Monday, January 31, 2011

Wish I Had Something

But I don't.  The weekend got away from me with no riding but I did get some snowshoeing in with friends and got two window seats for the house built and ready for paint in the shop today so all is good.  Plus, I was able to sneak a commute in this morning so I feel I'm starting the week off right and with up to 18" of fresh snow coming tomorrow night, getting a good start is imperative. 

What other boring shit could I tell you?  My weight is holding steady in the 188-189 range, only 3-ish pounds from my goal race weight for the season so no worries there.  Speaking of race season, I'm still no closer to deciding what to use for a race steed this year.  I dragged my feet too long to even consider asking Santa Cruz for some help on a Tallboy because I'm still nervous that I won't like the platform's efficiency.  Apparently anyone who's been on a full suspension for years love it's efficiency but mr hard tail here is still nervous after my unsuccessful test ride this summer.  So, pulling the trigger on that type of purchase seems crazy at best-reckless and foolish at worst if I end up detesting the bike.  The Salsa Spearfish is still very much in play though since I've heard that it's a stiffer platform to work with which I like but until I can try one myself I won't be plunking down any plastic on that either.  Oh to have such worries...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Woops

Last night was supposed to be a mukluk rumble on the snowmobile trails of Damariscotta.  What ended up ACTUALLY happening was I got home from work smelled the shrimp pico de gallo Marcy was making and decided a nice family night at home was in order.  My soul thanked me but my legs did not.  Stupid legs can shut up and go about their business.  Wankers.

Sooooo, I'm going to do another photo blog instead.

snowshoeing takes forever with all of the snow eating



and then this is what the pooch looks like after taking a 45 minute unapproved romp.  she had walrus looking ice wiskers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thrilling Video


On Tuesday, KillBill and I mounted our snow bikes and hit up the Route 66 snowmobile trail system in Damariscotta.  With all of this year's snow, the abundant snowmobile traffic and the fantastic grooming (we were on miles of freshly groomed trail for a while and the groomer came out again while we were at the apex of our loop) the riding was sublime.  Not fast but still perfect conditions for the fat tired bikes.  KB and I managed to kill 2:15 hours in temps ranging from 12 degrees at the start to 5 degrees at finish and managed to keep everything but our feet warm.  Not bad.

KillBill trying to warm his feet.
video

This was my first real snowmobile trail ride with the Mukluk.  I had been getting a bit depressed that so much of the season had passed already and I hadn't been able to find the time to ride the great trails in our area but it's looking like the opportunities will be opening up on a regular basis with KB and I deciding to try to hit them every Tuesday night.  Good times are a here.

1-27-11
Run time: :50
Ride time: 00
Ride distance: 0 miles

Total run time: 7:55
Total ride time: 9:10
Total distance: 71 miles

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Jacked Up

No timey for bloggy. Suck it.






1-26-11
Run time: :30
Ride time: 2:15
Ride distance: 15 miles

Total run time: 7:05
Total ride time: 9:10
Total distance: 71 miles

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick

All sorts happened this weekend but I've got scant time to describe it. lets just say that I did oodles of snowshoeing, sledding, built most of my first cabinet for the house and even snuck in a proper snow bike ride on the local snowmobile trails.

video
video




video

Sadly, that's about all I have for today.

1-24-11
Run time: 1:40
Ride time: 1:45
Ride distance: 10 miles

Total run time: 6:35
Total ride time: 6:55
Total distance: 56 miles

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let it Blow, Let it Blow, Let it Blow

Me?  I'm usually a huge winter fan.  Snowshoeing is fun, skiing is fun, winter riding is fun and sledding is fun.  What isn't fun is getting f-ing snow every freakin day so you're spending all of your time shoveling and plowing (darn you long driveway!) instead of enjoying the winter.  Not to mention that when it snows every day, snowmobilers aren't able to keep up with keeping the trails packed for proper bike riding.  Lazy drunk bastards.

I haven't let the snow slow me down from my season goals though.  Cross training is fun and keeps things fresh come race season so I'm not REALLY complaining about all the snow but this blog is all about bitching and whining so I've got to keep with the program.

Last night, I decided to take Jason's comment from yesterday's post seriously and decided to do a write up about my night time snowshoe.  Thankfully, things were interesting.

The pooch and I headed out just before dark on what was supposed to be one of our short 3-4 hour sessions (we're building up for an actual long snowshoe).  We'd been out for maybe an hour when the pooch starts going ballistic and her nose takes her straight into a evergreen thicket where she proceeded to bark and howl.  Usually, I just ignore such behavior, continue on and she'll catch up in a few minutes.  Last night though, it was apparent that she had actually found something so I backtracked, got on my hands and knees and ventured into the thicket.

After much cursing, snow down my back and pants and maybe a touch of crying, I made it to an opening in the thicket that had a monstrous oak rising out of the middle.  I found Autumn here, frantically barking while running around and trying to climb the tree.  It was then that I looked up and saw the biggest freaking bear I've ever seen.  The bear was probably 20' up the tree in the crook of a huge limb.  Why it was afraid of 40lb Autumn was beyond me since the thing looked to be pushing 500lbs itself but it was afraid none the less.

I didn't have a camera with me so I didn't take any pictures but I've been making a habit of sketching more recently to try to bring my skills back and I did have a pad and pencil with me so I proceeded to sketch.  I took some liberties with the sketch, making the bear look a bit more ferocious than he/she actually was but here you go (I touched it up a bit when I got back to the house):

After calming Autumn down and finishing the sketch I put Autumn on leash and dragged her home with both of us thoroughly exhausted from the experience.

Oh, and just so we're clear.  I made all of that up.  What actually happened was Autumn and I went out for 40 minutes, she barely left my side since I had cheese and hot dogs in my pockets and then I went home a made a mock-up of our kitchen cabinets.  Not nearly as exciting.

1-21-11
Run time: :40
Ride time: 000
Ride distance: 00 miles

Total run time: 4:55
Total ride time: 5:05
Total distance: 46 miles

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Whatcha Gonna Do?

It's Maine and it's winter so it's no big surprise that riding has been tough for the last five days.  It's been snowing constantly this week.  That means no trails are packed enough to ride and it's too darn dangerous to ride on the road right now and I'd rather have a glass tube shoved up my pee hole than ride a trainer so I've been subsisting on snowshoeing and body weight exercises instead.  Thankfully, the snowshoeing is sweet right now and we have trails literally right out our front and back doors so the exercise can be plentiful and convenient.  What else can I say about snowshoeing?  Er, not much.  

two of my favorite snowshoe mates gettin some lovin
1-20-11
Run time: 1:00
Ride time: 000
Ride distance: 00 miles

Total run time: 4:15
Total ride time: 5:05
Total distance: 46 miles

weight: 189 (three days in a row below 190 and down 8 lbs from a couple months ago.  eat it jason and barlow)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Yesterday's commute home was supposed to be a kick ass good time. Turns out it was just a kick in the ass. I had scouted a couple of the sections via car on Sunday and they looked to be in good shape with lots of snowshoe traffic. Certainly that had to be better than the two tiny ribbons from xc skis that I was riding on last week. Right! RIGHT!!! Fa-reakin-wrong!  What I was expecting to be a sweet snow bike ride turned into a pitiful excuse for a hike.  I ended up bailing as soon as I could but that didn't stop me from walking easily 55 minutes of a 1:30 ride.  The well traveled snowmobile trails were in pretty good shape and were the only things that salvaged an otherwise miserable ride.  Lesson learned.  Hitting snowshoeing trails before a freeze thaw cycle (or at least tons of traffic) just isn't a smart move.  Before long I'll know the Mukluk's abilities and weakness'. 

death march.  at least I wasn't cold.
An hour and a half later, I slinked into the house sweating like a madman only to look at the thermometer to see this:
10.4 degrees f and I was sweating my ballz off.  Time to cut back on my (already pretty light)  winter riding gear I guess.  Apparently I'm finally acclimated to this shit.

This morning's snowshoe with the pooch was a balmy 5 degrees f but the air was nice and crisp and there was no wind to speak of so it was quite nice not to mention these constant snowshoe hikes are helping me reach my racing weight for this season.  Today was my first solid day below 190lbs.  Prime time racing weight, when I'm super lean, is in the 185lb range so I'm not far off and I'm already around 7lbs lighter than last season's racing weight.  Now, if I could just lay off the beer it would be pretty easy.  I'm noticed that weeks that I only partake on Friday's and Saturday's I can pretty easily shave off 1-2 lbs.  Throw in some beers mid week and all bets are off.  Oh beer, why do you need to be so tasty?

Oh, and perusing the EFTA website yesterday I came across a forum thread where myself and Alby King are being called out to represent at the season ending banquet's trike race.  Alby, maybe you can fill me in here.  What should I be expecting?  I'm a master of all trades, jack of none (I once rode a midget bike down a ski-ish slope and barely avoided breaking something) so I'm not too worried but it's always nice to come prepared.  Should I bring a cup? 

1-18-11
Run time: :25 minutes
Ride time: 2:00 mtb
Ride distance: 14 miles

Total run time: 3:15
Total ride time: 5:05
Total distance: 46 miles

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post Nasal Drip Blues

This suminobatchin, cork sucker of a cold-ish thingy that I have right now can just go ahead and bite me.  It's the weirdest thing.  I basically feel fine all day long (give or take a cough or two) and then shortly before bed start hacking up a lung which leads to a shitty night's sleep.  This can be great fun and a nice change of pace for a few days but two freakin' weeks?  Fargin' iceholes!

I had planned on doing a long mukluk ride on the local snomo trails over the weekend but said illness and one hell of a big tread/riser (that I was finishing) at the house put the kibosh to it.  For now, it will be only short rides without too much intensity until this stupid illness checks out.  Mukluk commute home tonight. 

That is all.

1-17-11
Run time: 1:40 minutes
Ride time: 000 mtb
Ride distance: 00 miles

Total run time: 2:50
Total ride time: 3:05
Total distance: 32 miles

Friday, January 14, 2011

This Is Our Backyard

Oh wait, driveway first.  This was actually during the "blizzard" right before we took yesterday's video.  We used fresh snow for the video btw.  No shenanigans. 


How can you tell you are a grizzled Mainer?  When I woke up the other morning and was getting ready for work Marcy suggested I take the element since it's all wheel drive and has snow tires (she was home with B that day and didn't need a car).  I initially shrugged her off because how much trouble could a measly 12" of snow be?  In the end I did take the element (thus the video) but didn't take any boots, warm coat or even my cell phone; tough Mainer or just stupid idiot?  You be the judge.  Actually, if you've read this blog for long, you've long since formed your own opinion on that one...


OK, so this is our actual backyard.  Facing southwest everything, and I do mean everything, is coated in white.  Beautiful.

And this is what a dog, happy to have been rescued from the streets and a shelter, looks like.



video

Today is a road (with the studded out El Mariachi) commute.  This morning the legs felt better than they have in two weeks.  I've been dealing with some sort of "issues" that have involved a constant sore throat and general lethargy and I was starting to get a bit perturbed but, thankfully, things are moving again (in a phlegmy sort of way) so I hope to be 100% soon.

1-14-11
Run time: 45 minutes
Ride time: 1:00 mtb
Ride distance: 14 miles

Total time: 3:05
Total distance: 32 miles

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dealing With the Elements

One of my coworkers recently asked me how our Honda Element does in the snow. I said that with good snow tires it goes awesome. Now I have proof. Yesterday's 12+" posed no problem for the element to get through the snow bank and down our 300' long driveway. Witness:



video

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Failure to Success

Last night's commute home seemed destined to fail.  On the road with the Mukluk I totally wasn't feeling it and wanted to just ride straight home but if there is one thing that I've learned about the mukluk is that with 5-10 psi in the tires (it's too low for the pump to register so I'm just guessing here) riding on pavement is about as much fun as shoving splinters under your fingernails.  Short stints between trails?  No problem.  Seven miles?  Kill me now.  So, I figured even if my legs felt like two sausage casings stuffed with yesterday's enchilada feast aftermath (that would be sausage casings stuffed with poo for you slow types) it would be better to slog it out through the woods than die a slow agonizing death on the road.  Plus, this boy needs some exercise stat and a 1/2 hour commute just wasn't going to cut it.

Once to the trail head it took me approximately 3 seconds to consider turning around.  There was one set of xc ski tracks and a few footprints to ride in which just wasn't cutting it.  The snow itself wasn't firm enough to ride on top of and it was too crunchy to keep momentum if you broke through so I dumped all of my gears and concentrated on riding inside of the xc track.  There is some good skill building for you.  Next time you are out, try riding at 2-3 mph in a track that is slippery and only 8" wide.  It was hard but it was a good balance/core workout.

Let's see YOU ride this!

Eventually, even the ski trail petered out and I was forced to walk for a while until I got into the Preserve proper where there was some snowmobile and foot traffic.  The snowmobile sections were fricking sweet and got my mojo amped back up so that when I hit the singletrack and all of the foot traffic I was moving at a better clip, the legs were feeling better and my motivation was refocused.
the singletrack was kind of fun in a rattle your fillings out sort of way.
Eventually, I made it to the trails in and around our property and found them to be the best so far.  I hit them either snowshoeing or running every day so they had been well packed down and weren't as lumpy so I was able to hit them pretty hard and end the ride on a very good note.  Sadly, we've got snow coming today (8-12") so all of those trails will need to be reestablished but I'm down with the snowshoeing too.

Yesterday's ride rating:  One precariously balanced squirrel and one stuffed bra for good measure.
On another note, starting today (maybe I'll even do it retroactively back to the start of the new year) I'll be keeping track of my riding and running miles/hours here on the blog.  I've been asked multiple times (2) recently about how many miles I put in in a year and I honestly have no idea so I'm going to try to keep a running tally at the end of each day's post.  We'll see how long this lasts.

1-11-11
Run time: 25 minutes
Ride time: 2:05 mtb
Ride distance: 18 miles

Total time: 2:05
Total distance: 18 miles

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter is Coming!  Winter is Coming!

At least that's what you'll think if you watch any news this morning.  We're expected to get another 6-8" (ba-da-bum!) starting tomorrow morning.  For Maine that's essentially a dusting but it doesn't stop folks from freaking out.  Me?  I'm excited that the snowmobile trails will be in better shape so I can get all Mukluky on their asses.  Today is a Mukluk commute on the crunchy snow that's been on the ground for weeks.  It'll either be super fun with me zipping along making that familiar (to me at least) styrofoamy zipper crunch or it'll be a hell on earth post holey death (notice how many words I can change by putting a "y" at the end.  I'm a clevery son of a bitchy (I actually didn't even mean to put the Y at the end of clever, habit now I guessy)) if the preserve trails have seen some foot traffic.  I suspect it'll be a blast.

To prepare for the upcoming snow, we had B out shoveling in her rock star best.


I see wood peckers.  (she leaves her fingers exposed for better butt/nose access.  clever girl)

Monday, January 10, 2011

This Is How I Doos It


Pinky up.  No puny 16 oz for me.
git yer own kid!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Pissing on Porcupines
I made it out for the Bathers Thursday night ride last night.  Conditions have been crap around here recently with a warm up and rain after the foot of snow we got a couple of weeks ago so the trails were were interesting to say the least.  The north end of the Bath trails are seeing unprecedented foot traffic this year so all of the trails were well packed but because of the hard freeze it felt like I was trying to ride a jackhammer all night.  Those stupid, skinny (2.1?  you exaggerating sons a bitches!) studded tires mounted on the rigid El Mariachi had me on the cusp of kidney damage.  If you've ever ridden in the winter, you know that you need some pretty specific clothes to stay warm and it can be difficult to stop to relieve yourself.  So much so that most people will hold it as long as humanly possible to avoid having to disrobe in frigid temps in the woods at night (maybe some people enjoy that???).  Last night my kidneys were rattling around so much that I had to stop two freaking times.  Eck.  On a positive note, on my first stop, I ambled over to a tree, started dropping trow and noticed the bugger above curled up at the base of a tree two feet in front of me.  I have to admit, the 8 year old boy in me really wanted to pee on him but the mature me didn't want quills in my testicles so I thought better of it.

So, what else is happening?  As mentioned in the last post, we're getting our floors refinished which is no easy task when you have concrete floors.  A solid week of 4-5 guys running grinders full time creating mountains of dust and a really sweet looking floor.

This is the typical scene right now:

or some high quality video from my crap flip phone:
video

and this is what our electric meter looks like when only half of their machines are running.  Can't wait for next months utility bill...
video
They look to be finishing up today (4 days less than their conservative estimate) so this weekend will be fun filled with vacuuming, mopping and dusting galore as we try to rid the house of the mountains of dust that accumulated over the last week.  Having high ceilings (several are over 15' tall) is pretty sweet until it comes time to climb up there and clean that shit...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Life

If someone were to ask me, I'd have to say that my life is pretty darn sweet.  I have a great wife and daughter, a pretty cool job with plenty of job satisfaction, a cool house and an active lifestyle that keeps me healthy and fresh.  What I seem to have less and less of though is time.  Frickin A.  We're currently moved out of our house so that our concrete floors can be ground down and refinished (it's the one major dyi blunder I made on the house) and staying with my mother-in-law.  The mother-in-law thing aint all that bad though.  She has directv so we're catching up on all of the trash tv that we've missed in the last two years and she bought me beer yesterday.  Beer.  That's my kind of mother-in-law.  The only problem with the situation is (other than us being many multiple thousands of dollars poorer because of the work) is that my commute has gone from 10 minutes to 1 hour this week.  Riding be gone!

I still get to look at the mukluk every night when I go home to build the fire and check on the work though so all is good.  At least this little situ is only lasting for a week and I've got plenty of past rides in the spank bank that I can reminisce about when I get sad.  Say, for example, my ride with the bathers a couple of weeks ago.  It was the muk's first foray into real snow and we had a ripping good time.  6" of fresh on the ground, two snowbikes and two silly 26" bikes meant that KillBill and I were packing (trail) for the other two as we blazed around the outskirts of Bath.  Good fun.


6" of fluff meant even heavier wheels than usual.
two trips with snowbikes left sweet ribbons of single


That's all I've got for now. See ya suckers.