Out of The Saddle

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That rear brake cable.

As expected, there has been little no time in the saddle since Saturday’s foray out onto the snirt roads. Most of that is due to doing a crap ton of other shiz that seemed more important than freezing my tits off out on some desolate frozen dirt road.

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Not Entirely

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I have a solitary, not at all lofty, goal when it comes to my winter riding–get outside at least once a week for a real ride. See, not that lofty. However it can still be pretty hard to accomplish.

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The Best Worst Ride (This Month)

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Since last Saturday’s “race,” riding has been somewhat limited by road and trail conditions, time, and desire. Other than that 4.5 mile snowshoe up north, my laziness kicked into high gear and my half-hearted attempts at strength training turned into quarter hearted attempts, and any time on the trainer was short-lived with a focus on “fuck it.”

It looked as if I could get in a dirt road ride in Saturday morning. With an eye on rising temps, I hoped that I could roll the studded Fatterson on frozen dirt and ice and avoid the slushy, muddy quagmire that the Michigan dirt roads would become as they thawed throughout the day. As you can see, I didn’t make it. I could have made it if I could have pushed my ass out the door earlier in the morning, but I got wrapped up in laziness, coffee, and FA Cup footy.

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Stomp The Woods

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I had two different, yet similar, plans for doing stuff Wednesday:

A. Drive north a bit and ride some trails that the Godfather informed me might be swell for fat biking. Take some pics.

B. Drive north a bit and snowshoe some trails that the Godfather informed me might be swell for fat biking–or might not be–depending on the snowfall and recent grooming efforts. Take some pics.

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Grasping & Scratching

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While the northern lower peninsula of Michigan has been enjoying some steady snow, further south we have been stuck in a continuous mix of melting snow in the day, freezing snow in the night, along with ice, slush, rain and other wintertime fecal matter. The days since Saturday’s race have been a wasteland of [fun] physical activity and I find myself grasping at any legal means to keep myself motivated through the soggy, gray, wet crap-tastic days.

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Still No Cure

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Let me start by saying that this is NOT a “race report.” Ever fattening forty-four year old guys who haven’t raced in nearly two years shouldn’t write race reports. However, this is my blog, and pretty much my ride journal, so to an extent it is a race report. Just don’t expect much “racing.”

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to go against the advice of doctors, priests, lawyers, heads of state, relatives, my dog, and public opinion by signing up for my first bike race in over twenty months: The Fat Chance at Crystal Mountain. I thought it made perfect sense to come out of race retirement in the middle of winter and do a fat bike race.

I’ve done a shit ton of XC and endurance mountain bike races, a bunch of gravel races, a few cross races (which I’ve sort of blocked out), and one road race (which, like being touched “down there” by a shirtless ice cream truck man, I pretend never happened). However this would be only my second fat bike race. How bad could it be?

Bad. Not all bad, but at the end it was clear that there is still no cure for stupid.

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No Cure For Stupid

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From my records (records = this crap blog) it seems that it’s been well over a year and a half since I lined up for a race. I’ve gone to races, photographed races, talked about races, wrote about races and peed in the woods at races, but somehow I’ve managed to avoid racing for 1 year, 8 months, 25 days and counting. During that time I’ve gained weight, rode less, then rode more, still gained weight, rode anyway ’cause that’s just what I do and all but forgot what it’s like to put out any sort of race day effort. So, it makes perfect sense that I signed up for the Fat Chance at Crystal Mountain this coming Saturday.

I’m a moron.

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Snirt Rollin’

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Thursday brought three ride options, four if you count riding the trainer in the Stankment™, which I’m not, ’cause that sucks:

1. Ride snow-covered dirt roads on the Fatterson with my camera.
2. Drive down to Alma and do some solo laps on the Fatterson.
3. Meet folks at 6 in Alma do some night laps on the Fatterson.

As you can see, the Fatterson was going to play a part in the day’s ride time festivities, it was just a matter of which one I picked. Part of me really wanted to do the Terry’s group ride, and I even went so far as to charge my lights the night before, but when push came to pedal I opted for the convenient and photo friendly snirt roads.

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Goofing Off, Sort Of

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After a short and sweet foggy ride on Saturday, I took Sunday just to goof off: watch soccer football, play FIFA ’16, and make food while drinking a few dozen pints of coffee, herbal tea, water, and a few other things completely void of, and starving of alcohol. My Monday was spent doing Monday stuff along with cursing, shoveling and blowing snow, and squeezing in a quick thirty minutes on the trainer combined with my loose, slack attempts at strength training. Fun, fun, fun… (not really, not at all).

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The Fog Before The Storm

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January is notoriously the hardest month for me to get through, especially here in Michigan; it’s long, cold, snowy, icy, and as of late it’s been foggy. Snow and ice on the ground, followed by rain and warmer temperatures meant that a heavy fog rolled into the Mt. Pleazy area on Friday night and it stuck around well into Saturday morning afternoon. Not ideal conditions for getting out for a road ride, but with the rains predicted to changeover to snow Saturday night, I wanted to get a few (emphasis on few) miles in.

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