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.