Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold turkey

When I got into cycling, I was bombarded with a new lifestyle. My new friends quenched their thirst with liquids I said I'd never imbibe. When they wanted to get going, they'd order up a coffee. When they wanted to stop and relax, they'd down a beer (or 2, or 3..).

My first foray into drinking was after a race weekend down in Kansas City. It was Fred, his daughter, Ryan Legg, Jon Randell, and Megan Hottman. I think those were all who were in attendance. I'm not saying I blacked out or anything, that was just 4 or 5 years ago, so my memory is fuzzy. Anyway, we stopped at a steakhouse (see, I can't remember which one) to refuel and celebrate the weekend. Ryan knew that I was a lightweight, so he used his race winnings and ordered me up a huge Margarita that was REALLY strong. Getting that buzzed was a new experience for me. Everything was quieter and I felt kinda numb. So of course I had to announce this new discovery to everyone. Instead of saying something like, "Wow, the affects of alcohol have dimmed some of my senses," I blurted out, "Hey guys, look, I can't feel my face," as I pulled on my cheek and pushed on my nose. This was apparently quite hilarious to everyone.

I don't think I've gotten that buzzed since then, but I have taken to drinking beer. The main reason younger people drink beer is to get hammered. I never wanted to get past the buzzed sensation, so cheap crappy beer has never been my thing. I do, however, like the taste of a couple dark lagers. Sam Adams Black Lager and New Belgium's 1554 are a couple of my favorites. But at $7-$8 for 6 drinks, I couldn't keep that in my new aggressive debt defeating budget. I tried the $6 Michelob Porter Beer, but that was still $1 per day I was drinking it. By the way, I only drank 1 per day. Two beers just seemed crazy to me.

So I have cut out the beer. I don't really miss it, but I may drink one every now and then for special occasions.

Next up on the chopping block - coffee. I know some of you are gasping right now. "But Mike, how can you give up coffee?" Easy, stop drinking it. Today is the first day of none whatsoever. I'm not feeling it yet, but I've also sipped some Mt. Dew throughout the day. The main reason for giving up coffee is because it's too is expensive and I never really liked the taste. It was something I drank just for the caffeine. I know you can go cheap with Folgers made at home etc, but I'm the only one at home that drinks coffee. So making sure we have filters, going through the process of making it and all that for just me seems a little too much. Plus, I'm lazy and since we meet at coffee shops for our rides, I just order there. So that's at least $1.50 if not $4 as I like the foo-foo drinks. If I didn't depend on the hit of caffeine to get me going, the money and starting from a coffee shop would not be needed.

So if you've been keeping track, I had been spending anywhere from $1 to $6 A DAY on liquids. There's a water faucet down the hall from my desk and my water bill at home is taken care of by the landlord. Why am I spending money on flavored water again??

From here on, I'm cutting out the unnecessary drinks to save money. I don't need it. It's an expenditure of which cutting out will show great returns. Like I said before, I may, occasionally enjoy a brew for a celebration, or have a coffee if I go out to a big family breakfast, but the daily consumption must stop. If I ever really want to get out of debt and get on with life, I have to strip my budget of frivolous spending.

Ok, now that the declaration has been made, let's discuss the weekend. 3 day weekend!! WOO HOO!! The wife is going on a trip early Friday AM so I took that day off to take her to the airport. I'll probably finish up some bike work that needs to be done the rest of the day, then head over to Randells house to help him setup a home network. YAY New toys to play with!!

So that's pretty much Friday. Saturday is completely up in the air. I do need to come up with some sort of costume for a Halloween party I'm attending Saturday night, but other than that, I'm free if anyone would like to head out for a ride.

Sunday, I need to be home around noon so I can pick the wife up from the airport. So an early morning ride would be best. Right now, it's looking to be around 37 degrees with a below 10 mph South wind at daybreak. Daybreak being 8am. If we want to meet somewhere at 9am and get a few hours in, that would be awesome. If you have rights to post on this blog and want to suggest something, post away. My cold turkey haze induced run-on could stand to be shuffled down the list...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Any Sunday ride plans?

I know Mr. Miles is out of town, but if anyone else wants to get something together, let me know where and when.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sprint finish on every training ride?

A new article from The New York Times suggests that cooling down has absolutely no benefit for moderate athletes. Now us higher trained cyclists could risk getting dizzy from blood pooling in our legs if we just come to a complete stop after a our last sprint of a workout. But otherwise, there's no physiological benefit of the 5-10 minutes cool down process.

In fact, the lactic acid produced from hard exercise, which used to be considered bad for muscles, is actually a fuel that converts to glycogen for muscle's use. So doing a sprint or short interval could possibly provide your muscles with some fuel naturally instead of the need to immediately find food after a workout. I think another study should follow this up. That would be very interesting to find out that all those recovery mixes could be replaced with a simple sprint finish on every ride.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holy soreness.

The ride: Shabbos +1. The attendees: Mr. Miles, Bryan, and Big Puma (aka Mr. Fenster). I new Bryan was going to be feeling his oats since he was running a Trek Madone finally after putzing along on a heavy steel Bianchi for a couple months. Mr. Miles always is a power rider, and then Big Puma shows up who I've heard has been putting everyone in the hurt lockers recently.

Well crap. I hadn't done a long ride in a couple weeks and my whopping 6 mile round trip commute sure isn't much to get fast from. However, I also had a secret weapon. I had been riding a heavy commuter for about 3 weeks and I showed up on my pared down racy Lemond Bike. Ha ha!!

We left the coffee shop and headed straight into the wind. Of course the speed gradually ramped up but we were civilized to each other and traded pulls. However, the ramping up was just too much after a while. Bryan was having fit/saddle issues and I sure wasn't comfortable holding 18 mph into a 15-ish mph headwind. But luckily we were near our Southernmost destiny. So we headed East to do some climbing in Bellevue. Of course the eventual serious climbing wasn't planned, but it's difficult to venture into Bellevue and not think, "I wonder how much that one crazy hill will hurt?" The first climb was a steady grinder to reach Bellevue Blvd. This thing is deceptive since it doesn't seem steep for the first couple of blocks, but then it curves to the left and goes UP. At the top of the climb, Bryan read my mind and said, "Hey, should we go climb some crazy hills?" Why yes sir, I do concur.

So we hit up Fontanelle Hills neighborhood and did a double decker climb on which Randall and I used to do competitive hill attacks. Basically, you hit the bottom of the climb, one guy leads out at a fairly fast clip, then about a third of the way from the top, the 2nd guy comes around and attacks. Whoever get's to the top first is better, er, wins that round. We would do 6 repeats of these. I think I died a little each round. But it was fun!

So our group got to the top of the double decker and promptly fell over. Well not really. Big Puma had a slow leaking flat that was needing a change, so we waited around for that. At this point, we were pretty much out of time so we headed back toward home. Of course the only way to do so was still really hilly, but we made it ok. Mr. Miles let me know in a text later that we "normalized" out to 265 watts for the ride. My guess is that means averaged 265, which seems high, but I don't train with power, so I'm probably way off. It was painful though. Even after an easy spin this morning, my legs are still all toight and sore.

More coffee please!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Plans

Now that I can breathe again after Munson's response to the cliffhanger.... I'm going to post up a weekend plan request since nobody else has. Anybody thinking about riding? We'll have 50's and sun...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To answer the Cliffhanger..

If you were at all wondering what the outcome of the car verdict was; $200 later and it's good for a while. The right tie rod was possibly the culprit of a noise that's been concerning us. We'll see if the noise comes back, but I believe it's gone. There are other issues with the car that are of concern, but that's a few thousand miles down the road.

Our car setup works for our budget at the moment. It's old, rusty, has old parts that need replacing about once a year, but still starts every time and get's us around. It's paid off, and doesn't cost much to insure or license. We live at about 60th and Center and I ride my bike a whopping 3 miles to work at 42nd and Leavenworth (UNMC), and the wife drives a whopping 2 miles to work at 84th and Center. Other than that, we go out occasionally and buy groceries. It's been 7 months since my last oil change with less than 3000 miles during that time. I know you're supposed to change every 3 months just to keep the oil fresh, but I'm cheap and lazy, otherwise I'd do it myself more consistently. Plus I like taking my car into Honda Exclusive. They are about 4 blocks from my work and are a great shop. Todd, the owner and person you usually deal with, gives you the things to worry about in order of safety. At one point a few years ago, I was looking at $900 worth of upkeep to make the car safe. He worked with me on a plan to stretch that out over a year so my wallet didn't take such a hit all at once. If you have a Honda, I highly recommend their shop.

Ok, enough car talk. Man, the difference between my commuter and my fast bike is crazy. It'd be interesting to put a powermeter on both and see how much more energy I'm expending just to get up hills with an extra 10 pounds worth of bike. 10 pounds doesn't sound like much, but man it sure feels like it. Either that or I'm really losing my strength. Or my position on the 2 bikes is different enough that my muscles don't like the change. Or maybe it's all in my head???

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I suppose I should post something

This last Sunday's ride was a great time. It was kinda short being it was pretty cold and Mr. Miles' bike was giving him Italian problems. Long story...

I think it's too early to be this cold, but hopefully it's a sign that the winter will be very mild. That would be awesome.

I'm on call this Saturday morning, but Sunday looks to be a nice day to ride. Last report said that it's supposed to get up to 60 degrees. That will feel awesome. Or make me sick. Drastic changes in temps generally make me feel lousy for a few days after the swing.

In non bike related news, I took my 94 Honda Civic in for an oil change and to find the cause of a bad noise it's making. If the news is real bad - as in money bad, I may just find someplace to trade it in for a newer car. I really don't want the hassle of finding a new car, and all the costs that go along with it, but I'm worried my Civic is going to nickel and dime me to death. But then again, no car payment, cheap insurance and licensing is pretty nice.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sunday ride? Possibly indoors?

The forecast for Sunday is mid 30s and cloudy. I don't know if I'm ready to ride in that kind of weather yet. I'll have to dig out all my wintery clothes if we do head out.

Or we could all meet at someone's house and break out the race dvds? I'm up for whatever. I'd like to take a poll and see what everyone thinks. Indoor/outdoor and timeline also.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Awesome bike race.

You must watch this video. The one thing that does bother me about it, is who won the event. Must be nice to retire from pro bike racing after being caught doping, then go on to win such an event.