Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cyclists/motorists in Boulder -- can't we all just get along?

Seems there's a little tension over Boulder, Colo., cyclists... read the comments at the bottom for pure entertainment.

It's a never-ending war.

Wednesday Ride Report

Last night I went on the teamFIRE Show and Go ride, errrrrr, the GPBC No Rider Left Behind Ride, actually I don't really know what ride I went on. While it is nice to go on a ride with a larger group, and I enjoy meeting some of the other riders, I definitely think that it was a case of the teamFIRE riders going on the GPBC ride and not the other way around.

Nobody announced a route - we just started rolling out at a good clip (20 mph+) south towards 14th street. Kevin and I started out at the back to do our teamFIRE duty, but it became clear early on that this was not a "No Rider Left Behind" ride as there was no waiting at stop lights and no regrouping. At one point, one of the riders I was with asked "Where are we going?", to which I could only reply "South!". After we got held up by a couple of stop lights, we no longer had any chance of catching the pack, so we just rode by ourselves and let others do the same. By the time we crested that first hill going south on 77, the main group was out of sight - and we had no idea which direction they had gone - so we headed out to Sprague, and then back through Roca to get back to Lincoln - a nice 30 mile workout.

I think if the original concept of the "No Rider Left Behind" ride is going to continue, it needs to go back to a 5:45 start time so that it is a smaller group that can stay together easier, and so that everybody is there for that ride and understands the philosophy. There are too many separate agendas on the GPBC ride - some people want to go much faster and would be frustrated by the relaxed pace of our teamFIRE ride, it is hard to get everybody to wait for regrouping, and most of the riders on the GPBC ride are there for that ride and are completely unaware of the teamFIRE ride - except that there are teamFIRE riders riding along. I also think it would make it easier for different team members to take turns helping out at the back - if it ends up being Kevin and me on the back nursing some slow rider into town every week (even though we are the slowest riders on the team), that will get old real quick for us. It is not much fun pulling into town at 10 mph with a struggling rider a half hour after the rest of the group every week. Anyway, that's my $.02.

Now to the good part on the ride - we detoured from 40th street on the way home to stop at Las Margaritas for $2.50 margaritas and some food. As we sat in the bar, two very attractive ladies sat down next to us for some drinks, and after a while started asking us about what we had been doing - were we training for a race, asking about the team jersey, etc. They obviously respected the fact that we would have to be secure in our manhood if we were willing to sit in a bar drinking magaritas while wearing spandex and lycra :). I told Kevin afterwards, if our wives ever get sick of us, we now know what to do to pick up chicks - the teamFIRE jersey is a great conversation starter!

It turns out that one of the ladies teaches spin classes, and was getting divorced the next day from a husband who wouldn't let her ride on the road. She said her first act as a single woman would be to buy a road bike. We invited her to come out next week to the Wed. ride - so we weren't just having drinks and Mexican food, we were recruiting for the team. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The best part of our conversation with the two lovelies has to do with the fact that my beautiful wife was sitting about 10 feet away at a table in the same bar, having a ladies night out with three of her friends. They all thought the entire situation was hilarious. I told her that they may have to find a different place for her ladies night out - as she was cramping my style ;).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A new contributor amongst us?

I see we have a new contributor to this area of cyberspace. I thought we had standards for this blog! Please step up and introduce thyself and let us know your intentions, er, what you'll be contributing. Curious minds want to know...

Curious minds also want to know who'll be going on tonight's TeamFIRE ride. Anyone... anyone... Bueller....?

By the way, don't know if Bob informed you -- but any new contributor to this blog must pass an initiation test which consists of buying a bike component for each of the previous contributors. I'll take a new wheelset. Bob, Adrian -- get your orders in now...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

South Dakota miles

Spent Memorial Day weekend at the in-laws farm in South Dakota (near Fort Randall Dam). Got in a 30-mile ride on quiet, scenic highways on Sunday. It's unbelievable how little traffic they have up there -- perfect for cycling. I don't know why I hadn't taken my bike up there before.

On the way back, I had a 10 mph tailwind that kept me going an effortless 22 mph with an 8-mile stretch of smooth highway without sight of a vehicle. The only sound heard was a chorus of birds and bullfrogs -- awesome.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here's your chance to get one of these

It seems our very own Lincoln has been selected by Bicycling magazine for their annual "Biketown USA" event. They're giving away 30 Trek Lime bikes to people willing to use them -- it's your golden opportunity to get that cruisin' trail bike, Bob!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wanna buy my saddle?

I'm selling my Fizik Aliante Gamma saddle (TI rails) -- it's basically brand-spankin' new. I've put about 100 miles on it. I've gone back to the Brooks, which just fits me a little better. The Fizik sells for $100-130. My price: $65. Good deal if you're in the market for a new saddle. Leave a comment if you're interested.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sertoma Ride

I headed out with Kevin to Valparaiso for the Sertoma Club ride on Saturday. We ended up doing the 70 mile loop (with minimal tongue in cheek b****ing from Kevin about riding that far) - second longest ride I've ever done. The weather was great, although a bit windy as we rode north from Seward. We joined up with Steve, Craig, and Tami for a while to take turns pulling into the cross wind, but mostly rode by ourselves. It didn't seem like a very big turn out - maybe 50-60 riders. Too bad, as it was a good day to ride and a mostly fun route - especially the last 14 miles through the Bohemian Alps (fortunately, with the wind).

I was happy to be able to do the ride pretty much pain free - although either I need to adjust my saddle slightly or I need to look for one with a slightly different shape to help solve some numbness issues. I currently ride a Fizik Aliante - I may give a Specialized Toupe or Alias a try.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wheel truing

My road bike's rear wheel is out of true. I have an appt. to get it repaired but I want to learn how to do it myself -- anyone have experience truing wheels? I'm afraid to put wrench to spoke on my own for fear that I'll do irreversable damage.

I want to become self-sufficient dammit!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cycling = Good Health

Okay, I want to brag a little.

I went to the doctor for my regular 6 month check up. About three years ago, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes, as well as high cholesterol and hypertension. With a family history of heart problems as well, I was not in good shape.

Since then, in addition to the medicine I take to help control the diabetes, I have made some life changes - I have reduced my work schedule a little, modified my diet some - but most importantly to my mind, I started riding a bike. I started with a hybrid riding five mile rides on the bike path, eventually started doing 10 miles on the path, and then tried going out on the road. Two years ago, I rode with a friend who owned a road bike and saw how much more efficient the bike was, and got one for myself. A bunch of miles later, here is a comparison of vital stats from before (the A1C is a measure of average blood sugar over several months, normal is 6.0, my goal is to stay below 7.0):

2005 - before I began cycling:

Weight - 206
Blood Pressure - 166/88
Resting Pulse - 80
Cholesterol - 267
A1C - 11.7
Fasting Blood Sugar - 260

2008 - after 3 years of riding (1.5 years of road cycling)

Weight - 166
Blood Pressure - 116/67
Resting Pulse - 58
Cholesterol - 120
A1C - 6.1
Fasting Blood Sugar - 110

Cycling rules!!!

weekend, er, Sunday ride report

After a soggy Saturday, I hopped on the bike for 46 miles on Sunday. Awhile back I signed up to lead a ride for the GPBC -- a short, Sunday morning ride (9 a.m.) down to the Mill to get some java and chat with whoever wanted to come along. I had two takers -- an older lady on a Serotta road bike and a 20-something Air Force guy named JR on a Giant Hybrid (the brand, not the size -- although it was a huge frame). While we were waiting there at 27th St. bridge Gravy toodled by and greeted me with a "Happy Mother's Day" -- Gravy: first, I'm not a mother and secondly, I thought you were riding up to join my merry little group -- you so disappointed me.

We had a good time, although I'm the only one who swilled coffee. They both are looking for riders in their own category. She wants to find roadies who go slow (12 mph pace). He was looking for riding companions who go a little faster, but knows nothing about road bikes or group riding. I was telling them about my cycling experiences. Told the guy about the various, weekly group rides including the Wednesday ride and various bike clubs. Although, I recommended he get a used road bike if he wants to do the group thing.

Anyway after riding back to the starting point (27th St. bridge) I rode the trail loop out to 14th Pine Lake -- he'd never been on it before. Total: 20 miles and two cups of delicious coffee.

Sunday night was so nice outside I rode solo out to Sprague. Once I hit Saltillo, I discovered my rear rim is severly out of true. Gotta get that fixed. Mileage: 26. Average: 17 mph. And best of all -- no pain in the back of the knee! Really for the first time this spring, I felt good on the bike.

Riding solo is really different. I feel a lot more vulnerable. But its also a great way to get your thoughts together and really concentrate on your riding -- the cadence, shifting, how your body is feeling, etc.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Good ride, good times

About 12 of us rode out to air park last night for the TeamFIRE Wednesday night group ride. Good group -- we all managed to stay as a group for the most part. Thanks Adrian, for regrouping us out of air park.

Gravy, Jen, Nicol, Megan and myself topped off the ride with a toddy at Heidelbergs. Thanks to Gravy for buying the round. Can't beat that with a stick!

Nicol -- did you survive crossing 40th street?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Husker Ride Tonight

Forecast for 6 p.m. tonight - 79 degrees, sunny, wind from the south (that's right, from the SOUTH) at 10 mph. Not 25 mph, not 30 mph, but 10 mph!!! We won't have to ride all the way through town to the airport to ride back with the wind! I'll be rockin' the green jersey tonight - no Wednesday ride for me this week (got a gig that goes until 6 on Wednesday). No tights, leg warmers, long wool socks, long fingered gloves, long sleeved base layers, jackets, or skull caps necessary. What does it feel like to ride in just shorts and a jersey? I've forgotten. Hope to see lots of people at the Bike Rack!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday Ride

Still planning on riding at 6 p.m. today - leaving from the bench at 27th and hw 2.  See you there if you want to go along!