Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fear of Falling

With all of the ice on the gravel roads, I've developed a bit a fear of falling. I don't consider it an irrational fear, because the likely hood of falling on the ice is quite high. And the last time I fell off a bike things got broken.

But today was just too nice a day. I had to get out there!

We got some light snow. Believe it or not, snow on top of ice provided some pretty decent traction if you are careful.

In some spots the gravel was even showing through.

Pretty . . .

Oh, I also tried out me new secret weapon for winter ice and snow riding.

Studded snow tires! They worked great! They even provided grip on glare ice. I could start, stop. and even turn on pure ice. OK, they are not light, and they roll really, really slow. Oh well. This time of year isn't about going fast.

I'm going to try to ride with OP and Cory tomorrow morning. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

First Ride Back

Well I said I was gonna go ride my bike yesterday, so I did. The plan was to head to McFarland and ride some of the snowy trails. The trails looked ridable enough, with just 3 inches of fluffy powder on them.

Unfortunately, under that powder is a 1/2 inch crust of ice and frozen sleet, and under that is another 2 inches of snow, and under that is another inch of ice. Digging through it is like taking a walk back through our weather for the last couple of weeks. On skis I blissfully floated on top of it all, but on a bike I floated for a brief moment, then broke through. I pulled back on top, only to break through again. Rinse and repeat. It was unridable. Crap.

So I headed for home. On the way I looked wistfully down the gravel road.

It was mostly unencumbered by snow, but contained all of the previously mentioned ice. And the gravel? It was no where to be seen. It looked pretty fricken slick. But, as I said to OP yesterday, this was to be an exercise in stupidity.

It was good to get out on a bike! It was my first real ride in six weeks.

Kinds has the look of Fargo, doesn't it?

Look ma, no gravel. This is what the gravel looks like now. Mile after mile of ice road.

I stayed out for about an hour. It wasn't too bad if you kept to the side of the road where there was still some snow. I never really had any "holy crap" moments, but the road and the conditions kept my full attention.

Notes from the ride:

1) I'm looking forward to some gravel slop when this stuff melts.
2) The legs felt good and the lungs felt good, but apparently ass conditioning fades quickly.
3) Good thing it is December. I've got a long ways to go.
4) Oops, I missed out on the cold weather acclimatization phase. All of the sudden its really cold out there!
4) It is really, really good to get back on a bike.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A little Muddy

I'm guessing it's a little muddy in Kansas City at the Cyclocross nationals

I snagged this picture of Steve Tilford winning the 45-49 title.

Yup, just a little muddy. Oh, and yup, that's my age group. I've seen him race. He's just a smidge faster than me.

Our own Thad Neil finished 24th in the +30 B race on Thursday. He was less than two minutes away from a top 10 finish. Pretty damn good in a national race. These guys are all good. People don't travel 1000 miles to a race because they suck at it.

Results and more photos are here. Six inches of snow predicted for the weekend down there. It should be a good one!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Six Weeks

Six weeks is the amount of time since I have done anything even remotely cardio. It has been six weeks since I broke my collarbone, and I was determined to completely, absolutley, take that time off. I mean totally off, as in lay on the couch, watch TV, and drink adult beverages. You know, the way the rest of America lives their lives. So I did.

So hear I am six weeks later. Collarbone nearly healed (can lay on left side but can't sleep on it, can't do pushups, but couldn't do many before), a couple of pounds heavier, a couple of pounds of muscle lost, and my cardio mostly gone. Oh, well. If I'm going to be in this kind of condition, it is better to do in on December than July.

There will be lots of time to regain my fitness. And my desire has been greatly rejuvinated! If you haven't taken six weeks off lately, I highly recommend it. Although I don't recommend breaking a bone to do it.

I mention all of this because I went out for an hour of cross-country skiing tonight. It was great! The snow was good, the winds were light, and I had the trails to myself. My legs are a little sore from too much rest, but that is to be expected.

Oh, while I was out on the prairie trail I saw some bike tracks . . . It looked very ridable. Maybe tomorrow I'll get my single speed with the knobby tires and . . . .

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Renegade Cyclocross I

I went to Rob's Renegade Cyclocross this morning. I didn't go to race, but just to hang out with a few crazys that wanted to get out and ride. The course marking consisted of a shoveled path around the park. I didn't ride it, but the conditions looked suprisingly good! I didn't see anyone fall who was not taken out by someone else. More about that later.

There were some interesting bike choices.

Rob's the man.

Quite a few crazys out today.

Lots on interesting clothing choices also.

Somehow Kyle approriated Steve's bike. It looks like he's one bike over the legal limit.

Like being chased by a Yeti, only more frightening.

And the takedown.

Gumm brought his dog and his full face helmet.

It was plenty chilly out there.

Afterwards, Steve just wanted a nap.

Rob sez he'll do another one of these in a month. I'll be ready by then.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Camera Dump

Its been a while since I posted anything substantial, no that this post will have any substance either. Here goes.

I'm not the only thing that Charlie has been tipping over.

My last ride on the dirt before state 'cross.

It was a great day.

Went to state 'cross with Bryan. He got second in cat 3. Sweet

Boredom on the ride home.

Glad somebody's watchin the road.

I won a sweet pair of Oakleys.

Damn! Put a lot of miles on the truck this summer riding my bike. Go figure.

Keep scrolling if you got a weak stomach.

Somehow I had the presence of mind to take this picture on the way to the emergency room. The bump isn't so big now, but its still there.

Bryan and I share a birthday almost. He's 21, and I'm way past 2 times that.

Apparently you can't shave with a broken collarbone. It's a rule or something.

I might get out on a bike again, if this ice ever melts.