Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Site

I'm going to start posting now on New Berlin Cycling, I've got 3 readers on this site and the new poll that I started only got 2 voters each time so there is no point keeping this up anymore. I'll keep it out here for my own reference to look back at what I did, but for new posts and such I'm just going to post on newberlincycling.com. It's a beautiful 61 degrees right now and cloudy, um, yeah, but anyways, I'm going out for about 3 hours after a trip to Home Depot. So, that's it for this site, go to newberlincycling.com for future posts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Maybe...Maybe Not

Yesterday was a really nice day, super weather, great company with my dad and his friend Dorothee, and a really nice bike ride. We started our ride at 9:00 and took a trip out to Dousman, my dad and Dorothee both found themselves wanting a new bike at the Bike Doctor, good thing they didn't have any credit cards handy. Just like last week there were quite a few riders and runners on the trail, and every one was quite happy, no doubt attributed to the fine weather. Well, actually I take that back, it was nice in the morning but the weather did turn bad in the afternoon after the clouds moved in, but by then we were back home and enjoying the rest of our day. Our total was 54 miles, a little less than I wanted to do but decent nonetheless. It was about the limit for my dad, we are doing the Door County Century next month and I told him he better get riding since he's been slacking quite a bit lately. Unfortunately riding once a week won't cut it for a century.
So anyways, on to the meaning of the title....I was planning on doing a double century tomorrow on my vacation day from work but I'm re-thinking that plan now. I'm not sure I'm cut out quite yet for a 200 miler, so I'm thinking of just doing something in between and trying another assault on the 200 miler in a couple of weeks on Labor Day Monday. Right now the plan is to do about 130-150, something more than the normal centuries I've been doing easily, but not quite the difficulty of a 200 yet. Doing the extra distance over the normal century will help me adapt a little bit more to the extra time in the saddle before I'm sitting on it for 12 hours. Now, the only caveat is if I'm feeling great after 130ish, then I may just continue on and finish, but right now that's not the plan. So anyways, tomorrow will be about 7 to 8 hours in the saddle, I have to work late Tuesday so there may be no time to ride by the time I'm done, but if anything I'll try to at least get in a recovery ride. Wednesday will be a normal 2 to 2.5 hour ride, and then Thursday I will do the Thursday Night Beatdown again from Wheel and Sprocket. Friday will be a rest day and then Saturday morning I plan on riding to the Doc Ride again and getting in another century. It'll be a full week of riding and hopefully the weather cooperates, should be fun. Well, that's it for now, time to put the legs up and get ready for tomorrow. Until next time........

Friday, August 21, 2009

Beat Down on the Beatdown

The Thursday Night Beatdown lived up to it's billing. I met up at the Wheel and Sprocket parking lot at about 5:50 after riding the 2.3 miles from my house with the skies looking fairly ominous, they did let out a little sprinkle but that was it for the night, about 30 seconds of raindrops. I met some familiar faces there, Rick Amen from Team Extreme, whom I only met last week for the first time, and a couple of former teammates in Rudy and Glen, it was good to see both of them again. There was a crowd of about 20 ready to roll and as we made our way through the residential area to get out to the country roads the pace was pretty slack, which was good for me since I needed more of a warmup after standing around for 10 minutes. After that we kept a steady pace of about 21-22 for a while and then at the end we had a nice long stretch of road with a tailwind and I have to admit I was fairly tired from taking a few good pulls throughout the ride. I knew my turn-off point was coming about 2 miles up the road so as we were flying along at around 30-31 I took a pull and only 2 or 3 guys came through and no one else went forward so I took another pull right away and that was a little too much for me. As I've said plenty of times I haven't done any intervals or anything this year, just normal riding, and my recovery for those types of efforts is nill. I could tell right away that I was in trouble but just hanging in the pack for a while would've been enough recovery time and I would've been fine. Unfortunately I got a freakin' side stitch really bad, probably from breathing so hard, and every time I took a breath in the pain in my ribs was killing me. At that point we were only about 1/4 mile from my turn so I looked back, there was only about 3 people behind me, I let them go around and I drifted off the back. I rolled up to my turn, took a few deep breaths, let the HR go back down a little bit then rolled it in to home. I got 43 miles in total which is more than I would've done by myself before sunset, and the pace of the ride suited me quite well until the end when my side stitch knocked me out. I'm not saying the side stitch caused me to get dropped because then I'd be deflecting the blame on that, it was the lack of fitness that caused the side stitch that made me get dropped. Yup, I'm out of shape for that kind of effort, it's a little embarrassing but oh well, I was riding with guys that have been training for and doing races all year, and I more than held my own until the end. It's my second group ride of the year and my second hardest ride of the year, so I don't feel too bad. A couple more group rides and I'll be flying right along, I feel great today, no soreness or residual affect at all, as a matter of fact I can't wait to rock again tomorrow. Today was a normal rest day, but I was tempted to bike and so far only the threat of rain, well actually it did rain, has kept me from getting out. I may still go out shortly for a little recovery ride but we'll see. I've got two options tomorrow and the deciding factor is what my dad is going to tell me when he calls later. I've asked him to come up and do a 60ish mile ride tomorrow morning and he's contemplating that offer and is supposed to let me know later. If he's says no then the plan is to be up at 5:00a.m., eat, nap, then bike over to the Doc ride at about 6:15. I'll do the Doc ride, then ride home, basically a repeat of my century from last weekend. Another century in the books with a hard effort would be great, especially ahead of the 200 miler I've got planned for Monday...what? Yeah, I said it, 200 miles. More on that tomorrow......until next time.....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beatdown?

That's the ride I'm doing tonight, I've never heard of it but I guess it's called the Thursday Night Beatdown. The odd thing is that it's only like 3 or 4 miles from my house and goes on roads I ride almost every Thursday. The fact that I've never seen the group on the roads is weird, considering that I've been on the same roads many a Thursday evening, very strange. Supposedly it's been going on for quite a while now and is a fairly fast ride, averaging 22 to 23 mph for the 38 miles, not too fast, but not slow either, exactly the kind of ride I'm looking for. I saw a blurb about it on another blogger's site yesterday and figured I'd inquire at Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corners since I had to go there anyways to get some more chamois cream. Sure enough one of the salespeople said they leave the parking lot at 6:00, plenty of time for me to get home, change, and ride over for the departure. I'm looking forward to it, hopefully it doesn't continue raining, I won't ride it in the rain, no point this late in the year since I'm not training for anything. After I was able to hang on at the Doc ride Saturday after riding 27 miles to get to it, I feel pretty good about my odds of staying in on this ride since it appears to be a tad slower. I found a few routes on the Garmin Connect site from users that have downloaded the ride and I've attached a picture below, just click on it to enlarge. Looks to be 38 miles, average ride time that I saw was about 1:43 to 1:45, there were quite a few downloads of the ride, I just grabbed the most recent one I saw from July, so take a look. Should be fun tonight.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Go Wisconsin!

Pretty cool for Wisconsin racers, he's had a tremendous year so far.





Tuesday, August 18, 2009

(F)atigue (R)esistance (S)ystem

FRS products. FRS doesn't stand for Fatigue Resistance System but that's what I'm calling it for myself. It really stands for free radical scavenger, which sounds cool too, but it's more appropriate to say I'm going to try it for my fatigue than to fight free radicals since I can't quantify if it's really fighting any free radicals in my body or not. I can quantify if I'm feeling less fatigued when taking the product though, although that's still probably more subjective than quantitative. Anyways, I'm going to try out the FRS products, yes the product(s) that Lance uses, to see if they make me feel any better. I'm a good test subject for the FRS products because their ads, which are ever-present on web sites all across the Internet, say that they fight fatigue and I seem to feel fatigued all the time. I know I don't get quality sleep so that contributes to my fatigue, but we'll see if the FRS products help in spite of my lack of quality ZZZZZss. They recommend taking some of their liquid drink in the morning, available in concentrate or powder form to be mixed with water, and then taking two of their energy chews in the afternoon to keep going for the rest of the day. So that is the plan for the next couple of weeks. I'll keep track of my fatigue using a simple (P)erceived (F)atigue (S)cale, which I just made up right now, and post the results at the end of the two weeks. I guess the ads that are hard to miss on all the sites I visit did their job and got me to try the product, hopefully it all tastes good. More to follow....

Fatigue fighter or fake? I'll find out.





Monday, August 17, 2009

Fatty

I may be the last person in the cycling community to have heard of his blog, but here is a very popular blog to check out for those of you who haven't heard of it yet. He knows Lance, gets free stuff from Garmin, gives away DI2 equipped Orbeas, and has enough readership to get some mondo advertising dollars. So anyways, check out this blog, it's a great read. He has been affected by cancer in a major way as his wife just died from breast cancer in the last couple of weeks, but he has turned that in to a positive by becoming a major LiveStrong fundraiser. Read his stories, you'll appreciate them.

http://www.fatcyclist.com/

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doc Ride and Century...Check

The plan on Saturday was to embark on my ride at 6:15, ride to Dousman, do the Drop the Doc ride, and then ride back to New Berlin. I was up at 5:00, ate a big breakfast, and then took a little snooze again until 6:00. I got dressed and headed out right on time, with the intention of being in Dousman about 7:45ish. It was a little foggy and more than steamy when I started riding, the temps weren't too bad at around 72 according to the Weather Channel, but I could tell right away that I was going to sweat ALOT on the ride. I hit the New Berlin Rec trail and took that in to Waukesha where I joined up with the Glacial-Drumlin trail. There was an unbelievable amount of people on both trail segments, which I didn't expect in the 6:00 hour, but I guess everyone was trying to beat the heat by getting out early. I was a little nervous on the way out to Dousman as thoughts of getting dropped right away on the first hill on the Doc ride crept in to my mind. I was thinking positive though, because although I haven't done a lot of speed work this year, I have done a lot of miles, maybe enough to keep me hooked in to the group. I got to Dousman and there was a pretty good group ready to head out, maybe 40ish, so I figured it was going to be pretty fast. A lot of the top name racers were not there though as the last WCA race of the year was going on up in Neenah, so I figured that would help me out quite a bit. As we got going the pace was pretty lax, around 20mph, so I had no problem staying in for the first mile or so, after that it picked up and my HR definitely kicked up quite a few notches. I was feeling good as the pace skirted the 25-26mph mark, and I thought that about 20 miles in I would take a pull or two at the front. I went to the front on a straight stretch of road and pulled for about 30-45 seconds, but right after my pull I saw that we were going to hit a hill and I figured I might be in trouble at that point. The group hit the hill pretty fast and I started to drift back, the reserves sapped a bit from my pull, and I was definitely in trouble. My HR was 192 and I was fading, luckily I was able to crest the hill only about 20 feet back from the pack and we had a nice downhill where I pedaled like mad to catch back on to the back of the group to get the draft and recover. I suffered for a minute or two but finally got my wind back and from that point on, with about 16-17 miles to go, I felt great. I actually took a few more pulls, and on the next few hills I was actually passing people, that was a mental boost to say the least. I always forget when the finish is coming on the ride because I haven't ridden it enough so I ended up missing out on the final sprint as we rounded a downhill turn and the pace picked and everyone started to fly towards the finishing sign. I just rolled it in and then took a break to eat a Clif bar and a gel for the return trip home. The heat and humidity had picked up quite a bit by the time I started back and the effort on the Doc ride made my legs feel a little gelatinous. I rode back on the Glacial-Drumlin, did a loop on the Fox River Trail, and then made my way back to New Berlin to finish out the day with a century, all before noon. I ended up drinking about 10-12 bottles of water on the ride and was still dehydrated when I got home. I'm a little sore today as my legs aren't used to the efforts I put in on the Doc ride, but I'm really happy that I stuck to my goal of getting up so dang early and doing the ride, it's my first century for August but I still have two more planned this month, well, maybe two, I might do a 200 mile ride next weekend and then I won't do a century the last weekend. Today it's going to be a short recovery ride and some housework, I'll also be starting a sit-up/crunches program today to get rid of some of this belly fat. Well, that's it for now, check out the newest poll in the top left and vote for your choice. Until next time........

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amb(ass)ador

Ambassador - def. - an unofficial representative

It seems lately that more often than not cyclists have to fight the bad rap that some drivers have given the population of cyclists as a whole, as renegades who don't follow the laws of the road. There are some that are trying to get cyclists banned from being on the road altogether such as this group - Bastards. Then there is this county in CO that is trying to do the same - A-Holes. So it is up to us (bicyclists) to be good ambassadors to cycling and follow all the rules of the road and be polite to drivers, pedestrians, runners, dogs...whatever it takes, so that we don't eventually lose the right to use the roads that we enjoy so much. Could you imagine being limited to a stretch of bike trails for your daily riding? Yeah, me neither. When you are out on the road or riding the Oak Leaf Trail, or the Glacial-Drumlin trail, of which both are multi-use trails, please follow the rules and be polite to everyone you encounter. I was on the Oak Leaf trail yesterday and I've made it a habit to say hi to everyone I pass, whether it's a cyclist, a jogger, walker, old lady in a Little Rascal scooter, whatever, I always try to say something nice. I slow down when I come upon someone and go around them with plenty of room and if I know they don't see or hear me coming I always let them know I'm behind them so they don't get startled. Conveying the image that cyclists care just as much about enjoying the roads/trails as they do can go a long way. Unfortunately not everyone is doing that and I saw it last night on the trail myself, there are still jerks out there, hence amb(ass)adors, in the title above. They are the asses, not the ambassadors we need. I probably saw about 5 different cyclists that just couldn't wait to get around someone, so even with walkers passing each other on the two-way trail at the same time, they still were trying to squeeze between them without even saying a word. The trail is only wide enough for 2 people abreast on each side, so to try to squeeze through is just a jerk move and makes us (cyclists) look stupid. What's it going to hurt to wait that extra 3 seconds, I mean c'mon, they were all bike path warriors, nothing more than rec cyclists, so what the hell would it hurt them to slow down? It might hurt their 15mph average speed?? Please. On two of those occasions I was behind the riders so I was able to see the look on the walkers' faces enough to know that they weren't happy. So anyways, that's enough ranting for now, usually I don't get political but after I saw that last night I just had to post something to let it be known that your actions as cyclists can go a long way to keeping us on, or off, the roads and trails we love riding. Please be a good ambassador whenever you can.
Back to regularly scheduled programming.....Tonight I'm going to do a 20-30 mile ride with Mike, who posted on New Berlin Cycling that he was new to the area and looking for someone to show him the roads and trails around New Berlin. I happily obliged so tonight we'll be riding on the New Berlin Rec Trail, the Fox River Trail, and I'll show him the trail-head to the Glacial-Drumlin trail since I doubt he has a State trail pass yet. I'll point out the good roads to ride on as well, but right now I think he's more interested in the trail stuff but we'll see. He's not only new to the area, but new to cycling as well, so maybe I'll make a recurring ride with him to help him out and show him how much he can enjoy the sport. On Friday I'll be doing a normal 2 hour ride after work, just a Tempo ride to get the HR up, and then Saturday I'll be doing what I attempted to do last weekend and that is the GD-Drop the Doc-GD ride. I'll ride from my house to the Glacial-Drumlin trail, from there to the Doc ride in Dousman, do the Doc ride, then ride back on the Glacial-Drumlin trail, and then home. All said and done, should be 100 miles before 11:30ish. Sunday will be a fairly leisurely 3 hour ride at an endurance pace. Looks like the weather will be great this weekend, I can't wait to get out. Well, that's it for now...until next time....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Never Enough

It was a hot one this weekend, for me anyways as I don't take well to the heat. I can never get enough water when I ride on days in the upper 80s and 90s, it seems like I sweat it out as fast as I can take it in, maybe even faster. I did two 3 hour rides each day this weekend, Saturday I had to wait until the rain finally stopped at 3:30 and then I got out for a ride around Waukesha, on what I like to call the 3 Hills Loop. It's 3 of the toughest hills around my area, well, maybe not toughest, but definitely 3 of the longest. It was pretty muggy and I ended up going through 6 large bottles of water in only 3 hours, 2 of the 6 probably ended up on my head but the rest were consumed to keep me hydrated. Sunday I started pretty early but it was still pretty warm and very humid. I started sweating before I got out of my neighborhood. I ended up going through about 8 bottles on the ride, which took me out to Dousman and back. About 3 of those bottles ended up on my head to keep me cool, a la the Floyd Landis effect. I saw a former teammate on the road, John Grisa, at the turnaround point in Dousman, he was out doing about the same distance as me, except he looked really fresh and I'm pretty sure he wasn't even sweating. I must be really out of shape. The rest of the day was spent hanging out inside, keeping cool and doing some house stuff.
Today I'm home helping out my wife who threw out her back yesterday while camping with her aunt and her cousins. I'm playing the role of nurse and helping her in and out of bed and to the bathroom, now I get to see what she gets to go through every day as a real nurse.
Other than that, I'm actually VPNed in to work as well working on some projects and then once I finish up with a conference call shortly I'll head out for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood on my roller blades. I won't have time to get on the bike before I have to drop off Xavier at driver's ed at 5:00. Better to do 15 minutes on the roller blades than nothing at all. The rest of the week will consist of as much riding as the weather and daylight will allow. Hopefully there are no late nights at work and I can get out on time all week. The plan right now is for about 15-16 hours on the bike, shouldn't be too much of a problem if everything falls in to place. That's it for now, until next time......

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Derailed???

First, check out the new poll on the left hand side, go ahead and pick your choice, just something new for the blog that will be updated with different polls every week.

Well, my plan for tomorrow might be derailed, the rain is supposed to stick around longer than originally forecast, probably through Saturday afternoon now, and maybe even making a comeback on Sunday. That's a real bummer. Granted we need the rain really bad but I'd prefer not to have it Saturday morning, was looking forward to riding the G-D trail for the Doc Ride. I don't ride in the rain for training, there's no point in it for me, I usually don't even race in the rain so why train in it. Here is the stinkin forecast for 6:00a.m. which is when I'd have to leave, if it's not raining I'll be riding -

6 am
68°FScattered T-Storms
50%
From S12 mph

7 am
69°FScattered T-Storms
40%
From S12 mph

8 am
71°FScattered T-Storms
40%
From S12 mph

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Weekend Ahead

The weekend ahead should be a good one for getting on the bike as it appears that Summer has finally returned to Wisconsin. The temps will be up in to the 80s and 90s again which we haven't seen in a while so I'm looking forward to getting out and getting in some good miles. I have a half-day of vacation tomorrow from work so I'll try to get out in the afternoon but we have a 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms. I'm hoping they'll be scattered and I can get out between storms. Saturday the plan is to ride from New Berlin to Dousman on the G-D trail, do the Doc ride (and probably get dropped), then ride back to New Berlin on the G-D trail again. Total ride distance should be a century, it's 26.50 to Dousman, 40 miles for the Doc Ride, 26.50 back, and I'll throw on another 7 miles somewhere around my house. I'll be all done with a century by 11:00 or so and have the rest of the day to relax and do stuff around the house. I'm definitely worried about getting dropped on the Doc ride, it's probably 60/40 right now that I'll be spit out the back, but I'm looking forward to doing some sort of group ride, it's been a while since I've done one. Either way, it's more for the training than anything, so I don't really care if I get dropped, it's just about having fun. Sunday is going to be the hot day for the weekend, in the 90s as of right now, I'll keep it short and do something in the range of 3 hours, I've got plenty of other things to do around the house so no need to kill myself out in that heat for too long.
On another note, last night I surpassed my mileage for all of last year, which was just a bad bike year for me with other things affecting my motivation to get out and ride. I was pretty happy to see that and now I've still got a lot of time left to finish the year strong. I'm hoping for something in the range of 7500 miles for the year, it's definitely doable, of course the weather would have to cooperate in the cooler months to really help me along with that. I've got 3 centuries planned for this month, all of them as just solo training rides, 2 centuries for next month, and then 1 each in October and November. Who knows, maybe I'll even do one in December. Add the 700 miles worth of centuries to all my regularly planned training rides and that will add up quite quickly. I'm trying not to look that far ahead though, I'd rather not think about riding in November and December quite yet.
One thing I was thinking about this week was joining a fitness center for the first time, I don't have free weights at home and nothing of the sort in the small fitness center at my work either. I really would like the use of a squat rack, and the ability to cross train with basketball, swimming, Pilates, etc. would have been nice. Ultimately it wasn't worth the $100+ a month to join, especially with a yearly commitment. I think I'm going to go the route of finding a used squat rack and weights to put up in my basement and I'll be happy with that. I'll have a squat rack at home, I'll get some yoga and Pilate videos, and with the treadmill and resistance machines here at work I should be good to go. I'll also be doing snowshoeing as well, so that'll help. Well, that's it for now, more updates to come after the big ride on Saturday.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Glacial Drumlin

Had a nice 55 mile ride today from my house to Dousman and back on the Glacial Drumlin trail, it was pretty windy out there. I kind of got screwed, I had a headwind out and then it switched on the way back to a crosswind, so I never got a full-on tailwind today. I was expecting to be doing 25-30 going back in to Waukesha since a lot of it is downhill as well, but with the crosswind I was at 22-25 instead, good enough I guess. I felt great and there were a ton of people out today. It did rain this morning but cleared up quite nicely by 12:30ish or so. The winds were easily up to 20mph and in the videos below you can definitely hear it, although I was riding too so you're hearing the wind from that as well. It was a great day on the bike, the temperature was perfect, there were lots of people out, and the legs are feeling better every day. Tomorrow the plan is to do a solo century but my butt is hurting today, it feels like the start of a saddle sore, hopefully by tomorrow morning I'll know if I can make it for 5 and a half hours on the saddle. If I get a saddle sore then 75 will be in order, either way it'll be a 75+ mile day. Here is some video from today's ride, one is heading out, the other is heading back.

Sorry but it was so windy you can't hear what I said, but I said "it's windy!"

video

video