Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peddle, Paddle, and (work)

I have been getting out on the bike a bit more lately. (and on the SUP, and it is pretty surprising seeing as how it is holy week and I am really busy with the "day job (s)"). I rode 30 mile plus the last 2 day and tonight I stayed with the A group riders for about 8 miles. For me, that is a real accomplishment! The really good news is that when I was dropped, I had company-- there was this nice State Farm agent (also named Scott) with whom I was able complete the circuit.

Monday's Ride

Tuesday's Ride

This past Sunday I paddled with the Cedar Valley Paddlers. There was quite a group of them at Sweet Marsh. We saw some bird (not so many ducks), and had a nice paddle and an even nicer barbecue afterward. I put together a YouTube of the paddle:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Bicycle Built for Two

Kathy and I have been pretty sold on the idea of pedaling our own bikes but we decided to give a tandem a try today. It was harder than I thought it would be. After getting great instruction from Tom on how to stop and start, I wobbled across the street heading right for the curb on the other side pretty sure that tandem riding was for those more skilled than us. We took a few trips around the block and got a little more practice starting and stopping, and eventually we felt comfortable enough to go for a 20 miler with Tom and Pat.

Kathy is recovering from an injury, It used to be called game keepers thumb, because people who raise rabbits get it from strangling too many bunnies. When skiing got more popular than strangling rabbits, they started to call it skier's thumb from a common injury that skiers get when the fall with their hand wrapped around their ski pole. I am thinking we should rename it biker's thumb because that is how she got it-- a flat front tire on a sharp corner. Anyway she is under strict orders to stay off her bike, so we tried our friends Tom and Pat's tandem (Well it wasn't her bike and she didn't have to steer or brake).

I think we could get used to this kind of riding but I am pretty sure Kathy is not ready to trade in her road bike just yet :-)

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Stand Up Day on the Crooked Straight River

I got home Thursday night with enough time to ride with the Owatonna Group. I was a good ride. It was a great night for a ride but I found myself mind wanting to go a little faster than my body could deliver. (Now that I think about it, that is usually the way it works for me :-). Todd was in good form, setting the pace on his XC bike. I was trying to keep him insight on my road bike.

While we were riding, Dave asked if I wanted to paddle with him on Friday, and I decided that I would give my new SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) a try. It is possible that a 30 mile 6 1/2 hour paddle might be a little far for the first paddle of the year, but It did give me a good feel for the new board and gave me a couple of ideas for future modifications.

I also learned a couple things about SUP's on rivers. I stared out with a 4.5 inch fin but found that it did not help the tracking enough so I switched to the 6 fin still pretty small by SUP standards. It helped the tracking but it still was a little like paddling a whitewater C-1 (tends to go in a circle) My fear about using a surfboard fin turned out to be correct. The problem is that with a rigid fin sticking down below, impacts with rock throw you right off the board.

I was thrown from the board twice in rapids, and once from my general clumsiness. This is definitely going to be a helmet, shin guard, knee pads, elbow pads kind of actively.