Friday, April 29, 2016

Rainy Days.

Riding my bike can be a huge stress reliever.  I usually end rides with more energy, more upbeat, and just happy.  Not so much yesterday.  I waited till about 2 to leave.  It seemed most of the rain was gone and the roads were starting to dry up.  I grabbed the Evergreen and headed into the wind, NE.

About an hour in the sprinkles started and quickly converted into a light rain.  I stuck to gravel as much as I could as the gravel was absorbing most of the water.  Eventually the gravel became saturated and the water started to pool.  I was pretty wet and decided it was time to get home.  I jumped on the pavement and headed back.  By the time I finished (3 hours) my hands were worthless, my shoes were squirting water out the vents under pressure, and my bike was making fun noises. 
Screw this ride. 
I think it was actually the whole week of crappy weather that finally got to me.  Man I was crabby for a bit after my ride!

The Evergreen is coming to the shop with me this morning to get a cleaning.  I may ride this afternoon...not sure.  Tomorrow is Harper's Birthday so riding will be when/if it works.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring from the NE

Nothing like waking up to the sound of sleet pelting your window!  Nonetheless I'm riding today.  It may not be pleasant but once I'm done I know I'll be glad I went.  Who knows maybe by noon it will but nice out...ha!
I did get out and mountain bike yesterday.  I had wanted to ride the road bike but the wind just didn't seem all that fun.  The North Loop was riding great!  I'm a bit bummed I get bored there so quickly.  Finished just under 2 hours.

Most likely gravel this afternoon.  NE wind so I can ride with my eyes closed!  I'm longing for a south wind.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blah, Blah, Blah...

I got to Brinna's track meet yesterday around 3:45, we didn't leave till almost 7:45!  I was so cold.  Any thoughts of getting out on a night ride were long gone!  With a "feels like" temperature in the 30's I was colder than after the Arrowhead.  The bleachers faced the East, right in the winds path.

I work at noon today and thought about a road ride but the East winds are said to reach gusts upto 40 mph.  Yep, time to go see if the woods are dried out.

Come on Spring...let's rebound!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Going to be a Fast Week.

This week is looking to be a tricky one to get riding in.  Yesterday it was weather and lack of motivation to head out for a night ride in chilly, windy, misty conditions.  Tonight Brinna has a track meet and Jen a haircut appointment.  Saturday is Harper's 4th Birthday with Avery's 3 days later, but we may celebrate this weekend.  So lots going on.  Breathe Ben, breathe!  I'll manage just fine...the legs need a little rest anyway.
I toyed with the idea of riding the 1st MN MTB Series Race this Sunday in St. Croix Falls (The Wooly) but that may be pushing it a bit and I only have my single speed ready...but then again...


Monday, April 25, 2016

Not A Bad Weekend.

Saturday a large (200?) group of riders gathered in the small town of Elgin, MN for the Dickie Scramble (83 mile gravel race).  The weather started off sunny with a slight breeze, that would later turn into cloudy skies and a much stronger wind.  After the neutral roll out the pace picked up and the jockeying of position started. 
The front group was large and everyone seemed to feel they could win the race...a bit chaotic.  I kind of tuned out a bit and drifted back to the mid 20's-30's.  We took a right onto some pavement with a quick left onto gravel and I saw Ted hit the hammer.  By the time I got around some riders and put in a hard effort it was too late, I was stuck in no mans land.  I chased about a half hour making some ground up to only lose it.  I had a chase group behind me, whom I finally sat up and waited for.

This chase group was a bit chaotic at first but we found our groove and started to work together...for the most part.  As the effort got harder and the wind stiffer the group started to splinter some.  Around 28 miles we jump on a path of sorts and descend a gnarly downhill.  At the bottom of the hill there were 4 people with pinch flats!  As we climbed out of the valley on the opposite side our group was down to 5-6.  We'd stay that way through the first checkpoint (48 miles).  While there were not any super steep climbs there were a lot of climbs, many being long.  The climbs and the viscous headwinds allowed us to catch up to a group of three that fell off the lead group.  We eventually dropped down to 3 riders strong...Parker, BK, and myself.  We battled the crosswinds as best we could.  We finished 6,7, and 8.  I took 7th.  I'm happy with the performance.  Of course I wonder what could have been had I made the break but I had a fun day on the bike, and in the end, that's what matters.

Sunday was on and off again rain.  Noah and I were able to get a rain free 2 hours in.  The bike is covered in worms and the wind made recovery a bit of a challenge.
Once home the kids and I went out for lunch then battled the chaos that is Crafts Direct.  Ended the day with a sauna at the Anderson's.
Yep...not a bad weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pushing Through.

When I left work yesterday, shortly after noon, it was warm, not too windy, and the sun was shinning between the clouds.  Perfect...time to ride.  About half way up the River Road to Rice the clouds overtook the sun and the wind was picking up strength.  Not perfect!
My legs were feeling the wrath of riding the past two days.  Nothing crazy but they never came around.  My whole body was that way.  I felt like I was hungry but food did little to nothing to help.  The wide open, into the wind, section were a definite battle.  But being stubborn I pushed on as I had a route in mind!  St. Cloud, Sartell, Rice, Royalton, Bowlus, Holdingford, St. Stephen, Sartell, and St. Cloud.  A tad over 4 hours.  On the road bike.

Overall it was a good ride.  Had the sun been out I think I would have come around some.  At the finish I felt pretty good.  Racing the Dickie Scramble on Saturday should be interesting.  We'll see how the legs feel and respond.  I'm excited to do this one, as I have yet been able to.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Night Riding.

I'm pretty much unable to get out in the morning to ride until school is done.  Thus I'm pushed into the night.  I'm much more of a morning person.  It's easier for me to get up at 5 to ride then leave the house after work.  But that's what I did yesteday: drop of the kids, work, pick up Harper, grocery store, pick up Avery, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, and ride.

I took out the Evergreen once again.  NE to easterly winds so off I headed in an all too familiar route.  It does stay light out much longer but once the sun sets the route really doesn't matter much.  I went a bit too far North, lost track of time, and made the turn for home 2 hours into the ride.

When I left the western sky was clear while to the east and south it was overcast.  About halfway home the clouds had moved in and a wind shift (headwind) felt to be taking place.  Eventually I'd hit some sprinkles, turning into rain.  On with the vest and a bit faster cadence.

Ended shy of 4 hours.  By the time I cleaned up, etc. it was almost 10:30...way past my bedtime!  So glad I went however.  Always a's just getting out the door and the first 30 minutes that are hard.

Hoping to get a spin on the road this afternoon.