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Monday, January 26, 2009

A Little Test.

Today I had the day off and the weather wasn't great, but I was able to get out for a couple hours anyway later in the day. I did my favorite route to see what kind of shape I'm in for this time of year and was pleasantly surprised. Encouraged even.

The Ride/32 Miles: I'd say I went about 90-95% of my potential and there were a few stoplights along the way, but even so I was only a few minutes behind my best time last summer at the peak of my fitness. To say it felt good to let'er rip is an understatement. Here's hoping for some mild weather so I can continue the progress!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feeling Comfy in the Cold.

I've been camping out on the trainer the last couple weeks (except for back and forth to work some days) and have been dying to get back on the road. I really don't care what anyone says about how great indoor training can be. It just doesn't feel the same to me. I do have some great training videos with hills and intervals to help make the time pass faster though.

Anyway, I got up this morning checked the weather, high of 28 and sunny. Warm enough for me! For Christmas my wife and daughters got me some great cold weather gear. Layers.

  • -Two layers of socks
  • -Sidi Genius (These shoes kick butt!)
  • -Trek thermal tights
  • -My club's shorts
  • -New Balance long sleeve base layer
  • -Trek winter long sleeve jersey
  • -Wool Sweater
  • -Adidas Formotion jacket
  • -Castelli winter gloves
  • -Columbia Gaitor
  • -Anon Hat
  • -Helmet
That should do it! Today's ride was a pretty easy two hours with no really big hills to speak of. I felt great! and more importantly, warm and toasty. I think I could wear the above list down to about 15 degrees with relative comfort. Something I'd like to try would be Thermal shoe covers for the Sidi's.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Number 44.

On this historic day in American history I wanted to take this opportunity to wish our next president and our country the best of luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Change.

The word change must be the most overused word of the last year. I'm sick of the word personally. Sometimes change can be good, sometimes change can be bad, sometimes it's just change for change's sake. I guess we'll find out one way or another soon enough on that one. I'm tired of politics, so for me the changea I'm going to focus on are my own.

You see, my wife just got a new job. I'm really proud of her for a couple of reasons. First off, in these economic times landing a new job isn't exactly the easiest thing to do. Secondly, as a long term career move I think she's on a track to do some pretty great things. Her last job was in the housing industry and we all know how that's been going for the last year or so. All her close interaction with home buyers, contractors and industry people had her seeing this current crisis coming at least 6 years ago and all of her predictions pretty much came true. We were surprised it took this long to blow up.

Only one problem, her new job has some crazy hours and it's gonna take some major changes on my part to keep a training program going. If you happened to be at any races I've been to over the last year you've probably seen her and my two daughters cheering me on. It's great having them there, but they're still young and must come before any of my own ambitions and hobbies. What this means for me is I'm going to have to ride smarter if I'm to have any success this year. It's looking like early morning rides and late night rides for me. We're trying to work out a way to free up weekends but that's all up in the air as well.

Anyway, change can be good. I'm hoping so.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Have I Mentioned This Before?

Riding a stationary bike in your kitchen sucks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bob Roll's Tour Day France.


On my ride in to work this morning I pedaled along thinking of this little gem of writing from Bobke II. Every day at The Tour there are a million stories, but I have a feeling this one ranks up there with the best.
...I got to the steps to board and nearly froze. From outside in the bright sun, I couldn't see into the helicopter...

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness inside the 'copter, I saw that none other than Andrew Hampsten was seated directly across from me. "Whoa, Drew baby!" I practically jumped up at seeing a fellow American. "Andy, you slayed today," I exclaimed in glee. "Did you see LeMond crush these frog dweebs?" I asked.

Andy just kind of nodded, all subdued. As my adjusted further, right next to Andy sat Greg LeMond, gloriously clad in yellow. "Whoa!!" I jumped up for real and grabbed LeMond by the shoulders, shaking him and screaming, "Greg, you beast! You got the yellow jersey man! You're going to massacre these Philistines." I sat down and said, "I was climbin' with Hinault, and all the Frenchies were pissed that you dropped his sorry ass."

Just then, my eyes fully adjusted to the darkness and there sat Bernard Hinault himself. Oops. I could've crawled under my seat. "Hey Bernie, what's up?" was about all I could mumble. To make matters worse, the owner of the La Vie Claire team and one of France's biggest industrialists, Bernard Tapie, was sitting right next to Hinault. Tapie's script for Hinault to win his sixth Tour de France was about to be rewritten by LeMond.

The door was closed and copter blades started to howl. I looked straight at the drab olive wall and saw stenciled there in big white military letters, "Made in the USA." "All right, Tapie," I screamed, "you see this (pointing to the sign)? Made in the USA. Baby, everything is gonna be fine."

Tapie was not amused, but Greg, Andy, and me all started cracking up. Even Hinault cracked a little smile. We took off in a cloud of dust and the rest, as they say, was cycling history.
Bob's a fine writer. It would have been cool to talk to him more when I met him at the Tour of Millersburg over the summer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Don't Cha Just Hate When This Happens?

Shrinkage! Here's a great example of why you should do crunches regularly. Story here.

It's a Two Wheel Thing.

As some of you might have guessed, I like to ride. Before I could ride on two wheels I pushed two wheels. My mom tells me stories of how I'd push my brother's 20"er everywhere. I guess it made me feel like I was riding or something. Tricycles and training wheels weren't my thing either so the first chance I got, I dug into my Dad's toolbox when he was at work and yanked those suckers off the 16" hard plastic wheeled bike I got for Christmas. I learned to ride that very same day. I was 4 and I remember that moment like it was yesterday.

Oh I've had a few distractions over the years, a Big Wheel, homemade go-karts with wheels boosted from baby carriages, unicycles, fast cars and women. They're not the same. On the other hand, my Harley is. After all, it's got two wheels! We've all heard the endless cliches about the freedom riding gives us through all those Harley Ads but you know what? They're all true. So screw it, let's ride!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Five Years.

Congrats to NASA for keeping Spirit and Opportunity rolling on the surface of Mars five years after the mission started. Who would've guessed they'd still be going? I doubt anyone at NASA even thought they'd last this long. Job Well Done!

Nice Solid Block of Riding.

Yesterday and today were my 5th and 6th straight days of riding with yesterday being a really hard 2 hour ride and today a long steady distance ride of 4:15. I could really feel the hurt out there today after yesterday's ride and it was slow/hard going for the most part with a lot of hills and headwinds for the first half. Luckily the second half had more downhill and level sections with some nice tailwinds. Between 40 and 50 miles I averaged over 23mph. Yeah the tailwind helped.

Prawn Mee! When I got home the house smelled incredible with dinner almost ready. My wife tried her hand at Prawn Mee for the first time. It's a labor intensive noodle soup originating from China and perfected in Malaysia. She nailed it! The only other place I've had good Prawn Mee in the USA has been at the many Penang Restaurants here on the East Coast. Hers might be better!