Ride 22: Back in the saddle, Part Deux (where have I been)

Well, I’m sure many of you have been asking where I’ve been. Maybe not “many” since I have about ten readers but you know what I mean. As you know, a few weeks ago I burned my right hand pretty bad and couldn’t ride for a week. Then, on my first ride back I had a horrible time due to a calamity of events resulting from a flat. That debacle can be found back in Ride 21 and 1/3. Then, last week was a total scheduling mess. All of my daughters, and my wife, had an array of events going on that ate up all my time. I also had something eating up my time as well. What were those events? Well, the youngest daughter had ballet recital on Monday, the oldest daughter had choir practice every day for a week in preparation for a trip she left for on Saturday (no, I didn’t get to ride on Saturday either), and my wife started a new business which ate up a bunch of time. What business did my wife start? Well, she used to dance but hasn’t been able to for a year or so. She’s also very handy with crafts (i.e. scrapbooking, projects, etc.). So, she combined the two and now makes designer pointe shoes. What’s a designer pointe shoe? Well, it’s a ballet pointe shoe that has been modified to either match a dance costume or to resemble a character from a movie (Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, etc.). Remember the recital I mentioned? Well, that was the debut of her shoes and it was a resounding success....

Still around but little time to ride this week

Folks, I’m still around but riding this week has been impossible to get in. Each of my daughters has significant events going on this week and it’s taking all the time we have. I should be able to get back on the bike in the morning, or on Friday to pick up my regular...

Ride 21 and 1/3: Not a good morning

Well, if you can’t tell by the title, I didn’t get a full ride in this morning. Everything started out fine. I got out of the house good, got on the road good, there was very little traffic compared to normal, and I was moving along very good. I get to the 10 minute point in my ride, pass through an intersection, and on the other side experience the dreaded flat. It occurred right after I ran over something because I heard a sound as I ran over it followed by the dreaded, terrible, hissing sound that indicates that my ride has just changed from a good, Friday morning ride, to one of just making it home. photo courtesy of: doviende I immediately pulled off the road to verify the flat; hoping that I was just imagining things. Sadly, it wasn’t so. The tire was already flat. I was only about 3 miles from home and had plenty of time to walk back so I started the long, slow walk of a cyclist whose steed had thrown him. That sucks. Then I thought, “I’ve got a patch kit and CO2 inflater in my bag; why don’t I just fix this thing and ride back home?” So that’s what I set out to do. It was still dark so I found a spot under a street light where I could sit on the sidewalk and work. I pulled the tire off and set to work. As many of you know, I just started cycling again about 2.5 months ago after a lay-off of many years. Even thinking back to when...

Ride 21 – Back in the saddle

It’s good to be back. For those that didn’t see my other post, I had to take a week off the bike due to burning my hand pretty bad a week ago. I could hardly grip anything for a few days and the pain didn’t really go away until Sunday. I was able to get back on the bike yesterday and go for my normal weekday ride. As usual for my weekday rides, the alarm was blaring at 5:00 am and I rolled on out. Thankfully, I had layed everything out and prepped the bike the night before. After taking a week off, everything was in disarray and getting ready the night before probably saved me 20 minutes. Once I got the garage door open I was glad to feel a slight coolness in the air. The weather this past week has been scorching here in Jacksonville. Everyday has been in the low-to-mid 90s (32-35 C) with high humidity. I couldn’t imagine riding during those conditions during the day. There was still some humidity in the air but it wasn’t bad. I was worried about how I would ride after taking a week off. My worries were unfounded as I seemed to pick up right where I had left off. The legs felt good and there seemed to be no “troubles down below” if you catch my meaning. Upon reaching the first long straightaway I almost immediately saw three runners over on the sidewalk. This particular area is very popular with the runners and walkers but I rarely see more than one or two during my entire ride this...

Not riding this week

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted any of my rides this week. Well, there’s a good reason…I can’t ride right now. We had a family get together on Sunday afternoon and I burned my right hand pretty good on a hot pan. I picked it up with a towel but it burned me right through it. The palm of my hand was singed a little but the worst damage was done to my middle and index fingers. The tips of both of those fingers were burned and I have another spot on the second joint of my middle finger. The locations (and pain) of the burns makes it near impossible to grip anything let alone hold onto a handlebar while riding. So, until these burns heal some (hopefully by Monday next week), I’m going to have to take some time off from...

Contador wins the Giro…will the Tour de France come calling for Astana?

Having taken a few weeks off from his vacation, Alberto Contador (Astana) put a stamp on the 2008 Giro de Italia today and wins by 1:57 over Ricardo Ricco’ (Saunier Duval). Prior to today’s final stage, Contador’s lead was only four seconds but he put nearly two minutes on Ricco’ over the 28.5 km time trial. With this win, Contador becomes only the second Spanish rider to win the Giro. Photo Courtesy of TDWsport.com Astana Team Manager Johan Bruyneel (former US Postal and Team Discovery Channel manager) is already comparing Contador to Lance Armstrong. “I think we’re seeing a new phenomenon like Lance. I don’t like to compare riders, but from what I’ve seen in him I’ve only seen in Lance, especially in the mountains,” said Bruyneel. “It’s a very unexpected victory. If he can win the Giro at 80 percent, I see a very big future for Alberto.” Personally, I think it’s way too early to make that comparison. Sure, Bruyneel managed Lance for his seven Tour de France victories but to begin comparing another Contador to Lance after one Tour and one Giro victory is a stretch in my book. Especially after his Tour win last year was basically given to him after race leader Michael Rasmussen was booted from the race with only four days to go. Let Contador win a couple more Tours and then I’ll be open to begin drawing comparisons. Photo Courtesy of TDWsport.com Aside from Contador coming off vacation to win the Giro, I think the story of this year’s race was the success of Team High Road and Slipstream-Chipotle. In the...

Ride 20 – Much harder than it should have been

Sorry for the break between posts but even though this was a four-day week, it felt like a five-day week at work. I was slammed. Friday morning I woke up and didn’t feel 100% and couldn’t ride. By the time I got home that evening around five, I was totally blown. I had zero energy and couldn’t stay awake. It took all I could do to just crawl in bed. I slept until about 8:45 PM, then went back to bed at midnight, and slept until 7:00 AM this morning. When I got up I didn’t feel great but I felt ok. I decided to go ahead and ride the same route I did last Saturday because I needed the ride. Upon setting out my hamstrings felt pretty tight and it took several miles before they started to feel good. As I neared my normal weekday turnaround point I just wasn’t sure how this ride was going to turn out. I felt tired already and just was having a hard go at it. I reached the church that’s my turnaround point and had to stop for about 10 minutes to rest. I drank some water and had some Jelly Belly® Sport (ENERGY) Jelly Beans. After resting I felt a bit better and set out again. About 5 minutes later I crossed an intersection and saw a group of three riders approaching the same intersection from my left. About a mile later they start to overtake me (I’m going approx 17 mph). The lead rider pulls up next to me and says, “We’re lost and hope you know where you’re...

Team High Road 1, 2 in Stage 17 of the Giro

Photo Courtesy of TDWsport.com Team High Road hammered out another impressive win in the Giro today with Greipel sprinting to the win followed closely by Cavendish. This was Greipel’s first win of the Giro while Cavendish already has two stage wins this year. Alberto Contador of Astana remains in the pink jersey by 41 seconds over Riccardo Ricco’ of Saunier Duval. Team High Road was in full-force in the final 500 meters with four riders in the mix-Greipel, Cavendish, Brad Wiggins, and Tony Martin. Wiggins and Martin took care of the lead out duties through two 90-degree turns and with 250 meters to go it looked like Greipel was set to lead out Cavendish for another win. But Greipel continued his sprint all the way to the line and took it for himself. Skeptics are already questioning if Cavendish “let” Greipel have the win. During post-race interviews Greipel seemed taken back by the insinuation and was adamant that there were no such plans. Regardless what you think, with multiple stage wins already, and now this one-two finish, Team High Road is making a statement to the Pro Peleton. GC after stage 17: 1. Alberto Contador (ESP), Astana in 72:14:40 at s.t. 2. Riccardo Ricco’ (ITA), Saunier Duval in 72:15:21 at 0:41 3. Gilberto Simoni (ITA), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni in 72:16:01 at 1:21 4. Marzio Bruseghin (ITA), Lampre in 72:16:40 at 2:00 5. Franco Pellizotti (ITA), Liquigas in 72:16:45 at 2:05 6. Danilo Di Luca (ITA), Team L.P.R. in 72:16:58 at 2:18 7. Denis Menchov (RUS), Rabobank in 72:17:27 at 2:47 8. Emanuele Sella (ITA), CSF Group Navigare in 72:19:05...

Ride 19 – Week 6 of Biking To Live Begins

Well, with the holiday weekend behind me it’s time to get back in the saddle. Literally. It was nice to take three days off and let my body recuperate some. I got started this morning on my normal weekday route (which I keep extending just a little each couple of rides and today was no different). I was really surprised at how cool it was. Almost too cool for short sleeves. It was crystal clear out with the half-moon in the Southeast and Jupiter in the South dominating the sky. A few clouds crept in by the time I was done riding but nothing bad. There were a few cars out this morning and I had given up all hopes in seeing any riders/runners when I caught a glimpse of a rider a ways ahead of me. They must have turned out in front of me as I didn’t see them on the long straightaway at the start of my ride. After following them at a distance of about 300 feet for a couple of miles they either kicked it in the rear or turned off because I lost’em and never saw them again. I saw a lone runner on the straightaway back home. I see her almost everyday. My ride was pretty good. After being off for three days it took a couple of miles to get accustomed to the saddle again. I’m still not totally happy with my saddle and really need to look for a better one. Once my sit-bones had overcome their shock of being off for three days I began to settle in nicely...
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