Friday, July 9, 2010


ENOUGH PEOPLE!!!  The dude is a basketball player in a game that only requires one ball!!  All day productivity has come to a standstill across the state as armchair pros and damsels in distress debate and discuss the latest debacle because some dude is doing the same thing you would, looking for a better deal.  You act like life can't possibly go on with out a player.  Every TV at the restaurant today had people who call themselves annalist or reporters making a big deal out of some over paid athlete who drives up ticket prices because he demands more money.  People vandalizing, burning and crying like they lost their 1st born.

WAAHHHH!!  Get over it already.  Put that much emotion and energy into your job and community and see how much better life can be.

This makes Tiger Woods look like a Patron Saint.  But then again, most of those guys probably would have patted him on the back with a big ole "thatta boy" wishing it was them with the money and savoir faire to entertain Tigers harem.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lessons in listening

I was exhausted from my 95 mile rain soaked hill ride Saturday so I planned to just ride the KTM950 all day Sunday or part of the day and the rest on the 250.  My friend Paul wanted to ride off road on his Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, a generic dual sprt bike made to spen 95% of it's life on public highways, paved or gravel.  He begged to do hard stuff, I was going to let him put around Wayne for a bit but Nooo, he didn't want to go off-road, he wanted to ride with his road buddies 1st then do something closer.   We left Gulliver's Travel's stuffed full of trucker food and headed south with his road buddies looping around until we landed in Coshocton for a rendezvous with Allen and anyone else who may have shown up.

Speaking of his road buddies, they were a bit over enthusiastic, passing on double yellows all morning forcing the rest to do the same or get left behind. I found it to be a bit nerve racking, especially carving corners on D908 knobbies.

A few of us continued on to play in the dirt, Allen (DR650) Paul (DL650 V strom) and Jim (800GS). One guy HAD a nearly new V-strom. It was new until he dropped it half way down Quarry Rd and snapped off the end of the brake lever and broke the front turn signal. Luckily he had crash bars. Somewhere down the hill I whacked the right tank guard on the 950 pretty hard. Enough parts moved that it cracked the header. I couldn't feel or see the leak, but I could hear it. At the bottom the Jim on the GS800 (pretty new also) tried to submerge the beast in the creek at the bottom.

Then we were on an abandoned rail bed. It was a nice cruise until we crossed a paved highway where Whitey took his cigarette break a couple summers ago when we were helping a few rookies climb up to the road. I looked down in the now overgrown ravine and proclaimed it didn't look that bad so I dove in head first. A hundred yards in and there is no Paul or Jim, Just Allan. Allen said they were taking turn dropping their bikes. By the time I got back, Jim was over but Paul failed to negotiate a small 5" sapling and once again, tossed his Strom on the ground (in honor of Meef?). Got him going only to find out someone did a fine job of barricading the trail with big timber and we had to turn around (Sorry Guys).

At this point we found out Paul had now lost his left turn signal also and snapped off the tip of his shifter. While scouting a possible out we also noted his bike had twisted the sub-frame strut where the left passenger peg used to sit relatively level. It ain't level no more, the V-strom was no longer new, it now officially used 

When I got home I pulled the right tank off to inspect the header. It didn't feel right and when I pulled the heat wrapping off from the previous owner I found a lot of rotten metal and it basically fell apart on the floor. The wrap had held it together for about 2 hours.

The hole had been on the bottom where I couldn't feel and like a plasma cutter, torched a hole in the plastic side of the skid plate and melted the top cover of the relay switch for the starter to the starter fuse. When I pulled the cover, the fuse came with it.

I am lucky though, could have been the gas tank  I am lucky also in the fact I was worried about what was under the heat wrap so I bought a new header on Advrider for $35 about 1 month ago. KTM price $243.00!! Thank God I am a hoarder!!! 

Heading to Summit Racing tomorrow morning to get new heat-shield for the tank, no more of that heat wrap crap.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Adventure in Overkill

Friday the 14th we went up to the unveiling of the new Ducati Multistrada in Akron presented by Northern Ohio Ducati.  The bike is pretty cool and I wanted to test it so I signed up for the last slot the next day.

Saturday I headed out with Turra to do a 30 mile bike ride, then garage sale-ing and then lunch.  Then I hopped on the 640 and headed out trail riding down at Battlesburg MX park.  After a few hours I headed north to a friends house who was riding up to the demo with me.  I used his garden hose to wash off my pants and we air dried them on the way up.  After the demo ride we headed south to meet the girls for dinner at the local steakhouse.  I was so tired I could barely stay awake for dinner.

Sunday we headed north to Brecksville.  Friends said I had to go back since I won the last edition by soloing 30 of the 30 miles.  Brecksville has no flat sections at all except for the inclined planes.  I sat in for a lap and then it all went to hell, like a farm dog, someone jumped so I chased.  It ended up being the winning move but I had left the winning legs at home with Saturdays calendar of events.  I won $20 for 6th place woo-hoo!

Afterwards Drew Bercaw and I set out on a supposedly 40 mile ride.  Supposedly because that was by the regular highway but I knew a shortcut, well, so I thought.  50 miles later we rolled into the Blue Heron Deli where our team cars were waiting to feed our starving tired butts.

We made it home just in time to watch the Tour of California where I promptly missed most of it because of eyelid failure.  I think I am getting too old for those types of weekends...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Easier said than done.

On the 8th the Salem motorcycle club had a make up race at Big Valley.  I wanted to go but I wanted to be different so I loaded up the 640 with tools, tubes and fix-a-flat and headed to the race, on the 640.

Upon arrival we took off the tail bag, GPS and my back pack and stored them in George's Truck and signed up.  Lots of strange stares when I pulled up to the line on a bike with a fairing.  Yes, the 640 Adventure has fairing, it is an adventure/touring bike used in Rally Races.  The race started and I let the field roll off and I took chase only to find out a 640 can really haul the mail in the dirt and as turn 2 came up, I found that a 350 pound bike with 5 gallons of gas added on doesn't exactly stop like my 250.  Luckily no one was run over when I blew the turn and tried to relocate the banners to the far side of the spectators.

I also found out that the suspension, that had been revalved for a 140 pound vertically challenged person didn't fair too well with my 200 pound J-Lo booty squashing it like a roach.  Whoop after whoop, logs, rocks, washouts, all sent signals to my wrists and but cheeks that the valving was way too soft or I needed to go on a diet!!

I did pass quite a few people and quite a few passed me back but after about 90 minutes of the 2 hour event the noodles I used to call arms lost their starch and went limp, I couldn't hold on any longer and not only was my life in danger, so was anything still standing that go in my way including trees, people, bikes and woodland creatures of all sizes.  The bike was a beast on that tight twisty course.

I pulled off and waited for George to come out of the woods and while I was chatting with a couple guys who had hedged bets against me finishing, I stepped into a low spot and dumped the bike right there in front of everyone just so they could be entertained and get the monies worth on the day.  Thankfully they helped me pick the pig back up or it may still be laying there barring thieves.

I re-attached all my junk and headed home covered in mud.  As on the way down, I decided to take some pictures for a photo scavenger hunt where you have to take pictures of certain objects with your bike. One place I stopped was the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, Ohio.  While I was photographing the historic building a gentleman baring fruit approached me and offered me something to eat.  As he handed me the food he said; "Here, you look like you have been on the road for days and could use something to eat".  All I could do was laugh and tell him I was just coming home from a race and was fine.   I guess there are still some good people in the world.  We chatted about the history of the area, I thanked him then headed straight to the Little Ceasers in Massillon then home.  Pizza sounded way better than apples and oranges, they just don't compare...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mutt and Jeff do Malabar

John, Jason and I headed to Malabar this morning.  Jason raced the 5 field finishing somewhere in the pack.  John and I raced with the old dudes.  30 miles, 3 laps, 4 times up the hill, the finish line at the top. 

About mile 7 it was obvious John was riding hard and the rest were sucking wheel.  John says "let's break this thing up".  I thought "are you nuts? we have 25 miles to go"!   Wednesdays debacle of riding the single speed on the training ride left my legs dead.  The last thing I wanted to do was attack in the head winds and get stuck out there by myself. 

2nd time up the hill at mile 10 John and some other skinny dude slowly weeded my donut munching butt out the back.  On the downhill I caught back on as we reached the base of a small climb.  I had so much momentum I just rode around them hoping to draw out someone to race with.  I looked back and no one flinched, %&#!

Up front Bob Grimm was hanging out the sun roof of his car snapping pictures and Turra was hanging out the side screaming and blowing a train whistle.  Great, 19 miles to go and I'll have an audience when I blow up with digital evidence! 

When I hit the Vally floor I looked back and didn't see anyone so off into the headwinds I went trying to maintain a steady pace hoping it was equal to or faster than the packs.  The Grimm mobile had paused a while to take pics of the field then caught back up.  Bob kept yelling numbers in my ear but I was breathing so hard, I couldn't hear exactly what he was yelling so I just kept pedaling. I caught and passed a few cat1-3 stragglers but no one wanted to play so I left them behind.  My friend Pete couldn't either as his rear wheel was failing and dragging him down.  At the base of the hill I was still clear and started up trying not to implode.

I've had bad luck at a race like this when I took a flyer and won.  The guy at the finish didn't believe me that I had won.  Luckily Tym Tyler knew I had taken the solo route and gave me my cash.  At the top I made sure the score keeper knew I was in the masters so he wouldn't do the same thing.

I cleared the top with about 40 seconds on the pack but I still had 10 miles and no legs.  Luckily Bob and Turra pulled off the course and decided to take pictures from the road side meaning there'd be no video of my impending implosion.

With about 7 miles to go I spotted a bunch of riders up ahead.  One guy was as big as me, sweet!! a draft!  I caught them on the Valley Floor and when I reached them, I kept going so that my rythm would stay afloat and they'd jump on.  They didn't, %&#!    A few moments later 2 of them passed by to give me a moments rest.  That was all I got because as soon as they passed, they slowed forcing me to come back around.  %&#!  I kept my tempo and dropped them.

I hit the bottom of the hill and the only 2 I saw were those I had just left.  Half way up the hill Chris Riccadi from  the 1-3 field caught back up and re-passed me on the hill.  I didn't care though, he was dropped and riding his own race.  With the finish in sight there was no one behind me so I pulled my victory wheelie then pulled off the road and choked up half a lung!!  I was so tired I was shaking and coughing until it hurt.

In the middle of my convulsive gagging for air, I heard everyone screaming.  I looked up and saw John destroying what was left of the field.  That was so cool for Orrville to take a 1-2 in our 1st attempt for 2010.  Once again I go to a road race

We headed down to a Country Kitchen for a nice recovery meal of fried chicken and fish then headed home.

Thanks Bob and Ricky for the photos and chearing.  Thanks Turra for the screaming and motivation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I saw this on another site...I had to steal it.

Haynes: Rotate anticlockwise.
Translation: Clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer anticlockwise.

Haynes: This is a snug fit.
Translation: Clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: This is a tight fit.
Translation: Clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with a hammer.

Haynes: As described in Chapter 7...
Translation: That'll teach you not to read through before you start. Now you are looking at scary photos of the inside of a gearbox.

Haynes: Pry...
Translation: Hammer a screwdriver into...

Haynes: Undo...
Translation: Go buy a can of WD40 (giant economy size).

Haynes: Retain small spring...
Translation: PINGGGG - "Jesus, where the hell did that go?"

Haynes: Press and rotate to remove bulb...
Translation: OK - that's the glass bit off, now fetch some good pliers to dig out the bayonet part (and maybe a band-aid or two).

Haynes: Lightly...
Translation: Start off lightly and build up till the veins on your forehead are throbbing then clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Weekly checks...
Translation: If it isn't broken don't fix it.

Haynes: Routine maintenance...
Translation: If it isn't broken, it's about to be. You were warned.

Haynes: One wrench rating.
Translation: An infant could do this... so how did you manage to **** it up?

Haynes: Two wrench rating.
Translation: Now you may think that you can do this because two is a low, teensy weensy number... but you also thought the wiring diagram was a map of the Tokyo underground (in fact that would have been more use to you).

Haynes: Three wrench rating.
Translation: Make sure you won't need your bike for a couple of days.

Haynes: Four wrench rating.
Translation: You're not seriously considering this are you?

Haynes: Five wrench rating.
Translation: OK - but don't ever carry your loved ones in it again.

Haynes: If not, you can fabricate your own special tool like this...
Translation: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Haynes: Compress...
Translation: Squeeze with all your might, jump up and down on it, throw it at the garage wall, then find some visegrips and a hammer...

Haynes: Inspect...
Translation: Squint at really hard and pretend you know what you are looking at, then declare in a loud knowing voice to your wife "Yep, as I thought, it's going to need a new one"

Haynes: Carefully...
Translation: You are about to suffer deep abrasions.

Haynes: Retaining nut...
Translation: Yes, that's it, that big spherical blob of rust.

Haynes: Get an assistant...
Translation: Prepare to humiliate yourself in front of someone you know.

Haynes: Turning the engine will be easier with the spark plugs removed.
Translation: However, starting the engine afterwards will be much harder. Once that sinking pit of your stomach feeling has subsided, you can start to feel deeply ashamed as you gingerly refit the spark plugs.

Haynes: Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal.
Translation: Yeah, right. But you swear in different places.

Haynes: Prise away plastic locating pegs...
Translation: Snap off...

Haynes: Using a suitable drift...
Translation: Clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Everyday toolkit
Translation: Credit Card & Mobile Phone

Haynes: Apply moderate heat...
Translation: Unless you have a blast furnace, don't bother. Alternatively, clamp with visegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Index
Translation: Listing of all the things in the book, except what you need to do.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Riding in a winter wonderland

What a weekend.  Woke up Saturday to test out the ankle, or as my wife called it "Cankle" because it molded into my calf like some "large" peoples.  It didn't actually hurt to pedal so I headed out on my Sugar Creek Amish loop.  Once again a nice ride on snow covered an quite a bit of unplowed roads.

The 1st oddity was at the top of one climb where the plowing just stopped.  The road was very narrow, barely wide enough to get a car down and drifts making it even slimmer.  Seems like the land owner plowed himself out to the main road and left the neighbors to fend for themselves.  The guy needs a wider blade!  I crossed over the plow rubble and into the virgin snow dipping my feet into it on every pedal stroke.  I came to where a couple cars had driven out the other end to the next main road but the compressed snow was harder to ride in than the fluff so I stayed in the middle.

Had a corgi start to chase me but his junk was dragging in the snow slowing him down and he gave up.  Another dog took up chase on down the road but stopped about 10 yards from the road.  Luckily he had a shock collar on, however after I passed, he took up chase again.  Makes me wonder if his buttheaded master decided to turn the invisible fence off.

At one point I came to a T intersection and the road to the left was plowed better than any road I had ridden so I took it.  That lasted 20 yards when I saw a sign that read "Private Drive".  Go figure, another over achiever land owner making the Twp look inadequate.  In a way I am glad they didn't plow or salt because when I did have to take a main road, I flatted, right in front of a house with dog warning sign and trespassing warnings in front along with fresh paw prints.  Luckily Kujo was entertained elsewhere.  Great, my pump is missing, probably lost it again but at least I had 3 co2's.  oops, make that 2, the one in the inflater was used, time to head home.

Lots of weather changes along the route from sunshine to black skies to near white out conditions followed closely by horizontal sleet and rain.  Four miles from home the headset starts to seize up and my bike became ill-handling in the cross winds until I stood up and realized my front tire was flat!  I rode until the rim hit the ground and hit it with what was left in the inflator which lasted about a half mile.  A quick repair got me home with a respectable amount of saddle time followed up with a recovery drive to Cici's all you can eat, scarf til you barf buffet.

Today started off much better, warm, sunny and I had the company of Joe, Steve and Tim.  Those nice snow covered roads were now slush and mud.  At one point Joe and Steve were racing up a climb in the pig slop.  I felt like chasing so I gave it a try which thankfully didn't last long.  Joe lost control and took them both down into the snow, no injuries but lots of laughs.  Half way into the ride the sun went away and took the temps with it so we turned towards home.

I enjoyed today's ride and the company made it more fun than yesterday but yesterdays bad weather and frozen roads were fun in a whole different way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Night at Ray's, Part 2

Tim, Steve and myself headed north to meet Jon and Dom at Ray's for a night of riding.  I saw a quote somewhere that stated "He who flies with balls skimming ground, not fall very far".   Because I want to get back into BMX for a little while I felt like going up to Ray's a few more times this winter would help me get my wings back.

I rented the same exact bike as the last time, a 21" Gary Fisher Mullet.  The crank was still bent but the layout feels neutral and fits me well.  The hard part isn't jumping as much as getting your timing down and last night my timing was so far off we weren't even in the same zip code.  My balance was in another county and I was getting frustrated so I headed over to the BMX style track leaving the pole riding to someone else to fall off.   It took a half dozen runs around the track along with a few runs down the expert stunt sections to get comfortable again and I started to raise the pace in an attempt to actually get a little more air under my tires.

My friend Jon was smoking me through the initials turns which are critical to helping you get a good launch off the jumps.  The harder I pushed the Gary Fisher Mullet the worse thing became.  The tires were full knobbies unlike Jons tires that were a fine road tread that hooked up well on the plywood track.  Every time I pushed hard the tires would try to roll of the rims so I put more air in.  All that did was cause the over inflated tires to lose grip on the plywood.  When I did have grip, there was enough flex to allow both tires to grind on the frame and fork.

The one thing about Ray's is the spectator friendliness off the place as all the dividers are only about 36" between the sections.  It allows you to see who coming where trails merge and keeps the place feeling open.  It didn't take long before things got out of hand and after pushing the envelope too many times, the seam tore along with the possibility of a few ligaments and tendons.  In the very 1st turn of that particular track I pushed hard enough to drift all the way to the wall. 

Not only did I make it too the wall, I tried to move it out of the way with my body.  First the tire hit, then the lower fork leg followed by my leg then a few other parts of my torso.  I found it very difficult to steer a bike when you are in a full panic with the right fork leg trying to bust its way through plywood and your butt is sliding down the wall and not sitting on your seat.  The tire wedged itself between the jump and the wall finishing off what little chances I had of ever saving it, the bike stopped, I didn't.  Somewhere in all the co-motion of my impending face plant I made a valiant attempt to catch myself only to roll my ankle and rag doll myself down the track.  That hurt!!

After a few moments of assessing which body parts were detached or relocated I hobbled back on the bike in an attempt to loosen up the ankle on the way to the water fountain.  A quick assessment showed lots of tan paint on the forks and a bent front wheel and all body parts accounted for except the right ankle.  An hours more riding didn't help matters any as the more I rode, the weaker it got until I could barely even keep the foot planted on the pedals anymore.  I gathered up the posse and we headed to McDonald's for some fat food. 

By the time we got home the joint was so sore I could barely push the brakes.  This morning things were better and I was able to walk without a grimace.   I doubt anything is broke but the thing is so stiff that I can't walk without a noticeable limp.  Looks like Moto and I will match for a while.  I wonder who will heal first?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Timing and Luck

Went for a ride this morning and was supposed to meet up with a few friends.  Luck would have it having a headband on, I thought I had my skid-lid, back to the house.  Forgot to get my pump off the road bike, back to the basement.  I showed up at the parking lot 10 minutes late and just kept rolling.

A few miles down the road I caught JW and was told he also got there late.  I had some work to do so the chase was on, not what I wanted but what the heck.  I hit Bolivar and still no sight of any club members, not even the super tourist who plod along enjoying the scenery.  Hmmm, maybe the changed the route and JW and I didn't know.  Half way down Canal I saw a couple riders up ahead so I upped the pace just high enough to keep my back in check.  I get to Zoar and no riders.  Hmmm, I know even the slowest of the cyclotourist wouldn't ride this fast.  I cranked up the pace and had those 35c knobbies humming along and a few miles later I finally catch BD and CK.  We loop back though Bolivar and there goes the rest of the club, the other way.  Where the heck were they?  Found out later they ad-libbed the route to avoid hills, got a flat and it took them nearly and hour to fix it.  That'll teach them to take the pussy path.

I talked the guys into adding on a few extra miles so we looped around  Beach City and Brewster before heading back to Navarre.  We were sitting in the lot and I made the comment that I wanted to check the sledding hill out and see if it was still good enough to bring Mak down for the afternoon.  CK said I should ride down it so I did.  I headed up the drive in one of the wheel ruts and was greeted by sleds coming down each rut so I jumped in the middle until they passed.  I cautiously rode down the hill thinking about the last time I did this on fat tires and separated my shoulder.  Then I tried to climb it, twice, but I kept getting stuck when the rear wheel would dig in and sink.  I gave up and headed to McDonalds to harass the seniors who were mooching AARP coffee.

Just as I turned north on Market I saw a group of kids carrying "stuff" down the street.  One yelled something and then I recognized them as my Orrville Teammates who were coming back from an auction.  They were 3 doors from home and invited me over for the 10 cent tour so I followed them over to Casa Del Huck-Brown.

After the open house I grabbed my bike and noticed the pump was missing.  DANG!!! (being polite)  That's the 3rd pump I have lost over the past 2 years.  Just as I made it up to SR21, a pick up truck started honking at me.  I thought "great, another moronic redneck who needs the whole friggin road for his fat butt.  When I turned to see what all the fuss was about a guy and his little girl were waving me over to the truck.  The guy asked if I was the one just down at the park riding down the sled hill?  Great, now I'm going to get heckled for rutting up the hill.  I said yes and he proceeded pull out my pump and said "you lost this".  SAWEET!!!  I thanked him and said that I had just noticed it was missing a few moments ago.  Sure am sorry I assumed he was an idiot!

If I had just rode on up to McDonalds and not taken the tour, I wouldn't have gotten my pump back.  Thanks Lorena!!  I owe you one.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Night at Ray's

Boy am I sore!! I had a non-fall crash or does that not make sense?
A group of us went to Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland last night. The place is in a big warehouse and is full of wood, concrete, rocks, logs and many different items to make trails, stunt areas and various other obstacles to challenge your sense of skill.
The moment we arrived we were greeted by fire and rescue. One possible broken and ankle and another knocked out cold. The night was looking wild already! We got signed in and I headed to one section called the pump track to warm up. This portion of track is full of 18”-24” rollers that when your bars and pedals are pumped up and down the surfaces, you can accelerate without pedaling and attain speeds almost too fast to make the turns. 5 laps around this 100’ long track and you’ll be breathing like a marathon runner and not have pedaled once.
After that I spent an hour riding around everywhere I could. I was making a lap on the cross country course and speeding along on the outer perimeter trail and flew over a jump. The initial part of the landing had logs laid down as the surface, sort of like the wall of a log cabin. My rear wheel kicked up on one of the logs and my left foot came off the pedal and hit the ground. I was moving at a pretty good clip and my foot planted securely to the floor and then my Achilles was met with full force of the pedal that I just fell off of. The impact made things worse and now I was out of control, both feet off the pedals.
Being that I was standing up on a bike with the seat as low as it could go and leaning back a little, the laws of gravity finally caught up to me. I fell backwards onto the rear tire; which like in the cartoon treadmill, shot me straight into the seat while still going close to 20 mph. So here I am, sitting on my tire, the seat embedded into my gut, my ass acting like a bicycle brake locking up the rear tire and my groin smashed into the frame skidding down the track waiting for impending doom.
I ended skidding to a stop, still on 2 wheels, unable to breath, my buns were burnt from friction, my Achilles tendon had teeth marks in it and I was suffering from a mild case of testiculous smashenitous. I walked over and leaned against the wall trying not to look like I was going to cry or look too sissified!!! A few moments later, I was in the lounge area taking a break waiting for Tim to bring my truck keys so I could change bikes.
About 15 minutes later I was back at it. The rest of the night was uneventful, thank the Lord!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I got both of my rides in today. It almost didn't happen though because it's Ohio, it is cold and I had no ambition to go outside and freeze. I kept coming up with every excuse I could to not do my 1st ride of the year and just stay inside like a pansy. I made the mistake of looking at my email and saw an invite from Dr. Joust to the Cleveland Area Mountainbike Associations Annual Urban Assault in Downtown Brownstown, aka Cleveland. Hadn't done it in a couple years and this year it was a poker run.

After much procrastinating I pulled my head out of my azz and decided to go. Met the gang at high noon. The weather really sucked for a road ride but being on the Mtb wouldn't have been too bad but the jacket I took decided to make my day by allowing thew zipper to come apart. Luckily I had a spare but it wasn't 100% windproof or warm. The temps were in the low 20's and the wind was howling off Lake Erie bringing in some snow with it and was pushing the waves over the breakwalls. I paid for my poker hand and headed out with Dr. Joust and his cronies.

The check points were throughout the downtown and the surrounding area and you pulled your own cards. I found it weird as the cards had numbers all the way up to 39+. I found out later you matched the number on the card you pulled with the number on a board that had a real car underneath it. Clever way to get your own hand and score yourself without being able to cheat. I had a pair of 6's didn't get me squat!

Even though the weather truly did suck and kept most men at home watching one ball sports, there were about a dozen women who showed up and rode. While the temps and snow didn't make it bad, the wind made it interesting. No 200 lb man should have to pedal down hill!!

Made it home around 3pm, got a hot shower, downed a half bag of chips and headed out on the 640. I only had time for 30 minutes so I headed down the rail bed to harass the local ATV clan. The locals who drive it for fun in their trucks turned it into a long ribbon of sheet ice so I opted to head for the weeds where at least there was some type of friction to be found beneath the layers of snow. It didn't help I was using a road legal tire set on the bike that had low and wide knobs that would have trouble finding traction on anything less than a groomed trail. I wasn't the only one out, there were 6 ATV's out playing in the snow too. Unfortunately, time always flies when you are having fun.

I no more than got my helmet off when I received a call that George was crossing the county line. We left to meet them for dinner which is always a good time.

Another long day, 364 more to go.