Sunday, March 29, 2009

GWM Circle Ride

Cut two medium truck loads of firewood this morning...and then...43 miles of windy, hilly, scenic and a beauty of a bicycle ride. Rode the GWM Circle ride. I had ridden 11 miles before I saw the first car, and I knew him, so that called for a bullshit session. I am sure I didn't see more than 10 cars on the whole ride. It is early in the year...meaning that later when tourist and cabin season starts, seeing that few cars will not happen. Rode the fixed gear again. The rest of the family went shopping...they missed out, although they would argue that point. Porn
Some nice back roads I was on today

5 miles in called for shedding a layer on the top. Works out nice with that shirt, as it rolls up small and fits in the jacket back pocket. It was 37 degrees when I left and 42 when I got back home.

This is a Dry Hydrant. A lot of the places where the water is close to the road, these are installed to aid in fighting fires. Around here they are all numbered. When there is a fire they will use one close to the fire...i.e. #xxx...and use it to refill the tanker trucks that haul water to the fire.

Stopped for a break here and geese up river were really noisy. I tried to get a picture, but they were too far away and in the shadow.

I tried out the fixed gear on a sand//gravel road. It has 700X32 cross tires and worked well on this road at least.

Trout stream...Bergen Creek

Saturday, March 28, 2009

With the temps around +35 and the sun shining, Janice and I went for a 19 mile ride this afternoon. I rode the fixed gear again today. I really have grown to enjoy riding it. I had only rode my friends fixed gear once before I purchased this one, so I installed the brakes that came with it. There are some folks out there that say you do not need them and there are some that say you only need the front one...including the legend Sheldon Brown. Although I have not been using the brakes, I will leave the brakes on it. I am not using the fixed gear to make a statement or trying to impress anyone. I am using it to better my pedal stroke and hopefully improve hill climbing. I have discovered however, it is a blast to ride and I plan on putting it to a lot of use. I am VERY lucky in that Janice likes to ride too.
Stopped at the this boat landing for a little break. At 102 feet deep, I think this is the deepest lake in our area.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Wood

Another night of cutting next years firewood. We used basically all wood for heat this last winter. We were gone for two weekends and while we were away the gas furnace kicked in as back up. I figure we used about 7.5 logging cords. I am really itching to get out on the bike..but...I rather gather the wood up when the sun is not shining, and ride the bike when it is shining." Going to be cold winter. White man put up lot a firewood"...Herbert Love

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Selle An-Atomica

The new saddle came Monday afternoon. It is a Selle An-Atomica Titanico from Sage Cycles...yes the Clydesdale model for you smart asses. I already have them on two of my rides and put thousands of miles on them. I would not call this a cheap saddle by any means, but on the other hand, there are some a lot more expensive. I have found a combination of saddle and shorts that work well for me and if that is what it takes to be comfortable...SO BE IT. Janice is also riding this saddle. The mountain bike is the only ride that does not have this saddle now and I think it will stay that way. If you can see the light colored edge on the bottom, that is where I take a little grinder to smooth the sharp edge. After they get ridden a while, the light color goes away and you can't tell it has been worked on.
I also switched the trainer tire out for the regular summer one...and while I was at it I put the BOB trailer skewer back on. Two steps closer to bicycle camping.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bird Feeders

We thought we were going through a lot of Black Oil Sunflower seeds and this is at least part of the reason. Early Monday morning at 1:20 AM, we caught them on camera. That is our warning to put our feeders away for the year. Seems every year we have the coons first, and later the much larger black furry critters...the Black Bear. The bears just tear the hell out of everything. I cannot count how many feeders they have ruined. I think we all would be hungry if we waited that long to eat. Can't say we haven't been warned.
Look at the paws on that would ya

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Ride

Plus 55 degrees and sunny...had to get out. We cut a load of firewood in the morning and biked the Person Lake Loop this afternoon. First time biking outdoors this year for Janice although she has been riding the trainer indoors for up to an hour at a time. She signed for the MS150 ride this June. It is a 150 mile two day bicycle ride from Proctor, MN to the Twin Cities area. She has volunteered the last three years and decided to ride it this year. They require each rider to raise $300 dollars in pledges and with the state of the economy, it has been tough fund raising year. We will see how it goes, and if we come up short...She will ride and I will be the support staff...and I be good at supportin.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy first day of Spring, from our house to yours.

J Watson
Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

M & M Ride

My Dad put a scare into the family this past weekend. He was hospitalized Sunday AM until today. We brought him home today and through modern medicine, things are all better. We got home about 3 this afternoon. Janice and my sister stayed with Dad and I did the M & M favorite out and back ride...on the fixed gear. Nothing like a bike ride to come back down and relax a little. It was a 36 mile ride...I varied a little from the Map My Ride version. The first half had more up hills, into the wind and on the way back, sailing with the breeze. I like it better that way...get the hardest out of the way first. As on pic for BIG St Croix River
Tamarack River

Rock in the Moose

Highway M Moose River crossing

Mail Road Moose River crossing

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eau Claire County Ride

We made a road trip to Eau Claire Friday and stayed over night. Saturday morning we stopped at the bike shop...Eau Claire Bike and Sport...just to shoot the shit. It was interesting as one of the locals, Ray, was there. This marks the second time we have witnessed Ray keeping Terry and Ryan in line...and that's a good thing. They have taken good care of us and come highly recommended in our book.

We then headed out to Fall Creek. I unloaded the fixed gear and headed north on highway K. I did not know what to expect riding in this area. I had never ridden the roads around here. Now that I have I can tell you one thing for certain...I have never ridden in a place where the autos have been more generous. Most of the roads today had a shoulder of 2 to 3 feet, and the cars still gave you room. They gave a lot of room and that includes the towns I went through...Altoona and Fall Creek.The Nokian studded tires require a 30 mile break in on pavement. I gave them a little extra for good measure.
Fall Creek, WI

Fall Creek to Seymour on highway K, back to SS into Altoona and through town, then back to Fall Creek.

Crossing the Eau Claire River...I think

This is the line between Eau Claire and Chippewa counties. In this area Eau Claire County has the advantage for bike friendly highways. The road narrowed going into Chippewa County and I headed back south.

Can't say enough about how friendly the automobile traffic was. I think that is a good indicator of the people that live in this area. 34 plus miles of X-cellent riding, even if it was a little windy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Orange cones

With the temperature up in the 50's, sun shining bright and winter weather on the way...had to do it. I rode the Stop-a-Sec Circle on the Fixie this afternoon. This route has a lot of hills and today, a lot of puddles marked with orange cones. It reminded me of this Bob and Tom tune.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I rode the Little Bigger Circle ride this usaul, click on highlight to link and on the pictures to make large. This route has a lot of hills. I am really happy with the gearing on this unit so far. It has a 38 X 16 gear and I realize that is a very low gear for some, but I have not walked one hill yet...although I have had to pedal my ass off on some of the downhills. I was also had mixed feelings about which size to get. My road bikes have compact geometry and sized a large. This one is 58cm which turns out right for me on this bike. On a side note...Bryce if you are reading this, next time you guys are up this way...Lets Ride.
This hill has three corners in it so a picture of the complete hill is not possible. I reached a speed of 28.6mph and that is pedal'in let me tell ya.

Some stately Jack Pines.

There were some puddles today...but puddles are better that ice. I came around a downhill corner today that had about a 100 yards of ice at 23 mph. It did have some patches of sand and I sqeaked through some how.

After I took this picture I starting thinking...From this spot I could count 10 different lakes with in 1 mile or 2...not visually...just know they are there.
This is Tom and Jerry. I wonder how much longer they will be here. The one on the right has some pecker holes and is starting to look ratty.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Maiden Voyage

I rode the Person Lake ride on the fixed gear's maiden voyage this afternoon. For the most part the roads were in good shape. The fixed gear will let you know when you who's boss when you try to coast. I was caught three times tonight trying to cheat. On this route tonight I saw three cars and I discovered something right away with the first one. I never realized it before...but when I am riding roads with little traffic and I hear a car approaching, I will sit up a little, glance back at them and coast at the same time. I think I am just being nosey, checking to see if I know them. When I am on roads with more traffic, I don't break stride, or look back. And, I got caught on one of the downhills, day let me know. It was 13 miles at 50 degrees and the puddles were numerous.

For right now I will leave the gearing alone. Maybe tweak it later, but just right now. I could handle all the hills tonight.

Those that know the fixed gear also know downhills can be hard too, although this one I went down and up.

Parking that bike in the snow brought back memories. I remember as a young-un getting the bicycle out for the first time in the spring, we would always find snow banks to drive in. It was the m o s t fun. The bikes then were put away all winter. I do not remember anyone riding in the winter. It was always about this time of year...spring fever time...when the first kid would break the ice, drag out the bike and soon everyone would follow. It was a fun time of year.

Some Porn

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sloppy Roads Here

As John Ruskin said "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plus 45 and didn't ride

I had planned a nice ride tonight after work, but things change and that did not come to happen. On another note, a friend of mine has a fixie gear that I have had the privilege of riding. I have wanted one and been looking for quite some time. I was looking to get on a Surly. I searched the want ads for a long time. We went to the bike swap in Blaine this year in hopes of finding something reasonable. There were two Surly Steamrollers, but not my size and with the shaky ground we are on at work...I THINK?? we are going to be OK mentality...stability of the job market and so on, I did not want to spend a lot of money. That ruled out building up a Surly to what I wanted. I ended up buying this unit. It is a Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO. It ships with 700x32 tires and it will accommodate tires up to 42c. I wanted the bigger tires and lower gearing because some of my favorite rides include firelanes and dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. I also found some end of the year sale Nokian studded tires. I also will change out the pedals. The reviews at Bike Forum have been good, so this unit will be good enough for me to get into the single speed///fixie riding. Janice is picking it up as I type this.