Wednesday, September 28, 2011

seems bicycling used up the whole day......

Out the door on my FatTire this morning, thinking maybe I could do a 100 miles on gravel roads somewhere in NE Iowa. Headed north out of town, my son Caleb gave me directions to a abandoned quarry he used to Motor-X on that had  different elevations of riding. I was thinking that would be fun to ride, even if it would not accumulate much millage. To get there required riding along side rail road tracks, and then between rail road tracks. So that I did, keeping my ears open for the sound of a train that could really ruin my day. I came to a gate, and signs that said under watch of the Canadian Pacific police, (WTHoot, who and what are the Canadian Pacific police) and more signs saying "NO TRESPASSING, then it said something in Spanish also. So I think is said something like any trespassers would be thrown in the lower dungeon with some very huge nasty bad people. ::Gulp:: I did turn around.

Wasn't sure where to go, so I decided to get lost somewhere out in the country. Rode up the longest hill I think I have ever seen just to see what was on top of it. What was on top of it, was the same things that was on the bottom of it, farms, cows, and corn fields. The ride down was fun and had me going 40 mph on the FatTires and they just roared with noise.

Next I headed to places I've never seen before, sorta of lost with a general sense of direction of where I was at, always on the listen for the dog attack coming at me that all cyclist fear.

It was getting later and I was getting tired-er hauling these big tires around and wasn't sure I was going to get 100 miles and started thinking do I accept that and just home or go home and get lights and just do it. The bike started to wobble around and as I suspected my front tire was going flat on me. 

After fiddling around I patched and pumped the FatTire up and proceeded. Arriving back in town now on pavement, 75 miles in, and thinking maybe I should just go home Then Jim
pulls up from behind, riding an ultra light carbon road bike. Ex competitive racer Jim. He says I am doing a 10 mile loop through town, and then head out on county roads, you want to ride the loop with me? So we rode, he slowed down, I sped up and worked hard my front tire was low on air and was making me work my butt off. We talked about all the time spent riding bicycles and all the chores that don't get done as a result. We figured the ladies at home didn't complain (much) because it got us out of the house and gave them some peace. :-)

We rode Jim's loop and parted and now I had 85 miles in, 100 miles was too close to stop now. Headed home, ate, drank some juice, mounted a headlight, saw my new Jersey arrived, changed and went out and did 15 more.

Spent the rest of the evening drinking beer and eating, and thinking what a perfect day it was.

If someone shows up at the house tonight saying I won the "Publishers Clearing House" million dollar prize I will do this again tomorrow, otherwise, I will be at work.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Riding down by the river...

It was raining after work tonight, 50ish something in temp, with the rain falling from some place up above that was much colder. I was dressed in light wool socks, wool leg warmers and long sleeves wool under my jersey. Wool lets you get away with getting wet and cold longer then most fabrics.  It didn't matter to me getting wet,  I needed to ride,  rain or not, was the plans and I had energy stored up to do so, not burning that energy off, would just make for an uncomfortable evening. Just the way it is.
Riding the road bike, with the skinnies, wet, and leaves can ruin your winter riding season. Sliding out on a corner and busting up a few bones just would not fit into my schedule at all.

Looking forward to my Wed ride, spending the day on the FatBack exploring some new territory. My son, Caleb who rides the Motor Cross bikes told me about a place he rode this summer. He says to follow a path on the side of the rail road tracks that head north of town, the path comes to an end at a rail road bridge, He says ride the tracks across the bridge and continue riding down the tracks for about a 1/2 a mile and there will be an old quarry that has multiple riding elevations, Me and the FatBack are going to like this.

and I would be remiss without showing you this, this surely means the end is near, Dairy Queen closing for the season.

yawn.........sleep time beckons.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Dear Melissa in Mn, I made you a short film clip regarding your commentary that you posted on my Blog yesterday.

Late start today, worked on bike, then heavy rains, fell asleep on couch, ate an entire loaf of zucchini bread, and finally rode out of town for 40 miles on gravel with the CX bike.
Saw up head on the trail what I thought was a dog limping, as I got closer I saw it was a coyote. It was trotting about 12 mph with limp in one his rear legs. I was getting closer and wanted to pull up right behind him and film. Just as I was holding my camera in one hand, pedaling, and trying to make some quick adjustments on my camera, Mr Coyote decided I need to get away from this nut. That he did, and ran into the woods. I hope his leg gets better and I get to see him again.

Very old rail road bridge.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anoher Century and the Giant Turd.

Shhhhh, do not disturb, man sleeping

Me and the Lard'O bike decided to ride a metric C on gravel today, following a 100 miler on the FatSo two days ago, made the legs work and me tired. Energy was good for the ride but feeling it now.
Tomorrow, I am going to lighten up and take the CX out for some gravel, I don't think I would have the ummph, for another long Fat Ride. Seems I need to ride. Thinking another Metric C. Totally clueless on how many centuries this year, I'm thinking 50,60ish mayhaps. So no tracking for the Cup-O-Dirt run this year.
I think I said a bad word too, I must confess. Wasn't paying a attention, flew over some ruts, bounced out of the saddle and my foot popped out of my pedal, crank spun around and put dent in my shin. I didn't have the right size allen wrench along with me to tighten the clips up, and with a very sore shin, a bit later I did it again on the same sore spot, that time I know I said a bad word.

Not sure where I am headed with all this fat bike, biking. Thinking about a couple of snow races, my favorite, this winter. Riding a lot of FatTire doesn't make you faster, but makes your ride stronger, you don't move fast, but you keep moving for longer period of times as you develop. Riding long hours is pretty much the standard for snow rides.

What I have to say next is nasty, please click the X in the upper right hand of your screen for those of weak stomach. I ran over the mother load of all turds I think it was either Yeti or a 150 lb St. Bernard. It splattered all over. I had to hose everything down before my honey would allow her back in the dining room. Geeeshh!!!

Ya'll come back now...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Makes perfect sense to me.

I'm riding, I'm cold, and I'm wet. It wasn't supposed to rain but it did. I am soaked to the bone, it is about 50 degrees and daylight is leaving.  I need to stop and dig my light and battery pack out of my back bag and mount  them on my bike, it is getting dark, I don't want to stop, I want to get home. I am riding on dirt trail, the trail is covered with walnuts and it is getting too dark to avoid them. I hit a pot hole, I didn't see it coming, my teeth bang together, so I stop and mount my lights. Today's plan was to ride 100 miles on anything that isn't pavement on the Fat Tire Bike. I have just over 80 miles in. After the thundershower from hell, I was hoping I would dry up, with the ride,  but with the sun going down it is not happening, my hands are cold, and don't want to open up easily after they have been squeezing on the handle bars.
I really want to get 100 miles in on a bike that weighs 40 and some lbs after I put her on a  diet and losing a few pounds, riding on dirt and gravel roads. I suppose none of this makes any sense to most the population. To those that know what I mean, Amen.   I'm home now, I finished, I'm happy, I'm tired, I rode my century.

I think I shall do this again as soon as I can.  

Meet my friend, Mr. Cliff Tree as we share a snack before rain and darkness.

Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, September 19, 2011

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

I am riding shotgun in Craig's vehicle. Craig is my manager. We are headed to a meeting regarding obtaining Natural Gas from the local supplier for our electrical generation. My mind wanders as I stare out the window. I am following an adjacent gravel road as we travel along the highway. I think about riding my bike there, and begin my bicycling daydream. I remember checking out early this morning after crawling out of bed, 2nd only to pouring myself a cup of coffee supplied by Mr Coffee and his automated timer. I am planning this weeks rides. I want to know what day I should take off work for my weekday long ride. Thursday looks like the best weekday to do so. I think about pedaling the big fat bike 100 miles on gravel, Craig speaks, and wakes me from my bikedream, back to the chore at hand, and my day job, as we pull into Black Hills Natural Gas distributor parking lot.

Back at my desk at noon. I google for a riding plan on Google Maps for bicycling. I work out a tentative route for Thursday.

The work day is now over. I stop at my local bike shop on the way home. I want to talk tires and tubes and some ideas I have for weight reduction. A standard 4" FatTire tube is 1.2 lbs. TOO HEAVY!!!  I am going to try a 2.8 mountain tire tube at .65lbs. I chat with Parrish the owner and David who is helping Parrish put together a 3 wheeler on the shop floor. David and his Son Evan are just back from Sunday's Cheq race in Wisconsin. A Shout Out to Evan he has got a lot of heart, soul and endurance, and is an up an comer.

I pull up in front of my house and see a UPS box sitting on the front porch. It has been my plan for several months now to obtain all the necessary parts to have 4 bicycles all ready to go at all times. Instead of needing to rob CycleCross parts to pay for road bike parts to ride that bike for the day. I am just about there, working on bike #4 my Hard Tail

In the house I see my bike still leaning against the dining room table from yesterday's ride and an invitation to attend lil Trent's baptism. It is scheduled for a Sunday in Oct starting at 11:00 a.m. In my mind I think, I will go, give my blessings, and ride later that day and have lights and bike ready to go ahead of time.

Time is slipping away, I know I need to get out the door and on my road bike. Daylight hours are running out. I won't feel right if I miss my ride.  Today's/night's ride plans are to push the pace, climb hills, ride 25 miles hard, same medicine for tomorrow. Not sure I even know what I am trying cure, but it's best that way not knowing, I think.

 I am now on my bike. I guess this is what this is all about. The bike feels perfect, everything finally tweaked just right, I am in my own world now, flying by, watching pavement roll past me. My shoulder and knee are behaving well, and letting me run myself out of gas having fun.

Dark now by the time I get home on after work rides.

It is now 9:20 p.m. I still need to shower. I would like to eat some more, but I want to get my riding weight down. any rider knows dropping 10 can put the zap back in your zip, especially on the hills, and in this county you can not go a mile without going up or down. I think of a quote I heard from a Face Book friend, it went something like this "Choose what you want the most over what you want right now" I lean on that.

I am watching the DVD "Bicycling Dreams" as I Blog. Turning TV and computer off now, shower and then well needed sleep. All I can say is.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Living for the moment.

Totally epic ride today, seems most are, or maybe all are I'm not sure. Those that ride have these 'thriller moments' and when they happen, nothing else exists, we are consumed by the here and now, totally living for the moment and then time passes and that moment is gone, most are ultimately forgotten. I thinks somehow they are all stored up, somewhere in our being, that make us, us, or me, me, and you, you.
Like today, flying down a gravel road, the hill gets steeper, I don't like to brake if you are not going to run into anything or anything is not going to run into you. It seems counterproductive to the spirit of bicycling. But the hills gets steeper, and I am now going 25-30 mph. The gravel is loose, so I try to stick to the insides of a tire track where there are few loose rocks. Now I am over 30 mph, the last time I can look I am close to 35 mph and rounding a small curve, I start to slide out of the small tire track, back wheel in loose gravel, my senses are all at 110 %. I'm floating, trying to avoid a disaster, trying to avoid sliding face down on a gravel road, I make it this time, the hill tapers, and I have regained  control of the bike. WoW!!! What a rush. I can not do this moment justice, my words don't know how. I won't remember this moment in a few days, but I will find another one, and another one.
Then over the next hill, I see a farm house at the bottom, my eyes always looking for the "nice little farm puppy dogs" There sat Cujo, looking like a halfbreed between a Pit Bull and a German Shepherd. He doesn't see me yet. I brush my arm against my jersey back pocket, pepper spray in place. My strategy is to pick up as much as speed as I can, and blow by this canine. I watch his movements as I accelerate, he sees me now, stands up, barks, and is now running towards me. We are both at full gallop, I am going to win, I have enough speed built up, safe this time. I'm just saying it doesn't get any better then this.

I made a one page map from Google Maps, if you enlarge Google Maps enough about every dirt road shows up. I make a route plan, and proceed.  So I come to this sign, think about it for a moment and turn around. A mile down the road, I come to my senses turn around and head back. The road goes from softball sized rocks to hard dirt surface. 5 miles latter I am riding on the side of the hill. Even 4" tires are having trouble not sliding downward. I am now at a fork in the road. One lane heads into a valley, the other up over the hill, I stop and look at my one page Google Map, I have not a clue where I am at. I now hear vehicle tires spinning out, I look down the road that leads into the valley and up comes a truck, all head lights broken out, huge monster tires, more rust then body metal, and the truck stops, because I am blocking the way out. Inside the cab sat two monster guys, huge, looking like offspring of 1st cousin breeding, and they are not happy for stopping on the side of the hill. I don't think these guys made it into town or the bathtub too frequently.  I feel the driver look me up and down, like eye candy.  I am wearing Spandex biking pants, arm warmers that have fallen down below my elbows, a bright colored jersey, spandex leg warmers and Velcro strapped bicycling shoes. I am not feeling like the Alpha male in this situation. I swear I hear Dueling banjos playing somewhere off in the woods. I speak first, I ask, "Is that a dead end down that way" He just looks at me funny, stares for a moment, and finally speaks, "Yeap, it is. My cows are down there, don't go down there spooking my cows" He points up the road, and says, "That way will take you North of Farley, you'll find it." They spin their way out, and I head up the hill behind them. I get the to top of the hill and can see for ever,
I look for a town's water tower. I find one, and head that direction.

Two Iowa beasts of Burden and my favorite cliff mushroom.

I am thinking about tomorrow, it is supposed to rain, I wonder what my legs will have in them. 70 miles of hard FatBike riding today, might take some of the zip out of them tomorrow. But I will ride, somewhere.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fat is Fun.

Took a day off work to ride around. The plan was to zig zag around the wide mixture of gravel from Dubuque to Dyersville, up and down the hills, wear myself out, and finish with 30 miles of level Heritage Trail to home.
My FatTire FackBack Bike couldn't be more fun of a ride, handles great, and controllable in the ruts. Some of the hills had even the Fat spinning out on the loose gravel climbs.

Was cold this morning. Cold relative to what it has been. 50s. Seems I have to learn, again, exactly how to dress based on temp, wind, and sun. Fortunately bicycling clothing is in layers, and zippers which allow adjustments as you travel.

DOGS!!! Damn Dawgs, that can be the challenge riding on a road that seldom sees another traveler other then a resident. You become a dog treat. I take out my ear music, when I am in suspect areas. My hope is I can hear them coming before they take you out.
My defense is as follows.
1st. Out run them. See them coming, and get on the pedals, great incentive for high heart rate work outs.
2nd. If they catch you. Get off the bike, get the bike between them and you, and shout like your "Da Man"
3rd. I carry a dog biscuit in my front bag, toss that to them.
4th. Hope the owner walks out of the woods and saves you.

Iowa Roads

Check this one out. Craig has got a good idea cooking. A night ride, not a race. 65 miles, Oct 15th on gravel. Beer and campfire to follow.

This is the night of my High School 40th reunion, I was thinking one is supposed to go. Then I changed that plan to I need to see my grandson that weekend, was one a few weekends that would work. 

Now I anguish, might rearrange, might do the mighty Cole a.k.a my awesome grandbaby, on the prior week, ride the ride, and skip the reunion. Churning this over.

That's all I should say, because seems I need to get to bed because bosses seem to like you to show up on time. If I had my way, I would get up tomorrow and spend the day rotating pedals. What can I say?

Yours truly

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I blogging....

Been bicycling all over God's graveled earth lately. Not sure how many gravel metric centuries it is anymore, lost track. Riding a lot on the FatBack, fat tired bikes can be a lot of fun, the fatter tires and heavier bike makes your ride stronger, the weight and fat tires takes it's toll after awhile, but that's a good thing.

Found this giant puffball today, I had never heard of these before, I was quite amazed. I was surprised to hear they were edible and delicious this giant dinosaur egg could feed over 20 people.

Tried to find a away across the Cedar Valley River last Labor Day, there was a trail bridge but has been damaged since the severe flood of 2008, weeds and down trees made this a fun exploration. Finally took a county road across.
Yesterday rode with Lance Andre, I was on the big FatSo bike and he was on the ultra light carbon Niner,,,,,as if I needed a handicap riding with Idititrod finisher, DK200 winner, Triple D winner among others. Dang, and he even made me do all the drafting, ok ok, I fibbed about that....
Oh and we were talking about Triple D of 2012, I am not going to let out the date, I'll let him announce, however here's a HINT......Martin Luther.........;-)  wink wink

I'm ready for Fall riding, a freeze to kill off some bugs and leaves to fall, When the leaves drop off the brush new paths open up that have been covered up by all the foliage, Fall is a great time of the year to be bicycling but come to think of it, so is Winter, Summer and Spring..............Ok gotz to go, will try to get here more often...thanks for visiting.