Sunday, February 28, 2010

Road And Exploring

Got in just a great ride with Steven, Karl and Amy. I was on skinny tires. Oh Yeah!
I was unusually sore after yesterday's ride, but woke up this morning feeling surprisingly good. Rode at an easy pace, just enjoying being out. 48/16.9

Picked up Elijah this afternoon and was told we were going exploring.

I Like The Small Maybe Unnoticed Things
Elijah Found A Small Creek That Feeds Cedar Lake

He Likes Hanging Out
And Blazing The Trail

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bit Of A Difference

Had a hard time deciding what bike to take out today, but finally settled on the Evil One, with a little prodding from Amy. The studded Nokians did come off and were replaced with Conti Contacts...a little higher psi and tread that has much less rolling resistance.
Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was doing a great job of keeping us comfortable. Lots of great talk and eventually we even got around to some hard riding.
Roads were clear and basically ice free. As the day wore on the ice oozed out from the road sides and over the asphalt, but the sun dampened any hopes the ice had of taking us down.
Amy wound up feeling pretty frisky on the inclines and seemed to want to charge at all of them. My quads were not and are still not happy with that. The rest of me is also still complaining. I can hear the Advil calling.
Same route as last Saturday. Conditions, temps...they were all about the same, but I came in 1.2 mph faster. Oh I'd like to say I'm improving, but in the real world all the credit goes to changing the tires. 61/17.2

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Need This

Day Off!

I'm heading out now to have dinner, with my son Ethan who was born 29 years ago today.

Day Ethan Was Born. (I wasn't much older than him...22 to be exact)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bigger Better Faster More

A little lighter layering today. Sun felt good, and it's up a lot longer now. Plenty of melting going on, even though the temp is still below freezing.
It's been a hard week (month for that matter) as I'm trying to get the miles and speed up. I've been doing this for awhile now, so I've got all the excuses down. I mean, I know how to make it sound like everything is against me, and that if this just happened, or if that hadn't happened things would be different. Here's the bottom line: 208 miles for the week (fri-thur). I estimate 800 miles for the month. Last year I was a little under 650 miles for the month of February. This is not my most February miles, or my fastest, but...ahead of last year...I'll take that. Oh, and just for the recorded...I'm bushed. No on the bike day off for me tomorrow. 21/13.7

I looked to the East and this is what my camera saw.

Then I looked to the West and this is what my camera saw.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

That's Why

It always surprises me. I'm feeling run down, aches, pains, old age is winning and I almost talk myself out of riding. I'm sure it will be a hard slow ride, plus it's cold out there. I force myself to get my winter gear on, and drag my sorry ass outside. I see the same old stuff, feel the cold sting, realize there's more ice on the roads than there was yesterday, and oh yeah, I get honked at, for no good reason. All that and I pull up to my home at the end of my ride with 21/14.4
Day's made, I'm feeling a little more peppy, aches and pains aren't as pronounced, attitude has changed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Miles Less Gore

Winter has been on the run over the last week or so, but ended its retreat and fought back today, with a single digit windchill. I was back inside some heavier layers. At least there were no puddles...yeah, they all turned solid, slick and rutty.
Still improving. More miles ridden already this February than February 2009. My speeds are slower, but that's because of the bikes I've been on, and tires. I was riding stud-less this time last year. I'm a little older and wiser. 21/13.9

Results of Stud-less Riding This Week A Year Ago February of 2009

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Monday

Apparently I need the rejuvenation that comes from a Pacific Northwest vacation, and Hammerhead coffee. I was only able to muster a 21 mile ride at 13.4.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Pulled the Salsa ("B" road bike) down from the rack, inflated the tires, adjusted the brake calipers and was on the road. 110 psi never felt so good. The skinny tires found no problems along the way. The lack of clatter from studd-less tires seemed wrong, but the stiffness of the bike, its responsiveness, its quickness (despite how tired its rider was) all combined for a delightful first road ride of the season. Basically just shortened up yesterday's route. Temps, wind, sun all pretty much the same as yesterday. After playing hard yesterday, today's effort was a little more arduous, but it's been a great weekend.
Ride yesterday morning. (longest fastest of the year)
Kids and grand kids over in the evening.
Emily last night.
Ride today.
Going to pick up Elijah now.
Recuperate tonight.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Could Have

What a great day! Not much wind, enough sun, and temps that were just fine for February. This ride could easily have been done on a road bike and definitely could have been done without studs, but my caution grows as my age increases.
Sixty miles is a lot on a cross bike with studs, but as the ride progressed it seemed more and more doable. My quads weren't complaining nearly as much as usual as we took on the rollers of Medina and Independence. It was delightful to be on the road, and spring fever is still at epidemic levels. 62/16.0

Friday, February 19, 2010

15 Miles On A Day Off

Tired, but I took it easy just adding some miles. Took the Evil One out around the lakes. 15/12.4
I'll try for 60 tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good Ride

Spring fever is burning hot after today's 37 degree ride. Pulled the Evil One out of the quiver and shot a bulls eye. What a delightful day to ride. Spent more time on roads than on trails or paths. 22/14.0

My Daughter Britney turned 27 today. I'm still trying to figure out how that happened since I'm 32.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Slop And Puddles

Temps hitting 35 today definitely had the asphalt revealing more. Afternoon is the time to ride, as the sun has been hard at work, for hours, turning the ice into a brown, salty, sandy murk. Morning commuters are brave, especially if they leave before dawn. 23/13.0

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Above Average

That sun is getting higher in the sky, and those temps are slowly creeping up - all the way to 34 degrees this afternoon. When the trails are sloppy and loose, like they were today, I've got to concentrate too much on what's 10 feet in front of me. Not a whole lot of opportunity to enjoy the bright sun and scenery.
It was Old Blue's turn today. I'm always faster on it, but feel more comfortable on the Winter Beast. Go figure.
In the back of my mind, there's been a bad thought lurking. I see all of this snow piled along the trails and know it has to go somewhere when the melting starts. It will pool on the paths, as it does already, and refreeze at night. I'm afraid the paths will be treacherous and impassable during the spring. The roads will be the only alternative, which is fine, but I expect the pot holes will keep the good bike and wheels in the garage longer than I'd like. I worry too much. Back to the present. 21/12.7

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still Winter

That north wind reminded me that it's still winter. 25 degrees and sunny didn't feel all that warm.
I guess the snow plow guys had the day off since it's a holiday, because the greenway still had last night's 2 inch snowfall on it. I opted for the ice of the Hopkins loop, which had been plowed. The Winter Beast kept me upright on the ice and blasted through the drifts on the south side of Calhoun. Kinda fun. 23/12.0

Church On Isles

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Good Weekend

10 degrees colder than yesterday, bright sun and a cold wind got our attention from the start. A wait for a long train, made the slight hill afterward excruciating. White knuckled it through hard ice and snow pack on Ferndale. Finally the wind was at our backs and Amy and I were able to settle in to a reasonable cadence. Quads screamed as the oxygen was squeezed out of them on Christmas Lake hill again. And yet, it was really a nice ride. I am so messed up. 40/15.0

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Apparently, just like Superman, SuperAmy has a weakness. I won't go in to all the details, but two margaritas the night before a ride is part of how to slow her down.
Just an incredibly beautiful morning, with frozen fog frosted trees, and the sun playing a little hide-and-go-seek.
Wayzata was the stopping point for Amy and Steven. I continued on solo. An extra hill and another mile or two as mid February marks the time I like to start adding FUN to my rides. Fun, this time of year, is a euphemism for moans, groans, screaming quads and swearing. The first part of the ride was a little tough, but I actually started feeling better as the miles added up, excepting Christmas Lake hill with 13 miles to go. I felt good today. 51/15.8 (fastest and longest since December 5th)

I got a nosecicle and beardcicle while riding my bicycle today.

Water in waterbottle didn't do me a whole lotta good today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day Off Sort Of

When the sun's out it's hard to stay in. Why is 25 degrees in February so much warmer than 25 degrees in November? Got in an off-the-bike-day-ride, around Cedar, Isles and Calhoun. 10/12.9

Took the scenic roads to Mankato while working today. Sunny in the Twin Cities and sunny in Mankato, but between Belle Plaine and Blakeley it was a little foggy.

And The Sun Did Set Tonight

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And I thought We Were Friends

Warning: don't ride with Amy after she's had coffee on a day off. I could barely hold her wheel. It was nice, warm, sunny and Thursday so you'd think we'd be on a nice leisurely ride. Apparently not!
Like always, the conversation was great, it was a beautiful day, and the sun was so warm it was a pleasure to ride, but she was on a tear. 25/13.7

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Trails were in significantly better shape this evening, and the sun was very out. 21/12.6
Lots of snow and a higher sun angle are creating some major icicles.

Ice Night Lights

Ice Sunset

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Plowin' Through

It was a bit of a tricky ride today. The trails were plowed, but there is so much snow there's a lot of snow debris left behind that needs to be navigated. I'm not complaining, just saying. Nice to be out. I've been feelin' a little fried lately...must be those 21 mile weekdays taking their toll. 21/11.4

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Snow

Wanted to ride outside, but went to the gym.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beat The Snow

Amy and I started a little earlier to try and beat the predicted snow. It sounds like we're going to get a dumping. Not sure what was going to happen we hit the roads and headed for Wayzata. Acknowledging that we were both still feeling yesterday's trail miles, today's effort seemed destined to be short and sweet.
The asphalt went by fast, and with very little discussion about it, we turned around at Wayzata, even though the clouds couldn't totally hide the sun. A little more effort was now needed because the wind didn't turn around when we did, so Amy pushed hard.
It turned out to be a delightful morning of riding, with our unexpected, cloud defying companion. The snow held off. Who knows, maybe, just maybe the storm will miss Minnesota and hit Iowa or Wisconsin. It looks like Lisa's lake could use a little more snow on it anyways, and Mr. Dave likes those trails filled with the white stuff. 38/14.2

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Little Fun At The Luminary Loppet With Emily

Tough Trails

We'd been out for no more than 10 minutes and we see another eagle flying low by the west shore of Lake Calhoun. Two days in a row for me. Pretty cool!
Amy and I started out at 10am. I wanted to stay off the roads, because I was afraid that there had been some re-freezing over night, and there would be a lot of ice to deal with. I think I was wrong. The trails wound up being loose, sloppy and bumpy...not what a couple of roadies like.
Lots of talking today, which was very nice. Temps comfortable. Once again I was on the Winter Beast. We rode along the creek and river into downtown. Came back along the Hiawatha trail and had a very brief encounter with about 6 hoodlums. Nothing happened. They tried to intimidate us a little, and were blocking 90% of the trail as we rode by. We were cautious. Kept riding, and feel fortunate that nothing happened. We probably should have just turned around when we saw them, but it worked out OK...just a little nerve-racking.
We turned west on the greenway and soon came up on the Ice Bike Race at Isles, which is part of the City of Lakes Loppet going on all day today.(I'll be there tonight with Emily, for the Luminary Loppet) We stopped and watched for a few minutes, and got to talk with all of our friends. We were getting chilled so took off, with Steve tagging along.
Up into Theo Wirth on bumpy loose trails again. Smarter people finally prevailed and we got our bikes on the roads which were, oh so much smooooooooooother.
Nice, nice ride today. Good work out on the Winter Beast, pushin' all those studs.
I think we'll be on roads tomorrow and I'll break out the Evil One. 41/12.2

Note About The Eagle Photos

It was sitting at the top of a tree overlooking the river when I first saw it. I didn't realize it was an eagle. I actually thought it was a nest, because it was so big. I got a little closer and saw there was white on top. I thought it was snow, but then realized it was an eagle. I moved a little slower and just started taking pictures. I didn't change any settings on my camera, just started shooting, and then it took off. I tried as best I could to follow it and just hoped that the images would turn out. In about 45 seconds it was out of sight. Thanks for all the nice comments. I can't believe I got these shots, and am a little embarrassed that I'm so excited about it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day Off

Tired. Haven't had a day off from biking or working out since January 15th.

By Hyland

Along The Minnesota River At The Old Bloomington Ferry Bridge Site

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Misty Grey

Sounds like some one's name instead of the conditions outside. It was one of those days when cleaning off the glasses didn't really help. Warm, wet air with some slushy and sloppy sliding on the trails. I've used the Winter Beast this season much more than the Evil One. Usually the Evil One gets the most use, but the Christmas ice storm has kept me favoring four rows of studs instead of two. 21/12.2

Very Few Colors Today
Hard To See Across Harriet
The Day Of A Winter Cyclist (or at least part of it)
3/4 cups + 2 Tbs of hot water
2 cups bread flour
1tsp yeast
1tsp salt
knead let rise
punch down dough
form into 6 rolls
1 1/2 Tbs wild rice
1 cup chicken broth
sliced carrots
sliced celery
diced onion
minced garlic
all in the slow cooker (set on high)
open toe and hand warmers
get dressed
3:25pm Winter Beast and I are on the trail
5:35pm back home
5:36pm oven to 475 degrees
5:37pm most of the clothes are coming off and going in the washing machine
5:40pm 1 cup of skim milk and 2 Tbs of flour mixed well get added to the slower cooker along with a pinch of salt
5:43pm rolls are in the oven for 15 minutes
5:45pm shower
5:58pm dried off, some clothes on, turn down oven to 425 degrees
6:05 pm pour wild rice soup into bowl
6:08 pm take rolls out of oven
6:10pm steam rises from soup as it is stirred and more steam joins in from fresh baked rolls as they are broken open.
6:11pm mouth is full, stomach is satisfied, all is well, the simple things in life are more than good.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Clouds Moved In

It was sunny all day, but just as I was heading out...yep, the sun took a break. I didn't take a break. 21/12.1

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Beauty

That just might have been the nicest ride of this winter season. Not quite as many layers, moderating temps, fresh snow, and bright glorious sunshine conspired to put off that longing for 80 degrees, sunscreen and green. Quads and the Winter Beast were working well together enjoying the snow packed paths. Even the hill, added to this evening's route, left the lungs more exhilarated than exhausted. A couple of extra miles...felt good tonight. 24/12.2

Bridge Over Minnehaha Creek
Snow Covered Pine At Harriet