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Monthly Archives: April 2016

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A Perfect 100k Plus a Couple Extra for Posterity.

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That works out to 20.2 mph, our goal was 20.  Crushed it!

I’ll write up a much more detailed post tomorrow but there were six of us for 50 miles but we lost one of the guys for the last 14.

The pace was perfect for the relatively flat course.  In fact, our max speed was only 26.5.  I struggled a little for miles 50 to 55 but I fired down my last Gu and my next pull was 22-23 and for two miles, with a crosswind.

Anyway, more tomorrow.  Right now we have to get dinner.  I have to get out.the door for bowling!

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The First 100K of the Year: Riding with Friends for a Good Cause

Mrs. Bgddy and I are just about to pack up and head out for the Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery.  My fourth, Mrs. Bgddy’s third.

This year my buddies Mike and Chuck are riding and we’ve got a hefty goal of 3:09 or a 20 mph average pace.  Not bad for the four of us, this early in the season.

Dawn Farm is my alma mater. Class of ’92, where I decided I would give sobriety my best effort. I haven’t had a drink or partaken in a mind altering substance since walking through the front door of the treatment center.

Being able to contribute monetarily to the center, with money from my corporation, is a bright spot in my year.

More tomorrow.  Enjoy the day my friends.  Ride hard.

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Something is cooking at the bike shop…

I’ve got something big cooking at the bike shop and it’s got my name all over it…  Maybe.
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We haven’t taken it for a test ride yet, that’ll happen next week-ish.

Then comes a complete setup if we like it. More later.

It’s a Co-motion Periscope Trident being converted to a road bike. My favorite feature is the low-slung back end. It looks like a tandem road bike dragster to me. Interestingly, it’s steel but surprisingly light.

The reason that back end is so low is actually a very important feature for why I fell in love with that bike… The stoker seat post and bullhorn “periscope” so someone as short as 4’2″ or as tall as 6’2″ can be the stoker.

Within seconds, I can set the bike up for my wife or either daughter.

Too cool!

Cycling: Riding Hard or Hardly Riding? Pick Your Poison.

On one hand, riding hard is a lot of work.  To get the most of it you need specialized clothing, special saddles, even special bikes to an extent.  Hardly riding is easy.  The bike doesn’t matter so much, clothing doesn’t matter.  Unless it’s hot and sunny out, you’re not even going to break a sweat.

On the other hand, hardly riding to lose weight and get fit will take forever and a day.  Riding hard, especially over decent distances, one can literally see the weight melt off with a fair diet over a single cycling season (April to November).

On one hand, hardly riding one can take in some decent scenery, provided one is willing enough to venture out more than a dozen miles from their house.

On the other, you’ll be hard-pressed to see anything but the road ahead if you’re riding hard.  In fact, I’ve been riding the exact same route at least once a week (in-season) for four years and I just saw a river that runs next to the road (it’s actually a hundred yards off the road, but it’s a pretty big freaking river, maybe 100 feet across) for the first time the other day.

The Best of Both Worlds…

There exists a middle ground though, for those of us who embrace speed…  Riding hard all of the time, you will eventually injure yourself.  At a minimum, bad things will happen.  Most science and coaching says that there should be easy efforts interspersed with hard efforts throughout the week.  These easier days can be used to take advantage of sightseeing (thus, how I finally noticed that river after all of those years).

Moreover, there is also a line of thought regarding training that says building a base in the early season should be done at slower speeds to build up the vascular infrastructure in the legs that will later support exceptional efforts.  I don’t much subscribe to this myself but it’s quite common to hear “you shouldn’t even shift out of the little ring in the first month or two of training”.  The little ring, for those not in the know, refers to the smaller of the two front chain rings on the crank (if you have a triple, you’d choose the middle ring as that one would typically be the “little ring” on a racing setup).  Max speed in the little ring on my Venge is 23 mph (52/36 chainrings).  A racing crank (52/39) is 25 mph.  A compact crank would be a shade above 21.5 mph (50/34).  My normal cruising speed on a hard ride is 22-25 mph.  I never use the little ring unless I’m climbing a fairly steep hill.  In other words, if one prescribes to the coaching that says “never out of the little ring for the base miles”, you’ll be cruising around at slower than normal speeds, a perfect time to sightsee.

Do what make you happy…

I’m a big advocate of cycling as fast as one can while keeping it fun.  For some, racing is fun.  For others, like me, cycling fast is great but I’m too old to want to turn training into work.  Still others, guessing the majority of cyclists, would rather play it safe and easy.  While I enjoy speed, to an extent, I am a “whatever floats your boat” kind of guy.  If you’re apprehensive about speed because you’ll have to give up those easy days, don’t worry about it any longer.  The truth is, even the fast guys get a chance to sightsee now and again.

Why Ride Hard? Why Bother with the Effort?

I’m harder on me than anyone else could be.  I give it my best till I’m spent, each and every time I get on my bike (with the obvious exception of recovery rides).  I don’t know why I like going fast, I don’t really know as I care why.  I just do.

I went out for a ride with my wife and buddy Brad this morning.  It was a little misty out with times of light rain, and it was windy.  I took the first pull up front.  Seven miles.  Then we turned south and I let my wife take a turn to her heart’s content.

We stopped at a convenience store, got situated and headed out.  Brad took a mile in the crosswind, then my wife took a few, then I hunkered down and took every mile into the headwind on the way back and maintained a 17 mph pace on the bar top so I could break more wind for my wife and friend.

If I need a reason to train hard, that’s as good as it gets.

32 miles, 17-1/2 mph pace and a great time.  Even though we got spritzed.

Have You Ever Noticed I Rarely Write About What I’m Going to Do?

I got the idea for this from a post I read the other day…

Have you ever noticed that I rarely write about what I’m going to do?

My posts about the Tuesday night club rides always post on Wednesday.  I write it Tuesday night, after I get home while it’s still fresh.  I ride it first.

Every ride I write about, except maybe a mention in passing, is written about after it’s happened.

Almost every post I’ve ever written about cycling has been in response to something that’s happened to me on a ride, or an issue I’ve been through…

Here’s where this is important:  I don’t write about intentions – only rarely do I write about something I plan on doing.  I never write about my intentions.

Intentions are largely bullshit.  “Plan the plan not the outcome”, as they say.

I learned this lesson when I first sobered up.  Half of my drinking career, as short as it was, centered around good intentions and broken promises.  It wasn’t for a lack of desire but a lack of willpower.  A complete lack of, and care about, accountability in regards to consequences.  I’d say, “I’m going to quit drinking.  I’m swearing off it.  No more!”

Two weeks later I’m hammered, wondering how it happened.

I no longer live by intention.  It took a while for me to get it but my father used to say, “Put an intention in one hand and s#!+ in the other…  Now tell me which fills first”.  I realize it’s a rarity, but what I want to do or what I plan to do is utterly useless until I actually do it.

To wrap this up, I also don’t confuse intentions with an honest assessment of what I have in front of me to attain goals.  If I want to hit a certain weight before the season really ramps up, I know what I’ve gotta do to get there.  While I will write about what I have in front of me, I won’t write about what I will do to get there.  I’ll do what I have to do, then write about what I did.

Just something to gnaw on for a Friday.  Weekend’s almost here.  Ride hard my friends.

The Gateway Drug…

The Gateway Drug to Fun:

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