Sunday, December 30, 2007

The risk

of riding this time of year, after a couple of warm days with some rain, is the potential for foot dunking in the 33 degree water. Too bad my winter riding shoes aren't waterproof; then again, I went in to mid shin so I guess that wouldn't have helped anyway. At least I didn't fall in head first which was a definite possibility in this case...

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

my favorite searh hit ever

I got a search engine hit today for "assault that ass 4" (I'm guessing a nasty ass porno). Happy days.

no time vid

I've been out for almost a week now and work is stacked up so you'll have to survive on a lame video I shot yesterday while out for a single speed mountain bike ride with the pooch. Can you feel the excitement?

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


This week I have had plenty to blog about but absotively no time to do it. I now find myself with a few minutes to I'll start with the beginning of the week.

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!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Commute of Death

It snowed here like crazy during the day on Sunday and then rained for a few hours leaving us ice/slush covered roads on Monday. I had planned (as I always do) to ride in on today so I had to figure out a safe way to do so. I decided to put a more road friendly gear on the SS El Mariachi and give her a shot. I figured the El would handle the nasty conditions better than a road bike with 23c tires.

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

Loose 29'er tires...

...scare the bejezus out of me. This sucker popped off the rim about 20 minutes after installation the other night. I'm getting the El Mariachi set up for commuter work and seeing this happens scares the crap out of me. Anybody feel like cruising down the road at 20mph and having their tire blow off? No? Me either.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

what I did on my day off

After spending the entire day indoors yesterday taking care of B while she fights of a raging ear infection AND the flu I was able to escape a bit when Marcy got home (not until 8pm because of some appointments, ugh) and snuck out for some snowshoe action with the pooch. It had been snowing for a few hours when we left so there was a nice fluffy 3" blanket of fresh waiting for us. I mounted up one of my older bike lights to a headband and we rocked it for a quick hour. There is something really cool about being in the middle of the woods at night with the snow falling. You MUST try it sometime.

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!

Hitting the trails. Is it me or does it look like the pooch just heaved a snowball towards my head and is running for cover?

For more (much better) Nelson family showshoe pics click Here & Here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Man points and 2008 shaping up.

Today I sit at home with a sick baby B with an ear infection and chest cold. Kid is sick but toughing it out. She still manages to run around and act normally most of the day. If I had what she has I'm sure I'd be a whiny mess, wimpering on the couch. Men are such babies.

Tuesday morning I did manage to earn some serious man points though by commuting to work by bike. How do I get man points for that you ask? Easy, it was a balmy 4 degrees f and with an average speed of 14 mph (its hard to ride fast when its so damn cold) that is roughly -13 degrees f with wind chill. I've ridden at those temps many times in the woods without too much discomfort because you're body is more active on a mountain bike ride but on the road that is damn cold. By the end of the 55 minute commute, the fingers and toes were brutally cold but the rest of me was fine. Even the giblets stayed toasty thanks to a tip I received to tuck my undershirt down around the boys. Seemed to do the trick but of course, you need to have a really long undershirt to pull that one off.

In other news, I'll be flying the Team Green colors for 2008. Thanks Ergon for the support!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I taught her right.

Except for the tongue thing, I don't know where she got that from. Maybe watching the dog?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

sweating with the oldies

Leading up to my instructor training for spin class early next month I figured it would be wise to actually take a class or two to familairize myself with the whole scene. On Friday, Marcy and I were to spend the day Christmas shopping so I headed down for the 6am class that Marcy usually takes. I'd say that I was the youngest by at least 15 years but it was a pretty friendly bunch. Unfortunately for me though was that Marcy had apparently talked me up a bit with the group so they were expecting something pretty special from me. I had much lower expectations since this was my first class in probably 5 years and I have done exactly zero high intensity training in the last couple of months and spin classes are all about intensity.

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.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Racin Rick

is going on hiatus for a bit. Too damn busy recently. You can expect MAYBE one post a week until the new year. After that we'll see if we can get the hampster back on the wheel.

Monday, December 03, 2007

bitch slap

Lobsterville is currently getting hammered with snow. They're calling for up to 18" along the coast here. This would be primo riding during the day today if I didn't have to work. F! I'm guessing that by the time I get home the snow will be so deep that riding won't be possible. I'll be keeping the fingers crossed. Also on today's slate is a training session for spin class. A few weeks ago I was asked to train so that I could fill in and eventually lead some classes. In truth, I haven't done a spin class in about 6 years but I do enjoy them and they are a good kick to the junk training wise so I look forward to adding them to my weekly training itinerary. Trainer rides are getting fewer and fewer. Now THAT'S good news. So anyway, the training class is supposed to be this evening but I'm guessing it will be cancelled since the snow isn't supposed to stop snowing until tonight.