Thursday, July 31, 2008


I had tons of stuff to do this evening, but nothing seemed as important as watching one of my favorite westerns of all time. The other one that is in my top five films of all time is Dances With Wolves. I don't consider it in the same category as this film. Outlaw is a true classic western with lots of killing and shooting. Dances has more to offer in regards to history of the US and Native American peoples. Outlaw does a great job portraying Native Americans in a positive light as well.
If you have never seen The Outlaw Josey Wales, then go rent it now! Adapted on screen in 1976, it is the greatest western of my time. A Missouri farmer during the Civil War loses his whole family when they are murdered by Kansas redlegs. Josey then goes on a rampage all over the West seeking revenge on those who killed his love ones. The film has tons of good actors, but no character is better then Chief Lone Wanie. 80 yrs old at the time, Chief almost steals the show from Clint Eastwood. I won't give more details about the film, hoping that those of you who do read my crazy ramblings will check it out.
My favorite quotes from the films are:
Josey tells Chief that people he likes don't seem to hang around that long. Cheif precedes to tell him, people that Josey doesn't like don't seem to stick around that long either.
The other is when Josey tells Sandra Lockes character who is from Kansas that they have three suns in Kansas. They have sunsets, sunflowers and sons a bit**es. Classic.
I don't know when I first saw this film. I was born in '73, so it must have been in the early eighties when I first caught it. I believe I saw it with my Dad. I know he liked this film as well. I am sure it was played on WGN or TBS quite often back in the early days of cable.
Honorable mentions for westerns would be: Silverado, Tombstone, Unforgiven, Pale Rider, Young Guns and my favorite Australian Western- The Man from Snowy River- Rent this if you have never seen it!
I need to get to bed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weird thoughts and observations while riding today.

I went for a quick 30 mile ride this morning before picking the girls up from COCA and had a few quick thoughts while out on the road. I don't ride with an IPOD or any other device to take my mind off the road. I like to ride without anything, so I can think about what is going on around me and what is going on in my life. I try to almost meditate while out on the bike. Sounds strange, but some of you guys that ride know what I mean.

I have brought this up to a few friends in the past and it was brought to my attention again today. I ride quite a bit in South City and South St. Louis County. I frequently ride in the middle of the day or in the morning between 9 and noon. I will ride down to the Arch on Broadway and then up Arsenal through Tower Grove over to Forest Park and then back through Dogtown and up through St. Louis Hills. I am absolutely amazed at how many people(particularly males between the ages of 16 and 50) that don't work! I often see the same people and I am sure they are asking themselves the same question of me. How is that guy able to ride his bike everyday and pay the bills? As many of you know, I attempt to be a school teacher. My neighbor who is Croatian still can't grasp the fact that I get paid during the summer and don't lift a finger. He just doesn't get it, therefore it makes me laugh. Soo, do you think all these people are school teachers like me? Do they work nights? I really don't think so. I understand times are hard right now and jobs are tough to come by, but don't you think they could be doing something constructive besides sitting on the front porch smoking a cig? Any of you guys that ride in the City ever think of this?

Two days a week I usually make a run up Grant's Trail to get in some sprints. The length of the trail is right at seven miles. On the 14 miles I ride, I probably pass 90% of the people still not wearing a helmet. I pass guys like me riding nice road bikes without a helmet. It just makes me think what an idiot. Does he think he is too cool to wear a helmet? Even more aggravating is when I see young children riding with parents not wearing a helmet. Or better yet, when I see the parents pulling a trailer with two kids without helmets. I see parents riding with kids not wearing helmets and yet their kids are. How does that make sense? I know when we were young we never wore helmets. WE WERE LUCKY. I have seen a helmet save numerous people from head injury, so please wear them.

Last summer while out on the trail, I came up on a woman completely knocked out bleeding out of her mouth. She was with her husband riding mtn bikes without helmets. She was in her forty's just out enjoying the evening on a bike when she it the rear wheel on her husbands bike. Bamb, down she went, out cold. I called the police and the ambulance came and picked her up. I am sure she was alright, but it could have been prevented by wearing any cheap helmet. You can pick a good one up for $40 or so.

Have you all noticed all the alive and dead wildlife on the roads this summer? Back in June, I would see at least 2 or 3 live black snakes and usually one or two dead ones. One day while riding in Ste. Gen County I came across four black snakes slivering across the road at once. As some of you know, I hate snakes. That is why my mtn biking is limited to the fall and winter months. I have also seen a ton of skunks, dead and alive. And just today while doing some laps out at Jefferson Barracks I nearly got ran over by a doe. I got within five feet of a pretty good size doe before she turned and ran the other way. I was going at least 20mph when she came walking out of the woods. I had to stop in the road and make some noises to get her to even notice me. This is not the first time, but just happened today. Last year while on Grant's Trail I would frequently see turkey and deer. I even saw an albino fawn last year near dusk.

How many of you have seen the movie "Victory"? It was the Brit movie of the week this past Sunday evening. It was made in 1981 and stars Michael Cain and Sylvester Stallone. It is about a soccer team being put together from an Allied POW camp to play the Nazis during the end of WWII. Even though it has some cheesy moments, it really is a decent film. Stallone is the lone American on the team and of course he saves the day. If you get a chance, rent it. If you love soccer, buy it.

#5 The most important thought of the day while riding.
Thursday is my 10 year wedding anniversary. Yes, I found a woman to put up with me for the last ten years. I couldn't have met and married a more wonderful person. Without Kirsten in my life, things would just plain suck. She is an awesome Mom and even better wife. She puts up with my cycling, my mouth, my crabbiness and me going out with friends without any complaint. Thanks Kirsten for a fabulous ten years. I love you very much.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forest Park and Science Center

Johnny's in Soulard. Best wings in town!!! The fried Provel cheese triangles are awesome.

Boating at Forest Park

The girls along with Cousin Natalie from Oklahoma had a big day on Monday. They went to Forest Park and rented a paddle boat for the afternoon. They paddled all the lakes and had a blast. After that, they went to the St. Louis Science Center. After the Science Center they went to the Boathouse for supper and then on to the Muny.

I had the afternoon to ride my bike and then met Hovis at Johnny's to watch the Cards game and of course sample some most scrumptuous wings!

Weekend in SG

The whole Rapp Family minus two cousins.
Brother's Rapp. DRE Soundsystems did a great job at the wedding. If anybody knows electronics and loud music, it is Don Rapp. Contact me if you are interested in his services.
Sister's Rapp

Cousins- Amanda, Angie, Stephanie, Lindsay, Tyree and Natalie
Bride, Mother and Maid of Honor

C-Dog, Liz and Big T
2nd cousins feeding the hogs out at the Huber Farm in SG County

Heartbreakers to be

More photos from the big weekend

Me and Amanda
Todd, Me and Scott
Me, Scott, Stephani, Todd and Cody

Me and Reese
Kirsten and Reese dancing

Stephanie and Doug's wedding in SG

Reese and Clayton

Stephanie and Doug
Kirsten and Reese
Doug, Stephanie and Grandma

Big weekend in Sainte Genevieve!

1st cousins Scott, Amanda, Me and Tyree celebrating my 35th Birthday at Twister's
Me and Cousin Scott
Me and Kirsten jamming with Nothing Sacred
Kirsten, Tyree and Amanda
My Liam Gallagher impersonation!

The whole family made the trip down to Ste. Gen this past weekend for my cousin Stephanie's wedding. We went down Friday which happened to by my birthday as well as the rehearsal for the wedding. Reese was the flower girl so we had to go to that and then to the dinner at my Aunt Joyce's house. After the dinner, Kirsten, Me, Scott, Amy,Tyree and Amanda headed up to Twister's to see Nothing Sacred. We had to go out of our way to get there, as Hwy 55 was shut down due to some yahoo holed up in a trailer with a gun shooting at people. The trailer happened to be located right on Hwy 55. We finally got there around 930 and preceded to have a good time!! Amy drove as she is pregnant, so everyone made it home in good shape. Needless to say, we were all tired the next day.

The wedding went off without a hitch Saturday evening. Stephanie and Doug were married outside in Ste. Gen. It was a bit muggy, as summer in Missouri can be. Reese was the flower girl and she did a fantastic job. She was dead set against it all week, but when it came time to perform, she was perfect. She let the stylist do her hair and everything. Way to go Reese!! After the wedding, we headed down to the K of C Hall for the reception. The music was good and all the youngsters had a good time. We all danced, ate, drank and were all around merry! Needless to say, we were all tired the next day as well.

The best part was I was able to put in 30+ miles Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was hot, but had good legs all four days. I had planned to race tonight, but it is nearing 100 degrees around 4pm and will just stay inside and fix supper.

The girls have COCA camp for the next two weeks in the morning for 3 hours, so I will be able to put in some quick miles before picking them up. They are also taking swimming lessons in the afternoon down at school, so I will be running them down there as well. That gives me an hour or so to do some work in my room.



Friday, July 25, 2008

Here's the deal

As I type I have just turned 35 years young. I suppose I should thank my Mom for having me! In all reality, I physically feel much more superior than when I was 25. I am in the best shape since I was playing basketball my senior year of high school. No matter how much cycling I do, I will never be in "that" good of shape again in my lifetime. Coach Davis and Coach Hayden had me in the best shape possible. Damn those 20 in two!! I could still make it, but not near as fast. 40lbs will do that to you. Ya that's right, I weighed 140lbs when I graduated. I am near 185lbs now but I don't look like I am from a third world country in Africa! I think my wife digs me better with some lbs.

So you ask what is going on for the Birthday? The whole family is headed down to Ste. Genevieve, Mo to my cousin Stephanie's wedding this weekend. Reese is the flower girl although she claims she is not going to be in it! I really doubt she will walk down the aisle. She has a mind of her own. We are headed down today and then home Sunday. I am taking my bike and hope to ride all three days. It looks like some serious rain on Friday, but Sat looks good and Sunday a chance of rain.

We are headed up to Twister's Friday night to watch Nothing Sacred play. My buddy Chris is the lead singer and guitarists. If you get a chance, go check them out. Saturday is the wedding and then home Sunday after a trip to the wineries. Like I said, I hope to get in at least 35 miles all three days.

I rode all week, but did not get to race Tuesday or Thursday. I was feeling a bit under the weather and had to go to the doctor on Tuesday. All seems to be good to go now. I put in 40 miles on Sunday with my neighbor Cary and then 30 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. I did the miles Thursday in the rain. It was actally very nice with the temps in the low 70's with just a slight drizzle. The bike was dirty and wet, but I actually enjoyed it. I was cranking for some reason averaging 21 mph. I was planning on doing the Dirt Crits out at Castlewood,but that got cancelled due to the weather. You would think the toughy Mtn bike guys would like to get out and play in the mud!

The Tour de France took another turn this week as well. Carlos Sastre from CSC made a huge effort on Alp Duez to go up on Cadel Evens at nearly 1 minute 30 seconds. It is possible for Cadel to make it up in the TT, but I really believe Sastre will hold on to it. He seems to be a decent guy who has been around for a few years and will finally get the win after being close a couple of times. American hopeful Christian Vande Velde is in 6th place down nearly 4 minutes. He has one bad day, and it really cost him a shot at the win. I look for him to make upu one or two place in the TT as well. He should be considered a threat for next year for sure. Seems like a genuine guy as well. I say genuine,because like Armstrong, Lemond, and even Leipheimer seem to come off like assholes at times. I like all those guys, they just don't seem like guys you could sit around O'Malley's and have a pint with! Cavendish- yes, Vande Velde-yes. Bob Roll for sure! I will let you know how things worked out on Sunday.

I hope the Cardinal bullpen doesn't blow a fifth game! The true birds are starting to show their colors. If you were drinking the cool aid, you now know the true contenders in the league. I said all along it would come down to Milwaukee and Chicago. I love the Cards, but you can only count on Wellemeyer, Pineiro, Looper, Isringhausen and Franklin so long. Please Mr. DeWitt(Ebenezer Scrooge) spend some money on some decent pitching.

Monday, July 21, 2008

R.I.P. Elias the Cat

Sad news around the Wyman household today. Our family cat Elias passed away last night at the age 14yrs. I got Elias my junior year of college while living in Cape Girardeau, Mo. I bought him for $75 from a lady living near Perkins, Mo. He was supposed to have been a Siamese, but I am sure he had a little of something else in him. He was a very good looking fellow. He lived with me on Park St. in Cape for a few months, but then had to take him home because my roommates were teasing him and being mean. Perhaps that is why he was so mean at times to strangers in the house. At that point, he became my Mom and Dad's new house cat. He didn't come with me when I got my new house in 1997 because my parent's had become attached to him. In his older age he had become much more mellow and was a good friend to my Mom, especially since my Father's passing in 2002. I know Mom is quite sad at this time, but I know things will come to pass. The girls and I went down to Ste. Gen today to bury him. Mom bought a nice rose bush to remember him by. Thanks for the memories Eli. You will be missed.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dang it's HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did lots of riding over the past few days. I met my neighbor Cary down at Antonia Friday afternoon for a 25 mile ride in the north Jeffco Hills. We rode out Moss Hollow and down to the Sandy Creek covered bridge. The ride is ver scenic, but the heat at 5pm was almost unbearable. It was in the low 90's, but the humidity was in full Missouri, July mode. We stopped at the covered bridge and cooled off and filled our bottles. We then made the mile plus climb up Old Lemay Ferry. The grade never gets above 13%, and has some level spots, so even though it is long, it is not too back breaking. Cary of course beat me up the climb, but I managed to catch him on the down hill down near Wedde Rd. I know my clock didn't go below 30mph on the 4 mi chase. I love that part of the ride! You can really get cranking especially when the wind is at your back.

After the ride, I headed up to Kevin's house, took a shower and then we headed down to Johnny's for some stellar wings and brew. My college buddy Chris Pleimann and his wife Kim joined us later on. We then headed up to O'Malley's and then onto The Stable. They have added O'Fallon Wheach to their assortment of never heard of beers on tap. Love the Wheach!

The girls and I took it easy Saturday cleaning and watching the Tour de France. Nothing exciting happened although Cavendish did not start today. He won four stages and is now heading home to train for the Olympics track races. He is a favorite in the Keiren.

A lot of attacks happened in the Alps today. Frank Schleck is now in yellow while Evans slides to third. American Vande Velde is still holding his own in striking distance down only 38 seconds. It is going to be a battle at Alp Duez on Tuesday. I can't wait!! I know, I am a bike dork, but that stuff is awesome to watch. Wish I was there!!

Today, Cary and I headed down to Antonia around 930 am. It was already hot, but went ahead anyhow. I punctured in Kimmswick, so we had to stop and change my tire. My spare tube had three holes in it, so I had to use one of Cary's. My CO2 was spent, so I had to use Cary's as well. After all that, we decided to head back since we had no tubes left between us and one CO2 cartridge. We stopped and refilled twice, downing nearly 6 bottles each on a 40 mi ride. It is the hottest day of the year according to the weather guessers. It is supposed to reach nearly 100 degrees in city.

Headed to the Card's game with Hovis on Monday. Reese and Mom went today. These are some photos Mom took. They stayed for 3 innings and headed home.

DANG IT IS HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am doing the Tuesday Night World Championships on Tuesday and then hope to try the Dirt Crits out at Castlewood on Thursday. I will let you all know how things went.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Man from Man!! 4 Stage Victories!

If you could give a rat's hind end about bicycle racing, then just ignore this post. Mark Canvendish from Team Columbia is by far the fastest sprinter in the world. All my cycling buddies know my favorite is Belgium's Tom Boonen, but this guy from the Isle of Man is tearing up the Tour de France. Once my main man Boonen got excluded from the Tour because of a positive test for cocaine(so he was out partying with some babes), Cavendish has been the guy on the top of my list. For only being 23yrs old, he is absolutely amazing. He will be around for a long time and everyone is going to hate him because he can out sprint everyone in the world except for Boonen!!!!!!!!!
He has now won three stages in this year's Tour.

Who do I pick? Boonen or Cavendish? Piss off if you have stupid comments!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WALL-E and Tuesday World Championships

The girls and I went to the theatre today and caught the Disney/Pixar movie, WALL-E. It was a pretty good film. Tatum really like it while Reese was just ok with it. For a film that had no real talking that was an hour and half long, I would give it a three quarters thumbs up. The graphics were excellent and it did have some funny parts, but just wasn't super like I expected. Kids 5 and up would like it.

I was also able to do my second Tuesday Night World Championships this evening. Todd and Liz came by and watched the girls so I could go up to Carondolet and race. I started out in the front right off the bat. On the second lap of the race, their was a terrible crash and the race was stopped so the carnage could be cleared. Luckily I was in the front and stayed out of the mess. I am sure that no-one was seriously hurt, althought one of the female Big Shark racers injured her wrist and completely mangled her bike. It looked like one ICCC guy was down for a while as well.

After the restart the race took off pretty fast. I stayed near the front for the next 30 minutes or so. I have ridden 6 days in a row and 9 of the last 10. My legs felt good except for the pain in the right calf. On the second to last lap, a group of Sharks went to the front and really broke up the race. Normally it is a complete clusterF, but the guys really put the hammer down and left the pretneders in the back of the pack. I was about 2 bikes off them and then caught on the last uphill. I finished with a decent sprint and ended up 13th. It was a hot one with the temps in the low 90's around race time. Luckily the humidity was low. My gps said that I averaged 24.2 mph. It is a little slower than normal, but that was fine with me this evening. My goal is to finish in the top 5 at all four races at the Gateway Cup over Labor Day weekend.

I have also started reading a book by Mark Twain entitled, Life on the Mississippi. It is one of his earliest writings about working on a steamboat on the mighty Miss. The orginal copyright is 1883.