Monday, April 24, 2017

Solid Week.

Saturday I met Mr. Anderson at is house around 9:30 for a shot of espresso and a ride.  We didn't have a real agenda other than 4+ hours.  The wind was out of the west so we headed mostly that way. We did plan on some gravel but heading west it takes sometime before any gravel shows up.  We eventually did hit some gravel but spent most of our time on pavement.  We climbed the gravel road that runs perpendicular to the Farming Hill route.  We didn't push the pace at all on this ride but having not ridden in sometime that hill combined with a headwind put my heart rate almost at my max!  It's weird because the legs feels great the lungs and heart just need a bit more time to come around.
In Albany we stopped to refuel.  Mr. Anderson has a fetish for pizza on rides (which is odd as we wouldn't touch the stuff at home).  We hit up.  two gas stations and neither had pizza.  That too is odd!
We ended with a bit over 4 hours and 77 miles.  I even earned a KOM on Strava, ha!

Sunday I wanted to head up to Cuyuna with Chris from work but in the end decided being gone for the day wasn't the best choice.  I did get a 3.5 hour ride in.  I left around 8:30, making my way to the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge.  Once there I took the 7 mile, gravel loop through the park.  I wish it was longer, its such a beautiful section.

For the week I was just shy of 12 hours of riding and 2 gym days.  Not bad for the first week back, I'll take it!
Hoping to hit some dirt this afternoon/evening, craving the mountain bike.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Go With the Flow.

Plans change. I was scheduled till noon yesterday with an afternoon ride planned then Brinna's track meet.  But someone was out sick so I stuck around till 3:30 when I had to leave for the track meet.  I wasn't too bummed as it was kind of a crappy day: overcast, occasionally spitting rain, windy, and chilly.  That theme continued at the track meet.  I pretty much froze.  I have yet to acquire a new winter jacket, having lost mine in our fire.
I toyed with the idea of getting up early and riding this morning but that forces kid duty on others and it was going to be below freezing.  Sure I can ride in that and have many times.  I'm just lacking some of the gear and drive to do so.  I'm skipping the gym so I can get to work early and get my mountain bike ready to ride.  Pretty much just need to recharge the tubeless tires...I hope!  Riding this afternoon is out as it's the Earth Day Half Marathon Expo and Avery is doing the 2k fun run.

Looking to the weekend for rides.  Long gravel ride Saturday and hopefully some dirt (somewhere) on Sunday.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pushing Through the Hump Day.

Waking up yesterday I wasn't sure I'd ride.  It was cold and I'm lacking most cool weather cycling clothing at the moment.  While getting kids to school the sun was out and warming quickly.  Time to ride!  I worked at noon and wanted to head in a bit early so I planned on 2 hours.  I basically did a version of the rides I've been doing since the wind as been roughly the same.  While it's only been three rides back I'm started to feel better on the bike.  I still have a ways to go but the legs are coming around.  The lungs and heart need work.
Even though it rained a lot of the afternoon and evening work was pretty busy.  Man this has been a fun Spring at the shop.

I have the afternoon off from work but Brinna has a track meet.  I may try to sneak a ride in if it works.  Hitting the gym this morning just in case.
Hoping for a long ride this weekend.  Also craving some dirt so I hope things dry out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Two in a row!  I got out for a bit over two hours yesterday afternoon on the road bike, which needs some loving (noisy!).  The wind treated me well.  A bit of a tailwind on the way out to Becker and a bit of a tailwind on the way home.  Really only a few sections were directly into the wind.  Going around Briggs Lake I thought I'd amp it up a bit just to see.  Well I see I have some work to do!  Burning lungs and dead legs.
Nearing my folks house I was stopped by a woman in a car.  She thanked me for wearing bright clothing and having a flashing light.  Whew...I thought I was going to get yelled at!  I've been stopped a few times now for this.  Pretty cool.

No TNR for me tonight.  I'm not ready to bleed from the eyes yet and 20-30 mph winds with possible rain doesn't sound fun.  Keeping it fun.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Done and Riding.

We started to inventory all the stuff at our house last Tuesday.  We thought it would be great if we could get it all done by the end of April.  We basically finished Saturday!  Man that feels good to get that out of the way.  To celebrate Jen and I went to the new Fast and Furious movie...always entertaining!  On Sunday, after Easter Baskets, I headed out for a short ride with a few friends.  Nothing crazy, 30 miles, but it felt great to be back out...even with the ridiculous wind.

Looks like a wet week so I'm riding tonight while it's still dry.  TNR may be able to sneak a ride in between the rain.  I'm still on the fence if I want to jump in to a beat down ride just yet.  But riding will happen...finally.

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Blogging hasn't been high on my list of things to do as of late.  I have a few excuses, one real good one, but mostly it's because I haven't found a "routine" in my new routine.

On Friday 3/31 I came home from work to find my house on fire.  Yep, on fire.  Something I never dreamed would happen.  There weren't flames shooting from windows, etc but rather a ton of thick, impenetrable smoke, everywhere.  I was unable to set two feet inside the front door.  I put the front door in the open position, hoping the cats would find their way out (sadly they didn't) and called 911.  I was on the phone still when the firefighters showed up.  I was still under the impression it was a small issue and we'd be staying the night at our own home.  Four hours later the firefighters left and we were told our house was uninhabitable by the City of St. Cloud.  Before they left the Fire Marshall's gave us a tour. The smoke left an nauseating smell and sticky soot residue everywhere.  The fire started in the basement but two floors up inside of dressers t-shirts were covered in the stuff!

After State Farm took two tours of the house they deemed the contents a complete loss and that the house itself would need to be gutted...say what?!!  This process we are told can take over 6 months.  In the meantime we are at my folks house just a mile away.  Our biggest job as of late is to inventory all of our items.  This entails writing down what we have, find a replacement value (internet searching), how old is the item, then entering it all into State Farms computer program.  Let me tell you this is a tedious process!  We (Jen and I) started this on Tuesday.  We both work so it's been leaving work early, skipping work, or nabbing a hour here and there.  Surprisingly we've gotten a lot done and both have today and Saturday off.

With this drastic change in our lives I haven't made riding or blogging a priority.  The first few days I was just going through the daily motions, swimming in all the stuff we "needed" to do.  I feel we now have our feet back under us and slowly finding a routine again.  Had I missed riding for two weeks because work was busy (which it is) or whatever, I'd be stressing big time.  But having a fire and all it presents I am not freaking out at all.  I do feel a bit soft around the edges but that's my neurotic self.  I hope to start riding, hitting the gym, etc next week.
Since going vegan (plant based) as an experiment about a month ago I've been able to remain mostly true to the ideology.  I have allowed myself some "real" ice cream and maybe a cookie or two as a stress mechanism!  It was that or booze! Ha.

Through this process, thus far, we (my family) have been overwhelmed by the out pouring of support from around the world!  Yes, world!  Being entrenched in the bike industry since 1994 I've built a web of friendships that span world wide.  Now with social media connecting the web my family has received seemingly limitless support in numerous ways.  Jen being a teacher in the District for 18+ years has also received as many well wishes and offers of help.  It truly is amazing and extremely humbling.  And not to leave out our families...they have made our problem their problem.

It takes a village...

Friday, March 31, 2017


Not a bad week!  So far I've gotten in 3 rides totaling 6.5 hours of ride time and one gym day.  I'm unable to ride today so I was thinking of the gym again but my back is a bit tender so I just may take the day off.  I was on my feet about 90% of the day (wrenching on bikes) yesterday, which I'm guessing is attributing to the back pain.
At the moment I'm thinking of biking to Maple Grove tomorrow and then back home from Coon Rapids on Sunday.  Better take today off then.

As a cyclist it's hard not to think about getting hit by cars.  After losing a friend to a car/bike accident almost 2 years ago and now ultra endurance cyclist Mike Hall, it's a reality.  While I didn't know Mike I followed him on social media and watched his progress, with open jaw, during the races he did.  Incidents like this are becoming all too common and always make me shudder.  As a cyclist who spends a large amount of time riding on the roads, it hits a bit too close to home.

As a result of such incidents I rarely don't use daytime lights and have recently started to add crazy bright colors to my riding apparel.  I'm not sure if it's coincidence or fact but since I've started using neon colors on my solo rides I feel cars are giving me more room than if I was just using a flashing light.  Either way it's the precautions we as cyclists need to take to remain safe.  Sure distracted drivers may not see my lights or bright colors if their head is down but maybe they do before they put their head down.  Sad stuff.  Stay safe.

But still ride bikes and have fun!