We had a great time today at the Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park! The park itself is really neat, but the events and food made it even better today. They had food, dance and goods from just about every country you can think of. I had Ethiopian food for lunch and the girls had Polish. I couldn't tell you what my food was, but it was pretty good. I am still tasting it 5 hours later. The girls had a polish sausage sandwich and an excellent potato cake with apple sauce and sour cream. They also did some sculpting with clay as well as watching some Scottish Highland games, face painting, a top spinning master, and lots of dancing. We saw Ozark clogging, Congo dance and Hungarian dancing. The weather was in the 90's but not too bad in the shade.
I got in miles everyday except Tues and Wed this week. I rode the Ste. Genevieve roadrace course on Saturday getting in around 40 very hilly, hard, hot miles. I felt great, just not used to so many hills with high gradient. The second to last climb tops out at 22% for the last 30 yards, while the last climb of the day is a little longer than a half mile at a continous gradient of 9%. My new Mavics made a huge difference. They feel awesome and are as smooth as butter. I still don't think I will race them next weekend at the Gateway Cup, even though the 11x23 would give me a nice sprint advantage. I don't feel like ruining a new set of rims a week after I bought them!
Tatum and I started school this past Thursday. All went well and we are both glad to be back at it. She is in first grade now and has Mrs. Bonastia. I think this is going to be a great year!
I finally got my new cassette for my new Mavic sl wheels . I went with a 11-23. I have been riding a 11-25. I am riding the new wheels tomorrow in Ste. Genevieve. I am riding the race course with friends Alice and Joe Wright. With those hills I should probably keep the 25!
While riding today I had a complete blowout about two miles from home. The Hutchinson tire ripped completely out making a gun sound as it exploded. I put in a couple of dollar bills to keep the tube from busting through and then quickly rolled home. I made it to BigShark in time to get and new Continental Tire, tube and nitro cartridge. Let me say that good bike tires are starting to be as expensive as auto tires!
Met buddy Hovis and his new friend Shawn at Sybergs for a few brews. Old stories about DTown were told and a good time was had by all.
With one last day off before school really gets going, we decided to go to the St. Louis Science Center. We went to the Omnimax to see Dinosaurs Alive. It was a really good movie and the girls and I both learned a lot. It was only 45 minutes long which was good for Reese. If you get a chance, take your kids to go see it.
We had planned on renting a paddle boat at Forest Park, but the weather was a bit warm for that. Both girls were complaining how hot it was, so we went over to BigShark to pick up the new cassette I had ordered for my new/used set of rims. After looking at the cassette, they realized they ordered a 10 speed. I need a 9. Yes, I am still riding the ancient 9 speed Shimano. So, they will have one for me on Friday.
We finally got to go out for my birthday dinner this past Friday night. Mom took all of us to the St. Louis Gasthaus down in Laffeyette Square. We had eaten here a few times before, but it had been a while. The place is never really busy, so we had the place to ourselves for most of the evening. The food was pretty good. I had spatzle, weisswurst, rouladen, schwieneschnitzel and some kartofel. The beer was good as they had Paulaner Heffe on tap. Thanks Mom.
On Sunday I headed out to Penrose Park up in north St. Louis for the Missouri State Track Cycling Championships. The velodrome is outdoor and has recently been repaved after years of neglect. It is in one of the worst neighborhoods in St. Louis as well. I believe it was built in the 1950s when that area was much nicer. It is not too far from where Sportsman's Park was located.
On Monday I started back to work. The students come Thursday, so Kirsten had one more free day with the girls. They had gymnastics and then met friends Lynn and Dayle out at Suson Park in south St. Louis County. They had a picnic, played on the playground and pet the hogs and horses.
I got in a ton of miles this last week. According to the Garmin, I was at around 180 miles. I have been feeling pretty good. I even went down to Ste. Gen on Saturday and rode the race course. Those are some good hills! Should be a fun race. I am taking Tuesday off and then back at it the rest of the week. Tuesday will be the first day off in 11 days. Gateway Cup is less than two weeks away.
The day started off really crappy as Kirsten was involved in an automobile accident. She was hit by a guy that ran a red light at 270 and Manchester Rd. I had the Subaru towed to Webster Groves to see what kind of damage was done. It has a little bend in the frame(this really sucks) and it needs a new bumper, hood and front driver side quarter panel. The guy that hit her has Alzheimer's and insurance(good). (Alzheimers is not good, but the insurance part it is.) The interesting thing is that Kirsten was the second car through the light. The guy was so late in running the light that he hit the first and second car through. The old man was given a ticket and now I am forced to deal with the idiots at the guys insurance company.
After the crash I had to hire a sitter to come watch the girls so I could take Kirsten my car and then ride my bike home. The ride was nice from west county and I even rode into the city and had a pint at O'Malley's on the way back. Luckily Mom has let us drive her truck until we get a rental. Nice---- 10 miles to the gallon in a 98 Z71 pickup. Imagine driving that rig for the next month averaging 60 miles a day. This sucks.
The good news is that we got to go to Busch Stadium tonight with other season ticket holders and watch the Card's game from the Champions Club with all you can eat and drink. We then got a tour of the Card's locker room and then got to go into the dugout and onto the field. The Card's won making the night even better.
This is me again the next day and things are much better. I deleted all my bad post in regards to the insurance company. They came through today with a rental and will be getting my Subi going Friday. I did stay on them like stink on dodo today, so perhaps that had something to do with it. I was very kind and polite and that seemed to get them motivated. I was overly nice and understanding and things seemed to move quickly today. Mom's truck was doing fine, then just quit. The alternator went out and left me at Todd's house. We had to get the battery charged and then I drove it up to the dealer to get it fixed. Enterprise met me with the rental there and then I came home and got in 30 miles on the bike.
"It liberates the vandal to travel - you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born" MARK TWAIN, 1868 With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. Steven Weinberg
Just call me the D-Town Hero!
I was born and raised in the small town of DeSoto, Mo just about 45 south of St. Louis. I now live in the big city and teach in a school district in northern Jefferson County. I have a great family that supports all my endeavors. My passion for the last 4 years has been bicycle racing. I have always been into cycling, but have taken it to another level over the past few years.
I enjoy watching bicycle racing on tv along with Cardinal Baseball and high school and college basketball. While it is not my passion, I also officiate high school and college basketball. It pays the bills in the winter!
Travel has made me the person I am today. If more people got out and saw the world it would be a much better place. Read the quote by Twain on the front of my blog. Couldn't be more true!