December Bacon Rides...

The month of December was ushered in today after yesterday's final day of November temperature hit 54+ here in Indianola.  We had a very similar temperature this weekend one year ago, so it was not without precedent.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, even though I had hit my ATP hours, my "rounded up number" of 400 hours was hit on Friday and I added 2 hours on Saturday.  With the month of December yet to go, I could easily hit 420+ hours for 2013!!!!

Tara, Alexa, and I enjoyed seeing The Book Thief last night up in Des Moines.  We've got a few more movies to catch this holiday season, but the one last night was right up our alley.

Today, December 1st, marked yet another installment of the nice tradition we have going out at Banner Pits called the Banner Bacon Ride (and my own addition of also calling it the Summerset Sausage Ride since I started bringing sausage to cook).  Things were warm enough yesterday to finally soften up the earth after a frozen week.  This morning we had nice frozen/frosty trails on our first lap, but in the middle of the second lap around 9:45 AM it was like Ma Nature flipped a switch and suddenly spots in the trail became muddy and hampered the ride a bit.  It's best when the ground stays frozen to ride the singletrack this time of year due to the freeze/thaw cycle, but the warm sun and temperatures that climbed up into the 40's on their way to a high of 41 today after yesterday's mid 50's made the ground soft.

In spite of that, we got in 2 laps before hitting the Coleman stoves to fire up the bacon, sausage, potatoes & onions, etc...to go with the freshly made coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, mimosas, beer, water and what not.  All in all, we had a pretty good Sunday morning post-ride brunch.

There were about a dozen that showed up for today's ride and brunch...


Maybe a few fewer than I thought we'd have for a holiday weekend, but I'm sure many still had family visiting, or people were tired of eating, or who knows what that made conflicts pop up for some.  No worries as we'll be back next Sunday at 9 AM with colder temperatures forecasted (yeah for hard and fast singletrack) and some more creative dishes.

I rode the Dos Niner and the legs felt rather heavy after Saturday's 30 mile ride where I ran out of nutrition mid ride and was forced to go into survival mode for the final 12 miles (only had a small bowl of cereal at 8 AM and didn't eat lunch before heading out at 2:30).  My bad.  But today wasn't a race out on the singletrack, so I enjoyed hammering through with the legs and lungs I did have as the sunshine and warm temperatures made for a stellar morning.  Not to mention I went down twice due to soft conditions in a corner, and ice under leaves on one climb.  Those always take a little out of me and force me to slow down a bit to assess every situation.

After the ride, excellent food, and socializing, I packed up and headed back to the house where I showered and dressed before loading up Alexa with her belongings in the Element to drive her back to Iowa City.  It was fun having her home for the entire week!!!  Knowing that she'll be back in 2 1/2 weeks made it a lot easier to say good-bye this time around.

Now - on to the final week of classes for the final semester...

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