Friday, October 31, 2008

TNR Report

Benson, Matt, Chad (new guy we've ridden with on a couple of other occasions), and I headed out around 6:30; and the sun was just dropping below the horizon. We were able to ride straight back to the great new downhill trail and ride that before the lights became necessary. After that it was just a nice ride on some great singletrack in the dark. Matt commented that he felt a little short of breath, and I'll admit my legs were feeling the lack of gears. When I got home and downloaded the data, I was able to figure out why we were both feeling a little pain. We rode 10.6 miles in 1.25 hours. That doesn't sound too bad, until you factor in the 1,987 ft. of climbing. For those not in the know, that's a hell of a lot of elevation packed into a relatively short distance. Still, it was a great night and a great ride. The weather was so warm that when we finished up just before eight, we were able to have not just one, but two beers while we hung out and shot the breeze with a couple of other riders that had finished before us. Speaking of which, the parking area was more crowded than any of us have ever seen when we headed out. Benson and Chad had to park up in the weeds. I'm sure everybody had the same idea we did: to enjoy what may have been one of our last good days of riding. But who knows? Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be sunny and 60. Next weeks WNR will be out at HQ. We'll ride at 6:30 rain or shine; but as I said before, everyone's welcome to stop out for a beer and a bite to eat even if you don't feel like riding.

I came across a really good article on the VeloNews website yesterday in the Legally Speaking column. It's part of an ongoing series about two pro roadies that were hit by a truck while out training in the summer of 07. It's kind of long, but I encourage anyone who spends any amount of time riding a bike on the public roadways to check it out. Thanks for reading and have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The First Snowfall

We finally had our first glimpse of the white stuff on monday, and it definitely got me excited for the upcoming ski season. I'm so glad that I have something to do outside when winter rolls around. As much as I love riding bikes, I can't imagine spending the whole winter inside on one spinning away to nowhere in front of the television. I know a couple of guys around here that literally spend the whole winter on the trainer, and I don't know how they do it. I'll do one or two days a week on the rollers/trainer after the first of the year just to keep the legs used to it, but other than that I'll be outside enjoying the white stuff. My ski racing plans are in limbo due to the addition of another family member on Dec. 5th (Kate's having another kid so my work schedule will be up in the air for December and January). Fortunately, there are a quite a few local races on sunday's, so at least those won't be a problem. I'd also like to do the VASA again (in better weather please). Depending on how the weather holds up and how work is going, I also may make a return trip up to the Great Bear Chase in Swedetown (about an hour north of Houghton in the U.P.). I didn't go to up last year, but I do recall having a good time two years ago. Anyway, I don't know if anyone is going to show for the ride tonight. I've got my lights charged and my clothes and bike are ready to go here at work. I'm planning on hosting a ride next wednesday at HQ. Feel free to come out and celebrate the end of the season (for most) and have a beer even if you don't feel like riding. I got a quick video of Matt riding in the snow when we were out at Boyne on monday, and I planned on sharing with the class this morning. Instead, I found this funny YouTube clip on The Drunk Cyclist Blog this morning. I can't wait for this fu**ing election bull**it to be over. Have a nice day.

Late Edit: Since the weather forecast for tomorrow is considerably warmer (I think we're looking at 36 right now), the rest of the team decided to postpone the WNR until tomorrow night (TNR). Fine by me, I can go home and clean out the wood stove.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Word on the street: Team members Matt and Jess are getting hitched. Congratulations. I can tell you from just having made it past the 1 year mark that it's not that bad.

Friday, October 24, 2008

WNR and TDR Reports

New record for the Wednesday night night ride. Five riders (Benson, Matt, Rob, Bruce, and I) took to the trails of Boyne armed with illuminating devices attached to our helmets and handlebars. We got in about 9 miles in just over an hour. We're planning on closing out the month there next week. Who knows, maybe we'll up the ante to six riders if Scott is able to join us. Yesterday was a great day for the end of October with sunny skies and temps. in the high 50's. After wrapping the cedar hedge for the winter and rearranging the garage to allow room for car parking, I headed out on the Loop for the first time in a while. The trail is still in good shape with only a few trees down here and there. I'm thinking the first wednesday of next month we'll have to hit it up for the last time before the snow buries it for the winter. Have a good day and a fun weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Riding

Sarah and I did a quick 1.5 hour ride at Boyne on Saturday afternoon, and I headed out again on the same trails Sunday morning with Tim and Benson. Sunday, we rode just about every trail at Boyne and then headed over to the NCT and rode up to the top of Nub's Nob. We rode down the front side of the ski hill there and headed back over to Boyne and the cars. Good long ride on the singlespeed, and the legs are starting to feel good again. Check out the data below and have a nice day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rough Video

I was able to cobble together a couple minutes worth of raw footage that I've shot since getting the new video camera last week for our anniversary (thanks Sarah). Unfortunately, YouTube busted me for copyright violations and wouldn't let me publish the video with the song I'd picked out. I had to go through their authorized music library (which isn't very big), and this tune was the best one I could find. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

WNR Report

Just Benson and Rob were able to muster the strength for riding last night, and boy did we have ourselves a trail ride. As you can imagine, riding at night in the woods with one bright headlight to guide your way presents a host of new challenges. Last night there were a few more thrown into the mix. For starters, a steady rain for most of the day left all the leaves on the ground the same bright shiny colors. Normally, you can see the trail at night with leaves on the ground because they're more packed down on the trail and less so off the trail. When they're all wet and shiny, they all look the same. Thus, the trail is much harder to follow; and so we had more than a few off trail excursions. The rain also makes all the sticks and roots on the ground that are buried under the leaves really slippery. Since you can't see them, you never know when one of your tires is going to do a little slip and slide. It keeps you on your toes. Benson was leading the ride last night, and I guess he didn't feel like those challenges alone were going to be enough for us so he added one more. We rode two different sections of trail that are fairly new (a few months old at most). Since the trails are new, they're not really packed down that well or that easy to follow.....when it's light out. Still, we had a good ride, and it was warm enough out afterward for a beer and some pretzels. I should have an additional light available by next weeks ride if anyone out there should be brave enough to try something new (give me a call so I remember to bring it if you're interested). Sunday's ride is TBD. Call or email me Friday and I'll know what's going down.

Breaking news: I can see from my new fancy world tracker thingy that apparently there are at least a few people out there interested in what I have to say on the old blog here. They can't all just be random people doing random searches can they? Anyway, since I don't correspond with anyone on a regular basis; feel free to leave a comment here, and perhaps we can correspond in that way. Also, if you have any questions or ideas for me to ramble on about pass them along as well. I'm getting to that time of year where I don't have much going on outside since the daylight hours are limited, and yet I have more time than I need to fiddle around on the interweb. Take care and ride well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

North End of the NCT

I met up with Matt and Tim Flynn on Monday for what may very well be the last hot ride of the season. The temps. were in the high 60's and low 70's for the entire afternoon. We rode the North Country trail from the end of Sturgeon Bay Trail all the way up to French Farm Lake outside of Mackinaw City. We ended up covering 23 miles in just about 2.5 hours. Thanks to Matt for the GPS download, and thanks to Sarah for the pictures (I used my new video camera that Sarah got me for our anniversary). I've got a big ride planned for Sunday, so give me a shout if you're interested and I'll give you shuttle/route information. Over and Out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have very little of interest to report from the world of bike riding. I went out for a good hilly ride on my road bike sunday afternoon, and I'm pretty sure I'm still not fully recovered from the race two weeks ago. The non-rational side of my brain says that two weeks should be plenty of time. Fortunately, my rational side also has a say, and it's telling my to be patient and just take a little more time to recover. I took monday and tuesday off the bike, and took care of some chores around the house instead. Legs feel okay today, and I'm looking forward to some night riding tonight.

I got and iphone a couple of weeks ago, and the little camera it has on it is pretty cool. It doesn't take the best pictures, but the fact that I have it in my pocket means I'm taking more. So maybe volume will override the lack of megapixels. I've posted a few new ones below.

Hugh and Denise leave for France today. They will be gone six weeks (or maybe forever depending on how the whole election thing turns out). BonVoyage. Hugh has been helping me wire the new workspace (thank you very much), and we've just about gotten her sewn up. I'm going to meet with insulation and heating people while he's gone to get them lined up for mid december. I'm hoping to have the project completed before the first of the year.

The election: I normally despise democrats and republicans just about equally. However, John's VP pick of this horrible Palin woman definitely tipped the scales for me. I used to say that nobody could do worse than GW, but I'm not so sure that's true anymore. I really think that she could give him a run for his money. Anyway, for a while there I was afraid I was going to have to give Obama the nod just to be on the safe side. I mean it's not like John's a spring chicken or anything. Since John pulled up the stakes in Michigan (thus conceding the electoral votes to Obama), I'm free to vote my conscience again. I firmly believe that until there is a viable and electable third party of some sort we're all fu**ed. If you do live in Michigan, don't forget to vote yes on proposal's 1 and 2.




Get out and ride.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Stolen Pictures from CTS

Since it wasn't really practical to carry a camera with me during the race, I stole these pictures off of the race website. Also in Crank the Shield related news: I got an email from the race director yesterday, and they are already talking about a major course overhaul to lessen the bog experience next year. It's been two weeks since the race ended, and most of the bruising and scabs are gone. All that's left are the good memories of a great race and a great weekend. So who knows, maybe I will be going over again next year.





Thursday, October 02, 2008

WNR report

Not much to report. Cold temps. and a threat of rain kept the pu**ies indoors, but it wasn't enough to stop Benson, Scott, and I from doing a quick hour on the loop. As usual, it only feels cold for about the first two or three minutes and then you're fine. The trails in good shape, and the two big trees that have been forcing us to practice our cyclocross skills have been cut out. It was just about too dark to ride when we finished up around 7, so next week we're pushing the start time back to 6:30 which means you'll need some form of illumination. If you give me a heads up early enough in the week, I may be able to cobble together enough light for one other rider. Otherwise, take care and have a good weekend.