Snow Corners

I went out for a cold ride today. Victoria was supposed to get snow last night, and at our house we did get some (less than an inch). I had been hoping for a snow ride, but that didn’t pan out. The closer I got to the dump, the less snow there was on the ground.

Still, it was a great ride. Cold, but not too slippery. Crunchy. I love the sound of my tires creaking through snow, or crashing through icy puddles.

I had Heart with me, and she had a great time too. On Shock Treatment, the first trail from the parking lot, she was going full tilt. She was in front of me, and would sprint as fast as she could until I was out of sight. We call it a puppy run (where she runs with her bum a little closer to the ground than normal, and is running full tilt). As soon as I rounded a corner, I could see she was waiting for me in the middle of the trail, and when she saw me she would turn and sprint away as fast as possible. Very funny.

I had my Bullit out today to give myself more of a workout in an effort to keep warm. That worked very well. I even managed to work out the kinks in the recent work that was done on my drivetrain. They adjusted, but I found it was still skipping gears at very inopportune times.

My final trail of the day was Who’s Yer Daddy. This is a fairly technical DH trail, but it is a lot of fun. I was 3/4 of the way down when I landed a jump in a bad spot, I felt my rear wheel slam hard into a rock. A couple corners later I felt something was off in the rear end, and sure enough I had pinch flatted.

I got out the tool kit and began trying to take the muddy, wet, snowy tire off the rim. What a pain that was. DH rims had sidewalls that are a little taller than normal rims to try and keep the tire seated better. I also had wire beads on the rear tire. It took me a long time to get the tire off.

Back at the car I went to hose off my bike, but couldn’t as the hose was frozen solid! Nice. The dog dish was a block of ice too (not that Heart would have had a drink anyway).

Fall will always be my favorite time of year to ride, but rides like this are truly spectacular. If I had enough of them they may make me change my mind.

Crisp Wander

Heart and I got out for a fall ride at the dump yesterday. The conditions were spectacular. Very crisp, sunny, tacky dirt, not too much mud. Couldn’t have asked for more. Well, actually I would. I wished my legs had been up to the task. I just never felt warmed up, which was really odd.

We did a nice loop that incorporated some of the lower trails. Then we went up for a bit, ending up at C-Section. I had heard another rider mention night shift, and I thought that was a great idea. I started up the correct road for Night Shift, but as I got to the trail head, I decided to climb some more to get to Who’s Yer Daddy. Trail wise I was feeling on. I was hitting jumps here and there with ease, but my legs never felt like they had any power, and they ran out of what power they had quickly.

Heart is a great trail companion though. She sticks pretty close to me, and doesn’t wander much. Very different than Yoshi. I love riding with Heart, I just need to keep an eye on her still because when she does get separated, she gets a little frantic and goes the wrong way. When she gets tired, she starts to lag behind me. At the end of my ride, I am generally going pretty fast down the last couple sections.

In any event, she was tuckered out from the ride and wanted in to the truck as soon as possible.

View Nov 6, 2011 Dump Ride With Heart in a larger map

Total Distance: 6.70 km (4.2 mi)
Total Time: 59:23
Moving Time: 47:14
Average Speed: 6.77 km/h (4.2 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 8.52 km/h (5.3 mi/h)
Max Speed: 27.00 km/h (16.8 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 102 m (335 ft)
Max Elevation: 246 m (807 ft)
Elevation Gain: 235 m (772 ft)
Max Grade: 12 %
Min Grade: -9 %

Downside Spokes

Saturday I got out for a mountain bike ride. Originally it was going to be a road ride, but the other people I was going to ride with had to change their plans. Instead I took Heart out to the dump for a spin.

I was expecting the trails to be in pretty nasty condition due to the rain earlier in the morning, but I found them to be pretty good actually. The downside I saw was that any time I brushed by some grass or bumped a tree, I got drenched.

He ride itself was pretty good. I felt great on the bike, but I need to spend more time on my Bullit to get my timing back, and to feel confident when jumping. My legs felt strong, and I climbed some hills that I wouldn’t have been able to a few months ago. From the parking lot I went up Pooh corner, up past Inventive, then over to C-Section. Then I went to Walk Up, and came down South Ridge. It is vry depressing being at that end of the trail system and seeing all the new property markers encroaching on the trails. I made my way onto Fun Trail until I could cut onto Green Ribbon. I did a few more trails at the far end of the park before making my way back to the truck.

Heart had a good time and didn’t lose me at all this ride. Back at the truck, she jumped in as soon as I opened the door, and curled up in the back seat.

The only bad thing that happened was that when downshifting my chain jumped off the largest cog and into the spokes where it got jammed up pretty good. This happened twice, and both times it took me a while to sort things out.


Here is the map from the ride. For some reason, there is a section missing.

View June 18 in a larger map
Total Distance: 5.57 km (3.5 mi)
Total Time: 1:49:06
Moving Time: 1:11:57
Average Speed: 3.07 km/h (1.9 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 4.65 km/h (2.9 mi/h)
Max Speed: 24.37 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 112 m (368 ft)
Max Elevation: 254 m (834 ft)
Elevation Gain: 272 m (891 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: -8 %

Figured Chewing

Hearty, Hearty, Hearty. What are we going to do with you? Just when we think we have her figured out, she throws a curveball. We know that Heart will chew on things if we don’t clean up properly, yet sometimes she gets into things that we don’t expect. The other day it was some Kleenex’s. Today some plastic bags and a bottle of sunscreen (she didn’t get into he sunscreen itself, just chewed the bottle).

The other day though, she outdid herself. Sue and the kids were outside playing. I was inside making dinner. Elliot had been playing with Heart and the chuckit was laying on the ground. A couple moments later I looked out and saw Heart chewing on a blue ball. It dawned on me that she was chewing her chuckit. I yelled, but she only looked at me, then resumed. I ran out there and she droped it, but the damage was done. A few chews had ruined the part of the chuckit that hold the ball. Damn. I think she thought that it was another ball to play with.

Now we need to buy another one.

Curve Pieces

And so it begins. Yoshi was destructive when he was bored. Heart is too. We keep lots of toys out for her and do our best to clean up before we go out. But sometimes she throws us a curve ball. So far Heart has only destroyed a few plastic toys of Amy’s and Elliot’s. Today she took it up a notch.

She found Sue’s brand new pair of riding glasses and spare lenses, and chewed them to smithereens. Some pieces are still missing.

Quietly Habit

Heart is such a unique dog. She is sweet and lovely, but has a few funny qualities.

Sometimes she gets super excited when we get home. I mean, SUPER excited. As in crazy barking, running around, doing lags around the outside of the house excited. The kids generally get out of her way, but someday someone is going to get hurt.

The other thing is that in the morning when Heart come upstairs, she comes up ever so quietly, walks into out room and curls up on her bed up there. One of the reasons we locked Yoshi in the kitchen at night was because in the summer he would wake up at 5 am and come racing up the stairs. He was so loud he woke everyone up. Yoshi was a morning dog and never slept in. Heart will stay one her bed sleeping as long as there is no movement in the room.

Another peculiar habit is that she is a garbage can surfing dog. If we forget to close the cupboard, she will dip in there and find something to grab. She doesn’t always eat it though. Sue told me a story about this once, and I just experienced it today. The kids were on the couch watching TV. I had just sat down to read some blogs on my computer. Heart would not settle down. She was waling around the dinner table where I was sitting, then would walk around the couches. She did lay down at one point, then promptly got up. It was starting to get a little annoying. Then she walked toward me and she was holding her jaw funny.

I suddenly remembered Sue telling me a similar story and how Heart had gone into the garbage can and carried around something in her mouth for awhile. I grabbed her and opened her mouth. Sure enough there was a piece of celery stalk that I had likely dropped on the ground. It’s almost like she wants to eat the food/garbage, but knows it is wrong. Instead she skulks around the house with it in her mouth thinking “I am in so much trouble”, but unable to put the food down. Silly girl.

Anniversary Office

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Yoshi’s death. I still think about him a lot, and I still miss him a lot. He was a great dog, and even though we have Heart now (who is another great dog), the hole he left behind is still there. I find it hard to believe that a year has gone by already. I still distinctly remember his last night with us, and the awful trip to the vet’s office.

Having Heart around does help since she is so similar to Yoshi, but her differences make me think about him. I kind of like that. I never intended to replace him.