Friday, February 27, 2009

27 February 2009

I made up a few miles today, but boy did I pay for it! I hit the road yesterday and did 43+ miles and had a great time, but between working alot lately and that late night two-hour romp on the trainer, I am whipped! I may fall a bit short of my goal this month; I am at the beach and hope to ride tomorrow but it's looking like rain. If so, I'll have to add the 55 miles to next month's goal. Stopped by Grand Strand Bicycles to pick up my new shoes and pedals; those guys take such good care of me. I think everyone should buy a bike from GSB and totally overwhelm Tim and Mary with bidness; they deserve it! Had a good discussion with Tim about nutrition while riding and the combination of fuel and hydration. I always leave that store a smarter cyclist. That's it for today, pray for sunshine in the morning.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

25 February 2009

I am a little behind on my goal for the month. About 45 miles behind. I should be near to 450 miles, yet I am only at 400 miles, with just three days to catch up. So I watched another movie!I put the kids to bed and popped in "Batman Forever" with Val Kilmer and some other people. Some of my favorites, actually. I am a fan of both Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones (loved "The Fugitive" with him and Harrison Ford); O'Donnell and the Kidner chic, eh, not so much. Cheesy movies, but very entertaining. So, with only three days to go, I am trying to hit it hard. I will get out tomorrow on my Roubaix and get some road miles; that, I always look forward to. I will be at the beach some this weekend but will try to squeeze in some riding while I am there. I have to see my friends at Grand Strand Bicycles about some new shoes and road pedals. While I am certain I can pull this out and make my mileage goal, I will probably not make my weight loss goal of 10 pounds for the month of February. Maybe 6.5 pounds, which I am still happy about, but not 10. That's still 15 pounds since January 1, and I am proud of that. Between my weight loss and buying a lighter bike, at this point I am riding WITHOUT a 20-pound dumbbell on my back. That's good stuff! I still have another 80 days to prepare for Mt. Mitchell, so there is time to accomplish much. Perhaps I can shed another dumbbell and go up the hill a little faster. Hmm?
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

24 February 2009

I just don't have it today; I have worked 5 of the last 6 nights, 12-hour shifts in the ER, and I am tired! And, I have still been riding eveyday. So I am entitled. I did ride yesterday, tried to keep up with the Chris Carmichael DVD. I think I did pretty well, for my first time out. The warm up and hill repeats are awesome, didn't have time to make it to the hill sprints. I know this will help me conquer Mt. Mitchell. I hope, however, that the weather will cooperate and I will take the Roubaix out tomorrow and get in some road miles. The trainer is great, but not a perfect simulation.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

22 February 2009

I wasn't on this bike OR this trainer today, but I did get on a bike and trainer today and did almost 17 miles in an hour. The weather was beautiful again today (I thought we were getting rain) but I have to work tonight so I couldn't get outside. Instead, I watched Versus' recap of the Tour of Qatar. It amazes me that in spite of being a competitive sport, these athletes can be very courteous to each other. Specifically, I refer to the untimely death of the 21-year-old Belgian who passed in his sleep. Out of respect, the next days' stage was cut short, and the peloton meandered through it quietly. How very honoring of this young racer's life. Helmets off to these professionals.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

21 February 2009

This picture is actually on the Waccamaw River near Pawley's Island, but I put it here because I am about ready for some warmer weather. I took my new bike out for its maiden voyage today and loved it, but the air was cold (low-to-mid 50's). When I was in school and living part-time on the coast, I loved getting out and riding the Waccamaw Neck. Almost ALWAYS a wind blowing (usually in my face) but always a great ride.
Back to the present: today was the first day I could get out on my new bike. I have never ridden carbon fiber, but I could not believe how forgiving the ride can be. My aluminum with carbon fork would beat the daylights out of me, turning every molehill in the road into a mountain. This Specialized Roubaix with Zertz in the frame and seatpost absorbed SOOO much of the roughness of the road, I was amazed. I didn't really ride any faster, but I know I will be able to ride alot further now because of the much more comfortable ride. Also, I have outfitted my new ride with a Garmin Edge 705; this computer gives me so much information so I can train better and become more efficient. Mt. Mitchell is much smaller today!
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, February 20, 2009

20 February 2009

After a couple of exhausting nights in the ER, I am wiped out today and have one more night to go. Therefore, I am NOT riding anything today! I am however, weather permitting, on my new bike tomorrow when I wake up 'cause I can't wait to put some good miles on it.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

19 February 2009

It took me about 30 minutes to finish watching "Batman and Robin," probably some of the cheesiest acting known to mankind. Supposed to be that way, I guess, and still somewhat entertaining. Still hard to see the Governator crossing over from acting to politics. Good guy though, on the podium at the Tour of California to encourage things along.
When I finished that, I put in a new DVD I bought while at Grand Strand Bicycles this week; it is a climbing/training DVD from Chris Carmichael and the folks at CTS. I just saw the first part of it today, the warmup. I'll have to put it in when I am fresh and see if I cannot do better. He, and about seven folks on trainers, walk the viewer through the warmup, hill repeats, and other exercises to help the rider become a better climber. Most of the good climbers are smaller fellows, and I am a bigger boy, so I need all the help I can get to climb Mt. Mitchell in just 88 days! I am working hard and want to be successful. I have dropped 10 pounds since January 1 and have ridden 715 miles; I'd like to triple that between now and May 18th. We'll see what I can make to happen.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

18 February 2009

Since I was at the beach these last two days, I haven't ridden other than a short test-ride of my new bike. I wanted to get over to Prince Creek and ride with the guys there, but it was freezing! I like to ride, but being able to breathe is pretty important to me. So, all dressed up and no place to go! Hopefully I will be able to go out Saturday and put a few miles on it.
Anyway, I got back on the trainer today and knocked out 22+ miles watching another "Batman" film; I forget which one, but is has the Governator in it. I need to ride, it's the ONLY place I find any peace on this earth.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

17 February 2009

I wanted to write a little more today about my new bike. Well, not so much about my new bike, but about the shop where I bought my new bike. Grand Strand Bicycles in Murrells Inlet, SC is owned by Tim and Mary Woolford. Tim has raced bikes forever, and will soon return to racing in March. He has a real passion for cycling and an even greater passion for seeing others become more involved in cycling. He and Mary, and Rich the Wrench, as well as others I have had the joy of meeting and hammering with on shop rides, have been such a great encouragement to me as I seek to become a better rider. Tim shares freely from his wealth of experience and his recent training with Specialized in California and I am privileged to call him my friend. As much as I would like to bless him, I always walk away feeling like I have received something from him, be it encouragement, advice, or instruction on my riding skill or bike repair and maintenance. Here is a shot of him assembling my new bike: and here is his shop website: . If you live on the Grand Strand or vacation there, you should stop in and visit Tim, Mary, and Rich. You'll be better for it! They can help you with your bike, rentals, and rides in the area. Take a good look at the website and you'll see they have several shop rides at different paces and different times of the week.
Now that I have got you sold on Grand Strand Bicycles, you need another look at my new bike: I have enjoyed my old bike, in the last year and a half I have pedaled it nearly 5000 miles, that's right, FIVE THOUSAND MILES! And I am not through with it yet; I'll leave it on my trainer in the garage and continue to use it. But, it is an internet bike and was never fitted to me. That's like buying a pair of jeans without trying them on and then just wearing them, no matter what. Tim fitted the bike to me and made adjustments (meticulously!) to the bike until it fit me. When I went down the road for a test ride, I knew it was MY bike. You won't get that at the Big Box stores (you know who you are). You pay a little more going to a local bike store, but you get so much more for your money.
Anyway, enough said about all that. I will never just buy another bike again. I will buy one fitted to me. Now all I need is some halfway decent weather so I can hit the road on my new machine!
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, February 16, 2009

16 February 2009

I am in Murrell's Inlet, SC today for a very exciting reason: I got my new bike today! Whoo- Hoo!!!

It is a Specialized Roubaix Elite and I love it! My friend Tim and his wife Mary own a bike shop in MI and I came down so he could fit the bike to me. Tim's been to Specialized in California to learn great details to bikes and biking and made this one fit me like a glove! I took it down the road just a little bit and it was enough to tell that this machine is head and shoulders above my old bike. I'll go out in the morning for a local group ride and really see how it does. I'll just have to dress better than I did today!
Be blessed, be safe.

15 February 2009

Went to Camden today and rode with my brother. We did a route which includes much of the route of the Tour de Camden, which is part of the "Cup Week" in November each year. We did this same route as my last ride of the year preparing for the TdC 2008 (which I didn't get to do). So, my last ride last year was the same as my first (road) ride of this year, but with a major difference: this time I finished it 10 1/2 minutes faster and with an average speed improved by nearly 1 1/2 mph! That is my payment for spending so much time in my garage on the bike/trainer. I am very happy with those results but already looking forward to the next time I ride it. Tell you why in tomorrow's post.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

14 February 2009

So I finished watching "Batman Returns" while knocking out another 23 miles on the trainer tonight. It was a good workout, though I got started kind of late. See, I had things to do today, so I set the DVR to record to prologue of the 2009 Tour of California so I could watch it later when I got home. It was awesome! My team did well (Garmin-Slipstream), my riders did well (George Hincapie and Floyd Landis), and even Lance the god-man did well (but I don't care). I am just not a Lance fan. The guy's made some lame decisions in life that just keep me from liking him, like the way he has treated his ex-wife and former teammates. In the words of the great philosopher Popeye, "I yam what I yam!" While I am happy for him that he beat his cancer, and admire all he does to promote awareness and the need for research, to me, if you are a jerk, you are a jerk. Sorry. Folks tried to say President Clinton's personal life and public life were two different things, but I say who you is is who you is. Congratulations Fabian Cancellara!
Be blessed, be safe.
p.s. I get my new bike in two days!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

13 February 2009

Finished up "Batman" and started "Batman Returns" today while putting in another 20 miles. What a beautiful day, I should've pulled the bike off the trainer and taken off through the country. Instead, I threw open both garage doors and went for it. Either way, I am making improvements every day. Besides, I hope to ride with my brother this weekend through Kershaw, Lee, and maybe Darlington counties. Very peaceful and rural out there, never know what you'll see!
Be blessed, be safe.

12 February 2009

Jumped on the bike/trainer after getting the kids off to bed, and put on the old "Batman" with Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger, as well as a number of other famous names. I like this "Batman" as well as any other, and became a Nicholson fan at this point. After riding for two hours yesterday though, I didn't have the cheeks to watch the whole thing; I'll finish it up tomorrow. I did manage to ride 20 miles though, and will get caught up on my goal mileage for the month. I am four days from my new bike and 95 days from slaughtering Mt. Mitchell.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

11 February 2009

I have no idea what got hold of me, but I have been sick the last couple of days and unable to ride. Bums me out, because I fell a little behind on my goal and will have to work extra hard to catch up.
Well, I felt better today, so, even though I am NOT a Tom Cruise fan, I popped in "The Last Samurai," and started pedaling. Managed to get out 30 miles at nearly 16 miles an hour. I know, not that impressive, but I am getting in some serious mileage!
Only five more days until I get my new bike! I cannot wait! But until then, I'll keep hammering away on my old rig. Oh, and only 96 days until Mt. Mitchell.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

8 February 2009

Another day, another movie, another 24 miles. I am staying on track for my month's goal of 500 miles, even though I am feeling a bit nasty. With all I am exposed to working in a very busy Emergency Department, it's a wonder I don't stay sick. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

7 February 2009

Tried to ride till I finished LoA today, but didn't quite make it. My son spent the night at his Gami's last night, and when she brought him home today, she brought supper with her: Chinese! I LOVE chicken and broccoli, and who don't love a good egg roll?!? I probably ate more than I should (I am glad I just had a long bike ride) but most of it was steamed, so, not so bad.
So while Lawrence is changing the face of the Middle East I just pedal away. Managed to get 26.51 miles out of it today, that's 125.95 miles for the month to date. Right on target to nail my goal of 500 miles for the month. I'd better avoid the Chinese food though, if I am to hit my other goal of losing 10 pounds for the month!
Less than a week away from getting my new bike and I remain excited. A full-carbon dream come true. I'll post pics when I get them.
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, February 6, 2009

6 February 2009

Started watching Lawrence of Arabia yesterday, another of my favorite classics. T.E. Lawrence had quite the reputation; he was the Carlos Sastre of camel riders! It is however, a long movie and the last two days my rides have been short so this could be the LoA week.
Almost 100 miles for Feb and not yet a full week into the month. Did 16+ yesterday and only 8+ today, but I have been working so, not alot of strength to go around. I worked last night and had to stay up late today so I could register for Mt. Mitchell. I am getting excited about this ride because it's going to be different this year, I am going to be ready. And, I will be on my NEW bike! I hope to pick it up next week and cannot wait. Till then, I am on the trainer (not that I mind).
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

4 February 2009

Rode just long enough today to finish "Wild Hogs" but tried to push it a little harder and get my heart rate up higher than I have been. Did 10+ miles and had a good time. Register for Mt. Mitchell in just two days, got to be ready!
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3 February 2009

Finished up "The Princess Bride," so I picked for my next movie, "Wild Hogs." I love this movie, though it makes me hungry for a road trip every time I watch it. I'll take a little road trip in a couple of weeks to pick up my new bike! It has arrived at my friend's shop and he will build it tomorrow. I am VERY excited! I'll go see him and he'll take an hour or two to fit the bike and a new pair of shoes to me. There's alot to this biking thing if you're fairly serious about it. I couldn't imagine all that those Tour-de-France-type riders do to get their equipment straight. I'll post some pics when I get it.
So, I jumped on the trainer tonight and knocked out 23+ miles tonight. I know that some folks hate to train inside, but to be honest, I really enjoy it. I have been able to watch a BUNCH of movies (without sitting on the couch, eating), I stay dry, and, if my family needs me I am in the garage and not 30 miles up the road. I do miss the sights and smells of the countryside, but spring'll be here soon and I'll get some road miles in (on my new bike!). Till then, I'll just keep chasing the chest freezer.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2 February 2009

Has there ever been a better fantasy movie than "The Princess Bride?" I have never gotten around to it, but one of these days I will read the book. Book's always better than the movie, right?
Rode for nearly 18 miles today, will pass last year's February in no time. Ready to hit the road, though, and get in some real miles. I'm just being a pansy though, I don't want to ride in the cold. My brother and I spoke earlier today about arranging some training rides in the upstate to do some climbing. That's the only way to be a good climber: by climbing.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1 February 2009

Started my month off with a Nic-flick, Nicolas Cage in "Bangkok Dangerous." Years ago, I couldn't stand this guy, but over time he has become one of my favorite actors. I loved the "National Treasure" movies, "The Family Man," even "Lord of War;" not real wild about "BD" however. He plays a conflicted hit man and did a great job, but I didn't like the ending. You watch it for yourself.
New month, new goals. I WILL ride at least 500 miles in February and I WILL drop at least 10 pounds. So help me God. Began this morning by riding 23+ miles and adding pushups (which I HATE!) and planks. It won't be easy but it will happen. Only 106 days until AOMM. Bring it on.
Be blessed, be safe.