Sunset over Hancock, MI

Walking out of the DT tonight, the sunset was gorgeous. It’s one of the reasons I love living here. It’s a different kind of beauty. I wish I could explain it. I guess you have to be here.


Newman taking a drive in Laurium on a beautiful summer day.


I know I should feel great for simply being able to finish this race, but I’m not. Halfway through I almost quit. I somehow summoned enough courage or insanity to finish and practically limped in. Time was way more than what I thought it would be.

Granted, I got intense cramps in my calves 4 miles into the race. I was probably dehydrated. I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked the night before. I had never ridden the entire course before this. Hell, I had never ridden more than about 11 miles on a mountain bike on singletrack AT ONE TIME BEFORE. And I parked at the finish and rode 3.5 miles to the start, on TOP of the 16 mile route.

Still, I hate it when I suck at something. I guess I just need to ride more and try it again next year.

Eve of the Chain Drive

Chain Drive race is tomorrow morning. I picked up my race packet tonight. A local woman was riding the 32 mile course last week, hit a boulder and cracked some vertebrae. I’m not worried that the course is beyond my technical ability. If anything, I just know I’m not in the shape I wish I was; I am sure 16 miles is going to kick my ass.

I had looked up results from last year’s race for my age category and at one point, figured I could place pretty well. Well, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been on the bike, so I’m going to just try to make it through and have a good time.

Just please don’t let me be the last one finishing.

Out for a walk

A rare luxury for Kramer. He held up great!


Nice shirt

Scott sports his Seafood Fest shirt. The Houghton Rotary Club’s big annual fundraising event is Seafood Fest, part of Bridgefest, held every year in Houghton/Hancock.


For reasons unknown I had it in my head that today’s run had to be 5 miles. I did my 3 miles yesterday, but underestimating the loop, I ended up logging about 4.5, which left me feeling completely drained. How out of shape am I?

Anyway, for that reason I was just dreading getting out and running. I also have to ride my bike down to Hancock to meet Scott, and the route I’m going to take is approx. 20 miles. Another reason I was dreading a longer run.

Then I looked at the schedule and saw that I only have to run three. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to only have to run THREE miles.

Skinny tires

I haven’t ridden a road bike in so long that I had forgotten what it was like to fly.

Today’s ride: about an hour
Distance: 18.35 mi
Avg speed: 16.6 mph
Max speed: 27.1(!) mph

I started out slowly so that I could get the feel for the bike. I also decided to stick to the highway for a simple out and back. Having never gone more than a few blocks on the bike, I was a little paranoid the thing was going to blow both tires, fall apart and leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere. So I stuffed my saddle bag with levers, a spare tube, my bike tool, patches, CO2 inflator, my Treo, my ID, $10, and my windbreaker, even though it was sunny and 60 out.

Did I mention I’m a tad paranoid?

Thankfully, I didn’t use anything in the saddle bag, managed to pull my water bottle out of the cage without crashing the bike, stayed upright despite a crappy crosswind that seemed to follow me wherever I went, and made it back in one piece. Unfortunately, when you ride on US-41, you’re more concerned about not getting run off the road by cars zooming by at 65mph (speed limit is 55), so you’re not taking in too much scenery.

So I have some homework: drive around and figure out which roads are paved that would make good road ride routes. There won’t be a shortage; there are so many awesome places to ride up here. I just found out today that the highway was not one of them.


We were watching the news after a riveting episode of The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman. I walked into the kitchen to get something to drink and heard Scott yell out, “Leg burn!”

Immediately, I thought of Peter, aka Leg Burn. Of course, he will never be Peter again. Only Leg Burn.