December 2nd Bacon Ride at Banner Pits...

60 degrees and fog was how December 2012 began.

Saturday:  I rode my singlespeed Karate Monkey at Lake Ahquabi on Saturday afternoon to begin the off season leg building process.  I made every climb using the technique of quite a variety of cadences.  On some of the super steeps, I was probably down around 40 rpms and on the flat areas, I'm pretty sure I hit 110+ a few times before I said to heck with it and would coast.  I'm already down to a 16T cog on the rear, so if I want to change the gearing it will have to be up front.  I do have a 33T Rotor Q SS ring I am anxious to try...

Tara and I went to the holiday chili party at John and Judy Pauley's on Saturday night.  Fun was had by all in the 3 hours of visiting, drinking and eating as all the college professors unwound a bit.

Sunday:  Awakened to thick fog, and wet ground conditions.  A few posts on the Banner Pits Facebook page wondering if conditions would be too wet, but my gardenometer in the backyard said it was just surface moisture and we'd be okay.  I stopped by Hy-Vee to pick up two packages of bacon, and 2 packages of blueberries for the pancakes we were going to cook post ride.  Once again, we had a nice group show up for some Sunday fun and bacon.  There were about 14 or 15 in total.  If word gets out about how good the food is - we might have to start a list of who is supposed to bring what each time we do this.

The trails were in great shape with just a few tacky spots.  The surface moisture was a non-factor outside of kicking up some gunk on our forks and frames. In fact, conditions were perfect with the coolness of the moisture in the air counteracting the heat we were producing by riding hard.

Post ride cooking and eating...

Bacon Ride 12:2:12

Photo Courtesy of Ron Cooney

Still foggy at 11 a.m.....


Photo courtesy of Ron Cooney

It was so foggy, I didn't bother wearing in protective eyewear as it would have just fogged over during the ride.  We did a pair of laps before settling down to cook our Sunday bacon brunch.  It's starting to get gourmet with our group - so who knows what we will be cooking with the bacon as the fall/winter progresses.  It's a fun group and seems to be a different collection each time we gather.  Nick Wooley made it down from Webster City for this ride, and Rebecca and Eric rolled in from Ankeny to join us.  Blueberry whole wheat pancakes, bacon, french toast, hot chocolate, cider, coffee (and a few had beer).

Bob Matthews, trail steward for CITA at Banner Pits, had us stop on the 2nd lap to survey some of the beaver damage.  It has gotten so bad with the beavers attacking the hardwood trees that Bob has talked to the DNR who will be sending trappers to trap the perpetrators of destruction.

Here's how the beavers are managing to clear things away at an alarming rate...


Photo Courtesy of Nick Wooley

And this huge tree where the beavers managed to gnaw away a double helix!!!

Beaver Double Helix

Photo Courtesy of Nick Wooley

The double helix is on a very tall tree that I imagine will be felled by the next time I get out to Banner.  The fear is that the damage from the critters attacking all the hardwood trees, the stuff you don't want growing will take over the forest.  I think that is what finally got the DNR involved to send their trapping expert out this week to check out the problem.

For those yet to experience the Sunday bacon ride - the forecast is looking good for this coming weekend as well...

Sunday evening we attended the Simpson College Madrigal Dinner concert in Great Hall.  This was Zack's first Madrigal Dinner and he had several solos including Lord Randall.  He did a great job and we had a good time.  What better way to kick of Advent than attend an English Christmas Madrigal Dinner?

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