Thursday, January 31, 2008

Freeze-Thaw Cycle

Cycling lately has been a skill seeking experience on ice and snow then transitioning into slick mud over a frozen underlayer (that means it's ultra-slick mud). The daily freeze-thaw cycle is definitely an adrenalin rush both on and off the pave. Over the past several days it has been a white knuckle experience riding the ice-patch pave down to the river path (which has it's own well disguised 2-wheel sliding ice patches) to Hellsgate State Park for a few loops around and down the Devil's Slide. A few days ago there was about 4-inches of snow out there that made coming down the Devil's Slide a real skill-builder.

Since then it has been slowly melting away leaving an icy underlayer in some places and mud over ice in others. Well needless to say the entire area becomes a slippery 2-wheel challenging ride (makes for big grins as long as you have the skill to stay upright which I have thus far). The 650b Pacenti Neo-Moto and Bontrager Jones ACX tire combo on my Ellsworth truth has yet to be beat by any other tire combo I have on my 29ers for traction in this stuff.

The only downfall I've had is cleaning up the messy bikes after each ride...which I must say is always worth the effort since I'm getting 25-40 miles of fun play out of it.

What are you doing for fun??? Spinning indoors? Watching TV? Anyone is welcome to join me...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spinning and Then Some

While many avid, dedicated cyclist are spinning their buns off indoors (huh...where it's a bit warmer), I just can't bring myself to do such a torturous thing...for me spinning on a trainer is beyond yuk and boring after the first 5-minutes. For those of you that can spin indoors, you have my respect. I would rather do my spinning in the cold where I sometimes freeze my buns off. As long as I can keep my feet warm I will stay out for hours enjoying wintery environment few dare to brave on two wheels.

My road rides have been on the rather old Motobecane I have set up as a single-speed (it is the only road bike I currently own). I call this bike the Super-Bee just because it looks like a bumble bee. It's has gone through some minor modifications in recent a new crank (one that's not bent helps just a tad in spinning), some On-One Midge bars, new wheels (actually some used wheels I had laying around)...the bike feels like a hot rod compared to the original version. I'm happy spinning it almost anywhere except the steepest hills and it's a great commuter for me. Today was just another awesome spinning day on this bike down the Snake River (with some real wind for resistance just to keep me honest).

Off-road and snowy-day rides have been on my Ellsworth mostly (the more I ride this bike the more I like it), but I still spend some quality time on the Gary Fisher Ferrous 29er single-speed (another bike I really like).

Spent a bit of time in Montana recently also. We found some deep snow up on top of Lolo Pass along the MT-ID border...of course I had to go and play in it before driving some more....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This is My Domain

Yesterday started out gray and dreary...It's on days like this that I need to ride to bring my soul up out of the lowly "winter" blues, which are actually brought on by these dark cloudy days...hmmm a living paradox. According to climatology trends this area (Clarkston, WA/Lewiston, ID) averages 60 cloudy days out of 62 days in December and January...that's only 2-sunny days in wonder I (as well as many others in this area) get the winter blues so bad. Anyway, a ride always perks me up and makes me feel like SuperMan again...the hard part seems to be getting my fat butt out the door and onto the bike. I tried to rally my low desire to do anything by calling the SeanMan, but he was napping...something he probably deserves since he rides more than anyone else I know.

I eventually did get out at the end of the day only to be bathed in some golden sun while snow squalls loomed all say the least it was one of the best days of riding I've had in some time. I rode my Ellsworth Truth 650B bike out to Hells Gate State Park and proceeded to rip up the trails with some big smiles and lots of speed...yeah I was feeling like SuperMan. Not another soul was out there, it was all mine, and I thought...This is my domain.

The ride on the Ellsworth set up with a 650B Pacenti Neo-Moto tire up front is still beyond belief. It's hard to phathom that this bike build may be one that I will actually keep for more than a year, but I love the ride this bike provides.

It was soooo good that I did not want to go home, but dark did come got cold in a hurry.