Wednesday, January 30

Jury Duty

I had jury duty today and got to play "real" bike commuter with a 20 mile shot each way to get to the other end of the county. Left in the dark, came home in a snowstorm. Such is winter in Colorado, not that I'm complaining one bit. My running 9 day mileage far eclipsed the rest of the month and my expectations. Tomorrow will be playing on the Pugs to finish it up. January has been a very good month, better than I thought it might be. Better than last year even without 1000 miles.

Sorry forgot my camera today. It was windy and blue bird skies and I pulled an end around on the storm coming home. A couple hours later we have significant accumulation. 

Jury duty was sooo not as exciting as I had hoped it might be.

Late edit: Forgot to mention I got crapped on today. Literally. Yep that's right. Some geese got a double direct hit right on my jacket sleeve. Whap whap. Son of a...!

Sunday, January 27


Way random day but I spent 110% of the daylight hours on a bike or doing bike related socializing. Started off at the Salvagetti breakfast ride after doing some minimal clothing low temperature related testing on the ride over from home. That means I froze my ass off because I didn't want to carry a pack but not too bad. Big group for the breakfast ride including Bill, Nicolette, Dave, Shawn and Rob plus a lot of people I met for the first time.
Breakfast at Snooze. I had a flight of pancakes and hot cocoa (remember the freezing part?) but I don't think there was a bad thing on the breakfast menu.
Definitely huge burritos. Dave cleaned his plate as always.
Shawn and Rob enjoying their flight of pancakes and speciality butter as well.
After the ride we cruised the city for a while working back north. Pretty sweet sign.
Pretty sweet outfit. This was not the only shirtless old man I saw today. Seriously people, it's 50, not 90.
Mr.Eagle watching over us on the South Platte.
Dave and I cruised north together for a while before we parted ways. I headed northeast up Riverdale to Brighton before heading home in a roundabout fashion, ticking 100 miles along the way. Dave headed south to Golden and Morrison hitting his century+ as well. Now I'm sleepy and going to go get some well deserved sleep tonight after a very good week on the bike. Tomorrow will be an easy AR day on the road and catch up on a bunch of other outstanding items.

Saturday, January 26

Leadville Winter MTB #1: Playing on the Pugsley

This morning Dave, Marni and I headed up to PbVille for some snow racin'. The weather was fabulous and I was overdressed in what you see below, except for when I rode or crashed off the trail in the bottomless snow.
Dave getting ready with Jeny and EdE hiding there.
The group was almost 25 strong at the start.
TomP is hiding in there as well as Eben and Cole plus tons of really cool other people I got to meet.
While we raced Marni did some extreme knitting ;)
I finished 2nd overall behind local Mark in 1:16:xx for 10 miles. The course was tons of fun and lots (~1700ft) of climbing. The Pugs was a big hit as usual and Eric's poggies got a ton of interest and compliments as well.
EdE all done.
I-9's? ;)
Post race idle chatter.
Jeny coasting in on a munched rear mech...
Dave on the Endo shod snow fixie
Great day, must do it again soon. The high mountains are so pretty in the winter.

Friday, January 25

Wind Tunnel

As discussed with the Daves at camp, I live in a wind tunnel. I live just east of Hwy 93 where 100 mph winds are not uncommon. Today was one of those days where I don't realize quite how windy it is until I turn around and get instantly spun out on the SS and it was just an average winter/spring day. Luckily I've got plenty of hills to throw into the mix to keep the RPMs down and on dirt there are no cars to worry about blowing in front of. My limit on the pavement is 45mph gusts, above which I get blown off my bike climbing the main hill that leads from my house towards most of my major routes.

Usually I'm pretty good about embracing the wind and it's nice training effect but I do get fed up now and then. I will say TransIowa winds don't scare me and that I'm glad our house is protected so I don't have to re-hang my fence multiple times a year like some of the people in my neighborhood!

Thursday, January 24

I shall call him, Fileepoh, the mini wolf

Two posts in one day, wah what what what? I must be riding well again.
I forgot to mention that last night I saw the pack of three coyotes for the third time. I'm not sure if we just roam the same territory but it's fun to have their company at night. This time one stopped just 10 feet from me, likely because we were separated by a fence. Usually they keep their distance. I was reminded of last night by running into a solo coyote today which Marni has named Fileepoh (because his parents wanted him to be different). Funny.

Temperatures were a balmy mid-30s today and I was dressed too warm for my lunch ride. The year continues on an upward swing in temperature, daylight and energy and I'm looking forward to heading to Leadville this weekend. A part of me wants to be headed to the big desert with the APC crew but it's not in the cards. Too much solo driving and gas for too few days of fun. Arizona is pulling me strongly though and I may be out there sooner rather than later. I guess we'll know for sure in the next few months won't we? I appreciate the offer of transport in that instance DC.
Tomorrow is Friday, gateway to the weekend and it always goes quickly. Fueled by my day of allowed coffee and sugar I can never seem to get everything done before the weekend is here. Bed!

On the mend

Kick that red St.George dirt off the shoes, I'm going riding.
While Marni was still getting over our joint sickness I moved beyond the "sit on the couch" point into the "do stuff" point. Tuesday I got back on the road bike trying to keep it easy but ended up having a very productive day of riding and feeling better. Yesterday I made no attempt to veil my enthusiasm and ripped it for 4 hours after work in the dark despite temperatures in the low teens. I thought about bringing the camera but it was dark the majority of my ride and you guys can only look at so many deer in the headlights self portraits before you stop reading my blog. I hit up almost everything on the dirty Bismark as well as some extra credit around Marshall Mesa. There are a few big, no make that huge, snow drifts but it's all wind hammered and hard enough to ride on. As long as the temperatures stay cool it's not muddy at all and a majority of the trail is totally dry. Plus somehow the sun is sneaking around on me and I didn't fire up the headlamp until almost 6pm last night, sweet!Here is a little profile to make up for my blatent lack of any cool pictures.

This Saturday I'm headed up to Leadville for the first round of the Leadville Winter MTB series. Sunday some good enduro riding seems to be brewing with Shawn and Dan. It's nice to be feeling better again and also to be riding dirt in some form here in the Front Range.

P.S. Get better Dave, sorry if I gave you the cold too :(

Monday, January 21


This should be a post about playing in the cold, instead I have a cold and so does poor wifey. Most of my time the past few days has been spent on the couch, idly playing Wii or reading polar, sea and mountaineering expedition reports from the past year. Of course that didn't stop me from heading out to Rollinsville with Mr.Nice for a short bit of snow and cold weather riding on Saturday. But when ignoring my cold failed to cause improvement in the usual timely fashion, I parked my butt on the couch and worked on my rest and hydration training. Still Saturday's riding for me revealed that the big pieces of the winter puzzle are working and that improvements are needed incrementally rather than a wholesale reevaluation of the system.
I really like this picture. Inside my multi piece headgear system is a warm, calm micro climate where I can see and breathe without concern to the nasty winds blowing all around me. More than once I would just stand in the sun in the middle of the road and watch the wind rage all around me, perfectly comfortable and smiling. I'm wearing: LG powercap under a pearl izumi light stretchy balaclava lest the powercap blow away again(!) and tucked under my baselayer for a leak free seal, a neoprene face mask with nose and mouth breathing holes that seem to minimize any fogging and clear Smith goggles so I can actually see without wind blown snow constantly stinging my eyes. I have an extra fleece ear band and several hoods not shown but those are not likely to be used when moving at any reasonable pace.
Epic Eric's sweet sweet poggies, my sleeping bag (and bivy if carried) and a 1L thermo resting up front. Snacks and gloves are stashed in the poggies as well for quick deployment lest I have to take my liner glove only hands out of their warm and comfy home.
Much of the road was so windblown it was bare.
Yep that's why. Dave is somewhere back that way trying to remain upright in the wind. I once ended up turning around 180deg while trying to tack into the wind but luckily I never hit terra firma myself.
I didn't get much beyond this point this trip but I did spend a short time scouting beyond the snow pile. It looks promising enough that I'm still entertaining a return trip although I might pedal the ~40 mile/3500ft approach from home just to make sure the effort isn't wasted if I end up hiking much of the "ride" after this point. Rollins Pass in winter with a bike is still definitely on my "tick list."
As for the other cold, it seems to be on the mend. Time for more healing zzz's so if I'm lucky I can get off the couch and back on the bike tomorrow. Dec and Jan have been solid if not slightly less crazy than last year but my form seems decent and I'm full of motivation and energy. Getting sick is rare for me so I'll just enjoy the days spent inside with Marni and be back out in winter in no time.

Wednesday, January 16

Bike Camp

Four days in the sun and on the bike, escaping this... And this in the predawn hours. Single digits were surprising nevertheless.
By that afternoon, ahhhhh. Tights not required.
My first trip to Goose was sweet and the sun and great company didn't hurt.
Adam showing me around the mesa.
Yes yes, I have a light on my helmet :p
Mr.Nice enjoying a ride with me that doesn't involve freezing our asses off for once.
Reflecting on terrain not covered by frozen white stuff.
The Friday afternoon crew was 3 SS and 1 fixie.
Meredith and Dave in the other Dave's bike cave.
It has three speeds...and shifts!
The group with our hostess getting ready to head out. Two dozen plus strong and raring to ride.
Those specks are DH and Josh, pretty much my view all day.
Chris hoping his heart doesn't explode.
DH snacking well ;)
I need to get me one of those...
Kenny riding strong.
Bart flying up in the big ring.
Did you ride it? Neither did I.
The train.
Well it sounded like a good idea in my head.
From here to there.
Beautiful scenery all around.
View from the top.
Then back down there.
Dave and the praying mantis.
This looks like a good place to stop. stop.
What a gem!
A couple hundred miles of dirt, great friends old and new, awesome climbing and my biggest worry usually what to eat next. Not a bad way to squander some vacation days and start the year.

Huge thanks to the hosts, let's do that again!