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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162

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    Had to cancel our annual ride Saturday. We call it "lunch with Santa" due to snow, rain and fog. It's a gravel road ride with a cafe in the middle, thus lunch. The first year we did it a man who sure resembled Santa was at the cafe - thus the name of the ride was born. Part of the route is double track that turns into double mud hell when wet so perhaps we can get back out in January when everything is frozen. Just as well, I made 18 dozen cookies to take to family in Montana next week. Looks like the ice is off the roads today so can pedal over to the dollar store for cookie tins.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Yesterday my husband and I did a "birding by bike" adventure in the Santa Cruz flats, a desert and agricultural area north of Tucson and south of Phoenix. We "chased" two Rufous-back Robins and saw them, plus a Burrowing Owl, an entire field full of Caracaras and Ravens, many Kestrels and Red-tailed Hawks and one Prairie Falcon. About 3/4 of the road was dirt so it's a good thing we took our touring bikes - the road bikes would not have been that happy on the dirt roads, even though they were well graded. 39 miles and about 40 species of birds.

    Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    The farmhouse where the Rufous-backed Robins, American Robins, Abert's Towhees, House Finches, Gila Woodpeckers and other species were coming in to feast on pomegranates and drink at a leaking faucet. Also, some of the other birders intent on seeing the robins. Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr

    Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    A distant view of a Burrowing Owl... unfortunately, no Mountain Plovers were in the field behind it.Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Hey, everyone, thanks for the breathtaking pics. I'm just stunned. Really am. Might as well be a different planet than what I have up here in snow country.

    And snow it is. Another three inches, so total snow depth is now edging over 6". That's not great news for the fat biking. Now deep enough for steering loss of control to become an issue on anything but wide and flat sections, not to mention plowing through snow up over the rims is just plain exhausting. Will be switching over to riding roads or groomed trails. Oh, well.

    That same 6" of snow is great news for the skiing, though, at least with my wide backcountry skis. Three miles of trail work and may head back out for more.

    AZ, did put up our feeders, today, so hope to report on some northern birds you might not see down there. If there's a species of interest, let me know. Did flush a Ruffed Grouse on the fat bike, yesterday. Our bird feeder season is basically Dec 1 to maybe the third week of March. Otherwise, you end up feeding the black bears and then you have a serious problem on your hands. Been there, done that. This guy was especially grouchy. Didn't want to leave the yard, at all.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    nwg that's not my kind of neighbor.....had a ranger in the santa monica mountains tell me that by the time i see a cougar once they could have seen me multiple times.

    thinking with all these snow posts i shouldn't add temps to my ride posts for a couple of months
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Gosh, no, don't stop posting those warm temps. They warm me up in spirit, at least.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505
    Please keep posting the cold temps too. I'm a weather weanie - don't like to ride below 50 degrees - but love morning rides. Luckily, in Tucson we don't have months of cold weather.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Another 2" of snow, overnight, for a total, now, of over 8" on the ground. That means the fat bikes are going to need some help, either by using them on groomed trails or on paved, snow packed roads and, this time of year, all our roads are snow-packed. As for my trials around the house, they are now XC ski only, but I knew that was coming and I built the trails with both bikes and skis in mind. Truly lovely trails on the skis, with enough ups and down to make them interesting. By the time i have skied every loop and branch, I have two miles under my skis. Once the lake is just a bit more iced, will get even more miles with some lake and bike work on the ice. Headed below zero for the next few nights, so won't be long, now, and I can stretch my legs out on the ice.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 12-12-2016 at 08:44 AM.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    People with warm weather, please do continue to share the details. It helps me get through the winter to remember warmer days.

    I rode on Saturday, 37 miles. Personally I would have been content with a shorter ride but was with two friends, one of whom rarely rides less than 35 even on the coldest days. And she likes to start no later than 10 am even on the coldest mornings. But making plans to ride with others is the best way to get my butt out the door in the winter, and it helps to have company along the way.

    I think the temperate range was 36-41, with a NW breeze. But the sun was out with very few clouds in the sky, and it helped. I went with three layers of wool under my Shower's Pass jacket -- a midweight Smartwool base layer, a short sleeved wool jersey with wool arm warmers, and an old lambswool sweater that I wouldn't wear otherwise because it's a bit snug and has a small hole in it. For the last part of the ride I probably would have been okay without the middle layer, but I wasn't really uncomfortable, especially since we were near the Chesapeake Bay where it tends to be cooler in winter. For my legs, I wore Gore Windstopper knickers with a chamois instead of shorts under my Amfib tights, plus the wool knee warmers below my knees. And I stuck some chemical toe warmers on the outside of my shoes (inside the booties) to cover my toes. For the most part I was comfortable. So I do seem to need more layers than most people in order to stay warm. Oh well, the good thing was that I'm now able to lower my minimum temperature for outdoor riding by a few degrees. Though in the future I will try to keep the distance closer to 30 miles, max.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #41
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Glad you found the combo that worked or you, NY. You're right about folks being different in how they react to the cold. No wind and sunshine sure makes a big difference for me, too. The sunshine factor is probably mostly psychological for me, but it sure helps. Today was a good example. Temp only in the teens, but calm and sunny. Had a great day on the skis, followed up by a little fat bike work on neighboring roads. Have found that it's actually much safer for me riding the fat bikes on icy, snow-packed roads than walking.

    Put my bird feeders up on Sunday afternoon and they're being mobbed by Chickadees as I write this. Way cool.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    AZFiddle, loved your pics and hearing about your birding. I have never seen a Burrowing Owl. So cool!

    We rode the past two days, and tomorrow will be our day off for recovery, laundry, grocery shopping, projects, cooking, ETC!

    Yesterday's ride was east on the West Orange Trail (the easy way!) with a couple of trail spurs, for a total of 33 miles. Today's was west to hilly Lake County (the hard way!) for a total of 36.5 miles. I've beat my yearly goal of 3K miles and am loving going sleeveless in December! Yesterday was a little cooler and overcast, so I wore a thin long-sleeved top (with shorts), but today was full-on sleeveless.

    I will say, though, for those of you who want to hear about warm temps, I am sweating big time right now! Took a shower after our ride and am going to need a second one. I don't mind the heat but could definitely do without the humidity (drip!)
    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

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Emily, congrats on breaking your goal. I know that was important for you. You did it, girl! Very impressive.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Emily, congrats on breaking your goal. I know that was important for you. You did it, girl! Very impressive.
    Thank you! I rode 7500 miles in 2014 (my best year ever), so this year is not even close, but we did a lot more hiking, so I am happy with it. Now I am trying to break into the top 25 on bikerides.com, where I track my miles. In '14 I finished #7 and DH finished #2, but this year he is not doing it and I have been in the 30s for most of the year. Spending Dec. in Florida, though, I am moving up as many other participants are not able or willing to ride in the cold and snow in so many places in the US.

    Yes, I have a bit of a competitive streak!
    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

  15. #45
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Guess I'm one of those that keeps riding, rain or snow or cold. Single digit temps with 20 below wind chills, today and yesterday, but still managed a little on the fat bike, mixed in mostly with the skiing. The biking out on the road was iffy, what with a sever wind, but the skiing not bad, at all, back in the shelter of the woods. Could really hear the wind roaring through the trees, though.

    I'm not competitive in the sense of competing with others. Just not in me. On the other hand, I am fiercely competitive when it comes to competing with myself. I am forever trying to answer that nagging question, "Can I?". It's taken my places I never would have expected and it's also had its share of danger along the way.

    Since it is December, I think it is a good time to review what we have all done, this year. I'd say the 3000 miles you've done is a great year, Emily, all the more so for all the variety of places you got to ride. Not just miles, in other words, but some great quality miles, to boot. Loved reading about all your adventures.

    Me, all local miles on familiar grounds. I made it to just over 2500 miles in my counting when concentrating on the road bike work, but I did stop counting late in the summer when I transitioned more and more to mountain biking. Come fall, nearly all of my biking was MTB trail work. Try as I might, I just couldn't cook up a formula that would convert MTB miles to equivalent road bike miles that made ay sense. Just concluded that the two types of biking are too dissimilar in their physical demands for any real world comparisons. That, and like most MTB nuts, I rate progress on the MTBs in terms of trail difficulty, not miles. Still plan to do plenty of both in '17, but the way I love being out in my beloved north woods, I suspect I'll mostly be an MTB girl, next year.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 12-14-2016 at 12:39 PM.

 

 

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