Monday, November 29, 2010
Went riding with Ari and Tobias on Friday morning. With the 30-40 mph wind gusts, my guess is that the temperature was below zero. Ari and I made 20 miles for the morning and hit some ideal gravel on the way home with a tailwind. Due to the cold temperatures my camera did not work so no pics from that. Sunday got up with intent to do a long ride. Started the ride with the Mack and Wheel Fast team members. Was riding the 26 lb monster casseroll. This might have been its last ride seeing as the new gunnar is coming and I am swapping parts for the Trans Iowa bike, so I had to take the salsa on a final long goodbye ride (it will be built up again next year as a touring bike). All the while riding I was singing...last dance with mary jane for the casserolls last long ride of this year. Also, bone thugs'n harmony kept repeating in my head and kept my legs moving. Rode to Virden area with the racers and as they turned I kept going south. The wind was 15-25 mph gusts out of the south, so having the racers to draft off of was nice but now I was on my own. I finished 17 more miles in the headwind to Raymond. This was 47 miles into a headwind for the day. I got some beef jerky, paydays, and gatorade at the gas station to refuel. Apparently the payday candy bar is the new nutrition for the slender fungus so I had to try it out. Rode back with an amazing tailwind and enjoyed the quiet and peaceful countryside. Saw a very cool cemetery dated to 1830 and also saw many country signs that were graffiti-ed, and a few hunters. Rarely passed by cars on the way home it was a nice ride. I finished the day in Washington park and did 5, 2-mile loops to add 10 miles to the ride. Overall, 100 miles for the day, legs felt great...heavy bike was awesome. Look forward to doing it again next weekend. Hope you enjoyed the 45 degree hot spell and got some riding in!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So I was thinking the other day... yes, occaisionally that does happen and some normal, non-sexual, most likely bike related thought passes through my head. Talking with a friend about riding, she said "you ride so much, you don't really think of it as exercise anymore do you?". I was thinking about this question yesterday as I was spinning home in the 30 degree cold after a day of work. Many people ride bikes to lose weight and stay in shape. For the serious cyclist there is a point of transition, where no longer is there anything involved with losing weight or staying in shape, more of just enjoying riding and loving it and if you happen to reap the benefits of cycling its an added bonus. Personally, I was thinking if I ever started riding a bike to stay in shape....nope. I have always ridden a bike for the pure joy of being on two wheels and loving every minute of it, as a side product, I've always been in shape. For me there is nothing better than cruising 15 mph laughing your ass off cracking jokes with friends, training for a hard race, going over 40 mph on a bicycle, building a bike from the frame up, building a wheel...the list goes on. I have an addicition. Its a serious problem, but a good problem, and one that I never plan on losing. A lot of my posts end with...GO RIDE YOUR BIKE, so whether you cycle to lose weight, commute to work, race, whatever it may be...in the words of LL Cool J, keep doin it, and doin it, and doin it well...yea I went there. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 22, 2010
A quick update for the week. Feel like I have a pinched nerve or slipped disc or something in my back and been stretching the IT band on the right side. Did some light riding on wednesday with 20 miles, 25 mile commute thursday and friday, Rode to work on Saturday and did 40 miles in the dark with the lights after work for a total of 50, did a fast metric with the racers on Sunday. I vowed that this would be my last "fast" ride of the year in order to start slowing my roll for the trans iowa training. We made it count as we hit top speeds of 41 mph on the flats. Winds on Sunday were 25 mph and made riding miserable. Hope to squeeze a few miles in this week before the holiday festivities begin.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
What have I gotten myself into. Read Guitar Ted's post for a little piece of the pie. Trans Iowa is a 300+ mile race on the gravel b-roads of Iowa. This race is very hilly. This race is very long. There are 100 people starting this year and only a handful will finish. Conditions are unpredictable come mid april so you never know if its going to be a mud pit or just wet gravel. I am riding with two veterans who have ridden this race going on 4 times now...Ari (his background is a hill much like T.I. will have) and Dr. Giggles from upstate NYC. Also, a friend of theirs Pizza Dan from Chicago has made the roster, as well as my buddy Russcle (hellmut) who is doing this race for the second time and resides in the old country of DeKalb. My good friend Richard has also signed on for support and driving our sorry asses to the race and back home, and helping with ideas on bike setup, motivation, alcohol, good music, etc. So, 5 of us will spend the winter months training our frozen asses and cocksickles off and talking about bike setup, tires, gear ratios....etc. I will be recieving my Gunnar Crosshairs soon and start training madly on hills and as much gravel as I can find in central Illinois. I plan on doing back to back century rides, riding off hours of the night aka starting my ride at 2 am or 3 am to get a feel for being on the bike in the dark (trans iowa finishers usually spend 30 hours in the saddle), doing a long 200 mile ride from here to DeKalb, and other crazy shit like that. Speaking with Ari last night...this is a goal of his, and a goal of mine. A new challenge to put all of my mind and effort into...this is my new dream, to finish the trans iowa. Also, a side note....I will be turning 26 years old immediately after this ride, it takes place on my birthday weekend. Can anyone else think of a better birthday present?? Many more posts to come on bike setup, the new bike, training rides, random thoughts....yada, yada. Keep reading, and more importantly...KEEP RIDING!
Monday, November 15, 2010
The "emergency" plan
Racing the sunset on the commute home
50 miles with the racers
Listened to my favorite record....still great nearly 12 years later
Been commuting and riding as the sun has been setting earlier and earlier. Having a fair amount of tension on the lower back and right IT band. Gonna take this week pretty easy and make sure everything gets stretched out. Rode 50 miles with the Mack/Wheel Fast racers, could already start to feel a little bit of racial tension between the two colored kits, blue/red vs. black/white/red as the wheel fast team develops. Ride was windy and chilly, but glad to get out and ride....invested in some blue moon with Mark Shea afterwards. Been pulling out hair wondering if I am into the Trans Iowa race yet. Should be a post later today or tomorrow to comfirm or deny this. Think gravel thoughts for me.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Someone had to do it....Matt man-ed up and bought the 11-speed Athena. I drooled a little on how clean and polished the new campy stuff looked. Very reasonable for a new road group as well. As long as the euro is in the toilet you can get a steal on a good campagnolo group...come in and order one today!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Made it half way to Louisiana, MO. Nice shot Ferg!
Hill was 1.25 miles at 17% Grade. Ferg grinding with Dale in the background.
Flew 50 mph downhill to see this waiting....f#$k
View from the top....gorgeous
The "autobus", wool jerseys and knickers...all smiles
Legs burning and starting to cramp, happy to see this sign
Decent food, horrible service, good friends
Drove to Hannibal, MO this weekend to ride the hills. Had missed a couple of these rides this year and was very anxious to get out and do one myself. Group of nine strong riders including, The Haltermaniac (aka LS), Andy Lister (aka Robo Jr), Ferg, Dale, Mark Shea, Nick Ramirez, Dave S., Grant, and myself. The hills start immediately when you start riding. By the top of the climb we were already taking vests, gloves, leg warmers off. Temperature grew to be 65 degrees out and we had an awesome day for riding. Cruised up some huge hills and made it to Louisiana where we all refueled. On the way back the pro peleton decided to go race pace and see who had the bigger dick while leaving the rest of us in the dust. This ended up being a blessing because the "autobus" was assembled. Dale, Ferg, and I rode at our own pace enjoying the scenery and taking our time up the hills. Afterall, its November....lets just be on our bikes and have a good time, no need for race day foolery on what was supposed to be a casual "no-drop" ride. Anyhow, the autobus laughed about biking antics and light-saber noises coming from electronic derailleurs and completed the ride with smiles on our faces and wool jerseys on our backs. Great times in Hannibal and I can't wait to go back for more torture. Well over 4,000 feet of climbing accomplished.
Friday, November 5, 2010
85 mile ride on thursday with John Halterman aka the Haltermaniac. Cold and Windy day with 20 to 30 mph headwinds. Rode out to New Salem and back and got 2300 ft of elevation climbed according to the haltermaniacs garmin. Heading to Hannibal, MO this weekend with a good group of friends to do some more hill training 70 to 80 miles....looking forward to it! Ride your bicicletas.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Mountain and CX bikes
Met the crew after work to do some mountain bike laps in the church trails and do some gravel alley riding. Did about 25 miles for the day, nice to get out with some people in the cold and still have fun on the bikes. I purchased a Light & Motion Stella 120 front headlight. With the Dinotte on the helmet and the stella on the bars....it is a perfect set up. With both lights on the lowest setting you can still see the trail very well. Running the planet bike super flash in the back. Happy to have the light set up complete and now can focus on the night riding. Planning a metric for tomorrow...get a hold of me if you want to tag along.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Only rode about 80 miles total last week after being cold and windy all week. Also, feeling sick myself so I took it easy. Went to the Campton Hills cyclocross race this weekend. Hung out with the DeKalb crew and saw a lot of cool bikes at the race. Everyone was in costume, lots of kids on the bikes, good to see everyone out enjoying the sunshine and embracing the haloween spirit. Was a great time and brought a smile to my face. Also, saw an original salsa...check it out, that thing is rad! If you haven't been to a cyclocross race you really need to go just to experience what a party it is, so much fun!