Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Enjoying The Warmth

Cleaned up Evil, did some teeth extracting and hit the road. Man it was just like spring out there. Guy on the weather tonight said, he didn't see any change in this pattern for a couple of weeks. As much as I've enjoyed how mild this winter has been, I'm getting a little concerned. This altered weather could wreck havoc, in not a very long time from now. 20/16.0

Near Bush Lake
Condos With A View

Monday, January 30, 2012


Late January, jersey and a vest, pretty amazing. Temps reached 44 degrees and are predicted to be balmy for the rest of the week. Never got around to investigating Evil's complaints, so there was still some tics, and clunks, but I didn't care, just glorious out. That's saying a lot for a Monday. 20/14.6

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Aren't Weekends Suppose To Be Restful?

Doggin' it today. It was hard pushin' the Winter Beast's studs, and I really didn't need them, but it's always good ridin' with Amy, and it was another beautiful sunny day. Very nice to be out, but I was, and am, shot, with no good excuses. 37/13.5
Hung out with Elijah tonight. Peanut M&Ms, Diet Dr. Pepper, watched Planet Of The Apes, listened to Iron Man by Black Sabbath...poor kid, he doesn't have a chance.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nice Winter Ride

The wet and sloppy from yesterday's mild temps had turned pretty crunchy, with a nasty west wind, just in time for this morning's ride start. I received a couple of recommendations, from friends, that studded would be a wise tire choice for today's road conditions. I obliged, and Amy and I were on our way to Wayzata.
Amy had some bike shopping she wanted to do and headed back to Freewheel, so I carried on solo westward into the persistent and stiff wind.
Evil seemed a bit upset, and was noisily protesting the entire ride. I need to do some investigating to see what was bothering him, bottom bracket, pedals, or maybe the cassette.
I was in the mood for some Long Lake, Medina and Baker and just kept on turning the noisy crank, enjoying the fresh white snow and bright sunny sky. Cold and windy, but a beautiful day. 53/14.3

Came Across Some Unexpected Amenities At A Pit Stop
 At Excelsior I Got Off The Road And Hopped On The LRT
 Big Climbs On The LRT

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day Off

Every indication is that I'll be out on the trails and roads through the end of the month. If that happens, it'll be the first time, since I've been riding year 'round, that I will have spent every ride day in January outside. No gym this month at all. Cool! Or maybe I should say, warm!

Sunset Coloring The Clouds Tonight

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not Just Good For The Body

Left some exasperations out on the road this evening. I don't know what I'd do without a bevy full of bikes. 20/15.0
Lots of stars out tonight. Venus was hanging out just below the moon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Trails got the all clear today with the Wicked Witch of Winter melting away...at least for now. A little fog was left loitering, and gave Minneapolis a Brigadoon sort of feel. 20/14.2

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

White Ride

Rode in more white today than any other time this season, and may be there's 3 inches on the ground.
Evil was more than up to the task of getting through the trails. All were plowed, but the wind kicked up and some had drifted over a bit. 20/12.9

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good Weekend

MONSTER TRUCK JAM last night with Bryson, Elijah and my son Ethan, kept me up way past my bedtime. I got home about midnight.
Had a blast watching the kids in total awe of these trucks and the noise...oh the noise.
It's Bryson's 5th birthday today. Everybody's coming over and there will be cake!

Hard ride, for me. Amy seemed totally fine, so it was my turn to have an off day. I think pushin' the fat studs yesterday really took it out of me.
It was warmer, but we rode in freezing rain. Wasn't accumulating much on the roads, at least they stayed mostly wet, but ice was all over everything else.

I was really glad to get home and have a nice cup of hot chocolate. 35/13.6
Good weekend; kids, grandkids and bike rides, with Amy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Shminter

Started without any temp, but it was really pretty out. Fresh white and bright sun. If it's going to be winter it might as well be pretty.
Amy wasn't on top of her game today (it happens to us all), so some route modifications were made. The smoothness of the asphalt replaced the rough and bumps of the trail. I, on the other hand, am still feeling the vibration of the Winter Beast's studs and knobbies an hour after I walked in the door.
We finally broke into the double digits around noon. Hands and toes never went numb, but I'm not convinced that wouldn't have been better than the constant tingle and sting that crept in through felt lined boots, two pairs of wool socks and chemical toe warmers.
It was a good winter ride. I pushed studded 26ers and the Winter Beast around for 50 miles, with 1 very quick stop to de-snot, and wipe the frost from my glasses. Almost 4 hours of uninterrupted saddle time, in the middle of January. Damn Good! 50/13.3

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day Off

Off the bike today. Playing with negative numbers tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

That's All I Got

Definitely winter in Minnesota. I used all the below zero gear I've got, because it was below zero. Not a lot of wind, which was nice, but still plenty cold. Evil is a pretty incredible bike, handling whatever is thrown at him. 20/14.1

A Little Frost Build Up On The Old Hairy Gills

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Warmed up enough for me to hit the trails without my hand and toe warmers. Even lightened up on the layers a bit. Moderating temps seemed to have raised my average speed a bit. Hey, I'll take what I'm given. 20/14.7

My daughter-in-law took this picture, of my grand daughter, Aubrey. She also made the hat.
Kim enjoys taking images of weddings, families and children.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun With Layers

Even though I haven't done it a lot this winter, I think I got this layering thing down. Temp of 13 wind chill at -3, arrived home with all the appendages I left with. 20/13.7

Monday, January 16, 2012

Easy Monday

Wind was kind of nasty today, an omen of what's coming. 20/13.6

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Typical For Me

I've heard that there are people who sleep in on Sunday, lazily get up and read the paper with a slow cup of coffee, then, maybe, take in brunch.
Lots more sun, wind and temperature today. Just Amy and me (that's not a complaint), doing our usual Sunday morning ride. The 1/2 inch of snow we got was already melting, and the sun's warmth felt great on our backs. Lake Minnetonka looked fresh and clean with the new dusting of snow on its thin ice. We disappeared from city life on the LRT trail gently weaving along the tree lined path. It was smooth, quiet and newly white.  I did break out the studs, for Evil, but can't say that's what made me confess to Amy that I was tired. Nice comfortable ride, very nice. No better way to spend a Sunday morning. 41/14.6

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I was out solo. My cycling buddies Ron and Gordy were not into winter riding. They were creating rivers of sweat in their basements; while I was trying not to freeze off anything too important. Temps were starting out the New Year low, I suppose saving something for the eventual ramp-up that would come in March. The year, 2007, looked promising. I was finally feeling recovered from shoulder surgery (broken clavicle), my youngest daughter would graduate from high school, child support payments would end, my dream of a semi-retired life style would become reality, but little did I know that this particular day was going to lead to something that I never planned on, or, for that matter, even imagined.

I was on Evil’s predecessor, which was stolen. The Evil you now know looks identical to his forerunner. Up ahead of me on the snow covered street were three cyclists. One of them had a bike that looked just like mine. As I passed them I cordially said, “nice bike”. No response, but one of the cyclists suddenly asked, “do you know how to get to Wayzata”?

It took me a second or two, but I could’ve sworn that was a girl’s voice. All those heat retaining layers had hidden facts that I’m usually quite adept at noticing. I had to think fast. Three girls, one guy, and they were going to Wayzata. I even impressed myself with how quick and sure my response was. Uuuuh, yeah.

Not much was said, after that, but they all fell in line and I tried to look as cool as possible. I think we mentioned names, but even then I was no good at remembering anything. Their plan was to stop in Wayzata and then head back home. I had planned on 60 miles, and before I met them, a stop in Wayzata was not on the itinerary, but this was just too good to pass up. I ordered a cup of hot chocolate and placed my helmet and gloves at the table they were sitting at.

Balaclavas, gloves, hats and helmets all came off, they started talking and I just sat there kind of nodding my head. I found out they all rode for a team called Birchwood, which I soon discovered had a very strong womens team. I was intrigued. There were even more women out there?

One of the women at the table was very quiet, with short blonde hair, and she wore a unique earring. She looked all of 23. I had kids older than her. I mentioned that I was going to continue to head west, none of them seemed too interested in continuing on and the blonde said, she could only do it if we slowed down. I thought about them as I rode out of Wayzata, especially the blonde, something connected.

I was looking for a team to ride with. I had raced unattached. Gordy and Ron both had gone through life changing events that would not only keep them from racing, but from riding regularly. I needed some new people to ride with. Maybe Birchwood would be a fit and I could get to know this blonde a little more.

I rode with that blonde again today, not quite as quiet as she was that first time we met, but it was once again a cold, snowy Saturday in January only five years later. What a great friendship. Amy still insists she was most definitely not the one who asked how to get to Wayzata.

Today 60/15.2 We rode through Wayzata, and continued west not stopping any time during the ride, and nobody suggested that we slow down.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

All A Tingle

Coldest ride of the season required warmest clothes. Lots of thick layers, including two pairs of gloves on each hairy hand. I even fired up the toe and hand warmers. Gore is some of the best stuff out there to keep the cold out.
Needed to keep the old hairless head warm too.

Perfect end to a cold ride is a bowl of soup. I made some cauliflower soup to help restore the warmth, after riding in a below zero wind chill.
I crock potted a half a cauliflower head, with onion, salt, garlic, carrots, celery, and red bell peppers, along with some home made turkey stock, on high for two hours.
Then roasted that for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Set aside some of the vegetables (I like my soup chunky)
Pureed the rest
And poured that into a bowl with the vegetables.
Really, really good. Now I've just got to remember the proportions so I can make this again.
Temp 13 degrees with a wind chill of -3. 20/14.3 for about an hour and a half with Evil in the cold. Had the trails to myself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Reminder

Not quite as pleasant as the last few days. Wind and cold combined to remind that it is still Minnesota in January. Additional layers weren't as helpful as I had hoped, and that tingle crept back into the toes and fingers. Needed Evil. 20/14.2

Made cereal from scratch the other day. It turned out really good.
This is what I included:
1 very ripe banana
1 cup oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)

Mix up, spread very thin on parchment paper, and cook at 375.
I cooked it for 15 minutes, then tore it into small pieces, about the size of a nickel. I put the pieces back into the oven for another 5 minutes, checked on it, not wanting it to burn, and then returned it to the oven for yet another 5 minutes.
It turned out very good and crunchy. I let it cool completely and then put it in an air tight container. After a day or two it had become even crunchier. I also found that it stayed crunchy in milk. I suspect that this would stay good for a couple of weeks, if stored air tight. A mason jar works very well, even with previously used lids.
I also figure this would be a pretty good snack to take along on rides, just store it in a ziplock bag.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Still Not Sure

Sitting at the stop light at 50th and Minnehaha Parkway I began to daydream. I wasn't cold, there was a couple waiting at the crosswalk who didn't have jackets on, I couldn't see my breath, I was on my road bike...for a moment I was in April. Light changed and about halfway across the intersection I remembered it was January, and I just kind of laughed. 24/16.8

Monday, January 9, 2012

Where Am I?

A very nice ride on a beautiful Spring day, on January 9th, in Minnesota. Temp hit 50 degrees. 20/15.9

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nice Sunday

Another amazingly warm winter day. This is typically the coldest time of the year, in Minnesota and I was out, riding with friends, in 40 degree temps, on road bikes. Thank You!
Five of us today. Just Heaven. 42/16.3

A little exploring with Elijah this afternoon around Normandale Lake.

Then we met up with Ethan (my son) and his son Bryson for some "guy time";
football, pizza, Matchbox cars, and some serious rambunctiousness.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Really all that needs to be said is, 4 cyclists, 64 miles, road bikes, January 7th, and I'm tired.
Just amazing to be out on this kind of a ride in January. And, just for the record, we deserve it. 64/17.2

Pretty cool looking sky out there tonight. Lots of stars. Orion is easily spotted in the southern sky. Venus is as bright as it gets, and the moon is spectacular. I'm getting closer to understanding the awe that the ancients found in the night sky, and the travels of the planets, stars and moon. I find it easy to sit, ponder and watch, wondering about these bodies, their movements and imagining the meaning that is added to my existence, by the regularity of their appearance, in my upward gaze.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day Off The Bike

A little work, a walk around isles, and beer with cycling friends. That's a pretty good day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Answer

I regularly get asked how many bikes I own. When I respond by answering "10", if I'm not asked directly, the look on the questioners face always asks why.
Over the last 6 days of rides I've used 4 different bikes. Minnesota weather requires adaptation from a cyclist, if she or he wants to ride all year around. Today was a studless Evil. 20/15.3

Lake Harriet As I was Closing Out My Ride (point and shoot)

From My Balcony Just After I Walked In The Door (SLR)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bit Of A Thaw

Snow and ice is slowly melting. Temp made it to almost 40 degrees today. Where the sun was shinning the snow and ice didn't have much of a chance. The winter biking challenge hasn't been too intense, so far, this season, and today seemed pretty typical for this winter. Old Blue, with his noisy crank and yellow fenders, was my companion today. 20/13.6

Still Plenty Of Ice On The Trail Where The Sun Got To A Little Late.
Still Light In The Sky Around 5PM

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Making Do

Don't tell anyone, but I'm kind of enjoying this winter riding; something different, a little technical, a bit of a challenge, nice change of pace. On the Winter Beast again. He's pretty amazing on the ice, makes me look like I know what I'm doing. 20/11.4

Caught this with my point and shoot.
Good Lookin' Sunset Over Lake Nokomis

Monday, January 2, 2012

A little Fun On The Ice And Snow

Old Blue needs the bb replaced so I threw Nokian Extremes on the Winter Beast and hit the icy trails. Met up with Amy and we got 15 miles in together. She needed to shorten things up a little, but it was nice to start the new year riding with her. I was able to get in a few more miles on a sunny, cold, windy and icy January day, in Minnesota. Very nice ride. I was very impressed with the Winter Beast's performance. 28/11.5

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What A Difference A Day Can Make

Ended 2011 on the road with a 60 miler. Started 2012 with all the studs I've got on a tire. Ice everywhere. Called on Old Blue for the first ride of the new year. Managed 20 miles at a 12.4 mile an hour clip. Hello winter.

What a nice weekend off the bike. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were filled with everything I like including food, friends, parties and bike rides, and I spent the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 in some very nice company.