Archive for April 2008

Old and crickety

April 30, 2008

This is ridiculous!  I can’t believe my knee is giving me so much trouble these days.  Obviously this winter has been the worst it’s ever bothered me, but it’s never been aggravated by riding before.  I’m beginning to get a little distressed over it.

I’m going to take a hard look at my pedals this evening.  I’m kind of thinking this particular version of knee pain started when I switched from the good old standard SPD’s to the new PD-A520′s.  When I think about the way they feel, the new ones may not have as much float and are forcing my toes inward more than the old.  Or, I may have messed up the cleat placement when I swapped out the old, worn ones for these new ones.

Bottom line…I’m going to change something tonight and see how if feels tomorrow.

God bless…


Frozen Fingers….

April 29, 2008

It was 34 stinking degrees this morning when we got up, so no tandem ride as planned.  I just went back to bed for another hour before getting up for the morning commute but it still hadn’t warmed up by the time I needed to leave. 

I literally wore every piece of cool weather biking gear I own this morning.  If I could have kept my fingers and hands warm, I would have been toasty.  So much, in fact that every time I stopped moving my glasses fogged up so badly that I couldn’t see.  I finally had to take them off when I got up around OTC where I kept getting stopped by lights. 

Pam E. from work and I rolled up to the intersection of Catalpa and Eastgate at the exact same time and hopscotched our way to work.  I asked her about her Ironman experience in Arizona a couple of weeks ago, and she told me that times were pretty slow because of the heat.  It was 110 degrees on the bike, and 95 during the run.  I don’t know how she did a full Ironman in those conditions.  She obviously trained for it, but that still seems beyond the realm of the suffering I would be willing to go through.

The TUBAS rack I ordered last week arrived yesterday and I got it installed last night.  It’s pretty cool, actually.  Because this is my road bike, I didn’t want anything too bulky and heavy, and this is definately pretty sleek looking, and weighs about the same as a pedal.  It should be enough to haul work clothes and meals.  I used it this morning with our trunk bag…I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough heal clearance to use the panniers on the Giant’s compact frame.  I hope to give it a try tonight.  If they work, I’ll have more flexibility and not have to worry so much about staging clothes and food at work the days I drive.

I’m hoping we can get the tandem out this evening after work. 

God bless…


Took my sweetie to lunch….

April 27, 2008

We accomplished a lot before noon today.  Finished the laundry (at the laundromat, but that’s another story), got the oil changed and tires rotated on Pam’s Prius, and cleaned the house.  By noon (really 1:00) everything was done, it had warmed to 60 degrees, and the sun was out.  We decided to ride out to Rogersville and grab lunch at Subway.

We’ve not really ridden the tandem enough this year to feel like we’re in the groove yet.  Hills and wind make it seem like we’re just grinding away and not making a lot of progress.  I’m wondering if Pam’s surgery last winter has really cost her some strength that’s not been regained yet, and I know I’m not as strong this year as prior years because of my knee.  I’m counting on us both getting stronger as the summer progresses.

One good thing about today….from Rogersville to Mentor on Farm Road 183, we really ripped.  That stretch is primarily downhill, and we had the wind somewhat to our back, so it was pretty easy and fun to cruise along at 18-20 mph for the entire 8-9 miles.  During that stretch, we caught and dropped a guy on a single pretty easily.

It was a good ride.  Pam seemed to enjoy it, and I felt like we did seem a little stronger at times than on previous rides.

Afterward, I mowed the yard, then we went out to eat and got our groceries for the week.  I’ve just finished preparing my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, and we’ve still got almost an hour before bedtime.  Yep…it’s been a good day.

See you in church tomorrow!

Oh yeah….28.6 miles at an average speed of 15.0.

God bless…


Sore knee….but I’m too hard-headed to stop

April 25, 2008

After running at lunch yesterday and last night’s 20 mile headwind challenge, when I left the house this morning I could immediately tell that my knee was going to bother me the entire ride….and it did.

The wind was still there from the southeast, so my standard morning route out to Logan Rogersville High School was a little tougher than normal, but the trip back in was a breeze (pun intended).

There is something special about an early morning ride that I just don’t experience at other times.  I think it is the peace and quiet.  Nothing out there but you and the bike on great asphalt.  When you feel it, there is no greater rush.  Fortunately, the trip back from the school was such a trip.  Add to that the brilliance of the sun this morning as it peaked above the horizon, and I can’t really think of anything else I’d have rather been doing.

I had staged my work clothes and groceries in the locker room, so I didn’t need to swing by and get them as I passed the house.  That resulted in about 3 less miles on the computer than I normally expect to have when I do that ride before commuting. 

The rack I ordered should be here Monday.  If it fits the bike and is usable, it should prevent my having to plan so far ahead and stage clothes the days I drive.  Yesterday kind of messed me up since I had staged two days supply, then got rained out of a morning ride.  Now I’ve got half a day’s food left and a complete pair of clothes for next week.

At one point, the front derailleur wouldn’t shift down off the big ring, then I found it wouldn’t shift to the small ring at all.  Had the same problem a while ago and resolved it w/ a little silicone spray on the derailleur.  I suspect it’s crudded up again from getting a little wet on Tuesday.  I may just need to replace the cable and clean it all up good.  Note to self….try not to forget to look at it this weekend.

Mileage so far is about 25.5, with another 7.5 to pick up on the way home. 

God bless…



Evening Tandem Ride

April 25, 2008

It was raining when I looked out the door just after 5:00 am this morning, so I went back to bed.  No ride this morning and no commute to work.

This evening, however, was a different matter.  We decided we would get our day’s ride in after work, so we changed and left as soon as we got home.  The intended route was to go out thru the back side of Turners, loop out past the high school and then come back home over Kinser bridge.

Pam says it was “a very bad ride”.  The wind was against us until we made the turn back to the north after passing the high school.  Since the general lay of the land is up hill until that point, we were literally riding uphill and against the wind all the way out.  Both our knees were complaining and Pam kept grousing that we were taking forever to get there.  She admitted later that the wind was making her grumpy, but she did pretty well despite the circumstances. 

As soon as we made the turn and headed home, it was like an entirely different ride.  The wind was still at our side, but nothing unbearable.  We made it home in pretty good time.

20.66 miles at an average of 14.7 mph.  Here’s the link to the gps track.


The plan is to ride and commute tomorrow.

God Bless…



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