Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow-Packed Road Ride

Not my pic.  Road conditions were similar, but much
less rural and more suburban.
This morning we have a bright blue sky, a snow-packed road, freezing temperatures, and not much wind. A perfect winter road muni day! A few hours later I was disappointed the blue sky had turned to white, but oh well.

I rode the area roads I've ridden before and tried to add in as many optional routes as possible. My goal was to get some good distance to continue my training for the Singlespeed-a-Palooza. I had my gps logger in my CamelBak so it wasn't until I got home did I really determine my distance of 20.7 miles. A good start. It's not quite the same as riding challenging trails, but riding in the snow does take some extra strength, and I had some good head wind at times.  I was able to stay in my high gear for all but getting started after a dismount.

I had a handful of UPDs, all uneventful except for the one in the last few miles. My uni got caught up in my legs and my left knee got banged. I continued to ride and found it only hurt when I pushed hard. Once I got home I found swelling above my knee. I don't expect it to be a problem.

It was cold at about 14°F, but I dressed right and only my chin was cold, though never dangerously cold. My CamelBak tube froze up whenever I waited to long to drink, but I could flex it and get water moving as I rode.

I'm proud to say I've continued to stick to my Insanity workout schedule, aside from days when I've ridden, which I think is reasonable.   I'm halfway through, and it sounds like it's going to be more intense, with the routines now having "Max" in the name.  I did feel like I had more endurance today, and I can only attribute that to these workouts.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Icy Hell

Today Dustin and I got out of work early to ride at Whiting and Webster Park.  We haven't had any significant snow since a recent thaw and the only snow on the ground seemed to be in piles from snowplowing.  Today it was just below freezing for most of the day and 32°F at ride time.  This was pretty close to ideal in that mud would be frozen but it wouldn't feel terribly cold.  So it seemed like a great day to hit the trails.  Unfortunately there was evil lurking in the woods.

Icy trails.  So sad.
A few seconds into the trail it became obvious that ice was going to be a problem.  Trails that get significant foot traffic were covered in ice, at least in some sections.  It wasn't just a small amount here or there.  It was thick, solid, shiny, and slick and in many places covered the entire trail to the very edges.  It was hard enough to walk on, much less unicycle.

Dustin and I arrived at slightly different times and didn't ride together, as planned.  Were both considering racing at the upcoming Singlespeed-A-Palooza race and want to push our riding.  So riding at our own paces makes sense.  He rode Whiting and I, Webster Park.  We had similar experiences with the ice.  Most trails had at least some decent sections with no ice, but around every turn was an unrideable section.  Some icy sections had an non-icy edge I could ride.  I did find a few less popular trails with nearly no ice.  Those happen to be my favorite trails, so yay for me.

On my way out of the trails my uni suddenly freewheeled and I fell back on my butt and elbow.  I was ok, but had to walk my uni out.  It looks like one of my crank arms came loose, and in doing so, half-shifted my geared hub into a middle freewheeling state.  I'll have to inspect it closer when I get a chance, but hopefully just tightening the crank are will fix it.  Often a loose crank arm means bad wear on both the hub and crank arm, and neither are ever the same.  My fingers are crossed.

With all the trouble, I still enjoyed getting out for a ride!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stuck In Winter

Time keeps going by and I'm not getting any great opportunities to get out and be active.  It's the same old story... busy at home or work, bad weather, or bad trail conditions.  If it's not the coldest temperature in years, it's raining.

So in the meantime I'm continuing with Insanity workouts, about to finish my third week.  I hope I can keep pushing and I hope these workouts have a positive impact on my muni in the spring.

Despite my dissatisfaction from last year's Singlespeed-a-Palooza race, I'm considering it again.  Registration isn't until February 2nd, and the race is April 13th.  Some of my Albany area muni friends have been pushing to make a good showing this year.  It's cool that the race organizer has added a Unicycles class this year.  I kind of want to try again and see if I can redeem myself.  Last year I didn't finish.  I need to stay in shape, not get sick or injured, and train better.

Here's a video from last years event that was just brought to my attention. I spot myself in there a few times, but Claude is interviewed:
SingleSpeed-A-Palooza: The Movie