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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124

    October rides: put a little color in it.

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    Well, it is October and, for us, the leaf colors are coming on strong. Have already had to clean off the leaf litter on my trails and lots more that to come.

    Been doing my usual everyday ride routine of 5 miles on our lovely neighborhood roads with the hubby, then following that up with some trail riding and/or more road riding on my own. Then, too, I sometimes put an hour or two into doing trail maintenance or improvement work. Oh, yeah, this gal is pretty tired at the end of the day, but a good kind of tired.

    As always, lots of wildlife. Interesting incident, today. Around dinner, the dogs were raising a ruckus around the wood pile, trying to tear it down. They had something cornered. We finally got them away from the woodpile to see what they had trapped. Turns out to be an Ermine (used to be called the Short-tailed Weasel). These are the ones that turn white in the winter and are common, up here in the north woods. Unfortunately, the little guy was in bad shape. I think a log fell on it. Nevertheless, we took him out in the woods, away from the house with the hopes he might survive. Not looking good, but we tried.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 10-02-2018 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,464
    Starting to see some colors here, mostly the bright red sugar maples. Quite late this year. But, our peak is not until near the end of October.
    Had rain and raw drizzle all day. I forced myself to get up and go to spin class this morning before work. So humid out, it just seeps in that room, even with the AC and fans. It's the first one hour spin class I've done since last April. When I've gone to that class on Wednesdays if it's raining, it's only 30 minutes. I feel so bored, but I certainly feel like I've worked.
    Tomorrow I plan to go on a group ride that starts at a Bonsai place and goes on roads I have not ridden in awhile. I've driven by the Bonsai place, oh, like 5,000 times in the past 28 years, and I have been wanting to do this ride for at least 5 years, because afterwards we eat lunch there and get a tour.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,716
    It's still hot, here. Does not feel like October. More like early September. Ugh. I hate summer in the South. Actually, I hate the South.

    Just spend $2.7K having a Water Oak tree removed and three other mature trees pruned and some brush removed. Ugh. Never buy a home overhung with mature trees. Especially in this part of the country. The tree are massive and dangerous and enjoy throwing missiles and unsuspecting humans.

    Anyway. It's expensive, but a relief. And that is actually a good price.

    $2.7K would buy a nice Mukluk or Woodsmoke from Salsa.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124
    We had thunderstorms, all night and are forecast to get strong storms all day, today, and tonight. Not sure what I'll get done as far as riding, but for sure, I won't head out far from home. Don't mind riding in the rain - up to a point - but heavy rain and, especially, lightning scares the heck out of me. Have had to do it out of necessity, but no way will I do it when I have a choice. May just settle for some trail work or a short trail ride. I can't stand spending the whole day, inside. Yuk!

    Crankin, that sounds interesting, for sure. Love our very rural setting, here, and all our roads are beautiful, but not much in the way of places to stop and eat or get coffee or shop and so on. That's the part I do miss from my Chicago and Portland days.

    Whoa! That's a tough one, Sheila, but I do understand about taking down trees around the house for the sake of safety and damage to the house. We had to do the same when we first moved in, up here, but time to remove a few more, now that they're getting old.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,464
    Sigh, another ride thwarted, mainly by weather. At 7:30 we got an email from the leader giving the encouraging forecast, 61 at 10 am, with .1% chance of rain. It had rained all night, the roads were wet and it was 51 degrees at that time. I got ready, put air in my tires and loaded my bike in my car. The start was about 8-9 miles away. When I went outside at 8:15, I felt freezing. I had my knickers on, a LS regular jersey, and my vest. Wool socks. Came back in and put on a sleeveless base layer, as I am sick of feeling overheated on rides! Since we needed money to pay for the lunch ahead of time, I had to leave early. So, at 9, I went to my bank branch ATM, that is maybe 5 miles from my house. On the way over, I noticed my windshield getting wet, thinking it was road spray. Had to put my wipers on. Got out of my car and said "Oh sh!t." It was raining. Lightly, but raining, and 53 degrees. I got my $, hung out for about 5 minutes, and said that's it. I went home.
    I think I made the right choice for me. It clearly was raining more west of my house, but it continued drizzling until about 11 am even here, and the ride started at 10. If I had had my rain jacket, I would have gone, but it felt raw and cold, and that, mixed with wet, is a recipe for hypothermia. Also did not have a head cover. Truthfully, I had a ton of work to do and felt relieved. I did my work, ate lunch, and went out for a very short 35 minute ride at 12:45. My legs felt dead from yesterday's spin, and my average was a good deal lower than my last rides. It was hilly, so despite being short, I felt like I worked hard. I went out and went food shopping afterwards, did a bunch of other chores, as we have a really busy weekend. I don't have work Monday (Columbus Day). Granddaughter coming Friday, sleeping over, and as soon as she get s picked up at 9 am, we head to our friends in western MA for 2 days of riding and maybe a hike. Monday, we are celebrating my son's 36th birthday, at dinner, so I have to make him a cake, but I will probably be able to do a longer ride in the morning. Weather is going to be summer-fall-summer for the next few days. I would prefer to keep the fall!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124
    Drizzle or even light rain I can take - if i dress for it and if I'm in the mood. Of course, I have the luxury of staying close to home and doing all the biking I want, so I can deal with rain a bit easier than most. Today was a good example. Woke up to a light rain, mist and fog, but it stopped mid-morning, so hubby and I did our neighborhood ride, then I did a full 5 miles of laps on our wet trails, then followed that up with a couple hours of hard work on the trails, clearing roots and rocks off the trails that might be a safety issue when riding the standard tire MTBs. Grueling work, but I get a smoother and safer trail doing it.

    With our wet trails the last couple days, I've been riding the Krampus with its "low fat" (3") tires. Have rekindled an appreciation for this bike, now that I've put those wider tires to good use on our wet trails (now covered with wet leaves in places). The Krampus is no race bike, but it is solid, stable and, especially, safe when conditions aren't the best. I did get the gearing right on this one, too, for my trails. It can be a little tricky matching the gear combo on a single speed to where you plan to ride the bike. All in all, the Krampus is a very useful single speed in my growing collection of single sped bikes.

    Nasty storms with heavy rain and a lot of lightning moved in, this afternoon, just as I finished with the trail work. More to come, tonight and tomorrow, so the Krampus will probably be put to work, again. Could ride one of the regular fat bikes, too, but I'm kind of hooked on riding single speed.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 10-03-2018 at 05:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    It's been summerlike all week and I love it.

    I rode last night after work, about 18 miles. My speed was very slow and I'm not sure why. I was in a bad mood all day and had to stop several times because the chain was making a weird noise. I couldn't figure out why. I have had problems ever since the bike shop guy replaced it a few months ago. Anyway it seemed to shift okay last night, it just didn't sound right. There was more traffic than usual which did not help my mood, and one driver in particular was a total jerk, honking and passing close while I was making a left turn. Overall not the best ride.

    I'm planning to lead a ride on Sunday. It's supposed to be sunny and in the 80s. No complaints from me!

    - 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
    13,464
    So beautiful out this morning, when I went to the gym. 57 degrees and dry/clear. Two days of this, and then some of the same (but cooler) warmth that NY is getting on Sunday.
    So, last week I signed up to join a meet up group called Metrowest Active Retirees (or not). I am trying to branch out, in preparation for retirement, still a couple of years off. But, I haven't had a great track record of going on group rides with my Wednesday group this season (4, maybe) and I've only led 2 rides for AMC and gone on one other local one, and 3 AMC rides out in western MA, which of course, are led by my friends. Signed up for a ride on 10/17, in a very hilly ride west of here, only 19 miles. First, I was put on a wait list; I questioned the restriction on size, stating I was not familiar with Meet Up ways... one of the participants gave me her spot, saying she "had to practice going up inclines." She seemed to be a younger person, as the group is basically open to anyone who can do stuff during the week. We shall see. The stated average is right in my ballpark, but a few years ago, we had AMC leaders cross posting our big event rides on Meet Up, leading to people attending who just didn't have the skills or proper bikes for riding in a hilly area. I had a woman fall over and bleed profusely before my ride even started! We ended that practice. Anyway, I would rather be slowed down than dropped, and hopefully, I will find new people to play with.
    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
    1,124
    If what we get, up here, is a taste of what you folks to the east and south will be getting, you better enjoy that nice weather while you can.

    Had some really nasty storms, the night before last, but yesterday, the sun came out after a very cold night in the 30s and dried things up a bit. We had errands in town, so we didn't get around to doing our usual neighborhood ride till late afternoon. That's probably a good thing, though, since things had dried out a bit. I then grabbed the Log Lady and did a full 5 miles of laps on my trails. The leaves were dry enough, so no traction issues at all, and, of course, the Log Lady is a race bike and a really, really fun to ride trail bike. Maybe too fun, though, in that it might tempt me to ride it when trail conditions call for a fat or a plus bike to be safe.

    More rain, last night and, again, very cold temps, though just warm enough to avoid having it turn to snow. Rain and cold, today, too, so it may turn out to be one of those indoor riding days for me. I hope not. Yuk!

    Our trees are at about max color, now. Lots of leaves falling, too. Big job ahead clearing my trails.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    It's been summerlike all week and I love it.

    I rode last night after work, about 18 miles. My speed was very slow and I'm not sure why. I was in a bad mood all day and had to stop several times because the chain was making a weird noise. I couldn't figure out why. I have had problems ever since the bike shop guy replaced it a few months ago. Anyway it seemed to shift okay last night, it just didn't sound right. There was more traffic than usual which did not help my mood, and one driver in particular was a total jerk, honking and passing close while I was making a left turn. Overall not the best ride.

    I'm planning to lead a ride on Sunday. It's supposed to be sunny and in the 80s. No complaints from me!
    I just cleaned the chain, and I think I know the cause of the weird noise. There are rough edges on numerous links, no doubt as a result of being jammed between the cassette and the spokes last Sunday. Most of the nicked up parts are on the outer edge, but some are on the other side which comes in contact with the cogs. So it looks like a(nother) new chain is in my future, even though this one is only a few months old. I was planning to go to the bike shop tomorrow anyway, to get a closer look at the Checkpoint gravel bike.

    I have ordered the hybrid from the rewards company, and have been contacted by their supplier (a bike shop in Connecticut) about frame size. I told them I was planning to trade the bike in toward a different one, and they offered to handle the trade up for me. I appreciate the offer, but want to do it through my LBS for several reasons. I also sent an email to my bike club offering the hybrid for sale. I don't want to deal with Craig's list and don't think I'd have success trying to sell there based on the prices of bikes currently listed there. If no one from the bike club wants it I will do the trade-in at the LBS.

    - 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. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124
    Good luck on your bike swap/trade, N.Y. and let us know how it works out. I get it about wanting to handle things through your local shop with folks you know and trust.

    We are in one of our yucky weather patterns and probably will be for another week. Yup, cloudy, dark, cold with a little rain or drizzle, here and there. Anything but great riding weather, but, as usual, we ride, anyway. Did our usual neighborhood ride, yesterday, in drizzle and light rain. (Our neighbors must think we're nuts and they may be right. ) I finished with a good long hour workout on our wet and, slippery with leaves, trails. All riding was with my aluminum Norco fat bike for the sake of safety and also to avoid getting my steel bikes soaked.

    Out on the road with the fat bike, I could just barely keep up with my hubby on his fat bike. Looks like I need to do more fat bike riding out on the roads, since I plan to get though our winter and all the snow by riding the fat bikes mostly on the roads. I'm really bummed out about this upcoming winter, though, now that I've developed an addiction to my much faster and lighter single speeds. Not sure how I will handle it all. Quite a change for me, because I'm usually optimistic or at least neutral about winter. For the first time in years, I'm wishing I lived in a place where I could ride regular bikes in the winter. This is depressing.

    There's such an amazing difference with the faster and lighter bikes, though, and that's the problem. I can ride the Gunnar or the Log lady on our neighborhood rides and make my hubby look slow on his fat bike. I end up waiting for him at the top of every hill. About the only thing the Gunnar and the LL have in common with the fat bikes is that they both have wheels.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 10-06-2018 at 08:05 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,979
    Fat bikes might not be your preference, but put them next to the indoor trainer and they might look pretty good. Maybe once the weather really goes downhill the fat bikes will feel more fun to ride.

    - 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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124
    You're right, of course. Ride the fat bike outdoors, even in the snow, or ride the trainer indoors? The fat bike wins every time.

    Another dreary day, weather wise, but the woods are so beautiful in all their color. Just a treat to be outdoors, no matter what the weather. Did 13 miles of pavement on the Gunnar, then finished up with another 4 on the trails, doing laps with the Log Lady. Found a couple of problem spots on the trail, so did do some repair work, afterwards.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,464
    What a weekend.
    We left for the Pioneer Valley around 10:30, delayed about half an hr, because DH discovered my GPS was again not working. Got to our friends' house and we ate lunch, and debated about our choice of activity. It was 58 degrees (not really cold), but raw and windy. We decided to hike yesterday and ride today. So, off we went to the Holyoke Range, with the 7 sisters peaks. We did 2 peaks, very strenuous, my short little legs requiring me to scramble, using my upper body. When we started, we were going to take a trail a little different than the one we actually took, to descend, as our original choice would have meant a 6 hour hike, and it was already 3 pm. So, we started down. It was not really steep or technical, but covered with small rocks. I was moving at a good clip and I must have tripped on a rock. Not only did I go down, but I rolled a bit. I thought I would stop, but the last little bit of the roll, got the bottom of my knee/top of my tibia, on the same side where I had my bike crash. And I had a cut on my other arm. I knew nothing was broken, but my leg hurt and I felt a bit woozy. So, after sitting for awhile, we continued, I used a stick DH found to use to help me balance. I could see that the rocks were kind of wet, probably the reason I tripped. After about another mile or so of this descent, we got to the flat part of the trail. Very muddy, with stream crossings. I picked up the pace and was fine, although I knew my leg was stiffening. We had to walk out on the road for the last mile, which made it worse, as it was uphill. But, we got back to the house and I cleaned up, iced my leg, where I discovered it is just below my knee, and it's just stiff. The bruising is minimal compared to my bike crash. I didn't have my Arnica with me, so my arm is bruised, but the cuts are minimal, too, with Bacitracin.
    Had a crappy night's sleep, after a fun evening though, of food and wine. The day dawned cloudy, humid and already 65 degrees. I had no idea how I would do, but we set out around 10:45, already 73 degrees. I felt crappy, but it mostly from too much wine and not enough sleep. I got over it, though and we had a lovely ride from Whately, to historic Old Deerfield, where we stopped and ate a snack. Farms, hills, and rivers were the theme of the day, and we rode just under 30 miles. Thankfully, the sun stayed in, until we got back. We showered, and the 4 of us headed out for a late lunch, and then we headed home.
    Now resting on the couch, used my Arnica, and iced my leg. I have tomorrow off and all I am going to do is ride to a new gourmet farm market, around 10 miles round trip.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,124
    Ouch, girl! And here I thought hiking was safer than riding. Seriously, though, glad you survived it and were able to ride, the next day. Good for you.

    Heavy duty trail work for me, today. Decided to do my first clearing of all the leaves and litter on the trails using a leaf blower. Not crazy about going with that kind of tool, but it allowed me to to do a full day's work or even more with a rake in a matter of a little over an hour. Still a lot of work. Of course, clearing the trails also revealed a lot of dangerous rocks and roots I hadn't noticed, before, so had to grab the axe and shovel, and go to work, next. Really kind of scared me to see some of those hazards I hand't seen, before, on trails that I had been riding hard and fast. Some could have flipped me. Not good.

    Three days of rain in the forecast, so not sure how much riding I'll be dong.

 

 

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