Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Solstice Century.

We did it!  20 of us started out from the shop yesterday at 4:30 and 20 of finished in the dark around 9:45 with 100 more miles on our legs.
We opted for a route we did last year because of the good roads, relative flatness, and not too shabby in the scenic views either.  We headed North to Little Falls via the MRT (Mississippi River Trail) on the East side.  From Little Falls we continued on to Fort Ripley where we took over the small gas station for refueling at about 50 miles.  We then headed back down on the West side of the the Mississippi.  With 100 miles the goal we jumped over to St. Stephen onto St. Joseph before heading for home.
We finished with 100-102 miles at a 21.1 average...same speed as last year!  Back at the shop we grilled up 35 brats and had an awesome time shooting the shit.  While it made for a later night I'd do it again...such a great group.  
With that many folks mechanical issues and flats are always a concern as we are racing the sun.  We sustained 3 flats and one major blow out rendering the tire useless.  Luckily this happened near the end and near someone's house.  They were able to give the stranded rider a ride back to the shop.

Already looking forward to next year.

Jen is off to California for 6 days for school stuff.  I'm home with the kids for the next two days before handing them off to the next in line.  We have lots planned!  But dang it's gorgeous out...I'd love to get a 30 mile spin in but not in the cards.

Welcome to Summer. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

June is for Centuries.

The first half of yesterday was about as perfect as Minnesota weather gets.  Sunny, no wind, and not too hot or humid.  I was out on the bike before 6.  I didn't have a route in mind but it went something like this: STC, Sartell, Rice, North Prairie, Upsala, Swanville, Grey Eagle, St. Rosa, Freeport, Wobegon Trail, Albany, off the trail, Avon, SJU, St. Joe, Home.  Too bad Swanville/Grey Eagle are so far out, it's some of the best biking around.  Love it out there.
Ended with 111 miles and a 20.3 average.  I felt great on the bike.  Bummed it's storming this morning, I was looking forward to an easy recovery ride.

At the last minute we headed up to Jen's folk's cabin, about an hour north.  Not a bad Fathers Day at all.

On to Monday.

Summer Solstice is tomorrow.  Leaving at 4:30 from the shop.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another One.

And boom it's Friday!  I took Tuesday and Wednesday off from riding to recover from 107 miles of gravel and 7 hours of Duluth mountain biking.  Wednesday afternoon Jen, the girls, and I jumped on the train to go see the Twins.  We all had a blast.  Even getting home a bit past midnight was fine.  We hope to do it again sometime.
Yesterday I worked till noon.  Jen and the girls were back in the cities for a play so on the bike for me.  I was shooting for 4-5 hours but with not paying attention and attempts at avoiding busy roads I stacked on the miles and time.  When I got home I had 104 miles and almost 5.5 hours.  It felt really good!
Matt and I are meeting soon at my house to get a ride in.  I'll be shot by 3 today!

I work tomorrow too but hope to ride in the morning.  Rain is predicted so not too sure how that will end up.  I'm guessing I'll be tired and snooze too many times anyway.  I really hope it doesn't rain.  I'd love to hit the North Loop up on the mountain bike.

Next Tuesday is the Summer Solstice Century.
We will leave Revo at 4:30.
Have a midway (or so) refuel stop.
Bring a rear flasher.
20-22 mph average.
We will grill at the shop afterwards.
We will provide brats and fixins.
BYOB and maybe a snack to share.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WSDB and Duluth.

Not a bad past few days!

Saturday was the West Side Dirty Benjamin.  About 10 minutes to registration and is started to rain.  It would continue to rain for the first couple hours of the race.  Nothing hard but enough to get you coated in gravel.  Being a fairly flat course it's hard to break the field up.  Several efforts were put in but for the most part the lead group stayed around 20 or so riders till the checkpoint at mile 60.

I never felt great.  My legs never came around like they usually do.  Maybe too much riding and sweating at Valleyfair or maybe just not in shape.  After the checkpoint the group was down to about 10 and I was with them.  We killed it on the Luce Line trail putting the hurt on me!  Around mile 88 I did a little flyer that stuck for 5 miles or so.  That effort really hurt me.  Once the group caught me I struggled to stay with them.  Slowly they pulled away and I rode the rest of the way in solo.  Managed to get 10th so that's great.  Of course I have the would've, should've, and could've thoughts but overall I'm happy.

Yesterday morning 6 of us headed up to Duluth at 5:30 for a day of mountain biking.  We started on the east end at Lester Park.  We made our way all the way over to Spirit Mountain before heading back.  A bit over 7 hours on the bike!  It was my 2nd ride on the Salsa do I love that bike.  Despite being pretty rocky my back never hurt...which is a big deal for me.  Love it!  The trails in Duluth are amazing and more are coming.  I can't wait for them to finish the Traverse Trail.
Bad part is I didn't get home till after 11.  So far I feel pretty good but guessing I may be dragging a bit at work.
TNR is a no go for me.  I'd love to but I haven't seen the kids, besides sleeping, for a bit now.  Time to give the legs a rest.

Friday, June 12, 2015

WSDB and Summer Solstice.

Well ready or not the West Side Dirty Benjamin is tomorrow.  I've switched from racing the single speed to gears.  Mostly because I don't have time to get the single speed back together but also due to fitness and lack of time on a single speed.  The weather looks to be about perfect so I'm pretty stoked I get to do it.  Should be a great time with great friends.

I'm happy with the week of riding I was able to put together.   A hard century on Monday, recovery spin (30 miles) on Tuesday followed by a day at Valleyfair, off Wednesday, 40+ on Thursday, and about an hour+ spin today.  Originally I wanted to take the gravel bike on a 3 hour spin today but thinking that may bite me in the end.

Mark you calendars.
Summer Solstice Century...June 23rd (Tuesday)...TNR.

  • Leave the shop (Revolution Cycle and Ski) at 4:30...plan ahead.
  • Fast 100, 20-22 mph.  We try not to drop anyone but as the daylight fades we may have to leave you to the wolves, er coyotes.
  • Unless you're Jimmy bring 2-3 bottles and food.  We will stop around 50-60 miles to refuel.
  • Bring a rear flasher.  We are racing the sun but it always seems we end in the dark due to flats and the refueling stop.
  • More info as it comes.  Looking into a post ride feed of sorts.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

First Century on the Seven.

With today being Brinna's Birthday I'm opting out of the TNR.  Instead we are heading down to Valley Fair.  Hoping I don't freak out in the heat!  Because I'm missing TNR I headed out yesterday for my own suffer fest.
I essentially took the MRT (Mississippi River Trail) to Little Falls.  Just before Little Falls I took a left towards Swanville.  I then made my way to Holdingford where I stopped to refuel.  This was my first ride in the heat.  When it's hot I don't eat much, also when I'm pushing it.  I only had a get and 6 Powerbar Gel Blast Chew things.  Lots of fluids!
From Holdingford I took the rollers on River Street and headed in.
Managed 100 miles at a 20mph average.  Every ride I'm liking my Seven more and more.  Such a great bike!

The heat got to me a bit.  I felt pretty "funky" for a bit after my ride.  Nonetheless I had to mow too.  Despite pounding the fluids I'm still behind.  Nothing like a day in the sun at Valley Fair to get re hydrated!
Too bad Dirty Benjamin is this weekend.  Not the best timing on my part but when the time is there I have to go for it.  Heading out now for my recover loop (County Road 8, 25 miles).


PS: the Summer Solstice Century will be June 23rd.  Leaving the shop at 4:30 sharp.  More info later but know this is a 20-22 mph average ride.  As they say...Racing the Sun.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


I had yesterday off as I work this weekend at the shop.  Avery had choir concert at 1:00 so after dropping her off at school I got kitted up and out the door shortly after 7:30.  Already the south wind was pretty strong.  Basically I headed straight into it: county road 8, 24, and 6 into Howard Lake.  I headed west a bit before taking another right and taking advantage of the now tailwind!  I did some zigging and zagging but time was an issue.  Just missed the century mark by 9 miles!  I needed time to shower and back to the school for Avery's concert.  It was a great ride and I felt great.  Even this morning the legs are fine.  All good!
Still wondering if I'm anywhere near ready for the Dirty Benjamin?