Monday, November 30, 2009

New Week Same Ride

I am pleasantly surprised though that I'm still on the road bike. 21/16.3

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Slow Ride, Take It Easy...

...are not just lyrics from a Foghat song, but also my ride mantra as of late, and into the foreseeable future. Cold, grey, wet...all the things that make a ride miserable, they were my ride companions today. But still the ride was really enjoyable, simple and full of thoughts, some of which were expressed verbally, even though no one was there. Yeah, I am getting old...already talking to myself. 41/16.4

Seemed odd to see this apple tree still full with fruit. The gold of its apples and surrounding grass, in the midst of the days grey, caught my eye.

Not Bike Related Warning

Last Nights Sunset

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Couldn't Have Been Better

I don't think there could've been a more perfect November day--sunny, temps in the forties, and virtually no wind. It's hard to put a number on how many riders there were. Maybe thirteen at the most. People kept dropping off and heading out on their own. It was like a coffee ride--slow easy pace, lots of chatter, and drop-dead gorgeous scenery.

At the ride start Charles, ?, Steve, Amy
At halfway point. Meg
My tallies for the ride 58 miles 17.0 average mph.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Did my four lakes route (4L), on the Urban Assault Vehicle/Winter Beast (UAV/WB), for 17 miles, and saw 4 friends (4F). I don't know, maybe I could do a little more texting.
Nice and easy around the lakes...lots of people out enjoying the sun, and trying to eliminate all the calories stored up from yesterday.
I was maybe 100 yards from my place, when coming at me was the Blue Train Amy, Eric, Todd and Cam. Great to stop and talk with all of them a little bit. They even liked the Winter Beast. Amy said "it looks much better in person"....Todd "that's crazy" or something to that effect. I have to admit, despite the nice words, they all looked a little perplexed by what I had created. 17/??

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Got a delightful solo ride in this morning. Saw Greg out dryland training, and then about a mile later heard "happy Thanksgiving, Tom" from Kurt. About 3 miles from home Randy is walking along the creek, so I stopped and we talked for a good 15 minutes. It always amazes me that I live in a metro area of 3 million people and still feel like I'm in a little town or village, where it's easy to see people I know every day. 21/16.2

Not Bike Related Warning

Once home from my ride, it was time for more work, because I had assignments for Thanksgiving dinner. Made from scratch is the way I like it, so I got to work on the rolls, yams and pumpkin pie. I was 10 minutes late to dinner, or I would have had photos to show off what I made, nevertheless, my assignments were still warm. I'm blaming my tardiness on Randy and the unscheduled 15 minutes I enjoyed talking with him.
The kids, grand kids and my ex were waiting patiently, and we were soon sitting around the dinning room table that we had purchased together, that I then got in the divorce settlement, and then sold back to her about three years ago. Life can have interesting ironies.
I also brought a dvd that my son Ethan had transferred some old family videos to. My kids were unbelievably cute, when they were little. It was an absolute joy to watch 'em sledding, opening Christmas presents, and playing their trumpet, tenor sax, and piano. However, when I saw some images of my parents on the dvd, it became obvious how much I still miss them. I had to go outside to deal with my grief on my own. I am one thankful man.

Amazing Sunset Colors Tonight

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Than Damp

Still liquid, but it's getting closer to solid. Felt great to be out, even with temps having fallen back to October standards. That sounds strange. The fendered Evil One was the work horse today. With an extra and thicker layer my amour kept me safe and warm. 21/14.9

Not Bike Related Warning

At 1:43PM today I became a grandpa for the fourth time. Taylor came 1 month early, because of concerns for her and her mom's health. She weighed in at 6lbs 13oz. Mom and daughter are doing great. Just one more thing to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can't Stop

Another dark, damp and grey November day, but it felt great to be out. 21/15.7

Monday, November 23, 2009

Recovery Monday

Grey and drizzle all day. I got out on the CAAD9, but the conditions may have been more suited for the Evil One. It's hard to give up the road. Kept it short and easy today. 21/15.5

And There Was Light (over Calhoun)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dad And Grandpa Heaven

Elijah's 7th Birthday Today

The Whole Family

Warm And Easy

The hardest effort put into today's ride was making sure we avoided hills. The one hill that was unavoidable?.....small chain ring. Season's over, it's time to start acting like it. Thanks Steve, Steven and Amy. 41/17.8

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where's The Advil?

I'm getting to &*%ing old for this. Whose idea was it anyways to do a hilly route late in November? Rodents showed up and a nice leisurely ride turned ugly. Rich, Derrick and Chris were in mid-season shape. My shape can best be described as round. These guys were all over the hills. Derrick was just dancin' up them. I was able to do some serious screamin' on the descents, as I've been at my winter weight since July.
Oh, did I mention the head wind?
We did settle down to a nice November pace after the coffee stop in Afton, but the damage to my quads had already been done.
Now, of course, I have to say I really had a lot of fun, but that might be because I'm home now, and the Advil has taken effect. Seven of us showed for this one, which is indicative of what a perfect day it was. I really did have a blast. 76/18.3

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Pics

The weather has been so fantastic, that I've only been off the bike twice in twenty seven days - today being the second time. And I should've been out there today as it was just perfect, but I needed the rest.
I did get some camera time in. I took this at about 4:30 today without any filters, or editing, just a very fast shutter speed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Timing Is Everything

A grey day, but then the clouds thinned just in time for my ride. I'd like to think I deserved it. Even though it was still hazy, the temps were flirting with 50 once again. 25/16.0

Bikes Are So Much Better

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Another spectacular November day. The sky was completely empty of clouds and the low angle of the sun created long shadows. At about 8 miles, I was heading east and the shadow I cast was a good 10 feet out in front of me. Then quietly and suddenly it had a companion. It's always a little disconcerting to have someone I don't know tuck in behind, but it's not uncommon. After a couple of miles the cyclist smoothly and slowly came around, gave an acknowledgement with the right hand and moved in position for me to easily get a draft, which I decided to take. Road bike with carbon stays, 23/12 cassette, leg warmers, a smooth quiet riding style, and gray hairs inside the helmet vents, all began to put me at ease. Shifting into an easier gear, after a mile or two, the cadence increased as the speed slowed. I took my cue and came around easily, and once again my shadow was in the lead. I made a simple gesture indicating a crossing ahead where I'd be slowing. We made it through the crossing traffic without putting down a foot. Our positions remained the same, but our shadows were horizontally a bit farther apart now. Another crossing, no feet on the pavement and another successful navigation of the rush hour traffic. Shortly after this intersection my shadow was in drafting position. A signal that I should move to the left as we passed a pedestrian, and then the final signal that our rides would go in different directions, along with a friendly wave. I verbally acknowledged my appreciation and wished him a good ride. I heard a "you know it, man". 24/17.4

Monday, November 16, 2009

Still In A Vest

Mid November still sunny, warm, long-sleeved jersey, tights and a vest. Yeah Baby! 25/16.5

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Calm And Sunny

How is it possible to be so shot, after a 60 miler yesterday and 40 today? AND I wasn't ridin' all that hard. Nevertheless, today the lake was calm and the sun was out, which makes a huge difference. Got out with Amy, Cam and Eric for the original SSR (not to be confused with extra crispy). Good conversation again. I haven't ridden with Cam or Eric in awhile, so it was nice to catch up. Like yesterday, everything was hurting today. I guess the November legs just couldn't stay away. 43/17.8

Not Bike Related Warning

Was out last night trying to learn how to use my new camera. It's hard to screw up a sunset.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Got a call from Ron at 9AM, which kept today's ride from being a solo effort. Actually effort does not describe the ride well...lethargic is more accurate. The day started cold and damp and didn't dry out much, even though the northwest wind was trying. It was anything but lethargic.
Like always, riding with Ron is the best. I'd put in about 15 headwind miles to get to his place and then we turned North, for another 15 miles still into the wind, heading for Lake Independence. Riding along the shores of Lake Minnetonka and Lake Independence is always beautiful, even if it's cold and gray out. Then, of course, we were able to catch up on all the gossip from the last week. We're just a couple of old bitties.
We got to enjoy Baker, Medina and Hamel with the wind at our backs. As we coasted through Wayzata, we see a pink jacket, which can only mean one thing. Yep, it was Lynne beating up the wind on her Redline.
Good Ride. Great to be with Ron. Now it's time for some hot chocolate. 62/17.7

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Little Color In The Grey

Just a quick spin with the Winter Beast, before the drizzle dampened the day. 12/??

I love to ride and really have no greater passion, except my kids. Tonight I met my 21 year old daughter for dinner. She bought. It's not my birthday. It's not Father's Day. She bought. We talked about the the present and the future, and, of course, reminisced...there is no more incredible joy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still Warm

Lots of drylanders out training on the trails over the last few weeks. Let's just keep the land dry a while longer.
That was a stiff breeze out there this evening. I'll take the wind over the cold and snow. 25/15.9

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keep It Coming

Shorts and road bike...I'm lovin' this November weather. 25/15.9

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hope It Never Ends

Still wonderful weather. I needed a little recovery from playing pretty hard this weekend. Greenway and 4 lakes were just the ticket. 24/16.0

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Steven Where Are You?

Another great summertime ride in November. I'll take this anytime.
We did lose Steven. He dropped a chain at the bottom of a climb and didn't see where we all turned, so he kept on heading straight. We looked for him. I even asked a jogger if she'd seen another cyclist. She hadn't. We called him and he wound up in Maple Plain. We gave him directions on how to get home. 45/18.1

Not Bike Related Warning

Had a blast watching and playing with the grand kids this evening.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What November Legs?

It's Summer!
Started at 9 with three of us. We rode to Excelsior to meet up with Ron. Got there and he was like just out of bed! No kit, he was in sweats! "Oh, my legs hurt", and he points at his quads. "I don't think I'm going to ride". WTF! I cajoled, but he still was resisting. I finally said, don't make me get Amy over here, she'll kick your ass. Just then she walks around the corner, hands on hips, and she gives him the stare. Ron was on his bike in under 5 minutes. During all this Mark was doing Yoga in Ron's driveway.
It was so hard to keep this ride at a reasonable November pace. It felt so good to be warm and not be encumbered by 5 layers. From Ron's we headed for Victoria and then East Union. We encountered a few rollers and a screamin' descent, then turned east with our eyes peeled for Jordan. The requisite lime Gatorade and double chocolate Rice Krispie Treat were devoured. Amy had her usual Doritos flavored Cheesy Crackers. Mark got something good for him, Fig Newtons I think. Who cares what Ron got. Apparently his legs had quit hurting though. We got to Prior Lake quickly aided by a nice tailwind.
These are some of my favorite roads to ride. Tons of farm land, in and out of the Minnesota River Valley, we even had a hawk take a pull for awhile. We weren't pushing it, but did get a little frisky on a few of the hills.
Massive amounts of sunshine were absorbed, along with fresh air, good friends, fun conversation, and even a little hard work all resulting in miles of smiles. 80/19.7

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Toys

Took the Winter Beast out for a November Friday Night Pics Ride. The Beast was showing it's softer, less beastly side, as we circled Cedar, Calhoun, Isles and Harriet. Hard to come home with temps into the 60's.
I bought a new camera and took it on the ride to start learning how to use it. 17/??

Deer Nest On The Shore of Cedar Lake
Urban Sunset Just As I Finished
Last Night's Moon

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back To The 50's

Beautiful day to ride...even showed off the old hairy legs. 25/16.4


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Miles

Out in it again. Cold but dry. It's dark at 5:15 now. 25/15.7

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Got Ride?

Yes, I got out. Yes, I got wet. Yes, I got cold. Gotta love it. 25/15.9

Monday, November 2, 2009

Full Moon Luck

Got stopped today by a cop for blowing a stop sign on the greenway.
I was traveling east on the greenway and came to the Blake Rd crossing. I did slow and saw that no cars were coming, and proceeded to cross Blake without coming to a complete stop. The St.Louis Park police officer was behind me and was driving along the greenway. I had no idea he was back there.
He requested to look at my ID went back into his squad and checked on my driving history.
He came back, as I had waited in the cold, and said, "Mr. Russell I never do this, but I'm not going to give you a ticket". Then he said, "believe me, I never do this, but you've got a clean driving record". I got the impression from more of our conversation that he may have gone a little easy on me because of my age. Also, when he stopped me he asked if I had heard about the cyclist that was killed on the greenway at Belt Line. I responded, "yes, he was drunk".

After he made it clear I was not getting a ticket, I asked him what constitutes a stop, do I have to put a foot down? He responded by saying, "the definition of stop is cessation of movement", if you can stop moving and stay on your pedals you are fine.

I got lucky today.

Now on to the ride.

It was cold and windy. There are very few trees with leaves left on them, which isn't too big of a surprise after all the wind and rain over the last week.

The full moon tonight looked cool over Harriet and Calhoun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not So Scary

Got out for an abbreviated SSR with Amy. A lot less wind and much more tolerable temps today. 41/18.1

A Scary Not Bike Related Warning
The Werewolf From London, Hannah Montana, and Race Car Driver aka my grandkids Elijah (7), Kelsey (6) and Bryson (3)
He Knows What It's All About
Grandpa Looks Scarier Than The Werewolf
Now That Is One Good Looking Mother Of A Werewolf (my daughter Britney)
Hannah Montana aka Kelsey
Goodnight Everybody! I Made A Haul!