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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,125

    February Groundhog rides

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    Around, here, groundhogs don't bother to do their prediction thing until at least March and, some years, April, but since February starts with Groundhog's Day in the rest of the country, thought I'd start our monthly February ride thread with the groundhog label.

    Yes, I am still riding in the snow. I'm so addicted to it that I'm still desperately shoveling snow off sections of my trails so that I don't have to ride out on the road. Talk about nuts! The snow is actually thigh deep on both sides of the trail in some sections, so I have to be very careful not to lean into my turns too much or I jam the pedals into the snow on either side of the trail. Not something you folks in the tropics have to deal with.

    No, still haven't surrendered and given into doing the indoor trainer thing.

    Hope everyone has a good moth of riding. Spring is just around the corner ... somewhere. Just not here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    We rode both Feb 1 and 2. In addition to being Groundhog's Day, it was our dog's 10th birthday. :-) Florida temps have been up and down, so some days we're in shorts and short-sleeve jerseys; other days tights and a few layers up top. Most days have been windy as well. Next week looks warmer, after Monday, so we're looking forward to that.

    NWG, you continue to amaze me. Your hatred for the indoor trainer is a terrific motivator, though!
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,466
    I understand NWG's hatred for the trainer. Mine's been unused for 2 years. However, due to the weird winter we are having, I am having to be creative, to be outside. The snow came early, and then we have had alternating frigid temps with no snow and wet, warm, rainy days. A few days with decent riding temperatures for Boston in the winter had roads full of water and/or wind. Most of my outdoor activity has been hiking, punctuated by a few trips north for nordic skiing. Thankfully, we leave for our annual trip to Vermont in 10 days. We are going as far north as one can go in Vermont, and still be not in Canada! The web cam from Craftsbury shows a 15 inch base, but we shall see.
    Posted our first group ride to lead, on 4/28. Of course, I had better be out on the road at least 5 weeks before. I used to say my first ride is usually around March 5th, but last year it wasn't until the last week in March. One day i snow shoed, the next day I rode. I just want to ride or ski, neither of which I have been doing much of. I have been religiously going to the gym, though and even have done a few spin classes, where at least i can talk to others, despite the fact the classes themselves are boring and not that well taught.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,150
    We're having same kind of switches in midwest. Yesterday I rode to church in 33 degrees w/ a little bit of snow... but came out of church to 22 degrees. Fortunately there was enough salt and dirt so things weren't glare-y, but it was 8 below this morning at the airport, with another dusting of snow... so I was on the bus. I did drag the trainer upstairs so perhaps tonight or tomorrow night it'll get set up...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    I've lost track. Things are nuts at work. A couple of times I planned to put in some time on the indoor trainer but was too tired when I got home (after 11 pm) to do it. I did pedal in the living room for about 30 minutes last week while talking on the phone to my nephew, who just started a new job.

    I'm okay for now with being too busy at work, since I'm gaining useful experience and this is the time of year when I'm not very active anyway. But I am starting to feel like I need more exercise to clear my head and recharge the mental batteries. And in less than a month I will be hoping to have decent weather to get back outside and ride once or twice a week.

    - 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,125
    Hope you manage it all, N.Y. When I was a career mom, it was all I could do to ride even once a week and sometimes couldn't even manage that, especially in the winter. Some days, no way could I find time to do any kind of exercise and was too tired to some, anyway. Commuting by bike was my way of sneaking in some ride time when I could, but that wasn't always an option.

    Retirement has been such a blessing for my riding. Trust me, I'll never take the free time it gives me for granted. You'll get there.

    Today, temps actually got into double digits. Trail was all hard pack and got a nice 5 mile workout on the trails, then back in the house for some hot cocoa.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    Thanks NWG. I took the weekend off from all things related to work and got in a good 45-minute workout on the trainer last night. Also did 15 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym on Friday, would have done more but didn't get there early enough.

    Chicago just had measurable snow for 9 straight days -- did it fall on you too?

    - 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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,466
    What a strange winter this has been.
    Saturday was 50 degrees with snow melt like crazy. I went for a trail run in slush. Sunday, we had pouring rain all day. It was well forecasted, so I went to spin at 7:30 AM, since I had a bunch of cooking to do, to get ready for my trip to Vermont. What a weird spin class. A bunch of much older (well, they seemed older than me, like 70-80) men and women who were dressed in cotton, hence sweating profusely, and smelly . It was so humid in the room, from the rain. They were alternately not doing much on the bike, spinning like crazy, or groaning. It's a very small room, the bikes are jammed together and it was hard to concentrate with all of this, even though the class was actually good. Then, when I went to leave, I had my jacket and bag for my shoes in the corner. When I went to get it, the fan that was on the floor got knocked over and hit the pedal of the woman on the bike that was next to it. The class was over and she was still riding. She got all pissy; I don't even know if it was my "fault," but I saw her again this morning and she was kind of mean. But, she's always like that.
    We leave Wednesday for far northeastern VT. I am so looking forward to x country skiing, but I think there may even be some rain up there. Sigh... it's going to be 50 here on Wednesday, and my club is doing a ride I would actually enjoy for a first ride of the year. Well, I will be in the car, praying for snow!
    Hopefully, I will have a fabulous weekend skiing and ride next Wednesday.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,125
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Thanks NWG. I took the weekend off from all things related to work and got in a good 45-minute workout on the trainer last night. Also did 15 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym on Friday, would have done more but didn't get there early enough.

    Chicago just had measurable snow for 9 straight days -- did it fall on you too?
    No, all the snow has been moving south of us and I'm okay with that. We still have plenty on the ground. It's been an unusual ten day stretch of dry, but cold, weather, highs in the teens and dropping below zero, every night. Actually a good thing. My trails are in great shape, all packed hard from all my riding and the teens are still decent for riding.

    We may see some warmer temps, this week, though. I have mixed feelings about that, because a little melting invariably turns to ice and then the trails get dangerous, fast. Ice is fine when you're riding the straight and level, but not so good on the techy stuff - sharp turns and quick steeps and drops (the fun stuff) and my trails have a lot of that.

    Was chatting with some of my fat bike riding pals at the bike shop, this week about riding the ice. We all agreed that going down on the ice is spookier and nastier than when going down on dry trails. Comes so fast and without warning. No way to prepare for it and protect yourself. The bike literally flies out from under you, almost like an explosion. Have had my nastiest injuries going down on ice.

    Of course, anyone with an ounce of good sense wouldn't be riding a bike on an icy trail, but that's definitely not me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    It is definitely a strange winter! Even here in central Florida, it shouldn't be summer yet, but that's what we are having lately -- lows around 65-70 and highs in the 80s. Pollen (that is normal) and humidity. I will say that it is nice not having to worry about layering up for a ride, which we were doing just a couple of weeks ago, but I would have preferred a more gradual spring-like transition. Normal high right now is 73 -- not 86!

    Ah well, that's climate change for ya.
    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. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    Yeah we had lots of rain all weekend but it was warm. On Sunday it was in the 60s and I didn't even need a coat. I was just so happy it wasn't cold enough to be snow. I spent a few hours writing Get Out the Vote postcards for a special election in Pennsylvania. It was organized by the local Democratic committee and held at a nice house in a neighborhood that I ride through on my evening bike rides. It was fun seeing the inside of one of the houses for a change.

    On Saturday I cleaned out closets in preparation for having new floors installed. I went through several drawers of bike stuff. When I get new gear I tend to keep the packaging in case it needs to be returned, and I keep instructions and extra parts like brackets or zip ties. I ended up getting rid of lots of unneeded cardboard and some old gear. Some will be donated and some (like old lights and batteries) will go to the hazmat/electronics recycling place.

    So I had a good off-the-bike bike weekend.

    NWG, do you have any studded tires for riding on ice?
    Last edited by ny biker; 02-12-2018 at 09:54 PM.

    - 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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,125
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    NWG, do you have any studded tires for riding on ice?
    Oh, yeah. In fact, in the winter I keep two fat bikes setup with studded tires. One has shallow lugs for riding fast on hardpack/ice and one has a very aggressive, deep tread for working through the deep stuff when there's ice underneath. Crazy expensive tires, but the studs allow me to ride in just about any day in the winter, any conditions and do provide a big margin of safety, but you do take a hit on speed and performance. Nevertheless, studded tires are no guarantee. I have gone down with the studded tires on the trails. Ice on the trails is a devil to figure. Hard to read and even see, sometimes. So very different than riding on a level road or even out on the lake ice. Perfectly smooth, clean lake ice is actually very easy to ride even with non-studded fat bike tires.

    Much prefer riding my one of my other three fat bikes without studded tires to get my hour plus of riding done, every day. (Yeah, I have five fat bikes.) Much easier and faster ride without studs and regular fat bike tires do a great job in any kind of snow as long as there's no ice in the equation.

    Tires and tire design are such a big deal for winter trail riding. Choosing which bike and tire combo to use on any given day is very much like trying to predict the best wax/skis for snow conditions when XC skiing. Have learned a ton about snow biking, thanks to having my own personal test track out my backdoor. Love it, but, yeah, I am looking forward to spring.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 02-13-2018 at 08:37 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,466
    Ha, I have enough trouble deciding clothing combinations for < 60 degrees! Actually, between 50 and 60 is the worst.
    And I have waxless skis. I couldn't deal with worrying about that. Only thing I have is lube for when it's starting to get around freezing or higher and the snow gets sticky. It's not wax, though, just a roller stick of liquid stuff.
    Yes, I m lazy.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,125
    "Waxless" is something of a misnomer. Waxless skis still need liquid glide wax to function at their best and when the temps drop down to around zero, I do have to resort to using regular cold weather hot wax or I basically find myself glued to the snow.

    Good ride on my favorite fat bike, today. It's my lightest fattie, mostly by way of the tires (no studs and very light) and setting the tires up, tubeless (fat bike tubes are monsters.) Zipped off 7 miles of riding on my snow packed trails almost without effort. I find it interesting how it takes me a bit to adapt to the different bike setups as to the way they handle. Fat bikes may look like clunkers, but some of them actually ride very much like warm season, skinner tire trail bikes. These "fast" fat bikes are where the market is going, now, and why so many of us now ride fat bikes all year long, no matter of what the season.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 02-13-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,466
    Still thinking about trying a fat bike, and I will have the chance this week. But, they would need to have one for a very short person. My Norco mountain bike was a small and I really needed an x-small.
    Yes, liquid glide wax is the right term! I have a feeling I will be using lots of it on my trip. And I know that feeling of being glued to the snow. When we went to the Methow Valley, WA (the place that has 200k of trails, NOT at elevation and tons of snow), had no snow in 2015, when I finally went. On our last day, it was spitting snow and we went to a nordic center. I actually was getting stuck on a downhill. So frustrating! We had rental skis, so no glide with us.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

 

 

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