• 2h 24m
  • 26.84 miles
  • 11.18 Mi/hr

Mike's First Annual Bonfire Ride

The cyclocross clinic was kind of "meh". The instructor was amazing --- a pro from the St. Louis area who managed to be incredibly informative, supportive and comedic all at the same time. Watching her hop on and off the bike, jump over the obstacles was worth the cost to participate, IMHO. She knew her stuff and was great at gauging experience level.

Which was the challenge -- there were 11 participants and the majority were local guys who had done quite a bit of cx already and were wanting to hone their skills. Then there was me, who had done 2 cx events, and very badly, so was basically just a beginner with no experience. And then there were 3 kids. It worked out somehow, which is a credit to the instructor's ability to manage diverse groups.

So while I enjoyed the clinic, I didn't come away with the feeling that I wanted to run out and buy a cx bike.

Mike's First Annual Bonfire, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly a success for me. I made a pot of chili and bought some brats, unsure what kind of turnout he would have. As it turns out, there are plenty of other people who don't mind riding their gravel bikes in the cold and dark. A group of 11 riders, some from Hannibal, a few from St. Louis were convening at Mike's little farmhouse when we arrived.

We started off at 4 pm and made good time getting to the town of Pearl. Temps were hovering around 42 and the roads had a bit of slop to them from the freeze-thaw. Everyone had speckles of mud on their face and stripes down their back.

The sun was setting just as we came through the Twin Culverts. I've commented about this before, but there's something almost magical about this area. The air is much cooler, courtesy of a natural spring bubbling out of the ground. With all the snow, the spring was at capacity and almost over the road.

The lead group took off at this point and I had some time to ride alone, and really enjoyed the woods in the winter. My toes were starting to feel the cold as the darkness moved in but I was pretty comfortable.

We had a blast riding the roads back to the farm. One road was a series of roller coaster hills -- you could get so much momentum on the downhill that there was very little pedaling to crest the next. The moon was sharing quite a bit of light and everyone had lights, so navigation was no problem.

Back at the farm, Mike's wife, Carrie, and his son Jason had a roaring bonfire going, and had quite the spread. We capped off the evening grilling brats and hotdogs, then made s'mores.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend -- tomorrow morning is a cyclocross clinic at Lincoln Park that is sponsored by the Springfield Park District. It's for kids or adults. And it was just $10 to register!

In the late afternoon/evening, we're going over to Pittsfield to a friend's house. Mike is really a triathlete but he organized a gravel ride that does a big loop from his rental farmhouse in Milton south to Pearl and back. About 26 miles really, so while short, it will be dark when we finish and we'll need lights. There are about 9 people planning to go. While we are riding, his son will be firing up the grill and getting a bonfire going. I'm making chili to take.

Sunday is the Dirty Petersburg ride. It's free and goes over many of the roads I use for training throughout the year. Finishes at a brewery in Petersburg. I skipped last year because it was raining and the roads had turned to mud. Looks more promising this year although it may be a little sloppy.
  • 50m
  • 16.00 miles
  • 19.20 Mi/hr

Zwift - Intervals workout

Bit of a rant that may be TMI but I'd like some opinions. Had my mammogram on Tuesday at the same place I've been going for 18 years. Today I got the call to return and get a second, more thorough scan because the radiologist thought he or she "saw something".

OK this is the THIRD consecutive time this has happened. Each time it has come back fine, that it's just "dense tissue". The first time I was a basket case. The second time, kind of meh about it. This time I'm pissed. God forbid there's actually something there, but once again I'm getting MORE radiation and I'll get a whopping medical bill because this isn't considered diagnostic.

There's no history of BC in my family. None, nada. Is it my changing body? Is it the machine that is used for the initial scan? The skill of the technician? I add the last question because these "bad" scans coincided with the retirement of the tech who had been working at the same place for a long time. I've had a different technician each time for the last three years.

Anyone deal with this?

No workouts today, just ran out of time.
  • 30m
  • 8.00 miles
  • 16.00 Mi/hr


  • 30m

Nino's routine

  • 1h 00m
  • 11.00 miles
  • 11.00 Mi/hr


  • Yoga
  • 20m
The winter storm that was predicted hit around 8 a.m. When I pulled into the parking lot at the office it was slushy rain but at least the roads were ok. By noon it was nearly whiteout conditions. I left at 4 and it took nearly an hour to drive the 8 miles home (normally a 15-20 minute commute). Looked like the plows had been out but no salt or sand. I was a nervous wreck driving in that. Fortunately everyone was being careful.

  • 1h 20m
  • 10.00 miles
  • 7.50 Mi/hr

MTB with Steve and Brenda.

Grandkid duty was pretty good overall, there were only a few meltdowns. we took them to the Ansar Shrine circus Saturday afternoon. The girls (ages 8 and 5) loved it, especially the acrobats. Marshall (age 3) was bored and didn't really understand what was going on. Sunday morning we went to Skyzone, the trampoline place. The oldest got bored pretty quickly, as we've been there several times. So it's getting difficult to figure out activities that they can all enjoy, especially in the winter when we're stuck indoors. We might start just taking one kid at a time for overnights.

We had tiem in the afternoon for a mtb ride. It's probably the last really nice day before the cold sets in. Brenda drove out and met us and we rode the Lake Trails. There were a lot of people riding today, enjoying the warmish weather. Got home just as the sun was starting to set.

A gravel riding buddy who lives in northern Illinois is wanting to organize a gravel camp near Hannibal, MO this winter. Weather permitting, I think it sounds amazing and would be a great training opportunity.

abake's Training Log

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