Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Attack of the Flies.

This past weekend I biked up to and home form Jen's folks cabin.  It was the ride home that was memorable.  It was an East wind so I opted to head over to Onamia on the Soo Line Trail (ATV Trail) and start heading South through Mille Lacs County.  I've taken this route, or versions of it, in the past but I never really deviated from it.  This time, however, I took a few turns onto roads that ran through a wildlife refuge.  They were gaited to keep motorized vehicles out.  Man was it cool!  Had I had more time I would have done some more exploring.  It's almost worth a drive up sometime and starting biking there.  The down side were the horse/deer flies.  I felt I was in a version of Hitchcock's The Birds.  I've never experienced them that bad.  Nonetheless it was super cool and I hope to make it back.  I saw a sign about overnight camping starting in September but could stop to check it out due to the ferocious bugs.

The rides to and from the cabin put me over 27 hours on the week.  The legs are feeling good.  I'm getting excited for The DAMn ride in August.

Last night I headed to the North Loop for a few laps.  The first two laps were like riding in a sauna but a front moved through on the 3rd.  The temperature dropped, wind picked up, and the clouds thickened to the point lights would have been nice!  It didn't start to rain for a few hours so I stayed dry but cool!  Even though it's the North Loop I had a blast.  Loving the mountain bike this year!

Friday, July 14, 2017


Overcast skies and 58 degree temps kept my motivation to get out and ride yesterday morning a bit low.  Thus I had a couple more cups of coffee and perused the internet. By 9:30 I decided I needed to get going.  I left the house with arm warmers on but had them off in 10 minutes.  It was still pretty humid.
I didn't have an agenda other than ride North into the wind.  If I wanted to turn I'd turn or if a certain road looked interesting I'd take it.  I was on the Evergreen, which was running quietly since I gave it some loving!

The gravel I was on in Benton County was pretty chunky and soft.  It appears they recently laid new gravel.  Combine that with the wind and I wasn't setting any speed records.  Reaching Morrison County the gravel firmed up, allowing the pace to quicken and the effort to lessen.

I rode through Morrison County into Crow Wing County.  Jen and the girls are up at her folks cabin (I will meet them there on Saturday) for the week.  They planned to head to the small towns North of Brainerd for the day since it wasn't ideal lake weather.  As I was ending on a gravel road to take my turn onto county road 2 they passed me!  What are the chances?!  We chatted a bit before we headed our separate ways.

I was a bit off on how far away I was from highway 371 and highway 10.  It felt like I was heading West for a long time.  From riding up this way in the past I remembered between 371 and 10 is the Mississippi River with not many bridges across.  Either Brainerd or near Camp Ripley.  So I started to head South as well to meet up with the road that crosses the river.

I passed the gas station we stop at during the Summer Solstice Century and continued on to Randall.  During the 8 mile stretch it started to rain, lightly, on and off for the next couple hours.  At Randall I stopped to top off the fluids and resupply my food stash.  I pushed on a bit more West before finally making the hard push South and East for home.  I took mostly paved roads from here on out as I was running a bit behind schedule.  Not that I had a schedule I just told my folks I'd be home around 5.

Well I made it home around 6:30 for 146 miles in 8.5 hours.  I felt really good.  Not fatigued, bored, frustrated or any of the nuances that can come with long days in the saddle.  I was stoked.
Living with your folks has a lot of advantages but one being having supper ready for you when you walk in the door!  Some call it spoiled, I prefer loved!

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bunk Carbon and Cool Weather.

Nothing note worthy from my ride yesterday other than I miscalculated time and got home a bit later than planned but still made it to work on time.  All road miles: Palmer, Duelm, Little Rock Lake Road, Little Rock Lake, River Road and Home...3 hours 15 minutes.

Work was busy in a good way so the day and evening flew by.  I started around 7:30 working on my Evergreen.  I noticed the rear wheel was wobbly the last time I road and the PFBB was starting the noice machine thing so I figured I'd stay late and give it some love.  I trued the wheel without the tire on and it seemed fine, not great, but fine.  After patching a hole in the tire and new tubeless tape I put the tire back on.  Under pressure the carbon rim started making some weird noises.  I put back in the truing stand and it was warped like a single wall rim.  Ugh.  I started to true the wheel but realized it was just a section of the rim that was almost like "bubbling" out.  Double ugh.  I guess that's why I have two wheel sets.  On with the Hed wheels!  They have the 42mm Teravail Tires on but oh well.  Not sure if I'll be able to warranty the rims or not.  Not sure I'm sold on carbon rims.

Yesterday was warm and thick, this morning it's 58 topping out in the lower 60's.  While Saturday is mid 90's and humid.  Ah Minnesota, you give it all.

I'm off today and the family is gone.  So yep may as well ride.  I contemplated going to Cuyuna but every time I think about going I convince myself to ride from home.  So the newly cleaned Evergreen will go search out some gravel roads to the North.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Riding with Company.

Man it's been a long time since I've ridden my bike with another person.  A lot of that is by choice, I prefer to ride solo, but also scheduling and such have made getting together with friends tricky.  A good buddy from my college years has moved back into town.  Last night we got together to ride some gravel!

Since it takes 45+ minutes to get to gravel we met at the parking lot of Coborns in Clear Water.  There was a potential for storms later in the eventing so I thought about driving but in the end I biked to our rendezvous.  Man the 10+ mile ride out there was a beat down from the wind and heat.  I was a sweaty mess when I got there.

Not that Clear Water is a big town but riding through there at 5:30 is nuts.  So many cars traveling between highway 10 and I94.  It was better than usual to get on gravel...peace and quiet!  We took off on parts of the Dirt Bag route for about 3 hours.  It was nice to ride at a chill pace, chat, catch up, and just ride as friends and not need to be the first up the hill or to the stop ahead sign.
We ended back at Coborns with 3 hours in.  We parted ways and I took country road 8 back home, tailwind this time!  I ended with 70 miles and 4 hours.  Good stuff!

After getting the kids to swimming today I plan on riding a bit before work at noon.  A nice storm cell rolled through during the early hours so the mountain bike is out.  Guessing the road bike and I will roll on up to Rice and back.

Mid week!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekend Recap.

I was without family on Saturday.  They were off to a cabin while I stuck around home as I had to work at the Tour of Saints on Sunday morning.  I had planned for a 3-4 hour ride on Saturday but with the weather about perfect I pushed it a bit more.

I took the road bike and headed South on county road 8, despite the wind being out of the W/NW.  I try to avoid doubling up on a route if I can, thus I went South.  I hit up Hurl Hill, The Alp, and Farming Hill.  Instead of continuing on our "hill" route I skipped the turn and kept on heading West.  At Spring Hill I headed North a bit.  At Greenwald (new town to me, I think) I turned back West a bit before heading North.  I was getting low on water so I made my way back East to a town I knew to have a gas station, New Munich.  

After a Coke and a top off of the fluids I continued back North across I94, past the Wobegon Trail (although I contemplated riding it) to County Road 17 which brought me through St. Rosa and Holdingford, where I jump on the River Street (The Holdingford Rollers).  I had to make another stop in St. Stephen for some more water (11 bottles total).

Ended with 143 miles in 7.5 hours of riding.  What a gorgeous day.
I had planned to work on the garage at our house but pushed that back till Sunday but still mowed.

Sunday the alarm went off a bit before 5.  I had to be out to St. Joseph before 6 for the start of the Tour of Saints.  I was there as mechanical support.  I did two minor repairs while everything else was,  "could you check my tire pressure?".  So much pumping!

The plan was to get a short ride in after the Tour (I was heading home before 9) and before Jen and the girls got home.  However the weather had other ideas and it started to rain around 8 and didn't stop till Jen and the girls got home.
We headed over to the house to clean out the garage.  For a single car garage we sure packed a lot of stuff in there!  3.5 hours later and we basically have it cleared out!

I was able to sneak in a ride around Briggs Lake rounding out the week totals to 313 miles and 18.5 hours.  More than I should have or planned on but oh well.

Not a bad weekend at all.
Even with the humidity and heat Summer is pretty damn good.

Thursday, July 06, 2017


We are in our first real hit of Summer weather...hot and humid.  Upper 80's and high dew points are predicted for much of the week with a reprieve this weekend only to have it return next week.  I don't like doing work in this weather but I kind of like riding in it.  But I'm a sweater and sweat kills bike parts so I should really clean my bikes more!
After doing some measurements at the house for closets I set off on the mountain bike for the North Loop.  I only rode a bit over an hour and I was drenched with sweat.  The Loop is riding really well right now.  It's still in pretty good post race grooviness and the rain we've had has made it just the right amount of tacky.  Rail those corners.

No riding on tap for today.  Work and then the girls swim meet in Albertville.  Hoping for an early morning ride on Friday but that can easily be pushed to an afternoon ride depending on Family plans and my inability to get up early.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


I had a mini vacation over the 4th, Saturday through Tuesday.  The time was spent between mine and Jen's parent's cabins.  I biked to the cabins and home from the cabins giving me 19 hours and almost 400 miles all on the Seven Evergreen.  Most of the riding was done on pavement but some gravel and MMR were tossed in as well.  Such a versatile bike!

Last week totaled 494 miles and 27 hours.  I plan on having a chill week, with hopefully more mountain biking but the weather is pretty unstable so we will see about thunderstorms, etc.  I've yet made it to Cuyuna or Duluth this summer to mountain bike.  Really hope I can make that happen soon.

I don't have any events on the calendar till August 5th (The DaMN (Day Across MN)) which is kind of nice.  I can just ride to ride.  One of my favorite mountain bike races, River Falls Border Battle is this coming Sunday.  I have to be onsite support for the Tour of Saints ride so I am unable to go, bummer.  Lake Rebecca is the following Sunday and I think they have the Marathon category so maybe.

The two older girls have their first summer swim meet tomorrow.  Despite being hot, humid, and loud in the swimming pool area I really like going to swim meets.  Pretty excited to go.

Yeah that's a lot of randomness tossed out there.
Stoked to get back to work.