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   Tonight was our Post-Apocalyptic St. Patrick's day party.  Wanderers from the waste lands were invited to visit the shrine dedicated to the holy relic of the Jesus' SUV tire.  Pilgrims were asked to make a bottle cap donation.
   Xiphos setup the house as a tent in the desert wasteland.  The setup looked fantastic and our living and dining rooms were hardly recognizable.
   Thursday was forecast to be the warmest day of the week, but also the windiest.  When I set out the temperature was 52°F (11°C) but dropped to 49°F (9°C) by the time I returned.  But the winds were insane.  I have never biked in anything like it before.  When I started they were a sustained 37 MPH and gusting up to 46 MPH almost directly from the west.  I get my riding weather data from the METAR report from the Middleton Airport, which I ride by on my Airport-Ashton loop, so I know accurately reflects what I experience.  Going into the wind I had to work hard for a speed of 8 MPH.  Quisling Park right by the airport has an area to let dogs run.  As I was working hard to keep my 8 MPH a dog trotted beside me.  He almost looked confused as to why I wasn't going faster so he could give chase.
   The first part of the Airport-Ashton run is west, then just past the airport goes north to Ashton.  North wasn't much easier.  The winds were so strong I was actually leaning to the left in order to maintain balance.  Then came St Peter Church in Ashton when I turn east.  Suddenly my speeds were though the roof.  I was able to hold speeds of around 30 MPH on County K, getting as high at 37 MPH at one point.  There are no real hills on this road as it is mostly flat, but with the tailwind I was moving.  I was going so fast that in my top gear I couldn't get any torque peddling as fast as I could—I ran my gears out. 
   The east leg of the trip was over fairly quick, and I had to fight the side wind as I headed south—at least until I got into the trails where I had trees as a wind break.  When I returned I checked the weather again.  Winds had slowed to a sustained 23 MPH guesting up to 37 MPH.  I pretty sure those are the strongest winds I have ever biked.
   Madison Community Tower stands 1,423 feet (433.7 m) above ground, and today the top disappeared into the clouds.  This tower, and the near by Madison ACME TV Tower make up what I refer to as the Dragon's Teeth.  When I did my first cross-country solo I did a landing in Middleton/Morey airport (which is now just a few miles from where I live).  Taking off these two towers looked to me like giant dragon's teeth ready to snatch my little Piper airplane from the skies.  I've called them the Dragon's Teeth ever since.

March 14, 2016

Happy π day

   I picked up a couple of pies to bring to work for Pi Day and I ate too much of it.  So this evening I decided I needed a bike ride and did the Airport-Ashton run.  The temperature was 55°F (12.7°C), with winds SSW at 3 MPH.  The ride was a little cooler than I expected and my fingers were a bit chilly afterward.  Finished my book, Homer's Odyssey.  Now it's on to the next book.
   Skating last night was better than expected.  The rink was rather busy and I can't get my speeds as high when there are a lot of little kids.  Despite this I still managed to burn 2,508 Calories over 3 hours 2 minutes for a burn rate of 827 Calories/hour.  That's lower than a few weeks ago when I was burning just under an average of 900 Calories/hour, but better than last week where I was just shy of 800 Calories/hour.  I noticed the humidity quite a bit this time and I wonder how much the increasing humidity will effect my skating performance.


   It was fairly warm this afternoon, between 56°F and 59°F (13°C and 15°C) with calm winds so I did my standard Airport-Ashton ride.  With the warmer temperatures I was able to do the 12.4 mile ride in just under 50 minutes.  While that is not my summer number it is pretty good for what I've been doing when it's cool.