January 28, 2011

Great Weather in TN Today!

Here in East TN we have been taking it in the shorts as far as the weather goes this year. We can always count on a snow that lasts a day or two, and brief cold snap that never really amounts to anything prolonged and depressing like you might get in Milwaukee or some other place up north. This year has been different though. We have had more snow events since Christmas than I can remember in the last 20 years, and it seems like the temperature has stayed down in the 30's for more consecutive days than since Hector was a pup. So when our local weather guesser predicted temps in the 40's today I just could not stand it and knew I had to get a ride in today. Don't get me wrong I like riding the MTB in the snow, mud , and ice and I will ride in the 30's with anyone, but when I get on the road bike it has to at least be in the 40's for me.

I brought my SS down from home with the intent of riding the greenway outside of my office door at lunch. I put on the usual tights, wool jersey, etc. to go ride and found out what I am sure most of you guys already knew...the 53x11 wind vest I picked up during the Christmas sale is awesome and provided just the right amount of comfort without making me too warm once I got going. While hitting the pavement in the 40's hardly qualifies as Rule 5 riding conditions, one thing I did notice is that there was an unusal element of friendlness shared between the few cyclists I passed today. Most of the time when we pass the usual acknowledgment is a slight head nod, or lifting a finger off of the brake hood. Today, however each encounter was marked by capturing eyes, exchanging a knowing smile, and even lifting the whole hand off of the bars to exchange the greeting. Seems like we appreciate the comraderie more when we are not able to get out and ride enough.

I hopeful that this weekend of weather hitting the 50's is a sign that group rides and road racing are just around the corner. Looks like Joe (my 14 yr old stud) and I are kicking it off w/a Circuit race in Louiville KY on March 9. Here's looking forward to some decent weather for sprint intervals and hill repeats. And as for you guys in AZ and other sunny climes.....its not polite to gloat.



There is no other place I would rather be than in this wonderful family of cyclists. Regardless of the number of miles or type of bike you ride, you belong to a very special group. Age, weight, gender, belief systems, sexual orientation are meaningless and have no importance. What is important is that you ride. Period.

Whether you are an elite racer, an amateur racer (like me), a weekend rider, a single or tandem (or more) rider, as long as you turn pedals and sit in the saddle you are a full fledged member.

I have ridden for 31 years and have only met the nicest people thru cycling-in races, organized centuries, and of course on my own solo rides. I met one of my good friends a couple years back accidently on a ride. We happened to be going the same way at the same pace and our friendship grew from that. Two other good friends were made via the Tuesday night race series. We do a lot together outside of riding, but cycling is our common denominator.

I sold some items last week via Craigslist and met two very nice guys-one was buying wheels to convert his wife's cyclo cross bike into a climbing friendly bike for the Pyrenees this summer. He knows a local legend who actually repaired my C40 frame 2 years back. Small world in deed. We plan on riding together this year. The other guy has been riding for about as long as me, maybe a bit longer. He has an autistic son who he rides tandem with. They have even done the 200+ mile Seattle to Portland (STP) ride. He belongs to a local team but has not raced. I have talked him into coming out for the local Tuesday night series.

And of course there is 53x11 Coffee-what can I say except everyone associated with the company and team is AWESOME.

I can't wait to see who I will meet next. Chance encounters are just a pedal stroke away....

January 10, 2011


As I write this on my break at work I am sporting a lovely rasberry on my left hip, courtesy of a semi-idotic move on my part last Saturday on the first road ride of the year. I was trying to beat on-coming traffic at the entrance to my condo complex when I made a hard left into the drive at high speed, laying on the brakes a bit too hard. My rear wheel slid out in the left over rain/snow grime in the bike lane, and I slid out in glorius fashion. My first thought was how stupid I was, then I feared my tights and jacket were shredded as it felt like I slid a ways on the pavement. Good thing I was in generic black rather than a team kit.
I was able to get up and stumble into my garage where I almost passed out on the floor. After some minutes I got up and inspected the bike-scraped up pedal and brake lever and shredded bar tape, but overall my single speed came out pretty good. My tights were soiled but not torn and neither was my jacket. My left shoe took some damage too but is still quite functional. Thank goodness as I cannot afford to buy clothing right now.
My hip is doing much better though still tender and bruised and scraped. I have to gingerly sit in my cubicle. i was able to run today for a quick 1.5 on my lunch, and for that I am very grateful. I am also able to ride the trainer so I will get in a 45 min workout tonight.
My girlfriend says I need a tattoo. I have enough natural ones, and thanks to Saturday's spill I have a new one:)

January 6, 2011

My Fall Back

I recently watched The Wild Bunch while riding my trainer. It is one of my favorite Westerns (and movies in general). William Holden tells Ernest Borgnine-"I'd like to make one big score and fall back." Ernest asks-"fall back to what?"
For me the answer is easy, and I don't need a big score. My fall back is the bicycle. It keeps me young and sane. Regardless of my financial or mental state, I can fall back to the bicke for refreshment and strength and comfort. It is my rock, my anchor, my shelter from the storm.
Every ride is an eye opener and refreshes me in a unique and priceless way.
A big score would be nice, but nothing beats the bike:)