Tuesday, June 24, 2008

stimulating the economy - june edition

I went music shopping at the fetus this weekend and picked up a couple of new CDs and one old one.

First up is The Alchemist Manifesto by Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada. For those that don't know this is an offshoot of Antibalas co-directed by Adrian Quesada from Grupo Fantasma. I didn't notice until I got the record home that it was released on ESL, but despite that I was expecting more of a mix between the latin sounds of Grupo Fantasma and the afrobeat sounds of Antibalas or a kind of Harlem River Drive feel. That is not what you get from this album. For anyone familiar with the ESL sound you will not be surprised or disappointed. Loungish, latin-influenced mellow grooves that are perfect for summer and will probably be added to soundtrack of coffee shops and wine bars all over.

Next up is the Nigeria 70 Lagos Jump comp. Where the first Nigeria 70 comp focused almost exclusively on Afrobeat and Afro-Funk, this new comp includes more Highlife in the mix making it more of a kindred spirit to the Lagos Chop Up comp on Honest Jon's. I am a big fan of all the sounds represented on this comp and from this era in general, but I am not knowledgeable enough to give much more info that could be easily found with a simple web search. Suffice to say that if you enjoy Afrobeat and Highlife from the 70s you both know what you are getting with this collection and you know you need it. Awesome summer sounds.

The in my triumvirate of CD purchases is Hootenanny by the Replacements. Since all their Twin Tone records have been re-released I found my self a used copy of the remaster from just a few years ago. I will be honest that it is not my favorite Replacements album (that is a tie between Let It be and Pleased to Meet Me) but how can you go wrong with any album that includes Color Me Impressed and Within Your Reach?

Monday, June 23, 2008

last week on the bike

Given a week of actual good weather I was able to hit the roads either commuting or on the road bike everyday but Thu (and that was by choice), so it all added up to my biggest week yet this year.

I'm a third of the way to my season goal and am over 200 miles for the month with a week still to go.

week total - 83
season to date - 521
miles to goal - 979

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busted en route to work

I decided to try out a new route to work that didn’t have me dodging the traffic on Central during morning rush hour. It was pretty slick not faster but not slower either.

The only slowdown was crossing a stoplight when crossing University. I stopped and waited for the traffic to clear which took a couple minutes and then…..nothing. There were 2 cars on the other side of the light but despite the serious lack of traffic the light was not changing. It must have been timed for a busier rush hour than today, so I gave up and went through the intersection.

That is when I was busted. The passenger in the first waiting car yelled out at me about going through the red light.

I have to say my first reaction was anger – “I hope you never speed, roll through stop signs, or turn right at a no turn on red”

I quickly felt embarrassed though because I was in the wrong and despite the fact that no one was cut off or slowed down or anything, this person now had an additional reason to get angry about bikes on the road.

Just plain stupid.


Much later I got to thinking about being yelled at.

Why is it that it is “acceptable” to yell at bikers from your car? Would these same people honk their horns if they saw someone breaking some law in their cars (except driving the wrong way on a one way)?

I kind of doubt it, so is it some sort power trip that the cars bring out or is it something else?

Monday, June 16, 2008

back to reality

living in a world where the twin cities is filled with top level racers had to end some time and Sunday was it (heck the nature valley team had their travel bike boxes out 15 min after the race).

I did get to ride in the women's peloton in Mankato in comm 2 w/ Jenn x. That was pretty wicked and her incites and understanding of the peloton was incredible. It was also fun to see her turn on the announcer voice for her phone ins.

Sunday, Liane and I helped out in the morning at Stillwater and then watched the last half of the women's race and the men's race from chilkoot hill. I picked the other side of the hill from last year and definitely did not get as good of pictures so I now know the best place to stand next year.

I will be uploading pics and vids as I get time and may link to them here.
After the race Liane and I ran errands (groceries and free mulch) before biking over to Chipotle for a free burrito.

and speaking of biking, I actually got more miles in than anticipated despite not being able to ride to St. Paul on Wed and being to lazy to ride there to the TT on Fri.

If I have any hope of making my goal, I better get a move on though.

weekly miles - 33
season total - 439
miles to goal - 1061

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Fine Mess

The NVGP seems to have more than it's share of bad weather.

last year was close to perfect, but 2 years ago in Minneapolis manhole covers were being blown out by the water pressure from the storm.

Last night was a return to awful weather as the rodes dried out from the day's thunderstorms just in time to get soaked by the night's thunderstorms. Luckily we had just finished getting the expo tents up so I had some shelter from the rain, but it was just windy enough to get me wet and chilled before I coudl go get the raincoat from the car.

After holding the women's race to try and let a storm cell pass they ended up doing call ups just as the skies opened. I was stuck under the farmer's market which ended up being the best place to watch the race as turn three caused carnage all night long, not just crashes but gaps being created by riders unwilling to take too many chances. In the end Kristin Armstrong was incredible lapping practically everyone and 2/3 of the filed getting pulled. it was all for naught though because despite having a podium presentation the officials neutralized the race overnight.

The men's race was even more of a cluster if that's possible. Once again things got strung out from the get go, but there was some wicked racing with O'Bee/Olson off the front and Kelly Benefits organizing the chase while Rory sat on their wheel. I figure that Health Net pretty much had the stage win in the bag when a moto crashed on the course and in the confusion they neutralized the race at the start/finish and it was all brought back together. There were a few choice words said by the riders who had been in the lead as they worked their way back up to the front but by then the officials gave the peloton the choice and the vote was overwhelmingly not to race.

There's definitely some upset riders if you search the WWW.

Hopefully today goes a little better

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cycling yin and yang

apparently there is just as much need in cycling to balance itself out as there sometimes seems there is in the rest of the world.

This weekend at the Fixed Gear Classic at the velodrome, despite competing hard all weekend, crashing good on Sunday, and still coming in second in the overall, Cari Higgins from team America's Dairyland was just an awesome ambassador for the sport.

She came out with free goodies from a sponsor and instead of just putting in the time to hand it out she actually sat and talked to spectators, especially those with smaller children. That coupled with her performance has definitely made a fan out of me.

on the other hand we have the news today that Tom Boonen failed an out of competition drug test, testing positive for Cocaine. This just a couple weeks after getting pulled over while speeding and under the influence of alcohol.

Has his success and stardom gone to his head? what will this mean to a sport that is desperate to fix its image?

unfortunately balance

Sunday, June 08, 2008

the human sloth

at least that is how I am feeling right now.

barely any miles for the week and I feel completely drained.

Of course some of that has to do with being out at the velodrome this weekend for the Fixed Gear Classic and baking in the sun today, but still I feel kind of lazy.


finally got liane's bike into the shop and one on one was fast as lightning getting it ready to go. now she has a sweet single speed (nicer than mine) so that we can cruise around town together.


busy, busy week coming too with the Nature Valley Grand Prix. I don't know if I will even be able to touch a bike let alone see my wife. Yikes.


I got so few mile that I'm not even goign to list them this week (and probably not next week either)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

end of something special

Just finished watching the last 2 episodes of Six Feet Under last night and I am still drained and in awe today.

Not having cable I never saw this show when it was on tv but I borrowed the complete box set from my cousin around Christmas. I finally got around to starting to watch it sometime in February and was hooked immediately.

There is something in the relationships and actions of all the main characters that seem more real than any other show I've ever watched. Not only does the show force you to look at how we as a culture deal with grief but it also puts our relationships under a microscope. As over the top as it might have gotten at points, it is hard to argue that you couldn't see a bit of yourself in any of the actions the main characters.

It's kind of sad but I do kind of feel a hole now that I am done with this series never to meet these characters again.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

another time around the sun

another birthday has come and gone...

...everyone asks if I feel older but I don't feel any different than yesterday or last week or a couple months ago. It not that I am all about the "age isn't a number but how you feel" kind of thing.

To me age is something that creeps up on you until one day there it is looking back at you in the mirror or telling you it's a better idea to stay home and watch a movie on Friday night.


Liane gave me a flip video ultra for my birthday and the weekend was filled with lots of good food. We went to Cafe Twenty-Eight with my mom on Friday and Liane & I went to Masa on Saturday.


I got a couple of decent rides in this past week en route to my second best week of riding. If I didn't have the NVGP coming up which is going to eat into my riding time next week, I think I might make up the mileage I'm down from the bad weather this spring.

Weekly Total - 68
Season Total - 388
Miles to Goal - 1112