Saturday, December 30, 2006

...and while I rode my bike, I saw people

Yes, people were actually outside today. Tons and tons of people. Normally on my rides, I see a few warriors who brave the Michigan weather and go for a run or walk on the bike path. Today, with 40 degree temps, people came out of the woodwork. It must be boring sitting inside all day watching TV and eating cookies. Don't get me wrong, I like cookies (don't watch much TV at all) but I also like to get outside and breathe-sometimes really hard! As I rode through Island Lake, I saw more people than normal and the trailhead was half full. Hopefully the trail is dry. As I got into Kensington, I could not beleive my eyes. There were cars everywhere. Parking lots were filled with cars. The paved path was full of outdoor seekers. And the nature trail and it's parking lot were loaded with people. Now, wait until the temps drop a few degrees and you'll be wondering whrere everybody is...praying to DTE energy for a heated house!

I have decided to start riding my road bike after a month of straight of riding the fixed gear. I figure if there is no snow, I might as well. It was nice to be able to float through the gears again. The weird thing was coasting. I found myself trying to slow down at a stop sign with my feet. Yeah, it doesn't work with a freewheel. It was a good ride and I am looking foreward to more time in the saddle with it.
I was able to wear gloves light enough to be used with a camera today. I took a few pics before the battery died. I always seem to see stuff, and not have to camera ready. Today, some of the interesting objects were...some young kids racing go-cart like machines around a school parking lot(I should have asked if they wanted to would have been fun), a specialized bike frame laying by a gaurdrail by I-96, and an old VW hippie bus. All cool things I was unable to get a picture of. Maybe I should get a mount for the camera on the handlebars. Helmet cams are too expensive.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Additions to the Fixie

How much can you really add to a fix year you're wondering. Not much. I just replaced a few parts. First off, I took off my cheapo Selle Italia blowoff saddle and put on my SLR which was sitting on the winterized YETI. The cheapo saddle was good for around 2 hrs then it was painful and annoying. The SLR is the best saddle ever made for my butt style!
Another addition is a sweet NSYNC fork. I took off my Skareb to send it in for service since the rebound endcap blew a while ago and was hydrolocked. I took this fork off of an old T-rek bike. It is likely worth 30-40 bucks new for the greased suspension. It weighs a boatload, has rusted uppers, and does not work. It is a SOLID fork!
I was able to get out for a ncie gravel grinder today for 3.5 hours. I kept on the dirt roads (which is hard to do in this metropolis area) and found some new gravel. Was able to stimulate a few brain cells riding some never before seen terrain. There was even a decent hill on one of the new roads. Covered a good distance(I still have to map it out) and my HR monitor clocked 2200ft of climbing/ascent. It was a good ride all around. I was fresh after my weights and recovery day from the bike yesterday. Phil Ligget would have been all over his "dancing on the pedals" quote. The weather was also nice. Cooler than the past week, but still very warm for December. And that yellow thing in the sky was also out. I cannot remember what it is called since it is a rarity, but it was nice today!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Where did this Weather come from?

This is awesome. The past few days I have worn a few less layers and it has been awesome. I remember just last week I was riding in 0, 2, 9, degree temps with the wind chill. Tommorrow is looking to be 55 and maybe some rain. With all of this heat in December, it got me thinking about that global warming thing everyone is talking about. I rented An Innconvenient Truth, a movie which features Al Gore explaining global warming and his theory and predictions on it. It was interesting to say the least.

In other news, I just finished up a 12.5 hour ride week. I did a 2.5 hour ride with my dad yesterday on the fixed gear. Pretty much did the same ride as Thursday, but skipped the whole rail trail and Whitmore Lake section. A little windy in a few spots, but all was good. I just got back from a nice little hour forty five ride on the dirt roads. Since it is so warm, the road commission was able to grade the roads. This makes them better and worse. Better in the fact that the potholes are mostly gone, and worse that the top layer is really loose gravel. The loose gravel likes to swing the rear end of the bike around when I am pedaling 150-175 cadence on some larger downhills. Overall, I'll take the graded roads any day of the week. Off to work tonight, then depending on the precipitation tommorrow, I might do a 3hr ride, or an indoor trainer ride.

In MTB news, it looks like all the crazys who sent in a postcard are going to be riding in TransIowa! Hope for dry conditions.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cranking out 4 More

I hit the gym yesterday after class and then decided to ride the trainer at night. I wanted to give my body and lungs one more day of riding inside before I went for some fresh air. I was able to put in 2hr while watching the Biggest Loser. The guy who won lost 214lbs. That is a rediculous amount of weight to loose in somewhere around a year time frame.

Today turned out to be another unseasonably mild December day. I took my last final-macroeconomics(Aced it) and came home to get ready to crank. I stuck to the pavement today to keep the bike free from the nasty muddy roads. I headed out on the fixed gear around 11am and rode into the driveway 4 hours and 61.25 miles later. Not bad. With my little cooldown, I made a metric century on the fixie-that is with fat tires! I cranked out the 36-16 gearing around the GM proving grounds, through Milford and Wixom, rail trail in South Lyon, and eventually rode around Whitmore Lake before heading back home. The legs are a little tired no after 8.5hrs and 2 days of weight training in the last 3 days. The route is mapped out HERE.

Looking at hitting the gym in the morning and then going out for a 40mile fat tire fixie ride with my dad later on. My legs should recover enough to put in a hard effort at the gym. Saturday is also shaping up to be a nice day. Maybe a dirt road rampage if it dries out.

Now all I have to worry about is training; riding, weights and pilates. I am done with the semester and don't start up again until Jan 8th. That leaves me 24 days to have some fun on one!
(Maybe I should major in poetry!)NOT.

The weather is nice, get out and RIDE. There are no excuses withe temps in the high 40's and low 50's.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2.5 Hours of Monotony

My cold seems to be getting a little better day by day. My lungs were burning on Sunday, so I decided to take a recovery day and hit the bike again on Monday. Monday came and my cold was worse. I changed from a chest cold to a head cold. My nose ran all day. After my finals in the morning, I headed over to the gym and hit the weights. I got home and still felt like crap. I wasn't tired at all but my body needed some rest. Instead of a 2.5 hour ride, I took that time for a nap.

Finally, yesterday I was feeling much better. Well, I took the past couple days off and it has been warm (high 40's up to 50) and dry. Yesterday turned into an all day rain, drizzle, and downpour type of day. I jumped on the trainer in the afternoon and started to ride. I threw in a Carmichael Training Systems climbing tape, then went and rode to the sprinting tape. I took the last 45 minutes and just rode keeping the HR in zone 2. 2.5 Hours on the trainer was not mentally too bad until I was 1:45 in and the only thing on TV was either Ellen, Oprah, or Judge Judy. Woo Hoo. Not. I put my head down, pedaled, and kept on listening to the music running through my headphones. I have to say that the trainer seems to work out the legs harder than the road. More tension and friction seems to need more effort and instill more leg burning.

Finished the evening off with a 30 minute Pilates session. Didn't burn too bad either. Now I am sitting at school waiting for 4:15 so I can go take a pointless BIO Lab exam. I have a 100% in my BIO class, and this test is worth 50 points. I guess I don't have to take it and still get an A, but I will. After that, it is off to the gym. Usually it is just over an hour workout, then I am off to grab the bike. Hopefully the rain holds off so I can put in 2.5-3hrs on the fixie. Lights are charged up and ready to go.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Milestone...for me

With my 2hr jaunt this morning, I reached a new high mileage. I went over 6,000 miles. For me that is pretty good. I started riding three years ago and put in under 2,000 miles the first year and 3400 miles last year. With simple math, that's 2,600 miles more than last year. Not too bad. I am sure next year will be more as I become a better and more experienced rider. We still have another three weeks, so I should be able to get at least 500 more miles in.

I put in 3 days at the gym and 11.5 hours on the fixed gear outside this week. With some warmer temps coming next week and a higher volume week for me, I should be able to get around 200 miles in. Last week, the total temp of wind chills added up of my four rides is only 35. Now, tommorrow and the next few days will be in the 40's. Huh.

When I was going to write this, and then searched around some blogs for a few minutes. 6,000 was pretty good for me, but when I clicked on Robert's Blog, damn. Almost 14,000 miles and still riding strong! That is remarkable...and maybe a little crazy!

I work again in the middle of the day tommorrow. Those just suck. It screws up my whole riding schedule. Today I had to ride at 8am so I could get my ride in and then go skate for 3 hrs before going to a Christmas party. I was looking at at least 3hrs tommorrow, so I might have to take my light with me and finish in the dark. The warmer temps should also be better on my lungs than the cold morning air. Once I get over this little cold the air shouldn't be as much of a problem.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

More LSD Please!!!

I know a lot of people who dread going out in the cold to ride long slow distance. I have not seemed to mind it a bit. It is a nice change up from intervals, hill climbs, and hammerfests. I would not mind some nice HOT weather, but at least it is not 33F and raining! I was able to get out again today for a 2.5hr ride on a little bit or gravel, paved roads, and snow covered rail trail. The sun was out for half of the ride, melting the slight layer of powder. Once the sun went down, the melted snow started turning to ice in some spots. It was a bit nippy out today, but my garb worked out pretty well. For the 20F and 2W/C temps, I layered up with knee warmers under the tights, a base layer underarmor, long sleeve jeresy, wind/rain jacket, and a balaclava to warm the face. My fingers stayed nice and warm with my new Moose Mitts. They work really well and all I wear is a wind glove underneath, which I tend to sweat in due to the heat.

Did some Pilates tonight as well. Off to the gym, then a hike later in the day tommorrow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good Times Riding

I got out on Sunday morning for a ride, hit the gym and skated on Monday, and was able to get some more spinning in yesterday. The rides were pretty similar, but some changes.
2 hrs--------------------3hrs
snow covered roads-----snow-ice roads/bare white salt colored roads
ride on road------------road and snow covered trails
fixie--------------------fixie, and I cleared ILRA b/y without brakes
22F, 9W/C------------25F, 14 W/C

This cold weather riding is not bothering me at all. It is actually quite enjoyable when the entire body is warm. I am going to the gym again today, do some core workout with pilates afterward, then a nice 1hr spin with speed skills. Looks like tommorrow will be a high of 24F and really windy. Looks like I'll have to bundle up again for another 2.5-3hr ride.

Get off that trainer and gert outside!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's Been A While...

Because it has been nice outside. The end of November and sixty degree temps. It was almost two weeks straight of fifty and sixty degree days. Now we are back to reality, but its life. It was nice to get a nice burst of warm wether for a bit. Now only if we could get warm weeks once a month in the winter! I was able to get some good riding in with shorts and a jeresy and often some arm warmers. I did the Thanksgiving Day ride at PLRA and then ended the 14 hour weel off with a night ride at Brighton Rec. I have been riding quite a bit at a low zone 1/2 on the fixed gear. The gym has been going well and I am about to move onto my next stage. Now that winter is finally here, it is time to bundle up and hit the road for some long hours in the saddle. A month into the off-season, and I am still keeping my weight constant at 142, even after a Thanksgiving feast! School will be over in two weeks(for the semester), so that will leave me evn more time for weights, riding, pilates, and maybe X-C skiing if there is snow.

Bundle up and go RIDE!