Sunday, November 29, 2009

My epic failure ride.

A cycling career is a series of experiments. Some things work and some things don't. After many saddles I found the one that works with my bum is a Silverado by WTB. There's others out there I'd like to try, but I don't have the money to test saddles.

One experiment I've been trying recently is riding in plain clothes. Or rather, not lycra and such. It's worked out perfect on my short jaunt to work and on some half hour to hour rides. I've even gone so far as to put flat pedals on my commuter and wear my comfy shoes. No more clackity clackity walking into work.

So this particular experiment went too far on today's ride. The plan was to meet at Ryan F's house, ride to the Wabash trailhead, take that down to Malvern, then ride home. I hadn't really thought it out, but that was going to equal about 75 miles or so. Ryan said it would be a nice mellow ride. So I figured, what the hey. I'll go in near plain clothes, flat pedals, and comfy shoes. Maybe I'll discover that my cold feet issues can be solved this way (that issue is a whole post unto itself).

I met Ryan, we get going, and I feel pretty good. It was mid 30s at the start with a brisk Northish wind, so it was at our backs or sides most of the way. Well after an hour, my toes did their normal winter going numb thing. The only way I can avoid that is to use those chemical toe warmer deals. I got some hints from Ryan and Mr. Bixby that I may try on future long rides.

After we met up with Martin and Tom at the Wabash trailhead, we headed South west with a nice tailwind. After a couple miles, Tom all of a sudden realized that he didn't have his cycling glasses on to protect his contact covered eyes from cold wind and trail debris. He said we could keep going and he'd catch up after going back to the car, but I figured I'd offer my cycling glasses as I had my regular glasses to use. So that worked out fine. We kept right on trucking.

As we kept going Ryan and I would creep off the front sometimes as we were both feeling pretty good. I had forgotten how far Malvern was, though. It's 22 miles down the trail. We left the trailhead at 9:10 and pulled into the C and A cafe at 10:35, just in time to miss breakfast. DOH!! So that was another failure. Martin had wanted to leave the trailhead by 8am, but that would have meant Ryan and I leaving mid-town when it was barely light at 7am and colder still.

Anywho, we ate some great food and Ryan, being the lightest dressed of all of us, decided he needed to get going pretty fast on the return trip to warm up. I felt like going hard too so I went with him. This meant we bid farewell to Tom and Martin at Malvern. This is also the first apology I'm announcing publicly to Tom because I sorta needed my sunglasses back as I didn't see a way for us to cross paths again soon before I'd need to use them. So he had to ride all the way back into a 20ish mph headwind with no eye protection. Tom, I'm very sorry for not thinking that through. I owe you a beer or a beverage of your choice.

Ryan and I got going pretty darn fast. Too fast for my stomach and tired quads to handle. See, when you ride flat pedals, pretty much the only part of your pedal rotation getting any power is the down stroke. I've heard from various places that you don't really pull up on the backside of your stroke as much as you unweight your non power phase. This proved wrong in my case. So after a while of hammering into the wind, uphill, with no blood in my legs due to the digestion of food, I had to back it off. From there on, it was a steady decline into the worst thing a cyclist can do to end a ride - call for an early pick up. Yup, that is the 2nd and consequently 3rd apologies I owe. Ryan, I'm so sorry to turn what could have been a great epic ride into a horrible epic failure by having you call your dad to pick us up at the Wabash Trailhead. And Doug (Ryan's dad) I'm sorry we had you drive over to come pick us up. It was pretty much my complaining (and snail like pace) that led Ryan to call you.

So that's pretty much it. NEVER EVER EVER go for a ride over an hour on flat pedals. Especially if food is involved that will take away the blood you will need to keep your quad only pedal strokes going.

I think I'm going to take a nap now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here's an oldie but goodie

Unfortunately this holds true for some cyclists on paved trails too. There's just a mentality of, "I'm going faster and am more important, so get out my way," that happens among some.

Treat others as I'd like to be treated is my rule.

By the way, anyone have any riding plans this weekend? Post em if ya got em!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anyone not going to Lincoln this weekend?

The Lincoln Cyclocross races are this weekend. If you're fit, go race them. If you want entertainment, go watch them. I think this may be my first year of not attending them. After sucking at racing them (even at my fastest) I would either volunteer, officiate, or just show up to the Lincoln races. Hooligan hill is a good time. Lots of shenanigans going on there. I am not proud to say that I've snatched taped dollar bills from the crotcheral regions of spectators/donators in past races. But after being lapped a few times by the leaders, I didn't care anymore.

So, if you aren't going to join the festivities in Lincoln and want to put in some road/gravel/whatever miles, let me know.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It was fun, is the ride report.

So after failing to read my blog Sunday morning, (sorry bout that Jim and Mark) a group of 6 peeps met up at Scooters for some adventurous times. That's the largest we've had in a while. Which was good since the biting North wind was not fun to battle against.

We headed over the Bob bridge just like last week and instead of hitting the Wabash right away, we took Mark's suggested Woodbine Drive route. This was after Bryan and Jim both had to head home. So then there was 4.

Woodbine Drive was an amazing hill. According to Google, it's a mile and a half climb - a nice steady grinder. I predict future visits to the bluffs. Too bad you usually have to ride along busy roads to get to some of these climbs.

Anywho, the route Mark picked dropped us off right by Dumfries on the Wabash, then we headed around Council Bluffs to ride the Northeast wind home. It was only a total of 47 miles, but with the climbing, it seemed like more. Plus my feet were pretty much frozen blocks of ice by the end. That part was also not so fun.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thuper Thunday

Scooters at 63rd and Center is the meeting place.

1pm is the meeting time.

3 hours is the ride time (roughly)

Mellow to moderate is the pace.

I will be there is the correct response.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


So anybody got anything on tap for the weekend (other than Cranksgiving)?

For Saturday:
For Sunday:
Post up, we'll get something going... weather's going to be iffy so maybe a good day for some gravel?

Monday, November 09, 2009

One hundred and eleventy

After uploading my many commutes and few group rides since I bought the Garmin Edge 205, I have raised $111 for the Rails to Trails Concervancy on behalf of Trek. All possible through the Plus 3 Network website. They have really streamlined the uploading process to make it easier and since I commute to work everyday, I have a lot of files to upload. I wait till my Garmin is low on battery and recharge it through the PC's USB line after inputting all my data.

I got used to this after training for racing. Back then, I had the Polar 725 connected to it's power sensor dealy. The software that comes with Polar is awesome and I sometimes wish I still had the power data. It probably wasn't very accurate, but at least it let me know when I was really on the rivet. I remember ramping it up to around 320 watts for time trials and loving the burn for an hour. But not much more. Ah, those were the days. To be in shape again...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Eleven Eight O Nine

Sunday Ride Details are below... I may or may not be in attendance but I'll be there in spirit at the very least (which means I'll be sleeping in if I don't show)
Place: Scooters @ 120th and Blondo Street
Time: 9 AM Central Standard Time
Duration: 3 Hours
Pace: In the words of one confirmed participant "steady" so I'd say not super easy but its pretty well assured nobody will get dropped.

That is all.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Update on Weekend rides.

Mr. Miles, Randell and I are leaving from my place at 8am to meet up with the Rafal group down at Scooters by 8:30. We'll then ride with them (unless they take off without us) and take the Wabash as far as time will allow. We will probably not do the gravel road route that Rafal has planned.

So that's Saturday. Anyone got plans for Sunday? Post em if ya got em!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wabash Saturday... 11/7/2009

I am taking the cross bike out on the Wabash Saturday, but you can probably do it on the road bike without a problem. Pace should be pretty relaxed (175-200W with no surges over 250W) for me so I can't think anybody will get dropped. If you want to go faster I'll probably Venga, Venga, Venga but I will let you ride me off your wheel and I will not care. Strictly headed out there for base miles as its that time of the year.

Time: 9AM
Place: Council Bluffs Wabash Trailhead
Duration: 3ish hours of riding