Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

I have not been keeping up with current news lately.   Carolynn tells me this morning that we are heading up to Smithville, MO to watch this big event - The 2017  Total Solar Eclipse.  We even have glasses.   Luckily we did not have to drive far because it turned out be a sort of a bust to begin with.

Carolynn tries to see the eclipse as it starts. Lots of clouds in the sky but you can still see it at times.

As the moon started to pass in front of the Sun I actually started to get into it.  At first I was not, but then some breaks in the clouds came and it started to get darker.

Here we are sporting our $2.00 glasses.  Hopefully these things will protect our eyes.   

The views out on the lake during the eclipse were nice.

I am ashamed to admit it but it was actually a very cool experience. I am glad Carolynn made me go.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

That Bike will Kill You Son

It has been awhile since my last post.  I actually thought about not ever posting again but I recently thought that if I wrote about what has happened recently it would make me feel better.  So here we go.

The past few months have been very hard  on me - both physically and mentally.  I would say this period of my life is by far the hardest I have ever had for several reasons which I will go over during the next few weeks.  But first...

Back in April I foolishly decided to participate in an Hare Scrambles race and was involved in an accident out in Big Springs, KS.  I got hit from behind by a 250 lb motorcycle that was racing with me.  It happened so fast.  During the second lap I was moving up from a poor start (motorcycle did not start) and during one high speed section of the course my front end washed out around a corner and I clipped a tree.  This threw me into the trail where I was hit, hit very, very hard.  I actually thought for a few minutes that I was going to die right there in the woods.  Sure I like the woods and riding trails but I sure as hell did not want to die out in them on this day. 

Once I stopped tumbling and crawled off the trail so no one else would hit me I tried to stand.  My body was having nothing to do with that.  Getting the breath knocked out of you is one of the worst feelings   For a couple of minutes I tried to ascertain my injuries and calm myself down.  Tom, the rider who crashed into me, and another rider tried to help me but they could not do much.  I started to panic because I could not breathe, but once we got my helmet off it was a little better.  My back and stomach were killing me and my hand was numb.

After about 5 minutes a trail patrol rider came by.  He did not know how long it would take for the paramedics to get to me.   By this time I could sort of breathe o.k. It was painful and I was making wheezing sound but at least I was breathing and walking.  I asked for help with picking up my bike and getting it started.  My ass was getting the hell out of those woods and off the course.   After some help I got going again.  It was very painful and I had to ride with one hand but I was able to make it out.

I knew I had some broken ribs and some internal injuries.  My hand was numb so I was unsure what damage had been done.  From past experience I knew that if we went to the hospital all that would happen is we would wait for several hours in an emergency room in Topeka only to drive home because they said I need to see a specialist.  Instead I decided to have Carolynn drive me home and go to my doctors in the morning.   Jason and Karry helped us load up.  I think someone else also helped but I was hurting so much I really do not remember.

The evening was very painful.  I  could hardly breathe and I hurt all over.  The night went by very slowly.  Every time I moved  or coughed the pain just shot through my body.  I could not get out of bed to go to the bathroom so Carolynn had to make me a handmade bed pan.  For the next two weeks I used this handy jug when no one was home to help me get out of bed. 

Morning finally came and Carolynn asked how I was doing and if I still wanted to go to the doctors.  I could not say "Yes" fast enough.  Only problem was I could not move.  My back had frozen up. When I tried to move severe pain shot down my spine and into my legs.  Images of my little brother John kept flashing in my mind.  What kind of damage had I done to myself?

We ended up having to get my son Christopher up out of bed.  I had not seen him in several weeks.  Not by choice, well at least not mine.  He has grown to hate me for some reason and has done everything in his power to avoid me.  I will not get into that right now.   Anyway, he grudgingly got up from his drunken stupor (he had just gotten home from parting all night) to help his old dad out.  I wish I had film of Carolynn and him trying to get me up out of bed.  Every time they moved me I would cry out in pain.  After about 10 minutes of trying, Carolynn said she was calling the ambulance.  I laid there for a few more minutes contemplating what to do.  Finally I decided I was going to get up at all cost.  Christopher took my left arm securely in his grip and Carolynn got behind me and and together they yanked me out of bed. Pain shot through my body like I have never felt and Christopher heard his Dad cry for the first time in his life.

"Ten".  That is what I told the nurse at the doctors office my pain level was.  I have been injured dozens of times and never have I responded with that number.  I guess getting hit by a motorcycle at high speed will do that to a persons body.   I ended up having a number of injuries:  fractured ribs and spine,  collapsed lung, damage to several internal organs and a destroyed left hand.

I keep thinking back to when I was 16.   I had just gotten my first real motocross bike - 1983 CR 250R.   After taking my first win at the Homestead Motocross - still the muddiest track I have ever ridden, I decided to head North to race in the Orlando stadium Supercross amateur day.   For the first time ever my dad came to watch me participate in a sport.  He never came to watch me or supported me when I played baseball, never saw me accept my Broward County Little League Player of the Year award.  But he did take a quick break from his Trucking Business (he had a shop in Orlando) to come watch me.  I won my heat race in the 250 B class.  Lined up for the Main event and proceeded to blast off the gate and into the first turn.  My front wheel washed out and about 5 riders ran over me when I hit the ground. After the race all I heard was "That Bike will Kill You Son".  My dad never again watched me race.  I kept racing but looking back I believe that man was right.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 Meltdown Mountain Bike Challenge

The countdown has begun for this years Meltdown.  Only two weeks to go until the big day - June 11, 2017.   Get all the info on

We have custom awards for each class as well as USA Cycling State Championship medals for Kansas licensed riders.
I decided to try something new this year in regards to the Marathon class.  Increasing the distance to 4 hours.  This was done for several reasons but mainly because Steve Tilford encouraged me to increase the distance to make it more challenging and a true marathon. 

T-shirts are ready to be ordered, but I have a tough call to make.  As of this morning we only have 14 athletes registered.  Do I pull the trigger on ordering 100 t-shirts and hope we get a good turnout?   I did have one idea - order the shirts and sell them on race day with all the proceeds going to the trails.  
Flyer below:

Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 God's Country Fat Tire Festival

Join us at the 15th Annual God's Country Fat Tire Festival.  2 days of events at the Lawrence River Trails.

Details: 2017 God's Country Fat Tire Festival


Friday, January 20, 2017

Life Without a Phone

Truth be told, I have never personally owned a phone.  Work has always provided one for me.  Due to this I guess I associate a phone with work.  No work, no phone for me.

It has been 6 weeks since I last had access to a cell phone.  I do have a Google number that I have been using for text and calls.  Works great and it is free.  I also use email more to communicate.  Carolynn was worried what I would do if I had an emergency.  Turns out 99.9% of the communication via a phone is of a non-emergency situation.  Still waiting for the .1% to show its head. If it does I can still make an emergency call from an old phone that I carry to take pictures.

What have I missed?  I do not think much.  Only my wife, mom and about 3 friends ever contacted me via my phone. The rest of the calls were work related.  Society now communicates via FB, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.   Everyone has to be in constant contact.  It seems they can not even go to the bathroom without being on their smartphones.   I decide to be in contact when I want to and I have really been enjoying it.  BTW, I never used my phone while in the restroom.

Now if I can only get my wife and son to put down their phones.   Every time the family is driving or sitting down, their faces are glued to FB or Snapchat.   Personally I now set aside a period of time either daily or weekly to check on social media or say check on stock prices.  I used to be constantly checking the Dow and other stock indexes.  It used to really stress me out when the market was down.  Now I rely on the financial plan that I created for Carolynn and I and  just check the market only once a week if I want to.  If I go back to day trading this might have to change, but for now I am really enjoying not reacting to every event.

How long can I last without a phone?  Who knows, but for now I am living in the moment and enjoying a Cage Free life.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 New Years Day Ride

Carolynn and I headed over to Lawrence for LMBC's annual New Years Day ride.  I believe this is our 17 annual. 
Very good turnout today.  I would say well over 50 riders.  As one would expect, turnout usually depends on conditions. Today we started at 29 degrees with a small amount of cloud cover.  
Trail boss Art King was happy to announce that the River Trails were all rideable until the sun started to come out. 
Gerard making the Mary look good.  I believe this is Gerard's 17th LMBC New Years Day ride also. 
Chuck I do believe you are a little over dressed.  And what is up with the boots and that helmet?  I will send you a new Rudy Project winter helmet to replace that god awful pink unit you have on :-)

Check out the 2017 LMBC New Years Day Ride album for more pictures.