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Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

Remembering The Climbs…Well, the Descents

I’ve been reminiscing (already) about the best part of my rides down in North Carolina and it’s been bringing a smile to my face every time.  First of all, I’d be remiss if I didn’t put riding with Mrs. BgddyJim every day on the top of the list where it belongs, we just can’t get out like that at home, but I’ve also been remembering rocketing down the 3-1/2 mile long hill on the way back to the house.  The climb was obviously long – it took 22 minutes to climb and it only took 7 minutes to descend.  That route, though not that particular hill, is also where I turned in my fastest mile ever on a bike; 1 minute 27 seconds.  The 4 miles down the long hill were 1:43, 1:55, 1:43 and 3:11 (I started back up on that 4th mile) and the graph looks like this:

The second peak in speed is just over 40 mph.  I can remember exactly, the smile on my face as I started picking up speed heading down the hill, then pedaling almost effortlessly, geared out at 52/12 as the descent leveled out momentarily before coasting again as the road dropped steeply beneath me.  I can remember the feeling of my butt about 4″ higher than my chest as I tucked to stay as fast as I could, my chin less than an inch from my stem.  My feet at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock my knees pinned to my top tube to reduce drag as much as possible (and to counter a wobble in the frame that I never experienced).

All of the climbing, if for nothing else, was worth it just for the descent.  But that wasn’t all there was to it either…  As I’ve been putting in some long miles on some really great rides back home, I can’t help but get excited to go back down next year to do it all over again.  Next year I’ll be stronger and the hills will almost surely be steeper and the descents faster.  For those who live in or near mountains, while the climbs play hell on the average time (the best I did on my own was 18.3 in NC and 15 mph in GA), nothing beats making it to the top of a long hill before turning around to rocket back down.

I miss it already.

If you have the chance to visit the mountains, don’t let any excuses stand in the way of taking your bike down with you.  Ride safely, and enjoy.  It made me love riding all the more and I’m infinitely glad that we took ours.

Happy Days and Bike Racks

Saturday, down at the running club was my first time on a scale in about three weeks.  I was a little more than nervous for a couple of reasons…  First, we went on vacation and even though I did spend quite a bit of time in the saddle, I’ve always come back several pounds heavier from vacation.  When we vacation with my sister-in-law and her family, we don’t mess around.  We always rent a house so we have a full kitchen and therefore never bother going out to eat.  That said, our trips to the grocery store are epic.  Our bill this year was just over $600 for the week – and we ended up going back midweek to restock a few necessities.  This year I was in a bit of a pickle with finally getting down to the weight that I wanted to be.  I tend to gain about 10 lbs over that week.

Second, even with the century I rode last week, my miles are down over the last few weeks. I tapered a bit to get ready for both vacation and last week’s ride. Normally I’m between 130 and 180 miles a week but three of the last four were at 48, 92 and 92 (the fourth, the week of my century was at 179). I tried to cut back a little on the food for the 48 mile week, then threw caution to the wind for my vacation 92 mile week and kept things pretty tight for the other 92. Even so, I didn’t know how the changes would impact my physique.

So there I was, stepping onto the scale, prepared for the worst.  The digital numbers flashed…  157.2 – not even a pound.  For the last several years, every time I got back from vacation, I have to go on a crash diet to drop the weight that I picked up from eating everything that my little heart (or is that my eyeballs?) desires to get into race shape for the Crim 10 mile.

Not this year.  Thank God for happy days and bike racks.

This promises to be an interesting week.  My legs are pretty much toast from Saturday and Sunday so I’m going to have to figure out how I can work in a few (real) recovery rides, get some rest, and be ready to go for Sunday’s Assenmacher 100.

Don’t Tell Me It’s Not Fair

I was checking in on my favorite political blog and they pointed out that NBC is not only getting nicked for racism as it pertains to their release of post performance video shorts, they’ve offended the feminists as well with a new video that the marms are calling…well see for yourself, I don’t want my site popping up on particular searches.

I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t know what the big deal is. As with most claims of sexism, I believe they are more rooted in jealousy than worries about “sexism”. For the backup to my point, let’s go to the comments:

“I spent the majority of every beach volleyball game seething at the lack of cellulite/anything unattractive on those women. Sure they work incredibly hard for it and I spend most of my time on a sofa… But still, life is unfair”.

That about sums it up. In politics, that’s what they call a gaffe. Accidentally telling the truth. Of course life isn’t actually unfair – it’s very fair for the vast majority of us, what it does is suck for those who spend the majority of their time on the couch because they keep wishing that they could attain what they desire without having to work for it. So rather than get off the sofa to get theirs, they whine about men finding svelte women attractive and label that sexism. Of course, they always fail to understand that men are different than women, thus proving that they are more sexist than the men/society that they’re complaining about…from the couch.

You just can’t make that crap up folks.