Winter Mileage Rule / Sunflower Bicycles Annual Holiday Party

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Yesterday was the Sunflower Holiday party.  To me, it sort of kicks off the Christmas holiday season.  It seems about right to start thinking about Christmas two or three weeks ahead of time.  Forget this Christmas in November thing.

Anyway, I got a little behind and didn’t get a chance to exercise, so I decided to ride the 32 miles over to Lawrence, at night, on gravel.

It was in the lower 30’s and it got me thinking about my winter mileage rule.  Which is – one mile for every degree temperature it is, in Fahrenheit.   So, if it is 30 out, right around 30 miles, 18, then 18 miles, 60, then……..yep, 60 miles.  Pretty easy and a pretty good rule of thumb.  When it starts getting way below 30, in the teens, I usually only have an hour or so in me, on the road, before I start seizing up, so I’d usually ride off-road, then the rule doesn’t apply.

Anyway, I rode on gravel down along the river and at about 30 minutes into the 2 hour ride, my headlight went dead.  And it was cloudy, so the big moon out right now, wasn’t.  I could see okay, but I really wouldn’t have been able to make out a huge stick or brick in the road, if there was one.

About 1/3 the way there, I catch a movement from my left and next thing I know, there is, what seems like a huge deer, jumping right in front of my bars.  The deer jumped onto the road and then must have seen me and jumped again as we were on a collision course.  I can’t really say if the deer was one foot in front of me or 3, but it was really, really close.  I instinctively looked to my left, fully expected a second or third deer to be barreling into me, but there was only one, to my relief.  The episode gave me a jolt of adrenaline, which lasted the next few miles.

So, I got to the party a little late, but that was fine.  I got to catch up with a bunch of guys I hadn’t seen in a long time since I haven’t been going to the races.  Plus, I got to see the people that I only see once a year, at this party, which is the real reason I go.

Anyway, the party was a great success, once again.  Dan Hughes, proprietor of the Sunflower, plans the party out the whole year and other than running out of red wine, it was perfect.  Dan is a star in the new Specialized catalog,  Specialized did a full expose of Dan and his Dirty Kanza exploits.  Dan has won Dirty Kanza 4 times, I believe.   He put it on the map and now it is a bucket list race for many.  Here is a write-up he did after this past year’s race.

It is raining today and sort of chilly, so I’m glad I got in a couple hours yesterday, plus got to catch up with so friends.  We ended the day at Freestate Brewery, with Matt Gillhausen, from TradeWind Energy,  barely getting there by 10pm for the last of the dinner menu.    All around, it was a pretty good day.


Dan, Shadd Smith and myself catching up last night.

Dan, Shadd Smith and myself catching up last night.


A photo of Dan from Dirty Kanza that Specialized used in their catalog last year.

A photo of Dan, from Dirty Kanza, that Specialized used in their catalog last year.


They picked right.

They picked right.





4 thoughts on “Winter Mileage Rule / Sunflower Bicycles Annual Holiday Party

  1. Allen Levine

    Great post about a great party. Your trip to it sounds a bit more eventful than mine. I love the winter mileage rule. Thanks for the link to the Dirty Kanza report by Dan Hughes as well.

  2. JB

    No commentary on the ride back home? Did you catch a ride, charge the battery, or ride back in the dark?

  3. VCScribe

    Ask Kristian House about encounters with deer. BTW, it didn’t see you. It just missed you. Whitetails can’t see very well at all even in broad daylight.


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