Monday, May 19, 2008


'83 Trek Singlespeed
Worland is a fairly small town in North Central Wyoming. We don't have a bike path, we don't have an outdoor pool, we don't even have a Walmart. OK, that last one we could probably continue to live without. What we do have though, is a great Local Bike Shop (LBS). Larsen's Bicycles is fastly becoming my home away from home. Last Saturday I spent a couple of hours hanging out, working on a rim had been bent in a recent race. In those few hours I saw a perfect cross section of the community. There were young kids looking for the first ride or their next upgrade. Parents were looking for graduation gifts, while others were searching for a way to spend more time with their families. Older couples were finding a way be together outside. It was like sitting in a coffee shop, with a twist. The occasional out of control youth was bouncing off the walls, while old timers stopped by just to provide sage wisdom. Lisa, the owner and sole full time employee, spent the time visiting with customers, wrenching on bikes (new and old), and slimming the heck out of tires (If you've never heard of goat heads read, Bolder in Boulder's blog.)

I purchased my last two bikes from Lisa. My most recent purchase is the beauty seen above. I went fishing for a road frame to build a singlespeed commuter and brought home this baby for $10. What she had just laying around was a 1983 Trek 560, that was originally sold by Larsen's Bicycles in Powell, WY. The thing was in excellent condition for a 25 year old steel racer. I ordered all of the parts necessary to turn it into a modern singlespeed worthy of a big city messanger from my LBS. I received the care and concern that you would expect from your best friend. For that she has a customer for life and I have a bike for hopefully that long.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Springtime in the Rockies

Another Crazy TriathleteMy first open water swim of the year was just under a month ago. I swam in Boysen Resevior on April 19th, the water temp was 48.6. The looks on the fisherman's faces when I pulled up, put on my wetsuit, placed a life vest on my dog Winnie, and hopped in, was priceless. They watched me the whole time through a set of binoculars, I know it wasn't out concern for our well being, but morbid curiosity. I then did my first race in Boulder, CO where the water was a balmy 56 degrees. At least, a couple hundred other crazies chose to join me for that one. Other than a chilly swim the rest of the race took place on a bluebird day.

The next race was in Gillette, WY, last weekend. I braved 4 inches of newly fallen snow just to drive the 160 miles there. I awoke on race morning to find snow on the ground, the wind blowing around 20, and a rain/snow mix falling from the sky. I was up for whatever mother nature could throw at me. As everyone was sitting around the pool trying to psych themselves up for the challenge, another athlete asked me if I was a local. I let him know that I had driven in the night before, to which he asked if I was crazy. Maybe I was, but then we all must have been since all 45 athletes that showed up, raced. When I placed my running shoes out in the snow for T2, I threw a towel over them, just to keep more rain and snow out. Then when I flatted 4 miles into the bike leg, I struggled to pry my tire, which had frozen to the rim, off. It took almost 8 minutes to change the tire, with wet gloves on. Those are the scenarios that you don't exactly practice for. The rest of the race was more a battle against the elements than each other. I loved it, I had a great time. Not everyone was happy after the race, I heard quotes about frozen feet and the worst race ever. I bet if you asked to same people today, they would have a whole new perspective. Triathlon is the greatest sport ever and I will be there come rain or shine.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Family Affair

First triathlon of the year, over and done with. The season started out with the Tri For Your Cause Early Season in Boulder, CO on May 4th. My brother and his wife came along with me for support. The only time my brother has done a triathlon was in 1995 at a Bud Light Series race in Marshall, MN. I remember he, myself, one or two more athletes, and our high school swimming and track coaches made the trip accross South Dakota to olympic distance race near my swim coaches home town. Thinking back, it was an open water, lake swim and I flatted twice on the bike course for a DNF. I spent the rest of the race cheering on my brother and the rest of our team. This time it was his turn to cheer me on. Nothing is more exciting than having your own personal cheering squad. Exiting the water, they were there. When I tried to do a Superman running bike mount and flopped out of T1, they were there. When I came a across the finish line, they were there for me.

Now it is my turn to be there for them. Upon returning home from the race I talked to my brother. He told me they had gone swimming yesterday, the first time in almost a year. Now they are planning on doing the Cheyenne Sprint Triathlon in July with me. I was so enthused to hear that I was bringing someone back into the sport and as for my sister-in-law, a rookie. I am far from being an expert, I am simply a student of the sport. If I can only give them a small piece of the education that this sport has given me since my return, I know they will do great.