Saturday, February 28, 2009


It was a perfect winter day in January, too bad it's March tomorrow. It was cold, with a starting temp of 6, count 'em 6 whole degrees. We gained 10 degrees by the time we got home. Not even close to Spring. I have to admit though, it was really beautiful out. The sun and sky had worked pretty hard at cleaning up and had emptied everything out except royal blue. Fresh snow, bright sun....nothing could have produced a more high definition day.
We went out on the LRT just like last Saturday, except this time it was plowed. Guess who I saw? The guy with the light blue ski mask. He was at the intersection of his plowed path, from the townhouses, and the LRT. I made everybody stop and I pulled up to him. He had on all the same clothes. I said, "Hi I'm Tom, we met a few days back when the trail hadn't been plowed". It was hard, but I could see a smile through the mouth hole of his ski mask. He said, "yes", like he knew who I was before I had said my name. After watching him use his sense of hearing and touch last week, I'm quite sure he recognized my voice, in like one or two words.
I simply said, "it's nice to see you again, I hope you have a great walk, it's a perfect day, and the trail is plowed!" He said, "it is, thank you", and we rode off.
We played hard, which kept us plenty warm. The trails were in good shape for the most part, but I think the plows must have been playing with us little. There were areas that were cleared to the limestone, and then parts that had a good inch of snow on them. There was even a stretch of maybe 200 feet, just before Cty Rd 19, that hadn't been touched. Well...there were plow tracks, but the plow driver just lifted the plow, and left a good 6-8 inches. I tried to stay in the tire tracks...big mistake...I went down, but it was very graceful. On the way back, I knew better what to expect, and stayed up all the way through. I did have to wait for Steve and Cam. Apparently Steve was making snow angels after he went down.
Cam and I stopped in at Excelcycle and got free pastries and coffee, while Steve stopped at Dunn Bros. to buy his. He mumbled something about wanting to help out the economy.
Got back to the cities with about 35 miles on, so looped around Cedar Lake, Isles and Calhoun to finish off a very nice ride. 50/13.8

Friday, February 27, 2009

Peace Through Bikes

I enjoy the website
Today I was looking through the bikes that have been built by people all over the world, and found the following pictures and post.

Howdy! My name is Goran Saric, I live and work in Zagreb, capital of a small western Balkan country called Croatia ;) It's no heaven on Earth but it's relatively nice to live here.. Of course, it could be better, but why complain :)) For those Americans (and everybody else) that don't know, war ended almost 15 years ago :))) OK, now to business - this is my first fixie, but definitely not the last: frame is Geros (some oldish Italian brand) with Campi parts (headset and bottom bracket); rims are Sun MZ-14 with Formula hubs; saddle Ritchey Pro Streem; seatpost Shimano; other parts are some "no name" brands. Gear ratio is 46/16. Now I'm just waiting for the weather to get better so I can take it to the streets.. Bye and thnx for a great site.. Goran

It's great to be brought closer together by something as simple as a bike.

New Bar Tape For Old Blue

Hard to tell I took the day off the bike, and am kind of bored, huh?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Perfectly Snowy

Snow didn't hit until about noon, but then it was a dumping, with accumulations of 2 1/2 inches an hour. I decided to keep the workout inside. The usual 2 hours on the elliptical.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Storm's Coming

Pre-storm ride was nice, albeit windy. Saw Steve on the greenway and we hooked up for about 15 miles. Nice talking to him. 30/14.9

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lactic Acid

Well the build up of lactic acid from Saturday's ride/slog seems to have finally flushed out of my quads. At least they're not yelling at me any more. My anaerobic abilities are severely lacking. Just because I hate, and rarely do anaerobic training...

The Evil One was belly aching on the ride tonight. Pretty noisy, with lots of creaks and pops. Ok so he needs some maintenance. 27/15.0

I'm not much of a morning person, so it'll almost always be sunsets.
Lake Harriet

Monday, February 23, 2009

No Studs

Rode stud-less. Just hate the idea of putting the studs back on the Evil One. The roads are surprisingly clear for just having had a 5 inch snow storm Friday night. The late winter sun gets the ice off fast. Still, as wimpy as it makes me sound, 25 degrees...I was feeling the cold.
I've definitely got road fever. I'm getting bored with the paths and trails and want to get out on my road bike, for some good old Hammer Hundreds. 28/14.1

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cold And Bright

It was 5 degrees when I started out this morning. I am ready for Spring.
Took Old Blue out again, although, that was kind of over kill, as the paths were clear. After Friday, I guess I'm feeling a little cautious.
Saw numerous cyclists, including birchies Nate and Annie. Came up on Todd and rode around the lakes, with him.

Midtown Greenway
Minnehaha Creek


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Four Inches

You know how as a little kid it was so cool to be the first one to make tracks in new snow. These are my tire tracks. The marks alongside the tire tracks are where my pedals hit the snow. Yeah, it was deep.
Old Blue is an amazing bike. He goes through, over, across, and under anything, and seems to like being called on for the tough assignments. The others bow in acknowledgement of his status.

Slogged for about 7 or 8 miles of un-plowed trails. This was a beautiful stretch, but very, very tough riding, and it was into a pretty good head wind. Some joggers coming from the other direction, yelled at me, Man! way-to-go, keep it up. I was generating a significant amount of heat. Sweat was coming off my head, my base layer was soaked and my intermediate layer was starting to take on moisture as well.

I turned around at Baker Road, after taking a breather, and opening up my jacket and jersey to literally let off some steam. The tail wind only made the return effort slightly easier.

As I came out of the wooded part of the trail, I saw a man standing at the side of the trail. As I got closer I could see that he was holding a white cane with a red tipped end. He was no more than 5'3 and had on a light blue ski mask that completely covered his face. He was dressed for the temperature, with a hat that seemed a little too big and ear flaps that came all the way to his jaw bone. A warm jacket and leather mittens, that seemed again a little too large. The mittens wrapped tightly around his cane. His sun glasses were over sized and covered everything from his hat to the tip of his nose. I could see his upper lip through what would have been the mouth hole in his ski mask.
I asked him, if he was OK. He mumbled. I asked if he knew where he was. He said, "they should have plowed the trail, I wish there was someone I could call". I said, "my name's Tom, I'm riding my bike, and I wish the trail was plowed too".
He said he was heading west and just wanted to get out for a walk, "but the trail isn't plowed". I told him I could see LA Fitness, that it was about a half mile along the path.
"Do you live close by?"
"Yes, just on the other side of the bridge."
"Would you like me to walk over there with you?"
He turned around and pointed his face up at the sun.
"I'm facing east now, I can feel the sun on my right side."
He didn't really walk, but moved along with more of a shuffle, his feet never leaving the ground. His cane was perpendicular to the ground and he would jab at the trail with it. He weaved along the trail sort of criss-crossing, but definitely heading east.
"Do you live in those town homes on the other side of the bridge?"
"Yes, the trail is cleared there."
It took us about 15 minutes to shuffle the 2500 feet to the other side of the bridge, and just as he had said, a path had been cleared that lead from the townhouses to the trail.
I said, "it's a perfect day for a walk".
He perked up and said, "yes, it is".
"We're about half way over the bridge now. "
"Yes, I can hear the cars below us."
"You know some people don't like getting out on days like this". "I need to get out and breathe the fresh air."
He perked up again and said, "I know, I love to be out."
We got to the cleared path and he moved his cane to a 45 degree angle to the path.
"You know where you are?" "I sure enjoyed meeting you and getting to walk with you for a little bit".
He waved and wished me a nice day.
15 minutes with him was total pleasure.
My slogg was so much easier from that point on.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Wanted To Relax

I just needed to be on the bike today. It's been a good week, so a nice, easy, beautiful ride seemed the perfect way to end it. The snow hid some large ice patches, so I didn't get the nice, easy, relaxing part, but I like the pictures. 16/12.1

Cedar Lake
Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake

Lake Harriet

Oh yeah, I did manage to notice the ice patches, covered with snow, just a little too late.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Boring Today

Gym 2 hours.
Bought some tires for the Evil One that should be a little less prone to flat. Conti Contacts. Although, it sounds like I might be breaking out the studs again for this weekend. It's hard to go back.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boring and Tense

Another wussy boy attack today. Didn't want to play in the cold wind, was 2 hours on the elliptical machine for me.

Not Bike Related Warning

Kind of a busy and interesting day.

I drove 200 miles, for work today, and witnessed a dramatic car accident on my way home from Mankato.
Moving at about 65 mph a pickup pulled in front of a car. The car swerved to avoid the pickup, went into the median, and became air borne. I'd say it's wheels were off the ground by about 6 or 7 feet. The car landed on it's side. I was no more than 10-20 feet away from all of this happening. When the car landed I was even and parallel to it.
I'm not sure the pickup driver knew what he did. I'm not sure he knew he caused an accident. The car was in his blind spot, but the pickup was definitely at fault and caused the accident.
I saw several other cars stop to help the car's driver. The pickup didn't stop. Because I had to slow to avoid all of this, the pickup had gained about 1/4 mile. I decided to chase it down. While I chased it I called 911 and told them of the crash, and where it happened. By this time I had caught up to the pickup, and also gave the dispatcher the make, color, license plate number and location of the pickup. I continued along the highway, and about 2 minutes later saw Sheriff's and emergency vehicles heading in the other direction toward the accident scene. I don't know if anyone got hurt, but can't imagine that there weren't injuries.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Still Got It.

Over the years I've found that as the lethargy of the winter sets in, I start to worry about getting back to the same condition I was in the past season. Despite the progression of the years, I've managed to eek out ways to convince myself that I'm still as fast, or strong as I was in younger days. Today I found that I'm still in great form, as I was able to fix a flat as well as I did last year. Even the cold didn't effect my repair ability.
OK now the truth. I couldn't find the hole in the tire or the tube. After the new tube was in place and inflated, I congratulated myself on a job well done, until I got home and heard tsssssss. The hole wasn't too hard to find once I had my bifocals on. And as you can see, I managed to take a significant lump of skin off my thumb knuckle. Why does the little stuff sting so much? And yes I did swear.
Hey, I got home ON MY BIKE. No cab, no phone call, just me and my whits. 30/15.7

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pic & Ride

Stuff I saw on my ride tonight. 30/15.4

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Good Weekend

Two pretty intense rides, for mid-February, has made this weekend a welcome oasis, in the oh-so-long Minnesota winter riding season. Lots of sun both days, with very nice dry roads...some even decided to play with their road bikes. The temps however, kept us aware that summer is a ways off. I played hard on the Evil One again today, even though it was a coffee ride. We enjoyed a relatively mild pace out to Wayzata, got our jolt at Caribou, then picked things up, just a little, around the lake.
I'm tired...very tired and looking forward to a week of easy riding. 50/16.7

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Little Colder Little Faster

Cold and windy, but a beautiful day. It's not quite as spectacular with most of the snow gone. The brown of the trees and fields just don't match up as well against a blue sky.
A couple of us wheeled our way into a pretty brisk wind, for about 30 miles. Hills are tough this time of year, but with a head wind, and on a cross bike...whoa!
Nevertheless, the scenery was refreshing; fields, farms, barns, tree lined roads, lakes, and even llamas. We'd be seeing mostly asphalt as we worked our way up a hill, then at the top a view of forever came before us.
We finally reached Lake Independence, which put an end to the brutally persistent wind. The relief was quite welcome.
From Maple Plain we flew along Cty Rd 19 toward Lake Minnetonka. We came to a pretty busy intersection at 19 and 15 in Navarre. It has a stop light. It was nice to see that we had a green, and I picked up the pace slightly to insure we wouldn't have to put a foot down. Out of the corner of my right eye I see some unexpected movement. It's small, low to the ground, and moving fast. It had the sound of studded tires on bare pavement. This is an intersection with 3 gas stations and a strip mall at the four corners. I hear ROMEO! ROMEO! NO!. I'm not through the intersection yet, and look back to see a pug terrier in hot pursuit of me and the Evil One. Who ever was yelling, Romeo wasn't listening. Romeo blew out of the gas station, and not looking both ways, made a wide sweeping turn into traffic and had me in his sights, convinced he could reel me in. His one inch long legs were a blur, and his pink tongue was hanging slightly out the left side of his mouth. Ears flopping behind his head, and his tiny barrel shaped body low to the pavement, he made it through traffic and into the middle of the intersection, when, like all sprinters, he cracked and had to give up the chase. I cast a mocking glare back at him.
It's not unusual to get chased by dogs, but at a busy intersection like this, and by a dog named Romeo on Valentines day....this is one to remember. I'm convinced that Romeo, was not really chasing me, but making sure that I wasn't going to be making any moves on his owner that was left standing back at the gas station. Do you think she came looking for him wondering Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo? 62/17.5

Friday, February 13, 2009

Burned Calories Just Not On The Bike

Took the day off the bike again. I did however, go to my oldest grandson's and play some Nerf-dart tag. Those darts were whizzing by all over the place. He's 6 and managed to ricochet a few of those babies off my old bald noggin. He would yell, "ha! I got you on the bald spot"! I pointed out, as I was tickling him, that my whole head is a bald spot. He was also very adept in calling time-out at rather crucial moments.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Gadget

Too many problems with my Cateye Wireless, so the Evil One is now sporting a new computer. It even displays the current temperature, which was 30 degrees at the end of this evenings ride. It's the time of year to start picking up the pace a little and increase the miles some. 30/15.9

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nice To Be Out

Keeping the studs at home and the ice on the lakes made tonight's ride very enjoyable. 28/15.1

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two Down

Couple of friends went down on ice during their commute this morning. No one was hurt too bad. Sounds like maybe just a bruise or two. Apparently a new helmet needs to be purchased.
I didn't need a whole lot of persuasion, after that news, to keep it in the gym today. Like always, 2 elliptical hours.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I May Be Running Out Of Excuses

Even with temps in the 40's, wind and rain kept me in today. The elliptical 2hrs went by quickly.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Great Winter Ride

A little frosty at the beginning of the ride. Mounds of plowed road side snow produced frozen glacial lakes encroaching onto already slick roads, but as the day wore on cold toes warmed, frozen puddles thawed, and smiles were plentiful.
It really was perfect winter riding. A jaunt out to Wayzata with the requisite coffee and pastry, then around the lake to Excelsior and unfortunately home. I was interested in riding more, but again, knew that I'd be paying a high price tomorrow, if I did.
We rode past my September crash site today. First time, for me, since the crash. It brought back the memories, the ambulance, the ER and my recovery. My face and teeth still aren't completely healed up, but I'm at 99%.
I was also reminded of how kind, caring and helpful strangers, my friends and family were to me. I was very lucky.
A nice, very nice ride. Delightful conversation. Thanks, Amy and Sascha. 51/15.6

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Almost Road

Instead of beginning the ride from a coffee shop we gathered at an upscale liquor store. It was open. A few minor mechanical problems had us stopping at a couple of bike shops along the route. My computer died and I must have gotten super charged batteries for it, because I was registering speeds like 30, 31...I even saw a 79 mph, and that was into the wind...rrrrrrrr.
Clouds and gray greeted us at the start, but soon skies, nothin' but blue skies.
I'd wanted to ride one of my road bikes today, but as I thought about it, the roads all potholed, I settled for replacing the studded tires with light tread cross tires, and rode the Evil One.
Tough headwind out to Excelsior, then we had the crosswind up to Lake Independence. Finally in Maple Plain, we turned east and enjoyed an effortless flight into Wayzata and home.
Delightful scenery, with rolling hills, farms and lakes. We saw all sorts of wildlife like, cows and horses.
I felt good when I got home. I sure thought I could've done more miles, but with my computer problems I just didn't know for sure how far we'd ridden. Now I'm glad I kept it where I did. I figure that's the hot chocolate (with a little somethin' extra) I had after the ride.
Thanks to Cam and Steven. Good ride! And we even saw Paula at the Wayzata Caribou. 53/16.8

Friday, February 6, 2009

Savin' Up

No ride today, even with the warm temps. Just saving some miles for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Was Nice

Rode into downtown Minneapolis...haven't been there for awhile. 27/13.4

Mississippi from Stone Arch Bridge

St. Anthony Falls From Stone Arch Bridge
Stone Arch Bridge
Another Calhoun Sunset

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Digits Doesn't Make It Warm

Ten more degrees than yesterday got me outside. Tried out Cedar Lake Trail, and it was in pretty bad shape. Lots of rutted hard ice kept my knuckles white. As I came along 169 back down to the greenway things smoothed out quite a bit.
I'm getting road fever, and need some large miles. 27/12.4

Sun low in the sky around Lake Harriet

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three Degrees

Another inny today. Tomorrow will be an outy.
Chicago II a little Nickelback and a lot of elliptical.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cold Outside Stayed Inside

Wow the gym was crowded, when I left all machines were occupied. 2hrs on the elliptical listening to the Beatles.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Heavenly Weekend

Pretty icy and dicey this morning as I rode to the cafe. Everything that thawed yesterday froze overnight. I broke out the fat studs of the Cannondale and fared well on the greenway turned skating rink. Leaving the cafe we stayed on the roads and off the paths avoiding the glare ice. As the day wore on and the sun turned up the heat we needed pontoons to navigate the formerly frozen paths. 43/13.7
Another just gorgeous day.