Thursday, March 31, 2011

Little Older But Still Love It

Got out early, for several reasons, but mostly to avoid the predicted rain this afternoon, which never transpired. Last year on this date it hit 76 degrees here. Got into the 40's today. It's not 76, but definitely doable. I decided to ride to the Minnesota River by the Old Bloomington Ferry Bridge. This is the pedestrian and bike path along the river. The river is running pretty full
First 250+ mile week this year. Felt good,'s getting hard guys, it's just getting a little harder. It's what happens. 988 miles for the month of March. March 2010 I put on 1271 miles. Last year it didn't snow in March, and was much warmer.

Today 39/16.6

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Getting Nice

Fun to be out tonight. Saw several friends riding along the greenway. 33/16.1

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What A Difference A Day Makes, And A Few Degrees

Met up with the tall guys Mike and BK. I quickly got a flat in front of my place, so we all traipsed up to my apartment to change the tire. Fast and efficiently we were back on the greenway. Once to the river and by the cafe we needed to check out a house that BK wanted to rent. Never found it. I hope he's still not out there looking for it.
Went along the river into downtown and over to the Uof M campus. Mike decided that Tuesday was a good day to get some hill work in. Every rise he had to power up. Almost put me into cardiac arrest, as I tried to hang on.
Wound up riding through the neighborhood that Mike grew up in. He showed me a few of the old haunts. We've both got deep roots here.
Got to hang out on the bike with some buds, warmer temps, got some photos taken, stopped in at the bookstore to get a new read, and even made Amy growl, that's a pretty damn good day! 39/15.2

Sunset Over Calhoun Tonight

Monday, March 28, 2011


The cold felt colder, and the miles felt longer. Must be a Monday. 21/15.5

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cold Spring

Rode with Amy for about the first 10 miles of my SSR then she turned back for her home. She was making sure she was ready to ride when the warmth returns later this week by taking it easy today after yesterday's epic effort. Another drop dead gorgeous day, and, once again, it was cold. I was on my usual Sunday route up into Baker. I never grow tired of how beautiful it is there, in all seasons. 50/16.8 We'll be dealing with high water for a few more weeks.
I am just finishing up reading Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". I loved the following dialogue between The Controller and the savage.

“We prefer to do things comfortably”. (the controller)

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom. I want goodness. I want sin.” (the savage)

“You’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”

“All right then, I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”

“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have to little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.”

(there was a long pause and then the savage said)

“I claim them all.”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Not Going To Sugar Coat It

Got a little ugly today. Amy decided to ride with a head cold. It was a drop dead gorgeous day, but the ride start temp was 16 degrees. Nothing but sun in the sky. Amy said I looked like I was ready to rob a bank. All black does absorb more of what little heat the sun was offering, and as she pointed out, it is slimming.

We really did well for the first 30 miles, probably because of that east wind behind us, but after Watertown Amy started to fade. We had to ride on unfamiliar roads to make it to Delano. Our usual route was under the Crow River. Even Cheesy Crackers in Delano didn't get the giddy-up back to Amy. Coming out of the Crow River valley was pretty hard on her, and there were frequent rollers that just couldn't be avoided, even though we were making a bee line for home. Between Delano and Loretto I was wondering if she was going to make it. I think she may have been slurring what few words she could get out. Cheesy Crackers must have kicked in, or more likely she just got pissed, and a slightly more brisk pace was achieved. She's as tough as they come. She did 80+ miles today with a head cold. Me 73/16.7

Tools Of The Trade.
This is not all of my gloves, just the ones I've used over the last 5 days.

Delano Sunset (one of the roads Amy and I were on earlier in the day)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Delano Flooding

Spent the day at my property, and off the bike. Had lunch with a friend about five feet from the flood waters of the Crow River.
They are trying to keep the ice from building up and damaging the bridge and creating an ice dam.
My house is about two blocks from the river, but is in no danger. Only a few homes along River Street may have some basement water issues. Crest is suppose to take place on Sunday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Warm Sun

It was a cold ride, but the sun was working hard at making it feel good. Didn't know what to expect from the trails, so ventured out on Evil...studless. Good call. Full fenders kept me dry. The sun did a good job of clearing up the greenway despite the temps staying below freezing. Just a few ice patches under bridges, and some puddles, but it was all very manageable. 24/15.5

This evening I went to Elijah's second grade concert. Sitting next to my daughter, watching my grandson....doesn't get any better than that.
His best bud, Chance, is standing to his right. The girl with the red bow has a crush on Elijah.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh No I Didn't

Spent the afternoon pushing a shovel. Last night the rain turned to snow, but before the changeover, someone thought it would be great to put down a half inch of sleet. It's little ice pellets, that when combined with rain wet roads creates a layer like a Slurpee. It's really hard to drive in and near impossible to ride in. So I didn't. The six new inches of snow this morning felt like I was lifting two feet worth. Helped out Naomi and her daughter, Mary. Mary got stuck in the driveway. Got her unstuck and then cleared the snow. This snow put us in the top five for all time snowfall in a year. yipee!

Clouds Started To Clear Just As The Sun Set Tonight

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Yes I Did

The entire state of Minnesota is under some sort of weather warning. Duluth is under a blizzard warning, with over a foot of snow predicted and winds have already reached 50 miles per hour. The rest of the northern two-thirds of the state is in a winter storm warning, and almost all the counties in the southern third are enduring flood warnings. Who the _____ would live here? An even more salient question would be, who the ______ would ride in this?
Locally it was a cold wet one right in the face. Temp was 36 when I started out on a de-fanged Evil One. Wind was averaging about 25 mph right out of the east. It was hard to tell if any of the rain actually hit the ground, because it was never really falling. It was basically moving horizontally, with the wind never letting it touch the ground. The wind was more than happy to let it pummel my face, though.
I put on my winter gear meant for about 20 degrees, and it worked well, until the thunder. The growl, like a hungry stomach, was followed by a hefty downpour, which soaked through my two pairs of gloves, and my winter tights in about 10 minutes. Fortunately, I was on my last loop around Lake of the Isles. I even got hailed on. Winter boots, winter tights, winter jersey and jacket, rain, thunder, hail, and even piles of plowed snow on the side of the roads.
Good day for a ride, a warm shower and soup. 24/15.3

Monday, March 21, 2011

Little Longer

Slowly increasing the miles and speeds. Years past I just kind of went from winter to summer in regards to miles and speed. This year the plan is to ease into it a little more....a longer, more gentle ramp up. It has nothing to do with my age! That's my story and I'm sticking with it! 32/16.6
Grandlumps stopped by tonight.
Taylor (the other two were moving so much that all their pictures turned out blurry)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plenty Of Wet Out There

Just as I was walking out the door it started to hail. Last night I heard thunder. Only three weeks ago the water in my water bottle froze solid in less than an hour.
Gotta love living in Minnesota!
Did a tooth extraction on Evil. I thought the full fenders would be nice, on a rainy Sunday ride, so I threw the Conti Contacs on and off we went.
Very pleasant, very pleasant ride. Just before I got to Lake Minnetonka on my SSR route, who do I see coming the other way? Mike! He was nice enough to turn around and ride with me, for 15 miles or so. We caught up on all the news since yesterday. Nice and easy today. Let the old hairy legs be in control. Whatever they felt like doing was fine with me. 48/16.5
Plenty Of Wet Out There

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My One True Love

Had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited to be reunited with my one true love. Morning finally came and after a couple of last minute adjustments to bring the Cannondale out of hibernation I clipped in, placed the old hairy ass on the saddle and knew immediately that this is where I belonged. It had been way too long! Legs, arms, hands, every tendon and muscle simultaneously knew this is what they were created to do and were relieved to be at it again, after a four month dirge.
The handle bars were placed in perfect position. The hoods fit in my hands as if one, the saddle like it wasn't there. The cranks moved effortlessly, and the big chain ring... it was almost too much perfection. A simple, light touch of the finger shifted into another gear and slowed the bike. It was like the bike knew what to do, even before the signal travelled across the cables.

Met up with three. Amy is fighting off a Texas cold, but came and joined in for about 15 miles, before turning back.

What is love?
To be out away from the city, with vistas lacking a horizon
Damp, dusky, snow-melting air
The sound of the tires on the pavement
Leaning into a turn
Heavy breathing
Attacking a hill
To feel like you are flying

This is one bad ass hill and they were smiling when they finished. Charles and Mike, both these guys wound up riding 100 miles today. Charles on a cx no less. He's getting ready for a 325 mile race in a few weeks. Me? 69/18.3
There Was A Need To Refuel

Friday, March 18, 2011

Carbo Loading Friday!

Planning on the longest, fastest, most painful ride of the year tomorrow. So, for my last meal I requested:

Yeah Baby! That's why I ride!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Coming

Felt some fast in the old hairy legs, especially on River Rd. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the 20 something riding my wheel thinking he had something to prove, on his Cervelo with deep carbon rims and 23 Vittorias. I was on my $79 frame, Conti Contac 28s and $150.00 wheelset. 24/17.3

My new favorite cereal. And it's for kids! The good news is I ate it after my ride, so I can't be accused of doping. One box was not enough, though.
Almost Full Tonight

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Felt The Need For Speed

Apparently rutting season for cyclists is upon us. Most cyclists hibernate during winter months in underground, rectangular, poorly lit, cement blocked caves they call basements. But, today, the first 50 degree day, of late winter, all were out displaying their most colorful jerseys, and doing mating ritual dances around puddles and over potholes. Their smiling white teeth showed through salt, sand and melted snow splattered faces.
I too felt the excitement brought on by longer and warmer days, even though I don't hibernate.
Now if I can get the old hairy legs to cooperate, maybe I'll catch me some fine cycling action. 24/16.0

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm Likin' This

Rain stopped, sun came out, temps rose, I rode. Man, did that feel good. 24/15.9

Living Space In The House Is Done!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I See The Light

Was riding at 7:30 tonight. Gotta love it! 24/15.4
Only slept for 11 hours last night. I guess I was a little tired.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Second Wind No Nothing

Whoa! There was not a part of that ride where I felt anything close to good. I had nothin'. Started lookin' for short cuts home and excuses within the first five miles. Massive tired attack! 40/15.4

This Was Not My Last Cup

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Better Than I Thought

It was an Evil with studs day. Temp when I left was 17 with a windchill of 2. Last night it rained then turned to snow, so there was a light layer of ice hidden underneath a dusting of white.
Just looking for miles today, and hoping for a little more spring in the air tomorrow.
This year it's been taking longer to get my second wind. The first 10 to 15 miles of my rides have been harder than usual, but then I start feeling great and am happy to keep on riding. Same thing happened today. I was feeling like I'd turn around at Wayzata (15 miles), that wind was stiff, but all of a sudden I had plenty of energy to keep turning the cranks into the wind, so I did!
Finally made that all important turn that puts the wind at my back, and sailed through Excelsior and then home. Felt good again today. Could've pushed it a little more, but with the studs, cold and wind, I figured I'd bank that energy for another day. Only 50 miles today, which is better than I thought I'd get. I'll try for 60 to 70 tomorrow, which is suppose to be warmer, with much less wind. 50/14.6

Can't Resist A Sunset

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Off The Bike

Went by and saw the grandlumps tonight.

Kels Shooting The Rapids
Bryson Showing Off Some School Work
Taylor After Her Bath
Taylor's Brace

Do I have it good or what?

Looks like I'll have an unwelcome companion during my ride tomorrow. It's suppose to be plenty windy. I'll try to get 70 miles in. We'll see.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lots Of Good

Another very fine day. Lots accomplished.

Felt very good on the bike. Sunny with temps into the 40's. Seemed like I had some reserves that I could call on whenever I wanted. Wasn't ready for the ride to end. That is always the sign of a good ride. 24/15.7

My $79 frame took some major abuse, from salt, sand and slush. The brown ice that is parallel to the down tube, has formed along the front derailleur cable. No housing just the cable. Oh, and that poor bottom bracket.
Started the living room floor install today. Should finish it up tomorrow.
Again, it was a really good day, and it got even better after 6:30pm.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's All Good

Felt good out on the bike today. It's been a good week for me on and off the bike. 24/14.9

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gotta Start Picking Up The Miles

More pavement less layers. Piles of roadside snow are receding, and the threatened snow storm has moved south. I'm pretty easy. It doesn't take much to make me happy. 21/14.3

Monday, March 7, 2011


Did all sorts of stuff today. Did some abstracting work, then got a little more work done on the rental, and managed a ride as well. I'd say I've been a pretty good boy. The lengthier light of day this time of year is helping out in soooooo many ways. And Oh, I even help shovel my Delano neighbor's driveway. Her name is Naomi. I think she likes me. I got a couple of "how can I thank you" and "you're so strong" comments. You think she was hitting on me? I think she's got a little cougar in her. She's easily in her 80's.

Ride was nice. I didn't know what to expect with the 2 inches of new snow. We are now at 8th for all time snowfall. Only 20 inches to go to break the all time record. Trails were 95% clear. 21/14.0
Some of the slop got up on Evil's derailleur and cassette. I think he likes it.
Driving up to Foley North of Monticello These Silos Stood With The Pines

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Need To Eat

Just a typical Sunday ride, uneventful, but enjoyable like always. Great conversation, but there were some stretches of silence that seemed a little longer than usual. I think Amy and I were pretty tired. I needed to stop and refuel at around 40 miles, which is pretty unusual for me. But, like last Sunday I was teetering towards the dreaded bonk. That was one mighty fine tasting Snickers bar.
It sure has been nice getting more and more roads miles logged in. It's been a long winter.
Hung out with Elijah tonight, building with Lego. Very fun! 47/15.4

Saturday, March 5, 2011

He Made A Tactical Mistake

The Irish Setter and his pal were waiting behind the white picket fence that paralleled the road. I knew they'd be there waiting for us, hiding behind the large pine tree. They always are. I yelled at 'em "LET'S GO GUYS". They were off before I got even with 'em. Oh ok, so that's how they want to play the game. Fine! The pal, with his long white coat and gray spots, wasn't into it. I passed him easily, even with his head start. The Irish Setter was playing for real his red fur floating behind him as he cut through the 20 degree air. I was only slightly gaining on him, and it didn't look like I'd get him before the white picket fence took a 90 degree turn ending his territory, and marking the finish line. Then he looked back. BIG mistake. He looked back to see where I was, but to look back he had to slow down. I had him, with a good ten yards before the fence turned, I went by him. Yes! He had kind of dumb-founded look on his face like, how'd that cyclist do that on a $79 frame and conti-contacts?
Chalk one up for the humans.

It was a really nice ride today. I think the best for the year so far. Temps stayed in the 20's, but the sun was out and the roads were in great shape (potholes not included in this assessment).

As we waited at a stop light a group of cyclists turned onto the road we were heading down. Before I could say anything Amy said, we are not chasing them down. The stop light wasn't changing, and they were getting farther ahead. I said, "but they have kits on, it's our duty to chase 'em down". I'd already been hit and called names (not by motorists) that can't be repeated here, so I really had nothing to lose. I hadn't been very nice on the hills and rollers we had encountered earlier. The light turned green and Amy reminded me again, we're not chasing them down. It wasn't too long and they came into sight. I said, "hey, we can see them". No! we're not chasing them down. "Look we're gaining on them, I bet we could catch them before Excelsior". She described me again in ways that can't be repeated here, but did include words like, big, hairy, oaf and other terms of endearment. And as we caught them she was still reiterating, "we're not chasing them down!"
Stopped at Dunn Bros for some well deserved hot chocolate for me and Earl Gray tea for Amy.
It was just Amy and me, but that's all it takes. Delightful ride for me, but I'm not so sure Amy enjoyed it too much. 63/ 16.0-17.3 (computer is being replaced tonight. It's only 12 years old)

A refueling stop. Amy can carry a lot of Sport Blocks in her cheeks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Off And Busy

Spent another day at the house and off the bike. The only big thing left is the living room floor, otherwise it's all little stuff like, 1/4 rounds, sockets, switches, and a couple more plumbing connections. The living room is where all my tools and supplies are, that's why I'm doing that floor last.
Cut the hole for the kitchen sink today, and dropped it in along with the plumbing.
Remodeling the interior has been a real challenge for me, one I've wound up enjoying (now that it's winding down) a great deal. I've really fallen in love with this little house. It's far from perfect, but the inside is far from what it looked like when I bought it.
Saw this as I was leaving Delano. Made me smile. Kind of a mountain/ cross bike mentality.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Can't Stop

Brakes on Evil are wearing thin. I had to use a snow bank to stop during my Tuesday ride. So I pulled out the Allen wrench and needle nose pliers and tightened up the cable before today's ride. It's amazing the difference a properly maintained bike can make to ride safety. Who'd of figured? Felt great to be on the bike. 21/13.9
Took the new point and shoot out on the ride today to show it around and get it acquainted.
Didn't want to put to much pressure on it, so didn't ask for any pictures to be taken. Pretty snazzy, huh? I need all the help I can get.

Remember a week or two ago I was complaining about leg aches. Got 'em again yesterday and today. I figured out that it's installing the floors at my house that makes 'em hurt.

This year the Twin Cities have already reached the top ten for all time snow fall in a season. Another storm is predicted for next week. If it hits us as predicted, it will put us into the top 5. Not sure I'm excited about approaching the podium in this case.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Worked at the house until 5pm today. Put the bedroom floor in. I kind of got lost in what I was doing and didn't get home in enough time to get out and ride. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Not riding was in no way connected to the windchill staying below zero all day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Change

Temp dropped almost 20 degrees in less than an hour and a half today. The exact same hour and a half I was out riding, and I was dressed for 40. Wet and sloppy at the start. I was amazed at how quickly that changed to hard and slick. Evil kept me problems. 21/14.2