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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    March Rides: In Like a Lion or a Lamb?

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    March definitely came in like a lamb today in the Orlando area -- a very hot and sticky lamb, and less windy than the past few days. We finally broke down and turned on the A/C for the first time this year. Supposed to be cooler by Friday and for the weekend, which is fine with me. I'm not ready for hot and humid 80s just yet.

    Didn't ride today after 35-milers both Mon-Tues, it was time for laundry, shopping, and chores. Tomorrow we'll get back out there!
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Definitely in like a lion here in Illinois, big storms with high winds and rain, and a few tornadoes thrown in for good measure. We'll try to get in a ride over the weekend if the wind subsides.

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    678
    After one of the warmest Februarys ever, March comes in more normal for us - couple of inches of snow and down into the single digits, tonight. 50s, though, by Sunday, so the not normal roller coaster continues.

    Did a combo of road work on snow packed roads and some trail work, since the temps were cold enough to keep the crust under the fat bike from collapsing. Still well below freezing, tomorrow, so should be good for more trail work with one of the fat bikes.

    The strange February weather actually was much more an issue for my cross country skiing. One of the worst ever winters for that, so far. Good snow, when it has fallen, has deteriorated, quickly, with the constant bouncing back and forth between thawing and freezing. On the other hand, the fat bikes are so versatile as to where they can ride, finding a place to ride them has been possible no matter what the conditions. Actually been a great fat bike winter for me. More than ready for some actual spring dirt and dry pavement spring riding, though. The weather has been weird, but me getting cabin fever in March is very normal.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-01-2017 at 05:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    It wasn't exactly lamblike but yesterday the storms dissipated for my commute home... today the headwind meant it took longer to get into work but it blew me home. 28 mph but -- at least for my window -- it didn't seem gusty. There are advantages to a heavy bike and I think the crosswind was slightly with me so that I could tack with the big bags and still get moved forward... I charged back into it to go to Ash Wednesday services except I must hae gotten the time wrong so nobody else was there, so I rode out to the next church but everybody was leaving... so I rode a little more... so I got in 17.2 miles and didn't wish I'd taken the bus...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    This morning we headed out into a pretty good headwind with overcast conditions and were actually a bit cool starting out, but the sky eventually became partly cloudy, and the headwind on the way west and north turned into a glorious tailwind all the way back. That's exactly why we chose to ride the direction we did. Got in 35 miles, our usual distance.

    The next three days are supposed to be blustery and chilly (for Florida!), so I plan to do some RV projects and will just work out indoors, plus walk. It's just not fun to ride when the wind is blowing hard.
    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
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    678
    Back to riding snow pack out on the roads, but the fresh 2" of snow that caused it is fun to ride, back on my frozen trails where it hasn't been packed. Not a lot of miles, but fun on this blustery, still very much winter, day.

    Just saw that we had the second warmest February on record. My best February for miles since my commuting days while in Chicago, mostly because for two February months, there, my bike was my only means of transportation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Agree on both counts, Emily -- if I have to ride on a windy day, I try to get the headwind over with in the beginning and maximize the tailwind at the end. And I don't like riding on windy days...

    - 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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    So, last Thursday we had a weather alert for high winds, up to 65 mph. A man got killed when a tree fell on his moving car, about 30 miles from here. Several clients told me they could barely keep their cars on the road while driving to see me.
    So, yesterday I got an email from the invite-only group of cyclists I rode with once. I stay on the list because occasionally I learn some news I wouldn't elsewhere. Most of these people ride with my Wednesday group and I occasionally see one on an AMC ride. A bunch of them also ride with another group, based right in my area, which has a similar, slightly slower type of group like my Wednesday group on Thursdays. Six people came for a ride in those windy conditions. Three ditched it quite quickly. The other 3 went on, when one of the men apparently ran over a twig that got caught in his spoke, which was just part of all the debris in the road from the wind. He did an endo on the road. He needed a spinal fusion in 2 vertebra and a few other cervical things. He fractured a couple of ribs. While he is recovering nicely, he still has not regained all feeling in one of his legs (he had none in the beginning). I know this man in a casual way; he is very friendly and a good ride leader. All I can think of was what was the ride leader thinking when he didn't cancel this ride? There were serious weather alerts being issued. This is why I lead for AMC, where risk assessment is emphasized in the training. It comes from the hiking part of the club, but I am very happy for this. Yes, there's been a couple of times I cancelled and could have gone, but overall, I feel responsible for safety. I know the leader of the ride; he's a strange dude who often rides alongside of me and then gets mad when I drop him on a hill. He seems to ride all of the time, so he's now a little better rider than me, but I've spent a lot of time talking to him.
    I just feel really badly for the guy who got hurt, all because of wind.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    678
    So sorry to hear about anyone who gets hurt while biking, but especially that one. Have done an endo, only once, but fortunately no injuries because it was a case of the front wheel burying itself in soft sand at the bottom of a hill and I was too far forward in my stance. Landed in a pile of sand, so no harm done. That one I could have avoided, though. Totally my fault. Absolutely frightening, though.

    Speaking of endos. Read the report, this morning, about the mountain biker that got killed by the grizzly, last year. It was not a case of the bear attacking, as such. The guy was racing to beat his best time, came down a hill at an estimated 20-25 mph, came around a blind curve and actually collided a grizzly that just happened to be on the trail. Did an endo either into the bear or over it, broke both wrists trying to stop his fall, plus one shoulder blade. His companion, traveling behind him, heard the collision and the bear make a noise that sounded like it was hurt. Neither he or his companion, had bear spray or a gun. His companion went for help. The guy was dead when help arrived. His helmet had puncture marks from the bears teeth. By examine DNA from some of the bear hair at the scene, authorities found that the bear had been collared, once, but had no history of attacking humans and had not tried to eat the corpse, so the hunt was called off.

    The article also cited other studies that show that mountain bikers have a higher rate of bear encounters than hikers, probably as a result of their faster speed and lack of noise on the trail. Trust me, this article hit home, because I bike in bear country, black bear country, not grizzly, but I can see it happening on some of our local trails which are very hilly and twisty. Not that I would ever do 20 mph on a trail, but I still worry about biking, alone. For sure, I will make it a habit of making more noise, at least. My two Norco fat bikes actually came with a bell, which I thought was cute, but worthless, but now I think I will be adding one to all my trail bikes.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-07-2017 at 09:13 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    So, last Thursday we had a weather alert for high winds, up to 65 mph. A man got killed when a tree fell on his moving car, about 30 miles from here. Several clients told me they could barely keep their cars on the road while driving to see me.
    So, yesterday I got an email from the invite-only group of cyclists I rode with once. I stay on the list because occasionally I learn some news I wouldn't elsewhere. Most of these people ride with my Wednesday group and I occasionally see one on an AMC ride. A bunch of them also ride with another group, based right in my area, which has a similar, slightly slower type of group like my Wednesday group on Thursdays. Six people came for a ride in those windy conditions. Three ditched it quite quickly. The other 3 went on, when one of the men apparently ran over a twig that got caught in his spoke, which was just part of all the debris in the road from the wind. He did an endo on the road. He needed a spinal fusion in 2 vertebra and a few other cervical things. He fractured a couple of ribs. While he is recovering nicely, he still has not regained all feeling in one of his legs (he had none in the beginning). I know this man in a casual way; he is very friendly and a good ride leader. All I can think of was what was the ride leader thinking when he didn't cancel this ride? There were serious weather alerts being issued. This is why I lead for AMC, where risk assessment is emphasized in the training. It comes from the hiking part of the club, but I am very happy for this. Yes, there's been a couple of times I cancelled and could have gone, but overall, I feel responsible for safety. I know the leader of the ride; he's a strange dude who often rides alongside of me and then gets mad when I drop him on a hill. He seems to ride all of the time, so he's now a little better rider than me, but I've spent a lot of time talking to him.
    I just feel really badly for the guy who got hurt, all because of wind.
    This is a big thing for me. We have folks in our club who talks about safety a lot but always in the context of motor vehicle collisions. I strongly believe that there are some weather conditions that are not safe for club rides, because by leading the ride you are implying that you consider the conditions to be safe. It's okay if you personally are willing to take the risk, but in that case you should cancel the group ride and ride on your own, rather than leading others who may not fully understand the risk or how to mitigate it. When it's very windy, very hot, there's a risk of thunderstorms, the roads are wet, etc., a ride leader has an obligation to say no, not today.

    I hope the injured man recovers well.

    North woods, one of my friends once encountered a bear on a road ride in the mountains in SW Virginia. But she was far enough away that she could stop and watch it go back into the woods without incident.

    - 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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    678
    N.Y., the two bears that I did see, last summer, were while road biking and were far enough way that they presented no danger. That's one plus for road biking - you can see for a long distance. On the other hand, while mountain biking, this last summer, I didn't see any bears, but on a couple of occasions I did hear a large animal go crashing off into the brush alongside the trail and it did not sound like a deer. This summer, I will be using a bell - a lot.

    Speaking of bears, I did take down the bird feeders, this week, and cleaned cup underneath them, as I do every spring before the bears come out.

    As for those high winds, we are under a high wind warning today and tomorrow, with gusts over 40 mph. We did a little road riding around the area on the paved roads with our fat bikes, this afternoon, so no issues with getting blown around. Did have a lot of branches and a small tree down on my trails around the house, though.

    Yup, spring is on its way.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-07-2017 at 02:18 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    That's really sad about the cyclist who did the endo, Crankin. Wind is nothing to mess around with when it gets high enough to cause safety issues. Yesterday there was a lot of debris blowing around on the path, and I did pick up a couple small sticks, but just noisemakers. Still, it does give you pause. My DH doesn't mind riding in wind and thinks I'm wimpy when I complain about it, but after reading your story, I am not going to worry about what he says!

    Thanks for the details of the MTBer killed when he collided with a grizzly, NWG. I read about it when it happened, but not to that level of detail. I heard he came upon a grizzly on the trail but not that he was going that fast or collided with the bear. That must have been so terrifying -- for him and probably the bear as well! I remember being freaked out about it because we were traveling towards Montana at the time. It is something that gives you pause when you're riding or hiking in bear country. One of my biggest fears, really. Of course, I am scared of cougars and other wildlife as well. Spending time in North Dakota and Wyoming last summer/fall kind of cured me of much fear of bison, though. They were so tranquil, at least the ones we encountered, but we never approached them. Just had to ride through them on either side of the road occasionally, or watch them walk across our campsite! Was glad to have a motorhome and not a tent.

    Rode 36 miles yesterday and 40 today -- my first 40-miler since we've been here in Florida. Windy yesterday, breezy today, but nice -- low humidity. My nose has been running like crazy on rides, though, so I know there is pollen in the air.
    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. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    678
    Emily, fortunately, the odds of an animal attacking you, either when hiking or biking, are very, very remote. I know that, of course, but I still get nervous. Just my nature, I guess. This year, I do plan to take more precautions, such as using a bell to make noise back in the heavy brush. Also have educated myself on recent studies about black bear attacks, specifically, which, believe it or not, are quite different than grizzly attacks.

    Enough of the scary stuff. Nice going on the 40 miler. If the wind would die down a bit and we don't get any snow, this week, I might be able to get out and do some road miles on my Warbird 700x40 bike. Roads are dry and clean, right now, but this is March and still a winter month for us, so we typically go back and forth on road conditions. Our resident pair of Canadas are back, though, getting ready to make a nest. Spring is coming.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,048
    My rides have all been commutes. Saturday was taken up with a professional development meeting and Sunday I flew to California and back in one day to attend a funeral for my 94 year old aunt- mainly to connect with family members I had never met before. Crazy and exhausting.

    Commuting again today...
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    Discouraged. It is 8:45 am and already 54 degrees, but raining, on my day off. It is supposed to clear by 10. I hate riding on wet roads. Later, I have a haircut/color, scheduled at 2. Usually do this later in the day, so I can ride, but I couldn't get in later. Of course, it will be 60 degrees and sunny when I am there. I could ride there, which might end up being 10 miles at the most, and not worth the trouble.
    If I go to yoga now, I know I won't ride, so I am going to try a wait and see attitude and get at least a short ride in around 11.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

 

 

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