Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Tale Of Two Rides

Started into the 20 mph wind -temps in the 30's - just hurt from the outset, and there was no relief - headwind was like riding underwater - crosswind like walking a balance beam. I was working so hard I'd have been warm in just a jersey and shorts - head down no scenery just asphalt. The rollers were excruciating. Once at the top the wind blasted unabated. I've never been so happy to see the three silos just outside of Watertown.
A brief pause to recuperate and then on to dessert. Instead of the 14 and 17 registering on my computer, now I was seeing 22, 23 and even 30. The sun was out. Had it been out for the whole ride? I think it may have been. Now there was no deafening roar in my ears. It was so quiet I could hear the tires hum on the pavement. I love that sound. The wind was now a gentle ally aiding all the way to the top and over the rollers. Steven was riding his orange BMC, and was wearing a black and orange Capo jersey. Very Halloween. We were starting to talk and even laugh. Nevertheless, no one was considering extending this ride. We were on, and not diverting from, the most direct route home.
Very, very hard ride. That first 35 miles could be the hardest I've ever ridden. It's up there in the top 10, that's for sure. I sneaked a peek at the average mph at Watertown, and was surprised and very pleased with the 18.2 I saw. Amy and StevenCX were unbelievably tough today.

The new Cannondale CAAD 9 frame performed well. It's a much more comfortable ride than the Orbea. It may be a little less responsive/quick, but it's a climber and feels more stable on descents and at high speeds. It reminds me of the feel and ride of my De Rosa Planet, which is the bike that preceded my Orbea.
I'm an aluminum boy all the way. Not even carbon stays, for me. You know how hard it is to find an all aluminum bike these days? Very pleased with today's performance of the new frame. 67/19.3

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tom The Bike Mechanic

Put a new frame on my bike tonight. I'll be sending the Orbea frame back to Spain. Only 18 months of wear.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Elliptical

I showed the rain by staying indoors and working out at the gym. Rumor has it that several others were commuting in this stuff. They are hard to the core. I think they are also quite proud of what they did.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When Will It End?

Back to tights and the Evil One. Just another massively grey day. Drizzle and a wet breeze out of the south added charm and delight to an otherwise dissmal day. I feel sorry for those who live in the NW US. 25/15.2

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All Sun

Couldn't find a cloud anywhere. 25/15.6

Along Minnehaha Creek

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Alive!

Finished the Winter Beast. Even took it out for a couple of laps around the parking lot.

Rolled out on the Orbea just as the clouds rolled in. Figures!
Saw tons of friends including; Matt (3 times), Andy, Cam and Amy. Kept it very simple and easy. 25/15.5

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chicked and Old Guyed

Hard decision this morning, Evil One or Orbea. Foggy, a little drizzle and wet roads definitely called for the Evil One, but the road ride days are numbered as we close in on winter. I made the decision to ride the X, but at the last minute called Amy and said, let's do the road bikes. She was obviously relieved, and the decision wound up working out great.
Did the typical Sunday route. Just as we were starting out, within the city limits of Minneapolis and less than 5 miles from the center of downtown a deer crosses our path. This is one cool place to live. Later, and a little farther out we see 5 wild turkeys just off the side of McGinty Blvd.
We rode up in Baker. Even with the grey dreary skies, the muted gold of fall shown through and again made for some beautiful scenery.
As the ride ended, not too far from where we saw the wild turkeys, another cyclist came up on us at a stop light. After we went through the green he shot around us wide and fast. I considered this a little rude, I mean it's Sunday, so decided to bridge the gap he and his sprinter quads had created. We reeled him in pretty quick, and then I let him dangle on the front and enjoyed the draft. He'd burned the one match he had and there were a couple of small inclines ahead. He started looking back and slowing down. First incline I went around him pushing it a little and not letting up. Second incline pushed it even harder and didn't let up, third the same. Looked back it was just Amy and me, he'd been "chicked" and "old-guyed". Amy called me a scoundrel, with an evil, approving grin. Good, good Sunday ride. 47/17.8

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It Hurts So Good

Feeling today's ride now. Played hard.
Six of us clad in layers of Lycra leaped on our aluminum and carbon made machines ecstatic to be out in the sun. It was all about chatter and fun. My silver goatee, Cat6, Birchies, and MelloVello met up with Ron in Flanders red at Wayzata. Soon city limit signs were being knocked off by StevenCX and Joe MelloVello. I enjoyed my spectator status, although, I sneaked one in towards the end of the ride. It was a little hidden by trees, but HEY it counts.
We got a little frisky on the rollers again. I don't know why we haven't learned to avoid doing that. I guess it's part of the addiction. We even took on Christmas Lake hill. As I told Amy, I've never gotten to the top of that stupid hill thinking, I got it that time. It kicks you back right at the top and it hurts.
After a week of soggy rides, this jaunt was oh so perfect in every way. But, like always, this ride was made perfect by great conversation, great scenery and great friends. 79/19.1

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mechanical Weather

Wet, snow, cold and Friday = off the bike. Worked on the winter beast, making good progress...V brakes with road levers and travel agents today. Compact road rear derailleur with a 32/12 rear plate (I know, it just might though) with a single 46 up front. Once Frankenstein is brought to life I'll take pictures. All parts are stuff I've had around except for a new saddle and used bars and stem.

Looking forward to tomorrow's ride. The sun is predicted to make an appearance.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Cold Not Wet

More of an urban assault ride, with the Evil One. Rush hour through the University of Minnesota campus meant dealing with buses and pedestrians. No crit or cross race could ever be this technical. The back of buses don't follow the line of the wheels, they move toward the curb they're turning away from. Pedestrians dare you to run into them despite their crossing against the light. There's an energy that comes from successfully navigating all this and surviving it.

Then in the middle of this regulated chaos comes the beauty and simplicity of the Mississippi River. The colors make you slow down and even stop to take it all in.


Saw Kurt on his Argon, his fast bike. We got to talk and catch up a little. 26/15.4

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Ducky

Another hour and half in the wet and cold. Must've acclimated earlier this month. It's not like it's been in the 70's. Had the right gear on, rode the right bike and wound up being plenty comfortable. 25/14.9

Drove over to Freewheel to pick up some bike parts tonight. Saw this view of downtown and the basilica from Parade Stadium.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nothin' Like A Cold Wet One

...rain just kept getting heavier as the ride progressed. The Evil One was made for this slow, sloppy, slippery, ride. Clouds were low and the rain made it look like they came all the way down to the road. I was warm and comfortable. It felt good to be out in it...a billion times better than the gym or trainer. 26/14.9 /1hr40min

Monday, October 19, 2009

Return to Routine

Hey, got the old 33 in today. It's amazing what a little sun and temps in the 50's can do. 33/16.4

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Another beautiful day for a ride. The wind tried to out smart us, but we devised a scheme to give us the advantage. We did the usual route in the opposite direction.
We got a little frisky on one or two of the rollers in Baker, but quickly got reasonable and settled down.
The leaves are past peak now. The colors were a bit subdued this year. The drought has kept them well below spectacular. 47/17.4

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Felt Good To Be Flying Again

Any endeavor requires some sort of goal, and setting the appropriate goal is vital to feeling successful. The first bike race I ever entered my goal was simple; don't embarrass yourself. I exceeded my goal in that race. At the end of today's ride I told Amy what my average speed was. She responded by saying, "nothing embarrassing about that".

More of a snooty-sneaky ride today, as we kind of rode below radar. But most importantly the sun joined us on this ride, and was a welcomed companion. It didn't take long for the words to be spoken, "it's pretty through here". Not a lot of red any more, but still plenty of yellow, and the gold and browns were everywhere matching up exquisitely with harvestable, rolling fields of corn and soybeans. The blue sky dotted with grey and white clouds was a perfect accent to a perfectly beautiful ride. Even the Crow River was giving its all today and was full to over flowing, an unusual sight this year, but not too surprising after all the rain of the last few weeks.

Eliminate calories and enjoy the scenery were the mission statement for today's ride. Even Amy's broken rear derailleur cable didn't keep us from completing the mission. Within 5 miles of the break, we found a bike shop, which also sold jock straps, used hockey equipment, guns, bright orange hoodies, bmx bikes and, of course, beef jerky. These guys were really, really nice to us. They had a cable, and offered the use of their bike stand to replace the cable. They wished us a good ride, and I didn't even hear any dueling banjos as we rode away.

Back on course we took on some favorite rollers, with a mid-October effort, and then settled in for some more scenery intervals. We burned some lungs and quads on Christmas Lake hill, and after that did as much coasting as was possible. Rolled home nice and easy and quite content with the quality of today's saddle time. 80/18.3

Friday, October 16, 2009

A No Ride

Worked on the winter replacement bike for a little bit today. That got me my daily bike fix. I'll be hitting the roads tomorrow for sure.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good And Bad

I try to put it all out there, that includes the 22+ MPH rides and the -14 MPH rides, and of course the delightful workouts in the gym. Today was another exciting elliptical experience at the gym. 1hr 1/2

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cold And Grey

That pretty much sums it up. 25/14.7

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cold Colors

It was nice to get out. I think I might be getting over the shock of this early snow and cold. Stayed on the trails with the Evil One for an hour and a half of saddle time. Saw Paul H. out on his bike. We stopped and caught up a little. Our daughters were in the same ballet company. 25/15.5

Minnehaha Creek
Mississippi River

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Wussiness Abounds

Considered taking pictures at the gym today, but then thought better of that.
I've got so many places where I can lay blame, but I think I'm going with my recent favorite...age. Hour on the elliptical, half hour on the bike.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back On The Road Bike

Out to Wayzata with Amy, then up into Hamel, Medina and Baker solo. A few more clouds today kept the temperature feeling a bit cooler. We talked about how quickly the speeds can slow. It was only a few weeks ago we were averaging close to 20 mph. Today 50 miles at 16.6

Haven't taken pictures for awhile. I'll have to change that.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow Ride In October?

It was only a half inch, but it still presented a shock and several questions. What is this doing here now? How long will it last? And probably most important, does this portend an early and long winter? The Answer: JUST GET OUT THERE AND RIDE. That's exactly what we did.

Amy and I rode our cross bikes to Excelsior and met up with Ron. It sure was nice of Lori (his wife) to let him come out and play. The snow and cold (start temp 28 degrees) quickly turned insignificant as the sun, colors, conversation and the joy of being on the bike took over. The 15-20 mph wind was surmounted by our lack of care. We were just enjoying ourselves too much to even think about the wind. We stayed on the same trails and dirt roads as last week, and, as hard as it may be to believe, it was even more beautiful this week. The only difference was we rode a little faster. Obviously AMY was pushing the pace. 57/15.6

Friday, October 9, 2009


Replaced the bottom bracket on the Evil One tonight. No ride.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Better Than The Gym

Short and sweet this evening. An hour and a half in the saddle. 25/16.2

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Solar Powered

Nothing but blue skies. Felt so good to be movin'. Saw zillions out replenishing their vitamin D stores. 33/16.7

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pretty Soggy

Hour and a half at the gym. Tomorrow promises time on a machine that moves.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Rain And Cold

Back from the gym. Hour on the elliptical half hour on the bike.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves today.

47 miles/ 3hrs/ 15.6

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just A Couple Of Old Women Out Gabbin'

Kind of scrambled around this morning, trying to get the Evil One ready to ride. I even wound up using a power drill on it. Finally got started riding at about 11AM...still wet, drizzly and grey. First time I've donned the tights since April. I took the LRT out to Excelsior and met up with Ron. We went west in search of some dirt. The trails and dirt roads were still a little greasy from all the rain, but the Evil One handled all with no problems. Trees aren't at peak but yet there were patches of red, yellow, orange and gold. Not a whole lot of traffic on these trails and roads, but we saw plenty of deer and wild turkeys.

Ron and I were not at a loss for words as we haven't seen each other for a couple of months. My voice is still a little hoarse. Beautiful, slow ride, just perfect for this time of year. 57/15.2

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cold And Rain

Friday's usually a day off the bike, and there was nothing about today's weather that enticed me out for even a pic ride.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rained Out

Rain and 50 degrees got me over to the gym for a two hour elliptical experience.