Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Miles

Took a "new" cyclist on his first hundred miler on Saturday. Headed to St Croix Falls via the Gateway trail then hooked it up with some sweet dirt roads cutting across the countryside until we hit Hwy 8 near Scheafer, MN. Ray was a trooper about the dirt, as he was on his road bike with 23c tires. I pulled the whole way there since there was a little head wind and I was on my SS and could be super consistent about speed. We worked on basic tricks of the trade like how to slip in and out of the draft to control your speed and how life is better in the little ring (his pride did not want to hear that). We also crushed it. Average speed was 17.7 mph on the way there.
Ray was feeling pretty bushed once we got to St Croix Falls, WI, so we stopped into Cyclova XC shop so I could pickup a new multi tool and Ray got some goodies. They were also kind enough to let us leave our bikes in the shop while we ate lunch.
On the ride Back to the cities we went south on 240th for like 20 miles. Its a sweet road that has several climbs but nothing steep. It was also a bluebird afternoon. sunny and 70. Ray could easily keep up with my normal pace on the ride home, so we were going two wide since there was no traffic on that road. In Somerset, we stopped for a gallon of water and delectable gas station fare. I got a apple fritter and kettle chips.
I almost died. I had the worst gas pains within 20 minutes. I think Jeremy Powers refers to this as cross gut.Link Whatever, it sucked. We took Rustic Road into Hudson, WI, and then crossed the River on the I-94 bridge. Then it was 14 miles back to the house for some Grainbelt and front stoop sitting. Now granted this whole time I am in pretty severe discomfort, feeling bloated and irritable, but considering how fast and how far we went my legs felt great. The second I walked into the house I took some Simethecone and felt better in 5 minutes. I am gonna have to start carrying a few packets in my saddle bag.
I think Ray had a good time, and it a pretty rewarding experience sharing a sport that you are passionate about with folks that are new to it.

Headed up the North Shore over Easter weekend to pre-ride the Gravel Conspiracy course. That will be a 300 mile weekend. Singletrack was dry today, so I took the SS over to River Falls, WI. Definitely took some time to get back on the mountain bike rhythm, and 34:17 was not kind to my knees after yesterdays shenanigans.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Being a hardman

I was going to title this post, "I used to be a Pansy" and then launch into about how living in the plains or northern midwest will turn you into a hard ass. This all came about after reading accounts of winter riding in the old country (SE US). Its tough for me to imagine that 6 years ago I have never seen temps below -2 F and wind never really figured into my daily planning. Weather does some really strange things to you mentally.
I remember my first summer in KS, it started to drive me mad because we had a string of 12 cloudless days. I just was not prepared for that sort of crap. That much sunshine will drive you crazy.
In western NC we get about 55 inches of rain per year, and it is spread out evenly throught the entire year. so you can count on at least 1 day a week is going to be cloudy and rainy. There is a lot of comfort in knowing that.
But you never know what is going to happen out here. Which leads me into another rickety segue, I had a dream (nightmare) last night that I was trying to outrun a tornado and ended up having to share a tornado shelter with Lady Gaga. If only Gwar had made a cameo appearance, could that dream been any creepier.
So bottomline, I feel that I have matured as a person since learning to live on the plains, just don't let lady Gaga near me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bought a ticket

Over the last few years I have dumped some serious cheddar into traveling to mountain bike races. But rarely did I really get to enjoy that terrain of the event, and mingle amongst the common folk.
This past November, I made it to the Appalachian Mountain Bike Clubs fall get together. I got to ride new trails, meet fun people, and ride bikes. It got me to thinking.
I should try to get to events that showcase trails, so when I was up late one night I saw that Dirt Rag was hosting a long weekend of trails at their annual DirtFest, I knew that I needed to go.
I have also been trying to capitalize on the fact that Southwest Airlines has a major hub here in the Twin cities.
So I got a roundtrip flight to Pittsburgh for $220.
I am looking forward to this immensely.

Ask me about the 33rd annual Eelpout Festival. It was all the culture I could stand.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Attn: Navigational Zen Masters

Ok, I will come clean.
There is a new Gravel Conspiracy race in the works.
Its a stage race....up north.
3 days, 330 miles. It will be free, but entry will be limited to 75.
The website will go live later this month.

In the mean time, I have created routes, and would like to take the .gpx files that I created from gmaps pedometer and turn them into cue sheets. I then intend to laminate the cue sheets onto the back of the number plate (think Psycowpath plates) that you would mount to your handlebar. This would eliminate the soggy cue sheet phenomenon, and would allow the riders to flip the plate up to navigate or leave it down for ID purposes.

Bikely software is being wonky, and the googlemap cuesheet hack will not read my .gpx files (and its pissing me off).

I would also like to have the .gpx file openly available for riders that would like to navigate to course with a GPS, but there is something I am missing.

You help me iron it out the cue sheets and formatting, and I will guarantee your entry, and cover your lodging costs. I will even pick you up at the MPLS airport if you want to fly in for the race.