Saturday, November 23, 2013

Crazy Winter FUN!!!

Crazy Winter FUN!!!
Well as a Canadian I am not the most crazy person around these parts. This year in the Quest I have dine some long rides. And it's been a real fun time for sure. My fitness level is better for all the extra km I have ridden this year. The snow is here but that won't stop the Quest. Bring on winter, I'm ready!
           With those words said, my fellow rider  said to me: "You should race that Quest this winter!"
            And I replied: "What race would take me?"
            Pete said: " The Actif Epica. "
            "It's a 135 km endurance event with no bike rules."
            "It takes place in February. I ran a Recumbent in it in 2012."
Well that sound great to me. No bike rules! Well I checked it out. Most of it runs on roads and bike trails, but some of doesn't. Part of it runs on a snowmobile trail. How did he run a recumbent? This is how!

Monster Recumbent of Pete Mc Adam.

 I checked out the rules on the website. Actif Epica 2013 site. and sure enough I could run the Quest in it if I was crazy. Well I'm not quite that crazy. The real crazy people are those who run the race instead of riding. I found a video on YouTube about the race and that made me think.
Here is a link to the Video: Actif Epica 2012. I could do it but not in a Quest. You need a bike that you could carry or drag though the deep snow but could be fast on the roads. Something that could handle the rough trails. So I got on the internet and this is what I bought myself for Christmas.
The Trike was built for me with some extra changes. Larger front wheels for the off road portions of the race.
Notice the two twist shifters for the 9 speed cassette and the triple up front. There is also a small shifter on the left bar for the extra 3 speeds in the SA hub. This setup would give you 81 possible ratios. Of course some would be duplicates. But this gives me some really low gearing to push the bigger rear tire I want to run for the race.
 Now you will also notice the rear wheel has a brake on it. Well in a race with no rules why can't I build some skis to put on the front wheels for when I have to run on snow. Of course with skis on the front I need a rear brake to stop. The bike is being shipped right now so it won't get here for at least a week. That gives me a couple of months to modify and test every thing. I have to also mount a rack to carry the skis and other stuff I need for the race. I will report as this crazy project goes on.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Snow, Snow Tires,and Winter shoes

This week the snow came to stay.  Monday was the start of my winter cycling. I say it was the start because it was the first day commuting on the studded snow tires. With the heavy tires I am slower and working harder. I also find the noise from the tires is very high now.  The good side is I am getting more exercise and the legs should get stronger.
            After reading about Adri's Crash , it reminded me of my crash last winter. I was lucky as the snow bank was softer than what Adri encountered..   Slow DOWN!          Never to repeat that, I am trying to drive slower.
 Even though Adri and I have an ocean between us, unknowing, we have both bought new winter cycling shoes to test this winter.. The shoes are Celius Artic GTX and today was the first ride for me with them. It was -14C this morning and I found the shoes warm with just one pair of this wool socks. I will have to adjust the bottom bracket as the shoes are thicker than my summer shoes. I also found the adjustment cord too long and it has to be tucked under the Velcro. The important thing is they are warm so far. I will post more on these shoes as the winter goes on. 
For a few months now I have been putting in some long hours at work. The Quest seems to only get ridden in the dark lately. There has not been much time for fun, just work. But now that winter is here the fun should begin. There may even be some racing for the Quest this winter. There will be some dog sled races too. Tonight I will hook up the Huskies and we get a dog sled run in. That’s another way for us to get some more winter FUN…

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dogs, Polar Bears, Tundra Buggys and Snow

It's winter up north. In the north part of our province of Manitoba winter has arrived. Down south where I live there is no snow yet. Some friends just returned from a visit to the northern community of Churchill. To get to Churchill from where we live in Winnipeg, you either have to fly or spend a couple of days on a slow moving train. Churchill is Manitoba's only port and a lot of grain is shipped out of there. The season is short because of ice conditions.
             Being sled dog owners they had to check out the local sled dogs. 
Sled dogs in action.

 Polar bears congregate every year along the shores of the bay, waiting for the freeze up and to feed on ringed seals. The safest way to see these large bears is from a  Tundra Buggy . Our friends went on a tour and got to see these bears up close from a Tundra Buggy. The average Polar Bear is about 8 to 10 feet tall standing on it's hind legs. For that reason the Tunda Buggy  has very large tires and is built very tall. Most Tundra Buggies are 4, 6 or even 8 wheel drive. The latest Tundra Buggy was built is Winnipeg and shipped by train to Churchill. Check out the link for more Tundra Buggy information..

The bears in the pictures don't look very big or dangerous but they are. They are not something I would want to meet riding my Velomobile. Fortunately they don't migrate down south where we live. In the town of Churchill they have an alert system and armed conservation officers to handle any bears that might stray into town.  
           It's getting cooler out and in a weird way I am kind of looking forward to some winter fun in my Quest and with the dog sled.  It makes the winter go by faster if you are having FUN....