Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Back to Blogging?

It's been about 2 weeks since my last post.  It seems to happen when summer starts and the family stays home from school.  I guess I'm either sleeping in or riding...because I can.  So it's been some of that but mostly I feel it was my employee, co-worker, and friend (John Egbers) getting hit by a car while riding his bike in the TransAm Bike Race.  This Thursday will mark the 2 week mark.  John is still in a hospital facing paralysis from the chest down.  There isn't much hope of him walking again but I am hanging on to what hope there is.  Man that is scary, sad shit.  I still ride but it isn't without angst and fear.  I've ridden with a mirror on one of my bikes but now have it on 3 of them.  I'm a fan of the Sprintech Racing Mirror.  I've also just purchased the Garmin Varia rear light/radar.  Every bit helps.

Me boasting about my rides, how far or long I've ridden, etc. seemed pretty brash considering what John's going through.  But I've been reached out to by a few people asking about my blog and if I'm done.  I guess a few people do read it!  So I will try to be a bit more regular again.

For those interested here is John's CaringBridge Page and a GoFundMe Page.

Keep riding and stay safe!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Rides and Repairs.

So yeah it's summer and blogging has taken a hit.  I'm either up early to ride or sleeping in!  This past week I had both a great week of riding and a week of bikes needing some work.

The Evergreen, since racing in the rain at La Grand du Nord, has been making some great noises.  After Thursday's ride I took the crank off and fork out to clean the bearings, grease, etc.  It appears I've already gone through the bottom bracket bearings.  It still makes noise and they feel rough.  The Cutthroat needed a new rear tire so I did that on Friday.  Saturday I took it out on a long ride.  I got caught in a few thunderstorms.  The bike was a mess.  I took the crank out yesterday and it too has bad bearings now and needs a new chain.  Friday I also worked a bit on my mountain bike.  That afternoon I took it for a spin.  It was the quietest it's been!  It was one of those rides that everything just clicked.  Then boom!  I must have kicked up a stick into my rear wheel.  It ripped the spoke/nipple clear out of the rim, destroying the rim.  It also snapped the bottom pulley on the rear der.  I had to scooter myself home.  On my ride yesterday the Evergreen was quiet the first half then then the BB started to act up.  I also noticed the face place on my stem is starting the crack.  Man the fleet needs some work!

With the two older girls in Paris, Jen and Harper in WI, I was able to stack on the miles this weekend...160 and 106.  Totaling almost 500 for the week.  This week will be much lower.  The Chequamegon 100 is this coming Saturday.  I have a new rim on order for the mtb so I should be good to go.  I had hoped to have my new hardtail (Seven Solo SL) ready to go but running into issues with that too...of course.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Race Weekend.

Sunday was our mountain bike race at the North Loop, which basically consumed Friday-Sunday.  Friday we did trail work and course set up for 4.5 hours.  Saturday rained basically all day so it was spent running errands for the race and getting small details taken care off.  Then it was Sunday...Race Day!

Once again I was able to race because of our awesome volunteers. I did marathon which started at 10:50 and ended at 2:50.  It was the biggest marathon field I've been in!  The category seems to keep growing!  The start was pretty fast.  I went into the single track sitting in 4th.  The rider in front of me let me by so I was now 3rd.  I was gassed but feeling good.  Going into Max's Option my chain stopped moving.  I pulled over to find the chain had jumped off the bottom pulley and was wedged between the pulley and cage.  I've never had this happed before, weird.

The rest of the lap and part of the next I gave chase and felt like I was gaining some ground until my chain did the same thing.  This deflated my efforts some.  When it happened the 3rd time I knew it would be all but impossible to catch back up so I set in at a comfortable pace.  I was now sitting in 6th place.

I finished with about 43 miles and 8 laps in 4th place.  I passed a guy on the last lap that seemed to be having bike problems and another rider must have dropped out.  Not a bad day.

Riding 8 hours in the heat on Thursday, 4.5 hours of course work on Friday, and racing Sunday I'm a bit beat!

Today the two older girls head to Paris with my mom.  It'll be weird around here without them for 8 days.  What a great trip though.
I don't have and ride plans, per normal, just when it works.

Happy Monday.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Rain, Rides, and Trail Work.

Well I haven't been very diligent about updating this week.  The promised race report has yet to happen.  Maybe tomorrow as it's a rain day.  It's actually rained much of this week.  Because of the rain Wednesday trail work is now today.  We are hosting a mountain bike race at the North Loop on Sunday and the grass needs to be tamed.

Yesterday also did not rain so I headed out on the Cutthroat.  The wind was NW but I headed E and North a bit first to switch up the routes.  In doing so I kind of miscalculated time and distance.  But luckily I had no real time commitments back home.
It was my first long ride in the heat and humidity.  I consumed over 200 oz of water but I still never had to pee on my almost 8 hour ride, not good.  About 40 minutes from home I pulled off into the shade and sat for bit.  The heat and humidity had gotten to me.  I made it home just fine but felt pretty crumby for an hour after.  While I have been bumming I'm not in the DKXL this ride made me realize I would have really suffered as they are to set heat records down in Kansas today and tomorrow!

Ended with almost 8 hours and 135 miles.

School is done for the year so I can start biking some in the morning. I'm headed over to the North Loop shortly to get a lap in before work and spin the legs.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


We got back home from Grand Marias yesterday early afternoon.  What a temperature shift...40 degrees!  Nonetheless I got out for a quick mountain bike ride and mowed the yard.  I was a wet mess.  Today is another hot one with more potential storms the next couple days.  Which is a bummer as we have trail work needing to get done for the race this weekend.  Wait and see I guess.

The long weekend up the North Shore with the family was great.  It was nice to step away from the end of the school year chaos and just hang out.  Only three days of school left!  Next Monday the two older girls leave for Paris with my mom and their cousin.  So a bit more running around till then.

The Le Grand du Nord race was great once again.  Great roads, great views, and great people.  I'll try and get a mini race report up tomorrow.

Riding the next couple days will be tricky between school stuff, weather, and race prep.  Short rides at the North Loop if the weather allows.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dirt Loving.

No big, long ride today...I work.  Tomorrow afternoon the family and I head off to Grand Marais for the long weekend.  Saturday is the 3rd running of the Le Grand du Nord.  Hit the link and see a picture of me!  It's from 2 years ago on a foggy, rainy day.  Currently it looks like it will be another wet running of the race, ugh.  But much cooler than here!  While it's 90 and humid here it will be struggling to reach the 60's!

Last night I got out for an hour at the North Loop.  I wanted to check out our work and ride Granny Hill for the first time in a few years!  Glad it's back in the game! We have run the course backwards and different for so long it wasn't till I was on my way home that I realized I totally skipped Maxx's Option on both laps.  Ha!  Not sure why but mountain biking has been my favorite this Spring.  But it's gravel this weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Trail Work.

With it raining on and off yesterday morning into the afternoon I thought the turnout at trail work would be poor.  But 12+ showed up!  The goal was to take back Granny Hill, that was lost a few years back to the prison doing construction, plus some mowing, etc.  I ran the big Ferris mower for a bit over two hours.  Maybe I should say the Ferris mower ran me.  That thing is a powerful pig.  I feel pretty worked today!  But the goal was met, Granny Hill is back!  With that many people we were able to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.

We have a track meet and orchestra concert tonight.  I may have time for a quick spin prior but that depends on work.  It won't be anything too exciting, either the North Loop or the County Road 8 loop.  Mostly likely County Road 8 so I can break in the new tires on the Evergreen.