Monday, November 29, 2010

My and the 'SnowMachine'

Took the big fat Snow Machine out for it's first real ride yesterday. The first thing I noticed was how great control the bike had. I could stop perpendicular with front tire against the curb, track stand then pedal ride over the curb with the big soft tires. The very low gearing and very wide tire base allowed me to maneuver bike through my neighbors' back yards with great control.

I rode bike off road, over snow mobile trails waiting for snow, on bicycle trails, and through the woods. One hill I climbed was to steep to ride down with the grass wet and slippery.

I went on some motor cross trails, but with the weather warming up the frost was coming out of the ground and the mud slimy and slick. My tires filled up with packed mud and I was sliding all over the place. I got a good workout in.

This is going to be a great fun bike to ride. I've thought about buying a 4" tire snow bike for the last three winters. First the Pugsley, then the Mukluk, and then I pulled the trigger and ordered the FatBack. I am glad I waited until the aluminium version of the TI FatBack came out, this year and I now own one before I bought one of the previous mentioned bikes. This bike is made in America, Alaska to be exact at the Speedway bike shop. I talked and corresponded with Greg the owner several times to get the right combination for me. He is a great guy, and great to work with. I whole heartedly recommend.

Even my 86 year old papa likes the beast.

I'm tired today, probably an accumulation of everything I've been doing. I could tell it takes some different muscles to pedal the 'snowmachine' with my upper back and feet being sore today. Was dark and pouring rain after work tonight, made it easier to take a rest day. It's hard for to accept at times, but sometimes the best training is to rest. Tomorrow, my plans are to ride a couple of hours in the dark through the trail paths. Which will make great training.

Triple D race is coming up this Jan 16th, traditionally only 14% of the bicyclist have finished this race, and these are well seasoned veterans of the frozen tundra. So that being said to go anywhere in that race night riding, alone, on snow trail paths is a must needed skill.

Ok time to go forage for food,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

100 rides

1st Metric Dirt Century of 2010 March 13th 2010

100th Metric Dirt century of 2010 Nov. 27th

So I did say this, back in April 11th. I really didn't do the math, I didn't realize that most of my days off work would need to be spent with butt on saddle. I didn't even have a century in this year until March 13th. I didn't realize at that time, that I would need to ride in thunderstorms, wind, mud, and tiredness. After around 40 Centuries, I began to realize that I need to stay on this to complete 100. There were some weekends that had commitments and I couldn't ride. As important as riding is, I knew it couldn't subtract from family times.

It seems like all 100 rides were the same in some ways, and all incredibly different in many other ways. Most of the rides are a blur in my memory now. The purpose of bicycling is for the moment, and not for the goal. My goal is over now, but tomorrow, I'll go do it again. I'll ride.

Some biker buddies have written me and said thanks for the inspiration. I'm grateful if I was, but you guys and gals are my inspiration, your out there riding, and I get bik'n energy from reading about your rides. So thank you.

Today's ride being a bit celebratory, I found out that not all fluids freeze at 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

My shadow joined me in today's ride.

Another reason out of many, to ride a bike, the sights that you see, I did not see another bicyclist the entire 63 miles.

Thank you for visiting.
Dave Giegerich

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In 1969, it was said that the Baltimore Colts was the greatest football team ever, in the history of mankind. Never was there such a complete and perfect team assembled on the field. Joe Namath's team the Jets had to play them in January 1969 for the World Championships. Most of the football world laughed and said this wasn't even going to be a game, that it would be a slaughter.
Joe Namath 3 days before the game said,"We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it."
Joe Namath as promised, quarterbacked his team to victory that Super Bowl day. Now if Joe would have lost by only one point, the world would have said, great job Joe, you only lost by 1 point. Joe would have never forgot, he failed that day. His goal was to win.

Prior to the 1950s mankind said to run a sub 4 minute mile was not possible. Medical authorities even made statements that the mechanics of the human body running that fast would never happen.

Roger Bannister was a gifted runner back in the 40s. He was expected to win in the 1952 Olympics. He lost. He spent the next two months seriously considering never competing again.

He then made a very big decision. To run a mile under 4 minutes.

On May 6th 1954, Roger ran a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. If Roger would have run the mile in 4:00.01 that day, and that would have been his best time ever, and also a world record. The world would have said fantastic, you set the world record, you were only 2/100 of a second from running a sub 4 minute mile. Roger would have never forgotten he failed that day.

In 2007 Mary Metcalf-Collier set out to complete a goal, she entered the "Tour Divide" the toughest mountain bike race in the world from Canada to Mexico. Over 2700 miles, 200,000 feet of climbing, the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest from sea level to the top 7 times, you are allowed no support, you carry all your own gear, if you run out of water you deal with it. No woman has ever finished this race at this time. Mary's goal, to complete this journey. As the race progressed Mary's leg began to swell with fluids, her legs, calves, and ankles looked like bloated hot water bottles. There was no way she could keep going, her legs were shutting down. She said this, I'm gonna pull the plugs, I'm gonna quit, because my legs obviously can not handle this, there is nothing I can do about this, my legs have no fuel, because they can't use proteins, Mary calls it quits.

What Mary didn't know about herself, her mother did know. Her mother said this, "You finish your journey, no matter what time or when, she's gonna finish, whether it gets finished next week or next year."

Mary got back in the race, and became the first woman to finish the Tour Divide.

If Mary would have rode 2600 miles and quit, the world would have said, that was unbelievable no woman has ever went that far in this race. Mary would have never forgotten this was the one she didn't finish the goal she didn't complete.

Early this year, I set myself a goal. My goal was to ride 100 metric centuries on gravel. 100 62 milers off pavement.
Now first let me first say this. I am not comparing my goal to these goal setters.
But it was my goal, it was what challanged me. It was what took my efforts and was my battle. There was nice days, tired days, rain days, snow days, and hot days.
Today I have 99 completed. I have one more left. I will ride my 100th.

Goals are something we all can set. We all have things we would have liked to do, and haven't. Not completeting your goal isn't a failure if you pick yourself back up and start over again. Set a goal, go for it, become who you are in the process.



Up early, typical of me not to sleep soundly. If I get 5-6 hours that seems to work, waiting for the sun to come up and get on the bike. Riding the CX Trek XO2, she packed and ready. I almost put the Nokian Stud tires on last night, it was freezing rain. It's 33 out now, and I'm thinking (hoping) no ice out there.

Today will make #99. Some of the things I am going to do after I bag 100 Dirt Metric Centuries

1. Put a piece of tape over my odometer.

2. Do some hill climbing rides.

3. Ride the FattieGirl (see picture below)

4. Ride more technical trails.

5. Get the road bike out for some faster riding. (No snow conditions mandatory)

6. Do some home remodeling.

7. Cancel #6.

Here's the 'Snowmachine', a.k.a. 'FattieGirl' all she needs is some rubber.

So gotta go, I see the sun peaking at Iowa out east of here.

I'll leave you with what Dave Nice said on his list of "thank yous"

"And finally for the lovely machine that is the bicycle, my escape, recreation, drug, therapist"



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beautiful day for a ride

Temperatures in the 20s rode 5+ hours, road was soft, which made my tires stick, and the pedaling harder.

My legs are cooked, colder weather, more clothes, sticky trails, make the journey more laborious. Did not see one other bicyclists the whole 65 miles.

It didn't seem that long ago that I was freezing my fluids and they would thaw faster then I could drink them. Now the inverse in true, my fluids are freezing as I ride.

Stopped at the Cement Slab Cafe, and they were closed, go figure, I was hungry. Those Bar Mitts work great for keeping the hands warm.

Well, I think I am slipping into a coma.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Time to go.

From my perspective winter is here. I am starting today's ride at 19 F with a wind chill of 7 F. It means you have to give high consideration on what to wear to continue bicycling. The next challenge that will be added will be what bike and what tires, based on different combinations of ice and snow. Next will be lighting needs.

I know before this long Iowa winter is over with I will say to myself, I can't wait for cold temps to be gone and ice free conditions, and shorts, jersey, socks and shoes only riding. But for now it is a 'new' challenge again that I embrace. I say 'new' challenge because it seems like such a long time ago it was last winter that I had to figure out what combination of socks should I wear, or take my balaclava? what hat, what jacket, shoe covers, handlebar mitts? Or when is it cold enough to pack chemical warmers for emergency don't get frostbit prevention?

So it is 8:12, I have the day off, I am rambling, when I should be riding. Dirt Metric #98 awaits, I shall return.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Up and at em.

..................How old guys like me wake up every morning.......................

Like every man my age the first place we head when we wake up is here, oh and ummm typically a middle of the night visit too.

Now as I am headed there I am checking all body parts for nuisance injuries that might interfere with today's ride, first step tells me my planter fasciitis is ok today, my next step says no Achilles tendon problem is around to get me. Then the knees get the ok, back feels fine, and last but not least, that part is working too.

So that made me think all systems are GO for a good bike ride. That is why I was surprised that by the first mile my multiple times injured knee starting sending sharp pains at me from the medial area. Then I remembered something I was doing yesterday that I shouldn't do with a knee like mine. I was attacking hills and not shifting down, I was acting like I was on a single speed, so by the time I would crest the hill I was just about stalled out with maximum strain on the knees. I know of bikers that gave up single speed competition because it was wrecking their knees.
So I kept riding, went the distance, but had to make sure I had no knee wobble with each pedal revolution.

However with 8 miles to go, I dropped all caution cause a fellow pulled up next to me with a modified road bike, light weight, with 35cc tires for the dirt trails. I've seen him before at bicycle races, I knew he was a faster rider then me. I rode with him while we chatted. Then he picked up the pace and it was flat out for me, I hung on as long as I could and told him, I'm over my Max HR, and would drop back, I found it easier to follow his pace from behind then along side him. So I ended up ending my ride with a great work out, and holding his tail.

Saw this nice "starter home" so I thought I would take a picture in case anyone has an interest.

Yeap, I know ya'll don't believe me, but the lil Gnome was out, walking one of his pets again. One of these days, he will let it slip where the money tree is, uh huh, then adios no more work for this guy, ME.

Ok I need three more McDirt rides, thinking to wrap up my goal of 100 by this Saturday.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Doing my favorite thing.

Was just about out the door this morning, headed for country pedaling on a sunny 30 degree day. Then the door bell rang, there was a FedEx truck out front and a large box on my front porch. Now my Racing team and coaching staff want me to keep this a secret, so I can't say what was in the box, but I'll leave you with this clue, my best wrench is putting together my ultimate snow machine.

Kept a good pace, kept a good heart rate, headed west of town until I had 32 miles in so the return trip would give me a metric dirt century.

Holy smokes, I didn't feel the wind pushing me out on the first half out, but somehow the wind on the return half was like dragging an anchor. I zipped back up every zipper I opened on the way out, to stay warm, stood on the pedals and was working hard to maintain 7 mph. That was brutal, but a good workout is worth it's weight in gold, and endorphins flooding my brain chemistry make a buzz that can't be beat.

Saw only one other bicyclist, and he was riding back into town, when I was riding out of town. He was wearing jeans, cowboy boots, and a Cubs jacket. My guess he was only on a bike because the judge told him hand me over your driver's license.

I was only on a bike because I can.

Marked a couple of sink holes with this red danger tape. I know of one rider that crashed here because she didn't know the sink hole was there.

Came home zonked and after going through a gorging feeding frenzy I fell asleep on the couch with laptop on my lap and TV on.

My butt is on the couch and me legs are up on the coffee table, recovering, they have more work to do tomorrow, like Dirt Metric # 97.

So this is Dave saying Good bye,

Let Freedom Ring

Woke up, Birgit is at work. Took out garbage, picked up yard poop from the Debil Dawg,

did dishes, put away laundry. NOW!!! I am free to ride the day away. Will explore some new trails I saw a couple of days ago. Hopefully I will collect another Dirty C, and return home full of endorphins.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


After my daughter's blog comment yesterday

You MUST be tired. I was only mildly entertained tonight. :-)

Now just because she has a degree in Chemical Eng, took college courses in high school, G.P.A. 4.0, played piano, flute, and piccolo, had a full ride at Iowa State, and types 140+ wpm, doesn't mean she should be a SMART Alec, right?

Then my sister Dawn, writes in her blog comment section this to me.

"You should expand beyond biking - you have had interesting experiences in your life -"

Now please ignore the peculiarity that we as a family communicate by blogs, and bear with me in trying to hear what is being said here.

So, OK, it looks like what is being said I should write about something other then bicycling, I guess that is the long and short of it.

So grabbed a few topics out of my brain to expound on and listed some of them here.

1. After a 30 year relationship, and a 25 year marriage destroyed by addictions and then Internet dating and how I met Birgit. This is an interesting story.

2. How my Pitt Bull stopped 5 armed men with guns pulled from entering my house at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. Seriously this happened in 2004.

3. How I survived with ADHD as a hyper never sit still adult when I was put on bed rest for 39 days to repair a fractured vertebra.

4. What I did to get stomped like this picture of me shows when I was 18.

5. What a 270 lb wild Italian man said to me during a card game that caused me to flip the table and him to break my leg which requiring 4 surgeries and 6 months off work. A separate incident then item #4.

6. Bicycling

So I thought about these topics and others and decided for today I am going to talk about item #6 bicycling.

Yes, today's ride rocked, temp stayed at 39 degrees for Metric Dirt Century #95. Surprised saw a couple of other bikers out on the gravel, one going the opposite direction and one passed me by surprise, which made my ego mania step up the pace and follow his tail. See there is he, gotta catch em. So he was holding about 20 mph, so I rode his wheel, until we went our separate ways.

Rode through a couple of small towns, talked a short one with a couple of the locals, always interesting to meet people and listen.

Now being this blog was dedicated to bicycling I made a little bike clip at the start of today's ride.

Ok perhaps I'll write next time on some other subject matter, but today biking was on my brain what can I say.
Later and take time to play.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Bicycling yesterday and tomorrow

If I add any more gadgets to my bike I might have to get a pilots license to fly this thing.

Yesterday's ride started out at 30F and ended up at 52. So first jacket zipper came down, then inner liner zipper, then layers were removed to regulate body heat. Is one of the challenges of winter riding, having the right winter wear and choosing what to wear.

Yesterday's ride was just put my head down and grind out the miles it was my 3rd metric in a row and my legs were feeling it. With colder weather and more clothing seems to take more out of ya. I wanted a good workout so for the most part I kept on it. Monitoring my heart rate helps keeps me honest. My legs were totally toasted afterwards.

Hope to do er again tomorrow.

Oh and has anybody seen my sun glasses?

.....and look who came to visit, lil soldier girl Trinity, daughter of Specialist SPC Marco. She's in uniform to maintain peace and safety in the USA while her daddy is in Afghanistan.

Peace and Safety


Ok, ok, Post script: After Melissa's mean and cruel comment below I will add some spectacular sights I observed from across the handlebars on yesterday's ride.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In a blink of an eye, everything had changed for her..

A Dubuque man was killed when the dump truck he was driving overturned north of Graf on Wednesday night.

Timothy Eubanks, 43, of Dubuque, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

According to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Department, at about 7:30 p.m., Eubanks failed to negotiate the turn from Potter Hill Road onto Graf Road, rolling the dump truck onto its side. He was thrown from the vehicle during the accident. The dump truck is owned by Ehrlich Excavating.

The investigation continues.

Yesterday's plan and weather were about the same as the day before. Weather was drizzling, temps in the 40s and the plan was to ride a Metric Century in the gravel.

I had about 20 miles left to go and rode past the sight again that was where a traffic fatality occurred last week.

There was a lady standing at the sight, looking into the ditch. Another lady was back about 50 feet and talking to someone on the cell phone pacing back and forth.

I ride by this spot all the time and have wondered what happened here last Wednesday night to cause such a devastating accident. I thought maybe these two were locals and could shed some light on this.

I rolled over to the lady staring into the ditch.

I said, "Hi."

There was no response, there was a feeling of awkwardness now.

I didn't know what to say, or didn't know if I should just leave.

So, small talk rolled out of my mouth next. "I wonder if the truck lost it's brakes?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know" and looked at me for the first time.

It was the saddest look I have ever seen on anyone. I knew it then, I knew it, I knew what was next.

She looked at me and said, "Tim was my husband"

I said, "oh my, I am so sorry, I can't imagine what you are going through."

Next, words just rolled out of her, she didn't know what happened, Tim drove thousands and thousands of miles and was always a safe driver. He had called her just before and told her he was on his last load, she had supper waiting for them. This was the first time she has been here, her kids didn't want her here.

She wanted someone to talk to, I would listen, my heart felt so heavy for her. She told me where they lived, where they worked, she asked me where was this Potter Road and Graf Road intersection?

I told her, "Right here, right where we are standing."

Several personal items from the truck were in the deepest part of the ditch, she said Tim always kept a messy truck, and smiled when she said it like it was an on going joke she had with him, she wanted to find his glasses, she pointed to a Fruit Pie laying in the ditch, said Tim loved his Fruit Pies, and she always packed an extra one for him.

She started to shiver, it was cold, damp, and now very heavy out. The lady that was on the cell phone came over and called her by name and asked her to come back to the car and get warmed up.

I looked at her and said I am going to go now, I reached out and hugged her, she said thank you and started to cry. She said she was doing better today.

I said to her, "You will get better little by little, piece by piece, day by day." I thought to myself I know this, the passing of my mama this year has taught me this.

They both went back to the car, and I went pedaling down the road. I felt so heavy laden for her. Soon I noticed my hands and feet felt like they were frozen. They were fine before. It was as if the blood had drained from my extremities.

I ignored the way my hands and feet felt, and pedaled the last 20 miles like a robot, numb, pedals going round and round.

I'll ride this way again today. I hope the best for her, and time would begin the healing process.

For me it made me think quite a bit about what really is important, and how much time is lost forever to what isn't

Thanks for stopping.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Drizzle ride

The drizzly damp cold ride slowly worked it's way into every part of me. It wasn't that it was too cold to bike, it was that I didn't dress right to bike for the weather that was. I didn't pay enough attention to the temps, the rain and the wind.

Gloves and shoes slowly became drizzle soaked and no longer were keeping me warm, toes and fingers went numb. Wind was blowing briskly, most of the trail was soft from rains, dragging my average mph down to around 10 mph a few places I had to walk the trail was so soft..

Thumbs were too numb to shift gears, and hands didn't want to work freely to use the brakes. I tried to ride with my wind breaker pulled over my hands to build some warmth back into my hands.

I needed a Metric Dirt Century today so the only option I had was to keep riding.
All that being said, I enjoyed all of it, to be out bicycling. Some day all this riding will be just a blur in my memory, but a fond memory blur.

More energy was burned cranking on this Dirt Metric, then typical. So recovery is necessary bang out two more tomorrow and Monday, so it's time for hydration brought to you by Amber Bock. Here's my bike packed with super charged nutritional energy supplements.

Now please keep this next picture under your hat. I think I am on to something. After my recent discovery of the Colony of Gnomes, I began to suspect that the know where the location of the Money Tree is. Well now I have proof. Notice the money laying around in this one's habitat. The total disregard indicates that there is a never ending $upply of moola for them. Hence the Money Tree.

Now just one more thing, and then I will shut my trap, I promise. A man was killed here this week, a man in his early 40s. His truck lost control and ran into the ditch. He was working hauling gravel. Such a sad tragedy. Life is a precious gift, take time to live it fully like it might end someday.

Ok, I promised I would shut my trap, so I will,

Over and out,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey hey it's the weekend.

Brought this girl home yesterday from the bike hospital she needed some professional service. She is praying for snow, ice, and sluch, SICK'O that she is.

Seems I spent a lot more time tuning and repairing bikes that ride snow, then my pavement bike. Snow, slush, and salt takes its toll on bike hardware. My front disk brake pads are have been eaten up by salt the last two winters.

Now I don't know about you, but this picture says "let's ride" there is something special about riding when just about everybody else isn't. The quietness, the thoughts, the challenge, it rocks.

I'm having trouble getting the BarMitts to fit right with the Titec H-Bar maybe I will try ATV/Snowmobile bar mitts. I need the BarMitts. When the temps get below 10 F I can't keep my fingers warm without. Using mitten with glove inserts, doesn't allow a good grip on the bars and braking and shifting dexterity.

Though I missed the last few days riding, the plans are back to back to back dirt metrics, SatSunMon. Temps will be in the 30s for lows and 40s for highs,

70% change of rain tomorrow. So it looks like a cold soak is going to occur.
Life is good.
gotta go
thanks for stopping

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tools of Retirement

I've been contemplating the news that my work place that I have worked at the last 33 years has announced it will be closing it's doors. So being 57 years old, and not prepared for this surprising news, I have been thinking what would I need to retire. So as you can see below, I have begun to assemble my list.

...and last but not least, well actually the most important the Money Tree, I have searched this area's country side pretty extensively and have not found it's location. So I need to broaden my search pattern. I am considered negotiating with my recently discovered friends, the colony of Gnomes. Based on some recent evidence I have a strong suspicion they know something about the Money Tree. This week end I might have to spend my daylight hours riding the backwoods in search.

Ok I have to go map some new routes,

Thanks for stopping



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday Monday


"Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be"

The Mamas and the Papas.

Spent the weekend with Daughter Melissa and family, her little Cole had the flu, Melissa caught the same bug the day I left.

Now it's Monday and I have the day off. Started out taking trail repair equipment with me on the bike. Sawed trees down and out of the way that were blocking the trail. Removed several branches that were down also. That opens up the path for me now that lets me stay off the highway and ride the back trails instead. That's a lot less risk, that highway has no bike riding surface. I hid my saw and branch trimmer in the weeds and commenced to ride away the day.

Took some different routes climbed a high ridge, didn't know exactly where I was at but I could see the water towers of three small towns that gave me sight navigation. The wind was whipping me around riding high on the ridge so dropped back down into the valleys. I was riding hard and energy levels felt great.

I had my needed mileage in for Dirt Metric #91 so I headed back home and remounted my saw on the bike. As you can see I was pedaling along and the bungee cord and saw got caught in the rear wheel, grinding me to a stop. The saw teeth sliced and ruined my $75 Racing Ralph. As you can see by these pictures.

Now I am stranded miles from home. Caleb answers his cell phone and drives out of town and picks me up.
After I get home, I realize I am getting the same flu I thought I left in Minnesota.

I can not stay warm, I dress in three layers and stay in front of the electric heater shaking with the chills, sick all night, missed work today, feeling really weak. Sat around all day.

You take for granted feeling well until your not feeling well. The million things I wanted to do if I had the time seemed meaningless today. I never moved, feel like a weigh a 1000 lbs. Odd for me because I never sit still. Oh well, this should go bye bye in a couple of days and back in the saddle again. I've got some riding to do.