Archive for February 2009

Boot Camp Update

February 27, 2009

No bike commuting today since I need to be home at precisely 4:30 this afternoon to close the deal on my truck.  I did, however, run my usual Friday morning 5k and it felt really strong and fast.  I didn’t time it so it could have been an illusion (or delusion) on my part.  That’s a little odd because a lot of weeks I’m starting to feel a little tired by Friday.


When I figured out that I was getting burned out on weight lifting, I decided to join Pam in a boot camp class every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Meyer Center.  In order to not completely forsake all my strength work I’ve been getting there at about 5:20 am and doing the following workout before class starts:

  • 4 sets of 12 bicep curls with about 80 lbs on the bar.
  • 4 sets of 50 push-ups.
  • 4 sets of 25 sit-ups (various varieties).
  • 4 sets of 12 pull-ups.

Boot camp starts at 6:00 and lasts an hour.  We usually start with a little warm-up, then run anywhere from a 1-1.5 miles before going back down to the gym.  Quite often, we do some sprint work, and we always seem to do a lot of lower body strengthening exercises, some upper body exercises and some abs work.

The lower body stuff is something that is relatively new to me.  I stopped lifting weights for the lower body muscles several years ago because I thought it was detrimental to my running and cycling and I could tell that I was adding bulk in my thighs and butt.  I figured, hey, I’m running and riding all the time anyway so I shouldn’t need to specifically work those muscles.

Well, in this class, we’re doing a lot of lunges, jumping and squatting.  I can tell my lower body is getting stronger, and at this point it is doing so without bulking up and making me slower.  The difference is that these exercises are emphasizing fast-twitch responses instead of the slow-twitch response elicited by lifting weights. 

Additionally, I’m finding that working out in the class environment is not as bad as I thought it might be.  The class is actually mostly ladies, and with Pam there at least I have someone very familiar for a partner.  I encourage her, and likewise she encourages me. 

In all, I would give the class positive marks.  I think I’ll enjoy it more when we start going outside instead of staying in the gym.  Unfortunately, when we start taking the tandem out for morning rides later this spring we’ll need to use Tuesday and Thursday mornings for that activity since Pam doesn’t have to be at work quite so early those days.  I’ve already decided, however, that it will be a good diversion next fall and winter after tandem riding season ends.

How about you?   Do you ever do classes like this?  Leave me a note in the comments if you do.

God bless….


What a great day!

February 25, 2009

Boy, it just smelled like spring this morning.  I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but I know it when I smell it.  Maybe a warm, moist sensation, with just a hint of something blown in from the south?  At any rate, it was 41 degrees when I left for my run and had dropped to 40 by the time I left on the bike for work.   With a forecast high of the low 60′s, I had high anticipation of it getting better before it turns cold again.


The Marin's cockpit

On the way to work, I had another encounter with my friend in Bus 10.  He passed me again on Catalpa, and this time I made sure I took the lane a lot more boldly than I had last time.  It worked!  He moved over and gave me plenty of room.

I’ve had several people lately  comment on the fact that I’ve been riding my bike to work in some pretty cold weather.  I guess to someone who’s never tried it and who doesn’t ride bikes anyway it might seem a little over the edge but to me, it’s just kind of natural.  I’m not tougher than most when it comes to the cold.   In fact, I’m pretty much a warm weather wienie….I don’t like to be cold.  What I have found is that if I can keep my hands and feet warm, I can add enough layers over the rest of my body to be comfortable. 


My Cloudveil ski mittens

  I found some high-end ski mittens a while back that have done the trick for my hands.  I knew when I put them on in the store that they would be perfect for my cold morning rides, but I was too cheap to buy them on the spot. 

Fortunately, my dear sweet wife has better sense than me and went back and bought them for me a couple of weeks ago.  With those, and by wearing both my new and old, worn-out booties at the same time, I can easily ride into the low 20′s if not slightly below.

I walked down to Founders Park at lunch, and immediately wished I had followed my first inclination and taken a leisurley ride around downtown and MSU instead.  The only thing that kept me from it was the fact that I would have needed another shower afterward.


I found a prize on the way home! Never pass up a tool.

I definitely didn’t need the cold weather gear on the way home.  It was 69 degrees when I left the office, and I really wanted to take advantage of it.  I had to go pick up my truck from the Southern Hills Shopping Center, so I just went all the way down Fremont to Cherokee and then cut over on the other bike route to the shopping center.  There were a ton of folks out, both on bikes and on foot and driving around.  Traffic was a little heavy as I crossed over Sunshine, but it wasn’t really too bad.  I just wished I had time to cruise around enjoying the weather since it isn’t going to last.

God bless….


High Blood Pressure

February 23, 2009

This morning was one of those mornings!  Every once in a while, mornings just seem to conspire against me!  Today was one of those days where I wondered if I would have been happier to just give it up and go back to bed!  You’ll be glad to know, however, that I prevailed and stayed out of bed.


First, I was delayed getting out of the house for my run by nearly 15 minutes.  When you’ve got your schedule calculated out fairly tightly, those 15 minutes can mean the difference between on-time and late.  I did some quick calculations and decided that by short changing my stretching time I could still make it to work on time so I went ahead and ran my full 5k. 

When I got home, I quickly changed and grabbed my mounds of winter gear from the top of the cedar chest and headed to the kitchen to get ready and leave.  It was 25 degrees this morning, but the afternoon high was projected to be in the 5o’s so I knew I needed to wear my mittens  and take my lighter gloves for this afternoon.  I found the first glove in the top of my bag where it was expected to be, but the second wasn’t in my pile of stuff.  Grumbling, I went back to the bedroom expecting to find the errant glove where the rest of my gear had been waiting for me, but it wasn’t there.  I looked in both drawers where it might have been stashed, but neither yielded the missing digits.  At this point, I can feel the aggravation level climbing, so I went stomping back to the kitchen to take everything out of my bag in hopes that the glove is at the bottom.  It wasn’t.

Back to the bedroom, where this time I looked under the bed, under and behind the cedar chest, and in the same two drawers I had already searched.  Nothing.  Better check the closet in the bathroom where I changed clothes.  Nope!  Aaarg!  I finally decided that I would go grab my really lightweight gloves and just hope it got warm enough for them.  As I approached the drawer, I spotted the sucker!  My bike bag had been stacked on my gym bag in the corner of the bedroom over the weekend and that missing glove had fallen out and was laying in the bottom of my open gym bag.  Good grief!

After that, the ride to work was pretty uneventful.  I did see my friend in Bus 10 a couple of times, but both times he was already in front of me!  And, I was only a couple of minutes late.

By this evening, it had only warmed to 44 degrees and it was very cloudy and overcast.  The ride home was uneventful as well, except I did see one commuting student around MSU.

God bless….


Smart Car

February 21, 2009

My New Shirt


Does this new tee shirt make me look like a tree hugging hippy?  Pam found it for me and I kind of like it!

God Bless….


Encounter with Bus 10

February 21, 2009

This is NOT Bus 10


Not attractive...but high vis!

Hey you! That’s right, you. The guy driving Bus 10 for the Springfield Public Schools. What’s the deal? This is twice now that you’ve nearly pushed me off the road. You did it last fall on Eastgate just south of Catalpa, and you did it again yesterday morning around 7:00 on Catalpa just west of Eastgate. Yes, that was me. The guy on the bike. The one wearing the high visibility vest. I even took a picture to show you that I was wearing it! I’m the guy with two flashing red lights on the back of the bike. The one you passed within an arm’s length. I could have reached out and touched the side of your big yellow bus as you went by me. I don’t understand why. There was lots of daylight, and the sun was to our backs. How could you have not seen me?

I understand that you’re driving a big vehicle, but that doesn’t excuse you for not giving me room as you went by. There was no traffic coming toward you last fall or this morning, so there was an entire lane that you could have used to safely pass me. As a cyclist, I was fulfilling my responsibility to ride as close to the right edge of the road as safely possible. As a motorist, your responsibility is to safely pass me. That means waiting until you have a clear road, and then pulling to the left to pass with a good margin of safety as you would for any other slow moving vehicle. That’s all I ask.

I saw you again this morning at Central High School. I really wanted to stop and take your picture for this post, but you looked like a nice enough guy that I decided not to. After all, you don’t look like a moron. Perhaps you’re just uneducated about your responsibilities as a driver when it comes to cyclists. If that’s the case, it’s pretty sad that they would turn you loose on the streets with a school bus and a load of children. Hmmm. I wonder….if I were a child weaving down the road on a little department store bike, would you have treated me the same? If so, maybe you are a moron!


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