Up one day the next down really down

Temperature that is. Friday in the morning before the winds picked up I was comfortable in short sleeves. Drove out to N Klondike TH in strong winds that kept me and the van rocking between the lines. Favorite spot was occupied as was next closer one by turns out 3 vans occupied by (gasp) younger people. Winds were picking up dust then blasting whatever was down wind. One was me. I was not headed directly into the blasts forecast to 30mph+. I squared the van to the wind and hunkered down. Ferocious winds. Moab airport recorded a 48mph gust at 5:30PM. I rode that one out. Then the temp dropped down to 17 degrees the next AM but the winds abated. The Propex furnace at 6,000 BTUs is just too light weight for my heat loss. I fan the catalytic heater on high all night which didn’t stay ahead of the cold, 47 Degrees inside. The doubled light weight down blanket allowed too much body heat to escape which left me unwarm hiding under the blanket until the sun added solar gain.

Sat ride was under crystal clear skies but chilly. I rode with insulated tights which turned out to be too warm. I rode out Dino Flow and returned on the west side trails for an easier ride. Spoke with 2 couples from the vans. One is from Ohio and have been on the road for 11 months but heading back to Ohio for T-Day. Other couple from CO. Talked about trails we have ridden. Ohio couple had ridden Switchgrass in Kansas and enjoyed it.

Friday I was examined by a DR about my leg issues. She as each have said my condition is caused by valves in the leg veins don’t close suffieiently to prevent back flow of blood and lymph and compression socks are not the ticket yet which explains why the mid level compression sock was very painful. Oh well, fine tuned and carefully abused body is wearing out.

Fri I bought Grisham’s new book, Rooster Bar. DR suggested that I elevate my legs for an hour to let gravity help return the good stuff which gave me the perfect reason to lay on my back with my nose in the book. Fun read. My legs started barking about 45 mins.

Somehow I hit the wrong function which is choosing this type and won’t upload pics. caused by my ignorance which can be overcome, not stupidity which happened at conception.

Sunday I waited for the heat of the day to come on before pedaling away, this time with just knee warmers which slipped down because the leg length of the liner with its grippers was too short. I finished with them down my shins. I figured this might be my last ride here this visit so I chose some of the more demanding trails. I blew up on several of the steeper climbs. 13.3 miles and climbing 1364′, finally a 100’/mile. Ran into Eric from Hurkin whom I dissed back in Sedona for dragging his rear brake. I told him I did the same thing on a Flag trail.

Yesterday the forecast low said 19 degrees. I used only 1 layer of the down blanket and added my opened 20 degree down sleeping bag over and ran the heater on high. About 3 I woke up because I was hot. I checked the outside temp which was 30 degrees. WTF?. I readjusted the covers and turned down the heater to medium and sought more sleep. Not happening. Damn. temp dropped to 25 degrees. A less than rewarding sleep.

I started looking at RV heaters. I need more BTUs. Or, I can cope with chill for maybe 3 months and save the $. First heaters I liked at have the BTUs but require space that I didn’t design for.

My dropper post was not fully extending, a new case of needing cleaned and regreased. I scored shop time at Chile Pepper this AM giving me the reason to get on the road early. The shop called saying the post is happy again.

At Gearheads while filling my water tank a guy approached me and asked if I was the guy riding all over. I said yes. he thanked me as he had read the Bike Mag article then set out to ride in he said 49 states. Always good to be an example to others. He said he just added more years of home stay as he just married a family.

Steve mailed me a book The stranger in the Woods about a guy who lived as a hermit for 27 years. Will be an interesting read. Thanks Steve.

La Sals have a visible dusting of snow up high. Cloudy today. Forecast weather is for above freezing at night and low 60s daytime and clear. Good riding weather.
I might head to Hurkin on Fri or wait till holiday traffic clears on Mon. Their conditions are still favorable. I have been here for 25 days.

Monster ride

OK it is relative. I am 68 years old. My body gives what it gives, it is past able to match you youngsters. My addled memory stored something like if the ride wasn’t 30 miles long I would not even take my bike off the van. 9 years later making the memory recall just that. I ride what I am willing to push my body. Mileage and ride times are becoming shorter. The newer norm is 2 hours long with distance determined by the trail.

Having started off this blog with a qualification to defend my 30 mile pedal ride today. I started with frisky tempered my age wisdom that this would be a long ride and there had better be enough stuffing to make it back to that chilled beer. I camped just off the highway at Horse Thief XG road down a short distance on a pipe line road. On a crowded weekend out here I spied a white camper parked here. I chose it as it is almost right at Chisholm trail parking lot where it crosses said road. Maybe 16′ dia welded above ground pipe line, empty of contents. It heats up during the day then contracts at night making scary sounds.

The ride would be a lollipop or cherry stem or out and back on Chisholm trail connecting to the Navajo Rocks system. I really like Chisholm as it jukes and jibes washes with lots of stepups. Keeps attention focused. 5.8 miles to connect with Big Lonely turning east to cross the highway and become Coney Island which mostly goes downhill on great distances of sand. I pedaled up it several times previously which was not fun till I learned about using Middle earth trail to make a figure 8 loop. Down on the sand, cross middle earth, mostly descend on Ramblin crossing the highway now on Rockytop which has several features that I am not able to make mostly because I run out of gas at the move. Turn right on Middle earth for connection back to Big Mesa climb which becomes Big Lonely again. A bit more of it to the Chisholm trail to climb back home.  As the distance grew my strength declined, what I was able to ride on previous short loops became walk ups. Day started chilly at 10:30 with a long underwear top and heavier jersey, knee socks and knickers and the wind shirt. Going slightly downhill. Body heat eliminated need for wind shirt. Somewhere later I removed the underwear top. The day heated up making what I wore too warm. Patience as I pedaled thru the heat of the day, on Chisholm towards 3PM the heat of the day turned chilly. I stayed the chills by riding and not insulating myself. I did alter my senses with the indica at the Chisholm junction heading home. I stacked the deck so to speak to put effort into pedaling home and none into just poking along. 30.2 miles pedaling 4 hrs 12 mins and climbing 2463′. back at the van at 3:45, sundown is just before 5. Enjoyed solar warmth of van.
I use a garmin edge 520 and wear the heart rate strap, algorims inside compute data, after the ride it determined i needed 26 hours of recuperation before next feat.

I have been riding 510 freerider pros for less than a year. The nubs on the soles were wearing down such that my feet were slipping off the pedals. Chile Pepper warrantied a new pair. Last 2 rides I am back to feet stuck to the pedals sometimes uncomfortably so as making slight foot placement adjustments harder as I need to lift my foot clear of the pedal. Taking some getting used to.

Shorter daylight hours to power the solar panel putting volts into my camper batteries seemed that what was saved didn’t last as long. I visited an Interstate battery store and asked to check the camper battery under the passenger seat. While in the van the meter errored indicating the battery was toast. I removed it and took it inside where the tech tested again. This time a value was registered along with message replace soon. less that 30 months old gave me a new battery.

The furnace blower sucks volts and the output cools as outside temp drops. I have been using the catalytic heater during the night. One night on lowest setting I woke up to noxious odor as it burns cleanly on low. I ran it on medium the rest of the night. Last night while burning on medium it shut off some time during the night. I learned that as I woke up chilly. Plugged orifice? Checked later today with performance success.

Hardly anybody at XG or dispersed camping let alone number of riders on the trails. Yesterday I counted 11, today I didn’t count but there were fewer than 20.

Forecast now predicts possible showers later this week. Still in 60s high.

Must be strong indica

I came upon some homegrown that produces an almost negligible head buzz but packs a strong indica stay on the couch buzz. Sat was a recovery ride out N Klondike area. The rocks were all doable and pedaling easily was OK. Pretty quiet out there.

Klondike area

System can make your choice of a loop how eve long or tough. Every intersection has a map with a smiley face for your location. How much work do you want to expend? The uphills have lots of step ups but if ridden the other way they are drops or rolls. Mostly deserted. Spent Sunday night same spot.

Monday was resupply run into town. Town traffic is lessened. Water, groceries, propane, shower, bike fix then back out to Horse Thief and my preferred vista spot. While getting dressed in the locker room a familiar voice called me by name. It came from Rick of Spokane. I prefer to park facing sunrise that happens at 6:59AM. Today I woke up to the sun’s blaze in my eyes.


I crawled back under the covers for postponing getting up.

Today I drove out to the Chisholm TH just b4 the highway which eliminated riding the dirt road. I planned on riding Great Escape which is past Arth’s Corner, my previous return point. Again, a vape bowl of good feeling but lack of umph started my ride. Easy effort. My left knee started barking caused by the time I tried to pedal real hard with my seat way low,feed back was a stuffed knee. I turned back at Arth’s. Still my ride was 18 miles for 2 1/2 hours of pedaling. Trails here climb less than 100′ / ,mile. Ran into 10 riders. Last one greeted me as we rode sort of together back at Victor, ID.

Land out here is BLM. Public funds paid for 3 cattle guards across the state highway. Land is open range land which means the cows have the right away and if you hit one you are liable to pay the rancher. This is desert. No idea what fills cows methane belching bellies but their hooves beat up the trails. A few people make (?) money off public land that their cows destroy. We all pay for the destruction. One cattle guard on the trail did not deter cows from crossing.

walk across

I have been wearing 510 Freerider Pro shoes for less than a year. Recently I noticed my feet not sticking to the Catalyst pedals. I asked about warranty info at the bike shop. Guy said they should last more than a year and gave me a new pair. Today riding the new shoes I rediscovered what it is like to be stuck to the pedals again.

Yielding to the climbing rider still seems to be foreign to some riders. I usually stop while going uphill keeping my tread in the tread to yield to descending rider who doesn’t seem to understand that they are the ones to be yielding. And again, in spite of graphics depicting how to yield posted at major intersections the lesson doesn’t register.

Going to create a dinner edible then listen to the Zags on XM.

No precip in forecast. Going to bus tables at WabaSabi Thanksgiving dinner.