Archive for March 2008

Second guesses……

March 28, 2008

What if I had made the other decision?  Would it have rained, or would I have had a great ride?  I’ll never know because I chose not to ride.

Pam had a “party” last night after work, so it would have been the perfect opportunity to ride, and the temperatures were almost balmy.  On the way home, I was watching the ominous looking clouds to the north and west, so as soon as I got to the house, I hit the radar loop on the internet.  It showed a mean looking line of storms barreling down on Springfield, and they looked to be just a few miles northwest of town with no chance of avoidance, so I made what I suppose was the wise decision to stay home.

Wouldn’t you know it…..not a drop of rain at my house until way after bedtime.  That stinks!  I can take consolation in knowing that it did rain somewhere in the Ozarks, and in the fact that I did get something accomplished that wouldn’t have been done if I had ridden. 

I’m going to do my new abbs workout at lunch, so no riding today, and this weekend and next week look pretty sketchy, weatherwise.  We’ll see what happens…..

God Bless….



Second Ride….

March 26, 2008

After work last night, the weather was warm and the wind was lighter so I took off for another ride.  This one looped over the Kinser Bridge with the intention of going out to Mentor and looping up FR 183.  Unfortunately, I didn’t count on the new “Lake Rogersville” between Kinser and Mentor and I couldn’t see it until I had climbed out of the first valley to the hill overlooking the 2nd.  I swear that water was probably 10 feet deep on the road, and maybe 100-150 yards across.  That area is a natural bowl, and I guess the water table is just so high the flood waters won’t go down.

After backtracking, then going east to the next road, I finally hit 183 and turned east again.  The wind was from the southwest, and because it was somewhat at my back I cranked the front derailleur up to the big chain ring and pushed fairly hard out to Rogersville.  On the way, I started seeing some of the riders from Springbike’s Tuesday ride getting close to finishing (they are starting at 5:30).  This was really the first time I’ve tried to push it for any distance this year, and it felt surprisingly good.

By the time I got out to Rogersville and came directly home past the high school, I was starting to feel pretty whipped, but it was a good feeling.  I feeling of accomplishment and contentment.  You know what I mean?

I ended up with 25 strong miles for this ride, and 35 for the day.

This morning’s workout was a cardio, and it didn’t take long to figure out that my legs were toast.  I pushed through it, but after 30 minutes on the eliptical like machine, 20 minutes climbing stairs and running a mile, I am glad that I didn’t bring my bike for a lunch ride.  I’ve found a yoga/abbs workout that I’m gonna try at lunch instead.

I was looking back at last year’s journal, and it looks like I’m at least two weeks ahead of my mileage from last winter, but that’s not necessarily an accomplishment since I was still healing from the broken collar bone and didn’t start riding until a little later.  I tell myself that those things don’t matter, but I find that it’s good motivation to use some benchmark to measure your progress against.  I guess that means I can say “I’m doing more than that crippled guy last year”!

God bless…


Is the glass half-full or half empty?

March 25, 2008

What’s your point of view?  Do you see a glass as half-full or half-empty?  Does it matter?  How does that apply to cycling?

At lunch time today, the temperature was 62 degrees, far exceeding the expectation I had from watching the weather forecast last night.  On the other hand, the wind was blowing from the Southwest at 24 mph, with gusts up to 34 mph.  Seems to be a half-full glass (or a half-empty one, depending on your point of view).  How should you deal with it?  I’ve read that the most appropriate way to view the situation is to take your half-full glass and pour it into a smaller glass.  One that will be filled to the brim or overflowing.  Now you’ve got a full glass, no matter if you’re an optimist or a pessimist!  You haven’t really changed the amount of drink, but you have reset your expectations.  That’s exactly what I did today…reset my expectations to realize that the wind was blowing and that I could either go for a windy ride or not go. 

I chose to go.  It was windy.  But it was also sunny and warm.  I wore my shorts and a jacket.  I rode fast when the wind was sort of behind me.  I rode slow when it wasn’t.  I was on the road, and not setting in the office at lunch time. 

 My average speed for this 10 miles was 16.3 mph, but that’s not necessarily a reflection of how slow I was riding at times.  The three blocks each way down Commercial Street were downright treacherous.  The buildings on either side funnelled and swirled the wind, literally pummeling me and the bike in a way that I don’t think I’ve experienced before while cycling.

I may try to ride again tonight…depending on the weather and the size of my glass.

God bless…


Cold feet….

March 24, 2008

Don’t you just hate it when you screw up?  I mean, come on.  I had my booties at work with me today.  I knew it was 47 degrees at lunch.  I just didn’t want to mess with putting them on, and knew I had made a mistake before I got out of the parking lot.   Not sure what I was thinking.

I got a little careless and gave myself a little scare as I was turning off Grant onto the farm road heading east to the school.  I was standing in the drops to climb the hill, and hit the corner a little hot, so I knew I was going to go wide.  Unfortunately, there was a blue mustang coming up to the intersection that I didn’t see until it kind of popped over the hill.  I got on the rear brake, but since I was in the drops and hadn’t gotten all the way back into the saddle yet, I couldn’t get to both at the same time.  Because my center of gravity was off from standing, the bike gave me a nasty skid as that rear wheel locked up.  Fortunately, I controlled it and got over into my own lane without going down or hitting the car.  I’ve since added that one to my lessons learned and it won’t happen again.

The good news is that the lake that turned me around last week on my lunch ride had receeded enough that I could make it through.  Water was still on the road at both edges, but the center line was high enough that it didn’t have any standing water.  There was about a 3 foot wide strip that I could negotiate to make it through with only the spray from the tires getting me wet.

17.3 mph average speed for the 10 miles.   I noticed from the computer that I’ve now managed to get in 301 miles this year on the single plus maybe another 70 or so on the tandem.  It’s been a slow and cold start this year, but hopefully it will get better soon.  I can take consolation in this (you’ll have to look for the 3/24/08 entry).

God bless….


Chili Ride ….

March 23, 2008

I joined 40-50 other riders today for a 48 mile loop from Springfield to Halltown and back.  It was the annual Springbike Chili Ride, the local bike club’s first organized ride of the season. 

Part of the time, I’m not sure why I do these club rides….my style of cycling is not like a lot of those guys who like to hammer every mile.  I tend to prefer to cruise a little more than they do even though I’m a pretty strong rider.  I noticed today that a lot of them tend to drop me on the flats, but I am stronger than they are on the hills.  I suspect it comes from my penchant for riding in the middle chain ring 100% of the time, but it may just be the fact that they’re simply stronger and faster than me.  I know my small size gives me a weight advantage going uphill, but it may actually be detrimental otherwise.

I rode with Joe from work the biggest part of the day.  I suspect this was his first real ride of the year, because he struggled on the way back.  We had a side wind most of the day, and the return trip had a lot of hills that pretty much whipped him.

The last few miles I was riding with Pam E. from work as well.  She’s only three weeks away from an Ironman competition in Arizona, and I really suspect I couldn’t have dropped her if I tried.  It was interesting to talk to her about her training regimine.  I definately don’t have that kind of time to devote to something like that if I wanted. 

Overall, I suppose it was worth doing.  I got on a lot of roads I’ve never ridden before, and it was good to try to stretch myself in terms of distance.  My legs are feeling it now, though. 

Oh…I didn’t bother staying for the chili lunch afterward.  In the two years past that I’ve done this ride, it was pretty much all gone by the time I got in.  I really thought we were kind of close to the end of the pack since a lot of them cut the ride to 20 miles, but there were still a lot of cars there as we pulled in. 

48.24 miles at an average speed of 15.0 mph.

Tomorrow’s Easter.  Remember what it is we celebrate…a risen Savior.

God bless…



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