Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Sunny Sunday

Feeling much better today. Yesterday's weather gave me a major case of the mumps. Today was near perfect weather, at ride time temps were mid 50's with only a slight breeze and all the sunshine one might want. I took full advantage and got out for one of my favorite road loops. Right at 50 miles and a hair under 3 hours ride time.
The ride started out terrible, however, just about a tenth of a mile from my house I had a car buzz me. This car's side mirror couldn't have been more than six inches from me. I usually don't make gestures at cars, but I couldn't help my self on this occasion. Then about 200 yards later a car passes me and immediately attempts to make a right turn. WTH? This driver wasn't more than 15 feet ahead of me when she attempts to cut me off with the right turn into a church parking lot. I slam my brakes and come to a stop right beside her. I motion her to go ahead, she looks puzzled but finally takes the right into the parking lot. I don't see why cars pass and then wait for you to go around the side. I wish motorist would learn to slow down and wait for the cyclist to clear the turn area, that way there is no confusion. Anyway, both those events happened within a span of 30 seconds, I thought it was going to be a rough day on the road.
Here are a few pics from today's ride

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturdays Suck

Lately Saturdays here in NWA have really sucked on the weather front. Today's weather was the epitome of suck: rain, sleet, snow, wind, and cold temps. I now work at High Roller on Sat. so my training is split into early morning and late evening sessions. Usually not a problem. Today an early morning workout would be me fighting sleet pellets and an after work session I would have been fighting heavy snow. I opted for a few adult beverages post work, my inner fat-man wants out!

Tomorrow looks promising with temps in the low 60's. Gonna take the road bike out for some good-good road lovin'.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No More Bike Path

Something has been missing this year from my training routines. Commuting to work is a major part of my training. I use the commute for recovery, I can get in a short time trial, most days I will do my training rides straight from work, and most of all I can get in some hill climbing work on the ride home. The ride to work is pretty much all downhill, but coming home I can really hit some lung-busting climbs.
However, late last year the bike trail was completed all the way to work. About 85% of my commute can be done on this paved trail. Wonderful, right? Not really. The problem, the trail is pancake flat. So pretty much for the last 6 months I have been avoiding climbing on a daily basis. I've been taking the easy way home and I think it is starting to affect my climbing
Well, no more. Starting today I took the hilly way home, climbing up Woolsey by the VA Hospital and then exiting Wilson Park by climbing up to college instead of going around the park on the flat side. It's a start.
Rain is in the forecast for the next two days with some accumulating snow on Saturday. My ride at Lake Leatherwood on Sunday will probably be a no go due to wet trail conditions. I'll keep my options open and train when and where the weather dictates, gotta be flexible.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mellow Weekend

It was definitely a mellow weekend, a little training but more time was spent socializing and hanging with friends. I really enjoyed myself this weekend and had a lot of fun. I didn't worry about getting on the bike or hitting the trails for a run, for a change. I'm not saying these types of weekends will be the norm, but it is good to throw one in every now and then. I feel recharged and ready to tackle some intense training weeks. A few pics from the weekend

High atop the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs
A couple drinks with Susan

Saw this t-shirt in a gas station, only in Arkansas

Jill and Susan's child, Charles hamming it up for the camera

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hey, You Should Blog About That

My sister often says this to me, I never know if she is poking fun at me(she doesn't blog) or if she is really speaking the truth. Tonight she spoke those words and I knew she was right, I should blog about this.
I've had this old Takara road bike sitting outside the house for some time. I rescued the bike from just outside a dumpster. Finally got the bike up and running tonight after over three months. She's a beaut, everything works, just a few adjustments to the set screws on the ders. I love fixing up old bikes and giving them to people who will use them. It just makes me happy to get others out on two wheels. I had a great time fixing this bike up.
Great mountain bike ride today after work. No one showed up for my off-road group ride, but I rode anyway, knocking out a solid three loops around the lake. I'm really loving my 29er singlespeed. It makes my local trails fun and challenging again.
Possible Du this weekend, link

Trails were busy today. The weather was perfect, highs in the upper 70's and sunny

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Hour on the Job

First day is in the books at Highroller Cyclery, actually it was only an hour of work. I will be working for my friend/owner of High Roller Cyclery, Chris as he needed some help on Saturdays, I needed a little extra cash, overall it is a win-win situation. I went in today for a 1 hour training work day, I will need several of these training sessions before I can be on my own on Saturday, the busiest day for the shop.

Training is going along as planned, I'm hitting my planned workouts. Running form is starting to come around, 3-4 runs a week and still the knees and IT bands feel fine. Stretching and The Stick have been key to the heathly legs. If only I could find an inexpensive sauna.

Sorry for a lack of posts and the high degree of suck for this post. Plenty of rides and runs just haven't been bringing the camera along. Plan to post more, pics to come

Monday, March 9, 2009

Muy Beuno Fin De Semana

It was a great weekend, I wrapped it up with a 45 mile road ride on Sunday. Wicked head wind to begin the ride wore me out. I had a 7 mile section of wide open road into a 20 mph sustained headwind that just sucked the life out of me. Limped on home in about 2.5 hours. It was a good weekend of training and I am feeling a little puny today. Got in a commute to and from work today and that is it for training, I needed a low training day. Tomorrow starts another 6 days of training, only 34 days to Iron Pig and 89 days to my first xterra of the year.

A pic of me fighting the wind, did I mention I hate the wind? Well, I do. Actually I'd rather climb10% grades than face 15 mph winds. How come I can out climb most of my riding partners but I get shelled when it's flat and facing a head wind? Watts equal watts, right?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some Trails Are Open

There are a few trails here in NWA that are open. I got out for a two hour mountain bike ride this morning. It really worked me. I haven't been on a mountain bike in a while and I think my arms and lower back have forgotten what a workout it is to ride trails. Also, I was on a rigid, singlespeed. Anyway, all was good and I had a blast. Temps were amazing hovering at about 70, shorts and short sleeves were the smart choices for clothing today.
It's shaping up to be a great weekend, 1.5 hours on the bike yesterday, 2 today, and a tri-sports road ride planned for tomorrow should have me at about 7 hours of cycling for the weekend. Throw in a couple dog walks and a swim session and it is a solid weekend of training, for me. I haven't had a really solid weekend of training in a while, sickness and other responsibilities have kept me off the bike. Getting back in the training groove feels right, I've missed it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ready For Spring

It's official, I'm done with Winter. Not really a cold weather person to begin with and this winter has been colder(to me) than average. I'm ready for sun and warm temps and long days. We have some really nice days ahead this week and the weekend looks ok except for some possible thunderstorms.
With the coming of Spring, I decided that the Winter beard needed to go. However I couldn't just shave it all off at once, no way, so I had a little fun with the clippers. I carved out my best "porn stache" and sported it for a day at work. I thought it looked hideous, but to my surprise many of my co-workers actually liked it. Huh? I'm sticking to the hideous description but I'll let you make up your own mind.
The "porn stache" only lasted about 24 hours. I figured while I had the clippers out, why not get the rest of the hair on my head. I came out with this look. The "warm weather do"
Got out for a ride with my friend George today and yesterday was a solid on-road run directly after my commute home from work. Another run planned for early am tomorrow and then 3 days of riding with a swim session thrown in on Saturday. Should be pretty beat come Sunday afternoon, I'll be ready for a rest day on Monday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trail Work

Not much training the last two days just a lot of trail work. The ice storm that came through a month ago really did a number on our local trails and many are still not open. I took the dogs out on Saturday to Sequoyah. About 5 hours of solo trail work had me bushed, not to mention I was using only a hand saw. I wish I had brought my camera along as the snow was falling and would have been great for some b/w photos. The pics below are from the previous weekend on Sequoyah trails.

Big trees down at Sequoyah. Smuckers and Randy don't seem to mind

Today was another 5 hours of trail work with a few friends on a local trail. Really overwhelmed with all the trail work that needs to be done. If you count four people putting in 5 hrs that equals 20hours of trail work. In that twenty hours we cleaned a 1.5 mile stretch of trail. At that rate it will take another 120 hours of work to get just this one trail cleaned and ready to ride. That's just a guesstimate, it will probably take longer for the sections further down the hill.
This is just one trail of many that received serious damage. If you live in NWA and like to ride and run on trails, get out and volunteer some time. I know trail work isn't much fun, but the payoff is well worth it

The dogs thought it was great fun to run on, over, and under the downed limbs

There's a trail under that pile of limbs, somewhere