Saturday, April 25, 2009


TS Eliot was not referring to cycling, but this year the words fit perfectly. With only a few days left, and the relentless wind not abating, April needs to be forgotten. Mileage is down and weight is up. It's best to look forward to May. However, April was not without bright spots. We drove to Frederick, Maryland in excellent weather, visited grandkids (and their parents), and made a few meet-the-author presentations. Tuesday my first talk was to the third graders at Orchard Grove Elementary School. That went well, and I was asked to come back on Thursday to repeat to the fourth and fifth graders. In all, at Orchard Grove, I made six presentations to fourteen classes of bright, inquisitive, well-behaved students. Also on Tuesday evening, we drove over to Brunswick, Md (located on the C&O Canal, part of my Pittsburg to DC ride) and presented at the library.
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 main one is "wind!" I am tired of being battered by the relentless wind. I don't enjoy a ride, even a group ride, when having to fight the whole way (or, precisely, half the way if it's out-and-back) in a really low gear, going oh-so-much slower given the effort you are making. Naturally, I am talking about casual rides, not races. For a race or tt, I might whine a bit, but suck it up since everyone else is in the same boat.

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.