31 December, 2008

Ice galore

The last few weeks have seen, for the most part, cold temps and good winds. Some coming off the Lake. Thus down on Park Point there are some very large ice shelfs. With the discovery of how well studs work on icy trails, I decided to put them to the ultimate test of lake ice. Once I found the proper line, which happen to be right near the 4 foot drop off into the water, it was quite fast. Every once in awhile there would be big chunks of ice that I had the joy of just clawing right over.

My warm up.

Cool formations.

Studs worked so well I almost made it up a wall.

On the way back up the hill to my house I took some trails, and to my surprise was able to ride right up a snow covered stair case.
I kinda want to go do laps at a hockey rink now.

29 December, 2008

I am a stud

fan now. I just bought a pair of studs for my bicycle and man are those things incredible. Ice is no longer my enemy but something I can tear around on like it is dry pavement. I had no idea they made such a big difference. Unfortunately the cost my a weeks worth of working, but I am told they will last 10 years, I guess that would make them worth it.

Zoom Zoom. Winter training here I come.

Shortly after the last post life got really quite busy. Between working at the Hut, my second home and taking all kinds of tests for EMT certification. I had zero time to train or even really just sit. Now that class has been successfully completed (feel safer when you come to my bike races, unless Daniel and Linda are there, then feel really really safe) I have more time to play.
Right before Christmas I got new downhill skis, boots, and all. Not normal downhill stuff, but rather Alpine Touring, meaning I can easily access any hill I damn well please. No need for lift tickets...One of my new play grounds, the depth does not show up too well, but it gets nice and steep.
Skiing fun.

I am pretty excited to go out and explore some more on the skis. Thursday calls for a trip up the shore for good views and deep snow.

14 December, 2008

Let it come

Winter is coming, we are currently being clobbered by a large snowstorm. Fun! The more the merrier. Now I just need my skis to arrive (on order), life will then be delightful.

My practical and written tests for EMT certification are this next week, I've been spending a lot of time out at the training center to practice. Inside there is a giant treadmill. After riding out to class (20 some miles out there) I realized I could get some good heat training in!

Much more entertaining then rollers!

11 December, 2008

Don't Ask

I don't know why. But hey, it is entertaining, and this time no words were put into my mouth!

08 December, 2008

Gettin my redneck on

There are some things I like about this country, others which I strongly dislike. However, one of my favorite things is that when one has the urge to go shoot things, there is not much to stop he or she from doing so.
Last night that urge hit, thus Max, Jason, and I cruised on up to an undisclosed location and got our redneck on. Meaning, we shot just about anything and everything we could find, except a chipmunk enjoying a nut, and each other.

We were searching for Bugs Bunny, but alas, he out smarted us. This time...

The kill of the day.
Conditions became dangerous.
But we made it home, and the tree made it into the car. Somehow...

On a completely different note. I took the following photo the other day while night biking. It turned out pretty cool looking.

04 December, 2008



One who insists on the highest quality at the lowest price.
Being an econnoisseur I bought the ten dollar chilean wine instead of the fifty dollar french.
This is indeed who I am, the last of the Moroccans found it on urban dictionary.

On that note I am getting some downhill skis. Now I just need lots of snow to go tromp through the forested hillsides on Duluth and the Northshore. And to go on a mountain adventure out West somewhere. Hopefully that will happen sometime this spring.

Due to the fact that there is little to no snow, the bike trails are all really really fun right now. My searchlight and I have been tearing it up again. It is just so much fun being out there when there is not anyone else. You get the trails all to yourself.
Tonight's ride involved riding some new trails, as well as plenty of old, and some nice views.
The old hockey haunt. Glen Avon.

Some trails are faster then others, and even more fun in the dark.

As much fun riding is right now, I could use some job security. Luckily the Jet Steam looks to be a bit more favorable then it has the past few days. Maybe we will get some winter sometime soon...

Happy Army?

30 November, 2008

Funny how it works

Last year at this time all I wanted to do was be done with the bike season, and I still had a few weeks left. Right now all I want to do is go putz around on the trails. Funny how it works out like that.
As of now the trails are frozen mud, with a light covering of snow, some frozen ruts. Again last year at CX Nationals the frozen snow covered ruts were part of the cause of my misery, now I am entertained by riding through those sections quickly...

Trail in day, with frozen ruts.

I recently purchased a Nite Rider headlamp, the last few nights have been very fun. The woods at night are a whole different experience. Earlier tonight, Dean, Ross, Ryan (Ski Huters), and I went for a cruise in the dark. It was really fun, I highly recommend it.

Between trails. Ross and Dean.

Nice bright light

Ross enjoying the spotlight.

25 November, 2008

For Sale

08 Tarmac SL2 Pro

I just got it, you know you want it. Lets chat.
My best guess puts less than 800 miles on it. And fewer than 100 miles on the wheels.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and I love the bike. I just want a new one, with scram on it.
It retails for $6,100.
I am asking $3,250.
A great deal.
Talk with you soon. jwboyce@gmail.com

New Bridges

Well done to the bridge builders in Hartley. They are quite nice.
The woods here are absolutely lovely. Super fast, not muddy, not icy. Just plain fun. So much for my week off!

Max hitting up one of the new bridges.

16 November, 2008


the 08 season has finally come to a close, a good year of ups and downs ended with the always super fun State CX race. Good thing it is done too, another month of hard training would probably kill me. To anyone who is doing nationals, have fun training in the cold, wet, and dark. I'll be racing my couch!

Anyhow, on to the State CX race. As usually the biggest race of the year, as usually a good course. With the expansion of the race to include the far side of the park, things got quite interesting.

Good thing the race started 15 minutes late, I was not paying any attention to the clock, I was just going to go take a lap of the course when I saw the entire field lined up and just about ready to go. So I choked down my sports beans and lined up, within a minute we were off. And somehow I actually had a good start, despite not being ready at all. I was right where I wanted to be until the corner after of the stair run the first lap where I botched the turn and got gapped. From there on out it was Mr. Casper, Mr. Taylor and I chasing the lead group. We were working quite well together, eventually catching a hurting Harland and Swanson. the remaining 4 of the lead group held there lead. Thus we were racing for 5th place. Mr. Casper put in a hard attack on the pavement before the sandpit. As we came into that at about 50 mph I missed the rut I was aming for and just about went over my bars, Mr. Taylor and Casper were gone. I chased hard but they are just to fast to try and catch after any mistake. In the end I rolled across 7th. Not bad at all, but not the top 5 I was going for, at least I was in the running for it though. This race was probably the most fun Ive had all year.
Eurostyle, one of the reasons this race is so much fun. A tunnel of people yelling at you.

Hard day

Stairs are fun.
The pit. My eventual downfall. However, Mr. Taylor probably beat me out of the pit this lap too. He just blasted through it every time.
most photos stolen from Sean Burns

Well, thats it for 08 bike racing. It's fat season! After a week or two off it will be back to training, hopefully some skiing. Which I will be able to afford, because no bike races!

12 November, 2008

If there are

legitimate expenses, like Super Rookie mentions, then the prize list may have to be smaller. But most of these races cost more, have few expenses and have very very little pay out. Someone who actually wins money at MN races mentioned after the last race that Iowa seems to have it figured out, they pay more with fewer racers. However, I am not going to Iowa to race, because for the most part MN is more competitive thus more fun for me. But we all could learn from their ideas.

11 November, 2008

People get to angry

calm down. Take a deep breath, drink some cocoa and get angry about things that actually matter, such as the price of cold weather clothing not some silly blog or message board.

Velodrome CX. Much much better then last year, my least favorite race award has already been given out, even without that, I don't think this race would get it this year. No garbage water!
Still to many turns, but they worked with what they had, and I still think we should ride in circles...
The race itself was not so good for me. I had my worst start of the year, and on that course there was little opportunity to move up until the field spread out which was much to late to matter. And for some reason I felt a bit sluggish, maybe it was the Arctic temps, but it just did not go so smoothly. I did better then last year though, all I had to do was finish!

If you look real close you can see the Velodrome in the distance.

Lake Rebbecca CX
Same course as last year, which I find for the most part entertaining. When dry or packed, nice fast single track, however much of it was really slick mud for a good part of the race, which made things interesting.
My start would have been good, except I have enjoyed not using glasses in cross this year, thus the muddy gravel start was hard on my eyeballs. It took me a couple of laps to see clearly again.
After taking out a good portion of the field on the first run up due to slippery conditions I once again missed the lead group and spent the rest of the race chasing, of course to no avail but a 5th place.

The laziness of bike racers never ceases to amaze me. Is it really that inconvenient to drive 29 miles outside of the city? I wish people would drive to Duluth, the whole 150 miles, but not even driving 29 because it is out of the urban sprawl is getting pretty pathetic. The only people who I will listen to complain about driving are those who live in Moorhead, or further away then Duluth. Some of them even came to Duluth!

I hope they got some money in my races that paid out top 10 to men and 5 to women, the total purse being $600 both days! And know what is sad, I did not even end up paying out all the money (see above comments).
Hopefully this will generate some discussion, then my job is accomplished.

In the mean time, enjoy the cold and see you all next weekend!

05 November, 2008

I am not moving to Germany

or Canada, at least not quite yet. The election went mostly how I wanted. It is great that so many people got out and voted, but we still have a long way to go.
Number of people eligible to vote in the US.
217.8 million

Number of people who voted yesterday.

In other more entertaining news. I always thought something on the ballot coming down to one vote was something for the Simpsons. But I was proven wrong yesterday. A proposal to allow liquor sales in Duluth's far east end was defeated by one single vote. Incredible!
2,827 against
2,826 for

04 November, 2008


Last week it snowed Monday, and was 70 and sunny on Thursday...

After eating lots of delicious candy and other foods, and drinking delightful drinks on Friday night it was off to one of the race course I have absolutely no issues with, believe it or not. The Red Barn rolled around and it was time to squish around the tree farm for a bit. After growing my facial hair out for a good 3 weeks or a month, so long ago, first for my costume, and second so I could have an attempted mustache at the race, I was quite ready.
A delightful dessert

After an ok start and a few laps the main groups were established. I was duking it out in group two, hoping to catch up. No dice after getting gapped, so Mr. Casper, Mr. Moran, Mr. Reits, Mr. Roy, and I had fun beating up each other. Mr. Casper and Moran each took a tumble, leaving the last few laps down to the rest of us. Mr. Reits went on the attack with 3/4 a lap to go, I stuck on, and coming through the barriers (my strong point that day) I took off for 7th place.
Only issue I have with the race this year was chip timing... I say no more.

Sunday sent me down to Milaca for another fun course (besides the bridge). After a super slow start I tried to chase onto the lead group which was not to far ahead. Mr. Dickey was doing a fine job of pulling me, when all of a sudden he dissappeared from in front of me and popped up in front of the lead group. All in the blink of an eye. So I rode with Mr. Casper for most of the race, in the end we were catching Mr. Taylor after his crash. We rode hard to catch him, Herr Casper selflessly leading me down the road to try and get me to him, but it did not quite work out and I came across 6th.

I really need to get those starts down. I know I can hang with the lead group, I just gotta get there. 3 more tries...

Also vote, I was thinking about a write in.
Solve the puzzle and you will know who!


First one to solve it wins a special prize.

26 October, 2008

Afton Alps

What may be one of the last warm days until spring brought me to Afton Alps for another lovely cx race. I cruised down with Ross, who after having a very slow start to his season cruised away from the B field and can now hopefully race A again. Then we can leave Duluth later. Anyhow well done to him.Ross on his way to victory.

Dave Langely rode in circles as well.

The course to my delight was in many respects very similar to the Olaf cx course. Mostly flat with a big ass run up.
Not nearly soon enough the race was off, I felt good, I just sat in the top 5, cruising along for the first couple of laps, I did not even feel as though I was working. On the decent my chain bounced around and somehow got over my chain guard, thus forcing a stop to repair, and loosing contact with the lead group, screwed over once again by the damn chain. I tried to chase, but with a long into the wind road section it was not possible to regain contact by my lonesome. Nevertheless I continued to chase with a few guys sitting close behind, then as I got on my bike after on of the barriers my chain had randomly decided to jump ship again. I considered throwing the bike into the chair lift pole for a bit, but ended up getting back on, chasing the group that went by me. With 1.5 laps to go I regained contact, but had zero in the tank. On the big hill I got gapped by two of them and ended up pulling the 3rd all the way down the road, right up to near the last barrier where he decided to pass me by ramming my bars. This guy has a serious issue with cutting people off, consider this your last warning. Unfourtunatly he beat me to the line as well. I ended up 8th I beleive, when I should really have been much higher then that. I felt good for most of the race, the mechanicals just really seem to take it out of me, totally destroying my rythm and concentration. I have tried to fix it, but I can never get the chain to jump track in practice, only races, and when it happens then I have no time to sit down and ponder the reason. This week I will put many hours, but few dollars into fixing it.
I just discovered I missed getting my race paid for due to my chain, I think I want to burn it.
Run up
I raised my seat a bit again, I think that made a big difference.

Right before dropping chain for second time...

Sunday I decided not to race for various reasons. I still rode and became quickly dissappointed I did not race. I felt really good. Why waste feeling good? So I went out and hammered it for a good 30 minutes in the rain and cold.

23 October, 2008

20 October, 2008

Challenging vs. Stupid

But first...
Saturday was the delightful race at Ham Lake, I really do enjoy that course, it is just so damn fast. Roadie tactics can pretty much be used, which makes the racing really entertaining.

Another early morning brought the argyle suit out to the line. The race was started on the road this year which made for an extremely quick get up and go. I let up a little to early and got behind Mr. Hole Shot. Who after starting blazing fast faded blazing fast, causing a gap to open up that would be impossible to close. Thus the lead group was established with my group getting the chase title. There were attacks and crashes and all kinds of fun things, it always came back together after each event though. Mr. Anderson and I worked very well as team mates, first time I have ever had one wearing the same kit. It was great. With 1.5 laps to go someone dropped their chain behind me (I was pulling) and Harry yelled go, I took off, opened up a gap, then soon after the Crossniacs took each other out. Harry sat on the wheel of Jess from Nature Valley, who after sucking wheel (we joked about this, I am not angry) brought me back. He ended up getting the sprint, I rolled in right behind him, with Mr. A rounding out the top 10. Fun stuff.
I spent more then my fair share of time on the front. But no one else would pull...
Fly away home.
The group

Sunday I decided to forgo Hudson round 2 and race in Ashland. I also dragged Father Boyce along for hist first cross race, to bad about the course... Hopefully it did not spoil cross for him.A bunch of them came to my race, so I feel I should support them. Had I known the course, I may have done otherwise...
It was a course made for 29ers. Started as a normal cx course, dropped onto a sand beach, which is fine, then after a short run up, went onto about a 200 meter section of rock. Not gravel, rock (see photo)
I got the hole shot, led over the beach, then as soon as we hit the rock it was like I was riding in sand and the guys on the 29ers were on pavement. All I could do was watch them ride away, I was going as hard as I could but going nowhere, I simply sunk into the rock. And that is how the rest of the race went, in the 200 meters the 2 guys in front of me probably got 15 seconds if I rode the rock perfect, there was no way I could close that gap on the soft grass that was the rest of the course. So I struggled for an hour, not feeling stellar at any point, and wanting to die on the rock.
He warned me about the rocks... At least there was a nice veiw.
Path of death
Size 43 shoe on the rocks.

Other then the course, the race was fun, very low key not even USCF. Thanks to those guys for putting a race on.
In my opinion there are two different kinds of hard, at least for bike racing. Challenging hard, for example the hill at Olaf, last years Twine Ball, speeds at Ham Lake, super fast single track, and things like that. And I thoroughly enjoy a challenge. Then there is stupid hard, i.e. this rock path, or the drainage ditch at last years Velodrome race. No not because I am slow on them, or have bad races, but because they make the race simply not fun. Stupid hard is an unnecessary part of a course that when you ride, you just think what the hell am I doing this for. I know everyone has thought that about some course, so don't everyone go get all upset about this. And no stupid hard does not derive from your weaknesses, I love riding in mud, but I hated the drainage ditch.
Yes, I complain, but how are things going to get changed if I don't.