Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Brady Rhyme of Two Thousand and Nine

We are getting the Brady Family Christmas wishes in just in time,
It was a whirlwind tour in two thousand and nine.
President of one organization and VP of another does show,
Kevin still lacks the inability to utter the word “no”.
Throw in church activities, bicycle riding, Coyote games, and family time,
You’re lucky that he has time to write you this rhyme!
Laura is busy too with massages, being Mom and taxi to three tykes,
Of course when it’s nice, she makes them ride bikes.
She is still riding bikes when she can break free,
Either solo on her bike or on the tandem with me.
Marissa’s interest in riding long distances is growing quite nifty,
Her goal for next year is to join her Dad on the MS One-Fifty.
On the clarinet you can now oft hear her play,
She’s really quite good, getting better each day!
She’s now eleven years old, going on twenty-one,
and tortures her mother, I swear, just for fun.
We really had to talk to her and raise quite a fuss,
when one of her grades was not an A plus.
Austin can be seen on any given night,
basking in the glow of the computer monitors light.
I hope this fancy on which much time he doth spend
leads to a career in which he can always depend.
He’s now thirteen and growing quite tall,
now taller than Laura – no longer small.
He does understand, even with his tall size,
Mom is still boss, and this thinking is wise.
Carson, now six, is also wise beyond his years.
The problem for us is that he doesn’t have fears.
It’s hard to find him awake at a time that when
his speed (and his volume) is not turned up to ten.
With a few days to go till the end of two thousand and nine,
No emergency room visits have we had, not one single time!
We’ve become quite accustomed for his need for speed,
and his ability to crash, and then roll, and then bleed.
Regardless of how crazy was this year of oh-nine,
the Brady’s are plugging away and doing just fine.
We look forward to what the Lord brings in the two thousand ten year,
Plunging right in to it without any fear.
From our crazy world that we spread forth our light,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a night!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cold Weather Weaponry

Below zero temps? Pish-Posh. Gear up and ride!

To My Fellow Bicycle Commuters

I don't care who you are or what distance you commute, if you are from my neck of the woods and made it in today, welcome to the world of the dedicated bicycle commuter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Approach to Indoor Training

Many of us hearty die hard idiots who live in the ever changing climate that is the Upper Midwest tend to ride all year, no matter what. We are a macho breed and we tend to put off training indoors if we can help it. However, I tend to want that little extra riding that even my adventurous nature can handle outside. That, and teaching indoor cycling classes for the University of South Dakota always have me looking for new ideas. Enter the Global Ride Video Series.

I have many of the Spinerval DVD's and a few of the Carmichael Training Systems DVD's. While each of these are focused, outstanding workouts, the one thing I get sick of is watching sweaty people on bikes over and over. I'm one of those sweaty people working out, I don't need to be reminded by looking at it over and over again. Again, enter the Global Ride Video Series.

My review of this product is two-fold: for my indoor cycling class and for my own personal indoor training. My final rating at the end will be two separate ratings because of this.

The series I received was for Hawaii. Three DVD's each set up for different workouts, and each with amazing backgrounds of riding various roads in Hawaii, usually from a first person cyclist view which I found very attractive. Once in awhile they would flash back to the cyclist as they were riding, but the focus was on the scenery and the workout, not a suffering cyclist.

Another thing I found interesting was the various audio options. You can either just watch the video, watch it with light background music, or your choice of three different instructors, including an actual class scenario. Having audio options to match the mood you are in is a great thing. Some days I like shutting my brain off and just allow one of the instructors instruct me and some days I want to "rock out" so I turn off all audio and just use my own music.

One of the most ingenious thing I found with these DVD's are the non-cycling training at the end. Each DVD had a different workout specifically geared for cycling. The 30 minute sessions include Strength, Yoga, and Pilates. I'm always looking for cross training that still focuses on cycling and this fits the bill nicely.

This is a brief review, but as you know, I don't like long posts as I feel most people don't take the time to read it all anyway, so I cater to the people with short attention spans like me! My review from the standpoint of a cycling class instructor is 9.6 out of 10. There are a few things I'd like to see like maybe a countdown of how much time is left overall and between potential segments of training (hills, flats, etc). I know that Global Ride is continually looking at feedback and are implementing them in future "rides".

For personal training, I'd give it 8.9 of 10. I'd lean more heavily on the timing feature here. Often I have a limited time to ride, so it'd be nice to grab sections you wanted to focus on, which you will after watching these enough times. These workout DVD's, like any workout DVD's, are only as good as the effort you put into it. If you don't think it's too hard, do what you have to for your needs. Same on the other end of the spectrum: If it's too easy, gear up a bit and make it hurt.

Overall these DVD's definitely make my Christmas list. Just having to not stare at sweaty people in a studio makes my rating on these DVD's jump exponentially. I look forward to more versions, especially riding in other countries. I think Global Ride has found a wonderful niche in the Cycling DVD arena. I'm very impressed at their willingness to take ideas from ordinary people to better their upcoming versions. I have nothing but high praise for these DVD's. They are trying to make indoor training bearable, and doing a great job. Ride on Global Ride!