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Did I scare you? Months of no blogging. Months! I just won’t stand for it, so here we go.

Post Cheq 100 cashing I fell into a deep depression.

Then I felt better.


I rode the Cheq 40 in September. It was a really fun trip and I had a decent ride on the Salsa again, single again, 32×15 this time. The 40 and the 100 are different sports practically.

Angry Minnow Brewpub

Northern Wisco is great! I talked my way into a preferred start, sort of, Gate 3. First time I have ever warmed up at Chequamegon.

Cheq40StagedBrief race report: I went faster than I ever had, but everyone else did, too.

Moonshine Metric was up next, a 100k gravel ride up in Mount Vernon. I rode up and back as is my custom. It was a good night out on the bike, a fun course, only got off course once.


Moonshine Metric by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

The wackiest route I have ever ridden, maybe. Did not just feel like I was going in circles, I was going in circles!

I did another mountain bike race, the Mullet Fall Classic. This was a hard ride. I geared out the Salsa 1×10 style and was glad I did. I rode the marathon category which gave us 3 hours and 15 minutes to ride as far as we could, and whatever lap we had started before 3 pm would count. I looked at last years results and it looked like 6 laps was the jams, so that is what I was banking on. This was a silly idea, wound up doing 7 and hurting a lot. Garmin was on the fritz so no pretty map, but the splits tell the tale, I went slower and slower until I stopped.

Mullets n Dreads

Then, a cyclocross race in actual muddy rainy conditions – way to be Iowa! I rode out and back dodging the rain and won some money so it was a good day.


That wound up being my only CX race of the season. Fall life was more about cutting splitting and stacking wood which is pretty satisfying work. Heated the house with the woodstove exclusively until the Triple D weekend when I had to leave town. And thus I turned on the furnace.

Triple Dumb Salsa 1×9 by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.


The TD was interesting. I felt pretty good for the duration, and warm, too, which is always nice. I repeated my mantra <I am not taking this seriously> many times through the day. I ate pizza while riders came in and breezed out of the halfway check. And I took a 10 minute Pabst break with 10 miles to go. Still had a satisfying finish based on these criteria:

  1. I did not take it seriously
  2. I had a beer
  3. Finished in daylight
  4. Stayed warm
  5. Top 10 (bonus)

That gets us pretty close to now. I went to Cyclocross Worlds and coached Sven Nys to victory from the sidelines. (true) I went to the NAHBS and cluttered the internet with pics of bikes not many people can afford.

NAHBS 2013 Denver

I also hurt my leg while I was there walking around, standing around, drinking around, etc. Trouble persists to this very day and I have wondered if I was dealing with a muscle strain, or some vascular issue, or just lame old plain old tendonitis. As I fumble my way towards warmer temps and the healing powers they always bring to my extremities I am fairly certain it is all tendon. Despite this, I did a bike race yesterday, full on road style with skinny tires and one token rider in shorts, as required by the cycling gawds. They also took a shift lever from said beshorted participant so that none of us should suffer flat tires. Praise!

Masi CXR Hills Classic 40 by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Raced the 40+ category, I am old and happy about it. That gets us up to now. I missed a few things, but hell this is just a blog. Upcoming excitement consists of working a lot at the bike shop, Kent Park this weekend if my leg allows it, hopefully a mountain bike race in April, Almanzo Royal 162 in May, another crack at the Chequamegon 100 in June with multiple gears this time, then another blogging depression before a strong push through the autumn season possibly starting with the Chequamegon 40 which I may or may not have signed up for geared this year. I can’t remember!

See ya around.

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Another good week of riding behind me as the Cheq 100 gets ever closer in front of me. Got a couple of hours of recovery on the townie on Monday, then a couple of good rides during the week.

Sharon Center by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Morning Solon by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

All in all a good week, after a different good week, is encouraging.

Frytown in the morning by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

And a solid weekend, 8 hours riding!

Gritty Briefet by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Sunday I went out on the MASI SSCX for the first time in a while. Set out on the Gritty Brevet, and it was going smashingly well until I left Riverside after lunch. The wind picked up and switched a bit, a big storm looked me right in the eye before blowing by, and the gravel was often fresher than it had been. So, I rode 70 of the route and then turned for Iowa City to watch some Old Cap Crit.

This week is rest time, which I love, then next week is back to work, and Cody is done with her semester so I can start doing group rides again! Wonder how that’s going to go?


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Going Commando

Not much riding last week. I did get out last evening for an hour. I had the hiccups for the first half of the ride.

Sunday evening stroll with hiccups by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

There were a couple of other outings, but I just kept not getting time to go out and ride.

In other fitness pursuits, we got a woodstove in our house! It is really great, and as a bonus we get to chop wood all the time!

Here is the woodpile. We have a lot of work to do.

The chopping block. We keep it under a bucket. Here is a scene from yesterday’s woodchopping experience, our lives are so peaceful now. And our muscles are bulging!

I hope nothing ever comes to disturb our serenity!

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Weeklong Garmin Dump

Peterson’s Scrap Metal Xtracycle Trip by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

I took a ride on the Xtracycle to take shop salvage aluminum to the scrap yard. 86lbs!

Never the most fun task, it always feels good to get it done. Disaster almost struck, I thought my shifting was a bit wonky, but in actuality the FreeRadical lost FAP control and the drive side dropout bolt slipped and almost made it out. Yikes – remember to check yer bolts periodically.

Red’s ride, LeMond ss by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Next I rolled the LeMond ss up to North Liberty to have a couple of beers at Red’s with Gritty, the Gritty Brevet’s namesake. Good times, and nice to be riding again in some capacity. The leg still feels like it is doing okay, this was my biggest mileage day of the year!

Then, because it was so much fun I did it again the next night.

LeMond ss ride to Reds by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

This time with Dustin, the famous brother of Ira Ryan. We rode a bit slower and (unrelated) drank a bit more. Fine beer list they have up that way!

Took a couple of days off then, busy and the weather was kinda crummy. But Sunday got out for a kind of long one, almost 3 hours and almost 40 miles. Left with Jeremi and Ronnie and Evil Rob, finished up with Rob. Rode the MASI SSCX which is currently still my favorite bike.

Sunday hit of lsd by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Pretty tired by the end of that one. I don’t know when the last time was I was this out of shape, but I don’t like to remember it! Last one to dump then, standard long way to work this morning.

Long way to work LeMond ss by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Over the res, nice and easy, leg seems to be holding up.


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Two Rides

Nothing like a reborn bike to get me off me mudflaps!  Took the Lemond out for a quick spin last night and it is holy-schmoly fast, I got afraid a couple of times I was going to pile into the back of a car or something.

1st ride LeMond SS by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

The this morning after my morning walk (really, I walked for an hour, over to the Iowa River and back, very nice) and before work I got out for a quick spin again, this time for a couple of laps around the lake south of town.

Lemond ss before work quickie by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Not much I would change about the LeMond at this point, which is hardly surprising as I have been riding it for a long time and it fits me liike a glooove!  The gear is a little light maybe, but to run the “magic gear” my options are limited, and it is nice to get the spin on.

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An Explanation

So I have fallen off the weblogging wagon again.  Or is it that I got on the wagon again?  These are the sorts of grand thoughts having a blog leads to.  Blogold my ass!

Here’s the situation.  I have not ridden the last couple of weeks.  Or however long it has been?  But I did build up my old LeMond cross bike into a zippy 20lb townie so I plan to get back to riding it around right quick.  Right quick.  It is a pretty fun ride, I used the “magic gear” so I can use the vertical dropouts with no tensioner.  40×18 with a half link did the trick.  And those are some of the coolest brake levers I have ever had, Tektro makes them, we stock them at the shop if you like what you see and want to see what you like every time you ride.

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Got out for another ride before work this morning on the MASI ss.  A bit warmer, above freezing when I left!

Masi ss outta townie w/flat by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Good ride, strong wind out of the south so that part of the ride was not as fun.  Then I had a flat as I was getting back into town when I hit a little piece of gravel road to connect between 2 subdivisions.  So I rode to the shop, I hit the lap button on the Garmin so I could discriminate, 2.5 miles on the flat.  Not proud of it.

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Pave it with pavement

Got out for a quick ride this morning to the Coralville trails. Had to ride the mtb in for a customer to test ride later in the day, so it was a bit awkward in street shoes on clipless pedals, but I was on a mission!

Salsa SS morning trail ride by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Cold morning, well below freezing. The mission was to ride over to take pictures of hypocrisy in action.

First picture, a big sign next to a little path through the woods, informing us that this is an ecologically sensitive area.

Second picture, taken just 0.15 miles to the west shows that the ecologically sensitive area is quite localized, as here they paved over paradise to put up, you guessed it, a parking lot!  But I’ll bet it will be okay to ride a mountain bike around in there once they are done, as long as you don’t get in the way of any of the cars, of course.

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Garmin to the Rescue!

Like so many other once great bloggers I have fallen into a funk beyond funk here at my old blog.  I mean really, who gives a shit what I am up to?  Well – I do!  One of the reasons I started this back in the day was so I could look back and see what ss gear I rode at this or that race, and so on.  It was a good record of how a year of riding went, and back when I started it I really did want to show people that it was possible to ride gravel roads in Iowa on a cyclocross bike instead of a 29’er with AT LEAST 2″ wide tires.  Well, that mission was accomplished, and this blog silted up like a Army CoE reservoir.

Until now!  Yesterday I was riding my 29’er with 2.1″ tires around for a few hours and I thought, I was wrong all that time, this is the way to roll.  No, really what I thought was that I had just got this basic and easy to use Garmin at my favorite bike shop, and it shows what my rides are like, which is what my blog used to do for me, so why not post the noteworthy rides, skis, trips to the store here.

So that is what I will do, starting with yesterday’s ride. Welcome back!

Ride notes: I had not ridden in a week because I hurt my right lower leg, probably knocking it on my top tube one of the 3 times I had crashed in the previous week. I was heading for Sugarbottom to do a lap, but they had signs saying I might get shot by a shotgun if I went on the trails. It was very windy and warm, wind out of the south. Due to no Sugar I found myself wishing I had just ridden the cross bike. Oh well, nice day out!

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Bourgeoisie Me

Crap, now I am one of those people that has a dedicated trainer wheel to go along with my trainer, and Cannonball Run dvd.  I don’t have the trainer specific tire, that is something.  I still resolve to ride it no more than 8 times total this calendar year, for my specific lo-fi interval workout only, and totaling not more than 10 hours.  So I still have time to oppress the proletariat, of course.

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