Last Saturday was the annual BRR ride from Perry to Rippey and back. I'd never ridden it before, but several friends recommended it and I thought it would be a good time as well. Luckily the weather was fairly mild with temps hovering around 25-30 and only a little headwind on the way out. I drove up with my friends from Team Cow and rode most of the route with them. My lack of cardio conditioning is really showing up now with getting my butt kicked on a few recent rides. We hit a few small rollers on this ride and I couldn't hang onto the draft so they left me in the dust.
I know my heart rate hovered in the low 170's on the way out and the high 170's low 180's on the way back once we put the hammer down. They still walked away from me, but at least I had a good time cruising along on my road bike. We covered the 26 miles in a little over an hour and a half so we were moving pretty decently for February. We had a nice bowl of chili to finish off the ride and headed back home so I could watch the little one while my wife had to work in the afternoon. An attack of the munchies hit us on the way home with my two friends being way too modest to ask for a donut break so I made the strategic decision to call one myself and we helped ourselves to a chocolate iced Casey's donut each! Perfect end to a great ride.
The rest of Saturday was spent hanging out with my beautiful daughter. After her nap, we bundled up and headed to run some errands. After dropping a borrowed bike rack off we hit the local bike shop. We just missed the guys coming back from the Des Moines winter games and the ski bike competition. We still headed over to Sleepy Hollow to watch the games for a bit. Little one had a blast running around in the snow and trying to stay upright. Everyone there got a kick out of watching her run around.
Sunday started bright and early with some texting from my favorite rodent. We set up to meet at 8 for some putt putt around town. I loaded up the mountain bike and met him over at his place. As misfortune would have it, his mountain bike was down for repair with some nipples (teehee) starting to break through the rims. He mounted up on his trusty fixie and we headed off to ride some streets. Ice soon pushed us off the bike trails and back on to the roads. Soon enough we hit a nice spot to take a quick snapshot.
Damn that reminds me I've got to find a nice small camera that I can stick in a jersey pocket. I've had my eye on this little guy for a bit now. If you've got an opinion on it or another camera, please leave a comment.
We putted south of Jordan Creek and onto the gravel which was smooth, frozen, and in excellent shape. A scant hour and a half later we were back at Squirrel's to do some slight defrosting and shoot the breeze for a bit. Gotta love a guy with an entire room dedicated to bikes! After enjoying yet another day or cold toes even after I stuck hand warmers in before the ride, I asked him about his winter riding shoes. Alas, his choice of gear has been discontinued (Answer Kashmir), but the guys at Rassy's have ordered me in a set of Shimano MW02's to try out. I'm excited to get them and see how they work in time for the next gravel century.
I've also geared up with some recommendations from Dennis Grelk by picking up a set of ATV winter handlebar mitts made by Polaris. They fit pretty well over the brakes and shifters. I still need to put on my new grips, but I think they should fit fine over them as well. They're my other new toy that I can't wait to check out on the next ride. I got them in a size small based on a recommendation from Mr. 24 hour who just happens to also be the Ergon rep as well. The only difference between the small and large is the outer diameter of the grip itself. I consider my hands to be decently sized and I don't think I'd want to go any larger than the small size. Hopefully I'll have a report on these soon enough.
My last bit of winter gear that I'm trying to round up before the century ride is a pair of Smartwool snowboard socks with medium cushion. The only local place to carry them is out of my size, so I'm searching for a deal online. It doesn't seem they've quite hit winter clearance pricing just yet so the deals aren't quite what I was hoping for just to try something new. Hopefully I have some luck soon.
Have a good weekend and maybe I'll see some of you out riding.