Friday, December 25, 2009

Snowy Splendor

Christmas Eve in the backyard

Fat, happy snowflakes on the local rinks

Fat tires carry me through the dark

The way is clear, my heart joyful

I hope your wheels carry you 
Joyfully through the season

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warm Feet With Lake Winter MTB Boots

I've got several seasons in with my Lake Winter MTB Boots and they have to rank near the top of my favorite equipment of all time list. I've once again been wearing them on my commutes and find them to be as comfortable as they are warm. Temps have dropped into the single digits Fahrenheit (a dozen or so below Celsius) and I have been plenty warm every day. My commute is currently just over 16 miles or 26 kilometers for those using the more rational measuring system, which takes me just over an hour with the extra gear and studded tires. These boots also have reflective markings front and rear so they also help me show up in traffic.

Now as good as the boots are, I do use chemical heater for longer rides when the temps are 30 degrees (f) or lower. I also put on neoprene shoe covers for zero and below but they keep my toes warm. Warm toes are good for everyone but for someone like me that experiences Raynaud's Phenomenon,

warmth is both difficult and critical to maintain. My toes can go numb sitting around the house in the summer if the air conditioning is set a bit too high. OK, the Wikipedia pictures are overly dramatic (where did they find orange and bright red people?) for how it affects me mostly due to my aerobic fitness level as that helps greatly.

The bottom line, however, is that even though I have had some issues with them, the Lake Winter Boots have opened the winter season to me for riding and I can't imagine winter riding without them. Oh and they are clipless so along with the warmth I can still maintain my full power-stroke which is sometimes all that keeps me upright in the deeper snow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I don't Get It

We got a dusting of snow
less than an inch
and as I sit here
I hear the sound
of a snowblower
clearing the top 1/4 inch
followed by the
sound of a shovel
getting the last 1/2 inch.

Petroleum independence might be further away than I think...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This is Winter!

When I leave the house I see this

I look up the alley

and down the alley

and I saddle up and head out
with a big smile on my face.

In the middle of my commute
 I hop the train for a while.

This is my commuter hanging
a convenient option
that splits my riding into
two six mile legs
which is great.


This isn't so great
see the footsteps
next to the bike track?

It's the Mendota Bridge

The bike path is filled
with what was plowed
the road and
the bike path,
frosted with several
inches of fresh powder.

Without snow it looks like this.

Notice how far the
highway sign is
from where I stand
 in each of the pictures.

It's a looooooooooong bridge.

The good thing is that it overlooks
the Minnesota River Valley

I just missed two
Eagles cavorting in
the chilly air in this shot.

Nearly a mile of hike-a-bike
made me a little slow
pulling out the camera.

Now I just have to figure out
how to determine when
the bike path on the bridge
gets cleared
so that I can ride
rather than trudge.

After all, I can drive some days...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter's here!

My commute's not gonna look like this again for a long time

Let's hear it for the winter commute!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Missing, presumed having a good time...

Having too much fun to post.

Hoped to put up some pics from the muddy mountain biking last weekend but I managed to shoot all my photos in macro mode. It makes them look like this:

Which is its' own flavor of cool but doesn't show the massive mud spattering on everyone.