The time of year has come...the transition from summer to winter. Waning hours of daylight give into darkness and long cold nights. Going to work in the darkness of just before dawn and returning home in the darkness just after dusk is now the norm. However, one thing is missing...snow. That lasting snow that those of us who love winter are waiting for. I'm not complaining or anything, but I really would like to see a lasting white blanket on the ground sometime soon.This past week has been a busy one as far as work goes, but I have managed to have some fun on the bike. Tuesday night found me night riding in Elm Creek Park. A ride that didn't quite turn out the way one would hope. A stomach ailment and mechanicals left me scrambling to repair flats and searching for a restroom or outhouse that was not locked for the season. Fortunately the resulting search turned out to be successful and all was fine at the end of the night.
Talk of the Arrowhead 135 was flooding the blog and Facebook world. From entry limits being filled to the DNR allowing more and the entries once again reopening and expanding from the normal 75 to 100...me excluded.Saturday brought with it a cool and damp day in which I ended up riding the mtn. bike for nearly four non-stop hours. I was feeling good and just felt like riding, and riding, and riding. It wasn't a ride of any great intensity, just one of enjoyment that allowed me time to think of the coming winter and what it would bring.
Hopefully, the trails and forest roads will soon be covered in snow. The lakes will freeze over and the business of winter riding can begin in earnest. My Pugsley frame has been ordered, the Large Marge wheelset is next and hopefully in about a month I'll have my new Pugsley ready to roll into the upcoming winter season. The Arrowhead 135 has been put on the back burner until next year. Having just ordered my Pugsley and with sights set on getting into the Leadville 100 left me questioning how much money I wanted to spend on race entry fees. Plus, a big vacation to Mexico in March is also leaving me to evaluate and weigh my cycling expenses. Not to mention the ongoing improvements we want to make on the house.
However, I do have plans which don't involve races or entry fees, but rather many long solo hours on the bike over the course of this coming winter. Long lonely hours in the quiet and cold places I love in northern Minnesota. I'm really looking forward to this winter and the cycling challenges that it promises to bring.