Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Ride......Take it Easy

Much of today was spent going over the same old trail. Except this time it was covered with snow. The main goal was to try to find the Des Plaines River Trail buy route of the Salt Creek. This mission was accomplished and to add icing to the cake the Des Plaines Trail, starting at the Des Plaines River and Madison, was single track and there wasn't a straight set of trail insight! This route will for sure have to be modified but was a joy despite the fact that my buddy got a flat 3:45 into the ride and my fingers were numb by the time I got home. Gary how 'bout some tubes for Christmas.

Link to a map of the ride --->

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kickin' it Old School

I am trying to think of all the things I like that comes in bags. Newspaper, popcorn, wine...well maybe not wine, and hmmm...dry feet. Yeah dry feet! Cool tip for winter riding. If you want dry feet and don't have any fancy winter mountain bike shoes, wrap a plastic bag around your dogs before putting your shoes on. I like the newspaper bag because they aren't too bulky. After a few hours of riding today only one of my little piggies broke through and the only moisture in my wool socks was man made. Hip Hip Hooray for the cheap biker...

Guess what tomorrow is... Illinois State Cyclocross Championship at Montrose Harbor! I will not be racing but I will be the one with the Air Horn!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Open Up! This is the Police!

The Citizens Police Academy is coming to a close. This 12 week course taught the citizens of Hinsdale, and me from Clarendon Hills, everything from D.A.R.E. to S.W.A.T. In those 50+hours we got an in-depth view of how the police go about getting their courageous job done. Some of the highlights of the course were, investigating a crime scene, interviewing suspects, learning and applying the proper procedure to make a traffic stop, going on a ride along with Hinsdale's finest and then shooting it up at their indoor range. This was a terrific experience to met the proud and passionate men and women who serve on an accredited and accomplished Police Department.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Electricity in the Air

This year my running season started off with a bang. The first snow fall! There is really electricity in the air this time of year. The combination of freshly fallen snow, Christmas decorations, people shoveling their drive and kids at the sledding hill make evening runs so enjoyable. Maybe it is because it feels like I am playing and also thankful that I already finished my driveway. It is also peaceful to run in the dark. I have a light on my shoe and one on my glove so I guess I feel one with the decorations. Well that may have gone too far. All I know is that I am actually doomed from here on out because it will be like chasing your first high, well I guess till the next time it snows...Hopefully then I do not have Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer stuck on repeat in my head.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out with the old and in with the new...well at least for a little while.

Even though the off season is starting a couple weeks earlier for me this year, I am still looking forward to it. This year I will try things a little differently. For the next few months my training will revolve around running, yoga, weights and the weekend adventure ride(s). No need to be shy about it but I don't mind being told what to I will follow a structured training regiment for a half marathon. This plan is three fold. 1. The plan is laid out for me to follow in a way that I enjoy. 2. The duration is long enough to safely train for a half marathon, keeping me outside, that by the duration's end, it will be about pre-season, or base. 3. The half marathon is not so physically strenuous that I will be unable to do core work outs and yoga, as well as my adventure rides on the weekend.
Last year I rode all but one week in the winter and even though that was (ahem) cool, I do not see my self repeating the same.

Watch me do really bad next year..oh well

"Sans tourner autour du pot," welcome to the off season. Mmm do I smell cookies?

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Zones No Worries

As I am writting this I am sitting with my lovely wife, Valerie, watching Check Please on WTTW,5

I am thinking how cool it will be to go to all these restaurants that are reviewed (well at least the good ones). In the future I will ride there and meet her, or ride with some friends to grab some chow. So drop me a line when your stomach growls.

But for the real reason I am sitting here typing is to share how nice it is to just ride in the "off season." No worries about time in zones or numbers of power and on and on. Just you and the bike. Well at least for me. This time of year is great for exploring new routes and never saying nay to a detour.

Today I finally connected some trails that I had wanted to for a while. The Salt Creek Trail to the Prarie Path to the Great Western Trail back to the Prarie Path for a 3.5 hr fixed gear ride with out the "out and back ride" that I am always trying to avoid. I am putting on the GPS on the old bike tomorrow to share every new route.

In The Land Where Fatties Fit Fine

Since I strained my back and neglected to train I have bowed out of the last CYCLOCROSS RACES of the Season. Man I love cyclocross but to keep sane I am trying to explore as much as possible in the pancake land of Illinois.

I live 20 miles west of the city, which is actually not a bad place to be at all. This is the begining of a series of rides through the winter and spring where I will find historical routes, places and learn more about where it is that I live.

This weeks edition is the introduction to the Surly Cross Check and the 700X45 WTB Mutanoraptors wrapped around some Dt Swiss Touring Hoops. The bike is perfect for off road adventures.

This bike is set up as a fixed gear 38x18. The crankset is from Sugino. I had a dura-ace 7801 crank but with the external bb I ended up wearing out (bb) more than I changed my undies. So I left out the bling and went with durable. The handlebars are WTB road/mountain bars. Awesome, incredible leverage, and when you run a ss you need what ever power you can get going up hills. The brake levers are from Shimano and the saddle is a Fizik Gobi and posted up with a Thomson Seatpost that matches the thomson Stem.

Excuse the long introduction and unfortunatly there is no real story to report except the Cenntenial Trail is closed westbound from Lemont till March 2009! Hmm... that only mean I will have to find a detour.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mmmmm Food....

Giving Thanks is an Understatement!