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Back in the Saddle

Old 11-26-20, 06:23 AM
  #1  
Zoxe
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Back in the Saddle

I'm not even sure where to start.
I guess it's here: At long last, I'm back in the saddle. Or at least I think I could be. I'm in that weird state of wanting to be all-in and enthusiastic while not actually having executed much yet.

I wrote a bit in the Introduce Yourselves thread and won't rehash that here. I'm heavier than I'd like to be, and need a source of stress relief. After scratching my chin at what bike to get most of the season, I went for a Twin6 Standard Titanium FSU with their house build. She arrived Tuesday and I was able to pedal a bit last night.

So today (Thanksgiving day) could be my first significant outdoor ride since 2017. I'll be biking on our own property - early in the pandemic, Mrs. Zoxe and I reopened old trails on our 10 acre property, and carved new. We used them to walk at lunch while we were working from home, but in the back of my brain, these were mtn bike paths. I didn't own a mountain bike, and dabbled with some gravel/knobbies on my old Surly Cross Check. It was still geared for road use and quite brutal.

There is more trail work to do -- there's a creek/ditch that needs a deck/bridge built over it. That lumber arrived this week. There's a short section that's passable single file that needs widening. But I'll do that work on another day - today there's a new bike that needs to be ridden.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-26-20, 08:58 AM
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brown county st park
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Old 11-27-20, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by banana jam View Post
brown county st park
Perhaps! Will need to find my lungs and legs again before we get too serious. We also have some nice trails just a few miles from the house.

Was able to get outside yesterday, make some adjustments, and got a couple of laps around the property trails. Nothing too crazy, but showed that the bike will work well for what I'd intended. Fit and gearing is both good. Very happy right now.
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Old 11-28-20, 04:49 PM
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Had other chores to do outside, so no riding, but it was nice and sunny so I retook the FSU pictures.
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Old 12-05-20, 01:16 PM
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Yesterday I took the day off work (a rarity for me) and worked on the trails a bit between trips to the vet (routine stuff, yay cats).

Today I got out and rode the trails. Freaked the neighbor's dog out to no end, but the time on the Twin6 brought a smile. I need to find my lungs and legs again, but it's very apparent that machine is more capable than the man at this point.
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Old 12-06-20, 03:22 AM
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Nice looking rig, congrats on getting back to it in style!
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Old 12-06-20, 07:31 AM
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Nice post, Zoxe, and super cool looking bike. I am in a similar position, though last time I was really biking was in 2011. My 2010 Cannondale quick is converted to more road than hybrid function with drop bars and a 105 groupset, now just evidence of the height of my enthusiasm ten years ago. I lost around 60lbs with diet and regular biking around Prospect Park in Brooklyn over one spring and summer, then the winter hit and I never biked consistently again. Ironic then, that now with the winter of 2020 is coming and I am taking up biking again - same bike, different setting... my basement.

Zoxe, your property sounds like a dream scenario for remote work and workouts. In a small town now I can get out on the roads with little risk of encountering crowds, but I find I am easily convinced to skip outside activities by even the slightest drop below the 50s now. Coming back to biking I learned about the rise of Zwift and others and so I spring for a mid/entry level smart trainer and I am right at the point now where I think I have the tech figured out and feel 110% enthused only an hour or so on the bike between three rides. New bikes, gear, tech, are good lures for some of us to get back on it... I used to justify spending on my bike because I knew that seeing it in my apartment hallway near the door, looking all clean and sporty like an excited puppy waiting for a walk, could inspire me to take it out. That titanium bike would def. do it for me - titanium, phew! Sustaining the enthusiasm is harder, with winter, distractions, etc., but these forums can help. I'll certainly be reading around here and the like to keep me inspired. Keep posting, keep riding.

Cheers.
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Old 12-06-20, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
Nice post, Zoxe, and super cool looking bike. I am in a similar position, though last time I was really biking was in 2011. My 2010 Cannondale quick is converted to more road than hybrid function with drop bars and a 105 groupset, now just evidence of the height of my enthusiasm ten years ago. I lost around 60lbs with diet and regular biking around Prospect Park in Brooklyn over one spring and summer, then the winter hit and I never biked consistently again. Ironic then, that now with the winter of 2020 is coming and I am taking up biking again - same bike, different setting... my basement.

Zoxe, your property sounds like a dream scenario for remote work and workouts. In a small town now I can get out on the roads with little risk of encountering crowds, but I find I am easily convinced to skip outside activities by even the slightest drop below the 50s now. Coming back to biking I learned about the rise of Zwift and others and so I spring for a mid/entry level smart trainer and I am right at the point now where I think I have the tech figured out and feel 110% enthused only an hour or so on the bike between three rides. New bikes, gear, tech, are good lures for some of us to get back on it... I used to justify spending on my bike because I knew that seeing it in my apartment hallway near the door, looking all clean and sporty like an excited puppy waiting for a walk, could inspire me to take it out. That titanium bike would def. do it for me - titanium, phew! Sustaining the enthusiasm is harder, with winter, distractions, etc., but these forums can help. I'll certainly be reading around here and the like to keep me inspired. Keep posting, keep riding.

Cheers.
The TI bike was definitely a stretch and any reasonable person would say that it's overkill for the kind of riding that I intend to do. As you say, there's an aspect of this that is built around motivation and the 'rule of cool.' I have been a fan of Twin6 for awhile and the idea of owning one of their rides was a brain worm that I couldn't get rid of. I am very happy happy with the purchase so far, and yes - when I walk into the garage the FSU is there to greet me (as you say) like a happy puppy. I have been known to pat it as I walk by on my way to the workbench, (who's a good boy?? you're a good boy!! Sit. Roll over. haha.)

I'm looking at all of this as a change to the way we live. Not wanting to deep dive into COVID, but it's apparent for us that our offices probably won't reconvene 100% onsite like we were before. The way we buy food is different. The way we eat is different -- if we're not commuting, we're not as inclined to stop by somewhere for beers and dinner after a hard day. By the same token, hitting the gym after work is also going to be a lot harder. All that to say - the opportunity to improve the property has been there on our to-do list for the entire 10 years we've lived here, but it makes far more sense now than it did a year ago. She's started trail running and I'm excited about the bike again. So far it's a positive stress reliever for both of us - and much needed.

I would type more but today is a trail maintenance day! Out into the woods we go.
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Old 12-13-20, 02:16 PM
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No riding today, but finished a simple bridge/deck over some gnarly field rocks that form a stream bed that cuts across our property. There's rarely running water in the bed, but a few springs seep year 'round and a little too wild to bike over at my skill level. Looking forward to making full laps and not so many out-and backs!

Got inspired for some alternate routes that could be opened. I have time off between Christmas and New Years; if the weather stays mild I'll be able to cut, pull, and burn brush to give us more variety.
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Old 01-17-21, 01:59 PM
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Back for a quick check in. Weather has been wet and muddy so not a lot of trail work and even less biking. I'm finding that my lungs really revolt during the cold; below 40 degrees I'll have issues and it's been upper 30s for awhile. Meh, winter.

What's also apparent is that I need a little more structure. My weight isn't up or down; holding steady, and needing exercise. The days that weather is good tend to be the days that work runs long and I lose light (right now that's around 5pm). After chatting with friends I looked briefly at Peleton but ended up getting an indoor Tacx trainer and tossed the ol' Surly on it. There are some tech upgrades I'd like to make (better screen) but currently loving the option of riding when I feel like it without staring wistfully out the window while on yet another telecon.

I started this thread to talk more about the MTB purchase and building trails, but suspect Tacx and Zwift will become a piece of the puzzle.
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Old 01-17-21, 02:44 PM
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Here's the Bloggers section where your updates can reach a wider audience. https://www.bikeforums.net/blogger-s-forum/
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