Thursday, April 30, 2009

That's Why They Call Them Squirrels

A couple mornings ago, I was testing various pedal cadences at 23-24 mph and a squirrel ran straight into my front wheel. Then proceeded between the two wheels and to the other side of the road. Nuts!

Unfortunately I was without my camera.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Listen up!

It's the last day to sign up for Fat Cyclist's 100 Miles of Nowhere. Now do it.

I'll be "there" riding "with you".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Difference Between Trail and Road Riding

(at least this weekend)

Road riding you can start when it's already 40F and raining. Whereas with mountain biking you can leave while rain, hail, thunder, lightning is merely looming. It might be waiting to drop like a rock on you at mile 5 of the 10 mile trail.

Saturday it was good to ride with some good folks at Kettles South. I was allowed to take off at "race pace" leading out the group for a few miles (they know this as slightly slower than "easy ride", a.k.a. warm-up). When the rain started coming down, TmonT took the lead while I managed to convert to run-ups on some of the tougher inclines, thus saving the uphill trails from my rear wheel. (note to self, let's try one gear easier). Russel noted something like my bike would be lighter without the pedals if I didn't need them. Maybe I need some trail run shoes for next time. Rick, Liz and MK pretty much left me alone, figurin' R. Tools had the smack talk covered. I thought I was pretty soaked yesterday.

Then comes Sunday. Knowing I've been on vacation and bikeless, I have to get out for regular miles. So I hopped up this morning and did another nearly 2 hours in 40F and rain. This isn't so bad for the first 1/2 hour, maybe even hour. The way home gets a bit tougher. For the uninitiated, it goes something like this:

About 20 or 30 minutes into the ride, your cycling tights are water logged with cold rain, and your legs begin to waffle between cold and stinging. You modify your effort to somewhere between "stay warm" and "able to maintain for the entire ride". The inclines help you stay warm. Speeding up effort is great for warming up the muscles. Keep in mind, as your speed goes up you get exponentially more wet.

Around 45-60 minutes into the ride, your double layer thick gloves are completely soaked. Your hands don't feel too cold, except when you hit a bump and all the water in the gloves moves around. Somewhere around 70-80 minutes, the cold has sapped your energy and you just want to eat / get home. In a past ride, the decision to eat at this point left me shaking on the floor in the fetal position when I got home. It's not the time to have all the blood run to your stomach. Get home, shower then eat.

Speaking of showers, yeah I was in there a good bit just waiting for the itchy red tingling from the cold go away. This is about the least fun of the entire thing. Even when the shower is done, you're bones are still cold. Following up with a hot bowl of oatmeal and an espresso put me back on track.

Ride done. I want to believe these are the days that make racing easy.

I share this not to show how much of a hardened individual I am. Quite the contrary. We can all do a good deal more than we think. I could have easily talked myself out of going today and didn't. I'm glad I didn't.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Last Day of Vacation

I had hoped to head out to Muir on my final day of vacation. But the powers that be (this week's rain) got in my way. So I decided to collect some mud samples at the local trail recently revealed to me by some biker dudes. There were only a few wet spots. Still I managed to get some good dirt.

While I'm at it, today is the last day of vacation. I had a great time off. It's time to get serious though. Time to keep balance. Time to sleep and eat well. Time to focus. I'm ready.

With that, I weighed myself, logged back into for the first time in years, and gave myself a Mach 4 haircut to start with a clean slate. Don't mind the helmet mark, it's just evidence I actually rode. And yeah, the sun was bright.

Happy Earth day.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What I Did on Vacation Part One

With respect to vacation, this is in no particular order. I got plenty crossed off my list while I was "out". Here's one thing:

(photo credits to my brother)

What you see here is out and out evidence I have used a new-fangled style two-wheeled vehicle. Now, regular readers will note I use two-wheeled vehicles all the time. Here we see me sitting on something with a clutch and a motor. You will have to take my word that I actually operated said vehicle, motor, clutch, at least one brake, 2 gears, and neutral. My brother turned the key, so I'll have to learn that later. It was odd as all getout not having any fatigue anywhere (minus my clutch wrist). Oh yeah, and I didn't dump it (knock on wood).

This all seems like small stuff to those who have ridden. One might ask how I made it all the way to 2009 before trying this. Shoot, I don't know.

You can't see my smile in the pictures, but rest assured it was fun.

I like to think like Ferris, "If you have the means, I highly recommend it." Or at least, I didn't wait until 2010.

Glad to be back. I can't wait to start turning cranks. More later.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Better Write Something and Quick

Hey, the loco local folks took me out for a spin on some trails. I was going to go it on my own, but it was nice to have some company. I didn't have time to whip out the camera, cause I was too busy being last. Rest assured, after a few weeks of R&R, I'll be even slower!

I'm going to have to do some running, if I'm expected to show progress at Stump Farm in early May.

I may put my head down here for a bit. Buckle down, if you will. Once we're in swing, I'll try to get some posts out here.

Watch for an up and coming review of some tires I used all winter..

Other news, work has been gettin' their money's worth lately. I'm happy to provide, but likewise hoping this will be fully recognized as the weather gets nicer.

See you all out there.