Saturday, May 1, 2010


Hey guys, well Hoboken is in the books. It was a gnarly day on the bike, but i made it out in one piece. The course was pretty darn flat, we did 3 big laps which were 50 km, and 4 small laps that were 9 km, making for a 190 km race. It was an hour and a half drive to the race, we all piled in the sprinter, and we were on our way. I kept the boys entertained by bringing my 20 questions toy (courtesy of natalie), and we were easily entertained, dropping our jaws in awe as it guessed all of our wild things we thought up, for example, socks, forklift, chapstick etc...

We got to the race, went to the bathroom, had a quick meeting, all the essentials for pre race, and then headed to the start line. The sky was toying with us greatly, the clouds looked ominous, and i tried to be optimistic, but we all knew it was going to downpour, the question was when. The competition for today's race looked tough. Among the start list, were a few pro continental teams, with teams that had participated in Paris Roubaix, and Flanders (the pro races).

Hoboken started out super sketchy, and stayed that way the entire race. As the race started i felt a bit of pain behind my left knee, near my hamstring, and the sensation never left, but got worse as the day went on.

On the first big lap, there was a pretty gnarly crash, with two U.S riders among the carnage (Jacob Rathe, Travis Brandt). I felt lucky to have missed it, literally two riders more to the left and i would have been among it. Travis was down for the count, Rathe made it back to the peleton. Oh did i mention by this point the rain had started? well yup it was comin down. Oh another thing i didnt mention, it hadnt rained in Hoboken for a few weeks, which means all the oil came to the surface of the road. The roads were literally like ice. Every turn people were going down. The adrenaline rush was off the hook!

The race progressed, with 2 other U.S riders crashing in two seperate crashes (Charlie Avis, Christian Perret). Gavin pulled out, he has been sick. At this point in the race, about 100 km in, we were down to 4 americans. One the last big lap of the race, so at about 110 km, the rain really started to come down, i could not see a thing. I had some really close calls, some i dont know how i stayed on my bike. The small local laps were hard, with many cobbles. Other than my throbbing pain behind my knee, I felt great. My power on the flats is really coming around. There was a group off the front of about 14 guys, then my group, which had the 4 remaining US riders in it. It was a long day on the bike, about 4.5 hrs, and i have another race tomorrow to look forward too. Should be loads of fun. Love you guys, hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for everything all you guys do for me. Driving back i couldnt stop thinkin about how fortunate and blessed i am. Why me? I dont need anything than i have to be happy. Love you all, have a great remainder of your weekend.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Here I go Again

Well 2009 turned into 2010 and it has been a while since I have updated my adventures. Since the last post there have been other journeys including a trip to Yellowstone, multiple trips to Island Park (where we are now the proud owners of a waterfront lot), and our annual February pilgramage to Phoenix to the Valley of the Sun Stage Race, but the real fun is just beginning. On May 10th I will leave my lovely, devoted wife who will be helping Katie care for our new grandson and wing my way to Belgium again. Connor is already there racing for the US National U23 Team and I will hook up with him and we will drive, bike and eat our way from Belgium to other places in Europe. Depending on his race schedule we may be in Luxembourg and Italy or he may end up doing the Tour of Berlin which would take us a different direction. Regardless we will drive, ride and eat our way around Europe for a couple of weeks. I will make every effort to post regularly mostly just to make you jealous of the places we are seeing and the the food we are eating.. More later - Tchau.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fishing During the Summer of Fun

The summer of fun continues. With the kind permission of Shirley and Grant Macfarlane, my neighbor friends (Joe Checchio, Gordy Evans and Jerry Carter) and I spent the day on Blue Lake on Shirley's property east of Coalville on Chalk Creek. The day was beautiful and the fishing was incredible. We had a hint the fishing would be great as Joe and I had fished it the day before. Anyway, it was an incredible day, with lots of beautiful brook and cutthroat trout landed by all. About 3:00 PM we drove down to Chalk Creek in time for an afternoon thunderstorm and fishing in the creek. On the way to the creek we encounted this young bull moose and were told that earlier in the day a bear had been seen. There were lots of cuttroat trout in the creek and they devoured grasshopper flies.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beard Removal Continuted

Note, I also lost the earring and tattoos.

The Many Phases of Beard Removal

It only seemed fitting that since I did not shave while on my Journey of Discovery, that I post the process by which the resulting hair growth was removed. It is hard to believe I could have this much fun shaving.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home at Last

Bend was HOT in fact record heat. The racing was really hard and Connor did well in his last real races as a Jr. I had the chance to ride a bit, one day Winston Hawkins even rode with me. I also had a chance to fish and donate blood at the same time (I forgot mosquito spray). Following the Criterium on Sunday, we got in the View and made our way south through Oregon, Idaho and Utah arriving at about 1:00 AM on Monday morning. It is hard to believe I was gone for almost 4 weeks because as soon as we walked in the house it is almost like I never left. Regardless, I had the time of my life and I can honestly recommend that everyone do a walkabout, sabbatical or whatever you want to call it (in my case, Where in the World it Dave O’Leary). Its good to be home, but I already am thinking about all the other places I have yet to see.

Photo Notes - The day I left and the day I returned. Anytime you can go without shaving for nearly 4 weeks you do so. The earring is a prop and along with the beard will disappear this Saturday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

“Saturday in the Park” (trailer park) – Day 22

Well it’s Saturday August 1st. We are in beautiful Bend, Oregon at the US National Cycling Championships. Getting here was a little bit of a driving marathon. But with the exception of running out of fuel once and a little vehicle trouble out of Fargo, ND we made the journey unscathed, except for a few million bugs who sacrificed their lives top decorate the front of the view with myriad colors of guts. Regarding the running out of fuel, let me say how grateful we are for small miracles. It happened in Oregon, and fortunately we were able to coast into a closed truck weigh station, that took us out of harms way. A few minutes after stopping two women pulled in and were kind enough to take me to and from a gas station about 8 miles away and we were back on the road again in less than an hour.

Bend is a former lumber town, now tourist destination with the beautiful Deschutes River winding through the center of the city. It is HOT, in fact record setting heat. While driving along the Columbia River Gorge to get here it was 89 degrees at midnight, so the Northwest is experiencing a record setting heat wave. We arrived Wednesday morning early and did some housekeeping. Julie brushed up on her Spanish at the laundamat while I had the oil changed and attempted to de-bug the view with very limited success. We then stocked up on groceries as we were soon to have Connor and his friend Winston Hawkins (they drove up from Salt Lake) join our excursion.

After getting settled at our temporary home, the Scandia RV Park the boys and I took a ride to see the road course Connor would race the following day, the U 23 riders were on the course and it was so hot and the race so spread out that the ended the race early with less than a 1/3 of the participants finishing the race. Fortunately Connor started at 8:00 AM, but it was already hot and by the time they finished it was blazing. Connor wound up in 6th place out of 124 riders. Later that day, as everyone slept, I crept off to fish the Tumalo River. It was a beautiful stretch of water and I caught plenty of small fish and gave quite a bit of blood to the resident mosquitoes.

Friday was the Time Trial and it was REALLY HOT. Connor went off at 12:29 and had a respectable result at 29th. We actually believe he was 16th (based on my timing) and the officials messed up his time by a minute as he finished at the same time as another rider. One of his teammates from Canada won the event. We took a drive in the afternoon to Mt. Bachelor that it is really just a ski resort with NO summer activities. Our return trip was through Sunriver where we used to vacation when we lived in Seattle. It brought back a lot of memories to Julie and me of 4 little girls on bikes, trips to the ice cream parlor and just how much time has passed. This was the place Katie learned to ride the little pink bike, where Jennie was pulled around in the Burley Trailer (in fact where we bought it) and where Sarah and Annie found independence going places on their own. It is hard to believe how quickly life is passing, and makes me more appreciative of every minute.

Last night we had dinner with the Huffman’s. We met Lorry Huffman last year in Val d’Or and have kept in touch at other cycling events and through email. Her son Evan raced with Connor last year in Canada and has been racing for the U23 team in Europe this year. We had a very nice time and met her husband Frank, who cooked steak and chicken on the grill.

Today is an off day and we will find something enjoyable to do. I am recovering from whatever Julie had and hope to be healthy in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow is the Criterium and then it is on the road home (temporarily) until the next leg begins.

PHOTO NOTES - New meaning to the term Shoe Tree. Seeing a flag on a barn stirs gratitued for the great land in which we live. Our home at Scandia RV Park.