Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pain in the Knee

This year is really flying by. I can not believe that Christopher is already out of school for the year. Last day of school was Friday and I was happy to get the word that we passed the 7th grade. This is the time of year that I wish I would have become a school teacher like my neighbor Joe. I can still remember the summers I had as a kid. Fun times for sure. Christopher begins his summer vacation down in Florida. He gets to spend a fun filled week visiting my parents and sister Jackie. Hopefully the weather will be o.k. and he can hit the beach a few times.

As for Carolynn and I we have been putting is some serious saddle time on the old Duet. We only have 3 more weeks of training to get ready for the Ride the Rockies. Hopefully my knee will hold out. Lately I've had some serious issues with my knees. Most of my pain is in my left knee. I do not know what is causing the problem other than over use. My normal therapies are not working so I have broken down and decided to see a orthopedic specialist.

I have decided to sit out this weekends triathlons. I need to rest the old body and hope things get better before we head out to Colorado. Speaking of triathlons, it is a good thing I decided not to go to the Boat House Triathlon - swimming in poop does not sound good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It has Been Awhile

The Wednesday night MTB Rides (aka the Northland Humper) up at Smithville are going strong. Carolynn, Christopher and I ventured up for a couple hours of riding. The trails were in great shape except for Cow Poop Creek. Ride starts at the Smoke N Davey Trailhead at 1800 if you are interested in some good riding.

Christopher finally agreed to go riding with us. It has been about a year since he threw a leg over his Anthem. I was a little concerned about his fitness and ability to keep up with Carolynn. She has been doing a lot of riding including several 3+ hour rides. Plus some of the trails have gotten a lot more technical due to some erosion and you know how it can be the first time out on a ride. Did he even remember how to clip in/out of his Eggbeaters?

Time to hit the trail. I decided to take Lakeside Speedway first. Carolynn hates this section because it is rocky and technical, but this used to be Christopher's favorite part so I opted for it. As I followed my son on my Mary I thought back to all the riding we had done together over the years. I must say, it felt really good to be riding with him again.

I must have been day dreaming or something because when I looked up to check on Christopher and he was long gone. I could see something up the trail, but it was just a blur. What I wouldn't pay for a set of 13 year old lungs and legs.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Steve Larson R.I.P.

I just heard the news about one of my idols. Steve Larson died of an apparent heart attack today during a running workout. What a total shock.

Steve could do it all and that is why I admired him so much. Not many can say they competed in World Championships for road, mountain bike, xterra, track and cyclocross. He could run with the best of them in short events and also long distance events like Ironman. He also had his own businesses including a cycling shop and real estate. All this plus a great family man with 5 children.

Here is the story from VeloNews.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

4 Sale - Fuji Cross Frameset

I have a new 2008 Fuji Cross Pro frameset 4 sale. It has never been built and is just waiting for someone to build her up. I would, but I need a 56/57 cm frame. I am asking $450.00 for the frame, carbon fork, headset and seat binder clamp/bolt. Trades will be considered. If you are interested, email me at chrisdlocke at

Some spec's:

Size: 54 cm (55 effective top tube)
Frame material: A 6 Butted Tubing SL 6066 Aluminum. Double water bottle mounts.
Fork: Fuju Bonded Carbon Fork w/Aluminum steerer (uncut)
Headset: Integrated FSA headset
Brakes: Disc or Canti
More specs on Fuji's Bikes - Cross Pro

Hurry only 4 months until cross season..

Friday, May 15, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Final Day

This morning I kind of missed my old truck. Did not feel like going to work, let alone ride a bicycle in. I stopped thinking about it long enough to lather up a good amount of Butt'r (yes it might seem like I use a lot, but I don't want to get MonkeyButt . If I did I would have to use Anti Monkey Butt. ) on my bibs pad, fill two bottles (one Accelerade, one water), said "good bye" to the wifey, connected my light, double checked the old rig and headed out the door. After about 10 minutes I was better, but riding more like a zombie than anything else. No big chain ring for me the morning. I coasted down every hill and spun everywhere else.

I got a little dose of rain this morning. Not much, but it appeared it rained really hard last night. A lot of the roads coming in were wet and some had large sections of standing water. Good thing we missed the heavy stuff.

Yesterday I stopped at the Briarcliff Farmers market on the way home. If you live up in the Northland (and why wouldn't you?) check it out. It is open every Thursday 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I wanted one of those tamales in the worst way, but decided they would most likely not stay down with the remaining hills I had.

Speaking of hills, I cut through Water Works Park on the way to Riverside. Very safe route that cuts out Hwy 9 and it's high speed traffic. It is a safe route, but be prepared for some climbing if you do take that route and the roads around Briarcliff. Especially that climb off 283....

One more ride home and this years challenge is over. I was planning on taking the weekend off, but Carolynn said we need to put in two long rides to make up for the two weeks that she took off. I am thinking that maybe next time she should not go on vacation during a critical training period :-)

Things are looking kind of dangerous for the ride home. Already getting that "I don't want you to ride home in a tornado" call from my better half. But honey, it is the commuter challenge and you have to ride..... I somehow don't have much sense when it comes to things like this. Once down in Florida I went for a nice ride before a hurricane was supposed to hit Naples. The storm was heading East from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale. I figured by the time it got to Parkland that the winds would be 50 mph tops. Well, I was wrong. The only good part was the awesome tail wind heading home. The rain and debris kind of hurt some. Maybe that is what damaged my head?

I made it home. The commute home this afternoon was very challenging. Carolynn called it "very stupid", but I call it challenging :-)

Things were going well until it started to hail and lightning just as I was flying down Hospital Hill over by Crown Center. I usually start working my way over to Cliff Drive at this point, but I could hear Carolynn in my head, so I decided to stop for cover. I went over to the Acme bike shop and stayed there for about 20 minutes until I just could not take it anymore. If you are ever by their shop, stop in and check it out. They have some very unique bikes.

I headed North into the rain. I thought the lightning was over with, but as I was passing the Sprint Center it started up again. I decided to take my chances and continue to ride. I figured that the odds of me getting hit was so remote and there was no way it could happen to me. My numbers never come up for the lottery, so why would they come up now. I proceeded to the Heart of America bridge across the river. At times I could not see as the driving rain and some hail hit my eyes. I left my sunglasses at work because I figured it would be too dark to use them. I just kept focusing on the road beneath my rig and watched for the cars with my peripheral vision. The traffic in NKC was going slow due to some very wet roads and some flooding. I took a route that worked by Macken Park. That was a mistake. 32nd Avenue was flooded and the police/fire trucks had Cherry Street closed. I had to turn around and find an open road back to 9 Hwy. I decided to jump on 9 because the traffic was only going 10 mph due to flooding by the 169 overpass. Unlike the cars that had to worry about getting stuck in high water, I was able to ride through it all. At times my bottom bracket and cranks were completely submerged in the water. I guess it is time to rebuild that thing now. Luckily my BB is an old Dura-Ace model that I can rebuild (if I remember how :-))

Once I got to Riverside it was smooth sailing. Sections of Gateway Avenue were flooded and had a thin layer of mud on the road. This was very slick, but I had my cross bike with some Ritchey tires on. I did slid a few times, but I kept pedaling through it. By the time I got home all the mud was all washed off my Colnago. I was surprised to find the Line Creek (which runs behind my house) was just about to crest its banks. I can not believe how high it was. My normal route home was totally flooded.

Like I said, it was an interesting and challenging ride home. I guess I am very fortunate that I made it home safe and sound.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 6

The wind gods must have been listening to me yesterday because they gave me a nice North wind this morning. What a great morning to ride. Cool breeze, a tail wind (if you were heading South) and smooth roads (due to the fact that I now know where every pothole is on my route to work).

I choose to ride my trusty old DEAN Castanza today. I bought her back when I was working as bike sales representative in Florida. The representative price was only $450.00 for ti frame and Kestral carbon fork. I didn't know much about DEAN back then, but decided that I should ride the product that I was trying to sell. I won my first criterium on her way back in 1996. I have gone through about 10 bikes since I got her, including Time, LeMonds, Looks and other custom ti models, but nothing rides like she does. I even named my son after her (Christopher Dean Locke). I still can not believe Carolynn let me do that.

The last three days I used my Colnago cross bike. Those 700 x 35's knobby cross tires are taking their toll on my legs. What a difference a good set of wheels with 700 x 23's make. My baby was so smooth this morning that I had to stop and take a picture of her while going through Riverside.

I was way ahead of schedule this morning so I stopped by the "art district" in down town KC. I envy artists and their ability to create images like these. I wish I could draw a simple stick figure....

What is for lunch today? Grill day! Again, all this riding has caused me to think about eating all the time. Check out the below burgers that we have available to at the Cafe'. Now that is a veggie burger. I had the old fashion hamburger with mushrooms, cheese, onions, lettuce and tomatoes. While I was eating this afternoon, I realized that Carolynn fixed burgers last night also. Which was better you ask? Carolynn wins hands down - I think it is her special sauce.....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 5

Another morning of fighting those S/SW winds. It is always nice to start your day with a pleasant ride into work, but those head winds usually take all the fun out of it. Today was no exception.

First stop this morning was the Wheel Cyclery for their Coffee Break Stop that they were sponsoring for Bike Week. I am usually well on my to work at this time of morning, but I wanted to stop by and support some of the functions that Eric Rogers and the Car Free Challenge crew put together. I was hoping that Heather would be in extra early, but Starbucks did not open until 0600. I was able to hang out for a few minutes and picked up some goodies including some vanilla and chocolate Petite French Cakes. With main ingredients like sugar, butter and milk cream I decided I would wait until my arrival at work to enjoy them.

By the time I got back on the road, I was about 30 minutes behind schedule. I tried my darnedest to make up the time with the mostly downhill run before the the climb up to Cliff Drive. The below view of the city gave me some motivation, but the winds were not helping my cause (nor was stopping to take a picture :-). Soon I was getting "will you be there today" emails from my director at work and Carolynn was calling to check up on me. Ended up bringing back 15 minutes of that time, but still arrived late. Damn those morning winds....

I have food on the mind today. Here at The Stowers Institute we have a nice cafe'. I missed the breakfast special due to being late so I wound up eating some oatmeal and one of those french cakes. What should I have for lunch? Grilled Vegetable Napoleon, Taco Salad, Baked Lasagna, Chicken, Roasted Vegetable pizza or breaded Cod??? The Chicken with some chunky potato soup sounds like a plan. I need to load up for the ride home....

Just heard about a fellow cyclist/commuter who was hit by a careless driver in Iowa. Kim West has the update on Leesa Shoemaker.

Time to take a nap. I ate way too much lunch. Very sleepy now.....

How did everyone fair on their commute home? Did you get wet? Did you make it home safely? I sure hope everyone got home o.k. My work schedule allows me to leave by 1600, so I missed most of the rain. The little I did get actually felt good. Was it warm/humid today or was it just me? By the time I got done with my 24 mile commute home I was soaked with sweat. It's been a long time since I felt humidity. Looks like Summer is just around the corner.

Only two more days left in this years challenge. I am getting in a good groove and hopefully will be back to commuting 3 to 4 time each week. The first part of this year I have been enjoying XM radio while driving to work instead of commuting. You get in a habit of doing something and it is hard to change. I am glad that I signed up for this years challenge again. I am well on my way to developing my commuting habit again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 4

Damn those South winds. Nothing like fighting winds first thing in the a.m. This morning commute was hard going, but at least the legs felt better than yesterday. Maybe it was the Breakfast Cookie that Carolynn bought for me. I downed it while I was taking out the garbage and recycling this morning. My little morning chores caused me to fall behind my schedule and I ended up not leaving my house until 0530. What a difference 30 minutes can make in the amount of traffic. With being behind in time, I had to use HOA (which could have a protected bicycle facility by 2012?). This sucked big time, especially crossing the bridge around 0615. At least they changed the grates a couple of years ago and you can now ride over them and stay close to the retaining wall. I can remember with the old grates your tires would fall right through them and you had to ride out in the lane to go around them. Or try to bunny hop them if you had the speed. Morning commute was only 19 miles. My normal route that I take on safe roads is 25 to 29 miles (depending on the lights I hit and traffic flow) and uses the Choutea bridge to cross the Missouri river. A longer route, but much safer. The added 35 to 45 minutes is worth it to me. I thinking I need to get me one of those Fibre Flares to make myself more visible.

Just as I was leaving work to head home it started to rain. Funny thing, my legs felt great on the ride home. For some reason I always feel great riding/racing in the rain. Must be all those times I rode in the rain down in Florida. The rain always brings back some good memories for me.

I did a little testing today and ate the same snack prior to today's ride that I ate yesterday (when I felt like crap). Fig newtons, 2 FSR cubes and a cup of hot tea. Today I felt fine with no problems. I kind of thought something was all jacked up with my sugar level, but now I am unsure.

Some pictures from the ride home. Always nice to hit the gravel via the levee system along the might MO.

Don't forge tomorrow The Wheel Cyclery and Starbucks are serving up some goodies. There will be coffee, as well as, pastries. We will also hand out stickers that allow participants to go to Starbucks up until 10p on Wed. and receive a FREE ICE TEA. The Wheel is one block North of Vivion and Antioch - located directly across from the Metro park-and-ride lot that is next to Walgreens.

Monday, May 11, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 3

The normal work week as arrived. That means a lot more traffic and I need to leave around 0500 to make it to work in time. The morning commute is mostly fine because at that time of the morning not many drivers are up. Heck, everyone I know at work is still sound asleep. Things start getting kind of busy right before 0600, but nothing compared to the commute home.

Last night our cat Betsy started crying again in the middle of the night. We adopted her about two years ago. She is a little weird and has some major issues such as she hides under the bed all day long until either Carolynn or I get home. She also has this weird sock fetish (BTW, do not goggle "sock fetish" at work) where she gets my socks out of the drawer in my office and take each pair and makes a trial to the our bed room in the house. Betsy was very busy last night and I awoke to all my socks being strewed down the hallway. I guess she wanted to tell me about it last night and each time I did not acknowledge her she went and got another sock.

Have you ever noticed that it actually cost more when you commute to work than when you drive? I guess this would depend on your commute distance, but with a 25 to 30 mile commute one way you burn a lot of calories each day. I estimated today I ate about $7.00 of extra food because of the nearly 2 hour ride in. If I would have just driven it would have only cost me about $3.50 in gas. Go figure....

Rough ride home tonight. I don't know if it was something I ate or "just one of those days". The weather was great, my route via Cliff Drive was very nice and pleasant, but I just had no legs today. I kept wanting to check my rear brake to see if it was rubbing or something. Every hill was laborious. I stopped by The Wheel Cyclery to get a new chain so I could finish the commuter rig build. I did a quick bike check while I was stopped. Even checked the seat height because I it felt like I was squatting. Everything checked out. It was just me. I think all the riding and house work is catching up with me. Or maybe I am just getting old and need more recovery between rides.

The ride for the day

A short cut through part of Gladstone. Can anyone guess where?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 2

After a late night last night (watching the neighbors kids until past midnight), I was glad I did not have to get up at 0500. my lower back recovered some and an easy yoga session and ice helped a lot.

Things got going strong again with house work after breakfast. All the work cleaning the kitchen last night was for nothing as we had to rip out all the cabinet in the laundry room and move the washer/dryer so we Robbie could paint. We kept the kids busy with painting the storage shed.

We really need to take a trip up to the pet store and get a mouse for Christopher's snake Mike. While I was cleaning the cat box, I notice Mike roaming around his cage which is sure sign he is hungry. Christopher was not up for a ride up to the pet store in the early a.m., so I went ahead and headed to work to do some PM work on the phone equipment. Sunday is the slowest traffic day phone call wise and is the best time to get some required work done.

The ride in was nice. A little cloudy, but no rain. I took a more direct route to work because the vehicular traffic was again low. I usually avoid the Heart of America bridge, especially going south bound. No troubles today. It is always strange to be riding through downtown with no traffice or people around. The rain stayed way for the ride in and I was happy to get there dry because I had under dressed and did not want to be riding cold and wet. The return trip was a different story. Things started off o.k. as I worked my way past the art museum, but as I started to cross the old Might MO the chance of getting a little wet greatly increased. By the time I started to climb my way up from 210, it started to rain. I mistakenly took the the chance and left my rain jacket at work in case I needed it later in the week. This same rain jacket has some reflective matterial on it and make me feel safer. It has been awhile since I rode in traffic while it was raining. I aways feel like I am invisiable sometimes when it is raining and would have enjoyed having it on for the extra visibility. I was happy to make it home without incedent.

When I did get home, I was greeted with a crying kid that would not talk to me. I think Christopher got overworked or he was upset that his mother did not call from Florida on Mother's Day. Maybe it is was a combination of both. Either way it's going to be a long night. I have to leave early tomorrow to get to work by 0700. Christopher is going to have the responsibility to get ready himself. I sure hope he does not miss the bus. It would suck having to ride home to take him to school.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009 - Day 1

I am not ready at all for this years Car-Free Challenge. It starts on a day with a lot of memories and feelings going through my head. My commuter rig is still not finished. There are tons of work to do around the house, painting is still not finished, the event promotion duties never seem to end and I will be a one man show at work next week. But life and the challenge goes on....

The City of Independence has been waiting for my final event proposal for several weeks, so I headed over to scout out Santa Fe Trails park and a new course this morning. There is no easy way to get over to Independence from my Northland location via bicycle. At least I don't know of any. The good thing was the roads were mostly empty because it was Saturday morning. It was a nice morning to ride. After checking out the park and working on the course (like I said the promoter duties never end..) I headed back home to fix breakfast for Christopher and start to work.

Several projects have been going on at the Locke house the past month. Everything from painting the inside to sealing the driveway. Today I needed to finish my driveway project. A trip to Lowe's was up next. I felt o.k. after this mornings ride and figured a little 9 mile trip to the store would be a piece of cake. Well, I forgot how hard it was to climb pulling 40+ pounds of weight. The downhills were fun. Those Dura-Ace brakes sure do work well.

Robbie and Christopher helped finish the sod project which required raising the level of the ground/grass so the water will drain away from the driveway instead of under it :-). After we got that done it was time to work on the backyard and get ready for Christopher's little bonfire party that he decided that he was going to invite all the neighborhood kids to. Before I knew it, I was baby sitting 5 kids, cleaning the house, moving furniture, removing painter tape (that had dried on because it was left on way to long), moping the floor, polishing the cabinets, etc. At the end of the night I was so tired about fell asleep brushing my teeth. To top it all off I still did not get my bike built up. This is going to be one long week..

Today is your Birthday!

Happy Birthday John Jay Locke!
You share your birthday with some famous folk including Billy Joel, Candice Bergen and Mike Wallace
You would have been 39 years old today, but you were taken away from us far to soon. I hope you are at piece. Love Chris.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lab Rats Needed.

My old teammate Shad Schreiner needs some test subjects (a.k.a. Lab Rats) for an upcoming Power and Output study that he and Willie Yuen are holding. So if you want to look like Dave and suffer in the name of science, give them a holler.

Here is more info: Power and Output Study

I await the results as I would like to know what position does offer the best power output. I am working on my TT bike today to get it ready for this years triathlons and some select TT's. My current position on the bike does not seem to be working for me. Much work is needed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

KC Bike Week 2009

This year has really been flying by. I can not believe it is already May and Bike Week 2009 is around the corner. This years KC Bike Week is from May 9 to May 15. Have you registered yet? If not visit and get signed up.

Last years results. All commuters

1 Chris Locke, Cow Town Cycling Team, 331.00 miles

2 Tom Awe, The Wheel Cyclery Team, 306.51 miles

3 Steve Cosentino, DST ChainGang, 258.20 miles

4 Ray Craighead, RSG Rollers, 256.15 miles

5 Jeffrey Haug, Cow Town Cycling Team, 249.50 miles

I am still working building up my commuter bike for the challenge. As I mentioned above, time has really flown by this year. Guess I better get going as things get going on Saturday. I might just ride my single speed cross bike. Over 300 miles in one week on a single speed does sound exciting :-)

Need a team? Feel free to join Cow Town Cycling Team. Let’s see if we can bring down the monster Garmin….

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009 Fort Leavenworth Triathlon Race Report

Here is on reason I like triathlons - Nothing keeps boy from finishing triathlon

The annual CGSC MWR Fort Leavenworth Triathlon usually kicks off my triathlon season. After 3 off-road duathlons and a couple long distance off-road mountain bike races, I felt a little out of place on the road bike. None the less, as you can see by the picture that Roger took I was happy that I can now focus on some upcoming events and not worry about promoting or large projects at work. Time to enjoy the the warmer weather, hit some races and put in some solid training on the tandem with Carolynn. Only 6 more weeks until the Ride the Rockies....

Goals were kind of low for this first tri of the season. Just put in a solid effort and see what work has to be done over the coming months for some bigger races in July and August. I am usually happy with finishing in the top 10 percent overall and maybe sneak in a podium spot if the legs feel good.

Swim was only 200 yards and is completed by swimming all the lanes in the Harney's Gym pool serpentine style. Swimmer go off every 10 seconds. This process kind of takes awhile especially with nearly 200 racers. I put down 3 minutes for my estimated swim time which seated me in the 35th start time. New this year was chip timing. Because of this your time started once you crossed the timing mat before you got in the water. To my surprise, everyone was diving into the water to start the race. Just like a swimming meet. Well, I have never dove into the water to start a swim. As the racers before me dove to start their race I did not know if I should attempt this or not. The last thing I wanted was for my goggles to fall off or for me to do some belly flop into the water. Needless to say, I was the first person to jump into the water feet first. At least I had my goggles on. Swim went well and I caught two people ahead of me and based on the splits had the 5th fastest swim split (out of 31) in my age division. I was happy with that.

Next up the bike. Course was different from past years and was just shy of 12 miles I believe. Mr. Harrsion warned me earlier in the week that the new course was on very rough roads and even suggested I use a cross bike. Well, I opted for my trusty DEAN road bike over my Colnago cross bike or Javelin triathlon bike. In the end I think this cost me a lot of time. The rough sections were very short and I really could have used some TT bars and a more arrow position. Still I put in a solid effort and caught about 2 dozen riders while out on the bike. I was also happy with the way I climbed. Currently I am about 14 lbs over my race weight so when I did most of my passing on the climbs I was kind of shocked. On the flats and rolling terrain I really didn't make up that much time. I descended well but not like I usually do. After the bike I was setting in 2nd in my age-group and top 5 overall . I performed a rather quick transition and set off on the 5K run in hopes of keeping myself on the podium.

Running has always been my week point in triathlon. I can remember back in Florida putting in bike splits that were the same has some professionals. Nothing like being in the top 5 out of 750 triathletes only to be passed by 100 of them on the run :-). But I digress, back to Leavenworth. I have put in some runs this winter/spring, but not the quality that I had planned. The first mile went well and I actually caught someone. Lost some focus and leg turnover on the 2nd mile and got caught by some guys including Bike Shacks Jeremy Covey who always seems to catch me on the. The last mile I just focused on trying to pick up my leg turnover and not over striding. My 22 min run slit cost me. Basically I am running 1 minute per mile slower than the top guys. I need to get down to the low 6 minute pace somehow. Maybe running more than once every 10 days will do it. Ya think?

End result was 10th overall and 4th in the Male 40 - 44 age group. Finish time was 1:04. I plan to really focus on running and losing some weight this summer. I have the power on the bike. My swim is solid and my transition are usually good. That damn run just kills me. Look for me at the local track this summer. I will be putting in some quality intervals to improve that run.

Thanks for the pictures Roger and Ben.