Thursday, February 28, 2008

When's the Icy Beard-Off?

It was a beautiful snowy commute home today. I went without a balaclava in order to feel the texture of ice in my beard. Wind was moderate and blowing wet snow out of the southeast. This photo shows my beard a bit ice-heavy on the right side. That's the side of my face that was turned toward the wind on my ride north and east coming home. Cool, eh? Thanks to April for snapping the image and laughing at me for being such a dork. By the way, kids love ice-beard!

A certain biker who loves to take icy shots of his beard, poke fun at lords lack-beard in general, and post sarcastic comments about me on various blogs also rides to work in Bloom-town. I say: Icy Beard-Off! Name the morning. 8:30 in the a.m. at the Target Corral on American and Penn.

Snow has given way to icy drizzle at press time. Lows around 20 tonight. Another wonderful pre-spring traction-fest on tomorrow's commute. Hey, Sherlock, speaking of tomorrow, it's Leap Day. Whatcha gonna do? I'm celebrating with a post-work beer cruise and fire at the river with some friends. You should come, too. I plan to see how much firewood I can load onto the Dummy. Meeting at the sledding hill on Minne Pkwy 2-3 blocks east of Lyndale around 6:30. After a refreshing bevy or two we head east to Minne Park for a blaze at the big fire ring below the VA home. Yeah, it'll be chilly; it'll be fun; it'll be interesting getting my long bike out of the gorge via the now freshly-snow-covered trail. But Feb 29th only happens, well, once every four years or so. Might as well make it memorable.

Big Dummy update: I mounted a cyclocomputer to it last night. Yep, I'm a geek for biking by the numbers. I had the suspicion that the Dummy is not any slower than the Cross-Check on my average commute. Turns out it isn't. With some weird road conditions today and a partial head wind to and from work, I logged a 13.7 average -- same as a 2F commute last week on the X-Check. (For reference, a stellar commute on a warm day with dry roads and cooperative traffic timing is typically 17mph.) I even carted home an extra bulky 5lbs on one side of the V Rack tonight. Two things the long bike has going for it: inertia and a low profile rear end. Get it up to speed and it carries that speed. In tailwinds it flies. When you hit a sustained hill you can feel that you're pulling a heavy bike up the grade. But it all averages out, and it's nothing like pulling a trailer up hills. I mention this because I really thought that the Dummy with its weight (it has at least 12, maybe 15lbs over my X-Check) and 26X2.1 tires would be a slow ride. It isn't. That's my shameless Big Dummy plug for today.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


mark said...

meh, I've seen better.

Patch O'Houli said...

But I have a secret tactic: an insulated plant misting bottle which I will use to spray my face every 60 seconds during the ride. Yeah! Wait, I guess it's not a secret tactic any longer.

TOMMY GUN said...

you call that a beard?