Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Introducing ... Kermit!

Meet my new bike! "Kermit" is an Advocate Lorax that found his way to my house in late February.
Why the new bike? Well, my Vaya, Zippy, has been a good bike for me yet I was still tweaking some fit issues and with it's extra small frame I was running out of options for adding height to my handlebars etc. Also, due to the 26" tires,  I discovered my options were limited for getting better tires for riding gravel.

So, even though I loved little Zippy and he served me well, I started considering a new bike.
I talked to my favorite bike guru from Angry Catfish Bicycles, James, about what to get and quickly decided a new Vaya one size bigger than Zippy would do the trick. Sadly, my size was sold out at Angry Catfish and at Salsa Cycles. So James and I talked options. And I rode a couple of bikes and they were okay. Then I rode a demo model of the Advocate Lorax and knew within, oh, the first 20 feet of my ride that the Lorax was the bike for me. It's hard to say just why I knew...the bike just felt right.

Still, I'd never heard of Advocate really (other than my friend Griff of Mountain Bike Geezer has an Advocate Watchman fatbike and loves it) so was a little hesitant to buy a bike without knowing more about it. So I sent my friend Marty a few text messages to get his opinion of the brand. He texted back immediately saying he loves Advocate, owns one himself (or maybe it's two. I don't remember for sure), likes the Lorax and also knows the man who owns Advocate Cycles and thinks very highly of him. On top of all that, Advocate, donates 100% of their profits to bicycling advocacy efforts (read more about Advocate Cycles here)!

Marty's hearty endorsement was enough to convince me that I for sure wanted the Lorax so walked over to James and said, "Order up a green Lorax for me." So he did. And a week later I had a brand new bike!

It's a gorgeous bike - it is a stunning "Minnesota in Midsummer Green" color with orange detailing and a cool top tune graphic by artist Adam Turman. The frame is chromoly steel with a carbon fork. It has disc brakes and 700x38c wheels. Click HERE for build specs. Click HERE for frame specs.

I got out for a few short hops on Kermit in the past few weeks and now am riding it every day because I'm doing 30 Days of Biking once again (this is my eighth year!). So far, Kermit the Lorax is fitting well and is a dream to ride!






Monday, February 20, 2017

Gravel in February and Goals Ahead

We've had amazingly warm temperatures here in Minnesota as of late. It was 60 some degrees last weekend so I simply had to get out and ride some gravel on my Vaya on Sunday. Owen joined me on his Mukluk. We didn't go far (about 5.5 miles) and we didn't go fast (about 8.5 mph) but we went and that's what matters.


Riding on a sunny Sunday

I've been thinking about my bike goals for 2017. I have decided that I'd like to bike 50 miles on my 50th Birthday but I guess I haven't 100% committed to that goal as of yet. I need to decide soon as March 25th is just over a month away!

Other than that, I have plans to join two friends from high school and Owen and ride from north of Minneapolis to Canada in three days with an average of 85 miles a day. We've got that on the schedule for late July.

The road ahead
Not sure what other bicycling goals I will set for 2017. Whatever they are, I will be logging my milage on a cool little chart I made in my journal - 2017 Bike Milage Goals. I can fill in a box for every 10 miles I've ridden all the way up to 2,000 miles. 
Bike Milage Goals Chart
I've ridden 15 miles this year so far. It's not much but it's a start!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Focus on Fall

This time last year I was gearing up for my first ever century ride. I was feeling pretty fit and had done a ton of biking throughout the season including the super awesome and challenging Box of Frogs ride and a bikepacking adventure. This year I got off to a great start with some winter riding and another round of 30 Days of Biking in April. I was working on a milage challenge and had several organized rides on my calendar. Then my Dad, who had already been dealing with issues from Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia, took a bad turn and life changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

Even before Dad passed away in early July, I realized that bike riding would not be a priority and that I needed to focus on my family instead. So, save for a few rides and a three session mountain biking class in late July/early August, I really didn't ride bike all summer long.

Well, life is setting down somewhat and I'm happy to say I've managed to get out on my bike twice so far this week. I'm NOT in shape and certainly am not riding as strong as I'd like. I huff and puff up the hills and haven't ridden more than 10 miles on a ride thus far.

I get sad when I think about how I was able to ride 100 miles this time last year and realize there's no way I could do the same thing now. But, the thing for me to focus on is this - I'm riding again. I love the sound of gravel crunching beneath my tires and the feeling of the wind on my face. I enjoy riding in the fall with the cooler weather and changing leaves.

I may have lost riding this summer...but I have the fall.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Owen's Big Bike Ride

It's been ages since I've blogged about bicycling or anything else. That's mostly due to the fact that I haven't been riding my bikes much and also because my father was very sick and then passed away in early July.

That said, I didn't quit blogging entirely in this time. My husband, Owen, took off in early June to ride the Tour Divide from Canada to Mexico and while he was away I posted blog entries for him at his blog Owens Epic Rides. Some of blog posts were Owen's words alone but much of the time I added content of my own as well.

To start reading about Owen's Tour Divide ride, click on Arrived in Banff and start reading! Move forward through the posts by clicking on "Next -->" in the upper right hand corner of each blog post.

If you are a bikepacking enthusiast, you will likely want to read the post detailing Owen's gear list. Read it at Packing for the Tour Divide.


For a sneak peek at the riding conditions on the Tour Divide, here are a couple of pictures from Owen's blog.