Friday, April 28, 2006


It's on...

Melanie and I are now registered for the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm next weekend.

We're racing the duo class...though I wouldn't call it racing; more like training and having fun riding the mountain bikes.

This will be my first time pinning on a number since Providence.

I'm looking forward to the action and community of a mountain bike race...and experiencing it with my wife!


Speaking of the word "word", Jazzfest started today. Jazzfest is one of the coolest, most fun things a person can experience. Music, Food, People, Late Nights, and that weird (wonderful!) NOLA vibe. Cheers to the great city of New Orleans! We'll be back soon.


My commute

I rode my bike to work today.

Between wanting more time on the bike and not wanting to spend more $ on gas I converted my 'cross pit bike to a commuter.

I kept the set up pretty much the same with a 42 tooth chainring up front and a 12x27 cassette in the back. The top-mounted brake levers make it easy to ride on the tops and the 'cross geometry is comfortable for steady miles with a full messenger back slung on my back.

I only made a couple of changes. I mounted a flashing light on the seatpost and I put some beefy tires on the wheels. The tires are 700x32 Bontrager Hard Case monsters. They're heavy and thick...perfect for commuting through the glass strewn streets of Baltimore.

My route between home and work is about 15 miles so I'm in the saddle long enough to get a decent workout each way. Plus, there are a couple of decent hills that are made harder by the bag on my back. The extra weight is a reminder to lay off the pizza and ice cream!

Most of the roads are either low on traffic or have a very wide shoulder. There are a few spots in the city that are a little rough and run down, but not in a dangerous way.

Going into work I have a nice climb early and then the rest of the way is slightly downhill.
Coming home I'll have a slightly uphill grind which is usually into the prevailling wind (ouch!) and then I have a mean climb (18% grade) at the end...double ouch!

I'm not sure how often I'll commute by bike. I'm hoping to swing it once or twice a week depending on the logistics, weather, and other plans. Aside from the benefits of exercise the commute makes me feel all Euro. I can almost imagine riding by the canals and popping into the coffeeshop after work for happy hour, but that would kind of counteract the training.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The Amsterdam t-shirt finally fits, though he'll probably grow out of it in a few months.
Thor had a great birthday and I was able to get out for a quick mtb ride during his nap.

Speaking of Amsterdam, bike capital of the universe, I'm working on setting up my pit 'cross bike to commute to work. Driving is for chumps. I need to get more hours on the bike and save some cash so riding the bike to work a couple of days a week is the way to go. The commute is about 14 miles each way which should make for some good riding if I can figure out all of the logistics.

I need to mount some beefy flat-resistant tires and a rear flasher. I can use either the bar or helmet mounted night light if there's not enough light in the mornings. I'm not going to bother putting on a big chain ring. I'll spin out the 42 on downhills, but that's not a big deal.

My biggest issue is stuffing work clothes in my messenger bag. I still have to wear a shirt and tie, except on Fridays when I can go bare-chested 8-). I suppose I could get the shirts folded at the cleaners...or just ball them up and go with the wrinkled look.


Happy Birthday!

Thor had a good 1st Birthday.


He was eager to impress his audience standing and hanging onto his new chair.


And then he suddenly let go of the chair and started walking toward the kitchen.
These were his first independent steps and he was excited about them.


He then exercised his newfound independence by walking all over the room trying to pull things off of tables.


By the time the cake came out he was pretty tired and not very interested.
Thus, a huge sugar buzz and subsequent crash was avoided.
We're hoping to keep him from getting hooked on sweets (even though it's the American Way) so we were happy that he didn't plant his face in the cake.


So now he's one and the fun has really begun!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
happy birthday thor!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Do you remember?

On the ride last night I had some old school tunes going through my head. In high school one of my favorite bands was Husker Du. Back then the energy of the music and the emotion of the lyrics was the perfect soundtrack for the anxieties of high school life. These days the words are poetic and offer a glimpse back at those days, but they don't connect with me the same way. I'm just in a different place. However, the music still gets me going. The driving rhythm and searing guitar are good fuel for putting the hammer down on the bike.

I was into punk and indie rock back then, but I didn't relate to the so-called "punks" in my area. They were more into image. I was too much of a dork to care about image or what my hair looked like or what t-shirt I had on, but I really had an affinity for the music and the ethos. I think it helped encourage me to use my brain, question things, and think for myself. High school was ok, but I really didn't enjoy it.

I did have an amazing group of close friends and together we managed to work hard and also have a lot of fun...mostly playing street hockey!

It's good to look back and think about where we were, see where we are now, and dream about where we'll be in the future. It's also important to have a good soundtrack...enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Today Thor was in his crib for the afternoon nap, but instead of sleeping he decided to stand up and start yelling. This is the first time he's stood up in his crib, so it's pretty cool. It also means we need to lower his mattress so that he doesn't launch himself out of the crib and onto the floor!

Today is also my second week doing the Tuesday Ronde, a friendly slugfest around the plentiful steep hills of Ellicott City. Sweet suffering galore! Intervals are good for the body and the mind.

Yet again my bike is a disgrace...flat tire, dirty chain, unraveled grip tape, cleats moving around, and a bottom bracket that squeaks like a mother! At least I can tell myself that I wouldn't get dropped if my bike weren't falling apart. Time is tight and my first cycling priority is actually riding my bike. Maintenance happens when some time free's up...rarely these days.

I'm issuing an open invitation to any out-of-towners that want to do a mountain bike ride in my backyard, Avalon. I'll provide the $5 tour and a beer on the porch post-ride...maybe even fire up the grill.

The trails are primo perfezione right now.

Time flies...don't wait to enjoy life.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

It's a boy! :)

FW: Its a boy! :)
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

And I'm an uncle!

Charles David Nystrom was born this afternoon in Richmond, VA!


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Thor was having his bottle while lounging with the cat.

I was lounging too after a nice ride at Avalon with Chris Perkins, Poz, Young, and Johnny.
Poz and Perkins put on a show with some sweet jumps and other radical shit.
I've been doing a lot of riding solo lately so it was nice to get out there with others.
Trying to follow Poz on the downhills was a cool challenge.

Two solid days on the mtb had my legs feeling the burn, but I really felt good both days. Slowly but surely the fitness is starting to accumulate. It's just the beginning of training for me, but I think I'll be going really well later this year.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

La Chouffe

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

After a solid tour de patapsco on the mtb we hit Frisco Burritos for lunch. Whadayaknow...they have La Chouffe! Damn, that's a good beer!


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
porch time

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


We just returned from a week down in Florida visiting family and getting in some beach time.
Siesta Key is one of the best beaches in the country with sand like powdered sugar and amazing sunsets.

siesta key sunset

Thor loved playing on the beach and splashing around in the pool.

I didn't get any bike time, but I did do one run. It was supposed to be a 3 mile jog, but turned into a 6 mile sufferfest due to some inaccurate information. I felt great for the first half hour, but my legs were hurting the last bit. They're still a little sore, but getting better.

This time last year I had done a lot of training and a nice block of Spring races. This year I've been having fun on my mountain bike working on technical skills like jumps, drops, and riding skinnies.

Now it's time to start doing a bit of training to awake the legs from their slumber and prepare for some mountain bike racing. That means I'll be getting dropped early and often on the Tuesday Ronde, but ya gotta start somewhere.

I figure by the time cross season rolls around I'll either be really fresh or really slow. I've got an amazing CX training loop in the park next to my house so that should help. I'd much rather do intervals on a cyclocross track than on the trainer or road.

It looks like I'll be kicking off my racing season with the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm. Melanie and I are planning on racing as a duo team. This should be a fun way to jump start the training and soak up some of that tasty mtb vibe. I'm missing doing some of the better road races, but overall I'm really enjoying my plan to take it easy in the early season. There's more to life than bike racing and finding the right balance makes everything more fun.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Drum Circle

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.
Thor was totally digging the big drum circle on Siesta Key Beach. He was banging on drums and shaking his little tamborine and maraca right with the beat.

We had to leave early to get him fed and ready for bed, but he didn't want to leave.

Cool stuff.