Saturday, November 27, 2010


I took a mtb road trip to Stillwater to ride at McMurtry with several guys from the team.  Most of us are roadies and mtb is a foreign activity that only the insane take part.  I cut my teeth on the mtb, so I know my way around the kitchen so to speak.  We were a mixed bag of riders, from the new to off-road to the fat tire fiend.  This made for a wide range of skill level, but we all had a great time.  I think the guys that were new to the dirt were the ones that really had an eye opening experience.

Lake McMurtry is a great place to ride mtb, because it is fast flowie and not too technical.  And it is hard to get lost being that it consists of four loops and great signage.  The trails were in great condition, except for all of the leaves just waiting to steal your traction in a high-speed corner, or conceal a stump, hole, or rocks.  The temps were great and the weather was in the perfect range.  We had nine guys total and for the most part we kept the group together and did not lose anyone or cause any bodily damage that a beer could not fix.

I've said it time and again.  I ride mtb for fun, not fitness, not to train, and not to race.  I love to get a nice section of singletrack that flows and just rail, allowing the mind to shut off and the body and bike to meld together until I am flying through the trees, railing turns, and going weight-less over berms.  This is where it is at for me, the freedom that riding a bike can give...but at a different level transcending mere transportation/sport and becoming a lifestyle.

You have probably heard or seen "Live to Ride, Ride to Live".  I know what that means, I can't say that that is my mantra, but it would be a dream to be able to live by those words.  We talk about Pros and what it means to be Pro.  Getting paid to race bikes, How cool is that?  Think about that for a second, now think about getting paid just to ride your bike.  There is a very small percentage of mtb riders that get paid to ride.  It's no cake walk, these guys have to launch off of cliffs, ride crazy stunts 20' in the air, and do a contest or two.  All in all these guys get paid to ride their bikes have someone take video and pictures of them for their sponsors to sell their products.  Lucky.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Amber is the color

Just a quick little update on the Bell Lap Brewing.

I bottled my Amber Ale on Monday and it will be ready to consume in two weeks, so sometime after Dec 6th.  So far so good, I tasted the beer before bottling just to see if it had gone South and turned nasty on me.  It did not.  It has good flavor and is nice and hoppy, but flat at the moment.  I added priming sugar and began the bottling process.  I purchased a case of 22oz bottles that way I had less bottles to deal with.  I am still working on my 12oz collection.  Silly me I bought some Boulevard and it is twist-off.  I need to check a little better next time, oh well, it is good beer.  One of the best micros that is somewhat close (KC), in my opinion for what it is worth.

If my amber is drinkable I am going to dub it One to Go Amber Ale, technically it is someone else's recipe so not sure if I have naming rights?  Lawyers?  Still working on a good name for the IPA.  Some ideas...Bridging the Gap IPA,  Soloing IPA,  Going Rouge IPA, I Sat in Gum IPA.  Anyway probably putting the cart before the horse.

Some day I will publish great works, and brew great libations.  -Gotta have dreams, Right?

-Who's got next round?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Being thankful

What do I have to be thankful for?

I am thankful for all of the things that I take for granted.  Everyday stuff that I don't give a seconds notice.  It is the small things that we bypass and feel entitled.  I am guilty, guilty for thinking that everything that I can do is because I can.  It's the American way, I am owed my abilities.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no superstar, but I can walk, talk, see and hear.  I use these everyday and take no notice of them.  I'm lucky to be able to do the things that some people can't.

Give thanks that you have these abilities, give thanks that you can take your abilities and push them to a higher level, just because you feel like it.

I also take the people in my life for granted.  Family that is always there for me, friends that are family, and the people that I rely on at work to make my life easy.  I feel that my parents are a constant like gravity and have treated them as such.  Unlike gravity, I will not always have my parents to keep me grounded (pun intended).  I am thankful that I had parents crazy enough to allow me to live, and then foster my own version of insanity.  Oh, yeah my sister could have taken me out many times over and make it look like an accident, but she took me under her wing and made me one of her own. (I still have flashbacks of "make-over" time)  If it wasn't for you big sis I would be listening to George Strait and driving a 1/2ton with trucker mudflaps.

I give thanks for the people in my life that have enriched it and have changed me and helped form what I am today.  That goes for all of you people crazy enough to hang out with me and call me a friend.  It would take me forever and a day to list every way you have touched my life and changed me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

all apologies

Sorry, please forgive me for not writing, calling, texting, emailing.  No, it's not you... it's me, I just think it would be better if we saw other people for awhile.... Sorry, thought this was my email, it's my blog...

I would like to say that I have no excuses as to why I have not been writing.  Well I have been watching a great deal of TV, not really an excuse, more like truth.  I suck at watching TV, or is it that I am really good at it?

I won the lottery and it was like a billion thousand zillion dollars, might be pesos not sure, I'll have to check on that and get back to you.  So I am buying a ProTour Team, or better yet I am building a ProTour Team.  My first contract is with Jens Voigt, with this amount of money I have to have Jens.  I don't care if he even races for me, I just want him on my team.  Stuy O'Grady.  I will let him drink during a Grand, just as long as he gets the job done.  That'a boy Stuy.  I will have to have Gilbert, he is the hardman's hardman.  He is crazy fast when it is hard, hard day in the saddle, hard course, hard conditions.  He's my man. 

I'm going to cherry-pick Andre Greipel from Lotto.  I want to see the German Gorilla go head to head with Cav.  Greipel took races this season and made them his         .  Now, he was racing some second tier races, so I really can't wait to see what he can do racing in the bigs.  I'm going to pick up Sylvain Chavanel, because this guy will not quit, he will get into break after break after break.  Two years ago he was in a break, at le Tour, that turned into a solo for something close to the whole race, and was caught with 75m left.  Total heartbreak.  I did not know who he was until that moment, I had heard his name but did not know him.  That effort and accompanying heartbreak put him on the map for me.  The defining moment of Chavanel was the stage a few days later that he "found" himself in the break, once again it turned into a solo, and he stuck it with the peloton just 150m back.  Define what a Man is...

I'm going to have to have Big George, got to have George.  Enough said.  For another rider close to home...Chris Horner.  What can you say about Horner?  What can you not say about Horner?  He is as hard as an anvil, and as tough as barbed wire.   Stijn Devolder two time Belgian champ, and Flanders winner, good enough for me.  Another Belgian Bj√∂rn Leukemans was 6th in Roubaix and 4th in Flanders and he rides for Vacansoleil a Continental Pro team.  He had a little run-in with doping control back in 2008, so his chances of gaining a ProTour spot was not looking good until Vacansoleil gained their license for 2011.  He will still make my roster because of his hardman status.

To round it all out I will buy out Spartacus' contract, and my team will destroy every classic on the calendar in 2011.  No other team will stand a chance on the cobbles, in the rain, when the pain comes.  I just need to come up with a good name for my team, get some cool team cars.  Maybe I will call up Michel Ball and get his opinions and then do the exact opposite.  Yeah that's the ticket.  Since I have insane amounts of money left over I will have to build a Grands Team...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what the...

Does anyone know what is going on in cycling?

I've been trying to keep up with what is going on and I don't have a clue.  I usually get my news from Velonews and Cyclingnews, and right now there is not much going on.  Contador is trying to get his meat out of the news, Armstrong is having his dirty laundry aired in Congress or a Shriners convention.  You can tell I really care alot...  The Schlecks have dismantled Saxo Bank and moved everyone to Luxembourg with or without a sponsor, or a sponsor to be named or not named.

Saxo is all screwed up now that Albert's cheese meat is hanging in the wind, Riis went out and bought all of Astana that will ride for el Pistolera to the point that it is now going to be called Saxtana.  The Aussies had trouble with their paperwork for ProTour license and now will have to settle for Continental Pro, what the heck is Pegasus anyway?  This is Fly V all growed up right?

Bob Stapelton is playing hardball with Cav, and will not re-negotiated his contract.  Good move?  Smart move?  Where is Cav going to go?  Right now HTC is not a Grand Tour contender team, and they will work to get the Green, move to a team that only wants the Leader's jersey and your stats might look a little different.  Sure, he can get more money on a different team.  Bob is smart.  Cav has to have an awesome season or no other team will touch him when his contract is up.  When his contract is up Bob will pay him what he is worth.  Beautiful.

Garmin is now Garmvelo and they will have the newly crowned World Champ the God of Thunder Thor "leading out" Tyler.  Really?  Who really believes this?  Two very fierce competitors are supposed to work together?  Was this really a good idea?  OK, I'm the World Champ and a kick a$s sprinter in my own right, and I now have the JOB of working for someone else?  Really Thor?  I know I have given Thor a hard time in the past when Cav sticks it to him, but I just don't see one of the best Sprinters/Classics rider working for someone else.  Someone should be working for him.  I don't know how I will feel seeing the Rainbow Jersey leading out. ?????  That just aint right, I don't care who you are.