Monday, January 31, 2011

Have I said lately much i love winter...??

When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention

"As long as we are able to

be extravagant we will be

hugely and damply

extravagant. Then we will drip

foil by foil to the ground. This

is our unalterable task, and we do it


And they went on. "Listen,

the heart-shackles are not, as you think,

death, illness, pain,

unrequited hope, not loneliness, but

lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety,


Their frangrance all the while rising

from their blind bodies, making me

spin with joy.

Mary Oliver



Dang Giant Clinchers!

The good news is that pushing a pugsley through fresh snow is really no slower than riding it.

I love spine trail

What a great winter route--until the fresh snow hits the 6 to 8 inch mark! Then the reds come out... anyone skiing after work?? maybe i'll get an early out and be able to start before 5 pm?!?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

RAGBRAI... 2011 Route


These might be the worst conditions I've ever seen these two riding in.....

views from the open water and the ridge

i really enjoyed the winter games sunset at night...

a skiers delight!

the groomed trail is drifted shut!

The other kathy's classic

Post ride recovery fruit of the forrest cobbler! Can you see how steamy it is???

Freeze your fanny fixed

I love riding behind the white rooster tail! Check it out, bojibiker rocks...


Loveall called it!

Slow children at loch knolls during freeze your fanny! Boji biker won the event with the same time...
a warm winter games greeting from the slow children at play...tim taylor, mike lynn, cenna vaelli, and yfns!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Accordion Playlist for FYF

So far for the bike ride tomorrow we've got:
Beer Barrel Polka
Star Wars

Any other requests from our faithful blog readers??? What tunes would make you want to kick your bike into high gear????

Guess who I just saw??

time for a shakedown cruise of the fyf route

who's in at noon...this is my selection for tomorrow's ride...39/18 ss with a studded front and tubular cross rear
What will you be riding??
A SPECIAL WELCOME TO BROOKLYN, CALE JAY, ASHLEY, CATHY, RAVEN AND JAIME! nice to have you following on the blog...will you be riding tomorrow??
if you need something to get you around town...i think i can help you out! let me know if you need winter wheels! i'd even let you ride the single speed kirk...UNLESS, OF COURSE, MY DAUGHTER DECIDES SHE WANTS TO RIDE, the kirk is HER favorite!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

After our 36 degree high today...

...i suggest we have a little experiment and test out the following equation at the outback with cross country skis:
F = M x A
(with and without wax)

31 degrees felt like the track was firming up, icing over and at first felt like I had no kick wax!

between the pictures above i did find the linebacker lines...the twilight was so prolonged tonight i finished the double reverse loop without a light...takes some doing to let the skis go when you can't see the track on that last downhill going out past the marble homestead site! the kick wax kicked in just when i needed it, though...once the icy trail thinned out the red kick wax and then hit the purple zone i had put down as a base! now we'll just need a little snow to freshen up the trail a bit and give a little less speed on the groomed downhill curves...if you know what i mean!

So much for the way being shut!

i'd have to say the riding weather was better when it was 19 degrees...what i now consider the perfect winter riding temperature!

Pugsleycross! I love winter riding...

be careful going off-road to groomed trail...the snow is soft and deep! face planting is not so bad and would be a pretty good winter games spectator sport, imho...

anyone going to minnesota monday as a cyclist, skier or runner??

If there’s one thing cyclists in northern climates know about winter is that if you can’t beat Mother Nature, you join her.
So come Monday, January 31 about half of the 140 people racing in deep winter across northern Minnesota in the Arrowhead 135 Winter Ultra Race will be on bikes. The seventh running of the Arrowhead 135 will see cyclists, runners and skiers race from International Falls to Fortune Bay near Tower, Minnesota. Organizers said there are about 64 riders, 64 runners and seven or eight skiers.
The race starts Monday, Jan. 31 at 7 a.m. with finish cutoff Wednesday evening. The racer roster is full with racers representing 26 states and seven countries, including several of the top winter ultra racers in the world like Fairbanks, Alaska’s Jeff Oatley, John Storkamp from Hastings, Minnesota, Ray Sanchez from California, and several top Brazilians. Fifteen women will challenge the Arrowhead trail this year, the most ever, according to race organizers. Minnesotan Eric Larsen, first person to self-propel to both poles and scale Everest all in one year, will attempt the Arrowhead this year on a bicycle.
Last year saw a photo-finish on the bike after 135 miles and 16+ hours at –10F between Alaskans Pete Basinger, Jeff Oatley and Burnsville, Minnesota’s Dave Pramann. Zach Gingerich of Illinois led the runners in at 38 hours and Jim Reed of Duluth at 52 hours first on skis.
...this post is hijacked from the salon...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

remember mr toad's wild ride??

(ok - a couple of skier notes:
1) i like the classic wooden snowshoe print and the fact that the majority of the tracks are not on the groomed trail...unlike the imprint under my skis in the picture
2) the groomer took some liberty with the route on the downhill coming back from the ridge on the first right hand loop...go right, pick up speed and be ready to break hard right...the sweeping curve has been bypassed. that was a little tricky in the dark before i turned on my headlamp! )

It's open for business right here in the iowa great lakes! kari thought i should just ski tomorrow...if i don't ski today...tomorrow never comes...obtw, 7 deer were crossing from marble to the isthmus between east and west hottes on the ridge just as the light was fading!

suspended for tainted meat...

i hope my 12" subway roast beef doesn't get me banned! do you think he'll stay in yellow...or will he be stripped of his title?? the guy in alberto's reflection could be the eventual winner of the 2010 tdf after all?? what says the peloton??

i have to admit it has been too long...

...anyone want to meet at the outback to ski after work?? i know we missed the full moon but i think getting out there with headlamps sounds like a blast...especially while it's so warm. i'm guessing we'll find wildlife!

Fw: The way is shut

you'll probably want to stay on the spine trail

but most of the roads are clear enough that fyf should allow 28's with a low tire pressure. of course, the 3.8 endomorph or 3.8 big larry is probably a little more practical for most everything else out there...

it's tough going to the YMCA from the northwest. Just so you know! Even the suburban in front of me turned around but waited to see if I could make it! if it would just stay below zero for a few days, then the snow would be hard enough to ride over!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow could do this Spidey!

Lower gar

Pugsley territory! you have to avoid certain sections of trail that are blocked by snow removal...the main one being the east bridge at the marina, but otherwise dam road and lower gar park are a blast to ride!

January afternoon rounds

At the milford nursing center! Think they're ready for my tuxedo?? The bike route is open for any and all interested!

Monday, January 24, 2011

i'm on call and hope to make it: who's in for fyf 2011?

Brought to you by Okoboji Expedition Company and send off by our own accordion pro Kathy Skalbeck!
Freeze Your Fanny Ride is held on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10 AM. Pre-registration available online or by printing and mailing a copy of this form with payment. You may also register on the day of the ride. This ride is fully supported and sag vehicles will be available for anyone who needs a lift.
When? Saturday, January 29th, 2011 at 10:00 am. Registration begins at 8 AM
Where? Ride begins at the Okoboji Expedtion Company, 1021 Hwy 71 So, Okoboji, IA. Map to store. Same day registration is available at the Okoboji Expedition Company.
How Far? Approx. 16 miles, up Lakeshore Drive, through Spirit Lake, and back down the trail and Francis site Rd.
How Much? $20 per entry on or before FRIDAY January 21st, $25 per entry after January 21st.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You know it's cold when...

..the water bottle you left in the car
FREEZES while you are out skiing the loop.

somedays you just hit a wall but then you stop and listen

BONUS POINTS for anyone who knows where these trees are that served as my inspiration for the day: a classic winter pasture!

G'ma joyce is doing well but going to stay in intensive care until monday: bringing off fluid, decreasing the heart rate and was much like the weather out here today "kinda icky" and what my legs felt like after riding a little too hard with pneumonia. Let's just say today was summarized best by mom's surgeon: "she's hitting the wall today but will but better and making forward progress soon". so, here's the way mom's front hall looks today...we're in a holding pattern.

we did seem to break through and turn the corner after i read mom this mary oliver poem...she was having some hallucinations that were transformed from 'not very nice, angry gorillas' to 'pleasant pine trees, with blue sky and her favorite horse waiting to take her on a bareback ride out in the pasture' while i was reading it to her.


My work is loving the world,
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird--
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Mary Oliver


Friday, January 21, 2011

mom told me to get out there and have a nice ride!

i'd have to say today's solo ride was so colorful, warm and social i feel like i could get really used to this being my daily program--at least for the next couple of days!
oh, and did i mention 'art alley'?? crispin and i accidentally drove down this alley yesterday and because of all of the snow and slush there wasn't a clue that the beautiful cobbles that i found with the don walker today were even there! what a wonderful surprise!

since hanging out with crispin twenty-four, seven we've both enjoyed getting out and enjoying the beauty of the, while he was out for a run, i took off for my favorite round trip route in the black's a thing of beauty just taking off from mom's house and returning after getting a great view of rapid city and the surrounding area!
...with plenty of wind and warm sunshine!
...a high of 42 degrees!

so after lunch and a quick stop at 'cranky jeff's'
where i found an 18t surly cog, lockring and bb grease
i left from the back alley that was snow-packed and slippery yesterday
and found the roads to be filled with run-off from the spring thaw
to the start of the climb on tower road.
then i hit skyline drive and dropped down into town
since cranky jeff seemed so interested in seeing the don walker up close and personal!
--he is such a great guy--
i have a new favorite shop
there's more brooks gear in that shop
than in my basement!

i then took the reverse route
which is imho a much tougher climb,
stopping at rapid city regional to see mom!
she says hello
and thanks for all of the prayer!

G'ma joyce update and a poem about light...

mom had a regular tray last night, has enjoyed a nice breakfast and is getting up in the chair as i blog...she is in great spirits and anticipates being out of the ccu in the next 24 hours. she leaned over to me whispering yesterday..."i have a brand, new heart"!

When I Am Among the Tree

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

Mary Oliver


...even sundogs shine...
--but nothing seems to shine quite like mom's eyes today--
40 and sunny out here in the black hills!
here's a shot of the DW from yesterday's ride.
you can send an email to g'ma joyce:

Almost worth 6 below zero!

A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, from Greek parēlion, (παρήλιον), παρά(beside) + ήλιος(sun), "beside the sun"; also called a mock sun or a phantom sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.

Sundogs may appear as a colored patch of light to the left or right of the sun, 22° distant and at the same distance above the horizon as the sun, and in ice halos. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright. Sundogs are best seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low.

Sundogs are made commonly of plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen — a halo. But often, as the crystals sink through the air they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally — in this case, sundogs are seen.

As the sun rises higher, the rays passing through the crystals are increasingly skewed from the horizontal plane. Their angle of deviation increases and the sundogs move further from the sun. However, they always stay at the same elevation as the sun.

Sundogs are red-colored at the side nearest the sun. Farther out the colors grade through oranges to blue. However, the colors overlap considerably and so are muted, never pure or saturated.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

this mary oliver poem really gets me

my mom's surgery went well. 3 vessel coronary bypass. she's still on the vent.
i returned home with just enough time to break a chain climbing tower road like i meant it...
and then walk home with my chainless don walker...stopping to soak in the cold sun. tonight i came across this mary oliver poem and thought i'd share it with you
--ponder it as you ski or ride--or walk your bike home in the snow

Walking Home from Oak-Head

There is something
about the snow-laden sky
in winter
in the late afternoon

that brings to the heart elation
and the lovely meaninglessness
of time.
Whenever I get home--whenever--

somebody loves me there,
I stand in the same dark peace
as any pine tree,

or wander on slowly
like the still unhurried wind,
as for a gift,

for the snow to begin
which it does
at first casually,
then, irrepressibly.

Wherever else I live--
in music, in words,
in the fires of the heart,
I abide just as deeply

in this nameless, indivisible place,
this world,
which is falling apart now,
which is white and wild,

which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith,
our deepest prayers.
Don't worry, sooner or later I'll be home.
Red-cheeked from the roused wind,

I'll stand in the doorway
stamping my boots and slapping my hands,
my shoulders
covered with stars.

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

once home with the winter bike gear...instead, i packed for warmer climbs!

the temps out here in the black hills are a little nicer than the frozen tundra in northwest iowa. i made it out in time for dinner with my mom and brother. the surgery is going well so far. even though there were 3 inches of snow accumulation here yesterday, the additional snow expected has moved on south and east. it's sunny and warming up nicely here. the don walker could get some riding time in the next couple of days. i haven't had a chance to climb with it yet, so here's hoping for a chance to ride tower road, skyline drive and dinosaur park. if it gets really nice, i might have to get out to needles hiway!

Ok I admit it

This is redicilous! Loaded for my trip to rapid city...see you next week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome back Loveall

Enough snow for you? Now it's time to ski before it all melts and turns into a sheet of ice again!

obtw, love the new look--helmet, goggles and balaclava! you make riding the pug look easy and set the fashion bar high while doing it!

a new height of superhero strength was demonstrated on the trail today...

loveall kept autoshifting, isolated a bent link in his chain...and straightened it before my very eyes! no kidding! now i call him ironman