Bike Ride 32 – Where did all this traffic come from?

The word for this mornings ride is “traffic.” I could not believe how much traffic there was. During my normal ride time from 5:15 to 6:15 AM there is usually very little traffic at the start with it gradually building towards the end. This morning it was shear chaos from the start. I began to wonder if I had missed something in the news of if I had accidentally overslept and didn’t realize it. There were cars making turns into and out of places there were way out of the ordinary. A new high school is being built a few miles down the road and they must have had a big concrete pour going on because I must have seen at least 8 concrete trucks. Needless to say, my head was on a swivel this morning. It just didn’t feel right. I started off as usual by rolling out of the garage at about 5:15. The sky was partly cloudy and dark. I believe I actually felt a couple of sprinkles. On my way down the driveway I had to stop and admire my lawn. I mowed it yesterday after I got home from work and I always love the look of a freshly mowed yard. After patting myself on the back I rolled out the driveway. Just like Saturday’s ride, I started in the big chain ring and stayed there the entire ride. I feel like I’m already accustomed to riding in it so there’s no going back now. Maybe it’s a manly thing. Anyway, I was still working on my 500 mile base fitness so I wanted...

Going out of town this week

Well, this week has been coming for a while and it’s finally here. After a long period of doctor’s visits, minor procedures, and pain, my wife is having surgery this week to correct problems with her Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). This is the jaw joint. We’ll be heading down to Gainesville on Wednesday where she’ll have the articular discs in both jaw joints rebuilt using cartilage from other areas of the body. Years of wearing a splint, taking medications, heat and cold applications, and minor surgical procedures, coupled with numerous visits to doctors for opinions have gotten us to this point. This is generally considered the last step of correction after all other attempts have failed. It’s not a decision you make lightly. That said, she’ll be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. Because we’ll be in Gainesville during this time, she’s insisted I take my bicycle so I can ride down there. I’ve done some looking on Map My Ride and there looks to be a couple of good routes that start near the hotel I’m staying at that are low-traffic, well-constructed, and scenic. I’m going to continue posting while we’re down there so there shouldn’t be too much of a disruption in my blogging. Things do happen, though, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see too many posts from me this week. I do have a couple of informational articles I’ve been working on that may get posted as well or in lieu of my bicycle ride posts. Just wanted to keep you...

Bike Ride 31 – 30 Awesome Miles

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get a ride in this morning. Tropical Storm Hannah prevented me from riding yesterday as it went by Florida heading for the Carolinas. The weather report called for a good day so I went to bed early expecting to ride. The alarm went off at 7:00 and I took a quick look outside. The sky was clear and there was no wind. Awesome. I was out the door by 7:20. My fitness plan had me riding my bicycle for 30 miles today so I set out to ride the same route as last week. Unlike last Saturday, I made sure to let my wife know where I was riding and when I expected to be back. The route is below. 31 mile Baymeadows, UNF, Southpoint LoopFind more Bike Rides in Jacksonville, Florida 31 Mile Route Overall the ride was very uneventful which was kind of nice. The sun had yet to crawl above the trees so most of the first half of the ride was in some cool shadows. It was awesome. As I neared the 10-mile point while crossing in front of the St Johns Towncenter (a big shopping area), I hear somebody yell my name. I look across the road and it’s Kevin from Ride 28. I yelled back and pulled over to see if he wanted to talk. I looked back and he kept going. Oh well. From there I did the loop around around UNF. Jaxgtr, I saw the turn you were talking about that can add some mileage on the campus. It’s...

Added a subscribe to comments plugin

When I post a comment to a blog I like to know if there were any comments following mine. Especially if I asked a question. Besides going back to check the blog post once in a while (assuming I remember I made a comment somewhere), the easiest way to know if there were comments is to be able to subscribe to the post and receive email notifications that a comment has been added. So, I took the time to add that feature to Biking To Live tonight. I’d appreciate it if somebody could leave a comment on this post, subscribe to comments, and let me know if you receive an email notification of follow-on comments when they are added. Thanks and hope you guys and gals like the new...

Bike Ride 30 – Neighborhood Criterium

I didn’t get up this morning at 5:00 due to not getting to bed early enough last night. I did manage to squeeze in a ride before taking my wife out of town for a pre-surgery doctor’s visit. Because of the time of day, and increased traffic, I opted to ride around my neighborhood instead. So, I got the bike ready and headed out. After my first loop I discovered that one lap was equal to .65 miles. Almost exactly 1 K. Cool. The route reminded me of a little criterium course hence the title. I took it pretty easy for the first five or six laps. There was almost no traffic so I was able to really hammer it in the turns and work on my cornering skills. With the route I was riding, see below, there are only two significant 90 degree turns and the rest is either straightaway or sweeping turns. A couple of the laps I opened it up a little bit by shifting to the big chain ring and pushing a little harder. When recovering, instead of shifting back to the small chain ring, I just shifted to a bigger cog. I felt that I should start riding in the big chain ring more so I left it there. I did have one moment of excitement. One one of the laps I pushed it, I shifted in front of my house, dropped into the drops and cranked it. By the end of the street I was going 21+ (I know…ludicrous speed) and setup for the right-hand turn. I carried the turn wide and noticed...

Bike Ride 29 – Week 2 of the Bicycle Fitness Plan

Well, today starts week two of my fitness plan that will take me until the end of the year. You can read about the plan here. I’m still in the base fitness phase and will be for another five weeks when I accumulate 500 miles of easy cycling. I should reach that 500 mile milestone the week of 6-Oct. Last week I got in 57.8 miles which is about 12 less than I had planned. I was short because I needed to take a break after riding for two straight days and didn’t want to ride for four straight days. It was a good decision so I’m not too upset about it. I was up at 5:00 AM again this morning and was riding by about 5:15. It had apparently rained during the night, and probably not long before I came outside, so the roads were wet with an occasional puddle. Overall they weren’t bad. It was dark outside though. We’re in new moon so there was no help from Artemis. I wondered how I would feel after riding 31 miles on Saturday and I was surprised that I actually felt pretty good. I intentionally took Monday off (due to it being a holiday and to take two days of rest after Saturday) and it looks like it paid off. I actually felt that I had to hold myself back from pushing too hard but I didn’t do too good a job of it. Whenever I ride I always have problems with my hands becoming numb and/or tingly. I read an article in Bicycling Magazine this weekend that talked...

Bike Ride 28 – Friends, Flats, and Follies

Today was the first Saturday ride of my new bicycling fitness program so I was due to ride 30 miles. I set the alarm for 8, woke up at about 7:30, and headed out. About 2 miles into my ride I saw a guy walking his bike down the sidewalk towards me. I asked if he needed help and he said yes. I pulled off the road to offer what assistance I could. Turns out his name is Kevin and started cycling about three weeks ago. Both he and his wife ride and they’ve already been on a group ride here in town and ridden the Jacksonville-Baldwin trail. I rode that trail back on Ride 8. He’s riding for the same reasons I am. His problem was a flat. I had a spare tube that I put in for him and put a little CO2 in it to make sure everything was ok. That’s when we noticed that CO2 was escaping from my inflator. My inflator uses non-threaded CO2 cartridges so it’s held in place with a plastic cover that, when you screw it on, pushes the cartridge into the valve and pierces the cartridge top. CO2 was leaking around the seam of the plastic piece holding the cartridge. I went to tighten it and the plastic broke allowing the CO2 to rapidly escape. It sure gave Kevin and I a start. How embarrassing. I tried to make it work somehow but couldn’t. It was broken beyond repair. I had to leave Kevin in the same condition I had met him in, with a flat, and go on about...

How to Treat Road Rash

As cyclists, who hasn’t gotten their fair share of road rash? I know I have. I ran across this cool article today on wikihow about How to Treat Road Rash. There’s a video too. Check it...

Bike Ride 27 – Cycling through the pain

It’s 5:00 AM again and the alarm is blaring. I probably should have went to bed earlier last night. Whatever. I resist the temptation to hit the snooze button (actually, I accidentally hit the off button instead of snooze) and crawled out of bed. I was out the door quick this morning. Once outside I immediately noticed the humidity. There was a little fog as well. The streets were wet in spots from a thunderstorm last night. The moon was low in the east (barely above the treeline) and looked like a fingernail. Pretty cool. See the kind of stuff you miss when you sleep in? I reset my bike computer, crawled on the Cannondale, and rolled out of the driveway. To say that I was uncomfortable would be an understatement. I could tell I had had way too much time off the bike because I was really feeling yesterday’s ride. Especially in my rear. That could be because of one of two reasons. First, it was unaccustomed to this abuse after the layoff, and second, it could be because of the shorts I was wearing. I had on a cheap pair of Nashbar shorts that don’t have very good padding. I really need to throw them out. I’m not saying all of Nashbar’s stuff is bad because my favorite set of bibs are Nashbar brand and they’re great. You just have to be careful with the chamois insert. The shorts I wore today are nothing more than some padding sewn into the crotch of the shorts. My bibs use the Trico Sports gel chamois which is much better....

2008 Bicycle Riding Goal

As a followup to my post last week on Setting Goals, I thought it was time that I established my 2008 goal. I know, it’s already August but I failed to set proper goals back when I started and I thought I should go ahead and do it now. I started in April and rode between April and June. During that time period I managed to ride 300 miles. I felt better physically and my clothes were fitting better every week. Once July rolled around my riding came to an abrupt stop due to a couple of injuries that have kept me off the bike for more than a month. The progress I had made from April to June was good considering I was just basically out riding with no set purpose but with the time off the bike recently I have basically destroyed the fitness and gains that I had made. Because of that, I’m going to start my 2008 over again here in August and use the rest of the year to get myself ready for 2009. When I attended Officer Candidate School back in 1996, the Drill Instructors had us on a rigorous training plan that was very well planned out. By doing that, they knew what days were long distance running days, which ones were sprint days, and so on. At the end of the 13-week school I had lost over 30 pounds and reduced my 1.5 mile run time by over 3 minutes. If it worked for me running (which I can’t do anymore due to ankle problems) why won’t it work for cycling?...
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