I'm trying hard to squeeze the most that I can out these last few days of 2009. Generally around this time Patti and I are enjoying time up on the North Shore of Lake Superior, but this year has been different. Family commitments over the holidays have kept us home and the weather, until yesterday, hasn't been great for travel anyway.
The storm that hit us has left a frozen mess here in Maple Grove. One that the city seems to be struggling with. As of this morning...none of the bike trails have been cleared, the streets are in a horrible state and motorists have no patience for cyclists on the already crowded and icy roadways.
Yesterday I ventured out on the bike for the first time since before the storm. The photos pretty much show the conditions I ran into. Not ideal and they probably won't be for some time to come. In the meantime I wait for my rims to arrive so the Pugsley can be built and I can get out and do some serious winter riding in the northwoods.
After being out bid yesterday morning on a Pugsley wheelset I received an email from Bikeman stating that the 80mm Graceful Fat Shebas were in and ready to ship. Without hesitation I immediately placed an order along with express shipping. The Shebas were much cheaper than the Surly Large Marges. Actually they were less than half the price! So the extra money for shipping was justified. Plus, the fact of the matter is that nobody seems to know when the Surly rims will be available. So, I just gained 15 mm of width on my rims. I also finally decided on a front hub and ordered a Paul single speed along with the Surly Mr. Whirly crank arms, 94 mm spider, chainring, and bottom bracket set up. We're custom building the crank piece by piece. This way I can easily and without a great deal of expense switch over to a geared set-up.
Now I can start saving money for bags, a rack, and more winter gear. Thanks Jill for your inspiration. That's the excuse I now use when my wife asks me how much money I've been spending on this "Pugsley thing."
This morning I found myself wishing I had gone moonlight snowshoeing instead of wasting four hours of time watching the Minnesota Vikings. I will not make that mistake again. To make up for it I went for a one hour run on the icy streets. It was a very slow run, but it still beats going running indoors any day of the week. I'm sticking to my promise to run outside all winter no matter what the temp.
Tonight... I will be moonlight snowshoeing up in the park and hopefully cooking something up on the grill.