Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks...on the Bike.

4:41 am...hope to be on the bike by 5.  Up and at 'em early to get some riding in before the Thanksgiving festivities begin.  In the past I've usually biked to Jen's folks but the roads have gotten too busy and I need to head back before the family to work on Saturday.  Thus I'm heading out on the fat bike, heading north a few hours, and turning for home.  Should be enough to offset the extra calories consumed later in the day!

So I am off...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Warm Temps and a Slow Start.

Technically it's still Fall but usually the weather, for this time of year, feels more like Winter...not as of late however.  On my way home from work yesterday the car temperature gauge said it was 42 degrees.  I was heading out for a ride, starting in daylight and ending in darkness.  Once the sun goes down the temperature usually goes with it, making dressing on days like this tricky.  I pretty much nailed it except my foot wear.  I have fallen in love with my new 45 North Wolvhammers, which I opted to wear despite the temp.  Yep, the feet got a little warm!

I struggled to find my groove down county road 8.  The bike (Salsa Beargrease) seemed to be making a noise (I hate bike noises), my iPod was bugging me, the wind was stronger than I thought, and my heart rate wasn't registering (not that I really pay attention to it but still urks me when it's blank).  I loosened the front disc brake and the noise was gone, adjusted the iPod, and switched screens on my Garmin to the map...much better!  Once I hit gravel it was awesome.  I planned on 3 and got 3.5 hours.  I wanted more.  I love ending rides with that feeling.  Save that for the next day.

With Jen and the girls off of school our schedules are a bit out of whack.  Plus my usual 12-8 shift is a half day shift today.  I have to race home to watch the girls so Jen can get to her appointment.  Shooting for a similar ride this afternoon/evening.
Still up in the air for tomorrow's Turkey Day ride.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015


It usually takes a day or two, after a big ride, for my hunger to set in.  I'm hoping that is what yesterday was!  Man, I couldn't eat enough...and of course, since I didn't ride, I feel guilty about it, ha!
Back on the saddle tonight.  I can't get enough time on my fat bike (Salsa Beargrease), loving this bike!  Guessing I'll hit up more of the Dirt Bag course.  This time of year many of my riding buddies take time off the bike so it's been a lot of solo rides.  While I prefer to ride solo, every once in awhile some company would be nice (ahem...Matt and Charlie).  More so for the motivation to get out the door or maybe push it up that hill a bit harder.  But in the end I do like solo riding.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Week Review.

Last Week:

Monday: 1.5 hours (mtb)
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 3.5 hours (single speed Cross Check...mostly gravel, wet)
Thursday: 7.5 hous (fat bike, gravel, wind)
Friday: 3+ hours (Cross Check, gravel)
Saturday: 4 hours (fat bike, gravel)
Sunday: 3 hours (fat bike, gravel)

Total: 22.5

Had a good week of riding.  I felt pretty good on all the rides...even on the wind blown 7 hour ride.  More importantly I didn't break mentally.  For me, the long winter races (15+ hours) are both physical and mental.  If the mental side of things break down, it makes for a long, long day.  Happy with how things are progressing.
The rides Friday through Sunday were great!  The minimum wind was a huge treat after the beat down on Thursday.  Plus 3-4 hour rides seem to fly by!

I'm taking an off day today with the rest of the week somewhat up in the air.  I've yet to start some interval training and thought about tomorrow morning in the basement, but I'm finding lots of excuses not too!  Maybe I'll shoot for December.
Depending on what happens with the potential rain/ice/snow that's predicted for Wed-Thurs I may ride down to Thanksgiving in the Northern Suburbs of the Cities.  Time will tell.  I'm also cutting this week back a bit.  Shooting for 12-15 hours.

And Monday is off and running.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Into the Wind.

While dropping Harper off at school the weather was toying with me spitting flakes of snow every so often.  By the time I dropped Brinna off it was white out conditions!  I had no idea it was suppose to snow!  Back home I poured another cup of coffee in hopes the visibility would improve.  I was out on the fat bike 15 minutes later.  All the snow piled up to squat!  Just enough to make the roads slippery in town.

With a crazy west wind I planned to head south a bit down County Road 7 to Delwood (gravel) and start the battle westward.  As I turned west I knew plans had to change.  Pedaling 3+ hours straight into the wind was not a recipe for fun or my sanity!  I decided to ride the Dirt Bag I course backwards.  This turned out to be perfect.  It tossed in a good mix of cross, tail, and head winds.  I don't know how windy it did get but that was some brutal stuff.  I definitely made use of the the cassette's full range!

The past three weeks now I've done a 7 hour fat bike ride.  Each of those times it was pretty windy.  Windy enough I'd have skipped riding in the past or hit the woods on the mtb.  But I've come to the conclusion (for myself) that it's not that bad.  If I flip my Garmin to the map and ride for time, not distance or speed, it's all good.  Training...right?!

Ended with 7.5 hours and a tad over 100 miles.  Not sure where it came from, but 7 hours has been the goal as of late.
Working at noon today so heading out this morning.  Still not sure if it will be the single speed Cross Check or the fat bike.  Leaning single.
It's looking like I may get a couple more days in yet this week, making it a pretty solid week.  I'll cut it down some next week.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Once Again....Wind.

As I dropped Harper off at school yesterday the sun was making an effort to come out.  The sun on a ride!  But it wasn't to last.  About half way down county road 8 the rain/mist started, as did the southern wind.  I jumped on sections of the Dirt Bag course.  The Bruce Gordon Rock n' Road tires (700x43) were perfect.  I was really impressed with how they rolled both on pavement and gravel.  Better yet the width gave me enough float on the mushy, wet gravel.  Rolling on the single speed into the wind on mushy gravel I wasn't setting any Strava records, but time in the saddle is the goal this time of year.
I had a rear clip on fender but a full coverage fenders would have been nice.  I was just too lazy to put them on, not sure they will fit, and I prefer the bike without...till I want them!  Ended with 3.5 hours.

Today I plan on heading out on the fat bike.  As is the norm, on would think, it is WINDY...25-35 mph with gust up to 40.  This will by my 3rd long outing on the fat bike and the 3rd windiest day of that particular week...ugh.  As a friend told me, "we don't have hills, but we sure do have the wind".  That was many years ago, but every windy day I ride that runs through my head.
Saddle time.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gonna Be A Wet One.

Yesterday I was back and forth whether I was going to ride the rollers or take the day off.  In the end a day off won out.  I'm such a headcase when it comes to stuff like this!  But wanting to ride the rest of the week I felt it was the best decision.
As I sit here it's raining pretty damn hard.  I'm riding outside either way.  I'll go nuts if I don't!  I knew I should have put the full fenders set on the Cross Check...ugh.  I work at noon so maybe it will let up some.  It's hard not to think how much snow we'd have right now if the past few days of rain was snow...yesterday morning the paper said a foot and we received over an inch of rain yesterday!  Soon...