Friday, October 30, 2009

Good start to a four day weekend

Into the Darkness the fun on Winter

The adventure this week started on Monday night after work. I had decided to hit the gym since I got off at 8:30 and no matter what I tell myself in the morning I never go ride by myself after a late shift. I hate working out inside! Tuesday I was ready for a real workout or some fun in the woods at least. I headed out into the darkeness around 6:30 and strait to Squirrels nest to try the new stuff out. The beginner skinny is Awesome 3 tries and I got it (without falling down :)) The small teeter tooter isn't even hard the large teeter I didn't try but I was going to watch someone do it first then try so saved that for the taco ride. Hit hillside next for a loop at this point I realize that my light needs to be on me helmet so I can see were I'm going (almost missed a switchback) So I headed back to denmans for a couple laps then hit the black label (Des moines city streets should count as gravel milage) for 45 minutes to get a nice spinout (32x20) Then home before the 3 hours on the light runs out. Wednesday night rode with Mike Dunker for a taco ride 2 laps of denmans and squirrels nest a couple tacos 3 beers and back out for a night ride with Rick at 8:15 (Rick 'medium pace' ride was a little much for my gearing and limited night Mountain bike experience but I didn't get too far behind and will also be kicking up one gear on the Mary SS, however still had a great time and got on heck of a workout (the 3 beers were gone after denmans). So 45 miles of dirt in 2 nights and a night at the gym have left my abs sore and knees ache a little (spinning out all the time) But give me dirt in the dark over the gym any day!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I drove one day last year and thought someone had stolen my bike when I got off work.

The New Road.

After a bad cycling month I was ready for some good old fashion paved highways. Saturday I was planning the Van meter Minburn loop backwards. I did hit the new road going though dallas center and it's perfect no holes or patches or bumps. It did feel very winter like (since most of my winter riding is on some part of this route) but the small amount of sun light through the clouds and very mild headwinds along with the quiet openness that you only find out on the open roads made me feel alot better. This improved feeling only lasted for a short time however because my body started to remind me around 40 miles or so that I'm still finishing up a cold/flu and not at 100% yet. As I turned onto p-58 from miniburn road the bonking started. I was actually wishing I had not rode a fixie at this point as the wind had shifted and was directly infront of me. I did give up about 5 miles later I saw the racoon river trail and turned onto it for my return home. It was nice though the trees and even the poison ivy are very pretty this time of year and the ride though wet leaves wasn't even that bad.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fixie Metric in the morning!

ready for a farm2market 65 miles in the morning.


With the crappy Iowa fall weather and a few health issues cutting back on my riding I cut back on the beer this week. I know I was also surprised. So the combo of the Cold and 5 days without beer (no beer and no tv make homer go crazy, no beer and no tv make homer go crazy) I decided this winter to cut back my calorie intake and my money output. I also lost 4 pounds in 5 days. I'm trying to keep the beer to 1 or 2 days a week so only on my days off will I partake in the cause and solution to all of life's problems. So if you see me riding a TON of miles at night it's because I'm bored and need something to do. So everyone else kick back and drink one for the Fallen (or a least partly fallen) Plus extra cash is always a reason for a new bike.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last Chance for skinny tires

I hung up my road bike after the Dr Bob ride last month, but left the bowery in the 'garage' for hopefully one last road century. This wasn't looking favorable with the long long line of things that have kept me from riding the last month. Sunday was my target day I was going to ride right after church until just after dark. The cold/flu crap that is going around changed my mind. I did ride hillside once and go downtown on the mountain bike (this felt like a century) then came home and crashed (for 2 days). I'm feeling a little better but have a ways to go. I'm still hoping to get in my last road century this year (13th) and one more gravel century (2nd) however I would like to do the road one on skinny tires not on a cross bike in the snow. That reminds me I was thinking about a snow century in December are there any other insane people out there that think that sounds fun? I do have a 4 day weekend coming up the first weekend in november (sat-tue) so maybe that will be the time for both. Either way I'll be riding the bowery some this weekend because It's been hanging too long and is very lonely (haven't road it since July). Plus all this freewheeling is making me lazy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dirty Express

My short ride on the dirt today wiped out all the energy I had left but it is so worth it

I wanted to get this pic on the railroad bridge but its hard to balance abd take pics on railroad ties

Bring it on

Studded snow tires on the winter commuter

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fat tire ride

Gearing down for dirt.

Yesterday I came down with the sickness (really sick not the song) and missed the marathon start to sleep in that means it was really bad. I did in the afternoon decided to re gear my mountain bike a little. For some reason I keep hurting my back with the 32x18 ratio. This is due to the fact that I'm overwieght and a so so mountain biker. So I put the 20 back on the back wheel. After a quick run though hillside I felt a little better getting the heart rate cranked up always helps the crud. However after leaving the pool parking lot the little hill (on the blacktop) almost took every bit of juice I had left. I did make it downtown to see the end of the marathon and hang out with the support crew for an hour or so. The new gear is perfect for hillside horrible on the pavement so it's perfect. I was spun out (at 15 mph) all the way home from downtown. It does look like the e-centric bottom bracket has 2 more teeth worth of spacing so I can get a 22 in for snow, but I get to that if the snow flies (lets hope not).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All day on a the Mary SS

Yesterday I took my wife and son out for a trailer ride. I choose the single speed mountain bike with burley trailer attached. My wife took a road bike (no fair) after one hell of a workout on the Great Western Trail we arrived home just in time for me to head out to watch cross practice. I took the SS mountain bike since it was already out. Got to good park (13th and university) via Denmans/squirrels nest. I do think that single speed mountain is not a good around town vehicle but it does give you a good workout spinning your life away to do 18mph. Had some beers with Luggs and another under the freeway overpass on the greenbelt trail watching the rain fall. Got to love the rain rides. I think I'm riding the Mary SS (need a cooler name for this bike) on the fat tire 'ride' saturday maybe a gravel grinder before hand.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cross practice (wish I could do this)

waiting out the rain

off the back

the horses

Trailer ride

lunch at the lean-to

no put the turkey here

Wheel Building 101

This first wheel I built yesterday I used the directions (thanks bicycling) but they didn't include in the directions to make sure you where using the spokes for the correct wheel. So after lacing up 40 spokes and turning 40 nipples (still sound dirty) all the way down I realize these spokes are too long. Then I thinking maybe or micrometer measurements and crayon marking (actually measured with a micrometer and marked with masking tape) were off a little. Then I remebered that the front hub measurements were in the computer and had to be accurate. They would have been measured in Germany by the builder of the hubs and since germans never make a mistake (so you would think there would be a link here but i'll just remind everyone that they speak french in france still) i assume there measurements are correct. Then I realize I used that I'm not german so I made the mistake I used the wrong set of spokes. At this point I got to unlace the wheel then do it again. After 3 wheel builds yesterday I can lace one in 15 minutes. I also put on the set post and the extra brooks (I know this sounds wrong)

So the list for this build is getting much smaller :
1 set sram brifters (rival most likely)
1 Force front and rear derailler
1 10 speed 11-28 rear cassette
1 42cm road handlebars
2 schawalbe marathon xr tires
1 10 speed sram chain
2 long reach brake calipers
1 kick stand ( just got a chill from that)
1 super high priced cycle computer
1 roll of brooks dark brown bar tape
1 set of arkel bags
120 cans of bud heavy (some left over to put in the bags)
1 park bench (to set next to my new bike and drink the beer)

Today we are going to ride out to Martensdale (maybe) with a burley and monkey for a good old fashion trailer park ride. I find that pulling the burley on my Mary SS I get a good workout.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Bicycle, The Cold, and The Snow

This state has a weather problem. So all of us have to get over it and adapt to our own version of hell. I started out this morning by wiping snow from my bike to go to work. A good ride to work even in the heavy falling snow it wasn't bad, but I realized I got ripped off I should have had today off because I would have been on a mountain bike all day. I kept looking out the window and wishing I was out on a gravel ride in the snow and the cold and the mud. After work however I got my wish and took a 2.5 hour gravel/black label spin out session on my Mary SS. All the rock roads out to cummings were dry (I was a little disappointed) even the B road by the airport was dry. The way back I decided to hit the black label GWT my tail light had failed so highway isn't really very safe without a tail light. This is another first for me I kept a taillight long enough for the batteries to die.

So all I have to say is bring on the cold I'm ready it's gravel time! :)

Brushing off Snow :(

It's too early for this crap

It does look pretty though

Friday, October 9, 2009

Last ride in short sleeves?

Wednesday night I took out the cross bike with bags and an 18 pack of Bud to meet up with John and some other people that ride out to cummings tap every week. To start out I'm running late and trying to make up time on the bike I get to Orlandos as everyone is just getting on the trail so all is well and I should be able to catch them. I get across park ave and feel the back of the bike move around a lot and realize I flatted the tire. So after a 10 minute tire change of the strongest tires in the world (tire levers??) I'm back on course I finally catch up at the lean-to good sprint though. On the way home we might have had some beers in the tunnel under highway 5.

Thursday I drove (I know how to do that sort of) up to altoona with the family to check out the new Bass Pro Shop. It's a really great store and it is HUGE all they are missing is a cycling department. They have a bowling ally would a Velodrome be too much?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Times

Monday I headed out for my first ride since I hurt my back (except riding to work of course). I didn't want to over do it so it was a short 30 mile ride got the chance to try out my front racks on my cross and also took my mug for Rock Bottom (got the bring your own huge mug invite a while ago). So I took a quick run to the lean-to found out how hard front bags make it in a headwind. However I got to the lean-to and had beer that must have accidently fallen in my front packs(oops). I felt like I had got something back that had been missing last week like that feeling you get when your going somewhere and you know that you left something at home but just can't remember. That feeling was gone as I sat on a park bench in clive behind the oil tanks on my way to rock bottom I watched the blinking of my tail light as I had the last beer in my pack (3) and realized that this was the best ride this year, but the next one will be too. I met up with my Dad at Rock Bottom for a couple of beers and some hot wings (Tie-Chili wings and Pumpkin ale :) ) The ride home was also very pleasant I didn't even mind the downpour and I took my time and thought man I wish my ride wasn't over already.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Test run on front Bags

light touring on gwt. Front bags are a lot of work with this headwind.

Beer wagon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Off to the funny-farm

I've completely lost my mind or something. I am actually going 'win' this race

I'ts time to push the distance thing all the way I guess it's like 300 and some odd miles of gravel my goal would be to win. (WIN [win] - verb 1. to finish before the time cut off 2. not be labeled with things like DNF,DFL 3. less flats than the amount of tube you bring with you ) I find that by changing the meanings of words I can make myself seem a lot cooler than using the correct word like participate. So I'll be seeing A lot of gravel this winter and spring I'm hoping to have the touring bike done by February. If I use some nice gravel touring tires:

And I realize they are like $100 per tire but who can put a price on finishing or I mean winning.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not a weekend for me.

Most of the world is on there saturday morning were I am on Monday morning (ugh). Two late shifts 11-8 this weekend then a 8-5 on monday. I'm hoping that my back continues to feel better I can walk mostly straight today. If it's not raining monday (or even if it is) I think I'll be hitting some slowpaced trail riding on the cross bike I have the front racks on it now so I'll be bringing my own beer and hope to ride well past dark, but thats several days away from now and can still get me through the long and stressful days at work.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pain in the back.

Taco ride started last night with a good run through Denmans and then tailing squirrel and lou to hillside we picked up the pace (a lot) before hillside then Lou says are we going strait? This was the first hill before you turn the corner. Some how I made it to the top but I hurt my back again on that climb (3rd time this month) So one lap of hillside and I was done. Now I'm off the mountain bike for a while so my back can heal a little while. So I'll see everyone on the pavement for a while Its a darn shame to have to use my overpriced 20 speed road bike.

my back is feeling a little better