Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

Cobbled together from sketchy footage and so-so photos from both days at the 2009 USGP here in Louisville. Enjoy.

Featured are a number of Rogues, some of which who Love the Pain, IronMan Michael, ‘Zanne, her crippled hubby, Molnar (whos baby girl gave me a dollar), those awesome little scamps from Red Zone cycling, and of course Jimmy the self-proclaimed “one-eyed drunken cyclops” from F* Where’s all the guys?  Well… my one and only teammate DNF’d in the mudpit at the end of the video on the first lap. Chapeau!

The kids in the yellow t-shirts are from Lionhearts Junior Racing – which I can’t find a website for, but I am totally a fan of them now. Root beer hand-ups for all!

Old Crow Medicine Show – Trouble that I’m In
Blizten Trapper – Gold for Bread
Old Crow Medicine Show – Tear it Down

filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Oct 31 2009 ~ 9:26 am ~ Comments (4) ~

This weekend, the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross was in Louisville, my hometown. Cyclocross is a nutty mix of cycling and running on grass, dirt and sand. The USGP is a national race series that offers races in a number of different categories, based on experience level, gender and age. Here in Louisville there were some 300? 400? riders. The “big” races are the Men’s and Women’s PRO races… but the rest of them are comprised of folks like me.

Why is this man so happy?

Why is this man so happy?

The USGP is a well-organized, well-sponsored event. The USGP is a circus, and when the circus lands in your back yard, you show up and you have fun. Beer is a common currency, costumes are encouraged, muddy, pain-wracked smiles are the norm. This isn’t road racing, for sure.

The Long Stretch before the barriers

I raced in the Category 4 (the lowest level) race at 8:30 AM on Saturday and spectated on Sunday. I shot a lot of photos (and some video) of the non-PRO races, and I’ve been attempting to find the one photo that tells the story, like this one:

Muddy legs

My muddy legs after my race on Saturday

But I think the story is best told in a string of photos. I took a bunch (Day One, Day Two), and after the jump you can enjoy a little tale…


filed under Cycling and then tagged as
Oct 25 2009 ~ 9:43 pm ~ Comments (5) ~



Amelia sternly criticizes my performance at the 2009 Tour de Louisville cyclocross race. One of my favorite photos of her.

filed under Baby,Cycling and then tagged as
Oct 23 2009 ~ 10:49 am ~ Comments (1) ~

Over the past couple of years I have found myself perusing and eventually following a number of local/regional/national blogs and sites on stuff that I find interesting – cooking, baseball, model sailplanes, cycling, what-have-you. The best ones are ones backed by interesting people with interesting things to say – at least interesting to me, and that’s what’s important to me. This blog-reading/stalking stuff is very personal.

Some blogs do everything “right”, meaning they’ve optimized their site and content for a wide range of viewers – friends or strangers, people new to the site, old hands, people new to the subject they are writing on and people well-acquainted, and people reading it via their primary domain or via the rising trend of RSS readers.

But MOST blogs could use some sort of tweaking to keep their readership, whomever they are, engaged and growing. And that’s where I’ll come in, with this very article you are reading.

After the jump:

  • Say Hello and Show Your Face
  • Don’t Assume I Know What You Are Talking About
  • Google Reader, RSS and publishing your FULL entries
  • Don’t Get Crazy with your Blog Template


filed under Web and then tagged as
~ 8:45 am ~ Comments (1) ~

In honor of the USGP Derby City Cup cyclocross race this weekend, I give you this:

Look upon my works, ye mighty, and chuckle heartily.

Scattante XRL Cross Beast

What you see before you is my spring/summer waiting-on-the-baby project, a cyclocross bike. It’s a jumble of parts acquired from my basement, local sources, Craiglist and eBay. It is also my first from-the-group-up bike build. Finished in August, I spun it out the River Road Country Club cyclocross (CX for short) course to make sure it wouldn’t fall apart, and then… I raced it at the Tour de Louisville cyclocross race October 4th. The race and the bike were awesome. I even got a little bloody…


I’ll be racing this Saturday AM at 8:30AM in the Category 4 Open Men’s race. It’s gonna be NUTS.

More details on the bike after the jump…


filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as
Oct 21 2009 ~ 5:43 pm ~ Comments (4) ~

Kelly and I wanted a bit of a “last hurrah” before the baby came in July, so early in the spring I reserved a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains.

A view of the city

The weather was so-so with rain often, but enough sunlight and wonderfully cool temperatures to make it all very spring-y. We didn’t have any serious plans early on, save for relaxing and making pancakes and looking for bears. Soon after I made the reservation, Doug suggested that I try riding from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain Nat’l Park to the tip-top of Clingman’s Dome – some 5,000 feet of climbing in a single 20-mile bike ride. This was initially met coolly by Kelly, but after a few heart-to-heart discussions, she agreed to let it go off.


filed under Cycling,Photography,Travel and then tagged as
Oct 4 2009 ~ 4:55 pm ~ Comments Off ~

No words…

Kelly, Amelia and Ben Wilson

Kelly, Amelia and Ben Wilson

It’s one of those days you can read about and plan for, and you never know just what is going to happen. In one moment yesterday, I went from waiting to being told my wife and my baby girl’s life would teeter on the balance. But you’ve got to stay strong, ’cause really that’s all a guy can do.  A smile, a hold of hands, a brush of the hair. There are no words, only small actions.

From doctors all the way down to the nurses aides and even the rooms at Baptist Hospital East were absolutely amazing, consummate professionals. Very PRO. From the moment we entered labor and delivery, the nurses were funny, engaging and knowledgeable. “Amazing Nurse Connie” made fast friends, like she knew us an age already. I miss each of them already, and it’s only been a day. There are no words to say how much that helps.

When she was awake, I was by Kelly’s side. My heart rose and fell watching those meters rise and fall. We exchanged knowing smiles, better than words. The decision to go into surgery was a quick one. “Are you OK with this?” I asked. No words, just a smile and a nod.

We parted for the first time, Kelly stronger than I at that moment. I sat alone in my own, private waiting room. My fear subsides slowly as I take it moment by moment. I am led by a nurse into the operating room, I saw Kelly. I saw inside Kelly. That was all I needed to see of that! Around the backside of the shield, I saw Kelly’s face and I saw her fear. Numb from the chest down, hard to breathe. A few words of encouragement. Small gestures. “Can you see anything?” “I can see what I want to see”

A peek. The head! Oh my god this is real.

A cry begets crying.

Around the side of the shield our doctor comes, our baby a grisly sight. The doctors work quickly to get the baby cleaned up, and soon I am looking over my beautiful baby girl, in what amounts to a fry warmer.

“Can I touch her?” It sounds naive now, but at the time – what was protocol? I’m new at this. One of the doctors asks “Did he just ask if he could touch her?” A small giggle, and a response: “Yep, you sure can! She’s all yours now…”

Amelia, mere moments after birth...

Amelia, mere moments after birth...

They swaddle the baby and hand her to me, and suddenly I realize that Kelly is still just across the room, frightened, alone. The floor is a maze of tubes, stands, chairs, feet. My god what if I drop her! I cross that abyss, successfully. No words, just a rock of the baby in my arms and a rake of my hand through Kelly’s hair.

And Kelly sees her baby up close for the first time. No words, just tears that stream back from the corners of her eyes to her temples, the world turned on it’s side in reality and in metaphor.

We meet the family later, and all five grandmothers are elated. All two grandfathers are proud, stoic. Uncles, aunts, beaming.

My father extends his hand to me, a handshake, no words. All is understood.

filed under Baby and then tagged as
Jul 15 2009 ~ 12:38 pm ~ Comments (15) ~

I am a Twitterer. A tweeter, a twit, whatever. I like Twitter specifically because they have made it so easy for you to use it from a mobile phone (or at least for other people to write applications that I can use on my mobile phone. I love the Twitpic integration in them that allows me to seamlessly upload photos from my mobile phone. It’s great… kinda.

A few months back, Kelly got an iPhone. That’s great. She can take all the photos she wants and do all sorts of magical stuff, because the iPhone has an application approval process that at least vets the application (they aren’t crashy or terrible). That is great for Kelly. There are tons of good Twitter applications for the iPhone.

Unfortunately,  I have a company-provided Windows Mobile phone, specifically the Samsung Blackjack II. It’s a good phone – it hooks up to my company’s email and has a good battery life. Windows Mobile, however, doesn’t have an “App Store” or a vetting process, which is both good (yay, free! open! do what you want!) and bad (why does this app eat memory like PacMan?).

This leads me to my search for a good, non-crashy, non-memory-hogging Twitter application for Windows Mobile. I’ve tried many, and the majority of them are “not good”, meaning they are either nonfunctional (ceTwitsp) or bizarrely interfaced, massive apps (PockeTwit). I say “majority” because they are not all terrible – in fact, there is one that I have found to be on the same level as an iPhone app as far as stability and usability – and that one, shining example is…


It’s fast, it’s stable, it’s not a memory hog and I don’t have to fight it like some others to do what I want it to do. Yes, it’s a for-pay application, but it’s that good. I’m normally a big supporter of open-source, for-free software, but there just isn’t anything on this level.

Kudos, to yudos, Trinket Software.

And what’s more – it actually functions!

filed under General and then tagged as ,
Jun 13 2009 ~ 1:21 pm ~ Comments Off ~

One of my favorite summertime activities is to head up to my old stompin’ grounds of New Salisbury, Indiana (just north of Corydon) and pick blueberries at Bryant’s Blueberries!

Ben and his blueberry bounty.

Family Run, Locally Grown and CHEAP!
It’s a family-run, u-pick sort of affair, and the prices are low, low, low compared to what you’ll pay in the supermarket. Their pricing varies according to their crop, but last year Kelly and I picked 30 pounds last year and I think the bill was $60!


Blueberry season is short and tempermental, so go early!
The picking season lasts from early June to mid-to-late July. Bryant’s has a number of varities that peak at different times, so choose accordingly. They are also open sporadically due to picking demand, ripeness level and weather. I highly suggest signing up for their email list, so you’ll be in-the-know.

And when you go, pick lots of berries! It seems like every few years Bryant’s crop is decimated by drought (2002), pestilence (2005) or a late frost (2007), so pick enough to save.

Kelly picks blueberries

Things to bring:
1. Hat

2. Sunscreen

3. Comfy, ok-to-be-wet shoes.
It’s pretty grassy and not a far walk, but if they are watering or it’s rainy, it’s a little soggy.

4. Your own pickin’ bucket. They provide some, but you can’t take ‘em home.
Blueberries don’t like sacks, so I suggest big “Tupperware” containers, or even a cooler.

5. Kids if ya got ‘em. Very kid friendly!

FYI: Blueberries freeze very well and are so tasty on winter waffles and in pies.

Cornmeal Waffles with Blueberries!

Cornmeal Waffles with Blueberries!

filed under Food,Louisville,Recipes and then tagged as
Jun 11 2009 ~ 12:48 pm ~ Comments Off ~

In what I can only describe as the sweetest thing ever done for Kelly and I, a group of my co-workers orchestrated a baby shower for Baby Amelia last week with the theme being “Amelia’s High-Flying Storybook Adventures”. Instead of your normal baby-registry gifts like onesies and preggo-pillows and the like, each person gave us their favorite children’s book! And to top it all off, Matt Rasnake cultivated a CD of people doing audiobook-style readings of a selection of these books. Too awesome!

Amelia's High-Flying Storybook Adventures

Amelia's High-Flying Storybook Adventures

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

I’ve set these wonderful readings up as a podcast that you can get through iTunes or your favorite podcasting app as well:

iTunes Podcast RSS Podcast

filed under Baby,Friends and then tagged as
Jun 4 2009 ~ 12:58 pm ~ Comments (2) ~
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