Friday, October 20, 2017



My bike coach wants me to do two hours on the bike, one hour of easy riding, then 40 minutes of one-leg drills and 20 minutes cool down.  I have an A/C check-up at 9:00am and need to leave at noon to pick up my granddaughter at A&M.  It will be a little close, but manageable.  Forecast is for rain in the afternoon.

The Plan

I’ll ride in the neighborhood on my road bike, then hit the trainer for the drills, then back on the road bike for the cool down.  Yes, I could cool down on the trainer, but even for me, that’s a long boring time on a trainer.  A quick shower, a pb&j for lunch, and all things accomplished.

Slight Obstacles, in order of appearance

In setting up the trainer bike, I notice a lack of power data.  Dang!  Need new batteries.  Leave note for the A/C guy and book it for Batteries +.  This is at 8:40am.  Back home with batteries by 9:05, installed by 9:20.  A/C guy finishes early so I set up the trainer and get ready to ride the neighborhood on my road bike.

Time is tight, so I’m thinking maybe fifty minutes instead of sixty.  Well, thirty minutes in and it started to drizzle, then got heavier.  I was only five minutes away from home. 

Got home and changed into my old bike shoes (the ones that got me coast to coast in 2001), since my others were soaked.  It was a pretty quick change and I figured five minutes on the trainer then I’d start my drills.  I soon noticed that my cadence was all over the chart, even though I was quite stable around 75 rpm.  Pook!  Ding-fu!!  No time to delve into the problem, just change bikes.  Duh!  My road bike doesn’t have a rear quick-release that fits the trainer.  Ok, that was a quick fix.  

With the road bike set up on the trainer, I put in a few minutes of warm-up and began my drills.  They went well.  When switching legs it took longer than I wanted.  Oh, and when I pedaled the right leg, nothing registered on the computer.  Coach will have to assume it was more or less the same as the left.

Needless to say, time was short.  The twenty-minute cool down was cut to five.  Showered and out the door at 12:03.  Unfortunately, the emergency Clif Bar I keep in the car console had been consumed and not replaced.  There were a few orange slices to keep me going.

Note to coach: To keep everything separate, I turned off the computer after the warm-up, and the 1:4x was the trainer bike going wacko, and I started drills at the five-minute mark.  So there are two entries for today, one the warm-up and the other the drills.  If I do say so myself, they went well for a first day.  Myrtl and Core X will have to wait for Saturday.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Iceland

     Regular readers know I don't "do" water.  They also know I usually restrict my entries to cycling only.  Know now that I did not ride a bike to the Blue Lagoon.  However, this is a longer post than what I would do on Facebook, so this is the venue to express my reactions to this phenomenon.
     This is a really slick operation.  They have anticipated 99% of everyone's needs, including the totally inept and stupid tourists.  Marilane booked us with the Premium package, and we highly recommend doing this.  You get shower clogs (which are then yours), a towel and bathrobe, and a drink at the swim up bar.  I suppose for those who go regularly, this isn't needed.  You can pay through a tour company which includes the 45 minute bus ride, but we just booked through the Blue Lagoon and took a bus.  So, the experience.
     We arrived about 9:00am, some of the first.  The attendants were friendly and knowledgeable, asking if this were our first visit (duh, 98% only come here once), and explained what we were to do and got our stuff.  They give you a plastic bracelet which is encoded with your information.  You use it to open gates, lock and unlock your locker (which isn't assigned until you get to your locker room), and can also buy drinks, lunch, souvenirs etc.  Slick.
     Yes, men and women have separate rooms.  Once assigned, you strip down and head to the showers to shower before going into the pool.  Shower naked, cleaning 100% of your body.  You are advised to leave the hair conditioner in until afterwards in that the pool water can damage it.  I remembered to do that for my head.  Folks who were reluctant to take off their bathing suits or uninformed were reminded by an attendant that they couldn't enter the pool unless they did.  Nice showers, warm water, great shower gel and conditioner.
     The robe came in handy, in that Iceland is not Miami Beach.  Until you get into the water, it's chilly.  We didn't explore the whole lagoon, but the part we were in was anywhere from four to five feet deep.  So mainly we just walked around.  There was a spot where Marilane needed to tread water for a few feet.  We just milled around like the other tourists, enjoying the pool. The water is milky blue.  You can only see a few inches down.  There are lifeguards patrolling the perimeter, watching to see if anyone is having difficulties.  Little kids have floaties for their arms, if needed.
Then we went for the facial.  There is a kiosk (you never leave the water) with a pot of silica gel.  We spooned up some and applied to our faces, leaving it on for ten minutes.  The instructions say five to ten, but for us it felt as though it really didn't start working until about eight minutes.  There were a whole bunch of folks meandering around with white mask faces.  Then we washed it off, using water from the pool, and went back for the second mask, this one algae.  The attendant spooned it up sparingly, and this time we applied each other and left it on for another ten minutes. 
More wandering, then over to the bar for our included drinks.  Beer, wine, smoothies, juice.  I had red wine, Marilane had sparkling wine.  More wandering, other than a quick pit stop (this time I had to leave the pool and was thankful for the robe).
     After about an hour, I was ready to continue our adventure outside the pool.  As I returned to the showers, I felt mildly lightheaded.  It's a blood pressure thing, same thing happens when I take a hot bath.  And like a bath, it passed quickly enough.  Another shower and shampoo.  The changing facilities are very nice, including hair dryers.
     We had lunch in the Lava Restaurant.  It included sparkling wine.  The meal was excellent, with a great view of the lagoon.  Some folks do the pool, put on their robes, eat lunch, then return to the pool.   Again, part of the whole experience.
     The bus leaves every hour, so we had a little time to browse the souvenir shop.  This was a great day for the visit, in that it was cloudy with showers off and on.  Thanks to Marilane for the pictures.  I somehow let my iPhone run out of juice.
     If you go to Iceland, be sure to put this on your agenda, whether you like water or not.  But don't go to Iceland if spending money gets you uptight.  Things are ridiculously expensive.