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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631

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    No riding, today. Bummer. By the time we got back home from our Sunday grocery shopping, some storms moved into the area. Very hot and humid - for us in April, that is - then some heavy duty T storms with marble sized hail. That would not have been something I would have liked to endure on the bicycle. Ouch!

    On a more peaceful note, our frogs are beginning to sing and we saw some Wood Ducks, so spring is coming. If you've never experienced the annual rite of spring frog music in the north woods, you are missing something very cool.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Yep, the peepers have been out in force in the wetlands behind our house. And the pair of mallard ducks that were in the small pond when we moved in, in March 2016, have returned. The summer and fall was so dry that all of the water dried up, so we really only saw the ducks for about the first 6 weeks we lived here.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    Saturday- short ride on the Surly to a nearby park and then groceries... maybe 7 miles?

    Sunday- ride with my husband to 3 parks and Sweetwater Wetlands. 61 species, including an American Bittern at the wetlands, a Peregrine and a Prairie Falcon. We stayed on the bike path most of the way- his wrists are very sensitive after a fall while running a few years ago and he doesn't do well on bumpy roads....Oh and a brief stop at the spring bike swap meet, but most of the vendors were packing up. I got a new little backpack to replace the little Camelback type pack I use on my birding rides. Used, but only $7. I don't use it for water, just for carrying shoes, a lock and extra layers that I've shed after it warms up.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  4. #34
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Going to be an indoors riding day, today, and an indoors kind of day, period. Been months since I've had one of those. Hate being cooped up, all day, but what can you do with cold gusty north winds and steady rain?

    Nasty T storms continued, last night. Our Border Collie had a rough night with all the lightning and thunder. Typical Collie. She finally curled up at the side of our bed, shivering.

    The rain is expected to turn to sleet, snow or ice, overnight, so may wake up to a white landscape, again. Good thing I didn't put the Norco fat bike with studded tires away, just yet. It'll be temporary, of course, but I am kind of eager to see how my trails fared with all the rain, wind and even hail.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Yuk, NWG, sorry you had such an ugly day. Our Boston Terrier hates storms too. I hate that they scare her so much, and nothing I do helps. Poor things! The overnight ones are the worst. Fortunately we've had very few this year in Florida, compared to last. It's been mostly very dry, bad for the farmers and wildfires, but good for my furkid, and for our riding!

    35 miles today; gorgeous out!
    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. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I commuted yesterday, after going to my core and bands class. Was going to do a "dark ride" this morning, but I am really sore, from the class, so I want to rest for my group ride tomorrow, which is going to be hard. Nagog Hill Rd., features prominently, so you get the drift.
    Tuesday is the only day I usually can fit this early AM ride into my schedule, but I have to get my body more used to this class. I know it's not the commute! It is going to be near 80 today, almost too warm for me, so I will go on a walk at lunch. I really like riding early in the AM, I find it very meditative.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Had a friend over on Sunday, she and her partner own the condo two doors down from us in FL, we also all have the same beach bikes, in different colors... we joke that we're some sort of old lady lesbo bike gang, watch us go!! I finally got to show her my ortho pedal and it got us all talking about all the places we'll go on our bikes, now that I'm mobile again, really gives me hope.

    Electra Townie 7D

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Wonderful to hear that everyone is getting out for a ride. It's that time of year, again. Well, not for everyone. Woke up, this morning, to 5" off this stuff. Very wet, heavy and icy. Gave hubby fits with his snowblower, so we had to do a lot of shoveling. The good news is that it is melting, fast, so I am going to try riding my trails for some late season snow biking.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Two miles of trail riding in heavy 5" of snow makes for a GREAT workout. Absolutely no glide in this stuff. You stop pedaling, the bike stops moving, as in right now. All my riding was in the lowest two gears to get it done. Yeah, totally different kind of bicycling, but welcome to snow biking at its best.


    This is fat bike work, exclusively, and not just any fat bike, either. For this work, I use the fat bike that gives me the widest footprint and tires with the most aggressive tread. It's my Salsa Blackboro with 4.8" tires on 100mm rims (wider rims flatten out tires more than narrower rims). The tires are the Surly Nates. My other fat bikes would certainly work, but at the risk of some fishtailing and loss of control. Not issues with the big bruiser of a Blackboro.


    You really need to know the trail when doing this. Trust me, the trail through this section is quite narrow and if you miss it, you are going down for a nasty spill. A little snow can hide a multitude of hazards.



    Star is no dummy. She let's me break the trail and do all the work. She just trots along in back, going off trail, now and then, when she finds an interesting stick.


    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-11-2017 at 11:45 AM.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Gorgeous photos, NWG. You continue to amaze me with your courage to ride in just about any conditions -- and all your bikes for different conditions too! How many in your stable?

    Today was gorgeous, and we rode west into the hillier Lake County. My rear shifting has been giving me fits for awhile, and I was hoping after my DH changed out lots of my parts (new chain, new middle crank, and new 12-30 Ultegra cogset in back for lower gearing), things would get better. But if anything, they kept getting worse. Just about ready to head to the LBS, but DH took a close look at it today after our ride, and while he was running through the gears, the shifter cable broke! It was totally frayed at the end that attaches in front. So, now I have my answer. Fortunately, he has a spare so will replace that tomorrow (our day off the bikes for laundry and other chores/errands anyway).

    I hope this fixes things! I think I'll have him replace the pulleys too, since he already replaced so much other stuff.

    Oh, and as I was rolling along today after my rest stop, I saw a flash of silver in my rotating front tire. Stopped and looked, and what did I find but a thumbtack embedded in my tire! Thank the gods we'd changed out my tires for Schwalbe Marathon Plus and some thornproof tubes not too long ago, in anticipation of riding out west this summer (goatheads!) I kept my eye on it for the rest of the ride, and so far, so good. We'll know in the morning if there's a slow leak. These tires and tubes make my bike a little heavier and slower to accelerate, but to me they are worth it. I haven't had a flat yet this year, and we haaaate changing flats!
    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

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Beautiful pics but I think I'm done with the snow for now.

    We had mega rain downpours over the past week, cold, snow, name it..and on Monday it was full sun and 22c. I wrote to my boss on Sunday morning to tell him I'd finish for lunch so I can go ride our bikes while it was decent weather. It did not last long as Monday night was storm night and we're into the rain even as of now. And it is 4-5c... what a change!

    So we took our Crux and did a 42k ride...in the winds...light at first but strong enough to kick my bike on the side. Hate that. grrr

    Anyway, it was truly an enjoyable ride, although too hot for me (I'm not a summer person) but it was fun to be out in shorts and short-sleeve jersey. That was cool after a winter of being bundled up.

    I am so happy as I had no problem pushing in the wind, false flat up for 17km... All that winter training paid up.

    I don't know when our next outing will be because weather is not so fun yet but it will come. In the meantime, still on bike trainer and still doing my muscle training in the basement.

    Signed up for a 100km ride on May 28 and another 117km on June 10. So I have to be ready. May 28 is mostly flat but the 117km has more hills...and big ones. so got to work on those thighs.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    I am in awe of those of you (like NWG) who get out in the cold weather. That's why I live in Arizona. But still, I complain when it's hot and the hot weather is around the corner. It was around 90 (F) on my ride home yesterday.

    Helene, I may have asked before, but where are you located? I'm not really happy about that kind of wind either.

    Still mainly doing commutes- I finished #50 for 2017 yesterday.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    I am in Montreal (QC) area. It's in my profile location.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    I ditched the group ride today, as there was a chance of rain (it hasn't rained yet) near the end of the ride and it was being led by a woman I cannot stand.
    So, I rode to Ferns' Country Store in Carlisle, which is about 21 miles round trip, sat on the porch and had coffee, and then was glad I went the way where the second half of the ride is pretty flat. I saw several cyclists on my ride, it was a pleasant 68 degrees, and no blazing sun. I also was dressed correctly, with short sleeved jersey and shorts, and a sleeveless base layer.
    I am trying to increase my ability to maintain a faster speed on flats. I am happy with my climbing (for me) and my descending, well, has actually gotten a teeny bit faster in the past 2 years, but it's never going to be fast. But, I can improve my endurance on the flats. It seems my ability to ride at 15-20 on a flat is pretty good, but I often give up and rest, instead of maintaining that speed. Part of it, is that there's not a lot of places I can practice this around here. It's either rolling, hilly, or false flats, which I also dislike. I did pretty well today for being alone. Most of this loop was a go to ride when I lived in my house, and I know every bump in the road, as well as how fast I usually go in each spot. I was very sick of this loop after 11 years of doing it a lot, but now it is more miles and I am not sick of it anymore!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  15. #45
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    The cold thing is mostly a matter of acclimation with a little psychology to get me motivated. Would have a hard time to going into this kind of cold, directly from hot weather, but after months of riding in the cold, the cold really ceases to be a factor.

    As to how many bikes, I have two drop bar road bikes, one strictly for pavement and one a gravel bike. The pavement road bike is a Domane WSD with 105, but I don't ride it much, because I can't resist the temptation to go off pavement and explore. Great bike, though. The gravel road bike, as in mostly hard surface gravel road, is the Salsa Warbird with 700x40 tires. Very versatile bike. Ride it a lot. Not a bike for any softer surface riding, though I often push the limit just for kicks.

    The other five bikes are 4 fat bikes and one 29+MTB. These are all setup with various types of trail riding in mind, though I actually use them on pavement, quite a bit, since I sometimes have to ride pavement to get to some of the trails and sandy roads I like.

    For me and my riding, if I had to pick just one type of bike that could be used all year long, up here, even for commuting or utility work, it would be a fat bike. A lot of folks in the area are now doing all their trail work on fat bikes. Just the nature of our trails.

    Right now, my Surly Pugsley is set up for utility work with low rolling resistance tires and a Jones Loop bar handlebar for more comfort over long rides. Can ride it anywhere, anytime. Not super fast, of course, but fast enough and plenty comfy even for long distance rides. Would have no hesitation to load up the Pugs and go bike packing across the country. A lot of folks have done just such a thing on a Pugs or other fat bike. Setup right, they're actually not as slow and cumbersome as they look.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 04-12-2017 at 10:16 AM.

 

 

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