Thursday, April 22, 2010


Well, we can all be reassured that the impostor has been removed and the two posts in a week fiasco won't be happening again. At least, not if I keep missing rides.

I always try to leave the apartment at 9:00....but somehow I never make it out until 9:20, which is pretty much the latest possible time for me to leave and still get changed and clocked in on time at work. I really need to get better about preparing all my clothing and everything the night before. This morning I couldn't find my keys for 15 minutes, and after a long search by my wife and I, I managed to locate them. In the trunk bag on the Long Haul Trucker. Yeah, I had put them there the night before so I didn't forget them. That's just cruel. Go me!

Anyway, I started using an alternate route to get home from work. It has a lot more twists and turns, but it has more climbing and adds about two miles, so it is better for getting me in shape. Plus it removes the absolute worst part of my ride, going up a hill on Feedwire road. It's steep enough that I am geared way down and barely moving forward, while traffic backs up behind me and then zooms by when they get the opportunity (and sometimes when they don't).

Now I continue down Little Sugarcreek road and take a complex series of turns that I would never be able to follow without my GPS--and I still make wrong turns a lot.

Managed to make pretty good time on the ride home since I was trying to make it by 8:00--my wife and I like to watch Community on Thursdays. Best show ever.

Speaking of my wife, she is quickly becoming a famous internet blogger as well. Check out and say hi.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I love about riding the road

Two updates in two days? I'd better not make a habit of this. People might start to think I'm an impostor.

Today's ride wasn't too bad--made the morning ride in at an average speed of 14, but I think my ride home averaged closer to 11. It seems hat there was a 30mph headwind the whole way, and that's pretty rough. I know my speed will improve, because as alluded to in the post title, here is What I Love About Riding the Road:

It's easy! Not that it's easy to go out and ride a century when you haven't ridden a bike in three years, but it's this: Keep doing it, and you get better. It's like magic! After years of mountain biking...I still suck. There's a lot of technique to it that I can't figure out how to get right, a lot of balance that I lack, and when I get tired, I tend to ride my bike off the trail and down a cliff.

But on the road? Steering the bike where I want it to go is simple. I have the whole road! ...or at least the bits of the road that aren't full of Car. I don't have to learn to unweight the rear wheel to go smoothly over a log crossing...I just have to keep turning the pedals. It's true that proper gear selection and cadence play a role, but even without those, there are some riders who are pretty amazing on singlespeeds. Turning the pedals magically makes you better.

Keep turning the pedals, people.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Biked in again on Friday. I could definitely feel the exhaustion from the day before though. I left about 10 minutes later than I wanted to, so I had to hurry. I decided to man up and take the road the whole way instead of jumping on the sidewalk to save time (for those in the know, the road in question is Clyo). At 9:20 in the morning there is very little traffic there, so I figured it would be a good move. Seems I was right...I was able to keep the speed up around 17-20 instead of the 10-15 that was manageable on the sidewalk. Overall I made the ride in a good two minutes faster than on Thursday, so we'll count that as a win.

My muscles are not ready for the constant exertion any more legs were killing me all through the wok day, and on the ride home I started to bonk. The last three stops I was sitting at the light, using all my effort to stay upright--arms shaking, hands barely gripping the bar. I may have to start taking it a bit easier on the climbs, though I am really trying to push myself hard to get ready for next month's big ride.

Speaking of pushing myself, I noticed the oddest thing when I started riding again: I began the ride, and I almost immediately felt tired and felt like heading home again. But I decided top keep pushing and see how far I would make it. Oddly, I never started to feel worse. I was feeling bad at .8 miles, but I was not feeling any worse after 8 miles (with large climbs). I guess it's something to do with VO2 max or muscle mass or fast twitch vs slow twitch or whatever the trainers like to go on about. I just know that pushing through pain and discomfort is a vital part of road biking.

More on this topic tomorrow, something I've been thinking about posting for a long time but never remember to. Now I remember, but I want to milk it for another post.

New plan for making sure I bike to work: Run out of money and use all the gas in the car. I think this should tide me over at least until Friday when I get paid again.

Current weight: Uncertain, I haven't been on the scale since Friday. I turned down free ice cream on Sunday though, so I think that's worth spotting myself a couple pounds.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm baaaa-aaaack!

Biked in to work today, and it felt great. Painful, but great. The new route consists 80% of 2 lane roads and 20% 4 lane divided road w/sidewalk---so fr now while I am incredibly slow, I am taking the sidewalk, then I can move into the road as I get in better shape (it's not an urban area sidewalk, it's very light suburban-style with almost no people).

The weather was absolutely fantastic today. Around 60 degrees when I left, and around 78 on the ride home. Who would have thoughht that at this time of year my problem would be getting too hot while on the bike? Anyway, the trafic on my route is indeed quite light, as I had predicted, and the hills were....let's call them "manageable". I was absolutely wiped out when I got home, but then I realized that not only am I out of shape from not riding in a while, but this route has 3x the climbing of the old one--around 900 feet round trip. That'll get me in shape faster.

I have to spend all the time I can riding and putting in miles so that I can be sure and complete the 100 Miles of Nowhere. The CEO at work pledged $1/mile, so I have already been able to contribute more than expected. That started me brainstorming ideas for how to raise more money for Livestrong. I decided to do the ride at work during work hours because I thought making a spectacle of myself would improve awareness, but my current thought it to expand on that: For a donation, I allow (and encourage) my coworkers to periodically come outside and throw water balloons at me as I ride by. Should help keep me from overheating as well as raise a decent chunk of change (hopefully).

I was planning to do a round-trip ride to Young's Dairy (about 60 miles) in preparation, but that won't be able to happen for a couple of weeks. Someone has a route up on Bikely that starts relatively close to where I live now, so hopefully he chooses good routes.

If anyone in the Dayton area happens to glance at this and wants to meet up for a ride, let me know. I plan to do the Young's ride April 24th. Assuming nothing goes horribly wrong.

Current weight: 280. Sigh. It's not as high as it was, but it's still up there. Sad irony of the day: My Fat Cyclist jersey is now too small. If that's not motivation I don't know what is.