Dé Sathairn 22 Nollaig 2007

sneachta fiorfa ar an teastail leis an gabhar.

rode out with brett for thirty miles today. we joined jake, woody and norm for about mile 10-20. i felt alot better than the last few rides. i think la ruta's torture is about completely behind me at this point. i was able to attack consistantly up most of the hills and still feel strong at the top. good stuff. the snow was unbelievable. i was worried with the last few days being in the upper 30's, but it wasn't soft at all. hard, fast and grippy. lot's of deer, and some rather large bear paw prints on the lackawanna cutoff. it was in the low thirties for most of the ride. i was fine in shorts, ss jersey, ss wicking tee and light waterproof windbreaker. windproof gloves, regular old gym socks and beat to hell summer shoes with a bunch of holes in them. just a helmet on my head. makes me feel good about my chances of not freezing to death in alaska.


Dé hAoine 14 Nollaig 2007

Dé Domhnaigh 9 Nollaig 2007

marcach gabhair uimhir a dho

second goat ride today, with a bit extra after everyone else ran home. did a little bit of a preride of the upcoming buzzards bash course. up snowbowl via the steep/technical end trail. not so technical when you walk it. over to the fire tower and down the hill. then back up the hill. into the woods a little on what i thought was the trail. it wasn't. back down the hill, one switchback further this time, and there it was.

pushing uphill in snow poses the biggest challenge to winter riding footwear. the metal cleat and hard sole transfer the cold from the snow, and the gaps where the cleat mount to the shoe transfer the water up into the shoe. i generally do pretty well with colder temps, but when my feet get wet, they become a little more human.

luckily, once your feet go numb, you can't even tell that they're cold anymore. so up the hill i pushed/rode. it wasn't that big. maybe 150ft of elevation gain. from the top is one of my favorite local descents. a twisty, steep, rocky quad trai with a solid surface, leading into a fast and fun switchback doubletrack. i guess it used to be a road, as there's a twisty arrow sign on one of the trees, and the trail is indeed twisty. the turns all have these awesome dropoffs where the trail washed out, but it's not washed out in a bad way, as far as riding it goes.

up the road a little and the climb starts on pavement. up to the top, turn in before the rattlesnake drainage, and on to the aptly named 'steep trail'. used to be a mapped and used dirt road. the actual dirt road is beyond washed out now though, and not even the quads will touch it. they've created a suitable bypass though, and beyond a little hike up the first bit, it's a managable trail on a good day. the puddles on the powerlines trail were all frozen over well enough to ride, which was a treat. the downhill was as good as always, starting technical, then getting steep and fast, then into the technical/washed out bottom portion.

by this time, despite the synlube covered gel i downed in the middle of that really fun, twisty downhill, i was getting awfully hungry. my parents house was a mere two miles away, so i figured why not. took the slightly longer route so that i would actually ride more of the course. got there, got fed, got warm, got comfy, got too comfy to go back out in the cold, got a ride back to my truck.

a bit over 25 miles on the day. good enough for my third post-la-ruta-ride.


Dé Sathairn 8 Nollaig 2007

chuaigh me leis an gabhar...

went out on my first of bretts "goat rider's horde" rides today. started out right around freezing in allamuchy with about 1+ inches of powdery snow covering. the surface under the snow was typical early cold season mooch, occasional hard packed dirt, lots of packed down oak leaves, and of course loads of rocks and logs. my legs are still a little fatigued from la ruta. i can feel it when i power up a hill as far as i can and then get off. it takes a couple of seconds for my legs to be ready to move again. brett's getting quicker, and was up front for pretty much the whole ride. joe g and mr heerschap were out as well. it's nice riding with a group of similar abilities. there's little worry about losing someone, the stopping is mutual, not the front runners waiting for the back of the packers, then taking off as soon as the botps arrive. it was even nice being off the back at certain points. the 32x18 was probably not the best idea, and i'll try to get the 20t on there for tomorrow's mahlon+ ride.


up the riverbed, where brett confessed his deepest fears to us.

i got to this section of rock first, and almost ate it due to the layer of ice hidden under the layer of snow. joe:


the goat rider himself:

Déardaoin 6 Nollaig 2007

malai bum

i'm in the planning stages of all my gear for susitna right now. alot of it will be homemade. i've got alot of supplies and materials on order. i'll be fabricating, then testing my first prototype pogies over the next three days. the prototypes will be the ultimate in dirtbag functional fashion. we're talking old daytona bike week t-shirt, two walmart shopping bags and duck tape. maybe a metal coathanger to give them some shape. initial pics should be up and ready tomorrow night. you all will be extremely jealous and want to give me lots of money or beer for a pair of your own.

Dé Domhnaigh 2 Nollaig 2007

bhroganna susitna


plus these:

plus a bit of this:

some of this:

a pair of these, shaved down:

a few of these:

some of these:

two of these:

two of these:

a couple of lengths of this:

one of these:

add em all together and i will have my attempt at susitna worthy clipless compatible 'pac boots'.....

Dé Sathairn 1 Nollaig 2007

coimhthioch fuail

14 hours of overtime today. it was fairly cold, but not alaska cold. i looked at it as training for susitna, in a sense.

late pic of todays sunrise:

waterfall ooooooo:

ice rock aaaaaaahhhhhh:

ice stick oooooooohhhhhh:

sorry about the poo picture yesterday. it was crude and immature. i'll try to keep my photos more artistic in nature from now on. so here's a picture of an alien thing i drew in the parking lot tonight with my pee: