Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birkie Weekend II

I wanted to finish up my posting of the Birkie weekend.

We had fun meeting up with old friends that now live in Hayward and Rogers, MN. Unfortunately, we only see them once or twice a year, and the Birkie is one of those times. We ate a lot of pizza and drank beer...the recovery food of all hard-core athletes the world over.

Better than Recoverite

Sunday was spent driving home and deciding if we wanted to keep this:

Who are those people?

or get this:

Ohh, nice

Too bad this wasn't an option this year; but I'm pretty sure, if she agrees, maybe next year:

My next bike: the Pugs

We decided on this and love it:

Ohh, nice

Granted, it is not environmentally friendly, it is a gas-guzzler, and might we might get some hassle for not getting something more practical("...why didn't you get a minivan?"). But it will be great for our growing family(if you haven't heard, we are expecting #2 in September), it's great in the snow(proven in the 10" we got the day after I picked it up), and will be a great ride to the (hopefully) many races/events in the future.

Now that the Birkie is over, I need to start riding more. The Almanzo is only 11 weeks away.

There's not been much riding lately, but I started core work by watching(and doing) this:

I don't know what "tweeze your buttocks" means, but when I hear it I can't help but laugh. It's a pretty good core workout.

With this outside,

10" coming down

I've been on this:

All together now, "this sucks"

and planning on getting on this:

All together now, "be careful"

The other knucklehead that's doing the Almanzo joined me today for a CTS video workout.

If I don't fall off the rollers, we are heading to St. Cloud for Dad's B-Day tomorrow. Just M and I. Wife is going out of town for work. Looks like it might be a rough stay for her:

She assures me she will be working.


Scott S.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thank you, Sears



Thanks, Sears


Scott S.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Birkie Weekend

I wanted to write a little more about the past weekend. It was one of the most memorable of the Birkie weekends that I have had. And not only for the fact that I had a great race.

Old school

We left early Friday morning so we could get to the 10k race my wife and Dad were skiing in. Once again M traveled like a champ. I am no longer a naysayer of the portable DVD and I now know all the words to all the songs on the Disney's Favorite Songs CD.

Dad and Wife

The weather was fantastic for the 10k and Wife and Dad had a great ski. They both commented that the race was over before they knew it. Sound familiar? They casually made it around in 1:15. While they were skiing, M and I had great fun sledding and playing on the swings. "Let's do it again" was a common request when sledding up and down the hills around Telemark.

Having fun

After picking up my bib, checking out the vendors, and buying some souvenirs, it was to the cabin. I've been staying at the same cabin north of Hayward since I first did the Birkie (Korte in my case) in 1992. We stay with another skier from Detroit Lakes who did his 26th Birkie this year. He's one of those people who is an example to me to stay healthy and active as I age. I won't give away his age; let's just say most men of his age are collecting social security and going south for the winter. He is still working and is skiing the 55k Norweigen Birkiebeiner in March.

As we consumed the carbo-loaded spaghetti dinner, we discussed waxes, training(or lack of), life, and our love of skiing and the active lifestyle. As always, the stories that are told every year are told again and I have no doubt Wife gets tired of it, but she's a good sport about it.


We tried to get to bed early as the Birkie Veteran was up late putting on the final wax on his skis.

The morning came early, but it was relaxing for me as I didn't start until 9:50 from the 9th wave. I won't go into the details about the actual race as anyone who's reading this has probably heard it from me already and is tired of it.

Before the start

I would like to share one discussion with a fellow racer. I was visiting with him at the last food stop at 16.5K. We were both having a great time that day and saying how important it is to enjoy the day. It meant more coming from him as he explained he was undergoing chemo and radiation for metastatic prostate cancer. Just one more reminder of the importance of enjoying each day and that there is no do-over in life.

I'll end it there, next post will finish up the weekend.


Scott S.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Best So Far

My wife and M


9th in my age group

244th out of 891 racers

How did that happen?

I'm still wondering.

Granted, not as "super fast" as M likes to go down hills in her sled, but pretty fast for a 35 year-old, slightly overweight man who is chronically under trained.

I don't know who this is, I just like the banner with the Red, White, and Blue in the background. Although, for anybody who's wondering how we dress for the weather, this guy exemplifies it.

My last post described a little of the work of waxing the skis prior to the race. I was admittedly nervous that my wax would not be right, which would mean a long and grueling slog through the Wisconsin Northwoods.

Instead, I nailed the wax, with some help from Ok, all credit needs to go to them, but I was the one that put it on the skis.

Ready to go

It was one of those days that everything was perfect and the race was over before I wanted it to end.

The wax was perfect: lightening fast on the downhills and perfect kick on the uphills.

The weather was perfect: teens at the start, warming to the low 20's by the finish.

The snow conditions were perfect: the new classic trail is great, the grooming exceptional, and the snow abundent.

The company was perfect: spending the weekend with my wife, daughter and dad help to make memories that will be looked back upon when I'm 90, pleasantly demented, and sitting in a nursing home.

We're off

I'll try to describe the weekend and race in detail a bit more in future posts, but I hope you enjoy some of the pictures. My wife took these by the way, and all artistic credit goes to her.


Scott S.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The work before the fun

We are heading up to Hayward tomorrow for the Birkiebeiner Ski Race(I'm skiing the shorter Korteloppet). It will be my 17th time racing. Unfortunately, it will be another year of being under-trained. I guess that can make it more interesting: the chance of projectile vomiting at 15 kilometers always adds that little bit of suspense.

I will be doing it classic again this year. It'll be just like the old times: starting in a late wave, classic skiing, hoping for the right amount of kick, and hoping to finish. The last two years I've skied it with my Dad. This year he is making the right decision to ski the 10k race. You don't survive being a middle-school Health and Phy Ed teacher for 30+ years without a whole lot of common sense and this year he is skiing the 10k with my wife.


I mentioned the "waves" above and I should maybe explain that to people, especially some of the relatives in warmer climes(you know who you are).

Looks fun, doesn't it?

The Birkie hosts 9500 skiers over the weekend races. About 7000 of them are racing on Saturday morning. The waves are made up of 500-800 skiers and are then started at 5 minute intervals. It is everyone's goal to be in an earlier wave and the only way to do that is to be fast. The wave assignments are based on previous race finish times. It is all very confusing to me, except for a variety of reasons I'm in the last wave on Saturday. You can figure it out(I'm slow).

A wave start

Anyway, I spent last night waxing my skis. It usually is fun, not last night. It felt more like work. I got all 8 layers of kick on and 3 layers of glide wax on. I used the Swix recomendations, but I'm nervous it'll be colder than they are predicting.

Tools of work

The work

The reward

It should be fun. We have some good friends that we typically only see twice a year and this is one of those times.

I'll have some pics posted next week of the fun we've had. Don't worry, I won't include a picture of the vomit.


Scott S.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Me, Myself and I

We had a Gravel Grinder ride scheduled for last Sunday.

It wasn't a good turnout. The most consistent rider, besides me, was sick. Nobody else wanted to brave the "cold". It was a great day for mid-February ride in Minnesota - 16 degrees and little wind.

Here we are on the gravel:

It was a flat route, not at all what I'm expecting at the Almanzo in May:

It was cool, but not cold, but a mid-ride sniff always helps:

This sums up the ride:

Hopefully we'll have a better turn-out next time.

We're heading to the Birkie this weekend, so look for xc skiing pics next week.


Scott S.

What have I done?

Here we go. First blog post.

I'm not sure why I decided to start this. Maybe it was to motivate me to ride more, take more pictures, or have something to prove to my daughter(and the as yet un-born) that her Dad isn't a total nerd. Though maybe having a blog just proves that I am. Maybe it was to somehow document our growing family, let our family know what we are up to, or as a replacement for Facebook (that everybody says I should be on).

This will definitely be a work in progress. I'm sure most of the posts will revolve around my cycling addiction with some family stories and pictures thrown in for the Grandparent's sake.

Time will tell.

I have some pictures from my last ride but I'll need to figure out how to post them. I'll get them up as soon as I can.

JRA(just riding along)

Scott S.