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.