might as well take advantage of the warm weather.

Winters past...
Winters present...

10 December, 2006

Spring already?

A nice early day starting at 4:55 A.M. my favorite. Then it was off to Hyland Park for the first ski since West and the first race of the year. It was only a 4kmx2 person relay with 2km then switch off. I started for my team and I got the hole shot somehow? and lead the race for most of the first lap. Then I got tired and slowed down. Ha. But for the first time skiing in 3 weeks Id say it went fairly well. Oh the course sucked. The big hill in the race was at nearly 45 degrees sideways and up, well not really but close. That was really annoying, but I only had to do it 4 times.

If you cant win at the end, why not at the start?
The sideways hill.


ski jumping. to bad Jens filmed it sideways...

After the race the team went to Jennies house for hot tub and pancakes. As soon as I got back to Olaf I dressed for biking and was off on this day of 50 degrees! Crazy, its the middle of December and 50. What the heck. Anyways Brandon and I rode with some of the guys from the Northfield bike club. We went to Fairbault, visited Ben, then cruised off into the fields again. It was quite a delightful ride, and made me very happy. Here are some photos. Oh I also saw seans new bike but decided against posting a picture of it.

The temp in Fairbault at 1:00
The fields of brown
Front of my bike
Explain please...





08 December, 2006

late update

I decided that I would try skating again today. The same as the two previous days, but it was cold last night so I was more confident in the ice today. It turned out quite to be quite a nice skate. A good brisk day, with the ice making fun sounds and was quite smooth as usual. I was out for about an hour then Ollie joined me. About half an hour after that I got really really hungry so I went to dinner.
After dinner it was time for the German House event which was gingerbread house I put together earlier, and decorating and eating cookies.

view of my pond
Ollie out front
pre-decoration
guess what country? I cut it out with a knife. It is surprisingly good.


the ice from the other night

06 December, 2006

breaking the ice

After an hour on the indoor bike I was too bored to continue, indoor biking sucks. Work so hard to get nowhere. Since dad brought down a bunch of skates last weekend, and one of the Olaf pond had decent ice last friday, I decided to go see if it were skatable. I walked around on it taking pictures and checking the ice for quite a while, then went and got my skates. It was definatley a good idea, and I will be out there tomorrow at sometime. There was some guy who stopped down, so maybe there will be a pickup hockey game or something.
I guess one good thing came out of having no snow and cold weather, the ice is quite smooth and very clear. I could see the bottom in lots of places, at one point I chased some kind of mammal that was swimming under the ice, that was entertaining. I am not sure if I am supposed to be there or not. I think it is part of the wildlife "preserve," all the more reason to enjoy it. ha. I was also the first person this year to skate on it, I would bet I am one of the first to ever skate on it too. Although can't be sure of that...




My skating companion, I think maybe he was watching fish. He was out there for quite a while.

i kinda figured out videos, but this one is the only one working right now of the ice, and its not the good one. but it does show the smoothness a little. Ill put the better one up when it works...

03 December, 2006

Sore feet and christmas trees

Yesterday I went to ski practice, it was a time trial of sorts, but it was running. The actual time trial was just under 30 minutes long, and was pretty tough. The total workout was 1 hour 20. That is the longest I have run in a very long time, probablly since either last ski season or the one before that. Also my running shoes are kind old, they gave me large blisters on my arches.
After that Sarah and I went to chinese food. All you can eat buffet for 6.50, it was awsome. Good way to avoid the Christmas Fest crowds.

blisters!

This most of my house had a pancake breakfast, then 5 of us went out to buy a Christmas Tree. We also realized we had no ornaments so we stopped at target too. We now have a fully decorated 8 foot air freshener.
After that excitement and working group project, Finn, Brandon and I used the new (at the start of the year) spinners down in Tostrud. It was not to bad, yes a bit boring, but at least I did not freeze...

ready to rolldamn stands
it was too tall, state fair knifes are amazing...
i'm a star
finished product

30 November, 2006

It's only as cold as you dress

Yesterdays high temp. 56 F, with thunder storms and light wind. Todays high temp 26 F with strong wind, so with the windchill it was 12 I believe ???? What wierd weather...
Yesterday I did homework from 1 until 10. pretty much non-stop. It sucked, needless to say I did not go biking. Today I decided to go biking (even though the ski season has started, I'm thinking the no snow no go approach is going to be the plan).
I walked out of my door this morning and thought I was going to die it was so cold, but as the day wore on I got more and more antsy. I did not want a repeat of yesterday. So I suited up in lots of clothes as to not freeze my ass off. I was a bit cold during the ride, but definatley not unbearable like I have been on cold rides in the past. I took off into to the first, so that was what was cold. Once going with it I was great. I stayed out for a total of two hours, at the end of which my toes were getting pretty cold, also my fingers since my gloves are holy...

Suited up for the cold, and the duct tape patch is key...
started getting frosty.