Monday, April 20, 2009

LHT Goodness

I've done it before but I just need to rant a little more now about my Surly Long Haul Trucker.  Last night I was pretty worn out due to climbing this weekend, but I needed a few groceries.  So, despite the soreness I grabbed a couple panniers and threw a leg over the big bike.  The weather had been cold and rainy all day, but cleared off a bit to let a bit of a sunset through the clouds as I pedaled down the bike lane of Summit Ave towards Whole Foods.  Quite a few people were out enjoying the night.  It was one of those relaxing rides that reminds you that not every bike experience needs high excitement; that sometimes sitting atop a comfy Brooks on an upright steel touring bike on a crisp night hauling fresh fruit can lead you to a different mellow excitement.  More of a luxury than a rush.  Sometimes the 33 pound bike is more appropriate than the sub-20 pound fast machine.  I do like both though.  :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rock fix

I ended up climbing at Taylors Falls today with a new friend of mine who I met at Vertical Endeavors.  It was an impromptu decision last night at the gym due to the forecast being incredible after the long winter, as blogged earlier.  It was a good day of placing cams and pulling down on rock instead of plastic for a change.  I now only have one new cam which hasn't seen duty- the big #5 C4, which could have been used in an anchor I set today if I hadn't forgotten it in my pack below.  Dumb.  How long have I wanted that cam, and then I didn't use it.  I'm sure there will be more behemoth cracks in the future.  
I was able to better familiarize myself with Taylors today due to the leaves not being in; you can actually see the forest through the trees right now.  :)  So, routes I have not been able to locate before were found and climbed today.  Nice.  I also did a little scouting of the WI side of the river, and have a few routes on the to do list marked for over that way now.  There just needs to be more weekends and more climbing partners.  And preferable less wasps, too.  I had to back out of one lead today due to having no crack to place gear in that wasn't full of flying stingers.  
Big mileage on the road bike is also needed if I'm to keep in distance shape.  The MN Ironman century is next weekend, and I may partake.  I may be heading to CA though, so that's pending.  I'll most likely choose climbing out that way over a prairie suburban century, but we'll see.  I do need to log the miles in order to pull off something bigger later this summer.  It may be the summer of the double.  But don't be impressed now; it's just talk and dreaming at this point.  Many talk and dream and end as posers.  Few complete a 200 mile one day.  I have the dream, but we'll see if I have what it takes to pull it off the mental and physical suffering of it all.  
Tomorrow will have some riding in store I would imagine, despite rain in the forecast, as well as bottling an Irish Red brewed last month, so it should be a relaxing Sunday before starting in with another week of teaching buttons and checklists and policies.  Freedom comes in short sweet bursts.  

Friday, April 17, 2009


I think I am finally safe in saying that it's here.  Amen.  Winter can suck bad, and it's gone.  
Commuting via bicycle has been getting seriously pleasant after many months of hardship.  Although oddly enough I have done less of it lately, which is rather backwards.  I was sick for two weeks, and then I've been focusing on climbing lately, as well as wanting to ride my Lemond and Stumpjumper after work.  Had the serious mountain bike out last night for the first time at Battle Creek, and was impressed by a couple new sections of singletrack.  The park is still super random, being that the trails just branch off all over the place with no real flow to your ride, but it's worth riding once and a while, and it's close to home.  If MORC does some more connecting development to existing singletrack the place could get pretty nice.  I'll have to get on their forums and see if I can offer some help doing so.  While I live here I want more good riding to show up.  None of it will beat my old UT backdoor trails, but something is better than nothing.
Tonight will be climbing at the gym; not enough sunlight yet after work to get out to real rock.  If anyone is interested in climbing some trad this weekend outdoors let me know; I'd love to go.  I still have several new cams purchased over the winter that have not yet seen rock, which is of course being unacceptable now that the weather is nice.  Let's go climbing!
More later...