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.