Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It's been a while since my last post. For the few readers I'll summarize the reason for the lull in one word - numbness.

The nerve issues that I suffered during and after TransWisconsin have basically left me unable to ride more than a handful of times up until a month or so ago. The first two weeks back required me to look at my hand when holding a sandwich or a glass of liquid to ensure that I wouldn't drop it. Our cats enjoyed the dropped sandwiches a lot. Typing caused the numbness to get worse (bad when your job requires you to type for 8 hours a day). Day to day tasks became actual tasks. I have much more insight as to how I will be when I age to the point of not being able to handle some of life's basic tasks myself. Caretakers, you have been warned.

I've spent some time talking to medical doctors, sports therapists and acupuncturists over the last six months. The first (or even second) opinion isn't always the right one. I had two doctors ready to slice into my wrist to alleviate my numbness because they were convinced it was carpal tunnel. A four day onset of carpal tunnel seemed a bit unlikely to me. Thankfully I found third and fourth opinions from Cindy McGuire at Hands on Sports Massage and Jay Heaverlo at Midwest Acupuncture Clinic. I credit both of them with really getting to the root cause of my issues and getting me healed up. Insurance companies that don't cover accredited massage therapy or acupuncture are missing the boat IMHO.

Although I'm finally better, I can't begin to (again) tell you how important getting your bike fit properly is. My Salsa Fargo was the *one* bike in my fleet that I had not taken in to Rasmussen's to have adjusted and it completely screwed me for close to 6 months. I will be taking my Fargo into Adam for a fit once I'm ready to start riding it again.

While I was busy with not riding my bike, I picked up a real camera and started taking photos as a way to still stay involved with cycling and see my friends. I have bunch of them here on Flickr if you are interested in taking a peek. While we're on the subject of photography, I'm honored to announce that I've been accepted an offer to be the Official Photographer for TransIowa V7. I'm hoping that I am able to capture even a portion of what this ultra-endurance event is like. A huge thank you to Guitar Ted for allowing this to happen.

Finally, I still have some TransWisconsin writing to finish up. I'm finally ready to reference my little composition book so I can write "the rest of the story". Hopefully the details won't be too fuzzy.

After 6 months of numbness, soul searching, and depression, this biker is finally getting back into his Zen state. It feels good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

TransWisconsin - Day 0

Some people have recently accused me of being a little too Type A when it comes to my cycling prep. With that in mind, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that my Thursday AM packing routine consisted of nothing more than loading my bike on the top of the Explorer, throwing my backpack in the passenger seat and tossing a cooler in next to it.

I had been riding around town with my TransWisconsin items on my bike and back for close to five days prior to leaving. I had gone through and pared things down to what I had considered bare minimums, ending up with a 5 lb sleeping roll, a 13 lb Egon BC3 backpack, and another 3 lbs of stuff in a small frame bag. I went to Rasmussen's for a bit in the AM before meeting Courtney at his house in West Des Moines. We loaded up Courtney's mountain bike, backpack and rear rack, stopped to fill the cooler with ice and drinks and left for Wisconsin. The drive up was uneventful. Lots of discussion of rides, tire choices and what to expect over the next few days. We had some spare time in our schedule, so we stopped in Dubuque and visited my friends Gary and Patty. We arrived with zero fanfare in the town of Hazel Green, but had issues finding any cyclists. It appeared that, even at 6 PM, we were early. After peeking in the windows of the local antique store and tdriving to the park to see if anyone was around, we headed back to Gangster's Bar and Grill where we found David, Andy and some others enjoying some tasty food and beverages.

After polishing off a bacon cheeseburger and a Spotted Cow, we were back at the park looking at bikes, setting up camp and discussing the event. Joe stopped by to see us as well as drop off phone numbers so we could post audio updates to the web site. Soon Joe was off for the evening, as the race organizers had comp-ed his costs for a hotel while we camped in the park. :) I slept well in my hammock, other than having my head facing towards the security lights instead of away from them. We did have to deal with a fairly good sized storm that rolled through overnight, but I just hunkered down in my hammock watching the trees blow while some of Duluth crew decided to move to the safety of the shelter.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I am back from Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I only rode slightly over half of the route before I pulled out of the event. I'll have some write ups for the event coming over the next few days, but one of the items I brought back was a good case of ulnar and medial nerve irritation that makes it difficult to use my right hand. In the meantime here are some photos from the trip. I'm already making plans for next year's attempt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Have the packing pretty much done. Missing some small, non-essential stuff, but the important stuff is all taken care of. I'm sure some experienced bikepackers could whittle this down a bit more. I'm still hoping that I can figure out a way to mount the stuff sack so that I can completely remove the racks from the Fargo and shave a few pounds off the bike.

Here's a quick breakdown of stuff I'm taking and aggregate weights for anyone that's watching from home. I've left off the obvious tubes, pump, lights, and multitool.

Waterproof stuff sack (4 lb 14.75 oz)
  • Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock
  • Hennessy Rainfly
  • Lafuma 40F down sleeping bag
  • Tyvek ground cloth
Jannd Frame Bag (1 lb 10.25 oz)
  • Garmin 605
  • External AA battery pack
  • Camera
  • Knife
  • Bug spray
  • Advil
  • Cell Phone
Ergon BC3 Backpack (13 lbs)

Personal Items (22.63 oz)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen (SPF 75)
  • Deodorant
  • ToothPaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Flask w The Macallan 18
  • Towel
  • Soap
Cookset (11.9 oz)
  • Cup
  • Stove
  • Pot
  • Fuel
  • Spork
  • Matches
  • Foil Lid
Clothing (4 lbs)
  • Rain Pants
  • Leg Warmers
  • Arm Warmers
  • Shorts
  • Bibs
  • Jersey
  • Socks
  • Socks
  • Windbreaker
  • Oakleys
  • Spare Lenses
  • Eye Glasses
Misc (12.75 oz)
  • Zip Ties
  • Stakes
  • Dykes
  • TP
  • Patch Kit
  • Tire Lever
  • Compass
  • Chain Lube
  • Backpack rain cover
Water (4 lbs)
Ergon BC3 backpack (3 lbs)

Monday, June 14, 2010


I'm in the final stages of prep for The TransWisconsin. After what I can only describe as a complete blast to my physical systems and psyche in Kansas two weeks ago, I was really close to withdrawing from this event. After taking some time to reset myself, I decided that not going would be the worst thing I could do. So here I am, feeling less prepared than I want to, but ready to take on the challenge of 620 miles of Wisconsin's finest gravel roads and single track. My Salsa Fargo will be my home for the journey. I have a complete multipurpose sleeping system compressed into a sub 5 lb waterproof bundle and everything else that I need will either be in my Ergon BC3 backpack or my Jannd frame bag. Food will be gathered along the way and cooked at night, or eaten in whatever restaurant/gas station/farm we can find food at. I'm still working through some last minute issues, but I'm hoping to pull both the front and rear Nice Racks off to drop a few pounds of of the bike. Fenders are staying on. I'd kill for one of the soon to be released Salsa Minimalist racks right now, but they're not in the cards until fall. I do know that I'm looking forward to a few days on the bike to clear my head out. Plan is to pedal, eat, sleep, and fill up the memory card on the camera.

Highlights (for children)

I'm behind on a lot of things right now, including race reports. They're coming. Brief summary:
  • TransIowa V6 - Made 1st checkpoint @ mile 44 by 2 minutes. Out at mile 59
  • Almanzo 100 - Finished in 6:51. Good enough for 57 out of 267.
  • Chequemegon 100 - Got lost at mile 45. Saw black bear cubs. Enjoyed every minute.
  • Dirty Kanza 200 - 4:15 to 1st checkpoint @ mile 58. Out at mile 85 with chills and goosebumps in 95 deg heat.

Friday, April 23, 2010

TI v6 Packing list

Tossing this here in case anyone is interested and so I don't forget anything

Avid Torx tool
side cutters
electrical tape
zip ties
quick link
hunk of chain
bottle of chain lube
rubber gloves
spare shoe cleat
spare brake pads
extra bottle cage bolts
bottle of advil

6 tubes
6 c02 carts and inflater
patch kit
100 oz water bladder
4 water bottles
4 light batteries
two headlights
one tail light
cell phone
frame pump

toilet paper
flask of The Macallan 18 year
camel mojo
jade buddha mojo
Garmin 605 and external battery pack
cell phone

spare socks
spare gloves
spare hat
spare lenses for Oakleys

6 Garmin Francois bars
2 lbs of bacon
15 GU packets
8 tubes of Clif shot blocks
2 bottles of Boost

sense of humor
willingness to suffer

Tick tock...

Last minute prep for TI is just about complete. Thomson post is installed, computer is installed and set properly. Rear rack removed. Bolts checked and tightened. Driveline cleaned and lubed

Later today will be the finish of the charging, list checking and packing phase. Need to install some fenders too.

Saturday will be the ride phase.

Sunday will be the finish phase.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Getting closer

Bike is getting closer to being ready. I should have my Thomson setback post in the next day or so and the construction will be complete. Still up in the air on the rack. If I can snag an Ergon BC2 or BC3 yet this week, the rack will stay home. I've double wrapped the drops in order to try and keep hand fatigue at bay. I also moved the hoods down a bit further on the drops so the brakes are easier to reach. Here's hoping the body is ready for what is gonna be thrown at it in a few days.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Catch up post

Lots of stuff going on the last month, but not a lot of typing. Gonna just slap some stuff down so the 2 people that are reading this can see what I've been up to.

Ramped up the mileage over the last two weeks and have been feeling pretty good, if a bit tired. I didn't worry about whether it was gravel or pavement. Seat time of any sort is paramount right now to get the legs in shape.

Capped things off with camping trip out towards Panora with Squirrel, Jason Bouten, Sammy, and Skidmore on Friday. 85 miles of riding with a 50 lb trailer in tow made for a good workout, even at a medium pace. Ate some brats over a campfire and drank a few beers and just generally had a good time and enjoyed the early spring weather. The Hennessey Hammock worked out well for the trip. I'm actually going to need to find trees a bit further apart than I thought at first to hang it up. I also need to work on getting the line a bit more level so I don't sink down to one end of the hammock.

Parts for my Dos Niner have shown up at the shop, other than the rims for my wheels. Hope to get it all built up sometime soon (maybe during my TI rest week).

Fargo should be showing up at the shop this week as well. A little work to get that in shape but it will be worth it. The Fargo will be my steed for the TransWisconsin for sure. There's a slight chance I'll be using it for the Cheq 100 as well, but that would be fairly slim at this point.

In other news, my low back is out, so I'm going to be off the bike for a few days. Just about the worst time for it to happen as I really need to be getting consistent seat time in for the next 2 weeks. Better to rest now than break down in the middle of no where I guess.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Training in Decorah

Earlier in the year, Ben Shockey put together plans for a weekend of long hard rides in the Decorah area. Since I wasn't going to Tuscon this year, I thought that this would be a good way to kick up my training for this year's endurance calendar. I sent an email off to Ben and reserved a space for the weekend. Out of the eight or ten takers, only three ended up making the trip: Drew Wilson, Kent Carlson, and me. Kent and I drove up on Thursday morning and arrived at Ben's early in the afternoon. After a quick trip to Decorah bikes to pick up a replacement head and taillights, we headed off to T-Bocks for some pre-ride food. We saw Drew cruise by the bar around 5 PM so we rode the two blocks back to Ben's to meet him.

Local rider Gunner showed up on his Fargo and we headed out from Ben's at 6PM for what turned out to be a 30-35 mile ride. There were a couple of decent sized hills along the way, but for the most part, it was a mellow affair with total of about 2.5 hours of ride time. We got back, headed out to get some stuff for Friday's breakfast, spent some time just BS-ing, and then headed to bed.

Friday morning came and I awoke to the sounds of Ben banging pans full of bacon, hash browns and sausage on the stove. A good way to start the morning. After a breakfast we loaded up and met Gunner downstairs and headed out for a gravel metric to Harmony, MN. The first few miles were an easy pavement warm up and then we hit the first of many miles of wet, but still somewhat firm gravel. Ben threw in some beautiful scenery and gently rolling hills along the Upper Iowa river as well as a couple of brutal climbs to make sure that we remembered where we were at. The final few miles going out were spent cruising through Minnesota Amish country, including a couple of passing buggys, and plenty of wheel tracks along the side of the road. After a quick food stop, we headed back along the same route. The east wind had shifted to the south during our ride and was now our companion for remainder of the day. Big downhills became slow grinds on the way back, with one hill in particular possessing a dreadful combination of steepness and fresh loose gravel. Kent, Ben and Drew were machines on their single speeds and trying to match their pace was causing me to burn a lot of matches both physically and mentally. It didn't take me long to let them ride off and settle into a more comfortable pace and "ride my ride". My mood improved dramatically after that. The rest of my ride included some stops for photos and a lot of taking in the sights more so than having my nose to the grindstone. I finished the ride alone, but maybe only 30 minutes after everyone else. After a shower and a quick bite to eat, we hung out for a bit and then went out for more food and a couple of beers. A huge plate of pasta hit the spot and soon we were back at Ben's and prepping for Saturday's 100 mile suffer fest.

We got up early on Saturday morning for breakfast so we could leave at 7 AM sharp. We headed north from Ben's place, across the river and right up the wall known as Quarry Hill road. I let the fast guys ride off ahead and settled into a comfortable pace up the hill. At the top, we were greeted with a stiff north wind and blowing rain. I could tell this was gonna be a long day as my back had already had a couple of small spasms on the way up Quarry hill. About 15 miles in I decided to pull the plug. The route was only going to get steeper and it was obvious that my back wasn't going to handle the workout for the day. I ended up following some random roads back into town (some of them I'm sure were on TI v4) and spending the rest of the day hanging out in the bike and coffee shops around town. I went out with Ben's wife to meet the guys around mile 85 at a convenience store and waited for them to finish the ride up. After they returned we hit up the local bars and restaurants for food and drinks to celebrate the weekend of fun.

The decision to go up for the weekend of riding was a good one. The Decorah area is beautiful and challenging to ride in. Having like minded folks that are also strong riders made for a challenging weekend too. We're hoping we can get back for another shot at the century course on a nicer day later this year. Have to see how the schedule works out.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

22.3 @ 16.8

Met up with Blackford, Squirrel and Reagan at Rasmussen's for some Moffit Lake loop action this morning. Only the four of us showed up so we headed out south of town on 63rd. It took about 2 miles for me to figure out that I was gonna get put in the hurt locker. Squirrel and Regan on 23c's and Rick just being Rick this year. Everyone but me on the big ring from the start. I was OTB by the time we hit Park and I stayed there the rest of the day. Once my heart and respiration rates came down out of the stratosphere, I managed to at least keep them in site on the south side of the loop. I looked up to see the three of them passing the turn off and heading out to Moffit Lake. I opted for two loops on my "big" ring and then rode back to the shop. Some guys can go right from the gun and I am not one of them. I really didn't get settled in until the first turn north on the loop. Not a lot I can do about it other than train my body to go harder from the start, or HTFU and play the hand I've been dealt. At least the fenders worked.

Nod to Epon for the post title.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Out with the "old" (and in with the new). IE - FOR SALE

I'm clearing some bikes out of my house. Not because they're broken, or in poor shape, but because these bikes don't fit into the riding I'm discovering that I really enjoy. The first is being sold because it's a size too small for me. If it wasn't for that, I'd probably hang onto it. Due to the size issue, I don't enjoy riding it. The second bike is being sold because it's being replaced with something a little more off-road worthy. It's a solid bike with some nice upgrades and has been well taken care of.

If you fit either of these bikes, leave a comment and lets see if we can make a deal.

1990 Schwinn Paramount
56cm frame
Waterford hand built OS steel frame
Silver and red
Chris King Headset
Dura Ace Brakes
9 Speed Dura Ace drivetrain w Campy ergo shifters
Selle Italia Flite Saddle
American Classic seatpost
Shimano 105 SPD-SL pedals
Weight - 20 lbs
(Photo is with older set of pedals and tires)

Asking $1100. Open to a reasonable offer.

Olive Green Surly Long Haul Trucker

The LHT has been SOLD to a good home.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CIRREM 2010...a day of Devastation

The tagline for the second running of CIRREM was Hesitation is Devastation. It turned out to be quite appropriate.

I and my house guest, rochester resident Drew Wilson, headed out to the Cumming Tap around 8 AM. We signed in, snagged a plate full of breakfast and socialized before the race started. It was great to see and talk to some folks in person for the first time in almost a year. After a bit of time, I realized that I left both of my water bottles at home. Another racer offered me one of his spare bottles, so I opted to start with one instead of driving back home. The 10 AM start time was nice, if a bit unusual. Typically these events start between 6 and 8 AM. As we were standing around and talking, the little voice in the back of my mind kept saying "You're wasting time. Get out there and ride." The temps were in the mid teens at when arrived, and were slowly climbing every minute that we stood around, making it more and more likely that we were going to end up in some slop along the route.

After some pre-race announcements and thank you's, we took off around 10. I planned to use this race as an early season fitness test, so I opted to stay near the front as long as possible. I pushed it a bit harder than I should have early on, despite knowing that it takes about 8-10 miles of riding for my body to adjust and settle in. I managed to hang with the lead group for the first 5 miles until I decided that I needed to slow down if I expected to finish. I spent the next couple of hours just checking out the scenery and the roads. I had a general idea where we were riding, but I hadn't actually been on any of the roads before. Nothing too eventful, other than spotting Jed a C02 cartridge at the top of one hill. There is a lot of good scenery and roads in this part of the state. Both deserve some additional exploring later this year. After 30 miles of riding, I found my bearings as we rode by near Cedar Bridge County Park north of Winterset. Turning north, I looked at the cue sheet and knew that the toughest part of the ride was about to hit us. Despite that, I shouted out my number as I approached the half way checkpoint and kept riding on.

A mile or so beyond the checkpoint the route started to work it's way up, and my decision to not stop was haunting me. As I climbed out of the saddle, my quads cramped, forcing me back into the saddle to continue the climb. At the top of the first hill, I decided to stop and eat. I realized that I hadn't taken in any food for the first half of the race and it was catching up with me. The food that I had brought with me was either frozen solid or extremely thick. For anyone wondering, Clif Shot Bloks take 10 minutes to go from frozen to chewable once they are in your mouth. By this time a number of the riders I had passed at the checkpoint were also starting to pass me back, so I soldiered on, walking the big hills on both North River Trail and Old Portland Road to give my legs a break. I had a brief exchange with a fellow La Cruz rider that that read my DK 200 account from last year. My 15 minutes of fame I guess.

As we turned back east, the roads were quickly becoming softer and it was obvious that I needed to switch over to survival mode to finish the race. I was out of water as of mile 45 and starting to have issues with changing gears. I finally looked down and noticed the thick layer of frozen crud that had built up on my top tube and seized up my deraileur cables. Stopping briefly to chip that off, I managed to reset my odometer. This wasn't a huge deal as I was on relatively familiar roads by now. The stretch of riding from mile 45 to 54 was agonizing. I couldn't generate any power on the east/west flats to make up time and the sloppy north/south roads were sapping any power I might have had. After what seemed like hours, I finally emerged onto the familiar south half of the Booneville loop. I was finally able to cruise comfortably along this stretch. At mile 60, I saw the rider in front of me continue east. I looked at my cue sheet, and the color of the arrow painted on the snow, and opted to follow the cue sheet and turn south. This turned out to be the right choice as someone not involved with the race had painted an arrow in the snow to mess with the riders. The final 3 miles were spent just hoping the race would end. Jed and Kent did a good job of keeping the finish line in sight, but out of reach for this stretch. I finally arrived back in Cumming 5 hours and 15 minutes after the start, stumbling through the bar to record my arrival. I quickly made my way to the food table and snagged a plate full of beans, chips and a pork loin sandwich in order to fill the deep pit I had dug during the race. After a plate full of food and a couple of beers, I was feeling a lot more human.

The day's suffering was a direct result of my (lack of) nutrition and fluid intake. Had I managed those better, I likely would have felt and performed better. The positive spin was that I made those mistakes early in the race season, and in a shorter race that was closer to home. The price for making the same errors later in the year will be a lot higher.

I have to give a big shout out to Jed and Kent for organizing the event. The location and the route were great, as were the awards, food and swag. Big thank you to The Cumming Tap for everything they did to support the event as well. An extra special thank you to the volunteers at both The Tap and the checkpoint. Events like this only go off with the help of a number of people. The volunteers were top notch and extremely helpful.

On the equipment front, my Salsa La Cruz was solid for the entire event. No mechanicals, no flats and extremely comfortable. My Oakley sunglasses worked great. The new Hydrophobic lenses are everything they claim to be. Thanks, as always, to Rasmussen Bike Shop. They order in the weird stuff I request with no question and never fail to do a great job supporting me, despite the fact that I'm not entering mainstream events.

I'm headed off to Decorah for some training on the 11th - 13th of March. My next event will be TransIowa v6. I have a lot of preparations to complete between now and then if I expect to finish TI.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mental flush

By mileage and time on the trainer, I am sure that I have more time on the bike so far this year than I have in years past. For whatever reason, I don't feel that I'm as prepared for the upcoming race season as I should be at this point. I'm sure part of it is consistency. I'm not riding as regularly as I would like to be right now. I see a lot of people out putting in regular rides on the weekends, plus a ride or two in the middle of the week, or regular commutes. The cold certainly has something to do with it, as does my aversion to sitting on the trainer for hours on end. I know that if I spend too much time on the trainer, I'll be burned out before the race reason really gets here in late April. I'll need to be well rested and eager to be on the bike if I'm going to mentally make it through 200 and 300 mile events. I'm hoping that three days with Shockstar up in Decorah in a couple of weeks will provide a much needed boost to my drive and fitness.

On the brighter side of things, parts are on order to complete the build of my Salsa Dos Niner framset that I bought from Matt Gersib back in November. It's been a long, rough winter staring at the frame everytime I sit at my desk. The build is going to be made up of SRAM X0 with a Truvativ Noir crank for the driveline, Avid Elixr CR brakes, a Reba Race fork, and DT Swiss 240s and Stans Flows for the wheelset. I'm looking forward to getting the parts in and getting the bike built up (assuming that I can find the time to do so).

I've got some other shake ups planned for the stable this year as I find my niche in the two wheel world. More on those as they happen.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

3 hour tour

Left BWW at 1:30 PM today with a ton of other guys. Blackford, Basso, Waugaman, Mason, Huerter, Wild Bill, Bach, Doughty, Ryan VH, and Osborn (think that was everyone). It was Chad's ride, but he didn't really have a solid route planned. Seemed like everyone turned to me to ask where we were going and what the pace was gonna be. We headed out of town on 60th St towards Booneville Road. It was quickly obvious that my pace was a lot slower than what most people wanted to ride today. We had some regroups to make sure that everyone was following the same route. Got about 15 miles in when Bach stopped and asked me for a multi tool to fix his loose pedal. Turns out that his pedal somehow got cross threaded and it was pulling out. We pulled it out of his crank arm, got it rethreaded as best as we could, and I sent him on the short route home. His pedal ended up coming out after a large downhill, but by that time, the fast guys had caught up to him and ended up towing and pushing him back. I ended up pulling sweeper duty, catching up to Doughty and Huerter in the process. After helping Terry with a flat, we both just cruised back in for a bit until he told me to go ahead ride without him. Stopped for some coffee with the fast guys before heading home. Got 30 or so miles rolled out in about 3 hours. In the end not a terribly satisfying ride for a number of reasons. Just one of those days I guess. At least the La Cruz is clean and I didn't spend the day inside on the rollers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday .783 Metric

I left the trailhead behind the Cumming tap this morning at 8 AM sharp. No one else showed up for the planned metric century. I wasn't too surprised as the winds were blowing at 20 MPH and no one else really needs to get outdoor miles this early due to their event schedules. I pulled the bike out of the truck and got down to business. A 1/2 mile of pavement followed by a quick mile jog north got me onto the planned route. I turned west and was blasted by the wind as I crossed the freeway. This wasn't going to be a fun day. My legs were feeling a little heavy, but I finally got into a rhythm and just kept driving west into the wind. I stopped to take a quick drink and realized that I had not heard the beep on my GPS and missed my turn south. Instead of turning back, I opted to keep heading west into the wind since the roads were in decent shape. As I passed near Earlham, I opted to go into town and grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut at Casey's. About that point I realized that I had probably didn't have the legs under me to ride a metric today. I had the hilliest part of the route ahead of me and the roads were starting to get soft under the now visible sun (BTW, it's been a while since we've seen that yellow ball around here). I put my helmet and balaclava back on and retraced the now softer roads back to Cumming. The rest of the ride was uneventful other than the ache in my legs and a couple of "oh crap" moments when my front wheel started washing out on some of the soft gravel downhills. Stopped in the Cumming tap after the ride and had a couple of pints of Fat Tire before heading home.

I would have liked to have gotten a full 62 or so in today, but it just wasn't in the cards for me after the trainer workout yesterday and the headwinds today. I still managed to get a good ride in today, so that's not all bad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saturday Metric report

Had a good group show up on Saturday morning. Managed to get them all inside where it was warm before all 10 of us took off around 8:45 AM for parts north and west from my house. Had four riders peel off at Granger due to time or other constraints. The rest of us took in an incredible display of atmospheric optics due to all of the ice in the air and then soldiered on to Woodward. Courtney, Billy and I were the only ones who continued to the turn around point in the middle of nowhere. After that, we nursed a now "deep in the bonk" Billy back to the Casey's in Woodward, where I had my wife pick him up. Courtney and I picked the pace up for the last 20 or so miles to finish the ride out around 3:30 PM. The thaw and head winds on the way back gave notice that I've lost a lot of fitness over the winter. I just didn't have enough power to really drive the bike through the soft, wet surface of a thawed gravel road at the speeds I would like. Time to get more miles in.

If the weather holds out, I'm planning on another one this weekend, leaving the Cumming Tap at 8:00 AM, and finishing there too. Route will either be a loop, or an out and back between Cumming and Winterset.

Photos from the ride are here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Here we go

Commuted to work by bike 7 of the last 9 days that I've been back to work. 25-ish mile loop of town on the MTB with Squirrel, Blackford, Courtney, Bob, Terry and Nick last night. 100K gravel ride planned for this weekend. Only two days on the trainer so far. Life is good. I've sent out FB invites for the ride on Saturday. Feel free to show up at my place. Leaving at 8:30 AM.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Damn. That was quick

Registration for the Dirty Kanza 200 opened last night at 11:01 PM CST. The field of 150 riders (expanded to 160) was filled in right around 12 hours. I was fortunate enough to get in for the third year in a row. Looking over the confirmed rider list, I see a lot of strong riders. I expect that the eventual winner will have been run through the wringer by the time he or she crosses the finish line. Since the race is a week later, I'm expecting it to be even hotter than last year. Then again, we could just as easily be treated to rain and softball sized hail too. Regardless of the conditions, I'm looking forward to making the trip to Emporia again in early June.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting the year off right

Up at 6:15 AM on New Year's Day. Met a group at Hy-Vee on the corner of 74th and University for breakfast and then off to Steve and Nancy's place for a 2 hour spin on the trailer with eight other people. Good way to start the year. I still despise trainers.