Monday, September 6, 2010

T-6 for JJBT and T-13 for the Chequamegon

OK, so if you're interested, we're counting down the days until the two biggest cycling events on this boy's calendar. Well, excepting for Le Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, the Tour of California, etc. No, we're not talking spectator sports now, we're talking "let's clip in and get 'er done". It's 6 days until the Jesse James Bike Tour in Northfield and 13 days until the Fat Tire 40 which starts in Hayward, WI and ends in Cable, WI.

My first Jesse James ride was in 2003 when I managed the 30 mile ride. I've since done a 60 and three century rides. I can't remember why, but I missed the 2009 event. This year, I'm planning on doing another 60 since I really haven't gotten enough miles in the saddle so far to do a century. My daughter and I did the MS 150 in June from Duluth to White Bear Lake, but that was almost three months ago and I haven't kept up the pace.

Actually, the more pressing personal need is to be ready for the Chequamegon 40 in two weeks. This is a fat tire race that's half on the Birkebeiner Ski Trail and half on the gravel roads of Wisconsin. It's a serious challenge and I'm hoping to make up time on my PB of 4:30:03. That's really not very fast, but you have to have something to shoot for.

Paul, Nick and Dan get ready for the 2009 Chequamegon 40
Today I set out on my training run in the rain, because I missed the 2008 affair (a real washout) and since I've never ridden in inclement weather, I thought I should get a little practice time in during conditions that weren't ideal. It turned out to be a very enjoyable ride, lots of grit and splash and slippin' and slidin'. Fortunately, the temperature was quite comfortable at about 66. What kind of unnerved me was the amount of sand that got into the cassettes and the derailleurs. It made a fairly unpleasant sound and made me wonder whether I needed to do something to clear it out. I need to give my brother-in-law a call. He'll know.

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