Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Young'ens Havin Fun

The six youngsters of our family took in the Packers game this last weekend. I must say that I am not a fan of football, but if I were, this would be the team I would follow.  If for any reason at all, it would be because it is a small town football team, rich in history and hardcore fans. Now, on to the IMO part. There is something about the attitude of most professional athletes that rub me the wrong way. The running around holding the number one finger up thinking that said one is the greatest thing ever conceived is nothing I care to watch...or listen to. I am sure there are many things I do that other people do not care for, so I try to hold a "What ever turns your crank" attitude. The half dozen from the north had a goooood time...and that is what it is all about. 

Four of the amigos

A good time was had

These two make a good pair. They have a good time in whatever it is they are up to...maybe MS150 in 2010.

Final score...Packers 48...Seattle 10

Monday, December 28, 2009

I went for a nice cross country ski. We have some new trails cleared on our property and I think they are going to work out nice. Most of the skiing on these trails will be at night after work with head lamps, but this ski was daylight. I was out for an hour and I had forgotten what a nice workout those ski's can be. Oh, and this was the real Cross Country, not speed v'ing. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Inside again

We hope you all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to some swell things for the new year in 2010. For Christmas this year, we went to Janice's family gathering which started at noon. All the fixin's were there...Turkey, Ham, Taters, stuffing and too many others to mention them all. Colleen and family...if you are reading...you were missed. Can't blame you though with the way the roads have been. From there we headed to my side of the family for the Christmas gathering. Turkey, Ham, Taters, stuffing and too many others to mention them all...you get the idea. All of that put me on this contraption today. 

First time doing the inside thing this season. I haven't gotten the trainer tire on the bike for the trainer, so it was just the elliptical today. Just like a rat in a wheel...run, run and run.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


A Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

We are getting hammered with some snow and even a little rain. These pictures were taken about 10:00 PM last night. It had rained a little and turned back to snow over night and back to rain this morning. As of this morning we have gotten about 12 inches of snow with the last 5 inches being very heavy wet stuff. We had plowed and shoveled 7 inches yesterday and we are debating when to do the next clean up. I would rather clean up more than once during a storm, such as this one that is lasting 2 or 4!!! days, then having to take care of many inches at one time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We have spent the few days at our family cabin doing the ice fishing, eating and family time thing. It was a very good time. I think many people do not know what they are missing by not spending time with their family and friends. Or, maybe they just don't care....wrappped up in their own thing. The fact is, that they can not know what they are missing, or they would be spending time with said people while they are here on earth, as we know it. Could haves and should haves doesn't mean a hell of a lot. Any one of us...here today, gone tomorrow so lets enjoy our life to the fullest boys and girls.

The roads have been what I would call greasy. On my fixed gear ride, I saw two places that had skid marks, tree bark missing and pieces of plastic strewn in the woods. As my dad would say, "Good ol plastic."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Memorial ride

We had a friend of ours tragically pass away this past Monday morning. He, his wife and two children are neighbors of ours. Very good neighbors. About ten years ago, they moved in the next place down the road from us. We would be walking our trails, biking, cutting firewood, any where he happened to see us, it was good and interesting conversation time. Sometimes I would be miles from home knocking out a ride after work and we would meet each other on the road. The brake lights would come on and it was time to talk. We would be BS'ing and it was always like, "Well I got to get going." But between the two us, it was always much later before the going was gotten. Sometimes when we would split, I was riding home in the near dark. This proved to be a good thing, because it forced me to put the hammer down and try to get home before dark.

He had worked hard to become successful, which allowed him to spend a lot of time around home. I remember he always told me how lucky he had been in life, that he had traveled the world, and it was HERE where he WANTED to live. That, of course, would make anyone feel good about also living here.

While in high school, he played on state championship hockey teams...loved hockey. Had season tickets to the Minnesota Wild. He died of trauma to head while ice skating in front of their home this last weekend at age 49. I know full well that the last minutes before his accident, he having a GOOD TIME.   

Today I had some vacation to use, so I decided to do a Pat Bouchard Memorial ride. He and I one time knocked this ride out in a little under an hour, riding side by side, bullshitting as much as we could the whole way around. I never will forget what he said when we finished up,"Good time, right?" And...it was a good time. Both in minutes and in company. FYI...it took much longer than an hour today on the fixie with studs. 

Rest in Peace Pat.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It is the last weekend of culling the Whitetail herd by rifle, which means daylight riding will return. For me, it has been waiting for dark to venture out on the bicycle for the last three weeks.

TOB....Good Luck in your Birkie training...and this is fitting because it is an old one, lol...If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

We hope everyone has been avoiding the plague. We have been lucky at our household so far.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Out

The weather experts are predicting that our area is going to be hammered with snow the next couple days. They are saying somewhere between 8 and 12 inches. It started snowing here about 2:00 this afternoon. When I headed out for a ride about 5:30, I got some words of encouragement from my son. He says, "What are you doing. Going for a bike ride?" To which I replied "Yeah. Why not." And here is where the words of encouragement come in..."In this??? Jesus." It's refreshing to think he was thinking that highly of me. He wasn't surprised, I am sure.

The ride was a gooood work out. I have been around this area for a long time and the snow tonight was heavy enough to where I didn't know where I was at a lot of the time. It is like this...you do not know where you are until you pass something familiar such as a road or an unusual landmark. Houses and cabin's are pretty much non-existent on this route. The best part was the last 6 miles...right into the wind...a snowy, 20 to 30mph wind...and on the fixed gear. Oh Yeah!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This is a known, not debatable, fact...6 degrees and snow on the roads mixed with 480 carbide studs makes some sweeeeet music. Some may argue, but get over it because as I said, it is Fact.

Friday, December 4, 2009

So far this year, we have had a dusting or two, but nothing to stick to the roads good. Tonight the roads were snow covered and studded tires were not on the bike. With that being said, when I got home from work, on they went. After they were mounted, I left the house at 7:30 pm and went for an hour long ride. It was a nice night to be out. The temp was at 15 above, snow lightly falling and a 10mph SW wind and I was dressed perfectly. It was also nice to hear the crackle of 480 carbide studs making their mark...most of the time in virgin snow. And then there was the snow flakes sparkling in the headlight. It makes me want to ride more just jotting this down, but I must work tomorrow, so I better not stay out late playing in the snow.

Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big Dance

I have been contemplating whether to apply to the Chequamegon Fat Tire next fall. The Chequamegon is what I would call the Big Dance for me. Some people are better at dancing than others, even so far as having celebrity status. It is only by lottery drawing that I would be admitted...which kind of makes me think if I am admitted, I should be admitted to be committed.

Dancing is wonderful training for girls, it's the first way they learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it...If he has permission to do it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moon Ride

First off, we need send kudos out to CAD. He ran the Gobble Gallop 5k running race in Duluth MN this last Thanksgiving morning, in which part of the proceeds go to the Northern Lakes Food Bank. Not surprising to me, he finished near the top of the list of 972 entrants. Excellent job CAD.

I spent just over an hour on the fixed gear Monday night. The moon was shining so bright...How bright was it?...It was so bright that I did not use a headlight for 59 minutes of that hour. I was only .5 miles from home when the first and only auto I saw came up from behind, so I flipped the headlight on until they got by. I did have my taillight on, you know, for safety. For the most part, I could see quite well.It was 29 degrees when I arrived back home at 7:45 and I nailed the clothing part. I like it when that happens.

Moon shining bright.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Slowly Getting The Country Back

After not being on the bike for a week, I notice it. I think I feel much better physically and mentally when I get in some outside physical activity. I will try get out this week. Now on to a boring rant. X-out now if you do not want to read some bitching, pissing and moaning...Woe is me. lol lol lol lol

After putting up with inconsiderate belligerent macho deer hunters with gang mentality for a week, we will slowly resume to our normal life's...but we will be weened slowly, as we now have the Muzzle Loader season to deal with. So far, the muzzle loaders haven't been an issue. We hope it stays that way. Last year being 2008, this was the stats for the rifle week...nine accidents, one fatal, all either self inflicted or shooter and victim in the same party, during the nine-day season. Shooting at moving deer during deer drives contributed to 56% (5) of all of the incidents during the season, including the fatality. There were a total of (25) homes & barns, (3) cars and (1) tractor struck by bullets or slugs during the 2008 deer gun season. There also were a total of 1400 violations issued. This represents the hunting getting safer??

Now...I am a deer hunter, but I do not know for how much longer. This year, I had one hunter calling me a dick for me telling him he was trespassing...fine for trespassing is $1383.00. If I wanted to be a dick, I would have just called him in and not had to deal with him, and next year I will do just that. We also had two other hunters put their deer stands just across our property line within sight of our stands...and one our stands that has been there 25 years. This year we did not hunt that stand because of this deer hunting terrorist. I do not choose to hunt that close someone I do not know. I did find a nice peaceful place to sit, and although it isn't the best deer spot, it was an enjoyable spot...and I saw no hunters. So until the next deer harvest.........

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deer Season

It is the opening of the Wisconsin rifle Whitetail deer hunting season tomorrow morning. What that means is...no more daytime bicycling for over two weeks. It is sad that a person cannot be outdoors safely unless dressed in orange...and even then it's questionable. I would like to think that a person should be able to wear any color you want this time of the year even in the woods. It seems every year horses get shot, cows get shot and PEOPLE get shot. We do not look like deer. What is the problem? We do need to realize that accidents happen such as loading and unloading and falling out of stands, but purposely shooting at something that is not a deer I cannot understand. I could go on about deer drives and the mentality that they breed...such as brown is down???... and how some are just plain unsafe...but enough of that. I do hunt, although almost exclusively on our own land. If there is any week of the year that would be my least favorite...it is this one. Muzzle loader season is the week following and is getting just about as bad. Just one of the prices we pay to live in the country.
Now some Whitetail facts that I stole from our future daughter-in law Bobbi Jo. She knows a lot about outdoorsy nature stuff
Based on hunter reports, about one deer in 30,000 is an albino.-Melanistic deer are very dark sometimes even black and results from overproduction of pigment and is less common than albinism.-Albinism is a recessive trait and both parents must carry the gene before it can occur in their offspring.-The speed at which antlers grow, also makes them the fastest growing structures in the animal kingdom.-Largest body weight on record of a Whitetail deer is 511 pounds.-Recent Estimates put the Deer Population in the United States at around 30 million animals.-Deer do not have a gall bladder on their livers. This allows them to eat vegetation that would kill domestic animals.-A Whitetail has a top speed between 35 to 40 miles per hour.-Deer need 10 to 12 pounds of food per day to satisfy their needs.-In the early days of the American Frontier the skin of a male deer was worth a dollar--which is how we got the term "buck" for a $1 bill. -Saskatchewan, Canada has the largest White Tail Deer.-More than 1.4 million deer are believed to roam the state of Pennsylvania.-Tame deer will lick your hand, not only to get to know you, but to show affection.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Nice Day

More hooky yesterday afternoon. So far this week it has been Monday on the fixie, Tuesday we rode the tandem and Wednesday was 3 hours on the mountain bike. Wednesdays riding the rut roads amounted to fun, fun and more F U N. Both Monday and Tuesday, the temperature was 41 when we left the house. Wednesday was 39 and I dressed the same as the other two days. Conclusion is...riding the ruts == more work...need to dress a little lighter. Many of the roads were similar to this one...some were less traveled, some were more traveled, but all were back trails.

I did encounter some O2S sand. If you keep your speed up, slide your weight to the rear wheel and keep the r's up on the pedals, you can ride through a lot of sand.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We had another nice day yesterday, and Janice and I both took advantage of it...played hooky in the afternoon. We had a nice ride on the tandem with close to 20 miles put in. The temp was at 41 when we left home with very little wind and slightly warmer when we arrived back home...which amounts to more thievery from old man winter.
It was really nice to get out on the tandem again.
Some of these little Oaks do not know which way to go. They do provide food for the Whitetail deer and in turn I harvested one of the Whitetails last evening...and don't be getting all mushy now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nice day for a ride...so that's what I did. With the temperature at 18 this morning, it warmed up very nice by noon. We have had some unseasonably nice temps lately...as I gently tap knuckles to the head hoping not jinx it. The temp was 41 when I left the house and 44 when I returned. We live in sand country and on a day like today, when you look at the sand, it makes it seem warmer than it really is...maybe. It's just a theory.
This what we call a Pot Hole. Numerous little bodies of water that populate our area. There is a layer of ice on this one, although not enough to walk on. There have been years when we have been ice fishing by this time...not this year.

This is one of the first dirt roads I rode regularly. It goes in over 5 miles and dead ends...no cabins, houses, or cell phone service. As an added bonus, there are some rut roads that enables a person to easily put on over 20 miles of wilderness riding.

If you are reading this and are from this area...You snooze...you loose.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cheating Old Man Winter

We robbed another day from old man winter today. Our average high temperature for today is 36 and today we had over 63 when I got home from what can only be described as stealing a ride. The forecast was calling for this, so I used a half day vacation, and rode the Black Bear Ride. Before I headed out for the ride, I had the bike on the stand and noticed the chain making a lot of noise. The last ride I was on it was misting some rain and even though I lubricate regularly with I consider good lube, it must have picked up some fine sand. I cleaned, re lubed and headed out only to discover I put the link in from the opposite direction it should have been. There was a snapping noise every now and then. I stopped at .4 miles in and corrected what could be considered an "opportunity." Nice and smooth after the fix.
When I came by Black Bear Golf and Tennis, two friends of ours were just finishing. I had actually thought about golfing instead today and even with golfing coming to an end fast this year...I will not get golfing until spring...and the fact that I ride my bike year around, in my mind I made the right choice.

Some geese on Lake Nancy enjoying the nice weather also.

Circle of life. One dead oak and more little ones coming in.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Night ride

I left the house around 8 this evening and put an hour on the bicycle. It was a warm night. Even though I was a tad over dressed, my clothes were dry when I got home. I guess that's a sign I didn't work too hard it, so I have been told.
I could hear the geese, saw a couple deer and did not see one automobile on tonight's ride...sooo...another good one in the books just after the Beaver moon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

With the tamaracks winding down and starting to loose their needles, it is time for a story from CAD.

OK, here it goes...Once upon a time, during a terrible winter storm, Chickadee was injured. The little bird struggled through the blowing snow until he stood at the foot of the tall Tamarack.

"Please drop some of your lower branches to shelter me from the storm”, the Chickadee cried.

The Tamarack refused. "I did not grow beautiful green branches to break them off for you.”

So Chickadee, near death, went to the foot of the tall Red Pine.

"Please drop some of your lower branches to shelter me from the storm”, Chickadee cried.

Red Pine quickly dropped enough branches to shelter the little bird.

The Great Spirit saw what happened and said to Red Pine, "From this day you will always drop your lower branches to remind others that you paid a high price so a Chickadee could live."

The Great Spirit said to Tamarack, “Every autumn, your fine green needles will turn yellow and fall off. You will stand naked in the forest all winter, as a reminder that it is always better to be kind and merciful than it is to be vain and selfish."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

With the temp around the 40 mark, I headed out for a nice 20 mile ride. I nailed the clothing, fought a good headwind and ended with a 3+ mile tail wind that was great. I put the headlight and taillight on preparing for the upcoming night rides...thanks to no daylight saving time. I also switched the pedals to a set of Shimano M324's, which have the clipless on one side and platform on the other. That will give me the option of not wearing the bike shoes. I cannot remember the last time I rode as slow as I did today. It was just a nice day to putt around on the bicycle.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It was Janice's birthday today so that called for a big ol B-Day dinner with the family. Yes, I did eat too much and to make matters worse, no exercise tonight. We did get some good family news this evening that we will share at a later date.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Taking Advantage

It was a very nice evening with the temp at 57 degrees...and with daylight savings time around the corner...you have to take advantage. I rode the Little Circle this evening. After the ride, I recovered with TOAST...Although this toast was made from Raisin bread that was purchased. I had loaded this before and had a request to put it on again. So, hopefully it all works.

I loaded this from You Tube. It is a Heywood Banks ditty, although this is not him.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Good 1

It was a nice evening for a ride despite a little mist now and then. The rain lately has begun to get old, as we have gotten 8 inches in the last two weeks...BUT...we need it, so bring it on. So a person has to dress a little different. Big deal.

The last few rides, the toe's would get a little chilled even with the toe covers. So, tonight was the first ride this fall using the neoprene booties. I had forgotten how heavy they are, but the feet were warm. Can't help myself, so more Tamarack pictures this time. Maybe we can get the sharing Tamarack story out of CAD.

It was the fixed again this evening.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some of the leaves have dropped and it is the Tamarack's turn to shine. I only snapped a couple pictures today...should have taken many more, but sometimes I have trouble stopping and just keep on rolling.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Tuesday Wednesday after work ride

Three of us again, Ben, Russ and myself, did the Wednesday after work ride this week, but we did it on Tuesday. I clocked in 32.5 miles and we finished up again just as it was getting dark and cold...I think in the low 30's F. In about three months from now, that 30 would sound mighty fine, so get out and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having. Loads of fun on the fixie again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Coming

We woke up to a dusting of snow this morning. The roads are very icy, but it will not last long as the sun is coming up to clean it up. I was looking at the studded tires just last night...it will not be long.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

After Work Ride

Three of us went on a Wednesday after work ride and it was great. For me, there is nothing that could be better after a day from HELL at work than a nice 30 mile bicycle ride. I don't have many days from hell at work, but when one of my partners are gone and I try to fill in for him in dealing with the person he deals with and do my stuff...it becomes a day from HELL. Now back to the good stuff. We headed up the Munger Trail to Carlton and back. It wasn't real warm out and I was dressed about right, but by the time we got back to vehicles it was just getting dark and I was glad to be back. One of the guys that rode could have dressed better as he was really cold when we got back, so I hope we didn't scare him off. Thanks to Russ and Ben for a good time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tour de Color

Janice and I along with our daughter Lisa, rode the Tour de Color at Barron WI this last weekend. It is a charity ride with this years ride to benefit breast cancer. The girls did a shorter route while I rode the longest route they had available which was a 60 miler... but in my case it ended up to be 61 because of a wrong turn. At about the 48 mile mark, the route markers disappeared for 5 miles as a result of vandals. I was lucky and caught my error with the cue sheet early. Our Tour de Color garb
I felt good about the ride. It is known for having some hills and it did not disappoint. If you click for big, you will be able to see a rider in the distance that I talked to at the 53 mile mark. He asked me what I thought of the ride to which I responded that it was rather hilly. He then told me he was from the area, did a lot of riding and in this area there are a lot of hills and I quote "On this route, they hit em all."

Red Cedar River

I rode this at 61 miles...the ride time was 3:25 which works our to a good avg for me...but the overall time was 3:35 including the picture taking stops. I felt good with that time considering the hills we encountered. I reached a top speed of 52.4 on this ride...but a person tends to loose the speed rather quickly when you start the up side...and takes much l o n g e r.

The ride was on roads with very low traffic and featured a lot of farm land. It's Wisconsin...must have picture of cow.

There were not many people on this ride and I am afraid it may not go on much longer. It is a shame, as it was a good ride for a good cause.

And last but not least, a big Thank You to CAD for the Grand Marais write up on Monday.