Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 December 2009

Happy New Year!! Maybe not so happy, I have to work tonight and I am feeling like a dog's chew toy. Don't know what's gotten a hold on me, but I feel lousy! Last I remember too, is that I needed ~7 miles to double last year's mileage; BUT, looks like I forgot to add my last ride to it and I am actually DOUBLE last year's mileage, PLUS 10 miles!! I don't know which one makes me happier, my accomplishment or the fact that I don't have to ride today. I love to ride, but not when I've got the old "chew toy" syndrome going on. So, again, I bid you all a Good New Year and wish you all success for 2010. "May the road rise to meet you, may the sun shine warm on your face, may the wind be at your back, and may the rain fall softly upon you." That's an old Irish prayer that I remembered best as I could; If I remembered it wrong, forgive me, that's still my prayer for us all in 2010.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

30 December 2009

I have to brag a little about a product I have been using for a week now. I am not receiving anything for my endorsement as a professional amateur overweight wannabe endurance cyclist. But, Hammer Nutrition has a product called "REM" that is amazing. I am a guy that never sleeps more than 5 or 6 hours, and usually that is not quality sleep. Having some time off for the Christmas holidays and not needing an alarm clock, I have been sleeping 8, 9, even 10 hours, and it has been GREAT sleep! I'm not tossing and turning all night, and I wake up feeling rested. My only fear is that I may develop a tolerance to it and need more and more for it to work, or it will quit working altogether. I have, however, had success with the other Hammer products I have used so I'm not too worried. I'll keep you posted.
I wrote earlier about what a nice guy George Hincapie is, and soon after ran across this photo from an upstate SC cycling club. They were doing their "First Fifty" bike ride around New Year's 2009 and bumped into George at a C-store where they all cheesed it up for the camera. What a guy!
Trying to be more "scientific" as I prepare for the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell, so I am scheduling my rides/regimens for different days of the week. I've not been one to schedule rest days and I can see where I have become fatigued for that reason. So, today is a rest day, and, I HATE IT! I want to get on my bike! But, I know that I have been working pretty hard (for me) and my legs need the break. I guess I'll go clean the garage.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

29 December 2009

This is actually a NASA photo of Antarctica, but it describes beautifully how I felt tonight on our Tuesday Night Urban Assault! It was 42 degrees when we left and 37 degrees when we got back, man, it was chilly! Add to that the Congaree was a bit over her banks so we had a couple of detours where the water was just too deep to ease through. A great night as always! And a fine bunch of people, though the colder weather is revealing just who the hardcore are.
Last week it was 42 degrees at the end of our ride, so I decided I had to dress a little warmer this week. It's a literal laundry list: thin socks, thick wool socks, and shoe covers; bib shorts, knee warmers, and UnderArmor Coldgear long tights; UnderArmor t-shirt, UnderArmor Coldgear longsleeve turtleneck shirt, Hincapie jersey, longsleeve t-shirt, sweatshirt, and North Face fleece; balaclava, and cap. It was a literal load of laundry afterwards! I hate being cold! I had on about eight pounds of clothing, but I didn't get cold. And, it added to my workout having the extra weight and resistance. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
Now I have a new PR for coldest ride, and it turns out I am less than 7 miles away from DOUBLING last year's mileage! Now, 43xx miles may not impress you, but it impresses the heck out of this 43 year old fat guy! I don't know if I can double it again next year, but it would be cool to see 6000+ miles. We'll see.
Keep hammering, don't let the air temps get in your way.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

27 December 2009

Sat and watched one of my Christmas presents last night and loved it. George Hincapie is a humble but awesome guy who has really gone the distance. This 81-minute video is an interview with George and those who know him, looking at his life and career on a bicycle. He has not been some "shooting star," burning bright but quickly. George has been so successful for so long, and has been the cause of the success of so many others. He's the only cyclist in history to have been on the winning team of EIGHT Tours de France, seven with Lance Armstrong. I think his life coach said something to the effect of, "George is a leader. He creates situations where others can succeed and excell. Isn't that what a leader does?" Well, that's what a leader is SUPPOSED to do, but that's a rant for another day. George is the man, and if I had to pick a favorite, it's George. (I just wish I could get away with eating 7000 calories a day!)
Other than my Tuesday night mountain bike ride with the amazing folks at TriCity, I have been getting my miles on the trainer, in the garage. Finally got outside today for a brisk, two-hour ride through the countryside. Did 34+ miles in 2 hours for a 17mph average, which I was completely happy with. Of course, I'd rather have a 20mph average, but let's keep it real, okay? Just glad to be getting the miles in; I had hoped to hit 5000 miles this year, but won't make it so I adjusted my goal. I can DOUBLE last year's mileage if I try, and I shall! Less than 50 miles to go and four days to do it. I am all over that!
New Year's is just around the corner, and I am quite honestly glad. 2009 has been a tough year and I want 2010 to be a much better year. For ALL of us. That's my wish.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 December 3009

Other than the fact that I have many serendipitous moments while out riding my bike, this posting has very little to do with cycling. It has to do with this creek down the road from my home. It's on a busy road and I would guess that hundreds, if not thousands, of cars will cross this bridge on which I am standing in a 24-hour period. How many of those drivers will give this creek more than a passing glance, if that much?
We are too busy. This world is filled with awesomeness (is that a word?) and majesty. We, however, are too busy racing from A to B so that we can then hurry to C. Just stop sometime and look. You'll see for yourself.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 December 2009

The weather's turning cooler and the days have gotten shorter so I am spending more time in the garage, jammin' on the trainer. I'm good with that, though; turn the fan on, fire up a DVD, and roll! Started watching the "Star Wars" movies again, and it doesn't matter how many times I see them, I still love them. My son is about the age I was in 1977 when the first movie came out to theaters and he is a huge fan also! BTW, he just turned 13 yesterday so I am now the parent of a teenager. Yep, I'm scared.

Earlier in the year, I had hopes of hitting 5000 miles for the year, but I have resigned myself to the fact that that is not going to happen. Resigned, I said, NOT "given up." I will simply adjust my goal to one that is attainable and still an achievement. If I hit, WHEN I hit, 4365 miles, I will have ridden TWICE the mileage I did in 2008! I think I can live with that. Don't think I can double again in 2010 and still remain employed, though.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1 December 2009

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but the Tuesday night group I ride with switched things up a bit right about the time the clocks all fell back an hour. Since it's getting dark sooner, we put the road bikes away and pulled out the mountain bikes with the lights on front, back, and the top of the helmet. We go bombing down along the river and canal, around the state house, through USC (go Cocks!), and back through some neighborhoods to the parking lot. Talk about fun! But, riding at night has a completely different dynamic and feel to it. For one, you had better pay attention. You don't have the sun illuminating all of creation, you only have a couple of decent flashlights showing you the way; and, you can overrun those. So, much caution is required. The night ride is not to be feared though. Because things can change quickly and because you must stay on your toes, the excitement is full tilt! Come join us sometime and experience it for yourself.
I hit a major (to me) milestone in my riding last night: I have put 4000 miles behind me on one bike or another this year. In eleven months!! I didn't ride 4000 miles my first 40 years of life! I had actually hoped to hit 5000 this year, but I don't think I'll make it. Stupid little things like food, clothes, gas, mortgage, all keep me from riding as much as I want to. Oh well, I will still more than DOUBLE my mileage for 2008! Whoo Hoo!! I see an even bigger increase coming in 2010.
I have almost finished my fence I started on two weeks ago, just a little detail work to knock out. I thank God above for the strength to do all I do: fix a fence, ride a bike. I am grateful for my health and strength.
Be blessed, be safe.