Monday, January 31, 2011


I didn't ride today after work. I am still bonked from all the hours cranking this weekend pedaling through snow. I have a few lingering injuries I need to give time to heal The problem is I so missed riding today. I sat here tonight watching a Bike DVD race. The Weather People are talking perhaps 18 inches of snow, perhaps more in the next 36 hours. Since I bought my FatBack 4 inch tire bike I have rode everyday I wanted to this Iowa winter. Maybe I'll try my indoor abandoned rollers tomorrow night for the first time this winter, with the weather report as it is, maybe not.

Billy G from snowy New York should have received his Fat Tired bike today. He won't regret it

My friend Lance Andre is in the front 3 at Arrowhead 135 today. See race report below from race blog. Go man GO!!!

-10F, mostly dark, light north winds.  Lead pack of bikers down to 3, Oatley-Buffington-Andre coming out of MelGeorge halfway. 

GrandSon Cole

I can't admit this to my snow buddies, but I am starting to crave some pavement and or gravel riding after two months of all snow travels, I am ready, for lighter bikes, faster rides, less preparation, more miles.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

A day of playing on snow.

My legs feel like burnt toast.. Just about 6 hours of wandering back and forth on snow mobile trails trying to a find a line to ride. Most the trail was soft and chewed up from lots of snow mobiles. It was hard pedaling and lots of fun. I stopped and let air out of my tries from 15 psi to 5 psi trying to get better traction. It helped. The best part to ride was right on the edge of the trail, this was hard packed but very hard to hang onto and kept kicking my bike back to the center of the trail. The problem with this is if I slipped off the edge my front tire would drop into a snow drift and throw me off the bike so focus and honing my cycle skills became the day's agenda.

The ArrowHead 135 starts at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning on the Minnesota and Canadian boarder with wind chills around -30 and 135 miles on snow. Here are some of the folks who will be competeing,  .

 Lance who has been honing and developing his snow bike'n mad skilz for years. This is training for Lance, his whole focus is on this years Iditarod.

Matt will be running, I believe if he finishes will be one of the few to have completed this race in all three categories, bike, ski, and run.

Lisa will be running, 135 miles. Lisa is 51 years old, she won the 2009 23 mile run at Triple D in the female division, 8 minutes behind the first male finisher. I have seen her training on Heritage trail pushing what looked like a walker with skis to train packing gear along. She said to me once she was on the trail on one of the nights I was riding, I said, "oh where?" She was camping somewhere on the side, in the snow,  practicing running long distance, camping overnight and running back the next day.

Nick, and experienced winter cyclist will be riding. Nick is managing the "Cup-O-Dirt" this year He thinks my 100 metrics on gravel is something, that is nothing compared to conquering ArrowHead.

Talk at ya later.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to the basics, BICYCLING.

My daughter Melissa started running and is now training for a scheduled marathon wrote this to me in a Email today.

"I ran 10.5 today and am so calm it's fantastic."

Sums up this up quite succinctly I'd say.
Good day for a ride. 32 degrees, rode on snow mobile trails. Snow was a little soft, was maintaining 7-8 mph. Rode 20 miles out and turned around and headed back for another 20 miles. Temps started to drop, snow starting to change, ruts were now shoving my front tire around. I knew I should stop and let some air out of my front tire but was reluctant to stop. After a few close calls of my front tire starting to slide out on me when up against a rut, I stopped and changed from tire from 15 psi to 7 psi. I was amazed at how much better control I had with the air pressure change.
A wet snow started falling, I needed to keep my sun glasses on to keep the blowing snow from stinging my eyes, but the lenses were getting snow coated and it was getting hard to see.

I didn't see the rut right in front of me, I didn't have time to react, my front tire kicked sideways throwing the bike and me to the right. I bounced hard on my right shoulder and head. MrBill from Texas tells me I have to knock this off. This one hurt. My arm, neck, hand, and shoulder ached. I climbed back on the bike. I had 5 miles to go. I took my sunglasses off to see now. My neck stiffened up and I could not turn my head. Dang!!! Motrin do your thing, I got bicycling riding plans tomorrow.

The route for RAGBRAI has just been announced tonight. I wonder if Creepy Baby would like to do a ride across the state of Iowa this July? 

Tomorrow, I'll do a repeat of today. Cept for the bumpity bump.

Friday, January 28, 2011

After the Glory fades and the fame is gone

   Well all week I have been hearing comments about the "Night Rider" or more specifically referring to the News Paper article about my winter and night riding in last Sunday's News Paper. Geeepers, I mean I get to work and there is an announcement over the intercom. "ATTENTION, ATTENTION, THE NIGHT RIDER IS IN THE BUILDING AND WILL BE SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS FROM 9:00 TO 10;00 O'CLOCK." I received some letters from people I don't know. Some letters from people I do know and a good bunch of humored ribbing.
This was my "15 minutes of fame"

   But the fame has fastly  fizzled  So I have been sitting here with my little bear buddies thinking about this, sadly realizing the reality of being a 'has been' 

  So I have made a very big decision, and I am going to be Thee NIGHT RIDER. The new caped super hero. I will ride the alleys and streets at night protecting the world from crime and crooks.

My trusty dog Pitty will be my side kick and partner is crime prevention
There now only you know. Tomorrow and Sunday I will just be Dave the FatTire bicyclist and ride the snow.

Have a good day

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Riding my bike

Came home from work and plopped on the couch, Judge Judy was on. I fell asleep and woke up and she was reaming somebody out two cases later. Felt semi comatose, I always do when I first wake up from falling asleep after work. Nuked the half cup of coffee that was still in the pot from this morning, poured some milk in with it, drank it down, and checked the outside temperature and dressed for a bike ride at 15 degrees F.

Headed out on the trails, was a pleasant thought to see that it was just enough light to still see at 5:30 p.m.
Soon the darkness won out and my light lit my path. Rode for an hour out away from town. Saw no one.
Headed back I saw lights dancing on the trail in front of me, I knew this meant snow mobiles behind me. I pulled over to let them by and raised my hand to let them know we share the same passion, to be out here day or night.
Two snow mobiles went by and waved, the third one stopped, and started saying something while I was trying to pull my ear buds out from underneath my balaclava so I could hear what he was saying. He held out his hand to share a high V and said to me while putting a hand on my 4 inch bike tire. "I ain't ever seen nothing like this before, I've rode Ragbrai, but never seen a bike like this."

We exchanged brief commentary and I told him without you snow mobiles making a path, I would not have these places to ride. He nodded and disappeared into the darkness.

I couldn't see my bike computer to see how fast I was going. Started sliding out a few times, but caught it in time to keep from bouncing on the trail.

I reflected on how much I love it out here, and how peaceful it is as night. I was thinking I would like to spend more time doing night rides, do some longer rides. Will have to make plans.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back in the saddle again.

Today's agenda plans consisted strictly of riding a bicycle on snow trails. So that is what I did.
I have been experimenting with different handlebars. My arms and shoulders do not like straight handlebars that come with most off road bikes for long duration rides. Drop bars would  not give the control one would need for the technical riding required on snow ruts and icy paths. I tried these today. They worked quite well on my FatBack. The angle gives my wrist and shoulders a more natural feel.

Using double insulators on each of my bottles kept fluids from freezing at 20F for 6 hours.

I rode Heritage Trail until Graf Iowa then headed out Humke Road to explore that "B" section of road that I didn't make it to in last weeks Triple D race. The road everybody talked about. It didn't disappointment me. A steep heavily rutted road. I tried to stay in a tire rut as I climbed, I rode as long as I could until spin out. I pushed me and my bike up the hill, just to ride down it. It was like being in a bob sled on the way down, you were trapped in a tire rut that was 12 inches deep, bouncing from side to side. One Crash!!!!! Back on my bike, and using more brake, I made it back down.

36 miles in  6 hours. A whooping 6 mph. It was hard  trying to stay on a good line. I weaved back and forth trying to stay out of the soft snow and find a good line to ride which kept changing. My knee did not like that last hour one bit. Ice and Motrin are my companions tonight.

More then funny. I am getting Emails from friends regarding yesterdays NewsPaper article asking for autographs. Totally satire btw.
However I couple of people I do not know wrote and asked if they could talk to me about snow riding. I sure could I spose. Snow riding for me was born out of the need to ride outside from early Dec into March in this Iowa climate.

Well thanks for visiting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fame and Fortune

Birgit and I spent the weekend is Lakeville Mn visiting with the Sir Mr. Cole Alexander, my one and only grandson. He has been really sick this week with temps that went up to 105.8 which I find very frightening. Cole started getting better today, much relieved.
Always glad to see the young fella, and his my and pa, my daughter Melissa and her husband Brook. I got to drink various varieties of Brook's home brew. Delicious.

After my shot of Syvisc in my knee this week I have stayed off the bike. Did three days of upper body exercises to keep the heebie Jeebies away the best I could. I am not going to baby the knee it needs to come along for the ride along with the rest of my body parts.

I am so LQQKing forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow me and the 'FAT' bike are going to do some serious snow trail traveling. I am trying a different style of handle bars, straight bars and my hands and shoulders do not get along for long rides. Bike is ready to roll, and even have my bottles packed. Light is mounted, batteries are charged. Can you tell I am hyper-diaper to roll.

Oh and I know all of you have been holding your breath waiting for this. But my interview finally made it to the NewsPaper today. Click this Link. The movie offers are all ready starting to roll in. I want to play myself in my movie so I am holding out. Sorry Brad Pitt. The Paparazzi have surround the house. I have went into hiding. Fame and fortune does have it's problems. Ok, ok, so I am embellishing a little bit.

Dave the famous.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quotes and thoughts and other things.

The Triple D racers heading out of town. Why is there that red circle following me? I think that is a sign that my chain is going to break and I won't have a chain tool and a link. DUH!!!!  I wish I would have paid more attention to that big red circle that day.

The man next to me I'm chatting with is Michael Lemberger he worked hard the last three years for this race. This day all the hard work paid off, Michael took 6th place amongst a very experienced group.

“You can get sympathy or you can get better but you can’t get both. You can be in your comfort zone or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. You can be interested or you can be sold-out-committed, but you can’t entertain both. You can have excuses or have results, but you can’t do both. Choose the path that develops your visceral fortitude.”
- Mario Cortes

My daughter, Melissa, posted the above quote on FaceBook. She has started the long road of training to be a long distance runner, a marathoner. This spring is her first marathon. It becomes a lifestyle, a journey, like us long distance bicyclers, a way of life.

Replacing my broken chain.  Now after cleaning and examining my old chain that broke during the Triple D race Sunday, I realize it wasn't an accident, the chain was wore out. It was half a link longer then a new chain, and there was another crack waiting to break. I learned my lesson. That is the thing about long distance winter riding, you never stop learning, so many tricks and skill sets involved.

Here's another quote, being I'm not riding until next Monday, I am having my knee injected with Synvisc tomorrow, which is a repair for damaged cartilage from and old injury. So reading quotes and reading bicycling blogs seem to help my endorphin withdraw symptoms. 

"To go a single day without two hours of rigorous exercise, "wrote Santayana, "was now out of the question. It would have meant physical restlessness and discomfort indoors and the most horrible sensual moodiness in the inner man."

So readers, riders, and others I hope today was a good one for you,



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Triple D, Me and a Bike Chain.

Went to the prerace meeting last night. Lance Andre, and Matt Maxwell put on an amazing seminar about surviving overnight winter races. Packing butter and peanut butter for high calorie fuel, and taking along a small stove to melt ice and snow for water, among many other factors. These guys know their stuff with multiple experiences in all the big winter races, like Arrow Head, Susitna, Tuscobia, and on and on. Lance is now headed this year for Idititrod, which is invitational only, and 350 miles of extreme winter bicycling in Alaska.
So Birgit and I chatted around a bit, and had a few beers and a few pieces of pizza all in a good crowd.

Ok now for today. Triple D race. Last night at the Prerace meeting Lance made the comment that he didn't think a 'FatTire' was going to win the race. He said the snow is hard enough packed that a skinnie tire, a.k.a. Mountain Bike would probably travel faster. So a last minute decision was made by me last night to switch bikes from the FatBack to the Trek Hard Tail. I stayed up until midnight getting the needed bike parts on the HardTail and tuned.

In the morning before the race, I checked the outside temp and it was 9 F.  I placed chemical warmers on my water bottles and placed two insulated sleeves over each one. I put a can of pop in my back bag and planned on drinking that first before it froze. I dressed in multiple layers of wool and a wind breaker. I packed Pop Tarts and fruity bars, and even a Lil Debbie. I had duel sets of batteries for my front headlight and two blinkie lights for the rear. The route was 68 miles and with the snow, to finish, I would need to finish in the dark.

The race started on time, and we rode a non competitive pace out of town through city streets. Soon the trail changed, we were now on snow mobile trails, through wooded areas, corn fields, over creeks, winding hills, and sharp corners. Places the snow mobiles have a lot of fun on. The FatTire bikes ruled here, the snow was soft. I found myself pushing the bike up most hills, the 2.3 tires would spin out in the deeper snow. I was starting to sweat and removed my gloves, hat, and wind breakers. Only to put them all back on after a long downhill section. The ride was challenging staying on the bike. I had one goal to get to Heritage Trail. There the trail was frozen hard, and level, my lighter bike would travel well in those conditions.

I was skipping gears on hard grinds, and my derailleur was sticking. I thought must be getting frosted and ice bound. Some of the hills were killers, I was on the last climb of the route, then shIT happened. My pedal spun around fast and the bike stopped. I thought my chain rolled off my front gear. I looked down and I knew it was over. My chain snapped. This is a non supported race so there was no repair or replacement going to happen.

The housing on the chain cracked, I was on a flat out stall on a steep hill pushing hard not wanting to stall out. When you stop on a hill with loose snow, your done, you have to walk the whole hill to get back in the pedals again. Not sure how to avoid this type of failure in the future. Will move up a notch in chain quality if nothing else. 

I called Traci who was handling SAG, and told her I was out of the race, and would hunt down one of my boys for a ride. I was out in a farm field, I could see a road and started walking to it. Some riders were walking by that were behind me, here we have Grace and John, who are a lot of fun and this is their third year in Triple D. John is a veteran Iron Man competitor. They make neat movies of previous Triple D's. Grace was also interviewed by the local newspaper for the same article I am supposed to be in, but I am wondering when it is going to be in the newspaper. I thought maybe today. I thought wrong. 
They saw me walking the course backwards and said they were not going to allow me to quit. Then they saw my broken chain hanging off my crossbar and knew, like I knew, it was over.
My son Caleb happy to pick up his poor poor stranded father.
Knee is sore now, but didn't bother me during the race. Big day at the doctor's this Wed, hoping for improvement. My mind is still all revved up for riding. Thinking maybe put the parts back on the FatBack, and check out the race route tomorrow. Geeeeesh!!!!! just my nature I guess.
Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On your marks,

I think it was last Wednesday since I last rode. Knee is not behaving. I wanted to try to get it to simmer down so I can race, I mean ride with the pack tomorrow in Triple D. This coming Wednesday I see the ortho doc and try some knee grease.
Lance the  race director/racer wanted me to ride with him last night and check out the proposed route. With hopes of being able to ride Sunday, I stayed off the bike and opted out for the preride.
I have been taking things on and off the FatBackBike so, I knew to be wise I needed to ride around a bit today make sure all parts are working and adjusted right. So in my blue jeans I rode through neighbors' yards, up to my dads, and around the neighborhoods. Neighbors must think this is all crazy I suspect. Bike is running well but weighs around 44 lbs with gear, a butt breaker on hills.

Tonight is some PreTripleD things going on. Beer, pizza, swap meet, slide show down at the Hotel, Birgit and I are headed down there next to meet and greet all those that ride the snow.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


After a busy day at work, and a visit to my dentist I decided a bike ride would be a treat. A night ride.

Heritage trail, the Triple D race route is a great ride now, some fresh snow recently smoothed out the bumps, covered the ice, and rides well. I want to plan a ride soon where I night ride late into the night and cover some mileage. 
Night riding on snow mobile trails in the country gives a whole different perspective. Sounds seem amplified, snow crunching, owls hooting, coyotes yapping, and Gnomes out and about. Hmmm I think a couple cans of beer and my flask filled with brandy might make travel even  more pleasing.

My indoor bicycle rollers waited all year for some attention this winter, and I haven't visited with them yet this winter. This picture is last winter before the "fat" arrived.


Monday, January 10, 2011

taking a look at your soul

I didn't ride tonight, having complications from a tooth I had pulled last week. Dentist said he could do a root canal and a crown but there was a 30% chance that it would work, so I said yank it. But I guess the roots were fused to the jaw, and the nerves close to the roots, and it took an hour to pull. It has slowly been bugging me more and more and now it's pounding. Spose if it is still doing so tomorrow, I will have to go visit with my dentist again tomorrow.

Ok that's enough whining, health issue severity to me is solely based on  ---> Do they mess up a bike ride or not?

I leave you with this quote from John Stamstad. John is a ultra distance mountain bike racer. He had some huge great acomplishments, from a competitive standponit.  But he says here, what really matters is what we all can have on our rides, and I agree.

"The beauty of any long trail has nothing to do with the route, nothing to do with your bike, your gear, your food. Rather, it is an opportunity to look at your soul, to give you a totally unique perspective into what matters in your world" John Stamstad

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finally a riding I go.

It's funny sometimes, you schedule yourself for a good work out on your day off, and you have trouble getting motivated and out the door and getting started. The problem is I knew I could waste time and still manage to get done what I wanted to do. I sometimes get er going much faster when my day is very busy and I have to rush a ride between work and some other event.
So it wasn't until after 2:00 p.m. that I got on the FatBike, at 0.13 miles I noticed two things, I had too many clothes on and my 4 inch front tire was so low that it was rolling off to the side of the rim and causing the bike to wobble. I had the pressure under 5 psi to try and not slide on icy snow earlier this week.  So being so close to home, I returned home removed a layer, and added air to front tire, and rear. PROBLEM. The rear rim tape had moved to the side and the inner tube was bulging out the holes that are cut in the rim to reduce weight, and cut itself.
So dayammmn, I had one spare tube, replaced and remounted and again I go. I had lighting with me, and would be needing.
I took the back trails to get out of town, riding on a snow mobile trail, the trail started to slant to the left, and turned to ice. At 10 mph, I knew I was going DOWN!!!!! WHAM, I did. Nothing broke, on me or the bike, so I hobble back on the bike and keep going.

Rode 20 miles out and turned around, turned my headlight on and headed home. How come when it gets dark and your alone out in the woods, you start to hear things 'out there' and then objects in the dim light become monsters. Well it does help me keep my pace up.

Well almost home. I sagged out in Sageville, I called Birgit and pleaded and begged for a ride. I didn't want to take the back woods at night on those icy frozen snow mobile trails where I crashed on the way out.
Ok I didn't really beg, Birgit said no problem and her and her daughter drove out and picked me and the FatBike up. OH LQQK the girls love the FatBack. I had trouble getting them away from her so I could rack my bike on the car.

So that was my weekend.
Over and out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Riding the Studded tires, 41 miles, out on the trails. Saw a total of 2 people all day. Both walking. Really enjoyed the day, mostly sunny, and 12 degrees F. Heritage trail is almost all hard packed very ridable snow. Triple D racers that are checking this blog for  trail reports, 2.X tires are riding very well.
Riding in snow I think takes about 3 times the energy. I always bring snacks. Raw Pop Tarts double stacked are one of my favorites.
 It's all relative, this bike is a fat tire bike in the summer, and now in the winter it is a 'skinnie tire' Tomorrow I ride the FatTire.
Is this a giant country meth lab?
Sun is sinking, it's getting colder, headed home I be.
Did something good and fun happen to you today? I hope so. If not, how about tomorrow?
Thanks for visiting.

Zen and the art of bicycling.

I think I'll bicycle to Dyersville and back today in snow, just to show my demons who's boss. :-)

The above comment I left on my sister's blog this morning got me thinking,

In bed after 11:00 last night  up before 6:00 this morning, seems that's how I sleep. Restless. I have today off work, it's 9 degrees F with a wind chill of -8, and I am waiting for the sun. The thoughts of trying to put  many miles on a bicycle, alone, across a icy, snowy path has made my mind want to get up and get going more then  the need for adequate sleep.

I don't watch what I eat, never really did, the only time I have restricted my usual massive amounts of junk food was in the 80s and I needed to make weight for Power Lifting competitions.
I don't smoke, smoking would really mess up my hill climbing fun I have on a bicycle in this city of hills. I think somebody said it is bad for you too.

My left knee is acting up too much lately. I could have left well enough alone back in 1970something and not took on a man 100lbs bigger then me for his verbal challenges he threw at me, but 22 years old, drunk, cocky and stupid, didn't think that way then.

But now over 35 years later, the knee, is still a problem. The problem is it is limiting how far and how hard I want to ride a bicycle. This month on the 19th I'll have my doctor try a type of lubrication injection, maybe it will help.

My bike is ready to roll, today's ride will be the Trek HardTail with studded snow tires. I got everything ready last night, she's ready to go, leaning against the dining room table, waiting to be rolled out the front door. Birgit never complains about that, she just says 'make sure you come back to me' My mom used to tell me your lucky Dave.

So today I'll ride, I see the sun coming up, time to get ready and go.

Oh, one more thing, if you didn't pick your favorite bicycle on my previous blog, please do so. I'm really curious what is your favorite. Even if you only ride one bike, pick the bike you would own if you could have your pick of any. Thank you.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, January 6, 2011



Bikaholics  like me, and a bunch of you, own various bikes that we ride. Some times we pick the bike we are going to ride based on the conditions we are going to ride in. Like pavement, gravel, dirt, snow, or our mood.

IF  and God forbid it doesn't happen, but IF you had to pick just  ONE bike to ride for the rest of your life what one would you pick? You can change components and wheels as you see fit. What bike would it be?

Please comment in comment section. Thank you.

Me I would have to go with my Trek XO2 Cycle Cross. I could mount road tires for pavement, 35 cc knobbies for dirt and gravel, and Nokian Studs for icy roads.