Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Bring ginger into your life. Mostly I use dry ginger root but when I need to get serious, I buy fresh ginger and cut a half-dozen slices into a tea pot and brew. Last year I mentioned adding a little honey, but this year I have graduated to taking it straight. There is already too much sugar tempting us this Christmas Season and the three extra pounds the scales have jumped in just five days have gotten my attention.
I hit the Oil of Oregano anytime there is a hint of stuffiness or tightness in my chest. Of course, vitamin C is part of the daily regimen. I'll also increase to significant dosage if exposed to anyone with a cold or feel something coming on.
When the home remedies fail, I'm off to my acupuncturist. My best recollection is that my last cold/flu was seven plus years ago. One visit plus herbs got me going the next day.
I am a walking advertisement for good health. And just like a lot of billboards, no one pays attention. But I keep trying.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I keep a spread-sheet (don't roll your eyes!) on the ornaments. This came about because through the years we acquired additional ornaments, but couldn't remember when or sometimes if given as gifts, who. Now we know.
Coffee is finished, time to get on with decorating. BTW, even if everything in the house takes on a Chrismas theme, we don't think of it as excessive.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
In addition, we have some early Christmas lunch gatherings scheduled and it will take lots of man-hours to have the house properly decorated. I am feeling (slightly) guilty about biking in these prime-decorating hours. But yes, I'll leave in an hour to ride.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
On a cycling note, I managed a 35 mile ride this morning, starting out in the fog, but finishing in nice sunshine with no wind. Cycling will be spotty until after January 1. I checked out the spin classes at Gold's Gym and it looks like the 8:45am once a week will start this coming week. I also began my leg work on the weight machines last Friday. They have yoga on Thursday evening, but I have a difficult time leaving home after 4pm.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Truthfully, the three weeks doing E2E and afterward the time-trial training put me in the best condition since completing the coast-to-coast trip in 2001. Moving took all of my energy, but I must say, the accomplishment borders on the heroic.
So, thanks GA, for pointing me in the direction of cycling to hone my lungs and muscles. As I see my older friends (like, in their 70's) still being strong and active, growing older doesn't seem to be as restrictive as I anticipated it would be back when I turned 60.
PS Massage, Reiki, and Epsom Salts bath are part of the recovery process. The GA doesn't work those type of miracles.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The two races break down like this in their respective zones: 2.3%; 9.2%; 70.4%; 16.2%; 1.8% for the 5km and 1.3%; 1.0%; 3.4%; 38.3%; and 56.1% for the 10km. It is very clear that spending 70.4% of a race between 70 and 80% of maximum heart rate does not result in optimum performance. Conversely, in the 10km, I did the whole race (95%) above 80%, and a large majority of that above 90% of maximum.
When you watch the Tour de France pros warm up for their time-trials, they work up a sweat on their trainers and according to the commentators, they spend about an hour on them. When I do my 50 minute Carmichael work-out on the trainer, I also sweat profusely. I have to get serious about perfecting a pre-race routine that gets my heart rate up, with lungs and muscles properly responding. But I hope it won't be an hour on the trainer. That is the goal for this winter.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday at 9am, give or take, the 5km began. The morning started in the mid-40's, no wind. By race time it had risen to maybe 60, still very little wind. I just can't seem to warm up properly for the 5km. Even though I rode on the road for at least 30 minutes, including sprinting to increase my heart-rate, and 10 minutes on the trainer to again get the heart-rate up and the body used to getting rid of lactic acid, I didn't feel really loose.
The organizers called us to the staging area much too soon, thus we had at least 30 minutes of waiting and allowing the body to cool off. We rode around a bit and up and down a side street, but it wasn't the same. Anyhow, eventually my time came.
Like a lot of previous time trials, I started off quickly, settled into a rythym, and found my heart and lungs complaining at the load I put upon them. My legs refused to apply power to the pedals. Although I kept a good rpm, I knew I should have been in a higher gear and going faster. This is a short race, straight and flat, so the suffering lasted 8 minutes and 7 seconds (pay no real attention to the time, the race was a smidgen over 5km).
As it turned out, the winning time in my age group (65 to 69) was 7:54 and my time was good enough for second place. Comparatively, I tied for eigth place overall. Age groups are in five-year increments starting at age 50 (50-54;55-59;60-64-65-69 and so forth).
We had maybe an hour and a half before the 10km time-trials started. I used the time to stretch, re-hydrate and fuel myself, rest and relax, and do more warm-up on the trainer. I also didn't report to the staging area until shortly before my start time.
The temperature had increased another ten degrees and was quite comfortable. I felt quite relaxed and ready. I moved quickly away and settled onto the aerobars within twenty pedal strokes. The 10km race course was again straight and flat, but also about .4 of a mile short of 10km (due to traffic concerns). Unlike the 5km, I felt strong and comfortable the whole way and the legs supplied proper power, giving me a nice high gear. When I caught sight of the finish line, about a half mile ahead, I pushed hard and achieved an even higher gear, more rpm, and a really fast finish.
The preparations paid off, as I posted a first place in my age group, with a time of 13:20. This was seventh overall. Interestingly, my average speed for the 5km was 23.6 and the 10km 24.3.
Sunday I did the 40km (actually 28 miles) road race, more for fun than anything. I managed to stay with the group until the last 50 meters, possibly because I tried an ill-timed breakaway and ran out of steam at the end. We averaged 20.3mph.
This marks the end of this year's cycling season. Training for next year starts Nov 1.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I arrived at Land's End in race-ready form. Part of my at-home exercise routine includes daily: six sets of sun salutations; bi-weekly: a half hour of abdominal exercises (Suzanne Deason tape); back and leg stretches after cycling. There are others. Well, strenuous cycling or not, this trip was a vacation so I also arrived in vacation-mode. Attitude plus change in routine (and perhaps a Guinness or two) conspired to have me take six weeks off from stretching.
Earlier this week I resumed my stretching routines, and I am hoping my hamstrings will stop yelling at me by Sunday. I sprayed them with BioFreeze last night, hoping to placate. My gastrocnemius and soleus muscles feel at least an inch shorter and are refusing to stretch and my left arch either cramps or threatens to cramp at the drop of a hat. I was doing a hamstring stretch and my abdominal muscle cramped, for crying out loud.
This morning the sun was shining, finally, and I jumped at the chance to get in a 30 mile ride. Ah, my brain jumped; everything from the head down was dragged kicking and screaming. The whole body finally warmed up and got the job done and I can report no injuries. All of this could have been avoided with a couple of simple stretches as part of my post ride warm down.
But I have a caution, learned the hard way: If you deplete your energy stores (like have a really long, hard workout), don't jump off the bike and start stretching. Delay that until you have replaced electolytes and let the body recover. But don't skip it, just delay. Your muscles will thank you for it.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I checked the stats for my coast-to-coast ride, and from Auburn to Truckee, California we rode 76 miles and climbed 8,500 feet, and from Brattleboro, VT to Manchester, NH 6,010 feet over 86 miles.
For a reason that escapes me, the computer (ok, the operator) put Day 3 into three laps. The first one recorded 15.1 miles at an average speed of 7.4, although maximum was a nice 32.5. To get an average like that, I had to have put in some 4 mph miles. This was the morning we were in a fog. Lap two showed an average of 10.3 and a max of 42.3 (the fastest of the whole trip and both Steve and I were grateful the sheep didn't jump) over 32.8 miles.
The day in the rain (Day 16), going down Rest And Be Thankful, it felt a lot faster than 32.9 as I tried to stay up with James. On several other occasions I thought my speed exceeded 40, based on the adrenalin building up, but the Garmin shows differently. Perceptions can sometimes magnify reality.
I am not a fanatic about keeping (and living by) statistics, but they assist in not letting your imagination run wild and I like having them.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
By my count, the directions on the route sheet numbered 930 for the 20 days of riding. Take this with a grain of salt and a margin of error of 2%. For instance, from Bettyhill to John O'Groats there is only one road, with a left turn to Dunnet Head, but that was an out an back. We had 18 directional entries for the day. The highest day was 71 (twice).
We had 36 undulations (roads with rolling hills, although some of the rolls were really climbs).
We had 86 climbs (lengths varied, but generally it had to be a double-digit percentage, say 10-16%) and 27 steep climbs (18-24% and longer than a quarter-mile, approximately). These were route instruction words and I didn't count "up" or "rolling," only the three categories listed. We really had more climbs than shown, but I didn't count the ones not shown on the route sheets.
Oh yeah, Bicycle Adventures lists the route as 1056 miles and my GPS (Garmin 305) showed exactly 1056 miles, even though at no time did my daily mileage coincide with theirs for more than a few miles.
The second day we had 10 climbs and 6 steep climbs; the third day 9 climbs and 1 steep climb; Day six we had 8 climbs and 2 steep climbs. Unfortunately (or mayby not), I don't have the total feet of ascent. Operator error on the gps.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I bring this up because several people, during the ride, would inquire and donate. The first time was a mistake, in that an old gentleman sidled up to **and asked if he were doing it for charity and rather than take the long answer about some were and some weren't, ** gave the short answer of yes, and before he knew it, the gentleman had pressed (I think £5) into his hand and went on. Surprised, ** couldn't very well chase after and return it, so pocketed it.
Lyn, on the other hand, was an extremely good spokesperson for Alzheimers. Since a majority of my ride time was with her and Steve, I learned a lot about symptoms and care and a lot about how many folks feel the need to donate. At one coffee stop, she came away with more money (from the owner) than we paid for the snack. What amazed me was the people who donated gave no thought that their money wouldn't go to the organization. Not everyone in the world is jaded by scam artists. Anyway, I can't say about the other charities, but Alzheimers was well served on this trip.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We stayed the night before at the Airport Hilton, using points rather than money. Ah, that means free. Because Miss Platinum is also Miss Diamond, we were also upgraded to the executive floor, which means free snacks (sufficient to be called a meal) and drinks, including a wide variety of alcohol. Again, this privilege was not abused, limiting ourselves to one drink each. Breakfast the next morning was included. For anyone who has stayed at an airport hotel in London, this was a minimum of $300 savings, not to mention being shown a better attitude.
There are other perks I won't go into, but after three weeks of heavy exercise, I was happy to be pampered on my way home.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
One way to ruin a perfectly good cycling holiday is to ignore daily hygiene. In particular: not washing your shorts and jersey between wearings. For this three week journey I packed three cycling sets and nine envelopes of Tide (designed for individual sink-washings). My plan was to wash every other day, just in case they needed two nights to dry. That was mistake #1. It should have been eighteen Tides and every night wash the smelly clothing.
Every traveler knows when you hand wash, you rinse thoroughly (maybe two or three rinses) to remove detergent residue, wring out the clothes, wrap them in a towel and wring and blot some more, then hang them up where they can have air circulating, preferably warm air. First, you do this AFTER you shower and clean yourself up. Mistake #2 was having three sets to wash in Moffat, our rest-day town. I washed immediately upon arrival, it took an hour. At the end, all four towels were quite wet, to the extent that they never dried out. My clothes did, but I had to skip a shower the next day for want of a dry towel. Ok, I could have used a sheet, so maybe I need more experience in this area.
Mistake #3 was not implementing my first idea of bringing the miracle rag I use to dry the car when I wash it. You know, the cloth that absorbs gallons of water just by being in the vicinity. If I do any more of these hand-wash-in-the-sink trips, I'll have a large one in a ziplock bag in the suitcase.
If you are not a cyclist, trust me when I say an ingrown hair or similar inflammation, in a sensitive area that makes contact with the saddle, makes for an extremely uncomfortable ride and needs multiple days to rectify. Take all precautions to prevent it in the first place: use a moisture barrier, good hygiene, and good quality shorts. Note: I had no such inflammations to detract from my enjoyment.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
As those (like Lyn) who saw me eschew the greens (and especially the various colors of bell peppers and cucumbers) and ingest an unbalanced number of steak and ale pies, can attest, my eating habits for the last month left a lot to be desired. However, at no time did I feel tired or run-down in an unhealthy sort of way. But that was only short-term, I am now back to eating fruits and vegetables. I don't think I can hold down my weight more than another month, then it will creep back to normal (hopefully no more than 150).
I now have some heart-rate statistics from the trip. Surprisingly, even on the most strenuous days, the average heart rate did not exceed 113 (67% of max). But when it went up, it was in the 90-95% range. Conclusion: you don't have to spend enormous amounts of time in Zone 4 or 5, but you do have to spend multiple short bouts there in order to achieve a training effect. Of course, I already knew that from Chris Carmichael and Sally Edwards.
Monday, October 5, 2009
The logistics of getting my custom titanium bike to Land's End seemed extremely complicated as I planned the adventure. For about the same expenditure, I could refurbish the components on Kurt's (son and dtr-in-law who live in England) old bike, thus benefitting both of us. Thus he now has Ultegra throughout, with 12-27 cogs and a triple crank set. I did Alpe d'Huez in a 12-25 so that seemed sufficient. As he went about evaluating the upgrades, Kurt determined new wheels were in order and funded them himself. Even better, he commissioned a custom wheelset of Bontrager wheels with 36 heavy-duty spokes and 28cm Bontrager tires. To them I added Stop-Flat, a polyurethane liner that fits between the tire and tube. BTW, not even a hint of a flat and I only aired the tires twice in three weeks.
Because I was in the UK, I wanted fenders (mud guards) and because of the touring aspect, a rear rack rather than the Camelbak I usually use. Kurt also supplied the rack pack, an invaluable accessory, as it turned out, due to the many in-travel clothes changes required because of the changing weather.
Albeit a tad heavy relative to what I am used to, the bike rode quite comfortably. Some of the roads had deteriorated to the extent of being extremely rough, but I never worried about equipment failure. Someone asked me about my speed (fast) downhill and my response was you had to trust that everything would work as designed. "Always buy the best, you will never be disappointed."
Having the proper clothes and bike allowed me to concentrate on the cycling and scenery. Two prime reasons this trip was so successful. Thanks, Kurt.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
For this ride, we were fortunate in the extreme. Only one day did it rain from start to finish. Two other days were wet in the morning and no precipitation in the afternoon. The clouds made for some dramatic scenery but drab pictures. If anybody in the group missed seeing my legs the first two days, then they had to wait until the last one, because all of the other days I wore either tights or rain pants. Only a few days were in just the jersey, usually it was accompanied by the wind jacket (warm) or rain jacket (cold wind protection).
I posted this entry to emphasize the point that you should have the proper clothing available when you take a cycling vacation. Don't "tough it out" and make yourself miserable because you didn't bring a good selection. Even though I dislike riding in the rain and detest a heavy headwind, neither of these obstacles caused more than mild irritation because I had the right gear. Plus, it feels so good when you stop. And, a pint of Guiness and a Steak & Ale pie smoothes away ruffled feathers.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
For my friends who completed the Hotter'n Hell 100, congratulations! I really don't miss doing that. It was fun and exciting and gave me an annual goal, but now I like 65 miles as my standard. I'll just display my 10 pins and sit back and reminisce.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Plan A called for me to drop off my display stuff on Friday afternoon, then wander about town and have dinner and drop into a few drinking establishments to mingle. My booksigning was scheduled for noon to whenever-the-crowd-drops, so I could also absorb the excitment of the morning crowd. This seemed like way too much fun.
Plan B came into play when I couldn't find a room in Leadville and the closest I could get was in Buena Vista, about 35 miles south. Scratch the after-dinner beers. Matter of fact, scratch the dinner in Leadville. In truth, the only part of Plan A that moved to B was dropping off my display stuff. Check-in time in Buena Vista was 3pm. Leadville was cold and rainy and not too many folks were out-and-about, so I went down the mountain much earlier than planned. Once there, I stayed. It was about ten degrees warmer and no rain. I ate at Quincy's and had a beer with dinner.
I really hadn't planned to drive up and see the start, but I awoke early, dressed, and drove to Leadville. My mountain bike was in the Tribute, in case I had to park so far away from the bookstore that walking would be a chore. However, I found a spot about four blocks from the start. As I locked the car and started walking, I saw a rider frantically opening his car and dragging out a rain jacket. Due to his actions I asked how long to the start, and he said "five minutes." Oh! I upped my leisurely pace and ran a block, getting to the start line with a minute to spare. Just enough time to drag out my camera, get a photo spot (but behind two rows of folks), and snap as the leaders rolled out. Unfortunately, my camera focused on the back of the heads in the first row, so while Lance and Dave and the whole front line are in the picture, they are all blurred. Phooey.
Race started, we had about six hours to kill before an estimated return. It was 38 degrees and damp. After all 1400 riders had departed I wandered by the bookstore, which had opened early. Carol, the owner, had an urn of free coffee and some folks were taking advantage of it, as did I. Long story short: I sold three books before 7am.
Emboldened by this early success, I hung around inside the bookstore talking to patrons. Around 9am I went for breakfast and dawdled as much as I could. It was still cold and wet and I had minimal cold weather clothing (enough, as long as I didn't stay out too long). Around this time the racers were encountering a bit of sleet. Since I didn't have a motel room to return to, I went back to the book store, and just stayed for another five hours.
Early talk had been that with optimal weather and racing conditions, the winning time might beat six hours. With the rain, sleet, and cold I expected six and a quarter, but Lance came across in 6:28, about a half an hour ahead of six time winner Dave Wiens. I had a great view of the finish, if somewhat distant, right out of the bookstore front door. Again, I took a picture of Lance finishing, but even with the telephoto plus enlarging on the computer, all you see is the fuzzy microphone thrust in his face.
So, I can say I was there, I saw Lance, and the beginning and end of the race. If anyone is considering going next year here is your Plan: Reserve a room early; be at the top of the first rise so you can catch the leaders plus the long peloton of racers and the town in your picture; then get in your car and drive to the Columbine climb, or one of the other mid-race viewing spots;then drive back for the finish. All of the locals tell me bad weather and the Leadville races go together. Be prepared for the worst.
Monday, August 10, 2009
The ITT start time of 7:17am meant warming up in the dark, done mostly on the trainer. The course was out and back, generally flat, with 30 second intervals between riders. I was real pleased with my gear selection, feeling I maximized my speed by being in the proper gear. We had a wind coming back, but this early in the morning it didn't seem to hamper me. My perfect-fit Felt bike with the Zipp wheels ran smoothly and I managed second place in my age group, 4 seconds off earning a jersey. Average speed 23.0 with a max of 31.9.
In the afternoon we held a short team practice, just to get the feel of riding together. The next morning we had a late start, 9:47. The wind was stiff, mostly at our backs for the first 10km, then we did some turns and needed to eschelon, and at the turn-around our speed dropped considerably. With about 3km to go, I fell off the pace, but you only needed three to get a time. I was about 15 seconds back. We finished third, but second place didn't receive medals since 75% were from out of state. Average speed 22.1 with a max of 35.9.
We found a great place to eat, the Castroville Cafe, superior food and service. BYOB. Marilane wandered shops and found a pair of pants that previously had eluded her and some excellent cheese and fudge.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
You may have noticed I didn't do my monthly weigh-in picture last month (or this month for that matter). Remember, my goal was 2 pounds a month or 146 by October, whichever came first. In June, the end-of-month goal was 148.8 and I actually had reached it on June 10th. But then I went on our fabulous vacation to Georgia. The heavy exercise undertaken in Georgia was offset+ by good food and drink, and I had a lot going on, so skipped writing about the weight gain (three pounds). This morning I weighed in at 149.2. I have been catching grief about the monthly camera shot, so will only do one sometime in October.
I finally got around to cleaning the mountain bike, from the Mickelson Trail trip in May. Unlike the Katy Trail, when we got caught in a downpour on the last day and the bike got filthy, except for the chain, it really was more of a wipe-down. It took about a half-hour to release the quick-release link and take the chain off to give it a proper cleaning and relube.
Exciting activities are coming up, check back in 10 days.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The first year we did this, we got a ride to the top of Wolf Pen Gap, then let gravity take us, generally, about eight miles, or to the bottom of the climb up to Spur 180. The climb turned out to be about five miles of hard labor, robbing us of a lot of leg and cardio strength.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I was looking forward to the cool graphics my Garmin gives. Bummer! When the whole ride is uphill, the graph is more or less a straight (angled up, but straightish) line from 3000 feet to 4338 over 2.45 miles. When I do my "hill" ride at home, the line spikes when I hit the hills, but the only spike on this graph is my heart rate.
There is a lot more to tell, some of it will be posted here, some at BudgetTravel.com and of course family and friends will have the full narrative and pictures of the whole trip.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I crested Steiner and passed 2222 as I cruised down 620. A young woman on a bike merged in behind me and I said "hi" but didn't slow down to chat. I held 23-26mph for several miles but got stopped at a light. Only 15 seconds, but she had stopped behind me so we exchanged a few pleasantries. She had just started her ride, I was two hours into mine. Green! I took off and again powered up to 26mph and a mile later turned onto Anderson Mill, and into a slight headwind. With my speed dropped to 20mph, still good, I saw in my mirror the rider behind, inexorably catching up and passing me. She was folded nicely into her aerobars and had a quick cadence.
So, as I drove to College Station, I realized my very best time occurred when I had aerobars and regular chain rings (I'm in a compact at the moment). It wasn't that my slow speed cut into the time, it was the lack of high-end speed. Also, the previous computer paused when I stopped, and although I knew both the overall time and saddle time, I only recorded saddle time. Now, my current computer pauses. Next month I'll re-install the aerobars and have a new drive-train. And, yes, I'll be ready to set a new pr.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I actually tracked daily mileage on my Garmin Forerunner 201, and felt no need to write down the dailies, since I could recall them on the 201 when I got home. Unbelievably, the last ride, which took very little effort, just sitting on the bike from Independence Pass (12,095 ft) seemed to have done something to it. The Garmin help folks at least got it to where I can turn it off (by doing a Master Reset), but turning it on takes pushing the Enter button instead of Power, and none of the buttons work. I planned on using this hiking, but it won't be back in time. Oh, Well.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The closest town to Twin Lakes is Leadville, about a half hour away. We drove through there on the way from Denver, but our intention was to leave Sunday morning early and go in the opposite direction, not seeing Leadville again (probably ever). Now comes the God part. The website for the church in Leadville posted a Mass at 4pm Saturday. Great! We could go to mass, then have dinner. Apparently, that mass time was cancelled last year and the website never updated. Thus we had time on our hands before eating.
Down the street from church is a book store, the Book Mine. I had copies of my book, although left them at the motel. Since we were there, I took a bookmark and went in to try to sell a few copies. More precisely, to induce the owner to take them on consignment.
Owner Carol Hill was very congenial and we had a good conversation, plus an agreement to take the books on consignment. Part of that conversation included the Leadville 100 MTB race, which coincidentally starts right in front of the bookstore! Carol invited (perhaps not a real invitation, but I interpreted it as one) me back in August to do a Meet-the-Author presentation. Austin to Leadville is a long way to go, but we deliberated while driving back to Twin Lakes to pick up the books and deliver them. Who are we to ignore Divine Intervention! Marilane had the opportunity to browse the whole store and complimented Ms. Hill on the outstanding selection and inventory. So, if in Leadville, make it a point to stop by and by all means, mention this post.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The reminder for this post is to pay attention to your chain. A stretched one can ruin cogs and chain rings as it rattles through.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The multiple windows of the 305 allowed me to have a controlled ride, even in the face of another day of a stiff southwesterly wind. I ended up 31 miles in 15.3 mph and an average rpm of 79 and average heart rate of 122. Since this counted the rest stop of 90 seconds and some downhills against the wind, I felt all goals were met.
Apparently, I have been pounding a bigger gear with less cadence in my rides. While this type of riding has a place in training, spinning faster in a smaller gear is much more gentle to your knees, and what I need to be doing on my long rides. The 305 will help me stay on track.
The results for the month are unwanted but not unexpected. A ten day vacation and subsequent drop of mileage to 174 created the setback. Poor cycling weather was also a component. We shall see what adversities await in May, or shall we term that "opportunities to overcome."
The technological neanderthals have a few new toys in the household. Marilane (navigator par excellence) now has a Tomtom to assist her in guiding us (mainly me) on our journeys. It's maiden voyage was our drive to Maryland, and it received an A+ on our side-trip to New Orleans, putting us right at the motel.
Thursday I opened the box on a Garmin Edge 305 and slapped it on the bike. I now have more data than I know what to do with. I did my hill workout yesterday and was finally able to see the grades on the readout in addition to the heart rate. 22 and 23 flashed briefly on a couple of ramps, and I saw 20 for longer than I wanted. Being able to display so many windows is great!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I brought my bike as both a prop for my talks and to ride. However, the planned four days of riding was reduced to one day, and that only half of what I anticipated. We managed to squeeze in two days of hiking, so exercise was not completely abandoned. Come on May!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The other one is "cold" in association with wind. The other day I bagged it when I hit the stiff north wind. I did the same today. Maybe last month I might have dragged my body downtown and joined the Flyers and hidden behind some big guy. But I've had it and will wait for better weather. Judging by the forecast, that might be next week, not this one. Today I spent lots of minutes stretching, doing abdominals, yoga, and re-acquainting myself to my rollers.
Back before I had a stationary trainer, while training for my coast-to-coast ride, I spent a lot of time on the rollers. I still can't ride with no hands, but after a minute or so of warming up today, I keep the wheel right in the middle as I went up and down the cadence. Rollers make you a better peddler because if you aren't even on both sides, your wheel moves to the side. A ten-inch slide might sling you off the rollers.
Sliding off the rollers has never happened to me. However, I have a short tale: I first set the rollers up in the garage, with a wall on my right. That would prevent my going right and all I had to do was protect against going left. All went well the first couple of times and I was getting the hang of it. So much so I let my brain wander. At the end of the workout I was ready to quit so I put on the brakes. Duh! Too Late, my weight listed left and I was clipped in too tightly. Big bruise on the left hip (and ego). Thereafter, the rollers were set up next to my Mazda pick-up where I could actually grab something. I have never touched the brakes again on the rollers.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Bringing you up-to-date statistically: still on schedule with the weight, managed 305 miles in a month that included lots of poor weather plus the weekend of races and time trialing, only three rides in the kitchen and three tt practices. These last were important, but don't add a lot of miles. On a good note, another short ride was my "hill" ride of 19 miles. But it includes eight climbs and is quite strenuous. I will now be doing this once a week.
Yesterday I intended to do a long ride. Funny how when you are not in a routine everything seems to take longer. It took a half an hour to get my act together and leave the driveway. Two minutes and less than half a mile later I did a U-turn and came home. No, I hadn't forgotten anything. The wind was about 25mph out of the north and even though I had on tights and windbreaker, it didn't feel good and I packed it in. Dang! That would have made the mileage look a little better.
So I rode out this morning, feeling smooth and powerful. Duh! Just about anybody with a 25mph wind at their back will feel good. Well, this time the wind came out of the south. I still had tights and windbreaker. The difference in days is mainly my 60 mile ride goes 15 miles north to start, then 15 miles east, turn around 15 miles west, then 15 miles south (generally). Today I could get three-quarters the route completed before having to face the wind. A pleasant ride, albeit slower than normal. I saw one other cyclist and only a couple of cars.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The bike worked flawlessly and was so easy to ride. The motor (me) had to come up for air toward the end, but I was able to stay on the bars 95% of the time without any neck problems. Oh yeah, my time, in spite of the stiff wind, was a minute faster than last year and about a minute faster than the second place finisher.
I had time to switch the front wheel to the Roark as I got ready for the 20k race. My friend Bill had come in 3rd in the tt, but I told him we would start quick, get a gap, and work hard for a lap, then relax the rest of the way and battle on the last (5th) lap. It worked to perfection. I gapped him on the last lap, but couldn't hold the lead going downhill into the really stiff wind. However, he took the lead heading into the finish and I had a better gear and the Zipp front wheel to get me enough acceleration to take him at the end. Two golds.
I drove home, had dinner, a soak in the tub, and went to bed. Up at 4:30 with a 5:45 departure back to San Antonio for the first race of the morning: 5km tt. This was an out-and-back, with two hills, one of which was pretty long. My muscles were tight and I began wondering how long lactic acid could stay in them. Anyhow, once again I cut a large chunk of time from my previous best and came in first.
I had no business entering the 40km race, especially when the fresh legs of Stanton and Tom showed up. They are faster even without 3 races behind me, so I knew only the bronze would be contested. At the start, they jumped and I jumped with them and within 200 yards we knew the others couldn't catch us. This would be a ten loop ride and I stayed with them for one loop before they left me. However, the lead we had built up on the first loop was sufficient to allow me to not have to push for the next nine.
I have no statistics for these rides. There wasn't time to get a computer on the tt bike, and when I switched wheels, there wasn't a magnet to activate the one on the Roark. I had taken my gps to at least give me some speed readout on the first day, but forgot to turn it off, so ran the battery down for the second day. I had my heart-rate monitor, but somehow forgot the strap, so that, too, was useless.
My head is dancing with the potential of the tt bike. Now I have to 1) Learn how to ride it and 2) Get in better shape, and perhaps get a coach. Oh, and find some races.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Ok, Ben, here it is. For those who can't read the logo, it is a Felt B2 Pro, with Zipp 808 rear and 404 front wheels. I picked it up today, rode it around the block twice, and will race it tomorrow. Naturally, it will take all summer to settle into it. I picked the Felt based almost entirely on the "exceeds expectations" help and attention given to me by the employees (and owner) of Jack and Adams bike shop in Austin. Two other bike shops were gracious in allowing me to test a Specialized Transition and Cervelo P3. I asked for a 54cm, they had one, and off I rode. Not Jack. I first stopped by 10 minutes before closing on Sunday, just to see if they would let me road-test a bike. Thomas said yes, come back tomorrow. He was busy when I returned, so Jack helped me. Before letting me take the bike, he had me do a quick fitting to be sure. Possibly because he is a tad taller than me and rides a 54cm gave him a clue that I was clueless. Two hours later, on a 52cm with lots of tinkering, I left the shop. I immediately went to my tt course but due to weather, could only give it a couple of quick runs, but knew right off that this bike fit like a glove and allowed me to utilize all of my power.
The next day I returned the bike, being greeted by name by Michelle, Thomas, and Jack. We discussed the B2 Pro because I wanted Zipp 808s. Ordered, delivered, and ready to pick up in a week. Again the meticulous fitting - it was perfect. Then Jack took it to the back and an hour later it was more perfect. I have no idea if the Transition or the Cervelo (if they had similar Zipps) or the Roark with 808 front and rear would be faster. Truthfully, don't care. I do know that the proper fit given to me by Jack already has made me feel stronger and faster. I'll find out tomorrow.
If you know you aren't cycling your best, you can either experiment with incremental changes here and there, or find someone who knows what they are doing and get it right the first time. And if you are in Austin and like personal attention, stop by Jack and Adams.
My next post title will mirror the one by Ben several months ago. However, I hope my racing experiences do not. I don't believe I'll be asking Ben for advice on tires anytime soon.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
There is another obscure theory (mine) which states that weight loss becomes more difficult after the full moon in October and less difficult after the full moon in March. Not quite drawn from thin air, this is based on our pre-historic ancestors who needed to put on weight to survive the harsh winter months.
Changing gears, so to speak, even with travel days and bad weather, I managed to get in 429.8 miles outside and four days cycling in the kitchen. I also had to deal with the trauma of backing over my time trial bike (see picture in previous post) and looking for a replacement.
I have time trial pictures of my trip to California posted on Flickr (there is a way to get a better link , but for now this will have to do) http://www.flickr.com/photos/acyclistpublishing/
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I used the down time before and after the tt to be the guest author at the Book Loft.
With all of the cold, wet weather around us, we managed to cycle dry (albeit chilly on occasion). With all the great cycling roads in the area, it is no wonder the pro teams spend quality training time around Solvang. It is also a great tourist town, so the distaff side won't become bored.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Besides my end-of-month weight loss, I also will post my monthly bike mileage. Outside miles took a big hit with the trip to Maryland and then rain and freezing rain these last few days. Of course, that allowed plenty of time to go to the gym and do weights and to ride in the kitchen. The rest of my whine will come late Saturday.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Now, I exercise a lot so I can't really increase it, but if you are sedentary, do something. The easiest is take a walk. Doesn't matter how fast or far (yet), but brisk is better than meandering, and stay gone for at least a half an hour. For those who can't walk because of physical limitations, try a stationary bicycle. Can't do that? OK, pick up a can of soup and start doing curls with it.
I thought I would have 10 pounds to lose, but it seems it creeped up to 12 while I wasn't looking. Check back at the end of the month to see if two of them have disappeared.