Friday, September 23, 2016

Roll Out to Marji.

While dropping the kids off at school yesterday it was still raining.  I worked till noon and toyed with the idea of getting one more spin in.  Ideally I would have not ridden yesterday and spun today, but an 8 hour drive kind of gets in the way.  Because of the rain I went back and forth if I would ride.  I left work around 1:00 to dry streets.  I decided to take the Evergreen out and do a mix of gravel and pavement.  It sounded and looked windy but out riding it didn't feel too bad.  Maybe because I was just riding.  I rode for a bit over 2 hours.  The legs and body feel good!

This morning we roll out to Marquette, MI and the Marji Gesick.  The past couple of days I've become pretty nervous/anxious about this race...more so than other races.  I'm guessing it has to do with the dozen or so emails from the race director reminding us how hard this is and getting lost is a real possibility and not their fault or the countless Facebook posts along the same lines.  For some reason I am also having trouble wrapping my head around the fact it may take upwards (or more) of 12 hours to complete.  I keep telling myself it's like a fat bike race but I keep thinking I can go faster.  Time will tell.  I think the biggest test for me will be the metal one.  If it truly is that slow and difficult the dark demons are sure to show up!
It's also a point to point race with no shuttle service back to the start.  Jen and the girls are coming so I will have a ride but not sure what to tell them on time.  This would be a perfect race for the directors to charge a bit more and use Spot Trackers and Trackleaders so friends, families, or interested parties can follow along.  I may use my Spot Tracker but it doesn't really give Jen too much information besides my general location.  Find my iPhone works if our cell phones do.  Best thing to do is pedal hard!

I'm not sure if it's because I am afraid to commit to one goal, but I have a few.  The first is to finish under 12 hours and get the belt buckle.  But really, I'd like to do it in 10-11 hours.  Having not ridden the course I have no idea to know if that's realistic or not.  I'll know much more tomorrow morning!

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Marji Nears.

Yesterday was day 3 at the North Loop...and I'm not bored with it yet!  Maybe because all rides have  been under 2 hours and easy.  I wish Marquette (start of the Marji Gesik) wasn't so far away.  I'd rather not spin today and do so tomorrow but we'll (family and I) be hitting the road in the morning for our 8 hour journey to the U.P.!  So maybe I'll spin some after work or maybe not...go with the flow.  It's all mental now anyway.

While I love doing races and events I always lament them the week of.  It's because I'm a nut job!  I'd rather just continue to do my thing and put on as many miles/hours as my life allows.  So riding three days and getting 5ish hours in drives me a bit nuts, cause, well...I am!!

Time to deliver the kids.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Round and Round at the Loop.

More dirt was had last night.  This time I met up with Jimmy, Noah, and Matt.  We all did a couple laps with Jim and I heading out for a 3rd.  Nothing crazy, just pedaling bikes, chatting, in the woods...awesome.
Not sure about riding this morning.  I'm guessing not.  I have to drop the car off for an oil change, it's suppose to rain, and I hope to get mostly packed for the weekend...all before work at noon.  But the chance for rain has lessened so who knows!

I don't think I've fully wrapped my head around the idea of the Marji (100 mile mtb race) taking all day, and possibly night.  My head tells me maintaining 10 mph will be manageable but the race directors keep saying finishing in 12 hours would be lucky!  I'm treating this more as an event than a race.  Not that I don't want to do well but I don't want to be frustrated the entire time either.  This is a "for fun" event.  Finishing in 12 hours or less gets you a belt buckle so this is the ultimate goal.  Finishing in 10-11 hours is the goal in my head.  If it rains I've been told this is out the window.  It's predicted to rain.

Hump Day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Riding Dirt.

While not quite officially Autumn on the calendar, the start of school and the shortening hours of daylight are more of an indicator for me than a date on a calendar...so it's Autumn!  The best time to mountain bike.
With Marji this weekend I plan on shorter spins/rides.  My brakes on my mountain bike have sucked long enough.  I put on some new brakes, tires, and a wheel set I've had since last Spring!  I figured I should try it all out.  Having brakes that work is amazing!  Oynx hubs also blow my mind.  I am always surprised how nice instant engagement is, especially on the mountain bike.

Last Sunday the Jail Trail/North Loop was host to the high school mountain bike race.  Some of the best riding is right now!  700+ riders beat that bath smooth!  I got out after getting supper made and the kids off to gymnastics for an hour and a half.  I felt great and had a blast.  I'm getting excited for this weekend!

More Dirt tonight!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday Gravel.

I left the house around 8 on the Evergreeen.  I was kind of hoping for a North wind to switch it up a bit but South it was.  Per usual I headed down cty road 8 towards Huber and Grover (gravel roads on every version of the Dirt Bag).  The wind was picking up but it wasn't for another hour or so that is had a full head of steam.  The gravel was solid and riding very well.  I eventually veered off the Dirt Bag course and continued South and West.  I wasn't feeling "bad" but I wasn't feeling great either.  The legs barked up many of the hills.  They eventually did come around, it just took much longer than normal.
When I started it was pretty cool so I left my money at home, not thinking I'd need to stop to refuel.  I had two big bottles and a 70 oz hydration pack.  Yep...I ran out!  About 30 or so minutes from home I stopped at a park to grab some water.  I downed a bottle there and finished two on the way home!
Ended with a bit over 6 hours and 109 miles.  Laundry and vacuuming finished out the day.  I did get another birthday meal at my folks too!

The rest of the week will be pretty chill.  Marji Gesik is Saturday.  I'm thinking this will be both a physical and mental challenge!

Happy Monday.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Another Mechanical.

Before work at 10 yesterday Noah and I met up at 6 to get a ride in.  While 6 isn't incredibly early, the lack of sunlight now makes it feel that much earlier.  We started out with front and rear lights.  I'm sure if it had been just me riding I would have shut the alarm off and rolled back over!

We cruised over to St. Joseph, hit up Seven Wonders, Avon, and Tower Hill.  At the top of Tower I attempted to shift the chain to the big ring.  No go.  Instantly I new my crank arm was coming loose.  I stopped to check and my thoughts were confirmed.  Even when I carry tools I don't have a 10mm hex wrench.  I finger (pinkie) tightened it and pedaled on.  Eventually I grabbed a stick and shoved it in the bolt.  This allowed me to tighten it some more but it would come loose rather quickly.  We still finished out the ride.  I just pushed more with the left leg.  Ended with 2.5 hours and 47 miles.  The crank arm has been securely attached once again!
Wednesday was the faulty CO2 inflator and Saturday the crank arm!  I'm good for awhile now.

Heading out shortly for a gravel ride.  Guessing mostly a combination of previous Dirt Bag courses.  Looks to be a nice day, if I can beat the wind!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Rain Ride.

Well the reduced chance of rain disappeared and the rain won out.  At work I was bumming around and all but decided not to ride.  But then I remembered my "rain" bike...Surly Cross Check set up as a single speed with fenders.  I decided I'd take that out for at least a spin.  By the time I got going the rain at stopped and gave me an hour of no rain.  I headed down county road 8 to parts of the Dirt Bag (Huber and Grover).  The gravel, despite the rain, was riding fast.
It wasn't to last.  I noticed the skies were darkening and the inevitable happened...rain.  At this point I didn't care, bring it.  The fast gravel was replaced with soft slop.  Even with a full fender set sand was getting everywhere.  Every slight hill I had to stand up to keep moving.  Resistance training!  Perfect for winter riding, or so I told myself.
I finished with a bit over 3 hours and 55 miles.  I was stoked I pushed myself out the door.  I had a blast.
Then it was off to yet another swim meet, in Sartell this time.  Man it was so hot and loud!

I work tomorrow.  Originally I thought about getting up early and riding a few hours before work.  Now I'm not so sure!  We are still adjusting to back-to-school life, etc.  We are all tired!
However, Jen and I hope to take the tandem out tonight for 2ish hours.  Braap!

Happy Weekend.