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BOO!

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.

Cheq40PreRide

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.

MoonshineMetricRig

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.

bobberX

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.

TripleDBikes

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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Here We Go

Lots to report! I finally rode my new cross bike. Built it up last fall SRAM Red 1×10 with lots of stuff I would normally never ride.

Like a carbon BB30 crankset, really expensive brakes that work just about as well as the much cheaper kind, and a SRAM Red drivetrain. I mean really, with as many beautiful deraillers as I have seen twisted, snapped and just plain broken out in the hinterlands of Iowa it does not make much sense to spend lots of cents on the shifty bits. But here we are. So after months of looking all shiny and just sitting on the shop floor with never even a test ride I got it out yesterday. It was a good ride, this is my second CXR so I figured I would like it, need a slightly longer stem. What a fine way to get over the idea of a new bike: 55 miles of gravel, snow, muck, ice, mud and beer. One of these years I am going to figure out how to just drop the little Garmin map on this page for you, but for now, here we go:

Amana geared MASI by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Notice the 10:30am departure time for a 10am ride. Also note the long stop from 1hr45mins in until 3hr24mins. That is where the beers disappeared. A fine day out, but it is hard to justify a 6 hour / 55 mile ride. Tendon report, it felt fine on the ride, had a good stretch after, and feels okay today, but it is sore. Not healthy yet, I guess…

Other BIG news for me, I am registered for the Chequamegon 100 in June. This is exactly the kind of thing I am interested in spending more time doing. It is months away, so hopefully my leg will be 100%, I will be happy if it is 95%! Depending on the fitness I am either going to race it or ride it, single or geared, loaded or unloaded. That meaning if I have a good handle on getting my gear together for future projects like riding the Colorado Trail and touring the GDMBR I might load the bike up and use this event as a great way to test how I like the loaded bike, and how much stuff may or may not fall off the bike while riding it. We shall see.

Last thing that has caught my interest lately, the Arrowhead 136. Yep, that’s right, I am planning to tackle the Arrowhead, and do an extra mile, too. Probably before the start. I have always thought to do it someday, and that day is approaching. Might go volunteer this coming year to see it up close. First attempt will be on foot. I have been reading all reports from this year and it is very appealing to me. Think I’m crazy? Just look at these pictures!

Last thing, we got our first utility bill for a full month since the woodstove went in, $50.

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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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