Archive for May 2010

Memorial Day 2010 – Remember, Freedom isn’t Free

May 31, 2010

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What a great day!  I got to spend the morning doing what I love with the one I love!  Who could ask for anything more!

Our plan was to sleep in, then take a tandem ride out to Strafford and back.  By the time we started to leave the house about 8:30, that plan was looking a little bit in question.  As we started to mount the bike in the drive, we heard the rumble of thunder to our south.  I quickly looked at radar to see where it was and what direction it seemed to be heading and decided that a ride to Strafford should be safe for the time being.  Convincing Pam of that was a little different matter, but we decided to go ahead and give it a try. 

By the time we got out of our drive, we started feeling a few sprinkles, and by the time we got up to Blackman Road, I had pretty much decided to do a loop of the neighborhood and circle back to home rather than risk getting Pam wet.  For grins, we circled around Catholic High School, and I was headed for home when Pam decided we should go ahead and ride to Strafford based on my interpretation of the radar.  I was a little concerned that the rain we had in the area was the little old pop-up shower type that could form overhead in a matter of minutes.  If that happened, I figured that surely it probably wouldn’t last for long, so we could probably find shelter and wait it out rather than having to ride a lot of miles in it.  After a little more discussion, we decided to go for it.  And we were fine the rest of the morning.  Later on, Pam said she was glad we had taken the chance.

We kind of poked along, talking about and planning for our next vacation and considered our options for marathon training around the two week trip in September and while I am on Oklahoma Freewheel in two weeks.  I don’t know that we resolved anything other than that we would somehow figure it out when the time came. 

We met/passed several cyclists on the road, enjoying the peaceful and quiet holiday morning.  After a stop at the C-Store in Strafford, we turned toward home.  Our route took us by Danforth Cemetery, which is a little country cemetery a few miles east of town.  Memorial Day visitation was in full swing.

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I was a little bit amused as well as touched to see all the activity out there.  There were several folks there, and it was obvious that some of them took their visitation very seriously.  They were set up to make the day of it, with lawn chairs and a cooler in the shade.

As we approached home, Pam decided we couldn’t stop until we had reached 30 miles, so we had to take a couple of extra loops around the neighborhood before we could head for the garage!

God bless…

TW

Lunch Ride to Ozark

May 29, 2010

We knew going into today that it would be an interesting experiment…

First, we planned to run 9 miles this morning.  That’s further than either of us have even run before.  Second, we planned a 30 mile round-trip to Ozark on the tandem for lunch.  The question was, could we do it?  We couldn’t back out because Connie was going with us.   We both felt like it should be doable, but I’ve gotta admit, I was a little concerned.  In the end, however, it was fine.

And, talk about a beautiful day for a ride.  We left the house around 10:30, and gave Connie an instant initiation to the challenges of riding where we ride.  As we screamed down the hill toward the river, we were joking about having to pay the piper on the way up, but it was such a beautiful day for a ride it didn’t really matter.  As we hit the first climb, it was pretty apparent that we had run so far, but the great thing about a tandem is that if you don’t try to fight it but instead work together and ride smoothly, things go so much better. 

We didn’t press the pace, instead enjoying bombing down the hills and coasting as far up as we could before slipping into an easy spin.  Between our house and Ozark you can actually do quite a bit of coasting, so it was a really pleasant trip down there.

As we approached Smallin Cave, we noticed that it has been cleaned up and opened up for tours.   For years, it’s been part of a little-used church camp, but it looks like it’s got new owners and somebody’s trying to make a go of it.  Good for them!

Smallin%20Website%20Background smallin cave visitor center

As we entered Ozark and pulled in to the River Walk Jazz Cafe for lunch, we noted that it was pretty busy on this Memorial Day weekend.  As we parked our bikes, we saw that we weren’t the only cyclists with the same idea!

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We enjoyed our lunch, then headed home the way we came.  Where we had a lot of long down-hill coasts on the way out, the trip back was characterized by long, steady climbs, punctuated with a few downhill blasts.  At one point, I thought we were going to have to take evasive action when a young ground hog decided to scurry our way instead of following it’s mother into the safety of the ditch.  I’m glad we didn’t hit it…talk about what an embarrassment that would have been.  Taken out by a ground hog!

Our legs still felt pretty good as we crossed Kinser Bridge and headed for our final climb of the day.  It seems kind of unfair that whenever we ride from home we’ve always got a final killer climb to conquer regardless of the direction we go.  The hill up from the river is bad.  It’s steep and long, and it’s one of the few around here that we actually have to use the granny gear on the tandem to climb.  As we approached it, I was wondering if the front derailleur adjustment I made last week would help us shift any better when it was time to up-shift.  After plodding up the hill at about 5.5 mph, when we crested the top and I shifted…the adjustment was right on!

We hit the driveway with 30.67 miles on the bikes.  As Connie departed, Pam and I congratulated ourselves for a great day and headed inside to clean up and rest!

Have a great weekend, and God bless…

TW

Two Lessons

May 26, 2010

Lesson 1: 

When one leads a bike ride for beginning cyclists, one must expect that some of them will ride bikes from department stores.  In that case, one must be sure to carry a 5/8′ inch wrench in case of flat tires.  Otherwise, one may be hosed.

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Lesson 2:

Just because one has been using CO2 cartridges from Wal-mart for years, one shouldn’t just assume said CO2 cartridges will fit the latest CO2 inflator that was purchased.  I’ve carried this thing since November of 2008.  I remember using it for one flat on the mountain bike commuter I rode for a while, and have been carrying this inflator and these cartridges around for a couple of thousand miles.  No amount of engineering could get said cartridges to work in said inflator when they were needed tonight.

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God bless…

TW

An Announcement…..

May 25, 2010

Well, I’ve seen this one coming for a few weeks now.  Over the past couple of weeks, the negotions have intensified, I’ve laid out all my best excuses arguments, and finally reluctantly come to grips with the fact that WE’RE GONNA RUN A MARATHON, and there is nothing I can do about it!

If I sound a little reluctant, you’re right.  I am was.   Now, I suppose you’re probably wondering, “If he’s so reluctant to run a marathon, why is he doing it?”.  Well, it’s like this…..

Running a marathon has never been on my “Bucket List”.  It has, however, recently appeared on Pam’s.  She’s decided she wants to run a marathon when she turns 50 later this year(Oops, I just published my wife’s age on the internet!).   Whatever my dear sweet wife wants, she usually gets, so we’re officially in training for the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa on November 21st.

Actually, I don’t really have any opposition to doing it.  There is no doubt that we’re both fit enough and tough enough that we can do it.  My concerns centered around the “when”.  I preferred to shoot for a spring event.  To me, there are a few things about a fall timeframe that are concerning.  First and foremost, I selfishly don’t want to cut into a lot of my summer cycling time.  I guess I’ll survive.  Secondly, I’m a little concerned with training during the hot summer months.  Finally, we’ve got a two-week Alaskan adventure scheduled for September as celebration of our 30th Anniversary this summer. 

As we looked at our options, however, Tulsa in November makes a lot of sense.  It fits the timeframe of a lot of the training plans out there.  It’s relatively close and easy to get to.  And, we can still get something of a registration discount, even if we wait until late September to register.  It also has  a little cushion built into the timeframe so those two weeks of vacation can be overcome. 

As far as training goes, I feel like we’re well on our way.  Pam has been running with me since September and we’re up to 8 miles on our longer Saturday runs.  Now is the time to figure out a more focused training plan and begin to implement it.  Our goal through the whole thing will be to stay injury free.  After all, we’re 50 years old and these bodies (especially mine) have taken a pretty good bit of abuse through the last several years.  We’re going to take it slowly and carefully and plan to finish together because that’s what we do!

With that said, we did our first “official” training run today.  We ran to Catholic High School, did 8 x 400 intervals, then ran home.  In total, we ran about 4.5 miles.  When that was over, I hopped on my bike and rode to work!  It was a great morning and I felt like I had a great workout! 

God bless….

TW

Where did Spring go?

May 25, 2010

Edit:  This is actually yesterday’s post.  I never actually got around to posting it!

Good grief, it was like a sauna out there this morning.  My back porch thermometer read 67 degrees, but it must have been over 90% humidity.

I took the long way to work this morning, meaning that I added on a 20 mile out and back to Logan-Rogersville High School before grabbing my bag and commuting bike to head to work.  After riding 30 miles yesterday afternoon, I just felt mediocre as I headed toward the High School.  At the turn-around point, I moved down into the drops and could tell that I was at least a little faster on the return trip. 

To give an inkling of exactly how humid it was this morning, my glasses kept fogging over while I was moving.  That is nearly unheard of!  Usually, I have enough air flowing that they will stay clear until stop, but not today.  By the time I got to work, there wasn’t a dry thread on me.

One of the great joys I get from commuting by bike is the personal nature of the trip to and from work.  You see, and can interact with lots of folks as they go about their lives.  Last Friday, I saw an old friend out walking her dog and had a chance to stop and chat for a few minutes.

Sharon and her dog, Annie

Sharon and I put a  new roof on a church together several years ago.  It was sure nice to see her and spend a few minutes catching up on a pleasant evening.

God bless….

TW


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