Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Resolutions...

I have never really made New Year's Resolutions.  I know about a human's capacity for change, and it is seldom accomplished and rarely sustained.  That being the case, I think this life has more to offer, so I'm going to try a couple of things.  I've looked back at my blog posts over the past few years and realize how all-over-the-place I've been.  I'm glad for the opportunity to evaluate priority.

1) Spiritual growth - no idea what that means, but I'm looking into it.  A big part of that will be getting back on the bike, and training for the DK, yet again.  Maybe this year I'll actually make the start line.

2) Leaving the past behind me - and being grateful for lessons learned, forgiving and hopefully being forgiven.

There are a couple of others, but I think those two count the most.

I need to get a training schedule up for the DK soon, and start getting it done.  I can't decide if I'm going to get a membership to the Y, here in Topeka, or if I am going to buy a set of indoor bicycle rollers.  I'll need to be able to train when weather and roads don't allow being on the bike.  I also have some mods to make to the Fuji Cross - I love wrenching.  The process of being a cyclist is one I cherish.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Average MPH

Goal: More base miles - met
Lesson: Patience pays. 

Strava says I did 22.6 at 14.5 mph, which is a step in the right direction.  The quality of base miles is improving, actually faster than I'd thought.  I'm able to stay larger gears for longer pulls, and into headwinds.

I did a run/ride thing yesterday for nearly an hour, not sure how to make Strava work for those, but those have been great for conditioning. 

Things have changed in my personal life, I'm finding myself less pulled in multiple directions, less distracted, and with more time to ride.  There is more peace and motivation now, it's been awesome.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nite Ride

Lesson: Always carry a backup light.  I didn't, and it was a chilly/cloudy night to be picking lines on gravel in the dark. 

Goal:  Get miles.  Kinda did that, need more

22+, avg 14 mph. Not great, but I think muscle memory is starting to work, and the legs tolerated it well.  The discipline is coming back, too.  I'm less impulsive, less driven to kill every hill, and more resolute about building the base.

I REALLY need to start eating again.  I'd had one cinnamon roll all day.  Plus coffee.  I expect these rides will get longer and faster as I've just completed a major grocery run and have prepped a number of meals to take to work. 

A couple of tips for riding at night:

1) It is possible for your light to be too bright, or too white - on pavement this is much less an issue, but bright or glaring lights make surfaces look much different by minimizing shadows and making the road look like copy paper.  This means picking reliable lines on soft surfaces is less easy.  I use about 300 lumens routinely, and this works well even descending at 30 mph. 

2) Ride your night routes in the day, and know where the damn dogs are. 

3)  Be able to fuel and hydrate without looking.  And operate your lights/phone/maps.  And know what is in which pocket so that you don't have to rummage at speed on terrain.  Kind of a no brainer, but worth mentioning.

4)  I'm reminded after tonight's ride how much focus/cognitive energy it takes to ride at night.  I'm much more alert, much more vigilant, and much more trained on the road surface.  That's not a tip, but an observation.  Night riding requires practice, and the more you do the less effort it'll take (like anything else).  I think it means that at the end of the DK, when you are fatigued and still have a long way to go after dusk, being confident and rehearsed will be important.

5) Clear eye-glasses.  Bugs.  Gravel flying up from vehicles.  Wind that makes your eyes teary/vision blurry. 

I'm using Strava if anyone would like to follow progress there. 


Friday, January 16, 2015

Base miles...

Today's Goal: Ride 1+ hour, get Zen. Both accomplished.

Today's Lesson: Never rush ride prep.

A GREAT day to ride.  We've just finished with a sustained arctic blast, complete with cloudy skies and sub-zero lows. Today has been 50+ and the sun is a welcomed therapy. 

According to Strata I went a total of 15.3 miles at an avg.13.9 mph.  It is my first ride in months, and I've not taken great care of myself, but I am a little surprised at how really out-of-shape I am.  Not discouraged, not disappointed.  It is good to have an assessment of where I am starting.

I was later than I wanted to be getting ready to ride, the result was that all I'd eaten prior to the ride was a snickers.  I'd had about half a pot of coffee.  I had reasonable gear  together, and was ready for mechanical problems, weather issues, etc., but would've done better had I fueled and hydrated reasonably. 

Also.  I had to talk to myself, over and over.  I had to slip into the mantra "not fast up the hill, not hard up the hill, LONG up the hill..." I had to dial back the intensity and focus on patience.  The headwind going out was stiff, I was pedaling to maintain speed DOWNHILL, so the turn for home was a righteous moment. 

Yet again, I'm registered for the DK.  Wish me the focus to maintain the priority


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I feel like a rookie again...

I just went on a 19 mile ride, and even in the lousy shape I'm in, was confident that if I rode sanely I'd be fine.  Of course it was on gravel.  Hilly gravel.  In Kansas.  In July.  Heat index 104F or some ungodly thing.  Regardless, With the number of miles I've logged I was still certain it'd be fine.

Couldn't find my sunglasses or my sunscreen.  Took one bottle.  Misread the breeze, so had a headwind coming home.

Still.  It was a ride.  I actually got Goosebumps coming home, and a headache as soon as I started to cool down.  I'm better now, but am reassured of my  lousy level of fitness, and my rusty riding prowess.  Jeez. 

For what it is worth, I'm considering the Great Divide Race in 2015.  Just a consideration.  But things are changing rapidly in my life, and I'm hopeful to renew the drive and passion I've had for cycling, and I anticipate having more time to devote to the finer things in life soon.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Back at it...

I have AGAIN registered for the DK 200.

Weather has been kinda crappy, and it is too icy to ride safely in NE Kansas.  So.  I'm running.  Doing Insanity workouts.  I'm getting the aerobic side in shape, and I plan on getting some bike time in this weekend.  I'll keep you posted.  I'm looking at starting with 25 milers and building.  For those of you watching to see about my training schedule I'll post my intended distances later this weekend or early next week.

The bike is in shape.  New tires, new chain, new brake pads.  Needs a cleanup, but ready to hit the dirt.

For my friends and colleagues getting started on training programs for the DK, I wish you my best!  Feel free to be in touch and we'll collaborate!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

I still remember how to ride...

Was out for a little this morning.  Since the last post I have done a very little bit of riding, but also:

Have been divorced.
Have tried a relationship.
Have gotten a brewery started, and am struggling to keep it going.
Am trying to rehab a house in which I live, in my spare time.
Signed up for, but did NOT ride the Dirty Kanza.  Again.

Anyway.  I got about 12 miles in.  Turned around early as looming clouds and rolling thunder in the West suggested that I should.  I'm not in shape to ride out a storm, emotionally or physically.  I did get caught, and the last 4 miles were in a lovely warm summer rain.  My thighs are tight.  My breathing is easy.  I'm drinking coffee on the back deck listening to intermittent showers on the roof.  It is so easy to overlook exercise (particularly cycling) or to consider it as expendable as things get rocky.  Cheaper than therapy!

It'd be nice to be an athlete again.  I'd like to say with conviction that I'm back on the bike.  Feels as though conviction is something I lack now, but I will say that cycling is on the radar.  I feel too good after a short effort to neglect it much longer.