Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh running, why do I ever give you up?

After a long day on Saturday officiating the Manawa Mountain bike Mayhem race, I got up early to visit the parents house and have a big family breakfast since my little brother was in town. Apparently though, no one was up and ready yet. My dad was, I guess. He went to the store to pick up food stuffs, and my mom was just waking up with coffee and the paper. Apparently, my little bro stayed up way late and drank joyously with his high school reunion attendees. But, the plan was to get up and go running around Standing Bear lake at 10am. So Clark, my little brother, got up by 9am and we both loaded up on some delicious breakfast, compliments of our great dad.

After not completely finishing our blueberry pancakes and sausage, we jetted out to Standing Bear. Clark, himself a frequent runner, had 3 other friends coming, only 1 of which ran with any consistency compared to the rest of us. So he and his running friend took off while the other 2 and I ran/walked and talked. Which was awesome! I'd forgotten about the "runner's high" that comes with pounding the pavement with your feet. I felt pretty good throughout the whole 3-4 miles (not sure about the new trail distance), but the occasional walking helped that issue I'm sure. Now I'm reinvigorated with the option of running!

I think, at first, I'll designate Mondays and Fridays as running after work days. That way I can start and end the week with some great exercise. It's fall now, and the weather's just going to get colder from here on out. Some people like to run since it's way easier to spend a half hour to an hour outside keeping warm while running compared to a few hours freezing your toes/fingers off while riding a bike. So the Shabbos (+1) rides might turn into runs eventually. Some of you might know my abhorrence of indoor training, so that will be reserved for when I get convinced (conned?) into joining a few people to do that while watching race dvds.

Going back to the Manawa Race, I really want to thank Rusty (forgot his last name) from the Velo Veloce team. He made the race run smooth for results and such. While I was busy taking down numbers and times, he would fill in the many sheets of the different races with the times I wrote down. So by the end of the race, he'd get the last few timings, plop them in the right slots, and we could post the results right away. My last mtb race, I didn't have someone doing that, so after each race was over, I'd have to fill in the blanks myself, while still keeping tabs on the Marathoners and answering questions, and starting the next races, and so on and so forth. I felt so bad holding things up at that race, but didn't even think of this method that Rusty had created. He was a real trooper even though he was going cross eyed toward the end with all the numbers he had to sort through. I also want to thank all the other people with Psycowpath and Velo Veloce for hosting a great event. I'm glad we could work together well to put on a timely, accurate event for the riders in attendance. It was a great day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

There was an abundance of Sweet Bacon.

The Bacon ride was definitely worth getting up at 5:30am for. It was a little chilly and very dark at that time, but the pace was easy, there was no traffic, and the friends Of course there were many pictures taken by Scott and Sean just to confirm the ride did happen through eventual blog postings. Keep an eye on their reports. Total count for the ride were 5 peeps, including me. Rafal; the ride leader (and route adjuster), Scott; the taker of many pictures, Sean; the bestower of knowledge and a few pictures, Chris; the trouble maker, and me; the one with the duct tape.

We took a fairly tame route even with gravel out to Platte river state park and inhaled some delectable morning nourishment. From the Lincoln side of things, Corey and Wes(?) joined us after most of our bacon had been devoured. We left a couple scraps for them.

After a relaxing feast, we slowly pedaled on mostly flat surface toward home. That is, until we got to Pflug Rd. Does anyone know exactly how to pronounce this, by the way? We were keeping a good tempo along the gravel road next to the interstate, than BAM, we head uphill. Rafal, of course on his single speed, had to hoof it up at a decent clip as not doing so means you either murder your knees, or walk. The annoying part about Pflug is that you have the first monster climb, then another 3 butt-kickers, one right after the other. After the road mellowed out (as much as a gravel road can mellow out), Chris decided he wanted to give the group a prolonged rest break in the form of a very frustrating flat. Oh, and just so everyone knows, the proper way to use one of the little green boxed patch kits is: sand paper the area around the hole in the tube, spread on a little bit of glue around the hole, let it dry, then stick one of the appropriate sized patches over it and hold for a couple seconds. I won't mention any names, but this procedure was not followed correctly resulting in a lot of fruitless pumping action. WAFFLE!!

So anyway, after I used some of my invaluable duct tape to cover the offending protruding spoke, we got Chris's flat fixed and all was right with the world again. He repaid us quite handsomely with a round of libations and finger food at Blue Planet Natural Grill when the ride was done. Overall, it was a great day of food and riding with good buddies. Too bad next weekend, being the last one where the bacon dispensing place is open at Platte River SP, is pretty busy with a few other cycling events. There's the Omaha Alley Cat race mid-day, then in the afternoon, the ride to the movies to watch A Sunday in Hell. I'm not sure what plans I have for that day as my little bro will be in town. I may do and early couple hour ride though, possibly both days. Let me know if anyone's interesting in joining in!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Could it be??

I replied to Bryan's coffee review a week ago Thursday that I discovered an afternoon cup of joe is doubly amazing as the first one of the day. This feeling was re-emphasized on this last Wednesday night's jaunt to the bike shop to build more bikes. I guzzled a coffee down at about 2pm and was flying down the trail and up the hills of Ralston to get to the bike shop. I felt no leg soreness and it seemed as if the time it took to breath hard took longer. As in, I could redline it, but not have to gasp for air right away like I have done this whole year. This was great, but I could see down a long bleak road that didn't look promising. Pretty soon, I'd be drinking 2 16 oz "cups" of coffee every day until I went on vacation or something and had to go without any caffeine. I could seriously see myself dying. Like caput. Done.

So I tried an experiment yesterday evening. I went without the afternoon shot, just to see how I'd ride and feel heading to the bike shop, wrenching on bikes for 3-ish hours then riding home. Riding there, my cruise speed was just like the coffee days, a monster hill I climb was done at the same speed, I wasn't quite as strong lifting bikes and such, but my arms are weak anyway, and then my ride home was just as fast as any other I've had with or without coffee. What I discovered is that, instead of the coffee making me faster, I may just be getting......


The beginning of this summer was pretty tame as I didn't really do many weekend rides and didn't seem to ride during the week at all (minus commuting). Then I had a couple family vacations and a 2 week honeymoon. This led to a gain of a few pounds and a serious lack of fitness. When I would go on group rides, I was always falling off the back, even at medium tempo, and hard efforts had me panting right away. So now, I can maintain 18-19 mph pretty easily, I can go hard and recover fairly quickly, and my weight is finally starting to come down. All great stuff. However, I do think I'm starting to feel my age. The coffee blocked any achy signals, which is why I felt so good with afternoon shots. But last night, without the caffeine, I was pretty torqued by the time I crawled into bed.

So now that I'm getting stronger and faster, the days are getting shorter and my part time job (which gives me weekday rides) is going away. Next month I'll also start working a 9am-6pm shift so that'll give me even less time to ride during the week. sigh...

I think I need to take up running. Maybe weight lifting too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Since it's on every other blog..

This Sunday will be one of the last Bacon Rides of this year. I plan on attending since it starts so close to my house and I've never done one. If you want to join us along the route, one of the earlier posts about the ride contains a cue sheet within a bullet point. Let us know where you plan on joining us so we can call if we get to the rendezvous point early or whatever.

Hopefully we'll see you guys on the gravel!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Uh, Late post much?

In the honor of Fred's latest blog post, I had to pick an appropriate title.

So anyway, I figure we should probably do a Shabbos +1 ride. Any takers as to starting place/time? I could suggest 120th and Blondo's Scooters so we can all get somewhat of a ride in before our real ride. Or we could do Scooters on 180th and Q, or even Crane coffee on 78th and Cass. I'm up for whatever and don't really have time limits.

Post your response for your choice.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Many miles weekend.

After a failed (in more ways than one) trip to Lake Manawa on Saturday, Mr. Miles, Randell, Brady, Scott, and first time Shabbos +1 attendee Jim Maaske went on our Loess Hills adventure. The first part of the ride was fine although a little fast. Jim was our ambassador to the Council Bluffs side since he lives there. He told us about a couple climbs that were going to hurt pretty bad. One right on Badger road and another heading home on Monument road. I know Monument road has some doozies as we rode up it to get to Lewis and Clark trail on our mountain bikes during the Metro Single Track tour. However, we didn't even get there. We, instead were done in by the Badger road climb. Holy Moly this thing was a killer. It had to have been in the teens percent wise of elevation and about 2 to 3 blocks long. Now, it wouldn't have been so bad had we had this happen to us(stolen from the Good Problem blog):

Good stuff. Anyway, after that climb and some subsequent large rock gravel sketchy descents, we packed it in and took Old Lincoln Highway straight back into town and rolled across the pan flat-ness of Council Bluffs. So we got in 80 of the real 90 mile route. That ride may not be happening on road bikes again.

Then on Shabbos +2, Miles, Randell, Bob and I met for an easy ride and to play our "Most Expensive House" game. This is a fun thing to do for recovery rides or just to put some miles in. You and some friends ride to a subdivision where the houses are new and/or huge. Preferably on flatter terrain so you don't have to climb as much. You ride along the streets and look for "House For Sale" signs with brochures available. Once you get to that block, you do a seated high cadence sprint to the house and whoever get's within the vicinity first gets to pick up the flyer. The person who picks out the highest priced house wins. This, of course, creates some strategies as you can choose not to sprint for certain houses if you think their price is not high enough. But don't wait out too long otherwise you may not find a house at all. That makes you the biggest loser. And no one wants to be the biggest loser. We're still figuring out all the little rules, but that's the basic premise of the game. Fun times and good for just tooling around on bikes.

After all the miles though (for me), my legs are pretty dead. I'm ready for some time off or some real easy spins. I will be working next weekend in the AM on Saturday, so that day may be out. But I'll be sure to post some more Shabbos +1 goodness.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

3 day weekend!

And we have plans for 2 of those days.

Shabbos(Saturday): 8am mtb ride at Lake Manawa. (earlier if needed??)

Shabbos +1(Sunday): Loess hills extravaganza
meeting place: the new Scooters at 63rd and Center (unless we want to meet downtown somewhere??)
meeting time: (EDIT) 1:30pm
Distance: 90 miles
Pace: probably all over the place. Slow at times, fast at others.
Bikes: It'll be 60% road, 40% gravel; bring what you want. A few of us are rolling the skinnies on road bikes, but run what ya brung.

Shabbos +2: Now taking suggestions, plus any other input on the other 2 rides.

I'll just mention in passing..

My blog about my wedding is finally up.

See it at:

I had too tough of a time figuring out how to post backwards or on different days to get the order of this right, so our honey moon and reception pics will probably be hosted on picture hosting sites. I'll have those linked at the right.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Shabbos Field Trip?

So the state road race is coming up here in 2 weeks time and we've got a long weekend coming up as well. I think we should journey out to the course and do some laps and since its 50 miles each way from my house I think driving out there would be the order of the day. Any takers? Open to date and/or time Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

Edit: I could be convinced to ride out there...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Costume idea for the Halloween Pub Crawl?

The Halloween Pub Crawl is always a good time.

Here's music to play and a costume to wear: