Monday, May 21, 2012

Crawdad Kermesse

Thursday Ian reached his goal and was recognized for three years of straight A's.  The school gave the handful of kids who achieved this a large candy bar (huh?), but I held to my promise made a couple years back and we got him the latest Kobe VII basketball shoes.  So proud of his accomplishment! 

Friday I spent the morning with the little guy's Kindergarten class at their Field Day.  Exhausting, but fun for all.  He was super stoked I was there and even more happy when Deb showed up for the 2nd half of the event.   
Headed down to Harrison, AR Saturday morning to make my '12 road debut at the Crawdad Kermesse.  On paper it looked like a challenging 3.8mile loop and it didn't disappoint.  Chad and crew put together a great loop and a well run event in coordination with Crawdad Days, a big carnival type event with tons of stuff going on for two days. 

Got down early enough to jump on the course for a couple loops while the 4/5 race was going on.  200 meters from the start/finish was a 1k climb that was steady and not too taxing, but after the top and a quick drop there was a 20% 'roller' (not too long, but zapping to the legs) followed with a false flat, after that it was a fun descent back to the bottom with a handful of high speed turns (fun!).  Little warm early on, but with a 9:30am start it wasn't much of a factor.

Rolled up to the line and found a pretty small field, but not short on quality.  Steve Tilford was in my Masters race; guess he was looking for some extra race miles after his shoulder separation, along with a couple other top masters racers.  Our race had 7 loops for around 26.5 miles or so.

So off we go and the group stayed together up with 1k climb and then Steve and two others rolled off on the 20%'er and I had to make a decision then and there (note I felt pretty good at the time, but not too far from my limit):  dig into the red to bridge across and hope to hang on Tilford's group for as long as possible potentially blowing up or let them go and race within myself and see how it goes racing for 4th... easy choice so I watch them roll off.

Leading the group toward the 5th lap - seperation time!
At the end of lap 1 I was with three others with a decent gap to those behind and 30 seconds behind the leading three.  Up the climb for lap 2 and I surge a bit and immediately open a gap; not wanting to ride five more laps alone I eased up and cruised the next three laps with the small group.  On lap 5 I went to the front and set a pretty hard pace up the 1k climb and quickly had separation.  I pressed on the rest of the lap, saw no chasers in sight, pushed the 6th lap hard, was able to cruise the last, and get 4th (nice payout of $120).  Hindsight I think 'what if I would have tried to go with Tilford's group' as I felt really good, but the reality is I did the right choice at the time.  Turns out the 1st and 2nd place guys in my race ended up 2nd and 3rd in the Pro/1/2 race...

With the temps starting to rise and only 1 (maybe 2) mtb race(s) left that interest me I feel pretty good heading into some upcoming circuit/crit races seeing how I have yet to begin 'intensity' in my training week.  Looking at SS MTB Champs on June 2nd, then Tour of KC and Lawrence in June. 

After the drive home I loaded up the crew and went to Ira's to celebrate his graduation (PT Doctoral) with some BBQ and laughs.  Dale, Nate, and I went together and got him a flask w/bike cage and on the back says "Doctor Brown's Magical Cyclocross Elixir"; look for it this fall.

Saturday Jake took off for a 2 1/2 week mission trip to northern Canada working with the Agibiwa tribes.  God is (always has) working in his life and it's great to witness.  Before he took off we spent a portion of Friday night working the slackline.  Getting better every time, but still so far off of even 'good'.  Both Ian and D like working it also, but mostly we love when Deb gives it a go.

In the evening Ian took Deb to a SGF Cardinals game so D and I popped up a tent in the backyard and had a little outing of our own.  Woke up in the morning to overly loud birds around 6:15 (way too early).  After Sunday school I worked on a little flower box project until it was time to hit the road with Nate, Dale, and Ira for a couple hours.  Fun ride on a great evening.  Wrapped it all up with the Spurs taking down LA Clippers - perfect!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New MWI Partner for '12/'13 'Cross

Got received word ..kuat.. (racks and so much more) have come aboard the My Wife Inc. (MWI) 'cross circus as a partner for the '12/'13 'cross season.  This is awesome news as not only are their products top shelf, but the folks there are huge cycling supporters (and do'ers) and all around great people. 

This fall and winter drop by the MWI Compound, browse the rack demo's on the ..kuat.. team trailer, sip your favorite beverage from the tap (if that's your kind of thing), snag the world's best after-race-cupcakes, and hang out with cyclingdirts "Best Cyclocross Team (based on fun and not results) of '11".  We don't bite so don't be shy and drop in. 

Check out THIS ( for more information on their company and products.  Now it's time to get Luke, Aaron, and their crew on 'cross bikes and teach them the ways' of the sickness!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Greensfelder MTB - Lemonade from Lemons

Yesterday, as everyone knows, was Mother's Day.  Just want to lead this off with how much I love and appreciate mine; top shelf she is. 

Now on to Deb:  For those who have the privilege to know her more than in passing, you understand how incredibly blessed I am to have her in my kid's life and for those of you who don't know her, well, get to know her.  She cares and loves my boys (all three of them) like little I've seen from anyone else and it floors me sometimes at her deep natural desire to provide healthy structured unconditional love.  She embodies and exhibits effortless qualities I imagine Christ did while he was among us.  The way she embraces our little guy as one of her natural kids speaks volumes to me daily.  Thanks so much for letting me be part of your life...  

This past weekend packed up the crew Friday evening for a quick drive to STL for the following day's mtb race.  Was hoping to get into town early enough to catch the P/1 MOPRO race, but after a late start from Bolivar just couldn't make it.  Bummer as Huff took the win.

OK, goofy thing Deb and I witnessed on the drive (bit disturbing so skip if you want).  Pulling into Buffalo we saw a truck being pulled over by a local policeman.  As the truck turned off the main road into a parking lot we saw why she was pulled over... she forgot that her pet dog was still leashed to her bumper and drug it who knows how far.  It was obviously dead as it's lifeless body appeared to tow behind like a gray mop.  We stopped for food on the other side of the road and watched as the owner was taken to the back, dropped to her knees and sobbed as expected in disbelief.  I've heard of this (Clark Griswold) but until now never witnessed it.  Not good...

Crashed at Deb's sister's house and the boys got a chance to play and hang out. 

Saturday morning made the 10 minute trek (that's crazy nice) to Greensfelder for the marathon mtb event.  Took the single speed and after chatting with a couple locals and folks who raced it last year they didn't discourage me to ride the SS, but figured it would be a challenge as there is some elevation changes that might be tough.  Knew I wouldn't be on the front end of the race so figured I might as well do it on the bike setup I most enjoy.
Got to catch up with some STL folks I hadn't seen since last 'cross season which is always good.  Big turnout for the marathon (53 was the report I heard) with plenty of fast kids.  The start is kind of jeep road with a slight downhill so I was screwed on the SS from the gun, but settled in to what turned out to be one of my favorite courses ever raced.  Tons of technical single track with challenging sections and crazy fun flowy stuff.  The climbs were easily manageable for the SS (32/18) except for one short section that most were not riding anyway. 

I never start super hard from the gun on 3 hr events, but here I jacked myself up be letting too many 'single track challenged' folks get in front early.  With limited places to pass and what seemed a general unwillingness to let faster riders by I settled in and rode the first loop way slower than hoped, but feeling ready to turn it up for the next ones. 

Past the start/finish line and down quite a ways and then it fell apart; no not me, but my Crank Bros Egg Beater.  Body came right off the spindle.  Turned back, rode to the road back to the start where I had my tool kit.  Grabbed a screwdriver to remove the cap, but it was stuck tight and stripped it out and couldn't get it off.  After 20 minutes of working with others it just wasn't coming off.  Just about to pack it up when a nice family lent me a Candy; well, might as well get some riding in since I was there.  Knew my buddy T Holtmann was coming up I waited for him and we headed off for his lap 3 and my 2nd.  Rode with him chatting until he let me know he was going to finish this lap and call it quits (Cedar Cross last week and Syllamo Revenge next) so I pushed on.

Riding was super good and by the end was able to snag 4 laps (literally setting out 1).  Wouldn't have been near the top, but rode well and would have like to see how I would have fared.  Oh well, it turned out a fun morning!  Super thanks to the family who lent me the pedal.

Got a chance to chat with some more folks before heading out.  I will be back time and time again as Greensfelder is awesome fun!

Hung out with the STL family for a bit before heading back to Bolivar.

Sunday morning after Sunday School we met up with my mom, dad, and my brother's family to celebrate my wonderful mom.  Grabbed some chow then hung out at a park for a bit watching the kids play. 
Sunday afternoon got the crew together (Dale, Ira, and Nate) and took a 1:45hr stroll down the Frisco.  Great having Ira back from Colorado and getting my boys together.  Looking forward to many more.

Got back and knocked out some mowing, shrub trimming, and gardening.  Snagged a couple cherries off my two-year old tree as that thing is loaded.  Hoping to get a pie in a couple weeks (if I stop snacking).  Also chowed on a couple raspberries.  My blackberries are going crazy and will have tons ready in a week or two.  Love my snack-berry plants and trees.

Speaking of trees, this morning (after waiting a month) our new 20' maple was put in the back yard.  Strategically placed it to give shade to the west-facing patio in later afternoon.  Turnout out way better than expected and by next year it's going to be great (good now, but better as it fills out).  Went in crazy fast with the auger device shown below.

Not much shaking this week outside of routine day-to day busy-ness.  Looking to make it to Harrison's Crawdad Kermesse circuit race on Saturday.  It will be my first race on skinny tires in quite some time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's Shaking on the Home Front

Here's a little bit of what's been going on at the Jones' casa:
Been getting plenty of quality riding in (both on the road and trails), but bailed on the Tour De Tick last weekend as the temps shot up in the lower 90's and I do not have a good history with mtb'ing in the temps when not used to it.  I jumped out early Sunday instead and got a solid 3.5hrs on the SS climbing my butt off on the backroads of Polk County.  Also skipped the Waffle Training race Tuesday as I was coaching Ian's basketball team. 

Getting a little itchy to race it looks like I am heading to STL this weekend for the Greensfelder Challenge mtb marathon race.  Expecting a loaded field and no expectation of finishing near the top as I'm cruising the single speed from now on at all events.

Dale and I have been knocking out the miles, Nate's been riding more, and (typed with a big grin) Ira gets back home from his last clinical (in Colorado) this weekend.  Will be nice snagging rides with everyone soon.

Last Sunday we went with some friends to a SGF Cardinals afternoon ball game.  Little hot at first, but plenty of cloud cover made for a great time.  Ian loves going to the ball park (not a huge surprise) and D had a pretty good time (hard to keep a 6yr old focused) as he and I did several trips to the outfield grass to goof around.

The little guy finished up soccer (playing really good) and is really looking forward to baseball.  Lately his main passion is kickball and it seems most evenings are spent in the backyard playing two on two two-base death matches - loads of fun.  Last week we had a couple neighbor girls over to play and we spent most of the time teaching a 5yr old to play.  Pretty interesting as I thought all kids were born knowing how to play. 

Yesterday was his latest 'court date' (he does not attend, only Deb and I from our family) and it was a bitter sweet day for all.  The official goal has moved from 're-unification' with mom to Termination of Parental Rights (and subsequently adoption).  Bitter in that it's hard to feel good about a mom and son being separated permanently, but sweet knowing we can provide a stable and healthy environment to nurture his development.  So, now its a several month process moving toward adoption...

Ian is having fun playing on his 'composite' basketball team at the courts and in local tourney's.  He is lined up for a handful of team camps (playing up with some middle school teams) and individuals ones (Evangle and Drury).  He's been getting a little one-on-one time with SBU's guard Preston Guiot; he's loving it and learning some nifty stuff.

School is wrapping up for him and it looks like I am paying up on an incentive program we put together a couple years ago.  This came about in that his Intermediate School gives kids (usually not very many make it) a 'chocolate bar' when the make it three years (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades) with straight A's and he is going to make it.  We thought the candy was pretty lame for such a good effort so I told him he could have any pair of Jordan's if he made it the 3 years.  So off to the mall we went the other day to make sure they are there when he walks off the stage and turns out he went with the Kobe VII instead of Jordan (tough decision since we are big Spurs fans and hate everything to do with the Lakers, but the shoes are sweet).

Jake is wrapping up his freshman year and can't wait to get thru finals and take a short mental break before doing it again next year.  Recently he bought a Gibbon Slackline and we have been goofing around on it here and there (actually I practice some when he's not around so I don't look so bad when we are together).  Working on the line is tough stuff, but a pretty solid core workout and I can tell my balance on the longboard is substantially better. 

He's heading to Canada right after he finishes finals on a mission trip with SBU to spread God's word/work in tribal communities of northern Canada.  He has a great heart and understands our responsibility to share with others.
For the past couple of weeks my father-in-law and I have worked to 'rebuild' our patio table.  It used to have a glass top until a huge storm destroyed it so I decided to tile it and it turned out great (little pat our Jim and my backs).  No we need to strip the chairs and refinish them.  Now contemplating 'concrete stain' the patio surface for an updated look.  Recently we bought a new grill and have a new (not new as in sapling) Maple to provide shade being put in on Monday to give shade in the evenings; so with all the 'patio investment' we will be spending plenty of meals and evenings out there.

Been knocking out tons of time on the yard, garden, and flower beds.  Deb has the garden all planted and the berries are in full bloom and soon will be pumping out the 'snack-berries'.  My cherry tree really grown a ton and has tons of fruit growing it, but recently a bunch of 'brown spots' have appeared on some leaves.  Researched it and appears there is a disease (untreatable) hitting it and hopefully it will make it thru the year and recover for next.