Monday, March 25, 2013

80 miles and 40 pounds of Fun!

I'm still not sure what exactly to say about what happened on Saturday...except perhaps it was a good thing Big E installed some fenders on Gracie?
I'd like to say I knew what I was getting myself into, but honestly nothing I've done had really prepared me for riding a (at best guess) 40 pound bike for over 80 miles. The only way I can describe it is this- even during the 50 mile ultramarathon or last summer's nearly 300 miles of Gravel Conspiracy, there were moments when it felt easy for awhile. You know, you're cruising along, thinking could win this thing.....and then reality slaps you in the face and you crap your pants....or get lost....or imagine you're being stalked by a wolf. 

Well, riding a fat bike for 80 miles is nothing like that. It never feels easy. Even mile one felt sluggish, although it probably would've been a heck of a lot easier if I hadn't missed the start because I was putting chamois cream on my ass.

I've had nightmares about missing starts for years. It finally happens and it's not because I overslept. It's because I decided the skin on my hiney was more important than starting with everyone else.

In case you're wondering, yes, I actually debated this. For about 10 seconds. Then I decided I'd like to be able to sit down in the next week.

So, anyway, back to these 80ish miles. Long story short- there was ice, there was mud and there was tons of FUN. This is mostly because I met up with The Girlfriends J at the halfway point and they provided constant entertainment for the next 40 miles. They tried to talk me into some lame "we all finish together" bullshit with 10 miles to go.

Whatever. I don't do that crap. With a quarter mile left I saw one of my favorite peeps, JIMAY!!!, manning the finish line and forced them into a sprint. At least it felt like a sprint to us. We probably managed to go all of about 12 miles an hour. Unfortunately, the finish line was crooked so I was forced to take 2nd, which was not really 2nd because at that point we were in nearly last place anyway. This is what I get for trying to race two guys who'd been clearly waiting for me at every stop sign for the last 15 miles.

Quite frankly, I'm lucky old Gracie even managed to make it to the line at all, because really how did this part even keep turning?
And my front derailleur? Well, it had already taken to shifting when it chose, so I was just hoping it didn't decide to shift into the small ring mid-sprint.
Poor Jimay thought we were all just going to blow right by the finish and not stop to chat. What he didn't know was, by then, stopping had become a bit of a challenge.
So- all in all, an awesome day on the bikes in the mud. Thanks to Sarge for putting on an awesome L-M-L race! (Some of the best tulip notes ever!)

Of course thanks to Big E too, for saving my face and butt and back from being covered in mud....and for letting me clean Gracie in your basement. Sorry about that pile of gravel......

Friday, March 22, 2013

Just Admit It

Perhaps I should hang this on the wall in my office? It would probably be a better tactic than hiding under the desk when the shit hits the fan. 
 I'm pretty sure someone should've given me some sort of training as hostage negotiator before I was given this job. My co-workers have just taken to saying, "Wow- you actually came back," when I walk in in the morning.

Thankfully, there's still have some of my precious snow on the ground so the ski and bike adventures continue.....  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Soft Landings

I'm pretty sure everyone in MN hates me right now. I keep hoping for more snow. I remember when I first moved from CA to MI two years ago- I was loving the snow in December. Someone told me to just wait until March and see how much I liked it.

Well- it's March two years later.

Bring it. 

At first I was a little worried about riding fat Gracie for the 80+ mile ride planned this coming Saturday, but you know what? Screw it. I'll gladly ride her that far if it means a little more time with this lovely stuff:
What can I say? I'm a sucker for a soft landing. Last year at this time I was nursing a bruise the size of my head on my left thigh from falling on the icy road on my cross bike. Seriously- I had three butt cheeks for a couple of weeks there.  I prefer to have two, which is why I like my landings powdery. So there you have it- all this snow is my fault. Go ahead and be mad at me. I don't care- as long as I keep getting my soft landings....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just One More

Fittingly, in what might have been my last day of snow riding this year, I made the ultimate bike angel. Took a downhill a little too fast. Good thing there was lots of fresh snow to cushion the fall.

Saturday brought rain so the fun in the fluffy stuff might just be over for the year. Although we did get just enough fresh stuff in Afton last night to allow for one more ski.....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What day is it?

Twelve days ago I decided to live every day like it was the last day of snow. Someone is on my side here because last night we got nearly a foot of the fresh stuff. A little photo tour for you:

Lil' Dave and I beginning Day 2. Not sure how many spoonfuls of oatmeal are stuffed in my mouth...
 After a few hours of riding and pushing on Day 2. No, the midday margarita is not mine...
On day 6 somebody lost his tail. I swear I didn't run him over...
 I ran into Jimay! on day 8.
Then I followed his tracks through the unexplored territory.

Had to settle for groomed city trails on day 10. Better than nothing after a day of sitting indoors..., day 12. The freshy fresh. 
Breakin' trail. 

Looks like I'll get a few more days of livin' it up before it warms up. Livin' the sweet life, havin' the sweet dreams.... (Although Big E says I've been talking about hippopotami in my sleep. Not sure what they have to do with snow, but I'll go with it. Better than zombies...)