Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Nice!

BWR 2011 @Dahls with negative setting

December nice.  That's what she said.  Meagan Salouis (sp) Channel 13 weather chick.  Yes it has been nice.  Outstanding as far as Decembers go.  Not much to complain about.  Temperature has been great for this time of year.  Snow has been very, very nonexistent.  Rain has stayed away, mostly.

289 miles this month thus far. Another 200+ possible.  December's record are 462 (2010), 218 (2009), 195 (2008), 174 (2007), 120 (1999) and 160 (1994).  1994 was my first 3000+ mile year. 1999 was the second time I rode more than 3K in one year.  It took until 2008 to do that again and I have yet to do less.  So those 2 years are the bench marks that I have used for over a decade to measure myself.

December Nice!  Recently switched to boots instead of sandals although if it warm enough I will wear the sandals.  My record low with them is 18F.  Smart Wool socks with liners and a winter pair on top.

December Nice!  Light snow on the 1st.  Roads too warm for it to stick.  Needed my goggles because my right eye was getting the brunt of it.  It rain two days later.  Then it snowed again on the 10th.  I had a great ride in virgin snow on the trail.  Gone within a day.

December Nice!  Warmest Big Wheel Rally I remember.  Photo of at the bottom is from BWR 2009.  We used the snow drift in front of GTs as a bike rack.  Studded tires.  Last year it snowed and was very, very windy.  I remember the wind pushing me backwards on my tricycle.  This year it warmer and drier.  Someone even had to get ice for their cooler on the BWR.  No studded tires.  We have yet to put those tires on our commuters this winter.

BWR 2010 Roadmaster Tricycle

December Nice!  In years past I remember very cold temperatures and lots of snow.  The other night it felt like Spring.  Global warming?  A fluke?  A gift from God?  Enjoy this autumn, seasonable weather will be hell!

I had ambitions for this day.  The desire for a long ride on a fast bike.  Nothing but a water bottle, some cash and ability to remedy a flat tire.  That is all one really needs for a century ride.  Mobile phone and a few Powerbars too.  Nothing else.  Lacona, Iowa, was my target.  Round trip of 90+ miles through some of the best Iowa county roads and the Summerset Trail.  But ambition can be vapid. 

It was cold this morning.  20s and 30s.  The promise of near 40s seemed empty.  It took its sweet ass time to warm up.  Now for me it really was not that cold.  I have ridden in worse.  If winter stays like this I will not complain.  Probably set some mileage records.  But getting motivated this morning was difficult.  It seemed so unnecessary. 

I only needed 16 miles (15.6 if we are splitting atoms).  A trip to Windsor Heights would suffice.  Needed to return a RedBox dvd.  But a century ride would burn some fat.  Yep, still losing weight.  Need a serious fat burn before Christmas.  But it is cold.

Finally got my ass outside at noon.  Lacona was out.  Save that ride for Spring or 50F day.  Cumming Tap.  fast ride on the Versailles and drink a diet Mtn Dew and water at the Tap.  26 miles.  !0 more than I need.  Perfecto!  December nice!

But my heart was not in it.  I turned around in Water Works Park.  Ride to my bank and see what the ATM can give me.  No water bottle.  CycleSound taking the spot where my saddle bag with tube, lever and CO2 should be.  Breakfast a distant memory.  Lunch at home.  10 miles enough.  I will ride again to return the dvd.

Just as soon as I completed the Crazy Ivan 180 turn I felt better.  Shifted into big ring and pushed it hard.  Rip those muscle, make the lungs sweat.  This felt great.  Touring bike and hybrid do not compare to the raw power of a road bike kicking in the jets.  8 days before Christmas on a carbon fiber road bike with 23s!  December nice!  Too bad I quit early.

Lunch was homemade pizza, Mary's speciality.  Ingredients from Grazianos, Little Italy's finest.  I partook.  Bowl of Fiber One as well too push the bad carbs out.  Moderation is the key to virtue.  When one abstains their soul is in torment.  Nothing virtuous about that.  Fiber One to prevent gluttony of the pizza.

Ride #2 was a trip to Hy Vee.  Mary's desire.  520 action.  Slower and heavier but 4 cavernous bags to soak up purchases.  Mary took her Cannondale which is the black bike on the bottom of the blog.  We brought back 42 lb of groceries plus 8 liters of liquid.  Notably, the 520 carried a 20 lb bag of kitty litter AND a 8.5 lb bag of charcoal.  Had to balance the bike.  Should have brought the Burley trailer.  4 miles plus a useless trip to B&B SuperMarket (closed) gave me 5 more miles.  Just what I needed to get my 100 for the week with a day to spare.  Life is good.

Enjoy this December.  When the weather catches up with the calendar it will be hell.  I cannot complain.  It has been a fantastic autumn.  I set record mileage for October (721) and November (623).  December, too, shall witness a new record. 

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