The Week Before Your First Century Ride

Well, my training is wrapping up this week as my first century bicycle ride draws near. Today I wanted to share with you what I’ll be doing this last week before the big ride. Stuff like press conferences, sponsorship signings, and pics with perspective podium girls. Ha, ha! Just kidding. Lots of things have gone into me getting ready for this event. First and foremost has been the training. Lots of it. As of this morning I’ve ridden 1152 miles this year in preparation for this first century of my cycling career. I’ve changed the way I eat and worked hard on my hydration habits. I’ve learned how to fuel my body while on the bike in order to have the energy to complete the long training rides I did. I’ve managed to raise money for a great charity. I’ve worked with two very good people in Darryl and Kelli who have guided me through the last 12 weeks providing both inspiration and knowledge. It all leads up to these final five days before the Tour de Cure on May 21, 2011. Boy I’m excited! So, these final five days I have a lot of things to think about and do. They are: Continue tapering. The last two weeks of the training schedule taper down on the riding so my body can recover from some of the suffering I’ve put it through the last few weeks. Those long 60-70 mile rides took a lot out of my fat body so it’s been good to start recovering as the century ride draws near. Hydrate. Next to eating right, hydration has...

Cycling can be Dangerous

Yesterday we got a stark reminder of how dangerous the sport of cycling can be when Wouter Weylandt was killed during Stage 3 of the Giro de Italia. It’s always a sad day when a cyclist dies regardless if it’s a pro racing a grand tour or a local rider out training or commuting. You never want to see someone lose their life doing something they love. The events of yesterday did get me thinking while I was out riding this morning as I’m sure it did a lot of you too. The events surrounding Wouter Weylandt’s crash are still sketchy as there were apparently only one or two witnesses. It appears they were on a very technical descent and Wouter took his eyes off the road in order to assess the situation behind him. During this brief period he clipped a wall with his pedal or handlebar which caused the crash that lead to death. I haven’t read it in any of the reports but it appears his death was instantaneous which points towards a very gruesome and catastrophic crash. Unfortunately accidents like this do happen in pro cycling. I vividly remember watching the Tour de France in 1995 when Fabio Casartelli was also killed on a descent. While riding this morning I couldn’t help but reflect on yesterday’s events and it struck me that the cause of his crash, a glance backwards, seems so benign in the whole scheme of things. Sure, they were on a technical descent, going fast, but how many times do you think he, or other pros, have taken that look? They probably...

Tour de Cure Training Catch Up

Sorry folks but I’m behind on my posting. Things have been a little crazy around the hacienda, work, and needing to devote time to the riding. All-in-all things are going great and I’m going to give you a quick update on the training as I prepare for the Jacksonville Tour de Cure on May 21, 2011. The mileage has been steadily increasing as I worked my way through the Tour de Cure training plan and two weeks ago I passed the 50% mark for my 2011 cycling goal of 2000 miles. Hard to imagine that but it’s only May and I’ve already ridden over 1100 miles this year. I’m totally blown away by that because I’ve got another six months of good outdoor riding left. Awesome! The last two Saturday rides I’ve ditched the shop ride so I could concentrate on getting in my long rides at my pace. If I did the shop rides I’d be totally gassed by mile ten and not want to ride another 50 or 60 miles. So I headed out to the local rail trail and did 60 and 73 miles the last two Saturdays. The weather couldn’t have been better for each but I think our Spring is officially over as of yesterday. I’m thinking the century ride on May 21 will be hot, hot, hot. Anyway, this past Saturday’s ride was probably my longest ride ever at 73 miles. I know back in 2009 I did a 63 mile ride but my bike broke soon thereafter and I went bikeless for several months and didn’t get to do the century I...

Wiping Away the Dirt and Reflecting on the Miles

It’s about 8:00 PM and I just finished what has become a semi-ritual for me. Giving the bike a wipe down in preparation for a new week of riding starting tomorrow. It’s kind of like therapy. I’m a neat-freak by nature but there’s something to be said for cleaning the trusty steed and reflecting back on the week’s riding. The temperature is starting to dip along with the sun. A few clouds are drifting across the darkening sky on a slight breeze. Great weather to wrap up a great week of riding. Baby wipes, five-gallon bucket seat, and Kronenbourg in hand, I set out cleaning the weeks road grime off the bike and reflected on the past week. It didn’t start out so well with me not feeling great on Monday. I only managed 26 miles total for the week by riding on Tuesday and Wednesday. Friday was a wash with some rain/wind that was still hanging around. So, not the best week for mileage. Saturday was a new day. It dawned cool at 58F without a cloud in the sky and no wind. I had a long ride on the training schedule and decided to forgo the shop ride in order to get the mileage I needed at my pace. I opted to go ride the Jacksonville to Baldwin Rail Trail. The last time I rode that trail was on May 3, 2008. Almost 3 years ago. I couldn’t have picked a better day to ride it. The trail is 15 miles out and back so I planned to ride it twice in order to get the miles...

A Helpful Hand to the Big Man

Last Saturday I went out to do a local shop ride again. Just like the previous Saturday, I was planning on starting out with the fast group and stay with them as long as possible. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well and it turned out to be a pretty crappy ride. And it was my own fault. I arrived at the shop a little before 7 am so that I was ready for a 7:15 roll out. I’ve only been attending this ride for a couple of weeks but it looked like all the normal guys were there except for one or two. That made about ten total in the group. I actually only know the names of two guys in the group and they both work at the shop. The rest of the guys (no ladies in the group) pretty much keep to their own little group and talk amongst themselves. They’ve obviously been riding together for a long time. That may explain why none of them have ever say hi. Anyway, we roll out and fall into a double paceline with myself and one of the shop guys I know riding at the back. The group gradually builds up speed until we’re cruising around 19 mph and the lead riders of the pacelines begin taking pulls of a few minutes in length. Eventually, I’m at the front and dutifully take my turn cutting the wind. And it was windy that day. We make a right turn and ease up on the pace as we get ready to merge onto a higher trafficked road to cross a bridge....
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