Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rain, Hard Rain

Went out for a ride at 6pm. Took the back roads by Valley City and on the way back started sprinkling and instead of going back the short way, I took the chance that I was going to have enough time and took the long way. Well, I was riding when that mini storm with rain and winds hit. I had to keep both hands on the handlebar or risk being blown off the bike. I almost did hit a ditch when I was trying to put on my rain jacket while riding with no hands. It was ugly for a few minutes, too bad I didn't have the camera. I don't know how it was by the house but where I was I swear I got hit with mini hail stones. Never stopped just kept going until the rain stopped and the wind really picked up. At one time I thought the wind was going to pick me up and take me hang gliding. Coming back the wind was in my face and it was all I could do to keep going. Made it to the car got home changed and ate everything in sight. Tomorrow is a rest day which comes just in time, I have dead legs. Thursday I got a sub for my spinning class and I'm riding to work. Have to take advantage of the good weather, rain tomorrow and Friday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law

I'll move when you move.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ride to work

Rode in to work today for the second time this month and felt like cra...
It was another suffer fest but it's my own fault. I only did my spinning classes this week and didn't ride outside until today. Didn't feel that good on my way home either. I haven't been yelled at by anybody yet. Hope is a good sign for the rest of the year. Anyway, I'll be riding to work 2-3 times a week starting next week hopefully the weather will cooperate. I need to start putting in long days on the saddle if I'm commiting to do the Mohican 100K off road race May 30th. Both days I rode to work this month have been cold, low 30's in the morning, the afternoons are better with temps in the 50's. My commute to work is a total of 64 miles round trip and very hilly. Mornings are easy and in the afternoons I do my intervals on the way home. The afternoon ride will be longer once it gets warmer outside.
Rolled home and my wife was wating for me to snap a picture, I was tired. Tomorrow we are expecting rain but it's my turn at the rec to do two spinning classes. That's 1 1/2 hours of spinning and another hour of plyometrics and weights. That should do it for the day.

Asheville re-cap

Asheville is a neat small city (town) in North Carolina. A lot of care free people live there. The place has seven bike shops. Liberty bikes is the place we rented the house for the weekend. It's the only private property inside Bent Creek experimental forest, you actually have to open the forest gate to get to the house. Talk about the gate, we stopped at the bike shop to pick up the keys and drove to the house and I made Ray take the wrong turn at the Blue Ridge parkway and we drove about five miles before we could find a spot to turn around. The gate had a 4 number combination that you needed to line up to open it. None of us could open it. Lucky us there was a guy there pulling a trailer with back hoe and had a forest service key and opened the gate for us. We just left it open for the rest of the weekend. Two days later I decided to take a look at the papers that were inside the envelope with the keys and guess what, they had changed the combination to the lock. The e-mail they sent me had a different combination. Good thing I read it because the forest service guy locked the gate. The place has everything you need for a great vacation, and with no man made lights shinning the stars looked beautiful.
Friday we went to Pisgah to ride and was I in pain the whole ride, we rode for 3 hours and I could not get in any type of rithym. 30 minutes into the ride I was already thinking about going back. It was a suffer fest for me. Bruce Ray and Randy rode great, specially Bruce with his single speed, that guy can ride. Try riding a single speed off road and you'll know what I mean.
Saturday was a better day I was able to stay with the group felt great and the climbing was excellent. Bruce two join us for the Saturday ride. Just in case you are wondering, there's two Bruces. Dupont forest is a great place to ride, lots of waterfalls and great trails. The highlight of my weekend was walking under the waterfall. To get there we rode up on the dry side of the waterfall on this huge piece of granite rock. The second highlight was the last mile, mile and a half, just single track weaving in and out of the woods on a trail that had no roots or rocks on it. 5 of us separated by no more that 2-5 feet flying down the mountain and getting horizontal on the berms wohoooo, what a ride I would have gone back up the mountain to do it again.
Sunday we got up early and went for 1 1/2 hour ride and it was cold, low 30's to start but we had another great ride. Overall we put in a solid 8 hours for the weekend. We are already planning to go back in the fall. Kenny rode the gravel roads and the Blue Ridge parkway since he can't ride off road for a while until his clavicle heals. He had a great time also, Henry kept him company most of the time although I know he would have prefer to hit the trails too. Next fall my good friend, next fall.
Here's acouple more short videos.
video video

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A few more Asheville pics

A few more pictures of our trip to Asheville.































Sunday, March 22, 2009

Asheville weekend

A few pictures, a couple of videos and a quick re-cap of the Asheville weekeend.

Great weather, great times, great friends. Great Thanks goes to Bruce for being our guide for the weekend. I'll post more soon. Just got home and have to unpack.


















Under the falls. You coould walk from one side to the other.






Henry, what are you holding behind your back, hmmmm.









video



video

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A bit of Irish

I guess if you are not Irish, the second best thing is being born on March 17th.
Today is my wifes birthday. Got her favorite cake, the Dairy Queen special.
Happy Birthday sweetheart. Hope it rains or snows next year, it was too nice today not to ride. But a smart man celebrates his wifes birthday no matter what the weather. Man it was 60 degrees out. Yep birthdays are good. The roads were dry too. Happy Birthday and many more.
So many people out riding. Bithdays are good. I bet I was the only one not riding today. Birthdays are good. Birthdays are good, Birthdays are good, Birthdays are good.
Like I said, a smart man pleases his wife, but it was still 60 degrees out and sunny.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mid-Ohio road race

Today I went down to the Mid-Ohio race track for a road race. Bob and Ray also made it down. What a great place to do a road race, 2.5 miles around and no traffic. I guess about 30-40 riders in the 4-5 category. A few very short little hills that really hurt after 30 miles. 15 laps 37 miles total. A couple of sweeping right to left turns at 30+ an hour. It started with a gradual climb that got a little steeper as we climbed. The first few laps where slow and as usual in a 4-5 race, no organization. After a few more laps a small break of 5 riders formed and slowly very slowly pulled away. I have never seen such a slow break get away and stay away for so long. Bob tried to pulled them in a few times and few more of us tried a couple of strong pulls but by the time we started working together it was too late. After the pace picked up we were shedding riders on every lap every time we went through the start finish area because that's were the first gradual climb started and that's where I was hurting the most. Everything there it's either going up or down, nothing is flat. With two laps to go I told Bob to go strong that I was done. Somehow I found the strength to hang in there and out kicked one rider on the final lap at the end. Bob and I
finished in the top ten

Bob and his Vette
After the race.

Sunset in my favorite beach in PR.

I was browsing through a cycling forum in PR and came across this beatiful sunset pictures taken at what used to be my favorite beach in my hometown of Cabo Rojo. I asked Dr. Jim Rivera if I could post them in my blog and he graciously agreed. This used to be my favorite beach back when I was growing up, now when I visit I don't even like to go because it has been exploited in such a way that it doesn't even look the same. But the pictures did bring back memories. Thank you Dr. Jim.











Friday, March 13, 2009

1st road race tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be driving down to Mid-Ohio race track for my first road race of the year. 18 laps 37 miles around the 2.5 mile rack. This is not your usual race track, this one actually has some short climbs and downgrades and a few turns. Should be a lot of fun.
I was getting ready for tomorrow cleaning the bike and getting all kinds of clothes ready for tomorrow ( the beauty of racing in the mid-west) and found my old Kestrel frame. I loved that bike. Destroyed it when it hit the top of my garage driving in. This is how it happenned.
Back in 2002 I was commuting to work Mondays and Fridays on Wednesdays my wife would drive me to work (she's a teacher, no work during the summer) and I would ride back. But in the morning I would go to the gym and then pick her up and drive to work. Well, I went to the gym and came back to pick her up and parked on the driveway and went in to get my lunch. It started raining really hard and since I'm the greatest living husband, I ran outside to pull the car in so she wouldn't get her "hair" wet. She heard the crash and the carbon twisting and screaming in pain and came running downstairs and found me with the front end on the left hand and the rest of the bike on my right hand. She wishes she had a camera at that moment because I look like a little kid that had just lost his candy. After a few seconds I looked at her yell some cuss word and told her she didn't have to take me to work that day and left. Since she's the greatest living wife she called me a couple of hours later to let me now the garage door was fine and it didn't even scratched it. What a relief.
I have searched e-bay for another frame but to no avail. Maybe one day I'll find one because I would like to have one again. It was my first ever carbon bike back in 1992, not many people had carbon bikes back then.

New laptop

Today my boss drove over his laptop by mistake. I bet he felt a cold sweat the same way I felt it when I destroyed my carbon fiber Kestrel road bike on top of my garage. Anyway, we all chipped in and bought him the latest new and improve best in the market laptop.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Good weather = cold time

I just knew that as soon as we start getting good riding days I start getting a cold. I've been trying to take care of myself and stay away from catching a cold but it looks like I'm close to one.
That's why I decided not to go out today even though it is a beautiful day for riding. Better prevent than get sick and loose a week or two. I'm heading down for an indoor trainer workout and a few plyometrics. Sunday I took the whole day off to rest feeling the cold coming. Hopefully I'll be in good shape come Saturday, I'm going down to the Mid-Ohio road race at the Mid-Ohio race track. 37 miles around the track, should be fun.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring?

The temps today were perfect for a long ride. I went out around 1pm and the rain had stopped and even the sun peaked though the clouds a couple of times. What a difference six days make. Last week I fried myself in 25 degree weather and 30-35 mile an hour head wind, same route different result. This time I had a tail wind and 60+ temps. Last week I averaged 13.5 miles an hour this week is was 17.5 riding the mtb out to the boat docks in Rocky River. Tail wind going out means a head wind coming back. As you can see the flags are still stiff as a plywood but going the opposite way as last Sunday. 3:45 last week, 2:48 today. With the wind on my back I decided just to ride tempo for an hour. The only thing is with the warmer temps. out come the walkers.
By the way I ride the all purposse trail when I ride the mtb. I just don't feel right riding the mtb on the road. Anyway between Berea and the Farview Park bridge it was a good ride with hardly anybody on the path. The closer I got to Lakewood the more people I found on the path which makes you slow down and take off many times. Tomorrow is supposed to rain again hopefully I'll be able to ride for a couple of hrs in the afternoon.




They were out in full force today.
Remember this pond was frozen solid last Sunday? See last Sundays pictures.

To each its own. Can't see myself fishing unless I have a spear gun in my hands. But if you like it more power to ya. Maybe I should take on fishing just to relax, hmmmmmmmm.

Met with Ken, Karen, Bob, Maggie, Henry and Rick at Ken's new Fresh Start restaurant in Downtown Chagrin Falls. Great place great food. Stop by sometime they are open for breakfast and lunch Sunday through Wednesday, the rest of the week they are also open for dinner.
Aterwards we took a walk to the falls and I snapped a picture. I'm planning on going there again soon I'll try to get better pictures.



Hinckley lake before Thursdays ride.






Friday, March 6, 2009

The EKG

It was the fastest EKG ever in my life. I remember when I was at the hospital with Reumatic fever, joints all swollen could hardly walk or move they rolled this huge piece of machinery and it was the EKG machine. It's amazing what modern technology has achieved. The EKG machine wasn't bigger that a laptop. She hooked me up and it was done in less than 10 minutes. I got up at 6am an even after an hour of being up and walking around my resting heart rate was 45. A couple years ago I got it down to 38. The nurse was amazed. I guess it came out ok.
Did my spinning class today wishing I was riding outdoors, 64 degrees and windy. Tomorrow is supposed to rain but it's going up to the low 60's so I'm riding. Mountain bikes to the boat docks again. That's a 42 mile round trip all flat on the bike path since it's going to be raining.
Last night it was Hinckley lake for 6 laps good for 20 miles. Good place to train with a little bit of everything.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Finally the weather is getting better

Looks like the weather is finally turning the corner. I'm looking at Monday for my first commute to work this year. I can't wait to get on the bike & hike and start chasing rabbits. I hope none go through my spokes like last year. Tonight I think I'll either go ride at Hinckley lake or ride the path. I'm also seriously considering riding in tomorrow but with a spinning class at 6pm I don't know if I can make it on time. Normally two hrs is enough to make it but I'm not in hammer time mode yet and I ike to be there with plenty of time to set up. Hmmmmm. There's also a 40% chance of rain and riding in cold rain is not funny. You really never get warm enough.
I'll decide after tonights ride. On seconf thought, I can't ride to work tomorrow, I have an EKG scheduled for insurance purposses at 7am. I had reumatic fever when I was 15 and I have a couple of heart murmurs that sometimes they can find them sometimes they can't. I'm looking forwards to see waht the EKG says.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better times

Well the x-rays confirmed that Ken fracture his clavicle and maybe a broken bone in his wrist.
It was a nasty fall from about 2-3 feet high to a cement floor. It looked like he landed softly but nothing is soft when you hit the cement floor.
Thinking about that, he says this picture made him feel better. It certainly makes me feel bettter.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Rays MTB Park

That place was awesome. I have been hounded by several people to go to that place and I never want to go because I thought it wasn't my type of riding. I tell you what, it is my type of riding. The place is totally wicked lots of berms narrow wood platforms, jumps, several short little hills, obstacles you name it they have it. I was there for about 1.5 hrs and had a blast.
Check it out Rays MTb Park. The only bad thing was that my friend Ken fell going over a bunch of logs and separated his shoulder, I hope he is OK.

The after effects

After yesterdays ride I feel like I just did a 100k race. The knees are sore from the effort of pedaling against the wind yesterday. The alarm went off at 4: 06 this morning and I just rolled over and slept for another 1.5 hrs. Tonight we are going to Rays Mountain bike park click on the link and check it out. It's the only indoor MTB park in the US and it's in Cleveland. Beginner night tonight, I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Survival of the windiest

I left the house today at 1:30 for what was going to be a 2.5 3hr ride. It turned out to be a suffer fest from the beginning. I rode my Orbea which is my racing mtb and when I left the house I thought something was wrong, I wasn't moving very fast and the ride out of the development is all a slight down grade. Finally I realized that it was so windy I was pedalling downhill and slowing down. 25 degrees at the start and it had dropped to 22 by the time I got back 3.5 hrs later. 10 minutes into the ride my heart rate was up to 150 beats a minute trying to fight the wind. I was spending my quarters to early into the ride. I have never done this but since I was going to ride the bike path all the way to the boat docks in Rocky River I decided to take my MP3 player. As soon as I hit the path I turned it on, it helped keep me focused, there was times I wanted to turn around and head back home. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the wind on my back on the way back. Like I said at the beginning it was a suffer fest my heart rate stayed at 150+ all the way to the boat docks, my suitcase of courage was open and clothes were flying out. Once I got to the boat docks I took a picture of the flags and as you can see they are as stiff as a piece of plywood nailed to a couple of 2 x 4's. I spent 10 minutes in the bathroom with the hand drier going full blast to warm up. A cop came in and gave me a look and I just said "it's just a tad cold out there" he laughed and said "have a good ride back". Well the ride back was great for the most part, the suitcase of courage was open but I was picking up all the clothes that flew out on the way out. But I should have known that I wasn't going to have the wind on my back all the way back. That's the way it is down in the park, you will have a head wind going out and on the way back it swirls. I had a tail wind for about 3/4 of the way back.
The wind was so strong that you turned a corner and it was like hitting a wall. I averaged 13.5 miles on the way out and 15 on the way back. I burned to many matches, spent to many quarters and lost to many clothes form the suitcase of courage to try to ride any faster. To top it all off, the last 45 minutes I didn't get a drink of water since the second bottle had frozen solid.
I got home and started taking all my layers off and I didn't even realized how much I was sweating I was completely soaked in sweat. The rest of the week it's supposed to be cold and the temps are going up by the weekend with rain coming in. Looks like another week on the trainer.
One last thought, I maybe suffering now but I know I'll be ready once my first race comes around.

I thought this was interesting. The bridge has a crack and water sipps out through it and it froze solid. Just an idea of how cold it was.

Just snapped this picture by mistake.

Hockey anyone. Just a few days ago this pond was almost clear of ice and know it's almost completely frozen again.