Category Archives: Weather

And the snow finally settles in…

We cyclists were pretty fortunate so far this winter. Aside from a few weeks of freezing-ass cold and choking, inverted smog in the air, October to January was pretty pleasant, and I continued to ride outside until about a week ago. Then, the snow came with authority. While decidedly un-Utah-like (wet, heavy, rain/snow mixture in the valley), what it lacked in predicatble moisture content it more than made up for in sheer quantity.

In the interest of not riding through a perpetual dust bowl this summer, I’m not too upset that normal winter finally came. But, I’m also a little upset that normal winter finally came. The appearance of snow coincided with new responsibilities at work, too, so far from being mildly entertained during the day and wishing I could duck out for a couple hours to ride, I’m quite busy and tired by the time I get home, and have little to no interest in occupying the trainer, given the resulting saddle sores that occurred during the last trainer commitment.

I’ll probably break out the skinny skis sometime in the next week, after I kick this cold that showed up on Friday. Maybe even give skate skiing a try, get my winter roadie on. Find a fanny pack (excuse me, ‘lumbar hydration pack’) and dial in my V2. Or something.

I have a pretty strong case of spring bike fever settling in as well. Big plans for an existing frame, and bigger plans for a new roadie and a new mountain frame. And some magical way to sell whatever I can to get the money for them.

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Filed under Bikes, Gear, Training, Weather

Spelunking in the Pain Cave

I rode about 50 miles yesterday, something like 49.41. The MapMyRide app for iPhone is pretty awesome. Start and forget, and it tracks mileage, average speed, max speed, elevation, and all that good stuff.  Then it’ll upload that to the MapMyRide site so you can collect your rides and track your progress.

 

Anyway, the first 25 miles felt incredible.  I was fast, the weather was beautiful, and the pedals were spinning easy. Then the weather got a little stormier, the wind kicked up, and I ran out of gas. That was at about 33 miles. I suffered through the headwind, slowly leaking tire, and complete lack of food and water until about 42 miles. Then I stopped and got some water at a gas station, choked down some peanuts, and swapped out the tube. Struggled the rest of the way home, and then laid in bed for two hours until I felt a little better.

 

Lessons learned:

Potato-based breakfast at 10 am does not support a 4-hour effort starting at 2 pm

Bring more water

Sugar, not protein when you’re bonking. I was cramping, so I tried to find the saltiest thing I could, which was peanuts. They didn’t help that much. A coke would have been much more effective

Electrolyte solution in one bottle

Pay closer attention to tire pressure when it gets hard to turn the pedals

 

It was a rough one, hopefully I won’t be repeating that experience anytime soon.

 

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Filed under Training, Weather

Winter Bike Commuting – The Good

I should retroactively re-title yesterday’s post with either ‘Winter Commuting – The Ugly,’ or ‘Winter Commuting – The Bad.’  Not sure which it would be though, so I’ll pass.

Today’s commute was great. It was one of those rare days after a storm when the light is beautiful, the sky is blue, and the air is crisp. This was my view as I pulled into work this morning. Stunning.

I only needed a baselayer and windshirt this morning on top, and the standard shorts/tights/knickers combination on the bottom. Once temperatures hover around 40-45 at both ends of my commute, I’ll ditch the tights. Any day now. I’ve never been so ready for a season to be over.

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Filed under Commuting, Weather, Winter commuting

Utah Weather at its Finest

Today’s commute was a prime example of everything Utah can throw at you (or, why I carry so much shit in my bag). When I left the house, it looked like this outside:

 

When I left work in the evening, it looked like this:

 

And when I got home, it looked like this:

 

It rained more or less from the time I got to work until it started to snow, about halfway home. My ride is only about 7 miles, and takes somewhere in the 20-30 minute range, typically. It was wet, heavy, nasty snow. My outer shorts, tights, and shoe covers had wet out at the knees and ankles, but my top was essentially dry (thanks eVent!).I spent a few extra minutes wringing out all of my clothes on the porch before I went inside.

 

I threw the roadie pedals on the Konamutter this morning, because I had the SPDs on the Fargeaux, and decided it was easier to put a different pair of pedals on than it was to pull the others off and put them back on the Konamutter. Not the best decision I’ve ever made. Roadie pedals suck for commuting, clipping in and out, etc. Plus, I had to wear shoe covers, and shoe covers are less than awesome.  I picked them up on sale a few months ago, but they’re designed for road shoes, so I hadn’t used them before today, outside of a test fitting right after I got them.  Unfortunately the zipper blew out when I put them on to ride home (you know, when I really needed them).

 

The rubber band worked pretty well to keep them from flapping too much, but the rain/snow found its way right down into the heel cup.  It was pretty rad.

 

Grabbed dinner and beers with a friend tonight, so there was some redemption there. Beer included a Rogue Kells, a Deschutes Inversion IPA, and a Deschutes Black Butte Porter. It was like I was in Oregon, except, you know, not. Food was the ever-ubiquitous veggie option, the Black Bean Burger, or 3B. This 3B wasn’t supposed to have cheese on it, but came with a thick slab of greasy cheese, so back it went. Probably returned with a little extra spit on it, but it was still ok. If I was a wannabe cajun restaurant, I think I’d try to make a vegan jambalaya burger, or a red bean and rice burger, or something a little more creative.  But no, 3B it was.

Weather tomorrow is supposed to be decent. Maybe it’ll be one of those post-storm bluebird-y days. I could get behind that after tonight’s commute home.

 

 

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Filed under Beer, Commuting, Gear, Vegan, Weather, Winter commuting