Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Time to bid adieu to 2010 and wake up to a fresh start! Happy to have hit 4000 miles this year (December was an excellent month!) but looking forward to an even better 2011! Hope your year ends well and starts fantastic. We're looking for some nice temps tomorrow so I hope to start with a metric.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, December 27, 2010

27 December 2010

'Bout to put a lot of things behind me; Christmas, a lame hunting season, and 2010. It's not been a bad year, busy but not bad.
I finished Mt. Mitchell back in May, very happy about that, and already looking forward to next May and the opportunity to better my time up the mountain. I won't make the 6000 miles I had hoped for but I will make 4000, and I guess I am happy with that.
I learned a lot this year, about biking and nursing. I have become a better ER nurse and even reproduced; I oriented a new nurse who is now on his own and giving to our profession. I took my nursing "on the road" this year, taking two weeks in the summer to go work in health clinics in Samoa. That was a neat opportunity to give to folks something we take for granted here. You think people lack health care here in the States?! You should see the rest of the world!
My hunting season has been lackluster. I've spent the last three months in the woods every chance I get, and the only deer I have seen were roadkill on the interstate. 'Nuff said about that.
Christmas was fun, though played down a bit this year. Took the kids to western NC to get a tree and we were able to go up the mountain and see elk and wild turkey. That was a great and rainy day! Had to work on Christmas Eve and one of my always delightful patients was kind enough to bring me a virus I am still dealing with. It didn't put me down, just kind of aggravating. I'll get over it. Hasn't stopped me from enjoying our favorite Christmas movies with my family.
So, what's next? Well, I have been a bit careless with the holiday eating, so my major New Year's resolution is too work on my weight. I have been exercising like crazy, I just need to fix my dietary habits. Started back on November 1st to ride every day, regardless. When I feel good and have the time, I take a good long ride. If I don't have the time, I try to kill it for at least 30 minutes. When I don't feel so hot, I still ride at least 30 minutes, then usually do whatever it takes to hit 10 miles. Hopefully soon, as I improve, I will be hitting 10 in 30!
As I said earlier, I am excited about 2011 AoMM, and am already preparing myself for it. I would love to do it in 8 hours or so this year, I think I can. Gonna take some work and commitment though.
Get out there and ride.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

16 December 2010

Wow, where've I been?! Two months since I have posted, what a slacker!! I promise, I have been riding; I've just been working a lot, too. When my time is limited, as it has been, and I have to choose between riding and blogging, I am gonna ride!
Most of my riding, unfortunately, has been on the trainer. I last hit the road over two months ago and it seems when I ride in temps colder than 50 degrees Farenheit, I get these nasty bronchospasms that put me down for several days. Trainer it is.
I am a bit disappointed with my year, although I had a great year (finished Mt. Mitchell!). I started out with a crazy goal of riding 6000 miles this year; NOT gonna happen. Don't know where the time went, but I will manage to break the 4000 mile mark before the New Year cruises in.
Already preparing for next year though, just started the process that will get me an opportunity to climb Mt. Mitchell next May, looking forward to that. Nine days before that will be the Tour de Cure, which I very much enjoy being a part of. And, to the best of my ability, I will again do the MS150, what a great ride!
I never really mention it, but I am an ER nurse; things are going well there, other than the fact that people can do the stupidest things to themselves and each other. I am growing and learning and becoming better at what I do. And at the age of 44, I'm still constantly amazed at how many people I take care of younger than I. People just need to make better decisions! (So do I, working on it!)
Kids out of school today for CHRISTmas break, getting excited about the big day coming up. So, let me take this opporunity to say to the three of you who still read this, Merry CHRISTmas! Hope your holiday season is especially peaceful!
Be blessed, be safe!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Today was the 2010 Tour de Camden, a charity ride I have enjoyed participating in for the last few years. I went out with the goal of doing better than last year, and did it! Shaved off 9 minutes with an average speed that was a half mph higher this year, and rode the entire 62 miles without unclipping or stopping. This may not mean a lot to some folks (I read the blogs, there are MONSTERS out there!!) but to me it means this: four years ago when I began riding, I started keeping a journal; I rode every day the first week, for a grand total of 12 miles! I had an old mountain bike (something on it broke EVERY time I went to the woods with it) and I would ride 2 or 3 miles a day around my neighbourhood, and felt good about the progress I was making. I still feel good about the progress I am making. I am 44 years old, and although I am overweight, I am in great health. As an ER nurse, I daily tend to people much younger than I who won't make the decisions I have made and as a result, many are trainwrecks, health-wise. So, I'm gonna keep riding, eventually I'll get a grip on the weight thing, and God-willing, will enjoy many healthy years and old age.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Northern Kershaw County

Did a good loop followed by an out-and-back today with my brother and his brother-in-law, just wanted a good long ride in preparation for the Tour de Camden next Saturday. I'm pretty sure we're all good to go for the metric, always a good time with those folks.
Lately, I have been focusing less on high cadence and more on strength training, i.e., pushing a harder gear, as well as hitting the hills in the drops. I feel like I am seeing some progress here, or else the hills are not as long or steep as they used to be.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5 October 2010

Enjoyed a short ride of 20 miles today in great weather. This time of year is incredible and I think everyone should be on a bike or out walking right now. Gotta run, too pretty outside to blog.
Be blessed, be safe.

In Memory of Ralph Nugent

Did a ride on Saturday to memorialize an avid cyclist and safety advocate who was killed by a motorist back on Memorial Day of this year. This master and teacher of riding safe was practicing what he preached when he was struck by a car and died. Now, I have never met Mr. Ralph personally, but he is a friend of friends; somewhere around 70-80 of those friends came out to remember him with a great bike ride, including his daughter and her family. May God bless Mr. Ralph's family and all of us as we do what we love.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 MS150 "Breakaway to the Beach"

Attempted something this weekend that I had not yet done, and although I did not make it, I still fell that I succeeded. Tried to do back-to-back centuries in the 2010 MS150 "Breakaway to the Beach." First day went well, even though it was hot as blazes at the end; second day went very well until the lightning storm rolled in and the course had to be closed for safety reasons. After riding 98.5 miles the first day, I didn't think I'd want to get on a bike for a couple of days, but I did, and teamed up with a couple of guys who were similar cyclists; we had a four-man paceline, rotating in and out, which worked out great in the headwind we were dealing with. We managed to make 71 miles before we were told we couldn't go on. Big disappointment, but just motivates me for next year. Ended up with 169.59 miles and an average speed of 16.6 mph.
Everything about this ride was great, mucho kodus to the organizers and volunteers! Everyone was friendly and helpful and there was a ton of great food involved. And all for a great cause, "a world free of MS." I understand around $700,000 was raised to help folks who truly need it; always a good thing!
Be blessed, be safe!

Monday, September 20, 2010

20 September 2010

It's 2:30am and I have no idea why I am awake. So, I thought I may as well update my severely out-of-date blog.
I have not been riding as much as I want to, life has been crazy busy, but I did get to participate in the 2010 Night Owl Ride for Children's Chance this past Friday night. While I was not able to ride the whole 12 hours, I did manage to squeeze out a metric. I'm kind of proud of that; on a bad day, I can still ride 63 miles. Not bad. I have been working a lot and not sleeping (that's why I am blogging at 2:30am!) so my reserves were minimal, at best.
Adding to all that joy, I have contracted some conjunctivitis, from all the bugs I caught riding without glasses (note to self: buy some clear lenses just in case you ride at night)so now I am dealing with goopy eyes and drops every four hours. This too shall pass.
I am, in spite of classes and work, trying to rest and heal this week to get ready for the MS 150 "Breakaway to the Beach," this coming Saturday. I want to ride back-to-back centuries from Camden, SC to Sunset Beach, NC, via Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. I am especially excited about this, as I have not yet attempted a back-to-back; that, and my family will meet me in Sunset and we will hang out for a couple of days.
That's my near future, hope yours is as fun.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Hoops!

Very jazzed about this! Cannot wait until Saturday to roll'em out and see how they go! Easton EA90SLs!

8 August 2010

Heading out this morning to do some strength work; I will leave my bike in a hard gear (like a single-speed) and ride up and down a course of hills for 15 miles. It's tough, and I've only done it once before, but I think I can tell a difference. I did it last week and then took a couple of days off the bike, then when I rode on Saturday I felt and rode better than I have in a long time.
Went for a ride on Monday and was having a great time, but it was Labor Day and that meant a few things: people were off work, and kids were out of school. Traffic was terrible! Add to that, I got harassed by a carload of young bucks who thought it was funny to yell and throw stuff at a cyclist. I am happy to say that my local sheriff's department was not so amused. We'll see how this unfolds. I guess I still had a great ride, and the deputy and I laughed about the idea of all those cars going by and thinking "that fat guy on the bike is getting a speeding ticket!"
Very excited about today's ride for another reason: I have a new set of hoops on layaway and my favorite LBS, and I am going to get them today! It's a set of Easton wheels, aero aluminum (this heavyweight isn't ready to shell out the green for carbon wheels yet!) profile, and probably half the weight of my current wheels. I am far from being a "weight-weenie," but a lighter wheel means less rotating weight and should spin up easier and help me with my climbing. We'll see how things go.
I don't have but two hobbies, and they're both time consuming: cycling and hunting. Hunting season for me opens next week and I am looking forward to sitting in a tree for hours on end. I think I'll wear my Garmin heart monitor just to see what spotting a deer does for my heart.
More later, keep hammering.
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, August 20, 2010

20 August 2010

My work week is over so back to the bike!
School's back in, so it's not so safe to be out as early as I like; too many frenzied parents running around trying to get the kiddo's to school and then get to work. I am a parent, but I refuse to be frenzied. Look, just go to bed a few minutes earlier so you can get up earlier, and then you have time for everything you need to do without killing anyone in your morning rush.
All that leaves me getting on the road about 0830 instead of 0630, and I have to miss out on the coolest part of the day. Oh well, since school's back in and the days are getting shorter, the whole day will soon be getting cooler.
Parked at the dam and left about 0830 and rode toward Irmo; looped around Weed Rd. and #6 and went back across the dam to ride my sort of usual route following (as best as I can) the shoreline of the lake. It's a great ride, rarely flat, so I get in a decent amount of climbing when I'm out for a couple of hours. I have been checking out some new roads I've never ridden, and this morning found a short but intense 13% incline! There's one for the training calendar!
It was an overcast morning but when I checked the radar before leaving it looked good; things change over the course of two hours, and I found myself riding in some rain about 8 miles from the car. Not a bad rain, a very refreshing rain, kind of like drinking a 7Up after cutting the grass.
Made it back to the car and managed to get in a little over 38 miles today. Happy with that, the goal was 35. Also bringing my average speed back up a bit at a time. Still feeling the effects of being off the bike for three weeks, it takes a while to recover. I think I am a little dry though; even though I tried to push it today, my heart rate averaged in the upper 140's; that's high for me.
Anyways, it's a three-day weekend so I hope to get a lot more miles in in the next two days.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gotta get back in the groove!

Went out for another ride Satuday morning, covered just shy of 30 miles, and that was fine with me. My average speed was up a bit from the previous ride and I felt good. However, on the way back in, my rear cable announced its retirement, so I am taking care of that today.

Came home from my morning solo ride, dropped off the road bike, and loaded my son and our mountain bikes and headed out again. Drove to Peak, SC, to a trailhead for the Peak to Pomaria Passage section of the Palmetto Trail. We had a great time hanging out and talking, and when we got to Pomaria we enjoyed one heck of an old-fashioned, grocery-store chili-cheeseburger! We deserved it, we had earned it by riding up there, and would ride it off going back to the car. Because, as beautiful as it was out there, the gravel railbed was a challenge to ride through, even on fat tires. Any suggestions on riding trails in SC that I can take my son to? He doesn't ride as much as I do, so I don't want anything too crazy.

Finally sat down and caught up on my numbers I track for my mileage; a little disappointing. At the rate I am currently going, I will fall ~200 miles short of the miles I got last year, and WAY short of the 6000 I had hoped for this year. Got to get back in the groove.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

9 August 2010

Back in the saddle today! I wasn't fast (of course!) but I got out and did almost 25 miles after being off the bike for three weeks. It felt good to be back out on the road, in spite of early morning traffic. I parked at the dam and rode up the lake to Panorama Point, came back, and rode across the dam and back. Hope to get back out there Friday morning and add a few more miles to it. Trying not to overdo it, will add about 10%, or 2.5 miles, per recommendation of the "experts." I have to build my miles back up, and get my weight down, to be ready for 2011 Assault on Mt. Mitchell. Yes, I am in fact thinking that far ahead.
A little closer goal though, would be the MS 150 from Camden, SC to Sunset Beach, NC the last weekend in October. It's a two-day ride to raise money and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I thoroughly enjoy big group rides, and it is icing on the cake when the ride is for such a good cause.
The weekend before the MS 150 also holds some fun: the Children's Chance Night Owl Ride, an all-nighter (from 8p-8a) on a closed course in Columbia,SC. Another fundraiser, this event will raise money for cancer causes. Did this last year and had a blast!
Started a couple of days ago, now getting on the treadmill (a most boring device) and trying to run some. The t'mill has six programs differing in intensity and I hope to work my way through them until I am able to run at least a couple of miles. No desire to do marathons or IronMans, or anything like that, just want to get into better shape and hopefully quit feeling like such an old man! Just finished 20 minutes followed by some push ups and crunches, and will go walk two miles with my wife after dinner. Weight today is 262.5 pounds.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8 August 2010

So obviously I did no blogging in July, and I did very little riding in July; had some other stuff on my plate, so I took some time off the bike. I did however, go to Brevard, NC on the 12th to do some climbing with my brother. We parked inside the Pisgah Forest at the visitor center, climbed up to the Parkway, and rode west for about six miles before turning around and rolling back to the cars. I say "rolled" because I don't remember pedaling much between the Parkway and the cars; saw some serious downhill at speeds up to 44 mph! I know if I ever bust it, I am in trouble, but man that is fun!
I took the last half of the month off so I could do something special: a medical mission trip to the island nation of Western Samoa, way off in the South Pacific. Went with a church group out of West Coumbia (only 18 of us came from SC; the other 21 came from 9 other states. All different church backgrounds, one common cause.) and visited six different villages on two Samoan islands to take them some healthcare and the Good News. We took care of over 2500 people and saw over 800 of them ask Jesus to come into their hearts and forgive their sins. That's awesome stuff!
We worked like slaves and ate like kings and had an incredible time experiencing the Samoan people and their beautiful islands. Saw jungles, beaches, mountains, etc., and even had the opportunity to go snorkeling on a reef with myriads of tropical fish, something I had never done before.
I guess it's because of the volcanic origin of these islands and the warm waters, they are surrounded by reefs which break the waves and create almost a lake-like setting in the beach waters; no waves beating you up and knocking you down, or stirring up the bottom. The water was as clear as tap water and the views were mind-boggling, above and below the surface!
As nice as it all was, it was soon time to come home, back to reality. I haven't returned to work yet but will soon; haven't been back on the bike yet, but hope to in the morning. Put some more weight back on, I have a real knack for that, but I have come home with a renewed vision and will work to get it back off, and more. I weighed in this morning at 263.5 pounds and think I can do Mt. Mitchell next May at 200 or less. Got on the treadmill yesterday to start the ball rolling and ran for the better part of 20 minutes; doesn't sound like much, but it's all relative. I will work to increase my running time, get miles in on the bike, and revolutionize my eating habits to make these goals happen. I've found that without goals, I have a tendency to flounder a bit. Okay, a lot.
Next organized ride in which I'll participate is the Children's Chance Night Owl Ride, a kid's cancer fundraiser. It's on a small closed course in Columbia and goes all night, from 8p to 8a. It can be a tad monotonous because of the small course, but it's still a lot of fun, a great social time and a way to raise money for children's cancer.
A week later is the Breakaway to the Beach MS150, from Columbia,SC to Sunset Beach, NC, a two-day ride spending the night in Florence, SC. This too, is a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
So, I have a couple of great goals to motivate me and get me back on track to hit the 6000 miles I want in 2010. Let's see if I can turn it around and make it happen.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30 June 2010

I am a bit surpised at the turn of events I have encountered in the last month. I successfully summitted Mt. Mitchell back in May, and then sort of lost all focus. Without a goal in front of me, I have gone to pot. Have not been getting in the miles (been on the bike, but not much), put on some weight, and just have not been concentrating on my riding at all. But tomorrow is a new day, and I will try to get back in the game. I will turn things around and set a goal to do Mt. Mitchell in 2011 about 20 pounds lighter and two hours faster. It's like the old adage, "If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it."
I did, however, finally get back to the bike cave and finish painting and put up the silver piece of trim between red and white (It's supposed to match the color scheme of my Roubaix). I like it, think it looks pretty good. Spent the whole day in the garage the other day, just working and hanging out with Fred Sanford and Andy Griffith.

Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, June 4, 2010

4 June 2010

It just occurred to me that this picture of me with my helmet on looks like one of the mushrooms in the Mario Bros. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, went out for a nice long ride today, no hurry, just wanted to ride around Lake Murray; about 73 miles. Something happened today that happened two days ago and has left me a tad chapped: drivers with ZERO consideration for my well-being. I'm not asking for any special favors, I'd just like to make it home alive and in one piece. With that said, I'd like to present a letter explaining a few things.

Dear Pr**k, (or the feminine version, as is proper),
I'd live the opportunity to speak with you face-to-face and explain to you that I have a legal right to be on the road on my bicycle. The laws of our great state say so, and just last year a law was passed stating that you, vehicle operator, must allow me "safe distance" as you pass. That means more than the three inches you allowed today, Mr. Big Truck Driver. If it is not safe to pass me, THEN DON'T!
Also, in this age of environmental awareness, I'd like to point out that a bicyclist leaves just the tiniest carbon footprint. I am not consuming any fossil fuels, yet you choose to floor it to get around me (give me a break, I'm not going THAT fast!) and assault me with your smog-mobile.
Everyone's been talking Health Care Reform; I am taking matters into my own hands and reforming my own health. See, I'm a nurse, and I take care of many people who refuse to take care of themselves so they can run over me with their uninsured motor vehicle while I am exercising.
That's just a couple of the things I'd like to help you understand, driver of the red Chevy Avalanche that thinks it's funny to see how close you can get to me without hitting me. That's what I'd like to explain, "Mr. I'm so important I have to be on my cell phone all the time, rather than worry about killing an innocent husband/father/productive member of society."
Oh, did I fail to mention that in my scenario where I am making you a more-informed individual, we are in a dark alley? Yeah, 'cause that's where I am stomping your bloated, brainless, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen, useless mass into a fecal stain on the pavement. It is my sincere hope that you leave our encounter a better educated, more caring and compassionate individual.
I just had to get that off my chest. I feel better now.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell, CHECK!

(a caveat: this one's a little long, bear with me!) After three long years, I can finally announce with joy and pride, "I have been to the mountain top!" Yes, it took me 10 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds, and not a small amount of cramping, but I made it this year! (Can you tell I'm excited?!)
Wow, so where do I start?
We rolled out from the Spartanburg Auditorium at 6:30am, and I don't know what I was thinking when I allowed myself to get in position at the very front of the crowd prior to go time. I managed to stay safe in the madness that is a mass start and left town with crowds passing me left and right. I kept telling myself what I had been practicing in my head all year: "ride your ride." And I did.
I allowed myself to get good and warmed up by staying on the middle ring for the first half hour, not pushing too hard; I had a long way to go and all day to get there. Had plenty of liquid nutrition on board (four bottles of Hammer Perpetuem), a softflask full of Hammer Espresso Gel, and my fully-charged MP3 player with bar-mounted 4-watt speakers! Rocked and rolled down the highway, past Bill's Hill at 2:50, and did not unclip until I hit the rest stop at mile 64; by then, I was out of fluids and had to stop.
Back on the bike, did not stop again until mile 80, where the top of Hwy. 80 hits the Parkway. Boy, the last three or four miles of Hwy. 80 point straight up, I believe! Got a little rain at this stop which felt really good.
Last year, I was about three miles from getting on the Parkway when they closed it to any more riders. So, sort of a "sub-goal" this year was just to get on the Parkway. I knew if I got that far, I could slog it out and make it to the top.
Once you get to the last 20 or so miles of the AOMM, there's your serious climbing. There's more climbing in the last 20 miles than in the first 80! By then, you're getting tired, you've burned through a lot of your inner resources, and here come the cramps! On more than one occasion, I had to dismount so I could stretch the legs and walk a minute. I think the important thing to remember here is "forward motion." Keep moving forward, don't give your body such a long break that it switches from working to trying to heal.
I hit every rest stop from mile 80 on. I got pretty excited when I was sitting at the stop at the entrance to the Mt. Mitchell State Park and heard on a radio that it was 3:30pm and the Parkway was closed to any more riders. Of course I felt bad for those who would be turned back, but I thought about last year and all the progress I had made.
Last five miles.
Got back on the bike, went into the Park (which is straight up for two miles!) and started climbing. It looked like clouds were stuck to the tops of the mountains and just couldn't make it over. It never really rained, but a mist hung about and did a glorious thing: kept my body cooled down so I could finish what I had started.
About halfway up the Park road, it flattens out for a mile or so, and then climbs to the top. As I neared the top and realized I was about to make it, I saw in my mind's eye all those people that have been encouraging me. They were waiting for me at the finish line. At the last right-hand curve, just before the end, it flattens. I never thought I would be able to do it, but I accelerated and started grabbing gears. Adrenaline, I guess. Or the prospect of getting off that blasted bike for the rest of the day!
Thought about a lot of things while doing this ride, especially near the end. Would I try it again? I would finish, check it off of my list of stupid and painful things to do, and move on. But then again, I actually walked part of it. So, maybe I need to do it again, without the walking. I think I will do it again next year, an hour or two faster than this year.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

15 May 2010

Today was the 1st Annual Tour de Midlands, a ride with different distance options up to a century. I rode 101 miles of a beautiful route around Lexington to cross the Dam, to Dutch Fork, Peak, Pomaria, Little Mountain, past Dreher Island, across Black's Bridge, and back to Lexington High School, totally "circum-cycling" Lake Murray. For a "1st," these folks did an outstanding job of planning and preparing for this event. I enjoyed everything about today, except for the blazing heat, but then, who does one blame for that? Play the hand you're dealt.
Time to taper off the riding, only nine days until the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell. And I, for one, personally hope to assault Mt. Mitchell; that mountain has beat me up for the last two years, and it's time he toted a whoopin'!
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

13 May 2010

This saddle is not new to me, I bought it a couple of years ago. However, it's been on my trainer bike. Lately, I've been experiencing a hot spot on my, ahem, posterior region, and needed to try something different. I am a little concerned that it's so close to the AOMM, and I don't need to be throwing new ingredients into the mix. So, I got out today and did some hill repeats for about half an hour, did some tweaking, and things feel good. I will attempt a century on Saturday and that will tell the story. I did make good notes just in case I have to switch them back. Only 11 more days till Mt. Mitchell and I feel I just might be ready to face the music.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

9 May 2010

Happy Mother's Day! My mom is no longer with us, but we're fussing over the mother of my children today (my wife!) and will have dinner with her mother this evening. Love on the moms in your life today.
Some catching up to do, it's been pretty busy around here! Let's start with Samoa.
I was asked several months ago to pray about joining a medical mission team which would visit Western Samoa this summer, and it would appear that God is leading me to do so. I have been raising funds to take my nursing skills overseas short-term and with two-and-a-half months to go, I am at over 60%! I hate to leave my family for two weeks, but I am getting excited about it, and perhaps they will even join me if I go again next year!
Next on the list: 2010 Tour de Cure, a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. There were 350 registered riders for rides of differing lengths raising nearly $150,000 for treatment of and research for a cure for diabetes! Exciting stuff! Here's a photo of the start taken by Rob, April's husband:
Rob is a tri-guy who just got back into it recently and is doing well. Last year April rented a bike and rode 25 miles in the 2009 TdC, and talk about progress! She finished her first century in this year's TdC!That fat guy with her is yours truly, who also (in my humble opinion) did very well this year. This was my third year doing the century for the ADA (first year was inbearably hot but I finished without puking!) and my time for 2010 was an hour and ten minutes shorter than '09 with an average speed 2.5mph faster! Yep, I'm pleased with that.

Trying to prepare for the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell, just two weeks from tomorrow. Been needing some time on some serious hills, doing some climbing unlike any found around here, so early yesterday I left home and drove to the top of Mt. Mitchell. I figured if I left my car at the top, I had no choice but to climb that sucker! It was a real eye-opener when I got there, though; instead of finding temps in the mid-60's, they were in the upper-40's, with winds that were showing some real attitude! At noon, gusts were up to 51mph, and by 4pm they had "settled down" to only 43mph!
Wanting to get off the top as soon as possible, I rolled down as fast as I could. Not too fast though; it was so cold, I would shiver and shake the bars. Went 25 miles to the dam at Lake Tahoma and turned around and started climbing. Most of the ride back to the top was granny-gear slow, but I made it back to my car, and actually faster than any climbing I had ever done in that area. I know I am not through training, but yesterday gave me a good indication that I can, in fact, complete the Assault this year, after two failed attempts.
So, I will keep training, working on my nutrition, and next Saturday do another century for the Lexington Greenways Alliance. This AOMM thing has me like a man possessed and will be the climax of my cycling year!
Be blessed, be safe!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

1 May 2010

Did the Tour de Cure today, raised $155 for the American Diabetes Association and rode 101.57 miles. Had a great time, my friend April finished her first century today, and I am toast. I'll have to write more later, and hopefully post some pics. Peace out!
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

24 April 2010

A while back, I wrote about how I was pleased with the Michelin Lithion tire. I found them early in my riding and they are about all I have used. I got good service from them with lots of miles and few flats. However, a trusted friend that owns a local bike shop persuaded me to try something different, so I shall. It is the Continental Gatorskin, a 170tpi tire, promising high mileage and a bulletproof puncture resistance. I cleaned my nasty Roubaix today, and rewrapped the bars with leather and mounted the Gatorskins. Tomorrow morning, I'll get out before church and see how they roll.
Today is a stake in the ground; it is one month from today that the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell will begin in Spartanburg, SC and proceed to the top of Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina, the highest point east on the Mississippi River. This is my year and I hope to finish the ride in 9 to 10 hours, so I have to keep working and training. Part of my training will be the Tour de Cure next Saturday, and the day-to-day riding and climbing I do. "It's all uphill from here."
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, April 23, 2010

23 April 2010

I've spent the past week in Alabama getting some training for work, and even though I had to be away from home, I didn't want to go the whole week without riding. I am amazed at how fast one can begin to decondition. Having an idea of some of the rough roads where I'd be (think Roubaix, the ride not the bike) I decided to take my mountain bike which has some great dual-terrain tires on it. Had a great week and learned a lot, but the minute we got out of class, I was kitting up and getting ready to roll.
The first two days I did 15 and 14 miles, keeping it close to "home." Then, I met a guy from Seattle who'd done his homework before coming to the area. He rides mountain bikes and had talked to someone about some trails on the other side of Bane's Gap, a mountain pass. Now, me being in training for the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, my ears perked up when I heard "mountains." You could see a range of small mountains from where we were staying and they were not so far away; 2.5 miles to the saddle at the top.
So, on my third day after class, I pulled my bike out only to find the front tire flat. I patched it, rode around till I was convinced it would hold (I suck at patching!), and took off for the mountain! It was a steady incline to get within a half mile, but man, when the road turned up, it went crazy! The final tenth of a mile or so went up to 21%!
But I made it over. Matter of fact, I hit 45 mph going down the other side, which was a 20% grade! That's a real gas on a mountain bike, tires whining the whole way! Got to the stop sign, turned around, and started climbing back up to go home; about a mile and a half into it, my patch work slowly let go. Had to walk in the last 3.5 miles. Didn't mind one bit, it was great weather and the landscape was incredible, saw several wild turkey hens out on their evening feed.
Made the trek to pick up a couple of tubes the next day and get the bike ready to roll Friday morning. I'd be leaving Alabama and heading for home and family, but wanted to get in one last ride in the hills. Headed back up Bane's Gap, but when I got to the top, instead of going over, I turned left onto a gravel fire road that climbed up and ran along the ridge. Many of the climbs were in the upper teen's (gradewise)with one at 21%! That kind of incline is one thing on the road, but a totally different beast on dusty sand and gravel. Got to the top as far as I could go, it was gated off, and turned around. Descending the rocks made me a bit nervous, not much traction; but when I turned to the pavement I let it roll! I tucked in tight and hit 45.2 mph downhill! What a rush! My wife hates to hear about me riding like this, that could have been a huge OWWWEE! The speed limit on that road was 25, so getting a speeding ticket might have actually been fun.
Anyways, had a great time in Alabama, glad to be home, and looking forward to the ADA Tour de Cure next Saturday. Raising funds to treat and research diabetes so a cure can be found. E-mail me if you'd like to make a contribution to this wonderful cause; I can be reached at , drop me a note and I'll reply with some details. Thanks!
Be blessed, be safe!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

17 April 2010

Taylor Feda was a beautiful young lady of 17 who dealt with ulcerative colitis until one day nearly three years ago; she stepped into the shower and suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. A flower picked before she could truly bloom. Only God knows why.
To memorialize their daughter, Jim (an avid cyclist)and Michelin started a fundraiser bike ride, now in its third year. The monies raised are used to give scholarships to two Dutch Fork High School seniors who will attend a South Carolina college or university, one for nursing and the other for literature. What a cool way to let a person's memory live on!
I am happy to say that nearly 90 people turned out for today's ride, and a beautiful day it was. Clear and warm with lots of sunshine! And pollen toward the end, but the day was too much for that to ruin.
Besides contributing to what I feel is a very worthy cause, I had a great day on the bike; finished a metric in 3:35 at 17.8 mph! I know that's not special to a lot of cyclists, but here's the deal: I did this event two years ago and suffered! At the end of a very long ride, I was coming through the parking lot, which was by then nearly empty, with a lady that was older than me behind me. She sprinted on me! She passed me in the parking lot, making me the last to come in! Now, I know my limitations, and I know I am not going to beat these hammers that are out here, so not being first is a NON-ISSUE. But I HATE HATE HATE being the last one in.
I'm not bitter.
But I can be hard on myself. So, I work on it and try to make improvements where I can, such as losing weight, technique, strategy, etc. That's why the ride was special to me. That, and my family was there waiting for me when I rolled in. It was a good day.
I wanted to wait around a little while and see some other folks roll in, but had to go. I had a 3p meeting for a medical mission trip I am participating in this summer. I'll tell you more about that next time.
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

15 April 2010

Happy Tax Day! NOT!
Tapering for a ride on Saturday, so right now I just want to spin to keep the legs loose. So, when I needed to put my car in the shop for service, rather than have the wife pick me up, I put my mountain bike in the back, pulled it out at the dealership, and rode home. Wasn't a long ride, just a good spin.
Besides, I like having motorists honk at me like they own the road. Some of that road belongs to me, see first three words of this post! I wonder if leaving late for work or spending the whole trip on a cell phone will be worth the cost to someone's conscience for murdering an innocent, minding his/her own business bicyclist. Hmm?
Anyway, most of us cyclists have to drive cars too, so when we are, let's bless those we see pounding the pedals by being courteous and giving them lots of room.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

14 April 2010

Good ride today, did some strength training. Went to my brother's house and got on the bikes, he on his single-speed, me on my Roubaix. I shifted to the same ratio as his SS and left it there, and we went to a hilly stretch of road near my sister's. Not allowing myself to grab a lower gear, I stayed in the saddle and muscled up the hills, where we would turn around and roll down and do it again. And again. And again. Great workout, need to do more as we prepare for Mt. Mitchell next month.
Of course, we had to follow this ride up by getting Dad and going to the Camden House of Pizza for some baked spaghetti!
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

10 April 2010

I'm pretty happy that the weather continues to warm; left home this morning at 9am and rode for nearly 7 hours in awesome sunshine! Did 103 miles, all the way around Lake Murray, with a dogleg over to Batesburg-Leesville just to get my full century in. With Mt. Mitchell only six weeks from this coming Monday, I want to get all the riding in that I can. After the Marquis de Sade two weeks ago, I have become convinced that I can get to the Parkway in time and will finish the ride, so now I'd like to improve on that time; I don't know, maybe I can do it in less than 10 hours...
In all honesty, I'll just be happy to finish it, to roll through that timer at the top will be satisfaction enough. Still, I am going to work on my look when I cross the line, maybe the "pistol" like Contador
or the "glasses" like Cavendish.
Actually, I'll probably end up crying like Haussler.
(Not to take away from that young man, I was excited for him when he won the stage and look forward to seeing him this year).Whataya think?
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, April 5, 2010

5 April 2010

So glad that Spring has sprung! Got out yesterday early and rode for two hours, heading out today to get in a four hour ride! Of course, I desperately need to be doing some yard work, but that'll come. The growing excitement I have about cycling sometimes has me wishing I lived in a condo so I wouldn't have to mow, etc. Yard work is good too, though, for getting one outdoors to enjoy Creation and all of its beauty; without having to put up with anxious folks trying to operate a cell phone and a motor vehicle at the same time.
The best part of my day today will be when I return home though; it is my daughter's 9th birthday. At 11:45am, she will enter her last single-digit year. She is a wonderful girl, sweet and fiercely independent. That's how God wired her and I wouldn't have her any other way. Happy Birthday Hannah!
Let's go for a ride!
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

27 March 2010

Wow, what a ride! Today was the "Marquis de Sade," an AOMM training ride hosted by the Spartanburg Freewheelers. It (according to my trusty Garmin Edge 705) was just shy of 84 miles and just over 8400 feet of climbing! This is, without a doubt, the HARDEST ride I have ever completed. EVER. I tried to do this last year but had to SAG out when I shredded a tire on the way up White Oak Mountain. Had I actually made it up the mountain last year, I still don't think I could've finished the route; I was not yet half way and my body was screaming for mercy or death!
This year, things are different. This is my year. I have dropped over 40 pounds in the last six months, I have trained hard through the winter, and I am stronger and healthier than ever. Barring any injury or mechanical catastrophe, I will complete the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell on May 24th!
Anyhoo, back to the MdS yesterday. The hardest part of the ride was getting started. It was like 40 degrees when we pulled out, brrr! We turned the heat on pretty quickly though, about 15 minutes into the ride we had started the climb up Pack's Mountain (part of the climb actually hits 17% incline!). Turns out Pack's would be the smallest thing we climbed all day. We would proceed over Callahand Mtn., up the Greenville Watershed (one of the prettiest routes I've ever ridden), over to Tryon to climb White Oak Mtn. (2000 feet in 5 miles!), through Green River Cove (yet another truly beautiful route), climbed out of the gorge to Saluda (~1000 feet in 4 miles) and made our way back to North Greenville University, from whence we came.
The weather eventually warmed a little (or did I?) and the whole day was bright sunshine. The climbing was hard, but my new speakers were a great distraction for me. The speakers also helped me reign in my competitive side so I could pace myself and go the distance. The one thing I don't get, and have to work on, is the cramping. I take electrolyte capsules and drink plenty of fluids, yet I still got cramps. I managed to work it all out before the end, but I'd love to avoid them altogether.
Now's not the time to back off though. I still have much work to do before May gets here. So, I'll keep hammering around Lexington County, and hopefully make another trip or two to the hills for some torturous climbing exercises. You get out of it what you put into it. Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23 March 2010

Took a road trip today to Murrells Inlet, to see my friends Tim and Mary at Grand Strand Bicycles. I needed some work done to my real wheel and I wanted to get my fit checked. Tim is a great wrench and just so happens to be trained by Specialized to do bike fits. They took great care of me, they always do.
After the work was done, it was time to play. It was a beautiful, but crazy windy, day on the coast. Jumped on the Roubaix and knocked out 38 miles. It's flat as a pancake there, but everywhere I turned it seemed I was riding in a headwind. I don't mind though, because that's as good a workout as any. Hope your day was a good as mine.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20 March 2010

Man, what an awesome day! Even though I had to work last night and didn't go to bed until 9am this morning, I was happy and excited to get out of bed at 1pm; the temp was predicted to hit 80 and my brother was coming over to go riding! Threw on my RBX bibs from Specialized and my new, never-before-sweated-in Grand Strand Bicycles jersey from Hincapie Sportswear and we took off through the countryside! Got in a good half-century plus and the weather was indeed beautiful!
As if the ride couldn't get any better, I added some MP3 speakers to my handlebars (not my actual bars shown!) which are a recent birthday gift from my bride. Now, of course they don't offer the thumpin' bass of a car stereo, but the sound is clear and the volume is plenty. It came with a cord that plugs into the computer to recharge and a short cord to connect to my MP3 player which is loaded with tunes! For all you weight-geeks who work to take a few grams off your bike here and there, I can lose enough weight off my butt and belly in a week to more than make up for it.
Speaking of which, I have to brag a little; my wife and I entered a weight-loss challenge at the gym where she works out, and I somehow managed to win both categories, "greatest amount of weight lost," (29 pounds!) and "greatest percentage of body fat lost," (nearly 14%!). Won a couple of sessions with a private trainer and a cash prize which I will soon send to Hammer Nutrition for some excellent products! I am quite excited, because regardless of the prize, I am carrying less and less weight and that is helping me slay some of those hills I encounter on my bike! Life is good!
Glad I got the ride in today, will try to spin some tomorrow to loosen up, then spin class on Monday evening. Then, I will taper down and take in some extra carbs to prepare for the Marquis de Sade next Saturday. I am looking forward to this ride but it won't be easy; 82 miles with (I think) over 8000 feet of climbing! Like its namesake, this ride is torturous, and if you actually love it you must be sick!
Hope y'all have a great week, keep hammering!
Be blessed, be safe!
p.s. Funny sidenote (at least I think so!): we stopped today at what I thought was a store, but was really an old country bar, so I could grab some more liquid; when I walked in wearing my bike kit, youda thunk I was naked and painted green! All these old guys sitting at a bar making romance with a beer can/bottle just staring in disbelief. It's a little eerie to walk into a place like that and everything just go silent, as if someone hit a "mute" button! I just laughed and felt a little sorry for them. It was the most beautiful day we'd had in months and they were all stuck inside this dark little joint, thinking I was the weird one.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

6 March 2010

Rocked the March on Caesar's Head today! This is a ride I attempted two years ago and did not even make it to the top of the mountain, let alone back to the school where we began the ride. Today, I made it to the top without getting off the bike and went all the way back to North Greenville University. I am hurting now, tired and sore, but very pleased with the progress I am making. Now I must prepare for the appropriately named "Marquis de Sade" in three weeks. It is 82 miles and who knows how much climbing?!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3 March 2010

I can't believe it; it is March in South Carolina, and we actually got a dusting of snow/sleet last night! I know the folks up North have had a lot of the white stuff this year, but here in the Deep South we are not used to this. It's all relative, a matter of that to which one is accustomed, but this has just been a cold winter in general. I am so ready for warm weather, to leave the house at daybreak on the bike and watch the world come alive in the morning. Ah, it won't be long now, and we'll all be complaining about how hot it is and we can't wait for it to cool off.
Because it has been a cold winter (by our Southern standards), I have spent a lot of time on the trainer, rather than the road. So, if I am going to be inside and missing out on the joys of a ride through the country, I want it to be pleasant. I have spent the last few days working on my bike cave; new paint, bigger TV, etc. This is a picture so far, still needs another coat of red, a couple of touch-ups here and there, and a silver rail to separate the red from the white. Eventually, I will lay a black rubber floor to complete it. Colors were chosen based on my Specialized Roubaix, quite possibly the most excellent bike I could ever throw my leg across. This is my space and I spend a good deal of time out here, even when I'm not on the bike.
Still taking it easy this week, 'bout to go spin for a little bit just to stay loose, all part of learning to taper before an event. The "March on Caesar's Head" is Saturday and I want to rock this thing.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2 March 2010

Went back to spin class last night, what a workout! Much harder than riding on the road. I like it, though, and think it's an awesome way to stress a few muscles.
Been working in my bike cave to make it a bit more homey; I spend a lot of time out there, so I want to make it a little nicer. Post some pics when I am finished.
Getting ready for the "March on Caesar's Head" this Saturday. It's the first of several organized training rides by the Spartanburg Freewheelers to get us ready for Mt. Mitchell; a sixty-miler from North Greenville University out to Caesar's Head and back, and includes about 3500 feet of climbing. That'll really tell the story as to how my winter training has gone. I know I'll do better than last time as I am probably 30 pounds lighter this time around. Let you know how it goes.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

23 February 2010

Woke up with a cold this morning, but still cannot neglect the training! After a busy day, jumped on the trainer about 8pm and spun for two hours while watching the new "Star Trek." I saw it in the theater with my son, but this was a great way to bide my time while getting in a low-pressure 30-mile ride. Staying at it!
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, February 22, 2010

22 February 2010

"Every ride is a training ride for Mt. Mitchell."
Throughout the month of February, my Monday training has been the CTS "Climbing II" DVD, and things are going well. This thing has obviously been a huge help in developing my strength and technique for getting up the hills. Yesterday was an eye opener with the way I was able to handle some of the hills we encountered. I'm not bragging; many's the rider that could still spank me on those hills. I race no one but myself, and I am please with the improvements I am showing. Maybe one day, so look out!
Back to the CTS DVD:
02/01/2010- 17.27 miles @17.3/26.7mph with heart rates of 139/166bpm, cadence of 80rpm.
02/22/2010- 17.45 miles @17.4/27.1mph with heart rates of 131/155bpm, cadence of 82rpm.
Greater distance (not much, but still greater!), faster speeds, and higher cadence, all with a lower heart rate. Unless I am wrong about this, that tells me I am becoming more efficient, getting more done with less effort. Any comments?
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

21 February 2010

It was an incredibly beautiful day in South Carolina today! Saw temps in the mid-to-upper 60's, HAD to get out on the bike! Went to Camden and rode 43+ miles of Kershaw County horse farm country and flattened some hills that just last season were shutting me down. That winter training on the fluid trainer is paying off! There is a downside, however; now, I am hungry for even more road time. Don't know if I'll get any though, before we go to Caesar's Head on March 6th. I don't like it, but I can wait.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, February 15, 2010

15 February 2010

Hey, just because I haven't been blogging, doesn't mean I haven't been riding. Quite the contrary. Unable to get outside because of weather and temperatures, I have been relying on my indoor track (CycleOps Fluid2 trainer, TV/DVD, and KeroSun heater!). As I have said in the past, everything at this point is a training ride for the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell; so I have been focusing on some specific exercises to prepare me for hill climbing, once the weather warms a little and I can go to the mountains.
On Sundays and Wednesdays, I slog. I get warmed up by doing a 10-minute ladder from the big gear/middle ring, then when I reach the little gear/middle ring, I throw it on the big ring (hardest I have) and I just pedal between 55 and 60 rpm. I add time to my workout each time I do it, with a goal of one hour by the end of February. I will continue to add to it in March and April, probably switching out to my old Mercier which has a bigger big ring on it. This simulates for me the climbs which begin on Hwy 80 and keep coming till I reach the top. Also, it is cranking my heart rate which helps raise my lactate threshhold and help keep me from going anaerobic. If that happens, it's not long before game over.
Every Monday I continue to do Chris Carmichael's CTS video, "Climbing II." I track my progress each week, looking for improvement, and not coincidentally finding it. It's a tough workout, but well worth it. Lots of cadence and intensity changes with rest periods, all simulating changing road elevations. Very instructive.
I think the BEST thing I have done in the last month however, is the change in my eating/diet habits. I am now down 20 pounds! That's 20 pounds I don't have to drag up the hill!! WHoo Hoo! Unfortunately, that's just a good start, I've so much more I need to lose. And I will. I have some momentum, just have to stick with it and keep the ball rolling.
So, it's all good. I like the way things are going, making lots of progress. How's your season starting off?
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, February 1, 2010

1 February 2010

Just started my month off with an hour on the trainer with my personal coach, Chris Carmichael. Yeah, THAT Chris Carmichael. In MY garage.
Okay, so he was in a video, whatever. Guy's a great coach with some awesome video workouts. I don't think any of us would choose the garage over a good ride through the country, but if you are stuck indoors, you want a good workout, right?
The video was "Climbing II," and he focuses on cadence and intensity while running the viewer through a series of accelerations and sprints in climbing situations. I don't think I'll ever actually race, but there is a certain hill I'd like to climb to the top of.
Registration for the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell opens tomorrow, and I am excited. I am not fully prepared and if I had to do it tomorrow, I could not. But, the fun I am having getting ready and the anticipation of that day helps me to focus. What's life without a few goals? I hope on the day after I can post a picture of me crossing the finish line up top. Until then, everything's a training ride!
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 January 2009

It's the last day of the month and I am at less than half of the 500 miles per month it will take for me to hit 6k this year; quite all right, weather being what it is I will easily make up for it in the spring. This morning however, it is in the 20's and I have ZERO intention of getting outside on a bicycle! Instead, I thought I'd update my blog while my kerosene heater knocks the chill off the garage and I can get a few miles in before church.
I'm getting excited, I received my registration number so I can register for the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell in May. I have been trying to get some base miles in and drop some weight before the first training ride March 6th; as I said earlier, not so many miles, but, I have managed to drop 15 pounds or so. I am only two weeks into an eight week program (at the gym where my wife trains), so I don't get to excited about early weight loss. It's really after the first two weeks that I struggle to stick with the plan. But for now I'm doing well so we'll go with that. It'll be nice to carry less of me up the mountains I train on, and ultimately, Mt. Mitchell.
Let's all stay at it folks, and continue gaining ground (and for me, losing weight!).
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

25 January 2010

Finally got a little of the better weather I had been hoping for, sunshine and mid to upper 60's! Ferocious wind, though! Man, it was tough, trying to climb some of those hills and then a headwind slaps you; feels like you'll start rolling backwards. Had a great time, a nearly 50 mile loop through Gilbert/Summit, down the southern lake shore, and through the middle of Lexington, to home.
Funny thing about riding a loop in South Carolina: even though I am essentially riding in a circle, I feel like I am always facing INTO the wind. I don't get it. Either way, it was a great ride, and even though it was slower than I wanted because of the wind, it felt WONDERMOUS to get out of the garage for a change!
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23 January 2009

Gee, the first month of the new year is nearing its close, and I have not been riding or writing very much. Between putting in some extra hours at work and suffering through a saddle ailment, the bike has just been collecting dust lately. I'll get on it later tonight, though. My wife has a recumbent stationary bike in the garage now, so we'll go out and pop in a disc from season 13 of ER and pedal through a couple of commercial-free episodes.
We have also been making some food adjustments; the gym she goes to is doing a challenge in which we are participating, and this week we are in "detox" mode. Cut out just about ALL refined sugars and carbs and making better food choices with smaller portions. Also, it has us eating something about every three hours or so. First couple of days was terrible, I was starving! It's getting better though, and we are really enjoying some of the food. (REAL food, not powdered and packaged stuff!) I am already seeing some weight loss, but cutting my coffee back from two pots to one cup a day has had me feeling sluggish!
Now 17 weeks out from the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell, and the weight loss is only part of the preparation, of course. Wanting to get miles in, but the weather doesn't always want to cooperate with my schedule. It's either cold, wet, or both. So, I just need to dress better. For a Christmas present, my wife bought me a pair of Hincapie Arenberg Bib Knickers. I was kind of happy to try them on (in my usual size) and find I needed a smaller size! I like Hincapie Sportsware's stuff, they made my favorite jersey. But, here's the rub, not just with Hincapie, but with all cycling clothing makers: they are all designed for guys proportioned like a pro rider. With the shorts, the band at the bottom of the leg is too loose and hits me about the middle of the knee. I like the length of the knickers, but the band is loose, because it hits me too low (the problem is NOT my legs, these engines are AWESOME!) I guess my question is this: does anyone make cycling clothing for guys who are as wide as they are tall? I am 5'9" and want to weigh less than 170 pounds, but for now, I don't. Any ideas?
I need some warm clothing because not only am I trying to ride now, but the training rides for AOMM start in the SC upstate on March 6th and it will still be chilly up there. We will March on Caesar's Head on the 6th and do the punishing Marquis de Sade on the 27th; getting excited about this!
Anyway,riding this keyboard won't help me on the bike, so I guess I had better saddle up and get pedaling.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13 January 2009

Wow, where does the time go? Hard to believe I haven't updated this in a while, but, there hasn't been a lot to say. It has been TOO cold for weenie-boy to actually get outside on a bicycle. I have missed my Tuesday night urban assault for the last two weeks because the thermometer has been down in the 30's; if you are Jill Homer of "Up in Alaska", then you can handle it. I am not. Also, I have been off my trainer for a few days allowing some 'ahem' healing to take place. Hopefully though, I will be back on the trainer tomorrow because there are now less than 19 weeks until the 2010 Assault on Mt. Mitchell.
I still have bicycle on the brain though, and a gift card left over from Christmas for my favorite bike shop, Grand Strand Bicycles (GSB) in Murrells Inlet, SC. I've been friends with the owners (Tim and Mary) for several years now and whenever I can get to the coast I go see them. Because not only are they awesome people, they take excellent care of me as well as every customer that walks in their door. This IS an endorsement! If you live in Horry or Georgetown counties, or if you are on vacation in the area, you need to see Tim and Mary for all your bicycling needs and wants!
GSB recently (October '09) moved to a new location about three times bigger than the old one, and I have been unable until yesterday to go visit. So, I took my Roubaix and my giftcard and hit the road early yesterday. I wanted to get my bike checked out, it had been a while, and it was a good thing I did. I needed a new chain and bottom bracket, and was able to pick up a few other items. I am excited about the coming cycling season and am happily preparing for it.
As well as preparing my equipment for the season, I am trying to better prepare me for it. I am currently studying (that's right, not just "reading") Dr. Edmund R. Burke's book, "The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling." An excellent read, very educational, covering all the subjects such as rest, nutrition, and the different training disciplines.
So, what does the season look like? Just base miles and different activities on the trainer until March: on the 6th is a 60-mile "March on Caesar's Head" in the SC upstate, and on the 27th is the 82-mile (appropriately named) "Marquis de Sade," beginning in North Greenville and going into NC and back. April means a couple of unorganized training rides such as Paris Mountain, White Oak Mountain, and Marion (NC) to the top of Mt. Mitchell. Also in April is the Taylor Feda Memorial Ride which I will at a later date give a post of its own, as it deserves. May is the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association (please contribute, I'll post how later) and, of course, Mt. Mitchell. Don't know that I have anything in the summer months other than riding very early to beat the SC heat! I am especially excited about September as that is the MS150, a two-day ride from the Midlands of SC to Sunset Beach in NC, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. October will probably finish the year with a century in Orangeburg,SC for gang awareness, and a metric in Camden,SC for Habitat for Humanity. Busy year ahead full of good stuff!
How's your year looking? If you're not too busy, you're always welcome to come and ride with me, I'll do my best to keep up!
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 January 2010

Well, along with getting used to writing "2010," I have been thinking of some goals for the coming year and when you tell others about your goals, it kind of makes you accountable. So, here we go:
1) I want to pedal 6000 miles in 2010. This equates to an average of 500 miles a month. I think I can do this, but it's gonna mean getting out of the garage and hitting the road. I enjoy my trainer, but I can only take so much.
2) I want to complete The Assault on Mt. Mitchell this year. I made it to Marion in 2008, and to the Parkway in 2009, so to the top in 2010 is the natural progression. Right? Won't happen on its own, though, so everything between here and there is a training ride.
3) I don't want to lose weight. Instead, I'd like to develop habits and a lifstyle whose natural results would be a significant loss of weight. I am a powerful rider with strong legs and I am working on my ability to endure. However, I am carrying WAY too much weight and that holds me back. I don't care to win races, just to finish long rides that sometimes end on the mountaintops.
Those are my goals for the year. With God's help and some good old determination, I hope next year's entry for this day says I accomplished all three. What are your goals for the coming year?
Be blessed, be safe.