2009 Campton Cross – St. Charles

I know, I know.  I’m late.  I’m sorry.  Really, I am.  I know, you don’t want to hear my excuses, but I promise you that I’ve got lots of them.  Anyways.  Here you go.




My head, and heart, haven’t really been into cross season this year.  I’ve never been very good at cross (let’s face it, I do NO training), but I’ve always enjoyed the races and racing gave me an excuse/ the motivation to get on my bike and get a little exercise outdoors as the weather started turning cold and dark.  This year, though, the weather has turned not only cold and dark, but also quite rainy.  I have a hard enough time getting out of bed when the weather turns gray and gloomy, but I absolutely do not ride in the rain.  No way, no how.  So, that’s really limited my exercise this year.  I know, I’ve heard it all before, but really, I just lose all energy and motivation when the clouds roll in and the rain begins.

Today, however, the fun returned!  A teammate received a Gumby costume in the mail and dared anyone on his team to race in it at Campton Park.  I was the first to respond that I’d do it (I have no idea what I was thinking at the time), but I don’t think anyone actually expected me to do it.  When Eric brought out the costume, I was happy to put it on and “tailor” it to make it possible to ride in it (with the help of Roman’s pocket knife and Lou’s duct tape!).  I was the hit of the race today!  Every time I turned a corner, I could hear spectators yelling for GUMBY!  Even as the younger juniors passed me, they would call out “passing, Gumby!” or “hey, nice costume!”

No, I wasn’t really “racing”, but I did finish the race with the Gumby head in place.  Sure, I finished DFL, but I felt like I’d won first place!  I slapped a ton of high fives and took as many hands up as I could (the hand-eye coordination was a bit difficult with a mask over my face).  In all, I took: a piece of cake, a candy bar, a dollar bill, and I could have taken a muffin, but I knew that wasn’t a good idea after eating the cake.

Maybe I should race as Gumby every week?

Making progress on the house?

When we bought our house, we knew we wanted to do some work on the upstairs.  We even brought a contractor through on one of our walk throughs once we had the place under contract!  Once we moved in, though, it seemed like everything started conspiring against us and planning for the upstairs came to a screeching halt.

Instead, we turned out attention to the kitchen because our refrigerator was drying.  Unfortunately, the idiot who installed the kitchen had notched the granite so that it surrounded the fridge, thus making it impossible to get the fridge out without first removing a cabinet (or lifting the counter-top).  It took us a couple of weeks, but we managed to get that taken care of.

Then, the first floor toilet got clogged.  The plumber came out to fix, and we thought we were in the clear.  We should have known better…  The toilet clogged again a few days later, and this time it started backing up into the tub.  Oops!  The plumber came out again and took a look around, and quickly discovered that the piping for the bathroom was done wrong.  So, the next project is to redo the piping in the bathroom, which also involves tearing up the bathroom floor.  Good thing I didn’t really like this bathroom!  On top of that, the tub is cracked, so that needs to be replaced.  OK, let’s gut the bathroom and start over.

Now, back to the upstairs.  We own a 1926 Chicago Bungalow.  The attic space has been completed, and the former owners used part of it as a bedroom, and the other part is a “rec room”.  We decided that’s a huge waste of space, so we’re going to turn the upstairs into a master suite.  We met with a friend who’s also an architect, and he drew a couple of sketches for us.  But, he doesn’t have the time to work with us, and isn’t yet licensed in the city.  Thankfully, he recommended a former colleague who left the firm and started his own architecture company.  When we met with the new guy, John, we liked his ideas, and he seemed like a really nice guy (he had also clearly done his homework because he was thoroughly prepared!).

I’m hoping that we can keep this forward progress moving and get started on the bathroom and the upstairs project soon.  Let’s be real, I’m getting tired of going to the basement to use the bathroom.

2009 OktoberCross – Carpentersville

Main Street Bikes created a kick ass course that was interesting enough to keep my attention!  Normally, I kind of space out while riding.  To quote Mel, “I’m just doin’ my ride.”

Leading into the race yesterday, I was immensely scared of the “pump” section.  I knew it would be a spot for great pictures, but I had no idea that so many people would crash or nearly crash there.  When I saw one rider face plant on the pump section, landing on his cheek, that’s when my anxiety level increased.  The first two times that I went through that section, I took a big breath at the top of the hill and then just went for it.  By the last two times through,  I was actually enjoying that section the most and had fun going through there!

Photos are posted on picasa. I had trouble uploading them to dotphoto (kept getting stupid error messages), so I finally gave up and put them on picasa instead.  Enjoy!

2009 Dekalb Cross

Photos are posted.  It’s homecoming week at school, so I don’t have time for much of anything this week.  But, hopefully I’ll find time to post a few pictures on my sorely neglected blog later this week.

2009 Jackson Park Cross – Photos

I won’t be taking as many pictures during cross season, but I will still try to catch pics of Pony Shop riders.  I’ve posted the pictures that I took at Jackson Park, but keep in mind that I only caught the first race, and maybe one lap of the second race.

2009 Glencoe Grand Prix

My photos from the Glencoe Grand Prix are now posted here.  I’m donating the proceeds from sales of Glencoe Grand Prix picture to the Glencoe Educational Foundation.   And remember be on the look out for information regarding the book featuring the Glencoe Summer Fest (and the Grand Prix), which will hopefully be on sale at a computer near you very soon.