Friday, July 29, 2011

Hartley Field

My view

Nice single track

Love weaving through the trees

This bike makes it fun!

Hard to see on coming riders through this tall grass on the way up to the outlook

A rock garden as seen from the outlook

Top of the outlook climb

A rather large rock formation that is the outlook

Nice view

Speaks for itself. The area is well marked

We'll need a bath when we get home
I really do need to explore this beautiful area right here in Duluth more often. Fun and varied trails for all skill levels. Today was a gas. I can't believe how nice the 30 speed XT shifts, even when wound up with grass and mud. It's nice to have better gear than ability, I rode to the top of the outlook without touching. That's a first for me.

New Blog Roll Addition

Thought I'd add a great blog to my list, Gnat, a cyclist with a great camera eye and attitude toward the sport. I really enjoy his work, and I think you will, too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Other Side of the River

The Thompson Reservoir as seen from the side south of the Munger Trail. I took my 29er today and explored some of the off the beaten path trail around Jay Cooke Park. Sure do see some different sites this way.
The view east toward the dam
It was a lot of fun just popping around in the woods, the trails are in great shape, and challenging at times. I seem to be getting better at mtb riding, and the easy rolling 29 inch wheels do help the confidence

The Groomer
Taking a break      
A great day was had by all - me! 83 and partly cloudy, the humidity wasn't too bad. I came home and made dinner, a cold beer, and now to relax!
Making a little Carbonara

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home Alone

L went to Dallas for a Mary Kay deal, so I'm batchin' it till Sunday evening. Sure is quiet around here, but I've got plenty to do, kind of like Jens animating a race. Lots of home repairs, riding, that sort of thing. I started yesterday with a nice solo metric century. Doesn't "metric century" sound better than sixty two miles? Does to me. No problems, no bonk, just a smooth day in the saddle. The last longer ride I did left me a shambles for several days, but today, I feel great. What a difference a year makes. I took the mtb out for a little off road action today in the Piedmont trails. Tough riding, those, not for beginners, a real challenge for most skill levels. I love how this town has so many mountain bike loops, one never gets bored.

Tomorrow, I'll do another longish road ride, since I didn't get picked for jury duty tonight. I am looking forward to serving on a jury, so it's just my luck not to have been picked yet. I've never had jury duty before and would like a swing at it. I also need to hit the home center for some pressure treated lumber to fix the front porch. My home project list is as long as my arm, but my wallet isn't. Slow but sure, they'll get done.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Le Tour and Other Thoughts

The best Tour De France in years has concluded, and what a race it was. Only one doper ejected, lots of great finishes, and a worthy champion. Cadel Evans finally got over, much in part, I believe, to the efforts to clean up the sport at the highest level. With a level playing field, and a great team, Evans was able to race like he always has been able to. Strong and determined, he controlled the pace, kept it close with no help from other teams, and was able to put the hammer down in the final time trail, like Greg LeMond did back in 1989. An emotional man who has made his country very proud. The Schleck bros need to look in the mirror ad see what it takes: mainly, turn those boy bodies into men's bodies. And quit whining while they are at it.

Me, I've been able to ramp up my riding quite a bit, being unemployed again, Hopefully, this is a short term situation. Being a tech geek, I was scanning some old riding logs form years back. I appear to riding in wet cement compared to back in the 80's, but am getting faster than 2009. My weight is still way to high to make hills fun to ride again, but flat and rolling terrain is getting to be a gas, especially on the mountain bike. Much of this is due to zone training, intervals, and of course, a strong core. Hills are waiting for me after another twenty pounds is shed. Probably about three months.

The last five years were rough physically. Joint and muscle pain, weight gain, diabetes complications, you name it, have hindered riding to such an extant I didn't look forward to being on the bike. After finally quitting taking a statin for cholesterol, many of these symptoms have vanished. I've been able to work harder, cut back on the insulin, and generally feel like a new man. Linda's going out of town on business for the next week, so I'll be channeling my inner Mercx - Ride the bike, ride the bike, ride the bike!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Went out for a ride today and took a sauna instead. When one can taste the air, you know it's hot and humid. To add insult to injury, I walked to the post office this afternoon, a mere mile and half round trip, and had to shower again. Sheesh! A cold Twilight on the porch this evening is going to make it all worthwhile.

It appears that I'll have time to catch up on some of those base miles I missed out on this spring. I've been laid off from my job after a little over a year's service. Not to worry, the Mrs. is gainfully employed and I will draw unemployment until things pick back up. Or I land a different job. I'm thinking the latter.

At least I've dropped enough poundage to be comfortable on my road bike again. Though I love my new 29er mtb, I'm still a roadie at heart. Most days, that is. The other day, I cruised down to the harbor, then took the lake walk all the way to 60th Ave East, continuing up the shore to Knife River. A very nice route with low traffic during the week. Nice.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday July 3rd

Got out early and scouted out an area near where I lived for many years, but never explored. Just north of the Island Lake dam is a maze of twisting, up and down ATV trails. Very fun to ride, but I couldn't figure out how to link them to another trail that supposedly connects to the Bear Island Road. I guess I'll have to print a Google map next time.

After getting out of the woods, I ran over to the Cooke Lake Road and did some cadence work. Staying in the 80-85 rpm range for an hour on gravel takes it out of you, especially with all the short and some longer grades. The 32 middle ring along with the 11-36 close ratio cluster is the real deal that I read so much about. You seem to be always in the right gear to maintain the r's. Fun, fun, fun!