Monday, December 31, 2007

Mileage for 2007....

Well, as of today, I have put in 3,543 miles and 223 hours of riding for 2007. That's 343 more miles than last year. I didn't reach my goal of 4800-5000 miles due to being off the bike for 8 weeks due to the knee injury.

So, guess I will set a new goal for next year: 5000+ miles, which means I need to do at least 416 miles a month. Most likely, I will do more than that - hope to do around 600 miles per month barring injury or other things that will hinder getting those mileages.

I've had a friend tell me that measurement of miles ridden in the year is not that great of a metric. One should, if they are using a PowerTap, should measure the amount of work done. So, this year, I will still keep track of miles, but will also monitor the work (kJ) I do on a monthly basis..

Cudo's to my Physical Therapist

I just want to add a little post here about all the great work my physical therapist, Matt, has done for me since May of this year. I sent him a link to the threads about the Tour de Pain and showed him the profile of the ride. He thought it was awesome that I was able to do this ride.

Just a bit about why I have been seeing a physical therapist. I took a day off from work back on May 11 to do a 50+ mile ride with my riding friends, Jay & Jon. First of all, I hadn't been feeling real well that week and I didn't pre-hydrate before the ride. During the ride, I only drank 2.5 bottles of fluid and on some of the small climbs, I pushed too large of a gear. I cramped really bad on this ride and even tho, I was sore & tired the next morning, I got up and did a group ride with the Selma Cyclepaths. Not a good idea. I could hardly walk the rest of the weekend, bending the right knee was very painful. Went to see my doctor the following Monday. Bursitis/Tendonitis was the Dx. Treatment, meaning, do not ride your bike! If after 4 weeks of rest, it wasn't better then I should see a PT.

Humph! I rested for 1.5 to maybe 2 weeks. No riding at all. I missed the SE Bikeforums mountain ride. Then the 23rd or 24th, I went to see Matt. He diagnosed me with Pes Anserine Bursitis and worked a miracle on my knee. After 3 visits, I was told that I could most likely start doing very easy rides of no longer than 30 minutes. So, of course, give me an inch and I'll take a mile! I rode 30 min on 5/26, 5/27, and an hour on 5/28! A few more Saturday group rides, a few more visits with Matt and I felt all better. But, I had to do a follow-up with my doctor, who, needless to say, wasn't pleased that I still had the amount of pain I did in my knee. I had to 'fess up and tell him I had only rested 2wks. He gave me another 4 wks. I listened this time.

I still saw Matt about 1x/week until about the middle of July. Oh the exercises he had me do!! He's a real meanie when it comes to doing stretches & exercises. Tons of lunges, squats (watch that door! make sure it's closed!), other things for the hamstrings. And, no riding at all during this time:(. When I did start riding again, it was hotter than hell here and I had lost a lot of my fitness. Trying to come back to riding in late July/early August was a bitch. But, I managed to get more riding in, gradually increasing my time and distance. I was also released by Matt, but was welcome back anytime.

So, this guy has been the greatest! I come in to see him every couple of months to get a little bit of treatment after I've done too much and not been stretching. The last time I saw Matt was just prior to the TdP. They worked me in to see Matt because it was the week before Christmas and I had the TdP trip the following week. Matt just says he's my enabler:). I went in to see him today and, even tho, there was a little bit of pain, it wasn't too bad. Considering the climbing I did, I'm really happy that I don't have more pain....

Anyways....Matt - you have done a great job! I don't think I would have been able to do the mountainous rides I've done since August if it weren't for the work Matt has done. I'll try to do more stretching this coming year! I got a foam roller and dvd that I will be using to work on the hips & legs. Hopefully, I won't need to see Matt too much next year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tour de Pain

Well, I left Clayton at 10am on Wednesday, December 26 headed to Sylva, NC. It took me way longer to get there than I anticipated, so I missed out on the ride that Jschen & BikeWNC did after lunch. Not much else to say about that day, except that I finally got to meet Jason and he is a very nice young man.

Thursday, December 27:
The three of us left Andy's house and rode over to the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) at Balsam Gap and did a short ride up to Grassy Ridge Overlook. This was at elevation 5,280' and included a continuous climb of 6 miles. The first half of the climb had grades in the 6-7% grade and the last half around 4%. The wind was blowing really hard (per Cyclemagic's phone call comment - "sounds like a tornado"). And, it was getting colder. We decided to turn around and head back down and go ride in the valley. The descent was really fun, but I was a bit cautious due to the road being wet, some ice, wet leaves, rock debris that looked like leaves and the high wind. We then went for lunch at Wendy's and over to Franklin to ride the Burningtown Loop. Motionbased data for BRP and Burningtown.

The last time I rode this loop, I think I did a lot better. That climb really took a lot out of my legs considering I set a new PR for my threshold power. I think it was harder due to the effort I put out on the BRP. That's ok tho; we all had fun and it's a social ride not a race. Later that evening, the three of us went out for beer & pizza at Nick & Nate's. That pizza was really good.

Friday, December 28:
This was a wash...rain all day long. We sat around talking, surfing BF and other sites. Roadrider arrived a little before lunch and the four of us went to lunch. Andy said we should be subjected to watch High School Musical 2 since he's watched it so many times:). It was actually better than I thought it would be. That evening, we ate at Restaurant 553, loaded up on pasta & a couple of liquid carbs.

Saturday, December 29:
Official Tour de Pain ride (Ring of Fire). We started out in Cullowhee, NC and had a 15-20min warm-up over flatish to rolling terrain before starting to climb Cullowhee Mountain Road. I think we had discussed riding something like 60 miles, but this was later changed. OMG. This ride was hard. It was sustained climbing for, like, 4.5 miles. I think the average grade was like 8% with some sections in the 12-16% range. Roadrider was wishing for different gearing...39/26 made it extremely hard. I had to stop a few times - my legs were hurting so bad. But, I finally made it!! Jason came back down a very short distance and rode back up with me & roadrider! I have never been so glad to see the summit!!

The descent was absolutely amazing! I followed Jason down and had a max speed of 51.2mhp!!!! I tried to follow Jason's line the best I could as he is a great descender! We made a stop at a gas station on Hwy 64 for "lunch" and decided then to shorten the ride. I didn't feel like I could do much more climbing and neither did roadrider. Our choices were 3000' or 1500' more climbing. We chose the 1500' option...I really wish that we could have done the 3000' (Ring of Scott) but I was not sure that I would have been able to complete that ride:(.

Anyway, we headed on towards Elijay Creek Road and more serious climbing. This climb wasn't as hard as Cullowhee Mountain, but it did offer up several steep sections of 10% plus grades. I did ok on this climb, with several regroupings and rest periods, but still it wasn't easy. Finally, with all the hard work completed, we had another fast descent! This one was a little trickier due to some debris on the road and sections of the road in not too good shape. Then it was just a little flat/rolling ride back to the cars. Motionbased data for Tour de Pain.

Roadrider left for Winston-Salem and Jason, Andy, and I went back to Andy's house. Jason packed up and headed to Charlotte to meet VegaVixen and get some riding in down there. I stayed one more night, as I was really tired and didn't feel up to a 5-5.5hr drive back to Clayton. I got up around 8AM today, loaded my stuff up and headed home. Rain all the way. Even with the rain, I made it home in record time --> 312 miles, 4hr 40min.

We also discussed, briefly, about getting together again in May for a SEBF mountain ride. Thinking about starting at the Pisgah Inn and doing the Pigeon Loop.

Pictures & other reports can be found in Jschen's Visit thread and some in Go For a Ride Bring Back a Photo thread on Bike Forums.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Finally!! The day has arrived! My kids are visiting with their Dad in Charlotte and won't be here until this afternoon. It's long as they are here later today, I'll be happy.

So, what have I been up to this morning?? Well, the SU and I are going to fix a Christmas dinner, so we got the turkey in the oven around 8:30, eggs were boiled & deviled eggs are made, the ham is in now...just have to fix the rice & gravy, green beans, corn on cob and anything else we think of.

Phone calls made to family members. I called my Dad and talked to him for the first time since August 24 of this year. I sent a Christmas package to him & my step-mom of several different food items that they could cook - all of it purchased at the World Market. I also wrote him a letter telling him that it was time we stopped being so damn stubborn. I don't really know what to make of the conversation we had this morning, when I called to wish him a Merry Christmas. He didn't really seem to want to talk too much to me, so we only talked about 5min! I talked to my step-mom, Gladys for a bit and she gave me the latest on how he's doing. For any BF peeps who recall my post back in August about my Dad, he's doing better since he got a stent and a pacemaker, but his short term memory is still not very good. Anyways, I guess we'll see how things progress...

After all the phone calls were completed, the SU and I opened our gifts to each other. I got a foam roller, a Craft longsleeve baselayer, Sugoi RS Flex shorts, Body fragrance by Victoria's Secret, and a new set of jammies from VS. And, no, don't think I'll post any photo's in the Foo Wimmen thread of me modeling the jammies - use your imagination!! My SU received a Peanuts box set (1963-1966), Slang Justice cd, Mack Bolen audio book, Indiana Jones Widescreen dvd set. Plus, we have to wait till the kids get here to open the gifts from them....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Catch Up....

Well, the office Christmas party was fun. I fixed 300 of those wonton wrapper appetizer things, ~100 pigs 'n blanket, 40 deviled eggs, a huge pan of baked ziti, and 2 loaves of garlic bread. Not much work really happened that day. I left officially at 1:30pm for 11 days (inlcuding weekends) of vacation. I'll be heading up to the Sylva area towards the end of the week to participate in the ride(s) with Jschen & BikeWNC.

I rode on Saturday, and performed the field test again to see if my threshold power had increased. It has not, but my cadence, avg speed, and distance for the same 20min time period had. I felt decent after completing the test and headed back towards the car. About 10mi from the end, I hear ppfffftttt:(. It was coming from the front tire this time. I pulled over and changed the tube; it was hard as crap to get the tire back on, but I managed to roll it on. As I was putting the wheel back on, a group of riders came by and asked if I needed help. No, but jumped on and rode back with them. It was Lawrence & Artie and about 5 others that I didnt know. Good to ride with them!

For today, Monday, Christmas Eve, I headed out for a ride, not really having a destination or a time limit in mind. I ended up riding out towards Benson & 4Oakes, with 52mi, 3.25hr. It was a beautiful day - around 55F and just a bit of wind. Here's my motionbased data.

I may not post anymore till after my mountain ride....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Busy Week...

Well, I haven't posted since this past weekend, as I've just been kinda busy with work and stuff leading up to the Christmas Holidays. This post won't be cycling related, well, maybe I'll throw in a little bit...:)

So, just to get this out of the way...Intervals on Monday in the cold. Temps were around 40F with whine chill around 35F. Good grief, it was cold. Couldn't feel my toes and by the time I had finished my 10min warm-up, I was contemplating not even doing all 4 of the intervals. But, I thought of BikeWNC and how he'd give me shit about not doing them (most likely) and to HTFU, I went ahead and did them. 5x4min intervals. Yay for me!!

See, that was short. My car needed the oil changed before I head up to Sylva next week and I also needed the mechanic to check the left rear tire. It has had a slow leak in it for a long time and I've been using my bike floor pump to pump it up. That's not easy. Anyways, took the car to the mechanic Wednesday for those things and rode my bike back to work. Nice, easy ride.

Last night, I made the shells for the wonton wrappers I will make Friday morning for a breakfast snack at work. I made 300!!! I also cooked a pound of turkey Italian sausage and one pound of ground turkey breast. This will be used for the baked ziti at Friday's lunch.

Recipe for Wonton Wrappers:
1# Bass Farms Hot Sausage, cooked & drained
1c shredded Monterey Jack/Colby cheese
1c Ranch dressing
1 small jar pimientos
1 package wonton wrappers
1-2 mini muffin pans
  • Take out 6 wonton wrappers and quarter them. (I use 6 because I have 2 mini muffin pans=24). Place one quarter in each muffin space, pressing down so that the wrappers make a little cup.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Take wrappers out & cool. The whole package makes 280+ shells.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  • Place a "dollop" of the mixture in each little shell.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven till bubbly.
  • Enjoy!!
For my luncheon Friday, I'm using 1.5-2 pounds of sausage and increasing the other ingredients a little bit. So, I'm going to be getting up fairly early Friday morning to cook the ziti and make these wonton wrappers. You can make the little shells a day or two ahead of time and store in Ziploc bag. I also mix up the other stuff the night before and store in refrigerator.

OK...I think that's about all for right now.....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cold, Windy, and Rainy/Sleety Ride

Wow! Starting temps for this ride was in the low 40's and windy. I had planned on doing a 39mi route, but when I got there, changed my mind. Then changed my mind again. I wasn't too cold on this ride despite the temperatures & wind. Around 10mi or so into the ride, it starts to mist rain. Everyone I was riding with wanted to push on because it wasn't supposed to really start raining till after lunch.

The route we rode was a bit hilly, but nothing too hard. The route had around 1700' of elevation change over 39.4mi. Around 10-13mi before we got back from the ride, the misty rain turned to sleet and then a hard rain. I actually wasn't too uncomfortable. Guess I had the correct amount of clothing on this time. Tho, my Craft & Hammer jersey were totally wet, as were my shorts, when I finished, it wasn't because of the rain. It was just from sweating. The Gavia jacket really kept me warm and dry.

I also got to ride with 3MTA3 (Ryan) for the first time since the Southeastern BikeForums Mountain ride. He's such a sweet guy! But, he droped the hamer on me the last half of the ride! He's a very strong rider and made the ride look so easy. He's moving back to Michigan next week tho:(. Gonna go to grad school. He'll be missed!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Easy/Rest Week

*Sigh* This week was to be my rest/easy riding week. It's a good thing too, cause I was really feeling tired after this past weekend. So, I took Monday & Tuesday off - no biking at all. Wednesday I decided to ride and even tho it was really windy, I did a lot better on this ride. I felt really good and was ready to ride again Thursday, but unfortunately, work got in the way. Then "that time of the month" got in the way. I felt like warmed over dog food today:(. I was going to take my bike to work and ride at lunch, but when I got up this morning, I knew I wouldn't be riding. That's ok tho. I'll ride tomorrow and maybe Sunday if the wind isn't whistling at 22+mph!

Haven't got anything done to the beater bike. I plan on working on it this weekend tho. Gonna get some stuff to remove the rust and see if I can get the frame cleaned up. Can't install the crankset till I get a bottom bracket. Should get that sometime next week. Guess I'll just work on getting things cleaned up and maybe prepped for a paint job...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shimano 600ex Arabesque Partial Group

My auction items arrived in the mail today. It's a partial Shimano 600ex Arabesque group for use on the Lotus. It all looks really nice! I like that engraving it has on it. This is gonna look sweet on the beater bike! I might have to do a little more touch up to the Lotus Excelle, but we'll see how it looks once I get the stuff mounted. I still need to find a few parts before I'll be able to ride it.

I didn't get a chance to even work on the frame this past weekend. That's too bad because the weather here in North Carolina was absolutely gorgeous. This coming weekend, it's not going to be nearly as nice and the high temps will only be in the mid 50's. I need to get some stuff to remove some of the rust & some fingernail polish to cover them up with. The frame also really needs some good cleaning 'cause it's a little dirty & greasy.

So, I'll try to gather some cleaning stuff (chrome cleaner for the brakes) this week and maybe be able to find a bottom bracket, cables/housings, and other items needed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More Pics From Today's Ride

Jordan Lake pictures ^^^

Me, waiting on SAG support after a flat.

Actual Col de Lystra

The pictures just do not do justice to this climb. It doesn't look like it's that hard of a climb, but I was going, like, 4mph up this damn thing!

Col de Lystra

Well, I will be heading out shortly to get a new chain for the bike since that seems to be the problem. After I get the new chain, I'm heading out to Harris Lake to do a 40-50mi ride which will include Col de Lystra. Harris Lake is a nice starting point as it has bathrooms available for changing. There's a seriously hard hill near Jordan Lake on Lystra Road, the Col de Lystra as it has been called. It's one long hill that has a couple of flattish sections in it to make you think you've reached the crest. But no!! Just when you think you're done, it starts going back up again! I'll try to get some pictures as I ride today.

The ride turned into a 56mi ride cause I missed the Lystra Rd turn. It was a little windy on the ride to Lystra and I wasn't feeling great. Guess it had something to do with not eating much for supper last night. Duh! Stopped at a store for a Snickers and then off for the detour. Riding down the road, thinking, "man, this doesn't look quite right". Decided to turn around and yep, I missed my turn. On to the Col.

I made it up that climb, then took a rest at 15/501 before heading on. Once I got to Big Woods Road, I was doing fine till I realized the bike was making a "whomp, whomp" noise. I looked at rear tire and it was farkin' flat. So, I call the SU (spousal unit) and ask him to come get me as I don't have any stuff with me. I'm waiting on him to get there and another cyclist comes along and asks if I'm ok. Yes I'm ok, have called for support. He offers to fix the flat so I can finish the ride. Yay!

So, I head on after getting flat fixed. That road seemed to go on forever! Anyways, not much else to say about the ride except I would have gone on for 7 more miles to complete a metric, but was unsure if Harris Lake Park would be open. It's around 4:30pm by the time I get back, so I might not have had enough time.

Anyways, wolfpack is tired but happy that I did this ride. It was fun!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Old Bike Has Arrived!

Fedex delivered my bike from glenng today. It is, well, very well ridden to say the least. Lots of dings/scratches/some rust. I might have it repainted or get it sanded down and do it myself! I scored a partial Shimano 600EX Arabesque group off of ebay tonight to put on it. A few more parts and he'll be ready to ride!

Pics later....

Brrrrrr - Second Round

Well, I had everything at work to do a recovery ride today, but I wussied out. It was pretty windy and I looked at the current weather around 11am, which made my decision much easier. It was 39F with a windchill of 31/32F. Decided not to ride cause I felt like I would be freezing. Guilt abounds for that decision:(. But, I will ride tomorrow as the temps will be about 15 degrees warmer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Intervals in Brief Snow

Today was Interval Day. 4x4min in L4. The warmup had me see a bit of snow/sleet for a very brief period (maybe 2-3minutes and then gone). Then it was over. Intervals went pretty well, but I did the first one too hard. The other three were in the correct range. The last one just about made me puke when I finished! I was pretty tired the rest of the afternoon. A salad doesn't seem to cut it very well, but I'm not very hungry after doing these intervals.

I'm going to be getting a beater bike from a BikeForums member tomorrow. He's sending it to me free of charge! I just have to find a crankset, bottom bracket, chain, cables, etc. Not too much I don't think. I'm looking for Shimano 600 Arabesque components on ebay. My SU (spousal unit) doesn't know I'm getting this. Boy is he going to be surprised. Maybe since it's free he won't be too upset.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Brrrrrr. Just came back inside from a very quick walk around the buildings here at work. Wind is picking up and it felt quite chilly!

Current Weather

I brought all of my cycling clothes and my bike with me to work today so that I could ride, but I think I'm gonna skip the ride and go look for a winter cycling jacket. I have a PI Gavia Jacket, but it's a Men's XL and is just too big on me since I've lost 25 pounds. And, the sleeves come all the way to the tip of my fingers. I need something more fitted & flattering to wear. So, I'll head to Performance at lunch to try stuff on and maybe get something.


Well, I decided to ride home from work since I went to Performance for a jacket. I got a Women's Barrier Jacket. It didn't work. It was too short in the back and my back was cold on the way home. Pretty much everything was cold on that ride. Traffic was horrible because I left too late too. I took the Barrier jacket back and will keep the Gavia Jacket.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Incomplete Sunday Ride/Bike Fit

Well, I attempted to do a 25-30 mile ride yesterday (Sunday, December 2), but unfortunately, I didn't dress properly for the conditions. It was around 43F and very slight wind. I wore my Wheaties Jersey, PI shorts & tights, arm warmers, toasties, Wheaties socks, PI Vagabond vest, polypro gloves & regular gloves. I thought that I might warm up slightly, but after 10-15minutes, I was still pretty cold. I made it to 30min and decided to go home.

I think the lack of the neck gaitor & something on my head was the real problem. My head & neck were really cold as were my feet. All I could think about was getting home and a hot shower. Oh & learn...

I also went to see Bill Roberts in N. Raleigh to have him check my bike fit. I have been having some pain on the left side of my butt, in the pantyline. Thought it might be because I had switched saddles & not got it back in the right place. So, that's the reason for checking the fit. Pretty much, after I put the white Butterfly back on the bike, it was just about in the correct position. Bill watched me pedal, took all sorts of measurements and then told me that I looked good on the bike and that most likely I should look at the shorts! I have been wearing some PI Microsensor shorts and I don't think that these agree with me. Gonna go back to the Sugoi RS Flex Shorts. At least he didn't charge me the $125 for fitting. Bill also told me that I need to start stretching at least 15 minutes a day. Will start that this evening.

Gonna wear the Sugoi's tomorrow and the rest of the week (after washing of course). Might be able to use the other shorts I've got if I do shorter rides.

As for today - it is a no ride day. Resting up, then intervals tomorrow! Yay!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Zack Attack Ride From The Grocery Bag

Met some of my friends at the local meeting place for our rides. We had a total of 10 people for the ride - 2 of which were only going to do 20 miles and at a slower pace. The rest of us were going to do the Zack Attack route, which takes you to Pine Level and back to the Grocery Bag. This route is 42 miles and really pretty flat. About 6 miles into the ride, my friend Erica decides to turn around as she isn't feeling well.

The rest of us went on from there. The pace was fairly fast, but not so fast that we couldn't talk to each other occassionally or ride side by side. We also had the wind with us all the way to Pine Level. After a brief stop at the local gas/service station, we headed back out. Unfortunately, the wind was a headwind now:(. It really slowed the group down, but that was ok too. Nothing really interesting happened on the way back except that I started to fade pretty fast. Most likely cause I didn't eat enough. Finished up climbing Jordan-Narron, which has a hill that just goes on and on.

After we finish the ride, load our bikes up and change clothes, 5 of us go down to the Grocery Bag for something to eat. Man, they have the best hotdogs and cheeseburgers!! Ate a hotdog & cheeseburger washed down with some chocolate milk. Yummy.

Stats for my ride:
Distance=43 miles
Ride Time=2:37hr