28 Miles of Sheer Christmas Eve Eve Cycling Bliss… and the Tastiest Low Calorie Drink Option I Know of.
Well, Friday’s ride was easy, lighthearted and fun. Saturday’s started out that way, but only for the first ten miles. It got hectic after that. My wife and Mike turned to head home and Phill, Diane, Chuck and I put the hammer down – and we didn’t get any help from the wind, either.
Our pace on the way out, with a helping wind, was maybe 14 mph. Steady, but nothing crazy, but we actually picked up the pace once Mike and my wife headed back home early. We ended up with a 15 mph average and had to fight the wind to do it.
Friday’s ride was a “it’s nice to be out” ride. Saturday’s was more of a “let’s stretch the lungs a little bit” jaunt. I’ll tell you, I felt it the rest of the day.
Now, for that low-calorie drink option… I’ve always liked soda, Coke specifically. I hate how hard it is to work that crap off the gut, though. Dammit, it’s almost unfair. It isn’t, though. It’s science and nutrition. Put crap in and you look like crap before long. It is what it is, so I’m always on the lookout for a decent option that tastes good but won’t kill me with calories. My sister-in-law turned us on to this one:
Mix 70/30 seltzer water (carbonated water) to cranberry juice (over ice in the summer). Add a twist of lime and enjoy. Something like a quarter of the sugar, only 70 or 80 calories and a great taste.
Specialized glass not included
Oh how I love the hashtag. Anyway…
That’s right, folks. I was pretty sure I was going to be stuck indoors on the trainer for much of the rest of the season. We’re supposed to get hammered with snow this year, it certainly started out that way… but we caught a break. Better, we’re riding today and we’ll probably be able to ride again tomorrow too – and after two weeks stuck indoors on the trainer I needed some fresh air.
It almost didn’t happen, too. Ten minutes before we were supposed to meet, it started snowing fairly hard. The ground started to cover and I was almost certain we’d be doomed to riding the trainers after putting all of the cold weather crap on. I was just about to push our bikes out the front door….
When Mike rolled up. I pushed my bike out and Mrs. Bgddy followed a couple of minutes later… and we rode! The roads were never that dicey and the pace was certainly easy, but my God was it nice.
Over the last couple of weeks it’s been hard to keep it honest with a mere 45 minutes a day on the trainer. Yesterday’s ride approached an hour and a half and I was bummed when it was over. Such is life on the trainer.
Still, it’s Christmas weekend – no work and it looks like we’ve got two more great riding days ahead of us. Winter riding sucks, but when compared against the trainer, I’ll take it!
Funny story from yesterday… My gravel bike’s got a Shimano Sora drivetrain on it and is a little finicky when it comes to shifting. Any cable stretch in the rear derailleur cable and the chain will skip, so every once in a while I have to use the barrel adjuster to tighten the cable up… Well, yesterday I decided I’d use the in-line cable adjuster to do the adjusting. I couldn’t figure out why they’d put an in-line and a barrel adjuster on the shifting cable, that certainly doesn’t make sense, but whatever…
I crank down the adjuster but it doesn’t really fix the problem, so I go to the barrel adjuster, give it half a turn and no more skipping. Fantastic.
Well, seven miles later and I’m thinking I need to work a little harder on the trainer. I was struggling a bit, so I figured I was just out of shape from too much time on the trainer. A minute later and I had to grab a handful of brake. The lever depressed about a quarter of an inch… The in-line adjuster was for the brake and I’d cranked it all the way down.
I loosened the in-line adjuster and rode the rest of the way home without the brakes engaged. It was a lot easier pedaling those last nine or ten miles. DOH!
Folks, you know this post is right up my alley…
There’s only one thing better than a bike ride….
I woke up yesterday morning feeling fantastic. It was entirely unexpected, of course. Usually, after a long stretch without a day off, the morning after the day off is a little rough.
Work was good, I got a lot done, then went home. My wife waited to ride with me on the trainers. I put The Bourne Legacy on the DVD player and we got to it.
Literally (really), ten seconds in and I shifted to a harder gear. My legs felt spry, almost young. I killed it for 40 straight minutes before downshifting to warm down. It was awesome.
The only thing better than a bike ride is a bike ride after a much needed day off.
The rest of my evening was spent with a smile on my face. I might not wait another 30 days before I take a day off again.
You know, come to think of it, perhaps the Title is a bit off. Maybe it should have been, There’s only one thing better than a bike ride (when it comes to things you do with your clothes on). Sorry, it shan’t happen again. Probably
…In any event, I received an early Christmas present for helping a friend with some consulting work:
My friends, that’s a pair of Park Tool cable snips. Up until yesterday I’ve used a pair of 45 year-old wire cutters that came from my father’s toolset. They were amazingly sharp and worked excellently, but they distorted cable housings when I snipped them. To fix the distortion, I had to stick thin nail in the housing end to bring it back to round. I’ll still keep that nail handy, but the tool above is designed to cut cables and housings round rather than flat. They also have a built-in crimper for cable end caps.
While regular (professional) wire cutters technically work on cables, a pair of cable snips belongs in my tool bag. It’s the difference between getting the job done, and getting it done right. I used one of the shop’s while volunteering to fix some Christmas donation bikes and I can tell you, they’re the cats pajamas. If you work on your own bikes and don’t have a pair, I highly recommend you pick one up.
It was the unlikeliest of days off. 47 degrees outside, sunny, if a little breezy… If ever there was a day for a half-day of hooky from work and a bike ride, it was yesterday. Unfortunately, the timing was off. I hate playing hooky (mainly because I can get used to doing it), it’s dark now at 5:30 in the evening and I really don’t like riding before 5 anyway (I don’t like the guilty feeling I give myself for not being available). The dirt roads resembled the consistency of, well, baby poop, so they were out. The paved roads were dry, but I’d be out alone and I really don’t like riding paved roads after dark. It’s not my cup of tea.
I had plenty of time to ride the trainer before my daughter’s Christmas concert…
Then I realized it’d been something like 25 days since I last took a day off of the bike. All I could think was, “Why?!” Without much more, I sat my butt down on the couch and enjoyed an episode of “Chopped”.
In years past, I’ve always taken one or two days off a week during the off-season. This year, I just felt like I was on a roll, so why not keep it going.
Well enough was finally enough. Interesting, it was kind of nice. I feel good this morning. Almost recharged. I should probably do this more often… at least until March. Once March hits, Katie bar the door.
I felt like a fat@$$ all summer long. I’ve been topping the scales, in the afternoon when I’m lightest, at 180-181 for most of the year. This isn’t all bad. Some of that’s muscle because I’m a fair order stronger this year than I was last, and I did a fair bit of weight training during the off season last year as well – and even at 180, I’m still in the healthy range for any measure of BMI (new or old), and I’m even better off with the newfangled curve they have out now…
Still, my love handles, which at more like little lumps, were bitching at me when I looked in the mirror. Nice, wide shoulders, fantastically muscular legs – and a midsection that is a lot less than impressive.
I have a problem with food, actually have for a while. My problem is that I like eating it. I have another problem; I don’t smoke, so my taste buds actually work.
Anyway, you’d think a guy who rides 8,000+ miles a year on a bicycle would be thin as a rail, right? Well, not when you eat like I do, you wouldn’t. I love me a good burger.
That said, I decided to get a little drastic a while back and actually go on a bit of a diet and I’ve managed to drop somewhere between six and ten pounds, simply by eating a little more wisely, and that’s weighing myself in the morning too – I’m lighter in the afternoon, after I’ve ridden and rehydrated.
Eating wisely, when I’ve got the best excuse to eat whatever crosses my mind as “yummy”, isn’t always easy. I still struggle at the gas station, when I’m picking up my morning coffee. There’s a donut rack just five paces to the southeast of the coffee pots. I still have to avert my eyes from the wonderful looking tobacco products on the wall, because I’d rather not stink like charred ass or have my mouth fall apart from chewing on tobacco instead of smoking it. I flat-out avoid the alcohol aisle. 25 years sober and I still won’t go near it unless I can’t get around the aisle.
No, I am what I am, and I don’t tempt myself because I know the one truth that keeps me on the right path: Spend enough time in a barbershop and you’re going to get a haircut sooner or later.
I stay out of the barbershop.