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Thread: April Rides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    April Rides

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    OK, did another short, slow ride. Wind, oy!!!
    Our friends left after a breakfast that didn't start until 9:30 am. It was actually nicer out than I thought it would be, no predicted rain, around 50-55, partly cloudy, but gusts up to 30. DH is suffering greatly from back pain, he has a PT appointment Wednesday. We were riding into the wind for 3/4 of the way, a small part of it on the route that is part of the first ride we will be leading in 4 weeks. We both noted we are in big trouble if we are leading the "faster" group, as our speed was more of the slower group!
    We did speed up a little once we turned to be with the wind at our backs. We decided to take a more difficult street home, that parallels the one we usually ride, but, this was so our last mile would not be into the wind.
    We didn't go anywhere special, but enjoyed some of the very quiet roads of our old town. A funny thing happened in the last few miles; we had been leap frogging with a young woman, kitted up in PMC gear, as she was stopping a lot, it looked like, to look at directions on her Garmin. We only stopped once, right before we made the decision to do the final climb. We pulled out of a gas station and she passed us, but then a guy clearly commuting zoomed by her. She got pissed until I think she saw what we saw at first; it was an e-bike.
    So, 2 18.2 mile rides this weekend.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    907
    Another week, another snowstorm. Yup, looks like another one headed our way, come Tuesday. Once in awhile, we get one of our "winters that never end" that take us into May and then we go right to summer. Looks like this will be one. I feel sorry formal our migrating birds coming, through. Normally, they'd be able to find some open ground or open water, by now.

    After our earlier 10" snowfall from the recent Saturday storm, headed out on the neighborhood roads with one of the fat bikes for a short ride. Local roads are about 85% clear and dry with only an occasional patch of slush and ice. Better than what I had hoped to get, so that really helped with my depression. Yes, I am suffering from depression due to all this continuing snow and cold. Oh, nothing serious. Just enough to make me a bit grouchy. Not who I am at all.

    Did some XC skiing, too, but that is hard, hard work in a fresh 10" of snow, trying to break trail. Probably would have made more sense to use the snowshoes. Really, though, I'd rather just put the skis and snowshoes away and get on with spring. Oh, well.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, NWG. All the snowbirds are leaving our RV park at the moment and heading up to Canada, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, etc, and I see what they are going back into. They say it is much worse than usual for this time of year, and no one seems very excited about heading north, since the weather here in Florida hasn't gotten seriously hot/humid (YET!) I feel so lucky to be staying here.

    Haven't ridden in April yet other than a quick cruise around the RV park on the cruiser bike. We chose to do a long walk on Easter instead of ride since we usually avoid the bike paths on weekends. Seemed like everyone but us was at church, so the roads were quiet and peaceful, and the lake so beautiful.

    Today I would have ridden normally but had a 10:30 am orthodontist appointment. So I just cruised around the park this afternoon for a bit and will do my usual long ride tomorrow morning. It's finally warm enough that shorts and SS jerseys are all that are needed for morning rides, so I am indeed a happy camper!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Emily, it sounds like you two had a very nice Easter. Good for you. It really is nice to know you're having some mild weather. Makes me feel, better, knowing there is such a thing as nice weather, right, now.

    I'm trying my best to keep my spirits up, but it's touch and go. For me, the best therapy is always to get out and get physically active, so I started the day with some skiing, but the snow was lousy for skiing, so I switched to snowshoeing. That just felt more like trudging and slogging, today, though. Just not in the mood.

    Next, I just grabbed a fat bike and rode around the area paved roads for 10 miles, riding as hard as I could, full out, as much out of frustration as anything. Even deliberately aimed for ice and snow patches, just daring them to stop me. They didn't.

    Feeling pretty bold, I next dared myself to try some trail riding in the snow, which was now melting, but still deep. Got only twenty yards, though, fishtailing all the way. Talk about an unforeseen predicament, compliments of all our snow. The fishtailing is something I can handle. I'm good at it. Have even been known to practice it. Crazy me, I now think it's kind of fun.

    The problem, now, is that the snow is so high on either side of my narrow trails that it's piled high, up to my thighs, now, when pedaling the bike. I can't even shovel it, because I'm not strong enough to throw the snow over those high walls. It really is like riding down a narrow hallway. Those walls are the problem. As soon as I sideswipe one of the walls of snow on either side of the narrow two-foot wide trail with the rear wheel as I fishtail, it stops my forward progress and I stall out. I could make it and keep going if I had more room via wider trails, but who knew we'd be having such a winter? Just nuts.

    Okay, how many bicycle riders have ever had the problem of sideswiping snow walls? That's one for the books.

    Any, yup, snowing, again as I write this.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-02-2018 at 04:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    nwg, Wisconsin was mentioned over and over this morning on The Weather Channel. I am sorry. What ridiculous weather you are having for April, even for there! I am very lucky that I love to read and like to cook, so even in the worst of Wisconsin winters (and we did spend one there once, but only once!) I have plenty to do. You are more outdoorsy than me -- I am very much a fair-weather outdoor child!

    I almost hate to say it, but today was absolutely perfect weather here in central Florida. We've had heavy rain around dinner time for two nights running, and today was all cleared out, very pleasant, and the wind, for once, died down to a pleasant light breeze. I, for once, was able to ride with DH for pretty much our entire ride. He'd done over 45 miles yesterday at a fast clip so was doing a recovery ride today, and I had fresh legs after three days with nothing but walking and a few short cruiser bike rides, so that made us perfect partners. I actually achieved my highest average for this route (14.5 mph -- fast for ME) ever. What fun this was!

    Also, with most of the snowbirds gone now, only the regulars were on the trail. I recognized about 90% of the cyclists we saw today, and trail traffic was super light. Bliss!

    After our ride, we hopped on our cruiser bikes and headed to the RV park pool (the smaller of the two pools here, and the lesser used) and had it all to ourselves. More bliss as we cooled our legs off and back-floated in perfect 80-degree temps.

    Life is good.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #6
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    May 2013
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    north woods of Wisconsin
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    We made the news? Cool. Today was one of our local elections and my husband and I are poll workers. Just a nice thing to do for our little township and we get to meet a lot of our neighbors. Anyway, some of our voters had been down in Texas and Florida for the winter and just got back in town, all nice and tan, to boot. You can imagine some of their comments when they came back to winter.

    I did try some biking, today, out on the roads, but they hadn't been plowed, so didn't get far trying to peddle though the deep snow. Real work out, but, hey, I get to add another day to my snow riding list, even if it is April.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    No riding for me, until the weekend. Rain all day tomorrow, with a "line" of severe storms coming through at 4 pm, of course the time I have to go out and drive to see a long term client at his home (I've been with this young man since he was 13 and he's almost 20 now!). So, I'll go to spin/core class in the am and spend the day doing stuff I need to get done. Looks like the weekend will be sunny, but cold. Where did spring go? I heard it might be until the end of next week until it reappears.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,558
    New Surly announced 2 days ago, the Bridge Club. On-off road touring. 29er. Less ‘stuff’ than the Ogre,
    ECR. Comes with 2.4" tires but can take up to 2.8". Lower cost than Surly's comparable models, it's only $1200.00. Nice allrounder.

    http://www.bikepacking.com/news/surly-bridge-club/

    And the Midnight Special. Cross bike with plus tires. Very cool.

    http://theradavist.com/2018/02/the-s...morgan-taylor/
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-04-2018 at 04:26 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    We made the news? Cool. Today was one of our local elections and my husband and I are poll workers. Just a nice thing to do for our little township and we get to meet a lot of our neighbors. Anyway, some of our voters had been down in Texas and Florida for the winter and just got back in town, all nice and tan, to boot. You can imagine some of their comments when they came back to winter.
    nwg, there are several folks from Wisconsin in our RV park. I don't know them personally but do see the license plates. So far they have not left to head north, and I can't blame them!

    They did mention on the Weather Channel that it was election day there and that some folks might have a difficult time making it to the polls due to the bad weather. Glad you were able to make it for your poll worker job!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    907
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    nwg, there are several folks from Wisconsin in our RV park. I don't know them personally but do see the license plates. So far they have not left to head north, and I can't blame them!

    They did mention on the Weather Channel that it was election day there and that some folks might have a difficult time making it to the polls due to the bad weather. Glad you were able to make it for your poll worker job!
    We actually had a good turnout, despite the weather. Our little township is very civic oriented. Good people. To me, that's a must for a place to live.

    Spring? What spring? Amen to that. Will spend most of the day shoveling - again - and then maybe more snow, tomorrow. Will be a struggle to get above freezing, al week.

    Sheila, I saw that Surly Midnight Special. Would have made it to the top of my list if they had gone Shimano instead SRAM and while being able to go 700x42 on the tire size, still not my idea of a plus bike. Love the color. Be a great pavement and hard surface gravel bike. Would cost an arm and a leg to convert it over to Shimano, though. NO regrets on the ECR. Much better choice for this country, up here.

    Now that Bridge Club, though. Hmmm! HereI go, again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,558
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    We actually had a good turnout, despite the weather. Our little township is very civic oriented. Good people. To me, that's a must for a place to live.

    Spring? What spring? Amen to that. Will spend most of the day shoveling - again - and then maybe more snow, tomorrow. Will be a struggle to get above freezing, al week.

    Sheila, I saw that Surly Midnight Special. Would have made it to the top of my list if they had gone Shimano instead SRAM and while being able to go 700x42 on the tire size, still not my idea of a plus bike. Love the color. Be a great pavement and hard surface gravel bike. Would cost an arm and a leg to convert it over to Shimano, though. NO regrets on the ECR. Much better choice for this country, up here.

    Now that Bridge Club, though. Hmmm! HereI go, again.
    The problem with Surly road bikes (LHT, Straggler, Cross Check, Pacer) is their low stacks. That is traditional touring geometry from before they decided to increase stack and decrease reach. Though I need both increased stack and reach since I have a short torso with long arms. Oh well. I'd much prefer a Vaya or some other modern geometry on-off roadie because of that. The Bridge Club is cool. And I love the color. Certainly less well-rounded than the ECR/Ogre. But I like it.

    One thing I just noticed. One of the reviews said the geometry was similar to the Ogre and ECR. It's not. The stack is incredibly low. Much lower than the Krampus and Karate Monkey. Huh. Why??

    In size Mediums:
    ECR 29+ Stack = 609.5 Reach 408
    ECR 27.5+ Stack = 603.5 Reach 410

    Ogre Stack 603.4 Reach 410.5

    Bridge Club Stack 576 Reach 419

    An Inch shorter than the Ogre. Almost 2 inches shorter than the 29+ ECR. Wow. That's significant. Long and low.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-04-2018 at 07:21 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    907
    I'm lucky that Surly's geometry is generally a good fit. Some brands are not for me.

    Sheila, as for stack and reach, don't forget that what you see listed in specs for the Surly's is the frame stack and reach. That's always lower and shorter than what you get after you add in the fork top tube height, stem and handlebar. That's your handlebar stack and reach, the actual stack and reach after you set up the bike with those parts. Changing the stem length and rise, for instance, is a very easy way to change actual stack and reach. Can also do it with the handlebar style. Even going to wider tires can change actual stack. In the end, of course, you can drive yourself crazy studying specs, but it's still no substitute for a test ride. Anyway, just a thought.

    Spent the morning cleaning snow off our long driveway. Took a break and a short nap to recover, then grabbed one of the Norco fat bikes with studded tires and checked out the neighborhood roads. They had been plowed, so overall, rideable with the fat bike. Temps right around the freezing point. Some patches were already clean and dry, others were slushy and puddled, some still snow covered and some a touch icy. No problem for the fat bike. Did a bit over 10 miles of laps. That's actually a good workout, given that our area is all hills. No flat runs at all.

    Got home and started cleaning the bike, only to discover that the bike was covered with icicles. Temp was just right and I did ride through a lot of open water. A bike covered with icicles is not something you see, everyday. Parked the bike in the living room on top of some towels to let the ice melt off.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-04-2018 at 02:45 PM.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    6,558
    The problem is, I feel Surly is on the short side of that stack for me to begin with.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-05-2018 at 11:21 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,941
    Someone at work was telling me yesterday about his new mountain bike. He's a runner/crossfitter but is having fun on the bike. His parents live someplace cold and snowy and apparently they use a Snowdogg to make trails for fat biking on their property. Of course this made me thing of you, NWG!

    As for me, I can't remember the last time I rode my bike. A month ago maybe? I was patient with the cold March weather but now am just really annoyed. It will be another week before we get a warm up. We have the occasional warm day but they are all days when I have to work or have other obligations (like going out of town for Easter).

    Yesterday started warm, then got cold and very windy after it rained. There were ominous dark clouds with the rain, the kind you usually see for summer thunderstorms. I'm actually feeling nostalgic for summer thunderstorms, that's how annoyed I am with the cold! Anyway today is mid 40s, sunny and a bit breezy. It feels like a cold breeze on my face but I was comfortable walking out to my car without a coat. So I am going to layer up and attempt a bike ride tonight.

    I am staying at an airbnb this week while my condo gets new floors. It's actually in a neighborhood that is on my traditional post-work hill route. I'd like to start the ride from the airbnb instead of my usual ride start (a community center that's farther west), but it's at the bottom of a big hill. I am in such bad shape right now, I need a flatter start. So it's back to the community center for me. I just hope I have all my gear -- it was so hectic packing stuff up before the floor installation began that I could have easily forgotten something. (Yes I brought my bike to the airbnb -- I had no place else to put it while the work is being done. The mountain bike can go out on the balcony but not the road bike.)

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Hope you can get out and ride, N.Y. I think we're all feeling the blues with this late spring we're having. I expect late springs, up here, of course, but this winter has been so relentless, not giving an inch. We have more snow on the ground, now, than we had a month, ago, and that was a lot of snow, then.

    This is a pic of one of the fat bikes alongside a typical section of my trail, taken this morning, April 5.


    Yes, I'm still trying to keep my main trail sections clear, not so much for riding, now, but for the sake of being able to use them, sooner, when we do get some serious melting. Then, of course, we'll have some serious flooding if things melt too fast. In the meantime, I'm riding out on our roads which get plowed on a regular basis. This year was an experiment to see if I could keep riding trails, all winter, by using the snowblower and the shovel. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, but, honestly, I doubt I'll being doing it, again. Not worth it. Spent more time clearing trails than actually riding them. Next winter, I'll just ride out on our local roads and let the road crews have all the fun clearing snow.

 

 

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