Thursday, January 31, 2008

We're havin' a heat wave... A tropical heat wave...

Isn't that how the song goes? Anyhow, with the strange temps as of late I thought my commute home was going to be balmy when I checked the temps and it said 7 above. When I got ready to leave work I said, eh, I'll just use one layer under my jacket today. Well, a few words of wisdom, 7 degrees is not balmy :)

Yesterday I took in my first meeting the Duluth Area Trails Alliance. I group trying to help add and enhance the trail systems in Duluth. They also formed a sub group that is going to help address the issues regarding alternative transportation. It looks like this group (DATA) is going to be doing some great things, keep an eye out here!

Yesterday I had an accident. I turned down 4th ave w from 1st st and my front tire slid out from under me on the super cold and slick paver stones which make up downtown streets. I managed to do quite a graceful 1 legged dismount and run off as my bike continued straight and I went left. I was ok but I broke my two lights. One was just a bulb and the other was the clamp. Serfas kindly is sending me another clamp, thanks! I'll have to find myself a new bulb which will give me a chance to make some improvements to my DIY light.

Also yesterday because I was going to be riding my bike to the Chester Creek Cafe, I wanted to buy a lock (yes, not much bike thievery when it's -12 below, but still, rather safe then sorry). So I went to Continental Ski and Bike to buy one but they didn't have anything strong enough for what I was looking for so, they nice guys that they are, they offered me a loner... but they were gone so Brett from the shop lent me his personal lock. That's how great this place is. Thanks man! I returned it today, hope you find it safe!

On my way home after the meeting I headed out at about 8:15. After fiddling with the lock and putting on cold wet gloves my hands got the coldest ever. I stopped mid ride to put on a backup pair but had problems with the thumb of the liner going where it was supposed to so I ended up with thumbs in the mitt part, not recommended but it kept my thumb from freezing. I would not have wanted to have to have been out much longer in that situation. The cold up here is no laughing matter, when something goes wrong it can get much much worse simply because of the cold.

So, wish you the best Doug, I'm sure you'll do great in the Arrowhead 135!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Will Power

I'm writing right now, sitting here in all my riding gear. Luckily my computer is in my basement which is quite cold so I'm doing ok. I'm waiting for my balaclava to dry. I went to put it on and it was still soaked from yesterday. As I was sitting here I realized it really takes a lot of will power to wake up, watch tv and see pretty much every school in Northern Minnesota closed, for the second day in a row, and think, well, I'm still going to ride in today. My wife is staying home so that even means I could drive if I wanted to.
I must say this; if you're riding to work in any condition below freezing, give yourself a pat on the back. If you're riding in freezing rain and glare ice roadways, another pat. If you're riding in below 0 another pat, below -20 (today) another and if you're riding in the Arrowhead 135, 5 more!!!

I haven't written lately but I have been wanting to. I wanted to let you all know about the crazy weather we've had here. Monday we had temps 20+ in the morning and freezing rain and 34 deg. on the way home. I must say how well my Kombi gloves worked in the rain, 100% dry, thanks gore-tex. Also, as I was about 1 mile from home I looked down and realized I didn't have any rain pants on, just my toko pants. I was amazed that my legs were totally dry, sure, the pants were wet but none came to the inside! Awesome!

So, with the fun temps, highs and lows, the rain, ice and bone chilling cold, I must say it's been an interesting week already.

Stay warm!

GOOD LUCK Monday Doug!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update on Pequot Lakes...

Hello everyone!
Greetings from Pequot Lakes, MN again. Another 3 day trip here for work. I like working here, but not so much living in the hotel room.

I wanted to let you all know some facts and figures about Pequot Lakes. So here it is.

Pequot Lakes, MN
2000 Population: 947 (no, no digits missing there, that's nine hundred forty seven people)
Located in Crow Wing County right in the lakes country of Minnesota's heartland. Some of the most expensive real estate in the state is only a few miles away.

According to the city website there's a fire board meeting on the 30'th and you can visit the historical society museum for 1 dollar- open saturday only.

I can't find much interesting in for city type stuff it's just toooo small. But that's not why people come here. This is...

"There is something for every age and interest throughout the entire year. Cast a fishing line afloat from one of our 465 lakes. Rent recreational equipment so you can enjoy the water or trails. Join in a local neighborhood festival or event. Play more than 520 holes of golf on dozens of wonderful courses. Enjoy a colorful hike along the Paul Bunyan Trail—a 100-mile paved trail winding through lakes, rivers and forests. Glide through the winter’s powdery snow on a snowmobile or cross-country skis. Attend a theatrical or musical event. Enjoy food and drink atop a patio, overlooking the lake. Even rainy days bring plenty of options."

I'll be much happier here this spring and summer!
Hope you are happy where ever you are!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's wrong with me?

I get that question a lot lately, riding in the cold we've had the last few days gets a person a lot of attention. As I enter the building at work I get all kinds of funny comments, all good. As I'm riding up the elevator with helmet and bag and other stuff in hand I get the "you ride bike in this?" and today a DTA bus driver opened his window at the stop light to have a chat with me. It's kind of fun to get that attention. I'm sure tomorrow will be no different. Ahh, tomorrow, when the "cold" is supposed to come. I just looked at the temps and they're about what they were today so no biggie (actually, about -2 or so), however, if I were going for a ride Saturday morning I'm sure I'd be adding another layer as the low is going to be around -15 without windchill. Burrr :)

Here's another meaning to my blog title today...
As I got home this evening I felt very weak, even to the point of being shaky. I've been trying to eat better but I think the fruit and veggies and low-fat lunches I eat haven't been giving me enough gas for my ride home. I don't know if that's all it is or if it could be something else. I'm not tired by any means, not breathing hard or anything like that, just weak feeling like I've got no more energy. Maybe a snickers before I head out the door? :) I have been loosing weight though, which is something I've been wanting to do, I'm @ 182 now, about 13 less then when I started riding and I haven't done anything drastic (unless you count rinding 12 miles a day in sub-freezing temps drastic). I hope to get to 175 or so and I'd be quite pleased with that.

Sorry for not having more posts and pics lately. My wife started classes again this week so I've been quite busy with work and house stuff and haven't had much time on the computer. I am also missing my other camera I take sometimes so I don't have to haul our more expensive one around with me so when I find that I'll probably take more (plus it's freakin cold out and I don't want to be standin around snapin pictures).

Well, it's almost 10 pm, time for the news then bed... Night all.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hello again!

Welcome back! I trust everyone had a good weekend? I did! I was back on the bike today for a quite chilly ride in today. I took a few days off to let my knees get back to normal- today they felt fine. In other news, my wife started another semister of classes today so it's going to be hectic like crazy around here for who knows how long. I'm glad I get a solid hour a day to myself to mellow out or I think I'd blow up!

I recieved a late x-mas present saturday, a new cateye headlight from nashbar. I appreciate the gift but I just bought one on my own and can't return that one now that so I'll be looking for something to snatch up from nashbar- we'll see what tempts me over the next few days. Too bad it wasn't a 1000$ head light or I'd have a new bike... Ha.. I'm dreamin there hu!
Anyhow, have a good week!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Response to Jerome's "Imagery" post :)

Jerome from "Jerome's bikes and other stuff" blog had a nice post Saturday with Timbaland's "Apologize" video. I had to post this video in response :)


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A great tip!

Replace them BEFORE they get to this point...

Sorry my poor back rim :o(
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sore knees

I'm not sure what's going on, but last week my right knee was pretty sore and now, today and yesterday, my left knee is hurting. I felt this way a ways back when I first went to clipless, but I don't have anything keeping my feel locked on anymore. I think I just need to take some Advil or something and maybe take it easy this weekend.

I've been feeling quite well other than that though. I've ridden every day so far but Saturday and have put on extra miles each day- running around taking pictures. I'm going to try to venture to the top of Skyline tomorrow if it's not snowing, then head down 7 Bridges road for more pics. Not sure what it's like up there but I would guess I'll be fine without the extra fat tires some people have :D

The other day I mentioned maybe making a day of riding, but I don't have a clue where I would like to ride. It has to be roads because two of us (maybe 3 or 4) don't have pugsleys so it would need to be a mostly road ride. If anyone has any ideas let me know please.

Well, that's about all for now!
P.S. I've been posting more pics on the 12 hour page but will put some here again soon.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I see the light light light light light light light

I got a new headlight today and it has blinky blinky blinky mode. It's a Serfas HL1. It worked nicely but I must say, the mounting clip leaved a lot to be desired. It was quite a pain to get the light onto and off from it's "quick release" slider. After about an hour of fiddling with the light with Bryn from Continental Ski and Bike and a second light from the rack, we were finally able to get reasonable performance from the mount.

(Image from Serfas website) HL1 Headlight

Sunday, January 6, 2008


OK, I know this isn't really bike related but too bad- it's my blog so plbttttt :oP

If you didn't already know, I like art, more specifically photography. I try to take good pictures and admit, I don't always succeed but trying is half the fun. As I sit here tonight I'm thinking about things and while looking at my "site of the day" site (Conscientious) I happened across an interesting quote, "Someone once told me that if I wanted to be a photographer I should always have a camera with me. I decided to follow that advice. " (from Ben Roberts

I think I am going to really try to focus a bit more on taking pictures. A few years ago I gave out calendars I had made for Christmas presents to friends and family- they were fantastic. However, when I went to make them this year I found very few new pictures. I have a few ideas in mind and hope to be able to get them online here in the next few weeks. So expect bike and photography posts in the future (I, as well as many others, have also been updating the 12 hours in Photography page, so check there often).


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ride mapping

I think this would be super cool to do. I will need to get a gps for my bike now :)
Anyhow, I think I'll check out some of these mapped rides in the Duluth area. Check your town for mapped rides too.

Turns out you don't need gps for this site. Some I've seen let you upload from a gps device. This one lets you add points to a map and uses google maps as a built-in interface.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The icy shores of Lake Superior

The weather here right next to the big lake is quite odd. You travel a few miles in any direction and you'll have vastly different temps and conditions. Today was supposed to be a warm day- which it was comparatively speaking but that really doesn't mean much.
On my way in I noticed how the lake was starting to ice over. I figured on my way home I would not see any ice because of the warm temps but on the contrary, the ice had been pushed to shore by the westward winds. A very thin- hardly noticeable layer had formed all the way to the shore. It's funny, the things you miss in everyday life because we're too busy doing this and that and going here and there. I stopped on the lakewalk on the way home and just relaxed for 10 seconds and I could hear the waves, ever so small, coming to shore crackling the ice above. I was peaceful in a way... Then I tore out of there and pushed hard for home because we had to go out to eat and drop off the kid and the in-laws and go to the store and..... That's enough peace for one day :o)


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jill can't have all the fun...

If you read the Blog "Up in Alaska" you'll know that Jill seems to be having a grand ol' time trompin' around the amazing landscapes of Alaska for hours on end...

Well, I don't think she should be the only one having that kind of fun. I vote we (and by we I mean me and who ever else is crazy enough to come along) spend the day riding around Minnesota somewhere (Do we have glaciers anywhere? No? I didn't think so...) I say we pick a day some upcoming weekend and spend a whole bunch of hours on our bikes. Who's with me??? (HELLO? Anyone there???...)
(Would have to be non-pugsley accessible)


The Duluth Triangle..... (beware... ohhhh)

New years day bike ride on the Duluth Triangle (people get lost in there...)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finally, some pictures! (and other info)

Hello again! I'm just here to post some pictures. First, from the Velo Duluth New Years Day Ride. There were about 15 I believe I counted, I think 2 had mechanical problems because I didn't seem them after we left. It was a fun ride, about 10 miles according to Google earth. I plotted our course and then my course after with Doug to park point and back, made a nice "Duluth Triangle" I'll post a shot of that tomorrow- kind of funny. The first 10 seemed a lot faster- perhaps because we were with a larger group? Either way- here we are!

(I'm behind the camera :(, Doug and Boz and both there, can you find them?)

A note about my gear- Boz's post reminded me to check on some things.
Mainly, my new gloves. I was given two pair of gloves for x-mas, nothing too "special" other then they were gifts. I returned them because- well, they wouldn't have cut it for biking. I went to Dunham's sports (not top rated stuff, but hey- if it works, more power to you!). I found a pair by Kombi, they are gore-tex and seemed quite comfortable. Well, performance wise- AWESOME! I used to always get cold hands and fingers but not in these. I highly recommend (29$ and full fingers). The -20 windchill had no effect. It's these here- (Image from Kombi Website-1/2/08)
Also, I got some new boots. I searched high and low in Duluth for some insulated hiking style boots (200 gram thinsulate, waterproof). Most what I found was either over 125$ or didn't have my size. I also needed to find boots for my 1 year old, which don't exists in Duluth either. I checked wal-mart and found some really cheap (price) boots for myself. I don't have the brand off-hand, but they are 200gram thinsulate and waterproof. I've tried other boots and options but my feet were toasty as can be in these things- lightweight, comfortable, CHEAP! Just my style.
(Cheap- read last post- new baby on way- cheap = perfect)

A few shots of Christmas lights in Duluth

Here I am as I got home this evening- I wonder if I scare people dressed up like this...

Anyhow- enjoy the new year!

2008 Starts off with a BANG

Happy 2008 everyone! Here's a short post to tell what's happened so far in 2008.

Jan 1 2008- Velo Duluth Annual bike ride, 10 miles temps, 7 f -8 w/ wind chill, then another 10 miles after that.
Jan 2 2008- 4 below on ride to work, -15 w/ wind chill
Jan 2 2008- call from my wife- she's pregnant!!! We're having another baby! (thoughts of "how can I be even more of a cheapskate" run through my head). I guess I'll have to bike everywhere now :) Heck- bikes for the whole family!

OK, more later! PEACE!