Saturday, July 02, 2016

Messin Around

Yesterday afternoon, at the end of my normal work day, I had a decision to make.  I could either ride to the bike shop and fight for space to attempt to build bikes while hordes of customers came in dropping off more bikes in the back of the shop, or I could just go on a ride.  It was nice out - 80° with a little Southish breeze and not much humidity.  I figured it would probably do me and my soft belly some good to actually go out on a ride for a change.

The other thing that convinced me to take a ride was reminiscing on the past.  There was an earlier conversation with a co-worker who lamented that there were no more true bakeries left in town who made their own stuff on site.  My mind immediately flipped to Orsi's Bakery on 7th and Pacific.  That bakery was one of many memorable sights on my commonly used South O/Bellevue bike route I would ride for training during my race days.  After letting him know about the bakery and finding that it was still open from the google maps, I decided that was course I would ride after work.  The route has a few variations depending on if you want to just mess around, put in some distance, or do seriously intense training intervals.  The route has everything you could want and not much traffic. So I took the middle ground easy route and ended up with 27 miles mostly riding too fast because I didn't have sun screen on and didn't have water bottles.  I know, I know.  It doesn't make sense to ride faster when you have no water because you're body will crave water more.  Well, my thought was get the ride over with sooner to get to the water rather than drag it out.  Plus I was having a lot of fun and that usually entails riding fast.  I was parched and only slightly sun burnt after the ride, but I had a ton of fun, so I think I made the right call.

I stole Brady's subject line because I remember needing to switch things up too.  (Warning: obligatory Randell mention) After getting tired of that South O/Bellevue route for the millionth time, and coinciding with Randell moving out West, our mini-group rides changed drastically.  This was about the time that we were both done with racing, but still wanted to stay in shape by having fun, messin around on bikes.  So our group rides turned into games, rather than anything remotely serious or constructive training wise.  I don't remember if we officially came up with a name for the game, but basically, the rules are this:

1. no big chain ring
2. cruise around aimlessly as a group in a subdivision
3. if you see a "for sale" sign in front of a house in the distance, there is a small ring only sprint for it
4. if you win the sprint, you pick up the flyer for the house
5. the person with the most expensive house wins, with an honorable mention also going to the cheapest nicest house.

There were tactics to this game because we would pretty much sprint to every house for sale.  If you saw that the house was not worth it, you could sprint less hard.  If you saw that there was no flyer, you sprint less hard and hoped the next one had a flyer.  Of course, when I say sprint, I mean the goofiest sprint imaginable since only small chainrings were allowed.  But hey, it helped with high cadence pedaling.

So I would highly recommend this game as a form of messin around while still getting some beneficial exercise on the bike.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Yearly update, or "Holy Crapsauce! Munson Posted Something!"

I visit this blog nearly everyday because it has a list of other blogs which updates when new postings have been, uh, posted.  I like to read race reports, funny stories (Hi Fred!) and updates on pain and misery (Hi Bryan!).

In the time that it takes to read a few posts, I could probably post something myself.  But that would require something new and exciting to write about.  The only thing new and exciting for me is my strawberry patch, which came with the house, is producing a bowl of deliciousness each day now.  So if anyone wants strawberries, let me know.

I guess a couple other somewhat eventful things have happened.  We bought a newish car.  Our trusty 2005 CRV became not so trusty any more.  After there was an $800 fix needed to keep it going, we decided to trade it in and downsize to a 2013 Honda Fit.  It's a nice teal/blue color that gets a lot of compliments.  I'd like to say our monthly gas bill dramatically improved, but so has everyone else's.  Didn't think we'd ever see >$2 gas again after 2008.  It was nice while it lasted, but $2.20's not bad either.  

Another interesting event was our dishwasher broke.  It also came with the house and was probably made in the 90's being that it played Ace of Base after every load.  JUST KIDDING.  That would be the worst thing ever.  Well no. Playing Nickelback after every load would be the worst thing ever.  So anywho, I learned how to replace a dishwasher by watching the youtubes and reading books and websites and stuff.  It was a weekend project and I've found out, within that process, that our entire house is wired very weirdly and the circuit breaker's labels are almost all wrong.  So that will take another weekend of work sometime down the line.

So remember how I quit racing because I was in a deep well of debt?  Yeah.  It's coming along, but definitely at a snail's pace.  My wife should be getting into a full time job soon now that her schooling is very nearly over.  So that will help immensely.  Planning for that, I've already told all the leaders in Nebraska Cycling Association that I will not be back to do chip timing next year.  I want my damn weekends back.  But this means 2 things.  One, someone will need to take on this task.  So to all my 2-3 (4?) readers; if you know anyone that wants to make some extra dough while watching races, let me know so we can start training them.  Secondly, I don't know if I'll see any races after this year.  That makes me kinda sad, but like I said, I want to be able to go on bike rides, bike camping, hang out with my wife, or do anything besides work.  And I could always visit the races, just as a spectator.

I guess I could train my butt off from now till next season and possibly get in Cat 3 shape to race again.  I'd love to use the excuse, "I'm too old for that," but most of the Omaha peloton put's that notion to shame (Hi Fred, Brady, Mark, Shim, Kent, etc).  What I have found is that as time has crept by, the wear and tear on my body has made things harder.  Past injuries like my wrist and getting hit by a car, plus overuse from years of playing the bass and bike building all make my joints, muscles, and tendons ache.  I know, I know.  More excuses.  I could just as easily buckle down, commit to a training regiment that included weight lifting and stretching, which would be a huge benefit.  I'm just so tired all the time.  Or is it laziness?  Is that a thing that comes with age?

Friday, June 05, 2015

GASP! I'm posting more than once a season!

So let's recap.

Or don't, if you don't want to. I usually don't update this thing very often so there'll probably be plenty of time to come back and read my bitching and complaining.

March - Wife and I bought a house. Holy crap that's a crazy experience and continues to be, based on all the crap that needs to get done.  We unpacked, mostly, the weather started to get nice and our 2 trees out front attempted to procreate with everything around our establishment, which required many sessions of cleanups.  Ew..Tree spooge.  One major thing that didn't get unpacked is our garage.  I threw all my bike stuff in there during the move and of course added a few things - lawnmower, leftover items from the previous owners, etc.  So my bike workshop is not up and running.  It feels very wrong, but I can't do anything about it, being busy with all the other crap I do - 3 jobs, cleaning the yard, etc.

Along with all of this I became Calamity Mike.  I've had a bout of bad luck which started with severe gastroenteritis, sprinkled with being hit by a car and the after effects of that. Then most recently, I attempted to take off my thumb when changing the blade on my razor.

The razor is great, and the blades are super cheap, but just make sure when changing the blade, you hold the head with a folded over towel, rather than you bare hand when it's early in the morning and you're barely awake.  Otherwise you'll have a gusher on your hands - literally.

All of these are, again, excuses as to why I haven't been riding much.  I have flickering moments when I feel like I really want to be out riding, but that's usually right when I've slated the day to do raking, mowing, gutter cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

Friday, May 15, 2015

GASP! Fred didn't post!

I don't know if Fred is on hiatus or what, but he was usually the first to post Thursday evening.  What's going on, Fred?!?!

As for me, it's been over a month since I had an impromptu gymnastic session with a car - cartwheeled over the side of it's hood very ungracefully - and I'm still not all that great.  My neck has limited range of motion, so I'm going to a Physical Therapist soon.  Hopefully I'll get the kinks worked out so I can possibly get back on the road bike soon.  I commuted on it the other day and the more aggressive position, compared to my daily commuter, was not very comfortable.  Plus the fact that I have to contort my whole body just to take a look behind me when attempting lane changes.

In other news: Man, adulting is hard.  We've been in our new house for a couple months and finding the time to care for it is difficult.  I can't even imagine fitting in kids and/or training.  Much respect, people with big families.  We have 2 trees in our front yard - a Tulip tree, as my dad calls it, and a Silver maple leaf tree.  The tulip tree had this amazing blooming session right when the warmer days started.  Those lovely blooms wilted and fell all over the front lawn, driveway, and front sidewalk.  Then the Silver Maple leaf started up.  It has those wonderful helicopter seeds - the ones you can throw in the air and they spin around like the blades of a helicopter.  We have thousands of them all over the yard, on our roof, in our gutters, in the neighbors yard (sorry!), IN OUR BACK YARD.  They are relentless.  So working 3 jobs is not helping the amount of work needed in and around our house.  There's some major things I want to do, but don't have the time and definitely not the money to do so.  But hey, the debt is getting eked away, and my wife will be starting an internship soon in medical billing and coding as part of her program at Metro Community College.  Hopefully that will lead to a good job when she graduates in August.  I'm so happy and proud that she's bettering herself and hopefully getting into a career she can enjoy.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Putting my Pants on, (Opposite) One Leg at a Time

Have you ever noticed that when you put on pants/shorts or even socks/shoes, that every single time you start with one specific side?  I've always been a left foot/leg starter.  It must be just like intertwining your fingers.  Quickly, clasp your hands together and intertwine your fingers.  Let go.  Do it again.  Notice how one hand always is the top pointer finger (usually your dominant hand)?  Now clasp your hands together, but focus on switching so the opposite hand is the top finger.  It feels really weird.

That's what changing the leg/foot order feels like when putting on pants.  I've had to do this since, well,  I got hit by a car.  All my bikes are fine, don't worry.

It was Friday before last and I was tired from my WNW solo slog, so I drove to work at UNMC.  I park (for free) in the neighborhood and walk a few blocks in.  I was crossing Leavenworth on 42nd as I had the walk light.  I almost made it all the way across, but heard something and turned around just in time to see a car making a left turn into me.  I did a little cartwheel over the hood and landed on my hands and knees, mostly on my right side.  I lost some skin on my right hand and banged up my right knee pretty well.

The lady admitted fault to the police, so the subsequent ER visit along with CT scan for a possible kinked neck and X-ray for possible wrist damage should be taken care of just fine.  I got the all clear from the doc so I'm just healing now with my neck being a tad sore and my knee not having full range of motion.

 But like I said, I now need to put my pants on starting with my right leg as starting with my left requires lifting my right leg more than it can go at the moment.  I'm going to start a regiment of bending my leg fully slowly and work my way back to regular complete motion.  I don't think I'll be on any WNWs rides for a while till I get back to full motion and strength.  Today was actually the first day I've ridden since the injury and it was ok, but I know I have some work to do.  My right leg has always been my weaker side in cycling, but now it's too weak to really contribute and that needs to change.

To top off the great luck, I got a bad cold right afterward and have this lingering cough that can keep me up most of the night.  So that's just peachy for healing purposes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

WNW Solo Slog

Being that the forecast probably scared most people, not to mention the 20-30mph South Wind, the group was pretty slim at WNW.  This, of course, meant that I was soloing it after the first hill, which I'm ok with.  The plan was, as the only B group rider, to turn on Northern Hills Road for a very shortened route.  I could break out the MapMyRide web page to figure out exactly how much shorter the route was, but I was just fine with not heading all the way up to Ft. Calhoun and then suffering against the wind around Boyer's Chute.  I made it back to the shop before it closed and picked up the stuff I left after I built one bike after I left my regular job.  So I count that as a full day.  I was thinking really hard about taking it easy tomorrow and driving to work, but I signed that pesky 30 days of biking thing.  I will ride to both jobs tomorrow and probably be veeerrrry tired tomorrow night.

Hopefully this will finally kick start my training.  So far, all I've done are the 3 WNW rides.  No weekend rides, no easy rides after my 2 jobs during the week.  So I need to change that if I want to ever get past solo slogging it.  It would've happened this past weekend, but Friday morning I had an involuntary "cleanse."  As in, I lost everything in me from both ends.  It was not a good Friday or weekend.  I'm still a tad weak and dehydrated, but I'm trying to drink tons of water and eat healthier.  That's one thing I noticed after the "cleanse."  Unhealthy food does not make my body feel good.  Beef and starch (burger and fries) makes my body feel heavy and slow.  If I eat a salad for lunch, I'm light and agile.  Well, I had to eat an energy bar before the ride tonight, but I hopped on the scale for the hey of it and found I'm down to 185 lbs from my all time high a week ago of 195 lbs.  I'm sure some of that is still dehydration from the "cleanse" and the difficult solo slog.  But it's the correct direction of the scale meter.  I raced at 155-160 lbs.  I don't think I'll ever get that slim, and I don't even need to as I won't be racing.  But it would be nice to get down to mid 160s.  That is probably my ideal weight.

So this weekend, even though I have 2 Easter things planned with families,  I will eat light and ride some.  Not sure where/when, but most likely morning for a couple hours each.  Let me know if anyone would like a super mellow ride either of the 2 days.  I'm up for it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WNW Day 3, I mean, Day 2 report.

I achieved my first goal from 2 weeks ago, but I don't think it had anything to do with me.  We went up the same evil hill to 96th St and the group stayed together due to a blustery North Wind and almost double the group size.  I hung out with them for the first 2 hills, then went way too far into oxygen debt by the 3rd.  I haven't had the feeling of almost throwing up from going so hard in quite a long time.  Other lessons learned on the ride: I need to find which of my old cycling sunglasses work best to shield my eyes from the wind, and if it's ever below 50°, I need to do something about my feet - booties, chem toe warmers - something.  My tootsies were really hurting by the end of the ride.

The reason I didn't make last week's ride was this:

Bike boxes everywhere.  The shop was in need of some help, so I passed on the ride.  There's a bit of a dent in those mountains of bike boxes, but I sure hope the other builders step up and put in work.

I might attempt to join the GSV ride this Saturday, but I'm concerned I'll end up getting lost in Iowa since I know nothing about that area and will probably get dropped again.  Or I may just go on a longer solo ride at my own pace.  Maybe (re)starting out with competitive group rides after not riding at all for the past 2 years is a bad idea?