I’m the Shop Wheel Sucker

My last group ride with the guys from the local shop was in October. I wanted to ride in November and December but something always got in the way – getting sick, the holidays, family obligations, etc. A couple of weeks ago I tried to make it to a ride and realized halfway there that I had forgot my helmet. It just wasn’t meant to be. I wouldn’t be denied this past Saturday though. On Friday I made sure everything was ready and in one spot so all I had to do was throw my stuff in the car. I was so prepared that I had plenty of time to wait at the shop while everyone else showed up. I had heard that for the winter rides fewer riders showed up and that was the case as we left with only about ten of us. The weather was going to be nice though with highs near 75F in the afternoon. After our customary 3-4 mile warm-up I came to the quick realization that I had waited too long to get back out here. I was hurting already and it wasn’t going to get easier. As we crossed over a bridge I pulled off my trademark move – the stealth slide back to the B group. Except I was already leading the B group. So I just stayed where I was. Three of us made up the group including the shop owner who drove a relentless pace when in the lead. Two other guys joined us that broke off from the A group so five of us ended up settling...

2011 Patriots Memorial Ride Report

Saturday saw me do my second charity ride of the year at the 10th Annual Patriots Memorial Ride. It’s been held each year following the attacks of Sepember 11, 2011 in honor of those who died. I had gotten a lot of riding in over the past month so I was looking forward to the ride and how I would hold up. I arrived at the high school we were departing from at about 6:30 and proceeded to get ready. About six of us from our normal Saturday morning shop ride were gonig to meetup and do this ride together but only one other guy showed up. I consider him a strong rider but didn’t know until after the ride was done that this would be his longest ride ever. After a ceremony that included a color guard, singing of the national anthem, and gun salute, we we’re ready to roll. The initial strategy going into this ride was to do it about 18 mph. At least that’s what was discussed at a couple of the shop rides with the other would be participants. With me and one other guy showing up we basically just rolled out and tried to hook up with a group. About five miles in we had settled into a group of about 10 riders and were rolling along at 19-20 mph. That felt like a good pace so we just hung near the back to see how things played out. At about the 11 mile point we made our first turn and the group dwindled down to seven riders. We would stay together for...

Don’t Get Caught Without A Rubber

I had some great plans this weekend and I was excited. I posted a pic on Dailymile of the five-day forecast and the great weather we were going to have. It made for a great opportunity to get out and work up a sweat. Then, on Saturday, I was given a dose of reality as I violated one of those unwritten rules every dude should know. I got caught without a rubber. Sorry about that but I just couldn’t resist that post title. The rubber I’m referring to is, of course, a tube for my road bike. The weather this weekend has been perfect here in North Florida and I was super excited about a nice two-hour early morning ride on Saturday. Fate, on the other hand, had different plans. I got up, went through my whole morning routine of getting kitted up, drinking 4 oz of water mixed with 4 oz of juice, and eating half a banana. I even had about half a cup of coffee. What was even better was that I was going to be able to ride without tights and arm warmers. That alone had me totally jacked to ride. Ah, ignorance is bliss. Once down in the garage I immediately noticed my back tire was flat. If I was going to have one I’d rather it be now than out on the road so I set about changing it. I had one spare tube in my seat bag so I pulled it out and quickly swapped it out with the bad one. Before putting the new one in, an inspection of the tire...

Chain Cleaning and Racking Up the Miles

Last week saw me only able to get two rides in due to some nasty, rainy weather almost all week. Plus, on Saturday, I woke up with some serious sinus issues that kept me from riding. I’m actually quite lucky I haven’t gotten real sick with my wife and two of my daughters under the weather. Luckily, I’ve dodged that bullet. Like I said, only about 24 miles on the bike last week which, honestly, stinks. Not much I can do about it though except start this week off right and that’s what I did this morning. I was up at 5 AM and rolling by 5:20. Aside from being about 40F outside, the weather was perfect – crystal clear and no wind. I felt like I pushed it hard this morning but know in spots I let the pace slack off some as I’m just not conditioned yet to maintain a high pace for my full hour ride. I’m getting 16-17 mph comfortably for some parts of the ride so I’m hoping that before long I’ll see my pace for these morning rides increase to the upper 14 mph range and start pushing 15 mph plus. That 15 mph pace is kind of a barrier for me and I’m not sure if it’s physical or mental. Probably a little of both but likely more physical than mental. Anyway, the numbers for today’s ride are: 13.1 miles in 57 min at a 13.8 mph pace. I really thought I was faster than that. Tested out the Chain Cleaner If you follow the Biking To Live Facebook Page you know...

Riding Update and New Gear

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t been able to post at all so I apologize. Contrary to popular belief, I’m neither a full-time blogger. The 9-5 soaked up a ton of my time this week which makes me wonder why it’s called a 9-5. More like an 8-6 but I’m not complaining. Because I’ve neglected posting this week I’ve got a few things to cover in today’s post. Strap yourself in, squirt a gel, and grab a wheel. Moving in the Right Direction On the riding and weight loss front I’m seeing improvement which is great. I saw numbers on the weight scale this week that I haven’t seen in a long, long, long time. Good stuff. I can also tell my riding is getting stronger even though I’ve only managed two rides this week. The weather here has been terrible with today being the first day it hasn’t rained in a while. Today’s ride was particularly nice and I felt very, very comfy in the saddle today with no undercarriage issues. I tried to push today’s pace harder than normal and rode about 85% of the 13 miles in the big ring which is a change for me. I got over the big ring ego a long time ago and am happy to push the small ring until I get stronger. I’m now at the point where I can confidently ride a bigger gear and keep my cadence up. Today’s ride was for 13.12 miles in 54 minutes at 14.4 mph. I honestly thought my pace would have been better but I’ll take it. I did...

Intervals Started This Week

As we move into week #3 of the Cycling for Optimum Weight mission, I began a new workout sent to me by Darryl of Loving the Bike. To recap the last two weeks, I’ve just been riding to get in a total of 5.5 hours in the saddle. Pace and distance weren’t as much a priority as getting the time in. This week though we move into more of a ‘training’ mode and start interval training. Saturday’s Ride Before we dive into intervals, I wanted to talk about Saturday’s ride. I slept in till about 9 AM on Saturday morning. I wasn’t worried about getting out real early because I wanted the temperature to climb some. It did and when I rolled out the temp was hovering around 55F. It would climb into the mid-70s in the afternoon. Awesome. I headed out to ride the same route I had ridden the previous Saturday. Traffic wasn’t bad at all because it was still early and my overall numbers for the ride were OK. I rode for 1h:26m for a distance of 20.47 miles and an average speed of 14.3 mph. The avg speed was 1.1 mph faster than the previous Saturday. More importantly though was how I felt on the bike. I felt AWESOME! Seriously, I haven’t had a ride where I felt like that in a long, long time. I’m sure the weather (good temps and no wind) helped but I know the plan Darryl and Kelli have put me on helped too. I felt like I could have ridden another ten miles easily. If you can’t tell, I...
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