Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gettin' Hammered!

The view outside my garage. Shortly after photo was aquired I was blinded by snow from a wind gust.
I believe we've just been "upgraded" to full on blizzard status. Hey, I got the day off work!

A fat bike ride is scheduled for this coming Sunday with Jason (Salsa Cycles) and some of his friends, one of which is from California. Errin, this post is for you, bring an extra hat.

Looking forward to riding with you guys.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Discovered in the Study of the DBD Headquarters. A note from Joseph Campbell to Sir Mallory. Was it a Code?

Left to Right: Sandy Irvine, George Mallory

In this myth, an ordinary person receives a "call to adventure" that compels him to leave an everyday world that he's psychologically and spiritually outgrown. He journeys into a dreamlike arena-a dark forest, a desert, a foreboding place. Along the way he encounters a teacher who instructs him in skills he needs to successfully achieve a goal that is now revealed to him. The protagonist is challenged to his limit by a series of terrifying and demanding trials before finally reaching and overcoming one final ordeal. Through these struggles he experiences a euphoric transfiguration and is forever changed. Unencumbered by personal limitations, he discovers new powers and purpose. He then sets off to re-enter his normal world. His last task is to share his discoveries, which promise a boon to his society that will somehow restore its vibrancy. He encounters many who are incapable of comprehending. Finally someone hears the message and arises as the next adventurer.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Endless Miles

Proof that we were there.
120 miles was scheduled and thought about all week. Knowing the temperature was going to drop and the winds were going to pick up I worried about flat tires and head winds. I've done this ride a handful of times before and it's almost more of a mental test than physical. The route is not complicated. Leave the east end of Duluth and follow the water north east until you reach the sign pictured above, then turn around and go back the other way. The rider will most certainly try to remember the views, but mostly he'll look at the asphalt in front of his wheel for hours.

There was a good chance I'd be doing this ride alone, yet I offered it to fellow DBD members. I had one taker, Jeremy Kershaw. He had some work to do in order to not work - literally, but he pulled it off. The call came to my house at 5:30 a.m. as I made final preps for the long day. "I can go!" is all I needed to hear.

We met in the dark at an undisclosed location and without much fanfare. We did well to limit our stops, until we hit the not so impressive Silver Bay, Mn. Smoke poured from the mining factory and we wondered about the locals health. Light conversation over a few snacks at a convenience store in need of a serious cleaning, and we were headed back the other way. There were bouts of frenzied conversation, coupled with long periods of silence, but we were out there together, getting it done. There was no drafting, no surges, no strategies, just two guys slugging it out with the ROAD.

30 miles to go.

Our day ended with a fist bump, a "thanks", and a rise out of both saddles as we finally pointed our machines in different directions. I moved on alone through Duluth, tired and sore, but happy that it was almost done. I climbed the hillside in staggered efforts, only to pass one pedestrian who looked at me and said, "Movin' pretty slow". I turned my single speed over as best I could and simply replied, "I'm comin' from Silver Bay." I pushed on past him, hearing a muttered, "That's a long ride!"

It was the kind of ride that ends with a dismount that finds you stumbling a bit to gain a foothold on terra firma.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Day at the Beach - Minnesota Style!

I capped a fairly large training week with an easy spin on the beach today. I grabbed my camera and my Mukluk in search of some space no one else was in. It was a success! Check it out.

I love Duluth, Minnesota. Get out there and find some space that's all your own. You'll thank yourself for it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wheel or Fire?


I wonder if cave dudes/dudettes ever sat around arguing about what was more important, the wheel or fire. My guess is they did, much the way we might argue about Carbon vs. Ti. Well, this weekend I've experienced the importance of both. Yesterday I sat around a quality fire in my back yard discussing the ways of the world with my Dad. We did what people do around a fire, we stared at it, we poked it, we occasionally even tried to warm up by it. We didn't cook over it, but we've done that many times and it works! I love fire. No, I don't love it like I've got to burn stuff to feel alive, more like I love that feeling fire gives you - security and a little fifteen foot circle you can call home while you're there.

Now, the wheel. Whoo, a lot can be said for the wheel. Like fire a real game changer. I seriously empathize with the cave guy who was responsible for moving stuff. His life was rough to say the least, until the round thing showed up. I can only imagine he found a quiet place all to himself and went nuts with joy, dancing around, doing some yelling, maybe he even fist bumped his buddy later on. His plight took a turn for the exponentially easier, because of the wheel!

I consider myself a guy who moves stuff, usually myself. Recently, I've been struggling with a wheel on my commuting bike that has been in it's death throws for a couple months now. I finally cracked last week, scoured the Internet for the cheapest wheel that wasn't made of stone and bought it. I put this wheel on my bike yesterday and rode it for the first time this morning. Sure it's heavy, but I'm a man of minimal needs. This most basic of wheels drastically changed the performance of my bike. The rear end of the machine no longer wiggles when I shift my weight. The bike no longer clunks side to side in the back end when I climb due to the hub flopping around. I mean I actually felt the power I was putting into the pedals coming out of the bike - imagine that!

So, Fire vs. Wheel? My vote goes to the wheel. Where do you stand?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is It Supposed to Hurt?

1. Inflamed tendons, left and right feet
2. Aggravated right wrist
3. Aggravated right shoulder
4. Saddle sore
5. Inflamed right knee (old injury)
6. Two sets of toes that are prone to freezing quickly due to being frozen too many times

The short list of what currently rides around on my back like King Kong.