Thursday, September 30, 2010

Riding on rocks

Worked in the morning and cycled in the afternoon. I headed west out of town on a bicycle looking for 62 miles of gravel ride. I found it. The blasting wind gusts made some of the sections a killer. I figured what goes up must come down, and I would get to ride the wind gusts when I turned around and headed home. The wind made the return trip fly.

September was a good month for bicycling. Pavement riding and 14 gravel metrics and 72 for the year. Fall is beautiful.
Oh and now I must address a very disturbing activity that has been occurring in and around my home. Somebody has a very warped sense of humor. After sharing my heart to bloggerdom about my fear of bats, little bat stickers have started appearing on my mailbox, garbage cans and my front window. But now you evil person have crossed the line. THIS was hanging on my front door knob when I came home from work today.
My heart stopped when I opened the screen door. I hope you're enjoying this sadistic pleasure of yours. Life is to short to not bicycle.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Country Time

Worked the morning, rode the afternoon. Pedaled and pushed through some initial tiredness. Legs broke out of it, and the fun began. Rode hard and enjoyed, 62 miles on the gravel travel. Legs are toasted now, feels good if you know what I mean.

Everything is changing out in the country with the arrival of fall. Drier and windy today. Flocks of small birds, would burst out of the bushes and fly and dart around like a bunch of minnows following each other in a zig zag pattern, and then land in another section of bushes. This would happen over and over again, 1oos of little birds, I don't know what they were doing.

The woods is losing it's cover, I can see things now through the trees that have been hidden since spring. I see trails that were hidden all summer, I shall ride em.

Grasshoppers would jump in front of my rolling front wheel, and pop out of the way of getting crushed at the last second.

Fat Monarch caterpillars would be crawling across the road, I would make sure I swerve around them, so I can see butterflies next spring.

Stopped and talked to Del and Kevin, two county road repair guys, my son Caleb used to work with them. They love working out in the country, I see them ever so often, and they are always a pleasant chat.

Mary, I lady I see walking the trails near the town of Dyersville from time to time said something to me as I was riding by. I pulled my ear buds out of my ears and said "pardon me"

She asked me if I wanted to see a gigantic hornets nest if I wouldn't tell others of it's location. I was certainly interested. So after a short walk back on the trail she pointed over yonder, and WOW, this was the the mother of all hornets nests. Mary shared with me she collects hornets nest, and had her eye on this one for a long time. She was worried that this would be found by kids and busted up as the leaves are leaving. So she is working on a plan, and looking for a bee suit.

I never get tired of riding, may never know the reason why, but I don't need to know, I'll just keep doing.



Monday, September 27, 2010


Legs are a somewhat tired today. I don't think they should be. I don't think 130 miles on gravel this weekend was asking to much at all. Must have been that maxed out effort chasing my ego Saturday.
I stayed busy tonight doing chores, feet never touched a pedal. That was ok, plans are to do another metric tomorrow afternoon, bike is all ready and packed, including lights if I don't make it back by sunset. This will save time when I get off work tomorrow I can get out the door fast with my bike ready to roll out the front door. Same plans for Thursday, gravel 100Ks one at a time, to reach 100. Friday is October all ready, I need to get rocking.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be bicyclers.

A old railroad bridge, converted to bicycle trail.

Temps started out at 42F for today's ride and made it up to 64F. That's a 22 degree rise. So dressing in layers and a zippered jacket, zippered wool long sleeve jersey and a zippered short sleeve jersey, allows for good temperature control, either by opening up zippers or removing leg warmers, and jacket, and pulling arm covers up and over the elbows as the day warmed up.

Started out with a stop at son's Joshua house, and said "hey Joshie when are you going to return my hair clippers, I need to give myself a haircut ?" Josh said he'd be up later and drop it off.

Good ride, 62 miles on gravel, steady pace, Metric dirt century #70. Saw this memorial in the woods, rode by here at least a hundred times and this was the first time I've seen this. Makes me wonder who this fellow was. I am going to do some research and see if I can find out what the story is here.

Have you ever rode across rocks like these and have a rock go flying with the velocity to drop a rhino? You can really feel the snap, and here the "bonk" Well now I understand now that these rocks build up significant amounts of energy before they fly. Yeap I read it all right here on Gravelo's blog.

Arrived home, hungry, and ate 3 brats, and a peanut butter sandwich. GOOD GRIEF!!! PIG OUT, no wonder I can't fit into my kindergarten graduation suit anymore.

And I still have no hair clippers yet. JOSH!!!!!

Well I didn't get the garage stained again this weekend. Seems biking was on top of the priority list. Not the first or the last chore by a long shot that will get put off for a life centered around long bicycling rides.

All I can say is, "Mama don't let your babies grow up to be bicyclers"

Get on your bikes and ride.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lamas and fast riding youngsters.

The weather is still with in the perfect band of simplicity of what to wear. Today's ride I took a windbreaker jacket, leg warmers, helmet liner, glove inserts, jersey and light wool long sleeve. (Insert after reading Tom's blog) --> clothing requirements for us 'mature' riders' that is. Most items removable if the temperature rises during the ride. I've said this before but Iowa and much of the midwest has only two seasons of bike riding, Sprummerfall, and Winter. Sprummerfall lasts from mid march to usually through November. In extreme winter's freezes is where what to wear becomes an exact procedure, I know a half dozen riders who have suffered frost bite by misjudging these conditions. But for today's condition the weather has forgiveness if I forget something.

It ended up drizzling for most of gravel metric #69 today. I tried a waterproofing product on my rain jacket, it helped, slowing the rain creeping inside my jacket, I never got totally soaked like last week.

I'm riding along, holding my pace, not paying attention, and I get passed on the trail. A female rider, less then half my age. It was easy to see she took her bicycling seriously. I was still in jacket, long sleeve liner, and jersey with the temp being only 50 yet, with drizzle. She was in a sleeveless top and over the knee riding shorts, and showing a sweat soaked upper torso. Riding hard in a tucked aero dynamic position on her Hardtail bike pushing a fast pace. Riding as long as I have in this town, I figure I know most serious bikers either by face, name, or friend, and this one I have never seen before. Perhaps and out of towner visiting and getting in "her ride"
So old egotistical guy that I am, I said to myself let's see how long I can hold on to her rear wheel. So now with my heart rate 90% of max I was following along 100 yards back, for several miles. I knew I was close to maxed out, but for the sake and honor of AARP members everywhere, I had dignity and honor to uphold.
Then it happened. She started to slow down, ah ha, my grueling pace wore her down. I caught up and said, proudly, "passing on the left," and that I did. Now she was no longer in my rear view mirror, I kept this insane max pace up for a couple of more miles to guarantee my victory. I throttled down a bit, to keep my heart from exploding, maintained a 80% max pace, and thought to myself, today is going to be a great work out.
Checked my rear view mirror again, noCheck Spellingbody there, I had won "the race"
Time slipped by me, and my side vision caught a fast moving object on the left, and then flying by me, and I mean flying.
It was her again, this time wearing the wind breaker she had previously tied to her waist. It was then I realized that she didn't slow down because of the pace I was holding, but she stopped to put on her windbreaker jacket, and then crush me.
Now, I realized this was dead serious. I needed to stop and take off my jacket, tuck it in my back pack, I was overloading on sweat with my jersey and wool undergarment on also. I was going to lock in and catch this speed demon. Now I am holding 19-21 mph on wet gravel, looking for this speedster on every straight away. Riding as hard as I can manage and not totally bonk out. Every corner I rode through, I was suspecting to see her rear wheel.

I finally did see her again, this time coming at me. She had went her distance and was returning back, we saluted, and we flew by each other. Today she won this race. Such is the world of bicyclers and my "secret races."

Over all I got a great pounding work out in today, I'm whipped as we speak. I anticipate and need a good night's recovery and tomorrow bang out another dirt metric.

If all goes well, I'll metric tomorrow, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Still holding out hope for One Hundred, metric dirt centuries this year.

Saw this camp of Dalia Lama's on today's ride minding their own business and not the least bit interested in the bicyclist sneaking up taking pictures.

Do these creatures attack humans?

Thanks for stopping by,



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dog bits and dumb ass owners

I wasn't going to post tonight, because I didn't do anything today. (did not ride a bike) You probably haven't noticed but this blog is primarily about theCheck Spelling effects that bicycling has on spirit soul and body.

But I must bring this up. You may have read on one of my previous blogs about my sister Dawn getting bit by an uncontrolled dog with it's owner, when she was jogging on a bike trail. She ended up in the Emergency Room to be treated for the bite. The lady, owner of the dog was very sweet, and gave name and address for further verification of rabies shots and such.

This is where my blood boils. She gave a false name and address. My sister Dawn is currently going through a series of rabies shots, because it is unknown regarding the dogs status.

MESSAGE TO DAWN: Dawn, I recommend a notification in the Local Newspaper with dog and owner description. Did you talk to the police about this? This just is not right.

OK now that I have vented, plans are shaping up for some very high mileage gravel travel this weekend. Such fun I shall have.

Keep on riding

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A bike and me

Headed out around noon, had plenty of daylight time to get another dirt metric century.
Leaves were falling all around me and doing their last dance as they floated to the ground in a zig zag pattern. It was a bit buggy and muggy today, but a wonderfully enjoyable riding time. One of those rides where time, distance, and speed was somewhere in the background, pedaling hard, and listening to music were in the foreground and in my consciousness. So the time flew, and so did the bicycle.
Strange us habitual bicyclers, I'm looking forward to the next run now.
My tentative plans of only riding dirt metric centuries 3-4 times a week to give some recovery time for the back is starting to look undesirable. I mean, if I stick to that plan, that means not riding until Saturday now. I don't think that is sounding so good. I'll see, feel it out, see how it goes


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today and Tomorrow

Spent the work day visiting another Power Plant that was flooded in June 2008 which was called a 1500 year flood, quite a freakish event. The entire basement and 6 feet of this operating floor was underwater. After several million dollars was spent on clean up it was determined that the plant would close down. Many people lost their jobs, now there is one man that stays on sight M-F. This was the oldest operating plant in Iowa, dating back to the 1800s. My mission was to help evaluate what parts, hardware, equipment, could be used elsewhere. It was interesting walking around, from floor to floor, seemed sorta surreal. There was no working lights in the basment, was like walking through various caves, all interlinked, navigating by flashight.


Tomorrow I get to have fun. Working a half day, then bik'n up. Taking lights in case the sundown beats me home. 62 + Miles on trail and gravel. Fun will flood my brain cells. My rides lately have not had enough hard work. I need to step up the pace. I am hoping for that burst energy that sometimes shows up and rocks the ride.

The CX bike is in the dining room, ready to roll out the front door. It will be 5 + hours of music, and pedaling, a.k.a. Perfecto.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Dogs, Dad, and Dawn.

Woke up with a tight spine, not surprised, it was a grind and pound yesterday, and two good rides for the first day back since I popped my back. So my plans are to ride 3 or 4 gravel metrics a week and use the other days as off days for now. Thnking that will give enough recovery. So tonights bike activity was to wash all the packed mud of my CX, clean, blow dry, and lube. We are ready for travel. Will take a 1/2 off in afternoon Wed, ride the Metric, take lights along in case I don't make it back by sunset.

Have you ever heard it said, that dog owners start looking like their dogs, and their dogs like them, after living with each other for a long time. That's about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Here is a picture of my wonder dog Pitty, as you can see there is zero resemblance

Speaking of dogs, my sister, Dawn, ended up in ER this weekend from a dog bite, on a bike trail. All the owner could say was I'm surprised she's only bit somebody once before. This is one of my PET peeves. Owners are required to keep dogs on a leash, this is seldom the case. Dogs often lunge at me on the trails. I carry two strategies for dealing with dogs. Strategy 1 is I carry two dog treats, I try to talk to the dog first, firmly, and offer a dog treat to them Strategy 2 is when I am country riding, I pack pepper spray, I leave it up to the dog which one I use. So whatz it gonna be girl?

My papa, born on July 25th, 1924, if you do the math you will see he is 86 years old. Is still working, giving tours to the local museum, which he loves to do. Still excersiing, still walking 3-5 miles at a crack, still swinging on a swing and enjoying life. As I always say take time to play. I stole these pictures from my sister she just took pops to Colorado for a little R&R.

So do what ya gotta do, and then play the hardest, life is too short not to.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dreary, drizzling, and driven.

Before I headed out this morning, I was drinking a cup of coffee with Birgit. I tell her about an article I read in May's "Outside Magazine." It is about a guy with OCD. He's driven to complete challenges. He sets a challenge, and "has to do it" "The incompleteness is like a sickness, he can't get over it" ......."But for now, he can't think about much else" "So he keeps trying"

Birgit says to me, "That sounds like you"
I say, "Hmmmmm"

It looked like rain and drizzle all day according I was committed to ride regardless. On the way out of town I pedaled by Josh's apartment, my 23 year old, see if he made it home on payday weekend Saturday night out night, once a dad always a dad I guess. Josh is the type that works hard, plays hard. No car, so I figured that could be good or bad, good if he left his car parked and got a ride. bad if he was in jail. I figured it was item #1 and headed out to the country.

After just an hour I was soaked to the bone, my Bontrager rain jacked was all ready soaked through. Leg warmers, shorts, gloves, jacket and jersey all soaked through. After a couple more hours, I was froze. I could have dressed a lot better, seems I sometimes have to relearn how to read the temperature, wind, cloud cover and precipitation, all effect what are the right riding clothes to wear.

I kept the effort high, to try to keep the shivers away. After 32 miles I decided not to head to Field of Dreams as originally planned, I had 32 miles yet to get home, rain was coming down harder and my hands were numb, I was having trouble shifting gears my thumbs weren't working well.

Saging a ride wasn't an option, I needed this century to stay in the game, to get my 100, "McRides" in this year.

I ate my two energy bars early, hunger was hitting me, burning calories riding and trying to maintain body temperature.

The road was muddy, my tires were sticking, and sinking in, maintaining 12 mph was an effort. I finished my ride, made it home, turned on the furnace for the first time this season. I had too, I couldn't warm up. Dirt Metric Century #67 for the year. Probably the hardest century ride this year, it was a tough push, but I loved the feeling I had when I pulled into the house after completing the ride.

"Hmmm" Perhaps Birgit is right.

It's said this cut through the rocks was made with picks and wheel barrows in the 1800's to make way for the Railroad. All three of us were cold and wet, I was headed home to a warm house, they didn't tell me where they were headed.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Riding my ride

Up early, 6:00 a.m. Checking the local weather radar, didn't look good, a lot of thunderstorms. Riding in the rain is ok, thunderstorms and high winds make riding sometimes hard to manage.

Well lo and behold thunderstorms disappeared by 9:00 a.m.

Bike was packed and ready, out the door we went. Legs felt a little "sticky" I told them we are going to do this, so get over it and lets work. Ride was great, back was "ok" rode a metric century in the gravel. Chilly out, wore a jacket for half the ride.
This past week a seasoned rider turned around out here on the trail dumped his bike on a soft shoulder, hit his hip, and broke it in three pieces, it will be months before he walks. Heal fast bro.

Tomorrow, I want to ride out to "Field of Dreams" haven't rode out there since last year. That would be 62 miles of gravel and 10 miles of pavement. I'm not sure it is still open, I shall find out.

Checking out some Buffalo here, there is a mix of Buffalo, beefalo, and cattle. There is a white buffalo in this group, I couldn't get a good picture, he was behind some trees from my vantage point. I will catch him again.

A happy ending to a good day on the bike, pig, beer, and tatoes.

Now, to the cruel person that has been terrorizing me, and putting bat stickers on my property taking advantage of my bat phobia. You know who you are, and I know who you are. My people will be dealing with you very soon.

Well glad you visited,



Friday, September 17, 2010

Will the real MrDaveyGie please stand up

Ok, Ok, I have something to get off my chest, and tell the truth. That picture that I said was me yesterday, was a FAKE!!!!! Yes, I know I shouldn't fool you like that, you won't know what to believe anymore. No more fake pictures.

My back is getting better, slowly. I put a suspension elastomer seat post on my Cycle Cross borrowed from my bike shop to ease the jarring on the spine for my ride tomorrow. I didn't want to lug the full suspension beast out, still with it's studded snow tires on from last winter. Too heavy. So I am ready, to see if these old bones can pump out a dirt century tomorrow. I tried it out riding out in the neighborhood tonight, it didn't bother the back, and my legs are more then ready, riding on curbs and through some yards, I could feel the fun.
The one thing that surprised me most for not riding for 5 days is how fast I can put on weight. It's funny the less physically I do the more I eat. You would think that not doing much, you wouldn't feel like eating much. Perhaps it's the edginess of not getting my riding "fix" that makes a me shove to much food in my gullet. I am kinna ashamed at this picture, but I want to be brutally honest. Here I am. I'll wear it off this week hopefully.

Over and out, and go out and play.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get ready, get on your marks, GO!!!!

Thank you everybody for your kind words. You're remarkable people, and bicyclists. The world could use more people ;who want to make bicycle mileage and not war.

I think not bicycling since Sunday is changing me, even the way I look, you be the judge.

My plans are, right or wrong is to stay off the bike till Saturday, then jump on and ride a metric gravel century. I am chopp'n at the bit. If that works, I'll do er again Sunday. If it doesn't work I will seek medical advice. Ta-da.

Back in 1992 I had this condition, called,Spondylolisthesis which is a fracture in the vertebra causing L5 to slip forward. That hurt.

Aggravated by my continuous doing this.

Resulting in a spine fusion, and bed rest for 39 days. Now that can drive a nut, nuts, let me tell ya. My lower back has behaved since then up to now. So I would like to avoid any back issues, and this just goes away.

Hope your day had some play time in it.
Over and out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Can you tell I'm whining???? Well I am. Here's the deal. I didn't want to mention this Sunday, I thought not bringing it up would help minimize it's reality. nor do I want to pout. Sunday before I went out and gravel ground for 62 miles I had all those 5 gallon buckets filled with water because I thought my water to the house was going to be shut off for the weekend with the water main break Saturday.
Well the city fixed the problem that day.
So I thought I would dump all the buckets in the flower gardens and vegetable garden. I reached out at arms length jerked up two buckets and pivoted at the same time. Dumb, Dumb, and Dumber.
I wrenched my lower back.
Still went riding. Dumber, Dumbest, and Stupid.
At 31 miles I could not sit down on the bike seat, my lower spine was too sore to take any jarring. I rode the last half of the metric century mostly standing.
So the last three days it was hard to function, or take a deep breath, or tie my shoes. Slowly getting less painful. Taking it easy at work.
My hope is to ride the weekend, hopefully centuries.

My daughter Melissa who has become an addicted runner, is waiting on the results of a MRI to determine if she has a torn meniscus. She is also down, for a longer period of time.

Some of you can relate to this place I find myself, not the physical pain of it, that will run it's course, what sucks is the "pain of sedentary." Drives me bonkers. I certainly do not bicycle all day every day, but it's thoughts, it's preparation, the planning, brings pleasantry during the non ride time.
I wait for the body to heal itself, to be a good animal, and return to what feels right.

So get a ride in, run the distance, be a good animal.
Over and out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Riding my life away, and enjoying every minute of it

Warmed up some today, made the vampire bugs come out, their time is short, colder weather is coming, their children will take over next year where they left off.

Saw this house on the way out of town, There are blocks and blocks of these houses being torn down, to make a water route for city flooding.

This corn was all under water several weeks ago, when the whole area flooded. Now it is dead corn.

I wonder what gear ratio I'd need to crank this tire. The ultimate snow machine.

Perfect riding weather today. Saw lots of other riders out on the trails. Every week there will be less and less other riders, as fall turns to winter, I'll usually not see anyone else riding a bike once the snows show up.

On my return trip I observed a car coming at me, ahead on the trail. There was not enough room for both of us. I wondered what was up. As the car got closer I noticed this is a police car. So we met out in nowhere. He stopped me, and asked it saw on man in his 70s walking around out here. Poor man, I guess he has severe dementia and left his residence and was not to be found. I told the police man, no I haven't but if I find him, I'll try to keep him close and dial 911. I didn't see him, I hope somebody has by now.

My bike needs some serious attention. Need to break her down, grit and grime have penetrated every moving part.

Well did dirt metric century #65 today. I keep plugging away. Too early to start a count down to 100 and lock in. I will just keep getting em in when I can.

Over and out.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thoughts and a ride.

First and foremost. Sept. 11, 2001. My mind has been here all day. I think about the Americans murdered, I think about the men ad women in active duty that gave their lives trying to save others that day. I think about the sleazy cowards that did this. We the people of free countries, must stand together to fight terrorism.

Marco Siegert, 21 years old, husband, father, son, infantry, sharp shooter, is putting his life on the line, to do his duty, and soon will be walking the streets of Afghanistan with a M-16 in his hands. Marco we are grateful, and wish you God speed, and your return, and a job well done.

Another day pedaling, pedaling, pedaling out in the country. #64. Beautiful day, for such. Certainly no land speed records set today by a long shot. The ride was more like "duty" and keeping my nose to the grindstone, one pedal revolution after another until my required mileage was complete. Been dealing with this sore throat, sinus infection of some sort for the last week, my legs feeling a little achy. Some of my zip was zapped.

However I needed to ride in spite of all the above. I wouldn't feel good about myself by taking the slouch potato position for the day.

Seems the day consisted of two parts, bicycling, and house chores. That is fine by me. Bicycling made the day what it was.

I need to pack up a log saw on one of my trips soon, branches and fallen small trees, slow down the pace on my route to often.

That won't be tomorrow, tomorrow the goal is mileage

This little fellow rode a long ways with me. There was no charge for the ride.

Odd, this morning, the water from my faucets had a slight discoloration, I'm thinking, what next? In my first block of pedaling I discovered this in the streets, a major water main break. The second break was a block further away. I went home and filled up the tub, and several buckets of water, I figured that would be enough to share with the neighbors to flush toilets if we didn't have water this weekend. I was surprised, when I came back home from my ride, the damage was repaired. I said to one of the workers you guys don't mess around.

Well thanks for visiting,