Monday, July 21, 2014

It All Blurs Together Sometimes.

When one gets up early or does long rides, days tend to roll into each other.  I had some of both this weekend.
Saturday I didn't get up super early but early enough to be on the bike by 7:45.  I was heading to Hutchinson to meet up with Jim (who was doing a road race).  We would then bike home together.

I actually used Google Maps to get my biking route.  I liked what they suggested, plus I knew the roads so it would be easy navigating.  Essentially I went down Cty road 8 to Hwy 24 to Cty road 6 with a left turn onto the Luce Line Trail.  I was facing a headwind this whole way, which slowed my progress, but not my spirits. It appears the Luce Line is getting ready to be paved or just received some love.  This provided some soft gravel.  The section of the Luce I'm more familiar with is the section in the Dirty Benjamin.  Here is crushed limestone type rock.  Very hard and fast.  Not the 15 miles I was on!  Fun nonetheless, plus the Salsa Colossal with 28's handled it just fine.
Once in Hutchinson I refueled and made my way up to the race course.  Timing was perfect.  Jimmy had recently finished and was ready to roll out.
Tailwind!
We cruised home, on  different route.  We made a couple stops for food and of course Diet Coke.  Closed roads put us on some dusty gravel, but again the bike did just fine.
Ended with 132 miles for the day.

Sunday I was up around 4:45 getting myself ready for a day of pumping tires and turning gears at the Tour of Saints...mechanic duty.
I was out there for 8 hours.  Always amazed at how little preparation some people do for rides.  Guess that's why I'm there!

I did manage a 2 hour mtb ride at the North Loop later in the day.  It was a hot one.

About to head out for an easy spin before work.  Jen and the girls get home this afternoon from the lake so hope to spend sometime with them before they head off to another lake Tuesday.  Ahhh, summer!

Later.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to work today.
Yesterday was a good day.  Gardening, mowing, landscaping, mountain biking, and Anniversary dinner all happened.  Good stuff.
I did check out Plum Creek for a lap.  The new bridge section is great!  Prior to that there are still a lot of low lying wet areas.  Crazy it's still wet.  Then it was off to the North Loop for a lap too.  Shorter ride but still fun.
Heading out soon on the road bike for a 3 hour stint.  Tomorrow is shaping up to potentially be a big day on the bike.  Not sure yet on the details but it should be fun!
Then Sunday is an early up and at 'em day...The Tour of Saints.  I'm usually out there at 5:45 or so to start pumping tires and adjusting gears.  A long day of watching others ride.  I should be home around 3 or so.  I'll be a tired boy but hope to hit up a few laps at the North Loop.
Then Monday...

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Time.

It's odd having a couple days off middle of the work week.  But working retail there really is not a "set" standard I guess.  I used to not mind working weekends, actually kind of liked it, but lately it's getting hard.  Everything seemingly happens on weekends.  Thus everyone wants weekends off.  Looking forward to September and beyond, I have stuff tentatively planned many of the weekends.  Inspiration 100, Single Track Escape (race director and hopefully racer), Metal Cross, Heck of the North, plus as many CX races I can squeeze in.  I'm already stressing out.  Stupid anxiety!

Nonetheless, I was off yesterday and had a great time with the family.  At first I was all mopey as we didn't have anything planned.  I later told Jen that I feel if I have time off I should be "doing" something.  Once I figured out how to chill it was a good day.  We made our way over to Summertime by George for the free concert and numerous food vendors.  Jen and I actually watched a movie too.  Not without hiccups, but hey we watched and adult movie!  You know, not G rated nor cartoons!
Plus I got a 2.5 hour road ride in too!

Not sure about today.  Jen and I are on a date tonight for dinner.  More family time before hand.  I wanted to ride 4+ hours on the road but think some MTB time is better...just not sure on the time or duration, if at all.  Plum Creek received some bridges yesterday, thanks to Sam and John, so go hit it up!

Later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It Takes All Kinds...of riding.

I promise, next Tuesday I will hit up the TNR.  But this week the NW winds and cooler temps pushed me back into the woods and on some dirt.  This time, however, I wasn't alone.  Jeff, Tom, and Noah all joined in for some dirt adventure.  Well, as much adventure as the North Loop can provide!

I really am digging the 2-3 hour ride that gets me home around 7:30 or so.  I actually still ate dinner with my family.  Working retail I work a couple 12-8 shifts plus a few rides and I'm not home for dinner all that often.  So when the TNR has me getting back at the shop around 9:15 I'm more apt for the dirt and my own schedule.  Plus the TNR is a hammer fest and I have to be in the "mood" for it or I just get crabby.  Yeah I'm a weirdo, but the first to admit it.  All that being said, I do love a good TNR throw down so I need to get back on it.  I do feel everyone has been a bit burnt on the TNR.  Ever since our Summer Solstice Century ride the attendance has been low.  I have a feeling next week will be back up on top.  Zoom, zoom.

Yesterday, more so than normal, my twitter feed was blowing up with cyclocross action!  It's getting closer.  I'm in the process with Podium Wear of finalizing my teams (Revolution Cross Collective) new kits.  Getting pretty excited!!  Let me know if you're interested in the team action.

Today Jen and I celebrate 15 years of marriage!  Wow!  I have today and tomorrow off.  Nothing huge planned.  Some family stuff and hopefully dinner out tomorrow just the two of us.

Later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Hawk Chase Report.

Here's my report from the Great Hawk Chase.  This should be on SkinnySki.com too.


It wasn’t till Thursday night that I decided to head North and do the Great Hawk Chase race in Duluth.  Once work was finished Saturday the family and I packed the van and were on our way.

 Having received some rain Friday night the course was shortened a bit to eliminate the more muddy sections.  My race, the Marathon class, started at 9:30, providing a bit more time for the course to dry out.  The race started us up a nice up hill.  I like hills at the start as it thins the crowd a bit.  I was riding single speed so I really only have one speed going up.  This allowed me to pass several riders.  Once single track was hit I realized my skills at race pace need some improvement.  But alas I never crashed or clipped a tree so I’m getting better!
                
We finished our first lap in about 30 minutes.  At this point I was in a group of three.  I passed them on the climbs and they caught up to me in the single track.  At one point I rode away from them and caught the next group of two.  It was then we started to hit race traffic.  I lost the two riders I was with and was eventually joined by my first group.  This group then became two and we would leap frog off and on the rest of the race.  I looked forward to the start/finish loop for the energy of the crowd.  It always pumps me up.  Just wish I could make it last longer!

On lap 6, Matt Ryan, my riding partner on and off again all day, caught me near the end.  He came up on me so fast I thought it was someone out pre riding the course.  Nope, he was just that fast.  I let him pass.  I stayed with him as best I could.  We started the climb on lap 7 together but I never passed him as I did in previous laps.  I knew he was riding much stronger than I, he ended up 2nd!  My goal was just not to let anyone else pass me.  It started to rain a bit half way through my last lap.  This made the trails super slick for me.  On the climbs I have to stand as I’m on a single speed and my rear tire would constantly slip out.  I was able to stay upright the entire lap, which is a small victory in itself! 
                
I ended up 4th.  I was super happy with that.  Of course I had the “ I should’ve” or “I could’ve”
thoughts but being my first series race in 7 years I’ll take it. 


I’m ready for more dirt.  Super fun day on a great course.  Duluth has something special going on up there.  Hope to be back for more.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dirty Weekend.

It's funny how things sometimes work out.  Thursday of this past I heard some customers talking about the upcoming MN MTB series race up in Duluth, The Great Hawk Chase.  Hmmm.  I worked Saturday but had Sunday off.  Talked with Jen and a plan was hatched.

I was asked to do a write up for Jay Richards and Skinny Ski so I'll post that here later today or tomorrow.  But know I had a blast and am now hooked back on dirt!

Happy Monday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

More Dirt.

I can't seem to get enough mountain biking in lately.  I hit up the North Loop again yesterday.  Popped out 4 laps.  Two of those were with Nate and Sam...those guys are smooth!  We checked out both .3 and Doom's Return Trails.  We opened .3 but kept Doom's Return closed.  If it hadn't rained this morning I'd guess Doom's would be open today...soon!

Had hoped to get a easy 2 hours in on the road bike this morning but rain kept me in bed and then sleep took over.  Currently I still have time to ride but it is still sprinkling.  Just not in the "getting wet" mood.  Plus I should take today off.  I was going to ride today or tomorrow and rest the other.  Looks like I spin tomorrow. Whoa...just figured I almost got 10 hours of sleep!!!  Must of needed it.

After work tomorrow the family and I are busting on up to Duluth for the night.  I'm all signed up for the Great Hawk Chase race at Lester Park, Marathon Class.  Pretty excited.  Then it'll be Fitger's for a late lunch.  A good weekend.

Later.