Heading back South

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We are sort of packed up and are heading back south to Kansas today.  I didn’t realize I had a doctor’s appointment, plus a super good friend’s mom died and she and her family are flying in tonight.  So it is time to go.

It’s not all bad.  The weather up here in Cable is too warm.  So warm that the skiing sucks.  Like your skis stop when you hit a sunny patch of the Birkie trail.  That probably doesn’t bother guys that can ski really good, but that isn’t me and I don’t like it at all.   And it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow and Saturday. That isn’t so good for the snow.

Plus it is pretty warm in Kansas now.  At least for January.  Looks like the highs are gonna be in the upper 50’s through the weekend.  That is pretty good bikin’ weather.

Okay, Tucker needs to do his last lap in the woods.  He loves it up here.  He’s already been out romping for an hour this morning, but is always up for more.  Then 10 + hours of driving.  It is a tad too long to be comfortable.  I would like it way better if it was closer to 7.  But that ain’t so.

I’m looking forward to riding some.  I haven’t been feeling all that great the last few days and seem to feel better when I get on a riding routine.

Tucker resting up before the romp.

And doing some yoga stretching before the fun today.

And after, he usually ends up on the couch with Hawkeye and Dennis.

Bald Eagles

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When I was skiing yesterday,  I saw a bald eagle flying over me.  That struck me as weird because I thought eagles migrated with birds or whatever their food supply is.  It is obviously winter, and winter in Northern Wisconsin is really winter.

So I came back and looked up the migration patterns of bald eagles and it showed this area and it said that eagle can be here year round.  Just like in Kansas.  That is nice to know.

I love watching eagles fly.  They are very majestic.  I went to YouTube to see if there is a video of eagles flying and I found the video below.

I have no desire to be a fisherman, but I would like to experience this a few times.  I’m not big on eagles acting like seagulls, but they are scavengers and need to get food somewhere, so I forgive them for acting “out of character”, at least according to what I think they should act like.

Cross Country Skiing is Hard-ish

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I have been a bit apprehensive about actually putting on skis and trying it out this year.  Since cracking my skull, I can’t say that I’ve had the best balance.  It is way better now than it was even a month ago, but still, it isn’t up to my standards.

I decided to dog sit after Christmas instead of coming up to Cable for the New Year.  I thought it best if I didn’t even have the slightest chance to put on skis.  I changed my mind.

The last couple days, I’ve decided that I should ski some.  I decided it isn’t that dangerous. Even though I’m a shitty skier, I can manage to stay upright most of the time.

A couple days ago we went over to the Birkie Trail Tour, after it was over, and saw Yuriy’s new ski truck.  The truck was cool, but we did bring our skis along, so it would have been a shame if we didn’t ski some.

And it wasn’t too bad.  Actually, two days ago, I think my balance was better than it has been for a long time.  I was pretty comfortable getting all my weight over one ski and never bobbled once.  But I only skied 10km or so.

Yesterday I decided to ski from OO to FIsh Hatchery.  That is kind of the last half of the American Birkebeiner.  It isn’t the whole way because it isn’t groomed from Fish Hatchery to Hayward yet.  But it was 20 km or so.

I had my Garmin in my pocket and I skied about 17km in an hour or so.  That was quicker than I thought I was skiing.  It was a little over 3:30 a kilometer.  And the trail was needing some attention, so I wasn’t nearly as on top of my skis as I was the day before.

Trudi had dropped me off and driven to Fish Hatchery and skied north.  I met her around Mosquito Brook.  Mosquito Brook is only 5 or 6 kilometers from the Fish Hatchery parking lot.

The hardest hill on this part of the course is just a k or two from the road.  It is called Bitch Hill.  I think it was named that because it is a bitch getting up it.  During the race, at least when I did it, there are some people, women I think, dressed up in costumes, cheering on the skiers.  You really don’t have the energy to pay much attention to them at this point.

There was no one on the hill yesterday.  And the hill didn’t see that hard.  According to my Garmin, I was the 33rd fastest time up the hill.  I think that was out of 4 or 5 hundred people.  Obviously, not as many skiers use Strava as cyclists.  I say that because I believe nearly 10,000 people ski the Birkie, so most of the down use GPS to track their day.

Anyway, I am out of shape.  For about everything.  Of course I realize that lying in bed for the better part of 2 months doesn’t do wonders for general overall fitness.  But,  I am pleasantly surprised that I’m not worse than I am.

I’m going to ski the same as I did yesterday, today.  They groomed the trail from OO south, so it should be new corduroy the whole way.  That will make it way more stable.  Yesterday, the course was ski groomed for Dennis’ classic race, so there were 4 sets of tracks, two on each side, for about 1/2 the way.  That made the center narrow and skating a little undulating.

I have to admit, I’m a little stiff, but again, what do I expect.

At the warming hut at OO.

Then again, at Mosquito Brook.

Dennis and Trudi skiing a couple days ago by the new Birkie start area.

Trudi at Fish Hatchery.

Yuriy’s new CXC truck.

Little display at the Birkie office.

Downtown Hayward seemed abandoned yesterday.

This is Riverbrook. It is an old Carnegie Library building. Beautiful.

I think of Riverbrook as a bike shop, but they sell everything needed to enjoy the silent sports here.

This is the bike of choice currently this time of the year.

Amanda Coker, Bionic Woman? 228 mile average per day for 246 days

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Last year, right around cyclocross Natz time, Kurt Searvogel, broke the distance record for cycling in a year.  He rode a tad over 76000 miles.  76076 to be exact.   But that record is under siege.

Down in Florida, Amanda Coker is riding her bike everyday.  Like all day, everyday, for the past 246 days.  She is riding a long ways, a long time and pretty unbelievably fast.  Take yesterday for example.

Amanda rode close to 242 miles in 11 hours and 35 minutes.  That is a 20.8 mph average.  And she has been doing pretty much something like this for 2/3 rd’s of a year.

She has already broken the women’s one year distance record for cycling.  She did that in 4 months.  Think she might be putting that record out of touch for a long time.

If you do 240 miles a week, you’re gonna have a 12, 400 mile year.  But she is doing that many days.  I think, so far, she has averaged about 228 miles per day, so she is on schedule to ride over 83,000 miles for the year.  That is 7 thousand miles further than Kurt.

I am baffled.  Impressed immensely, but baffled.  There are so many parts of this that is crazy.

I’ve never ridden 240 miles in a day in my life.  Not even close.  And here is a girl that is riding close to that everyday for months upon months.  And she is averaging over 20 mph.  The speed is nearly more impressive than the distance.

I’m sure she must be riding in a group most of the days.  I can’t see an average speed that high without other riders.  But even so, 11 + hours a day on a bike, you’d think the speed would drop.

I don’t understand how she can eat enough food to do this.  It has to be close to 10000 calories a day.   Man, it is amazing.

Plus, her heart rate is super low.  Yesterday her pulse was 114 bpm average.   That was for nearly riding 21 mph for 11.5 hours.  Pretty impressive.

I’m not sure why the regular cycling media has been following this more closely.  It is worthy.

Anyway, I’d like to go down there and ride with her some.  I actually plan on it.  I am pretty sure I couldn’t do a whole day with her.  Not without training a ton.  She just has less than 3 months left.  I’d better get fit soon.

You can follow her on Strava.  

This is her a few weeks ago.

From Strava. Check out this mileage. Amazing.

She is pretty much riding the same course everyday near Tampa. Pretty good plan.

Wout Van Aert’s Motorized World Cup Bike?

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I saw the video below on Facebook.  It was a from a corner at the World Cup today in Italy of Wout Van Aert running a technical section of the race.  The video is short and it initially looks like the his rear wheel accelerates on its own when it leaves the ground.

Obviously, the left pedal hits the ground and the crank rotates 1/4 of a revolution.  Is that enough to accelerate the wheel so quickly?

There have been something like 70000 views at the Facebook page.  Lots of the comments are in Spanish, but there are over 400 of them.  Plus, 530 people have shared the post.

To me, it doesn’t look like it is an issue, but if you don’t pay attention, or don’t watch the video more than once, it is easy to think the bike has a motor.  The way the dude rides many times, you’d think he has a motor.

You decide for yourself.


The World is Changing

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The last 100 years or so have been pretty impressive if you’re a human.  So much has changed.  The whole world is mobile now as long as you have the money to pay for it.  And many, many more people  have the money now.

I saw this article about how researchers have come up with a way to help your teeth repair themselves. They put a small amount of Alzheimer’s drug, Tideglusib,, on a special biodegradable sponge and within six weeks your tooth has fixed the cavity.  So, in theory, pretty soon, no one will have cavities.  That would make a huge difference in less fortunate countries.  Even here in the US.

On the drive up here I was listening to Fresh Air on the way up to Cable and the show was on Crispr,  a gene editing mechanism.  The technique permits scientists to quickly and precisely alter, delete and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism. I’d read a bunch about it and know it is going to be revolutionary in many regards.  But I started thinking about it and realize that so many of the “problems” that humanity has currently are going to disappear because of this.  Many illnesses, diseases and problems that we have no ability to fix are going to be gone within the next decade I’d guess.  Man, this is a big step.

I also read about revolutionary battery improvement the guys at MIT came up with. They have a solid type battery that can be recharged forever.  Much stabler and safer, plus it never wears out  It is a lithium-oxygen battery with has a ton of advantage over a lithium-ion battery.   Lots of advantages.  They are going to have this technology on the market within the next year or so. Pretty big advancement in battery technology.

So, lots of our health problems are being addressed quickly.  And some of the energy problems that maybe not us, but really the rest of the world has.  Our lives are going to change dramatically the next decade from these technologies.

Pretty exciting stuff.  Great for the humans on the planet.  That is if we don’t screw it up and do something stupid to cause the world to implode.  Seems like some of the stuff going on recently is putting us on that path.  Hopefully we don’t let that happen.


We’re not doing such a good job in this respect. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t like it if someone was bombing us.

Dennis’ “Compound”

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Since someone posed a question yesterday about water at the Simple Living Lodge up here in Cable, I thought I should post some pictures once again.   Here are just a few I just took this morning.  It started as a one room, three season cabin with a loft to sleep.   Now it is three separate building with lots of places to sleep.

Dennis’ house.

From another angle.

Kitchen and stairs up to his bedroom, etc.

Living room.

Bike and ski room.

Simple Living Lodge. Garage on the bottom, two finsished bedrooms upstairs. No bathroom.

From another angle.

The Kansas Garage. Named after the guys that built it I guess.  Same deal, garage downstairs, plus sauna, then open floor plan upstairs.  Two bedrooms, plus kitchen and bath.


Beth and Mick at the River’s Eatery last night. It was good catching up some.

Tucker running back to check up on me on the walk this morning.