• The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.
  • The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike
  • The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.
  • The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.
  • The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.
  • The Eki Chronicles
    The Eki Chronicles A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.

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A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.

Tim

Tim

A "blue collar" cyclist's adventures from the saddle of a bike.

Posted by on in Training

My first video project. Check it out. I know I have a lot of room for improvement, but not a bad start.

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Posted by on in Racing

Five times I’ve trained, stressed, and obsessed over Trans Iowa. Trans Iowa, a race I fell in love with as a budding, fresh-faced endurance cyclist, looking for an adventure that would go beyond anything I’d ever done.

Heading into TI v9 this year, I hoped and planned for my fourth finish of the event. I’d been fortunate enough to finish in second place in two of the previous additions. There’s a point where those finishes don’t really mean all that much, because just completing Trans Iowa is a monumental feat in itself. Those finishes did give me a boost of confidence though, and it meant that now I wanted to win! As I headed down to Grinnell, Iowa from my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, winning was on my mind, but just finishing remained the primary goal.

My wife Amy and I loaded up my Warbird Ti and headed to Iowa one more time. Amy would serve as my “support” for the race, which isn’t quite the same as what support means in other races. Trans Iowa is a self-supported, nonstop, 320-mile gravel road race. Riders are not allowed to accept outside assistance. They must fend for themselves, using resources such as gas stations, bars, or stores for resupply. However, competitors are allowed to help each other. Amy would provide “support” for me in that I would know she was back at the hotel waiting for me, listening to the updates via the Internet, sending me positive thoughts, and looking for me at the finish line. Just knowing she was there would prove invaluable as I took on the struggles that go hand and hand with the TI.

“Do you mind if I sneak in here?” I asked as I found my place in the front row at the start line. Ultra-fit athletes surrounded me as I chatted with some familiar faces. My nerves simmered on low while Guitar Ted, the race director, moved through his vital last minute instructions. I felt his voice drift into the background as I became lost in my own thoughts regarding the race, or more accurately adventure, that I have come to love so deeply. I’m not sure how or why, but Trans Iowa had wiggled its way in, grabbed hold of me, and it wouldn’t let go.

I scanned through the field and saw riders re-checking gear and quietly asking questions of each other. ‘They’re nervous’, I thought. I was pleased to see them with the jitters as this race is not to be taken lightly. A lot can happen and things can get serious in a hurry. Being nervous means that the situation has been accepted, at least the best that it can be. My nerves weren’t as high as I thought they should be. Would I be able to ride the distance completely if I had not mentally come to terms with it? I told myself that I’d done it before and I could do it again. While fumbling with my GPS, Guitar Ted’s voice came rushing back into my head, “BE CAREFUL!” he shouted and then disappeared into his truck. ‘We’re close’ I thought. Just then I heard the horn sound and he began the lead out. I turned my cranks over for the first of possibly a million revolutions. I was underway in my fifth Trans Iowa. I was right where I belonged.

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Posted by on in Racing

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This year's Trans Iowa is finished. I'm unraveling all the thoughts, feelings, and memories from the event. 

The race was not without it's complications for me, but that is T.I. and I was ready for it. I got through them with the help of some friends. The compassion and support grown men (who all are pretty tough) show for each other when the chips are down is something I'll never forget.

Full report coming soon. Stay tuned...

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

b2ap3_thumbnail_P4210332.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_P4210333.JPG1999 Specialized Allez (triple), Shimano 105 throughout. This bike has been thoroughly cared for. Please leave a comment if interested and we'll work out some details. $600, will negotiate.b2ap3_thumbnail_P4210335.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_P4210336.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_P4210337.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_P4210338.JPG

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

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Honestly, it's getting a little hard to train when snow falls like what's pictured to the right seem to land on Duluth every couple of days in April.

The Trans Iowa is next weekend so I'm not sure how much training there really is to be had at this point. A ride to loosen up the legs might be nice, but no... 

As I write this the snow is blasting down and I'm hunkered in my "man cave" watching X-Games thinking about how out of shape I am. Yes, I know what you're thinking, why don't you hop on your trainer? Well, relatives are coming soon and the basement is all spiffed up which means the trainer and the bike that goes with it are put away. I'm forced to languish in self doubt and loathing while the snow piles up outside. I'm pretty sure I'm better at shoveling than I am at cycling by now.

Perhaps whomever is in "charge" has decided to skip spring and maybe even summer. We're starting winter all over again. Screw that! Let's go to Iowa, I heard there's a bike race there and the weather is great!

Hugs! 

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Posted by on in Training

b2ap3_thumbnail_P3300289.JPGThe Trans Iowa is fast approaching and I'd be telling a serious fib if I said I wasn't nervous. The sheer distance of this event (330 miles) is mind boggling to say the least. I try to tell myself that I've done it before, but it doesn't take long until I remember the pain that I felt in those late night hours or the pain of the initial 8 hour site de rencontre entiГЁrement gratuit pour les femmes blast out of the gate. The pointy end of the Trans Iowa always tends to go out very hard and I dread those first efforts.

I have begun to rifle through the gear needed and make decisions about what to take and what to leave behind. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be part of Guitar Ted's discussion on Mt. Bike Radio and a lot was talked about in regard to what it takes to get through this event. I could feel myself getting nervous as I rambled on and on about the nuances that make up this very special race.

As usual I feel grossly under prepared and will most likely be counting on mental power to finish this beast. The beauty lies in the distance. So much can happen in 330 miles.

The roster contains at least a dozen guys who could win the event, which makes things exciting to say the least. I look forward to pounding out the miles with them, building the bonds that will last a life time.

I just want to get this thing rolling...

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

The T.I. is right around the corner. Tune in to Mt. Bike Radio Wednesday, April 3rd at 8:00 p.m. and I'll be talking T.I. with race director Guitar Ted and Mt. Bike Radio's, Ben Welnak (who's doing his 1st T.I. this year). We'd love it if you'd call in too. We want to hear from you if you have any questions or comments.

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mountain-bike-radio/2013/04/04/the-guitar-ted-show--trans-iowa-forum

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b2ap3_thumbnail_P3030266.JPGI am submitting a marketing plan for your approval. Recently I traveled across the bright blue sea and over Cuba by plane with my final destination being Negril, Jamaica. Enroute I had no idea of the proposal I am about to pitch to you, but it came to me in a dream while I drifted asleep one day on the beach. Here it is in a nutshell, "A good bike could go a long way here".

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It didn't take me long to notice a lack of fully functioning bicycles in the country. In fact, most that I saw were meerly fractions of bicycles. Also, when there was a bike present it was being used as a tool designed to accomplish a task other than riding. "What if a guy or girl, but in my case a guy, came to Jamaica with 4 fully functioning Mukluks?", I thought. The possibilities would be endless.

These intitial thoughts started to pick up speed. "I could be a beach vendor like the dude who sold me the orange juice the other morning, only I could rent the Mukluks out for twenty bucks or two million 'J' (Jamaica currency) and hour", I mused. I'd make a killing off the tourists who wanted to go for beach rides. Think of the things they'd be able to see. I went further, "What if I sold Mukluks to the Jamaicans to help them sell their wares..the Mukluk...a tool."

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The possibilities would be endless. And, once I get the Mukluk renting and selling business off the ground I'll request more bikes to be sent, maybe the Spearfish next?

So, there you have it. I will await your response. In the meantime I'll build my beach selling "booth" and get started on the paper work. 

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Posted by on in General

b2ap3_thumbnail_PC160612.JPGThis weekend the grand daddy of them all (in the winter anyway) is taking place. The Iditarod Trail Invitational will test riders from all over the world as they ride (or push) their bikes 350 miles from Anchorage to McGrath. Some will choose to tour almost all of Alaska as they travel from Anchorage to Nome, 1,100 miles!

My good friends Charlie Farrow and Jason Buffington are in Alaska now and making final preps for their 350 mile journey. Me, I'll be relaxing and sending them positive thoughts. I also want to mention that Lindsay Gauld will be part of this race and I'll be cheering for him as well. Lindsay was instrumental in getting me to the finish line of this year's Arrowhead 135. I'll be mentally helping him get to his finish line in Alaska.

association rencontres francophones lille GOOD LUCK BOYS! Be smart, be safe, and bring us back the stories that you'll never be able to really tell. I know you know what I mean.

Eki

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Training

b2ap3_thumbnail_P2170726.JPGThere's nothing like heading out for what you think is going to be just another lonely ride and bumping into 11 people all doing the same thing you are.

I was lucky enough to be asked if I wanted to join. I jumped in line and ended up having a great ride. I even got on a trail I'd never been on before and this was all in my back yard.

Thanks to Todd McFadden, Bart Rodberg, Eric Peterson, and the rest of the crew.

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site rencontres amicales entre femmes Looking at my Windstopper jacket, I noticed the sleeves were beginning to freeze.

b2ap3_thumbnail_P1270697.JPGI looked at my bike, heavy with all the gear I had been carrying and for the first time I considered the fact that I may have to sleep in the woods for the night. In a nano second thoughts began to cascade through my mind, "Amy will be so worried about you - no, she'll see my spot tracker had stopped moving and she'll know I had to bivy - or, she'll think I'm hurt and laying out here, all those years in the woods with Dad, he taught you how to react in situations like this - you'll be able to get a fire going, I'll go under a balsam - the snow won't accumulate on me too much there, will things be any better in the morning or will they be worse? CALM DOWN!". Just then a voice from behind yelled out, "Tim, is that you? It's Lindsay". I spun around to see him approaching. He was cool, together, under control. 20 years my senior, Lindsay exuded safety, security. I felt myself come back down to earth. Together, we reviewed the situation we were in while standing on top of a rise in the middle of a wilderness so large that words cannot do it justice. He gave me an estimation of the distance to the c.p. in kilometers (he is Canadian after all) and he rode out of my view. "21 K to the check point. 21 K! What does that even mean?" I tried to convert it to miles, but couldn't come up with an answer that made sense. 21 was a number I could handle and kilometers are smaller than miles, I felt I was in a better place mentally. I pushed on alone.

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halle saale sie sucht ihn The light of day left me without a care as the darkness of night wrapped me tightly in it's arms. 

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_P1280705_20130201-005643_1.JPGTransfixed on the blinking red light mounted to the seat stay of my partner, Lindsay Gauld's bike I noticed my vision beginning to blur as my eye lids succumbed to the 20 hours they had been open. Everything went black and a peace came over me as my body let go, giving into the sleep it so desperately needed. My legs on some kind of auto set continued to turn over a small gear while the rest of me went limp. Violently the handlebar jerked to the right as the front wheel caught the snow bank causing my 60 pound bike to lurch uncontrolled toward the ground. At the speed of light consciousness returned, bringing me back to the endless miles of spruce swamp that stood before me and the finish line of the Arrowhead 135 ultra.

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Posted by on in General

b2ap3_thumbnail_P1190691.JPGWell, the race has come. The training is done. I guess I'm as ready as I'm going to be. Of course, there are doubts like did I work hard enough? Could I have done more? I feel bad for missing a few workouts, but sometimes life gets real and riding a bike seems like it can certainly wait.

 I head to the Arrowhead with a lot of unknowns and some things I know for sure. I know I can ride a bike for 20 hours straight. I know I can get into a head space that allows me to become one with what I'm doing at that time. The things I don't know are directly related to the trail conditions. So much depends on what the trail will do. Will it be too soft? Will the warmer temps mush up the snow, causing my 60lbs rig to simply sink? Who knows? I guess the bottom line is everyone will be in the same situation.

 I plan to practice what I preach. I'll keep my head up, look around, stay in the moment, stay within myself physically and mentally. I look forward to riding at night, seeing the stars and feeling the trappings of everyday life slip away. The plan I take to this race is so much different than the others, but somehow I feel like it will give me the best experience I can have.

 I'll see you on the other side. Think good thoughts for us out there. And, when you're slipping into your bed, remind yourself that we're still "Doin' It". That's pretty cool.

 If you want to see if my "dot" is still moving. You can check in on me at Track Leaders.

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Posted by on in Racing

 

find more They told me to bring my bike and all this stuff. So, that's what I'm gonna do. The cat's staying home.

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Posted by on in Training

Quinn and I Mukluk'n some trail in Wisconsin. It felt right.

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Posted by on in General

http://www.pavegreen.org/vioper/5667 If so, I'm cool with that.

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Posted by on in Training

http://www.15m-acoruna.com/?privetys=hay-un-hombre-que-esta-solo-acordes&ab8=ab b2ap3_thumbnail_PC310664.JPGMy last ride of 2012 was on the couch.

I've been seeing a lot of posts lately about people scoring their last ride of the year and ending on a very positive note. That's so great and I'm happy for them, I really am. It sounds like a lot of you had a great time out there.

I hit the trail yesterday knowing that it would be my real "last ride" of the year. I wanted to nail 8 hours of straight trail time on the Mukluk. Things got knocked off track early in the morning when I began re-setting my alarm, giving myself "just a little longer" in the sack. It's the damn fleece sheets Amy bought!

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Posted by on in General

b2ap3_thumbnail_PC250642.JPGWeeks and weeks of hard training has left me (and Betsy) sort of tired. I want to tell you that I went out for an amazing Christmas day ride, but I can't, because I didn't. Instead, I relaxed with my wife, my family, and some pretty amazing four legged fur friends.

Some highlights of our day included:

1. A dog fight between Scout, my parent's Springer Spaniel and Marley, my sister and brother in law's Cocker Spaniel. The whole fight was started by Marley as she became overwhelmed with all the activity. Scout took the bite to the ribs like a champ, but was clearly upset by the brawl.

2. My Dad misplaced the presents for my brother in law, Bill. Bill didn't seem to care and shook it off, stating that he was happy with the Duluth calendar that he had already opened. However, when my Dad came up from the basement with a bag of goodies, Bill's spirits soared. He even pumped his fists in the air. Alas, none of the gifts in the bag were for him. He was fully on an emotional roller coaster. Needless to say, my Dad finally came down from upstairs with another bag of gifts. The day was saved, Bill had more presents. Whoosh...

3. Back to point number 1. Remember how Scout was upset about the dog fight? Well, he managed his anxiety by promptly eating a toy mouse that was a gift for our cat Betsy. The whole Christmas event stopped while we all tried to get the mouse out of Scout's mouth. All you could see was a small yarn tail sticking out of a hunting dog's mouth. After about 20 minutes the mouse was retrieved, just a little slobbery.

 

Christmas with the Ek's - Classic!

 

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Posted by on in Racing

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photo: Guitar Ted - 2011 finish, 2nd Place

Curious about what the Trans Iowa is? I recently had the opportunity to discuss the race and some of my experiences in it with Guitar Ted (race creator and director) on Mountain Bike Radio.

I have participated in 4 Trans Iowa events, officially finishing 3 of them. This race has taught me so much more than how to race a bike.

Click the link above if you're interested, it was a great conversation!

Happy Holidays!

Eki

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