Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mechanical Problems

I love working on my bike when I am not riding it, but come on! Saturday night I repacked my bearings on hubs of my old steel rims on my road bike. Need new ball bearings to really make improvements but some grease is better than NONE AT ALL. Only thing is I still have not mastered how tight I should tighten them after I am done. SO I am rolling along headfirst into a killer south wind but it is warm and beautiful so I don't care really. I am downtown Newton ready to ride south till I am bored, tired, or in Wichita. (LOL yea right) I love riding in Kansas, as you never know what will happen next with the weather. My back tire/wheel started feeling odd and fighting against me more than normal. I got off and pulled it up on the sidewalk and checked and it was like the brakes were locked even though the pads were not touching at all. I had tightened the bearing cups or whatever they are called a little too much and they worked into being WAY TOO TIGHT.

Went in the afternoon on Sunday to meet with Robert Garcia of Rivercitycyclist about a bike trade. I gave him an old girls trek I had and he gave me some aluminum shimano rims with a single speed cog on them with some decent tires. I thought I could fix it myself, but changing the cassette was problematic. My old freewheel was not compatible but John Hobbs from Great Plains Bike Repair/Bike SHop is truing my rims and switching out for a used cassette I bought from him for 10 bucks. This guy is super nice and very reasonable. Way cheaper than the bike shops in WIchita. No offense to those guys in ICT but they have way more overhead. So I should get it back today and switching cassette, buying cassette, truing 2 rims and making it all work. $35.00 to $40.00 bucks. I could not touch this job for less than 100 in Wichita at Bike Exchange. Plus this way I am sure the parts he puts on are what he says. Got a shifter "replaced" at bike Ex. and it looked JUST like the old one with the same scratches and all. I hope I have my new improved road bike by this evening's ride.!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weather what?

I rode my commute plus this morning. I am only 1 mile from work but I want to get a workout in before I start my day, so rolled out about 6:10 am and did about 50 minutes. I hit the sandcreek bikepath on 10th street here in Newton and rolled south into the hefty 20 mph wind. Rode south to 1st street and turn west for a bit and then south again through the "not a public road" BNSF railroad yard. It was pretty cool in the dark and turned east on SE 14th to Old Main. Took that back to first to Main street all the way through downtown to North 12th and then stumbled around a couple of miles and then headed to school. 10 miles to start the day really wakes me up. I really wish my commute was farther just so I could get more miles in each morning. I took the Raleigh but I have got to get another set of rims or true the heavy bastards that I have now. Feels like I am dragging rocks behind me...more later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Riding Goals

I have had a great month! October has brought me closer to my yearly goal of 1000 miles. I hit 200 miles for the month and now I am over 600 miles for the year. Rode 23 miles yesterday in cold spitting rain. The 20 mph north wind was a killer for the first 11 miles. The NW wind kept us from going very fast and also kept us in low gears. We avg less than 10 mph for the first half of the trip. We went north out Newton toward Old Dutch Ave. 6 miles north of town and then took turned west toward Hesston, KS. We were still into the wind but not just in our faces. Temperature dropped 9 degrees or so in the first hour of riding. We turned south at Ridge road and WOW the flight took off from there. We avg over 20 mph the next 6 miles south. Only problem was the cold for as it was easier to ride, it took less effort we got cold. Turned back to the east on 12th street rolling back into town. Today we were both really sore and needing a day of rest. Now, I want to go ride just thinking back over the ride yesterday. I rode with Ray Olais. I was on my 84 Raliegh capri and Ray rode his cannondale r400. This was the first time to ride this route on rode bikes for us. More later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bike for Sale $80.00

I am offering this bike for sale on craigslist. If you came from craigslist. welcome to my blog read or just see the bike pics. I got this for my son but he doesn't want to ride or learn to ride. Could be so much fun for him but oh well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I found another cool mapping java base bike mapping site. It doesn't do a lot with the workout info but the mapping feature is easy to work with on my netbook.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ride details

Hello all blogger fans and random folks stumbling onto my ramblings about whatever pops into my head. So in this blog post I plan on talking about the debate results from the past couple of tournament, recent ride details and my new laptop netbook.

So Newton debate is having a great season so far. We have 2 dci (debate coaches invitational) bid invitations. This means at very competitive tournaments we have broke to elimination rounds and one team all the way to finals. I have only qualified 1 team ever to DCI and now we have two. We have broke at both big tournaments and this past weekend was my day off. I got a call from Tyler B. and told me he and Anna E, went 4-1 and got 2nd at the Lyons invitational. This is Anna's first open tournament and she has been a little slow to get going this season. She has also had some other distractions but I was so happy to see these two have success. It is great when some of the kids that have always done well excell but these kids have struggled in several ways. Tyler has really tried to get better and he has. He has really improved at Lay judge adaption. Anna has an attitude to say the least but she is very passionate about whatever her position is. She needs to work on the flow but Tyler is better at that now while she is better pure speaker.

Debate has been eating up so much of my time, my riding miles have suffered. I need to do a better job of balancing family, debate and my riding/healthy eating program. I did about 31 miles this weekend but that is not nearly enough. I need to start getting 10 miles a day no matter what. Rain or shine, early or late tired or not. I have to try do a little each day so I can try to reach my 1000 mile goal. Yesterday's ride was so beautiful I could not wait for my riding buddy since he had errands to run in Wichita. I put in 15 miles on an amazing fall day in Kansas. Hardly any wind and sunny with a temperature of about 65 degrees. Rode my Trek 3700 south to the golf course. Sand Creek Station is a great course and one section has a bike path running through it but most of paths are for "golf related activities only" in other words no bikes. From the golf course hit the road through wheatridge housing edition and then to Walmart to Kansas Ave. or 81 highway. Took 81 north to the access road by Dillon's south store. The 14th street access road connects to Spencer via under I-135. Took Spencer north to 24th street north in North Newton. Some of this was on gravel road. I also saw a couple riding their bikes at the SPencer/24th street. He was riding a sweet Fuji mtn bike and she was on a trek hybrid of some kind. We talked for a second. They were in town for Fall Fest at Bethel College. There was also a HUGE auction going on on Cyprus near Anderson rd. Everything was for sale. That was about the end of Sat ride as I cruised the last mile home. Felt great.
Today I called Ray Olais and he was up for a ride so I cruised over to his house. We road south to the bike path. Here is a link to mapmyride map of my route I took today. It will make it clearer what route I took. Sunday's ride is almost the reverse of my ride Saturday. Cool thing today hit my all time fastest speed. It was going downhill and wind aided but I hit 36.6 mph. I want a road bike so badly so I can start racking up more miles with less effort. My mtn bike is great but the tires are wide and nobby. I am trying to talk the wife into letting me order new slick tires foor the mtn bike. I will also be able to ride on a trainer this winter if I have slick tires. If I get my road bike then I can ride that. I want an old Schwinn varsity or Raleigh. I like the older Bridgestone, and Centurion's. I need a 55 to 58 cm frame. I prefer the handle bars to be a little higher than the seat level. I hope i can find a project bike to fix up. Of course I would like to pay nothing for it but that is not very likely.
I am typing this post on my new Asus Eee Pc netbook. I love it. I am still getting used to my smaller keyboard but I am adjusting. It has a 40 gb sshd. This means it is all flash memory with no moving parts and does so well on battery life. I get about 8 hours of battery life. It also came with Lynux operating system. The xandros version was aweful. I put ubuntu for netbooks on it and I love this thing. This is not for saving music or video. Small Solid State HD (sshd) prevents those applications but for flowing debate rounds and for doing grades it is perfect. It also has 1 GB of memory that runs pretty fast. Still getting used to Ubuntu but after a bit, I didn't miss windows at all. Wow I have typed for too long. I now need to start linking. So more later maybe.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

RIdes and debate work night

Well another day is in the books. Rode with Ray Olais yesterday. His wife joined us about 8 miles into the ride. We ended up going 11 miles and it was a pretty mellow roll. Some of it was on our new bike paths that the city and the corp of engineers just finished. Pretty nice setup now. Getting ready for Bike Club coming up. I hope to design a tshirt asap so we can get our names out there. I have an assistant or two and I think it will be really fun this year. We have several riders who could be very competitive if they ever chose to but most of the club is made up of recreational riders. The club could take a new direction this year for those kids who want to be more bike activist rather than becoming more competitive. We are looking at teaching bike safety and the rules of the road to elementary students, but that would mean the HS kids would need to know it first. It is all we can do to get them wear helmets. More later. Need to get back in the swing of posting more often.

Sunday, February 8, 2009 none for 4 months

I have cervical spinal stenosis. This is a narrowing of the spinal canal due to a disc bulge. The disc bulges in toward the spinal cord instead of out. I have a space of 4 mm instead of 15 like I am supposed to. I am now going to Wichita to get my wife's phone we forgot in the restaraunt. I have to have surgery on March 9. I will be off work for 4-6 weeks and in a neck brace for 3 months after that. So no bike riding of any kind till after I am out of the neck brace. I am super pissed. I am glad I am going to get it fixed but I am bummed about not being able to ride my bike. I am pain meds all the time and I seem to want to eat nonstop. The pills seem to make me hungry and I am sort of stoned all the time. More on this later.

I got a new pepper grinder. I swear!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tourney and weigh in

I was sick today and stayed home from school. I went to the doctor about an unrelated problem. I have a spot about the size of the top a large drink at Mcdonalds (the big one:). This spot is numb on the skin. From the point of the shoulder to where my bicep/triceps begin. It is numb and the doc thinks I have pinched nerve/stinger in my shoulder. Probably from my neck or other location not determined. So I am on Muscle relaxers/anti inflamatories to see if it will correct itself. Hopefully I will not have to do anything more drastic. I had weigh in today and I dropped another 2.2 lbs. I am officially 223.2. I am 1.8 lbs away from reaching my 100 lbs lost with WW. I have not ridden since Thursday and the cold weather rolled back in. Now the weather is really nasty and I am mellow from fireplace and pills.
This past weekend we finished the debate season finally. Newton took third in 4 speaker division of 5A. Hutch was 1st Miege 2nd and we were right behind for third. We had to come back before the last round we were in 4th behind Topeka Shawnee Hghts.(last years champion) and we beat them on their Aff and they lost to Hutch's Aff wich took us from one win down to one win up. It was the coolest. I have been in Newton since 2000 and this the first four speaker trophy for Newton in last 30 years. Phillip and Katie broke in 2 speaker but lost in quarters to take fourth and just miss a trophy. We have broke to quarters or better in 2 speaker six of the nine years I have been in Newton. Overall a great week. I stayed on my diet all week and only went over tonight for my son's birthday at Applebees. I only went over about 5-9 points for the day. I am so stoked to reach my goal of 200 lbs by summer. I have to bust my ass to get this done. I NEED WARM WEATHER so I can get on the bike.

I got 2 flats the other day. One about 25 minutes into my ride on Thursday. I patched 2 places in my tube and then aired it up. I then rode about 20 minutes more just get another flat. Not sure if it was bad patch or another hole or if something was still int tire. My wife bought me some new tubes. She got  the nicest tubes that walmart had. The Bell self sealing tubes. I have not put them in yet but will do it tomorrow. More later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cool New Law

Read below about a cool new bike commuter law. Money for riding
your bike. How cool!

The Newton Kansan

Carol Sue Stayrook-Hobbs, an employee of Prairie Harvest and
member of the Newton board of education, has been commuting by bicycle since
before her downtown job surfaced more than two years ago.
“When I worked for the Newton Medical Center child-care facility, it was a four-mile ride,” Hobbs said. “The one thing you have to consider is time. Today I drove because I was going to be at the high school, district office, here and at church. I had too many places I had to be.” But this month she’s riding her bike to many
destinations. Aside from the health benefits of exercise and the
cost-savings of not buying gas for a car, there is a new incentive for those who
want to commute by bicycle. Beginning Jan. 1, employees who regularly use
their bicycles to get to and from work are eligible for a $20-a-month, tax-free
reimbursement from their employers for bicycle-related expenses. Employers don’t
have to offer the reimbursement. Participating employers will, in turn, be
able to deduct the expense from their federal taxes. According to the
National Center for Bicycling and Walking, few employers know about the
reimbursement allowance. Rich Hanley, director of aging for Harvey County,
has made the county aware of the program. Hanley rides his bike three miles
to work between three and four times a week.
“As soon as the weather gets better, I will ride a lot,” Hanley said. “When it gets below freezing, I don’t ride as much. But we did have a woman in here the other day who is over 70 and rides her bike all the time.”
He said there are expenses that cyclists incur — which is why the reimbursement would be a good thing for employers to consider. “Throughout the year, you need different kinds of tires to adapt with the weather,” Hanley said. “One of the biggest items is warmer clothes. They need to flexible and not bulky.”
Hobbs, who at one time co-owned a
bicycle shop in Newton, said cyclists should schedule regular maintenance — an
annual checkup of the chain and bearings.
They also should keep fresh
batteries for lights. “I commute at night sometimes,” Hobbs said. “You need
a front headlight and rear lights on your bike.”
But those expenses are not the only ones employers can choose to reimburse bicycle commuters. Employers
may reimburse employees for expenses, including equipment and bike purchases,
bicycle parking, repairs, shower facilities and storage. The Bicycle
Commuter Act was part of the larger set of Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Initiatives included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, signed
into law by President Bush in early October. Section 211 of that act allows
for a “qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement” for “reasonable expenses
incurred by the employee ... for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle
improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel
between the employee’s residence and place of employment.”
The Bicycle Commuter Act is an extension of a transportation fringe benefit law that gives tax breaks to employers for setting up car pools, van pools, and other plans for
reducing traffic congestion. The total anticipated cost of the provision,
estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation, is $1 million per year.
“There are a lot of inexpensive ways to encourage more bicycle commuting, and this
benefit could encourage efforts in that direction,” Sharon Roerty, NCBW’s
executive director, stated in a news release. “More people might give bicycle
commuting a try if they know their business supports it, even at this basic
level.” The benefit is an optional benefit — businesses are not required to
offer it in any way. “It’s still up to employers to implement the subsidy,
and up to bicycle-commuting employees to request it,” Roerty said.
The NCBW has posted a page with links to additional information concerning the bicycle commuter benefit at


I weighed in yesterday and I am finally below 226. I am at 225.4 lbs and now I only have 4 lbs untill I reach 100 lost on W.W. I am looking forward to that. I am wanting to be below 200lbs by summer. Only 25.4 lbs more to go. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inservice day aka MLK day

my student teacher aka slave Cory

Weigh in and inservice

I hate inservice. I think if you have ready my earlier post you get this. I get to weigh in today at 5 pm. I think it should be good. I have behaved very well over the past week. I rode another 14 miles yesterday with Ray. 25 mph wind and almost 60 degrees was pretty good workout. This combo with the gravel/sand road did make it more challenging. The last 6 miles was on pavement so that was a breeze, especially since it was not into the wind. Good workout. I am up to about 45 miles this month. I need to hit the road today and the rest of the week while it is warm. I want to do tour of about 3 days this spring break with my son. If anyone actually reads this shoot a comment on where would be cool. Back to the meeting. More later. Happy MLK day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17, 2009

Delivering the bike for Tour Down Under

Check out this link. Lance Armstrong and his bike for the Tour of Australia. It looks so cool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Gravel Conspiracy: The Roster

I found this today and it sounds way cool. Anyone out there interested in going and sharing a ride, it could be cool.

The Gravel Conspiracy: The Roster: "The Roster
1/14/09 Update: Registration is half full and am still getting a steady stream of entrants. I am currently with the Fam in Idaho, plotting planning and conniving on how I might acquire gainful employment next year. Some of yall have expressed interest in sponsoring the event, I will be in touch with you each individually in the near future regarding how we can put on the best possible event. Thanks for your support of grassroots racing!
Can be found Here
Is in Google Docs which I just learned how to use so bear with me.

random pic of me

Teacher Work Day.....cold

I am here at the HS for a teacher work day and they are not very exciting. The solitude is nice. I get to sit in my room and work on what I need to get done. I have made a list of items and should be getting to them sometime. This morning in Newton, KS the temperature was about 10 degrees and that is 4 warmer than yesterday but the wind is really howling. It is from the south, so warm up is emanate. It is supposed to be near 50 by Sunday and I will be riding then for sure. I read a cool blog about how to be warmer on my bike without buying actual bike gear. Take a page from the homeless, literally. Newspaper print paper. Use it to line your shoes about 4 layers. Don't ball it up but drape it over your feet and toes and slide on your shoes. It also says not to tie your shoes very tight so some insulating air can remain in between the layers for additional warmth. If your feet are really sweaty, you may need to change your paper on a regular basis. He also suggested shooting gloves/mitten combos that you could do something similar by lining those as well. I might try it. Says it helps when temps get down as low as 15 degrees.
Bike club at my school meets again on this Wednesday and I hope it is warm for that day. I want to ride today but my feet and hands get really cold on days like this. Plus the layer of snow on the ground does not help anything. I am going to the weight room today to some work on the elliptical and I know it is going to kick my ass, but I need about 30 minutes of exercise or weigh-in is going to suck. I am going to change now and get this done, so I can get the rest of my work done. I hope that Ray can ride with me this weekend. I get so bored riding alone. It is fun but conversation makes the ride fly by.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Weigh-in and Results

I weighed in today and had a good week even though I had a meltdown Wednesday night. I lost 5.4 lbs and now weigh 226.4 lbs. I am .4 lbs from my lowest total since elementary school. I rode about 7 miles on Sunday in 40 minutes. The wind was a killer once I got out in the open. I tried to ride with a friend of mine but he was busy and did not call me back. I have a hard time riding very far on my own. I get bored pretty quickly. I am not tired, just bored. Especially when I it is a little chilly like low 50's. I am wanting to ride more but my feet and hands get so cold, even with gloves on. I need to invest in some more riding gear but the wife is definitaly anti-bike investment of any kind. I want to order some biking clothes to better deal with the elements but it is only going to start warming up from here. I would love to get in about 25-30 miles this weekend since I do not have a debate tournament. This would be great if the weather was not going to suck. I also have bike club Thursday and the weather is supposed to be horrible. Really cold and windy. My wife's Grandmother passed away last night and the funeral is Thursday. The kids schedule is hectic and cannot get away, so I have to stay here while she goes back. I know I am going to wish I was able to go.
Goals for my weight are pretty clear now. My next immediate goal is to get to 216 lbs. That would get me to my W.W. 100 lbs lost goal. I get a cool little pendant for my keychain that looks like barbell plate that has a 100 on it.

Debate this past weekend had a lackluster result for Newton. We had three teams go 2-3 and one team go 3-2. The kids tried but luck was not on our side. The interesting thing is the youngest kids did the best. The team of 2 freshman did the best, so I am excited for their future in the activity. The other freshman did well as did the sophomores. We have couple of Jr's and they did well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Weigh-in and Workday

Debaters had a work day today. It went well. Hopefully a good start toward getting ready for state in about 3 weeks. I rode my bike to school today. About a mile on the bike today. Not much before the cold front came in and put us back in the freezer again. I weighed in today on a new scale we bought. It is cool. The scale says 235.4. This is about 7 lbs up from before Christmas holidays. I hope to take this off in the next week. I think some of this was water weight anyway and big lunch since I did not know we were investing in a scale. My wife and I started a group for those wanting to lose some pounds. I have been in weight watchers for about a year and a half. I am going to continue to do this also. I am also going to be teaching a "class" for this small group of our friends wanting to get healthier. I hope this acts as a motivation for me and my friends. My children also all weighed in and we are tracking these also. I hope to be a good example for them and inspire them to "want" to make healthier choices. I am going to take some before pictures to post on here also. I am going to start my weight training/cycling program while teaching this class on healthy eating. My friends are not poor but can't really afford the 50 bucks a month extra for WW and this is my way of helping them out. I will post my progress on here. I will post my before and after pictures even if they are gross. Sorry if this is offensive.