Archive for December, 2013

It’s been an interesting month December.  In Wyoming I’ve always dreaded the “off season”.  Hellacious wind, bitter cold, no desire to ride, early sunsets… you get the point.  But this time is different. 2 important things happened to me.  First, I “discovered” winter riding on trails a 25 min drive away.  They’ve always been there, I just never thought of riding there in the winter.  Second, I got news that Hammer Nutrition has selected me for athlete sponsorship for 2014. My training log (thanks Strava) shows that I am riding 4 days a week at an average of nearly 3 hours each.  This number is steadily going up.  Going back a couple years, I have never logged this much time in December.  Motivation of racing starting in 3 weeks on snow and less than 2 months til 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo probably has something to do with it.  Of course the fun trails isn’t everything (it’s a big part of it though), there is also the new gear.  Wolvhammer boots, Fat Carbon race wheels, lights, and proper winter dressing (thanks Salsa/JayP). Then the added benefit of sponsorship by a company whose products have turned my endurance training and racing around the last few years, Hammer Nutrition.  I can’t say enough good things about them and their products, I was literally a walking Hammer rep without getting paid.  Well I’m not technically getting paid, but they are making it easier financially on my supplement expenses.  If whoever reads this blog wants some advice, I can let you in on my fueling program for long races. Just comment.

Suffice it to say, I now want winter to last forever….Well until late spring, I’d like the Colorado mountains dry during the Colorado Trail Race.

May all your rides be filled with joy and new experiences,

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Wow, what a difference good gear makes when riding in cold temperatures.  I’ve long suffered from Raynauds in the cold which makes it all the worse. Embracing the spirit of winter fat biking and with good reviews on the web for warmth while still being able to clip into my regular CB Candys I ordered a pair of 45North Wolvhammers.

Wolvhammer boots

Wolvhammer boots

Full retail, no discounts to be found $324.  They better work.  And they did, my second ride in them was for over 4 hours in temps not exceeding 11°F.  I will say they were cold by then but lasted hours beyond what I thought was possible.  Money well spent.

Another winter investment that is ESSENTIAL are pogies.  Marketed by numerous small vendors, mine are the Dogwood Designs standard versions.  I got my pair last year and it was the first step in venturing outdoors in sub freezing temps. The standards are warm enough that I only wear a lightweight liner glove and sometimes even that is too warm in +25°F.  I love these things and so do my fingers.

Now that SE Wyoming has had it’s first Artic air of the year and snow with it, I find myself riding more than I thought possible.  No more indoor trainer miles for me, even when it’s crazy windy (that’s +40mph to you non Wyoming riders).  The trees on the trails hide all that blowy wind and with my gear I find it quite enjoyable.

10 degrees

Bring on the snow and the cold(well not too cold)

This has to have been the best Thanksgiving weekend in recent memory as far as weather goes. Temps and winds were “comfortable” and I got more riding in than I thought I would.  Snow is packed on the summit west of me making the ride on the fat bike fun.  The lower elevations are clear and mostly dry.  Just around the corner snow, much colder temps, and the dreaded wind are visible.  Dressing like the Michelin Man is almost upon us.  It was a great warm spell while it lasted.  Next stop SNOW!

Dogs had fun on Thursday

LilyNikki

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2 hour Summit ride near dusk with Coach T

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T on a 29er,  waiting on the Speshy Fatboy

T on a 29er, waiting on the Speshy Fatboy

 Soapstone Prairie / Red Mountain, last day of the season.  The Happy Jack Cycling crew got in one last ride

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Red Mtn and Dan K wishing he had something other than a 19tooth cog

Red Mtn open spaceDan K wishing he had something other than a 19tooth cog