The Wind, Godzilla and Picking Up Chicks On Bikes

With less than four hours of sleep on Sunday night I opted to not ride on Monday despite Mike’s encouragement to consider the lack of sleep as practice for a 24 hr ride or RAAM. Because of that, I really needed to ride yesterday. It was going to be hot and windy. I can handle the hot but the wind here in Texas is blowing my mind. It’s blowing every stinking day and we’re not just talking about nice lazy breezes. It’s constantly between 10-20 mph with gusts up to, or over, 25 mph depending on the day. Yesterday was no different. Ridiculous in fact. I started the ride and I could tell before I had ridden a mile that it just didn’t feel right. I still felt really tired even though I had gotten a good 8 hours the night before. I didn’t feel comfortable in the saddle and felt like I was fighting the bike. I was really hoping it would settle out after a couple of miles. It didn’t. After I made it down the trail to White Rock Lake the wind hit me full force. I was riding in the big ring but having a very hard time maintaining even 14 mph. I eventually had to shift to the small ring and just try to settle into a rhythm. So much for a good hard workout. The wind was a little better on the other side of the lake because it was on my quarter but I was still really struggling. It was at this point I decided I would only do 15 miles instead...

Tag, you’re it

I’ve been tagged by 331miles. I had this happen one other time and I was so new to blogging that I had no idea what it meant and didn’t do anything. Not this time. This particular meme was started by Fat Lad, and the idea is based on the “my old mother went to the market and bought” memory game. Only in this case, each blogger in the thread lists something that was bought at the LBS in June. Here’s the list thus far, with my addition at the bottom: Fat Lad went to the bike shop in June and all he bought was: A new PC971 Sram Chain and a Cassette Spanner and a chain wear tool. TOB went to the bike shop in June and all she bought was: a new pair of ruby red Sidis and some X-Series Cleats (but it’s only the 4th!). (Editors Note: Surprise, Surprise…a lady cyclist bought shoes…Ruby Red no less…LOL!). Mike J went to the bike shop in June and he bought two Gel Flasks and some Handle Bar Grips. 331 Miles went to the bike shop in June and he bought a pair of Performance Ultra II Bib Shorts. Biking To Live went to the bike shop in June and picked up a new tube and CO2 cartridge. My bicycle purchases lately have been things that I simply needed in order to ride. When I can, I’ve seriously got to spend some money on some new bibs (thinking about the same ones that @331miles bought) because, I think, the ones I have now are getting too big (yeah!). I also...

Cycling Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: June 2009

Ok, here is this months cycling wallpaper set to 1024×768 resolution. There’s no grand tour this month so you’re getting a pretty simple wallpaper. If you like it please let me know. If not, let me know why so I can improve. If you have a photo you’d like to see used in a monthly wallpaper calendar please let me know. If you reached this page via a search result and want to see all the Cycling Desktop Wallpaper Calendars created, including the latest one, just visit the Desktop Wallpaper Calendar...

Your longest ride in years requires water

I went up to Oklahoma this weekend and took my bike because the weather was supposed to be great. Hot but good. I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to ride so I decided to just ride the loop that includes Marilyn and then see how it sent from there. I left the house at about 7:15 AM so I could get my ride in before it started to get hot. When I took off it was a very nice 65F but when I returned three hours later it was already 87F and topped off at about 93F for the day. The first section of my rides is what I call Marilyn because it has curves like Marilyn Monroe. Up and down hills of varying grades and lengths for about 8 miles. I’m very glad to say that I road it’s length in the big chain ring and had a much easier time than the last time I road this section about a month ago. I did run into the same two dogs as last time though but had no problems just dialing up the speed and leaving them behind. After finishing this first tough 8 miles I decided I was thirsty and reached down to grab a water bottle. My hand grasped nothing but air. I looked down and my water bottles weren’t there. I left them sitting on the back bumper of my mom’s car. The picture to the right shows them after I got back. Right where I left them. I didn’t let it bother me too much because I knew at about the 12 mile...

The tale of the belt

I’ve been absent here for a week or so while I launch an affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped riding. On the contrary, I rode pretty hard last week and had a good ride last night. After some of my recent problems riding down at White Rock Lake (rude cyclists and races) I’ve done some riding around the loop we use for our Monday evening training rides. It is kinda boring but there’s no traffic and the only real hazard is gettingtaken out by an airplane. The picture below is of some of the flowers on the loop. It’s actually quite pretty and is like that for the entire .8 mile loop. I decided last week that I needed to step up my efforts in my rides because I felt like I was becoming accustomed to what I was doing. The first big change I made was to start riding on the big ring. I’m not exactly sure why I haven’t done this before now. I think I was holding back because of the hills (that I’m not used to). After the Monday evening training ride last week where we actually did some big ring work I felt more comfortable turning it. Wednesday last week instead of doing my normal hill repeat day I decided to head to the loop and see how hard I could push myself. I did a warm-up of five miles that was probably in the 14 mph range followed by a hard 15 miles where at times I was averaging well over 20 mph a lap. In the end I rode the...

Awesome training session last night

With yesterday being Monday it was time for group/individual skills training with Team Bikin’. The weather was perfect and with 16 of us showing up it had the makings for a great evening of cycling. After a four mile warm up we all gathered together in one of the large parking lots adjacent to the loop. For our first five laps the leader had us leave the parking lot and take the next half-lap easy (recovery) and for the half-lap back to the parking lot we were to sprint. Once at the parking lot we were to do six figure-eight drills for handling and then a quick-stop drill. After that we head back out onto the loop and repeat for four more laps. We do have one stop sign on the loop that we do stop at. At the stop sign the group leader has got us practicing track stands in order to keep us from having to unclip at a stop sign. It was hard at first but I’m starting to get the hang of it. I can’t maintain it for long but I’m sure that’ll come with practice. Once everyone was done with those five laps we re-grouped again in the parking lot to discuss the next five laps where he would have us work on pedaling out of the saddle. For each of the next five laps he would have us do the following – one the uphill section leading up to the stop sign shift into the big chain ring and smallest cog for max resistance. Once shifted stand up out of the saddle and...

20 great miles and jerks on bicycles

I’ve ridden several times this week but haven’t since, I believe, Thursday and that wasn’t a great ride. It was kind of a downer week at work and just haven’t felt great all week. It rained all day yesterday so if I was going to get a ride in this weekend it had to be today. I arrived down at White Rock Lake at about 8:30 and it was beautiful. What clouds there were were starting to dissipate and it was a nice 55F. Just cool enough for a long sleeve jersey. That was good because my long sleeve jersey is the only one I have that fits well. Image via Wikipedia I headed out and within about a half-mile I started to see some orange cones on the trail and lots of people. Looks like there was another race today. Turns out it was the 13th Annual North Trail Half Marathon. It looks like they didn’t mind the cyclists riding on the trail so I kept going. A little while later it got kind of crowded and I almost turned around to head back to the car. Instead I moved over to a service road to get around the crowd and that solved the problem. There were other areas that it got crowded as well so I patiently waited until I had an opportunity to pass. Now it’s time for a rant. There were several cyclists who were not near as patient as me and used the runners as their personal obstacle course. There was one cyclist in particular who pulled a very, very dangerous move one a...

Cycling Skills: The Quick Stop

Last night was the Monday night group and individual handling session ride. Even though there were some threatening clouds most of the time the rain held off giving us time to work. Unfortunately, the low, dark clouds did cut the time short a little due to low light. The sessions are supposed to start at 6 PM but there were a few folks running late and we mainly road warm up for about 45 minutes until everybody was ready. My warm up was about 10 miles. I thought I might as well keep on riding while everyone else was warming up since I need the miles like the Astana riders need a paycheck. Eventually we all got together and talked about quick stops. The quick stop is exactly what it sounds like. A quick stop to get yourself stopped in as short a distance as possible. The group leader demonstrated the technique a couple of times which included weight evenly distributed on the pedals (basically one foot forward and one back) and a steady pull on both brakes while simultaneously pushing the bike forward and moving your weight back. We didn’t specifically talk about it but I believe the throwing of the weight back helps offset the power of the front brake and keep you from flipping over. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong. We also talked about the importance of not skidding, if at all possible, because if the pavement is wet you could easily end up with some nice road rash. If you do find yourself skidding ease up on the front brake since it’s causing your...

Rainy day blues

I haven’t been able to ride in four days. It’s killing me. One of those days was due to me needing to do much needed maintenance that I couldn’t perform until Saturday. Another was due to traveling up to my Mom’s place in Oklahoma. The other two were due to rain/storms and driving back to Dallas. After a ride last Wednesday I started to feel really uncomfortable with my bike and how it was behaving. The rear rim was getting out of true, the front hub didn’t sound/feel right and my front brakes weren’t working right. Because of all that I didn’t ride on Thursday due to safety concerns and planned on doing a lot of work on Saturday so I could use my Dad’s shop. So that’s what I did. I spent about six hours working on my bike. I made myself a make shift bike stand to make it easier to do work on the bike. It’s basically a rope run up to the ceiling of the shop with each end secured to the bike. One end on the handlebars and one end on the saddle. It worked. First thing I did was re-pack the front hub with a little bit better grease and I’m satisfied with that now. I also think I may not have gotten one of the cones tight enough last time but I think I got that squared away. Second item on the list was my rear wheel. It was in bad shape. I found four spokes that were very, very loose. I set about tightening those and got it into pretty good...

Dallas Cyclists – get your bike ready for Bike To Work Week

For those that don’t know May is National Bike Month and next week, for many cities, is Bike to Work Week. I wanted to draw the attention of my Dallas readers (not sure I have any…but in case I do) to an event this Saturday that’s sponsored by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the DART Bike and Ride Advisory Panel, the DART Bicycle Club and the City of Dallas – Parks and Recreation Department. Bike to Work Week – May 11 – 15 – is coming up fast! Are you and your bike ready? Do you know how to use the bike racks on DART buses and trains? “Get Ready to Safely Bike to Work Week” Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m. – Noon White Rock Lake – Winfrey Point FREE * bike minor tune-ups – proper fitting, air, and brake adjustments – from local bicycle shops * T-shirts, headbands and wrist straps * water and other refreshments * demonstrations of how to load and unload your bike on the new DART bus bike racks, etc. If I were going to be in town this weekend I’d probably time my Saturday ride to be able to check this out. Is your city doing anything for National Bike Month or Bike to Work Week? Tell us about it in the...
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