Thursday, November 29, 2007

A new roof over our heads

No, we're not moving, just replacing the shingles.

Out house is almost 11 years old, and the roof was looking pretty bad. I figured I was going to have to bite the bullet, and shell out the $15,000 to replace it. In comes mother nature, and American Family Insurance to save us. We noticed many of our neighbors getting new roofs, and found out all of them had hail damage from this past August's storms. We called our agent, he sent out an adjuster, and sure enough, we've got hail damage. Hot diggity dog!

We found out it would be covered by insurance while I was down at Jingle Cross. I called a couple contractors this past Monday. One of them came out that day, gave us a reasonable estimate, and started work on Tuesday morning. Even better, the snow that was supposed to fall Tuesday night, never materialized.

During the tear off process, the contractor noticed the previous roofer never put any ice & water barrier on the edges of the roof. Code states you need to cover the edges of the roof, to a foot past the overhang. Thankfully there was no damage, but I'm pretty pissed the original roofer didn't follow code.

We are switching from the older style 3-tab shingles to the newer style dimensional shingles (see the difference below). Hopefully this roof will last longer than 10 years.

Traditional 3-tab Shingles

Dimensional Shingles

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2007 Cyclocross Season Wrap-up; Jimmer 65, Jordan 59

WI State CX Championships are this weekend, and Nationals are in a couple weeks, but Jingle Cross was our last racing for 2007.

Jordan did 16 cross races this season, winning 10. Highlights included winning the MN State Juniors Under 15 Championship, and MCF Juniors Under 15 Cyclocross Rider of the Year. Combined with the 43 races from this summer, that makes a total of 59 races in 2007. Quite a feat for a 12 year old. Next year, we plan to add Junior Road and Cyclocross Nationals to our list.

I did 13 cross races this season. Combined with the 52 races from this summer, that makes a total of 65 races in 2007. That's 20 more than any previous year.

Thanks for all the great times we had with everyone in 2007. We look forward to 2008.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jingle Cross Rock 2 Recap

It was the tale of 4th place today for the locals:

Bjorn Selander - 4th Elite Men
Linda Sone - 4th Elite Women
Jordan Cullen - 4th Juniors

Jordan had by far his best race of the season. He caught and passed the entire beginner Women's field (who start 30 secs ahead of the juniors) in the first couple laps, which was dominated by locals, including the winner, Kris Brazil. He also caught and passed a majority of the beginner men, who started ahead of the women.

But the most impressive thing about his performance is how he finished related to 16 year old Kaitlin Antonneau, a junior girl from Racine, WI (see photo above with the 2 of them clearing the barriers together). Katlin won the 2005 juniors girls 13-14 Cyclocross National Championship and Road Race National Championship. Jordan and Kaitlin battled tooth and nail on Saturday, with Jordan finishing just seconds ahead of her. On Sunday, Jordan simply rode away from her, and just kept on going. I was surprised how well he rode at Jingle Cross given he was home sick on Monday and Tuesday last week. Way to finished the season on a high note Jordo!

A huge congrats to Dan Casper on his big win in the Masters 35+, with Dewey finishing second. I had a less spectacular day than Saturday, and finished 18th.

Linda Sone had a bad start, and got tangled up in some caution tape at the top of the run-up, which left her chasing from the back of the field. Somehow, she battled her way back up to a group of 3 racing for 4th, and beat them all. Way to go Linda!

In the Elite Men, it was Todd Wells dominating the field again. It was amazing to watch him bunny hop the logs at the base of the run-up and ride it all the way up (see the 2 videos below). The video does not do the steepness of the climb justice. It is absolutely amazing what he did today. He rode it every time. Tristan Shouten, and a couple others were able to ride it a few times also, but not every time like Wells. The crowd on top of the run-up was much more rowdy than Saturday. A total party on Mount Krumpet.

Todd Wells Rides the run-up (shot from the bottom)

Todd Wells rides the run-up (shot from the top)

A 4 tier pyramid, cheering Adam Bergman onto a solid 6th place finish.

Marko Lalonde grabs the @ss prime from Hollywood.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Jingle Cross Rock 1

Jordan finished 4th in the juniors, just missing the podium (results photo below). Both of us were very happy with his performance, and are really looking forward to tomorrow.

I finished 12th out of 26 in the Masters 35+, with Dewey and Casper taking 1st and 2nd. Mike Phillips finished in the money too in 7th. Congrats guys.

Linda Sone finished a solid 3rd in the women's elite behind a couple of women from Portland, OR.

Bjorn Selander finished 3rd in the men's elite behind Todd Wells and Chris Horner. Bergman finished 7th, and Hareland was just outside the top 10. Doug Swanson started in the last row, and moved up to 5th before dropping his chain and eventually getting a bloody nose, forcing him to drop out.

Junior Boys Start

A solid 4th Place Performance by Jordan

Juniors Results

Masters 35+ Results

Women's Elite Podium

Men's Elite Start

Bjorn Leading Tristan Shouten.
It came down to a sprint between these 2 for 3rd place
with Bjorn taking it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Ride Recap

Jordan and I arrived late, so I got Jordan ready first and sent him with the group. Red Lantern waited from me, and then Skibby, who was also late. We hammered to the Mendota Bridge, only to catch up to Doug Swanson fixing a flat. I told them to keep going while I waited for Doug with another guy. Once we got rolling again, Doug hammered us into the ground, until the other guy finally sat up. We backed off, but I still managed to slide out on a bridge and tear up my hip a bit.

Once we caught up to the group, it was mostly single track from there. I hadn't ridden the river bottoms in about 15 years. Jordan loved it. A lite snow was coming down, giving the trail a slippery coating, which caused a lot of guys to slide out in a few corners, including Jordan. No injuries. We lost Skibby somewhere along the way. He must have turned back early. Jordan also managed to slip a foot into the river boarding the floating bridge.

Once we got to the Old 169 bridge, we turned around and headed back. About half way back to the float bridge, I thought we had dropped Red Lantern. I waited for a bit, then back tracked back to the turn around, but no Red Lantern. I knew it was going to be a long lonely ride back. By the time I got to the float bridge, the entire group had crossed and was gone. I was glad to see Jordan continued on with the group. I didn't want him waiting around for me getting cold.

Finally, I caught up to Mean Dawg at the end of the trail, all by his lonesome. He looked pretty tired. I would have ridden in with him, but I needed to get back to Jordan ASAP. When I got back to the lot, Jordan was with Red Lantern in his truck, getting warm. I guess he wasn't behind like I thought. Oh well. Good thing, because he took care of Jordan in my absence. Thanks buddy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Ride

Jordan and I are up for it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Love Carla

My schedule didn't allow me to ride until 3:00PM on Sunday. I headed across to Minnesota to do the Prescott Loop, lights and all. 15 minutes in, it started to rain. 30 minutes in it started to snow. There was a strong south wind to boot. I arrived in Prescott after 90 minutes, I was drenched and freezing, and visibility was minimal.

I made that dreaded call home, knowing continuing at that point was risky at best. Carla happily drove down and picked me up. Keep in mind this is after she single handedly hosted my family for my Mom's Birthday earlier in the day. Carla, you are definitely one in a million.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Minnesota State Cyclocross Championships Recap

Despite the chilly weather, we had a great time at this year's State Cyclocross Championships. Hollywood and his crew put together a great technical course, including that dreaded stair run-up. My folks even came to watch as Jordan captured the Juniors under 15 State Cyclocross Championship. Congrats Jordo. Jingle Cross, here we come.

Minnesota Juniors 13-14 State Cyclocross Championship Podium
1st - Jordan Cullen, 2nd - Matt Wenzel

Freight Train coming through.
Compliments of

The Fam

Click the above link for photos from the C and B races.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dude, I'm Blogging!

As embarassing as this photo is, it's just too damn funny not to post. Treb caught me blogging in my underwear while we were in France.

Congrats to all MCF CRY Winners

The Final MCF CRY Results have been posted. A special thanks to the Red Lantern, for tabulating the CRY results each week, and all the officials who scored the 595 racers who competed in the series.

Here is a photo tribute to all the winners:

A1 - Cat 1/2 - Aric Hareland

A2 - Cat 3 - Joel Cahalan

A3 - Masters 35+ - Dan Casper

B1 - Cat 3/4 - Guy Alverez

B2 - Masters 45+ - Greg Goblirsh

B3 - Women Cat 1/2/3 - Linda Sone

C1 - Cat 4 - Jake Helmbrecht

C2 - Women Cat 3/4 - Lee Penn

C3 - Juniors 15-18 - Raymond Warns-Ledesma

C4 - Juniors 10-14 - Jordan Cullen

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some day are definitely better than others.

This story starts with our drive back from the Memorial Day Weekend races up in Duluth this past May. We just got done living and breathing the bike life for 3 days solid. As I sped down 35W at what I thought was a brisk 75mph, people kept passing me. I kept thinking cripes, how fast are they going? Then I figured it out. My speedometer was messed up. Every time I went faster, the speedometer went up, but wouldn't go back down. By the time we pulled into our garage, it was pinned past 120mph.

The next day, I took the truck into the local dealer, and they simply said the instrument cluster went bad. Replacement was $450. There was nothing I could do but pay to get it fixed.

Fast forward to today. I get a letter in the mail from GM. It turns out the cluster on our make and year is problematic. Long story short, it looks like I'm getting my $450 back.

Nothing feels better than getting money back that you thought was spent for good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jimmer's Auto Repair

I had to forgo my ride Monday night in favor of some much needed auto maintenance. I changed the oil, rotated the tires, and replaced the front brake pads and rotors.

At first, I asked Jordan to help and he said no. Then I told him he could be in charge of the jack and impact wrench, and he immedately had a change of heart. Maren didn't like how noisy the air wrench was, but she gave it a whirl anyway.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rum River Cyclocross Recap

My first time doing a cyclocross race with my Garmin. The changing barometric pressure during the course of the race messed with the altitude baseline a bit, but you get the picture. The course was flat and fast, as advertised. Several people got flats due to a pipe sticking out of the ground (including Jordan in the B race).

Jordan did both the C and B races again. He won the younger juniors in the C race, and then flatted in the B race. We put on a fresh front wheel, and off he went. He dropped pretty far back in the field, but kept riding hard. He ended up 2nd from DFL again, just like at the Grumpy's B race. His 1st place trophy for the day was a really cool railroad spike.

I started out slow as usual, and ended up solo stuck between 2 groups. Eventually,I made it up to CJ and we rode together for most of the late laps. On the last lap, I saw I was within striking distance of Mike Phillips, so I buried myself to make the bridge. I caught him headed into the single track, and chose to let him lead me through. I planned on out-sprinting him down the hill to the finish, but I couldn't get around him. In hindsight, I should have made a move to pass before the railroad bridge, and force him to come around me. In any case, nice finish Mike. I ended up 16th overall, and 5th in the Masters 35+. My average HR for the race was 171bpm, which is what I normally run at Black Dog. Dang!

For the Masters 35+ CRY, nothing changed in the current standings. Congrats to the top 3:

1. Dan Casper
2. John Struchynski
3. Pete Maxwell

I never placed higher than 4th in any of the races (even the lightly attended ones), and that's where I finished in the CRY series, 4th. I'm very happy with that result, being that I more or less a cyclocross hack.

Click Photos Below for High Resolution Version.
A Race Results (Top 25):

B Race Results (Top 25):

C Race Results (top 25):

Jordan rockin the downhill

2007 Younger Juniors CRY Podium
(Michael 2nd, Brian 3rd, Jordan 1st)


Kristy Kreme


Suffering on the Rum River
(Compliments of MRS)

And I thought I was suffering
(Compliments of MRS)

Click Below for photos of the C and B Races:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A man's got to know his limitations

Famous quote compliments of "Dirty" Harry Callahan in the movie "Magnum Force".

I did the Prescott loop Friday after work, and decided to skip the rest stop in Prescott, in the interest of less time riding in the dark. What a mistake. I bonked hard. I went deep into my reserves in order to get home.

Saturday, I washed the outside of all the windows on our house, then convinced myself to do the Prescott loop again. 5 miles in, it started raining, and my legs were so far gone, I almost turned around and went home. For some sick reason, I kept going. By the time I got to Prescott, my legs came around a bit. I stopped this time, and refueled. What a difference. I felt like a new man on the rest of the ride. Lesson learned.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Most Positive Attitude

The Hudson High Cross Country Year End Banquet was held this past Tuesday. Carla and I went with Maren, and it brought back 20 year old memories of my own banquets from High School. One of the cool things they did was "paper plate awards", where they decorated paper plates for each team member, recognizing a unique trait. Maren received a plate for "Most Positive Attitude".

Unfortunately, Maren did not letter this year, but she is only a freshman. Her positive attitude and determination are stronger than ever. She plans to work hard this winter, in preparation for track in the spring. She only started running this past summer, and I am so proud of her.

Oh, the humanity!

I finally cracked, and rode the trainer last night for the first time this fall. Ouch. Jordan joined me, and we watched Evan Almighty. The movie wasn't very good, which made the hour go by even slower. In his typical "out-do Dad" fashion, Jordan didn't stop when I did, and kept going for a couple more minutes. Gee, I wonder where he gets that from? Afterwards, Jordan said his front chainring was loose. I inspected it to find the drive side of his cranks had worked themselves loose. I'm glad he noticed it before they came off during a race. Needless to say, they are nice and tight now.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My vote for "Best Grimace" Award

Photo compliments of

Ghost is one of the best around at putting himself into the hurt locker, and his expression usually shows it.

If I am ever caught in a fire, I hope someone with Dan's intensity and dedication is there to save me.

A bright spot in the CX scene - Mark Mlinar

Photo compliments of

I have to congratulate Mark Mlinar for being a stand-up guy, and recognize what a good sportsman, and person, he really is. Mark had a mechanical during the Ham Lake CX race this past Saturday, ran to the pit from one side to fix the problem, but then unintentionally re-entered the course on the opposite end of the pit. He finished the race, and then realized his mistake. He immediately went to the officials and told them he cut the course, and to take him out of the results.

Did you see the Kevin Spacey movie Kpax? There is a line in that movie that sticks in my head. Spacey talks about how there are no laws, police, or crime on the planet Kpax. Jeff Bridges asks him how people know the difference between right and wrong? Spacey replies "Even a child knows the difference between right and wrong."

My point here is lead on honest and proud life, and you'll be a happier, more well respected person. Don't let the possibility of getting caught "breaking the rules" be your deterrent. When I'm 80 years old, I would rather look back at my life, and be proud of my positive impact on my family and friends, then any accomplishments I may have achieved through dishonest means.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Jimmer & Jordan Man Cave

These are shots of our basement aka "Man Cave" in it's current state of anarchy. Carla won't even go down there anymore, which is fine with us (it's called a man cave for a reason, you know). As you can tell, we love Halloween.

Bonus points to anyone who can name the movie on TV.

Do you have a "Man Cave"? Post pics if you've got em.