Saturday, September 20, 2008

Need a McCoffee?

Michelle brought home a stack of coupons (PRONOUNCED COO-PONS!!!) that someone dropped off at her work for McDonalds Cafe dealie. They make mochas, cappucinnos(sp?) and such. The coupons are: buy a mocha or whatever and get a free sammich. The stuff's pretty good, but the coupons only last till 9/25 and only work at the 84th and Grover Micki-Ds. So if anyone wants one, let me know. Cause I'm not eating that much Mc-Cholesterol over the next 5 days.

Friday, September 19, 2008

We should ride bikes this weekend

I know some folks are running in the Corporate Cup 10K on Sunday, which is entertaining but ultimately features far fewer crashes than the cycling version.

But I'm not. Mike's not (right?).

So let's ride bikes. Let's pick a time and place and try to avoid the downtown horde. It's gonna be slow -- I'll be on the Bianchi. Ugh.

EDIT: This is the 300th post here. Shomer Shabbos!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shabbos+1: The Fall Century

Bike Masters has a planned Fall Century Ride ride this Sunday. While I'd like to go the full distance, time will permit about four hours. So join me for a spirited metric century or for the Bike Master's group's full American standard.

Plan to Meet
Where: Bike Masters
When: Sunday, September 14th at 7:45 AM

Alternative: meet earlier (7:00 AM) for coffee at Crane's on 76th and Cass and then catch up to the Bike Master's ride.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Crazy Idea.

I'm one of the officials for the NE State Road race tomorrow.  I had this crazy idea of riding my bike down to Branched Oak tonight, camping for cheap overnight, doing the race duties, then riding home after the race is over.  The reason for this, and ultimately the reason it's not happening, is the Husker football game in Lincoln at 11:30am.  I don't know if I've experienced traveling on the interstate on a game day, but I've heard lots of horror stories.  Granted, I'll be at Branched Oak by 8am, but I've heard people will be migrating toward Lincoln all morning also.  

The reason I'm not going to ride down is the journey home.  The race, and the game, will probably end around 2-3pm.  So that means, even though I'm riding along highways, there'll be a ton of traffic out there also trying to avoid the I-80 congestion.  I'm comfy riding in city traffic with drivers getting to work, but I'm not comfy riding on a highway (no matter how wide the shoulder is) with cars traveling at 50-60 mph containing possibly intoxicated operators.  So for safety's sake, I'm joining the car crowd.  Another reason to not like the Huskers - but that's just my own opinion.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Solo sloggin.

So since I've been under the weather, or under the allergens, whichever, I didn't want to hammer it with the organized group rides on Wednesday.  I decided to leave from work at 4:30 and ride as much as I could before it got dark.  With clouds on the horizon, that time would be about 8:10 or so.  I researched some routes and couldn't decide between a gravel ride or a road ride.  Granted, it would take me a while to get to the gravel roads, so it'd be half and half any way.  I decided to stick to the pavement.  I figured I could ride the Wed night Trek Store group ride in reverse, but that would only be about 2-ish hours.  I was going to make my choice once I got to Ft. Calhoun either to turn home or keep going.  I got there in about an hour.  So off to Blair I went.

I couldn't remember how far Blair was from Ft. Calhoun, but a friendly sign let me know only 9 miles.  Good enough.  Then I started thinking, if I'm keeping a 20mph average (which I wasn't anyway but dreaming I was) that would only give me maybe 3 hours for the ride.  Oh well, I could always tack on that jolly cimb just North of Blair.  

That 9 miles started to wear on me.  So by the time I got to the official turn around spot of the ride, I was ready to head home anyway.  My route home was hwy 133.  I hadn't been on this road for quite some time and the last time was probably on an un-busy weekend morning.  At this point, it was 5:30pm and all the live-in-Blair-work-in-Omaha crowd was all coming at me.  Since there were few cars going my direction to disrupt the air being pushed by the oncoming cars, I got a slight headwind. This, along with the mighty hills of hwy 133 plus the fact that I was running out of steam,  really took it's toll on me.  By the time I was to the Keystone trailhead, I was more cooked than when I had gone on tough group rides.  I guess shooting for the 20mph average on a solo ride was not the wisest choice.

What I had forgotten about training was the hurty leg period.  This is the time of year where the meat of training begins.  After you've taken some time off of the intensity of the racing season, you've maybe picked up some cross training, and ride when the weather permits over the winter.  If you can stand to labor through hours in the gym of weight training and hop on the trainer consistently for 3-hour rides to nowhere, you'll be way ahead of everyone else.  Then, from late February to early April you're cramming all the toughest rides in that you can so you'll be ready for the race season.  This includes centuries done with fast guys to work on sustained hard efforts, really intense intervals to open up your high-end aerobic system, and the start of racing if it's around.  This is the hurty leg period.  You're always tired, on the verge of getting sick, and your legs are in a constant state of soreness - hurty legs.

The problem is, I'm at that point right now, and I have quite a few months to go for the next road race season, unless I want to hop into some cross races.  Which is entirely possible with my new all-rounder bike.  But, we'll see about that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Well that hurt a little.

Brady and I met up for a Labor day ride. After a quick cup of joe, we headed downtown then on to the Bellevue Blvd loop. We were hoping to save money by crossing the river at the South Omaha Bridge, but it is still under construction. So we rode through Bellevue with a destination of Glennwood, IA. After we made polite conversation with the bridge trolls(ok, that was mean, they were nice old ladies), we started to hit it hard on the highway in Iowa. We had a cross wind so we took turns on the front. Brady must have been feeling great because his pulls were always a little longer and a little faster than mine. His strength also became apparent on that climb toward Glennwood. I tried to keep pace, but I fell off a couple times. Then, either he'd sit up, or I'd recover a little only for me to pull through and go red-lining again. Not smart.

We crested the climb and maintained a quickish pace into Glennwood. I realized, at 1.5 hours into the ride, that I had only drank about half a bottle's worth of water. Oops. I didn't feel dehydrated. In fact, aside from running out of oomph on the climb, I was feeling pretty good. At the Glennwood convenient store stop, I downed a coke, a Nutrigrain bar, and some of Brady's Nut Roll then we were off. Word of warning to anyone doing the Glennwood loop; the road heading South West out of town is under construction. The bridge is gone, and the side road that we usually take to get to Pacific Junction, was heavily quartered off. Brady and I cyclocrossed our way around all the construction and were off again. I was all for taking it easy with the tailwind, but Brady was feeling his steel-cut oats apparently. We eventually got back to the Bellevue Bridge after some really hard work. We bipped over to the Keystone trail via 370 to 25th st. Another word of warning: they recently redid that bridge on 25th st which is good, but they completely blocked any sort direct path to the trail. So you have to stop, get off your bike, hop a guardrail, then get on the trail. I feel like emailing someone about this because it's horribly inconvenient to cyclists to have the route blocked, but more importantly it also takes away an entry point for emergency and maintenance vehicles onto the trail. Not cool.

Anyway, after the ride, I was feeling the effects of not hydrating properly. My legs started cramping up...BAD. I took a mini-nap and when I got up and walked down the stairs, I almost fell over. My muscles actually seemed to seize up. And this was even after drinking a tall glass of chocolate milk and eating cottage cheese and apple sauce. I guess since I hadn't really worked my legs in 4 days, they weren't ready for the hammer session. Oh well.

With regard to the cold I had, I'm questioning if it was a cold or some really bad allergies. On Friday, it felt like a real cold since I could barely wake up in the morning and slept most of the day after leaving work early. But now I'm sneezing a bunch and experiencing Bryan's symptoms of needing to blow my nose a bunch. So maybe I am growing into some allergies? I sure hope not, but it's entirely possible. I think I will lay off the intensity for a while anyway just to see if this stuff will go away.