Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Race Excitement from Home.

Monday night I was tired and planned on going to bed early.  I made it up to bed fine but the finish of the Arrowhead 135 was looming and I couldn't stop hitting refresh on the track leaders page, the Arrowhead results page, and FaceBook.  Man what an exciting race!  The top four spots were split up by seconds...a sprint finish after 15 hours of riding!  If sleep wasn't required I'd have stayed up all night checking in on several friends I had out racing, pushing themselves to the finish.  Not racing it this year I was surprised at how exciting it is to be on the other side.  Nonetheless I hope to be back racing it next year.

Monday and Tuesday were gym days.  Some aerobic, weights, and core each day.  The rest of the week, for the most part, involves riding...lots!  While the warmer weather makes it easier to get out it's melted most or our snow.  I'm guessing the Wobegon Trail (my go to spot as of late) is almost snow free.  There are a lot of shaded sections, especially on the Northern route, that should still have snow.  Just a few inches is all I want!  Let it snow!  Monday around 2 pm our time I looked at the current temp of McGrath, Ak, the ITI 350 finish.  We were mid 40's.  They were -43!  Hard to train for the cold in a 80 degree swing!


Monday, January 26, 2015


Not a bad weekend: family, ride, work.
Jen had a Knowledge Bowl meet so it was the 3 girls and me on Saturday.  Many things could have happened but we did lots of laundry and hung out.  Before we knew it Jen was home.  Wow, that was a fast day.  I also made a new playlist for the ITI and organized some of my food for the drop bags.  Time is ticking away!

Sunday I worked so I was up early (4:30) to get myself ready to ride.  Once again I drove out to St. Joseph to ride the Wobegon Trail.  I was really hoping we would have gotten some of the predicted snow but instead we got some rain.  I almost just rolled over in bed as I don't have studs in my tires yet.  With the recent warm up lots of the trails was exposed tar but a lot still had good snow cover.  While it was slick it wasn't to bad.  I made it a bit past Holdingford before I turned around for home.  Starting in the dark made it a different trail, thus the ride back (in the light) was a different trail then the way out.  It wasn't bad.  I forced myself to ride in the slowest snow to give me the most resistance.  In the end I got just under 5 hours in.  With time to still get a coffee and ready the shop for the day.
I was pretty good all day until after dinner at my folks.  I was shot and done around 7:30!

The starts have aligned that I should be able to get a pretty big week in on the the fat bike.  Really loving the Beargrease.  A few adjustment to make and it should be ready for the ITI!

Happy Week.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rides...Here and There.

While I wasn't able to get out and get that "big" ride in this week I was able to get out several times with more to come...I hope!  Wednesday I usually hit the road but with a new Beargrease I pretty much mimicked Tuesday's ride.  I did spend some more time down at Sand Prairie.  I went off trail some and did a bit of exploring but the going was rough and what path there was was quickly shut out by overgrowth.  Once again I'm really happy with the Salsa Beargrease.  I can't wait to put a longer ride on to test everything out.

Thursday I was on till noon at work so my all day bender on the Wobegon was out.  I know I could have still gone out and put in the time but juggling 3 kids on your own at night can be taxing, which Jen had already done the past two nights.  So I took out the single speed Cross Check and hit up parts of the Dirt Bag route.  I was excited to ride in the sun but by the time I was changed and out the door the sun had disappeared to only return at my rides end.  Nonetheless I had a great ride.  Even ran into a CX buddy driving semi.  Ended with 4 hours.

I'm off Saturday but am with the kids as Jen has a Knowledge Bowl meet.  I hope to get an evening/night ride in.  Followed up with a morning ride on Sunday before work.  But plans change!

Happy Weekend.  Pull out the bike, it may hit 40 degrees!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Old School Trails.

Through some unexpected turn of events I purchased a new fat bike...Salsa Beargrease XX1.  I sold a bike that I was only half trying to sell.  I actually talked myself out of a new bike, which is hard for me with a pocket full of cash.  But the thought kept popping up in my mind (namely because my brother in-law!).  The deal was sealed when I received some help from Salsa.  So eventually I will have a titanium Mukluk with Hed wheels and Race Face Carbon crank for sale!  Yesterday evening was the maiden voyage...always an exciting time.

Tyler and Corey showed up at my house around 6:30 and we were off.  First up was Sand Prairie.  While it's not huge it provides about 45 minutes of riding.  Tyler took us on to the swamps, which I've never done.  Good stuff.  Then it was back up the hill for some North Loop action.  Only because of the recent warm up can we bike at the North Loop.  It was so fun I wish we could bike there through good snow but understand the conflict with crossing the ski trail.  We only need to build 10 or so bridges that would be tall enough for the groomer to pass!
From here we hit up the 10th street quarries.  Man it's been a long time since I've ridden there and never in the winter.  Despite the occasional downed tree it was awesome.  Always good "flow" out there.  With some time left we decided to combine a few chunks of land.  First was behind the St. Benedict's Center.  Turns out they have posted Keep Out signs so it's off limits so onto the bluff trails of the Talahi woods.  With the snow crust we have the trail was awesome.

It was so fun to hit up trails that rarely get ridden anymore but were once our only options.  By themselves they are short but combined it makes for a great ride.  We got in a tad over 2 hours.

The bike handled perfectly.  New bikes always feel solid and quiet...kind of like that new car smell.  I love it!  Just need to buy more new bikes I guess!  I was super pleased with how it handled and felt.  I'm excited to get some longer days on it to dial in position, etc.  So far it's a big thumbs up!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Man I suck at days off from exercise.  I feel sloth like!  I also suck at night riding but that's the name of the game tonight.  Jen has work shops (teacher) so the kids are off from school.  I have to get them to my folks this morning so any morning exercise is out.  So...anyone game for some evening fat biking?  Thinking some Sand Prairie exploration would be fun, 2-3 hours.

Jen also has a early start tomorrow so I'm on kid duty again and again on Thursday.  Miss my mornings!  To make our lives a bit more chaotic Jen and the girls picked up two cats from the Wadena Humane Society yesterday.  Yes, two: Elsa and Lill' Bit are currently their names, this may change.  At least they are fat, I like fat cats.

I still am longing for some more snow.  But as the weeks go by without any I'm beginning to look towards spring.  By the clientele coming into the shop many of them are too.

Go get your Tuesday on!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Keeping Busy!

This past weekend was somewhat a blur of activity.  Friday evening we headed to Eagan for a Doom Family Reunion.  It was just my dad's brothers and sisters but he's the oldest of 12.  Plus the kids and the kids, kids!  My sanity (craziness) was kept in check by the hotel gym.  The nicest I've seen.  I even ran on the treadmill a bit!  I actually hope to run a small amount once a week to keep those muscles in case they are needed at the ITI, (for walking not running)!  Lots of games, swimming, chatting, eating, and trips to the MOA and Angry Catfish kept us busy on Saturday.
Sunday we checked out my sister's new house.
Then it was on to Trader Joe's to spend way too much money.  Jen and the girls dropped me off near Elk River.  I lugged the Cross Check along.  Almost a 3 hour ride home.  Felt great to be out in the sun.

I had planned to hit the gym up this morning for various things but I suck at getting up early when everyone else is sleeping in.  MLK Day, so no school.  My logic is I haven't had a day off for some time and will likely be my only day off this week.  Ha...nuts I am.

Have a great week.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Yesterday's ride was a success!  My knee, since the Tuscobia, has been hurting on longer rides.  I put on some KT tape and that all but took the pain away!  I did have some near the end but better than just 2 hours in.  I also stuck with my planned route.  I knew it may get boring but I felt I needed to push through the boredom.  I started in St. Joseph on the Wobegon Trail.  I took that to somewhere between Freeport and Melrose.  Here I jumped on a road and headed to Holdingford.  I was making better time than anticipated so once in Holdingford I headed North to Bowlus for awhile before turning around and heading back down to Albany.

In Avon I checked my time and decided I had more so I jumped on Lower Spunk Lake and explored the perimeter.  Nearing St. Joseph I wasn't quite at 7 hours so I took a side path to the Park-n-Ride.  All done I got my 7 hours in.  Overall I felt pretty good.  I could have gone more had my time frame allowed.  That's huge for me!

While the Wobegon can be boring it's perfect for my training.  For most of the trail there is 3"+ of non packed snow.  Awesome for resistance training.  Some hills or turns would be nice however!  I'm guessing I'll be back!

This weekend we are off the the cities for a Doom Get Together.  The hotel has a pool so I have a feeling I know where I'll be!  CANNONBALL!

Happy Weekend.