Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This was my first ride on the new Nokian Extreme Gazza 294's and man did they do the trick. They are a bit narrower than my Ignitors and much narrower than my Rampages but with yesterday's conditions of crusty snowmobile trails with lots of icy areas they were a godsend. If I had been running the rampages I would have either had to go really slow and tentatively or ended up with a broken hip and some serious ice rash. I vote for the extremes.
While on the ride I noticed four bald eagles haning out in an area I have NEVER seen any before and for a while I couldn't figure out why they were there. That was until I turned around and saw this hiding behind a rock...
What a lovely sight this was to see, a deer pretty much stripped clean. You can imagine how fun it was to keep the dog out of this...
And now, what I like to call a Jeff Kerkove photo op...
Saturday, December 22, 2007
By far, the highlight of the week was my birthday present from Marcy. As she typically does, she fed my cycling obsession with a set of the new Nokian Gazza 294 studded tires. With these bad boys, commutes like the one this week will go from downright scary in spots to just plain fun. Not to mention they will allow worry free snowmobile trail riding (worry free from ice at least, they do little to deal with the throttle twisting pollution belching snowmobiles themselves). More on that later.
studded for her pleasure
In addition to the tires, Marcy also supplied me with a kick ass beer and a delish turtle cheese cake. I'm not sure if either should be on my diet but hell, it was my b'day so bottoms up!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This morning I woke to find it a balmy 7 degrees outside but thankfully the gale wind that blew all day yesterday had died down so I bundled up (a bit more after last week's near frost bite on the fingers and toes) and headed out.
The pucker factor was high on the side roads where 75% of the road surface was still ice covered but thankfully there was a thin layer of gravel on top so it was rideable but you had to be on your toes. Route 1 was pretty much clear so no problems there.
Unfortunately, my luck ran out once I was back on the side roads where I tore the valve stem off the tube of my front tire. I am here to attest that changing a tire in the dark when it is below 10 degrees totally sucks. Add to that a mini "it takes a thousand pumps to inflate a 29'er tire" pump and noticing 3/4 of the way through pumping that one of the beads has popped off so you have to start all over again and you end up with a fifteen minute nightmare. Once I was back on the road again my feet were freezing so I decided against my better judgement to hit up the Schmidt Preserve trails to try to warm up again. I knew that portions of the trail would be unrideable because of Sunday's storm but I figured at least half would be packed by snowmobiles. Maybe not.
10 feet into the first trail I knew I was in for a nasty time and that I should really just turn around and finish the commute by road but I've never considered myself a quitter so I forced myself to continue on because I was certain I'd be able to ride at least part of the trail and plus, the walking was warming my feet. About 25 minutes of post-holing in 16" snow with a 1/2" crust on top later I came to the first intersection that I expected snowmobile traffic. Of course there was none. I was too far into the walking to turn back so I trudged on kicking myself for being so stupid but also kind of revelling in the adventure. After another 35 minutes of post-holing to the EXTREME! I was finally out of the woods and riding the final few miles to the office with my tail between my legs after my 50 minute commute turned into a 2:15 death march.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
B may only be two but she's got the 'spend the sick day in bed watching Mickey and ring the bell for service' thing down pat already. I hate marcy for giving her that freakin bell!
Here & Here.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
After about 5 minutes of easy spinning and trying to get the bike set up properly we launched into our first of about 5000 interval sessions for the 1 hr class. This particular class consisted of mostly climbing intervals with a few sprint types thrown in for good measure. Within about 10 minutes I knew I was in trouble. The high intensity efforts were a serious tax to the system but with my build up by Marcy I couldn't exactly back off and show the kind of wuss that I was so I soldiered on and made it through the class only coming close to blacking out once (for honest and for true) and having both of my calves cramp in the final two sprints.
I have to admit that those old coots really know how to dish out a hurting and while I know (hope) I could kick their wrinkled up old butts out on the road, they seriously put the wood to me during the class.
I look forward to more classes in the future and hopefully I'll eventually be able to keep up with the blue hairs.