Friday, July 22, 2016

The Ride.

By the time I got out the door for my ride it was 8:50.  Later than I wanted but I was waiting for the roads to dry up some from the overnight rain.  Turns out this was for not as I would ride into some rain.  My first leg was up to Little Falls.  While it was humid it wasn't too hot as the sun was blocked by the clouds.  Next up was Long Prairie and my first refuel stop.  I was sweating pretty good at this point!  From Long Prairie I made my way up to Clarissa where I actually stopped again (about an hour away) as I wasn't too sure on my next stop.  I was really trying to be diligent about drinking and eating as it's not always easy when it's hot and sticky out.  So far I was doing a good job.

Eventually I made my way down to Osakis, my third stop and guessing about mile 110-120.  It was now pretty hot (sunny) and still humid.  I took some extra time here to get fluids and food into me.  I was feeling really good still.  I was bit shocked at how good I did feel.  I didn't want to take the trail so I took a road next to the trail to West Union and headed south.  About 5 miles down I hit road construction that forced me to turn back and take a turn I passed a couple miles back.  I was starting to feel the effects to the heat.  My water/gatorade mix was no longer tasting good.  I was starting to get the nauseous feeling from too much sun and heat.  I planned to work my way over to the trail and take that in as there are towns every 6-7 miles.  I jumped on the trail in Sauk Centre.  At Freeport I stopped, dumped out my gatorade water, found a shady spot and slammed cold water, and waited a bit.  I wasn't getting much better so I figured I needed to push on.  
Up to about mile 140 I was feeling great and had an average over 20 mph.  Slowly that was changing!  I stopped again in Avon to get cold water and dump out the now warm water.  From Avon to home seemed like and eternity.  I remembered a motto from Kid of Salsa Cycles to just stay constant, keep moving...so I did, albeit slowly!

I made it home, finally, with over 9 hours and 179 miles at a 19.8 average.  Thank God for AC!  I laid on the floor for a good 10 minutes before I did anything else.
I overshot the distance (shooting for 160) some as I was feeling good and thought why not.  I'm glad I did the ride however.  I learned a lot about myself and riding in the heat.  A good reminder of what can happen and what I can and can't do.  Gravel Worlds is coming up in August and usually provides us with similar weather.

I thought about getting up early this morning for a 1-2 hour spin but I struggled to fall asleep.  At 11:00 I shut the alarm off.  Sleep won out once again!

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

8 Years.

Despite the warnings I did get out for a ride yesterday afternoon.  All day I planned on the road bike but in the end grabbed the Evergreen and headed for the Dirt Bag course.  I figured the gravel roads would provide more shade.  Truly it wasn't that bad out.  The hard part was how much I was sweating...I was soaked at the end.  My shoes made a "squishing" sound when I walked!  I got 3 hours 45 minutes in.  I wanted and felt like more but the family was already over at the Anderson household for a boat ride on the Mississippi.  They made a loop back and picked me up.  Pretty amazing the different perspective you get of the town from the river.
Later we met up with my folks for some ice cream.  Yesterday was my 8 years sober anniversary.  It's become a tradition to go out for ice cream...I'm cool with that!

I also started a tradition of riding 20 miles for each year sober.  I have today off and planned on 160...maybe more!  I'm a bit hesitant now.  Not that I don't think I could but I'm guessing if I do I will be pretty shot the rest of the week.  If it was just hot and not humid I'm pretty sure I would give it a go.  Maybe if I had someone meet me half way with a change of clothing.  God I'm going to be wet and gross.  I love the looks I get when I go into gas stations to refuel.  The cashiers barely want to touch my money!
So I'm going with the flow.  I'll leave within the hour and see what happens.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two-A-Days.

Already at 5:30 it was pretty thick and humid out yesterday morning.  It was only 3 hours but damn that was a good road ride!  Then it was hustle, hustle to work...still made it before 9!
After getting the girls to gymnastics I headed out to the North Loop for a bit to check out our work from the previous night.  Because of construction at the prison we have had to reroute some of the trail.  With the race coming up we had to do even more changes.  Follow the arrows and ignore what we used to do and you will be fine...I like it.

This morning the alarm when off at 4:15.  I was tired, maybe too tired, or so I thought.  I shut the alarm off and went back to bed.  Of course now I wonder if I should have gotten up to ride, but sometimes man sleep is good.  I'll shoot for a ride this afternoon, if it works out.  I guess I'm not good at getting up early back to back!

Here comes the HEAT!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trail Work and TNR.

Sadly yesterday was my first time this summer making it to a Trail Work Night (TWN).  With the clubs, and shop (Revolution), mountain bike race coming up we did a bang up job last night of getting the North Loop ready.  It helped that 12 of us showed up!  We still have some more to do but all the major stuff got done last night.
It would have been nice to ride, as it was gorgeous out, but giving my legs a rest was needed.  Tossing the brush mower around (or more like getting tossed around by the brush mower) last night gave my upper body a work out!

Because of potential storms this afternoon I've opted to ride this morning before work and skip TNR.  I was pretty regular at the start of the season but as we hit the heart of summer it has become harder to hit up TNR.  Either family goings on, the weather, or other riding plans have all had a role in my TNR absence.  I miss riding with that group of buddies but they too have been sporadically missing TNR...life!

Tomorrow our "heat wave" starts.  Just like a pending snow storm the media has it pretty hyped.  If I was to follow what they say I'd crank the AC, stay inside, and wait for it to pass.  I figure it will be good heat training for Gravel Worlds!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Poof...Weekends Over.

Yes I like to ride by myself a lot of the time but this weekend I wanted to ride with others.  This has been a hard summer to get a group together.  Saturday Mr. Anderson and I ventured out on road bikes at 8:00 am.  We planned on 4-5 hours and a kind of "go with the flow" attitude.  It was a SW wind and I just assumed we'd take county road 8 out of town...my go to route.  However we took another way and that already made the ride great...it's the small things!  Our route: St. Cloud, Marty, Eden Valley, some town (if you can call it that, it did have a bar) that started with an "M", Paynesville, Richmond, Coldspring, St. Joseph, and home.  I was a bit under a time crunch as Jen, the girls,and I were going to the movies with Jen's folks at 2.  I needed enough time to shower, etc too.  A bit worried on time I sort of picked up the pace the last half or so.  We made good time...104 miles at 21 average.  Made it with time to spare!

Sunday I spent the morning with the family just hanging out.  Around noon I made my way to the Evergreen.  I hit up parts of the Dirt Bag course and added other sections.  I was trying to avoid the wind but failed.  It was just a windy day!  Despite the wind I had a good ride, flat and all.  I got about 3.5 hours in.  Then it was mowing and garden weeding.
Man weekends go by fast!

I had set the alarm and got the mountain bike (single speed) ready to ride a lap or two this morning but in the end felt like sleep was more important.  Plus we are doing trail work tonight at the North Loop so that will keep me moving.  Maybe TNR tomorrow...before our heat wave hits.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Wet and Windy.

I got a bit later start yesterday, 9:30, but I wanted to wait for everyone to wake up and maybe hang out a bit.  Ha!  They sleep so late during the summer!  Harper was still out when I left.  I was dragging my feet a bit too as it was overcast with a strong wind out of the NW.
Because of the wind I opted to take the river road (MRT...Mississippi River Trail) to Little Falls.  It's a pretty good route for NW winds, providing lots of tree cover and shelter.  Rain was in the forecast so I changed my route several times on my way to Little Falls.  About 10 miles out it started to mist and eventually rain, lightly.  Now that I was wet it didn't matter anymore so I pushed on to Little Falls.

I ended up doing the century ride that Noah and I did a month ago.  From Little Falls I went West on 27 to Dover Road, County Road 1.  This eventually brought me into Upsala...my refuel spot.  The rain was on and off up to this point, never anything crazy.  From Upsala on it mostly didn't rain.  The last few blocks from home it rained the hardest!
100 miles under 5 hours.  The legs felt good from the start, unlike yesterday.  A lack of any serious hills helps!
Working at 9 this morning thus an early morning ride.  The temperature is 60 degrees!

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

and the Wind Returns.

You know it's going to be a windy ride when the wind is already awake and kicking at 5:30 in the morning.  It was SW, switching to West wind.  I thought of ways to get out of town besides county road 8 but ended up settling on the classic anyway.  The route essentially was: St. Cloud, Clearwater, Fairhaven, Kimball, Watkins, Eden Valley, Richmond, El Rancho Manana, St. Joseph, and St. Cloud...102 miles, 5+ hours.

The ride was a bit of a struggle into the wind at times.  The legs finally came around a couple hours in.  Around 3 hours I made the turn for home and rocked the tailwind!  I've been using a hydration pack lately but opted for 3 bottles yesterday.  I ended up having to stop twice and could have stopped again but was going on time, I worked at noon.  Despite Ted poking fun, hydration packs are the ticket if you don't want to stop!

I have off today and will get a ride in of sorts.  I'm thinking Little Falls but man the wind is whipping again.  The river road provides nice shelter however so it shouldn't be too bad.  Kind of digging the 60 degree temps for a high!