Sunday, December 11, 2011

All together now.

I got the final version of my LR Cycles frame in recently. It looks beautiful, but then again, how could a Ti and carbon frame not be sexy? More importantly, it rides like a dream. Smart design choices make it perfect fro the conditions we have here in the interior and custom geometry finishes the package.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Temperature Relativity

At -2°F, this morning ride was the coldest of this season and the first below zero (on the somewhat haphazard and much beloved to Americans Fahrenheit scale). While the Celsius may have better adoption and make more sense scientifically, there is nothing magic about it, which may be the point. The Celsius scale very sensibly defines 0 as the freezing point of water, but I think that detracts from it for those of us in northern climes. Sure 32°F is cold, but it isn't that cold. Anything below zero is cold, really cold. Negative numbers on the Fahrenheit scale actually mean something. On the Celsius scale, it may just mean it's time to put on a sweater.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rice Crispies

Normally once it gets cold enough to snow and stick here it's done. Rice crispy rides are usually to be had in the spring when it gets warm enough to slush the snow during the day and refreeze it overnight. But, this fall has been a bit off so far and after a couple of weeks of colder temperatures and some snow that actually stuck, yesterday we had 40 degrees again. It dropped back down last night and today we have the magical, musical rice crispy ride.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's kinda dead in here.

So it's been a long uneventful summer. I remember summers here being shorter, but lately, when all I can think about is riding some fine wintertrak, it seems to go on forever. I commuted some this summer, but as the mornings get colde

r I found that the two bikes I have been using aren't suited to the task. One is full suspension and it's getting too cold for that. The other is a road bike, and quite frankly 30 degrees at 25 mph is not ideal either. I haven't gotten my replacement fr
ame for the one that cracked last year, but someone hooked me up with an aluminum replacement and I not have a working laendo again.
Since that just got together yesterday, it got ridden to work today, and of course as a welcome back gift, I got hit by a car. Guy was stopped at a sign, failed to yield right of way (didn't see me) and gassed it once I was directly in front of him. I came out of it with a bruised elbow and no damage to the bike (hoorah!). He came out of it shaking, apologetic and likely much more aware for the rest of the winter. So I guess it's a win for everyone.

In unrelated news, I will probably be not posting here as much as trying to put smaller blurbs on my new google+ stream. If you don't have an account yet, you should check it out, especially if you already have a gmail account.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Arrowhead is done.

The Arrowhead is finished, and hopefully the experience will stir me into posting a bit more, but for right now I have a few things to throw out. First and foremost the Arrowhead is an awesome race on a great course manned by dedicated volunteers whose primary concern was keeping racers safe. The course itself isn't incredibly hard but the temperatures can make it so. Most places in the country don't get the kind of cold that Northern Minnesota does and learn how to cope with subzero temperatures is a hard won skill that takes a bit of time and careful gear selection. I recorded an honest -28°F on my thermometer and I heard reports that some towns along the trail recorded -35°F. I believe initial predictions in the days leading up to the race were for -10°F or so and I think many folks just weren't ready for the cold. Those of us from colder climes have the advantage in that we had already been living and training in that weather for a few months.

Beyond gear selection I am pleased to report that my proto-LR frame finished the race in one piece and kept me quite happy throughout. I'd like to say a big thanks to Dave for organizing a great experience and all the race volunteers for pulling it off in spectacular fashion. I'd also like to thank Trav for pulling me through the second half of the race in similar fashion to the way Bob Ostrom pulled me through the first half.

Speaking of Bob (a great guy I met while riding the Frosty Bottom in Anchorage), you should check out his latest invention if you have problems with your water freezing in colder temperatures. Bob and a friend designed, tested and are producing an on demand heated water pack to be used for winter athletics. You can get a hold of him through his website at http://arctic-innovations.com/.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Anyone wanna race?

As I may have mentioned sometime last year (which was a very short number of posts ago) I signed up for two races this year, the Arrowhead 135 and the White Mountains 100. However, as it turns out there is a 50 mile race in Anchorage thrown together by Chain Reaction Cycles called the Frosty Bottom 50/25. I realized this all of three weeks ago and started harassing everyone at the shop until several people agreed to go down and ride it with me. The net result was a longer drive (each way) than racing was to be had, but I have to say it was worth it. I was expecting a bit longer (time wise) ride. Averaging out in my head I figured I'd be spinning for five to six hours. Of course, that was all based on trail conditions around the interior. Apparently the folks in Anchorage are used to rolling on packed white concrete, and I pulled up to the finish in less than four hours, much to my own surprise.

All in all it was a fun ride and I felt pretty good afterward. It gave me some early hope, especially considering one of the racers I was riding with for a bit said the trail in Minnesota (for the Arrowhead 135) is somewhat similar. Maybe that extra 35 miles won't kill me after all.