Wednesday, October 21, 2009

21 October 2009

Not much time to ride today, but I did have an hour, so I thought I'd do the Gilbert Loop and blow it out. After Saturday's Tour de Camden ride, I have concluded that I am capable of more than I have been doing. So today I rode the fifteen and a half mile loop at 17mph average, nearly a full mph faster than I have been averaging. It's in me, I've just got to wring it out.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

17 October 2009

This is me leaving the 2009 Tour de Camden, a happy man. I rode 62.68 miles in 3:37:31 for an average speed of 17.3 mph. In the greater scheme of things, that's not real fast; a pro-cyclist could do that on a beach cruiser! But for me, that is a solid mph faster than I normally ride! I had set my heart on doing well today, really wanted to make a good time. My brother (more about him in a bit) and I rode together and decided we could do the whole metric without stopping. Almost made it; stopped twice, once to get rid of some water and once to take on water.
I think my brother has a bruised and/or broken rib (or two) from his crash nearly two weeks ago, so he was not on his game today, having a hard time taking deep breaths. So, he rode with me. I had my best ride of the year swapping lead with my injured mentor. I'm not that bad, he's just that good.
It was a great experience. I did this ride two years ago, and according to my journal, did it nearly 0.5mph average faster and two minutes quicker. The thing I like though, is this: two years ago, I stopped at EVERY rest stop. The computer I had then would stop collecting data when the wheels weren't spinning, so I could've taken all day and had a great average speed. I rode this year with two stops for minimal time. Of course, I feel like I have been hit by a truck, too. I am becoming a better cyclist, little by little, and I like it.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

13 October 2009

Been a full week since I've been on the bike, but I don't think I've suffered for it. Did 34+ miles today at the same speed I've been riding, that's good. However, I have flatted the last two times out. Last Tuesday I picked up a tiny piece of wire that made my back tire squishy about a mile from the finish of the group ride. A shot of CO2 got me back to the car so I could repair the tire in the comfort of my own garage.
Today, not so. I hit something and the air rushed out with a bang, only two miles from the house and the end of my ride. I'd actually been waiting for this moment. I keep everything on my bike to do such a fix. For a fleeting moment I was tempted to call the wife to SAG me out, but stopped myself. "You've got the stuff, now get to it!"
So, on the side of the road, I flipped the bike over and got to it. New tube, check. CO2, check. Dollar bill to boot the hole, check. Five minutes later, I am on my way home. Minimal delay.
I am a nurse and like my environment clean when I do a procedure. I was concerned with doing a tube change roadside (grass, dirt, etc.) but this ain't nursin'. This is cycling, get'er done! I am sure the CO2 didn't get the tire up to the pressure my weight requires, and I felt every bump as I rolled over the dollar bill boot, but I finished my ride, and that's what matters.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

6 October 2009

Having missed the last couple of Tuesday night rides in Tri-City due to travel and hunting, I made it back out tonight and had a blast! I always do, they're a great bunch of folks to hang out and hammer with. The ride went well, was very uneventful (thank God!) and I got enough miles to hit over 3500 for the year. I don't think I rode 3500 miles the first 40 years of my life, and now I've done it in just over 10 months; I'm a little proud of me. I am hoping to hit 5000 for the year, we'll see how that goes.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 October 2009

This is the picture of sadness. It's one of my new Garmin Slipstream water bottles by Camelbak with the "always open, always closed" valves. It's a great product and part of my purchase price helped to support the team. However, the bottle holder behind my seat (holds two extra bottles, for longer rides) is not as great a product. As I ride, and encounter bumps along the way, the bottles have been riding up and falling out. I am now in the habit of reaching back and checking them on occasion to make sure they are seated well; several miles down the road I reached back to re-seat this one and it was gone, and I had no idea when it fell out. I actually found it by accident hours later when driving home from my brother's house. Unfortunately, a motorist found it before I did, and flattened it. Sad, I say. Good thing I have four more.
I went for a ride with my brother today, hoping to get in at least 35 miles, longer if my stomach could take it (was feeling questionable, due to a sleep shortage; worked all night last night, took a nap, and went riding- cycling is more important than sleeping!). We are preparing for the Tour de Camden (yeah, every ride is a "Tour de Something or Other) which is a charity ride in two weeks to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and an organization which cares for retired racehorses (they dress them in plaid slacks and teach them to play golf).
The weather was beautiful and cool as we took off through the country. On a great stretch of road, we were slipstreaming, rotating and drafting, when BAD happened: I was in front and moving over so he could lead awhile, and his front wheel hit my back wheel! I felt the bump of the two and turned to watch my brother, my cycling mentor, slam to the pavement while we were running along about 20mph! Thank Jesus that he was wearing a quality Specialized helmet and some good leather gloves. The helmet is smashed (but his head isn't!) and the palms of the gloves were eaten by the pavement (but his hands are fine). He's got some nasty road rash and some bike repairs to see to, and tomorrow he's gonna be sore, BUT, good safety equipment saved him some real heartache. He'll be fine and I'm glad. My brother is about my best friend, a real encouragement to me, and I enjoy the time we spend together biking.
We called our dad to come pick us up, like a couple of kids. And he came, like a good dad. The older I get, the more I appreciate the family I have left around me. So, tomorrow, it's back on the bike (after I phone my brother and check on him) and keep getting the miles in. Maybe I'll go buy him a new pair of gloves, try to cheer him up about his bike. Life is good in spite of the spills. Keep hammering, and do it with some family!
Be blessed, be safe.