Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Colorado National Monument/Moab

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Below are some photos from yesterday.  We did a lap of the Colorado National Monument, which was the course the Coor’s Classic used for Tour of the Moon. I’ve maybe ridden 20+ laps of that loop, but I’m not sure ever just riding. Only racing.  It is beautiful and well worth the journey.

In Moab now.  I haven’t been here in ages.  It has really changed.  So many tourists.  Lots and lots of bikers.

We’re going  on a couple MTB rides.  Now I’m late, again.  Tucker ditched me out running.  Okay, some photos below. Or above.  (iPhone post.)

Heading to Moab

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We’re headed up through Georgetown right now.

Tucker  really tired. 

This is gonna be a short one. I got in my van with Tucker yesterday and drove to Arvada Colorado. Now I’m in a van with Vincent and his wife Lisa, driving to Grand Junction to ride road bikes.   We’re doing a lap in the Monument National Park, the old Coor’s Classic stage.  Then to Moab.

Vincent’s team is doing a training camp there.  I guess there are going to be a lot of riders, over 50, probably more, there.

Guess we’re mainly riding MTB.  I got to Colorado in time to do a short MTB ride yesterday.  I’m a little off bike handling-wise. Hopefully, my eye/brain connection will be up for the task.

Okay, this is making me dizzy while driving, so I am gonna stop.





Birkie Ski Race Tomorrow?

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Race Update-Officially Cancelled 😟

The American Birkebeiner ski race is supposed to be held tomorrow.  I think around 10,000 people ski there.  But, with all the warm weather we’ve been having, it has made the event questionable.  Plus, it has been raining some up in Northwoods and  that kills the snow.

It is supposed to snow some today.  But it is probably too little too late.  There is some standing water on the trail, which the Chris Campbell and his crew are removing, but when you remove standing water, that means there isn’t much snow.

They are hoping to run a race from the new start area to OO, which is about half the distance of the normal race.  I think they are going to be making a decision on that today.  It looks like it is snowing there now, but they also have lots of other concerns, which might not be fixed by some snow.  Like parking for 10000 skiers and such.

I have a bunch of friends that ski the race.  I’ve done it a couple times, but not for a long time now.  It is a super event and I feel badly that all this nice weather in the lower Midwest has created havoc for the Birkie.

Okay, updates on trail conditions are here.  Let’s cross our fingers.

Picture of the start area. Dang.

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.

-24 Degrees Out

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Little reality check when you wake up to -24.  It might be only -21 or it might be -27 depending on what thermometer you believe.  Whatever the real temperature, it is pretty cold.

I was driving up here last night and it was -7 or so.  The NPR station said that the actual temperature in Northern Minnesota was going to be -35 last night.  It isn’t that cold here.

When I first came up to Cable, a couple decades or more ago, I didn’t really think that the real temperature could be -40  or colder.  That year, the high for a week never got warmer than -5. When it is normal being below zero, it really doesn’t seem that cold.

I just looked at the weather and it says that it is -21 and 78% humidity.  I don’t think that is possible, but I don’t know for sure.  Seems like every time I’ve done anything this cold, it sort of starts sort of snowing and the humidity leaves the air.

There is a big ice storm coming through Kansas today, via Oklahoma.  The radio said that it was predicted that 1 inch of ice was going to be deposited in Northeastern Oklahoma.  That will be pretty terrible.  That amount of ice weighs a lot and thus, tree branches break, then no power. I’ve been there when that has happened before and it is ugly.  I hope it isn’t that bad there.  Or in Kansas either.

I think something is the matter, actually, I know there is something the matter with my AWD van.  The windows cover with condensation,or now frost, when it is cold out.   It isn’t the heater core leaking.  I think the blend flap or module that allows fresh air in when it is on is stuck shut. I think this because the AC works and the windows don’t get “foggy” until people, and dogs, get in.

I probably won’t fix it this trip, but when it is substantially below zero driving, the windshield is clear, but the driver’s and passenger’s side windows are pretty unusable.  Not such a good way to drive.

Not sure what I’m doing today.  I brought my bike and trainer.  Dennis has a fatbike, but -20 is pretty cold.   I have some heated MTB grips, but I didn’t bring them.  Those would have been great here, but they only last an hour or so.  I you can keep your hands and feet warm, everything else takes care of itself.

Tomorrow, for Dennis’ race, The Seeley Hills Classic, it is supposed to be 30 degrees warmer at this time.  Which means it is going to be around 6 degrees at 10am then getting into the teens pretty quickly.  Not horrible temperatures compared.

My van this morning.

Dennis is delegating from his stools.

Tucker loves it up here. He and Hawkeye have been playing all morning.

I threw a pot of water off the balcony of the Simple Living Lodge this morning. Little science experiment.