Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Monday was supposed to be a 55 miler, just to log miles in the legs.  However, as soon as I opened the garage door, I realized I wasn't going that far.  This time, when the sun came up, the wind did also.  I determined the direction to be ENE and the first 15 miles I headed either east or north, mainly east.  I decided to play it by ear, making a final determination around 8 miles, or the turn on University Blvd that would put me head-on into the wind.

My first inclination was to turn around and not do another half-hour into the wind.  But the sun shown brightly in a clear blue sky and I had nothing on the agenda at home, so I leaned over the (now installed) aerobars and battled onward.  Truthfully, I geared down and saved my legs for the return trip, anticipating a lot of fun.  The turn-around came at 67 minutes, or about 12 minutes slower than average.

Within seconds of beginning the return trip, I pushed the front derailleur over to the big ring and enjoyed the wind at my back.  The ride itself had no incidents, as traffic did not materialize.  My final time showed 1hour, 59 minutes, or 15 minutes faster on the way back. 

Today I planned another short ride, after working out at the gym, but the wind is much stronger today, and I don't care to have it beat me up.  Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, April 23, 2012


     I had good intentions: come home from The Netherlands and get on the bike.  Didn't happen.  Other than the 1.5 mile ride to the gas station, the bike stayed in the garage.  I managed to get to the gym for Body Flow on Tuesday, that wiped me out (actually the weight work-out before Body Flow did it), and spin class on Friday, so it wasn't like I'd become a couch potato.  Saturday was gorgeous, but a tad windy and rather than ride I opted to dig four holes and plant three trees (the nursery sold the other tree before I could get back to it).  The trees had been on the agenda for quite awhile and it was either now or wait 'til next year.
     So, Sunday, three weeks after my last ride, became the day to start catching up.  My Sunday "360 ride" begins (usually) 10 minutes before sunrise, in this case 6:35am.  I glanced at the thermometer as I left the house: 48 degrees, and went back for another layer on my chest.  The flashing lights at Big Lots, where I start, showed a comforting 57 degrees.  Two things: I was running late, and "wheels down" didn't happen until 6:45am; and I know that seven minutes into the ride a series of ups and downs will drop the temperature at least ten degrees.  Nevertheless, I left the wind jacket in the car and went with the long sleeve undershirt and jersey, and of course, tights.
     Just because I started at sunrise didn't mean I had warming rays hitting my back.  What with the hills, it took 37 minutes before the sun actually got to my body.  No wind.  Body working smoothly, if somewhat weak.  I felt great, albeit a gear or two short.  At the turn onto Bee Cave Road, I had lost five minutes (off average time), but didn't feel stressed about it.  For one thing, I hadn't touched the bike (gas station ride notwithstanding) since State Finals on the 1st.  That meant I had not replaced the aerobars.  My water bottle holder broke as I readied to start, forcing me to put the bottle in my Camelbak, which meant an additional stop to change bottles.  Bottom line: I knew at the beginning that my time would be less than average, so relaxed and enjoyed the ride.
You know a fun place when you see it
Even though the sun came up, the wind didn't.  Flags were limp the whole morning.  The best part of today's ride was how good the legs felt.  Earlier in the year, there was always something missing.  Yesterday I had "good sensations" (as the pros say).  Hopefully, they will stay that way as I try to catch up on missed mileage.

Monday, April 16, 2012


     It is 12:34pm. Here is how the previous 15 hours have gone: Still feeling jet-lagged returning from The Netherlands and a terrific river cruise, went to bed at 9:30pm, including a pre-bedtime pee. Was up at 10:30pm, 11:30pm, 1am, 2:30am to pee some more. Woke up at 4am, now wide-awake, and went to pee before making coffee. My irritation was slightly ameliorated by the fact that I managed to gain about 7 pounds in a 9 day period, so was hoping that some of the excess weight was going down the toilet.
     Dropped Marilane off in Austin (she was heading to Houston), and picked the wrong road to return home. Road construction delays plus inability to access Hwy 183 tended to increase my aggravation, but eventually arrived home. Did my push-ups (100/day for April). Then things really went south.
     I didn't feel up to a time-trial workout, so intended to go to spin class at noon. But first a few chores: Post Office, gasoline for the lawn mower, then spin class. I arrived at the Post Office and realized that half of what I was mailing (some Bicycle Journeys with Jerry books to folks we met on the cruise) had been left at home. Mailed what I brought and headed to the gas station.
I didn't go in today, but if I did, we know what would happen.
     The ignition switch occasionally "dings" for no reason when I remove the key, and usually I just touch it with my finger and it goes off. Because I was only getting gas in the plastic can, and was going to leave the front door open, I just set the keys by the gear shift. I also didn't touch the ignition and stop the dinging. Guess what? A gust of wind hit the door and shut it, and I heard a dreaded "click." It seems the door locked itself when it closed! Keys inside. I notified the manager that the car would be there for awhile, as I had to walk home (mile and a half) and get the spare keys. Fortunately, my neighbor (who has a spare house key) was home, so I was able to get into the house. Within minutes I headed back to the gas station on my bike.
     Having to walk home upset my timing, so I hurriedly threw my stuff in a bag and headed to the gym. Forgot they were re-doing that road, but fortunately traffic was light and delay minimal. Got to the spin bike and only when I dragged the shoes out of the bag did I realize I had brought the wrong shoes. The cleats were not compatible. No problem, I could wear my running shoes. Oops! The clips were incorrectly threaded and wouldn't tighten around my shoes. After trying for several minutes to achieve a decent pedaling motion, I uttered an expletive and gave it up.
     I turned the wrong way out of the parking lot, but that was rectified and I continued to the Post Office to mail the books. That brings us up to the present. I'll cut the grass and hopefully have a successful nap that will alleviate the jet-lag feeling.

PS, I also forgot my hearing aid, fortunately I didn't need to communicate. And, I didn't get my nap.


     This year there is no qualifying rounds to get to State. In fact, the only two time trial events planned were Senior Games State Finals and Tour de Gruene in November. Let's just say I'm not super-motivated this year. Anyhow, my practice times were perfect predictors of how I did in the races.
     March 31 was the 10k time trial. I expected silver, but due to an out of state winner, was awarded the bronze. April 1 was the 5k time trial and the results were the same. I skipped the 40k road race because there was a 3 hour wait between when I finished the tt and the start.
     The good news is that even the bronze results in qualifying for next year's Nationals, to be held in July.