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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    March In Like a Lion Rides

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    Looks like March is indeed coming in like a lion in many parts of the US!

    We've been windy and mild here in central Florida, but are due for a cold week starting tonight -- for here. Lows that had been in the 60s will dip back into the 40s-50s, and highs will be 60s-70s instead of 80s. Just after I put away all my wool jerseys! We had such a warm February here we got complacent. I know I can't complain as it's still much nicer than most anywhere else!

    Rode over 35 miles each of the first two days of the month and today's ride put me over 1000 miles for the year so far. Woo-hoo!
    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
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,026
    Emily, that is so cool. March arrives and you already hit the 1000 mile mark. Congrats.

    I'm still riding almost every day. Only missed two days in February. Of course, these are snow riding miles and it usually takes me an hour to do just 5. March is still solidly a winter month for us. It comes in like a lion, but that lion sticks around well into April. Just a fact of life, up here. Still, I see changes, now. What snow we get during the week now melts off in the week, so our snow depth is no longer accumulating. It will eventually start to decline as spring arrives.

    I ma really getting itchy to get some road miles in and have even been thinking of getting another bike that would work for all day road riding. My Surly Krampus works, but it is really a dedicated trail bike that I make do for road work. Yeah, just what I need, another bike.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-03-2018 at 02:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,408
    Another bike is always OK. We are starting to think about an around town bike, still with gearing, but bigger tires, and probably a flat bar.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,026
    Always okay, for sure, on another bike.

    You know, if I was living in a city, now, I'd have no problem going even as big as a fat bike with the right tires as a utility bike. Those big tires are super comfy and fear no potholes, curbs, sand or road grit, rain, snow, you name it. My Pugsley would be a great choice. With racks and panniers, it would make a great errand/grocery store bike. It's no speed demon, but it's no dog, either, with the right tires. Figure you can only go so fast in traffic, anyway. A 29+ or 27.5+ would even be faster with many of the same advantages.

    More snow coming, tomorrow! This has been one long and very snowy winter. Better get some riding in, today. Will probably be shoveling, tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,955
    I was going to lead a club ride today but decided not to. It is still breezy here from last week's nor'easter and as of this morning my eyes were still itching. They're not as bad as they were on Thursday but are still not back to normal. So although we have blue skies and high temps above 50, the breeze and low humidity mean pollen hell.

    One of my friends led the ride in my place. I haven't seen his report yet. I did hear from another friend who tried to go for a ride this morning and he said the wind was pretty bad.

    Things should calm down tomorrow but another storm might hit after that. Meanwhile I spent some time reading about cedar (juniper) trees and looking at photos. It turns out that the pine tree next to my kitchen window, which I thought was dying because it looks a bit yellow, is actually a cedar tree, and the yellow is the pollen. And there are many more of these trees around my neighborhood.

    At this point I am just assuming I will not be able to spend much time outdoors for the next couple of weeks. When I am outside, I will wear a hat and coat so I won't have pollen on my hair and clothes while I'm indoors.

    So I guess I will be logging more miles on the indoor trainer.

    I'd still rather have pollen than snow...

    - 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,408
    We didn't have the sun that you had, NY, but, the wind has died down to just about normal for late winter/early spring. In fact it felt and looked pretty raw, though the thermometer said it was 41. We suited up in winter gear, sans the heavier winter jacket, just the regular wind jacket, and went out for a little 13 mile ride. We had a plan, and somehow, DH turned back toward home earlier than the plan. He doesn't remember things like this well (I said "let's do the ride that goes up X, turn at X, and then back to X," which we did last fall and was about 22 miles). We turned before the 2nd X and that brought us to the 3d X... I was not complaining because just about then, DH mentioned his GPS was saying it was 36 out! I was dressed correctly, I didn't overheat, although my feet were a bit cold, despite wearing my winter shoes. However, it just wasn't nice out. As we got onto a long downhill and short climb which brings us back to our area, we saw another couple, coming from the other direction. They had come from the wrong way, down a one way street, making a left on a busy road, to connect to the downhill street. That move was the reason I didn't go on the group ride 2 weeks ago; we let them get ahead of us, we were moving along and I actually felt pretty good when I got home, after a night of a bit too much wine with friends. We set out to go slowly, like last weekend, but we ended up going not fast, but faster, fine for this time of year, and faster than my group ride last Wednesday.
    There's a lot of snow in far NW MA and southern VT, as well as the White Mountains of NH. We are looking at doing a weekend near Bennington VT next weekend, at a x country ski place, that is at elevation and we just discovered it's existence earlier this winter. It's too far for a day trip, but not a long drive, about 2.5 hours. They are getting 5-8 inches of snow Wednesday, while we have another horrible rainy nor'easter.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,026
    Have to hand it to you folks that are out riding, despite the less than ideal weather, especially with all that wind. I'm not the only tough cookie around here in that respect! Wind is seldom an issue for trail riding in our woods, but as soon as I go out on an open road, even up here in forest country, it does become a factor. Wind makes a huge difference in how I have to dress in cold weather if I'm out on a road.

    More snow coming, tonight, just when some of my trails were down to dirt in some spots. Oh, well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    Agree re. the wind! We don't face the cold temperatures that many of you do since we're in central Florida, but this time of year, wind is almost always a factor on our rides. Today it's to be 10-20 mph SSW, meaning that we'll have a rip-roaring tailwind on our way "out", but a headwind on the way back. I prefer the other way around, but we're due some chilly mornings later in the week, so I'll take the southwest winds over that. Should be upper 60s to low 70s on our ride today, not bad.

    I have great respect for those of you who ride in cold weather. It's just not for me. I have to muster all my motivation even to go out when it's in the 50s.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,026
    I'm with you on playing the wind. When planning a route, I'll do my best to make sure I get a tailwind on the way back home. Of course, Nature can play tricks on you and switch wind directions when you're on your ride.

    A litte snow, today, only about an inch, but that's better than 3-5 inches they had forecast. An inch of snow on my icy trails is actually a good thing. It's just enough to leave a hard packed track of snow on the ice as I ride over it. Makes for better traction and safer, too.

    Speaking of ice, I call this time of year our icicle season. Gets just above freezing by day and then re-freezes at night. That creates huge icicles on the house. It also turns my snow packed trails into ice packed trails, too. Not good. Oh, I can still ride the ice with studded fat bike tires, but I still have to get very conservative and careful on my riding. Studded tires are still not 100% safe. Not my preferred way to ride, but it sure beats not riding at all.

    We saw a flock of 15 turkeys in the yard, yesterday afternoon. They were picking up left overs under our bird feed stations. Took down the bird feeders, this week, because this time of year bears come out of their winter sleep and are looking for food. Unless you like bears in your yard, up here, you learn quick not to give them something to eat.

    Spotted our resident pair of eagles, flying overhead, as I write this. Life is good in my north woods.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-06-2018 at 07:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,955
    Although I did not plan it with wind in mind, I had thought that the ride I was going to lead on Sunday was protected from the wind in some areas. I would have expected a headwind in the beginning, then some tailwinds, and maybe some crosswinds near the end, but with enough direction changes and time on tree-line roads to give people a break from time to time. However based on the post-ride report from the person who led it my place, it was a hard slog the whole time. Nonetheless he went out again yesterday to ride and again reported wind the entire time. Some folks are willing to put up with it more than others...in particular I find that people who commute by bike (or did for many years before retiring) are more willing to ride for fun in cold, wind or even rain. For me, those conditions are far less fun, though.

    - 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
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,408
    Rain, no unless it starts without warning when I am out.
    Wind, I don't like it, but I can tolerate it a bit more than DH. I just decide to forget about speed. Wind+rain, no. Wind+ a raw, cloudy day, no. I will hike on those days, though.
    Cold has different levels for me. Cold (30 degrees) with sun and no or little wind is fine. I have the gear to go lower, but if there's snow, I'll be skiing, or at the gym, or snow shoeing. It's cold with clouds and/or wind that might be a tipping point. My ride Sunday was 36 degrees, cloudy, a little wind, and a few spritzes and a flurry. It was raw. But, about halfway through the 13 miles, I forgot about it and was fine. I wear my heated gloves when it's 40 or below, which takes care of my main issue. Anything else, I have clothing for. Truth is, once December 15th comes, I am ready to take a rest from cycling, but if there's a slightly warmer day and the roads are good, I will go. March is a fun month for me, because I often x country ski and ride because of the changeable weather.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,026
    Have to say that, as for me, I've been bitten by this snow biking bug. Have done more biking, this winter, than the previous ten winters combined, maybe more. It's catching on, up here, in snow country. We now have some fat bike races in the snow over some of the same courses used for XC ski races. Don't know if snow biking will ever become an Olympic event and I doubt it will become a major bicycle sport in this country, given that, like XC skiing, it's limited to snow country. It is fun and a great workout, though, and even in sub zero weather, doesn't take me long to warm up. It's actually very practical, too. It's not just a stunt. On hard pack snow/ice, you can really fly. Have had days when I logged the same average speed over my trails as what I do in the summer. Nowhere near as fussy about snow conditions as with XC skiing. For sure, my XC skiing has taken a big hit since I've been bitten by the snow biking bug.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,408
    15 inches of heavy, wet snow here in West Concord. Not sure if I will go into work at all, already had 2 cancellations. I am thinking it's a xc ski day...
    There's 2+ feet of snow where we are going to be skiing this weekend, outside of Bennington, VT.
    I finally hit one right! Although I am glad I have already been out on my bike 4 times this year.
    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
    1,026
    You folks seem to be stuck in that storm track. Hope everyone is doing oaky.

    As for us, the season is changing, slowly, but surely, but still a good foot and a half to two feet of accumulated snow in the woods. Can't help but dream of spring, though, now that the days are getting longer. DST starts, this weekend, too. Spring ahead with those clocks.

    Lot of shoveling, yesterday, and laid down some gravel on some of the icy turns. Still have to use the slower bikes with the studded tires to be safe. Tempting as it is to use the faster fat bikes without the studded tires, it would be pretty stupid to risk nasty spill for the sake of speed when I had studded tire bikes already setup and ready to go.

    I'm still thinking about another bike, this spring. I want a faster bike than my 29x3" Krampus on pavement, but it still has to have wide enough tires for hard pack gravel and rough pavement, maybe an occasional ride down some logging roads.

    Recently read an article about the environmental issues with carbon frames. They're toxic to manufacture, but mostly a problem of recycling, due to the glues they use to bond the fibers. Anyone else see that? Not sure if it's enough to talk me out of carbon, but still something to consider. Good old steel, of course, is easily recycled and will last a lifetime.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,955
    I am not a big fan of carbon for a different reason -- about a year after I bought my current road bike, I found a crack in the top tube and have no idea what caused it. Cost $500 and many weeks to have it fixed. I know that many people have carbon bikes now and not many have similar problems, but I feel like I need to baby it much more than I did my aluminum bike. When it comes time for a new road bike I will look into steel and titanium first.

    We got lucky with the first two nor'easters, in terms of snow. Nothing from the storm last week and flurries the other night with big flakes that added a bit of a visual challenge while driving home from work, but the wet heavy snow on my car when I went to bed was gone by morning. However we might get substantial snow from the next storm, which is due Sunday night-Monday. Needless to say I am hoping that doesn't happen. This morning I read that our current cold snap will be here through next week. Meanwhile pollen is still moderate-high and the cedar tree next to my kitchen window is still yellow, but today I saw that maple was listed first in the predominant pollen types so I'm hoping to be able to spend time outside soon.

    - 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

 

 

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