Yesterday's bike experience for me started last night. Not because I did an epic ride that lasted all night but because I put my studded tires on last night. After the last ride which was steeped in fear of crashing because of slipperiness I decided to put studded tires on (homemade last winter which took me about 8 hours and 200 sheet metal screws. If you can afford it, buy studded tires...or at least use tires that have not been run tubeless and have a coat of Stan's No Tubes rubbery stuff in there [and hopefully they will work better than those did in the video]). In the process of changing tires I ripped off some of the glue I had put around my valve stem on the tube that was making my slow-leaking rear tire a bit slower-leaking. So now it went flat. I had been pumping it up before each ride anyway and it stayed pumped up during each ride but now it went flat in like 15 minutes...which I didn't notice until the next morning. Then this morning Jenny and I hatched a plan for me to ride in to town and meet her at the Black Cat (the coffee shop in Ashland) where I could update my blog (we have shitty dial-up at our house as of right now) then I could ride back home after we were done there. So, this involves riding to town on a gravel, not at all icy, rail-to-trail and then riding the paved roads through town. So I didn't need studded tires and since riding on pavement is hard on studded tires I decided to switch them back to regular rubber. Now is when I saw the flat and went to go get a new tube to put in (if anyone knows of how to fix a leaky valve let me know. I'd patch it if I could. My record for number of patches on one tube is 13). Of course I am so disorganized I couldn't find it for about 30 minutes (I have a spare in my repair kit that I carry with me but wanted to save that one for out on the ride in case I needed it...that's kinda the whole point of the spare). I put it in and took off for town. As I mentioned in the last post deer hunting started Saturday morning. I passed one hunter along the trail who flashed me a “peace” sign as I rode by. It was definitely the first time I had that particular sign given to me by someone holding a firearm.
The ride in to town was uneventful (barring the peace-loving hunter) - until I got into town and was crossing a road and a car was coming and I went to slow down and grabbed my brakes and nothing happened. Luckily this was on a flat trail and I was on my single speed and so I wasn't going fast. I dragged my foot and turned off onto the grass where I discovered that I had not hooked my brakes up when I had the wheels off to change the tires and hadn't had reason to brake the whole way in to town on the rail-to-trail. This is the mark of a boring trail. I also could have used my drag chute to slow me down:
Yes, that is actually me. Good training for Arrowhead...kinda like this. Actually my nephews and I were messing around.
I spent some time at the Black Cat updating the blog and also listening to a small group (including Jenny) sing and play guitars, dulcimers, and fiddles. Then I headed for home. I took the long way this time as it had taken me less than an hour to get in to town and I wanted to get a workout today. It was misting on the way home which I didn't think much of until the road started icing up and it got a little slippery and I wished I had my studded tires on. And so the circle remains unbroken.
And since I am low on stuff to write about I will turn to the all knowing, powerful, and time wasting (especially if you have dial up) internet and ask it to entertain you. And since I have a 29er and think it's the shiznit I'll give you a link to that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that 29ers were preferred by Hitler (which, of course, is a huge selling point).
Since I didn't spend all that much time riding today, I spent the time that I was on the bike at a relatively high intensity. When I trained for Arrowhead when I did it in '09 I just got off and walked my bike up almost every hill...I was training myself for ENDURANCE and not any kind of INTENSITY after all (at least this was my rationale at the time). Last winter I wasn't training for Arrowhead but went out and did quite a bit of riding anyway. I didn't worry about throwing some intensity into my training because I was out not just to train but because I just wanted to ride. And so I think that I was in better shape last year (a non-Arrowhead year) than the year before (when I did Arrowhead). This was another thing that drove me nuts when I went to spectate at the race last year (and to take pictures PICTURES). One thing – the main thing – was that the trail was much better for riding than '09, it just looked like so much fun to actually be able to ride at a decent speed (“decent being relative: the record for the Arrowhead course is 15:45 for an average speed of less that 10 mph. That may seem slow...and I suppose it would be for an Iron Dog); the other thing was that I was in pretty decent shape and might have actually been kinda competitive (as in maybe being able to pull off a top 15 finish)...not just watching the snowbikes ride away from me with no problem. Anyway, my riding/training philosophy has changed and I'll find out – come race morning – if it worked or not. So - because of the intense ride - I'm tired, so tired in fact that I'm looking into getting one of these things to take some of the strain off of me for my next ride: