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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467

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    First ride in November turned out to be one of the hardest ones I've done this year.
    Up until last night, there was only a long ride for the group, and while 37 miles I can do, I can't keep up with the group that does the longer rides. Then, later in the evening, someone volunteered to lead a shorter version. Of course, it included a dreaded climb. The whole ride was in my old neighborhood, where I used to live when I first moved back to MA, about 15 miles north of here. I did not ride when I lived there and man, I doubt I would have continued, as it is super hilly. The leader of this ride is someone who is good, but he was setting a fast pace. I wasn't back with sweep, but I was never in the front, either. However, it's a beautiful day, 61 degrees and breezy with sun. Yes, the sun did come out. I always feel crappy in the beginning of a ride and by the time that wore off, we were near the climb. However, I forgot about the climbs after the climb . There is a former pig farm on a road that runs parallel to my old street and it's a 12% grade to this spot. It's a CSA now, so I guess it's all upscale. The first day my kids rode the school bus (ages 5 and 8) they asked me if we had moved to Appalachia . So, it is rural and beautiful. But the climbing after the climbing almost killed me. Made it back to my car at Great Brook Farm and I was so tired and hungry, I did not go to the lunch, as it was going to be quicker to drive home and eat than wait at the place they were at.
    Glad I did it, but a reminder that I need to get my azz in gear for next year. I am talking with my bootcamp instructor about a couple of months of personal training.
    26 miles with 1350 ft of climbing.
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  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Some serious climbing with gradients like that. We're also mostly hills, but a lot gentler in nature. Would definitely have to work myself up to that stuff you rode. Good job on your part.

    Hey, send some of that sunshine and warm weather our way, especially the sunshine. Another dreary, cold, snowy day for us. Light skiff of snow, overnight and some light snow falling as I rode my trails on the Norco Sasquatch fat bike. Did a good 6 miles, pushing myself hard in the climbs. Good workout. Being the glutton for work that I am, I then spent another two plus hours smoothing out a very bumpy section of trail.

    No pavement riding, today, though. Figure I'll get plenty of that when the snow closes down my trails and I'll be riding the fat bikes out on our plowed roads. For now, I'm riding trails, every day, and pavement, every other day. Want to enjoy my trails while I still can. No one plows them for me.

    Finally, conceding that my winter biking season is actually, here, I pulled the Norco Bigfoot out of summer storage and got it ready to go. This is a snow bike, only, fat bike because of its big aggressive studded tires. (My other Norco, the Sasquatch, I ride year round.) Figured I might as well be ready when the deep slushy snow hits. Won't be long, now.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Yeah, my husband is in Chicago and he said he is glad he is leaving tomorrow late morning, because it is going to snow there shortly after that. We are getting rain on Friday, but there will be some snow in northern New England.
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    We're forecast to get three or four inches of snow over the next 48 hours and with the ground now frozen and temps staying below freezing, it might be the last we see of our lawn till spring. That time of year, for us.

    Errands, today, one being a trip back to the bike shop with my single speed Pugsley for a gear change. My bike shop guy switched out the rear cog while I waited. Can't beat that. Probably could have done it, myself, but lots of little washers to get right on single speed conversion like this. He showed me how it's done, though, so I will probably go it on my own if need be, next time.

    Changed to a slightly higher gear ratio. Not much, mind you, but even a little change is important when going ss for trail work. When you need a quick burst of speed, you can't afford to spin out, but you can't afford to under-spin, either, by being in too high a gear. Got to get it just right. Anyway, got home, mid-afternoon and, of course, went right to work on the trails with 5 plus miles of laps. Yup, got it just right, now.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Decided to take a little recovery ride in the dark this morning. Went out about 5:30, or maybe a bit before. It takes so long to get ready for a cold, dark ride, despite laying out and charging everything last night. I did the flattest ride I can, with no add ons which have hills, about 10 miles. Felt great on the way out, but coming home, my legs felt tight and my average was quite low for this ride.
    I wore the new Nox Gear safety light vest we got on sale. I can't really describe it, but it's very cool, with multiple flashing colors to choose from. There's a light (pretty big) on your back and very thin plastic tubes you slip your arms through that also light up. There's just one very light weight clip in the front that holds it on. I noticed cars staying far away. It's very busy on Main St from my street until they all get onto the highway, about 2 miles, so it was a good test. It's so light, you cannot even feel it.
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  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Might have to check out that vest. Thanks. Been such a long time since I've ridden in the dark, but was a daily thing, back in my commuting to work days. Some of those early morning in the dark rides before the traffic built up were quite pleasant. Not all of them, of course, but have good memories of some of them.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Well, I am not riding in city traffic, but it's considerably busier than in the last 2 places I lived. However, it's really only when I do this ride. Sometimes, I just want to be outside on a flat road. I didn't see any other riders today, which was weird, as it was not that cold (42) and there's a considerable number of clubs that ride out this way, as well as commuters.
    The good thing is, it was almost fully light when I got back at 6:15.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    We got our snow, today. Not a lot, about 3". Still, it was enough to have a real snow day of fat biking on the Norco Sasquatch (great bike). Got out on our neighborhood roads before they were plowed and did 6 miles. Doesn't sound like much, I know, but remember this is pushing a fat bike through the snow. Good workout, anyway.

    Got back home and then did 4 more miles, this time on my trails, with Star keeping me company, as usual. No thaw in sight, so good chance I won't see the grass on our lawn till late April or even May.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Love that pic, NWG.
    We had winds, with gusts up to 40-50 mph for most of today, so no riding. I went to a new class at the gym; thought it might be awful, but it was fun and similar, but different enough from what I do in the early AM. It's at 11 AM, a bit late for me, if I am not doing something outside on a weekend. I didn't have any other stuff to do until tonight, so it was not an issue today. So, if I can't ride, x country ski, snow shoe, or hike, I have something to do. DH went for a walk, but I am sick of that, except on my easy/rest days.
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  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Thanks.

    A little more snow, today, maybe a little more, tonight, then a a mostly dry week, next week. All in all, not bad. Can still ride both our local roads and my trails. The roads may clear enough to allow me to ride the skinnier tire bikes at some point. Hope so, because I don't want to mothball them, yet. The trails, though, are likely to be fat bike, only, for the rest of the winter, though. Not much melting back in the woods. I may be able to also ride the Krampus with its 3" tires when I get enough hard pack from riding over the trails a lot, but not going to take chances. Be dumb to take a fall because i wasn't riding a fat bike.

    Today, all riding, road and trail, was with the single speed setup Pugsley. Very pleased that I'll be able to ride it all winter, except when the snow gets deep and slushy. Gearing is just right for hard pack snow. Don't want to give up my single speed riding till spring. That would drive me nuts.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    We had a beautiful sunny day today, so we forced ourselves to get out there and ride. I am glad I did. Did the longer version of my early morning rides, 19 miles. It was actually warmer than I thought, as the weather was showing some wind still around, but we couldn't feel it much, as we had a tailwind going out, but then kind of a persistent and annoying crosswind on the way back. I was overdressed, but not horribly; I decided to wear my winter jacker with the pit zips, so at 9 miles, I unzipped them and pushed my head cover a little up on my ears. It was not necessary for me to be wearing my Ibex tights, but that did not bother me.
    Every ride now until the roads get sloppy is a gift, so onward. It's going to be a high of 34 and a low of 19 on Wednesday and I am not sure if I can handle the group ride if it's in the low 20s at the start. it's going to be hilly, so I'd get warm quickly, but we will see.
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  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    So right about every ride on dry pavement now being a gift. Looks like I'm done, barring an unusual thaw. More snow, last night, almost 3". The plows haven/t been out all day, so probably be tomorrow before any serious road cleaning happens. I did take out the Norco fat bike with the heavy duty studded tires for 5 miles around our local roads. By staying in the tracks of cars, managed some good speeds, in fact.

    I then had a try at clearing a path through the snow on my trails, but gave up, disgusted and frustrated. Promised myself, this winter, that I wouldn't work like a dog to keep my trails open to biking, again, the way I did last winter. That was just too much and no chronic neck discomfort like I have, now, either. I did ride the fat bike though the fresh snow on the trails, but just a matter of time, now, before it gets too deep for snow biking. Then it's out on the roads for my snow biking after the plows have done their work.

    What I AM going to do, this winter, though, is just let it snow and use the skis and the snowshoes on the trails. I'll mix that with some snow biking out on the roads and (ugh!) maybe some indoor trainer work. Should be able to stay in shape though the winter. That, and the skis and snowshoes will give me a positive outlook on snow when it comes, instead of a negative one as per trying to keep my trails open all winter.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Overnight lows now in single digits and about 5" of snow on the ground. Yup, still riding, snow and cold, notwithstanding. Same old crazy me.

    No new snow, now, for a couple days, so have been riding my trails enough to pack down the snow and get a good base. As long as I stay in my narrow "single track", I do okay. No techy turns or fancy stuff, now, but as long as I stay on the straight or gently curving sections, I'm safe. Also doing some pavement riding on our plowed roads. All fat bike stuff, so far. The single speed Pugs is doing better than expected as a snow bike. Getting a lot of use from it, more than expected. Probably the end of my single speed skinny tire bike riding, now that winter is here, but at least I'll still be able to go single speed, thanks to the Pugs.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 11-13-2018 at 01:01 PM.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,717
    It's 70 degrees outside. Why are your riding more often than I?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Like I said, I'm a little crazy.

 

 

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