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timv's blog

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Davis Junction doctor pursues his speed skating passion - Rockford Register Star

Davis Junction doctor pursues his speed skating passion - Rockford Register Star

Sure, there were skating parties in Retzer’s childhood, but his true love affair with skates didn’t come until he was in his 30s with young daughters at home. Then, he bought Rollerblades for himself and his daughter.

“Something clicked in me,” he said.

It wasn’t long before Retzer’s competitive side weighed in, and he began doing inline speed skating competitions. He trains with the Rockford Road Scholars and has competed for the past 20 years in places from Minnesota to Georgia. Some races are marathon-length.

Others are nearly 100 miles over hilly courses.

In good weather, Retzer skates daily and logs about 2,000 miles a year. He’s been clocked as fast as 43 miles an hour.

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Skater and Cyclist

Just noticed a couple of reports that give a new angle to the story of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her long road to recovery after nearly being assasinated on January 8th. One is that she is a very active inline skater as it turns out. According to this local news story about Rep. Giffords's progress. she was regularly seen skating the asphalt loop around Reid Park in Tucson.

Supporters have become accustomed to a “miracle every 48 hours,” said Michael McNulty, Giffords’ perennial campaign chairman.

“The rhetorical problem is that the doctors always say: ‘Given what she’s been through, she’s doing wonderfully.’ That’s kind of like saying ‘They’re going to China, and given that they have to walk, they’re doing great.’

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Canada Games Oval in Halifax, Nova Scotia Boosting Speedskating Interest

Good article about a long track ice oval in Nova Scotia that roadskater blogged about when it opened last month and its effect on local interest in speedskating:

Nova Scotia's speedskating community says the new long track speedskating oval on the Halifax Common is boosting local interest in the sport.


United States
44° 38' 58.578" N, 63° 35' 21.7752" W
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Two National Championship Wins and a Record for Heather Richardson

Heather Richardson won national titles in championship sprint races at both 500 and 1000 meters Monday. The News & Record doesn't have a proper sports section anymore, or not on Tuesdays at least, but Heather's double speedskating victory is the top story on the first page of today's sports coverage:

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Band of Joy on Tour '11: Robert Plant, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Darrell Scott

Old folks boogie... I like them all individually and they're doing some neat stuff together. Recent UK performance of "Houses of the Holy":


15-show eastern US mini-tour starts next month, and three of them are in NC:

Tour Dates:

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The bad news is her athletic career's over, the good news is...

Dutch Paralympic medalist Monique van der Vorst can walk again. This year she regained the use of her legs after 13 years of being wheelchair bound, the result of an injury suffered as a teenage field hockey player and complications from a subsequent surgical procedure gone wrong.

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Pomplamoose music, Hyundai holiday commercials

Too cold to skate so I've been watching a lot of TV and noticed a young couple singing and clowning around in some car ads. Something about the way they were shown made me think I was supposed to know who they were. It only took one search for "hyundai singing duo" to find out that they were Pomplamoose, multi-instrumentalists Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn who've become YouTube sensations over the past year and a half or so.

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In the news: Inline skating not trendy but it hangs on as exercise

Inline skating hangs on as exercise; hobbyists roll on - Paducah Sun

Didn’t in-line skating go out of circulation with the sitcom “Friends,” MC Hammer and Tupperware parties?

Surely, this sport — a great way to burn 500 calories an hour — has succumbed to fickle trendiness.


Sacramento Monday Night Skate Sacramento, California
United States
38° 34' 46.272" N, 121° 29' 12.5376" W
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Neat techie stuff in Race Engine Technology sample pdfs

Going way off-topic here but I think there are at least a couple of fellow motorheads out there in Roadskaterland, and perhaps some of this technology might find an application in other fields of interest...

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Quick note: How to Set Firefox Browser Tabs So New Tabs Open on the Far Right Once Again

Nothing to do with skating, but thought I'd pass this along:

Since beginning to use Firefox 3.6, I've been bugged by the way that new browser tabs are opened. Starting with that version, when you use the "Open Link in New Tab" context menu option (or hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a link) the new tab opens to the immediate right of the tab being viewed. In prior versions since the introduction of tabs, newly opened tabs went to the far right on the tab bar.

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Strange weather today: Cold and rainy in the morning, clear and sunny in mid-afternoon, and then a dark and mean-looking line of clouds rolled in just after 5 pm as I was walking across campus. I would have thought a thunderstorm was coming in the summer, but didn't know whether to expect rain or snow this time of year and in this particular (and peculiar) year. We got neither of those:

(Cribbed without shame from Wikipedia.)

Graupel. Not to be confused with Hail or Ice pellets.


1601 East Market Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
United States
36° 4' 18.6564" N, 79° 46' 40.6236" W
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While not skating, America's Cup

I just remembered that I've skated on Superbowl Sunday a couple of years in a row, and had made no plans to do it this year. It's nicer outside than it's been most days lately, but that's very faint praise considering what it's been like. Next year, I guess...

So what to do with myself between the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics? Oh look, the America's Cup starts tomorrow!



Marina Real Juan Carlos I Valencia, Valencia 46024
39° 27' 35.982" N, 0° 19' 52.896" W
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Mike Barry on Paris-Roubaix Bikes

Mike Barry, father of pro cyclist Michael Barry, and recently retired builder of Mariposa bicycles, has a neat blog post about the bikes ridden by current racers on cobblestone stages and for daily training rides. He has some good specifics about setup and component choices for classic races such as Paris-Roubaix and relates his experience of riding one such bike on European back roads. http://bicyclespecialties.blogspot.com/2009/12/bikes-cobbles-and-mudguar...
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Joey Cheek on Comedy Central tonight

According to the front page at http://www.colbertnation.com/home, Olympic ice speedskater Joey Cheek is scheduled to be a guest on The Colbert Report this evening on the Comedy Central network.

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Measuring jerseys

Related to current jersey issues, I got some jerseys from the closet and found a tape measure and checked some dimensions. It's a bit iffy measuring the Roadskater jerseys because of the double seams on each size (but that's part of what makes them supersweet, right?) but I did my best. Blake thought this information might perhaps be useful to someone some day.

Green 2006 jersey size XL: about 24" across chest just below sleeves

Iris/violet 2007 jersey size XL: about 24"

Orange 2008 jersey size XL: almost 25"

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