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.