Friday, September 16, 2011

WARNING: the bicycling nurse is also a hunter.

Had yet another great night out with the Tri-City crew last night, but the days are growing shorter and the season will end soon. Then, we'll go to mountain bikes with lights and do urban assaults which is just as much fun!
We lit out last night to do our usual thing, but at about 7 miles out it began to drizzle and about 9 miles out the bottom fell out; had a real frog-strangler (or gulley-washer, depending where you're from). Fortunately, there was a shed where several of us took shelter until the bulk of the rain passed, then we headed home. I managed to get in 19.89 miles at an average speed of 17.3 mph which is pretty good for me. According to my schedule, that'll have to do me until Tuesday. Work is always getting in the way of riding; that's okay, going to the mountains to ride next Saturday!!
I warned you earlier that the cycling nurse is also a hunter; I like meat, so what is better than an animal that has spent its life in total freedom, eating off the land, to produce meat that is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef and generally just healthier? I and my family enjoy the taste of venison however it's prepared, and I enjoy sitting in a tree for hours at a time in hopes of harvesting some.
Last year was not a good year for this, as I did not see one single deer unless I happened to be driving (not the way I want to obtain deer meat!). This year perhaps offers something different: on the second day of our season, I harvested this calico deer.I have never had the good fortune to see a calico on the hoof; seen several hides hanging on the walls of fellow hunters' homes, but never walking through the woods.
To be honest, I didn't think I'd see ANYTHING today. It takes me about an hour to get from home to hunting ground, and the whole way I am thinking it is way too windy for any deer to be moving. I needed to go though, so I could put out corn, and since I was there I might as well get in the tree, right? In the air, in the dark, and as it got lighter, I was cat-napping and still thinking, "what a waste of time."
I think deer are part ghost, though, because you can not see one there and then turn your head and there they are! This was the case; I nodded off, opened my eyes, and two deer are snacking on my cornpile. A better look revealed a third deer, well, just her back half, enough to know she was calico! The other two walked around practically begging to be targets, but the one I wanted was happy where she was and would not move, only showing her back half.
I waited for what seemed like forever and finally got the opportunity to take her down; she dropped like a rock. Now, I will have some of the tastiest sausages to throw on the grill over the coming year! Those really come in handy after a long bike ride, and are much healthier than what flows out of these hog farms nowadays, all pumped up on steroids and antibiotics.
But going to the woods is not all about killing, don't get me wrong. There is no more peaceful thing to do than to sit alone in the woods and witness nature at work. You will see things you could never imagine and will leave those woods a better person. Try it and see. Then go get on a bike and see what a better person that makes you.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago today we, as a nation, were attacked viciously by those who would destroy our American way of life. They failed miserably, but at a high cost. May God continue to bless and comfort the families of the thousands that died that day.
Instead of spending the day in front of the television watching others rehash ad nauseum the events of that dreadful day, I went to church this morning where we, in silence, remembered and prayed. Then, I went with some family and friends and did a long bike ride under blue skies in a land that is still free and home to many brave individuals who would run into a burning building tomorrow to save the helpless, if that be the hand dealt them. Thank God for people like that.
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9 September 2011

Got miles for the third day in a row; went out through Dutch Fork with my friend, Dr. John, who happens to like triathlons. He's a real hammer, but merciful. He really pushed me, but did not slaughter me; I like riding with cyclists who are better than me, and no, it's not because there are so many to choose from. It's because I push myself harder when I do. We covered over 32 miles in less than two hours giving me an average speed of 16.7 mph. It's all relative.
I will rest my legs tomorrow and go to my brother's house Sunday after church, where we and two others will do a 50 mile route working together in a paceline. Hopefully, we can ride more like a team and really blister it in the Tour de Camden this year. I know, it's a ride, not a race, yadda yadda yadda; still, we are trying to get better at this game, right?
Be blessed, be safe.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

8 September 2011

Had a great ride with the Tri-City crew tonight; pushed it and actually averaged 17.0mph for 26.17 miles. That's a good improvement for me, I'll take it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Close to Home

Got out and rode today, but kept it close to home. The road I live on is only a half-mile long, but just down from me is a hill that's a little over 5%, so I did hill repeats and got in a great workout. Climbed over 800 feet in a little less than 11 miles, and in less than an hour. I am planning on going to the upstate to ride the end of the month and don't want everyone to have to wait too long for me to catch up! I love to suffer up White Oak Mountain, the Greenville Watershed, and just about any road leading to Saluda, NC; being off the bike for six weeks really set me back and I have a lot of catching up to do just to get back to where I was.
I have been out with the Tri-City group in Cayce last couple of weeks and that has been a huge help, as well as a lot of fun. There are enough people out there of every different level of rider that I can always find someone to hang with. If you're around Columbia on a Tuesday or Thursday and want to get a ride in around 6pm, we leave from behind the Farm Bureau building on Knox Abbott. Always a great time!
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"On the Road Again..."

I haven't posted in a while, because I haven't ridden for the last six weeks. But, alas, my time has come! Got back on the road tonight with the gang over at Tri-City and had a great comeback ride! Couldn't ride the full distance, just didn't have the endurance; I ran out of energy, and my shoulder began to ache. I did, however, hold a decent pace (for me) of 16.8 mph. I was just glad to be outside on a bicycle. Not being able to ride has been more painful than a busted up shoulder! Already looking forward to my next ride!
Be blessed, be safe!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

19 July 2011

Yes, I hate the fact that I crashed; if I could go back and re-live that day, I'd roll over and go back to sleep. But, it happened, move on. The one major silver lining of that black cloud is this: it happened two days before the start of this year's Tour de France. Now if you get handed lemons, that's some pretty good lemonade! I have been able to watch every minute of the most epic race ever and then some. It has been full of mayhem, pain, and surprise, every step of the way. Every time a rider went down, and that's happened quite often, I would get a twinge in my own broken collar bone. Fortunately, or not, I will be returning to work on Thursday, three stages away from Paris; pray my DVR functions properly.
Even with the Tour on, it has still been a long three weeks. The first week I had to sleep (or try to) semi-reclined on my sofa, unable to lay flat and breathe at the same time. I felt like breathing may have been the priority here. Every little move would jostle my shoulder and feel like I was being run through with a sword. The second week went better, with decreasing pain and a trip to the ortho doc. I went in to ask him for surgery and he showed me my x-ray which said surgery was not an option. Imagine if you will, the clavicle divided into thirds; now imagine the middle third shattered into four or five pieces. Add to that, unable to comfirm by x-ray but based on my symptoms, one or more cracked/broken ribs. I am breathing normally now, but still unable to complete a sneeze. Time heals all wounds, back for follow-up films in a couple of weeks to ensure everything is healing properly.
So what does one do with all this down-time, other than study the Tour? Work on the weight loss goal for next year's Assault on Mt. Mitchell. I have not been exerting myself so there's no good reason to continue to eat as normal. Based on needs for basic metabolism, that is, what the body needs calorie-wise just to sit still, I have been taking in around 100 calories about every hour. That has shown some success, I have dropped 5 pounds in the last two weeks and I am feeling full with smaller amounts. The one fear I have is that the weight lost may be muscle rather than fat, so today I start easing back into exercising with some time on the treadmill. My plan, with the doc's approval of course, is to get back on the trainer August 1st, and back on the road two weeks later. I think I'll go ride with the folks in Cayce, I have missed them.
If I am to get back on the road soon, I'll be needing to get my gear in order. I have already bought a new helmet, a Bell Volt. I need to order new nose-pieces for my glasses as one of them became dislodged in the scuffle. And of course, my bike; a trip to Harrell's for a tip-to-tail once-over and I'll be good to go. Mentally, I know it may be sketchy once I get out there, but I am anxiously looking forward to riding again. Soon. You can bet I'll be more cautious in the turns.
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Value of a Good Helmet

Things have been going pretty well lately; finding my groove in the new job, making improvements in my riding, and just spent a couple of great days at the beach. Got back home Tuesday afternoon knowing I couldn't ride Wednesday, but planned to head out at sunup on Thursday.
Only really had one goal for Thursday, that was to ride 37 miles; that would give me 500 for the month and over 150 for the week. Simple, right? Left my house just after 0600 to meet my friend Rob at the dam at 0645 where we would do our usual route. I enjoy riding with Rob and his wife April, both are a pleasure to talk with as we ride and are great sources of encouragement for me.
Rob and I rolled out and headed toward Irmo, couple of good hills to climb just before getting into town. We turned around at the Wendy's on Lake Murray Blvd. and went back down the hill we'd just climbed, intent on taking a left on Weed Rd. and riding out to Pine Island.
We came down the hill hot, Rob in front and me behind tapping my brakes at 29mph. Just before Weed, I hit something in the bike lane that didn't pop my tire, but did puncture it. Without time to process this, I laid into the turn at about 25mph; halfway through the turn it became painfully obvious something was wrong. My front tire was soft and the front end of the bike was coming out from under me. I hit the road hard, landed on my right shoulder, bounced my head off the pavement, and finally rolled/slid to a stop. Rob said he heard me behind him and knew what had happened before he ever turned around.
If you've ever had your breath knocked out of you, you know what an alarming feeling that is. I knew no matter what, I needed to get out of the road so I crawled off to the side while Rob cleaned up the mess I left in the street. Before I stood up I knew I was injured, my right shoulder was on fire and I could hardly breathe. A state trooper took Rob to get his truck and Rob got me and my bike home so my wife could get me to the ER.
I don't like going to the ER, but I think this qualified. And if I must go to an ER, I'm going to my ER at Palmetto Health Richland. They are like family to me, and treated me like royalty. Some fluids, pain meds, and a couple of x-rays, and a couple of hours later I was on my way home; diagnosis: broken collar bone.
I was overdue. I have been riding for several years, was even hit by a car two years ago, but I had never hit the ground. I try to be safety-conscious and always wear a helmet. Had I not been wearing a helmet yesterday, I know without a doubt I would not be at my home today. I vividly remember my head hitting the road and for a split second thinking how glad I am that I have on my helmet. Things are going to happen, not everything can be prevented; but with preparation, the damage can be minimized.
I am especially glad that I was riding with someone yesterday, and wonder now if I'll ever ride solo again. Rob was a great source of comfort and assurance for me and was willing to do whatever he had to do to help. I thank God for friends like that.
So, it looks like I am off the bike for several weeks while I heal up. What does this mean for me? I really have to cut way back on the eating so I don't come back 20 pounds heavier. I dropped 14 pounds after Mt. Mitchell with the goal of being under 200 by next year's AOMM; I have plateaued since then and need to get back to dropping. (Thanks for asking Kathryn, hold me accountable!) I will follow with the ortho doc in two weeks to see what my future looks like. Hopefully I can at least be back on the trainer in few weeks, we'll see.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flatland Touring

This is what I woke up to Monday morning. Found myself with a couple of days off so I made some quick plans, threw my stuff in the Element, and headed for the coast to do some flatland riding. I thought it might be a little cooler, but not so; at least there's always a good breeze at the beach.
I set up "base camp" at the Myrtle Beach State Park, a very affordable venue for such a trip. Pier, couple of stores, and decent showers made for a nice home away from home. Could have done without all the air traffic leaving MB Airport and taking off directly overhead, but I got used to it.
Left camp Monday and went through the old Air Base to 707, bound for Pawley's Island. Passed a highway patrol car sitting beside the road, not knowing I'd see him again soon. I was rolling down 707 at a good clip, minding my own, when this car blew by me about a foot off my left hip! Just happened to be a driveway cut in the curb and I jumped up on the sidewalk. Lo, and behold, there's my friend the state trooper; saw the whole thing! Followed some lady up into her yard with the blue lights flashing. It was everything I could do not to pull up in front of them and rub her face in it! What did she need to get home for that was worth the disregard she showed for my health and safety? I kept rolling and soon forgot her. I was here to enjoy my ride.
Made it to PI without further incident, and with all of the side trips I made on the way (through neighborhoods I used to ride through when I went to school there) I was almost at 50 miles when I got to the south end of the island. Turned around and headed back north, with a quick stop at the Murrell's Inlet Grand Strand Bicycles. Hats off to these guys who do such a great job helping cyclists, local and visiting, to keep rolling.
Back to the campground for the rest of the day, it had gotten pretty hot and it was time to relax after putting in almost 80 miles. Sandwich, nap, and some sand and salt water. Good stuff. Spent most of the evening sitting on the pier, watching folks fish and kids chase pigeons. I think pigeons must be like the Goodfeathers
from Animaniacs; they won the turf war and ran off all the seagulls. Anyways, all the kids would come to the pier and chase the pigeons away and laugh like they'd done something grand. Then, to everyone's surprise, this kid actually comes up with a hand full of bird! "Look Dad!" I don't know who was more shocked: dad, the kid, or the bird!
Tuesday morning would have been another solo venture, but my buddy Tim (of Grand Strand Bicycles) has opened a second shop, this one in Myrtle Beach, near where the old Pavilion Amusement Park was; he was ready to start a group ride out of the new store. So, about nine of us rolled out and headed up the coast, going north on Ocean Blvd. It'd be really easy to talk me into moving to the beach! We had a great ride, saw some beautiful homes, and actually had a deer to walk out in front of us! If you're going to the Myrtle Beach area for vacation, take your bike with you and check out for group rides out of both locations.
Unfortunately, noon is checkout time, so after a bite to eat and a shower, it was time to point it toward home. Had a great time, even though it meant missing my usual Tuesday night Tri-City ride. Look forward to going back to the coast soon and hanging with my friends at GSB.
Be safe, be blessed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not A Bad Week

It is summertime in South Carolina! When we rolled out of the parking lot for the Tuesday evening ride, it was an even 100 degrees! It has gotten a little crazy around here, weather-wise, and if you don't get your ride in early, you may not get to ride. Fortunately for me, my schedule allows me to roll out at daybreak several mornings a week, which is what I did this morning.
Left the house at 0630 when it was probably 70 degrees; lit out for my usual stomping grounds and got to stomping. Things went better than normal this morning, however. I averaged close to a full mph faster than usual. I asked myself why, because I really haven't been doing anything obviously different. I think it's this: I am becoming a better climber by being more conscious of my technique and actively trying to pedal in circles. By pushing and pulling the pedals through a complete stroke, I am producing more power to go up a little faster, and increasing my endurance when I have to go a little longer. By getting up the hills a little quicker, my average doesn't take a beating like it used to. And to be honest, I'm feeling better about my riding. To me, that's what it's all about: riding better today than I did yesterday.
Be blessed, be safe.
p.s. Ended my week with 120.97 miles.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Been a Good Week!

Not a lot to report today, other than it's been a good week on the bike. Sunday, Tuesday, and today, I was up before the sun and in the road as soon as it was light enough. Actually did a two-fer on Tuesday and rode that evening; had a great time, of course, with the Tri-City folks! Finished (yes, working the next few days, no more riding till Sunday) the week out with 155.42 miles. Respectable, I say.
Be blessed, be safe!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Minor Improvements Are Still Improvements

It's Tuesday once again, where does the time go? I don't mind Tuesday getting here quickly though, because that means it's time to ride with Tri-City! I was excited last week because I almost hit 17 mph average on the route, thought I did well; this week I DID hit 17 mph average and felt great! Haven't weighed in lately, it's time, but it just felt good out there, I am feeling stronger, lighter, and faster.
One minor hiccup though, I have an open blister on a very tender spot for a cyclist; gotcha, it's not what you thought! I've been working in my yard and have a blister in the palm of my right hand almost the size of a dime. Everything I do to to it makes it feel like it's on fire, such as leaning on handlebars! And the worst thing to try to make it feel better is lidocaine creme; like dropping a red-hot coal in my hand! Oh, well, the price I pay to make my yard a little nicer. Maybe one day soon I won't be embarrassed to invite some folks over to ride and cookout; the day is coming!
Until then, be blessed and be safe!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where'd That Come From?

I don't know whose they were, but I had a great set of legs under me this afternoon on the Tri-City ride. Lately, my average speeds have been in the 15+mph range, tonight I averaged 16.92mph for 28.45 miles; where'd that come from?! That's after riding the last two days, working 12 hours last night, and sleeping about 4 hours today. You think I'd do well just to hold the bike up straight. But, I think we all have days like that, where we get in our zone and anything is possible. Enjoy it while it lasts, I say.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Thankful Memorial Day To You!

I am thankful today and every day for the men and women who serve in the greatest military force in the world. Throughout our history, the American military has defended the vulnerable and innocent and never sought by might to increase our borders. They have sacrificed to give and preserve freedom to so many who might not otherwise ever taste freedom. They bid their families farewell and many went and gave their very lives for strangers. God bless each of them and their families who miss them. And thank you.
Celebrated my Memorial Day with a bike ride, of course, one where I rode where I wanted to and was not stopped at the first checkpoint and ordered at gunpoint to present my "papers." We don't live like that here. I have a nice bike that I worked hard and paid for myself and I pedaled it through beautiful countryside without seeing any bombed-out shells of buildings or destroyed military vehicles. This is a wonderful place.
Rode a little slower today, not that I meant to; cruised out to Bonk City and back, 44.88 miles at 15.2 mph average. Pushed it hard (for me) yesterday and I guess I am still tired. I am trying to lose some (a lot!) weight and am not eating as much so the stores are not there. But, each time I saddle up I am carrying a little less weight, so it's worth it.
I hope you all enjoy your day today, doing whatever you do to revel in your freedom.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Sunday!

I love this time of year! Around sunup, the temps are in the upper 60's, and on a Sunday morning, there is almost NO traffic on the road. I left the house just before 7 this morning and nearly had all of Lexington to myself. Rode from my house, through the middle of town, across the dam, all the way to Irmo; came back by Pine Island, back across the dam, and out Old Cherokee to make my way home. Didn't do too bad for time either, by my norms; 33.77 miles at an average of 16.03mph. Would have loved to stay out even longer, but, things to do.
Even so, the ride was not uneventful. Young white trash in Gramma's blue Buick just couldn't resist the urge to shout at me when passing. It amazes me (still) how people choose to display their lack of intelligence and decency. I'm just glad they kept going; that would not have been a pretty conversation- I'm sure I would have had to talk slowly and use really small words.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Helmets off to the fine folks at Garmin! I sent my Edge 705 to them on the 18th (7 days ago) and on the 25th (today) a refurbished replacement arrived. In these days of customer NONservice, I think that's awesome. Of course I get great service at my LBS, Harrell's Bicycle World too. Busted a spoke last night, ready to ride tonight. Thanks Dan and the rest of the gang!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Week Later

Other than the "Ride of Silence" last Wednesday, which is a wonderful event which I heartily endorse, I have not ridden since the AOMM. Until tonight. Got back out there with the Tri-City Cyclists and had a great time. Feeling good kind of came and went, but I was pleased with how I rode, covering 23.5 miles in about 1:45 (that includes regroups, etc.). Only downside is I popped another spoke. The Eastons I am running are supposed to have no weight limit and the guys at my LBS insist this is not the issue, but I am not convinced. I am heavy and strong, and sometimes I think I am more than these wheels can handle. For now.
When I did the AOMM last year, I was about 40 pounds lighter and had spent more time in the hills preparing for it. This year, heavier with less training. Same amount of miles, but if you want to do well in the hills, you must spend time in the hills. Period. So after coming home from AOMM and enjoying a couple of celebratory meals, I kicked in and have been making some serious changes in my eating habits. Greatly reduced the amount of sugar, salt, and fat in my diet; and instead of eating three larger meals a day, I am eating five to six small meals a day. I also cut way back on the Coca-Colas which I love. In the last six days I have dropped 12 pounds and can feel it. Now, I know this won't last, the loss will taper off soon, but I'll enjoy it while I can and count it as encouragement to continue. Remember, if I weigh 200 or more next year, I will not ride but instead serve in some support capacity. Either way I'll have a great time, but I'd live to see a sub-9 hour time, maybe even sub-8 hour before I turn 50.
Normally, after a ride like the AOMM, I'd be poring over data collected along the route by my Garmin Edge 705; that would not be the case this year. Something fritzed and I lost all the info on my computer. I contacted Garmin and they were great, walked me through several attempts to restore things, and then had me paackage it up and send it to them. I am expecting either a replacement or my repaired unit back any day now. I really appreciate their customer service.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"You've already been where you're going again."

I wrote these words with some goals on a piece of tape stuck to my handlebar bag. This would be my mantra for a rematch with Mt. Mitchell, in which I would defend my title as "survivor."
Drove up to the campground at Marion to meet my brother, he would leave his car there so when we came off the mountain we would have our own ride to Spartanburg where my car waited at the hotel. It was a cool but beautiful day, and we were already in Marion, so we drove the route from the campground to the top of Mitchell. We have done this before so the climbs didn't look quite as bad as they had in the past. Boy, were we in for a surprise! Got to the top and it was cloudy and 44 degrees with a little wind. The weather forecast called for about the same thing on Monday and we figured we could handle that. Came off the mountain and hit the road for Spartanburg where we would pick up rider packets at the auditorium and then get in a short spin on the bikes just to loosen up and make sure they were ready for the ride. A quick six miles told us we were good to go, it was time to go fuel up at the Cracker Barrel!
Tried to crash early that night, but I don't know what it is with people. Some folks think since they are staying in a hotel, they are obligated to make a lot of noise late at night. Ended up with little more than a nap, but that stupid little dog finally got all of his barking finished.
Up at 0400 for final preparations, out the door at 0550 for the 3.5 mile (EASY) ride to the starting line in front of the auditorium. In the middle of a crowd of about 1100 cyclists we lit out early for the top of Mt. Mitchell. It would be a long day!
This ride is, to me and many others, the gold standard of how a ride should be managed. All of the support staff were friendly and helpful, the stops were all well stocked, and law enforcement had control of every intersection we rolled through. When I left Spartanburg, I did not come off the pedals for 64 miles; never had to stop for any traffic or signals.
I had done some calculations to make a half-hour better time than last year, but for a couple of reasons, that would not happen. I was not making time like I need to but did well until I got to the serious climbing near the top of Hwy 80. I began to come apart and would have to dig really deep if I was to survive this thing and finish.
Made it up to the Blue Ridge Parkway at about 1:45pm; there is a 3:30pm cutoff here, if you're not on the Parkway by then, you're not getting on, your ride is over. Two years ago I had missed the cutoff by 3 miles; standing there looking at the Parkway this year, I had well over an hour to cover the next 100 yards.
Tried not to sit too long at the stops, didn't want to stiffen up, so I mounted up and hit the Parkway. A mile or two in to it, a Bronco rolled by, the driver shouting at me; it was Paul Harrell, doing support work. Saw him a little later, he pulled me over to check on me and give me a Coke. After 80+ miles and climbing up to the Parkway, that was like heaven in a bottle. Paul is an awesome guy, runs a great shop; if you need a new bike or any accessories, you should go to Harrell's Bicycle World.
The Parkway is tough, but not as bad as the top 4 miles of Hwy 80, or the climb in the Mt. Mitchell State Park. I was shot though; did my best and almost made it to the rest stop at mile 93 when the rain came. The temps had already dropped because we'd gotten up into cloud cover, and now the rain made it worse. Adding insult to injury, the best part of the Parkway leg is a two-mile stretch of awesome downhill coming out of that rest stop; normally I would see ~40mph but had to keep it at half of that because of the wet roads.
After that, it was just pure misery. Sort of. I had to walk some, and had a lot of time to think about the life lessons I was learning. I won't go into all that right now, but it was a great time of introspection. Several times different SAG wagons came by and offered me a ticket out of there, but I stuck to it. Except for once. I was standing in the rain completely alone just two miles from the finish, when I heard a vehicle approaching. I thought, "God, if that's a SAG, I'm climbing in." I think He turned it into a bus before it came into view. Back on the bike. Still exhausted and miserable. But almost there. Again, I pedaled until I couldn't pedal anymore, and got off and walked one last time. It was such a dense fog I could barely see 50 yards in front of me, but I got to the point where I could see the parking lot. I walked to the parking lot, took one last drink, and mounted up to finish my ride. I could hear people talking above me at the very top and as I rounded the curve I heard someone shout, "this way, follow my voice!" I'm telling you, it was nasty. As I crossed the line, the people working there treated me like I was the first one to finish, welcoming me in like family they'd not seen for much too long. I couldn't think straight, but I collected my patch and surrendered my bike, and walked off smiling. I didn't do as well as I had hoped to, but I finished, and I wasn't last. By the way, it was 37 degrees and still raining at the top.
It was a very encouraging time. I got on the bus to fanfare from folks who'd just finished suffering too. We rode down the mountain getting to know each other better and swapping war stories. There was a bond between strangers because of this shared experience.
Next Year
I began thinking about next year a week or two before this year's ride, recalling how I wish I had trained differently, lost weight, etc., and it comes down to this: I am about 45 pounds heavier this year than last. Crazy, right? I had dropped some weight prior to last year's, but once I finished it I no longer had a goal in front of me. So, I gained back what I had lost and then some.
Here's the deal: eating is what I do. It's how I deal with stress, exhaustion, and anger, it's how I celebrate and socialize. I want to get a handle on this and the older I get, the more difficult it gets. I will spend the next year really knuckling down to beat this. If I can make myself ride a bicycle up a steep mountain in the rain, surely I can lose 85 pounds over the next year. When you get a chance, ask me how I'm doing and hold me accountable. If I am not under 200 (under, not "at") when next year's AOMM rolls around, then I will not ride, but instead will volunteer to support the ride in whatever capacity I am able. There, you read it, hold me to it.
I got long-winded on this, it was an exciting event; sorry. I'll write more about it later as I continue to process all that took place.
Ride of Silence
Tomorrow, May 18th, I will participate in the Ride of Silence in Columbia to memorialize cyclists killed in action. Too many are killed or injured by distracted motorists. A friend of a friend died in Florida a few weeks ago in a hit-and-run; two days ago, another friend was sent to the hospital to be treated for some bad road rash after being hit. Let's bring attention to this and hopefully these incidents will decrease. It's a shame that someone actively pursuing better health should leave this world in such a way.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spartanburg, Day One

Arrived in Spartanburg this afternoon, got checked into my hotel, and got more excited about the coming ride. Hopped on the mountain bike about 2:30 and went to a presentation of a film about the 13th AOMM, talk about dated, wow! A lot's changed in 23 years with bikes, equipment, and clothing. Probably the only sports drink at that time was Gatorade, no gels or or of the plethora of nutritional offerings at your local bike shop. The helmets that were used looked like half a ping-pong ball, and there was not a carbon bike in the bunch. The only thing that was the same was the riders' determination to summit the highest point east of the Mississippi.
It takes determination to be a serious cyclist (I didn't say racer). Going to see the film, I got caught in some serious rain and arrived soaking wet. That's okay, if you are going to ride, you are going to get wet. The thing is, you become a person that reaches down within yourself and pulls out what you never thought you had. I feel like there's a point where that begins to transcend into other areas of your life and makes you a better, stronger person.
Time for some dinner.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Night Tri-City Ride

Back to Cayce tonight for the Tri-City Ride, an awesome bunch of folks to hammer with. This is my last decent effort until this coming Monday when I will once again attempt to summit Mt. Mitchell. It's time to actively rest, hydrate, and store carbs. I will spin a little each day through the weekend to keep my legs loose, and hopefully be ready when the flag drops at 0630, Monday morning.
I don't feel prepared for this, and at the same time an excitement is welling up within me. I think there's a lot of (I hate to sound so "hippie") positive energy in the air because everyone else is so excited and looking forward to doing his/her best. This is a very difficult ride, I've heard it's in the top ten of tough rides in America, and just to finish is a major accomplishment.
I WILL FINISH. How quickly, I just don't know. But I will be just as happy at the end of the day as that lightweight hammer that finished in less than five hours.
I have numerous friends and acquaintances, as well as my brother, riding the AOMM, and to each of you, Godspeed, safety, and success!
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

9 May 2011

Wow, it's hard to believe how time flies. I haven't posted in a while and don't know where the time went, and now the 2011 Assault on Mt. Mitchell is less than 7 days away! Looking back through some old numbers, I am surprised to find that I am within a handful of miles from where I was this time last year, a little better than 1700 miles this calendar year. Even though I finished last year (and am forever proud of that!) there are a couple of things that concern me: last year I finished the Marquis de Sade and this year I was not able to climb White Oak Mountain. Also, I am about 30 pounds heavier this year.
I am taking comfort in these things: I do believe I can beat the 3:30pm cutoff at the Parkway, and once on the Parkway, I am hard-headed enough to slog it out and make it to the top. I think too, that I have learned a few things this past year to improve my technique, such as breathing and cadence, as well as becoming better at riding my own ride. I have accepted the fact that I am too old and heavy to be a racer, and I need to control that competitive thing in me that says, "that rider in front of you is only 100 yards off; you can pass him/her if you want too." While I hope to get into groups where we can work together pulling each other along, I want to go out there with the idea in my head that I am totally alone and need to make it to the top.
Something kind of funny to me: when I finished last year, I thought I would do the Assault one more time, just to see if I could get a better time, and then I would be done. This year's ride is almost a week away, and I am already looking forward to next year's ride. Why? Because I am 45 and not getting any younger. Biking puts a feeling in me like nothing else. I ride, I sweat, I hurt, and yet it's the most satisfying thing I have ever done. When I rounded that last right-hand curve in the parking lot last year, I felt like I was finishing the Tour de France! Like a new mother holding her newborn child, what was behind me wasn't worth thinking about, only what lay before me. At that point, I think I could have ridden another 100 miles.
So, anyway, totally changing the subject now. I was on a Saturday ride the other week and someone mentioned my blog. I was surprised to hear this person had been following my blog, and pleased that she didn't ask me, "what are you thinking?!" To me, this is not so much a blog as a journal or diary. I started doing this just to track my riding and make a few notes. I don't claim to be a writer and anyone with a computer can have a blog. But I have enjoyed it, and am happy to learn that others (three, I think) enjoy reading what I write. Thanks!
I am an RN, have been for about three years now, one of those midlife career changes. Except I have never had a career, only a series of different jobs. I have worked in a hospital for the last seven years, six of those in the ER, a Level One Trauma Center. If it's bad, it's coming to us. I have seen things that should be seen only in a war zone and cried over children leaving this world. Needless to say, it's a very stressful situation. I left the ER about a month ago to go to one of the ICU's. Still somewhat stressful, but hopefully helping folks heal and recover from whatever madness they have endured. I think the most stressful part is the learning curve I am in right now, learning my way around, new people, etc. It will get better, and I will soon achieve a level of comfort I can handle. Until then, there is my bicycle. I will continue to pedal as much as possible, giving myself what I once saw referred to as a "mental enema." A two-wheeled jaunt through the country is, to me, a great source of healing and making things right with the world.
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Be blessed, be safe.

Friday, April 22, 2011

22 April 2011

Went to Dreher Island this morning hoping to get some miles in with some friends, but the weather had other ideas. Now, I don't mind getting caught in the rain, but rare is the day I'll head out in it. Back to the house.
I still needed to get some riding in, Mt. Mitchell is in 24 days, and I was already dressed for it, so I grabbed a movie and headed for the garage. My mountain bike was in the trainer and "Bullitt" was in the DVD. I don't know that I have ever seen this flick, but I like ole Steve McQueen (ever see him in "The Great Escape?") and it turns out, the car chase here kind of set the standard for car chases in film. He's in his green Mustang chasing a black Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco, flying over hills and sliding around curves and corners; watching this while pedaling had the craziest effect on my equilibrium. Man, I felt like I was on one of those simulator rides at Disney. You should try it, but don't let go of the handlebars, it'll mess with ya!
If you get Versus Channel, don't forget this Saturday is Fleche Wallone at 4pm and on Sunday is Liege-Bastogne-Liege at 6pm. If you can't get out and ride, kick back and watch the pros ride.
Be blessed, be safe. And Happy Easter to you! The "Jesus rose from the dead to provide salvation to us all" Easter, not the "bunnies and chocolate Easter, ya know?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

19 April 2011

It's been a memorable week on the bike, rode further in the past seven days than ever before: 245 miles logged in! Now, I am tired and all I want to do is sit!
2011 South Carolina EMS Memorial Ride
I am not EMS, but having spent the last six years in the ER, I have come to know and appreciate many fine folks with EMS. Sometimes, EMS personnel will lose their lives in the line of duty, and sometimes, will spend their lives in service to the community only to die early from a disease or other health problem. Sometimes, they are fortunate enough to have given their life in service and gone into retirement and die old and full of years.
For the second year in a row, some folks with Lexington County EMS have organized a ride to memorialize those whose lives ended the year before by riding from the state house in Columbia to Myrtle Beach, to the EMS Symposium. We started out on the steps of the state house in a soft rain and somber atmosphere with several surviving families present, for a memorial service to recognize the contributions made by the fallen heroes and to pray. We prayed for the families that would go on, and for our safety as we traveled the roads of South Carolina.
The first day, we rode 100 miles to Kingstree where we were fed by the local Masonic Lodge, and they really killed the fatted calf for us. The second day, we rode 63 miles to Conway and were guests of OmniFlight, a helicopter ambulance service, at the Coastal Alehouse for another fatted calf! The next morning, we rode the last 20 miles into Myrtle Beach where we presented the flags for the Symposium and recognized the EMS folks no longer among us. Then, the very last leg was a couple of blocks to Chapin Park where yet another fatted calf was laid out (thank you Sticky Fingers!) and we enjoyed fellowship with two of the families that had driven to the beach to welcome us to the end of our journey. Each of the families was presented with a shadowbox containing a 2011 jersey and the laminated card of their family member which had come to the beach ziptied to a bike, the cyclist riding to represent that person. It was an emotional time for all of us and I hope I am able to ride again next year.
4th Annual Taylor Feda Memorial Ride
My brother and I had planned to get some training in the mountains on Saturday, and I would not have been able to make the TF ride, but the weather changed everything. Saturday was nasty so everything got canceled, or postponed, rather. The TF ride was moved to Sunday and what a beautiful day it turned out to be.
Taylor was in high school when she fell victim to a pulmonary embolism, ending her young life. Loving poetry, and wanting to be a nurse, her incredible parents began this annual ride to preserve her memory and to establish scholarships for two students each year at Dutch Fork High School, one for a Nursing program in SC and the other for a Literature program. I think she'd be proud of her parents for turning something tragic into a blessing for some worthy young people.
I love to ride bikes, and I would ride for no other reason than to just get out and ride. But when one can go and participate in events where others are blessed and lifted up, and awareness is brought to those that have no clue, well, that just makes it that much more special. Go ride for someone else this month and see what a difference it makes.
Be blessed, be safe.
p.s. The EMS ride photos were taken by Hunter of "Hunter Eisele Photography" out of Charleston, SC. I think he does a fantastic job!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

9/10 April 2011

Saturday- had a great 40-miler, just waited too late to get started; got hot early! Summer's coming to South Carolina and, of course, it's gonna be hot! Still, had a pleasant ride through Lexington County with no problems to report.
Sunday- up early to get in a 2-hour "out-n-back" before church, and it's a good morning for it; upper 60's with a wet fog hanging about. Felt great until I hit the trash in the bike lane and destroyed my rear tire. Managed to fix it with a new tube and a dollar bill, at least well enough to get home on. Will have to dig up a new tire today.
Not a real fan of bike lanes. I mean, it's a great idea, but one that needs to be maintained. Unless the lanes are swept on ocassion, they just become pits of debris, defeating the purpose for having a bike lane. Political folks need to keep this in mind, because down the road budgets will get cut and not many will see bike lanes/maintenance of as a priority. Non-cyclists don't get this. They see the cyclist and the bike lane and become irate at the cyclist who will not ride in the bike lane, not knowing why. Anyway, enough soapbox; I'll just ride roads without the lanes.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6 April 2011

Hey, who don't like new stuff?! Picked my pony up from the shop today, had this new crank put in, and just had to go for a test drive this afternoon. The old one was showing a significant amount of wear on the teeth, and I think I had (over time) damaged the spindle/splines with the 20mm pedal extenders I have been sporting for the last year. It appears an increased Q-factor places a torsion on the crank arms which they were not designed for. Now, it looks like, "problem solved!"
So, went out and laid it down for 27+ miles and all is well with the world, or at least with my Roubaix. I love this bike and riding it is pure pleasure. Except in the mountains, yeah, that's not pleasure. Trying to increase the lengths of my rides in preparation for AOMM so hopefully Saturday I'll do a metric, bare minimum. Weather is getting better, and able to get out earlier in the morning when temps cooperate. Awesome!
Enjoy your riding, hit your goals, and get home in one piece.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

3 April 2011

"After the Bridge Run Century"
Left home early this a.m. to go to Charleston for the ABRC, and had a ball! Rolled out at 0800 in sunny and beautiful 45-degree weather, with the goal of just doing a flat century to get some good saddle-time. Other than missing a turn and having to double-back to make up miles, it was a great day riding through some picturesque backcountry.
Funny thing though: we got back to the start, enjoyed some awesome Sticky Fingers BBQ, drove for two-and-a-half hours to get home, THEN, when I get out of my car, CRAMPS!! I don't get it; You think things would have begun to normalize at that point. Any ideas?
Another nice thing about today: it's cool to drive that far for a bike ride and run into a bunch of familiar faces. Apparently, many folks thought it was a great day for a coastal cruise.
Back home now, with lots of work to be done. I have got to continue working hard on me to prepare for Mt. Mitchell, and my bike needs a new crank. We're thinking that pedal extenders (Q-factor) may not be a good thing; I am a Clydesdale and this situation may be putting some torsion on my crank arms which was not designed to be so. All good, we'll have a new one on board this week and try to get a few miles in before the EMS Memorial Ride to Myrtle Beach in a week-and-a-half.
Hope y'all enjoyed your day as much as I did.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29 March 2011

The weather this week is keeping me inside, so yesterday I hit the dreadmill for a while, then threw a DVD in and got on my bike/trainer. The DVD was a Spinnerval, on "Muscle Breakdown;" ain't that the truth! It's a 45-minute workout in fairly easy gears, but intervals of slamming high cadence! I did okay, and felt great after I dismounted, but I worked today and as the day wore on I could feel in my quads what had happened. Wow! Another good session with Coach Troy and his peeps.
Unfortunately, my batteries were aging and I did not capture any data from this. Off to the store for fresh cells and tomorrow I'll mount up. Looks like I'll still be inside tho, lots of rain on the way. No complaints from me, it's washing all the pollen away!
Signed up tonight to do a flat century, the "After the Bridge Run Century" in Charleston, SC. Looking forward to that, should be a good ride through coastal country.
Be blessed, be safe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

26 March 2011

:"Nothing like a good piece of hickory."
Skies looked ugly today so I kept it inside on the trainer. The sweaty rider watched the "Pale Rider" and had a pretty good afternoon. Tried to spend a bit of time in the harder gears as I only have 50 more days until AOMM. Gotta be ready.
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

23 March 2011

This is what my ride felt like today. Wanted to get a metric century (100k=62.5miles)in, but was getting flogged by the 20mph winds. Several times I had to actually pedal just to go downhill! Enjoy a good workout as much as the next guy, but a flogging still hurts; so, decided I'd make a right at my 20-mile mark and head for home. Made that right and the excitement began! Spokes popping! Broke two spokes on the rear wheel and had to call the SAG wagon. Better to call it in that have to replace a wheel.
Saddest part of this whole episode is this: the 8-mile ride home would have been mostly downhill with this brutal wind at my back pushing me the whole way. I would have been rolling! Such is life.
Anyhow, my bike is at my favorite LBS (Harrell's Bicycle World) getting the wheel repaired and a couple of non-priorities taken of. Back in the road on Saturday!
Be blessed, be safe!

Monday, March 21, 2011

21 March 2011

Got some catching up to do, because I'd rather ride than write. Haven't posted in a month, but still, a lot's been happening.
The weather here has been crazy-good, temps up in the 70's and sunshine; been on the road every chance I get. My speeds have not been impressing me at all though. I am averaging speeds like I did two years ago; I have been riding, but regressing. Gotta figure out what's going on and pull out of it.
Made a mistake on St. Patrick's day; two days before the Marquis de Sade, I got out and did a metric. Tried to keep it conservative and not hurt myself, but still it was too much. Last year I finished MdS without walking at all, this year it's another story.
We left North Greenville University (thanks, NGU, for letting us base there!) at 0830 and within 20 minutes we were grunting up Pack Mountain. My Garmin registered two climbs on this mountain at 17 and 15%! This was followed by a fairly flat ride into a stiff wind, pretty much all the way to the bottom of Callahan Mountain.
Rolled down through Indian Camp at some outrageous speeds (Woo Hoo!) and started the climb up through the G'ville Watershed. I love this part of the ride. It's not cake, it is a long, gradual grade that takes you over into North Carolina, but it's probably the prettiest lake I have ever seen. Totally restricted and undeveloped in order to protect the city's water supply.
Once you top out of the Watershed, it's more crazy, thrilling downhill, just about all the way to Tryon, NC. I maintained speeds in this stretch between 30 and 40 mph.
Beyond Tryon, is the infamous White Oak Mountain. I've climbed (and suffered) White Oak, and attempted so this time; but about 3/4 of a mile up, I knew that if I did it this time, I would not finish the ride. So, I spun it around, took the shortcut, and went around. Yeah, the pansy option.
From there, it's a bit of an uneventful though beautiful ride to and through the Green River Cove. But the bill must be paid; the climb out of this gorge is tough! I rode as far as I could until my heart rate told me to get off and walk a bit. Managed to make it out of the gorge and stop at the store in Saluda where I met up with my brother, whom I had not seen since Pack Mtn., hours earlier. He was suffering too, but at least he made it across White Oak.
Clouds started rolling in as we were leaving Saluda, and as we approached the Watershed on the return trip, the rain began! I don't mind getting caught in the rain, but those drops can sting when speeds get up! I should have been more nervous (cautious?) than I was, but the road felt good and I did my best to read it, so down the hill I went with all I had. At one point, the rain had slowed almost to a stop, so I got in the drops and gave it all I had, and saw 41 mph on a fairly flat straightaway! One of these days I'm gonna bust it and it's gonna hurt...
Stopped at the bottom to group up with some friends for the last 8 miles or so and the weather began to worsen again, with thunder and lightning, so we decided to take the alternate route back; same distance, less climbing. It's still early in the year, we were all shot!
Made it back safely to NGU, where sunshine, dry clothes, and a boatload of delicious baked spaghetti was waiting for us. Thanks to Mark Janes and the FreeWheelers for yet another awesome day on the road.
Another highlight was riding with a blogger friend Kathrin, you should visit her over at "BarkLessTriMore" . She is going to do AOMM this year and I have all confidence in her.
Really felt the burn the next day, so I wanted to do some easy spinning just to loosen up a bit. Loaded my son and our mountain bikes up, and visited the Sandhills site of Clemson Extension Center. We had a great time, it's a beautiful area full of trails and ponds and even some exhibits.
Anyhoo, that was a lot of catching up to do. Now I need to get caught up around here so I can hit the road again Thursday!
Be blessed, be safe!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

20 February 2011

Wow, it's been a weird February. Been seeing temps in the 70's, some beautiful riding weather. So, starting to swap out those trainer miles for the real McCoy: road miles! Went out yesterday with the group at Dutch Fork and did 45 miles. Only problem was I paused my Garmin at one of the regroups and didn't start it back when we took off; lost the data for the best, fastest sustained speeds of the whole day. That's fine, I'll just go back when I can and ride it again.
It was nice to be outside. I've been able to go several times this month to the Lake Murray dam and do a circuit to Irmo, then Lexington, then back to the dam, even multiple laps on occasion. I am not as fast as I had hoped after working hard all winter, but I feel like my endurance has definitely improved. I am not flying up the hills, but I am able to maintain a steady pace up and over.
Gonna try to get to some real hills soon; want to ride out of Tryon, do White Oak and Saluda Grade as well as some others. Hills are hell, but they make a stronger cyclist which is what I need to be to go sub-9 hours for Mitchell this year.
I need to work on the long rides too, so I can keep my butt in the saddle for a long day. EMS Memorial Ride coming up in April, about 200 miles over 3 days, hope to partake in that fun feast.
Something big coming up in July that actually has nothing to do with cycling; 2011 Samoa Medical Missions trip. I went last year and had the best two weeks of my nursing career. I would like to go back this year but don't feel cleared to commit just yet. If I go, I'll need help with finances and I need to get some "housekeeping" items cleaned up. Say a little prayer for me, this is a big reason I went to nursing school, to be able to help folks.
Lot going on, lots to be done. Life is busy and I am glad that all the mental garbage I leave along the roadside is not actual, visible litter. Some drink, some dope, I ride. Good therapy!
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Different Kind of Century!

Sort of celebrating today, in a goofy sense of the word; I came home last night after a 12-hour shift at the ER and jumped on my bike and rode 30 minutes at 18.7mph. That was day 100 for me. I have ridden 100 consecutive days for at least 30 minutes, often more, just to see how long I could go. Since November 1st, I have ridden 1306.4 miles, and am somewhat conflicted about not actually riding today. Heck, I am off work today, why not? It's time to rest and recover. I am a journaling nut, I document every ride, and as I look back I see growth but I also see decline in certain ways. It's time to call it a day, take a week off, and come back focused. When I mount up next Tuesday, I will begin a regular regimen of intervals, one-legs, and hopefully one good long ride a week, as well as getting more daily rest and a better diet.
I have about five weeks to prepare for the "Marquis de Sade," one of the training rides in the hills, sponsored by the FreeWheeler's of Spartanburg. It's about 84 miles and roughly 8000 feet (I think) of climbing, and is the indicator of one's preparedness for Mt. Mitchell. Make it here, make it there.
I am excited about my cycling year to come, I know it will be even better than the last. Lots of great rides on the calendar this year. Y'all keep hammering and so will I, I'll catch you on the next long downhill; gravity favors the fatboy!
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, January 31, 2011

31 January 2011

These are exciting times! I will wake up tomorrow and register for the 2011 Assault on Mt. Mitchell. I am going to bed tonight having achieved my goal of 500 miles for the month of January. I have ridden at least 30 minutes EVERY day for the last 92 days. Good things are happening in my little bicycle universe.
Mt. Mitchell has become the highlight of my biking year. So much so, that after I made it last year, I didn't care what happened the rest of the year. That was a mistake that, even though I had some good times, cost me dearly. I had worked hard to lose 30+ pounds and once I hit my goal, I lost my focus and before you know it, I had re-gained the weight. Blah! That's why, this year, I will have several rides as goals to keep working toward and keep focused on.
I managed to ride 500 miles this past month. That's always a great month for me. It cost me, though; I had to ride about 200 miles in the last 9 days to make it. That kind of mileage sucks out loud on a trainer. I'll set my February goal at 400 because probably all of it will be trainer miles. When March rolls around and I start getting outside, perhaps I'll be able to get some serious miles then. Perhaps this is the year I hit 6000 miles.
Back in November, I decided I would see how many consecutive days I could ride, at least for 30 minutes. That was 1194 miles ago; turns out, I am tired. I have decided now that I would make it to 100 days and cease to ride every day. I have not taken the time to rest, recover, and heal, and I can see it in my performance. The experiment was well worth it, though. I think I have learned much and become a better rider for it. I am looking forward to reaping my reward when I hit the road this spring.
So, a large part of what I do (and probably, what you do) involves goals. Let's all set goals beyond our reach and then work hard to smoke them! Here's to a great 2011!
Be blessed, be safe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

5 January 2011

Still hammering every day, up to day 66 now! Been fighting a cold since Christmas Eve so I've not quite had the strength I think I should have had. Hard to ride hard when you cannot breathe!
Massaged the calendar a bit today, working out my schedule for the coming year. I have done some great rides in the past and look forward to repeating them this year. Something I do want to add this year: I want to find a ride I can volunteer for, to support. There are always wonderful people at ride departures, rest stops, and waiting at the end, I feel like I owe it to the sport to give back a little in this way. Any ideas?
Another New Year's "resolution" was to lose some weight. I do okay to take it off, it's keeping it off that is the problem. I lost a good chunk of blubber early last year, but once I finished Mt. Mitchell, I lost all motivation and regained it. Need to find something this year that clicks and helps me stay lighter.
Y'all keep turning the pedals and so will I.
Be blessed, be safe.