Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Good Ski

Yesterday's ski up Hylite Canyon was so unexpectedly good that we decided to go back again today. It was a little warmer and we went a little further. In fact it was so warm that we had to take off our jackets! It was another great ski. Jimmy, Ronda, and Ben were along. We went through untracked snow for the last half mile or so. It is still amazing that the snow up here could be so good considering how poor the snow is down in Bozeman.

I have never been a fan of waxless skis, but I have to say. in these above freezing, backcountry situations they are great. I still prefer waxable skis and I don't think that will change, but these waxless skis performed better than I would have imagined.

Here is my workout file: Hylite Ski 2 (I forgot to turn it off on the way back the Bozeman I see.)

Tomorrow we travel to Tacoma, and we are back to having shoes only for our exercise, so I am not sure what we will be able to accomplish. Hopefully we wil find someplace fun to explore. Too bad there was no room for kayaks.

A Long Drive and a Nice Ski

I am in the middle of a road trip to Tacoma for a college visit for my youngest daughter. The first stop (after an all night 1,100 mile drive), is Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman is sort of a second home seeing as how my son, sister and mother live here. My daughter Linnea has borrowed us her brand new Subaru Forester for the trip, and my contribution, (in addition to agreeing not to trash her new car) was suppose to be a nice Thule rack system, sort of a self-serving gift, because it would have allowed us to take bikes and skis for the trip. WELL to make a long story short Thule's online sales delivery system leaves a lot to be desired and the equipment did not arrive on time so we had to go ski-less and bike-less.

We got to Bozeman at about 5:30 am. After a short nap and attending my niece's Basketball game, Saturday afternoon my Brother-in-law decided that we should go skiing. So, I borrowed back the ski boots that I borrowed to my son and I borrowed my sister's skiis. The snow in Bozeman looked like it was barely skiiable, the south slopes were more-or-less bare and the snow on the ground in town was icy, but being always interested in an adventure I thought it would be a great idea.

We went up Hylite Canyon south of town and found a surprisingly good place to ski on the east slope of the valley. The snow was good at the start and got to be better the higher we climbed. It was not a long ski, (we didn't get started till about 3:00 pm) but it was one of those unexpected gifts. Good snow where I thought there would be none, skiing when I was not planning on it, and the company of my brother-in-law, which is always good.

In terms of exercise it was the kind of backcountry skiing that just is not possible in the Midwest, a long climb, and then a nice downhill back. Low to Medium intensity for about an hour on the way up then easy back down for 30 minutes or so. My Workout file: Skiing 2/21/09

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My level 3 Is Not Their Level 3

I was thinking that today would be a good day for a ride but, lacking a certain motivation and no certainty of riding partners to spur me on, I found myself at Cup of Joe's dressed for work, not for a ride. John and Kat showed up at their usual time and said they would wait so I dashed back to my apartment and put on my bike clothes. (It sure takes longer to get dressed this time of year and those booties that go over your bike shoes, I do not think it is possible to put them on fast!) well I got back before they got too tired of waiting for me.

Their plan called for 2 30 minute zone 3 intervals. We headed toward Dunkerton. The first interval started at the NW corner of the Waterloo Airport and headed straight East. There was with a strong cross wind. After about 15 minutes it was clear that I could not keep the pace even riding Kat's wheel! When my heart rate started spending a considerable amount of time in upper zone 4 so I backed off and let them go. The second interval began just S of Dunkerton and went straight S into a strong head wind for 20 minutes before turning W. I was able to ride Kat's wheel and still keep my heart rate mostly in zone 3. Easy ride the rest of the way into Waterloo, a stop at Cottonwood Canyon for coffee, and an easy ride the rest of the way home! Great day.

I just figured out how to link to my training files so here it todays: Today's Ride

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Day of Snow and Gravel

Got a late start Sunday afternoon, but still went a 63 miles, for metric century #3. Today was cool (28 F) and clear, with a little wind out of the NNW (about 10 mph). I headed out west from Cedar Falls on 12th Street, went through Aplington, around Parkersburg, through New Hartford and home. I added a little jog on the end to get the mileage above 62. It was nice to get out today. Mostly a level 2-3 ride, (I did slip into 5a for part of the time). I got home about the time that I should have had lights! Riding my cyclocross bike on gravel is becoming one of my favorite things. A few years ago nobody would have convinced me that I would be riding snow covered gravel roads in February and loving it!

I am still trying to figure out how to make these blogs about my rides anything but boring. This time I brought along a little video camera, I think I have to do a little thinking about how I attach it, but here is my first attempt:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Nice Afternoon in Blackhawk County

It was a great day for a ride! The thermometer read 58 degrees when I left my apartment. I did the Finchford loop, about 22 miles from my house. I ran into Ryan from Europa out on the road. We rode together for a while and that caused me to push myself a little harder than I might have by myself (Thanks Ryan!) I felt strong on the hills which is a pretty rare thing for me. My pulse monitor says that I spent almost 30 minute in zone 5!

I used to think that riding outside was something that had to wait till mid April at least. This February riding is fantastic!

Monday, February 9, 2009

On the Strongback

Well, actually only one of the boats is on a strongback, the other is a plywood boat and has no need of such support. I am building two boats this winter (at least so far) The first is a little 8' 6" surf kayak. It is a Nick Schade Design. It is the 8th Guillemot kayak I have built but it is the first time I have made a stitch and glue boat so that has been a new experience for me. The plans said not to substitute plywood thinner than the 4mm Oukume they recommended, but I already had 3mm and I have never really followed the letter of the law with that sort of thing. So far it has went together well the puzzle joint were a little tricky to cut out. I glassed the inside with extra heavy 8oz cloth (perhaps that will make up for the thin plywood!) Next step, joining the top and the bottom. That looks a lot easier on this little shorty than on the usual 18 footers I make.

The second boat is an 18 foot canoe designed by John Winters called the cirrus. It is an asymmetrical design without much rocker and a concave section near the stern. I should really track well from the looks of it It has tapered stems, and like most strip boats, it is going to be a beauty. I have all of the strips on and I am starting to fair the hull.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The New Hartford Bonk

Today was bright, sunny and calm so I did a repeat of yesterday's ride around the New Hartford Hills. This was suppose to be an easy recovery ride, and mostly it was. Unfortunately being my usual less than well thought out self, I forgot to eat anything before I left, and I neglected to take any food along, soooo, about mile 24 as I was heading into New Hartford I was really bonking. Most of the town of New Hartford flooded this past summer, and while I suspect there never have been all that many Businesses in New Hartford, most of what there was is not open for business. I was afraid I was either going to have to crawl back into town on a calorie deficit, or beg for table scraps door to door in New Hartford. I was lucky. The New Hartford Diner had opened a few weeks ago, so 3 pancakes and a plate of hash browns later I was on my way, the bonk just a memory.

The ride back into to town was much more pleasant on account of the Diner. The ride was a little less than 36 miles. I am really enjoying these frozen gravel rides! (as long as the wind is not blowing and the temperature is in the mid 20's or above).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Second 100k Gravel of the Year

Ok I have not had a blog before, and it is clear that I will be needing to be taking some photos or something or this is going to be one boring excuse for a blog! Anyway, today was my second 100K gravel ride of the year. It was a great day with temperatures in the upper 40's and a wind out of the west. Headed west out of Cedar Falls with John, Kat, Pete, Paul, Carey, and someone else I just met today--forgot his name :-( . The roads were firm and mostly clear. We did a loop around the New Hartford hills, somewhere on the way back, Paul and I lost track of the rest of the group, 38 miles, Paul went home and I stopped for lunch. After Lunch Kathy and I went out for about 24 more miles, it was quite a bit softer by mid afternoon, but the tail wind on the way home helped a lot!