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Ronin

2014 Bicycling - shared motivation

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raffi

The fog just won't let up around here. It is sapping my motivation to ride. So far, I've only done two rides this week.

 

On a positive note, I just bought (but now I have to wait for it to show up) a mukluk fatbike. A buddy at work and I are going to ride mukluks on our ride across Washington state. Next winter, I'm planning on putting studded tires on it and seeing how well it works for winter commuting. I also expect it to be a good option when the county is unable/unwilling to properly maintain the gravel roads.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

It looks like it will be TdG for some time. It is still cold (although it has gone into double digits - a heat-wave!) and there is ice and snow everywhere as well as a good coating of salt and other ice melting stuff on the roads. While I was doing my 30 on the rollers, it started to snow again!

 

Raffi: I've seen those bikes at my LBS. I guess they might be fun and could be your ticket to really nasty conditions.

 

JT: It would seem that everywhere in the USA (with the exception of HI) is enjoying miserable weather conditions including droughts.

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Sprockets

Put in about 8 miles of singletrack yesterday at Chuck Lennon Park in Deleon Springs. Felt great out there. I went almost a year without riding and I'm back to weekly rides. I'm now 25lbs lighter than when I used to ride due to eating a low carb diet.

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ORjt

Hi All,

 

@Raffi, You'll have to post pics of the new ride when you get it - sounds like a good choice for you.

@Ronin, yes, looks like the weather is really awful over much of the US; our version of "bad" just doesn't bode well for later in the year. We've already got a couple of fires burning in the southern part of the state. While it's probably happened before, it's incredibly unusual. (And I guess California already has their fire season underway. Yikes!)

@Sprockets - good job!

 

As for me - temps in the low 50's this weekend, clear skies, bright sun, little wind. 15 miles on Saturday, and another 21 on Sunday. Continuing to ride the new ('cross) bike as my primary bike, at least for the time being. Want to get all the bugs shaken out before commute season starts (which is still a ways off, need a lot more light). Honestly - it felt more like March than January this last weekend; I think it's the lightest I've dressed since maybe October. We're supposed to get a little rain this week, but it's sounding more like off and on showers than the kind of stormy weather we'd typically get in January. Lots of folks out riding, I saw about 15 other riders between the two days. That's quite a few for this time of year.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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rwallen

Hi all!

 

I was able to get out both days over the weekend in spite of having family in town and going to St. Louis for a bike expo and swap meet. I didn't buy anything. :( Last year I saw a pair of Ortlieb Rollover Classics for $70. I should have bought them.

 

JT, I overlooked the mention of your cross bike. I saw that you got a new one but missed the cross part. I really like my Specialized. Hopefully, it will provide you with years of enjoyment!

 

Rick

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ORjt

Rick,

 

Sorry you didn't find anything - that was a good price on the Ortliebs. I've got a pair (not sure of the exact model, but they are one of the 'rollover' ones. they are quite well made.

 

I've found the 'cross bike to be surprisingly fun to ride - I can see it easily becoming my 'go to' winter bike, rather than just using it as the commuter. With the 'cross gearing (36/46 and 11-28), it's not a climber, but it's fun bike to ride on relatively flat routes. That matches my typical winter riding pretty well. I think I'm going to have to get a new seat though -- the stock saddle is pretty hard, and a bit narrow... Other than that, Felt did a good job with the component mix, I expect to get a lot of service out of it ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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raffi

The prognosticators are as accurate as usual, so this afternoon's ride was in "unexpected" snow. I took the non studded tired bike, so fortunately, the was not that much snow yet (though it was falling while I rode). I don't think I'm going to make quite 300 miles for January, but I've already done over twice what I had at this point last year. Hopefully I will be able to keep it up and get into good enough shape for my cross Washington ride by July.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Despite the potholes, layer of salt, and snow runoff I rode the single bike on the road today (Saturday 1 Feb). Now I have a really dirty bike (fortunately carbon fiber that doesn't rust) and a happy body. It looks like January was a really low activity month as my A1c rose a tenth. Still well in control but there is a correlation between activity levels and overall BG levels.

 

Tomorrow is busy so I might not get out although I'm going to try and find about 90 minutes if I can because the weather is supposed to be warner than today.

 

I trust everyone else is doing what they can.

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raffi

Lots of snow this week. I did managed to get a ride in yesterday, but I probably should not have (though I was happy I did). Things were pretty slushy. This afternoon, I decided I wanted a longer ride and went for a route that was likely to be the clearest around here. Much of it was in pretty good shape but there were large sections that were wet ice, slush or both. It would have been a nail biter, but I did not dare take my hands off the handle bars. :D

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Gordonm

Still a lot of snow on the side of the roads here. Very sloppy and lots of debris on the shoulders. We did get out on the mountain bikes and got in 14 miles on the road with them. Expecting another 6 inches of heavy wet stuff tomorrow. I hope Phil is wrong and spring comes soon. My road bike is gathering dust!

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Change in schedule brought an unexpected ride last Thursday; I broke 100 miles for January, quite good for me! (I have GPS data starting in 2012; both previous Jan. had me at ~75 miles).

 

Saturday, broke out the road bike and got in a really nice 21 miles - weather was really nice; it's been rather more like March than late January. We have had a bit of rain this last week, but we're still basically in a drought situation. It's not as bad as SoCal ... but this summer could turn out badly ...

 

And now, this week, we're supposed to get our 2nd 'Arctic Blast' - predicting highs near 30, lows in the teens, for the next several days, possibly warming to snow/freezing rain by Saturday.

 

(I've seen what you folks in the mid-West and East are having to deal with -- yikes!)

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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raffi

It was about 10 degrees when I went for my 10 mile bike ride. And while I did try to follow the advice about wearing lots of layers when riding in the cold, I just could not get the chickens to cooperate. :D

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

The weather outside has been frightful and, with lots of snow to shovel as well as supporting Linda with her annual agreement renewal project I haven't ridden the rollers, or at all since last Saturday (1 Feb). I finally got back on the rollers today - what a difference a week makes. My average speed was slower, the cadence choppy and it took a while to get the rhythm back. It seems that I do this every year and every year I pay for it in lessened fitness. Oh well, it is winter and riding on the roads is not advisable with narrowed roads, ice patches and all that nasty winter stuff. Hopefully, I'll be back on my winter schedule and stay on it through the winter.

 

How is everyone else doing?

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Gordonm

Just got back from a 12 mile in 22 degree weather. It was on the mountain bike of course and we just watched for snow and ice. No problems just cold. About all I can take is the 12 miles. At least it was a ride. We went skiing all day yesterday so I did get some good exercise then.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Well, we've had well over a foot of snow since Thursday - I'd guess closer to 18" in the back yard. For us (Portland, Or) - that's a "once a decade" event, more-or-less. It's finally thawing out today, and we're now supposed to get rain 'until further notice'. My how things change. I was actually tempted to get the 'cross bike out, and attempt a short ride; unfortunately, I've also come down with cold - felt miserable all weekend.

 

And in a bit of irony, Portland's inaugural 'event' ride of the season "The worst day of the year ride" - was cancelled, due to bad weather. Too funny. (Well, usually, this time of year 'bad weather' just means buckets of rain).

 

Stay safe out there - when you can get 'out there'!

 

--JT

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raffi

After being off the bike for almost a week because of lots of snow and scheduling issues (though I did get a few skiing sessions in), I finally got back on the bike. I went for a little longer route than I normally would after work, but it has been staying light later and I wanted to get out for a bit. Well the last few miles were harder than the rest of the ride. I hit lots of slushy ice and very soft roads (you have to pedal to go down hill). Yikes. It was a good workout.

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Ronin

Gordon, et al.,

 

Yeah, more snow and thanks to friendly neighbors with snow blowers we made fairly quick work of the drives and sidewalks. We all waited until the first round of snow was finished then hit the snow. As to riding - I got in 30 miles without leaving the garage. I'm not a bicycling fit as I'd like to be but I'm not as out of shape as I might be if I didn't do TdG sessions.

 

Stay warm, dry and safe everyone.

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raffi

What a difference a couple of days make. The route I took two days ago that had large sections of ice is now mostly clear. I finished the ride today 20+ minutes faster than Tuesday. I'm finally getting some miles in for February, I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to get in 100 miles before the end, now I'm thinking I might pass 100 this weekend.

 

Tomorrow, I'm planning a 19 mile ride on my new Fat Bike! It came into the shop today and is being assembled. I plan on getting dropped off to ride it home tomorrow afternoon.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Raffi, you are not joking! Our snow is gone, too, and now we may get some minor local flooding. Two weeks ago, drought. I'm going to try to get out this weekend as it looks like we might get a brief dry spell on Sunday. I'm getting over some sort of respiratory crud, so don't want to push it. (I'll do Tour de Living room, at any rate).

 

Do post a pic of your Fat Bike!

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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Gordonm

Oh come with this snow ****. We had 10+ inches of wet heavy snow then another inch last night. I'm over this white stuff. My road bike has dust on it. It has not seen the light of day for over a month now. Looks like next week will be a little warmer but this all has to melt now. This is to much.

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Ronin

Gordon, et al.,

 

As another person from NJ (albeit far north of Gordon) I second the assessment of the snow situation. We haven't had snow like this since, well 2010. Okay not so long ago but rather annoying for those of us who got spoiled in 2011, 12, & 13. I got another stage of the annual TdG in today. My legs felt better and I had a better average speed (29.32mph) but it is never the same as being outdoors on the roads. Of course, when all this stuff melts and the water (and salt) drains away we are facing major potholes all over the place. So spring isn't going to be nice until the towns fix all the roads.

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raffi

The planned ride home with the new bike on Friday did not pan out. The shop ran into a bit of difficulty, so I opted to pick it up today instead. I rode it 19.5 miles home from the shop through soft gravel and mud. The last 1/3 of the ride was in the rain. This is a fun bike to ride and it can take on soft roads that would bring my other bikes to a stop. While you still notice the roads are soft, it's just not that big of a deal.

 

post-28037-139628788615_thumb.jpg

 

post-28037-139628788617_thumb.jpg

 

as you can see from the second picture, things were pretty wet and muddy on the ride.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Raffi - nice, thanks for posting. I like it!

 

I got out for a nice character builder today. 20.8 miles, reasonable temps (~50F); spitting rain for most of the ride, and a strong south wind. One weather service had it at 20mph, another at 16 gusting to 27. And of course, it was 'tail wind out, head wind back'. Not much choice for me, all of my riding that's local to our house heads north. No so much a loop, in this case, as a series of zigs and zags. (So lots of cross wind as well).

 

I'll have to take a good photo of the 'cross bike, then post it ... I'll try to do that sometime soon.

 

I think one of the weather guys said this was the most February snow (about 8") that we've had since 1995. (We typically only get 3-4 inches per year, spread out over a couple of storms). It's been a week, with temps in the high 40s, and rain ... yet there are still piles in some parking lots, and the occasional bit of snow in protected areas (ditches, under blackberry thickets, etc ...). Funny how long it takes to fully go away. We don't salt here, but they lay down a fair amount of sand and/or fine gravel ... that's still all over the sides of the roads.

 

Really felt good to get out and ride today ....

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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