Friday, December 31, 2010

Please I need you to be brutally honest with me.

Does this nose of mine appear bulbous? I mean I have never even heard this word in my entire life prior until I saw it on my sister's blog. She described us, her family as such, "German gnomes with bulbous noses"  on her blog. This is really having an effect on me now that I am soon to become famous. Please read previous blog from 12/29/10 regarding my new found fame, if this sounds confusing.

If you recall the same thing happened to Michael Jackson. After he became famous he could not stand his 'bulbous' nose and had it whacked off.

So after serious consideration regarding this, I have made a decision. I will have my nose altered. After all fame does have it's cost$.

Ok, moving on. The Telegraph Herald News Paper's photographer phoned me yesterday regarding the article they want to do about winter/night bicycling. So Sunday evening they want me to ride on Heritage trail, I will leave my house at 4 p.m. and ride down through the trails into the dark. They will take pictures as I ride past, and perhaps leap frog ahead and do more then one shoot. What ever!! I am just there for the bike ride, like always.
I did a phone interview, I don't know if that is it or not. It never really got to the heart of this, why we bikers bike like we do. Spose we are not really sure. It was funny, shortly into the interview, I was describing when, where, and how much I ride, and he then asked me, "Do people think your nuts?"

Tomorrow I hope for a full day bicycling wandering around on trails. It will be interesting the trail conditions with the last two days in the 40s and now headed for 5 degrees F. That can make for a hard ice rocky ride when all the slush freezes jagged. 

Oh and I almost forgot, HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY. Thanks for being my blogger friend.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A good day for a lot of miles.

Took my  last vacation day for the year today. Was messing around with my three bottle rack placement on the FatBack. Got that in order, and decided to head out from my house ride out through town and take the back paths to the Snow Mobile trails and Heritage trails Had to lower my tires PSI as soon as I hit the unploughed trails out of town. 
It was supposed to rain and be 40 degrees, it was 40 all day, but only and occasional mist. Thinking rain, I wore plastic, yeap plastic, cheap stuff but does keep me dry, when it rains. The expensive 'rain gear' I own sooner or later if I stay out long enough, gets me soaked. I ditched the 'plastic rain jacket early, I was overheating.
Snow was a foot deep, and I plowed along at 5 mph, and a lot of pedal work, and sliding around. The ride got a lot better once I hit the snow mobile traveled area. Saw a skier coming my way. It was my friend and owner of my LBS, Parrish. I first bought a bike there shortly after high school more then 35 years ago, it was a Jeunet, a French Road bike.

Parrish rides a bike hard three seasons out of the year. Then he does the cross country thing for his off season. He does both quite well and can compete well at either one.

I had plans to ride for 6 hours, and when I reached for my first drink I realized I forgot to put any fluids in my bottles DUH!!!!!

So I can wander all the way back home, or find a Mart out here. I saw a sign that pointed down a Snow Mobile path that said Eichman's So I followed. Was a GREAT ride, amazing path through the woods, along creeks, across creeks, up and down hills. Was totally amazing ride. Plus I found some drink. The clerk was amazed at my bike and someone riding like this in the winter.

I back tracked on the Snow Mobile trail hooked back on Heritage trail and rode further out. Turned around and headed home, daylight was leaving, and I didn't have a head light. The snow was melting and turning sloppy and slippery. My tires were spinning out, I was sliding out and dumping the bike. I started to push my bike through the snow.  As a last ditch effort I thought I would try to let almost all the air out of my tires and see if I could pedal. It WORKED!!! These 4 inch big balloon tires are amazing. I traveled along at only 4 mph, but I was back on my bike. Made it home as it was getting dark. Loved the ride. Is what I do.

So back to work for one day and then "hey hey it's the weekend"


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm nearly famous now.

This was in my Email box last night.

Mr. Giegerich,

My name is Eric Mandel and I am a reporter with the Telegraph Herald. I spoke with Lance Andre about a story we are planning to do on winter/night bike riding and he mentioned your name as someone I should talk to. Besides chatting with you a little about winter biking, we were hoping to get some photos of you (and hopefully some of your fellow riders) training on the snow. My deadline for the story is Jan. 3, so hopefully we can set something up relatively soon. Feel free to email or call me at 563-588-5748.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again.

Eric Mandel
News Reporter
Telegraph Herald

This is gonna make me a real impotent man now. Now, I hope this sudden found fame doesn't ruin me. I am going to need a manager for my fan club. I will need to have writers manage my blog. The paparazzi will become  just part of my daily activities. Perhaps I'll get a drug addiction, enter and escape rehab a couple of times, and give weird news releases. Fame has it's price yanno. We famous people do have our very own struggles that come with our greatness.

Ok back to reality. The reporter did call and conduct an initial interview. Next is a picture shoot somewhere out there on a snow trail.

My legs are a bit toasted 4 good snow rides in 5 days, and I'm hoping for 3 good snow rides in the next 4 days. Knee please behave.

Peace out,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Riding the night away.

I had bike all ready to go when I got off work today. I made some weight reduction modifications to my bike after riding a friends FatBack that was about 30 lbs lighter then my fully loaded FatBack and realling noticing the zip that the lightness brought. I changed seat, seat post, and pedals. Removed back rack and 'luggage box'. I attached a seat bag to carry the bare essentials.
Before I left I filled tired to 14 psi, I figure it would be easier to remove some air psi then to add some.

After about 4 miles of riding I knew I needed to drop some air psi in tires to get them to have a larger profile to hook up better, and stop the sliding around.

I was unscrewing the rubber cap on the presta valve and didn't realize I was removing the entire valve core. I did realize what I had done when all the air was blowing out the stem and I simultaneously realized I had forgotten to bring along my air pump. PANIC HITS!!!! I hurriedly screwed the cap back in that had the valve core attached to it. The air loss stopped and I had about 2 psi in my front tire.
What amazed me was this tire still worked. The sidewalls were bulging, but I had great traction in the snow for front control with the large footprint profile. These 4 inch tires are amazing.

Temps were 10 degrees and dropping, I was dressed in light layers of wool and a wind breaker. Was very comfortable. After years of this winter riding, I am still learning, modifying my dress.
The ride was beautiful out here tonight. The solitude gave way to reflection, I shut my IPOD off to listen to the silence.

I rode an hour out and and hour back. I would have liked to have stayed out longer. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back." 

Thanks for visiting my Blog

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two FatBacks

Loaded the FatBack on my car's bike rack and headed to Heritage Trail. Riding where the snow mobiles travel, I saw a very rare sight around here. I saw the tracks of another FatTired bike. So thinking I knew who it was, I began to chase and follow. The trail snow was soft, I was sliding around trying to hold 6 mph was a technical ride.
After an hour here comes the Fat that was making the tracks headed at me. It was the snow machine Lance Andre. So I turned around and rode with him. We are both riding FatBacks his Titanium, mine Aluminium. His weighing in the low 30 lbs mine in the low 60 lbs. Lance on a rigid training schedule with major races planed, including Iditatrod, Arrowhead, etc. Me, just riding to ride. Back in my younger life, I would be doing the same, competition would make me push myself to the end of my limits back then. What we totally share in common is our love to ride bikes. We both ride year round as much as we can. That makes us bond easily, and enjoy the biking camaraderie.
Lance offered a lot of good suggestions, and offered some of his bike extra bike parts to lighten me up. He is directing and racing the Triple D this Jan 16th, he won it last year, and my money is on him this year.

Following the Titanium FatBack
The town's only FatTired girls.

Lance dropped off at the town of Durango, and I am headed home, hungry, and well worked, the way it feels the best.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Studs, City streets, and Merry Christmas.

<-----------------------The Stud Muffin Tire.

Thinking the trails are still too snow deep, I brought out my HardTail with the studs for a city street ride. She hadn't been rode since last winter and was missing vital body parts, like pedals, rack, hand covers, and needed some vital tender care like air in the tires for instance, brake adjustment etc.
After bringing her up to speed she was ready to go.
It always amazes me how well the Nokian Studs hook up on ice, rode around town, up to parks and around the river walks and through the large cemeteries in my neighborhood.
It was fun, and what surprised me was how light a almost 40 lb bike with gear and 2.3 studded snow tires felt. The reason being I've been snow plowing with the FatBack, and it's 4 inch tires alot lately. I think it would feel like a rocket ship riding my road bike now on pavement. But good, bad, or indifferent, that ain't gonna happen for a long time, unless I drop down and ride with Mr. Bill in Texas.
Here is a view looking out over the frozen Mississippi River.
Up at the entrance to Eagle Point Park, my bike was disappointed with 'no pets allowed' and realizing she could not bring me into the park.
Ended the day at my sister's Dawn for Christmas with a  feeding frenzy and about a 100 types of treats and feeds, along with lotz of family yik-yak'n.
Tomorrow I am hoping to get down and dirty and spend some grind time on the trails. Snow Mobilers get out there and ride, and make me a path, pleasessssssss and thank you.

Hope your Christmas was good to you, and you had good time with the people in your life.


Friday, December 24, 2010


Geeepers, slip and slide, slop and slush and that other "s" word. Yes the "other s word" SNOW and lots of it. We are headed for one of the snowiest Decembers ever. After this last snow the trails needs some snow mobile action to pack down the snow. I spent 3 hours going 10 miles. Slid out a bunch of times.

Was headed back home with the 'Fat' on the back of the car and saw a truck go by with a FatTired bike on the back. So I had to turn around. There are only two FatTired bikes in this county of 90,000. Well actually 1.5 mine and Lance Andre's. Lance's only counts as a half attendant because he lives here and in Florida.

Ok back to the FatTired sighting. I followed him back into the trail parking lot, introduced myself and him to me. He's from Iowa City, just got his MukLuk, and was loving it. He said it is like when you get your first bike and  the joys that come with it. Sorry I forgot your name, that happens a lot at my age,  but if you read this please drop a comment.

Well I hope a tribe of snow mobiles goes up and down the trails tonight so the trails get packed and ride abled.  I would like to get more miles in then I did today.

Well time to watch my new DVD, Race Across the Sky the great Leadville 100  bicycle race of 2009.  I originally saw it in the theaters last year. Kim West gave me 10 free tickets I passed em out to some other bikies.

Well I hope you've been good boys and girls, and Santa is good to you tonight. Maybe there will be a FatBack tomorrow under the tree.

See you out there,

More snow.

This is crazy all this snow, and it is snowing again. I have to go. I have to go see if I can find a path for my bicycle to ride on. Perhaps that is crazy too. None the less, it'll be a lot of fun.

Hope you can play some today too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

10 lbs of Air Pressure and the 60 lb loaded FatBack Bicycle

Took a day off work. So ride was the plans. For the first 5 miles the snow was soft, with 5 inches of loose snow on top of 10 inches of hard snow. I was sliding around with too much air in my 4 inch tires. So I went from 20 psi down to 10 psi in the rear wheel. That made a big difference I now was maintaining a blazing 7 mph.
I am finding out with snow riding with a snow bike with 4 inch snow tires there are 3 main factors regarding your tires to consider. And they are
1. Air pressure
2. Air pressure
3. Air pressure
I have heard of some riders routinely go down to 5 psi or less to get the tires to hook up in lose snow.

Pedaled for 6 hours, my speed varied from 5 to 8 mph, with and occasional burst up to 10 mph, riding snow mobile trails. Only saw a couple of snow mobiles the whole time I was riding. The sun started going down and I heard there are creatures that come out at night, so I kept the pace up.

It warmed up to 31 degrees and the snow was flying up from  tires and coating my gears and derailleur, and freezing on my rear gears. Causing the chain to skip, hop, and grind.
My bad knee behaved well enough, with a one day rest, I'll be ready to go again.
Back to work tomorrow, all the salaried management are off until after the 1st. So Yahooo, the inmates are running the asylum.

So over and out and thanks for stopping by

Monday, December 20, 2010

More and more and more snow.

O where, O where art though, snow mobiles come pack the trails down we got more snow

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Josh and my Pit Bull

After a slow sluggish start, with no zip, no zap, got on the bike around 11:00. Rode 25 miles out in the country. 6 MPH average was about it. Some places looked ridable, looked like only 3 inches of snow, but it was not as it seemed. It was 3-4 inches of snow on top of a crust that had 10-12 inches of snow under it. My tires would break through and bog out.
Rode to Graf Iowa and visited this lonely park.

Now, on to something I wish wasn't the case.

"The knee, the knee, always the knee" said Vince Lombardi.

My knee has been becoming more and more problematic lately. The knee I injured quite severely in 1972. I've had four surgeries over the years to help gain more time. I really can't complain due to the severity of the injury and the fact that I have had a very active lifestyle. Competing in running, power lifting, swimming and bicycling.
Last week it was swollen up on me, and I had it checked at the bone doc's. X-rays were taken and knee was drained and given a shot of xylocaine. I've been there done that before.
Friday the doctor's office called my cell phone. X-rays are showing joint deterioration, arthritis, and very little cartilage remaining. All this injury is on the inside of the knee.

So what's next? I am going to be scheduled for
SAY WHAT!?!?!?

Well that is that gel injection that the ortho docs are doing now. Sorta like a lubricant for the knee joint.
My plans are to keep biking, I hope this treatment helps, will see. My plans are still to ride in Triple D, this Jan 16th, a 65 mile snow race on snow mobile trails unless the knee makes it obvious that I won't.
On a lighter note, I found my son sleeping on my couch this morning when I got up. Here he is with my Pit Bull, Pitty. I figure he was either out late and didn't make it to his home, or up early and visiting. I think the first one is the most likely. So unbeknown to him I took some pictures.

Oh gawd, that is so wrong. LoL. Well if Josh ventures over on this blog he will demand the removal of these pictures. :-)
So I hope your weekend was fun.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

LotZ of riding

Rode on snow mobile trails for 6 hours. This bike rides well on these trails. I never flew off the bike once which is a good indication my tires were hooking up. I did slide out sometimes but stayed on my feet. Towards the end I was running out of gas. Saw lots of snow mobiles. This time of year I consider this place their trail. I am a guest. I pull over so they can ride through. I wave at each one. They all wave back, we have a mutual respect that we are both out here. I try to keep up a good relationship. Without them knocking down a path, I wouldn't be able to ride out here.
For the Triple D racers, the trail remains in great shape. Lots of snow mobile action keeping the additional snow well packed.

Temps were from 9 to 14 F. I was never cold at all. I took inventory of my clothing. 3 of my long sleeve upper body wear is Merino Wool which works great for wicking sweat. Zippers add a great heat control method and my last 4 layers have zippers.

Upper body.
1 Long sleeve
2 Long sleeve turtle neck.
3 Long sleeve turtle neck (zipper)
4 Long sleeve (zipper)
5 Jersey (zipper)
6 Wind breaker (zipper)

7 Light sock
8 Heavy sock
9 winter SIDI biking shoes
10 Shoe cover

11 Helmet Liner
12 Helmet
13 Wool socking hat
14 Baclava

15 Gloves
16 ATV Handle bar mitts


17 Long insulated leg covers
18 Biking shorts
I discovered a lil Gnome Home, seems they live in igloos for the winter season. Cheers, thanks for visiting

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Imagine that

Oh geeepers, see below comment my lady posted on FaceBook when I went out cycling on the FatBack.

Well I had to comment back. I bet she is skeeered now.

So I tried to sooth things over. I told her I really didn't spend all that money on my new bike. It was a gift, I was afraid you wouldn't believe me, I showed her this picture. I don't think she believes me.

Well ummm, the weekend is close, I will need to get out and explore in my new space craft.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Darkness on the edge of town

...........................Into the night I go.............................

Saw the bone doctor today. He did drain my knee, he is going to talk to his colleague to see if I am a candidate for the gel treatment. He is not sure because I broke my ACL ligament twice and I guess that makes this procedure questionable for what ever reason.

But enough of that stuff. After work tonight I decided the best thing to do would be to go out and ride a couple of hours on Heritage Trails. When I went through the trail head parking lot there was two guys loading up their snowmobiles on a trailer. It was just getting dark. I wheeled over next to them and said "hello fellows" They looked at me like I was a creature from outer space. I guess from a non bikers perception for a guy to peddle up on the snow, at night, 17 degrees F, with 4 inch tires, just ain't right. The trail was hard packed from all the snow mobile traffic. The ride was fast for snow riding. I couldn't see my speed, or heart rate in the night so I am not sure how hard I was pushing it.

The FatTires go anywhere.

No napping allowed let's get going. It's getting late, it's getting cold.

I will ride again, I will ride some more, I think tomorrow would work quite well.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creepy Baby and her friends.

...................Creepy Baby and her Friends

So I talked back and forth with myself for an hour after work trying to decide if I should go out after dark and ride some on deserted snow mobile trails. I say deserted because on a Tuesday night it would probably be just me and a few deer, beaver, and raccoons running around.

I ended up with a no. I wanted to ride. The "no" logic being mainly driven from the fact that my 4 surgery knee is not cooperating. So I have a appointment with the doc tomorrow, if it goes as I prefer, he will drain the fluid, relieving the pressure, reducing the pain, and increasing the mobility.

Then, unless my doctor totally insists I do not, I will ride. He's knows my drive, he says I bicycle to much, he knows my knee is eventually headed for a polyethylene and titanium one. He knows I don't listen well to his warnings.
I'll pack lights, a snack, fluids, and music. Will get 5 hours plus in and finish the ride after darkness.

I have FatBack Bike all ready to go, with double set of batteries for head light, two blinkie lights for the rear in case there is a snow mobiler out rip'n up the trails and coming up from behind at a high rate of speed and tries to run right up my arse.

It will be "warm" tomorrow, 18 F. More snow coming, the trails are well packed, my fat 4 inch tires will hook up well even as more snow falls.

Ok be sensible, and not like me.