31 January 2008


I rode last night, even though I decided to take a bit of a rest week. My back is flaring up and the rib injury is just nagging me, so a few days of rest seemed to be in order. Unfortunately, the H.O. has been out of town on business, so I've been pulling some LONG days as a domestic God.

I had to get out last night, for no other reason than my sanity. I did a hard HoP loop downtown. Well as hard as I could go considering there were about a kajillion joggers ont he Greenway. I hesitate to call them runners, as none of them were actually running. Shufflers is probably a more correct term.
After I ran the gauntlet of people 'training' for their next 5k, I hit Gervais and went hard from Huger to the Statehouse. The ride continued at a decent clip through Five Points and back home.
I spent little more than and hour on the bike, but I felt better for it...physically and mentally.
I'm ready to start piling miles on the road bike though...and get back in the woods on the crosser. With the weather getting warmer, the Greenway is just too crowded.

I found this on the intarweb this morning...tells alot about some folks in town...

Gaywheels.com Top 10 Most-Researched Vehicles
1. Toyota Yaris
2. Saab 9-3
3. Mazda MX-5
4. VW Rabbit
5. Audi A3
7. VW Jetta
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Toyota Camry
10. MINI Cooper (cough...cough...Doogie...)

27 January 2008

Two very different rides

Saturday was a cloudy, pretty ugly day. Well it was if you wanted to ride your bike in the morning. Doogie, NID and I met @ 9 and headed out through the Fort to The Palmetto Trail. We skipped the first section of the trail and went in just above the lake. On the way out, I tried to keep the pace steady. It was about the same pace as I usually ride when I hit the trail solo. Only we didn't turn around at the gate @ MM8. Instead, we keep driving forward. The plan was to go to Weston Lake and that's just what we did. The trail between MM8 and 9 was really chopped up. I guess the Army has been doing a bit of housecleaning, which usually has the opposite of the intended effect.
We made it to MM10 and the road to Weston Lake. We hopped the razor wire and hit the service road around the lake. The roads had just beed graded, so they were pretty smooth. We made the loop and ended up back @ MM8. Once rolling again, I set the pace about 2 clicks below race pace. If you doubt the pace, either show up and follow me, or ask NID how it felt...!

The pace stayed this way until we hit earthen dam around the lower lake. We just rode on in from this point. 2:45 on the cross bike with about 2 hours of it being on singletrack.

This morning, several of us met @ 9 for a road ride. We did the normal Thursday ride, but turned on Blue Johnson and went up the backside of Mt. Elon. Of course, I sat up to take off the hat I had on under my helmet. As soon as I sat up, Reed hit the front and jacked the pace up the climb. In my struggle to take off my helmet, Oakleys and the hat, I dropped the hat on the road. And as we all know, there's no leaving a Mapei cap behind. It's just bad juju.
I chased and we re-assembled at the top.
From there, we took the usual way in and kept the paceline at a good tempo. Mick attacked early at the sprint and no one reacted, so I jumped, ran him down and won the sprint with ease.

We did the Pineview to Shop extension. Once we hit the light, NewGuyRob took off and forced a chase. NID pulled it back in the middle of the bridge and called for me to come through. Nope, sorry, can't help you. I hung him out and made him pull down to the bridge sprint. I took off @ 300-ish to go and rolled away.

We had a great ride today, even though I had more lungs than legs. 220w average (norm) with a 1250w max effort.

Good ride weekend. Fewer hours than usual, but some good work and quality training.

#1 is at the Spa and #2 is napping...sounds like my cue to hit the couch... ;)-

25 January 2008

Weekend rides

Cold and dreary is the outlook for Saturday morning. A few of us are meeting @ 9 a.m. to ride in the woods. Meet at the traffic circle.

EDIT: The Weather Channel and the local weather morons are calling for some sort of liquid to be falling from the sky in the morning. If no precip, the ride is on. If it's doing something...who knows?

Sunday will be a road ride. 9 a.m. @ the traffic circle for a 3-ish hour ride.

24 January 2008

Another night in the dark

It rained Tuesday, so the ride got pushed back to last night. Doogie and I went out @ 5:45, rode up the street and then it happened. Doogie put down his MASSIVE power while crossing over Rosewood and just sheared the chain right off his cross bike. That's right folks, he's 130 pounds of pure, concentrated wattage.
We assessed the situation and turned around to head for the ManHole(tm). I popped the broken link out of the chain, slammed in a Wipperman link and we were back on the road. Total time lost...@ 12 minutes.
Once we got going, the pace was a bit quicker than usual. Up through campus and downtown, the northside (insert gang sign here...stack them if you wish) and down to the river. The dirt road was a bit wet from all of the rain and Doog chose to follow me through the preferred line. Now he knows what it's like to follow wheels during Paris-Roubaix. When you're on the front, you eat a small amount of your own mud. Anywhere behind that and you are eating your mud and the mud of the guy you are following.
The Greenway was pretty empty last night. Of course, New Years Day was three weeks ago, so a lot of folk's resolutions have gone the way of the Dodo. We did a good, hard effort for the entire length, across the canal bridge and down to the powerplant. Riding heavy wheels with heavy tires on wet pea gravel is good for the soul.
Once out of the park, it was up through the Vista and into a couple of garages. The first one was uneventful. The climb of number 2 was the same. The descent was quiet until a kamikaze pigeon dive-bombed Doogie. I swear, I think I saw a little silk headband with a rising sun on the bird and heard "Bonzai...!"
We made it back through USC and the 'hood and parted company.
I felt pretty good on the bike last night and ended up with 90 good minutes in the dark. I felt like I was hitting a plateau on Sunday, but didn't have that feeling last night. Of course, it was ass-biting cold Sunday morning, which isn't necessarily conducive to good feelings on the bike.

The H.O. left for Darlington this morning to discuss their NASCAR sponsorship deal, so a ride tonight is still up in the air. I'll be getting some GOOD tickets for the Darlington races out of this meeting. Cultivates my redneck side...


22 January 2008

Get some Floyd...


Whether you think he's guilty or not, Floyd brings up good points and is probably right...

20 January 2008

First race of the season...

...and I won!

This morning, I got on the bike @ 9. No big deal...except it was 30 degrees and the windchill was 24. I din't really feel a 'windchill' on the bike, but WeatherUnderground is nuts if they think the wind was only blowing @ 7mph. The headwind on the way out through the northside was stiff. Almost as stiff as Mitt Romney's hair...

Once I got down to the dam, I had the wind at my back. The river was high this morning.

It was running freely, and with some power, over the dam.

Anyway, I turned down the Greenway and stuck it in the bigg-ish ring to do my normal effort. I didn't dig too deep, as it was really freaking cold, but I went a bit harder than tempo.

I did the normal big-ring jam up through the Vista on Gervais and turned to hit the M.C. Escher garage. The gate was open, so I made my way to the top, standing the entire way. I reached the top and decided to rest for a minute. Wrong answer! I heard someone yell in my direction, so I turned and saw a rather large man running for his truck. I was guessing he didn't want to discuss last night's Republican primary, so I bolted. It was on bitches!

I had an entire ramp lead on him when he started chasing me. I went as hard as I felt the cross tires would allow me. They were getting really loud in the turns. I did about 15 full power sprints on the way down and the gap between the truck and I never changed. At the bottom, there a quick, sharp left/right combo to navigate before hitting the street. Screw that! I channeled Andrei Tchmil from '94 Roubaix and just bunnyhopped the raised sidewalk out into the street. I hit the street, dropped it into the 48/12 and was gone...gone...gone! I made the corner and disappeared. It was very Kevin Bacon in 'Quicksilver'!

I rode up through the Statehouse complex, campus and home, adrenalin pumping! The cold was an afterthought at this point! It was an exciting 90 minute cross ride.

Time to load up and go to Lowes...

19 January 2008

Jules would be proud

If you've seen 'Pulp Fiction' more than once, you know what it says on Jules' wallet...
Well, Taylor Phinney is carrying the very same wallet theses days.



I swallowed a bitter, bitter pill earlier this morning...I rode the trainer. God, I hate that thing. I did, in fact, feel like a lab rat, running on the little wheel. I planned on doing a structured workout, but the deep rooted, black hate I have for the infernal machine prevented it. I covered the PowerTap head with a towel and just rode. In my own defense, I rode harder than what could be considered a comfortable pace. I saw no need to venture into the PainCave.

After 90 glorious, junk numbing minutes, I'd had enough. I watched two Freestyle motocross videos and averaged a blistering 205 watts for the 91 minute session.

Welcome to the Southeast regional NexRad picture....

There's just something wrong about this picture...other than the fact it's a shitty cell phone shot.

A Ridley Helium on a windtrainer is just pitiful. If you listen closely, you can hear my bike gently weeping...

18 January 2008

My new Church


In the vein of the link above, I am, in fact, harder than you.
After the H.O. got home last night, I decided to throw a leg over the top tube and go outside for a ride. No trainer for me. The train softens the mind and the spirit. The trainer is akin to the little wheel in the Habitrail.
37 degrees, windy, dark, wet is just generally not conducive to riding a bike. Did I let those small issues stop me? Nope!
I rode last night until my light completely ran out of juice. Nothing says lovin' like 2 hours in the dark. And more than one big effort that hurt physically and spiritually. Funny part? My ribs feel better this morning.
I came home cold, wet and tired. All was right with the World. The cross bike is a mess, but will stay a mess. It likes it that way.

It's supposed to be Belgian in the morning...who will show?

16 January 2008

2 crashes in 3 weeks...WTF!!!???!!!

Doogie and I went out and did a downtown ride last night. We did the normal HoP(tm) loop and added a couple of garages to it, nearly getting lost in the first one. The thing is like a M.C. Escher painting for pete sakes. We went in and went up the ramps to the top, then, as you would expect, we simply turned around and headed back down. Somehow, we ended up in the basement level, never having passed our original entrance. We had to go up a level and around the entire inside of the floor to get back to the entrance/exit. I still don't get it. I'll look closer the next time I ride that one!
We made a trip up past the new P.E. center and into another new garage. I've been in this one three times, but somehow still managed to miss the turn at the entrance and crashed over a curb. I saw it coming, but it was too late to bunnyhop it, and I damn sure wasn't going to tuck and roll on my bad ribs, so I ejected. That's right, I bailed the heck out. I landed on one knee and my hands. No injuries to report, but I did bung up my Ultegra shifters... :(
I got up, dusted off and we continued on our merry way.
We headed across campus, through the old projects and back to the house. Pretty good ride with a couple of efforts thrown in for giggles.
The weather is supposed to be bad Thursday, so it'll probably be a trainer evening in front of the TV, down in The ManHole(tm). I hate the trainer, but I'm not going out on a dark, rainy, 40 degree, night ride through Columbia. That's how children end up getting life insurance checks.

Saturday is supposed to be cold and windy, so I'm questioning if I'll show for the group ride. It might be another long cyclocross ride in the woods for me. Play it by ear...

13 January 2008

Weekend update

The normal 9 a.m. Saturday ride went off without a hitch, and with a really good group. We headed out through Ft. Jackson and lost one at the top of Hartsville Guard. The Velvet Hammer turned off to do a loop, but we bore him no ill will as he has been standing in thigh deep water for the last two weeks. Did I mention he was in Patagonia? No, not the clothes, the actual place!
We headed out to do the Eastover loop and I really don't know what happened or why, but the group kind of took it upon ourselves to ride hard. We rode tempo all the way down Old Leesburg and up the climb. We lost Der Kaiser and the Mrs., as well as RC at the left on Willie Wilson.
Once we made the left, the pace went right back to the hard tempo and continued that way down Chaingang, into Eastover. I finally got a clear run at the town limit sign and showed a clean set of wheels to all in attendance. I can finally pull on the bars, but not with full gusto. It was still enough to put down 1155watts.
Again, we made the turn and the tempo kept up all the way to the GMart. A stop for some food and liquid and we were off like a prom dress. We gathered back up on Airbase and had a GREAT, fast, rolling paceline. Everyone took their pulls and no one tried to show how big their pecker was by making a dumbass attack. Even young Clayton (aka 'Stork') took his turns on the front. That boy will be a good rider one day if he sticks with it!
The theme for the day continued all the way down Pineview and Shop, until the we got into the neighborhood.
It was probably the best Saturday ride we've had in a very long time and will be the way rides go from now until time changes. I averaged 216watts(norm) and 186watts(total)...not a lot of coasting or mucking about! 80km in 2:27!!
This morning, Doogie, NID and I met @ 9 for an easy spin. It was supposed to be a 3 hour tour, but we were all a bit cooked from yesterday. I could have done three hours, but QuickStep isn't calling anytime soon, so we made a group decision to shorten the ride to two hours. It was 48 degrees, windy and just gray outside. 2 hours was enough for me!
It was a good weekend of riding though! Good quality training on Saturday and a nice, easy spinout today.
Time to go to Panera.


11 January 2008

A few observations

I didn't ride last night as I'm trying to let the ribs heal up a bit more. They get better everyday, but damn am I stiff when I wake up. Once I get going, I loosen up and they really don't bother me. Picking up the kids isn't exactly conducive to recovery, but it's part of the gig.

Now for my observations...

I was online last night, looking for some ceramic bearings for my front Cane Creek carbon wheel. I've noticed that if you try to go through a "bike" oriented service, the bearings are ridiculously expensive. Knowing the exact specs of the bearings, I did a general search for the correct size. After about 15 minutes of looking, I found the same bearings that the "bike" oriented site had for $30 each!!! The industrial supply site charged $12.50 per bearing and $5 to ship them priority mail. I got the same bearings for HALF PRICE!!!
Observation? As soon as you put the word "bicycle" in the description, the price doubles!

The H.O. and I have two kids, aka, the management trainees. #1 goes to preschool for 3 hours a day, which gives me time to devote to #2 and to do the housework required so we don't live like Pakistani peasants. About once every 8-10 weeks, #1 comes home with a runny nose that quickly turns into a cold and spreads like the monkey pox to all of us. Well, I've found the source!
One of the other kids in class has some seriously clueless parents. This morning, it was 55 and raining. As I'm pulling into the church, I see the mother of the aforementioned rugrat pushing the baby jogger up the street. The little petri dish in #1's class is wearing shorts and a sweatshirt and is soaking wet. The mom also had her 6 month old baby in a papoose carrier with no cover. The baby was soaking wet! It wasn't like they got caught in a sudden downpour. It's been raining since about 3 a.m.! They probably sit around their house and wonder why their kids are sick all the time!
I'm going to start forwarding our pediatrician bills to them! Morons!

Oh well...
Ride @ 9 from the gate in the morning. I heard a rumor that some aerobars will be showing up for the ride. I'm all for everyone coming out, but if you bring aerobars, stay out of them unless you are in the back.

09 January 2008


The H.O. got out of her duties at The Statehouse last night, so I had the opportunity to ride.
I got all of my poop in a pile, got the bike ready and no sooner did I walk out the back door, it started raining. I said "F" it and went out anyway. I was already dressed and the cross bike is filthy, so no harm, no foul.
Through Shandon, down into Five Points, it was raining pretty steadily. The roads around here are slick in the rain normally, but on a 700x35 knobby tire, pumped to 60 pounds, they are borderline glacial. I didn't even make the effort to cut through USC, as the bricks on the Horseshoe would have likely caused me to eat it.
Once I got across downtown and out to the river, the roads were dry. I did a good, steady tempo from the dirt road to the bridge. Nothing says lovin' like a 3.5 mile effort on a cross bike, on gravel.
I popped up across the Vista and hit a few parking garages. The garage at the Hilton is worthless...too many cars. The new garage by the old DMV building is great, just a bit scary. It's still under construction, so there are no lights. It was pretty spooky, but then again, I am a big wuss when it comes to the dark. The new garage on campus is pretty cool. It only goes up on one end, so you have a flat section that leads into a small rise and then a ramp to the next level.
After that one, I made my way back through Shandon and home. I got a good 90 minutes in the dark last night and still got home in time to see the management trainees off to bed.

Pretty good day, all in all.

06 January 2008

Weekend update

It was a full weekend of riding, injuries be damned.
Saturday was COLD, period! It was 27 when I left the house. I really figured I'd be riding solo, but Nick and Doug showed up for the lunacy. We did a nice, easy, sort of roundabout loop of Lower Richland. I ended up with 82km and 3 hours on the bike. The blue hairs came to collect #1 for his spa weekend, so we all went to lunch. Five Guys in the Vista makes a mean hamburger and fries combo. It should be called 1 lady and 4 Mexicans though...!
After that, the H.O. and I both got naps (first time since, well, forever....) and mucked around for the remainder of the afternoon.
Sunday was Toby's Annual Lake Loop. He expected 25-30 riders...there were 63!!!!!!!!
We did the standard counter-clockwise loop around the lake. It was a really good, fun ride, except for a few dumbasses and dumbass moves. Everything was going swimmingly for the first 90 minutes, until some dipshit decides he has to piss, so he nails his brakes in the middle of the bunch and just stops on the white line. I haven't had that much body contact in a crit, much less in a ride that supposed to be fun. People scrambled and yelled, but no one went down.
The half-dozen tri-dorks on the ride need to learn some pack skills and get off the fucking aerobars. At the 3 hour mark of the ride, one of them just swung dead left, directly across my wheel, without so much as a glance. I guess it's hard to turn your head when your face is buried in your stem...! There will be a 'no aerobar' rule next time, and that came from the top.
The ride itself was pretty middle of the road. Not too hard and not too easy. Pretty much a light tempo ride. I only felt the ribs pull a couple of times, and that was standing to climb. I got good work out of the loop though. I averaged 220watts (norm), 156watts total and 30.5kmh for the 68 miles. That 68 miles also included 4000 ft of climbing! Doug emailed out a GPS synopsis of the ride, but I'm either too tired or too dumb (more likely) to figure out how to link it.
I ended the weekend with 120 miles on the saddle and really don't feel all that tired or wornout. The fitness is coming, I just need to start incorporating some speed work. It was good to see guys that I haven't seen for months and ride with some different folks. If we end up moving oout that way, I'll be doing that loop once a week.
Everyone should send Toby Porter a big thank you email!!! tobias418@hotmail.com
The plan is to do another one of these in the Spring, before it gets really hot. We also talked about doing a Roubaix type ride that would include several unpaved sections.

Anyway, the management trainees are asleep and I'm not far behind. The first full work week in while begins tomorrow.


04 January 2008

Baby, it's damn cold outside

Doogie and I met last night for a downtown loop and it was freaking cold. It was 34 when I left the house and 30 when I got back. 34 in the bright sunshine is one thing, but it's a completely different animal in the dark. We did a short, barely faster than slow loop and that was that. I got home and paced the floor for about 15 minutes in an effort to warm my frozen digits. Fox MTB gloves just don't do the job in sub-freezing weather. At least it supposed to be in the 60s and 70s again next week.

And an observation...

My neighbor has a Prius. She let it run for 30 minutes this morning to warm up. Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

01 January 2008

Happy New Year

Much like the complete lame-o that I am, I was in bed, asleep, when the New Year rang in last night. At 37, I just don't feel the need to go out and act like I'm still 25. That, and the fact that children under the age of 3 don't let you sleep in. They don't care what day it is...

Anyway, 8 intrepid souls met this morning @ 9:30 to do a nice, leisurely 3 hour ride...and that's exactly what we did. A trip out through Ft. Jackson and down into Lower Richland was the loop for the day. It was brutally windy today. The trip out was a beautiful thing. Chatting at 40kmh and just rolling along. The return trip, after our stop at the G-Mart, not so much.
We stayed in the trees until we got to Bluff and everything was hunky-dory. Once we got to Shop, the real wind made an appearance. I can tell you that close to maximum effort was being put down going across the overpass and we were rolling at MAYBE 25kmh.

I had been toying with the notion of selling the Powertap, so it's off the bike. I had forgotten how nice it is to actually just RIDE. No computer, no HRM, no wattage, just the bike. I never looked down at the bars, except to admire the beauty that is my Thomson X4 stem. I couldn't go hard today, as I couldn't stand to climb, chase or sprint. The ribs are sooooorrrre. Sitting on the tops was nothing, but standing, even for a moment brought shooting pain. Let's just say I got a good, grind, seated workout today.
I'm keeping the Powertap. I don't need to sell it and it is a useful tool. I just don't think that rides need to revolve around TSS scores or wattage. Sometimes, you just need to ride your bike and enjoy the day.

Doogie and I are riding Thursday night, downtown.
Normal Saturday ride time, but I may peel off and ride short because...

Sunday is the annual NYD Lake Loop p/b Toby Porter.
When: 10 a.m. departure
Where: Peak DMV
65-ish miles at a piano pace. As Toby put in his email, "This is not a race, so leave your ego shit at home"!!!

I'll be emailing everyone again with the specifics...