October 2, 2012
September 26, 2011
I have about a hundred topics I'd like to talk about, but I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. I'm going to tell you a story. A true story.
This past weekend I was driving in my S.U.V on a country road that had enormous power lines next to it which went as far as the eye could see. Forget the fact my truck is spitting out exhaust, I have the gall to say, "This view sure would be nice if it weren't for all those power lines."
My wife quickly responded, "That makes you sound so old. You need to embrace the necessary and sometimes ugly things in life and look past them."
I took that bit of advice to heart. That afternoon I went on a bike ride. I brought my camera with the intention of capturing beauty in man made objects. While on my ride I was thinking to myself, "I need to look past the ugly..." and no sooner did I think this when a really fat grasshopper tried to cross the road at an inopportune time. the grasshopper jumped into my spokes where he was quickly blended into a grasshopper puree, which was then sprayed onto my leg. It honestly felt like a glass of water hit my shin.
The moral of the story: There is a lot of ugly in the world and not all of it is man made...
OK, maybe that is a bit dark.
The moral of the story: Whether the ugly is a power line or a blended grasshopper; if you don't focus on the ugly and focus on the big picture, things are a lot less ugly.
I looked past the power lines and I saw beautiful mountains. Similarly, the minced grasshopper on my leg didn't keep me from having a great ride!
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
Me: "I need to get in touch with a couple people. I've either left them hanging or haven't chatted with them in a while."
Myself: "Later man, you are riding."
Me: "I need to get my shit together and finish that wheel I've been building."
Myself: "Dude, shut up and ride."
Me: "I gotta find time to finish that level of the video game."
Myself: "Pedal, man. Focus on me for now. I won't let you down."
Me: "Oh yeah, I need to login to finish some work before Monday."
Myself: "Breath. Enjoy the cool air. Enjoy the fact that you are outside."
Me: "I'm out here riding and I should be home doing other stuff."
Myself: "That is it man, I'm shutting down your brain. Breath, pedal, enjoy."
Me: "Ah, I love riding! What a great day to be outside. The rest of the stuff can wait."
Myself: "That's it man! I'll be there for you next time when life gets in the way of enjoying your ride."
January 23, 2011
March 14, 2010
December 12, 2009
August 24, 2009
Then my friend, Terry took it to the next level. Again... Making it look easy. This is even cooler.
We had two boats out on the water. These pictures blow my mind. I snapped these pictures of Rick, who was landing barrel rolls, back-flips, and even trying front flips. These pictures are unbelievable...
I think everyone is familiar with a simple machine called a lever. Well, when you are out of the water and gliding the contact point with the water is at the hydrofoil. If you make a wrong move the hydrofoil will dive down while the boat pulls you forward, turning you into a powerful lever. A lever that puts the brunt of the impact on your head. This is a lesson I learned very well as I had several high speed impacts as a result of that powerful lever doing just as I explained.
August 19, 2009
- warm up.
- 4 sprint efforts from the back of the pack
- 2 3k team pursuit efforts
- cool down
- Warm up: Twenty minute warm. Effort should be gradually increasing to a peak at the finish. First 15 minutes will be in zone 2 and 3. Final 5 minutes will be spent in sprinters lane with heart rate steadily in zone 3 and final lap can peak in zone 4.
- 4 sprints from back of the pack: Exercise requires at least a group of three riders. This drill is intended to practice attacking off the back of the pack and taking your opponent by surprise. In theory, right before an attack the attacking rider needs to allow a bit of a gap between themselves and the group before throwing the hammer down. The idea is to allow the attacking rider to attack while still in the slipstream before passing at full speed.
- Recover: self explanatory.
- 2 3k team pursuit efforts: With a group of three riders the idea is to finish the effort in as little time as possible with a strict no drop policy. Each rider takes turns at the front and communication is key to allow weaker riders to take shorter pulls and stronger riders to pull longer. Along with communication, pace line mechanics is critical to success with the high speed effort.
- Cool down: Allow your heart to recover before ending exercise. Should not get off the bike while still sweating.
- Warm up: Did not track my warm up heart rate so it is not displayed in the graph above.
- 4 sprints from back of pack: There was a group of 4 riders on the track. I have some technique to learn on this form of attack. I understand the theory, but in practice I got a bit anxious when I watched the riders open a gap. I applied the pressure a bit too early, eliminating the slipstream effect and I ended up attacking while on the outside, which eliminated any surprise. Not great, a lot of room for improvement, but like anything it requires practice. We did that a total of four times after our warm up (First four spikes in graph).
- Recover: Seemed to recover quickly
- 2 3k team pursuit efforts: This was awesome! Basically a three person team time trial around the track. The first effort was a bit dodgy. It was the first time the three of us rode together that fast. However, we learned quickly and made decent time. Now the second effort was were it got cool. Not only were we more comfortable around each other, but we started communicating. Allowing those who were struggling a chance to take shorter pulls while those who could handle more took longer. It started to feel like a real team effort, which is rare in a sport such as cycling (3k efforts are the second set of spikes on the graph).
- Cool down:
August 15, 2009
This past Wednesday I picked up my new track bike. The good people at Excel Sports in Boulder did a fantastic job of building it up and fitting me to it. Today I finally got a chance to ride it. I took it out on a spin at the local technology center (empty roads on weekends) to make sure it is dialed in before I take it to the track on Tuesday.
August 14, 2009
I have to post this here so I can have a good laugh any time I want without searching for it.
August 12, 2009
May 9, 2009
Yes, I'm a good old American boy and I measure my distance with miles, but today was a special day. In honor of the 100th running of the Giro d'Italia, I decided to all go metric on your ass. *snap* "Oh, no he didn't", "Oh... yes, I did!"
It was a hell of a ride. It wasn't enough to do a metric century; I had to add a few challenges. For instance, I wanted to come as close as I could to a 20 mph average. Plus, to top it off I threw in a severe sinus infection, just for grins. Yes, It wasn't pleasant to see what I was farmer blowing out of my nose today.
So, the first twenty miles went like clockwork. I wanted to have a solid 20 mph average when I reached the 20 mile mark. I did a short warm up as I cruised out of my neighborhood and then I applied some pressure to the pedals. At mile 19.75 I was at what must have been 19.9999999 mph for an average with 3 minutes before the hour. I was sure I was going to reach my goal. As I cruised along congratulating myself prematurely, I saw a gaggle of geese crossing the bike path about 100 meters ahead.
As I reached them I contemplated bunny hopping over them to keep my pace, but I noticed their were some babies in the mix, and with Mother's Day tomorrow, I did the humane thing (as I always do) and stopped to let them trot across the path. I watched the 20 mph average slip, but it was worth seeing the babies. After they crossed, I got to the 20 mile mark 30 seconds past my wishes.
Well, I didn't let that slow me down, for the next twenty miles I tried my best to maintain my average speed. I did pretty well. at mile marker 40 I dropped a bit to a 19.5 mph average. With 22 miles still to go and an uphill slant the rest of the way I knew it would be a challenge to keep it above 19 mph.
My goal for the next 20 miles was trying to keep the speedometer above the average speed mark. I knew I had a couple of hills coming at the end of the ride, but if I could limit the amount of time below the recorded average speed I figured I was on the winning side of keeping a high average.
The miles ticked away and at the 55 mile mark I had dropped to 19.1 mph average and that is when I hit the wall. Boom! Not literally of course, but my legs did not want to go above 19 mph. In fact 15 mph was feeling pretty hard for my legs. Nursing myself back to my house I managed to keep the average speed to 18.8 mph.
Not bad, I would have really liked to keep the average above 19, but given my condition I'm not going to let it get to me. However, if I had a partner to pace with on this ride. I know I could have done faster than a 20 mph average.
Anyone interested in helping me achieve this goal?
May 7, 2009
April 7, 2009
The decals on the RR1.2 are sick! I fell in love with the rim the moment I pulled it out of the box. Again, not as light as other rims, but the deep dish design and brand made for a strong rim. Plus, I encourage you to enlarge this image. Notice the red nipples? Bling! It was a nice touch to this wheel. This wheel is black and the red nipples looks SWEET when they are spinning.
I actually got the idea from a mountain bike wheel I built for another friend. He had a red Pro Hope II hub and black DT Swiss rim. When I saw how nice that wheel looked, I convinced Dwight to do the same. He wasn't disappointed.
April 6, 2009
March 1, 2009
Going from a six mile commute every day on my single speed to a 110 mile ride is something I wasn't preparing myself for and to be honest, I wasn't planning on doing... Let me walk you through the chain of events a bit.
The century crew was 5 people strong: Chris, Brett, Erik, Jeremy, and myself. We got a late morning start so it could warm up a bit. It was a good idea because when we started it was sunny with clear skies. The air was still a bit chilly, but the polar fleece was more than enough to keep the upper body warm as we rode through the chilly air.
Although I was riding with the century crew I had it in my mind that I would be only hanging on approximately 25 miles before breaking from the pack and heading home. As we approached Golden I was feeling really good, which is when I was really second guessing my plan to ride only 25 miles. I was thinking maybe I could make the century at this pace and this rolling terrain. When we reached Golden I heard Chris and Jeremy talking and then decision was made to tackle Lookout Mountain as part of the century. My first reaction, which I verbalized, was "Oh, Shit!" I haven't climbed a mountain all season and again my thought of completing the century was gone. I conceded to the notion of climbing the hill with the group and then heading back home from the top.
I was certainly the slow man up the mountain, but the cool thing is that Chris, who can ascend Lookout in sub 20 min, hung back and chatted. Taking my mind off the climb and helping me climb. When we got to the top we took our first break and it was there I made the decision to ride the full century.
My decision seemed sold since the next 10 miles were all down hill and I felt great! Feeling like I made the right decision I rode with the crew towards Morrison, more downhill. Here we got on the c-470 bike path, which is up and down. As we continued to go up and down and up and down I felt my legs getting pretty tired. At this point we were at the 55 mile point and I was having serious doubts if I could finish the century.
The group stopped at a gas station and we filled up on water and I munched on a couple snickers bars. Even with the refuel, the next ten miles were miserable. I felt like a tank and my legs were made of lead. This is where the group really pulled through for me.
Most groups I ride with just let the weakest link fall off the back, never to be seen again. Not this crew. We rode as a group the entire way and the group only moved as fast as the slowest rider. That impressed me! Chris, once again pulled through for me and rode along side and talked to me. Offered me food and in general kept me turning the pedals.
Once we got to the 70 mile mark the snickers bars started kicking in and started feeling a lot better. The terrain leveled off and I no longer felt like a tank. I did however, know my limit and I assumed a position of draft and seldom took a lead position. Again, the crew was great at allowing me to just hang on and didn't expect (or judge) me based on my inability to take point.
At mile 82 we got our only flat tire of the day and we took a nice break. At this point I knew I was going to ride the century. Once we got back on the bike I loved watching the odometer as the miles ticked away. With each tick I would do the math in my head on how much more I had to get to the 100 mile mark.
As we passed the REI on the bike path in Denver the odometer read 92 miles and according to estimates the distance from REI to home was about 15 miles. I compartmentalized the extra 8 miles we would need to do beyond the 100 mile mark and decided to deal with it after I reached 100 miles.
When I reached the 100 mark on the odometer a feeling of pride and contentment filled me. At this point I knew where I was on the bike path and just knowing exactly where I was and how far I still had to go in order to get home made the last 10 miles of the ride obtainable.
All in all it was a great ride an and I couldn't have asked for a better crew of riders to join me in accomplishing this major riding milestone.
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
I could just ride the UST tires I have on my DEAN, but they are practically new and they are not a cheap tire to replace. I could have ridden my Surly, but the group was doing a road ride and the single speed was not appropriate. So, I opted to take the slicks off my Surly and put them on my DEAN. The swap was going as planned until I noticed the tire bead of my slicks was not sitting properly on my UST rim.
Ten minutes of fighting the bead and I could feel the frustration growing. At that point I walked away for a couple minutes. I came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth stressing about and I would just order some new slicks that will fit on my UST rim, which meant I wasn't going to ride with the group today. A hard pill to swallow as I was looking forward to the ride.
I walked back to the tires and wheels I had pulled apart and started putting things back together as they were. The Surly got the slicks back and the UST tires fit very nicely on my UST rims, once again. However, after an hour of mucking around I was officially right back where I started an hour ago. Very frustrating!
Did I at least learn a lesson? Sure, I did the right thing in walking away when the frustration started to well rather than trying to force the situation to work. And I'm going to start planning a bit better for my riding needs and getting the equipment I need to avoid these situations and the frustration that follows.
January 25, 2009
Update: I checked in with Chris yesterday and the wheels are treating him well. He has some even better photos of the wheels on his steed (here).
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