Monday, December 28, 2009


Well, maybe it won't be too bad. Sunday I rode the same route as Saturday in almost identical conditions and averaged 16.8 mph without ever feeling stressed or out of breath. That was a one mph improvement over Saturday and pretty standard for that route.

Off to the cardiologist today to see what he (she?) has to say.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Red Tape

Seems like no matter what project I get involved in there are always multiple layers of red tape to negotiate. Today's project, though was pure red tape. Finally got the no longer white, almost two year old tape off. Letting me have anything white is a mistake, from the moment it comes into my possession it starts a (rapid) journey to dirty gray. Black would probably be the best choice for me, but I wanted red, so red it is. I think it looks good. Well, at least better.

There were only two things on my Christmas list; red handlebar tape and a new water bottle. I got the bottle too.

Haven't been riding so much the past few weeks. Holiday busy-ness, early sunsets, and uncooperative weather put a limit on the available riding time. On top of that, I just haven't been feeling all that great. Someplace way back there in an earlier post I mentioned a minor heart problem that cycling seemed to alleviate, if not eliminate. Maybe it's age, maybe it's stress, who knows, but after being dormant for a couple of years the irregular heartbeat has returned. Finally saw a doctor about it last week and got put on a medication to slow my heart rate. So far it seems to be helping and today I went for a short 29 mile ride to see how the medication affected me. The ride went ok with heart rates ten to twelve bpm lower than what I usually see. I noticed that maybe I wasn't quite as "aerobic" as before -sort of getting out of breath at the upper rates, but that could just be my imagination. I hope I get to try again tomorrow. As of now I need 151.1 miles to get to 5000, and no, I ain't gonna make it in the next five days. Maybe next year.

Next week more doctors and tests. No fun. There had better not be any mention of not riding.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Annie had her kitten prevention operation Wednesday. She seems a little subdued now, bit recovering nicely, with short flashes of the little terror she tends to be. I just added up all her vet bills... shots, worming, de-fleaing meds, and the operation. Let me see, at $600 that would make this one expensive "free" stray kitten, and the most expensive pet we have ever had. Still, though, I'm glad she is here.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Toes Froze

Yesterday during my cycling shopping binge I spent a lot of time examining wind and water resistant booties. In the end I elected not to buy them. It is just hard for me to purchase winter type stuff given how short and mild the winters are here. Not very far into today's ride having booties would have been wonderful. Forty two degrees, windy and raining is a pretty good recipe for getting chilled, but even though I was soaked within minutes I was comfortable - except for my feet. The Pearl Izumi Softshell gloves kept my hands warm, but they are definitely water resistant, not water proof. They were soaked through too, but still warm. I rode a whopping 21.7 miles, stopping only because my toes were so cold. It's supposed to get down to 26 tonight, but tomorrow will be about 50 and sunny. Quite an improvement.

Given the dark gray dreariness and limited visibility of the day the addition of the Planet Bike Rack Blinky on the seat post made me feel a bit more secure - although it's probably a false sense, but having it on can't hurt. It is a pretty bright light, though and fits quite nicely under the seat bag.

Today's weather forced the Liberty Christmas Parade to be rescheduled to December 19. We were looking forward to going, hopefully we don't have anything that Saturday to prevent us from attending.

Friday, December 04, 2009


The thing with plans is that if the best laid ones often go awry, the casual "tomorrow I'm gonna..." type don't stand a chance. Seems to be a good reason not to plan ahead, so mostly I don't, much to the dismay of several people around here who would like to know what we are "gonna do tomorrow". My usual answer "We'll see".

With my flat shortened ride last Saturday (planned 65 miles, completed 34), a scant 20 miles on Sunday, then only managing to commute Monday morning for an additional 6 miles, today's vacation day looked like the perfect chane to do a little catching up. I planned a nice long midday ride. I got 2.5 miles. Then I heard the dreaded tell tale hiss, silence, hiss, silence, hiss of a deflating tire. The rear tire again. It didn't go unnoticed last Saturday when I repaired that puncture that the tire was getting a bit, umm, thin. Four thousand miles will do that, I suppose, but even though the cords were beginning to show through I figured I could get a few more miles out of it. Throw that on the bad decision pile, especially since I went to Performance Bike last Saturday after I got the flat and picking up a new tire would have made sense - which is my excuse for not doing it.

If I was going to do any more riding this weekend it meant I'd have to take a trip to Greensboro today and get another tire. Good thing I had the day off! Having driven the 25 miles to the big city, I couldn't just go one place, so first it was Performance, then REI, and I couldn't just get one tire, I got two, along with some other stuff:

Performance supplied me with the tires, citrus degreaser, and Velcro strap thingies to keep my pants from getting sucked into the chain when I commute. I had one, but I think Annie took it. She does things like that. I came away from REI with a pair of Pearl Izumi (I like their stuff best) water and wind resistant winter gloves and a Planet Bike tail light for the non commuter bike.

Today, then turned out to be a little like an early Christmas. The bike now has a new rear tire and is all set for tomorrow, which is supposed to be 40 degrees and raining. Not the best riding weather, but my hands will be warm. Not that I'm planning to ride....