Monday, July 2, 2012

Solo Rides

 Got some good solo rides in at the end of last week. On Thursday I left the shop around 2pm and went out for a nice ride. Route was something like Leaf Valley - Millerville - Inspiration -Ashby - Evansville - Brandon -Garfield. Took out the Roubaix since I wanted to get some faster miles in, but the gravel was calling my name and I couldn't help it, I had to do some exploring. Found some great new roads with some chunky gravel and rolling hills. In the end I got in 60+miles, pace wasn't hard by any means but it was a great ride.
Couldn't help myself
Chunky gravel, Skinny tires

On Friday I left early and was planning on getting in a longer ride than I did on Thursday, but my legs were not feeling it. Still got in a pretty good ride, loop consisted of Holmes City - Lowry - Kensington - and back in. Wasn't that windy or hot but just felt drained the entire ride. Did find some new gravel that was pretty fun, again some nice rolling hills. In the end I got in around 50+ miles.
Nice 6 mile stretch of winding rolling gravel
Pit Stop

 This week I'll do the Tuesday Night ride, be lazy on Wednesday, and then get some solo rides in on Friday and Saturday. Maybe make a trip down to Glenwood for some Hills haven't done that for a while.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday Night Sprints and Weekend Gravel

Last night we had our Tuseday Night Sprint ride, we had a pretty strong group so it was pretty fun. There was quite a bit of attacking going on and if a group of 2 or 3 got away they'd stay away. Wind was pretty visioucis and the heat took a lot out of me, I started cramping towards the end but before the cramps I was able to be the agressor which is always fun.

Last Saturday I went for a nice and easy gravel ride. Got Skittles ready and we took off at 7am, plan was to get an easy 20 miles and that's what I did. Here's some pics.

Came around a corner and there were a ton of big ass Elks staring at me
Let the fun begin

Nice rolling hills

Breakfast of Champions

 This season I've spent more time on Skittles than any other of my bikes. I've ridden it in the snow, cold, rain, heat and wind and the bike has been a blast. Extremely happy with everything about the bike. The only thing I've changed since the original build are the tires and seat. I switched out the knobbier Specialized Captain tires for a great Gravel grinding tire the Specialized Trigger, the Triggers give me plenty of grip in loose gravel, but I don't get penalized on hard packed gravel or pavement. I switched saddles from a Specialized Henge to a Specialized Avatar. The Henge is great on anything under 4 hours, after the 4 hour mark there just isn't enough padding. The Avatar has the extra padding I need on the longer rides.

This week I'm planning on a longer ride on Friday morning, not sure if I'll take Skittles or the roubaix out but need to get a nice long ride in. I'll decide on bike when I take off. Either way it'll be a mix of road and gravel.

Some awesome weather going on right now so get out on your bike and ride.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't call it a comeback

It's been awhile since I posted anything, it's been crazy at the shop, but I'm going to try to get something up each week.
Here's a recap since last post

Ross and I competed in the Almanzo 100. Here's a recap: First 40 Miles "Hey this isn't bad, we're flying" Next 30 "Wow wind sucks but I still feel good, nah I don't need to fill up bottles only have 30 miles left"
Final 30 " I hate the wind, I must not like myself, my ass is sore, I should have filled up my bottles. There's a cemetery that looks like a good place to lay down for a while. Oriole Road that sounds pretty. Oriole Road sucks ass, when does it flatten out. I want to quit, don't quit your almost there. Never doing this again"
30 seconds after finish: " Awesome, when can I do the next one, I need to do more of these."

Final time was 8 hours 28 minutes finished 160th out of 373 finishers. 500 -600 started.
Ross did better finished in 7 hours 34 minutes and finished 84th.

Awesome event and can't wait for next year.

After Almanzo took a week off and then got back into the swing of things.
Signed up for the Dirt Bag it's another long ass gravel race, this one is in St.Cloud.
Had our first Thursday night MTB rides.
2 weeks ago had a nice 5 hour gravel ride and last week spent 5+ hours in Cuyuna Mountain Biking. Love the trails there and got to ridE every trail that was open. Flagged out some new single track in Alexandria.

This week is an easy week so I'll do the Tuesday Night ride and then take it easy. Will have 2 days of trail building later in the week.

Well that's the recap. will try to keep this updated.

See you on the road

Sunday, April 8, 2012


It's been a while since I posted anything, shop has been crazy busy!!! So here's a recap. Last Saturday (3/31) Ross and I rode out to Inspiration Peak and climbed up the hiking path. That was a pretty painful climb around 300ft of climbing in a 1/2 mile. On the hiking path parts of the trail hit 40% grade, which is painfully steep. If the climb wasn't enough we had to ride the 25 miles home into a 20-25mph headwind. Ride was a lot of fun and will definitely be making more trips out to the peak area when I want to get some climbing in.

On Tuesday we had our Sprint Night and on Thursday we had our social road ride. Tuesday I felt great and took most of the sprints. Still don't feel like I can get the explosiveness needed in pack sprint but if I can get a little gap I can power my way to the stop ahead signs. Thursday we had around 15 people and had a nice easy ride.

Yesterday Ross and I drove out to Inspiration and came up with a 22 mile loop with lots of climbing for our area. We did 2 laps around the loop and at the end of each lap came the ascent to the top of the peak. I put new tires on Skittles. I took off the Specialized Captains that were great in the mud and put on a set of Specialized Triggers. The Trigger has a less aggressive tread, a smoother raised center and some larger knobs on the outside of the tire. Tire was  definitely  easier rolling and faster on hard packed gravel. On loose gravel it got a bit sketchy but I think that was more my fault then the tires, I had way too much air. Overall I think the tire will be a winner in anything other than muddy conditions.

This week we have a lot going on at the shop, we have ride leaving the shop on Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm. On Saturday the early early morning ride will be driving to Glenwood for a day of hills and at 10:30am on Saturday I'll be guiding the Guided Mountain bike ride offered through Community Education. Hopefully we'll see you on one of the rides.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sprint Night #2

We had 11 people show up and face the wind for the Bike and Fitness Company Tuesday Night Sprints. The route we took kept us out of the full force of the wind and when we did have a direct headwind it was only for a short time. The sections with tailwinds were fast, and made me feel like Mark Cavendish, on one of the sprints I almost hit 43mph, now if only I could do that going into the wind or uphill.

I felt way better this week compared to last Tuesday, I did put on the full Carbon wheels so that might have had something to do with it. With the ultralight Easton wheels on I felt like I was cheating a bit. I definitely feel like I'm in way better shape this year than I was last year at this time. My weight is down and I'm weighing less than I did at the end of last season. There's still plenty of pounds I'd like to shed before Almanzo and Chequamegon, but so far I'm on track.

Bike and Fitness Company rides are out in full force. Thursdays ride will be leaving the shop at 6pm sharp. Saturday there will be a 6am gravel ride and a road ride later in the day, will post on facebook when there is more info.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Foggy Gravel Ride

Ross and I had some more riders for this edition of our Early Saturday gravel rides, we knew Noah a strong junior from the St.Cloud area was going to join us, but we were pleasantly surprised when Chuck showed up a little before 6am to partake in the gravel grinding. I'm usually not up at 6am, and our previous Saturday rides have taken off around 6:30, but it's really dark out. My little headlight really didn't do much to illuminate the road in front of me so I had to use the Force and hope nothing jumped out in front of me.

Here's Ross Powering up a hill. Not only was it dark out, but we also had to deal with a thick fog .
The gravel was like peanut butter, it was supper smooth but slow. Every little incline was like climbing a much larger hill. We really had to work to keep the speed up.  Skittles handled the mud great and I never felt out of control, even when I hit some unexpected mud holes. I can't say the same about Noah who was the only rider on a road bike, he tried following my line on a couple of downhills and got pretty squirly. Chuck had a near crash experience when a mud hole jumped out in front of him around a corner.

There's the road
I really didn't have a route planned for the ride and the wind was not a factor so we head west on the trail until we got to Centennial. We crossed 82 and had our first taste of gravel on Centennial. From Centennial we crossed 94 and made our way down Moe Hall Road. Moe Hall is a pretty fun little stretch, at one point the road took us between two swamps and it looked like the road was sunken into the swamps. From there we headed to Pioneer park for a little rest stop. After that we headed to the dreaded Browns road and the fearsome Brownsberg. Not really that dreaded or fearful but a fun little road with some steep climbs. Once we got to the end of Browns road we turned around and did it backwards which has even more climbing. From there we made our way to county road 15, and took that for a while, nothing special but just one roller after another. Then it was on to Solem lake road, half of which was virgin roads to me. Rolling hills and turkeys, pretty fun. After that we headed back in. In the end we ended up with around 50 miles, and I'd say 40 or so were on gravel. Pretty fun ride.

Rides at the shop are in full swing, so Tuesday night we have our sprint night that leaves at 6pm. Thursday Night is our social road ride that also leaves at 6pm. Saturday there are a few option, 6am gravel, 8am road, and 12pm road. Hope to see you on one of the rides. 

Sun tried breaking through but didn't come out until we were done riding.

With the fog every climb felt like we were climbing into the clouds.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sprint Night #1

It was the first official Sprint Night of the year and we had a really good turn out around 17 riders.  Sprint zones were Centennial, Tanks, Pipeline, Fireman's Lodge, Tastefully Simple, Voyager, and Shalom. I felt pretty good as long as the pace was constant. I was lacking in the jumps and had nothing when it came to the sprints. Still I was in the top 3 in close to all the sprints, and won the last one. It was great to get out and ride with some new riders. Troy, Nan, and Mike are all going to be great additions to the rides. Some of the older guys where being more aggressive and Eric was extremely fast, between him and Angie I'm really going to have to work on getting some of the sprints this year. Now if we could only get some more big guys out there I'll be able actually feel what drafting is all about.

Great first sprint night of the year. Thursday we'll be leaving the shop at 6pm sharp for a mellow road ride and on Saturday there will be a group ride leaving at some time during the day. Will post on Facebook at what time ride will leave. As for me on Saturday Ross and I will be leaving the shop around 6am to go out and get a 60-70 mile gravel ride in.

Riding season is here, we'll see you on the trail.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Foggy Glenwood Hills

The plan was for Ross and I to meet at the shop at 6am and go do a 50-60 mile gravel ride. A couple of things happened that changed those plans one the wind wasn't coming out of the right direction for the route we had planned and two somebody slept in. So instead of riding gravel we jumped on the road bikes and headed towards Glenwood.

Things were a bit sketchy when we left the shop. It was still dark out and when the sun started to rise we found ourselves riding through some dense fog. Not the safest conditions to be riding on a busy highway, but we needed quality miles. To add to the fog there was a stiff headwind on the way out, if we were to paceline we would have made some better time, but when Ross and I ride together we see it as a sign of weakness if the other needs to be sucking wheel.

If your not familiar with West Central Minnesota, we don't have many hills, it's not flat but the hills our power rollers. Glenwood is the exception, the climbs are not world class and would probably be considered rollers in areas with actual hills, but for us we find our versions of Alpe d Huez, Gavia, and the Tourmalet. Once we got to Glenwood the real fun began, first up was the East Climb. This short little beast has an average grade of 9% with a max of 19%, great climb to rip your legs off on. After that we went over to Snake hill (Pamida) this ones a real leg burner, average grade is about 5% with a max of 17% all over a mile. Ross couldn't handle my Contador-esque accelerations and I danced up to the summit alone. Next we head over to the Golf Course Climb and Don Dero Climb. These are short but steep, and again my light 250lbs body danced on the pedals and left Ross in the dust. Next up THE Glenwood hill...

The Glenwood hill isn't the steepest but it's a grinder. The top of the hill is always staring right at you and unlike the other hills in Glenwood that have some real steep sections to break up the climb, the Glenwood hill keeps a constant grade of around 7-9%. I felt pretty good climbing, but I had a pretty easy week. Ross on the other hand was struggling, but according to him it was a high intensity training week.

Once we crested the Glenwood hill it was a tailwind all the way back to the shop. We had two more unexpected stops, one for some Gatorade, and the other to fix a flat. Having the wind at our backs we were able to set a pretty good pace without having to work to hard. Next week were aiming for a longer gravel ride 60+. Good news the Bike and Fitness Company Weekly rides have started so if you're in the area Tuesday Night Sprints and Thursday night social road leaves the shop at 6pm sharp. So get out and ride you bike.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Peruvian Mountain Bike Adventure 2012

Peruvian mtb adventure 2012 from Bike and Fitness Company on Vimeo.

Here's the video from my recent ride in Peru. I used the chest mount for my GoPro but when I put my Camelback on it shifted the angle of the camera. I'm going to have to invest in the view finder. Still turned out alright.



I left the shop at 12:30 when according to my IPhone app it was suppose to be the warmest part of the day, a scorching 17 degrees with a 19mph NW wind. I headed out on 22 and cut across Centennial to get to the gravel. The first gravel section was around 10 miles long, this was the coldest part of the ride, there was a cross headwind the entire time. At the end of the gravel my Low battery indicator on my Garmin came on, so I took that as a sign and started making my way back to the shop.

I had two goals for the ride: ride Browns Rd, and check out Moe Hall Rd. With my Garmin acting up and my foot frozen solid I wasn't able to ride Browns. There are some nice short and steep climbs on Browns, so I was kind of bummed that I didn't ride it, but the survival of my feet is more important. I did check out Moe Hall which is going to be a great addition to some of my gravel loops. It has some nice rolling hills, a couple of turns and trees, fun little road.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, the tailwind section was fun. All in all it was a fun ride and it was great to get out and ride. The only things that got cold were my feet. I haven't been able to find a solution to keeping my feet warm on the colder days. I had ordered a pair of the new Defrosters from Specialized but they sold out immediately and I wasn't able to get mine. Hopefully I'll have them for next season. Hopefully this was the last cold weather ride of the year. This week is suppose to be nice out, so expect so more rides. If any one is interested in riding this week, Ross is planning a ride for Tuesday afternoon, and on Saturday morning we'll be doing a 50-70 mile ride. Check our facebook page for any impromptu rides.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Georgie's Peruvian Mountain Bike Adventure

Peru could be cycling heaven, for mountain biking there is something for everybody cross country type single track to epic downhill 11,000 feet in 35 miles!!!(Olleros Trail) If you brave the traffic or get off onto some of the back roads there's climbing everywhere you look. I played around on mapmyride and found a ton of climbs ranging from 1-20 miles, all within a 20 mile radius of Claudia's parents house. Since I'm so addicted to Google earth and mapmyride I also came up with the ultimate century ride. It's a killer.

This is the second year I've ridden in Peru with Jamie Quiroz from Peru Bike. Peru bike specializes in cycling tours all over the country. I really want to do the Olleros trail and pretty much every other tour they offer in the future. Peru is an amazing country and I couldn't think of a better way of seeing it than on bike. Since Santiago is still a baby I can't really see myself leaving him and Claudia for a week, while I get to pedal around Peru. For now I stick close to Lima and do the Sacred Valley of Pachacamac tour. In Pachacamac everywhere I looked there seemed to be single track going up one of the surrounding mountains. Since it's so hot and the sun is so strong most of the upper trails are used in the winter months only.

Jamie came and picked me up around 8am. Once in Pachacamac, we got the bikes ready. This year I got to ride a 26" Haro Hardtail. I installed my pedals and Garmin, made sure the Gopro was on and off we went. The ride starts out with a nice 2 mile climb up to the single track. Once on the single track it is constantly up and down. There weren't many long climbs once on the trail but they were steep most between 16-26%. The downhills were even steeper, on one I looked down at my Garmin and it said we were going down a 30% grade. The trails in Pachacamac range from loose gravel to extremely rocky. Most of the single tracks are on the side of mountains and are pretty off cambered. There are definitely place were I didn't want to fall, if I did I’d still be tumbling down the side of the mountain.

Last season Jamie totally kicked my ass and we had to cut our ride short. I wasn't in the greatest riding shape, didn't know what to expect and I totally bonked, the heat in Lima sucks all the life from you. This year I knew I was going to ride with Jamie again so I made sure I was in better shape. I knew the heat was going to suck everything out of me so I made sure I was hydrated, plus I had some Nutella sandwiches along with some Cliff Shot Bloks to snack on during the ride. I had no excuses, this time I wasn't going to let Jamie kick my ass. Little did I know Jamie had knee surgery and didn't ride for 2 months, so he wasn't in the best shape. The little guy could still ride though and I didn't have any problems staying with him on the climbs. I out weight him by over 100lbs so anytime I can stay on a little guys wheel while going uphill or climb a section he couldn't I consider it a victory.

In the end it was a great ride. We didn't go super far or fast but it was just what I needed. Now only if I would have remembered to put sunscreen on I wouldn't be in so much pain as I write this.

Peruvian Alpacas

Nice little shrine at the top of one of the climbs.

The Sacred Valley of Pachacamac

       The Village of Mal Paso

Thanks Jamie, it was a great ride. I'll see you next year!!!

I'd like my arms and shoulders well done please.

Gopro footage wasn't the greatest but I'll post a video in a few days. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Foggy Fun

Did pretty much the same route I did on Thursday. It was pretty eerie out, it was foggy and the trees were covered in ice. Visibility wasn't the greatest but luckily I didn't see any cars out.
All in all it was a fun ride.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ride Report: Gravel Exploration

Mid 30's in february, couldn't pass up the chance to go out for a ride. I've been wanting to map out some of my gravel routes. Instead of jumping in the truck, I grabbed my bike and jumped on the trail.

Trail was clear in some areas, slushy in others, and snow covered in the shade. Trail conditions forced me to push a little harder than I wanted to during my "warm-up". Once I got off the trail the real fun began.

My Tacx ergotrainer is awesome but nothing can compare to actually getting outside and ridding. Skittles tackled the muddy gravel and I couldn't be happier with the new bike. Skittles is extremely comfortable, handles great, and is pretty snappy.

I was pretty bummed last summer when 2 key roads in my 20 mile loop were closed due to the lakes flooding. One road was redirected, the other is still closed, luckily the water is frozen and I was able to navigate across.

It felt great to get out and enjoy the awesome weather. Bike was awesome and I need to get some hours in the saddle, I leave for Peru in less than 2 weeks and have a mountain bike excursion planned. Last year when we went I wasn't in the best shape and the mountains kicked my ass. This time around I'll be doing the ass kicking.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project Bike: Neon Skittles finished

I might not come off as the flashiest guy out there, but when I saw the "Neon Skittles" Specialized Crux frame was available I knew I had to get it. When it comes to bikes i'm a firm believer that there is never too much neon and apparently Specialized feels the same way. It took me awhile to convince Claudia that I needed this bike, but after I agreed to sell two of my other bikes I got the ok.

Skittles is going to be the workhorse in my quiver of bikes, but her real specialty is going to be gravel grinding. Here in Minnesota we are pretty lucky to have the premier gravel race/ride in the country, the Almanzo 100. If that's not enough there is a whole series of Gravel races across the state and to top it off they're free. All you have to do is send in a postcard during the registration period and you're in. Ross and I are signed up for the Almanzo 100. If your interested in gravel riding be sure to check out some of the Bike and Fitness Co. gravel rides. Alright so back to the bike.

I had my little helper help me install all the parts onto the frame.

I went with a Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed shifters.

Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed derailleurs

Avid Short Ultimate Canti brakes will be stopping the bike. 45 Nrth Polara studded tires (winter only).

Fulcrum Racing Torq R 175mm Crankset with Campagnolo C.A.R.T 46/36 tooth chainrings

Specialized Sworks stem, Salsa Cowbell 3 Handlebars, and Specialized S-wrap in hot pink.

I plan on going on the maiden voyage later on today.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Project Bike: "Neon Skittles"

Just received my new cross frame. It's a Specialized Crux expert frame. Frame is made of Specialized's E5 aluminum, has a carbon fork, and an over sized bottom bracket. I'm not sure if it's bright enough but it should do. I have some campy parts laying around that will finally have a nice home. Stay tuned I will put up more pictures as I build.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fleche du Runestone 2011

Fleche du Runestone 2011 from Bike and Fitness Company on Vimeo.

Here's a video of a gravel ride we did last summer. For 2012 we have some new gravel rides planed with distance between 20-100+. More info coming soon.


We are a family owned bike shop in Alexandria, MN. we are your one stop shop for bikes, xc skis, snowshoes, and home fitness equipment. We carry bikes and gear from Specialized and Fuji, skis from Atomic and Fischer, TSL snowshoes and Vision Fitness, along with other great brands. we enjoy all types of rides and offer many group ride: road, mountain bike, gravel rides, or just casual cruise stop by the shop and you'll find somebody to ride with. We all ride and we love it.
What's the difference between our website/facebook and the blog? The blog is going to give you a more personal view of the shop. When something cool comes in we'll post it on the blog. If one of us is building a new custom build or personal bike we'll have it's creation from frame to first ride on the blog. During the summer we'll have ride reports of Tuesday night sprints, Mountain bike rides, and any of our gravel rides, complete with pictures and most likely video.

So stay tuned it's going to be a fun ride.