Thursday, January 28, 2010


from inside my car is not what I would like.

The view I was looking for is this one.
Not going to happen anytime soon unless I hit the lottery.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter is back

After a few days of 40 degree weather we are back to normal. Temps in the teens and low 20's means is back indoors on the trainer. This week is going ok. Monday I start a new training program in preparation for Cohutta and Mohican. I'm going to have to juggle a few things but I'm exited and can't wait to start.
In the meantime I need to hit the Zen Box.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Have been very lazy blogging lately. I sit in front of the computer and think about things to write and just log out. At least training is going well. Have done something for the last 10 days straight. Rode for 2:15 yesterday and today put in another 2:10 in the rain on the single speed road bike, I almost had a heart attack climbing the parkway to Ridge road, a 42-18 is not a 10% hill climbing gear. I almost didn't go out, I got up at 7 and it was still dry, when I opened the garage door it was starting to rain. I took off anyway and just like yesterday, I forgot my bottles. Yesterday I called the wife and she drove to where I was and brought me the bottles. Today, she was already on her way to church so I figure I'll go a few more miles and turn around and go home. I got to route 82 and went up to the gas station and bought a bottle of water, turne around and kept going until I met Ken  and Chuck coming the other way on the parkway and turn around once more and rode back with them. I rode to the covered bridge and started on my way home, Ken kept going Chuck had started earlier and was al;ready on his way home. I thought about riding longer with Ken but I'm glad I didn't my gloves were soaked and when I switched to a new pair they were also wet. Somehow water got into the bag and got them wet. Stopped at Brueggers bagels and you should have seen the look in peoples faces when I walked in soaked to the bone in full rain gear. It's like, just because you are afraid to go out when it rains doesn't mean I'm going to stay indoors. Two hrs in the rain beats 1hr on the trainer anytime.
Now is almost 1 in the afternoon and the rain stopped and it's clearing, go figure, the weather channel said rain all day. Leave you with a few winter shots I took a week ago.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A day of winter blahs and winter gear

Temps in the high 30's this morning meant a 2 hour ride. I almost didn't make it out, got up at 7am but had been awake for a while just laying there thinking on ways to push myself out of bed and out the door. No energy, no desire to go anywhere. Yep, another bout of low hemoglobin, low iron, anemia whatever you want to call it. Haven't had one in a while, they seem to come out of nowhere and hit me hard. Got up had breakfast, got dressed which this time of the year is another chore unto itself and then just puts around for a while but made it out and drove to the park, I didn't know how the roads leading there were so I drove. Pulled the bike out of the car got ready and then little things seem to happen just to PO you. Locked the car put the key in the backpack, left the gloves inside the car. Take the backpack off look for the key, get the gloves lock and...the sunglasses are laying on the front seat. Same routine lock again and the bottles are still in the bag inside the car, I almost threw everything back in the car and went home. Finally I hit the road and went down to the valley up Snowville and back to the park, got back to the car and still had another 20 minutes to hit the 2hrs so I rode another 20 minutes to hit the 2hrs. Went home changed had something to eat and went to the Rec Ctr to fix spinning bikes. Now I'm just going to relax and watch the football games.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Training is going well, had a good week last week. Right now I'm doing 3-4 days at the gym in the am and the trainer at night 3-4 times plus a couple of 25 minute runs. I'm hoping to get out and ride either Sat. or Sunday for 2-3 hrs. the temps are supposed to hit the mid 30's. That's a temp I can handle easier than low 20's. I'm not a wimp when it comes to riding outside but I prefer not to freeze my buns. I would ride everyday outside if I had somebody else to suffer with me.
As of right now the first race is going to be the Cohutta 100K and after that the Mohican 100K. And if I'm not selected in the lottery for the Laramie Enduro, I'll probably do ORAAM again. In between I'll probably do a couple of road races and try to make it to the Westlake crits. We have a long weekend of training in Asheville coming up at the end of March and I can't wait to hit the dirt again.
I'll be posting my whole schedule soon.
Keep on training.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The week after

The week after vacation is tough, specially if you were in a warm place and rode 256 miles in 9 days on your mountain bike. You can't help but dream you were still riding. It was tough to get going this week, but I did.
I took Friday off and hit the gym Saturday afternoon on Sunday it was 1hr on the trainer, am Monday I hit the gym in the am and in the pm another hr with 40 minutes of intervals on the trainer. Tuesday and Thursday spin classes and leg weights. I even managed to run twice this week for 20 minutes each time. I love running, my back just can't take too much of it anymore. Today I took off early from work and went to the gym for 1 hr in the pm. Tomorrow I have 3 spinning classes and core work after. I still don't know what I'm going to do Sunday. I have to sit down and come up with a plan for the year. Yeah, Yeah I should have done it a while back. By the way, I didn't loose any weight and I ate everything they put in front of me but I didn't gain any extra weight either. I'm still 4 lbs from my racing weight of 138 but I already lost 1 lb. I'm just watching what I eat and trying to eat less, I have until April.
I wonder what Z Man is doing now...

Here's some more vacation pictures. This is my friend Mats from Sweden, our Sales Manager for Europe the Middle East and Africa. They traveled 26 hrs to get to PR but they are really enjoying their time. We met with them the day before we left since they had just arrived the day before and were still tired.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weather shock

The weather has hit us hard in Northeast Ohio, some areas received 18 inches of snow in two days. The lake Erie snow machine is working overtime. On my side of town we only got about half a foot. Driving to work yesterday was an adventure unto itself. The roads were very icy and in some places it looked like they had never been plowed. I left the gym at 6am and got to work at 7:40 when it normally takes me about 45-50 minutes. Going down a slight downhill at less than 30 mph the driver in front of me must have hit an icy patch lost control and hit a light pole, the transformer blew up and that side of the road lost power. On another stretch of road that started with a slight incline to a small hill, it took us almost 25 minutes to drive 2 tenths of a mile. everytime the car in front of me stepped on the gas it started fish tailing and then the lady would tap the brakes. I kept telling myself, don't do that, just let it roll up the hill, when we finally made it to the top, as soon as it was flat she turned into the first driveway and put her head on the steering wheel, I felt her pain, it was that bad. I have an all wheel drive Vibe and I was dancing all over the place too. From there on I stuck to the main roads which weren't any better but made it to work in one pc. and watch more snow come down all day long. The road crews did a great job for the afternoon drive home, the roads were all in good shape.

From this...

to this.

And from this... to this. Even the dog is working out inside, doing his daily walk on the treadmill. Temps in the teens and windchills well below that means it's trainer time.

Kidnapping solved

As it turns out, it was all a hoax. The Z-man staged his own kidnapping because he wanted to stay in PR and go on a boat ride wich we didn't do this time since my nephew sold his boat. He did meet the love of his life
And ended up proposing to her, but she turned him down.

She said  he was moving too fast and she has no room in her place for him.
At this time I don't even know how he's doing since he was dumped like a sack of potatoes.
more on this developing story as more news come in.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back Home lll

I forgot to mentioned that on our scheduled stop in Philly our flight was delayed 40 minutes and my daughter saw the lugage crew taking my bike away because it didn't fit in the cargo hold. The plane was a smaller one than the one we took from Clevelan to Charlotte. I'm glad I taped the heck out of that box with 3 inch shipping tape, it was raining hard and they put the box down and the bottom got wet. The tape was the only thing holding the box together. We got to Cleveland and filed a missing luggage report and we got the bike delivered the next day. That's not all, we boarded the plane and USAir overbooked and somebody else was in my seat and the guy was quickly getting irritated because he wasn't going to give up his seat. I told him it wasn't our fault, it was the airlline and he didn't say anything else. I really can't blame him since he had ben at the airport for 6 hours because they cancelled 3 flights because not enough passengers, that's what you get with USAir. Never again, I'm not saving $50 to on a plane ticket to go through all this trouble. After everybody was on board there was 3 seats available and we made it home. My daughters boyfriend was waiting for us and surprised her, awwwww.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back Home ll

Before we left I really didn't feel like prior vacations going to PR to visit my parents family and friends. I never look forward to the traffic and the way people drive there. My wife and I have had many conversations about this and we always end up with the same answer, every country is different and you just have to adapt and drive defensively. My parents live on an extremely busy road and the noise is constant. What a difference from when we first moved there, maybe a hundred cars would go by the whole day. Now there's a few subdivisions and a main road built very close to the house. Other than that it is always good to get out of the cold and have the chance to ride for two weeks without 10-15 pounds of extra clothes on.
The first Saturday I went riding with my friend Angel for a couple of hrs. and we stayed on the road since a shower rolled by early in the morning and we didn't want to get muddy or dirty. This was the only day we rode since he got saddle sores and was in pain. On Sunday I headed out on my own to Pitahaya an out of the way single, double track that takes you to a small fishing village through the mangroves and salt flats. I stopped at the "Viandon" which is the meeting place for all rides in the area and I'm sorry to say I didn't take a picture of the place. This is a small little shack that sells energy drinks, water, beer, tubes, patches and many other things including shots of puertorican rum if you want one. It was 7:45 in the morning and some riders were getting ready for the days ride. They were headed the same way I was but with a few stops and a slower pace than I wanted to for the day. I decided to head out on my own and out and back it was 38 miles 3 hrs 6 minutes of non-stop riding. All the rides but one always ended with about 1 1/2 miles of climbing back to my parents house and I always rode the dirt since it is a very wide road. The rest of the week I rode basically around the same area for at least 2-3 hrs every time. The following Saturday I decided to head back to Pitahaya even though it had rained a couple of days before, big mistake. I rode to the trail head and after an hour of fighting the mud in a few spots decided to head back. The mud there is sticky gum like and it doesn't shed well. It was ok because I slowed down and it gave me a chance to take a few pictures.

This picture doesn't show well hundreds of little crabs scampering when i rode through the water hole.

This is a paved road that it is called the "UFO" road because of ufo sightings. I think that's one of them disguised as a horse below the sign.
Huge salt mound.

Termite colony built on a tree.
My longest ride was a 4 hr ride to the mountains with 2 solid hours of climbing. I thought it was going to be a bad day since i rode hard the day before but it turned out to be one of the best climbing days I've had in a long time. We assembled at a baseball park and took off when everybody was ready, 30-35 riders. the first 6-8 miles was a preview of what was to come with a few up and downs that spread the group all over the road.  I managed to stay with the top 10 in my group with another group ahead of us that had taken off before us. The first few miles I was trying to size everybody up but not knowing anybody I didn't know what to expect. I did identify a few guys that I thought were going to fade at the end. Anyways, the first few miles I was dangling off the back of the group until I decided the pace was to strong for me and I needed to slow down my breathing and heart rate. Once I was able to control that I was able to get into a rithym and climb at a very good pace. I started to pick up the straglers one at a time and finished the climb in the top five in my group. The road was great, very little traffic and the views were great, sorry didn't have time to take pictures until we got to the top. when you go to the mountains to climb you see many things that you don't see in the states, a bunch of little pigs running around the road, chickens, roosters, goats, horses and many other animals.

The view from the top.
We also visited a coffee plantation up in the mountains managed by the tourism department that grows and roast the coffee the old fashion way.
Wife and daughter posing by the water fall. Didn't take many pictures of the coffee plantation, should have.

And now let's talk about the Zen Man. As you know from the previous post he was kidnapped yesterday, but  before we go into that story lets just post a few pictures from his trip.

He was happy but quickly deteriorated. Here he is with his head stuck in the barf bag.

Was he happy or what?

On our way home.
And since he has my temper quickly got into a fight with Red.But they did make up and are friends again.

Now, he's being held captive by a band of geeks that haven't told me yet what the ransom is or what do they want. All I get is pictures of what they are doing to him. They freeze him and then they thaw him out

But like I said, my team of crack commandos is going to make them pay.
Just in, another picture of what they are doing to him. They say he's hanging in there.They still don't tell me what they want. Stop torturing the little man and let him free.

After learning of what Zen is going through the commando team has grown. Many of duty commandos have joined in to plan the rescue mission.