Sunday, December 6, 2009

50 miles of smiles

Met up with Squirrel and Jordan for some "urban" putt-putt this morning. Left the house at 9 AM with a thermos of coffee and a flask of whiskey in my camelback in case we got cold while riding around. Boogied downtown on the pave trail, talked briefly to Luggs and Mike Baker and then hurried downtown. Heck of a good time was had by all of us. We rode along the south side of the river amongst the trees, the homemade shelters of the homeless, as well as some quad play ground. We found a handy route across the river courtesy of Union Pacific and proceeded to ride around and explore the north side of the river and the bottoms. We discovered lots of well maintained quad playground and proceeded to just have a hell of a good time riding the double track, railing berms and popping up and over some fun whoop-de-doos near the levees. We finally hit a spot where the quad playground came to and end and had to turn around and head back. Stopped at El Bait Shop for 30 minutes for a burrito and a couple of beers (I went with the Rogue Smoked Porter). Squirrel and I rode home along the north side of the Raccoon river, through Lost Planet and then back to Waterworks park. I took side streets over towards 100th in Clive and rode home. About 5.5 hours of riding time and 50 or so miles of fun. I never really noticed the "cold" once were moving. That's the sign of a good ride this time of year.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sycamore 8

Spent four or five hours this morning helping out with the course setup and management for CITA's Sycamore 8 Trail Run. I woke up later than I intended this morning and had to hustle to make the setup meeting time at 7 AM. I was greeted by a flat front tire on my Karate Monkey so I grabbed a set of platform pedals and a pedal wrench and headed out with my Singlecross in the back of the truck. Riding Sycamore with the cross bike wasn't as bad as I thought. Definitely worked up a sweat while riding along some of the grassy sections near I-80, and also while moving some brush out of the way. My Salomon boots kept my feet warm, and the layers I put on kept my body warm. I did manage to pick the wrong gloves to wear and ended up with some cold hands while the race was actually in progress. Sycamore is in remarkably good shape right now (for Sycamore). The frozen ground makes for a fast ride through there. The bald eagles are out in force along the Des Moines River as well. Beautiful to see and cool to hear when they are roosting above you in the trees. Anyone that believes that an elevated highway through the middle of this area will have miniscule effect on the wildlife is sorely mistaken. Gonna bundle up tomorrow morning and ride some new trail with Squirrel on the east side of the river. Should be a good time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moonlight ride

Met up with some guys from the Rasmussen and All 9 Yards bike teams tonight for some gravel goodness. 5:30 PM, temps in the 50s (if we were lucky) and a nearly full moon made for good times. The group broke into two not too far into the ride with those of us out for base building taking a right, while those intent on world domination kept on going ahead. We never saw them again. RickB, KrisK, RickN, Chia-Chad, the RoBros, Lippold and myself headed off west towards what was supposed to be Van Meter. Kris and RickN headed south to Booneville as the rest of us continued west to Old Portland Road and then headed north. We eventually made it into Adel and rode the Raccoon River Valley Trail back into town. RickB and I jumped off in Clive and headed south back towards WaterWorks Park where we had parked. I got in 50 miles of good base in, with a couple of pips a bit higher climbing some of the hills. My Specialized Singlecross was a good choice tonight. No gears meant no way to do anything stupid. just kept ticking the pedals over to keep moving. My right IT band feels like it took a lead pipe to it. It's way too sore to do anything with tonight. If it feels good tomorrow, I'll do a light foam roller session to work the tight spots out.

...And so begins "training" for the 2010 season.