Sunday, November 30, 2008
I tried out Como Park after the snowfall today but it wasn't any good. The next option was swamp skiing on one of the many Saint Paul area swamps. It was a little icy at first but I skied-in a nice skating track. The swamps should be good until we get more snow for the trails. Check out the picture of the swamp.
Today's Thanksgiving Ski Camp activity was a drive up to Hayward, Wisconsin to work on John Wyland's cabin. John and Jeff Arndt drove up with me. First stop was Menard's and then on to the cabin. Johnny is building a bunkhouse so we put up the roof rafters. We cut the boards to size and hand nailed them while also using a nail gun. We couldn't get the nail gun into some of the tight spaces though. That was all we could get done while it was still light out. Anyway, that was the hardest part. The rest should go pretty fast.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Jay T's Thanksgiving Ski Camp actually got underway on Tuesday and Wednesday with skiing at Elm Creek. After a day off for continual eating, Jay T's Thanksgiving Ski Camp resumed today at the famed and storied trails of Troll Hollow. Yes, the whole man-made snow loop is open. That means you get to go up a couple of big hills unlike the other local man-made snow areas... I skied with John Wyland, Stu Benson, Jay Wenner, Jerry Engen and Barry Torgerson. Steve Edling and Tom Krenz showed up as I was leaving. Anyway, I got in some good laps and went to the top of the xc trail and beyond seven times.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It was another great day for skiing at Elm Creek Park Reserve. I got in a bunch of laps on the classic skis. The crown base didn't work too well with all of the ice in the snow. Tom and Lee Bengel showed up for some classic too. A couple of bikers, Mike Lala among them, were out riding the roads and stopped by to check out the skiing.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The after work routine today was spinning in circles around the man-made snow loop at Elm Creek Park Reserve. I grabbed the beater Peltonens and skated on the trail. It was pretty comfortable with temps above freezing. I skied a few laps with Kim Ruud and a bunch of laps with Dick Hedenstrom.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday and Sunday were ski training days as the focus shifts away from the bike for the winter. Yesterday, I pole-hiked Sunfish Park in Lake Elmo with Jerry Engen and Lori Belz. Today, I went to Trollhaugen for some cross country skiing with Tom and Lee Bengel and Bill Stuber. Dave Dow, Gary Johnson, Ron Lowrie, Dave Gorange, Steve Thatcher, Greg and Pam Weier, Corey Coogan and John O'Connell were there too. I didn't ski too hard though because I have a cold. The picture is of me taking the rope tow...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I got back on the rollerskis on Tuesday, November 18th. As usual, the route was the neighborhood loop. Right after I started, I came across Ben Popp in his fancy Endurance Athlete van. We each gave a wave... Anyway, I skated on the Marwes. It will be rollerskiing from now on (unless we get some really nice weather) until the snow falls and then it will be back on the skis with some spinning on the trainer thrown in. Today, I did some hiking at a local wildlife management area. I brought my shotgun along but only flushed some doves. No need to shoot them. I'm after pheasants...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I skipped the State Cross Championships because my upper back was giving me some problems. Carrying the bike would have been too painful. Instead, I hunted the fields of the east metro. Jerry Engen, his grandson Zack and I went after pheasants with Jerry's buddy Mike who has two dogs. The dogs pointed whenever they found a pheasant in the swamp grass. The first two they jumped were hens so we had to hold our fire. They found a third one which stayed in the grass until we were right on it. It was a rooster and it blasted out of the grass right underneath us. I swung the shotgun around and pulled the trigger. Miss! I pulled the trigger again on the second barrel but by then it was too far away... Another rooster blasted out of the grass a hundred yards away. Scared by the sound of the shotgun, it was too far to shoot. That was it for the swamp. Jerry's buddy Mike had to leave but his son Dave dropped by. We were without the dogs but we kept hunting anyway. We drove through a wooded island surrounded by gleaned corn fields. There were those plants with the sticky burrs everywhere. We were all getting burrs on our clothing. I was walking through the dense brush picking off burrs when I flushed another rooster. By the time I got my finger on the trigger and shot, the bird had some trees between us. Zack took a shot too but missed. While we didn't get any pheasants, it was a greeat day to be out walking the fields, swamps and woodlines.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I hit the 3,000 mile mark for the year today with a 14 mile, night-time, ride after work. Since it was wet, I took the single-speed and rode down east on Summit, up the high bridge and Smith Avenue and then into West Saint Paul. I came back down Smith and the High Bridge and then went up Irvine Hill before riding home. The last three years I rode 3800, 4200 and 4100 so I was a little behind this year...
Monday, November 10, 2008
The best way to clean a cyclocross bike is to take it out for a road ride so that's what I did after work today. I rode down to the U of M and then over to Plymouth Avenue and back for a total of 19 1/2 miles. The tires were clean when I got home.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The race of the day was the Lake Rebecca cyclocross event. As usual, I entered the 45+ and planned on staying with Tom Bengel and Rob Belz. After about 500 yards though, my brake was rubbing really hard on the wheel... I stopped to try to fix it but I left my tool kit back at the start. I rode the course backwards to find a mini tool. A spectator had one and gave it to me. However, on closer inspection, it wasn't the brake, it was the wheel that came loose and jammed against the chain stay... I re-set the wheel in the dropouts and kept going. By that time however, everyone was at least a half mile ahead of me. I finished the first lap and then dropped out. Better to be DNF than DFL... The course was pretty muddy anyway so I rode around for a while on the asphalt trail. I got in 7 miles...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The after work ride was a 12 1/2 mile test of my right knee while dodging rain. I took out the road bike and cruised down Summit to the river where I rode East River Road and River Blvd. Anyway, the knee is hurting. Putting pressure on it while climbing is the most difficult. Standing on the pedals helps a little bit. I'll rest it a few days.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
After the last sales call of the day I dropped by a state wildlife management area for a little pheasant hunting... Once again, the pheasants won... I only walked the fields for about 45 minutes. On the way home, I dropped into the polling place to throw my vote away as usual. I'm out-numbered in my neighborhood... When I got home, I took the cyclocross bike out and rode east on Summit. I climbed Irvine, Ramsey Hill and Grand Hill. On the way back, I rode some single track. I had trouble putting pressure on the pedals. Banging my knee on the door jam yesterday has it swollen and sore. I'm sure it will settle down by the next race...
Monday, November 3, 2008
Taking advantage of the recent great weather, I got a few rides in plus a race the past few days. On Thursday 10-30, Tom Bengel, Rob Belz and I rode the cyclocross training course at the park across the river. We went up the stairs four times and climbed the hill three times. We got in 16 1/2 miles. Saturday 11-1, was the Red Barn Cyclocross race. I placed 17th overall out of 35 in the second B event. The race went pretty well as the flat course suits me perfectly. The big hill climb got me every lap though. Mike Lyner and I were following John Stamm on the first lap when Lyner crashed in a corner. I rode over him and hit the ground getting some scrapes on my forehead. We lost Stamm at that point so I followed Lyner. We passed a few riders who got by us during the crash and kept on charging. Lyner ran faster up the hill than I did and he recovered better at the top. I had to keep chasing him down on every lap. On the last lap, I stopped chasing him since I knew he would get me on the hill which was right before the finish line. I checked back and no one else was close so I cruised on in to the finish. Among those placing in front of me were Paul McKinney, Dag Selander, Mark Engen, Rob Ogren, John Stamm and Lyner. Some of the guys who finished behind me included Dan Meyer (mechanical) Todd Trembley, Tom Bengel, Tim Power and Jack Stack. Others racing the other events included Lori Belz, Jerry Engen, Linda Sone, Dan Casper and my Loon State teammates Rob Belz, Bill Stuber, Jordan Cullen, Jim Cullen, Andy Frye, Chad Macy and Tom Manderfeld. I got in 17 1/2 miles. Sunday was another nice day. My neighbor Steve and I rode the Fat Tire Test Track that runs from Mac-Groveland to downtown Saint Paul, We rode some trails next to the river too. We got in a little over 11 miles.