My blog about anything biking!

Posts tagged “Mukluk

Riders Block.

I’m not even a professional writer and I have writer’s block. I have been tossing around some topics for this week, but couldn’t seem to nail one down. I don’t want to bore everyone with updates of how training is going, because that’s redundant. There is, of course, the big story – Lance. I can give my opinion, but I’m not even sure what it is. Wait, disappointment. That’s my opinion.

It’s almost the end of January and I still feel like I just started to get my butt in gear for training. After last week’s rude awakening of riding, I knew I needed to get out on my bike at ANY opportunity.

Last winter was dry and cold so there was ample time to be on the bike. Last weekend was wet, foggy and cold with poor visibility. Not my visibility, but cars’ visibility to see us. Even with my blinky tail light last weekend, the sound of a car coming up behind us was a bit unnerving. The only comfort you have on some roads is hearing the tires hit the rumble strips of the two yellow lines.

I did pretty good keeping up on the flats.

I did pretty good keeping up on the flats.

This weekend was MUCH nicer and I was dying to get out on the road bike. My mind played against me on Saturday. No one else was riding andI get nervous riding alone. The sun was out and the sun was blinding. Saturday ended up with me trail running behind to Mukluks as they road through Lackawanna State Park which was 6 miles of fun on the snow, ice and mud. I also managed to spin for an hour that day too and cook a dinner for my hubby and parents. It was a great day!

Had to stop and take a photo of the partially frozen lake at LSP.

Had to stop and take a photo of the partially frozen lake at LSP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That left Sunday as the day I needed to get on my bike, but it was about 40 degrees and the wind was gusting at 20mph. It’s now or never, I thought. With single digit temps looming and snow next weekend, my road bike would only be hooked to the trainer. This was my chance. I suited up in my dorkiest and brightest gear. I turned my blinky light on and I was off. A short 20-mile ride with about 2,000 feet of climbing was accomplished. It was windy, my face was wind burned but I was happy.

Road bike in snow...weird.

Road bike in snow…weird.

So, there you have it, I blogged about my training. I knew it would resort to that, but you know what? That’s okay. I am proud of what I am trying to accomplish. And I’ll feel good if I can gain any support from some people or if I can encourage others.

I hope everyone enjoys reading about my progress. I really can’t wait for my first race to really give this blog some character. Last week, my blog views crushed 1,000. I am so thankful that you all read about my journey and leave such wonderful comments. Thank you!

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The Best Day

Absolutely beautiful trails.

Lackwanna State Park

As it does every year, Christmas came and went with the blink of an eye.  So much anticipation, so much prepping and then boom, it’s done.  I must say that this Christmas break has been my favorite as it has been filled with watching Christmas movies, seeing friends, family and of course mountain biking.

Since the snow is here, I have mixed emotions; I love it and hate it.  I love to ski but, holy cow have prices gone up and it’s just not worth it this year.  So, my skis will hang for the season most likely.  Anything more than a few inches makes it tough to ride my bike on trails without cursing at it along with the snow. Riding in snow makes me feel like I have no ability whatsoever.  There isn’t enough snow to snowshoe so, what do I do to get some cardio?! Certainly not run on the road because, well, that just sucks, so, off to the woods I go!

I threw on my best Under Armour gear, my wool cap and laced up my Saucony Kinvara summer trail sneaks and headed out to Lackawanna State Park.  Such a gem that is so close to us.  I parked my PT Cruiser in the snow, sat for a few minutes, prepped my GPS, Pandora and honestly, sat and debated if I wanted to run or not.  “Just go, you’ll warm up and like it. You would also like to go home and snuggle up on this cold afternoon too,” I thought.

My Saucony Kinvara trail runners.

My Saucony Kinvara trail runners.

I started running much faster than I should have, but anything to warm up in the 28 degree, raw weather.  Within about 5 minutes, sweat was dripping from my cap, my hands were sweating and this turned into the best day ever.  I have a lot of best day evers and it usually occurs in the woods.  Suddenly, on the ground, tracks are spotted.  A deer? A rabbit? Nope.  A Mukluk! My run followed these fatbike tire tracks up and around the normal loop where I ran into, not literally, the Mukluker having his best day ever experience (shout out to Steve!).  He couldn’t believe how great the bike rode in the snow and talked about how he wasn’t even struggling with the bike on the technical stuff.  Off he went and on I went with my run and the next 10 minutes, I was wishing for a Mukluk to ride to get my fix.

Hunting mukluk tracks.

Hunting mukluk tracks.

All in all, my run was 3.5 miles at a decent pace in the snow.  This was the run to get me going and starting to trail run again.  Snowshoeing will happen as we get more snow, but a run in the woods clears my head, keeps my cardio up and works those muscles I fail to usewhile riding.  With the snow having landed, people will stay inside, wish there was more to do…well, there is a lot to do.  The get up and go part of it is the hardest, but when you get out, it could be the best day ever.

Happy Trails!

The infamous, terrible self portrait.

The infamous, terrible self portrait.


It’s freezing wait, nevermind!

After a week of being sick and not riding, I was excited to be back on the bike!  Northeast PA can be tricky with weather and the elements that it provides.  Jack (my hubby) and I can walk out of the house and it will be in the 40’s, and by the time we arrive at our ride destination, in the 30’s!! This happened on Saturday when we hit up Merli Sarnoski in Carbondale.  Everyone on the ride was quite surprised by the amount of snow as we started, but those Mukluker’s did a good job packing the snow for us skinny tires!! I still have my race tires on Maxxis Crossmarks, which are rollers and don’t really have a ton of traction, or so I thought.  I had no trouble on the snowy trails, rocks and slippery singletrack.  Very pleased with how the rubber was able to grip to the roots, and snow did not stick in the tread that I do have.  Way to go Maxxis, I’m going to push these puppies all winter!

My Niner EMD rocked on the snowy trails.

My Niner EMD rocked on the snowy trails.

Alaina and I in front of a frozen, foggy lake at Merli.

Alaina and I in front of a frozen, foggy lake at Merli.

This time of year is all about fun and just being able to ride my bike with friends.  Well, it’s always about fun and friends but right now, there is no thoughts of, “I need to train for the next endurance race coming up!! AHH!!” Friends are getting new bikes, Jack is getting back into riding and this is the best form of therapy; especially with the busy holidays around us.

Skip to the next day and the temperature was up about 15 degrees and we headed to Lackawanna State Park.  Mud.  Not all of it but we definitely found some.  LSP is a great state park that has a mix of everything.  You can get away with not doing a lot of climbing or you can, you can ride flowy trails or you can hit some technical parts too. Today, there were traces of snow but overall, it was beautiful out, short sleeves and I was fine!

Rolling uphill through the mud...a couple of extra pedal strokes and we were through.

Rolling uphill through the mud…a couple of extra pedal strokes and we were through.

Well, that was my hindsight weather report :o)  I really do hope that regardless of the weather, cold or not, you can get outside and enjoy the day.  I am thankful that I have Jack, great friends, live in a great area and have the best bike ever, my Dirty.  I had to name it since my other 2 EMD chick’s named theirs…it was the only name since it is never, ever clean.

Ride On!