Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This Post is a bit of a Wanderer.

After Monday I took the rest of the week off from work.  Originally it looked like we'd be moving stuff into our house but more setbacks and mistakes (by the contractors) crushed that idea.  We have started to assemble the garage full of IKEA beds for the girls in their new rooms plus some stools and what not.  Yesterday Jen and I went shopping for kitchen and bathroom things.  Whoa...that was overwhelming!  I think we were gone 5 hours or so, much more tiring than riding 5 hours.  Shoppers are beasts.

I did get a great afternoon/evening ride in Monday.  I did a mini version of the Dirt Bag on the fat bike.  The wind and weather once again made the ride.  Yesterday the wind was nuts.  Thus I stuck to the woods for a short stint.  I'm hoping to head out shortly for another version of the Dirt Bag.  Currently there is no wind but chilly.  I am ready for snow!
Then it's back to assembling more furniture and cleaning.  They (contractors) claimed to have cleaned the place but I fail to see how they did.  Whatever, I'm tired of complaining about their work.  It's time to be done with this mess.  I've had it easy compared to Jen, she's done the majority of work on this project.  I'd have tossed in the towel long ago.

My tradition the past few years has been to get up early (riding by 5) and get a bigger ride in before we head to Jen's Uncle's house for Thanksgiving.  So far that is the plan once again.

I've been "vegetarian" for 2 years now with stints on and off again prior to that.  I've also played "vegan" for a spell of time as well.  Currently I'm at it (vegan) again, going on 3 weeks.  I've strayed from veganism before as it's hard on other people and I was addicted to ice cream.  It's hard on others in that I feel it puts them in a difficult position if they are hosting my family and I for a meal, etc.  I really shy away from telling people I don't eat animal products as it almost seems to offend them.  I'm doing this for me and not others so I truly don't want it to affect them.  But I am very curious about it and love the idea so I decided it was time to give it another go.  I am not going to tell you I feel absolutely amazing as so many books have that I've read but I do feel different for the better.  Enough to forgo all the upcoming holiday treats!
So yeah I have to make a soup to bring to Thanksgiving...no Tofurky for me!

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Ski Weekend.

Well that weekend flew by!
Saturday was our Nordic Team Day at the shop.  If I wanted a ride I needed to get up early.  So I was up and riding by 5:15, on the fat bike.  Sure getting up early to ride isn't always easy but the rewards of the sunrise and having a ride in before most people get up is so worth it.  I did get a bit anxious about getting back on time as to not be late getting Brinna to gymnastics and myself to work.  I made it back just fine while racking up 3.5 hours.
After work I headed to our house to help with the assembly.  We aren't able to move in yet but are able to build the kids beds, some stools, etc.

Sunday was the last ski swap for us, this time in Mora.  I originally thought I'd do the same as Saturday for riding but opted for a couple more hours of sleep and some relaxing coffee time on the couch.  I got back home around 4:30 or so.  I told myself that morning I would ride but on the drive home I talked myself out of it.  But me being me I flipped at the last minute and headed out for a 2 hour ride.  Basically the good 'ol county road 8 loop with Franklin instead of 75...of course on the fat bike!  So, so glad I went.  It put my mood straight and the weather/wind was amazing.

I ended the week with a bit over 17.5 hours...all on the fat bike.  Slowly the time is creeping up.

This week may allow for some more riding but I've learned to not "plan" on too much around the holidays and especially with house projects!  With a couple days getting above 40 maybe I'll crack out the Cutthroat or Evergreen.

Time for Monday.

Let it Snow!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Finally!

After getting Harper to school and myself ready I was out on the Fat Bike by 8:15.  The wind was E/SE so I headed over to the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge.  I was in search of the migrating Sandhill Cranes, reported up to 10,000.  I rode some of the perimeter and the 7 mile "wildlife" loop and saw nothing!  Not just Sandhill Cranes but no animals!  The lakes and ponds are frozen so I don't know if they've moved on or I was just in the wrong spot.  The refuge is huge so I may have just missed them.

From the Refuge I headed next door to the Sand Dunes.  I've been thru the Dunes before but usually just the  main road.  I took some time and explored.  This place warrants some more time.  Pretty cool area.

I originally thought I'd cut over on Cty Rd 4 back across 10 and make my way over to the Dirt Bag route but I was close to Elk River and have a decent route that way so opted to take that, despite being mostly pavement.  After Monticello I jumped on 75 but avoided that as much as I could with side roads, eventually hitting up parts of the Dirt Bag, just backwards.

I ended with 7 hours and 103 miles...first fat bike century of the season.  I was going more for time and truthfully thought I'd have been out a bit longer.  But pushing those tires and battling the wind kept my engine hot and hungry.  I brought more food than I ever thought I'd need, but ate it all!  I neglected to bring money as I didn't think I would need it.  Man was I hungry on that ride.

I was stoked on the ride nonetheless and happy to finally get a longer ride in.  The rest of the week is filled with our Nordic Team Day at the shop and another Ski Swap in Mora.  I think I can still get rides in, it will just require me getting up at or before 5.  Blah.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another Week.

Monday and Tuesday were both a no go but working 12-8 on Wednesday allowed me the morning to ride.  Again the wind was nuts, out of the NW, so I opted to bop around the trails on the fat bike.  Actually, since I started riding the fat bike this fall I haven't ridden anything else!
I did a similar route to past rides, so nothing new.  But what is cool is I was able to ride a bit over 3 hours on trails no more than 3 miles from my house.  While we don't have the best trail system in the state we do have lots of options...that happen to be mostly on the SE side!

Last weekend a couple people cleared some deadfall from a few of these trails.  One of these trails runs along a steep hillside.  12+ years ago I would ride this trail all the time.  It was one of my favorite, despite only being 1/2 mile or less long.  I haven't ridden that trail for the past few years as it had succumbed to lack of use and care.  But now with it cleared (Thanks Trail Fairies!) I've tossed it back into the mix.
It's cut into a steep hill so many trees are overhanging the trail.  I clipped one such tree yesterday and it sent me ass over tea kettle down the steep slope.  My head took a pretty good hit from my bike and my shoulder has some stiffness but overall nothing happened.  Well I broke my Garmin mount.  I've ridden this trail so many times but that is the first it sent me to the bottom of the hill!  It was work getting myself and the bike back up to the trail!

I'm off today.  Earlier in the week I was thinking I would take the Cutthroat out today but the fat bike is looking to get the nod.  Not sure why but I don't like riding drop bar bikes below 40 degrees.  The plan is to head out to Sherburne Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes.  From there I will try and connect up to the Dirt Bag course a bit and home.  No route set, just riding.


Monday, November 13, 2017

All Fat Bike.

The start of last week had me ready for another short week of riding.  I was unable to ride the first two days, a bit on Wednesday, and longer on Thursday but not as long as originally planned.  Friday was Brinna's section swim meet.  I hadn't planned on a ride but it turned out I was able to get 2 hours in at the North Loop, on the fat bike.  Coming home from the meet in Elk River I was stoked to see it snowing!  We got a bit over 2, maybe 3", in St. Cloud.  Brinna bested her best time by almost 4 seconds as well!

Saturday I had a ski swap in Brainerd.  We left in the dark so no riding.  I did get out for an awesome ride afterwards however.  It had warmed up too much to ride the trails so I took the fat bike on the roads, both paved and gravel.  As the sun started to set the roads started to get pretty slick.  I managed to keep it upright.  This time!  I got 3.5 hours.

Sunday we had another ski swap but this time in town and a bit later.  I got a text from Kyia that she and Kris were riding in the morning.  Sign me up!  We were all on fat bikes.  I love riding with them as the piece together routes that I don't ride or think of, making it a great time.  We hit up Calvary (park and cemetery), Big Woods, a few section of trails between housing developments, the River Bluffs (Time Waster), Plum Creek, Beaver Island, Talahi Woods (southern), and Friedrich Park.  I was stoked to see all the snow still on many of the trails.  It was only 1-2" but it still made it fun.  We ended with a bit over 2.5 hours.

Then it was off to the ski swap, then back home to change, and off to Brinna's swim banquet.  She lettered and got Most Improved!  Jen and I got the loudest parents award (an orange street cone).  I think my mom at the meets may have had something to do with this.  I am not a loud person!  Go Doom!

I ended with 15.5 hours on the week!  Not summer hours but more than the last two weeks combined!  I'll take it.

Next weekend is full of ski events once again.  There is a kid choir concert this week and a few other events.  Another week of juggling...just like everyone else.

Happy Week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

...and more of the same.

Another week in the chaos that has become the Doom Household.  Monday and Tuesday were both a no go for riding.  Wednesday afternoon/evening I was able to get out on the fat bike.  I did my typical winter fat bike wandering thing: Talahi Woods, St. Benedict area, Sand Prairie, and the North Loop.   At the North Loop I ran into a group of other riders and jumped on their train.  I managed a bit over 2.5 hours.
Thursday was my day to finally get a long ride in.  I wasn't sure if I was going to take a gravel bike or the fat bike.  On waking I discovered it was already windy out of the NW with gusts over 20 mph.  This was putting the feel like temp below zero.  After getting Harper to school I sat on the couch drinking coffee and strongly procrastinating the ride.  I knew I would ride I just wasn't super motivated!  I decided on the fat bike and was out pedaling by 9.  I did my Gillman route which gave me section with a tailwind, allowing me to acclimate to the weather.  Eventually my hands gave in and got pretty cold.  I should have used pogies as they work so much better for me.  Next time.  At Gillman I kept going North a bit to tack on some more time.
The return trip was much easier and faster thanks to the tailwind.  I ended with 4.5 hours and not quite 60 miles.  Yep it's now how long you rode and not how far!  I originally wanted 6-7 hours but I got a bit later start and had some things I wanted to get done.  I'm happy with 4.5.

Today I have a short day but it's because Brinna is swimming in Sections.  Not sure if there will be a time to ride or not.  No matter, I'm more stoked to watch a swim meet.  Most likely the last of the season for me.  I've really enjoyed watching swimming this year.  Which is funny since the pool areas are both hot and noisy, both things I hate!

Saturday and Sunday I am hitting up ski swaps for the shop.  They aren't all day events so some riding may happen.  I hope it does!

Happy Weekend.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Riding When I Can.

I did sneak in a ride at the North Loop Saturday morning (in the snow!) before we made our way to Duluth for a wedding.  Friday night Brinna and I went for a long walk while it was snowing.  By the time we finished I'd guess we had close to 4" and it was still coming down.  The snow was fluffy and fine but by Saturday morning it was snowman making snow through and through and maybe around 4".

I'm not a fan of running super low tire pressure on my fat bike.  I just don't like how it feels.  So I left the tires at a higher psi for my ride at the North Loop.  I assumed I would be sliding all over and forced to let out to let out air.  Surprisingly the tires bit right through the snow to the ground underneath.  The temperature was already past freezing so my tracks were turning to slush.  That's what happens when it snows before the ground is frozen.  I spent much of the first lap clearing the snow off the low hanging Buckthorn with my helmet.  I ended with 1.5 laps and 1.5 hours.  So fun!

The previous week I got a bit over 2 hours in.  This week I got 9.5 hours in.  I'd like to double that this week but it's been tough finding the time.  The past two weekends were out of town weddings so that takes up a lot of time plus there has been a lot of kid stuff.  The next two weekends are ski swaps and our Team Day at the shop so weekends will be shot once again.  Then Thanksgiving shows up.  Tuscobia will be here before I know it!

Happy Week.