Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weapons of mass destruction and other thoughts while turning the pedals

Today's riding was two part. Rode around town mid morning, came home and ate. As a general rule of thumb I eat 2.5 Xs every calorie burned. Keeps all the fat cells happy. Then late afternoon, early evening rode out on the snow mobile trails. The trails were perfect for riding, unlike yesterday. Multiple snow mobiles have packed and crunched down the ice. I need to do some night riding out here this coming work week.

Seems where ever I rode today, that is where I would find myself. No matter how hard I tried to get away from me. Even here in the Cemetery, here I am.

Riding around Dubuque's industrial side.

Here is Dubuque's shot tower. Weapons of mass destruction. Built in 1856. Lead was melted on top and dropped down through screens to form lead shot. This supplied lead shot for the Civil War which ended up inside a lot of people. I don't think bullets belong there.

It's kinna an uncomfortable feeling, riding alone, in the woods, just about dark, and you can hear about 5 dogs running along side you, but you can't see them, barking, large dog barking sound, seemingly angrily. You wonder are they reverting back to their primal ways, running with the pack, hunting down food. [gulp!!]
I stopped, I could see their shadows moving. I yelled at them, they barked back. I saw a pole stuck in the ground to hold a reflector for snow mobile traffic. I thought if I had to, I could use that for a weapon. Then they all vanished and so did my groundless fears.

That ends my weekend. enjoyed all the miles spent on a bicycle. Much snow and ice and a few near crashes. Life is good. Hope you got to play some too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A boy and his bike ride.

One of those bestests of rides. Around 15 degrees, I pedaled downtown first to drop off a borrowed cable housing cutter at my Local Bike Shop. I have a cable cutter but this high end cable housing will not cut clean without a cable housing cutter.  I ordered my own.
My feet were cold even with double wool socks on so I headed back home first before going snow mobile trail riding and put my shoe covers on also.

The trails were beautiful today, snow was frozen hard so I could ride on top the crust most of the time. I rode 40 miles and didn't see another human being, not a skier, runner, snow mobile or bicyclist.  A few times my rear tire would punch through a ice shelf and the ice rut would try and suck my rear tire off the rim. It was like putting on the brakes and was fun trying to power out of it and get back on top of the snow.

 I wheeled around a corner and then down this slight incline and then I said "OH $#1+ " This picture is from the reverse direction. I made the split second decision to not try and stop or I would probably dump the bike and these are steel beams and that is creek below. Dumping the bike here probably meant either splitting my bean open, drowning, or freezing to death or perhaps all three. Having front shocks helped carry my momentum up and over the gap, my heart rate pegged on my Heart Monitor when the support plank started to slide on me. Afterwards I enjoyed the adrenaline rush. YaHoo.

other then that incident and  a few slide outs on ice patches well hidden under a light snow covering I had a relatively safe journey.

Now yesterday LorFlor asked the question below on my blog commentary,

"Sometimes I wonder how many scars you have from your obsession.

My answer is, "Nope L, I never biff as you can see by the picture below."  :-)

Just kidd'n yeap flopping over goes with the year round riding. These knocks came when a large stick popped in between my spokes at around 15 mph and locked my front tire flipping me into the air and onto a face plant. I got me a good headache out of this.

and now it's time to boogie woogie all the way home

My baby girl Melissa turns 30 today, now she's all growed up and has her own, and she's still my baby girl. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA

Now as they used to say on the Mickey Mouse show, "now it's time to say goodbye."


Friday, February 25, 2011

All work and no ride makes Dave a ____________.

Oh HI!!!, my name is Dave and I have this blog thing going, and ride a bike.

Been working a bunch this week, and overhauling, repairing and pimping my rides in the evenings.

After a short review of my XC Trek XO2 I determined I plumb wore her out last year. Thousands of mile of grit, gravel and grind had taken it's toll.
Replacing the chain, cassette, free hub, ring gear, wraps, cables, rear derailleur, brake hoods, and cable housings. My chain was over a link longer then a new one, gears on my ring gear were like shark teeth, and razor sharp. It works well to have a LBS, (local bike shop) great advice, loaned tools and even a house visit offers. Next is my road bike, going to need close to the same level of attention.

I wish it was this easy to replace my old wore out drive train. 

 Changed Stem on my Hard Tail to this adjustable one, allows me to raise the handlebars to take the strain off of shoulders and allow a more up right seat position for snow riding control .

I got a call tonight from a News Reporter he wanted my commentary on one of my friends  and his up and coming very big race. I won't mention any names until the article comes out but all I can say  is GO LANCE A. GO. IDITATROD Tomorrow 350 miles of snow cycling in Alaska.

Oh and my only claim, to fame, doing a training run with Lance late fall and he asked me several times to slow down 
I'm just saying........

I tried to keep this a secret but I can not hold it in any longer. Sorry Lance, but after you place high in Iditarod you'll forget that awful day.

So with no further ado, she's ready and so am I, for a weekend of
riding, I hope the Hard Tail with studs is the right choice of ride for the trails, I'm thinkin with the colder temps I won't need the FatTire and will be able to ride on top of the frozen trails.

Drinking a beer(s) sleep soon and anxious to ride when the sun comes up.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Studs only, rain, and lots of ice.

Worked 15 hours yesterday, wasn't planning on that, but as part of the project we had to reroute some power lines, thus killing power to a couple of large buildings. It did not go as planned and we could not leave until power was restored. OK but that is enough shop talk
But anyways it was to supposed to be an icy rain all day today and after working all those hours I said I wasn't going to work today. So the irony here, ok, hypocrisy is now I could plan on bicycling in this icy rain.

Rode out from home, through some back trails that had not been ridden since last November I suspect. The snow got deeper in the woods and ended up pushing my bike for a mile and an half. As much as I love riding the bike, the inverse is how I feel about pushing a bike. It just isn't right.

This kind of biking is for studs only. Geeesh no, not me, my tires.

My 'water proof jacket,' and 'water proof pants' had given up trying to do their job and the icy rain was winning out.  I was soaked to the bone. Seems nothing can keep out the rain if you are there long enough.

I saw no one out here cept for one runner and her dog, running on the ice. The rain was pouring now, and as I passed I said, "Beautiful day, eh?" and it was.
Seems sometimes no matter how much a fellow might love riding a bike there is sometimes in a ride that all you want to do is get off the bike and get home. My hands were numb from being soaked and semi froze.

I did not want to push my bike again like I did on the way out, so that left me with riding the edge of a highway with no shoulder. I had a blinkie on back and hoped everyone would see it, and put the pedal to the medal to get off this road. I had a 4 hour ride, and looking forward to doing er again.

So back to work again tomorrow, but it pays the bills.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have this problem with my two boys Joshua and Caleb.

       JOSHUA                                                                          CALEB

You see those two can eat a cow and a pig, with gravy, and a wedding  cake every day, I know because I feed them a lot. Now what annoys me is they never gain a teaspoon of fat. Me, if I even smell a piece of cake I gain 2 lbs, if I think about eating that piece of cake I gain 4 lbs, if I actually do eat that piece of cake I gain 8 lbs of pure lard and it takes 5000 bicycling miles to wear it off. It just isn't fair.


Before I forget my sister Dawn asked me to post a picture of her. I guess I can. being she now realizes I am famous and all that with my news paper article and my own fan club. She wants to try to capitalize on my fame and gain some for her self. So here she is, my sister Dawn.
Ugly Woman

Dang, no riding this weekend, yeap NONE, I have to work overtime all weekend. Long days too. There will be more weekends like this over the next two months. Oh well goes with the job. It will just make me more grateful and hungry to ride.
So I will be reading all about you biker bloggers and live vicariously through you. 

Ok, I think I should go and try something called sleep. My eyelids grow heavy. Lata

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Road riding.

I posted this picture and this caption on my FaceBook as I was leaving the house to spend the better part of the day on my aluminium horse with wheels.

‎3 Simple Rules for Today's road ride.

A. Avoid ice patches.

B. Avoid mad carnivorous chasing dogs.

C. Avoid huge chunks of metal rolling on rubber wheels.

Some people thought this was a puddle I was headed into. Actually it is the hood of my car and I put my camera on top of it. 

Rode all over town, rode a lot of hills. 62 miles, thought I should at least do a metric century on pavement. Bike felt so light, took me awhile to trust cornering at these new speeds, that I haven't experienced since last Nov, with all the snow riding.

Here is a picture of the frozen Mississippi River.
Meet Mister David T. An endurance athlete. From bicyclist racer, to endurance skier, to canoe racer. Last week at the pre Birkie Ski Race during warm ups Dave fell backwards and dislocated his shoulder.  Unable to race he skied for 2 hours and packed up and went home. A week from this weekend is the "Big Birkie" 11,000 competitors. Dave has been working hard for this one and will be there. We chatted 90 miles per hour for 10 minutes all buzzed on endorphins and then decided to get back to moving so we didn't freeze in our sweat.

A wet drizzling day, but a day on the bike on a drizzling day is better then a day off the bike on a sunny day.
 I stopped and had a visit with Peter and gave him a peck. Another skier friend asked me if it was a 'long lonely rife' :-)

Feel well zonked now, the chill, the drizzle, lots of hills, the miles, left this guy with the 22 year old brain who wants to keep going all the time and the 58 year old body stiff and tired. That's a good thing. :-) I think?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My dog, Pitty, has the winter blues.

Winter for me simply means Increased obstacles to overcome to maintain regular and frequent hours bicycling outdoors.

Winter is over for me. I know it is only Feb 16th in NorthEast Iowa, but enough snow has melted to now road ride. The 10 day forecast has  everyday reaching above freezing. So we might get snowstorms or below zero temps yet, maybe, but the riding options are headed towards being wide open.

The trails are off limits, with a  chunk of frozen tundra 3 feet thick is will be a ice jam for a couple more weeks now.

SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have tomorrow off and I have 'her' ready to go. My Trek Cycle Cross XO2. I haven't rode my Metric Machine of 2010 since November.

I thought about should I go bonkers and shoot for 100 miles? The lighter bike and pavement should fly. I decided no. My only  goal is to spin the wheels and just have fun. I am going to explore all the places I haven't rode in over 12 weeks. Hill climb, have fun, no goals, play like a kid. Yahooo, I am excited.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just an "Out and Back"

Was going to ride out on pavement today, wanted a change from riding snow mobile trails since December.  But 2nd thought after LQQKing at the roads saw there was not much room with all the snow still choking off the that narrow survival path between parked cars and moving cars. This town's motor travelers often do not like it when we bicyclers impede their travel to any degree.

I was still feeling yesterday's grind in the legs. So I thought I would keep it easy, 12 miles out 12 miles back on snow covered trails with the 'FatBike'
Two light layers of wool, covered by a bike jersey, with long legs was all that was needed to stay 98.6. Was  nice not to dress as the Eskimos dress as has been typical this winter.
My tires were starting to spin out on the 12 miles out as temps went into the 40s and my tires started to sink. The pedal got harder as my legs complained.
The 12 miles back I was sliding all over, fish tailing, zig zagging back and forth trying to find a good line as the ride got sloppy.
There is an art to riding in snow ruts. I am still working on it. It is the tactic of "soft steering" You have to let your front tire find it's own route while you keep pedaling. Trying to steer out of it or trying to steer into often flops ya. You sorta feel like a bobsled in the track bobbling back and forth. Most my couple dozen or more fly off the bikes this winter were caused when my front tire would kick out against a hard frozen side in a rut.

Finally I have my FatBack snow bike dialed in right.
The Surly handle bars  give me good power transfer both sitting or standing with comfort. I'll be putting her away soon. It's time for a different ride. I want to break her out early next winter season. Be better prepared for a few runs with those that race these things.

Matt (Lonesome Luddite) and Lisa (Lisa outside the box) have both posted on their blogs their epic journey with ArrowHead 135 they had this year. The first time I met these two amazing humble ultra endurance athletes they were  on Heritage Trail. Matt was competing and so was I, and another time Lisa was out training actually playing would be a better word to use here, and so was I.

Well, another weekend has come and gone. Seems it was again centered on pedaling a bicycle only to end up back at the same place I started. What can I say?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday's all right

Loaded up the FatBack on the bike rack and car drove to the trail head. I like it much better when I can just ride my bike through town, out the back trails and where ever I want to go with out relying on CarPower. But for now with all the snow there is no room on most the streets for me and passing cars. The cars are bigger then me, so for now I will use motorized travel to bicycle. Seems not right, but the thaw is coming.

I installed my new Surly Handle Bars for the ride today. I had to install longer rear brake cables and housing. Fixie Dave recommended them to me. He is right. Well he knows what he is talking about, he is riding the Tour Divide race this year 2750 miles across the Rockie Mountain tops unsupported on a fixed gear bike. Go Dave Go. This bar offers the best options for comfort, control and pedal power. They have a bit of flex inherent to them
which provides some stress relief. My Bar Mitts and Ergon hand grips work well with them also. Also I had good hand position in and out of the saddle.

I saw something today I haven't seen in some time, and that was somebody elses bicycle tracks besides mine. Yahooo, another rider out here. So I began the watch, and then I saw him, it was Troy, he was piloting a Mountain Bike, making pretty good time too. 7-8 mph is a good speed for snow covered trails. Troy's blog is funny, he has wit. His tales of training and competing in Triple D are a good read.  

I rode 6 hours, was out there for 7, spent an hour talking to all the weekend traffickers
Skiers, runners, snow mobiliers and Troy. Bike rode good today,  rode hard and was Zonked when I finished. Hope I have some zippity zap left for tomorrow
 Taking a break, with my friend Stanley who provided the hot coffee.

Also one of my favorites. Pop-Tart.

Gears as you can see here were icing up and skipping. 

The Snow is deep and packed. See my bike is sitting on top of the this bench. There will be a lot of mud, slop, and slush, I can hardly wait for those rides. Perhaps I will revert back to being a roadie during such times.

Here I am, finished, end of the journey. Was a good day on the bike.

A big arse eagle swooped right in front of me, it's size just amazed me. I landed in a near by tree, I tried sneaking up in snow past my knees to get a good pic. It soon flew away, this picture doesn't show how big it really was, it was magnificent.

Well, I haven't even hosed my bike down, dry and lubed yet. I gotta get going it's almost 10:00 all ready.
You take care.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pimping my ride.

Working on my ride this evening. Put Surly handlebars on, required longer brake cables and housings. Modified my Ergon grips, changed Bar Mitts and tuned. Ready to Rock.
Looking so forward to riding into ZONKville tomorrow. My ACE mechanic Tiny-T did most the work on the bike modifications.

I am not sure I know how to dress for tomorrow. I know what to exactly wear for 15 degrees and colder, it has been the norm for some time. But the now warmer temps 30-40F, will be quite a bit different.  I want to ride 'light' tomorrow. Temps will be in the mid 30s.

Went into work this morning and Joleen one of the operators said to me, that she saw a picture of a bicycler riding on Heritage Trail on the Telegraph Herald News Paper online edition. So being I have been riding on this Trail whole bunches and haven't seen another bicycler since the Triple D race last Jan 16th I was really curious to who this be.
So Joleen shows me this picture online. Photograph taken by Dave Updegraff.

So I say, "Hey that's me!!!" I recalled a fellow on last Wednesday's ride, driving his car to a trail crossing jumping out of his car, setting his camera quickly and taking a picture of me. It was like zero degrees out and I was really pushing the pace here, and didn't want to stop, just wanted to get home. I thought he said something to me as I passed by. About 250 yards later, I thought that was rude of me, not saying anything, I looked back and his car was gone.
So I did a little Internet research on his name at the bottom left hand corner of his photograph of me. I discovered his blog, with this mention of that moment.

He had this comment on his blog regarding this.
"I was off on a personal day yesterday as I had my annual physical and some lab work. When I finally finished up it was about 1:30 pm and even though the sunlight was harsh and it was colder than a Witch’s brew I decided to drive around the country side for a while and try to find some wild life or a great Winter scene.

What I found instead was this guy (well I think it was a guy) riding a mountain bike on Heritage Trail in full Winter survival gear. I can’t imagine how hard he had to work to get through the packed snow still on the trail. I was thinking black and white all the way with the images I took. When he/she went by me they gave a little wave of the hand but I could tell they were struggling to keep it upright".

So I commented on Dave's blog that it was me you took this picture of. He wrote me  back, neat genuine guy. As the world  turns.

Good Grief!!!!!. Do I Look like a girl or guy? That is funny. Because I might be just the average ugly guy, but it would be totally butt ugly scary if a girl looked anything like me.

I don't know what the deal is. But my muscles are so stiff lately. Legs some, but my shoulders are really sore. Feels like tendentious. Is the reason I changed my handle bars I want to see if this helps. I've been riding hard this winter, and I ain't getting any younger, so perhaps I am just riding beyond what I can recover from.

Time for bed, I stayed up later then I should again. I want all the energy I can gather for riding on the thawing, slushing trails tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter riding

about 6 hours and then some
about 40 miles and then some
about whooped and then some

Browned some Pig and Cow and Crocked Pot'd em before leaving. Was beyond beautiful out in the country today. Rode 40 some miles and saw only three humans. Temp was zero at start time, with a 5-10 mile wind.

                                Eyesicles were forming.

Meet Stanley my new riding partner. For some reason I thought hot coffee with cream and sugar would taste good with wind chills below minus 10F. For some reason I was right. Trails rode ok, with a head wind rode 7 mph, turned around and 10 mph with a tail wind. Snow was froze, with soft spots from snow mobile grindings. Never slid off the seat once. That's a bit a-typical for a day of snow riding.
Millions and millions of Tons and tons of snow out there. The Fat Bike knows I will ditch her with a thaw. Trade her in for XC bike and a Roadie bike. Only to come running back with the first snow storm next December. Fickle.

I returned back to my car in about 6 hours, and saw a biker friend's car there who is a endurance XC skier in winter months. I was zonked but thought I would go see if I could find him. I followed a skiers trail for about 3 miles, and gave up and turned around, the sun was going down, I had no head lights, and a rear blinkie that needed batteries, and I was tired. No lights on a snow mobile trail is dangerous, when I've seen them go by me at 60 mph. However there was not a snow mobile seen today. 

Now to share my big secret, I snapped a picture of this Alien wandering around my deck this morning before I left. I knew they would be trying to contact me.

That's about it, I've rambled on long enough,
For some reason tonight I feel like an old guy who spent most the daylight hours outdoors in zero temps riding a bike in snow. ZONKED.