Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh Deer

Monday the riding was great.  Temps were in the low 30s (being generous) so the ground was frozen solid, making things super fast!  My feet were already cold while driving out to Cutler, and I had to make a stop at the LBS to pick up an extra tube and some patches as I was down to my last tube in the rear... I had planned on setting it back up tubeless, but my tire wasn't seating correctly and I didn't want to wrestle with it all morning so I just threw my extra tube in and headed out.  I wanted to ride, not go in frustrating circles!!

When I got to the trail I got my stuff together real quick like and hit the trail.  My fingers froze almost instantly as I was not wearing appropriate winter gloves.  That was remedied by stopping to move big limbs and the like from the trail a few times, seemed to get things circulating and after that the cold was not an issue.  I did run into a group of 6 deer, in the same spot I always come across deer at Cutler.  As I crested the hill and one deer shot across the trail I froze as he was heading toward the highway and I certainly didn't want a smashed deer on my conscience.

He paused and the rest of the group stayed where they were just staring at me.  It was so cold I couldn't get my phone to recognize my glove, or my finger, running across the screen.  By the time I got the phone to respond the large group to my left scattered.

I caught at least 3 deer in this picture, can you find them? (crappy IPhone)
The one to my right, the highway side, didn't budge.  As I started to go I was careful not to spook him, which is pretty much impossible when dealing with deer.  Luckily he crossed back over the trail in front of me and darted off to rejoin the herd/pack/clan.
Crappy no zoom in the cold IPhone... but as you see by the lack of trees between, he wasn't too far off.
I did a lot of exploring on my ride.  Normally I have a pretty fixed route and never take some of the small off shoots I see on my way, today I decided to take them... see where they went, and hopefully expand my ride loop.  Some side adventures were useful, others not so much, but all were fun.  At one point I apparently followed some game trail to nowhere and had to backtrack a little, but that's the fun - right?  I also ran into a cemetery and an apartment complex where they seem to have built their own trail that links up with the loop I ride.

As I was coming back through the "business side" of things I noticed my front wheel cutting on my when making turns.  ugh oh...  I stop and feel the front tire.  Yup, that's soft!  So I gave it a spin hoping that there is good sealant left from the season and thankfully I started seeing caffe latex sputter out.  Must have taken a thorn.  I actually remembered to bring my hand pump, so I pull that out and notice it is in horrendous shape.  I throw it on the front wheel and pump... but that doesn't feel right.

I stop immediately and check to see if the pump is working... yeah not so much.  I open the thing up and gravel comes out...  I feel the tire again.  I can make it (fingers crossed).  I didn't have too far to go by this point so I just rode it out.  When I got back to the pterodactyl I grabbed my floor pump and strap it onto the front wheel - I was curious to see how much pressure I had in there.
5 lbs of pressure in the front.  Will I be riding 5lbs in the future, I hope not.  But it did show me I can probably run lower pressure than I have been, so I guess that is cool.

My legs felt awesome on Monday, which I was psyched about.  Yesterday I did some threshold training on the trainer, and I felt pretty good there too.  Today after work it's time to hit the gym and really put these legs to work!

Oh, we had our first snow yesterday!  Totally didn't expect to see snow on the ground as I was leaving for work, but it was kinda nice.  Of course, it drizzled and made it into the 40s in the afternoon so everything was washed away... but it also means trails are going to be garbage unless things dry out quick or freeze up solid again.  Either way, fingers crossed for some good conditions toward the end of the week!

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