Thursday, February 28, 2013

Still Around

I don't know what got into me, but I cleaned both the Beast and Evil tonight. I'm not usually a big fan of cleaning bikes. I like my bikes clean, I just don't like to be the one who does it.
Trails turned back to crunchy and the layer load increased. 20/14.2

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Likin' It

Very sloppy out there. Don't need studs with temps near 40, but fenders are essential. The North winds brought out the kite skiers on Calhoun. 20/14.5

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Light At The End

Kind of ditto on yesterday, except even lighter layers. Man I want this spring thing to come. 20/14.6

Monday, February 25, 2013


Temps near 40. Lightened the layers. Trails were liquid. Felt nice. 20/14.8

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Keep It Coming

Another sunny warm (relatively) day. Only got to ride with Amy for about 10 miles, but it's always nice. There are hints that spring is trying break through.
Rode up a little north and west of Wayzata. Sun felt good. Evil seemed to appreciate being out with me on a Sunday. It just felt good. 37/14.4

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting A Liitle More Of A Road Feel

A little sloppy out there, and not sure what the road conditions would be, I took Evil, his full fenders and studs, met Steven and Amy, for 55 road miles. It was really delightful. Very pretty, with the new snow (that however is not an endorsement for more), temps moderate (in the upper 20's), a pent up need for some rural miles and a couple of good friends led to a nice ride. Lots of talk and not feeling the need to push the speed just added to the enjoyment.
The sun broke through the clouds a few times. It's nice to feel it on my back and, if you ask me, it's getting stronger. 55/14.9

Not All Of Us Had Fenders

Friday, February 22, 2013

Need Some

Didn't really need a day off , more like I needed to be on the bike. Work this week was a little tense. Had a major computer malfunction. Didn't lose much, but did lose about a quarter of a project I'm working on. My son Ethan saved the day on Wednesday night with a 3 hour marathon to bring back my computer. Sons that have formerly worked for Geek Squad are very nice to have.

Nothing like a beer and some bike repair to help ease the effects of what was a wicked week. Saturday's bike ride can't come soon enough.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ends Well

Didn't want to push the Beast's cranks so Evil was called up. It's the end of the riding week and I'm tired. A little slower on the icy parts of the trail and all went well. More snow coming. I hear the folks in Iowa are going to get pounded. MrDave must be pretty excited. 20/13.3

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Route Two Needs

First half of the route was clear and could have been ridden with a road bike. Beast got me through the second half of the route with no problems. I feel a lot more secure with those massive studs and low center of gravity. I didn't have to get off, or push, even across glare ice. 20/13.2

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold and Hard

Thought I'd worn my goggles and ski helmet for the last time, but the below zero wind chill and single digit actual temp got me reaching into the closet. Ice on the trails was unyielding as it had been ultra-harden by the frigid temps. Evil's studs had a hard time holding on to the rock solid ice.
The cold slowed me down and wore me out fast. 8 when I left, 6 when I got home, wind chill at -11.
Trails were filling up with the drifting snow. Had to push Evil a couple of times. 20/12.8

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friendly Ride

Winter isn't giving in this year. The day started with temps in the 30's and just went down from there. Got to ride with Amy, she had the day off. We just did a quick 20 miles. 20/13.3
The courthouses were closed today so I had the day off as well. This is what my day off from work looked like, though. My boss is a real task master.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Full Day

Got out with Aaron and Amy. We stayed in the city on the trails. They were icy sometimes, but I brought Evil with his studs. Evil was sportin' the new cantilever brakes I installed. The old V brakes were losing their spring and were starting to rub. I'm already slow enough, I don't need anything else slowin' me down. 33/13.6

Lake of the Isles, like always, was filled with winter enthusiasts, skating, skiing, and, of course, cycling.

Hung out with the family tonight. All of the grandlumps were there, here are the ones that were still for a few seconds.  (Makenna and Aubrey)
 Gabrielle (my daughter) and Makenna

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cold And Slow

I'll take a road ride any time I can get it, even with only 5 degrees. Just Amy and me again today. I may have to talk with her. I think she's intimidating the other riders - always pounding on those pedals and pushing the speed. Geez we need a break sometimes, you know.
Plenty of sun today, but that didn't help to warm things up much. Lots of ice on the trails so we avoided them and stayed on the roads.
Sorry, I didn't dip into the left jersey pocket and pull out the point and shoot today. I'll do better tomorrow.
I felt a little sluggish on the bike. I'm going to blame it on the cold and the needed extra layers. 53/15.0

Friday, February 15, 2013


Day all the way off. Introvert induced.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine's Day

I usually prefer a little less snow with my winter, especially as I've gotten older, but today provided the reason why snow is a magical part of the annual seasonal routine I've come to love and hate, during my 54 years at the 45th parallel. Just gorgeous along Minnehaha Creek this morning, after about 3 inches of snow fell during the night.

Got my usual ride in this afternoon. The temps had been dropping all day, so what had been melting earlier, was now freezing and crunchy. I probably would have felt a little more secure on the Beast, but Evil was, as always, up to the task I ask of him. 20/13.4

Of course, spent Valentine's Day evening with Penny. I made her some peanut butter cookies covered in chocolate. Yes, I made these completely by myself and from scratch. I think she likes peanut butter more than me.

And some roses.

After we shared our Valentine's Day gifts with each other, we sat down in front of the TV and watched "This Old House" for me, and "Project Runway" for her. Is that love or what?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closer To Fine

Riding Evil tonight got me a little closer to that road feel, which I've been missing, of late. 20/14.4

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Did anyone else see the large round orange thing in the sky today? Whatever it was it made me smile. Trails are clearing up nicely, but it was a Beastly day still.
Knobs and studs do give the Beast a bit of a growl on the asphalt. I don't usually have to alert walkers or runners in front of me, with the usual, "on your left", they hear the Beast long before that's necessary.
Longing for a little more road ride regularity. 20/12.6

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Beast ride. The plows had a hard time with what the storm deposited and left ice, ruts and hard packed snow behind. It wasn't smooth sailing, that's for sure, but this is what the Beast was made for. Only problem is I want to be on a road bike and have it 65 degrees. 20/ 12.2

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Riders On The Storm

When I left to meet Amy and Jen, there was about half an inch of crunchy ice crystals on the greenway and a stiff east breeze of 15 mph in my face. Turnin' the Beast's crank was no easy 6 mile task to the Cafe, or the rest of the ride, for that matter. Although the ice on the trail was the consistency of wet sand, and was pretty hard to roll through, there was no traction problem for the entire 30 mile ride. Nokian studded 26ers rock and roll, albeit slow.
Various forms of precipitation never stopped falling from the low hanging clouds. Pin prick ice daggers, rain, huge snow flakes and sleet were all a part of Mother Nature's tantrum. Not being able to make up its mind, my rain cape would freeze then in 15 minutes turn soft and wet over and over again.
Once I found a good rpm rhythm that kept me on top of the gears, I settled into tolerating the bi-polar personality of the storm, and was able to ignore its fits of temper. Amy and Jen navigated the storm's wrath without issue, being the pros they are.
Gotta be a little nuts yourself to venture out, on a bike, in weather like this, but there are rewards. The two that I like the best are being able to say, I did it, and then, of course, what I see. 30/10.7

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What It's About

After too many days of riding the Beast, the freedom felt from being on a road bike was exhilarating. I kind of expected more riders to show, with the moderate temps, but it wound up just being Amy and me, for our usual 50 winter Saturday miles. Very nice!
I was surprised by how responsive Frankenbike felt compared to the Beast, I know I shouldn't have been. I'd get out of the saddle this past week, on the Beast, and it was like the effort hadn't even happened. Today, out of the saddle, I could feel progress and a change in velocity. Amy said, that was her pushing me.
Cloudy all day, but temps were in the upper 20s, so we were quite comfortable.
A really good friend, a pretty route around Lake Minnetonka, bearable temps, road bikes, fun conversation - you know the math - equals a really good ride. 50/15.2

Friday, February 8, 2013

Laundry Day

Day off and the Beast needed a good cleaning after the sloppy rides this week. Got me some soap and a good stiff brush and took it to all the grit, salt and sand, then rinsed him off with clean water from a sponge. I think warm water works best.
Car Can Wait

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Slow and Sloppy

Temps on the increase turned the trails sloppy. Beast was the bike for the job. 20/12.6

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


More snow. That's eight days in a row that it has snowed. Fortunately it's been small amounts, but it still gums up the roads and trails. Another ride on the Beast. Some of the trails were plowed and some weren't. I was tired. 20/11.7

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


A bunch of little snow storms have been coming at us over the last couple of weeks. This keeps the trails and roads a little dicey, and now that the temps are moderating some, it also keeps the roads and trails a little sloppy. Opted for Evil's full fenders today, but I found the front tire airless. I hate that. I'm all set to ride and I have to change a flat. I kept on reminding myself it could've gone flat during the ride. No sharp culprit found. Looks like the tube just had a weak spot and finally gave out.
Sun's up longer. Got home a little before 6 with enough light to not need artificial illumination. Nice!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Long day. A good 12 hours of work probably a little more. Penny asked, "did you get a ride in?" My response, "I always get a ride in." 20/12.1 on the Beast

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cold And Snow

Another nice ride with Amy...they always are. Cold and more snow, jeez what do they think this is, Minnesota? 32/12.1 on the Beast.
This Would Be Refreshing In July
The Years Of Cold Weather Riding Are Taking A Toll May Need To Find Some New Winter Liners

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Do It Again

A cold but bright beginning for Amy and me. The two inches of snow changed our plans and we just stayed close to home on the city trails. I was on the Beast with studs, Amy on her cx with no studs. We rode slow, but we were pushing through two inches of snow and, of course, the big tires. Nice ride for me, although, Amy went down on some ice that was hidden by the new snow. Bruise, that's it and she rode for another 15 miles after that. Like I always say, she's tough as nails.
I got home after 32 miles, had a cup of hot chocolate and felt the need for more miles. Put the same clothes back on and did another 14 miles around the lakes. It was a beautiful day, even though the temp was 2 degrees. The sun being out and little to no wind made it a delightful ride. 46/12.1

Amy From The Front (plenty of frost on the balaclava)
 The Greenway Was White
 My Studded Tires, Insulated Water Bottle, and Gators Over My Boots

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Way It Is

Being off the bike on my day off is becoming well cemented in my routine now. Has to be, but I don't have to like it.