Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Do we really need more snow?

Wow, this has been one snowy winter. I've shoveled more snow so far this year than I think I did all of the previous two winters in our house. Last week we go hammered with almost 18". It was so bad that I got my car stuck in our driveway, and our driveway is flat! Then I almost got stuck on the way to work the next morning in the road.

Now it's snowing again. I just shoveled 3-4 fresh inches and it is coming down pretty fast. Hopefully the front passes soon.

I was able to get out and do some riding last Saturday though, but not here in Michigan. I had to go down to Baltimore for the weekend for work. I got in a little early on Saturday and rented a mountain bike from a local shop and headed out to the trails at Patapsco Valley State Park, just outside Baltimore. The trails turned out to be awesome. Luckily I got a guided tour. I bumped into a local rider named Mike and asked him for some directions. He was nice enough to let me tag along and we rode for two and a half or three hours. The trails there are a lot more technical than what I am used to, very rocky, but a lot of fun. Plus the weather was great, in the low 50's. What really sucked was coming back to frigid Michigan though. When I walked into the airport on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore it was 50, when I walked out of the Detroit airport it was below 0. Talk about a shock to your system!

My busy travel season for work is here now. In addition to the Baltimore trip I was just on I have a ton of work travel coming up. Two trips to California, some time in Europe, Chicago and a personal trip with Jackie down to Florida to visit my parents on their vacation. That's all in the next month and a half. I'm dreading all the travel.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Neither sleet nor rain nor snow!

Can keep me from riding my new bike. We were supposed to get 10" or so of snow yesterday, but the weather man was wrong. Huh, there's a surprise. We did get a few inches of wet, heavy snow. I really had my heart set on riding my new bike this weekend so I was relieved that it wasn't as bad as the forecast had called for.

I had to wait to get out and really enjoy the bike. On Monday night I had swapped over my pedals and adjusted everything to fit me only to find the seatpost was too short to extend out far enough. Apparently a lot of people experience this with this particular model so it wouldn't surprise me if Raleigh changes the spec. I had Dave over at BFB order me a longer post. There's a lot of options, but I chose to go with a Thomson. It's manufactured here in the US, is relatively lightweight and is one of the stronged posts available so I should never need to replace it.

So I'm kind of rambling on here. Wasn't this post about riding the new bike? Yes, it was. This morning I got the new post on and all adjusted up. There was a little drizzle coming down, but not bad. I loaded up the bike and headed to the rail trail just a couple miles from our house. It doesn't get plowed, but I figured I would just ride through the snow. There ended up being four wheeler tracks that were pretty easy to follow. Those were eventually accompanied by snowmobile tracks, which aren't very nice to ride in. After about 8 or 9 miles on the rail trail I bailed for the road, which wasn't much better in spots, but for the most part was pretty easy to ride on. Altogether I got in a little over 18 miles in two hours. Really enjoyed the new bike, it was comfortable and rode well in the snow. Now I just need this snow to melt so I can get it on to some trails.