Pages

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bicycling

Legs were rotating the pedals, ears were listening to music, and eyes were viewing countryside, and the mind was free to roam. Felt like I was in my own encapsulated world viewing the surroundings. My head cold is still mess'n with my head, trying to zonk me out.
Was 37 F when I started the ride, requiring clothing that can be removed in layers as temps warmed up. Seen very few people, I'm always glad to see BiLLy O, when I reach my turnaround point in the town of Dyersville. Always a friendly hello from him. He was headed home coming from the mart in his electric chariot with a sandwitch in his basket. We had to cut it short his battery indicator was saying "Billy get home, before you can't" Billy's legs don't work right, and his speech is hard to understand until you learn to listen better, but everytime I've seen him he has a friendly smile and a big hello. I like Billy.





















Stopped and had cold Pizza at the Cement Slab Cafe, was good, but I had to eat and run with 35 miles left on my ride.















Afterwards had to help son Joshua with his car, visit papa, and other things. Bizzzy.

Today made it 4 Metric gravel centuries in a row. I'll give the legs a day off tomorrow and get some chores done around home after work.

RideON,
DAve.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Riding away

Woke up this morning with a doozy, of a sinus infection and sore throat. Came out of nowhere with no warning. My legs still wanted to ride. They felt good in spite of the way my head felt. The ride went well and fortunately the legs had enough zip to pull through and grab another metric dirt century, 3rd on in a row. Towards the end they were starting to feel like my head, "zipless" You know those rides when getting home and off the bike becomes the predominate thought the last couple of miles.
Hope to make #4 in a row tomorrow and the head feels better.



Ok for those of weak heart and fragile character. PLEASE DO NOT PROCEED any further. I am dead serious, leave the blog now. For those of incredible inner strength and guts you may continue at your own risk. The picture you are about to see will still leave you shaking in your boots. Scroll down.











As if Creepy Baby wasn't frightening enough. you will never be the same again, after seeing Creepy Baby in her Trick or Treat costume.

Over and Out

Dave

Friday, October 29, 2010

"well why don't you ride Friday?"

FRIDAY'S POST









That's what she said to me, "Why don't you ride Friday" Birgit said that. After I missed my ride on Tuesday. I had Friday scheduled as a rest day. So now with riding today, Friday I have in 9 days I want to ride 7 gravel metric centuries. We'll see. All body parts are going to have to be in agreement and come along for the ride.







I took a half day off work today, to give me time for a gravel metric ride. I was maintaining a good pace, Had about 40 miles in, and then the "feeling" struck. That feeling every biker knows, when your rear tire is not staying on track. Weaving about. I looked back at my tire and I suspected it was going flat, and I said the "F" word, yes I did, said 'fudge' out loud. Only the critters and Gnomes heard me, more on the Gnomes later. I don't think Slime works that well with tubes.









So, it was going to get dark soon, I needed to fix this flat and get back on the bike. Decided to replace the tube and not try to patch. After the tire and new tube were in place I tried to inflate, I realize now that my air pump check valve wasn't working, every pump in, would leak back out on the retract. With no cell phone service, and 20 miles from home, I wasn't liking this. Tire pump started half working. Tire inflated good enuf, and back on the ride I was.







It was dark by the time I got home, bike lights let me finish the ride.

Now one more thing, look very close at this picture. DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE????




Ok still don't see, let me magnify this photo.





There now you see. They are out there let me tell you. I know my creditability is a bit tarnished with my admitting a previous Blog hoax. But these Gnomes are real. Gnomes are out there.

Ok it's actually Saturday morning, and I got a bike to get ready...and get out the door.

RideON,

DAve.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Riding time


Took off work early to ride with the wind for 62 miles. Had to stop about a dozen times for fallen trees, I was able to move about 4 of them out of the way. Amazingly there wasn't a tree down on the trail the whole return trip. Some good Samaritan with a chain saw moved all out of the way.


I had to battle the breezy and chilly day on today's bike ride. High of 39 today with wind gusts at 20 mph. The whole trip out I had to work hard fighting the wind. Standing up and pedaling a whopping 9 mph sometimes. The wind didn't give me back what I put into it on the return trip, it started slowing down. Wearing full finger gloves, head liner, tights, double layer wool top, with an wind breaker. I was the only bicycler I saw today, there should be more riders, don't ya think? Down to 22 degrees F tonight. I didn't cover my green peppers, bye bye greenie peppers.


The trees are nekid, their leaf covering is all gone, you can see things in the woods you couldn't see all spring and summer.


I saw something peculiar hanging from a tree about 200 yards from the trail. It looked like a giant golden acorn. I thought it looked like another hornet's nest but was golden in color.


So curiosity got the best of me, laying my bike down I headed across the open field that was like a soggy bog. Up a small hill with thick brush, and this is what I saw.

A honey bees' nest. It looked like a lot of the outer cover was gone. Perhaps due to those 60 mile an hour gust we got earlier this week. Notice the ball of honey comb. I'll bet this would taste good.

Iam a bit zonked now after a cold ride like that. Chilled and hungry.
Hoping for a repeat tomorrow. Trying to maintain an agressive schedule, got goals yanno.

Over and out, so long until the next time,
RideON,
DAve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'll huff and puff and blow your bike away



Ugggg. Wind you suck when you blow. I left work early, to ride until evening. Somewhere between the exit door and my car in the parking lot, I realized, and had a hard time saying, "I can't ride today"



We actually had the state record wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
There will be downed trees all over the trail, and I had to throw that risk into the ride cancellation also.


I kept thinking of a way to manage a ride but it wasn't going to happen.



Tomorrow I probably have to work late, so I will wait to Thursday to saddle up and pedal round.

This did give my knee a rest, it has flared up some and I took this opportunity to ice er down.

I so want to complete my goal of 100 dirt centuries. I need to get as many rides in before snow. Snow on the trail can make a 62 mile ride take longer then 10 hours.


Oh, congratulations to son Caleb. He attended Junior College graduated #1 in his welding class and has now been hired by John Deeres here in town.






So I now presented you Caleb morphed.




So ride a bike when you can, you never know when you can't
RideON,
DAve.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mary and the Hornet's nest



From time to time I would see a lady walking the paths and trails near the town of Dyersville, we would do the head nod as we passed each other, we seemed to both be enjoying the solitude that being here brings.

Sometimes small conversation would occur, kept short, to maximize the quiet that country brings.

Then one day she said something as I passed by, removing my ear buds and stopping I said, "what was that?"

She said, "Did you see the hornet's nest?"
I said nope, and asked me to keep this a secret and pointed into the woods. I only saw trees. I looked some more. Then I saw it, the mother load of all hornet's nest.

Mary then shared with me, she is a collector of these monster nests. This is the biggest one she has ever seen. She walks these areas spotting these nests, watching them. She said many many times some of the nests she would be watching would be destroyed by shotgun blasts, rocks, and kids seeking thrills. In the fall when the fertilized females leave the nest and burrow into the ground until spring she would claim the nest, and remove.
She knew volumes about these wasps. I learned, that these wasps are very defensive of their nest and will defend it vigorously. Bald-face hornets will sting repeatedly if the nest is disturbed. Like other stinging wasps, they can sting repeatedly because the stinger does not become stuck in the skin
Her brother spent time hospitalized after an attack of these critters
These pests to me, were her passion.

Then earlier this week, I saw this. The tree branch was cut down, the nest was gone. This was ahead of schedule for Mary, so I pondered that someone must have harvested the nest wearing a bee suit, and Mary lost this one.

Yesterday, I saw Mary, again near the nest area. One look at her I could tell, she had the nest.


The story was then told. Early this week as she approached the nest, there were two men standing underneath it. She moved closer, acting interested in a land marker that was near. She heard them discussing coming back to take this nest away.



Her mind was made up. She would go home, come back with a saw, get into the tree, saw the branch and let the nest hopefully tip to reach level and bag the nest.



OK back at the sight and up in the tree, she soon realized the saw was so dull it would not cut the branch.



Driving back home find another saw and back in the tree sawing the branch.



The nest floated to the ground, and was bagged. Not one sting, Mary said she prayed the whole time, knowing if a attack occurred it would be serious. Later with nest in her pocession many wasps came out of the nest. Why wasn't she wasp attacked? I don't know why.





The nest is hers now.

Pursue your passions, mine is to ride a bike, I'll leave the hornets to Mary.

RideON,

DAve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Riding with thee Lance A.

Ok first of all I was only kidding about the Gnome yesterday, geeeesh, do you think I am that nutz? Ummm 2nd thought don't answer that.






Riding with Lance A today. Yes thee Lance A. no, not Armstrong, Lance Andre. He is in town for about a week. Lance is one of the better ultra endurance racers in the country with wins and placing in many bike races including Dirty Kanza, Gravel Worlds, Triple D, Susitna 100, and Arrowhead 135. His bike you see in these pics is the one I ordered cept my is an aluminium frame and not titanium like Lance's.

I saw it with my own eyes today he rode over a 24 inch log with that FatBike, his BB got hung up and he hopped it up and over.




Lance has hired a coach, now, and is training full steam ahead. He has a lot of big races under his belt, and has now been invited to Iditrod, which is invitational only.



So it was a good ride, one stop for fluids and one stop to remove fluids.
I've got some changes to make in my FaTBike order to make after talking some hardware over selections today. We rode to my house and I loaned him a couple bicycle DVDs, RAAM, and The Great Divide and he rode off, his coach has him down today for 6 hours of ride time.


Was Metric #83 for me.
Came home and grilled burgers and chicken and ate like a ravenous dog.


Ok, tomorrow I gotta tell you something about hornet's nest.

RideON,

DAve.



Saturday, October 23, 2010

We are not alone




Well the weather forecast and radar looked like Rain and more rain. I knew I could not change the weather, and I knew I was going to ride. When it's warm and it rains, you can just get wet, when it's cold and it's rains, it can freeze zap you. It seems that the expensive breathable rain gear you buy, sooner or later you get soaked threw and threw if you ride long enough.

The lower priced plastic non breathable rain gear keeps you drier, but will cook you in a sauna if isn't cold out.

So I packed the plastic gear, and never wore any of it. It only slightly misted and never rained at all on today's ride.

I rode country style 62 miles, felt strong the whole ride, #82 was a good one. The bugs were horrendous, we need a hard freeze to zap em. The day warmed up and I think I was hit onemillionfourhundredthousandtwohundredandtwentyone times in the face.

Now what I am about to share, is for you Bloggies only. This information can not get out to the general public. As I rode it warmed up and I stopped to remove head liner, and glove liners.


I caught something moving out the corner of my eye inside the tree. Can you see it too?

.
Ok LQQK a little bit closer, there he is, see him?
There now you can see it. A little tree dwelling Gnome. I have heard from time to time from others that they are out here, but rarely seen. Now I am a believer. It was no accident I saw the Gnome, he let me know this. He said he has seen me ride by many many times, and thought he could trust me, and wanted to say hi. Then he vanished.


Later I saw him again on my way back home walking his lizard.

I told Birgit all about this when I got home, and she said to me, "David can I make you an appointment to talk to your doctor?" "You should really consider getting some help"


Well I don't know why I need help just because I saw a Gnome, and besides I need to keep this a secret. Geeeesh.

Well my engines feel good, and ready to rock and roll another tomorrow. Perhaps some might see just as peculiar as seeing Gnomes is that my evening is built around getting everything ready to ride again tomorrow. There are two different types of morning as I see them, one is the morning I get up drink a couple of coffees and ride where ever I please, the other type of morning, is I get up, and don't get to ride.

Watch out for Gnomes,

Dave





Friday, October 22, 2010

Boys and their Toys

SOMEBODY STOP ME

So, I've been tossing this around for 2 years now. Do I purcha$e a super fat tire snow bike? Do I really need 'another bike?' I have a Trek Hard Tail dedicated to winter riding. It has 'monster' 2.3 studded knobbies that stay on the bike year round. I can ride across any ice, ice that you couldn't walk on safely. However I can't ride in deeper snow, I can't get enough traction. This year when I raced in "Triple D" and me and all the other mountain bikers pushed our bikes through 12" of snows for miles and miles until exhaustion took us out one by one, while the true snow bikes rode by us, made it to the turn around point and rode past us pushers again.

First I looked at the
Surly Pugsley, a steel bike, then Salsa came out with the MukLuk, a aluminium snow cruiser. Surly and Salsa are owned by the same parent company.
Lance Andre race director of Colesburg 40 and Triple D every year, and one of the better snow riders in the country has tried to convince me to bike the "FatBike" made by Speedway, a bike shop in Alaska. He rides the TI version of the FB and now they make an aluminium version.

I started inquiring about these three versions, and the first thing I found out the tires, that make these bikes the snow bikes that they are, were on all back order.
This concerned me with only one company making these tires.

So my first quest was to see if I could find someone with these tires in stock. Well I found them, after searching for 2 days on the Internet. The Larry Tire is designed for the front and the Endomorph is designed for the rear. Here they are sitting in my dining room. Well I guess if I bought the tires means I gotta now buy the bike.






After dealing with my local bike shop for a week and what he could do for me, it ended up the best route would be for me to deal directly with Greg at Speedway and have him build me my dream snow machine.



We talked on and off over the phone the last couple of days, hashing over the build and what parts, he would build the frame, supply some parts and I would chose later the rest of the components and so on. Greg is a friendly fantastic bike enthusiast to work with, and knows what he is talking about. If you want to go snow riding give Greg a call 907-222-1967



So to make this long lingering digressing monologue come to and end. Greg is building me my FatBike.



So this 57 years old still refusing to grow up, wanting to ride more then I do now, refusing to stop the madness is now going to ride blizzards and enjoy, yahoooooooo.

And here she is, drool!!!!



Oh if your a bicyclist and you ever read in the obituaries I have flopped over and croaked, a.k.a. kicked the bucket. Come to Dubuque to my auction, my bike stuff is growing to humongous proportions.

Rain or shine, I'm ready to ride the weekend away.

Thanks for stopping

Dave

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Away I go again.

So today, I did metric dirt ride #81 again. The reason being I checked my log book to double check where I was at in my 100 riding goal, and found out I inadvertently marked down a metric dirt century on the day I rode RAGBRAI, I rode out from my house and back with 20,000 riders. Was lotz of miles but it was on blacktop so it doesn't count.

The wind was kicking my butt, on the way out. The return trip the wind saved my butt.

I thought about runners, and bicyclist today while riding, and why we that ride and run spend so much time riding and running. There is no real good reason, because it is simply play to us. Play doesn't have to have a reason. It is not for health, weight loss, or anything like that, those are simply by products of our playtime.



Remember way back when, a million years ago for me, when we were kids, and couldn't wait to play, after school, recess, summer was the favorite time, for one reason, more play.



So don't let that part of you grow up, keep on playing.




Remember "here kitty kitty, Mr Skunk from two days ago, well this afternoon, riding on my bike, I'm thinking it was about this time and place that Mr. Skunk was blocking my path two days ago. I look down and THERE HE IS!!!!! Less then 2 feet from my front tire, in the brush, YIKES!! He hardly flinched and most important didn't spray me.




I'm not sure if this is a good idea, scarring the land like this, and dragging out 200 year old oak trees.



By the time I got home it was much colder then when I started. Dressing in layers and removing and putting back on is way to maintain temperature control.



Ok the Weekend is right around the corner, and you know what that means?

Rumor has it, it is going to thunderstorm Saturday. I guess I am going to have to get wet.





Bye,
Dave

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A cat that stunk, and The Man in Orange.

I took off work early to ride metric gravel #81. I felt tired. Sometimes you ride tired. You just do. Somehow it makes tired feel better. Knowing the difference between tired riding, and not riding when your exhausted is important.

The ride felt good, weather is changing, kept leg warmers, wool long sleeves, and Polartec hat on the whole ride.

My two county worker buddies I've met from riding out here often, pulled up next to me in their pick up truck, rolled down the window and shouted at me "Number 80?"

I said, "Nope 81." and I got the thumbs up and they rode away.

Only saw one other rider the whole day, "The Man in Orange" I pulled along side and asked him where he was headed, he said, "Dyersville."

I said, "Me too."

I pulled away, and ran into him later as I was headed back, he gave big smile and waved, he had reached Dyersville.



I saw this little kitty on today's ride. She really needed a bath, she stunk.
The creek edge

Soon I have to dedicate a half a day, and do trail maintenance, I have this "path" I take out of town, it has so my downed small trees that getting on and of the bike is become a pain in the buttocks. I will be taking my bow saw out this way and clearing a path. The other option is riding the fog line on a winding highway a bit too risky if you ask me.

Well I claimed even more area in the house, for biking stuff, "The Biking Box" This is where I put the quick grab stuff before headed out the door, that way I don't have to look for the "necessities" OH OH DO YOU SEE WHO I SEE?????? That is where Creepy Baby has been hiding.
Thanks for your visit.

DAve

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Green nostrils, Billy'O, and MR 4X4

Dear "Mr. 4X4,"

To the man with the 7625 pound Ford 3500 Pick Up Truck. You are thee Alpha Male. You are the one with gigantic gargantuan testicular development. The way you charged the stop sign like you weren't going to stop and run me over left me in awe of your power. When I didn't stop and kept pedaling by, and you had to stop at the stop sign and give me the right of way, you showed me even more manly masculinity, but acting like you were going to shoot through the stop sign again. But when I didn't think you could get any more manly, you blew by me 20 mph over the speed limit and racking of your pipes. I am in awe of you. I am so minuscule, so fragile, so helpless in your presence. You are my hero.

Yours truly,

Dave






Another day of paradise viewed from a bike seat. Gorgeous day, was surprised legs had plenty of power to push the pace. Fatigue gradually set in from back to back days of 62 milers and riding hard. You know that feeling you get when you stop, and then to get started again the thighs give you the burn feeling like your making them mad because you keep pedaling.




Stopped and talked to this fellow. Look at the size canoe he is towing. He was headed to one of the tributaries of the Mississippi, and then put his bike in the canoe, and paddle with his dog down to the Mississippi River. I think I would be interested in doing that, the combination of trail and river would rock.



I saw small bushes or trees loaded with these green nostrils with thorns.

Meet Billy O. One heck of a sweet guy. Lives in the town of Dyersville a farming community. When I shook Billy's hand I could tell they were working hands, strong, firm, thick and calloused. Billy's hands had to do double duty in life because his legs were not pulling their share. He wanted to see my pictures from today on my camera, and as I took each picture of him, he would look each one over to give his approval. We parted after some more small chat.


To the rest of you bloggies,

Thanks for stopping, over and out.

Dave

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baaa Baaa White Sheep have you any wool??

Was a rock'n'roll ride. Had a rabbit in front on the way back for 20 miles, we took turns passing each other, as we took turns running out of gas, averaging 20 mph on gravel with some wind at my back at times, and cross winds at some other times. It was hard to walk down steps for the first hour after I got home, my thighs felt like smashed poe-ta-ters. But oh that feels good. My legs did their job today and that was hauling my mind to it's happy place.












and to think some sheep gave up their belly hair for me, this Merino Wool jersey works great, doesn't hold sweat, wicks well, regulates body temp, $pendy but great stuff.


Rode 62 miles on the trails, the woods is at it's most dynamic peak now, making rapid changes as the trees are stripping down to nakedness.





I thought I would be brave and tempt the "Tree Monster" he didn't bite, and I kept my hand. Such foolishness.
Well, after an hour cool down, I thought I would pedal up and visit with my papa. Took out my real deal made of steel "Liberty Bike" for the ride. Funny an older fellow came over and said that is an old bike, and we talked for an half hour, he was an ex bicycle racer. He had several bikes he was still riding. It was good chat.

Oh and Holy Mackerel pops, it was so warm in there I think lead would melt. But what can I say dad is 86 years old. When I'm that old I doubt if I will even have a detectable heart beat.

Here's a video of the tail end of my ride to papa's house.
video


Tomorrow, 2nd verse same at the first. Yeap, going out and explore the country side via pedaling.
Thanks for stopping, hope something fun happened to you today.
Dave.

Friday, October 15, 2010

All work and no play.


We haven't heard from Marco our soldier for 15 days, we found out he was in California, they were training in the dessert. They didn't have a change of clothes or showers or any facilities for 15 days. Tough times, Afghanistan is soon. Marco you are our hero.


Geeeze Louiseeee, I haven't been on a bicycle since last Sunday. We are in an maintenance outage at work, plant is shutdown for needed annual repairs. I had too many outside contractors on sight to get outta there in time for a bike ride. Just the way it is.

However, I've made these observations when I am not riding.

1. I eat more, seems I'm foraging and munching constantly, I will become huge the day my body wears out and doesn't let me pedal.

2. I don't sleep as well.

3. It sucks, riding is my high.

I was talking to my manager today, and told him I was developing a nervous 'tick' as I was flicking my head to the side, while pivoting my jaw back and forth. I said I needed some time off for bicycling. I think slowly but surely the entire world is starting to think I am nutz.
Then I wrote him this Email, so I may have to call upon your services fellow Bloggeries.

Ellis,

Due to high levels of stress and anxiety, I am requesting that I may take off next Tuesday and Thursday 1/2 days in the afternoon as vacation. If not all my fellow Bloggeries will come after you.
Dave Giegerich
Alliant Dub Power Plant
I & C Technician Foreman
Office 563-587-6203
Fax 563-556-4581
Dubuque Ia 52001


Here is a spreadsheet of my metric 62 miler gravel rides this year, I didn't realize how many weekends were devoted to this quest for 100. It is time to knockel down and 'git er done'


There is one more thing I must say, I HAVE A BLACK HAIR THAT GROWS ON THE BRIDGE OF MY NOSE. I shave it off so no one knows. There I feel much better to get that off my chest.

Well my bike is packed, weekend is free, and I shall ride on.


Over and out


DAve




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All work and no play makes Dave a ....

Well, no bicycling the last two days, longer work hours with a plant outage. I won't be able to get any days off this week or rides in the way it looks, hopefully this weekend the pedals spin. My last post I made a request to Amber, my manager's wife to ask her husband for a afternoon off. I knew sometimes she visits this blog. So today I ask my manager about this, and asked if Amber read my request? He said, "no."


So I said, "would you mention to her to read that post?"


He replies back, "Nope because then she'd say give that man some time off."

I have been working on a snow bike purchase, chatting with my bike shop, and corresponding with Speedway Cycles, distributor of the "FatBack" My original plan was for a Salsa MukLuk, but they are not taking orders under 10 now. I don't think production is going to catch up with demand for a spell.


The FatBack can be shipped in a week, and here she is...................muahhhhhh!!!!

The weather has been absolutely perfect, for being out and not in.

I finally found out who has been sneaking my Jose Cuervo,,,,,,CREEEEEPY BABY!!!! We need to talk. And to think I was blaming one of my boys. Ok gotz to go,

RideOFTEN,

DAve.