Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Start

Another cold January morning. Got started about 10:30 with the temp around 5. Decided to explore the trail conditions west of 100. Suspecting that there would be a lot of ice, the Winter Beast was called on. East of 100 the Greenway and the Cedar Lake Trail are in great winter condition, however, west the trails have significant ice build up. The Winter Beast handle it well. Riding over the ice sounded like it's claws were riding over bubble wrap.
Another beautiful day, with lots of bright sun and plenty of white snow. Once off of the skating rink that is west of 100, the trails cleared and yielded some smooth and delightful winter riding. 36/12.9
Minnehaha Falls

Skating On Isles With The City In The Distance
January's been a good month. I put on 20 more miles this January than in 2009 and have lost 8 pounds since Christmas. I've got a little farther to go to get to race weight.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

That Was Hard

No temp when we left, 17 when I got home, but the cold took it's toll. At least that's my excuse for suckin' wind that last hour.
I kept the clothes pretty simple, but did double up on the toe and hand warmers. That plan worked out pretty good - never got cold.
Steven and Amy made a wise move and turned around at Wayzata. I kept on riding up into Baker and around the big lake to Excelsior. No wind to blame the hard effort on. It was beautiful out though, with bright white snow, a crisp blue sky, and ice-clear roads . I did add an extra hill for the fun of it, and just for the record, hills are not fun in January.
I felt this ride today, not in my muscles, but more in my core. It's not that I was having a hard time breathing, it just seemed like my lungs weren't burning the oxygen as efficiently as they usually do. I was a little more happy to have this ride done than usual.
Bottom line is: I was out, got 50 miles in, breathed real air, saw beautiful winter-scapes, got a good workout, and now feel justified in doin' nothin'. Life is good! 50/14.4

Friday, January 29, 2010


Got out for a short ride with Amy. Comfortable in the 7 degree cold. If you think about it, plan for it, respect it and dress right the cold is just not an issue. 15/12.9

From My Balcony Post Ride

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apparently Three Is The Max

With every intention to get ready to go to the gym, I walked into my bedroom and started putting on my cycling gear? Then I checked the Winter Beast's tire pressure. I got the warmers out to get them fired up. I heard myself say, "it's only 5 degrees out". There wasn't even a response. My body was in the middle of an attempted coup, although, there was no attempt here - this was going to happen. The revolt had begun, 3 days at the gym was all my body could take. It didn't matter how cold it was, or how icy the paths were, we were going to feel the sun, breathe real air and endure the sting of 5 degree temps. I waved the white flag. 21/12.5

A Little Frost On The Gills And Ice On The 'Stach After Tonight's Ride

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sun Was Out I Was Not

Yep, gym. Yep, elliptical. Yep, hour and a half.
I saw 6 deer in my parking lot when I got home. One looked up at my car like, what's that doing here. Just blows me away...I live no more than 6 miles from the center of downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It All Adds Up

Weekend effort + slush is now ice + snow + 20 mph wind+ snow falling sideways, factor in wussiness = gym hour and a half.

My grandson Bryson turned 3 on Friday. Saturday it was guys night out - Bryson, his dad and me (3 generations) got some burgers. Sunday it got serious and it was time for Dirt cake and presents. The cake had gummy worms in it and was in the back of a big Tonka truck.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back Out, NOT In

Drab with drizzle, a day delightfully dank and dreary.
First half of this ride was unpleasant, at best. Couldn't keep glasses clear of moisture accumulations. Into a wind that was stiff and constant at a good 15 miles per hour, and the water bottle was left back at home, on the counter. Had to fight off thoughts of the warm, windless, water-fountained gym.
However, improvements were literally right around the corner. The wind became less of a punisher, the glasses cleared, and Holiday was only 5 miles away...that was gooooood lime Gatorade.
Electrolytes back in balance, wind no longer a foe, the Evil One was remounted and the remaining miles promised to undo what was previously so unpleasant.
Even the usually irritating honks of suburbanites, who are upset when anyone is on their road when they need to get to the mall, were dismissed without waving a single finger.

Oh yeah, did I mention the broken spoke?

Today's ride? Worth it. 48/14.5

Wet But Ice-less Roads
Apple Trees In Medina
Apparently Fences Work
Purgatory Creek

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There May Be Swear Words In This Post

2 hrs in the saddle and 1 on the elliptical, all INSIDE! Rain and and rain... I just didn't have the balls to take a chance. MRDAVEYGIE was out in this stuff and my ridin' buddy Ron called me at about 10:30 and said, come on man let's go! He was in the saddle OUTSIDE for 3 1/2 hours.
I did a little rockin' and rollin' with some intervals, hill climbs and high cadence spins. I gotta pretty good work out in, just closed my eyes, cranked the cd player and sweated a river. Brain's mush though after all the stimuli one finds at the gym. No great conversation, No great scenery, No great friends (although I did see Matt), No great ride. Hey, I got through this post without swearing, not bad.

When You're Cool The Sun Shines All The Time

Friday, January 22, 2010

Old Blue Rides Again!

With poor weather predicted for tomorrow, and wanting to see how Old Blue was doing after his riding hiatus, I ventured out for a quick spin in the muck. All I did was increase the PSI in Blue's tires, and hit the trails. Old Blue ROCKS! Superior in every way to the Winter Beast. Don't get me wrong, the Winter Beast is a great bike, but Blue weighs less, has front suspension, frame's a little more compact (better handling) and he's got more gears. But mostly Blue's an old friend, and we've been through a lot. We've been riding together since '97 or '98. A very nice reunion 17/13.1

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slicker Than Snot

Just before departure the rain and sleet started, and it continued for about a half hour, as my glasses will attest to. Yeah, I'm insane enough to go out on glossy pavement. It's slickness went unnoticed until a foot was put down at a stop light. It was safer with the Winter Beast moving than at a stop. A friend posted on Facebook that the greenway is an ice rink and he went down. My only issues were when I had to stop. My foot slipped every time it came in contact with the asphalt. Fortunately I never went down...not even a close call. The Winter Beast and it's studded Nokians are pretty amazing. 21/12.6
You can see the icy sheen in this photo. Also, notice the cyclist on the left at the top. I didn't see him go down, but he got off and walked it.
Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile may remember when I announced that Old Blue, my former winter bike, had been stolen, from my storage unit. I was notified, after today's ride, by my complex manager, that it was found. The complex had it all this time. They are the ones who had gotten into my storage unit, and removed all my stuff, not a burglar. Their poor record keeping indicated that I was not the one whose possessions were in that storage unit, when actually I was. They moved all my stuff out, put it in unlocked complex units, and gave my storage unit to a new tenant. I'm glad to have Old Blue back, but I'm kind of screwed, because I really don't need two winter bikes, and I'm going to have a hard time choosing between the Winter Beast and Old Blue. Anybody want to buy one of two really good winter bikes? As it stands now I have nine bikes, and a 2009 Orbea Orca frame waiting to be built up. I think it's official I'm a bike addict. Seriously, I may need to have an inventory reduction sale.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not As

...crunchy today. That ill east wind was blowing, which made me think this might be a less than wonderful ride. Turns out I'm not always right. Hmmm. This was a very nice ride. I rode down along the creek first, heading into the ill wind, but protected from it, by the trees. Got to the river and turned NW with the wind at my back all the way home.
Trails had softened up a little from yesterday, and there seemed to be a lot less ice on them. The sun even made a late afternoon appearance, which couldn't have been timed better. It was nice to have a shadow.
Really didn't need the Winter Beast's Nokians today, but I'd rather be safe and slow. 21/12.7

Weather is lookin' iffy for tomorrow and the weekend. I hope those weather guys are wrong.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Not much melting going on today. A more accurate statement would be no melting going on today.
A grey day with temps in the low 20's firmed what had been soft, and turned solid what had been liquid.
A heavier jacket was called up for service, and anticipating more ice on the trails the Winter Beast was the choice for workhorse. The greenway was nice and clear with only a few patches of ice, but the trail along the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek were a bit more dicey. It was a crunch fest out there. The Nokian Extremes once again served me well. 21/12.0

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back To The Trails

...and they were sloppy! Seemed like I was getting as much lateral movement on the Evil One as forward.
Did I mention how much I like temps, in January, above 30? 21/12.8

Hangin' with Elijah yesterday evening, I pointed out the moon to him, he said, "the sky has a smile".

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Same But Different

Took off solo on the same route as yesterday, just in the opposite direction. A frosty start and some icy patches quickly gave way to more melting. Not quite as much sun, but temps were just as delightful as yesterday, and spectacular for January. This may be one of those times when the words "I knew I shouldn't, but it was soooo good" may be appropriate. I'm already feeling the 90+ miles of this weekend, but I'm all smiles. I just can't move. 48/14.6

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh Man!

I am a roadie. Pavement is heaven and so are temps in the 30's. Six of us hopped on the cross bikes and floated over and ascended out of the temporal. I did not want to come back down. Great scenery, great conversations, great friends, great ride. Thanks Steven, Chris, Taylor, Amy and Maria. 48/14.9

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rest Day?

Stayed off the bike today. If the sun had come out the story would be different, but the clouds never gave way. The winter beast got a bath instead.

After a little work this morning the camera was calling.

OK I'm not going to say it, but we all know what this means.

Later a little happy hour with the Birchwood Buds and Buddettes.

15 minutes at home and I'm out on the street. Nothing serious. Someone cooked something too long in their oven. Back inside in less than 15 minutes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Good Day Good Week

The temps over the last 7 days have varied by 46 degrees. The lowest was 16 below and today it was 30 above. It felt good to be out and in the saddle each of those 7 days. Might get out tomorrow and am already putting together plans for a Saturday road ride, on the Evil One. Today 21/12.2

Camera this morning, ride this afternoon, wild rice soup for dinner, Moscow Festival Ballet with Emily tonight...good day.

Frosty Shots This Morning

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Little Less Layering

Warmer temps brought out more walkers and joggers, so the trails were a bit more crowded. Tonight's on your left count was the highest so far this year.
I stayed with the winter beast since it already needed a bath. No need to have two dirty bikes. 21/12.1

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Temps warming, trails are softening, I may even take the Evil One out tomorrow. 21/12.6

Frosty Morning

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bring It On

Little tired left over from the weekend, but still celebrated double digits today by NOT going to the gym. Could get a little sloppy out there this week as the highs are predicted to be in the 30's for at least the next 7 days. 21/11.9

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Not quite as much clothing needed today, and what I had on...all got wet.
Rode the paint mixer again today, this time I had company. It's hard to believe, but I think it was even bumpier than last Sunday. Amy suggested that we consider finding some pavement to ride, on the way back. We did, but it may have been a mistake because, now I want to ride pavement all the time. It is soooooo smooooooth, and of course much faster. I hit 23mph going down a hill. The winter beast didn't know what to make of everything coming at it so fast. And that was some major clatter and hum those studs were making. 33/12.3*
*pavement enhanced

Saturday, January 9, 2010


What do you do when you live in Minnesota and the morning temp is 14 degrees below zero?
One option is to get Amy, Chris and Taylor and head out on the bikes. What a spectacular day! We rode along the Mississippi into downtown Minneapolis looped around on the Hiawatha Trail and headed south along the river to the falls then up to Harriet and Calhoun. I got in a little extra loop over to Hopkins, and to be honest I didn't want to stop then.
The wind was light, lots of runners out along the trails, and like last week, they were wearing red faces and frosty balaclavas.
I had numerous queries regarding my sanity as I planned this ride, but look at what others were doing on a day where the temp did rebound to a balmy 8 degrees above zero. 37/12.2

Others Rode Bikes
Some Flew Kites and Balloons On Harriet
Others Played A Little Pick Up Hockey On Isles

While Some Enjoyed The Solitude Of Wirth
Who Could Resist A Tube And A Snowy Hill?
And A Game Of Football
While One, After His Ride, Got Out To Take Photos

Who needs warm sandy beaches? WHAT A PERFECT DAY!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Off Friday

Took the day off the bike and the elliptical machine. I'll be playing in the cold, snow and ice tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some Promise Ahead

Looking forward to a warmer weekend. And we are being teased with the prediction of 30's next week. But, back to the present. Gym--elliptical--hour and a half.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Was lured out on the winter beast by a temp of 14 degrees. Felt great to be on something that moved, and to breathe real air. 21/11.5

I saw this barn near Blakeley, Minnesota, as I was traveling to Mankato, for work today. (I like the basketball hoop)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010


Hour and a half. Double digits tomorrow will probably get me out.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Sunday Solo Ride

Woke up at 9:30 this morning. Gotta admit that felt really good. It did keep me from getting out until a little after 11. That was good though, as the temp had climbed all the way to -5.
Part of my morning was spent finally getting a computer put on the winter beast. Now I can be depressed about how slow I'm moving along in this cold.
I decided to head out to Excelsior on the LRT. It was a spectacularly beautiful day. Everything seemed sharp, crisp and in focus. The snow creaked, squeaked, whined and groaned under the winter beast's Nokians. The sun couldn't have been brighter or more ineffective.
I got to Excelsior and my layering had worked great, but was pretty wet. I guess I'd been putting in a decent effort. That trail was like riding a paint mixer for two hours, man it was bumpy. Nevertheless, I was having fun, even with a suspension-less winter beast. A couple of those bumps did try to launch me.
I'm feeling good, and today's ride was a total blast, cold, washboard-trail and all. The winter beast was a champ handling everything perfectly. There wasn't a moment when I felt cold. I got home and the temp had moved into positive territory all the way up to +5. Kinda balmy! 32/11.7

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fun With Negative Numbers

Doubled up on the toe and hand warmers, then rode to meet Amy at the cafe. We had to change a tube on her Axis, because her tire pressure was low, but finally got out to actually enjoy some good old fashioned Minnesota winter weather. It was slow going, and figured it was because of a combination of the cold and the number of layers each of us had on. Actual air temp at the start was -12. I think this is the coldest air temp I've ever ridden in. I've been out in colder windchills, which, today, was around -25.
We knew what we were doing and stayed plenty warm. We kept it around town not wanting to be far from help, if there was a break down or other problem. These were dangerous conditions. That being said, we had a blast, talking like it was a summer ride with no cares in the world.
It was beautiful out. The snow was so white it almost hurt, and a cloud wouldn't dare enter the royal blue sky over us. We rode along the creek and lakes accompanied by the long shadows of deep winter. The few runners we saw were all red faced, the cold taking its toll. But even they exposed very little skin today. We acknowledged each other, with head nods and waves, understanding that despite our different disciplines we were united by our resistance to the attacks of winter. Today, each of us out there figuratively raised a single finger in the face of winter. 27/??

Nosecicle The Sequel

Friday, January 1, 2010

First RIde Of The New Year

Departure Temp 1
Departure Wind Chill -14
Finish Temp 4
Finish Wind Chill -10
NW Wind at 9mph
Barometric Pressure 30.51 and rising
Visibility Forever

Yeah! It Looks Cold and It Was

Nosecicle And Frosty Balaclava
Amy and I started the New Year out right, and that would be on our bikes.
Bright sunshine everywhere and no warmth anywhere. We plodded along at a blistering 10mph pace, for a little over 20 miles.