Friday, June 23, 2017

Not as Planned.

The weather has been so sporadic lately that when I went to bed Wednesday night I fully anticipated I'd be riding Thursday morning despite the forecast for rain.  I was wrong and they were right, it rained.  So instead of riding I shuttled the kids to and from swim team practice, went to Target, got Brinna to and from gymnastics, and hit up the Lemonade Art Fair with the kids.  Once I got Harper down for nap (I may have snoozed a bit myself) I geared up for a ride.

I opted for the Evergreen and headed for the Dirt Bag route.  With the rain, the gravel was a bit soft but not bad.  The wind was mostly out of the west but manageable.  I was on a bit of a time crunch as Avery had a track meet I needed to get to so I kept the pace up.  On a section of gravel prior to turning onto Deerwood Road they must of recently laid fresh gravel.  Even with 42mm tires I was pizza cutting so hard...that hurt.
I made it home with a 3 hour ride, jumped in the shower, and raced over to Apollo for the track meet.

I may try out the North Loop tonight after work to check on our trail work and how it's drying up after the rain.  Saturday I work as well and hope to get a few hours on the bike before hand but man I want to sleep in!  Then it's race day here in St. Cloud on Sunday!  It will be nice to have that pressure done and out of the way for the summer.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trail Work, Rain, and a Ride?

As much as I like to get a spin in the day after a hard effort I just didn't have time yesterday.  I could have gotten up early to get a spin in but I didn't get to bed close to midnight and that would have left me more depleted.  So it was get the kids to swim team practice and off to work to get an early start on repairs.
After work it was over to the North Loop for a few hours of trail work.  The course is ready for race day this coming Sunday!  We had a solid crew, enough to get all the equipment in use!

I'm off today from work so the plan was to get out early for a long ride and bring the kids to the Lemonade Art Fair later.  But I woke up to rain, blah.  Although we do need it and this should make the course almost perfect for Sunday.  I'll still shoot for a ride sometime today but the kids have a pretty full schedule and Jen is gone.  Living with my folks is a huge help with this!  Maybe we will never move out!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Solstice Century...TNR Style.

Our annual tradition of riding a century on or near the Solstice was yesterday.  I never know numbers until people start showing up, 22 riders strong!  Getting through town with a group this big is a bit tricky but we made it without any horn honks or incidents.  The real efforts don't start till we get out on the open roads on the North end of Sauk Rapids.  Then it's game on.

I'm always amazed at the power of drafting.  Up front my heart rate would hover around 160 (give or take).  Back of the pack I could easily recover with a heart rate of 100.  With a solid group of riders we quickly brought our average speed up to 20 and beyond.
The goal is to never to see how fast we can do it but rather finish in some form of daylight, go hard, and have fun.  Mission accomplished last night!
It wasn't as fast as last year, 4 hours 19 minutes of ride time, but fast enough, 4 hours 32 minutes for a 22.6 mph average.  We did have a headwind on the way out which died on the way back.  Had the wind stayed constant I think we wold have bettered our time.

We finished at the shop and celebrated summer with pizza, Quarks, beer, and soda.  Only downside is I get to bed so much later than I'm accustomed to!

Summer is here, go ride your bike, have fun, and smile!

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Solid Week of Riding.

While I didn't race on Saturday I did have a full weekend of riding.  I had a short day at work on Friday so I got out for a ride in the early afternoon.  I took the Evergreen and headed west into the wind.  Not sure if it was the wind, the 42mm tires, or just not my day but I was working!  I made my way out to Paynesville before heading back.  I managed to find some rain on the way but no downpours.  Ended with 105 miles.

Saturday I had some stuff to get done at the house but wanted to get a mountain bike ride in as well.  A bit before 8 I was out on the Deadwood to spin the legs.  I hit up both Plum Creek and the North Loop.  I'm still giddy about how much I like riding the Deadwood, such a great bike!  After a couple of hours it was back to the house to mow and some other stuff before Jen and I would head to my folks cabin to meet up with the girls.

Sunday I hung out at the cabin till around noon then pushed off on the road bike.  If I take the direct route on the Centra Lakes Trail and Wobegon Trail the mileage usually comes in at 104 miles.  I wasn't feeling like I wanted to ride the trail so I opted to meander some on the way home.  Since Jen and the girls were staying at the cabin one more night I had some time.

It's about 30 miles from the cabin to the trail.  I kept going south, past the trail, for another hour.  My goal was not to run into I94 once I started to head east, since 94 runs at an angle.  I never came to a road heading east until Hwy 55, a bit further south than planned.  I took 55 for sometime as once again I couldn't find a road the headed back north.  Finally I found a road past Glenwood and battled the headwind a bit.  I was starting to get low on water and food so I started to scan the horizon for water towers, etc.  Seemingly Pope County and the western half of Stearns County isn't very populated.  I was unable to find a resupply point till Meire Grove and that was only a soda machine.  About half an hour later I came upon a gas station in New Munich for some much needed water.

I was now back in familiar territory and knew the roads to home.  I felt awesome the whole ride but the majority of it was with a pretty stellar tailwind.  I ended with 150 miles at a 20.9 average...yep a tail wind.

I had toyed with the idea of getting an hour mtb spin in this morning but slept instead.  Maybe this afternoon but Avery has a track meet as well.  I really think an easy ride after a bigger ride helps with recovery but sometimes it doesn't always work that way!

Tuesday is the Summer Solstice Century version of TNR.  We leave the shop at 4:30, not 5:30.  Last year we made it back before darkness.  Lots of luck and speed, we'll see what this year brings.

This Sunday is the mountain bike race in town.  A lot of work has been done but a lot more is needed.  Lots of detail stuff but also trail work.  We are shooting for Wednesday but if it rains Thursday.  Help if you can!

Happy Monday.

Friday, June 16, 2017

First Impressions.

After receiving the bike this past Monday I've finally got it built (with some of my special touches) and ready to rip!  I was worried I'd miss my Spearfish but the Deadwood quickly squashed those fears, just like it did the bumps in Sand Prairie.  Last night I was able to get out for a couple of hours for the maiden voyage.

I usually only hit up Sand Prairie in the winter when many of the bumps and ruts are hidden by snow but I was curious to see how a 29+ full suspension bike handled...like a dream!  Amazing!  OK so it's good in the open prairie how about the twisty single track of the North Loop?  That was next.
Again I was surprised by it's nimbleness in the single tack.  I don't have a way to quantify if it's slower than a regular 29er but if it is it makes up for it in the effortlessness it requires to navigate the rock gardens and rooty sections.   I was even able to dive into the corners a bit harder.  Not that I had a lot of sustained hills to climb last night but I will say I feel it drags a bit on what hills I did have.  But again that's just my early perception.  When I purchased the bike I also purchased a set of regular 29er wheels and tires for "races" etc.  Now I wish I hadn't.  I don't think they are needed!

I made the call last night, even though the weather is looking up, to not head to the Chequamegon 100.  I'm a bit bummed but know it's the right call.  Lot's going on in the Doom Family right now so best be closer to home.  Riding will still occur but they will start and end from home.

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Full Day.

I was out riding by 5:30 yesterday morning.  Nothing crazy but a solid 2 hours on the road bike.  Man it's so nice to be biking again!  The plan is for 3 more hours on the road bike this morning before work at noon.
Work is in full on summer mode so it's constantly busy.  I spent the day alternating between office duties, wrenching on bikes, and selling bikes.  The day flew by.  I headed home shortly before 5 to have dinner with the family.  I then headed back to work for a couple more hours to get the repairs manageable for today.  With the help from Chris (I hate building my own bikes) I finished building up the Deadwood SUS!  Can't wait to ride it once the trails dry out...again.
I left work around 8:30 to get Brinna at gymnastics.  As busy as I think my days are the girls and Jen basically "go" from 7:45 am to 9 pm: swim team, orchestra, lunch, gymnastics, etc.  This is summer!

I'm still on the fence about the Chequamegon 100.  Still not wanting to break in the new bike with an 8+ hour mountain bike ride in the rain.  Plus Harper knows how to pull on the 'ol heart strings.  Ugh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finally!

I got out for a ride!  I almost talked myself out of riding but decided an hour is better than nothing.  So after 8 days off I headed out for a ride.
I decided on a Briggs Lake loop but about 45 minutes in I was feeling good and decided to go a few roads more to the East before turning North.  The same thing happened while I was riding North...just a few more intersection, then I'll turn.  I was surprised how good I felt.  Granted I wasn't doing any hard efforts and the hills out that way are basically nonexistent,  but usually after a longer period off the bike and I feel pretty sluggish on the first ride out.
Turns out it was a good thing I left my lights on the bike!  I got home a bit after 9, giving me a 3.5 hour ride.

My TNR is happening this morning, so 5:30 am not pm.  It looks like storms may roll in this evening and I want to finish my mountain bike and hopefully get it out for a quick spin (if it doesn't rain) this evening.
Man I need to get back on the TNR train.  I've only made it to one!  Well next Tuesday is a go for sure...Summer Solstice Century.  Reminder: TNR next week leaves at 4:30 and is 100 miles at a 20+mph average.  Always a good time.

Currently the forecast for the Chequamegon 100 (this coming Saturday) is predicting rain, 90%.  Ugh.  I've already decided if it looks like rain I'm out.  I've done this event twice.  Once in the rain and once it was canceled due to too much rain.  I'm not about to go destroy a new bike in the slop.  I already have a backup plan: bike to my parent's cabin.  Jen and the girls will be there as well.  I mentioned this to Jen and Harper overheard.  She was stoked at the possibility I may be there.  Well now I almost feel I should go irregardless!

Time to Ride!