Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kettle Moraine After Work


   I don't why it took me three weeks to take advantage of work moving so close to kettle moraine, but I finally rode over after work today.  It took less than 30 minutes to ride over, and if I wanted to I could have driven it in 10 minutes.  Its a nice road going over there too, busy enough that no one lets their dogs roam free, and the speed limit is 45 so cars aren't blowing by.  It sure is nice being so close to 30 miles of single track, I know where I will be spending most of my summer nights.

This view is what I was trying to get to before sunset, the picture really doesn't show how nice it is.  I'm surprised I didn't run into anyone else out there doing the same thing, but I suppose it is pretty far from any parking lots so maybe walking or riding back in the dark isn't for everyone.

I'm getting more used to riding at night, it's tougher than I thought.  Especially when you combine riding at night and in the cold.  Tonight was a really nice ride though, 42 degrees was nice, and riding through the woods is better than the road in my opinion.  The hardest part for me to ride at night is that there is nothing to look at, all I've got is this little beam of light in front of me and lots of pedaling. 

Tuesday night was tough and cold.  My shifters weren't working because I lubed them with too thick of a lube and they get gummed up when its cold.  I could shift up but not down, so I ended up single speeding it.  Then my water bottles froze. When I got back I noticed my time was remarkably slow.  Having such a good night with 2.5 hours of riding tonight really made up for it.  Don't get me wrong, the Tuesday was still fun, it was just not as fun as some rides.

I'm going to put some miles in this Sunday, nothing crazy just a good amount.  Depends what bike I ride, but it will probably be 4 hours either way. Let me know if you'd like to join.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

         Trans Iowa is still 5 months away but I am already enjoying the endless thoughts of bike setup, game plan, and what to pack. I have a feeling that I will think of all these things all the way till I am at the starting line and going through my frame bag to make sure I have everything. I put some miles on the Mariachi this weekend, not as many as I had planned, but a good amount.  I like the way it rides, it is familiar and comfortable, but tall as a road bike.  I feel like a brick wall when I am heading into the wind, I also wish i had drop bars simply for more hand positions.  I am going to try flipping the handlebar stem to lower my upper body and see if I am still comfortable with that.

   As I said before I was visiting family in southern IL this weekend, and they live in a very hilly area. It is near the "little grand canyon" and has many scenic over looks and plenty of heart pounding climbs.  I was taking it pretty easy on my rides this weekend because family time seemed to be higher on the important list, but still it was in the back of my mind the whole time.

 A couple photos from the Shawnee National Forest near Alto Pass, IL.  Just head down boat dock road, and the trail is on your left. There is no sign, but it is listed as a "multi use trail" so watch for horses and hunters.  Its a very nice trail, the rocks had me wishing I left my regular 29ers on.

Headed back.
Either this farmer like to color match his horses and cows, or they are related somehow.

I wish we had bike paths like this at home.

This is what kids do for fun when they skip Sunday School. Religious Grafity.  I also recorded a short video on some of the trails of the shawnee forest, but for some reason it won't upload.  I will work on that and hopefully post the video. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I'm down southern IL visiting family this weekend, and getting some good riding in. I will post some pictures and videos when I get home to my computer. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Work moved to whitewater, wi, so my commute got about 15 miles longer. I rode it for the first time today and it took longer than I expected. I'm going to try a couple different routes and see how it goes. This mornings route was pretty straight and boring but had a couple decent climbs. This evening I took more back  roads, it was a few miles longer but much better. It was a nice day to ride being so warm in the morning, and not much wind.  One of the disadvantages of riding through dairy land is the smell! That dairy air took my breath away on the ride home.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm on the roster for TransIowa, now the riding and planning begin.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

     Had a good easy 40 ish miles with Jay and Mike this morning, done by lunch time. Then came home butchered a deer, cleaned the garage and put skinny tires on the Mariachi.

The Mariachi looks a little strange with the skinny tires, but it rides nicely. It seems tall, and I notice the fork sucking up a little power on acceleration, even locked out. I am going to ride this on my Thanksgiving night 200 miler, so I will get a good opinion of it on that ride.  I stole the tires off my wife's bike, so don't tell her.  She has only ridden it a couple times this year so she shouldn't notice for a little while at least.

After that her and I made a home made pizza for dinner. Christina makes the crust in her bread maker, so I can't tell you how that goes but the rest is pretty easy. 

Tomato Sauce 

Wild Button mushrooms that we picked this fall. 

Cheese, peppers, sausage


Then Yum... we didn't have any italian sausage so we used breakfast sausage, that tasted a little funky.  It was good though. 

Trans Iowa rookie registration starts tomorrow, hopefully UPS gets my postcard there first.  I wasn't sure I wanted to commit the time required for the race, but sent the card anyway. Now that its time to find out if I am on the roster I'm really anxious and hoping to get started training for it.

I'll post as soon as I find out.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

        I sent my postcard out for Trans Iowa V.9 yesterday. I was planning on being creative with it, but instead just grabbed a random one from the closet.
So the Florida postcard got sent to Iowa to sign up for a 320 mile bike race. It would be interesting to see all the different post cards that guitar ted gets while people are signing up for this race.

         I got some Gore Shoe Covers from Wheel Werks Bikes they are really nice. I didn't even notice how uncomfortable my cold feet were until I got these shoe covers. It really makes riding in cold weather a lot better.

        Going to do some riding tomorrow, then Thanksgiving night I have a route planned from Decatur, IL to Alto Pass, IL. 200 miles starting around 9pm. I'll post about it afterward.