When Mrs. Bgddy and I fell asleep last night, I had visions of a group ride dancing in my hea… melon.
I woke up at 4:30am in the morning (thank you Lady Redundant Woman), checked a few emails and promptly fell back asleep – at a few minutes past 6. My wife woke me up with my buddy, Phill on the the other end asking if we were riding. Mrs. Bgddy said it had snowed last night. Not much, though, so I should take a look.
There was only a 10% chance of precipitation when I closed my eyes. 10%, and the roads are covered. And the back roads too.
I’d so thought I was going to be able to crush out the last few days of the year outside – I was actually looking forward to it.
Yesterday was a fluke 52° when we woke up. The roads were wet, bit we never got more than sprinkled on for a few minutes. With the fenders on the Co-Motion tandem (Sponsored by Assenmacher’s Cycling Center*) I didn’t even have to wipe down the bike. And we spent 29.7 glorious miles sweating out an 18-mph average with 15-mph winds from the south. It was spectacularly, fantastically glorious. 18-mph on the tandem at the end of December?! The missus and I are rockin’!
I was just about to throw the good rear wheel on the Trek and get it ready to roll… and now it’ll just be another hour on the trainer.
On the other hand, this is the biggest problem in my life today (that I know of). So that’s not so bad.
Ride easy my friends. Riding hard doesn’t start for three more days.
*Assenmacher’s didn’t sponsor my Co-Motion (or the fenders). The shop did turn the flat-bar tandem into a road tandem for me, but I paid for that. Also, I paid for the fenders, but the owner did have his best mechanic help me install them. It just sounded cheesy and commercialist, in my noodle, to put it that way. I’m a little on the snarky side this morning.
My cycling season ends sometime in November – usually when temps start dipping below freezing. I don’t like riding in the cold – but it’s usually better than riding on the trainer so I put up with it. One thing is certain, though; starting in November, I don’t push the pace. In fact, this year I was slower in the winter than I can ever remember. Rumor has it, Peter Sagan takes a complete month off the bike. I’d go nuts, so I don’t, but I made peace a while back with taking part of November and all of December “easy”. I push easy gears at an enjoyable, comfortable cadence. I go from a 22-23-mph average on Tuesday nights to 15-mph on gravel roads. I enjoy the scenery and the simple pleasure of not being cooped up and riding with my friends. And I enjoy not working at it.
Come January 1st, though, when everyone else is thinking about how they’re going to improve, writing resolutions they probably won’t live up to for more than a couple of weeks, and making plans they’ll abandon within another couple of weeks, I get right to it.
There exists no magic pill, piece of advice, or double-secret pedal stroke that will get me in shape for spring. There exists no magic that will allow one to ride a bicycle down the road at a blistering pace… No, riding fast requires
one two things; pushing hard on the pedals, and not being fat. Even a level of pudginess can be worked around, but fat won’t do.
My plan is very simple – it doesn’t require planning or a whole lot of knowledge. It requires plain old want to.
Come January 1st, my drive switches from enjoying the end of another great cycling season to getting ready for the next one, and I’m already chomping at the bit to get started. I’m actually counting down the days till I can start hammering again.
My training plan is two phases… are you ready?
Come a little closer…. Phase I is…
… push harder on the pedals.
Phase II is…
… push myself away from the dinner table a little sooner.
Let’s just keep this between you and I, eh?
Don’t fart around with resolutions. Push harder on the pedals.
I’m a stove snob when it comes to food. Mainly because I’m a foodie in a cyclist’s body. Some cyclists eat to fuel the ride. I, like many others, ride to eat. I enjoy food immensely.
When it came to breakfast, I always opted for the easy way out in some form of cereal… lately I’m into a hippie maple and flaxseed concoction that, amazingly, tastes quite awesome.
The other day, though, I was in the mood for a couple of eggs. When I have a craving for something good (ie not chocolate, ice cream or Twizzlers) I pay attention. Usually that’s my body’s way of saying, “Yo, we need a specific nutrient down here, get to it, bub.”
I got to thinking there had to be a better way than dragging out a frying pan and making a mess.
I nuked two eggs in a tiny ramekin with a sprinkling of cheese for 90 seconds. Toasted my bagel in a toaster oven for the same amount of time, and slapped the two together.
Perfect. 90 seconds to a hot egg and cheese sammich. Fluffiest egg I’ve ever eaten. Almost souffle quality. Beyond pillowy even.
Wipe the ramekin out, drop it in the dishwasher, done.
My wife’s sister introduced us to meat pies a couple of years ago. First, it was a turkey pot pie the day after Thanksgiving. It was, as one would guess, awesome.
Then my wife dropped a perfect chicken pot pie.
Well, not to be outdone, my wife’s sister dropped a perfect shepherd’s pie on us next.
My wife countered with an excellent rendition of her own and executed a flawless browned cheesy top.
Next her brother-in-law chimed in with a layered shepherd’s pie that looked like it was made directly for Jesus. It was amazing.
My wife, however, just dropped the mic. She cooked up a perfect roast the other day, but we had a lot leftover. It was a big roast.
What you don’t see in that first photo is the roast beef, roasted vegetables, and the gravy.
It was as if a meat and potatoes pie crashed into crack.
Mere words cannot do the amazing dish justice. It was truly restaurant worthy.
So, if you ever see yourself looking at a fair bit of leftovers, put together a shepherd’s pie. It’s fantastic.
I crossed over 10,000 miles yesterday on the way home from a ride with my wife, my best cycling buddy, Mike, and our regular riding friend, Diane. With about three miles to go, we figured out that I’d make the needed mileage to pass 10,000.
I’m five days early. Two weeks ago, I was hoping I’d have a day or two to spare.
On the home stretch, I announced to my friends that I would probably take a few days off. My wife, God bless her, laughed and shouted, “b-u-u-u-u-l-l-l-sh-sh-sh-sh-i-i-it!”
What she didn’t know, actually nobody knew, was that I really was tired. My hip has been bugging me, my feet are a little tender and with five days to spare, I really did think it was time to take a day or two off to get ready for next year.
On the other hand, I feel really good this morning. Maybe it was the entire afternoon lounging around the house yesterday, but my hip pain is gone – entirely, my feet feel good, and it didn’t take me any “warm-up time” to get moving this morning.
The weather this morning is supposed to be great for a ride, too. It’s going to be cold, it’s below freezing, but just barely. Next to yesterday, 30° should feel pretty balmy.
Oh, and I didn’t do myself any favors yesterday by pushing myself away from the table, either.
Meh, I’m ridin’, baby. There will be plenty of days in the very near future where I’ll be wishing I could get outside.