Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twenty Three Miles

I didn't do a 'ride' today. I never set out to put on any real mileage, I was even kind of thinking I'd try to take it easy today, and yet just moving myself hither and thither netted me twenty-three miles. It's not really all that astounding, there are people that ride twice that in a daily commute. But, it's a couple gallons of gas in my truck. It's twenty-three miles I wouldn't have ridden otherwise, whether or not it was a 'ride'. It was twenty-three miles during which I could make my legs harder than they were when I woke up this morning.

The greatest wrestling coach, pretty much ever, Dan Gable, used to say that every minute of his life he was training. If he had to get across the University of Iowa campus, he did it at a run. My 'commuting' mileage could also be 'training' mileage, it's just a matter of perspective. Why not hammer on the way home from the grocery store? A fifty pound bike loaded with thirty pounds of crap is probably good resistance training. One hundred forty miles is a long way to travel in a day, particularly if you expect to finish by running a marathon. I'll probably need to seize every single opportunity I can get to prepare myself. One smelts iron with great heat and effort after all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

T minus...well, we'll see...

There will come a day when there are more letters behind my name than "B.S" Shortly after I gain those extra letters, I'm doing this. Anyone who wants to accompany me is welcome for any and all of the 4,262 miles, side trips non-withstanding. Just sayin'.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I went over to DNA and Capt'n E's and we fried, well, pretty much everything.

Then I rode home in several inches of fresh snow, which was interesting to say the least.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I blame my mother

There are those who consider Mt. Biking in the winter time to be "hard core", and commuting 100% by bike, year round, in Montana, to be patently ridiculous. Personally I consider both to be perfectly natural, especially since I live in a town with a high concentration of badasses. But for those of you who consider me outside the norm...well, it's not my fault. I place the blame firmly on the shoulders of my parents.

Consider Exhibit A. My Mom decided that since there was still five feet of open water on the lake (in December) that she would get her paddle on, never mind the ice and freezing water.

So it's not my fault, blame nature and/or nurture, but I take no credit/responsibility for my predilection towards "inappropriate" wintertime activities.

Next we'll get into my Dad. He and I decided to ride bikes on that same lake, two Decembers past. I don't have pictures, but after he fell through the ice, and extricated himself, he ran up to the house to change, and we then finished a ten mile ride, back on the ice.

Like I said, not my fault.

Mom. Dad. Love you guys. Thanks for the adventures.

Update: Here's my Pops out on a little ride.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Long Bike porn

Some cyclophilic buddies of mine have been conducting a series of real world (as well as patently ridiculous) tests pitting the Xtracycle against the Madsen. Keep your eye on the Practical Pedal blog for juicy updates.

Being present for some/all of this has afforded me some opportunities to snap some pics of the various long bikes belonging to my peeps. Here's a few. (BTW, I shouldn't really have to explain this, but if you click on each pic, it will open a much bigger/higher quality pic...just sayin')

I'm a dyed in the wool Xtracycle fan, but I will say, you can haul thirty or so gallons of water in the Madsen, which is interesting to say the least...rolling hottube anyone?

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The folks at Miscellaneous Haberdashery seem to have taken stupid to a new level. It was really funny tho. Sorry Cap'n E!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bidness fo shidness

I'm a big believer in monogamy, I just want that one perfect woman. However, I can not fathom not having less than...well, I've got a few bikes. Enough that one of them (gorgeous Bianchi with gold inlaid spades and Bianchi script on the lugs, and matching gold Deep V's...muey bueno) hung from my garage ceiling for the last month or so because it had a flat tire, and I had just built up another fixie, which I've been digging. It's an old Trek 520 touring frame and it had the dual distinctions of being able to run 35 mm studded tires and riding like silk made out butter. And then, of course there's the Xtracycle, which is a go-to if there's even a remote possibility I need to haul anything lager that a couple cinder blocks (you'd be surprised). The long and the short if it being I'm not really hurting for transportation. Hell, worst case scenario I could drive my car, which has only been started once in about three months and only to move it to the other side of the block (long story).

However, I had set the Trek up geared a little higher for a race we had a while back. Of course that was fine (great actually) with 23 mm slicks. But when the snow started to fly, and I ended up on my ass a couple (ok, like 8) times on my way home from the bar one night, I promptly threw my Schwalbe Marathon Winters on the Trek. Now, bigger heavier tires require a little more torque to get rolling, and today, while trying to beat a car between stoplights, I felt a little pop in my right knee. It didn't hurt all that bad and I didn't think all that much of it, but it didn't feel right.

Then of course came the straw. Once I got home I felt the need to bust out a few miles on foot (I'm not a 'runner' but I do run). When I got back from my jaunt, my right knee was hurtin'. It wasn't hurtin' bad, but it hurt enough, and I decided to gear the 35 mil stud adorned Trek from 42x15 to 42x17 (the 17's been sitting in my messenger bag for about a month, I'm just to frikken lazy to do something til I get a swift kick in the butt, or in this case a pop in my knee).

While I was getting my hands dirty, it occurred to me that one of my other favoritest bikes was just hanging there unusable for no reason besides my colossal procrastination. So, I took the requisite ten minutes and patched a few tubes (since I was at it), pulled a piece of metal the size of the tip of a nail (good chance that was the issue) out of the tire, and got another of my other favoritist bikes back in action. This, of course necessitated a I busted out just shy of 12 miles around the BZN, which is sublimely quiet on a Monday night at 11:00pm.

I've said this before, but there's just nothing like getting back on a bike you haven't ridden in a while, it's like having a beer with a best friend that's been on hiatus for months, best part of my whole day! I <3 my bike!

Good to have you back Bianchi, I didn't realize how much I missed you until we were flying down Oak at about twenty miles an hour, and I was hammering up Willson as fast as my anaerobic threshold would manage. Careening through campus, and navigating the eerily dark 8th street with just shy of a full charge on my LED headlight batteries, riding a bike is really my favorite thing.

Today's millage: 19 miles bike (total including commute), 4 miles running. I prolly better get back in the pool here pretty soon. It seems like some fat dumbass (i.e. me) once said something about doing some triathlons.

Not really sure why...

I've never really been all that concerned with my mileage. I ride a lot. I ride a lot even by the standards of people who ride bikes a lot. But lately, for reasons not worth discussing I've been a little obsessed with it. I think it has to do with the realization that I kind of hate winter and I think it's because I don't ride enough in the winter time.

So I've begun tracking my daily mileage using Pedometer. Wednesday I put on well over 30, Friday I put on 12 miles. Last night I did a little over 19, and tonight it was 16. Really all it's going to take is making some circuitous routes home from work, and a few early morning 10 mile spins.

The "harshest" time of the year for cycling is nigh, but I'm pretty sure the only real barriers are in my mind, hopefully, it'll just become habit, the way it always done when I'm consistently riding. I'm really just trying to regain my normal equilibrium after all. I'm going to try to keep track and use this here blog to catalog it all. Of course, I'm fairly sure I'll loose the disciplined impetus to blog about this. Hopefully the riding will just continue to be a habit. It is what I do after all.