Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another exploratory ride

1st, this pic is the north end of the new trail mentioned yesterday. All done in concrete with two nice switchbacks.

Today I rode north through and past Grimes towards the mile long bridge. Time wouldn't allow me to cross, so I went south on Beaver Ave. I haven't been on this road since we moved here so it was a nice change of scenery. Turned west on 62nd and back home just under 2hrs and 30.5 miles.

One last weekend day for more training hours. Dirt or road? Dirt if it is dry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

T-Day Ride

It's been a rainy week in Des Moines and the annual Turkey Day Mountain Bike ride was cancelled/moved to pavement today. So, when I woke up to strong winds and 30degrees at my house, I waited a few hours. It never really warmed up, but I hit the road on the cross bike at 11am and it was 34degrees with gusty winds at 20+mph. I wanted to get a good two hour ride in at a steady tempo.
The start of the ride had me headed north towards Grimes on pave and gravel, I was originally thinking of riding across the mile long bridge to Polk City, but I wasn't really dressed properly (hard to figure out each year). I ended up turning east on 62nd through Johnston and used the tailwind to push me into town.

The ride was good. The route down 62nd was new to me and I haven't ridden from the Trestle trail to downtown in a year or more. After hitting downtown, I decided that hot chocolate was in order to make it home. Caribou coffee on Ingersoll was the saviour and I warmed up for 20min.
I finished the ride by taking the Clive Greenbelt home. 34miles in 2:15. Not too bad for a slow ride on the trails.
Besides clothing, my biggest test of the day was my new shoes. I bought a pair of Specialized DeFrosters from Rassy's. They fit well and were comfortable given the temp. My toes got a little cold by the end of the ride, but given the wind and my poor circulation that probably wasn't unexpected. I need to experiment with vapor barriers to see if that helps.
At the end of my ride, I checked out the new trail that will link Hickman road and Douglas road near 142nd. The bridge is in and it looks like they are ready for the payment/concrete. Hopefully they can finish before spring.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Proud Accomplishment

Look what Hannah hung up on her bathroom mirror. She is obviously proud of finishing the kids race of the Dirty Duathlon last weekend. Race number and finishing ribbon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ski season is around the corner

I'm getting jazzed up for ski season. 10day Christmas trip to Montana coming soon, plus an Olympic year, one or two trips to Colorado if I'm lucky (Andy, you have the floorspace, I have a sleeping bag).

Found this clip from Audi. Note the knoll jump at :40, the weights at :48 and the balance ball skilz at :55, great athletes.

No updates from the weekend yet. Hopefully soon with photos. I took 2nd in the 45+ state cross race. Beat several others that had gotten the best of me earlier in the year, just decided that I had to go harder from the gun. Stayed with Todd G. for the first lap, then watched him ride away from me. Then was a volly at the Dirty-Du on Sunday. The girls both did the kids race. Maddie won the girls and Hannah did well (I think she was surprised at the pace). Pics coming soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Morning Commute

Second day in a row with a beautiful sunrise. Red sky in morning, sailor take warning......must be for the strong winds from the south. Last night I rode a northern stretch of the commute at 30+mph. Lots of "YeeHaw" factor doing that in the dark and on the bike path.
State cross race this Saturday and then Dirty-Du (volunteer) on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Madison's version of heaven

Maddie is our little vegetarian. She starts each meal by eating her salad first. She always has seconds of salad as well. Tonight she happily finished the remains of what was left of the Caesar salad. As the title says it was her version of heaven.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mike McMuffins

Mike McMuffins are the breakfast staple of trailbuilding. My old college roomie made these. You can guess his name.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SpookyCross Race Report

Saturday the 31st and Sunday the 1st were the back to back dates of the SpookyCross cyclocross races in Des Moines. I participated in my first cross race at this venue last year and it was a blast, it was the same this year. Good courses and a good workout.

Saturdays racing was on the north side of Living History Farms. The course started by entering an easy looking field. However, once you entered the field, you find out that it had 4-6 inches of standing water. We are the 1st race of the day and by the end of the race, this section had 4-6" mud holes. The rest of the course alternated between fact MTB and fast roady conditions. Overall, I think this course favored a MTB rider and handling skills. I started near the back but quickly found myself in 4th or 5th position at the end of the mud. I decided to push ahead and wound my way through the field. I felt good during the race and actually worked my way up to 10th in the cat 3 field (they started 1min ahead of my group). I ended up 4th for the day in the 45+ category.
Sunday was at the main Living History Farm site. This course was longer than the previous days and appeared to favor a power rider. This time, they started the 35+ and the 45+ fields together. When the gun went off, I took advantage of the majority of the field fumbling for their pedals and took off. I quickly decided to throw caution to the wind and started sprinting. I figured, what the hell, I'll go out front and let the others chase me down. I was 4th going into the first field and only lost a few spots on that lap. I think that I finished the first lap in 6th and mostly held it there. I lost a few positions in near the 30 minute mark and ended up 9th out of the combined group. Another 4th in the 45+ group.

After these two races I ended up in 2nd overall in the series (45+). However, there were a few other fast guys that just didn't get the minimum number of races done. I'll remember their names for future races and try to pass them in the future to make my overall finish legit.

Cross is a lot of fun and I'll definitely continue to work on it. I need to work on increasing my pain threshold as my perceived pain is higher than the actual heart rate. Still a possibility of two more races. State Championships are 11/14 in Altoona and Jinglecross is the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Spookycross Video

This is a video from Nate. Start of the Sunday Cat3 race at Living History Farm. This shows the entire 1st lap, around 7:30 minutes, total race time was an hour, so repeat about 8 more times. Nate is experimenting with video from his Ipod as mounted from his handlebars.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Girls Night Out - 80s style

Beggars Night was this past Friday. For some reason Des Moines doesn't have the kids celebrate Halloween on the 31st, but they go out on the 30th. They have rules: the hours are 6-8pm and homes will have a light on if they are open for treats. The other tradition is that the kids have to tell a joke to get their candy. Best one of the night: What do you call a haunted wigwam (sp?)......a creepy tepee. On one hand, it's nice to have the set hours. On the other, it sure makes for an odd night on the 31st.
This year the girls dressed up as 80s girls. Heavy makeup, big hair and fun accessories.
This will probably be the last year for trick or treating. They went out with a few of their friends, but many of their friends stayed home and handed out candy.

Loving sisters!