Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lots of Tired

I sure have been tired lately. No giddy-up at all. Youth is a terrible thing to waste on the young. Penny thinks I need more vitamin D. 20/14.5 (and that was on a road bike)

On a happier note: I've been on jury duty for the last week and a half. Got discharged today!

Saw these Trumpeters while working today. There were a dozen of them out on this frozen lake near North Oaks. These two were with the flock, and non-chalantly started to walk away. At about 20 feet away they start to do some head-bobbing, and before you know it they were running along the ice and skimming just above it. The others didn't even seem to notice. Very fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Was inspired to ride the LRT to Excelsior this afternoon, with Evil. Nice change of pace. A lot less city. 30/14.4
Watched Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer tonight. It's the best one.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Winter Riding?

Kind of cool for a road bike, but with no snow or ice Evil stays home. 20/16.7

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Been A Very Good Weekend

Four of us ridin' road bikes at the end of November. It was cold, but I can't complain. Out to Wayzata, along Long Lake and back home to the warmth of some of Tom's special winter recovery drink. 41/16.6

Elijah Relaxin' On Grandpa's Couch This Afternoon.
Met Some Friends For Drinks Well After The Sun Went Down.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just The Stuff I Enjoy

Another good day. Started off with some sleepin' in, which is one of my favorite things to do. Met up with Amy and rode in the drizzly, cold and windy November weather. The glasses weren't doin' a whole lot of good, and needed to be cleared off regularly. The drizzle finally let up as we entered the city limits of Wayzata. Evil steed seemed to like the cold and wind. He likes it sloppy too.
Got home and made my favorite recovery drink, then went over to Amy's and did a little bike maintenance for her. After that I even managed to get a little Christmas shopping done at a small business. Finished the book "The Origin of Satan", by Elaine Pagels. She's a religious historian and has won the National Book Award for "The Gnostic Gospels". Yeah, I'm into that stuff, what can I say.
Enjoying the warm glow of the TV now. 45/15.7

Saw this red view of Minneapolis on my way home from shopping.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nice Day

Amazing what you can do with a day off. First and foremost I slept in. All that eating yesterday required some major effort on my part, and some extra sleep to help recover. I had notions of a ride around a lake or two, just 'cause it was so nice and warm out, 50's again today. Amy, in her very sneaky way, coaxed me into 30+ miles. Why I listen to her?'d think I'd learn by now. 33/?? (battery died)
Got some laundry done, kitchen floor all spic and span, even got a little work done, and I got my Christmas lights and tree up. Lookin' pretty spiffy around here now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tom's Turkey Day

Tied the all time high temperature mark for this date today. Rode with Amy and Greg in the morning, on the fast-goodlookin' bike, with a vest on. The last time I rode a road bike on Thanksgiving, I think, was '98. Just along the river and up into Theodore Wirth Park. We crossed the 45th parallel twice. 35/16.3
Ideal weather, great friends, on bikes...wait, it gets better.

I made Thanksgiving dinner for my kids and the grandlumps; turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn, gravy, and rolls all made from scratch. Brit and Ethan brought stuff to drink. Gabrielle brought the salad. My ex brought homemade pumpkin pies, one of which was made from fresh pumpkin, and a banana cream pie. She can make pies, oh, man! I also provided a french silk pie.

So, to summarize; wonderful weather, road ride, fantastic friends, delicious dinner, my kids and grandkids...yeah, you're right, that is perfect!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Like This

Fast-goodlookin' bike and it's Thanksgiving. Temp near 50 with all sun. Gotta love it! 28/17.0
Rode to the Minnesota River and came back around Bush Lake. Crossed interstate 494 at about 3:30...traffic was slow and go.
Sun is setting around 4:30. Pretty, but way to early. Less than 30 days and the diminishing light trend will end.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doesn't take much time inside the gym to get me back outside. Rode Evil this evening. The full fenders were nice. Snow and ice was almost all gone. If it's dry, I'll be on a road bike tomorrow and Thanksgiving. 20/15.0
Frozen Creek
Downtown Minneapolis In The Fog Tonight

Monday, November 21, 2011

That Time Of Year

Gym. Hour and a half. Elliptical.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It was all frozen this morning. The ruts left by yesterday's cyclist were solid and ice. A skating rink is not a good description. A skating rink is flat. Each rut would not give and Old Blue would move laterally, very disconcerting...forward is preferred.
The 2.35ers with studs gripped rutted ice and soon unsure was replaced with confidence.
There was no hum, just a cracking and popping as Old Blue undauntedly rolled over the crevasses with a confidence that only comes with age. Blue's the oldest of my bikes. That means wisdom, experience and a been-there-done-that attitude. Blue's seen it all, and wants more.
Not many bikes could do what Blue did today, from glare ice, to rutted ice, bare limestone and then two inches of snow... just nonchalanted it.
4 1/2 hours yesterday 2 1/2 today. I'll take it. 30/12.1

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Angry cat lady and Steven met me at Punch. We convened a little earlier than usual to try and out smart mother nature's plans for white. Yeah, like that would work.
A fairly pleasant trail ride to Strawberry Lane, where we met up with Ron and his trusty side-kick Roger. Roger could've been a little more cooperative today. A broken fender bracket and flat were how he showed his appreciation about riding with us.
It was great to see Ron. Way too long since I've ridden with him. Nice to catch up. He's got a kid in high school already. Ron took over ride control, and almost immediately things started to deteriorate. First he took us through Carver Park. Very beautiful, but it was closed because of a special hunt, yeah, with real bullets. Ron seemed to think it would be OK to ride around the barriers and through the hunt zone. I suppose my Windstopper jacket didn't make me look too much like a deer.
Having made it through the shooting range, next was a trail? I really never saw a trail...lots of leaves and branches, which got caught in my spokes more than once, and this kick ass hill. At this point Amy was no longer in her happy place, but remained relatively civil, not talking, but civil. You didn't want to look her straight in the eye though. Steven was in his element loving every second we were off any trail.
Now Amy's bike needed to be dealt with. Her front derailleur was not being agreeable. Force was used to persuade it back into position.
A short reprieve, and some very scenic country, then we even got on some asphalt. Short lived, the dirt road we turned on to was a washboard set at an incline. That was it, Amy broke out with a "WHERE THE HELL IS THE TRAIL?" She knew the Luce Line, that it would be flat, smooth and headed home. Ron could only point in the direction of the pending intersection. Oh Yeah, it had started to sleet.
Amy was right and the Luce Line Trail's crushed limestone seemed like newly laid asphalt. Unfortunately we had to split up. The Luce Line is where Roger decided to flat. The weather was worsening, and neither Amy or Steven were dressed to stand around for 10 or 15 minutes. They went on, and Ron changed Roger's rear tire. Ron and I were back up and riding with the sleet now turned to snow. It didn't phase us.
Said goodbye to Ron in Minnetonka, and with about 4 miles to go the lack of a food stop caught up with me and I bonked. Slowed to 11 or 12 miles an hour, but got myself home, and quickly made my favorite winter time post ride recovery drink.
Evil performed very well in the first snow ride of the season.
This ride was actually a blast. We were on the right bikes, with the right clothes, and when that snow started I didn't want to be anywhere near a road. A delightful layer of ice lay just on top of the asphalt.
It was great to ride with Ron again. He can still climb and descends even better now than he used to. This was really fun. I'm looking forward to some more winter rides like this one. Amy took winter's start hard, but I'm sure she'll be back at it like always. 62/14.5
Tire Accumulations
Derailleur Accumulations
Trail Accumulations

Waist Accumulations

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Night Pics

No ride just pics. It was nice just to sit on the waters edge of Lake Harriet and just watch...look. Never saw the sun, but knew it was there.
From Calhoun's Thomas Beach

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Up North

Ice on the creek, dark well before 5, nevertheless, on the road. 20/15.8

Interstate 35W bridge over Minnehaha Parkway

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

He Did WHAT!?

I'm not sure what got into me, but last night I developed a hankerin' for some trail riding. Got me on the de-fanged Winter Beast, with some 26 x 2.35ers. Not big enough to have their own names, but massive compared to my usual 23cm.
It was very pretty, but damn cold, and the wind out of the WNW from 15-25 mph didn't warm anything up. Actually I got the layers down just right and was very comfortable, but when I stopped to take a picture, removing my glove, and unzipping the Gore Windstopper, I felt the bite and cold immediately. 35 degrees when I got home with a windchill of 25. My average speed the 1st 15 miles, into the wind, was 13.5.
Nice ride. I'll be doin' it again soon. 30/14.1

The Winter Beast Relaxing Afterwards
Turn Around Point at Oak Lake

Trail Colors

Birch Trees

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Approach?

Ran into some big wind on the ride back tonight. 20/16.2

Taylor is nonchalanting it as she cruises down the hall at her physical therapy session. I gotta get a black helmet with red flames. So cool!
Photo by her mom Kim Russell.

Spotted this young eagle near the Mendota Bridge today while working. Wind wasn't phasing it.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Showed a little leg today. Temps roared into the 50's. I'm likin' the asphalt bare. I have no desire to see any white. 20/16.9

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Reverse

Snicker doodles (homemade)
Hot Chocolate with cream and rum
Ride around Lake Minnetonka with Amy (really nice) 45/16.8

A quiet afternoon with Gordy, Jo and Penny at a winery. Food, laughter and talk to follow.

That's a good day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last year we got 8 inches of snow on this day. Today we were de-layering. What a great, fun ride. Riding just fast enough to burn a calorie or two, but not pushing it. Avoidance was the goal of the day; avoid hills, wind, long stretches of oxygen deprivation, muscle complaints, speeds that would prevent idle chatter, and of course cars.
It was just plain spectacular out there, with sun all over the place, way too many layers, and great friends.
There was a stretch where Amy got a little impatient. Even though we were moving along at 20-21 mph she came around and took a pull. We all fell in line and she upped the pace to 25-26 mph. Massive effort! even though we were heading downhill and had a tailwind of about 20 mph.
I sure had a good time today. Really nice ride. Thanks everybody! 72/17.9

Friday, November 11, 2011


Courthouses were closed for Veterans Day, so I spent the day getting organized. My storage unit and tools are lookin' good. Got out to the house for a little bit and set up a heat source to keep the pipes from freezing this winter. And a sure sign of winter's approach, I replaced the bb on The Evil One. Took it out afterwards, just to make sure I did it right. Nice and quiet! 6/14.2

Isles at about 5PM (sure gets dark early)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Didn't even make it out of the 30's, and my apparel showed it. Booties, balaclava and a windstopper jacket. I like that Gore pretty well.
It was one of those rides that was more mental than physical. Lots of thinkin' goin' on. Let's see if I can turn that into somethin' good. 20/15.5

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slow Slide

Sky was clear, sun was out and looked warm, temp was 49. Seemed like the perfect conditions for a vest instead of a jacket. Looks like we're in the last days of vest weather. Arms would've been a little happier tonight, if my vest had sleeves. 20/15.9


Needed a jacket. 20/16.9

Monday, November 7, 2011

Early Dark

It's the blinkie time of year.
A controlled burn in progress at Minnehaha Falls Park.

A little bit of a chill tonight. 20/16.0

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Simple Life

Woke up after the extra hour of sleep last night that fall back brings, with 16 miles to go. Yep, after yesterday's 70 mile trek with Amy and Anthony, I had 16 miles to pedal to get my 10,000 miles in for 2011. Just for reference, professional cyclists will typically ride 20,000 to 25,000 miles a year. That makes 6 years straight of 10,000 miles or more, for me, in the saddle, outside, in all types of weather, from tornado warnings, blizzards (Amy and I were talking yesterday about riding in this storm), 40 mile an hour crosswinds, lightning strikes, 105 degree heat indexes, windchills of 30 below, blinding downpours, hail, ice storms where the rain actually froze to my bike (I had to sit in my house for about 15 minutes and let my jacket thaw before I could get it off), innumerable flat tires and mechanicals repaired on the road, always with less than adequate tools, bee stings, nearly crashing into deer, running over squirrels, sunscreen and sweat in my eyes, frostbite, broken face, ribs, hand, shoulder and tail bone, not to mention all the skin I've left on the asphalt. And don't get me started on the near death experiences with those motorists that aren't paying attention.
I've been very fortunate to share some of these delightful experiences with wonderful friends. The last 4 to 5 years it's almost always been Amy, and the last 3 years it's rare if we're not spotted together on some rural road happily (at least at the end of the ride) tallying up the miles wearing off the rubber on our skinny, over-priced tires, wasting away a Saturday and Sunday.


Here's the evidence:
I stopped at the 16 mile mark, and although I didn't give a WOOT WOOT, or do a happy dance, the accomplishment didn't go unnoticed.
The 10,000th Mile Was Here (just north of Excelsior on Cty Rd 19)
After little to no ceremony I resumed doing what I love and seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, and tasting the joy of simply riding a bike. 44/17.4
Leaves Are Almost All Gone

A Tribute To My Mom. She Would've Been 89 Today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's Call It WIsdom

Just tried to keep from letting the wind find me. There have been days when it was exciting to take on the wind, or the climb. Today wasn't that day.
Met up with Amy and Anthony and rode the Dakota Trail to Mayer. It's an old abandoned railroad right-of-way, that is flat, and has cover from the wind. Two great people to ride with, lots of fun talking, plenty of sun, and even saw some deer on this the first day of the opener. A nice fun ride, just taking it easy and enjoying the miles with some friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Full Day Off

No ride. The morning started out a little frosty. Had to get a little work done, then lunch with an old friend and his wife. It was great to catch up. Back to work for a bit, then enjoy the sunset and a beautiful half moon. Penny and dinner, homemade wild rice soup, a little wine and a baguette....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Felt Good

Very nice weeknight ride: Knickers, fast-goodlookin' bike, and lots of late fall color. 24/16.4

Along The Mississippi

Just A City Street

By Lake Hiawatha

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Fun With Fall Colors

A little something falling out of the clouds during my ride. No wasn't white. 21/15.7
Yeah, I know, that's slow. I'll have an excuse made up in time for tomorrow's post.

Along East River Road