Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I rode my bike this morning before work.

Just to ride. No destination. No point a to point b. No group plans were involved either.

I just put on my cycling clothes and hit the Keystone for an hour. I did some sprints. It felt awesome. Well the first few did. The last few, not so much. I haven't really done a solo ride for quite some time. It was very refreshing.

I'm also going to try something different, or rather, retry something old. I've been using Shimano touring shoes for about a year or so now and I love that you can walk around semi-normally and not sound like a lady in high heels. They are not the stiffest shoes and I got them a size too big so I could wear them in the winter with a few wool socks for warmth.

I went old school this morning. I dug out my old 2002(3?) Sidi Genius shoes. These things fit like a glove and are stiff enough for racing. They are kinda snug on my feet since I bought them before I knew what I was doing in cycling, but snug is not such a bad thing when you're sprinting. The other noticeable difference between these and my Shimanos is the cleat is a bit more forward, even though it's as far back as it can go on the shoe. On my Shimano's I have the cleat pretty far back - like almost a centimeter behind my forefoot. I did this as a result of reading various places that doing so might alleviate toe numbness. I've always had toe numbness problems, so I gave it a try. It felt like a completely different, more powerful pedaling position, so I stuck with it.

Well, after this morning's jaunt with cleats more forward, I'm switching back to that position. I don't know if I was using very different muscles because of the change, but I felt snappier with my pedaling. It's hard to explain, but I'll give this a try for a while and if it doesn't work out, I'll switch shoes again.

So what the heck am I even blabbering about? Uh, I don't know. I guess sometimes you gotta go backwards to go forwards.

Edit: After watching the rides of these guys, I have new motivation to get out there. Watch all the short videos along the right hand side to get some amazing views of our country. And you may recognize from this vid a couple guys who ride/blog locally.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I kept repeating that phrase in my head as I watched all but 1 other guy from our Sunday ride pedal away from me. Multiple times.

I was never really that mighty, but in my hay day, I was usually top 10 at the races in our state. Sunday, I was utterly done after just an hour and a half. Problem was, we still had 3 hours to go. My legs had no more "go" halfway through the ride.

I know it's a lack of consistent riding and the extra 15-20 lbs I'm carrying around. It still doesn't sit well with me. Speaking of weight, you ever notice that you don't really acknowledge the pounds you need to lose until you see a picture of yourself wearing not very flattering clothing? This picture taken by Mod made my mind blurt out - "Damn, I got a fat ass!!"(I'm in the middle wearing a white/orange jersey) So, I need to work on that. I mean, 15-20 lbs is basically a 2nd bike. So I'm riding while carrying a 2nd bike on my back. Not very helpful when trying to go fast.

I guess I shouldn't be sipping on this soda then.... DOH!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yay commuter intervals

I'd never experienced the "bike ninja" scare before this morning. As I was groggily riding in the dark near the old Chili Greens golf course (simmer down, Fred), I could barely focus on what my light was illuminating 10 feet in front of me.

I looked to my left at the first signs of the sun undarkening the horizon and WHOOSH, some person on a bike with no lights flies right by me in the opposite direction. That woke me up better than most cups of coffee.

After I shook off the fear that the bike ninja was coming around for another buzz, I decided to put in some effort - ie do what they call an "interval." I picked up the pace till I was breathing faster than normal and held that effort till I hit an area that had many stops/starts. I pedaled lightly for a while, then on the next notable climb, I raised my effort again and continued after the climb for a while.

After the easy spin into the part time job and the subsequent bike builds, I had a formidable headwind to deal with on my way toward my full time job. The wind had a pretty chilly bite to it, so I used the direct headwind sections as recovery and went fast on the crosswind lengths. Nothing feels worse than going all out at 15mph into a headwind. It seriously messes with your mind.

I am happy to report after the longer ride this weekend and the harder efforts in commuting I've lost 5 lbs in a mere week. I imagine some of that is probably water weight, but at least I know now that if I put in the work, I can turn things around.

This weekend is looking iffy-ish. At least Saturday is not ride-worthy, in my opinion. Sunday will be cool with a Northish wind, so back up to Blair/Arlington/Canada we go. Of course I'll always agree to starting out at Wohlners at 10am, but if we want to meet somewhere else, I'm cool with that too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do the Cranky Leg...

So apparently there's a newish dance craze called the Stanky Legg(watch at own risk of bad music).

After today's 65 miler I have my own dance - the Cranky Leg. Basically, you hobble around since your leg muscles are twitching and continuously threatening to cramp up.

Met Mr. Miles, Jeremy, Mod, and Rafal at Wohlners to start the day. Rode North on the trail to meet up with Bryan. We took the hilliest route available to the NorthWest. Thanks Bryan.

Mod and Bryan were pushing the pace and feeling good while Miles and Jeremy had previous day's workouts hindering their freshness. Rafal kept up great when he wanted to. You can never tell when he's feeling bad since it has to get epically serious before he looses his cheerfulness. Always a great riding comrade. I have no excuse. I haven't been riding and that's my own fault. But my one goal for the year is in August so I have plenty of time to work up to it. And I've already gone almost have that distance and I didn't die, surprisingly. And knowing is half the battle - G I Joe!!!

So I plan to become a more frequent attendee on the weekend rides. That and the mad 30 minute dashes between my 2 jobs should get me in decent enough shape.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

With this forecast...

...I'm glad I'm a little fat right now.

I think I'll need the insulation come the weekend. Snow/Rain on Saturday and pretty dismal temps forecast for Sunday.

Who's racing Saturday (if its raining, not me) and who wants to put in a nice ride Sunday. Don't think I am wanting to do another 100 with Mod, but I'd probably be game for 3-4 hours. Maybe we can plan it so there's a coffee stop in the middle. We'll likely need it. I don't necessarily mean its gotta be a chill, recovery ride type of thing, just something in the middle that has decent coffee and maybe a pastry.

Post up any thoughts. I'll do some figuring and try to come up with some kind of route myself. Maybe something different... I'd like to say we can go to Iowa for the hills but I'm not sure we can fill the coffee requirement in that scenario.

Mod had talked about starting a firm ride start time/loc on Sat or Sat and Sun so maybe he can chime in here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Alas, I won't be yelling at any of you this season.

With working full time at UNMC and doing part time at the bike shop building bikes, I need some me time. So this year, I won't be at the races officiating. No more yelling at riders to respect the yellow line, and no more frantic race results postings.

I'd recommend giving officiating a try, but expect to have an experience like this one:

It happens, trust me.

Instead, this year I hope to actually ride some weekends and maybe participate (unofficially) in the GLGA. But I have plenty of building up to do just so I can finish the event. Should be fun though.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Missing the PCL today

But I've got my own plan for Sunday.

The Route:

100 miles with one opt out in Missouri Valley if your legs are cranky. Be prepared for a 100 yards of gravel into Ft. Calhoun, 23c's will be fine.

The Start:
Wohlners, Aksarben Village, 10am

The Conditions:
As of 7:30am Saturday...Areas of drizzle before noon. Areas of fog before noon. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 45. North northwest wind between 10 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

I rode with people instead of cars

This weekend was my first group ride since the beginning of January. I think that was my last really long day in the saddle too. The result - a nice saddle sore for my efforts.

On Saturday I met up with a few folks at Bike Masters to test my legs. And tested they were. I kept up ok at the beginning, but by the end I was keeping a slow tempo in hopes to save myself the the next days ride and to ride with another fellow struggler. We were off the back of Puma, Ryan F, and Mr. Miles (who has a new blog - YAY!!). We chatted and just limped home, but that was fine.

I was planning on doing a Sunday ride, but the aforementioned saddle sore and other house work kept me away.

It's in the Fricken Forties this week Mr. Bigglesworth!! After so much time spent in the 20s, the warm weather just feels weird. I have to figure out how to dress while riding all over again. Mod had some interesting perspective on embrocation. I think it sounds like a great idea, but I believe that stuff is purdy expensive. So if I can find some cheap stuff, I might have to give that a try. On the hands and feet sounds most interesting. Just need to remember to apply chamois cream before embrocation, unless I want to ride really fast.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


So someday, maybe I'll sign up for a Twitter account but really I don't want to...

Anyhow for now I'll stick to IM's, emails, and blog posts.

Plans for the weekend? Post up lets get something going. Its going to feel like Florida this weekend.