Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow spin

So finally we get to ride outside! I remember what this is like! The fresh air. The sun on your face. It was refreshing indeed.

Then everything started to melt and turned into a giant slushy mess. The end.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Return of the bug

Two hours on the trainer Tuesday night.
Two hours on the trainer Thursday night, watching bike race vids on
One hour of upper-body work last night.
Two more hours on the trainer today?
And an updated list of the races I plan on doing in the lower right corner of this blog.
...the racing bug has bitten me despite the snow and cold.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shadows fall

Dear Phil,

I am writing to let you know that I would kill a groundhog. I'd do it, and I'm not alone. Winter has had it's way with us this year and we've had enough. You know which way to call it and we all expect you to do so. If you let us down there will be consequences and repercussions.


Sick of winter

Friday, January 22, 2010

His and hers

This is our 2nd off-season of doing P90X as our strengthening program and the results are very good. I've managed to strengthen my shoulder and for the first time ever I have arms that I can be (somewhat) proud of. All without putting on excess bulk (don't wanna drag a bunch of upper-body muscle over the top of the long climbs around here).

BTW, Pookie does one-armed push-ups. Fer real.

This year we'll definitely continue our upper body routine at least once a week throughout the cycling season. Now if it ever stops raining/icing/snowing long enough, maybe we'll get to ride our bicycles again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Ever get the urge to sell everything you own and start over? I'm at that point in my life. I'd like to break life down into a more nimble, flexible routine. One where I could be a husband to the beautiful Pookie, work, sleep, ride and play my guitar and be perfectly happy. (Maybe not always in that order, but those are the functions of day-to-day living that I'd like to do more of - except the work part.)

What material possessions could I do away with and still live happily ever after? Well, everything but my bikes and my 1989 Martin HD-35.

Now don't get me wrong; I don't want to live in a tent and cook on an open fire every night. I'm talking about selling everything (house and all furnishings), buying a tiny house and filling it with only what's necessary.

See, I'm not attached to much. The house is brick & mortar. The furniture is just sticks and cloth. I can obtain all of that in a smaller, simpler form and put it in a smaller, simpler house. Bikes I can't live without. Sure I could sell them and start over new, but right now I'm happy with the quiver of cycles.

My Martin is more than a just a thing. It is a living, breathing gift from God. It sings practically on it's own. It is one of a kind and can not be replaced and will never be sold. It is a as much a part of me as I am part of it. I can't call it a prized possession anymore than I can say that about my foot or a vital organ. It is a limb.

My heart tells me that it's time to simplify and get back to what's important; spending time with family and friends, mostly while riding a bicycle.

So there you have it. Today's deep thought is: simplify.

Have more = live, ride and play less.

Have less = live, ride and play more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And away we go!

It's almost half-way through January and where am I? The year's practically over.

Let's start by taking inventory:

Shoulder - Stronger than ever. Did I mention that my wife now does one-arm push-ups. No kidding. We have been training. I know I'm strong. (Exibit A - look back at the bruised hip post).
Core city, baby. Upper body? Damn right. Lot's of it. I have triceps. Actual, legitimate triceps. What does that have to do with riding and racing a bicycle? Not much, but my arms will look good.

Nina - She's my girl. All nine speeds of her. Maybe a dozen rides so far. I think the 26 miler this past Sunday was the longest. I love her. I really do.

Homefront - Major changes. Perhaps a smaller abode in our near future. We found a place and fell in love with it. It is brand-spankin' new. Never even had a toaster or a lamp plugged into any outlets yet. Why? Less house = more time to ride, train & race. Not to mention, cheaper. I like cheaper too.

Blog - Well, you're lookin' at it.

Work - work. Same - same.

Drink - I have an affinity for Black Russians at the present time. Very little beer has been consumed since the holidays. No wine either. Not sure what this kick is all about...relaxing, I guess.

Gretta - Spoiled rotten. Sleeps on the love seat in the reading room way too much. Is mad at us about 40% of the time because we don't walk as frequently as she would like. We humas just don't like sub-freezing temperatures as much as dogs do.

OK then. Good night dear diary.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ah ha!

Not the band, but a revelation! And that would be...? The local early season MTB/Cyclocross/Mountaincross races seem to fit in nicely with my training plan. A bonus indeed.

The 2010 racing plan:

Mountain bike? Yes!
Road? Probably.
Cross? Maybe.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

We've got a piper down! A piper is down!

Do you remember, back before the ice age, when you could do things outside like ride a bicycle? I miss those days. I miss them so much that despite the trails being snowed and iced over and the bitter cold winds, I still went ahead with leading (what is supposed to be) the weekly MTB ride this past Thursday.

Explore Park would have still been buried under, so we scapped that. Mill Mountain would have probably been OK, but who wants to ride up there in 40 mph winds? Not I. So we oped for a little urban assault with some mini-trails at PH and Fishburn mixed in.

Three minutes into the ride, just at the entrance of the Greenway, I hit a patch of ice at about 15mph and immediately hit the deck so hard I felt like I was dropped out of an airplane with no chute. Laura did the same right behind me, and Gordon slowed just enough to avoid hitting the two of us. When I hit, I landed on my right elbow, just like I did when I had my season-ending, shoulder-dislocating crash last August. The cold amplifies pain so much that I thought I had broken my elbow and my hip. I lay there for at least two minutes before I could tell that my shoulder was OK. I was relieved, but I could still tell that my hip took a major hit. This crash was easily the worst I've ever had.

So know a couple days have gone by and I think everything is going to be OK. I'm obviously bruised up (not quite as bad as this dude, but you get the idea).

One very positive thing came out of the crash, and that is the fact that I know that my shoulder is stronger than it's been in 15 years. I landed on it with all of the force of my body weight on a solid sheet of ice and it not only stayed intact, but actually feels as good as it's ever felt.

So two things:

1. I will be going for it on the mountain bike. No need to hold back.
2. I will be playing hockey next fall. I'm strong again.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Someone told me last fall that the Farmer's Almanac had predicted a winter with more precipitation than normal. So far they've been spot-on. I can't ever remember snow on the ground before Christmas that is still around on the first weekend of the new year. This is southern Virginia, not upstate New York!

So, I guess I've gotta stick to the motto that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. I layered and layered on Saturday and got in two hours in the 40 mph winds. No fun. My will was not as strong on Sunday and the warmth of the indoors prevailed.

This coming second weekend of January I hope will not be as windy. I can handle twenty degrees. I can't handle twenty degrees and relentless, wicked, vicious, stupid wind.

Spring is how far away?