Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tsali Mtb Ride

So, today's weather dictated that we (Andy and I) would be in the woods instead of on the road...gusts up to 25mph or so and temps in the upper 30's to low 40's meant the road would be pretty cold. It was great temps for riding in the woods. I've never been to Tsali riding so I was looking forward to the ride - also just something different to do. Everyone I've talked to had told me how great the riding was there. Right on. It was great! I think I might have to get back up there and ride Tsali again - and, I think I know where I can borrow a mtb.

I no longer have a mtb (sold it 3mo or so ago), so I was borrowing Andy's wife's FS mtb. OMG. I would ride the mtb trails back home if I had a bike such as that!! Maybe I can sneak it into my car and take it back home with me. What an awesome riding bike!! The trails were great, some mud holes that I went through to try and get dirty, some climbs had to be walked, and near the end, a fall. I was trying to go up a climb and lost all momentum...tried to get unclipped, but not possible. Just fell over to the left.

Anyways...great riding today. Think we rode something like 12mi.

Andy at the ride start..

Fontana Lake

>>Comments from Andy at one of the forums...."Well, WP probably got a bit spoiled today riding my wife's Stumpy Pro mtb. LOL. She kept saying how great it was while I just tried to keep the rubber side down. I'm not much of a singletrack rider and it shows. But we had fun and I would have made a few more climbs had WP not stopped in front of me! Though I did dismount for the mudholes much more than she did. My tires just can't do anything in mud. Luckily most of the trail was very firm with the usual roots and rocks. It is mtbing after all."

>>Comments from Andy on another forum - "We saw just 2 other riders on the loop and for a while I wondered if we would see anyone. There were only 5 cars in the parking lot. Really, it was a perfect day to ride out there today."

Clingman's Dome Ride

Well, I'm up in Western NC spending, pretty much the whole week with my friend Andy. We got out Tuesday afternoon and drove over to Clingman's Dome to ride the 7.5 miles up to the observatory tower.....below is the report for the ride...

So...everyone that knows me, knows I've been just itchin' to get back up to WNC and get some riding in...went into work yesterday and "told" the boss that I'd like to take the 30th off in addition to the 31st & 1st, which I already had approval for. Got the ok for that, so this morning I left the house around 7:30 headed west.....

The plan for today was to drive over to the entrance to Clingman's Dome and ride the 7mi to the parking lot and then the 0.5mi on the paved pathway up to the observatory tower. Andy was riding his mtb (for who know's why??) and I on my trusty Fuji. He was all loaded up with a backpack as well that contained some more clothes in it for the return trip down the mtn.

It was a beautiful day near 50F to start though the temps really differed depending on whether we rode in the sun or shade. The icy rock walls made for a chilly refrigerator effect. The climb is a pretty steady 5-6% until the last half mile up to the tower which tops out at 6700'. This is the highest point one can ride a bike to in Eastern N.A. The grade up the paved trail is over 20% in 3 separate pitches with breaks to 10-12% between. It's a tough climb and Andy was smart to have mtb gearing today. It was a great ride though.

I felt absolutely great today. It was almost an effortless climb until the pathway. And, this is the first ride EVAH that I was able to ride ahead of Andy and pull away (only because he was riding a heavy mtb). Any other ride/time, and I am the one bringing up the rear! That pathway was a bitch and a half. I had to stop 2x and walk a bit, rest and find a lung. I don't think I've ridden anything that hard in a long time or ever. After stopping for the 2nd time, there was one more section to get up...Andy had just breezed by me on this pathway. I think he was sandbagging on the other 7mi. So, back on the bike and trying to get up to the top w/o stopping again. Couldn't stop anyways cause I knew he was gonna be waitng with the camera to get that pic of me suffering....

So, here are the pics from the ride....

>>Comments from Andy on another forum: "It was a beautiful day near 50F to start though the temps really differed depending on whether we rode in the sun or shade. The icy rock walls made for a chilly refrigerator effect. The climb is a pretty steady 5-6% until the last half mile up to the tower which tops out at 6700'. This is the highest point one can ride a bike to in Eastern N.A. The grade up the paved trail is over 20% in 3 separate pitches with breaks to 10-12% between. It's a tough climb and I was glad to have mtb gearing today. Great ride though."

The face of pain, near the top of the steep climb.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflections of 2008

Well, as the end of 2008 quickly approaches, I’ll try to make a post here and keep with the latest tradition of infrequent postings…

It’s been one crazy & hard year for me, one that I don’t wish to repeat, as far as the emotional toll I’ve had to deal with this year. I would repeat all the training and riding I’ve done this year though. That aspect of my life was great.

Reflecting back on 2008…the best & worst…the best things were the old friends who helped me through some tough times emotionally, who pushed me to my limits and past with cycling – without them, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the year. Cycling took my mind off of all the troubles or what-not I was going through at home. Other “bests” were planning, training, and completing some organized rides with certain goals attached to those rides. I think I did pretty darn good!

“Best” should also include the new friends made via Bikeforums and getting to meet some of these people from different parts of the country. SoCal trip was awesome. Meeting nyguy online over the summer and eventually meeting in person. We will continue to talk and see each other when possible and whatever develops, develops.

One more “best” – I’ve started riding with The Hammers during the week this month. I’m good enough now to be able to ride with them at a 20mph pace for 60+ miles. Of course, this is flatland riding and I doubt I could do that pace if you throw a lot of hills into it. But, L-Hammer keeps calling me back and the guys have accepted me into the group. I’ll keep riding with them until, for some reason, I can’t.

Some worst things…thankfully, not too many. Hmmm, I suppose the worst thing (depending on how one looks at it) was the separation that happened in July. Not going into details other than it was a long time coming and maybe should have happened sooner than it did. He and I remain friends and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Worst rides? Not too many, though Assault on Marion will rank up there with the worst. Very hot and did not ride well at all. Training was great for the ride, but it just didn’t happen. I missed my goal of 4.5hr by almost 30 minutes. Oh well. Next year, I hope to reach Marion in 4:15hr +/- and then complete the Assault on Mt Mitchell in another 4hr or so. Fabulous Fourth ride wasn’t too good either…failed to eat or drink properly and cramped really bad on the last climb. I think that’s pretty much it….

So, it's been a pretty good year for cycling and I guess for my personal life as well...I'm much happier here at the end of 2008 than I was this time last year. Hopefully, this upcoming year will be just as good or better!

Up next...cycling stuff for next year....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Week Before Christmas Review....

Well, this week is going to be somewhat interesting....I had to take my car to the mechanic for timing belt & water pump replacement. Scheduled an appointment for Monday and assumed that this meant the car would be worked on Monday. Wrong F'ing assumption. Dropped the car off Sunday evening and I have been without since then. Got a call from the mechanic this morning telling me that they area just now "tearing into it to see what parts might be needed". WTF????? So, if they don't have the parts, are they going to have them today and finish today???? Damnit. Not the freakin week for me to not have a car. GGGGGGRRRRRR

So, that means, I did not get to the gym on Monday. I suppose I could have ran/walked on my street, but I was not feeling very energetic and opted to rest more. I think I will need to do the run/walk this evening. Enough of this resting mess. I need my car back...I have things I need to get and stuff to mail and I just want my car back.

Here at work, we have a Christmas Luncheon on Friday. During the week, everyone usually brings things in to eat for snacks/breakfast and I'm going to be fixing a breakfast casserole for Thursday morning. Friday morning, I'll fix "pigs in a blanket" and wonton wrappers for early snack. My contribution to the lunch will be broccoli casserole. I don't think I'll be staying for the lunch this year. It's going to be low 70's for Friday afternoon and Jay wants to ride. So, I can't turn down an afternoon ride with him. Besides, I need to get all the riding in I close to 6000mi for the year...hopefully, I'll get some riding in this weekend between the rain....all for now....gotta get back to work!! :)

Another Day...

Another Dolla.

Not much going on since the last post. I did ride into work on Friday, December 12...up at 5am not realizing or even thinking about when sunrise, I didn't leave the house until 7:45am. Had a headwind all the way into work, but I guess those can be good for training. The ride home was great. I didn't leave work until 2:30pm and because it was such a pretty day that afternoon, I couldn't just ride the 15mi home and be done. Ended up with a 30mi ride and 45mi total for the day.

I went to the gym 2x that week, working on upper body weights, core stuff, and trying to do some running. My legs were feeling the effect of the running by Friday evening. 3hr Hammer ride scheduled for Saturday. We started out into the wind, down Buffalo Rd and towards Wendell. I could tell immediately, that my legs did not have 3hrs in them. I made it for an hour and turned around. Another guy was only riding for 2hr, so we both rode back to the cars together. It was a nice ride back....nice tailwind. Didn't do much the rest of the afternoon....had a party to go to that evening.

Oyster Roast Party at my friend Margo's place in N Raleigh. Lots of my friends there, plus, met some new ones. The food was great - steamed oysters, shrimp, grilled venison sausage, chicken bog, beer & wine. And moonshine later...will say no more. :)

Sunday was a complete rest day...nyguy admonished me for wanting to go out and ride. Told me that the others weren't riding for a reason and it wasn't so much that they had a was required. So, I listened and didn't ride or go to the gym. And, by 9-9:30pm, I was feeling pretty tired and sleepy. Why does he have to be right all the time??

Now, it's the week before Christmas and I think I'll do another post for all that's going on for this week. Break it up a bit.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ummm...Monthly Update???'s been a just about a month since my last post...seems like I never have time or maybe I just don't take the time to make posts here. I should. It doesn't take that long really.

So...Took a trip to NY to visit a friend and ride with a couple of online friends from BikeForums. Rode with Peter & Andrew in NY on Thanksgiving Day - a 50mi ride of rolling terrain, similar to the terrain of North Raleigh, with 3 very short but killer steep climbs back up to Peter's house. The rest of my time was spent with my friend in NY - included a trip to Bear Mtn and an 1.5hr bike ride on Saturday.

Between my last post and this one, not much happening (except for the trip to NY). Rode 150mi this past week (Tu/Th & Sat). Tuesday was interval day - I did 4x5min zone 4 intervals during lunch and that turned out to be around 17mi and some numbers that are outside my zone 4. I think I might need to adjust the FTP number....maybe....

#1: 207/201/98; #2: 201/192/99; #3: 188/181/95; #4: 180/176/100 (np/ap/rpm).

My zone 4 is 168-195w. So, looks like the first two intervals were too hard and the last two were right in the zone. I guess I need to re-learn the concept of Starting Slow to Finish Fast, eh?

This past Thursday, I rode with The Hammer was supposed to be a "winter pace" ride of 17.5+/- pace....well, Lawrence didn't ride and the pace was not as advertised....ended up with 57mi at a 19.2 pace. Immediately after that ride, I went to Inside-Out Sports to do a night cx ride at Umstead...oh boy....not enough food eaten and I struggled on that ride. But, it was fun and I'll go back again this week.

Saturday, my friend Andy was down visiting friends in Chapel Hill and he came out to Clayton to ride with The Hammers. Lawrence rode this time and the pace was as advertised...55mi/17.5mph. Good ride. I didn't do anything else that legs were toast. Sunday - day.

This the gym tonight - dreadmill and some upper body weights & core stuff.

Probably do another ride this week with Hammers and the night cx ride. Boy - that cx ride at Umstead was super fun! I sorta hope that the Hammer ride & cx ride are not on the same days...that was pretty hard. And, to end up the week...going to an oyster roast at one of my cycling friends home on Saturday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Upcoming Bike Stuff

I am going to start doing intervals and such next week. Guess I'll be figuring this out on my own this year - that friend/mentor/coach guy isn't going to help me any this year I don't think....good thing I took good notes last year when I started training.

Tenative schedule for next week....
Monday: zone 4 (168-195w) intervals - 4x8min with 5min rest between the intervals. Try to keep the cadence > 95.
Tuesday: zone 2 (104-140w) recovery ride - incorporate 4 powerstarts every 5min. Cadence > 95.
Wednesday: gym. 30min swim and 30min weights.
Thursday: zone 2 ride with high cadence drills (>120, low watts). 4x2min drills, 5min rest.
Friday: 1 hour ride with 4x3min zone 5 (196-223w) intervals. 6min rest between intervals. Cadence > 100.
Saturday: zone 3 tempo ride (141-167w). Try to get 2 hours in.
Sunday: No road bike today. Possibly take cross bike to Umstead and ride for 1.5hr. Possible gym before or after Umstead.

All of the above is tenative, as far as the wattage...I'm tempted to go out this Saturday or Sunday and perform an FTP test. I sorta think the wattages I've listed above might be slightly low, but not 100% sure.

I'll also have to do these rides during my lunch time. That's gonna mean that I will have to work till probably 5:30 cause I'm not sure I can get all of that stuff done in an hour with a 10min warmup/cooldown. Oh well, gotta do whatcha gotta do.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Afternoon Ride With The Guys

So, today, I had planned on going for a ride after I got my hair cut at 12:30. Wasn't really sure where I'd ride, but had thoughts of doing the Zack Attack route and maybe adding a few miles to it. But, while I was at the bank taking care of some stuff, I got a call from my friend Jay wanting to know if I had played hookey today. :)

He told me that Lawrence and a couple of guys were riding from Lawrence's house and I should come on out...but, but, I have a hair appt! Screw that! Get your priorties straight!! :) OK. So called and canceled the appt, rushed home, changed clothes and loaded up the bike stuff. Got over to Lawrence's house with a little time to spare. It was Lawrence, Jay, Jason, and myself initially and we picked Bobby up on the way.

It was a beautiful day today and a great ride down to the Four Oaks area. A nice relaxed pace - the boys must be gearing down for easy winter rides. Don't know how much elevation change we had - will have to ask Jay, but there were a few short steep climbs and I just picked a point out on them where I told myself "your gonna get outa the saddle and power on up this climb". It worked every time! I'm so proud of myself! There was one climb on the way back, on Steel Bridge Road that was very difficult last year prior to all my training. I crushed it. Hell yes. Stood up and crushed that mother.

That's it for my day. Have to check out the weather forecast for this weekend.....hope to get a ride in Saturday and one Sunday from the Carolina Brewing Co.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've been pretty damn slack about keeping this updated. I'm going to really try to keep it more up-to-date once I start the triathlon training the week after Thanksgiving.

So, what's happened since my last post?? I rode Tour de Nantahala on October 25 and the Tour de Franklin on October 26. Both were very good rides and had lots of climbing. TdN was a great ride, only 4 turns on the route. One major climb up Wayah Road. Holy cow, that mutha was one never ending climb, but I managed to do it without stopping. I guess I did pretty well - Andy and Neal were waiting just down the other side of the crest in the sun and told me that no one else had come down yet. They had been waiting about 10min I think. So, I actually did do ok! :)

TdN stats:
5:05hr ride time
13.77mph pace
6030' climbing

Tour de Franklin was the next day and it was a very cold start for me. I forgot my gloves and borrowed a pair from Andy. Not much help, as my fingers froze. I was so cold that I had thoughts of bagging the ride, but, I am not a quitter, so I pedaled on. My legs were hurting really bad for the first 30mi or so. Too many beers the night before at Andy's and not drinking enough for that first segment was the culprit. I started drinking more after the first rest stop and felt much better.

There were 2 major climbs on this ride: Skeena, which is .75mi and, I think, around 9.x% average grade. I crushed this one!! The last time I rode Skeena, it took me 10:30min to climb it (August). This time I did it in 8:30min - knocking 2 min off my time! Yay!! One more climb...Standing Indian. OMG. This was 4.5 to 5mi in length and of similar grade. This was one really hard climb. Didn't think I would ever get to the top. But, eventually made it! Nice descent down Winding Stairs and then the straight shot down US 64 back to the start.

TdF stats:
4:40hr ride time
13.9mph pace
5200'+/- climbing

Finished up with a shower at Andy's house and left around 4:15 for the long drive home.

Since then...not too damn much. I seem to have lost my motivation to ride lately. Maybe it was the time change, dunno. Structure and having to report to someone about my training rides was the greatest motivation last year. This year, I guess I'm on my own since I signed up for IM Cozumel. /rolleyes/ Speaking of that...I'm going to start actual training the week after Thanksgiving, but until then, I'll try to get a few more rides in and maybe some running. I'm going to probably use some form of one or more of the training programs on and I've got a couple of books on the subject. Hopefully, I'll be able to figure out a training plan.

Guess that's about it for now...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Requied Off The Bike Time

Well, looks like I'm going to have to take some time off the bike this week. Sucks cause I have a new cross bike just itchin' to be ridden and it's beautiful weather this week! I have a sprianed mcl in my right knee. WTF??? I haven't done anything to cause that except ride the new bike on Monday....

I rode about 90mi over the weekend and some of it was a bit hard for the first half of each ride...but, nothing that would cause the pain I was having Monday evening and all day yesterday....I put the spd pedals on the cross bike so that I could use the mtb shoes that are just laying around in the trunk of my car. I think, using this setup, it is a little different from my road setup and it caused me to put too much stress on the knee - I did notice while I rode at Umstead Monday, that my knee was hurting or feeling a bit uncomfortable during the ride. I kept looking at my foot position and I think it was twisted a bit and not straight on, like the road setup.

So...after the ride on Monday, I came home and iced the knee that evening. Felt a little better. But....Tuesday was a whole different story...I had pain when walking, going up/down stairs, and if I planted my foot and twisted a certain way, shooting pain. Uh oh. This is not good. I didn't think it was related to the bursitis/tendonitis that I've had, but I wanted to see someone about it. I called up the great PT and he worked me in yesterday afternoon. The pain is right in the joint line, medial side...He Dx'd as a sprian of mcl based on some poking/prodding, twisty stuff he did to my leg.

Will have to stay off the bike the rest of this week and hopefully I can ride some next week. I'll see the PT again once more Thursday...not really much he can do for a sprain though. Gonna cause me to miss Tour de Leaves over in Tryon now. :( Hopefully, I'll be recovered sufficiently by the end of the month (10/25) to be able to ride both days (Tour de Nantahala and Franklin).

Anyways...that's all now...Rest.Recover.Get.Stronger.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cozumel & Racin'

Cozumel, Mexico. November 29, 2009. IronMan. 2.4mi/112mi/26.2mi. Guess who signed up for this event??? Yours truely. Not sure what I was thinking - maybe I just wasn't thinking, but I signed up for this event 2 wks ago. Never done a tri before in my life. Guess I'm going to be getting familiar with doing tri's over the next year. Biggest thing is getting the swim under my belt. There is a time limit cutoff for the swim of 2:20hr so I need to make sure I can get most of that distance completed under that time.

I plan on starting a Couch to 5k program as soon as I'm recovered from this bronchitis and to run at least one 5k before the end of the year. I'll also be signing up for at least one sprint, olympic, and half IM prior to the full IM. Will need to get a tri done where I have to do the open water swim as well...guess I should look for one out towards the coast when the weather gets a bit warmer. I'm also contemplating hiring a coach sometime in the late spring/early summer that can help me properly train for the IM.....

Well, seems like the new friends I have are pretty sure that I can do some road races in the upcoming year. So, I am signing up for the Inside-Out Sports Cycling Team. I went this afternoon and tried the kit on - as they have to place the order Friday. There are 4 or 5 women on the team as of right now. We will be doing some road races and TT's at LMS next year. I'm really looking forward to doing this!

I guess I might have to re-think the rides I wanted to do next year now. I probably won't be able to do all of rides I did this past year since I'm going to be training for the IM and also participating in some races.

Oh well....I think this is a good thing - I really need some change, something exciting in my life now. I've lived here in NC for 43 years and I'm just not very excited about living here anymore. I'm thinking that once my kiddo graduates from high school, gets into college or the military, I may move. Not sure where tho. A new state, new friends, fresh faces & fresh starts. Maybe towards the NE part of the country as I have quite a few friends up in that area, especially my best friend in NH and the NY guy too. :) Dunno...that decision is about 8-10 months away, so there's plenty of time to decide on the new state of living.....

Stuff Since TdT

Trying to catch up a bit...

After TdT, I ended the following Monday with a sore throat and general feeling bad that evening. Woke up the next morning with the sore throat and decided to not go to work that day...ended up staying out of work all week. Did a lot of sleeping too...2 naps a day of 2-2.5hrs plus 6.5-7hr of sleep at night...started feeling better towards the end of the week and I was really glad because I had a trip to NY planned to meet a friend.

Flew up to NY Friday 9/26 and spent the weekend with my friend. A bit of sight-seeing and just general relaxing over the weekend. I had a great time, made a new friend and I'm looking forward to returning soon or having the friend come visit me soon.

Upon returning from this visit, I rode Cleo (the fuji bike) on Monday out at the Industrial Park in Garner. It's a 6mi loop with rolling terrain. I just rode, no specific goals in mind except to just ride and loosen the legs up since I hadn't ridden since 9/23. Tuesday I decided to get busy and do some intervals...getting back into the training mode. I only did 3x10min with 8min rest in between. The power was really good for these considering I haven't been riding a tremendous amount since August.

#1: 190/186/99/14.9 (np/ap/rpm/speed)
#2: 188/185/98/16.3
#3: 195/193/97/16.0

Took Wednesday off, don't remember why - maybe it was raining....I went back to the Industrial Park on Thursday and just felt bad. Couldn't breath too well - chest tightness/a bit of congestion/coughing...still cranked out 21mi at a 17mph pace. Friday's are usually half day's for me, so I planned on riding Tina (the red bike) to work. I went in a bit late to avoid the traffic and waiting until it was more daylight. Had a smoking pace! 15mi in 45-46min!! Still feeling a bit blah and didn't feel too well on the ride home...that breathing thing going on...

Saturday - I had plans to ride with JonA (one of hte guys I met while in the mtns for TdT) and a few other people. Met these guys at Strickland Rd YMCA and we rode about 22-23mi out Bruce Garner Rd (blistering pace too for me in that area - 18.7mph). The others with the group, elected to ride on for a little longer while Jon and I turned around and headed back. Good ride - 46mi/18.2mph. That's really good for that area. After lunch with Jon, I went over to Inside-Out Sports to demo some Cervelo bikes. I rode an R3 and an RS. Thought the RS rode the better of those 2, but I felt my bike rode the best. Guess that's a good thing!

Not much happening Sunday...took the kiddo to a hockey game, cleaned hte house up a bit.

Now....I'm home sick again. :( Bronchitis. Looks like I'll be out today (Wednesday) through at least Thursday. Might go in on Friday. I'm taking 2000mg/day of Amoxicillin and something for cough suppressant.

More to come in another post...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tour de Tuck, The Hammer Inn, Sunday "Recovery" Ride

Wow. What a weekend!! I didn't think I would ever get away from work last Friday...had to deliver some bbq chicken plates to people at work...took forever!

So, got on the road and made it up to Barry's place on the river around 4:45pm. Tommy and his ferocious dog, Jim, had arrived just a few minutes before me. OK...I've NEVER had a problem with dogs, every one I've ever met has liked me. Until now. So, there is good ole Jim sitting in the yard (guarding the property most likely) and I hold my hand out for him to sniff and see that I'm not there to bother anything. Damn, next thing I know, bad ass lunges at my leg and bites me. Rips my friggen shorts too. Uh. OK. I head towards the backyard, trying to keep this beast away from me and get Tommy's attention. I do and tell him that Jim bit me! Well, Jim gets corralled and tied up, Barry asks do I want a beer? Ummm, hell yes - with the stupid drivers around the A'ville area and getting bit for the first time in my life, that beer is gone in couple o'seconds. Take care of the bite with a little alcohol (no not the beer) and neosporin. All is good now. :)

With that out of the way, cooking goes on for the 3 of us...steak, chops, mahi-mahi, pasta/sauce, salad, bread. Good eats. Barry gets some firewood for the campfire and a nice fire is started. The Raleigh Contingency starts arriving a little later - sit around the fire for a while, talking with everyone, then, unfortunately, it's time to leave. I had plans to spend the night at Andy's for Friday and leave with him to ride to the start of TdT. Get over to his house, get stuff ready for the ride, chat a bit, then off to bed. I slept great Friday night! First time in a long time - didn't get up until 6:30am, about 30min before we were to head out.

Tour de Tuck
Arm/knee warmers/vest was in order for the ride, and something to cover my mouth/nose so I didn't have to breath that cool morning air. Those cool temps will bring on the EIA very quickly (exercise induced asthma). After talking with Barry & Tommy Friday night, I started with the century riders so that I could get through the first 2 'climbs' without having to try and work so hard to keep up with the metric riders. That worked pretty well. I stayed with the group at the start of the climb, but I didn't try too hard to stay with them. Got onto the 4-lane and worked pretty hard to catch up with 2 guys in front of me cause I didn't want to go solo and wanted that draft. Those guys looked to be good for some good drafting. :) So, caught up with them and got a good draft all the way to Sunset Farm Rd.

One of the guys (turns out to be Edde) pulled to the left and told me to go on cause he wasn't a good climber. He lies. Since we were riding about the same pace at this time, we rode together for a while; he dropped me at some climb before getting into Cherokee, but I saw him at the 1st rest stop. The ride into Cherokee was as it was last month - just rollers and some good descents. As I was leaving, the metric riders started coming in...I looked for Andy & Neal, but didn't hang around - I knew they would eventually catch & pass me. On to the parkway. I'm feeling way better climbing this time than last month, but I'm still not able to climb at more than 6.5-6.7mph. Sucks donkey balls big time cause I know I have the power to climb better. Weight is killing me. Anyways - not long after getting on the parkway, here comes Andy & Neal passing me. Andy mumbled something about "let's go catch that break-away!" Right. Not. I climb at my pace and no one else's unless I'm prepared to blow up. I was not.

The climbing was uneventful. Not as bad as last month, but barely better. I had to stop a couple of times to stretch the hamstrings & quads. I wasn't properly hydrated leading up to the ride nor was I very well rested. 4hr sleep a night just isn't cutting it. I knew it was only a matter of time before the cramps hit me. Yep...after that little short descent and then the last little climb, started to get the cramps in my right medial quad. I have learned to just push on through the pain of these cause if I stop, my legs will just lock up and then it's even harder to ride. So, pushed on through the cramping, got to Soco Gap, ate a couple of crackers, filled the bottle up. Saw Edde there too. Met up with some woman from FL riding with her friends. She was hurt (injured back) and just could not keep up with the friends. That's a good thing for me...she and I rode together for more than half of the Waterrock climb. Then, she dropped me cause I was getting cramping in both legs. Had to slow way down. I also dumped all the water. No point in carrying that extra weight.

Finally. Reach crest and who do I see??? Edde. We talk for a couple of seconds and I head on out. I had to put my arm warmers back on during the climb up WR cause the wind was blowing and I felt chilled. So, off I go. Love that descent from WR!! I'm pedalling for all I'm worth and I look back and there is Edde. He hangs onto my wheel for the whole descent. We stop very briefly at the rest stop in Balsam, then head on back to town. We ride together for a while, but I slowed up too much in some of the turns and he hammered away...just couldn't catch him after we got onto the flatter section near town. So, I just eased up and did a good little spin back to the start.

TdT web site has me finishing in 5:02hr but my powertap has 4:52hr. Neither are times I wanted, but I'll just use those as times to beat next year. I wanted 4:30hr and think I could have done that if not for the cramping. Oh well. I did finish and I was not DFL.

Found Andy & Neal, got some food, sat around talking a bit. Saw Edde again. In a kilt. Never knew I'd be seeing him again later that night at the Hammer Inn. /rolleyes/

The Hammer Inn
So, I had told Barry & Tommy that I would be back over to the Inn after a shower at Andy's. Got that done, left directions with Andy on how to get to the Hammer Inn for the 'recovery' ride the next morning and headed on over. Just about everyone else was there. Got the chair and a couple of beers and went down to the river to chill. Then it's decided that we need to head on out to get something to eat. I won't go into all the boring details....supper was at Mill & Main in Sylva...I got introduced to Mr Jamison (several times) along with several Guinness beers. I think I had quite the buzz going on Saturday evening. :)

Back to the Inn after supper, sitting around the campfire talking/laughing. Have no idea the time when I went to bed in the tent. I do know I woke up around 3am and had a splitting headache. Managed to go back to sleep till 7:30am when I heard voices. All went to the Huddle House for breakfast, to the UC at WCU for the 'communal poop' /rolleyes/ and then back to the Hammer Inn to prepare for the Sunday morning ride. Andy and Neal were there waiting on us.

Sunday 'recovery' ride was one of the fastest recovery rides I've done in a while. Same ride up Caney Fork that Andy, Neal and I did after Roan Moan. Except this was a very fast paced ride. I did ok till the climb, got dropped as usual. Caught back up on the descent, mainly cause I think they slowed up a bit. I was able to hang onto the back end of the group till a couple of miles before the turn-around. Made it to the turn-around, got a few pictures taken, then time to head back.

Well, it's pretty much all down hill for a long ways. I went out first and kept looking back to see where everyone was...I was going to be sociable and ride with the group, but they were taking freakin' forever to catch up to me. So, I said F'it. Let them catch me if they can and I cranked it up a notch. Damn. I held them off for the longest time. When I saw that they were going to catch me, I slowed up and jumped into the paceline. Then it got really fun. Lots of fast riding. Awesome! Dropped again on the backside of the first climb, but everyone waited to regroup at the crest. I thought that was nice. Once we regrouped, headed out again. Rich and I nearly got a squirrel that came running out into the road, but fortunately, he (squirrel) skidded to a stop and turned around. I just knew I was going down.

Fast pace on the way back to the Hammer Inn. For some damn reason, I found myself out front a lot pulling - I don't normally do that much pulling - guess I was unconciously making my case for acceptance/membership into the Honorary Hammer Club. :) Good ride back in - fast & furious, hanging onto every wheel I can - not going to get dropped. Managed to do ok till Hammer took off on the last little ascent before the turn to the Inn. I wasn't ready to race it to the turn. Had I known it was going to be a race to the turn, I would've participated, but instead I just let those boys go and took it easy.

So, back at the Inn, people are getting stuff packed away and preparing to head home. Andy & Neal leave and I tell Andy I'll be over in a while for a shower and get the rest of my stuff. Of course, after a ride such as this, one must partake of a little soaking in the river and a few recovery beverages. :) Gary, Mike, Margo, Hammer, and myself did just that. I did not want to go home. But, all good things must come to an end eventually, till the next time. Said my goodbye's & thank-you's, over to Andy's for the shower and then home.....

The Hammer Group at the turn-around Sunday morning. Left to right: me, Neal, Mike, Gary, Margo, Rich, Hammer (Barry), and Andy.

Me & Margo at the turn-around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here's The Next Update....

OK, long time between last posts….

Not too much has went on since my last post on September 4th. A couple of rides the weekend of the 6th & 7th and not too much since then. It rained a lot the week of the 8th and I only rode once that week. I think that was a good thing because I had been feeling pretty tired and not sleeping well either. No riding weekend of the 13th either for same reasons. I did take the kiddo to see the Women’s Professional Billiards Tourney over in Durham on the 12th – he (and I) liked that a lot. Some great players.

This week has been a light week for riding too. I rode on Monday at the industrial park off of Greenfield Parkway. It’s a 6mi loop with some little short speed bumps. There’s nothing hard about the loop at all. I was feeling really good, legs seem to be well rested, so I hammered out 22 miles at an 18.5mph average. Pretty damn good I think. I rode over in Cary on Wednesday – managed to stay with the fast guys until just before the turn-around time of 6:35pm. I let them go on, since they wanted to push the time limit a bit. I didn’t have a light, so opted to turn. Only 18-20 miles and something like a 17mph average. My legs were still feeling good.

I’m headed off to Western NC this afternoon for more great riding in the mountains. I’ll be stopping off in Cullowhee to visit another friend up there (Barry, aka Hammer), have some supper with him and some of his Raleigh cycling friends who will be up this weekend. Then off to Andy’s house. We’ll be riding Tour de Tuck this weekend. I’m really looking forward to the ride – I feel great and hope to have a great ride. I want to “save” a little for the last climb, up the backside of Waterrock Knob, and then just give 110% for a good hard 20 minute effort to see what my power numbers are looking like.

Lately, the np I’ve been getting on rides has been consistently above 200w. Andy says it’s just because I’ve been riding in a draft…I’m not so sure because my last few solo rides have had np’s that are above 200w. So, Waterrock Knob will be my first FTP-like test since March……

After the ride on Saturday, I’ve been invited back over to the Hammer's place to sit in the river, have a couple of cold ones, and just chit-chat about the days ride. Also have been invited to stay over – no, not in that way! I’ll be pitching a tent in the back yard, should I decide to stay. I’d like to stay because Sunday morning the guys will be getting up and doing something like a 30-40 mile “recovery” ride, which, again, I’ve been invited to participate in.

Then it’s head back home until the next weekend when I have a trip to NY planned to meet up with some fellow BF members.

Ride report for TdT posted Sunday or Monday

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's Up? :)

Hey People!!!

I had the most mileage last month Evah!! :) 750miles for the month of August. But, I think it might have been a bit much for me. Along with the not sleeping well since I came back from SoCal, the addition of all these miles has really worn me down. I rode this past Saturday/Sunday (50/31mi), took Monday off. Then I called Lawrence Tuesday to see what those guys had been doing and ended up riding with Dallas, Clifford, & Russell - an easy ride for them, but a bit hard for me - 19.1mph avg for 40miles.

The coach/mentor guy has given me 2x20min intervals at 170w to do 2x/week prior to the Tour de Tuck. I was able to get half of one done on Wednesday before I flatted. But, I just didn't feel like riding to begin with...felt that heavy, tiredness in my legs, and my heart just wasn't "into" the ride. After the flat, I just headed back to the car, finishing the interval along the way. For that one interval, I had a NP of 187 and AP of 168. Not too bad, though the AP should be closer to the NP. Hard to do when there are downhill sections and the power falls.

Then today....after lunch, I was just tired...felt like I really needed to have a nap. But, I didn't want to charge 2hr off from work, so I just tried to stick it out. I was going to leave at 4:30 and go home for the nap instead of riding with Dallas & the guys tonight. But.....Lawrence calls me at 3:50. He and Randall are going to go to the Greenfield Industrial Park off of Hwy 70 and do some laps. Easy, conversational pace is what he says it will be. I can't say no. 6miles per lap. And, what do you know - it was an easy, conversational pace! We did 3 laps and Lawrence had had enough; Randall wanted to do one more and I was feeling up to it, so we did.

Oh yea...during one of these laps, I sprinted up one of the mini speed bumps - attaining my PR for maximum watts!!! 822w!!!!!

We've also got Hurricane Hanna coming this way over the weekend - gonna bring some rain/wind this way - giving me a very good excuse to take a couple of days off......

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Haven't gotten much of that lately. Since coming back from SoCal, it seems that my sleep has been messed up. For the past 1.5 - 2 weeks, it seems like I'm waking up around 4:00-4:30am and not being able to go back to sleep. Just tossin' & turnin'. I'm thinking that if this continues, I'm going to go to the gym some during the week. It opens at 5:30am, so I could go get a good workout or swim in, get to work, and then do my intervals on the prescribed days...

Interval sessions are starting next month. 2x20min intervals at my zone 4 power. Going to be interesting since I've not done anything like that in 3 or 4 months. Maybe getting more exercise in during the day will help me to be more tired and get to bed a little earlier too.

Anyways.....must remember: Rest.Recover.Get.Stronger.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Condensed Updates....Well, It Is A Bit Long.....

Well, I didn't get around to this over the weekend - it was a pretty full & busy one! So, what's been going on in ole Wolfpack's life lately you ask? HeHe...lots of fun!

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I think the biggest change happened over the Fourth of July...Officially became separated from the spouse. I left work on 7/3 and drove to Charlotte to spend the evening with my friend J while the spouse was moving stuff out that day/evening. I managed to talk her into riding the Fabulous Fourth Metric with myself and friend Andy, from Sylva. Don't recall if I did a ride report on that ride or not, but I think I did....after that ride I headed on back home to Clayton and was greeted with an empty house....not literally. My kid was gone on vacation with his Dad, some of the agreed upon furniture & stuff was gone. It was kind of scary & sad all at the same time.

I went to bed sad that night, wondering if I'd done the right thing, having tons of doubt. Woke up the next morning and really didn't feel like going for the group ride, but made myself do so because I didn't need to sit around the house thinking about stuff. Had a great ride IIRC. The rest of the weekend went by pretty fast. That following week, I had a freakin' blast - out riding with my friends, making new friends, no one to answer to except myself. Then, towards the middle of the week, Andy asks me to come up and ride with him. So, of course I say yes! There's a ride report on that...

But, basically, the separation has been good for me. I've been tons happier the past 1.5 months - keep asking myself why I didn't do this sooner. Not sure that a reconciliation is in the plans. No new guy either - well, not quite true, but I'll just let y'all keep guessing on that:).....So, that's the life, the cycling stuff! :)

I've been riding a lot this month...mostly Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday. Tuesday's have been from The Spin Cycle - easy beginner ride of around 18mi and C pace, in preparation for the usual Hammerfest on Wednesdays & Thursdays. Wednesday's are rides from Cary with the pace somewhere between 16-18mph. After the rides are usually at the Ale House next door for a couple of beers & food. Thursdays are from TSC again, the C to C+ pace for 30+ miles. Having a great time on all of these rides!

Weekends....Let' see....I did a metric with one of my friends from the Falls Lake area the weekend of 8/9. Very nice ride & company. A beautiful day - we left at 6:30am - nice views of the lake at that time. I think I got in another 30-40mi the next day. Back to the mountains the weekend of 8/15 to ride with Andy. Since this one is more recent, I can remember more about it.....

WNC Weekend (8/15)
Left work at 11:15am and made super time up to Balsam, where I stopped at the rest area and changed into cycling clothes. My intentions were to ride up to Waterrock Knob. Parked at the Maint. Facility at the BRP and headed out. Made sure that I took it kind of easy for the first couple of miles until actually starting the climb. Initially, I was wondering what the hell am I doing? This is kinda hard. /rolleyes/ But, once I got a little more warmed up, the climb wasn't all that bad. Damn, that was fun! Just me. Just me learning to pace myself for almost 9mi of 6%+ grade. I did stop a couple of times, but only cause I wanted to get some pictures as I went up.

Took me 1:15 or 1:20hr to climb all the way to the top. Wow. I felt great! Great in that I did this all by myself, with no help/pacing from Andy. Even now, thinking back on it...I feel good about the ride. Once at the top, took a couple of pictures, called Andy and told him where I was and that I'd be at his house as soon as I got down off the mtn. Screaming descent! God, I love descending! Back to the car in about 15min! 9mi up, 2400' climbing. Then off to Andy's.

Saturday, I had wanted to do Ring of Fire or Ring of Scott, but when I had the profile up on the screen, Andy walks by and says "I'm not doing that!" Oh why not?? :) Because un beknownst to me, he had plans for a Tour de Tuck recon ride with fellow cyclists Sunday morning. But, for Saturday we did a ride from Whittier (I think) - The Road to Nowhere, in the GSMNP. Had a bit of climbing to do on this ride...ended up with 45mi/3hr/~2400' climbing. Felt ok on this ride...

Sunday - oh boy. Tour de Tuck recon ride with Andy, Barry, Dave, & Odell. Started from the LBS in Sylva, rode to Cherokee and then hit the first 10mi climb. Before we get to the climb, the ride to Cherokee was nice - mostly some flattish sections and plenty of rollers. I did ok on this part and the guys would wait for me at the top of the climbs. Once leaving Cherokee, we got to the BRP and I was in front of the guys for a short bit, just to get some pics. Then Barry, Dave, & Odell were gone! Andy stayed with me for a little bit, asking about my power output...190's. too high and he told me that I better slow down. I listened, but for whatever reason, I had no legs for this ride once the climbing started.

I can usually do climbs around there in the 6.5-7mph range. I was off by 2-2.5mph - slower!!!! It was awful. I didn't think I'd ever get done with the climb. Andy just rode on and left me, which was ok with me. I had the iPod and started cranking the tunes to see if that would help. Nah. All I could do was just put my head down and look at the pedals turning slowly and the sweat dripping off my nose & chin onto my bike. F. That was an awful ride. Made it to the crest, very fast & fun descent to Soco Gap, where we had left water the day before. My legs hurt SO bad!! I ate 2 gels and back on the bike for the last climb up the backside of Waterrock.

4.5-5mi of unrelenting climbing. But, for some reason, this climb did not seem as bad as the first one. I eventually made it to the top, where I found Andy asleep in the grass behind the guardrail. I gave him a shout and kept going. He eventually caught up to me somewhere on the descent and it was a nice ride back to the car. The legs were killing me on any kind of grade though. Seriously hurting. Back to his house, shower, change, pack, and went and had some lunch.

Home in record setting time....left at 3:45pm, hit the Wade Ave/I40 split at 7:30pm. Best time prior to that was 4hr. Bad thing....I hate to stop during my drive unless I have to get gas or the bathroom. Well, I pushed the gas a bit too far and ran out!!!!!!!!!! First time in over 20yrs that this has happened. Called the spouse (what do you call them now??) and asked him if he would mind very much to bring me some gas! I got 2.5gal then to the gas station for 13.5 more. My tank was totally empty.

So, that leaves us with this week and last week......last week was just the shop rides I've mentioned earlier. Plus I did a 1.5mi run on Wednesday. I'm going to try to do a little more of that - maybe pick out a 5k this Fall to do and a tri next spring....

I was supposed to ride with friend Martin to Virginia and back on the 23rd, but I was very tired/sore all week and bailed on that ride - 100+mi. Ended up riding with friends, Tim, Jon, Tracy, & Jon's friend Ed. Route was for 66mi but we (Tim, Tracy, myself) cut out 8mi because Tracy was having cramping problems. Nice ride. Right at a 22mph avg for the first 1.5hr - most like down US 1. Then the pace backed off since we hit the "hills" and no longer working in a paceline. Finished that ride in 3hr something I think....sat around afterwards at Tim's with our favorite "recovery" beverages.

Sunday (yesterday) was a 42mi group ride from the Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs. The 42mi group stayed together pretty well until the first real climb. Split everyone up and I burned up a lot of matches bridging the gap to the lead group. Thank god they stopped at one intersection for regrouping. I got into the middle of the paceline and tried to recover. Did manage to recover a bit and had an 18.2mph avg to the rest stop. I did ride behind this woman who pedals toe-down. All the time. Wow. Her calves were always flexed. That's how I used to ride (try not to now) and I can see how I would be cramping from that. And, she is a masher!! I mean, really. It just hurt my knees to ride behind her.

After the rest stop, it was some long downhills - I hooked up with another guy and we (the whole group) were split up. Carlos and I took a short cut back to the CBC - avoiding this killer hill (and, yes, Andy, this one is tough. Very steep). Neither of us could have done it. Well, I'll take that back, yes, I could have done it, but it would have been brutal. Carlos pulled me the entire way back - last 10mi. Such a trooper! And he's got the nice legs to look at as well. :)

Free beer once you got back to the CBC. :) I should've been doing these rides earlier! I think there's only one more from the CBC. :(

So --- I'm caught up! That took a while - need to be more diligent in writing to the blog. I just have Tour de Tuck coming up in a month. Need to talke to that coach/mentor guy and see if I should be doing any "training" for this. After my dismal recon ride, I want to do so much better on the actual ride. Was thinking of it as a C ride, but I'm almost thinking of treating as a B ride. We'll see....

OK - gotta run -- work is calling!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Updates Are Forthcoming.....

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be updating the blog, hopefully, this weekend. I've been a bit slack about it since I've not been doing any real training.....nothing but just riding for fun mostly. I still use the powertap, but I've learned to just not look at it right now.

Anyways, I'll update with what's gone on in my life & cycling over the past few weeks, hopefully this weekend....

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm Just Blah

Yea...I'm just in a blah mood this week. I don't feel like finishing the blog report for my Saturday Mt. Baldy ride or the Sunday Newport Beach ride. I'll probably get around to getting the ride report and photo link on here, but I'm just not in the mood right now.

Lots of crap going on in my life this year and it all came to a final decision last month. The SU and I have decided to live apart for a while. I don't know if we'll get back together or not, after or before the end of his 9mo apartment lease. Right now, I'm fairly happy with the way things are, though to have someone to do things with is still on the top of my list. That person has yet to be found. I guess I'm just impatient....Good things come to those who wait and are patient. I will wait and I will be patient.

Dunno. That's gonna be hard (waiting & patience), but I'm going to try....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Friday - Oceanside Ride

Photobucket Album

Thursday's Pictures

Photobucket Album

My SoCal Biking Trip - Thursday & Friday

I have been planning this trip to Southern California, San Diego specifically, since my friend Andy's visit out there in early April.

So, the day finally arrived last flight from RDU to SAN was July 30 and I would be staying out there until Monday, August 4. I haven't flown in 12 years, so I was just a bit apprehensive about this flying thing....dang...there was nothing to be apprehensive about! I loved the take-offs! All flights to and from SAN were pretty much uneventful.

I arrived out there around 9:30pm (pst) and was picked up by my friend Jason. Jason has been out to the WNC mountains to ride with me and Andy over Christmas and for the May ride that several of the local Raleigh people rode. We got a bite to eat at an all night diner then he dropped me off at my motel in Del Mar. I didn't take my bike with me, as Jason rides a Cervelo R3 in 54cm, which we made work for me. We did this by using a shorter stem (brought by me), a 0-offset post (brought by me) and my saddle. The fit was really good. The bike rides fantastically great!!!! Since I did not bring a bike and we were going to get his fit to me Thursday evening, I had nothing really planned for that day....just some sight seeing.

So, with no car rented (hadn't planned on it), Jason let me borrow his for the day. He drives a BMW 3 series and lemme tell ya....that is one awesome car to drive. 6-speed, road hugging machine! I had heard about this pie company, Julian Pie Company, (Pie Rides from somewhere in SoCal to the Pie shop) and decided that I would drive up there for pie. Ulterior motive was to get his car out on a twisty curvy road and let it rip! OMG. What a blast that car was to drive. It sticks to the road & curves like glue! It was about 1.5hr drive up and back. I had lunch up there - turkey sandwich on whole wheat and a slice of strawberry/rhubarb pie. Damn that pie was good. Purchased an apple pie to bring back...

Once headed back towards San Diego, I decided to drive out to Coronado to see the famed Hotel del Coronado. There were lots of people & cars there, really no convenient place to park, so I drove to the end of the island and on the way back took pics of the hotel. Headed on back to my motel for a shower before going to pick Jason up at work. Since we had a bit of time to kill, he took me to his work to show me around and to Mt. Soledad. That is some serious climbing to get to the top of that.

After this, we picked up another guy who was having dinner with us that evening. Dave chose the restaurant - a korean bbq type. I had some really good food, stuff that I have never had before, but it was very good. I'm all for trying out new things. :) Prior to going to supper, we stopped at wal-mart for some zipties...Dave let me borrow his powertap wheel and equipment and we wanted to put it on Jason's bike. Bad thing is...the zipties were too big, so we were unable to get that stuff on prior to the ride on Friday. So, back to my hotel for some rest before the ride on Friday.

Friday's Ride:
First - I wish there were a way to insert pics like there are in's a real PITA to add pics.

Jason picked me up around 9am for our drive up to Oceanside to meet with Grumpy Pig (Frank) & igoyippy4skippy (Andrew). We arrived shortly before 10am, got the bikes ready, met those 2 guys and off we went. It was a very nice morning, temps in the low 70's (i think). We headed off, taking the road right next to the ocean. Gosh, it's beautiful there!

We rolled at a nice easy pace until we got on the main road, and then it picked up a bit. I don't know how fast we were going as I had no computer, but it seemed like we were moving at a good clip. We were meeting jsigone (Jeff) & another guy, Ian (IaninSD) at a coffee shop in Carlsbad (?). Made really good time to the coffee shop, we were about 10min early. Had to make a few adjustments to the saddle tilt and then Jason and I went next door to the LBS and aquired some zip ties to attach Dave's PT to the bike. Got that done and all of us were off again.

A bit of a nice long flat section and the guys just took off. We were still moving good! There were a few rollers along the way and I managed to stay with these guys for most of them. The short ones anyways. The longer ones, I just dropped back and let them go. I learned quickly, riding with Andy and others who climb well, to not try and keep up. I either ride at my pace or blow up trying to keep up. That definitely wasn't the plan for this ride.

We had bike lanes all the way, IIRC. That's really nice, compared to what/where I'm used to riding here in the Raleigh area. And, for the most part, the drivers are pretty courteous. Pass through Del Mar...saw this one woman dressed pretty scantily, and she had tan lines galore! I guess the way she was dressed would have been a little better if she had at least been tanned all over.

Once through Del Mar, it's downhill for a ways then up Torrey Pines. I think Jason said it's like a 6% grade. Very doable by me, but at my pace. The PT doesn't seem to be registering the speed correctly but I think the power is good. So I settled into a pace/power I knew I could climb at comfortably and just climbed. Frank, Jeff, Andrew, and Ian took off! Dang, these guys have some legs!! I don't think Frank has enough leg muscles though. /rolleyes/ I think I got a couple of pics as he was outa the saddle climbing Torrey Pines. Nice.

Anyways, Jason stayed with me and we made it to the top, not in a record breaking pace, but something sustainable for me. I believe I climbed most of it with one gear saved, which I used towards the very top. Upon reaching the top, the guys were waiting on us, we chit-chatted for a bit, Ian left to go back to work (?) and the rest of us took the route back down TP that's more scenic. Then, it's climbing back up to Del Mar. Again, just taking it at my pace. Wasn't too bad and the legs were feeling good.

Once through Del Mar, there's a long stretch of flat and Mr. I'm Going To Put The Fire Out (Frank) took the lead...we were really rolling at a good clip, I had wind from that and from the cross/headwind...out pops the contact! Tried to get it pushed back in, but that didn't work. Oh well. Never have lost one before riding.

One thing...what's up with the roads??? You'd think out there that they wouldn't be so rough, but dang! Our rough roads in NC are smooth compared to these! The BRP is like riding on glass! Sooooo smooth!

We stopped at a deli in Carlsbad, I think, and had lunch. Very good sammich. Turkey on whole wheat, some Salt & Vinegar chips, & drink. Yummy. Sat around talking and watching people for a while, then it was off to finish the ride....only 3 more miles to go! Frank stopped at his house and the rest of us went on to the train station. Jeff & Andrew rode more - maybe 70 miles total. Jason and I loaded up our bikes and then headed to his parents house. We stayed there Friday and Saturday evenings.

Oh yea, not sure on distance/pace, but I think we got around 45 miles and maybe 16-17avg.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekly Recap

Whew! I have around 150mi for the legs are a bit sore/tired. I didn't eat properly on Wednesday and I really paid for it on the ride. My legs screamed, I was starving half-way through the ride....not a good day. I guess that plus 4 straight weeks of 130+mi means I need a rest week this coming week before Roan.

Tuesday was with the "beginner" group - an easy 18mi ride, where me & another guy took turns riding really hard for short distances and then waiting up for the group. Went out to eat with the guys afterwards.

Wednesday was another group ride - something close to 32mi, but, as I mentioned above, I didn't do so hot on that ride, but refused to be dropped by my friend. I would do short intervals to catch back up to him...similar to what I did when Andy dropped me on climbs at the FFM on 7/4. My legs have been really sore/tired since then.

Friday, I had the bright idea to attempt a metric in the afternoon heat. Abandoned that idea after about 15 miles....way too hot/humid, no shade, and legs still feeling sluggish....35mi ridden.

Saturday was a group ride, rode with my friends Jay & Erica. Erica had to SAG after about 18mi - she wasn't feeling well. Jay and I continued on...good to ride with him again! :) Even though we ended around 11:30 - it was getting pretty warm and, again, there is not a lot of shade where we ride - so riding in the heat/humidity plus no shade, makes it tough. Right at 50mi, 2:50hr.

Sunday - short 28mi ride with a guy from work earlier this morning. I could really tell that my legs were tired...lots of short hills and I just didn't seem to have any power. Then after I got home this afternoon, got an email from Jay...he had a 30mi route to ride this afternoon. I'm addicted to cycling....I so wanted to tell him I could come ride, but my legs are toast now...maybe I'll get to ride with him later this week.

So, that's it for this past week. Next week is going to be a really easy week leading up to Roan Moan.

One Week To Go...

Yep. One week to go before my very first mountain century. Roan Moan is next Saturday (8000' climbing)...I'm pretty sure I will be able to do this ride. I feel confident, especially after completing 2 centuries and completing 77mi last weekend in Franklin.

I will have a fairly easy week next week...only going to ride on Tuesday (well, that one is a maybe) and Wednesday (normal group ride that I've just recently been able to start riding again). Off on Thursday and then travel Friday afternoon. I might ride a little bit Friday evening, but I'll be staying in Burnsville, so I don't want to do any kind of climbing the day before...just something easy.

Will post ride report after I get back.....

Monday, July 14, 2008

WNC Weekend

Photobucket Album

WNC Weekend of Climbing

Another great weekend of riding up in WNC!! I arrived kinda frazzled Friday evening - traffic was awful. So, there was no riding on Friday, which probably was a good thing.

The route for Saturday, except we cut out part of it - went from MM65 to MM77/78.

View Interactive Map on

Saturday morning we were to be out and riding around 8am, but someone didn't get up till 7:45am!! I quickly got some great leftover pasta from the night before, topped off the water bottles and Andy & I headed out to Franklin to start our ride. The route sort of followed the Tour de Franklin metric route (I think) and then some additional loops. The terrain was gently rolling for the first hour - we set a nice easy pace and I was making sure to eat (gel) & drink (Perpetuem) about every 15min. After this hour, we come to the first climb - Buck Creek, which is about 10 miles in length. I climbed this one in just a little over an hour - 1:12. Not too bad I don't think. Will have to check when I get home to see what the numbers for both climbs were....

This climb was not too bad at all. Not as hard as I expected. I guess I've come a long ways in 10 months! I would never have been able to do this climb 10mo ago. Anyways, I just set a pace that I knew I could sustain and didn't bother trying to keep up with Andy. He never got too far ahead of me, maybe around a hundred yards. The scenery up there was just gorgeous and traffic was minimal.

After this climb, we had a nice descent on Hwy64, IIRC. As we were descending, we passed another rider was one of Andy's friends Ludwig...this guy is awesome, rides all the time. As I was looking around to see if Andy was going to stop & talk or anything, I almost wrecked! I turned around and I was on the white line and headed towards the ditch. There is NO shoulder. I thought "oh shit" but leaned to the left as much as possible and got back on line and headed in the right direction. That was really close. And, it would not have been pretty had I wrecked.

We passed Bridal Veil Falls as we headed down US64 and the Cullasaja Gorge. After the near wreck, we reach a little store and get some water, heading on down the Gorge. I let Andy lead the way, as he wants to stop at Dry Falls & get my picture, but work is being done on the parking lot so we have to skip it. We stop at an overlook (well, really, just a pull off) and take pictures of Cullasaja Falls. The drought has really hurt this area....the last time I was there, back in '05 maybe, there was A LOT more water flowing. Took a couple of pictures and headed on towards Highlands.

Once we got to the Highlands area, we skirted through some neighborhoods until we came to a T-intersection and he says he doesn't know which way to go! LOL. We turn around and go ask some guy working in his yard. Get back on track and then it's nice rolling terrain again until we come to the second climb of the day. South Skeena Rd. This one was pretty short, only about .75mi in length, but the grade was much steeper than Buck Creek. I think I was pretty slow up this one. The temps were getting hot, my IT band left knee was hurting, and I was getting a bit tired. I managed ok though. It took me 13 minutes to do this climb.

Finished that climb with a nice long downhill on some road that I can't remember the name of...take a left and we do the Standing Indian climb, take a right and we stop for water and head on back to the car. We opted for the right since it was getting on up towards 3pm and we had plans for that evening - meeting some of Andy & his wife's friends on the Parkway for a picnic. We finished up the ride on Hwy 64 - nice wide shoulders and the cars generally moved over to the left lane as passing.

Overall, that was a great ride. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't have time to do the full 95 miles or even 100 miles, but I'm sure there will be other times. Maybe I'll head back up there in August and we can attempt to get in the full distance. I felt soooooooo good Saturday. I paced, ate/drank well, and it really showed. That nice long warmup was key too. Only problem I had was my left IT band was killing me at times. I couldn't get out of the saddle to climb later on because it was just excruciating. I'm going to really have to work on this over the next 2 weeks before Roan Moan....

Sunday was pretty much a wash as far as riding. We were starting at the overlook where the SEBF Fall ride started last year and planned to ride up to Richland Balsam & back. But, the weather had other plans. Last year, when we started this climb, I was in trouble immediately - looking down to see if there were any more gears. This year, 10 months later, I never went to my 28 cog. At least 1 or 2 below that. And, I felt like I was flying up this climb...probably was compared to last year. 8.2mph vs something like 6mph. I was also putting out higher watts and not suffering. I was holding the wattage in the high 180's to low/mid 190's for all of the climbing. For me, that's sorta high. Maybe my FTP has increased.

So, we made it up to about 4.5 - 5 miles and the rain was starting to come down pretty good. Decided to turn around because it does not get any better the higher you go. Heading back down was not as fun because of the wet roads. Back down at the car, it was quite balmy and much less rain coming down. Packed the bikes up and headed back to the house to change & pick up Andy's daughter and then get some lunch.

After lunch - I had to pack my stuff up and head home. :( It's so beautiful up there! I really wish I could find some work up there with the DOT and move. But, that move won't be this year...I have to at least wait till my kid graduates high school next year....

That's all...I'll try to remember to post some pics later this evening.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Week in Review....

It's actually been a really good week for me. I've had some changes happen in my life over the past few months and big ones more recently, which I think are a contributing factor to how I've felt this week. I don't want to give out lots of details, as that part of my life I like to keep somewhat private - except for a few close friends. Let's just say that I have been really happy this week considering all that has occur ed.

I rode Friday through Monday, Tuesday off, rode Wednesday, and off Thurs/Friday....

Monday was a really great ride with some friends and my first real ride computerless. It was great! No pressure/stress to do anything but ride and to not let this one guy get too much of a breakaway on the group. I succeeded. :)

Wednesday - oh boy. What a ride! Met my friends in Cary and rode the OMV Wednesday ride....storms were headed our way. We made it 9.5-10 miles out, to the first turn, and decided to head back in as the sky was getting darker, thunder rolling, and then some lightning. Rode pretty hard for the first 5mi, then as we were stopped at Hwy 55, felt the first drops of rain. Rode in TT mode from that point until the bottom completely fell out in Holly Springs. O.M.G. did it fall!!! Torrential downpour, couldn't see 5' in front of me, water on the road about an inch deep. It was like riding in a pressure washer - the rain hurt so bad. Lightning strikes all around us - we just couldn't get back to the cars fast enough, but eventually did.

Once back & in a dry set of clothes a group of us went to the MacGregor Ale House for food & drink. I had a blast. Again. It's so good to be feeling happy again!

No ride Thursday and Friday (today) I'm headed back to WNC for another weekend of pain. :) Not sure if I'll get a ride in this evening or not - depends on the weather and what time I get up there.....