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!