30 June 2007

My bad...

Evidently, there was some miscommunication about the ride this morning. I thought we were meeting @ 9, as usual. 4 of us showed. The other 8, smart folks, met @ 8. I guess I should have trusted my instincts and just gone @ 8. Oh well...! We ended up catching them at the G Mart and all rode in together. Mark your calendars and set your alarms. The rides will go @ 8 for the rest of the summer.
The four of us rode through the Fort, across to the Swamp and met the group. We all rode back in the normal way from G Mart. It was a 30 kph affair, which felt really good to my very tired legs and sleep deprived brain. I slept for a grand total of 90 minutes Thursday night. I don't know what was wrong...I couldn't go to sleep. I just laid on the bed until 1:30am, then got up and headed to the living room. I finally dozed off somewhere around 4:45am. #1 woke me, with a 2 year old poke to the face and a "Daddy?" at 6:30. A good start to a great day...

I did catch a great joke on late night TV though...

What do a Mexican and a cue ball have in common?
The harder you hit them, the more english they pick up...

Whooo, that's funny shit!

I went to the ManHole(tm) to change wheels and cassettes last night. I finshed rubbing the bikes and sat down to watch the end of a Tour stage. I woke up to a blue TV screen and a bit of confusion @ 30 minutes later. I just faded out. The decision to head to bed early was an easy one.

I'll be going to bed early tonight and napping hard tomorrow afternoon. The H.O. is taking the management trainees to the grandparents tomorrow, so I'll have the casa all to myself. I plan to ride, shower, eat and sleep, in that order.

Ride tomorrow morning @ 8am meeting at OutJokin'.

29 June 2007

The quick, the dead and the stupid

We had a pretty big group last night for the Thursday deathmarch. As the ride progressed, the group got smaller. The trip out of the Fort was uneventful, which meant that the ride was going to be one of two things later on....subdued or balls out. It was the later, thank you very much.
The pace picked up on Ridge and the trip down to Elon was one of the fastest ever. People were already shirking pulls. I recorded my max speed on the run down...64 kph...
I guess BS&G took some climbing juice out of people's legs as the slog up Elon was pretty slow. I made it over in the middle of the group if that tells you anything. Once we crossed 378 though, the pressure went on and stayed on. PeanutHead created gap #1 at the train tracks. It's pretty amusing to actually watch him ride, what with the deathgrip on his bars (which are flipped up at comical angles) and his complete lack of acceleration. I chased the gap to RW, DerKaiser and a couple of others at well over 50 kph.
Once the turn onto Airbase was complete, all bets were off. DerKaiser and Beano nailed it and got away. The group actually worked well together and pulled them back right at the foot of the bump.
Immediately after the bump, DerKaiser went again and took Doogie with him. They stayed away for the remainder of Airbase. Again, we worked well together until about 2km from the stop. PeanutHead pulled through and just sat up in the middle of the group...at 45 kph. The right line kept chugging along as shit-for-brains threw out the anchor and coasted down to 35 kph. Philip and I were behind him and got gapped out. We made the bridge back, but I got a stitch in my side. You remember those don't you? I haven't had one since 8th grade football. I had the legs and heart to go, but the expansion of my chest felt like someone was removing a rib...with a spoon.
The group fell apart shortly thereafter. I could see 1s and 2s and made the turn very shortly after the lead part of the shattered group.
The ride stayed together for the rest of the night, as no one really wanted to go hard anymore. Of course, PeanutHead rode off the front of the group while we were meandering at 32 kph, as is his M.O.
Overall, it was a great, hard effort ride...the pain in my side notwithstanding.

I think we are just going to continue to meet at 9 on Saturdays and 8 on Sundays. Everyone was pretty ineffectual about it last night, so I'm making the call. If anyone has an opinion, please speak up.

27 June 2007

1st Tuesday ride in 8 weeks

...but I still didn't do the crit. TVH, Doogie and I met at the gate and did a modified loop of the Fort. It was a slow ride at best. The skies looked ominous, but it only sprinkled lightly and only on one part of Dixie. We ended up with 2:30 on the bike, so it was a good ride. I just needed to turn my legs over.
The H.O. called at one point to say that there was a big storm on the radar. Of course, I was 15 miles from anywhere, so there was little to be done but ride on. As is often the case, she was wrong about the storm too...it was going the complete opposite direction. I'm turning my phone off on rides from here on out.

I tried a new concoction on the ride of Red Bull and Gatorade. To say it was bad is an understatement. It had all of the qualities of high grade horse urine, including, but not limited to, taste and color. We won't be trying it again.

Shrews touched up the White Industries wheels for the 4th, so they will hang until next week. I'm still waiting on my replacement Giordana bibs, as the first ones came apart after one ride. If these fail, I'll do something else...

#1 and #2 seem to be firing up and the H.O. has found her broom, so I gotta jet...

Ride tomorrow night...we'll discuss leaving at 8 on Saturdays...

24 June 2007


Saturday was a thin ride as the majority of the normal bunch went to the NC mountains to subject themselves to the punishment of Blood, Sweat and Gears. The four of us went out and meandered through Lower Richland into Eastover and back in. Doogie Howser complained that he was bored with riding the same roads, so we did some different roads and some of the regular roads in the opposite direction. We kept a decent pace and ended up with right at 60 miles. I was a bit tired from the combination of Thursday's ride and laying 1/2 a pallet of sod on Friday afternoon.
TVH, Il Professore, Doogie and I went out early this morning and did 55 miles, again, meandering through the Lower end of the county. It was another easy Sunday ride with a blistering 17 mph average. I did wick the effort up a couple times at the end and felt okay pushing the pace to 50 kph and beyond. We actually had a tailwind coming in on Shop, so why not take advantage of it.

The fitness is definitely coming back and the legs are feeling better and better. The heat is getting pretty oppresive though. It was just plain HUMID this morning. I'm trying to cajole the bunch into going out at 8 on Saturday's for the rest of the summer to avoid the noon sun. I'm sure there will be complaints. I don't care either way to be honest. I'm just trying to make it better for everyone...

#1 was still at the spa this afternoon, so I actually got to take a short nap. I can't remember the last time I got to just lay on the bed and snooze. Nice...

22 June 2007

Kinda hard / Summer Solstice / Yoga

So I figured, with BS&G coming up this weekend, the Thursday ride would be a bit thin and a bit easier. I was right on the first part and not so right about the second.
We still started with about a dozen and rolled out through the Fort. Derek graced us with his presence last night. On the run down Ridge, he decided that he would take a 38 mph pull down the hill. This got rid of a couple folks. TVH pulled through at 33 or so and wasn't seen again until the run-in on Double Homey. He and Il Professore took the shortcut across to the flats. We waited for them for a while and then figured they did the cut off. I bridged across before Elon and pretty much shot my monkey for the climb. Nothing like rolling up the climb in your 23 at a blistering 13 mph...!
The ride turned into a rolling 7 man paceline until the bump and we lost 1. We lost another about a click from the stop sign. It was not an easy pace set by the remaining 5. We rolled through at between 26 and 30 for pretty much the entire length of AirBase.
Everything stayed pretty civil for the remainder of the ride. I took the bridge sprint with ease at a tick over 40 mph. I jumped hard in the twelve, after a pretty nice leadout by Philip and Mandrus. Derek said he didn't know where the sprint line was, but I don't think it would have mattered.

As an aside, an hour of yoga is a good thing, except in the case of having a hard ride the next day. My legs and back were damn crispy for the entire ride. I think I'll save the hour class for days before I ride easy. The 30 minute, quicky stretching class is okay for pre-hard day work.
Don't laugh either. I've been an athlete my entire life and have done some things that are difficult at best. If you make the effort to do the class correctly, it will kick your ass.

The H.O. ordered a pallet of sod. I'm going to get the trailer and the sod shortly. I can't wait until she goes back to work...! #1 is going to the spa this weekend, so I figured I might get some rest. I guess I'll rest when I'm dead, which at this pace, might be sooner than later.

PS- There is talk of the weekend rides being moved to 8 a.m. for the remainder of summer. It would help to avoid the heat and get us home a bit quicker. Conversely, it would also allow us to ride longer, if that's what folks want to do, without penalty from home. Either give me a call, or leave comments on here with your opinions of this idea.


19 June 2007

Beautiful morning

I went out for my normal Tuesday morning trip around the Fort, but on this fine, warm day, I had some company. Julie decided to join me for the journey. We went out to do the big loop and ended up doing a bit extra. Instead of thurning left on Dixie, we went right and rode until the pavement ended, which is all of about 4 miles each way. The out trip is tailwind and downhill, so you can figure out the return. Julie hasn't been riding much, as her $5000 Tarmac doesn't fit, so she rode pretty damn slowly. It's cool with me, as I rarely go hard on Tuesday mornings. I ended up with 60 km and a bit over 2 hours. Good ride!

We figured out that her 52cm Tarmac is too long across the top. The top tube is a 53.7 and the seat tube is 74.5 degrees. She's already riding a 100mm stem with 10 degrees of rise, so the shorter stem option is out. Moving the saddle forward is no fix either. That would effectively steepen the seat angle and change the cockpit/front center. Riding with her saddle in the correct KOPS position makes the bike too long. She's a C'dale fan, so a 50cm System Six seems to be the fix for the problem. Cannondales have the geometry that will put her where she needs to be...

#1 actually took a nap today too. First one since #2 came home...! Shocking! I won't hold my breath for it to happen tomorrow.

17 June 2007


Friday brought more rain in the morning, so I bit the bullet and went to the ManHole(tm) and got on the infernal machine. It's not so bad when you have a big fan blowing on you and a 32" TV staring you in the face. I rode for a bit over an hour while watching the 2000 tour on the tele. Just a medium tempo to get the legs going around...
Saturday morning was beautiful. The majority of the group met at 8 a.m. ( I guess I didn't rate for that phone call...), while the remnants met at 9. The five of us did a medium tempo ride through Lower Richland. We ended up with right at 3 hours and 57 miles.
Il Professore and I met this morning at 8 to do a SLOW spin for 3 hours. We did exactly what we planned and averaged a blistering 16.5 mph. I don't think my HR got much higher than about 120. It was good to ride with him again. We rode side by side for three hours and yapped the entire time. Nothing in the conversation(s) was exactly groundbreaking or especially learned, but that kind of company on a ride makes the time pass more quickly and is entirely enjoyable.
Jules was supposed to meet us to ride, but she bailed because there was a small spinkle at 7 a.m.! Weaksauce! At 8, it was overcast and very comfortable. The roads were damp, but there was zero liquid falling from the sky. She says she'll ride with me Tuesday morning...
I feel like the back in coming around and my legs are getting better by the ride. I haven't really dug deep, nor have I attempted to sprint full out for fear that I'll tweak my back. Overall, I'm way more comfortable on the bike than I was a few weeks ago.

The H.O. got me a leafblower for Father's Day. Thanks for the tool that I have to assemble and that will facilitate more work for me...

Yoga tomorrow...don't knock it 'til you've burped your back...

14 June 2007


The radar was alive with the sound of music this evening. It barely rained at the house, but the radar indicated that the storms were headed directly for the part of the country were we tend to ride.
I didn't feel like a) getting wet , b) cleaning the bike...again, c) getting struck by a large bolt of lightning, or d) some or all of the above.
If it's not raining sideways in the morning, I'm going out...

Il Professore is back from his trip to the Pacific Rim. He says the jetlag is really something that needs to be experienced. I thought lag from the Vegas to Charlotte redeye was bad...

13 June 2007

12 June 2007

A full day...

#1 rolled out of the sack bright and GD early this morning. I wrestled with him for the better part of 2 hours before the H.O. even cracked a lid. Once the H.O. finally got all systems online, I got on the bike to do my normal Tuesday morning spin.
I went out through the Fort and down into the flats. I really didn't feel all that great, but as I explained in an earlier post, feelings sometimes lie. I vowed to stay at about 75% this morning and did so, but everytime I looked down, I was rolling along at 35 kmh+. My legs were achy and I felt kind of BLAH, but the speed seemed to come with little effort. I saved a box turtle too. The little fella was crossing the road and was in the middle of the lane. I stopped and helped him make it to the other side.
I rolled home with about 50km. Not bad for 90 minutes work. The mp3 player is my friend. I need some new songs though....
I got home and did some needed service to the Ridley. The chain went in a solvent bath and the rear Cane Creek wheel got some attention. The clunking sound was a loose freehub body. Everything went back together and works perfectly.
Once the H.O. got cleaned up from working in the yard, we loaded up the brood and went to the zoo. I think #1 enjoyed himself...right up to the point when he started to have a nervous breakdown. All of the sights and sounds in the penguin house were a bit much. He stopped dead in his tracks, put his hands on his head and started to melt down. Fortunately, I got to him before the reactor went critical. After about 5 minutes outside, all systems returned to normal.

I think the crit got rained on tonight. It started to rain @ 6:00 and got worse as the evening progressed. At 6:45, lightning hit about 100 feet from the house.

See you Thursday...

10 June 2007

Slow and easy

Sometimes, you just want to ride. I don't mean a hard, fast, 175 HR, lung-searing deathmarch, but merely a ride. Not a stress relieving, get out of the house, away from the family kind of thing either.
Today, I rolled out of bed zero-dark-thirty and got my day going. I decided to get on the bike @ 9 and head out. I went past Outjokin' and not surprisingly, there was no one there for the Sunday ride. Sad really...! The Sunday ride used to be the big ride for the week. Now, the gapers and fat employees don't even show for it. Sundays will be solo days or rides that have been determined in advance from now on. No sense to even waste the time to roll up there...

Anyway, I went out to do a loop of the Fort and rode just hard enough to keep the bike upright. There were no efforts, no high HR, no lactic acid, no straining of the back...are you getting the picture? I rode SLOW and actually had a nice tailwind on the way back in.

I got home with a tick under two hours in the saddle. I had a small snack and the H.O. and I loaded the offspring into the van and headed to Lexington. My lovely mother was gracious enough to watch the kids so the H.O. and I could go to the movies and have 2 hours to ourselves. I joked that I was going to use the time in the theater to nap...even if it did cost me $6.00.
We saw Ocean's 13. Pretty entertaining flick all the way around. You can leave your thinking cap in the car for this one though.

Joel brought his frame to the house for me to pull some parts. It's trash. The crack is directly though one of the welds. I hope Litespeed warranties it...

09 June 2007

Hot and sticky...

Much like a weekend I once spent in Hilton Head...with a female who shall remain nameless, today's ride was hot and sticky. 6 of us met @ 9am...well, more like 9:20 because Mick forgot his helmet. He and Doug drove to Doug's house and got a spare. Once they made it back, we were off. We tooled out of the Fort and went out Leesburg, all the way to Congress. Then left on Willie Wilson and the old downhill run into Eastover. The rest of the trip was the usual Cabin Creek to Double Homey. We had a good ride, averaging just shy of 30 km/h. I ended up with 57 miles in a tick over three hours.
The temps were manageable when we started, but it got damn hot towards the end. I vowed to stay hydrated and drank 5 bottles in 3 hours. I only need one 'break au naturel'. Sweat production was definitely on the high end. I got some good sun on the old pale body today too.

Once I got to the house, I started thinking about having an ice cold Coke, only for my plans to be scuttled on the shores of 'Locked out of the House' beach. The H.O. had gone walkabout and didn't leave keys in the mailbox. I tried, in vain, to get into a window...all locked. I could have broken in, but there's no sense in ruining part of the house.
So I did what any grown, 37 year old man would do. I went to the backyard, filled #1's baby pool and sat my fat ass in the cool water. Man, did that shock the system. I sat in the cool water, under the shade of 100 year old hickory and oak trees, further cooled by a light breeze and lamented that life was pretty flipping good.

Good ride, good group, back feels better, and a dip in the pool...not a bad morning.

08 June 2007

I'm not fit!

The fact that I haven't ridden with any anger for the better part of three weeks, coupled with a back injury that has prevented most physical activity and two kids under two in the house, I am not very fit right now.
I survived the ride last night, period. I felt really good on the way out, but my lack of fitness reared it's ugly head going down Ridge towards Elon. It wasn't as fast as I've seen it, but it was enough to make me start clicking and popping. Suffice to say, I was the last man up the climb. Philip is in an active rest week, so he towed me to the top.
Once over Elon, I actually felt pretty good. The legs are definitely rested and still have the ability to make needed power, but the heart and lungs just aren't there right now. The back felt okay last night. I couldn't pull on the bars with the fervor needed to make it over the hump on Airbase. Rich and Karl went, of course, and shattered the group. I made it over just behind the second group and bridged across with help from Philip (seems to be a recurring theme...). Once onto the second group, I recovered and took my pulls. We were actually working well together and pulling the front group back when we got the the stop sign. Of course, there was a RCSO officer at the stop, so we were obliged to actually stop. Bye-bye front group...

They waited at the turn and we rolled on through double homey. Jay took a 28 mile an hour pull that was like motorpacing. Beautiful...
I felt good and planned to dice for the sprint on Shop. Philip did his normal lead across the bridge and the group lined out. I made the mistake of being on ThePeanut's wheel. He was sitting sixth wheel and promptly blew up in the middle of the bridge. I saw it coming, as it's his M.O., but didn't jump around. He just let the gap go and had the balls to wave everyone around. If you can't hold the pace, don't get in the middle of the line!!!! I explained this to him, succinctly, and he said he'd take it under advisement. Don't be a wise-ass either!!! I'm way out of shape and still dropped him more than a couple of times last night. I'll get fitter, he won't...

Anyway, rant about ThePeanut notwithstanding, it was a good ride and I felt pretty good for not getting too shelled.

Poor Joel! The creaking he was experiencing on his Litespeed was actually a broken frame. OutJokin' wants $125 to tear it down and ship it!! Are you fucking kidding me? I'll do it for a pizza. A teardown, especially a fast and dirty one, takes about 25 minutes. I'm sure those bozos will want another $125 to rebuild it...
The best part is the fact that their #1 wrench told Joel that Litespeed would just weld in another tube...! Yeah, good luck with that, considering you can't re-weld Ti, especially 10 year old Ti...
Inspires confidence in their ability to work on your bike, huh? And they're the 'pro-shop' in town...whose racers take their stuff to CC for Tim to wrench on...head-scratcher...

06 June 2007


Isn't riding a funny thing? Last Thursday, I went out with the group, only to turn and ride a loop of the Fort alone. I felt really good. Good legs, good heart and lungs...

Yesterday, I went out early in the A.M. to do the same loop. I had no plans to make any efforts or to even go all that hard. I just wanted to ride my bike. My legs felt iffy, my HR was all over the place and my back felt kind of twingy. I just rode at the pace I felt was comfortable. Granted, it was pretty windy on the Fort yesterday, but not enough to ride poorly. The big kicker in this whole thing is the fact that my ride times for Thursday and Saturday were with 90 seconds of one another. I guess the difference between super and shitty can actually be measured in increments.

I'm going out tomorrow night and make the effort to stay with the group. It should be interesting at best.

The H.O. is gone with #2 this morning and #1 is at pre-school. The house is QUIET. I have some yardwork to do, but it can wait until this afternoon. That way, I can take #1 outside and keep him occupied for a while.

He seems to really dig going to pre-school. This morning was his 3rd day and he just walked in like he owned the place. He's the youngest in the class and there is only one kid bigger than him. I think it'll be good for him to be around other kids. I know it's good for my sanity.

Check out the TRS (Toddler Retrieval System)-

04 June 2007

The 3 amigos

Saturday's ride was just three of us, as 10 folks headed to the mountain for a 100 mile deathmarch loop. You can read about it at RW's blog. Sounds like they had an enjoyable ride and a good time. I really need to sack up and go do that ride with those guys one day. Maybe I'll have a year where I don't injure myself and actually have some form. Even then, I'll likely be the last guy up the climbs.
Anywho, Nick, Joel and I had a good ride on Saturday. We rolled around in Lower Richland for right at 3 hours. It was cloudy and cool, but the humidity was pretty high. TD Barry was bearing down on us, but it gave us some monster tailwinds on the return trip.

My back felt okay. I think riding is good for me right now, but just not too much or too hard. 3 hours is my limit though. I was crampy like a grampy when I rolled into the front yard. #1 was whipping the H.O.'s ass the enitre time I was gone. My phone has blown up twice in as many rides with the H.O. on the other end asking where I am and when I'll be home. Cowboy up honey, I deal with the little terrorist everyday...

This week's review of the Specialized socks is a different one. I didn't actually ride in them. I put them on, slapped the Diadoras on my feet, tightened the straps and quickly decided that the socks SUCKED. They made my shoes too tight and felt way too thick. The 'pad' that they have integrated under the ball of your foot is for shock absoption I guess. In reality, it feels like the sock is wadded up under your foot. I did wear them for the day with my crosstrainers and they were wholly average.
My advice is to stick with Sockguy, DeFeet or whoever you choose to wear. There are just some things that should be left to certain companies.

#1 started pre-school today. The house is eeriely quiet. I'm gonna ride over with the trailer to pick him up at lunchtime. That'll be my ride for the day. I'm going out for a couple hours tomorrow morning though...time to get back on the horse.

01 June 2007

Thursday night

The group met, as usual, last night @ the Circle. I stuck to my original plan of riding out with them, but turning and just doing the Big Loop. The way the plan was carried out was wholly different though. About 1/3 of the way out Hartsville Guard, the pace quickened. Wanting to test my back, I decided to go along until I blew up. I didn't blow up, which came as a surprise. The pace on the last section of the climb was tickling 20mph and I felt just fine. The legs were fresh (10 days of inactivity will do that for you), but I could tell that I've lost some fitness. It'll come back quickly...I hope.
I turned left, put the MP3 player in my ears and did the loop. There was a girl in town from Asheville that stayed with the group on the run out and made the left just behind me. I waited for her and her father and we rode together for a short time. About 1/2 way down Dixie, they started to slow so I went to the front. I rode away from them on the climb and never saw them again. I saw two guys ahead of me on the penultimate climb, so I decided to chase. I caught them at the guard shack just before Golden Arrow.
My back felt pretty good. I can put about 75% power down. Once I have to make a dig, I can feel the pulling of the muscles. I'll be fine in about 4 weeks. Just in time for the 4th of July ride in NC...

The main part of the group is going to the mountains on Saturday, but I'm sure there will still be folks out to ride. If not, I'll get some QT with the MP3 player again.

Next week's product review: Specialized Body Geometry socks. That's right folks, they are making special socks that are supposed to help your feet, legs and alignment...can you tell I'm a skeptic at heart?

I added a couple of links to the right side. RW's racing and wattage blog. Reading it and looking at his wattage graphs will show you that training with power WORKS. I also added Joel's non-cycling blog. It's title in the NavBar speaks for itself.