Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January Returned

After 64 degrees on Saturday, Sunday dawned cloudy and cold. My plan (I had one - really) was to watch the live coverage of the last 8 1/2 hours of the Daytona 24 Hours, which came on at 7:00 and stayed on until the finish at 3:30, try my hand at baking The Best Lemon Bars, Cook's Illustrated named them that, and they are right, and, as soon as the temp got close to 40, go for a long ride. The day went pretty much as planned, but the temp never got above 35. That turned out not to be such a bad thing. I pulled out the trainer and set it up in front of the tv and rode there while watching the race. What was fun was when they showed the view from the cameras on top of the cars - it actually made me feel like I was going down a road. Cool. Is that what the computrainer is like? I rode 20 miles, averaged 16.2mph, and discovered the rear brake was dragging when I finished . That made for a more intense workout. I was wondering why I felt like I was working so hard, and relieved to find out that it "wasn't me".

The Lemon bars were great. I had not made them for a couple of years and was pleased to find out I can still cook. I made them before my ride, so I had something to replace all those calories with.

Congratulations to Brumos Porsche for the win. The race was amazing for a 24 hour event: two teams fighting for the win with the cars nose to tail after that long is rare.

Hope the mild winter returns soon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It is January, isn't it?

I hadn't been on my bike since last Sunday, not even on the trainer. I wasn't feeling much motivation. Something to do with trying to not take my asthma meds - I'm stubborn that way, but I gave in Saturday morning. Even though I wasn't feeling very good and it was raining and 52 degrees, I thought I'd try a short ride. Within five minutes of leaving the rain stopped and the sun came out. On top of that I found the exercise was just what I needed to feel a bit better. I was wearing a little more than I needed, but I'd rather be too warm than too cold. What started out as a " just get on the bike" ride turned into a nice 46.37 mile ride with an average speed of 16.5.

Today winter is supposed to return with a high of 41 degrees. I hope to get out there again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It Did

Well, it did snow, and it was pretty. Accumulation was a lot less than predicted, I doubt we got an inch, but snow is snow. This picture was on the drive into work. It was slick. Packed down polished ice always is. It was all gone from the roads by noon, but the rest of the ground is still covered.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Will it, REALLY?


The prediction for tonight is 2 to 4 inches. I hope it happens. Real snow, on the ground. It's been a long time. Those of you that live in places where it snows every winter may not understand, but it's exciting. We keep going to the window, hoping to see those first snowflakes. I may stay up late, just to see it. You know, I used to do the same thing, even when I lived in Vermont. What is it about that first snowfall that touches something in us? I want to see everything pristine and white.

As for riding, Saturday, because of the cold I set up the trainer and went exactly one hour, 16.3 miles. I did 5 one minute intervals at max heart rate, but mostly just rode. I chose Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits on the mp3 player to help me through, it seemed to be a good choice. One thing is certain, without the ceiling fan it would be torture. Pretty good workout.

Sunday turned out to be colder than forecast, but I really wanted a ride on the road. About 10:30 it was up to about 37 degrees, so off I went, in hopes that it might warm up. Except for my toes, I was a lot warmer than expected. I rode 44.84 miles at 16.2 mph. The ponds I by had a sheet of ice on them. It's been years since that has happened. I even ran into some sleet, another surprise, it wasn't forecast. At 20 mph it stings on your face. It was a nice ride, and, the mileage is going up. After all, the only way to ride further, is to ride further. Same with going faster. Ya just got to do it.

I'm going to the window now and waiting for the snow. Pics, if it does.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


She chose us.
Sam talked us into getting a puppy from her first grade teacher, so we went to just look at them. The teacher lived on a farm, and the puppies were kept outside in a shed. When we got there these six week old black balls of fur came out to greet us. I think there were six of them. They were running around, mostly playing with each other, except for one. This one, the smallest, fattest one came over to CJ and Sam, and stayed with them. She payed no attention to what her siblings were up to. I guess she knew who she wanted to go home with. I kept trying to look at the other puppies, but there wasn't any way we were going home without her
I was going to say more. maybe some other time.
We are glad she chose us. I'd like to think she was too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brass Monkey Weather?

Well, maybe. It is supposed to be nine degrees(that's right, 9 little degrees, in the key of F) here tonight. I can't remember the last time we were into the single digits. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 35, so it looks like if I want to ride it'll have to be inside. My clothes simply aren't made for those temps. Sunday is supposed to be up to 48, so the weekend might not be a total loss.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Little Short

Today's plan was to attempt a 100K ride. Although I haven't committed to the Century Challenge, I haven't ruled it out yet, either. If I made it today, I'd be in. Much like the Panthers last night, I came up a little short. Ok, they came up a lot short, but we won't speak of them again. I should have watched Dr. Who, instead. I found that not only am I slow, I have no endurance, either. Well, the speed may be coming back, but I still have a ways to go. As for distance, I only made 45.47 miles, average speed - 16.9. That was all the fun my legs wanted. But my training log reveals that was my longest ride since July 5 of last year, when I went 54.6 miles. Almost everything since then has been in the 30 to 35 mile range. For me, a feeble old man (really, I am, ok, just old), an increase in mileage has to be gradual. That does not bode well for the Century Challenge, but I still have two weeks to get there, so we shall see.

While looking at my training log I also discovered that I am about 30 miles ahead of where I was this time last year, so I have gotten off to a pretty good start.

Back to the trainer until next weekend. I still haven't figured out how to put my Spinervals DVD onto my Zen Vision, but that may be a good thing.

I will post a picture of Pepper, soon. We have an extensive collection - she was Sam's favorite subject.

Last Week

I only rode twice last week, 10 miles on the trainer Tuesday evening, and yesterday, 39.57, on the road. Riding wasn't much of a priority because of Pepper's failing health. She was very much a member of this family in ways I have never experienced with any other pet, and she is missed.
As for yesterday's ride, it was a nice day, 57 degrees, but very windy. I put a new chain on and was surprised at how much quieter and smoother it was, as well as the improved shifting. I did have to stop a few times and tweak the rear derailleur adjustment a bit, but once it was dialed in the shifts were quick and crisp. Looks like the 3,400 miles on the old chain might have been a little too much.

I didn't get to use my Garmin yesterday, I went outside, turned it on and found the battery was low. I guess someone left it on (that person will remain nameless, but I think I caught a glimpse of him in the mirror). I have been following some things coming out of this year's Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, and one thing that looks like it might finally be emerging is "wireless power". The best of the products looks like surfaces that will charge your phone, camera, etc. by simply setting it down, and will do several at once. Until yesterday, I wasn't all that convinced. Besides the dead Garmin, though, I noticed when I emptied my pockets after my ride that there were two mp3 players, two cell phones, and a digital camera on the kitchen table, plus my Garmin on the counter being recharged. The stuff being shown at CES would charge all of them at the same time just by putting them on the table - where they were anyway. It's a ways off, but it may just make it. As a disclaimer, I am employed by one of the companies involved, although it is a different division, I have nothing to do with the product, and didn't even know they were involved in this until after I started looking into it. Here's a link to with a little more, for anyone interested.

Today is supposed to be around 50 degrees, I am leaving soon for a ride.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Fresh Page

The first ride of 2009 has been ridden. It didn't look too likely this morning, we had some real winter weather. Just a little freezing rain, and the temp got above freezing almost immediately. But it kept raining and the temp stayed right at 36, so I wasn't going anywhere. That is, until about 2:30 when the sky cleared, the sun came out and the thermometer went up to 44. I got in 20 miles. The bike is in dire need of some attention, though. Besides being filthy, everything needs adjusted and lubricated, and it certainly is time for a new chain. I did take the time to clean the front derailleur with some 409 and a tooth brush, then lubed and adjusted it. That should help.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Year In Review

Well, 2008 is gone so it's time to tally the score. I rode a total of 4135.03 miles. Those miles were spread out over 141 rides, the shortest was 3.49 and the longest was 76.82. A little bit of a surprise was the average speed for the 4135 miles was 16.7. That speed was faster that all but a handful of my fastest rides in previous years. I also burned 215,143 calories. Only riding once in September may have kept me from getting close to 5,000, but who knows, maybe this year. At this point I still haven't set any goals for '09 other than to keep riding. I miss it when I don't.

Hope everyone had a great New Year's and has a great new year.