Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crotch of Iron

It's been a while, you're just gonna have to deal.

Short version: laid off on January 5th, looked for job A LOT until I landed a bike mechanic position on April 6th.

I've been biking some this winter and spring. My commute to work is 36 miles round trip (to work 12 hour shifts mostly). I'm going to put a light, rack and basket on my bike this week to make it possible (Thanks So I've been biking more this week and today I rode the annual Iron Crotch in Wisconsin.

This is an "alternative" ride to the Iron Man ride which is a popular spring ride in MN which involves a boring course, lots of car traffic and lots of inexperienced riders (and costs $30 more than the Iron Crotch). The Iron Crotch ride if you haven't guessed already is a gorgeous course through the countryside of Wisconsin, has much less car traffic, and the riders tend to be more experienced...and there is a lot less of them: 175 limit versus 1000s- billions depending on whether Greg Lemond shows up to give a grumpy pants speech or not.

Today's 60 mile ride was punctuated by rain. One of my fellow 8 riders had a leak in his camel back which got his backside wet right at the beginning of the ride. Turned out not to matter one bit. I'm not adverse to riding in the rain, but when it warms up to 43F that makes for some cold riding.

At the 1/2 way point some of my fellow band of riders were tempted to quit as they took in the warmth of a coffee house, but thankfully our fearless leader talked them into continuing (props to Jim for riding 35 miles to the start of the event and then back, at least I hope he made it back, somebody with more energy should really check on that).

Since the weather forecasts all week said there would be rain today (90% chance when I checked again this morning) I brought my rain gear. I even had plastic bags for my feet (stick them around your socks, insert socks into shoes: works well for about 20 miles or so which I learned the hard way today). Next time I will try tucking them into the tops of my socks instead of just under my biker-tights ( I have no idea if that's the right term and I'm too tired to look it up right now so there).

To my amazement hardly any other riders showed up with rain gear???!?!? Even fearless Jim who was staring down 130 miles over the course of the day was wearing all wool?!?! When he started shivering I told him if he started taking off his clothes (one of the last things people with hypothermia do before they perish) I was going to tackle him and hold him down until the others got his pants back on.

It was a fun ride in that I got to spend some time talking to good folks. We only managed 13.5 MPH average, but it was more fun chatting than trying to stick to some sort of speed regimen. I have a much longer ride planned for later this summer so this was a good start for some of those base miles.

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