Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Falling Apart?

I'm a bit of an all or nothing kind of guy.  As I realized I wouldn't have any opportunities to ride the rest of the week till maybe Friday I opted out of riding yesterday afternoon.  If I was to jump back into riding for a day and then another long break I'd start bumming.  This is my long break of the year!  Honestly I'm still kind of a mess.  My back is still sensitive and my left shoulder (not sure why) has been pretty sore for a couple month now.  Getting old I guess.  May be time to head in if I can't fix it on my own.  Stretching and light lifting seems to help, some.  Above all else...I'm ready to get back on the bike!

Keep the desire and passion hot.

Monday, March 20, 2017

We're Back!

Ah back from vacation...time to get back into a routine.  Florida was great.  The sun was out and the temps were good.  But I'm glad to be home and back to work.  I've been off the bike for two weeks now!  A tweaked back then vacation led to this unplanned hiatus.  In the end I know it will be good for me.  Excited to ride tonight.
My back is still on the mend, tomorrow will be two weeks.  Stretching has been helping but I'm a bit bummed it still hurts.  I'll give it another week and if it's still nagging I'll head in to the doctor or something.
It's now officially Spring and Daylight Savings has started...summer rides aren't too far off!

Time to tackle Monday!

Thursday, March 09, 2017


Well damn.  I went to the gym Monday and Tuesday this week.  I prefer riding but life was busy and the gym was all I had time for.  Tuesday I incorporated some leg work in.  Doing squats, with relatively light weight, I tweaked my lower back.  Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were rough but some Advil and stretching really seems to help so I haven't gone in.  It's not great but it's getting better.  I planned on riding bike Tuesday and Wednesday but I canceled that.  While I was bummed I wasn't too distraught missing riding in crazy winds.

Tonight we head down to Jen's folks house so we can jump on a plane to Florida by 6 on Friday.  Missing all week riding does have me wishing I did send my bike down but some "off" time should do me well. The next test will be if I can carry suitcases through the airport without falling over!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

It's Still Winter After All.

I went to bed last night all but convinced I would ride my bike this evening, no matter the wind.  This morning as I lay in bed listening to the wind pound the house doubt was starting to creeping in.  Looking outside the light blanket of snow is revealed...more doubt.  Almost 70 degrees to sustained 25 mph winds and a bit of snow the next...Minnesota!  So now I'm leaning on not riding, I mean, it has to be fun!  Now is when mountain biking would be great.
Gym day!
So it's looking like I may only get one day of riding in before Florida.  Oh well, could be worse!

I sold another one of my bikes yesterday, making it 4 (Salsa La Cruz, Salsa Selma, Surly Ogre, and All City Nature Boy) on the year.  The garage has room!  New bike time?  I've been obsessing over a Salsa Woodsmoke.  Originally in the 29+ size but now am leaning towards the 27.5+.  But really am having a hard time pulling the trigger.  I do think it would be a super fun bike but my current mountain bike (Salsa Spearfish) is also fun.  Time to wait it out and see if the want/desire sticks.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Stacking Miles.

This coming Friday the family and I are headed back down to Sanibel, FL for Spring Break.  We've been there several times but not for a few years now.  The kids are super excited but I was a bit meh about it.  I was hoping to do the Landrun 100 in Oklahoma next Saturday.  Maybe next year!
I thought about bringing my bike so I could ride a few times while we were there.  I was really close to doing so but changed my mind last week not to.  The traffic in Sanibel (an island) is a bit nuts and even taking the bridge over to Fort Myers only dumps me into a bigger city.  I'm sure I could have made it work but in the end I decided I ride more than enough at home and this should be about hanging with the family.  Also, being the nut that I am, I know I would obsess about if I should ride or not!

With the decision not to bring my bike I decided to make last week a "big" ride week and as much as possible this week, although it's pretty busy.  Starting the week off with a sick kids and then 3" of snow I wasn't off to a good start.  As the week progressed so did my riding with the weekend seeing the bulk of it.

Saturday the kids were with their grandma down in the cities and Jen was at a Knowledge Bowl meet.  I left the house at 9 to get some riding in.  Because it was already so windy I flipped my Garmin to the map page, hiding my speed.  I did parts of the Dirt Bag start, eventually splitting off and continuing further SE, into the wind.  At no particular time I made a turn West and meandered around with really no agenda or plan.  When I checked on my ride time I was shocked to see over 4 hours.  Time to head for home.  Sweet, sweet tailwind.  But because it was a super strong (20+) wind out of the SE and the roads were running north/south I never really had a direct push home.  I ended with 107 miles and 6 hours 40 minutes.

Sunday a group (Charlie, Matt V., and both Andersons) met at my house and headed out at 9.  This time the wind was more directly South but already strong.  We had talked of going to Darwin, home of the biggest ball of twine, but decided to do the most current Dirt Bag route as it twists and turns so we wouldn't be fighting a headwind for a solid 3-4 hours but rather split it up.  Despite really liking riding solo it was great to have others to chat with and take turns upfront battling the wind.  Man was in windy again!  We ended with exactly 100 miles in 5 hours 44 minutes.  I was super stoked how my legs felt considering it's early spring.

For the week I got 24 hours 17 minutes and almost 400 miles.  Stacking miles!  This week I'll try and ride as much as I can but it will be tricky.  Tonight we have two kids doing two separate things at the same time, so no riding today.  I will try for tomorrow but 50 mph gusts are predicted, yuck.  Go with the flow.  Off to the gym.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Windy Rides.

I never did get a ride in Wednesday before work.  Instead I hung out with an under the weather Avery till I had to head into work around noon.  Already the roads were mostly clear of the previous days snow!
Thursday I was done with work early with plans to ride.  While it was sunny the temps sat around 20 and the wind was a solid 15 mph out of the NW.  I took the River Road up to Little Falls.  This road usually protects you from the wind but on this ride it still seemed quite windy.  At Little Falls I headed west on Hwy 27 till I came upon a gravel road.  I tried to take gravel roads most of the way home.  I zigged and zagged trying to stay on gravel!  I did pretty well till St. Stephen area where most of the gravel ends.
I ended with 5.5 hours and 87 miles...nothing fast but riding.

Not sure on evening plans here.  If it allows I hope to get an hour spin in.  Saturday and Sunday are warmer days and free so the plan is to get solid rides in both days.  Can't wait!

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Winter Ain't Over.

When I left my house for a ride yesterday it was sort of sprinkling but not much.  About 15 minutes into the ride it was more of a sleet and the roads were wet.  By the time I was able to get on gravel my butt was pretty wet from the rear tire kicking up water from the road.  The gravel was a bit soft but soaked up all the water so no spray back.
It was a NE wind so I planned on an extended version of my Gillman Gravel Loop.  I would ride through periods of on and off snow.  About 2 hours into the ride it started to snow more consistently.  It wasn't till I turned toward home that it really started to snow harder (with big, wet flakes) and stick to the gravel.  Ten miles later and it was done and appeared as if it hadn't snow at all.  I was stoked the snow missed us at home and appeared to be mostly and isolated section of snow.

I was a bit premature on my celebrating the snow sticking to the North.  About 5 or so miles out from St. Cloud I biked into a snow storm and 2" of snow on the road ways!  The closer I got to St. Cloud the snow seemed to be falling harder and piling up...damn.  Crossing hwy 23 I saw a car getting pulled out of the ditch, great now it's slippery.  Instead of going straight home I took roads I knew to have shoulders I could ride on and tended to have less traffic.
By the time I reached home I'd guess I was plowing through almost 3" of wet, heavy snow.  I have to admit it was damn fun.  Just wish I had a heated garage and someone to clean my bike!  I ended with 4.5 hours and 65 miles.

I may take the studded rain bike out this morning before work at noon but I may have a sick kid...again...ready for summer!  So it goes.

50's by the weekend so this snow will be short lived and that I am ok with!