Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Sound of Two Wheels Rolling

I used a couple hours of annual leave from work today for the simple fact that it was going to be in the 55-60 degree range for the first time in about sixteen years. Alright, it only seems that long.

I actually overdressed a little, but I hammered out 30 miles to Elk Point and back on the road bike solo. Winds were out of the south at about 15 so it was a little tough on the way down as I just haven't been out in what seems like an eternity. Took me 53 minutes to bust the 15 miles there. The way home was much easier clocking in at 36 minutes. I still haven't put a computer back on the bike but could easily tell that I was flying pretty good on the way back.

Hwy 212 Gut Check training begins OUTSIDE finally. I've been dying to start doing rides that mean something to my training. Here's hoping that after the upcoming cold snap that we get back to "riding weather". Although, after tomorrow, it doesn't appear that we will see 50 again in the ten day forecast. It's time to put on my big boy pants, suck it up, and start riding anyway.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cyclists Humor

You have to love this response from Lance Armstrong/Team Astana/Trek Project One Team after getting bikes stolen from their team trailer on the Amgen Tour of California.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Full Year of Bicycle Rides

It sure looks like a busy year of bicycle rides upcoming. I'm looking forward to getting out as much as possible, but I doubt I'll hit every ride I'd like to. If I could hit every one, here's what my schedule will look like:

3/14 - Yankton St. Pat's ride
4/18 - LBL - Somewhere near Lincoln, NE - CiTy BiLLy ride
5/16 - Meet in the Middle - Possible FAB/Lane Hog ride
5/30 - Bunyan's to Bob's - Vermillion - a CiTy BiLLy NoRTh production
6/7-6/12 - Tour de Kota
6/21-6/27 - Faces to the Falls (not sure if this is still in the works or not)
7/4 - Beresford 125k Ride
7/11 - FABRAD - Sioux Falls
8/1 & 8/2 - MS Pedal the Plains
8/7-8/9 - Hwy 212 Gut Check
8/15 - Meet in the Middle - Possible FAB/Lane Hog ride
8/22 - Tour de Corn (Mitchell)/Onabike (Onawa, IA) - which way shall I go?
9/12 - Margarita Ride VIII - Vermillion - You don't want to be the person missing THIS ride.
9/19 - Sanford's Biking 4 Breast Cancer
10/10 - Schnoctobeerfest - Fremont, NE - Yet another CiTy BiLLy production

Cactus-Eyed Joe is also looking at putting together weekly time trials in Vermillion. More details to follow on that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blame Me

You can blame me for any upcoming snow. Knowing that I wanted to get a few more early season rides in, I took the studs off this weekend. I was getting a little tired of 'clickety clickety clickety' on the pavement with the studs. You know what I need as well as I....another bike!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bike vs Car Report: Feb 1-15

This will be the easiest bi-monthly report yet and can be simplified to this: I rode my bike and didn't get in a vehicle. Life is good, and simple.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Physical Therapy Guinea Pig

Going against my New Year's Resolution, I have agreed to (at least loosely) keep track of my mileage, caloric intake, and other fitness for a project of four doctoral students in the Physical Therapy department at The University of South Dakota. I'll be taking a test every six weeks between now and the Highway 212 Gut Check in August.

I'll be the first to tell you that I haven't trained hard at all this winter. Commuting and Spin Classes have been the extent of my training. So, I knew my baseline test was not going to be stellar. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. Hopefully the tests do nothing but get better as my training starts really picking up now.

I've never been big into the study of VO2 max or anything like that, so I'm not even sure what some of the numbers I'm about to post mean, but I thought that I'd throw them out here for those of you who have any interest in my training leading up to the Gut Check in August.

If any of you are huge into reading what these numbers mean, let me know! I'm sure that the students and Professor Pat Hauer will let me know more as we progress as well.

The test started (on the bike) at 10 watts increasing by 10 watts each minute. My "predicted" output was 236 watts. I did fine until about 280 watts and then it became a bit of a struggle. I pushed into the 310 watt category before my heart rate red-lined and I had to shut down. I still managed to do 131% of expected for somebody in my advanced years.

The VO2 readings are what I don't understand very much. After talking to a friend, who is also a Physical Therapist, he said the number should probably be in the 40's for me and I'm guessing that he's right. The numbers I have is 4255 mL/min as my V02 Max, which I believe should put me at 42.5 L/min. This was 136% of expected (3119 mL/min or 31.2 L/min).

Below are the readings per stage. There was to be a blood pressure rating, but that failed but hopefully will be working for the next test for even more fun results. I was half way through 310 watts when I shut it down.

My Recent Intervention

I walked into the room, unsuspecting. There they all were and I knew something was up. I was asked to sit down and listen while they all read their statements to me about what they perceived as an "unhealthy" addiction. I crossed my arms to let them know that I was of upset, hurt, mad about what was going on. I let them speak.

"Kevin, you know we love you, but you have to get this addiction under control and we want you to seek help. It started when you were a wee lad in your parents gas station. Sneaking a little here and there. 'Nobody would ever know' you thought. Well, you were wrong. They knew but they did nothing to stop your addiction. They enabled it to go on for the last 30 years. I beg you to get help."

I said nothing and waited for the next person to speak.

"We've seen you and your sleepless nights. Bouncing off the walls, being obnoxious. It's a disgrace to your upbringing. It's hard for us to watch the path you are going down. If mixing it with water wasn't bad enough, you now just throw the stuff in your mouth with a chocolate coating and chew it. If you don't get counseling I'm afraid that you will never sleep again and die! Is that what you want? Please get help now."

I looked over at the last person waiting to speak.

"I have watched this tear apart your life for years, but it's become worse as of late. First it was the singles, then the doubles, then you started with small bags and now THIS (putting the bag below on the table). If you can't get this under control and seek help, I'm afraid you leave us no choice but to kick you out of our lives forever."

I now have new friends and a five pound bag of Organic French Roast coffee. If you need a dealer, let me know. No more interventions though. Everybody deserves one addiction.

Einstein Was on to Somthing

E = mc2

Energy = Morning x Two Cups of Coffee (at LEAST!!)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What A Bargain!

No wonder The Owner has so much time and money for vacationing....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Memories From My Driving to Work Days

For some reason I've been paying attention to the way people, who are too cheap to buy an on campus parking sticker -- of which I used to be, park on the side streets. Seeing how people parallel park is just a riot. From the area around the sorority houses (their parking could be a whole different humorous post) to the area around campus.

This morning as I got closer to campus, there was a car that was parked that at first I was seriously worried that it was about to pull out in front of me. In other words, it wasn't parallel at all. One had "nose dived" into the parking spot with its rear end still partially out in the street. Then there is the "I am parked in the middle of the street because there is snow/ice on the curb" people. My ride in was filled with comedic parking delight this morning.

My favorite is the spacing of the cars. The people who leave about 3/4 of a car length in front of them. Not big enough to park anything, but it screws up two parking spots eventually due to space lost in front an behind.

I used to become so outraged with the stupidity of the way people parked. The number of times I had to park and extra block or two away due to stupid parking was truly annoying. I look back at those times and laugh. I know where I park now. About five steps outside the door. Glorious.

Parking is always a hot topic when walking around fixing computers in my area. Most have learned NOT to discuss it around me because of the standard answer they will receive for their griping: "Ride your bike". Most have an excuse why they don't bike, some legit, most not. In the immortal words of my friend Snakebite, "Excuses are like a-holes, everybody has one, and they all stink."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bike vs Car Report: Jan 15-31

Overall good report for this period and for the month. The only thing that kept me off my bike was a work trip and the only reason I was in a car all month (driving or passenger) was because of out of town work.