Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Not sure if everyone knows that my wife and I lead the single's ministry at our church and it's been a growing experience for the both of us.  I personally try to be an open book to these guys, I want them to see my struggles and to know that i'm a sinner.  I want them to know that I fail daily and thats not ok with me, it rips me to pieces.  On the other side of that, I want them to know that I do have victories, I have moments of triumph and I'm joyful when those things do take place.  Three years ago when I accepted Christ my life started over and I have been on this roller coaster since then.  The things that have followed since then can only be gifts from God.  I have the most amazing wife that I don't deserve, and have hurt many times with my sinful choices, and yet she still loves me with all of her heart.  I have a relationship with my family that I never had before.  My parents have always been there for me, and until three years ago I never realized that.  I was so selfish and never noticed the love that they had for me!  I feel like now I have a life worth getting up for, a life that is not about me, but rather a life hopefully for my Savior.  Living a life for Him is by no means "easy street" it's a WAR between spirit and flesh.  When I go through the day I have two choices to make, either it will benefit the kingdom, or it will push people away! I know personally that I push people away from the kingdom, by just being selfish person that this culture wants me to be!  We are to love Christ because he first loved us, for even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for the many!  You and me are the "many"  and if Christ gave His life for me, then I would hope and pray that I can life my life for Him.  I think that is going to look different for everyone, but I hope that you would at least try to benefit the kingdom in your choices and to be a light in this dark and selfish world that we live.  If one man can give His life as a ransom, than I think we should be able to at least step out on a limb and just share that with the people that  we love and with the people that God has put into our lives!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Night rider

This season so far for biking has been an absolute blast.  At the beginning of the season I was able to purchase a sweet road bike which has been great.  My wife and I put on a bike ride to raise funds for a close friend of ours (if you ever get the chance to do that its a blast to see people come together for a purpose).  My brother-in-law and I rode the Annual Mayor's ride in Des Moines it was very cold, but so much fun!  Went to Okoboji and rode in one of bike rides up and my family joined us for that one.
Throughout the season I have ridden with all types of people, all types of weather and different areas, but last night was something I will never forget!

Last night a small group of us rode to the High Trestle Trail Bridge at night! If you have the chance to ride there its a MUST! If you can't ride there you need to walk out there from Madrid.  We started this ride at 7:00 wanting to get to the bridge at dusk to get some pics and to see this "masterpiece".  This bridge lived up to everything that I have heard! It was stunning, I really do hope my pics can give you some idea out how AMAZING this looks! Ridding at night was a total blast and i'm looking forward to doing it again!!

O the good ol fair

Iowa State Fair 2011
The fair was a blast this year!  Got to the fair at 2 and left at 9....Just enough time to have some unhealthy food and do some people watching!  You really do see it all at the fair..... I think the best buy at the fair this year had to be "Bucket of Cookies" for $15.00 I couldn't believe how many cookies they could put into the bucket and the cookies were warm to boot!
We met up with Jake and Paige and had a blast just walking around and trying to guess what person or thing we would see next. Example-will you see a child in a moby wrap, excessively long goatee or a person in a wheel chair, so those are the options then you have to pick the one you think you will see first! Sounds dumb, but it was a ton of fun. Just try to think of how many different things you could do this with at the fair!
The pic i'm attaching along just shows Paige, Jake and I laughing our butts off and having a lot of fun on this roller coaster at the fair...
Well just one more year and we can do it all over again.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Norm

I won't write much. I just wanted to mention something that is on my mind.
It's so great to get to a coffee shop right as they open, when hardly anyone is around.  It's just nice to be able to hear the usually unique music, to be able to read without hearing the banging of the expresso thingy(I HATE THAT THING) there has to be a quieter way, but that can be talked about another day.
It's nuts to see people come in the shop getting their "usual" and without that cup of joe or whatever they get it just won't be a good day.  I hope and pray that people can have a good day maybe even a great day regardless of getting that cup of joe, regardless if the morning commute stinks or whatever else could possibly ruin your first hour of existence into the day. Maybe we should try getting out of the "usual" and just thank God for this day of life that He gave us. Thank God for the job that we get to go to.  Thank God for the car we get to drive rather than walk.  It's so easy to walk in this world and do nothing but complain (believe me i'm great at complaining, ask my wife) but wouldn't it be great to find things to praise, things that make us smile and things that we can be thankful for.  No matter how small these things are it has to be better than always complaining.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Great Saturday

What an awesome Saturday!  This day started with an adventurous ride to the Des Moines farmer's market.  You might be asking your self whats so adventurous about riding to the farmer's market.  Well the trail that we rode was flooded last year and so the city of Des Moines is re-building the bridge which means no paved trail for us (Jake Heisterkamp, Crystal Schulz and Shawn Schulz).  So after passing and disobeying the road closed signs we rode on and sure enough we came to no more paved road. Decision time! do we walk on the dirt road and hope for the best or do we turn around and admit defeat and take the detour!  We chose to walk the dirt road, which was a great choice.  Once we walked for a while we found 6th ave and just rode on that to get to the farmers market.  It was a ton of fun riding on that road through downtown.  Just a few awesome things to let you know about if you go to the market..... If you ride your bike you don't have to park it outside you can take the http://www.dsmbikecollective.org/ free valet instead and not have to worry about your bike being stolen!!!
The other diamond in the rough has to be the cinnamon rolls at Great Harvest Bread Compnay (http://www.greatharvestdesmoines.com/)
They are only $2.00!!! Thats right $2.00 and you won't find a deal like that anywhere else at the farmer's market!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Review of Profile Airstryke Aerobars

Originally submitted at REI

These aerobars have spring-loaded Z brackets on the arm pads, allowing use of the tops of the handlebars.

Awesome Bars
By Grant440 from Ankeny, IA on 8/1/2011
5out of 5
Pros: Versatile, Lightweight, Strong Construction
Best Uses: Road Biking
Describe Yourself: Avid Cyclist
Was this a gift?: No
I ride my bike like crazy and on longer rides I was wanting to have something else other than my drops.... I saw these and for a 119.00 you can't beat them... They were very easy to install and you can adjust them to fit just you so that is nice!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Getaway

This summer has been so busy, yet very fun. Pretty much every weekend we have had stuff going on... Not this weekend though.
For a while Kristin and I have been planning a little weekend getaway to Minneapolis to do some much needed shopping!  This weekend finally came so we were off to Minneapolis and it was great.  Just to see a different city was great for us and the fact that it was just us two was even sweeter. Pulling into the city I got the privilege to see a Ferrari blast by us; what a work of art.  With us being early birds we left our place around 6 in the morning so we were at the Mall of America before it even opened (imagine that). So to kill the time and get us energized we, of course, grabbed some coffee at starbucks. It was the perfect fix for killing some time. Once the mall opened it was nuts to see how many different stores one place could have. Every time you turned left or right it seemed to be a different store.  The nice thing about shopping for clothes up there is you don't have to pay taxes.  After about four hours I was getting bored of the mall, so we headed out to see what else this town had to offer.
It was now time for REI.  Honestly I enjoyed REI on-line more than I did in person.  On-line you have every option that they store has and you don't ever have to deal with other customers.  I did enjoy trying stuff on so now I know what size that I need when I do order on-line.  Once we finished with REI we headed back to our awesome room at Embassy Suites, our room was the bomb!
We (or more so me) had a blast in the pool... I guess because of my AMAZING can openers in the little pool, Kristin was getting dirty looks from everyone else.... On one of my can openers Kristin said that part of the splash hit the ceiling!!!!
On Saturday morning we were again up at the crack of dawn. Our hotel breakfast didn't start til 7:30 so we decided to start off at Caribou with a nice cup of coffe and our morning devotions. Then, after breakfast we were off to hit REI and IKEA!  I will say getting to REI first thing was much better than the day before!  IKEA, I found out was not for me. I think Kristin could have spent all day there!

Once we left Minneapolis it was back home to finish our awesome getaway: we got pedicures.  They felt AWESOME after walking so much.

It was so great to just get away with my wife and just get to enjoy each other without anyone else. I would encourage any couple to do that... Even if its just a cup of coffee somewhere!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was excited for this ride! I had never ridden with more than four people before. I had never paid to bike either. I had never supported anything while biking.
I asked my brother-in-law to join me and he was all for it.  The weather leading up to Saturday pretty much sucked!  Cold, colder and now rainy.  Not at all what I had in mind for a Saturday ride.
Saturday morning finally came, the first thing I did was check out the weather channel.  That was a bad idea, 34 degrees and 17-20mph wind, with winds gusting up to 30mph.  30mph ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  But I signed up, so i'm not backing out.  I was supper pumped to do this bike ride.  Jake called me at around 8:00am an basically said "dude have you been outside? It's freezing out."
Neither of us wanting to back out on each other, we met up at 9:00 loaded up the bikes and headed to city hall.  When we arrived people were everywhere, bikes were everywhere, but the sun was no where to be found!  I really enjoyed all the different bikes and different people, you name it, there was someone to fit that mold.  It was also neat to see all these people who loved biking to be out here in this weather for the ride.
After waiting 20 minutes we were off.  I would estimate around 500 others were pedaling with us.  It was nerve racking starting out in this pack of bikes and people.  After about a block I could finally clip in my pedals.  Then Jake and I were off to the front.
It was so fun riding through the people and a couple of miles in we could see the pace car.  We both knew we wanted to catch that pace car.  We would have caught it except Kristin (my wife) and Hannah (an awesome friend) were at Caribou Coffee, so as we were riding by past, we had to stop in and say Hi.
When we got back to riding we were back in a group of riders. Not for long! Once again Jake and I wanted to catch that pace car. We started hauling the mail, Jake was flat out flying up hills, it was a ton of fun.
Quick Detail- On this ride the Des Moines Police Department had EVERY intersection blocked off, we never had to stop, wait for a light or worry about traffic.  It was AMAZING that they did that for us.  Thank you so much.
This ride took us on trails, city streets you name it we rode on it.  During our ride it was cold and wind about blew us off the path a few times.  People riding next to us were awesome, everyone was up for talking and just wanting to have a good time.  After 20 miles we knew we only had 10 left.  Well those last 10 miles were brutal.  We were all the way south by Easter Lake and had to climb hill after hill after hill.  That was the first time I have ridden up hills like that. (Great practice though)  Once we conquered the hills it was 5 miles riding straight into the north wind, again brutal.  Once we finished it felt great.  To ride that hard for 30 miles in that weather was an awesome accomplishment!
I can't wait to do more rides like this (hopefully the weather will be better).
Oh yeah the mayor actually rode! He has ridden the last 8 years (Good work out of him).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not Up To Par

As you all know, I recently purchased my bike, which is a 2011 Cannondale Synapse. This bike has been awesome except for one thing.  This bike came equipped with all Shimano 105 components which are great; a complete upgrade to what I used to have. Now that all the positive stuff is out of the way, I would like to do some complaining!

This bike also came with Shimano RS10 wheels, which sounds nice, but they are not living up to par.  I have only put 160 miles on these wheels and I already have had to take it in to bike the shop to get the wheels worked on. The reason I have had to take them in is because the spokes are coming loose. Then my wheel is not true and starts to rub on my brakes. The spokes aren't breaking just coming loose. What a joke. Only being at 160 miles, that is not right. I don't want to waste my days taking my bike in every time this happens. I also don't want my bike sitting at a shop where I can't ride it. Lastly, I don't want to waste Barr Bike & Fitness's time either.  

On Saturday when I brought my bike in to get the wheels looked at this is what I was told, (Get this!) "So the wheels that are on your bike have "generally" been a great wheel, but recently with the economy going down hill shimano was not putting as much care into these entry level wheels. The standards have pretty much gone out the window." That is really frustrating for me, this bike wasn't cheap, and to hear that these wheels are junk was not fun to hear. I also don't think Cannondale should even equip a bike with wheels that don't live up to the rest of the bike.

Luckily Barr Bike & Fitness is an awesome bike shop that cares more about their customers than their money. They are taking my crappy wheels back and equipping my bike with a set of Mavic rims which are supposed to be tough as nails. It's so awesome to know that Local Bike Shops really do care about the customers!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today I crossed the 100 mile mark on my new bike. It was a windy ride, but other than that it was perfect out. Not hot enough to make you sweat nor was it cold enough to make it unbearable. You won't find any  complaints from me!

I rode a new trail to me. I ended up riding west on first street until I met up with JayRoss. From there we rode on first street until we ended up on the Neal Smith Trail (which was about 4 miles).  This trail was a blast. There were plenty of turns; some very tight and some you could rip around just hold on! Also, this trail has a variety of hills; some pretty steep and others you could just fly down.

During this 21.66 mile bike ride I learned something: When your riding it really doesn't matter what kind of bike your riding or who your riding with that makes the ride fun. Sometimes just being on the bike is freedom from this world that everyone needs to experience.  A freedom from a society that makes people feel horrible for just being who they are. A freedom from let downs and 'I cant's' to being able to push yourself and accomplish goals that only you can set for yourself.

It may be only two wheels to some, but for others it's an escape to this amazing freedom only you can understand when it's just you, the trail and your bike!

Pearl Izumi Quest Bib Shorts
Also, during the ride I was debuting a new item. Today I was wearing my new Pearl Izumi Quest bib shorts. They were awesome – the padding was outstanding. The fabric breathed so well and the shoulder straps didn't bother me at all. I'm totally sold on bibs! The nice thing about bibs is that with the shoulder straps holding them up the padding is always right where it needs to be. If your looking at bike shorts I would encourage you to check out a pair of bibs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It Takes Two

Today was my day off and didn't get anything accomplished; pretty much a blah day. In the morning I ended up reading at a coffee shop for a couple of hours, then I came home and took a three-hour nap. I know, I know: I'm living the dream. When my wife got home from working a very hard and stressful eight-hour day (totally different than my day) she asked "What should we do tonight? Want to go for a bike ride?" And of course I said "I would love to!"

 My wife and I have never really ridden together so I was pumped! On one hand it was fun to push her and to teach her everything I have learned over this past year (which isn't a ton). On the other hand it was great to share this hobby together.

 We ended up riding 12.86 miles which took us a little over an hour. It was such a great night to be out and just enjoying it with my other half. It brought me a huge smile to look over and see Kristin riding and just having fun. During our ride  Jake, my brother in-law, rode past us on our way out of Ankeny and on the way home 
we ran into him again. It worked out awesome so that he could take a couple pictures of Kristin and I.

 You can really tell its getting nice out because the trails had a ton of people on them, which is always fun.  I'm super pumped for Saturday to ride again with Kristin. We are going to double our milage; should be a lot of fun! I'm really stoked to see Kristin get into biking, I can't think of anything better than both of us riding together!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Beginner with a Commuter's Heart

In the biking world I'm not sure what I would call myself. I don't race, I don't commute to work (yet) and I'm not training for anything. So, what should I call myself?

A few things about why I started biking. I was out of shape and wanted to do something. I started walking, jogging and running. During a conversation with my uncle I was informed that if I kept running by the time I was 40 my knees would be shot. With that being said, I still wanted to do something, so I started biking.

I went to my local bike shop and bought my first bike on a whim. I didn't get the best bike, I simply bought what I needed. To my surprise I fell in love. Last season I rode everywhere. I rode to coffee shops, church and on any trail that I could find. I couldn't believe I was doing something physical and actually liking it.

I was blown away at how many people biked, doesn't matter your age, size or type of bike. If you can pedal you can ride a bike. What's so awesome about biking is that it is so easy to push yourself. On my bike I rode up hills that I thought I could never accomplish, but I pushed myself and when I got to the top it was always an amazing feeling!

Even though I had just gotten into biking, I soon wanted a lighter bike and a lighter me. This winter the wife and I purchased two new bikes and we started Farrells. I've completed 11 weeks so far and have lost over 30 pounds and Kristin just started this week. With that new bike and 30 pounds lighter I feel like I move so much faster in the saddle. Again, my bike is not the best and the clothes I wear are not biking clothes, but they work. I simply want to ride any chance I get and push myself harder and faster than the previous year.

With all that being said I'm not sure what that would be called in the biking world. If I were going to call me something I think I would go with "a beginner with a commuter's heart".

I would encourage anyone reading this that doesn't ride to check out your local bike shop and test ride a bike and see what you think. I bought my first on a whim and have never looked back.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Should Have Checked the Temperature

I started out wanting to ride to Woodward (22 miles away). That sounded nice. I hadn't even gotten out of Ankeny and I realized I wasn't going to ride that far. Why? Because it was FREEZING! Still wanting to get a ride in I decided to at least ride to the Oasis (8.6 miles away). I thought I was prepared for this ride; I had on 2 pairs of socks, 2 shirts, a jacket, under armor pants and wind pants, yet I was still frozen to the bone. By the time I got to the Oasis I couldn't feel my toes and my nose wouldn't stop running. I am very glad I decided to turn around at this point. After I regained feeling in my toes I decided I better get heading home. Luckily, on the way home I had the wind on my back which made it quicker, but it was still cold. Even though this ride was a very cold one it was awesome to soak in what God has created. An owl flew next to me for about two miles and I saw a few hawks and some other critters, but above all I just got to soak in some beautiful scenery.

During this ride I was testing out my new Osprey Manta Hydration Pack this pack worked awesome. With the reservoir  full, which is 100 ounces, it didn't feel heavy on my back at all. The pack had ample space for my tools, gear and food to refuel on.  The pack does a great job spreading the weight and the magnetic sternum mouth piece was fantastic. I would recommend this pack to anyone. Feel free to purchase yourself one at REI for $130. Its worth it!

I learned something on this ride, I either need to stay home when its this cold out or talk my amazing wife into letting me get some warmer clothes!


Debut Ride

I tested out at Farrells today and lost 30 pounds. Crazy! I took my new bike (Cannondale Synapse 105) out for its debut ride at Grays Lake! It performed awesome. We only rode 14.6 miles, but man this bike flat out FLIES! During our ride I yelled out, "Holy Mackrel, the fish is back!" which prompted Ashley Feldman to see what I was talking about, which then caused her to tip over. It was so funny! Also, Kristin and Hannah went out on their debut rides! Kristin did amazing and Hannah hit the bridge and in another incident she hit a bump and fell off her bike.

Quote of the day: "Don't bring a jeep to a road race." -Dave Warrick