Ended up riding down to the BLBBRBK fat bike event in Campton Hills with Mike, Ray, and Bobo. I partnered up with the boss, and Mike and Ray were in domination mode out on the course. Was able to see some old friends and some Slender Fungus folk. Jake, Agatha, and D-Wide were all set up cooking some beef stew and drinking malort. Thanks for the stew! Great to see those guys tearing it up on the "BearPoop" custom Fungoose fatty. I would expect nothing less. Also good to see my friend Eric for a brief moment and catch up with the NCC guys. Brendan and Dean made the course and did a great job on it, really fun and technical in some spots but it burnt up the legs as I was able to ride 5 or 6 laps, don't remember, just know my legs are fried! We all went out for beers and food after and warmed up. Great day, great event, thanks!
Two great books from an incredible adventure/endurance cyclist. I read Jill's first book Ghost Trails before I ever finished Trans Iowa and it really helped me prepare mentally and know what to look for in those dark times. I am currently reading her second book Be Brave, Be Strong which is her account for the Tour Divide race a few years back. It is great so far and hopefully preparing me for a journey that I will never forget either in 2015 or 2016, either way I cannot wait and look forward to the challenge. If you can buy these books and support Jill.
So....If you know me, by no means am I the most up to date carbon-loving bicycle mechanic. But...BUT, Randy from Shimano stopped by and brought in the new DI2 hydraullic road stuff and it is AMAZING. This stuff is as easy to bleed as shimano's mountain stuff and has an amazing feel to it. More and more I am leaning to one or two component companies and away from a third. The frame is also an amazing piece of work from Milwaukee Cycle which Waterford builds the frame. This particular frame David Wages from Ellis Cycles took the frame and cut all of the cable stops on and brazed on some DI2 ports. The frame and bike set up is awesome and I was thoroughly impressed. Enough said.
Much like last year I have been training on the pugsley without shifting it and riding it as a single speed. This can be quite a tough job especially in the hills of Bull Valley by my house. Today the weather was 32 and was very light winds (shocking) so I got out for a nice ride before having to teach this evening. Punished my legs on some hills and felt great doing so. I love this area, come join me for a ride back here sometime.
Was not feeling like biking today so I went to Glacial Park in McHenry, IL to hike for a couple hours. The park is really neat and has some big bluffs on the west side of the park. The wind was really bad blowing 35 mph gusts, but other than that the day was fairly warm. I ended up finding the "Hippie Tree" which is the last photo in the bunch. A bunch of people go and smoke dope there and put all sorts of prayer flags, clothes, and goodies in the tree. It was kind of neat to see after hearing about it for the past two years but never have discovered it. The scenery was great and I got in a good hike for a few hours in some deep snow. Will get in a ride tomorrow and commute in the bitter cold this week. Gotta stay moving and stay motivated...
Starting to acquire some more bike packing gear. This bivy is from Black Diamond and is a waterproof version. I already have a very light weight sleeping bag, I just need to get a light weight sleeping pad. I want to do some over night bike packing trips this year while training for TI and also start training and picking gear for TD. Gonna be some good camping trips this year! Let me know if you want to join!
Was able to get some good miles in this weekend with our "warmer" temps in the low to mid 30's. Saturday was an icy morning but decided to commute to work and back and logged 25 miles for the day before and after work.
Sunday, Black Belt Mike met me in Woodstock and we were able to get a nice ride in back down to Huntley to drop him off and I kept riding. The wind was 20-30 mph out of the south and really brutal. I was able to try out the Gunnar fixie set up for the first time and liked it quite a bit. There will be some adaptation before trans iowa but its good to start getting the bike dialed in. Was able to log 53 miles for the day and then received an awesome dinner and cookies from Mrs. Black Belt Mike, Sandy. She is an awesome cook and all of the food is devoured. Thanks Sandy!
Monday morning I got an unexpected text from Mr. David Swanson that he was off work and wanted to ride so we met out on the road and cruised to Lake Geneva. I flipped when we got up there and was glad to have some company and chat with him after the holidays. We had a slight tailwind and I cruised back with a mild head wind. The temps warmed up to the low 40s and I took the long way home to log another 52 miles.
Good to finally get some long miles in after a brutal start to January. Still on track for the month!
For the first time in nearly 3 years I had to bust out the rollers and ride indoors to compensate for the bitter cold temps and my health problems. Have had a bad cold ever since I got back from Texas. Trying to recover and hit it hard after this cold spell passes.