Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Full Moon = cold

Took a picture of the moon this morning at 5:30 on my ride in to work.
It was cold but not as cold as my first ride where I had to chisel the ice of my coat after going down the hill in Brecksville. Chose to ride my road shoes with toe covers and booties and paid for it. I don't care how warm is going to be in the afternoon I'm wearing my Pearls winter shoes. I've been at work for 40 minutes and my feet are just defrosting. Hooked up with the 50/60 cadence boy at the bike and hike and this time I said "adios amigo" and spun away from him not to see him again.
Going to the Mid-Ohio race on Saturday to find out where my fitness really is, Cohutta is almost here.
Have a great warm day everyone.



Monday, March 29, 2010

Asheville long write up

Great trip to Asheville. We arrived at the house around 4:30 and quickly changed and went out to ride the trails at Bent Creek. We rode for close to two hours. Some of the trails at Bent Creek you work your tail off but there's always a payoff. Ray and I rode our SS and I swear Randy took the steepest trails he could find to make us work hard. The second day we drove to the top of a gravel road next to the Blue Ridge pkwy. parked and rode down 5 miles rode about a mile of flat gravel roads and climbed another 4 before we went down again to hit a trail that would have been a lot more fun if we didn't have to stop to walk around the down trees. Asheville got a lot of wet snow and ice and every where you went many trees and branches were down. We got to a point were it was a tree down after another, I turned around and Ross went to get the guys. On the way down I stopped a lot to move branches out of the way so the guys could have a better ride down. So nice of them to come flying down the mountain while I was moving branches go by me not to see them again until I came out of the trail. I should have put a thick branch through the spokes as they were riding by. On the way back we had to climb the 5 miles we went down and I put a good effort in to test my fitness and see where I'm at for Cohutta. I felt good climbing and I'm glad I went out hard, I feel I'm stronger this time than last year. Ohhhhh but I paid for it, the next day we went to Dupont State Forest which is one of my favorites places to ride down there. I knew as soon as we started that I didn't have the legs, the first 1.5 hrs I spent them trying not to get dropped, It was the rubber band effect strech strech strech until I finally ask to show me where to hit the paved road back to the parking lot. Tiffany had already left us and I got to the parking lot first and didn't see her there I thought something happened. No, Bruce neglected to tell her (and me) that you had to make a right hand turn at the intersection, she kept going straight down hill for another 3 miles and had to climb back. I only noticed because I happened to lift my head as I was riding by the sign that said "pavement ends"
I didn't think we had driven on pavement o the way to the parking lot so I turned around and saved myself having to climb back 3 more miles in the state I was. after resting a bit at the parking lot I decided I wanted to do Ridgeline trail at least once. Any trail that is named Ridgeline has to be good. After riding that trail last year I knew I had to do it. It's 1.5 miles long and they should rename it "one and a half mile smile" It just goes in and out of the woods as you hit mach 5 speeds. Well, I didn't once and went back up again and again until I did it 5 times. The climb is very mellow and I just took my time. I kept doing it because the guys had to go down the same trail and I was expecting to meet them somewhere on the trail. Well, I never did see them because the last time I went up I went into the kids riding area to ride and that's when they went by. I rode to the trail entrance dropped the bike and laid down to take a nap and wait for them. Finally after almost 1.5 hrs I thought something was wrong and started down the trail only to find Frank and Ray walking up looking for me and telling me they thought I crashed somewhere never to be found again until the voulchers started circling above. Man I felt so bad I didn't even wanted to go to the car. I knew they wanted to kill me but they were very gracious and didn't hurt me.
We ate dinner at a different place every night and the food was great.
Sunday it started raining in the early morning and we didn't get to ride before leaving but we were all happy with all the miles and hours we had logged in.
Overall we had a great time and I can't wait to do it again.
thanks for the great time guys and gal.
Few pictures below and a couple of short videos. I need a new camera, a lot of time it didn't turn on, it didn't focus or did anything for that matter. I know I know, I've said it before, I'll get a new one sooner or later.

































































Always smiling, what a great attitude.





































Group picture




























The "Big Rock Trail" was the one that did me in. After we climbed the east coast slickrock I was done.










































video video

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back form Asheville

Short write up. just got back a couple of hrs ago from Asheville. Lots of good riding at Bent Creek, Pisgah and Dupont State park where my legs finally said enough is enough. Plus I'm alive because I was able to out run my riding partners, they wanted to kill me after I made them wait 1.5 hrs at the car while I waited for them at the top of the hill thinking they had not gone through yet.
Long story I'll finish it tomorrow plus a few pics.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off to

Asheville, NC tomorrow morning for a weekend of mtb riding and training. Planning on doing Dupont State forest and Bent Creek. Hopefully NO Pisgah this time, I'm not ready for technical trails yet, this will be the first time out on dirt this year. Hopefully the weather here will be dry the first couple of weeks in April so I can put a few miles on the dirt before Cohutta.
We are renting a house right inside the Bent Creek area where you roll out of bed and you are on the trails. Taking both SS29er and the Orbea.
May not be able to post while there but I'll have plenty of pictures to post when we come back.
Talk to ya later.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New saddle

After I chest planted at Findley State park last fall my saddle came of the railings and was all twisted off I put a road saddle on the Orbea for a while. It did the job for the fall and winter bike path season but it was time to get an mtb saddle. I bought the fizik Gobi which has some wing flex. This weekend in Asheville will be the first time on it. Should be no problem, it's the same design I had before. It does look good on the bike. Speaking of which, I spent the evening installing new tires on my spare wheel set, a Specialized captain control 2.0 for the front and a Maxis Ignitor 2.35 for the back. I want the bigger volume tire on the back. This is just a trial run to see how they work. When changing tires make sure your air compresor is only at 60psi. Yours truly forgot to turn the knob down from 100psi and the tire completely popped of of the rim. My left thumb is still throbing and "what, did you say something I see your lips move but I can't hear anything". My wife came running downstairs and I'm like, ahhhhhhhhhh what happened. I felt pretty stupid, probably looked like it too standing there holding a rim and no tire on it. Needless to say I made sure the knob was turned down when I went to use it again. I had to use the Maxis since the other tire I was going to install frayed on the sidewall. It's probably good with a tube.
I'm going to bed and hope my hearing comes back tomorrow morning, I hope I can hear the alarm go off at 4:06am. Sleeping in "sounds" good too.












Sunday, March 21, 2010

Good trail day at the knob

Good work day today at the Knob, a good crowd showed up and a lot of work got done. Cut in a new trail that's going to be a lot of fun for the racers. The guys at 331 Promotions are doing a great job there, support them going to the races. The first one is coming up soon on April 10th. Maybe another trail day before the race to finish up. Come and you get burritos for lunch for working a few hrs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Never Ever

eat Mexican food at lunch and have two cups of coffee an hour before you are riding back home, plus a Hammer chocolate gel. To top it all off, the wind was blowing in your face the entire ride, you are not feeling well, you know the ride is going to hurt, you can't stop thinking all afternoon how much is going to hurt and what kind of lame excuse you are going to come up with if somebody comes from behind and passes you like you are standing still. You hope you don't run into anybody you know on the way back. What excuse are you going to give them for riding so slow. Oh, but I had a plan. I never take my (12lbs) backpack with me on my ride back home, well I packed it real good with everything I had wore in the morning and...I left the light mounted on my helmet, yeah, that'll show them that I'm just commuting and have an excuse for riding slow. But getting back to lunch, I had Huevos con Chorizo for lunch and normally I feel good. Not this time, my stomach just wouldn't shut up, had to get up and walk more than I ever do and pay a visit to all my good buddies in the plant. Visited the can twice before I left and that's not all, I visited 3 port-a-potties in the metroparks on my way home. It got to the point I was just laughing at myself. I'm really thankful to the metroparks for the potties, this time of the year you can't run in the woods because there's nothing to hide behind. It was the most miserable 35 miles I've rode in a long time in pain and suffering. I almost made the call of shame but I'm to stubborn to do that. I'm glad I didn't because the last 4 miles my body somehow finally adjusted and I rode home pain free. It may have been that my last pottie stop was just 7 miles from home. I feel much better now, thank you.

The bike and hike seems like such a long path when you are not feeling well and the wind is blowing in your face.

Another

nice day to ride in to work. Today was a scheduled day off in the coach plan but With cold wet weather coming back next week, it's better to take advantage of the day. 2-3 more hours tomorrow and I'll have almost 20 hrs for the week.
When i hit the bike & hike I saw another light on the trail and I thought it was a rider I ride with once in a while and I kind of waited for him. It was somebody else riding an mtb and he was spinning no more than 60-70 rpm's, I thought I heard him grunting when he tried to say good morning, spit came flying out when he did say good morning. The temps were perfect with just a few cold pockets in the park.
Sunday I'm going to the Knob for a work day on the trails and probably do nothing else the rest of the day. Next weekend is Asheville and I can't wait to hit the dirt and get some good off road riding in. Pics tonight when I get home.
I wonder what Zen is doing now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Warmer in the afternoon

The ride home was great, temps in the low 50's and sunny. Total for the day 65 miles 4hrs 1 minute. Did get yell at by a dog walker on the bike & hike. No leash, the dog is all over the place so I politely ( and I was) asked him to get the dog and when I rode past him I told him he's suposed to be on a leash. He though he'll be funny and in sarcastic way said "thank you". I told him anytime he needed advise I'm there for him and he let out a few, I just kept going and didn't say anything else. My job there was done, which is P O people on the path, and I enjoy it too. I also saw to many dead racoons and other small creatures by the side of the roads. It's a shame, I hate seeing dead animals.
















Another year, another picture of a happy cyclist face. This picture turned out better than I thought.

NICE


cold ride in today. I've rode fall and winter and my toes never got cold even when it was raining until today. I left the house at 4:55am and it was 33 but as soon as you hit the parkway it drops at least 3-5 degrees and more in some pockets. My hands which they usually get cold doesn't matter what gloves I wear even with heater packs felt nice and toasty. Met up with another rider going my way and rode together for about 45 minutes and I even think I saw Brett riding the other way, I'll have to ask him if it was him. Brett is training for the TransIowa race.
Anyways it was a good ride in except for all the skunks skunking up the road the first hour of the ride, wow. Took it easy and made in 2:01. Now I'm ready to eat, work and get ready for the ride home.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting ready for...

riding in to work tomorrow.
tights, check
wool socks, check
winter shoes, check
under armour, check
long sleeve jersey, check
jacket, check
gloves, check
head gear, check
heater packs, check
fully charged helmet light, check, I think
Switch pedals on the bike, check
5 blinking lights, I like to be seen ok, check
extra clothes for the afternoon ride, check
work clothes, check, took them in today
backpack, almost ready
set alarm for 4am. check
out the door by 5am ?
did I forget anything????????

First time this year, usually I don't start until late March but the weather is right. Let you know tomorrow morning how the ride in went.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another Beautiful Day

for a ride down to the park. Yesterday I turned around at the Farview Park iron bridge because I went out too late and didn't take lights with me. Today I rode to the boat docks with a stiff breeze blowing once in a while, but it was all supose to be Z3 anyways. Nice tail wind coming back. I really enjoy riding the path all the way to the boat docks during days like yesterday and today. Don't get me wrong I do prefer warm and sunny weather but if I'm riding the path I prefer cold windy and wet, this way not too many people are on the path. And no, I didn't get into it with anybody today, there weren,t enough of them. I counted only 35 people on the path today and most of them were by the maple sugar festival. This time of the year I get really paranoid about riding the roads, drivers are getting used to us again and I'm constanly looking over my shoulder.
Now, getting back to Z3, I don't know about any of you that trains with the zones but I find it very difficult to hold Z3 for long time. I'm always creeping into Z4 and when I get home and download most of the time was spent in the lower Z4. I try to go by feel most of the time. I wonder if I need to adjust my zones, hmmm. The highest I hit in the last month was 187 and looking at the book I'm well within my parameters so, I guess I'm just have to try harder to stay in Z3 during my next long ride. Finished the weekend with 6:15 hrs. Now that we have 1 more hour of daylight is time to start riding to work and doing more long rides in preparation for Cohutta. Riding to work gives me 4-5 hours 2-3 times a week and I can use the extra hours. Cohutta is not an easy race, specially if it rains, lots of fire roads climbing with clay that just sucks you down and zaps all the energy out of you. I always remember the first time I raced there when they had the 35 miler, it rained from 3am to 6am and the 35's were that last group out with over 250 riders in front of you. Back then I didn't have an extra set of wheels and my set up was Specialized fast tracks and within the first 5 miles I had hit the deck 3 times, finally I got smart and lowered the tire pressure to 25psi and was able to ride without almost falling again.
Don't want to bore you anymore but..



COMING SOON TO A BLOG NEAR YOU...THE RETURN OF ZEN
















He's been in rehab since Barbie dumped him, too much wine and booze trying to forget.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rainy days on Saturdays make me smile

No people on the bike path. Only the hardy ones come out to play. I went to the rec. ctr. this morning to fix a couple of spinning bikes and since it wasn't my turn to do the classes I went down to the weight room for an hour. The "Ho" came down after the spinning class and talked me into jumping in the pool for a few laps. All I did for an hour was upper body stuff focusing on the arms. I haven't been in the pool for at least 9 months (Iused to swim 3-4 times a week) but I felt good. Swam 20 laps and I can't wait until tomorow to see if my arms fall out of the sockets. Went home had lunch and vegetated until my daughter called me that she had been hit by a car while driving home. We went to the scene of the accident and everything was fine the cops were there and everything was under control. It was actually a 3 car accident caused by a person turning left not watching what she was doing. Thank God nothing more serious happened to any of them.
After we came back home I got ready and went down to the park on the mtb. It had been raining all day so, like I said at the beginning hardly anybody was there. The wind was actually blowing kind of hard and I had a head wind all the way out. On the way back it was nice. Put in another 2:44. I wanted to finish with 3hrs but I started too late and didn't take lights with me and it was getting dark fast. By the time I made it home it was almost dark and I only had the tail light. One thing about riding in wet rainy weather, it really tires you out.
Do you think this tree will fall into the river soon. By the way this is an old picture, the snow is all gone.
A closer look



































































Friday, March 12, 2010

Warm temps = ride outside

This week has been great for riding. The prediction was for rain most of the week but what we've been getting is temps in the 50-60 and dry roads. Dry roads in the sense that's not raining but very wet with the snow melt or big thaw that has ditches, creeks, rivers and some roads running high with the runoff. Most of the snow pack is gone. The metroparks are alive with a lot of people letting their dogs crap on the trails, joggers working on future hearing aids and running on the middle of the trail and then giving you a dirty look if you "politely" yell passing. Lots of fun indeed. These are the same people that join a gym in January by February they are gone never to show again until next January. They come out in droves at the first sign of decent weather then go back inside for the rest of the spring and summer to sit on their fat... and watch TV or play games. Their arms get real strong pulling the lever on the recliner. Use the treadmill to hang clothes and to brag when they have company that "I run a few miles every night" yeah, right, why don't you dust it off first so you can see the console.
I feel much better now after this ranting, stumbling, fumbling, bumbling session. Nothing better that to let it all out early in the morning.
Don't forget to go out and ride even if it's raining, get wet, get dirty, have FUN.
More ranting to come at a later date.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Last few

days have been nice, sunny and warm for this time of the year. It makes for good riding weather. Saturday I was at the rec. ctr for almost 5 hrs. 2 spinning classes plus an intro class for new spinners and 1 hr worth of weights and core work after spinning. Then went home and vegetated the rest of the day and it felt good. Sunday the bunch was riding early but I decided to ride late because it was going to be warmer in the afternoon. Probably should have gone with them in the morning but it was waht it was. I took off from home since the sidewalks on the main road were clean of snow and rode down to the park. When is sunny it doesn't matter how cold it is people just flock to the park to walk run and ride. The traffic was heavy on the park roads and since I was riding the mtb I hit the path. Runner want a be ahead, head phones too loud, can't hear me yelling passing, running on the middle of the path leads to...almost a fight. Since he couldn't hear me, I waited until I was right on top of him and yelled really loud, he jumped and f me as I passed him. I slammed on the brakes and waited for him, he stops and raises his hands like he wants to fight me, I remained very calmed and told him to run on his side and asked him what was he going to do about his raised hands. Stupid is as stupid does proceeds to tell me I should be riding on the road, I calmly told him "for what, so that a moron like you can yell at me too" he just didn't know what to say, I left it there and toook off glad I was a very "nice" to him.
1 mile down the road was when I started to fill with rage and almost turned around but just llaughed it off and kept going. Rode to the golf course and turned around to encounter a group of "senior ciitizens" on a walking trip. So I start yelling passing from a mile back and nobody in the back can hear me, great here we go again. I start passing and they start yellling at me that I should say passing, I yell back that I did, turn the volume up in your hearing aid. Hands are flying, canes are up in the air, I sense the "Cane" mutiny coming when the ladies at the front leading the walk tell the boys in the back that they heard me say passing. Thank you ladies, I slowed down and thanked the ladies talked a bit about riding with some of them and kept going.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and put in almost 3 hrs of adventure pack riding. There's never a dull moment whhen you decide to ride the path. The rest of the week has been good for training. Monday I rode the SS and I was planning about 3 hrs. but when the sun goes down the temps just plummet and I didn't take my jacket and had to turn around but still ended up with 1:52. Today I brought the bike to work and planning at least a couple hours down in the valley with a few hills thown in for good measure.
Later, go out and ride. This might be the last good day for a while, rain is coming.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What is that in the sky




















Wow, it has been weeks since the last time the sun was this bright. Allthough is still cold, when the sun is shinning it makes you feel warm


I think I'll ride the mtb single speed tonight on the bike path to rest the legs. I've had 4 good days in a row. Monday it was 1:20 on the rollers at high cadence, last night it was 26 minutes on the rollers and the rest on the trainer for a total of 1:43. I don't think I have ever spent that much time on the trainer or rollers in many years. But it was what the coach called for, he must get a high seeing people suffer doing his workouts, but they work and I'll be grateful once the racing starts. Hopefully a few hours on the road this weekend too. On top of that add my spin classes and my legs need a break.
Anyway, lets enjoy the sun while it lasts.