Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Denton Crit

Joseph did well at the Crit race in Denton this week. Crit races are timed races around a short course. After a few laps, they determine how fast the leaders are going and count down the last five to ten laps. Figuring out who is what place can be very challenging when there's a bunch of young'uns out there, some aged 17 and able to hang with the big guys, some aged 10 and barely able to reach the handlebars. Add to the mix that Joseph was only really racing against the other 10 to 12 year old boys. And it was wet. It was raining off and on all morning. Very slick race. Joseph ended up falling at about four laps to go and lost about three places. If he had fallen at 6 laps to go he would have gotten a break and a free lap. So I need to teach him to fall earlier, or at least to go ahead and take chances early and be conservative late. As it turned out, they miscount his laps or something, he ended up 5th of 12 and I think he was more like 9th. Maybe 10th. I left before seeing the standings, otherwise I would have protested. Anyway, it was absolutely fabulous to see him flying around the course. He never gave up, he pushed himself the entire way, and he's getting faster. I'm excited for him. Kim and the rest of the kids got to come. Allison made a note-card sized flag out of paper that said "Go Jo!" and had a bicycle on it. There were lots of folks there hanging out and spectating. Great event, hopefully next year it will be dry. Got to see Joey Spragins of trinitybicycles.com. Chris M. of TBI was there but decided not to race in the deluge. I even saw a former "kid" from my wife's MS math teaching/my Youth Minister days. He's a Cat 4 who was sandbagging with the 4/5 race. Dan, you are a wimp. Almost as much as a wimp as Chris, at least you raced. We had some ice cream afterwards and everyone came home tired and cranky and wet and cold. Had to doctor Joseph's road rash with some Tegaderm. Great day. Fabulous day to be a dad.

Monday, August 28, 2006

HHH recap

Did the Hotter than Hell last weekend. Wimped out on the 100 mile, only did the 100 k, about 62 miles. Still whipped me. After about 45 miles I just ran out of power. Finally got some strength back after the 58 mile mark or so. Finished about the middle of the pack I guess. Probably averaged about 15 mph including all the time at rest stops. Took Joseph to race. We stayed over at the West Side Baptist church, thanks to Scott Eager for setting us up with a place to stay. Joseph accidently did 40 miles instead of 26 for his race, got a little sidetracked there. Needless to say, he finished about 35 minutes after everyone else. Great event, great time, went with some great folks. Ready to do it again next year.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006


My seat broke. On my bicycle. Miles from home...
I've never broken a seat before, or a "saddle" as cyclists call them. This one just didn't like the fact that I am a clydesdale. 6'6" and 250 lbs. The saddle has a frame shaped like an A, with two cups holding the cylinders of the rail in back and another cup in front, on the top of the A. The cup on top split down the middle and when I got up out of my seat, the seat came up with me. Thanks to the guy who got me into cycling, office mate Chris M., who picked me up and gave me a ride home. The saintly wife was at the water park with the kids.
It was a nice seat. I didn't think I would like it but I really did. You can see a picture of a new one here. Yeah, it looks tiny, but it really works well, very comfortable if you can believe it. I got it used off of a local pro who was selling off stuff to pay bills. I had another saddle at home, but it's too padded. I feel like I'm bouncing when I ride. With the nice van in the shop I did 100 miles last week and 70 this week just in commuting. The van is back and fine, but I think I'm going to keep on riding. Maybe I won't be such a saddle breaker.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Last weekend's incident = this week's pain

So last Friday, I was asked by a youth in the church choir to be his Confirmation Sponsor. Nice guy, Jeff. Afterwards, we're going out to get a bite to eat, and a totally unconnected teen girl driver decides that some totally unconnected teen guys in a truck in front of us are cute. What else does a teen girl do when she sees some guys in a truck and thinks that they are cute? That's right, get in front of them and perform a brake check. Twice. We passed the first one but not the second. So now the "nice" van is in the shop. It should cost us about $1900 or so to fix. Paint will have to wait for another paycheck or two. So, in order to sustain family harmony, my wife and five children are using the "not-so-nice" van and I use my bicycle. It's only about 12 miles each way, but in my '92 Astro that's close to five bucks in gas a day. I was leaning towards doing this for a while this summer anyway, to get in some more miles. So I pedal, and I ache, and when the wind is just right and I'm on the downward side of the hill, I fly.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fr. Todd's Funeral

Wow, this one was nice. It was awesome to be there, there must have been 25 priests, three bishops. Long drive from here to Austin, not as long as some folks had though. Marcel and Greg R. came in from Lubbock. Several priests flew in from Sioux Falls, SD. Nathan was there from St. Paul with his wife and youngest. Some folks from up the road in College Station, and some priests from the Austin area who knew Fr. Todd when he was just Todd. And I felt guilty for enjoying all of their presence. I don't think that Fr. Todd or his family mind. He was a great guy. If you haven't checked out his blog yet, do so. Fr. Patrick Serna's remarks from the funeral were posted as an .mp3. Awesome. Fr. Todd lived his life preparing for his moment of death. He was ready to go. I have been asking him to pray for me, for my family and my children. Maybe one of my boys may wear a collar one day. Or maybe Fr. Todd will help me out with my blog.

Some things I learned on the trip:
There is no rush-hour traffic on I-35 between Waco and Hillsboro. Cub Scout's honor.

Gas is only $2.59 in some localities in Texas.

My '92, 195k mile Astro van can get up to 19 miles per gallon. Must have been a tailwind.

When I have to ride 200 + miles by myself, with noone else to talk to, I get a bit self-centered. No, more self-centered than I already am. Positively narcissistic.

Dave Jones knows something about everything, and probably that something is more than you know. Because he files away everything he hears, file away everything he says.

Fr. Todd was ready. Weekly confession ready. I think I know where I'll be this Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

This weekend

Allison has an indoor soccer game at 3 today, Joseph has a race at 12-ish tomorrow and another state race Monday at 3. Then I'll be off to Fr. Todd's funeral on Tuesday. Gotta leave early for that. Anyone else coming down from D/FW to the funeral? Not that anyone other than me reads this. I guess just a rhetorical question, that.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fr. Todd Reitmeyer, RIP

Man I'm going to miss Todd. He was great. He was this huge guy with a keen mind. He never shied away from a debate and he never tired of explaining the truth. I knew him from A&M. I think I met him through Nathan M., another St. Mary's guy whom I esteem greatly. But the best thing about Fr. Todd was that he blogged. He blogged like crazy. He knew that he had a life that others were interested in and that he had the opportunity to share. He actually started blogging before there were blogs, founding the aggiesaway website. After that, he went away to seminary and finally on to Rome where he started blogging. Getting ordained forced him to change the domain name to Fr. Todd dot com. I got the email last night about his death and read it this morning. Fr. Todd didn't get the chance to keep up with all of his friends from college or from Rome, most of that was our fault (it was certainly a fault of mine), but through a blog he enabled us to all keep up with him. He was more than just some guy I remember from college who got ordained (I know some of those). He was still in our conscious mind, still sharing his vital life. Really going to miss him.
Kim, my wife, noted that she feels like Satan is up to something. We've got one friend who's encountered a recent brain anurysm and now is having heart problems in the hospital. Another in the hospital with doctors scratching their heads about why she won't wake up. And then Fr. Todd dies. I told her that there is one crucial difference. Our friends are sick, they are hurt, their families are a mess, but Fr. Todd is home. It's where he always wanted to be.

More comments at Todd's blog, at Marcel's blog, and a nice memoriam at aggiesaway.