Saturday, February 27, 2010

We went to The American Birkebeiner, which is an annual cross country ski race from Cable WI to Hayward WI.  There were participants this year from 47 states and also several countries were represented.  We know a couple people that do the Birkie every year.  One of them skied the classical this year and finished 143 overall, and I think he has done over 30 of them...Good job Mark.  Another fellow we know finished 3594 on the skate side of the track.  I'm not sure if it was his 35th or 36th Birkie and that would be out of only 37 that have taken place...Very Nice.
Main street, downtown Hayward.

This was everyone's goal today...The finish line, which makes the skating side of the track 50k and the classical side 54k.  We hope The Old Bag crossed here today.
This was the overall winner of the skate division. He was the first to cross the line and he was none other than, Fabio Santus from Milano Italy with a new course record of a 1:56:58.6 total elasped time for the 50k.  Last year it was a photo finish.  No need this year.  He won by 8 seconds.
The leaders had an escort.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Evening Ski

A new ride on the way for one of the Ladies in our family! ! 

Well, it's another week flying by again.  Monday and Tuesday was spent in the garage working on our son Michaels truck.  For what it's worth, I do not like working on vehicles.  I'm really not that good at it either.  Last night was an hour on the trainer and I would much rather ride the trainer than work on vehicles, if that says anything.  So tonight when I went for a nice 3.5 mile ski with the snow perfect for my set up...well you get the idea. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We Plunged

Our niece Sarah and I did the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Saturday.  We helped raise over $100,000.00 for the cause.  Here are some of the pictures.
Yes...No...Maybe So
We wore the biking attire as we are doing the MS150 bicycle ride in June.  150 miles for another good cause and more fun! !
No turning back now! ! !
Freezin for a reason

Safety people were there just in case we didn't pop back up like we were suppose to.
Upright and catching our breath.
See the guy wearing the tennies...that is the only thing I would do would be flip flops.  Other than it taking your breath away for a little while, it was the feet that got cold.  The tennies held the water in and when you were out of the water, the feet knew it was cold.
As you can see, we weren't the only ones...LOL and Fun

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go Jump in the Lake

Before I left work, a good friend told me to go jump in the lake.  I chose this one.  OK, just kidding...I already had planned on jumping in the lake before he told me to.  My niece Sarah and I will be doing the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics.  Pictures to follow.

Lake Superior is, by surface area, the world's largest freshwater lake.

The surface area of Lake Superior (31,700 square miles or 82,170 square kilometers) is greater than the combined areas of Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.

Lake Superior contains as much water as all the other Great Lakes combined, even throwing in two extra Lake Eries.

Lake Superior contains 10% of all the earth's fresh surface water.

There is enough water in Lake Superior (3,000,000,000,000,000--or 3 quadrillion-- gallons) to flood all of North and South America to a depth of one foot.

The deepest point in Lake Superior (about 40 miles north of Munising, Michigan) is 1,300 feet (400 meters) below the surface.

Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior.

The average elevation of Lake Superior is about 602 feet above sea level.

The Lake Superior watershed region ranges in size from 160 miles inland near Wabakimi Provincial Park to only 5 miles inland from Pictured Rocks National Seashore.

The Lake Superior shoreline, if straightened out, could connect Duluth and the Bahama Islands.

The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is 27 feet, making it easily the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. Underwater visibility in places reaches 100 feet. Lake Superior has been described as "the most oligotrophic lake in the world."

The lake is about 350 miles (563 km) in length and 160 miles (257 km) in width.

In the summer, the sun sets more than 35 minutes later on the western shore of Lake Superior than at its southeastern edge.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Y West

The recent ride has been just short of the The Y West ride.

I have been riding the road we live on, County Highway Y west of Gordon, the last couple times out.  I used to ride this road a lot when we first moved out here.  For quite some time it was the only option we had if we wanted to ride on blacktop.  Although hwy Y is scenic with what many would consider low traffic, it has some...ok, a lot of rough spots.  They say because it is a dead-end highway with few residents it doesn't warrant fixing.  Personally, I think Douglas County must have that opinion of most of their roads...because most Douglas County Highway roads SUCK!!!  The township roads are for the most part, much nicer to bicycle.  A few years after we moved here, the town of Wascott laid blacktop to a road that borders our property.  When that was done, it opened miles and miles of nice township roads featuring smooth riding right out the end of our driveway.  We do feel fortunate to have such good roads to ride. 
The locals call highway Y, The River Road because it follows the along the St. Croix River.  It ends 7 miles out of Gordon where a dam forms Lake Gordon, or as many refer to as The Gordon Flowage.
I have been riding Y because the town roads have a layer of slush at the present time.  Y is a mix of blacktop showing and ice.
A lot of years Trumpeter Swans stay on the river.  They were not close to the road on this ride, so they may be hard to see in the picture.  
If you would like to buy a house or a cabin, there a few for sale out this way.
This is the river just before coming into the townsite of Gordon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Road Trip

We will be heading southeast tomorrow for the bike swap in Blaine MN.  It is a fun event in which we have attended the last few years.  We didn't buy much last year, probably won't buy much this year either, but we have a shopping list.  It's just fun to go.  See you there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Little Ride

I went out for a little ride tonight and even though it was little...10.4 was a sufferfest.  Did you know if you look up sufferfest on the Google, the results are basically all bicycling related?  The roads tonight were just plain difficult.  A thin layer of sugar like substance coated them.  It was still good and much better than the last few days on the trainer.  No complaints here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Superior Ski

Saturday morning I took my dad to a vintage snowmobile show, so ended up getting a late start for my plans of the day.  I had wanted to ski the outer loop of the Superior Forest Ski Trail.  I knew when I left the house to drive up there, it would be close for me to complete the loop before darkness set in...after thought, should have brought along headlight.  Actually, I knew before we went to the show it would be close, but I also knew Dad would enjoy it, and that was much more important than skiing.  We had a good time. 
The trail head I started from shares the parking lot with The  Millennium Trail on 28th street in Superior WI.  The Millennium allows ATV's and snowmobiles.  The ski trail also has short sections on the Millennium.

I will say that the trail is very for the bad.  It was poorly marked and some sections were not groomed for classical skiing.  If I had not spent so much time trying to figure out where I was at and which way to turn, I may have had the time to complete my goal.  That, and as I am standing at an intersection on the trail with map in hand, a very wise man who once said "Well, the first thing one needs to do is send in the money, and then, you are in" in regards to doing the Birkie stopped.  He showed me where I was on the map and we shot the breeze for a while.  As far as the grooming is concerned, it was perfect for skating and most everybody there was skating.  I only saw one other person doing the classical. 

The trails near the trail head were groomed well for classical style, but the farther one went from the trail head..... 

All told, I did get all but the bottom loop in for a total of a little over 10 miles of classical skiing.  I will try to keep track of the tracking conditions and make another attempt of the outer most loop.  As I was driving home watching it get dark, I was thinking I could have had the time, that is if I didn't get lost.  I now know where to go next time...I think.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Baby Circle Ride

After skiing the last couple days, I got the fixie out for a ride last night.  Good time for sure.  The county road that I was on for 1.7 miles was like riding on a slushie, and then it was on to town roads that alternated bare ice with ruts to a light layer of snow.  It is roads like these that make me happy with my choice of studded tires.  When I purchased tires for the fixie last year, I debated on which Nokian's to buy...the Hakkapeliitta W240 or Hakkapeliitta W106.  The W240's are better for roads with ruts (our roads out here in the sticks) because the studs wrap around the edge of the tire.  The last few times have proven that was a good choice for me.  If we lived where the roads were better, I would have gone with the 106's.  I rode a little circle +10miles and I met or was passed by 0.00 vehicles.  It is rare, but I like it when that happens.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On the Skiis

I have been on the cross country skiis the last 2 nights.  It was 5k each night at a good pace for a person of my ability.  I pushed hard and it got me to thinking how hard it would be to do the Birkie. The Old Bag is doing it this year and we will be cheering her on.  Anyone doing the Birkie has to be in very good shape.  54K to ski it...50K to skate and both of the Kortelopet's are 23K each.  My friend CAD could do these with ease, but I know for a fact that I would have to struggle through, but I would make it even with my limited ability.

Monday, February 1, 2010


It's been awhile since anything has been put up on here. Lazy, simply lazy. I have been doing the inside thing almost every day...running on the elliptical and riding the trainer. I will be getting outside again very soon. I have been doing some research on some organized tours. I have a few questions about doing a tour...mainly would they have a problem with Janice following along with our camper. Not the same route as the ride, but meeting me in the stay over towns. She could find plenty to do while I am riding and we could meet up in the evenings. It is in this way that we can still have a vacation together...and not be to close, lol lol lol. If anybody has had experience with this, please let us know.  

I may or may not have a new gadget to play with. I am a sucker for gadgets.