Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Dressing for Snow.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2017 by jimvreeland

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So. You just bought yourself one of those new fangled bicycles with the big tires, what now? Chances are this will be your first dabble in the wonderful world of snow riding. While some of the basics in staying warm and dry may carry over from the road or mountain, fat biking has it’s own unique take on things.

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First off, riding in the snow is hard work, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stay warm. Layers are important. Start with something light as a base. Layer #1 should be a normal pair of bibs and a light LS base. Over that a standard SS Jersey. This SS Jersey will give you an area to stash food and bottles where they won’t freeze.

The next part of the outfit, and the most important IMO, is a good pair of waterproof pants. Snow is wet. Once you get wet too it’s game over. While something like the Specialized 686 pants may seem like they have a steep price tag, they’re worth every single penny. Even well below Zero Degrees, I’ve seldom worn anything but standard bib shorts underneath.

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Continue that theme up top with a waterproof shell. Get it one size too big so you have room to stash bottles in your jersey underneath. This system will get you down to around 20 degrees or so, I’ve run this down to -20ish. If you get cold easy add a thermal LS Jersey under the shell and you should be good to go. Everyone’s sensitivity to cold is different so experiment. Just make sure you don’t start sweating, the second you feel overheated strip a layer off!! A general rule of thumb is if you feel warm at the start of your ride, you’re overdressed.

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Your head. I’m out of the loop on this one, I just wear a cap no matter what and seldom cover my face. I guess if you don’t have a beard or wear glasses you can use a Balaclava?

I also prefer using Pogies on the bars instead of wearing gloves. Not only are Pogies a lot warmer and more comfortable, they also give you another warm area to stash snacks where they won’t freeze. YAY!!

Feet. I use 3 different set-ups depending on the temps, all with one pair of wool socks and a vapor layer. Specialized Defrosters above 20, 45NRTH Wolvhammers under 20, and 45NRTH Wolfgars under -20. Albeit at JayP’s I wore the Wolvhammers at -40 and was fine so I’ve never been able to use the Wolfgars. All of the shoes are 1 size too big. When it comes to feet, circulation is your best weapon, tripling up on socks and stuffing your foot in a shoe won’t end well.

 

That’s it!! Go ride in the snow!!

 

The crash…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 by jimvreeland

During a standard base ride, my season took a turn for the worse. It was Monday, Freddy and I had just finished an 80-mile loop around Round Valley. He needed to get to work, I needed to get in a century, just like the day before. To get in the extra miles I decided to do the Hermes recovery loop through Piscataway and Rutgers. Some construction on River Road had the intersection across Hoes Lane busier than most days. I rode alongside traffic and went into the intersection. I took a quick peek back over my shoulder to make sure I wouldn’t get slammed by a “right-hook”. Mistake. My front wheel got snagged and lickity-split I was piledriven into the ground. With no time to get my arms out, my right shoulder took the entire blow. 25-0 in a space too small to read on my PowerTap file. I knocked the wind out of myself and struggled to drag my bike to the side of the road, where I laid in the grass, unable to move. As luck would have it, I crashed in front of a cop and he immediately called an ambulance. Sprinkle in some more luck as said ambulance would be in the traffic I’ve just created. I was on my way to Robert Wood in minutes.

After a slew of hot nurses cut my clothes off for X-Rays I was told I’d be staying for a while. Doctor after doctor came in to tell about their part of the mess. 5 broken ribs compressed my right lung, making breathing difficult at best. A slew of Ortho guys came in to explain a possible game-plan for my shattered shoulder. 3 broken bones, with my Humerous in 3 places. 1 of those places was inside my shoulder socket, I actually broke the head of my arm off through my shoulder blade. This isn’t gonna be fun!! I ended up in the trauma ward so they could keep an eye on my lung and await re-constructive surgery to get my shoulder back in one piece. They put me under on Wednesday night, 6+hours later the worst was behind me, from here on out I’d be on a single road to recovery. I’ve now got some rods and plates and screws holding me together, I hope to see an X-Ray of that on my first follow up. After a week in the hospital, I’d get the go ahead to make the trip back home!!

I’ve already seen tons of improvement in mobility since I’ve been home. My appetite is back and I’ve been getting myself into a daily routine. I’m trying not to think about the bike at all, it will be there waiting for me when I’m ready!! So that’s it for my race season…I’m looking to come back with a vengeance in ’10!!

-Jim.

Tuesday 7/29/08…”ouchie”

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 by jimvreeland

Tuesday “C-Rock Death Match”. After many weeks of punishing other people on this ride, I decided it was time to take myself out!! During the “warm-up” loop I fell backwards off a short switchback uphill onto a fallen tree. I caught my back on one of the pointy roots and knocked my wind out. After a few minutes of “walking it off”, I realized I was actually hurt and needed to walk out of the woods, PAIN!! I drove home so my wife could take me to the hospital. Some probing, some X-Raying, and who knows what other tests, they said I just pulled some muscles and bruised some organs and stuff. I don’t bruise either so I don’t even have any cool marks or anything. I get some time-off work and some cool pain meds. It hurts to do pretty much anything, so I’m not sure when I’ll be back on the bike. I am disappointed I may miss the Darkhorse 40, I’ve spent a lot of my season training just for that event, but other than that, this is actually a pretty good time to get hurt as there’s not too much else going on…

-Jim.

Wednesday 7/23/08…”CX bike build”

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2008 by jimvreeland

Drove in today so I can build up my CX bike after work, it’s worth missing a day on the bike over!! It’s HOT!!

-Jim.

Allaire TM + double session = PERFECT SUNDAY!!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2008 by jimvreeland

So today was the first scheduled trail maintenance day over at one of south Jersey’s most popular riding spots, Allaire State Park. Allaire seems to be in a weather system all it’s own, and has been a great retreat from the wet and muddy parks up here in north Jersey where I live. With tons of awesome training miles put in there this winter, I decided to head down to give the trails some love back.

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My day started bright and early at 6am, threw down a Met-RX and a Monster for breakfast, got my rake and shovels from the garage, threw the Paragon on the car, and headed to my boy’s house to carpool. We got to Allaire at 8am and started soon after hiking in and working on the trails. We built a new trail, flattened some ruts, and fixed a bunch of water holes. Surprisingly, the trails were in pretty good shape and we were all out in the lot by 11am. Time to ride.

Most of the guys were pretty shot from digging so only a small group of three went out to test our handy work. Having spent a lot of hours down there, some of the new lines took me by surprise leading to some eye-opening near-death experiences and one shoulder smash into a tree! We were out for about 2 hours when we finally decided to call it quits and head on home.

At home it was time for another Monster and some Blue chips with Salsa, yummy!

I sit down to check my email and I have an invite by my 24-hour team to hit up Chimney Rock this afternoon. It will be the first day of training for us as a team and “The Rock” is only a few minutes from my house, my legs are sore, but I’m in! We were all pretty excited to get some training in as a team, so we went through the woods like a freight train, but after another 2 hours of great riding, the miles were starting to set into my legs and it was time to go home. I couldn’t finish my day without getting some much needed calories back into me, the best way I know how, Taco Bell! A couple of Fresco bean burritos always hits the spot after some hard miles! Now to rest, tomorrow is another day…

-Jim.