April 30, 2011
The University of Florida is out for the year. The city is already emptying out and the moving vans are crowding up the parking lot. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of great things to do and see around Gainesville this time of year. This past Friday, Sarah and I went out to celebrate the completion of her first year as a Ph. D. student in the English department. We visited a new restaurant, The Top, that seems to be Gainesville’s version of Pizza Luce, but without the pizza. We then headed over to a cool little beer bar called The Alcove. Both are great spots and we hope to visit them more often.
Sarah is now off to Minneapolis for a week and a half. I am a little bit jealous, but she probably needs to get away from me and the pets for a little while!
I walked into Bikes and More yesterday and saw this:
Rock Racing had it all.
I think they will come back, they have to.
April 20, 2011
The 10th Annual Tour de Gainesville was this past weekend. The ‘TdG’, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is a mountain bike ride on the trails of the Gainesville area. A majority of the trails seem to be “renegade” in nature, but the city tends to look the other way as they tend to be out of the way from the general public. A small portion of the ride hits the legal trails that travel through some of the nearby nature preserves. In all there are over 60+ miles of mountain bike trails in the Gainesville area that vary in difficulty. Over 100+ riders took to the start line at the top secret location and hit the trails.
I am not kidding when I say that Gainesville is an amazing place to live and ride a bicycle.
Here is a video from the 2008 TdG:
Tour de Gainesville 2008 from Lindsay Levkoff on Vimeo.
The video shows the really cool stuff at about 1:15sec.
I was able to complete about 2/3rd of the ride on Saturday as I have lost a ton of fitness since the crash two weeks ago. Nonetheless, it was the first time that I got to ride a majority of the trails (I have only been a few sections a couple of times) since moving to the city about 8 months ago.
Next year I won’t dump the bike a few weeks before the tour and complete it with the front group.
April 12, 2011
Looks like my favorite bike racer got a book deal:
My brother met up with me in Downtown St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Rowdies game. It was great to see him and we had a lot of fun:
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with how nice downtown St. Pete is. There is a lot of cool little shops and restaurants and it is extremely walkable and bikeable. This always makes a downtown experience wonderful and I would totally live down there. Woot!
While I was in downtown St. Pete I checked out a pretty sweet fixed gear and single-speed focused bike shop called, 66 Fixed. It was neat.
I am quickly recovering from my crash that happened a week ago. I am now just waiting for my bike to get fixed and hope to be out on the road with it this Sunday. I will be taking part in the 10th Annual Tour de Gainesville this Saturday. It is a renegade tour of the 90+ miles of singletrack located within the city of Gainesville…and you get a pint glass!
April 8, 2011
Sunday is Paris-Roubaix. It is a great race and I look forward to watching it on a janky internet-feed on my laptop at my folk’s house in Spring Hill, Florida.
This weekend promises to be much better than this week as I will be taking Otis down to my folks house for a few days. The plan is to go down to St. Petersburg on Saturday morning and hang out with my brother, Zach and then head on over to Al Lang Field in downtown to catch the season opener of FC Tampa Bay. I am looking forward to this game, although my heart still remains with the NSC Minnesota Stars. The Stars, who also start on Saturday, unveiled their new 2011 uniforms the other night at the Mega Mall. I wish I could have been there as the team has decided to include the unofficial mascot, Nessy, on the back of the jersey:
Things seem a lot different for the club this year. While the National Sports Center will always be well respected for helping perpetuate professional soccer in Minnesota they were hampered by a bureaucratic decision making process that didn’t allow them to be 100% responsive to the fans and the market. Now that the team has new ownership and a positive partnership with the ever-paternal NSC things are looking up for both parties.
I will miss standing at the North End this season, but the seats at Al Lang are not all that bad either:
As you may have heard from my much more active Twitter feed I crashed my bike on Tuesday night. It wasn’t really anyone’s direct fault, but it hurt like a son of a gun. I had to get a total of 10 stitches in my right knee and both elbows and have bought enough Tegaderm to cause the 3M stock price to skyrocket. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to get back out on my bicycle and enjoy the lovely roads of North Central Florida.
This summer and past spring are shaping up to be wonderful.
We are really enjoying ourselves down here.
Come and visit.
April 4, 2011
The 6hrs of Alafia went about as well as I had expected it would. It was a ton of fun and my lap times were slower than I would have liked, but still decent considering I had never ridden out there and I decided to take an adventure by falling into an alligator infested swamp. So, you know, it was a great ti…say what? Did I just type out, “falling into an alligator infested swamp”? Well, yes.
(This photo was taken a few hours after the water excursion)
Photo: Cathy Bester
Turns out that the mountain bike courses down here force you to rely on some decent technical skills. Naturally, I am lacking in this area and I found myself falling over into a swamp that was adjacent to the trail at a decent clip. My entire body went under in the thigh-deep water, but I made it out easily. In fact, the water felt rather refreshing. I wish one of the photographers was there as it would have been an amazing picture that surely would have taken over for the current splash page on the Little Guy Racing site. After the race while we were packing up a spectator pointed out a six foot alligator swimming along in the swamp. Thankfully I didn’t fall on that guy. Ouch.
Once again I find myself singing the praises of the riding down here, although the roots on the course made me wish for a full-suspension mountain bike, but I can’t wait to tackle the course again next year.
How did my shoes end up after the swamp adventure and the long sections of the course that were underwater?
Not too bad.
April 1, 2011
This weekend I am doing a 6hr mountain bike race about three hours southwest of Gainesville at Alefia State Park. I have heard a lot of great things about the trail system there and with the recent rain the trails will surely be muddy. Quite a few people from 352 Racing p/b Bikes and More are going to be there representing the Pink and Black. I am racing the team category with, Keith Richards (yes, he has heard it before).
The plan is to go fast and see how we end up.
I know that my pretty Mavic shoes will no longer look like this:
The last time I had a new pair of Mavic shoes I lent them to (dis)pencer at Jingle Cross. How he managed to forget his shoes I will never know, but then again Little Guy Racing is full of people that have forgotten stuff at races. I just hope the highlighted former teammate of mine never forgets his kick ass offspring at Shaw’s (although the Shaw burger is good enough to forget someone for).
This weekend also marks the legendary Art Crank poster show in Minneapolis. The show has been going on since the early 1950’s and my brother has had posters displayed at every single one. As you can see from these photos, our living room (freshly painted by Sarah) is filled with some sweet work that we have gotten at the show, or via the Coldspints series I helped produce a few years back:
So, if you are in Minneapolis get on down to the Shelter Studios in Northeast Minneapolis and see the big show.
A few pro tips for your weekend:
1) Get on rouleurderby.com and gamble fake points.
2) Head on over to Kings Wine Bar and thank them for sponsoring Minnesota Cycling and Little Guy Racing!
3) Listen to Bike Throw Dot Com Dot Com. The podcasts are short, amazing and thought provoking.