Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wimpy Or Not?

It's interesting the differences and variances in tolerance. Yesterday it was 38 degrees and raining pretty hard. I didn't want to ride in that. I've ridden and raced in those conditions and have never been so cold. At temps below 45 degrees, once something gets wet, it's really hard to stay warm.
Today it was 21 degrees with a healthy NW wind creating a windchill of 9. I was out in it. I was able to keep everything warm, mostly because everything stayed dry. Old Blue and his Nokians kept me upright, on the snow packed trails. 21/13.9

Yesterday, Taylor got her cast off. Her femur and other bones are healing up nicely.
It's pretty rough on all the one year old guys out there, now that Taylor is showin' some leg.
Her dad took this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Stayed in tonight. 38 degrees and rain is a pretty miserable combination. I've only been off the bike 3 times in November. It seems like more than that. I guess a couple of rides have been cut short because of snow and ice. Oh well, it's Minnesota. It's part of what comes with living here. Another hour and half on the elliptical tonight.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer is on TV tomorrow night, my all time favorite Christmas show. That abominable snowman is really scary. It's that time of year. Here's some more Holiday cheer, brought to you on bike parts only.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nice Sunday

Felt a ton better out there today. Maybe it had something to do with 20 extra degrees. Got up to 45. Tempted to break out the sleeveless jersey.
Just played around the city today, with studs and evil. Rode into downtown then over to the University of Minnesota, river, creek and all the lakes I could fit in...probably 6 of them. When you live in a state that has over 10,000 lakes it's pretty easy to find a couple on any given ride. 32/14.4
Lots Of Ice In Old Man River (lake street bridge)

I Love The Setting Sun

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Another just gorgeous day, bright sun, deep blue sky and bright white snow. I hopped on the Evil One, which felt so nimble and quick compared to Old Blue, but that feeling didn't last long. It was as if I was carrying two Thanksgiving meals and my tires had metal in them...Oh yeah, that's right, I was and they did. I was just huffin' and puffin' the whole ride. It was brutal. No wind to blame it on, temps were a little on the nippy side (started out at 15 degrees), but man, there was just nothing in the old (tight-clad) hairy legs.
About 15 of the 50 miles were on unplowed trails, but my speed didn't pick up much once out on the roads. And Christmas Lake Hill...there was no hohoho or anything very merry about that. It had about a half inch of slush and snow on it...I had the rear wheel spinning a few times, even with the studs.
Feeling better now that I got some hot chocolate in me. I'll be out doing it again tomorrow. I'm just a glutton for punishment. 48/14.1

Most of the lakes are sporting thin layers of ice now. This is Long Lake out by Wayzata.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Did my winter loop again, this time solo. I rode the greenway to the Mississippi, along the river to Minnehaha Falls, then followed Minnehaha Creek back to Lake Harriet and Calhoun and home. Very beautiful route. Another gorgeous day with a deep blue, cloudless sky. Not as cold today. Actually got up to 20 degrees and my glasses didn't freeze.
Isn't that beautiful white sand inviting, and the water so blue. Can't imagine why the beach is abandoned. 21/13.0

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm lucky and very grateful for, what I consider to be, a very fortunate life.
Incredible parents that exhibited total devotion, love and kindness to me and my siblings.
Children and grand children that bring me joy that exceeds anything I ever imagined possible.
Friends that are good, good people.
The ability to ride a bike, breathe real air, and see...life.

I woke up to a beautiful sunrise. Pulled out the thick tights. Temp when I got on Old Blue was 5 degrees, with a windchill of -10. Snow on the trails had that cold crunchy squeak to it. Breath was visible and started to accumulate on my glasses and freeze there.
Last night's snow hadn't gone anywhere, still brightly resting on branches and boughs.
Rode with Steve for about 10 miles. It was a ride that deserved two cups of hot chocolate upon arriving home. 21/12.2

Met my children and grand children, for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, at their mom's house. Laughed, reminisced, shared hugs, love and the most recent happenings with each other.

Ethan took this picture of the Thanksgiving table.

We'd wished the tryptophan had had more of an effect on the grand kids. When told "no rabbit" ears so we could take pictures, they all magically sprouted some.

The evening was full of play, smiles...
Thomas the train...
Computer games
and mice.
Absolutely glorious!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Night Snow

About an inch of snow fell this afternoon, so I went over to the gym for an elliptical adventure. Miles are already low this week so talking myself in going to the gym wasn't all that hard. After some dinner I went out for a 3 or 4 mile walk, with my camera.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Love Is Back

Needed to be out in it today. My usual winter route took an hour and a half on Old Blue. Toes and fingers stayed warm without warmers despite temps hovering at 20 degrees. Blood just might be thickening up some. 21/14.2

Lake Harriet Succumbing To Winter's Icy Grip

This Looks Like It Could Keep Me Warm

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Excuses

Just didn't want to be out in it today. Spent an hour and a half on the elliptical machine at Bally's, listening to Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas music.

My daughter, Britney, and her newborn son, Elijah, 8 years ago today.
Happy Birthday, Elijah!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Woke up to a thin layer of ice on everything this morning. Those who predict the weather assured us Minnesotans that a thaw was only hours away. Solid did eventually turn to liquid, but it was still plenty slick. Old Blue is a veteran of all weather conditions extreme, and did not hesitate when called on to traverse the ice coated greenway and LRT. I was the one who was apprehensive.
Every time I put a foot down it slipped on the ice that was just below a watery top layer, but the studded Nokians bit, and would not let go carrying me upright all the way to Excelsior. Even the crushed limestone of the LRT had a slick icy layer on top of it.
Just an out and back, but Old Blue, with his studs, always provides a good workout.
Solo effort today. 21/13.7

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Sun didn't help the temps much today. Departed with a windchill of 9, actual temp of 18. Three and a half hours and 60 miles later the windchill had risen 3 whole degrees as had the actual temp. Broke out the hand and toe warmers for the first time this year, and pretty much had on the gear I'd wear for a 0 degree ride. I was not over dressed. Put the mtb pedals on the Cannondale road bike so that I could wear my Lake boots, which are worth their weight in gold. They work!
Amy, Steve and I had our sights on Stillwater. I was grateful for the enthusiastic and positive response I got to my suggestion of taking 3 miles off the ride. That might not sound like much, but those miles were straight into the wind, with no cover, and there was a nasty climb waiting for us.
Oh! the sweetness of that tailwind. The moans of relief were sounded in unison. Made a quick stop in Lake Elmo. The lady at the gas station was appropriately impressed with our frigid trek, and was respectful enough to keep her thoughts about our lack of sanity to herself. The look on her face said what she didn't.
Gotta admit it was kind of a harsh ride today, but staying in, or working out at the gym would've been so much worse. These cold rides will be somewhat easier to handle, in the future, as the old hairy blood thickens up.
A ride well worth the level of its unpleasantness. 60/16.8

Friday, November 19, 2010

Off The Bike

So I had to get some sort of workout in tonight, and wrastlin' with the grandlumps seemed like a good way to burn off some calories.

I liked their pink and green wamer jamers. They had feet in 'em. It was also very fun to get them all riled up just before bed, and then leave.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Afraid The Cold Is Getting Comfortable Here

Didn't even make it to 30 degrees today.
Lots of people out there in cars tonight thinking they were on their own road. On the good side of the ride, I did wear out a train. The greenway is an abandoned railroad. It runs alongside an active line. I hopped on the greenway at 169 and a train was heading my direction. This is great because I'll have railroad crossing lights flashing and barriers down at all the road crossings. All I had to do was keep up with the train. Summer would've been no problem, but today, the 30 degree air rushing through the 98 degree old hairy lungs was pretty unpleasant, and the train was doing 25mph WTF!
Got across Blake matching the train's speed, then made it to Wooddale, but gave a little ground to the train. Fortunately trains are a little longer than bikes. After Wooddale the train got tired and started slowing down, and at Belt Line I had gained back what I had lost and then some. Even at 19mph I was making ground. That's my story and I'm sticking with it! 30/17.2

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Only an inch or two of snow left. So a week ago we were breaking high temp records at 68 and 69 degrees. Four days later we had 8 inches of snow on the ground. It is predicted that a week from now we won't be getting out of the 20's. I guess I better stock up on the toe and hand warmers. Post ride showers have been getting hotter and longer. Cold is taking its usual toll...felt pretty slow tonight. I need to do a little hibernating. 30/16.3

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Cloudy, sleet, temps in the mid 30's is what November in Minnesota is all about. Today was typical . I felt a little more tired, on the bike, than it seems like I should, but it is what it is. The Evil One and me for 30/16.9

Monday, November 15, 2010

On The Road Again

Skinny tires on the Evil One felt pretty quick and zippy after sloggin' and doggin' the last couple of days. Roads are a little wet from the snow melt, but that's what fenders are for. I was lookin' for some extra miles, trying to make up some of the deficit brought on by Saturday's SNOW! I had grand thoughts of leaving around 2 and heading out to Wayzata and around the lake. I actually left before 2, but the old hairy body was not having any part of a 50 mile ride, so a compromise of 40 miles was reached. I did get out to Wayzata and did a loop by Long Lake and then came back into Wayzata on Ferndale. Very Nice! 40/17.1
Here's some of what I saw.

Lake Minnetonka

Lake Of The Isles
Sun At 4:30
Sun At 4:45

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And God Created Snow Plows

Didn't need the fat studded tires or Old Blue, but I had them anyway. The warm temps and the snow plows removed everything for a stud clattering ride. Yep ridding on pavement less than 24 hours after 8 monstrously heavy inches of snow fell.
The plan was to stay on paths, but everything had cleared off, and melted so quickly that we rode out to Wayzata, on the roads. Amy was chompin' at the bit, and would've liked to go around Lake Minnetonka, but I was doggin' it with Old Blue. Still turned in a very nice ride and decent miles considering yesterday's storm. Barb and Bruce rode with us for about 6 miles, then it was Ellen, Amy and me to Wayzata and back. I'm pretty sure I'll be road bikin' it tomorrow. 40/14.5

Hung Out With The Grandlumps Tonight

Life is fantastic!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Growling Works!

Well, they got that right. It started snowing early this morning and is still snowing at 2pm this afternoon. It's that thick, heavy, wet snow that's perfect for snow balls and snow people, but not so great for bike riding. Nevertheless, we were out in it. We even heard a loud crack and looked just in time to see a tree branch crashing to the ground under the weight of all the snow. It was maybe 20 yards from us.
What else is there to do on a Saturday? I went down a few times. As you can see in the pictures below, the snow stuck to everything, even clogging up the wheels bringing them to abrupt, unexpected stops.
It was just Amy and me slogging it out. More than one growl was heard from both of us. I never got it into my big chain ring. My max speed for the two hour plus ride was 13.4 mph. Average speed was 7.6 mph for a whopping 17 whole miles. Just a little shy of last Saturday's 76 miles.
It really was nice to be out. Just beautiful, but I sure would've liked a few more miles. At the end of the ride I had to carry my bike because the wheels wouldn't move anymore. I'd clear the packed snow away and within a couple of revolutions I was stopped again. Hopefully I'll be able to get some larger miles in tomorrow.

Old Blue Handled It Like He Hadn't Missed Last Season
Some Accumulation On Amy's Bill (and those aren't deep rim wheels)
We Saw Some Beautiful Winter Scapes

Cedar Lake Looked A Bit Foreboding