Monday, September 25, 2017

Don't Trust the Weather.

The way the weather was predicted last week and our family schedule I didn't think I'd be able to piece together much riding.  While we did get a lot of rain I was able to ride around it, piling up a bit over 20 hours.  I'm in the mountain bike mode but that will be on hold for awhile.  Last week we received about 3.5" and it's currently raining now.  So road and gravel!

I'm toying with pulling out my rain bike (Surly Cross Check single speed with fenders) to ride this afternoon evening a bit but may also just pass on riding the next two days (Tuesday Brinna has a swim meet).  The Spotted Horse Ultra is two weeks out so I guess I should shut it down some.  It's looking like I should be able to get some good rides in on Thursday and Saturday with the other days being shorter jaunts.  I just have a hard time not doing anything.  Times like this is when I still wish I had my gym membership.

On Saturday Kyia and I headed out for a 3-4 hour gravel ride in the pea soup thick air.  Man I don't know if I had too much coffee or just excited to ride with someone but I was sure talking a lot, at least for me!  We hit up parts of the Dirt Bag course and crushed it.  Just riding and chatting we ended with an average a bit over 19 mph.  That was such a fun ride!

Sunday the wind was the same direction as was the humidity.  I headed out the same way but I think I'm finally tiring of the Dirt Bag route.  I changed it up a bit but basically fell back into the same 'ol thing.  I did do the current Dirt Bag route verses the original years so a bit different.  I've acquired a Salsa Cutthroat (hopefully pictures at some point) and yesterday was the maiden voyage.  While it's a very different fit from my Evergreen I really enjoyed how it felt.  I hope to get more time on it in the coming week or so.  I may use this for the Spotted Horse Ultra on the 7th.

Happy Monday.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dodging Rain and Poor Predictions.

My morning blog session was cut short by a grumpy teenager trudging up the stairs 40 minutes earlier than normal.  She mumbled she had homework and needed the computer.  Homework trumps my stuff so I relinquished the computer and ate soggy cereal staring at the wall.

Despite wanting a lower hour week I decided to put in a good ride yesterday.  Rain is predicted much of the weekend so I figured I better get while the getting was good.
I once again took the Evergreen and did a combination of Dirt Bag routes with a few extra extensions tossed in.  Throughout the day the wind and heat continued to climb.  Nonetheless I was feeling pretty damn fine.  It was one of those rides you just wanted to keep going and going.   But I had evening commitments: an Immersion School (Harper) get together and a swim meet (Brinna).

I ended with 127 miles and 7 hours and change.  I jumped in the shower, picked up Harper, picked up our CSA, met Jen at home, where we turned around and headed to the evenings events.  Not much recovery/nutrition going on.  I did grab a recovery shake thing and found some food at both events but not what I would call traditional or all that healthy.

The predicted rains have now been downgraded some (big shocker) so not sure on weekend plans.  I wanted an hour on the mountain bike tonight before we went to Tech's homecoming football game, but it's currently raining...not predicted.  Time will tell.

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I'm weak and went biking!

Big surprise...I ended up riding!  I had written off riding but the threat of rain a good chunk the rest of the week pushed me out the door.  I didn't get out till 7 so lights would be needed.  I headed over to the North Loop since the coming rain would limit my ability to mountain bike the rest of the week.  The trail was running great.  Even Twisted Sister had dried up from our previous rains.  Near the end of my first lap I had to turn on the lights.  The next lap I spooked several critters: raccoons, opossum, deer, owl, mice, and something I wasn't sure of as I only saw glimpses of it's back end.  I ended up doing 2.5 laps for a bit over 1.5 hours.  Perfect.

I had hoped to mountain bike this morning as well as the winds are to pick up early out of the W/NW.  Last night, however, we had two rounds of storms roll through dumping lots of water.  Looks like the road bike will get the nod.  Nothing crazy, maybe the Rice Loop since the River Road blocks lots of the wind on the way up.

The RiddleBox race in Sioux Falls is December 9th.  I've done it the past two years.  It's a great low key event with a smallish turn out.  It was announced yesterday that first place will get $1000!!!  That's pretty nuts.  I wonder how many more people this will bring out.  Not many like to race 100+ miles of gravel in December (in South Dakota!).  Prize money or not I plan on going.  I just hope the money doesn't change the vibe of the race.  I also wonder if that $1000 was spread out over the top 5 or so if it would entice more to come.

Time to shake the kids out of bed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Biking and Interbike.

Last week was another solid week of riding, a bit over 21 hours.  As such the legs are a bit tired.  Despite having the green light and the perfect mountain bike weather (cool with a fine mist) last night, I opted out of riding for rest.  I tentatively planned a night ride tonight but I'm half hoping rain moves in.  I'd actually take it off if I knew the weekend was going to be a rain out (currently looking so).  This week will be a "go with the flow" type of week.  If it works and moves me I'll ride.  Recovery is good too!

The bike industries big trade show in the United States is this week in Las Vegas.  This is so far removed from my radar.  I have most of my preseason orders for the 2018 season already done.  Plus we have most of the 2018 bikes in and on the sales floor already!  I haven't been to the Vegas and Interbike for over 12 years if not more.  I just don't see the point other than maybe a vacation and to geek out on bike stuff I will never carry in the store because it's so esoteric.  Plus many of the big boys (Cannondale, Trek, Giant, Specialized) and many of the smaller guys have their own "mini" shows months before Interbike.  Also Eurobike happened a few weeks ago or more spoiling many of the soon to be released products.  Good 'ol internet!

The shop is starting to get the Nordic Ski buzz.  I'm so not mentally ready for that.  I'm stoked to fat bike but ski...not so much.  I'm sure if we actually get some good snow this year I'll jump on the skis. But first I'll have to replace what was lost in the fire...blah.

Time to make some lunches.

Friday, September 15, 2017


6 hours, 250 oz. of water, lots of sweat, and 107 miles...not a bad afternoon.  It was hot and I thought humid but I was left with a salt stained kit, which usually only happens with high heat.  The wind was strong so maybe that dried me off leaving streaks of white behind.  I've done 6 hour rides where a 100oz. bladder of water is enough.  I drained 2 of those, 2 24oz. bottles, and a Pepsi from Lanto's in French Lake.  I'm still thirsty!

I did do a mix of Dirt Bag routes once again.  I should stray away from the same 'ol thing but I've yet to tire of it, it twists and turns so I'm not battling the wind till the turn for home, and it's just a good route overall.
My iPod died a couple hours into the ride.  It was really nice not having music, contrary to what I would have told you previously.  Just the sound of gravel, wind, and my creaky bike.  It needs some bottom bracket work for sure!  Hopefully this morning so Saturday's ride is quieter.

Jen is at an event this Saturday so I'm on kid detail.  The plan is to get up dark early and start riding to be home before noon.  But I've been known to snooze a time or two.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Summer is Back.

Having not been on the road bike very much the past month, or summer really, it's always a pleasant surprise how smooth, fast and effortless in can feel.  Yesterday was such a day.  After getting Harper to school I was on the bike heading South by 8.
I have a pretty solid 2.5 hour loop but thought I could extend it a bit to make it 3.  The road I thought I had to go to was further out than I remembered.  Turns out I went one county road too far.  I had planned to pop out in French Lake and ride around Lake Sylvia but with a time crunch (I worked at noon) on I changed plans, shifted gears, and made use of the now tailwind.

Going fast isn't always necessary but sometimes is just feels good.  Having a tailwind helps!  I made it home in 3 hours 40 minutes and about 75 miles.  Quick shower, slap a PB&J together and off to work.

I have a shorter day at work today.  Guessing the Evergreen will get the nod and we will find some gravel.  Out of ease (and I still enjoy it) I'll most likely hit up the Dirt Bag route.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

More Dirt!

I really wanted to ride mountain bike but I felt I should take a couple days off, at least.  But on my way to pick up Brinna from swim practice I decided it was just too nice out not to ride.  Plus it was my Birthday so I was entitled to a ride!

Over the weekend our trail hosted a high school mountain bike race.  About a 1000 racers!  I was excited to hit the trail up after that many riders blazed a path on our trails.  It was so nice!  We actually could use some rain.  It's getting a bit dusty.  Because it is so dry I was able to hit up a complete "Twisted Sister" a few times.  The section of Twisted Sister we use in the race course is fairly easy to navigate but the last section on the South side is a bit gnarly with tons of roots, rocks, and turns.  I finally made it through without dabbing....thank you Salsa Deadwood!

I don't think I ever just did a lap but did sections a couple times in a row to break up the monotony of doing laps upon laps.  Thus I was able to rack up a bit over 2 hours.  Even needed to turn on the lights!

Today is an off day.  I was planning on going to Brinna's swim meet in Brainerd but Jen has a memorial to attend and I need to get the other kids from their activities, etc.  Parenting.