Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fear not dear readers. The Peddler is still here!

Just busy as all gitout! Haven't had much time to post up here. Busy at the shop. Busy riding. Busy with life. Its amazing what warmer weather brings with it in terms of stuff to do. Especially for the person who likes to be outside. Like me.

Anyways, lately, I've hit up Blue Mound State Park for a good ride. And it hit pretty hard. For those who live with in a two hour drive, it is well worth hitting up BM for a lap or two. Lots of rocks. Lots of trees, and lots of wonderous hard single track. It is certainly NOT a place for the faint of heart, or thin on experience.

Then there's the trails at Sidie Hollow near Viroqua. Smooth, sinuous and flowy. Kind of the opposite of BM. And damned if they weren't just as fun. They built a new trail there that climbs from the lower campground up to the top. Generally its hard to call a climb fun. This one is. Its just flat out enjoyable. Challenging, tight, switch-backy and down right pretty. So cool. Got some good stories about yesterdays ride there, but it'll have to wait till later.

Gotta go home now. Pictures later too! Promise!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mornings like this are why I still like riding.

50°, sunny, birds twittering, bunnies froliking, Turkey vultures sunning(really). This mornings ride was as good as it gets. 20 miles knocked out in 1:15, top speed was 65 (hehe), averaged 17. I'm happy to say that I'm feeling good right now, and am probably in the best shape I've been in in years. I love my new job!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Art in the shop!

So those who've been kinda enough to follow along this journey so far know that I also sell art created by local and regional artists. Cool! you say, but where the heck is it? What and who do you carry? I've been remiss in not highlighting the art. And that's changing today.

We'll start with Pottery and Paintings.

Greg Cheesboro is the potter/brew head/bathtub bass[you should see him get down on the one string!]ripper/biker that created the pottery below. Beautiful works!

For paintings, we have two artists. Hilary Berg and Margie Larson. Hilary came recommended to us from a mutual friend. Nate and Katie - or Natie as they're referred to around the house here - and we're really happy to have her beautiful art here in the store. Its really beautiful, organiclly done work. You really do get a 'mood' out of the work. Can you tell I like them?

Also up is work by Margie Larson - who also happen to be my mom. Her work is again very organic in nature, taking both scenic and a botanical feel to them. Great stuff!

Other artists in the shop are Nicole Martin, a local jewler, Anna Rodriguez, a fiber artist and me with photography. I'll feature them/me in another post.

On to riding. Its getting REAL good folks! The weather is about to break and finally. FINALLY turn to spring/summer. The road rides have been popular since I started, with many faces attending. I look forward to seeing who shows up each day. This Saturday is on, 7 am as usual. Probably do something similar to what we've been doing already, though soon I'd like to start expanding the ride length, maybe. We'll see how that goes over.

On Monday, we had 5 show up for the mountain bike ride. We went over to Yellow River for a short spin through the woods.It ended up being a great day. And the best thing about it? I was able to ride with Lisa again for what seemed like the first time in years! That was great. Really was. I'm one of the lucky guys that gets to ride with his wife, and she likes it! So cool. Anyways.

Listening to: Minnesota Public Radio. Only the best! Oh, and drinking a niiiice cuppa from McGregor Coffee Roasters. Local done good!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Saturday Morning = Road ride on!

Yep, the weather is finally breaking. Its beautiful today, I'd play hooky if I could. Larry stopped in and said he had the day off. All with a big smile on his face. You know where he's off to. I wish I was with him! It might be a bit chilly at 7 on Saturday though. Arm warmers and knee warmers to the rescue!

So I found a few nice shots from the opening - but they're not up loaded yet. Soon. Soon.

Road Ride Wednesday was all me. Dale had to work, and no else showed. Ended up being a super nice day. Breezy, but nice.

Steep climb #1. Of course this is steeper than it looks. Near the top of Vineyard Coulee Rd. Nice short burst of 12%.

Moseying along.

The second, steeper, longer climb. Really pretty though, so you kind of forget how painful it is.

Abandoned bridge near the end of the ride. I've always liked this spot, and wanted to stop and take pictures. I'll head back with the good camera to get better shots later.

So on the ride down Limery - which we usually go up - I hit 60. Yep. 60 miles an hour, not 60 kph. I also hit something that knocked my rear wheel all wonky. Great. I hate working on my own bikes....

On to the Camp Ingawanis race over in IA last weekend. Great course. Fun flowy single track for five miles made the race a pleasure to do. Had so much fun riding that I performed pretty well. They had a 35+ Sport Masters class. I figured that since I qualified, I may as well do it! Turns out I did pretty well. Got 2nd in class, and by my count about 10th over all. Feels good to be doing so well at races this year.

Listening to: Hank III; Straight to Hell. REAL country music.

Monday, May 5, 2008

That was awesome!

Just a brief post here before I'm off to cover bases and order parts for the coming week.

I want to thank every that showed up on Friday for the Grand Opening. After it was all done, I think we had around 70 people show up. That was so cool. And there were a few locals that were missing - but had legitimate reasons for not being here. They were here in spirit though!

A few snippets:
My dad running around taking pictures. I haven't had time to look at the ones on my camera yet.
Ryan stopping in and almost immediately putting him to work. Thanks man!
The Decorah hooligans. How cool is it that I have 'competitors' showing up? I mean really, I'm getting awesome support from those guys up there. I love the cycling community in this region.
All the familiar faces stopping in, well wishing, new faces asking great questions. Wow.
Kids freely mainlining the Rootbeer. That was funny.
Music! Will and Steven playing from 7:30 to 9 or so, then Lisa, Jake and Teya joining in after that till almost midnight. Am I going to turn into a music venue too? I'll need more room.

The short of it is this: I had a great time. Lisa had a great time. We hope y'all had a great time. Now we just need to find a reason to do it again!

I promise I'll look at pictures soon, and post the best ones!

In the mug: Ancora Rawanda Ginkongoro