Monday, May 31, 2010


15 Miles (I think?)
Riverfront Park

Well, this morning my back was feeling about 75% (much better than yesterday) so I decided to go for a ride at Riverfront Park.  Since it's Memorial Day I had as much time as I wanted to goof around and I took advantage of it.  I think I did about 15 miles, my computer read 11 miles but I noticed that it wasn't reading several times and I went much further than usual.  I need to look into the bike computer issue a little and figure out what's going on.

So anyway, I had a great ride and explored some areas that I'm not as familiar with.  At the beginning of my ride, one of my pedals hit the ground throwing my bike into an uncontrollable wobble.  Both feet unclipped and flew from the pedals.  I thought I was going down.  I was able to recover (glad no one saw it) and was surprised that I didn't rack my back any more than it was.

I got lost several times over by the river and finally made it over to Norm's Island.  There were lots of people there so I just passed the island and kept going.  It was a fun ride and by the time I got home my back was feeling 85-90%.  Then I went to Lowes and installed my front door at home.  Back to 75%.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


48 Miles
Duck Creek

Thursday night I got an email from Don asking if I wanted to do a ride Saturday morning and if I would set it up with the rest of the team since he was out of the office.  I quickly responded saying that I was eager for the ride and then sent an email out to the rest of the team.  Later that night, I was trying to get the girls to bed and found Sydney hiding outside.  I got up on the trampoline with her and told her I was going to do a flip.  BOUNCE....BOUNCE....BOUNCE....AAAAAHHHH!  Before I even attempted the flip I threw out my back.  I hobbled into the house and then upstairs where I sat down and back completely locked up.  I had to crawl to bed.

I stayed home from work on Friday and tried to loosen my back up.  I went from crawling to kind of side-stepping and eventually to a very slow and careful walk.  My legs were killing me too.   They wanted to move but my back wouldn't let me.  If I happened to find a comfortable position for my back, my legs just ached.

I woke up this morning, still stiff, but looking forward to getting on the bike.  I wasn't sure I could do it  so I was going to send Sarah in my place.  Sarah convinced me to get on my bike and do a test run to see how my back was going to handle.  I rode three miles and my back felt surprisingly good(on the bike).  I decided to give it a go and rode out to meet up with Don.  We kept a good but comfortable pace.

We went up Duck Creek Road to the end of the pavement and turned around and headed out to Laurel.  Riding up Duck Creek wasn't too bad.  We even had a slight tail wind.  As we turned onto River Road to go to Laurel we hit the head wind.  I started to feel it burn in my back but I knew the ride back would be much better with the tail wind.

We made it to Laurel and turned around.  The tail wind was nice and we made it back to Billings with little effort.  I left Don at Pierce RV and headed home.  By then the wind had turned into a crosswind but I was still able to keep a good pace.  When I got home, I checked my bike computer.  45 miles.  Not bad for someone who was crawling the day before.  In fact, I almost considered continuing my ride after I got home, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't get off the bike.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Road Ridin'

15 Miles
I brought my road bike today in anticipation of doing a road ride with a friend who stood me up, he shall remain nameless.  Anyway, I took advantage of the oportunity and cranked over to the bottom of Zimmerman Trail and spun my pedals mindlessly until I reached the top, huffin' and puffin' the whole way.  At some point near the top I glanced back and noticed another cyclist gaining on me.  I wasn't about to let him pass so I kicked it into high-gear at the top and instead of resting I booked it back to 27th Street along Airport Road.  Four miles later I was still ahead but losing ground.  I checked my computer and decided that I hadn't done enough mileage yet so when I got to 27th Street I pulled off the road and hopped onto the Black Otter Trail.  Just then the other cyclist wizzed by on Airport Road.  I held him off, not my fault he wasn't going the same place as me.

The wind really picked up on the Black Otter Trail and I fought it the whole way.  At least it was mostly downhill.  I was able to hit 30 mph on 6 Ave. on my way back to the office because of the tail wind though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Combining hobbies

Seems like I don't have time to both work and play lately so I might have to look at combining some of my hobbies.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bike to Work Day

19.5 Miles
Pictograph Caves State Park

Friday was National Bike to Work Day.  I have been promoting the Bike to Work Day all week long and even organized a work group ride to Pictograph Caves State Park.  Well, if you've noticed that I haven't blogged for awhile, its because I've been crazy busy at work and haven't had a chance to go for a ride, or go home for that matter.  I hit my 40 hours some time on Wednesday and finally finished up everything that I was working on sometime on Thursday.  By the time Friday rolled around I was so exhausted that I needed a break and didn't go in to work.  So I bike to work everyday of the year except National Bike to Work Day.  Wow!

Anyway, Sarah and I did meet up with my coworkers and did our group ride.  Mike came along as well.  I wish we would have had more riders but we had a great time anyway.  It was good weather and no incidents to speak of except for some peculiar activity from Mike.  I didn't witness it all so I won't write about it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Noon Ride

11 Miles
Two Moon Park

Yeah, that's a real original entry title, I know. But sometimes nothing remarkable happens on a ride and I grasp at straws to find something to write about.  I had a nice, relaxing ride today but I think I'll just leave it at that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lost - Part ?(I lost count)

13 Miles
Riverfront Park

I went for a quick ride at Riverfront Park today.  As I was cruising along a familiar trail, I had to come to a halt because of construction equipment sitting in the trail before me.  I asked one of the workers if I could go through or if I needed to go around.  He insisted that I go around.  The only for sure way that I knew of was to back track and then skirt around the other side of the pond on the pavement - BORING!

I finally got into the trails and had a great time.  When it was time to head back, I thought I'd try to get around the construction on the trail side of the park.  I've done it once before but couldn't remember how I did it.  I ended up back at the construction site a couple times before I decided to head deeper into the park to get around it.  The only problem is that there is a marshy area right there and the trails all dead end into it.  I couldn't get myself around the marsh or the trail construction.  I finally gave up and headed back to the pavement.  Because of my mindless meandering through the park, I ended up getting back to the office a half hour late from my quick ride.  I can't say I didn't have fun though.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deer in the headlights

11 Miles
Two Moon Park

Seriously, I don't know how those creatures survive.  Today as I was riding through Two Moon Park, I came across 3 does standing on the trail.  How I keep sneaking up on these animals while I'm thrashing through the woods is beyond me.  I came flying around a tree and see them standing frozen on the trail.  I hit my brakes and make even more noise.  They still wouldn't move.  I came to a slow stop five feet away from the closest one before she snapped out of her trance and took off into the trees.  I know Two Moon Park is hardly the wild but there is a mountain lion that is supposed to frequent the area (according to a Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks ranger).  I am really shocked that these animals haven't fallen to extinction through their own stupidity.  Do they freeze when a predator surprises them as well?  ...Or maybe they are just thrill seekers playing an extreme game of chicken...

Monday, May 10, 2010


10.75 Miles
Two Moon Park

I had a great time at Two Moon Park today.  It was a quick trip and rather uneventful one besides the hoards of people on the trail today and brushing up a small herd of deer.  I did have one mishap, well maybe one mishap.  I ran over a branch that shot out from under my tire and hit the frame of my bike.  POP!  CLING!  I kept checking my tire every few minutes.  It's still holding air but I was sure I had a blow out.  Hopefully my tire will still be full when I leave work this evening.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rites of Passage

So after mentioning the cycling rites of passage in my last entry I decided to take a look and see if there actually was a list of the rites of passage.  I found a list made up by Bicycling magazine at and thought it was hilarious.  The article can be found here: Rites of Passage Article

These are just a few of my favorites "rite of passage" that I've actually accomplished (or have come close to accomplishing).
01. Realizing that the hill isn't in the way; it is the way.
02. You go from one pair of shorts to a dedicated drawerful. 
06. Bonking so bad you don't think you'll be able to make it home.
08. Starting and finishing a ride—the same one—in pouring rain. 
10. When your bike computer registers triple digits for one ride.
16. You stop riding beside and behind the pack and instead ride inside of it—with no claustrophobia.
18. You blow a snot rocket without hitting your shoulder or leg—or the rider behind you.  (Still working on that one!)
20. You get stuck in your pedals and topple over at a stoplight. (Not at a stoplight.  I have a better stoplight story though.)
22. Riding a bike through a big, congested city and feeling smarter than everyone else because you're moving.
26. Wearing out your first set of tires.
31. Fixing a busted chain.  
32. When you no longer have to stop to take off your jacket.
35. Planning a riding vacation.
36. Seeing a sunrise from the saddle.
37. Wondering how the biggest local hill would rank on the Tour de France climb classification.
42. Rolling through a stop sign—and knowing it was the right thing to do.
43. Doored!
45. Rubbing wheels—and staying up.  (Sorry Sarah.  She didn't make it)
52. Endo.
56. Figuring out how to layer without overdressing.
57. Deciding which car to buy in part based on how it will carry your bikes. 
59. Riding on a day so cold the water in your bottle freezes.
67. Naming a route.
70. Developing that "V" of muscle definition on the back of your calf.
81. Explicating your training in exquisite detail on a blog, then realizing nobody cares.
84. Riding someplace you've always driven.
85. Outsprinting a crazed dog. 
106. Feeling superstrong, then turning around for the ride back and realizing you had a tailwind.
109. Reading a rites of passage list and finding that your own favorite one is missing.

It had to happen eventually...

11.25 Miles
43 Degrees

Now that the snow has melted and the wind is blowing less than 30 mph I decided to go for a ride today at Riverfront Park.  It seemed like it would be the least muddy of my regular mountain bike rides.  Although I shivered at first, I had a great time and even caught some good air on some of the jumps. 

Around the time that I needed to turn around I found a small single track trail headed toward the lake.  I had some time to kill so I took the challenge and rode off into the trees and brush.   Now what happened next didn't surprise me but I wasn't quite ready for it either.  Although I'd never been on this particular trail before, I had been in the general area and I knew that I'd find dense brush and rough trails ahead.  In fact, I fully expected to have to turn around thinking the trail might be impassable (for bikes).  When I got into the brush the trail seemed pretty doable.  As I cranked along I forgot all of my previous concerns and just enjoyed the ride.  Then it happened.  Immediately ahead the trail turned around a tree.  As I rounded the tree the trail took another sharp turn.  I couldn't make the turn and I didn't want to run into the brush in front of me so I hit the brakes and unclipped one foot from my pedal.  Unfortunately I was leaning the other way so my free foot did me no good.  I tried unclipping the other foot but it was pinned up against some brush and I just couldn't get out in time.   
Yep, I went down into the mud and brush.  Nothing was hurt but my pride.  I got up and walked my bike down the trail another 20 yards or so before the brush opened up enough that I could mount again.  When I got back to the main trail I had to stop and pluck all of the burrs from my clothing. 

Now I've fallen several times because I couldn't pull my shoes out of pedal cages which I've sworn off using cages and switched to clipless pedals.  I have now officially had my first clipless pedal falling experience.  That's gotta be some kind of cyclists' rite of passage.