Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cold night

Windchill of -11 degrees
From a couple weeks ago when it was warmer.

I went out and rode some of the bike paths around work tonight. I don't really know where all the paths are, but I know they are there because I have seen some highlighted on Google Maps.  I was able to find two of them though just by riding along.  One was plowed the other was drifted over pretty bad.  I actually preferred the drifted one though because the plowed one had some icy spots that were pretty slick.

I went to Wheel Werks Bikes yesterday before school to get some bike setup questions answered for Trans Iowa.  I also needed a new rear blinking light as my old one tanked.  I got the planet bike super flash turbo and as you can see in the picture up top it is almost as bright as my headlight.  Its claimed to have a 100 hr run time and as of right now those two lights plus a helmet light will be my trans iowa light setup.

Looking forward to some long miles this weekend and hoping it will warm up a bit!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Hamster Wheel

One nice thing about riding inside... Your less likely to spill beer!
This week I have decided to wimp out on the cold days and ride inside on the trainer. I haven't ridden on the trainer at all since last winter, so it wasn't bad at first. I even linked a few days in a row, but its newness is wearing off and I want to get back outside.  Hopefully this weekend will present some opportunities.

Multitasking! Evan is reading up on the latest in Lean Manufacturing Techniques

The main thing you miss out on while riding inside is the chance to turn the brain off and ride.  When I'm riding outside, especially in the woods, my mind shuts off and I just concentrate on the task at hand.  It is nice to be able to do homework and ride bikes at the same time, but neither my legs nor my brain get the full work out.  I'm ready for warmer weather!

The El Mariachi is under going some changes, brakes and wheels at the moment.  The Hayes Stroker Ace are super powerful, but a bit overkill for the type of riding I do.  So they are on ebay right now and hopefully will be replaced with something nice.  I am thinking the simplicity of the BB7's with cables instead of hydraulic, but I may change my mind soon.  The rear wheel spokes made it through the year, but they are starting to loosen up on a regular basis now.  I will probably just replace the rear wheel for now but possibly the wheelset depending on overtime at work.  I need to start grabbing stuff for Trans Iowa too, so a rigid fork, frame bag, and a Garmin GPS computer may find its way on my bike as well.

I'll keep you updated.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Southern Illinois riding video

The Big Muddy River, Photo from Wikipedia
      In a post awhile back I promised to post a video of some riding I did in southern Illinois, finally I got around to actually doing that.
      I am riding near Cedar Lake, which was created by damming up Cedar Creek.  Cedar creek is a tributary to the Big Muddy River, which joins up with the Mississippi south of Murphysboro, IL.  They are some very nice trails that my dad looked up the last time we were down to visit family. I also added a video of my sister and I goofing around.

Check it out!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Snow

Usually our first snow only lasts a day or so then is melted by warm weather right away.  This year our first snow has hung out for awhile.  I'm getting better at dressing for the cold, and have been getting some good rides in. Some rides I wonder if its worth the frozen toes, other rides I wonder why I used to put my bikes away in the winter!

This ride I took up to Sharon, WI where they have bike routes posted with arrows at intersections. There are 4 routes each around 20 miles, some shorter some longer.  This day I took the route to Darien, WI  then hopped on the route to Fontana, WI before heading back home. It was a nice Christmas Eve ride.

This ride I was feeling like a hero heading down this gravel road heading south with a hard wind pushing me along but when I turned around to head home it was much colder than I thought.

Kettle Moraine is AWESOME right now, the snow is so packed down that I don't have any trouble on my regular mountain bike.  My fastest time around the blue loop is 48 minutes and I made it around in the snow in just over an hour.  Half that loop was ridden after sunset with lights, so the snow really didn't slow me down to bad at all.  If the trails stay this nice I will have no problem keeping the bike rides going through the winter months.  The woods are warmer than the road with the slower speeds, less wind, and more ups and downs.  That makes dressing for it and staying out in it longer much easier.

Hells Kitchen has frozen over!