Monday, January 30, 2012

Lions should run free....

Continously, over and over rotating the pedals around, and around, and around. Staring at the clock it says 34:45. I have been pedaling for 34 minutes and 45 seconds. It seems much longer than that. My Timex heart rate monitor, it keeps me honest. My goal is to hold 80% of my max heart rate for the entire ride. There is no easy way to do this; I have to hold the mind set of push, push, push, push, to keep my heart rate at that level for this long. I close my eyes, and keep rotating on the pedals. I don't know how much time passes, it seems like almost forever. The first thing I look at when I open my eyes is the clock. It says 38:52, only 4 more minutes have gone by.

Pedaling while standing up for a while, my heart rate drops, even though it seems like harder work, I speed up, going nowhere to increase my heart rate.  I am on day 2 of my commitment, to hold this heart rate for 1.5 hours every day.

This is only being done so when the day comes and two hands can be put on the handle bars again I will be able to ride with legs that will want to finish the journeys that need to be rode.  

Slipping into a daydream my heart rate drifts downward, I pick up the pace to pick my heart rate back up again and I begin to train myself to keep my heart rate up and still day dream at the same time. To be able to drift away, in my mind, go somewhere else, like the places you go when you are waiting alone for a long time in a doctor's waiting room, and yet still have my legs firing up and down continuously maintaining an intense effort.

My IPOD changes songs, high energy rock. It is my training set of songs I use for hard days on trail rides. For a moment it almost makes me think I am climbing a long hill on some trail, my bike rocking back and forth with every stroke, and I am happy to be out here and to conquer this hill.
Then I realize I am still in my basement, head almost hitting the ceiling, riding on my stationary bicycle. 

My mind starts drifting off again to over 50 years ago. A small boy watches a lion pace back and forth in his cage. I think about that lion, I would watch a long time ago when my parents would take me and my brothers and sisters on our yearly pilgrimage to the Madison Zoo. He would always be pacing back and forth, in his jail cell. He committed no crime, he didn't belong in there, and I think he was just waiting to die.  I always wished I could break him loose, and free him from that prison zoo, and he could run free once again. 

I wait for the day I am out of here, and not pacing back and forth going nowhere.

The clock rolls over from 129:59 to 1:30.00.  I stop pedaling immediately. Finished for the day. I will be back tomorrow and do this all over again.


I have hopes, and dreams,  and a look forward to the life that is yet ahead of me. I realize there are many that their hopes and dreams don't exist anymore  

I remain grateful for what I have. 


Friday, January 20, 2012

?? Has anybody seen the kNIGHT RIDER ??

Brevity is going to have be the theme for now on this Blog.  I know, hard to imagine that for me, thee "King of Pontification." But you see I am typing with one finger for reasons seen below.

After Years of weight lifting, a couple dozen bike crashes or more and  3 shots of cortisone in less then 8 months and a recent MRI I find myself Friday morning nervous and looking for my best pair of underwear for a trip to the hospital and shoulder surgery.  Rotator cuff was thin and with a tear if it would have ripped anymore it would have lengthened and compounded recovery greatly. My doctor removed  bone that was causing impingement,  an inflamed ligament, and a swollen bursa. He did some other stuff but I was too "high" to remember anything else he told me.

So, without any further ado, I'll wrap this up for now.

I want to come back soon and write about the Triple D race I was in last Sunday. Being with some of the riders that made the top 18-25 group yet in Dyersville, past the half way point and after all the hills, and ending up 30th has some Bonk written in it. Being the oldest in the top 30, at almost 59 and with around 75 experienced riders signing up, thoroughbred stallions, with 20 or so not finishing I am quite happy with the effort. That being said  I still have improvements to identify ( I knew I should have shaved my legs :-) . The nature of this type of competition fits my OCD well, and lets me obsess about the details. Training styles, recovery, equipment, clothing, nutrition, and on and on. I am not alone in this, most the cyclists competitors I know do so.

My daughter, yes I said my daughter Melissa, a new entry into the the endurance winter events took 2nd in the women's marathon. Awesome. Melissa you rock!!

Lance Andre did invite me up front for some special swag for my help in setting up the distances, but this is what I had to say about Lance and Traci, on Face Book, and this goes out to all you race directors/organizers/volunteers/sponsors you give and give and we participants get to reap the benefits of all your hard work.

 "Lance and Traci: Triple D is and continuing to be one of the best run, most fun bike/ski/run races in the Midwest. The growing popularity shows that. I've seen the 100s of hours you've put in. With out these efforts and the efforts of other race directors/organizers we who bike-ski-run would lose a big part of what we do. We target races like these, set goals, train, and go out and enjoy the hell out of events like Triple D. From all us Thank you...."

Now I realize I said I was going to keep this brief but I think the drugs are kicking in....I have just one more thing to say and then I will go.
I strive to keep this Blog with a G rating for General audiences. But sometimes it slips into the PG-13 rating. So if you don't qualify for the PG-13 rating please DO NOT scroll down

Below is a picture of my bike when I broke the news to her we would not be riding for awhile.
She gave me this obscene gesture..

                                                    OK, umm, being were in the "PG-13" category now I have  just one more thing to add. Try this. Stick your dominate hand/arm inside your shirt and try to do some of the basic bodily needs we do each day, and no, I am not talking about buttoning your shirt!!!  Uh huh!!! You get the idea, this is going to suck.
Dang I want to go riding too, hopes this recovery goes well and fast.


Oh just one more thing, I know some of you think that I just might be the kNIGHT RIDER and your worried I won't be out there at night protecting the trails from the evil villains. Umm, Quite frankly I am worried about that too.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Triple D you got your snow.....

Here is Dubuque, 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning 1/12/12. 3-5 more inches coming yet. Triple D does it again. A FatTire riding event. I will post some pictures later of the Trail conditions. 
Ride On.

So after this Triple D miracle blizzard most of us will now quit obsessing over what bike we were going to ride in Triple D. With this much snow, bicycling over farm fields, trails, rutted paths, and B roads, riding only a FatTire is starting to make too much sense to ignore. So being a lot of us borderline on OCD and need  something else to worry about we will now change our thoughts and obsessions to what Fat Tire combination to go with. Nate, or Endo, or Larry, or Big Fat Larry or Husker. To be mounted on 70, 80, 90, or 100 Rims. Then we'll think about how much air pressure for each tire.

Then if we get close to figuring out that challenge  we will then ponder what gearing combinations to use. Then I'll start to wonder how much clothing should I wear, with temps being around 11f Sunday morning, but warming up to the upper 30s as I warm up too.

Then I wonder how will I store my extra clothes, I will need to remove layers as things heat up. I don't want the extra weight of a back rack.

What about lighting, how much should I take? With all this snow slowing down the pace I don't think my helmet light will be enough. Finishing Triple D for us non front runners, is thee challenge.

Fluids, how much? I would like to pack enough to make it to Dyersville, the turn around point.

I can't forget my multi tool and chain repair tool and spare link and on and on. 

Do I need my poggies? Almost like miniature sleeping bags that fit over your handle bars to stick your hands into to keep warm. The problem is I need them at 15 degrees when we start out, but they will be too warm by noon.

How about calories? I like to eat 200-300 calories an hour when cycling. I will burn up more then that but that is all I can digest and convert into glucose per hour.

I will pack a spare tire tube and air pump and a tire patch kit.

An IPOD will come along for the journey. It would be  typical for me to find my pace and find myself riding the last hours alone and music makes good company.

Every bolt needs to be checked on my FatRig, and I will stop now with how most cyclist think about preparation, you get the idea.

I have friends, and know people who can win this race. They have most the same thoughts and even more thoughts  based on experiences and the harsh training mentor called past failures.

Out of all these unknowns, I do know this. After riding 9 hours plus from daylight to dark, across frozen country side, and finishing at the Grand Harbor Resort that first drink, will feel well earned and taste delicious. The others that follow are just obligatory for the occasion.

There is now over 155 folks, chumping at the bit and ready to get started signed up for this race. Lance and Traci Andre,  I've caught a glimpse of the 100s of hours of hard work that you two put into this 'ride' to make it work. I find what started out as a idea in 2007 and now in it's 5th year and brings this many people together in the middle of winter, in Iowa, for an outdoor event, more then wonderful. Thank you.

Ride on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Has anybody seen a snow man?

I've become quite concerned about them lately. All they do is lay around the house, depressed, drinking beer, talking about past winters, previous blizzards, and what winters 'used' to be like in Iowa..... 

.....and such has been the snow season in Iowa this year. But I decided I still can ride even if the weather is 'bad' like no snow, no freezing temps, and no blizzards. I have skinnie tyred evil bikes in my stables too yanno.
Did a mud run 1/5/12 with the Trek Cycle Cross bike. I don't like to leave tracks and after climbing some hills that were shade covered I hit an open field. In 50 feet packed mud would no longer allow the tires to rotate I ended up carrying the bike across a farm field and onto the highway, finding a stick and removing enough mud to ride home and spent the evening crying and drinking beer. 
I received an Email from Craig from over yonder saying him and Charles were coming to town and wanted to try out the Triple D race route and asked if I would be interested. I responded with yeap. I briefly met Craig in person last year during a Pre-race meeting. We did the customary head nod like people do when they got a thousand other things on their minds at the time. At the race he got ahead of me and I never caught up. That was the last time of real life contact we've had.  We continued to corresponded back and forth in Blogdom.
So early Sunday morning I pedaled down to the Grand Harbor Hotel and saw two guys unloading their bicycles from the back of the pickup.
And we rode, and rode, over farm fields, gravel roads, and trail. We had a blast, talked and talked and had a great time. When humans share like passion to the level us bikeaholics do it's like you've known each other your whole lives the first day you hook up.
Craig is doing well and getting serious in competitive biking. Charles is a pedaling machine. We were headed up a very steep rock infested rutted hill. Charles got out ahead of us, front tire bouncing off a rock and down he went hard. Back on the bike and away he went. Not to be out done, I was next in line to bounce off the hard frozen ground. The difference is Charles is 26, I am 58.
Headed down a short hill grass path, accelerating to make the short steep climb which was next, tires hit the bottom of the hill and instantly change directions from down to up. A large boulder tip glazed with ice, and hidden in the grass met my front tire, bike kicking out from under me, and the momentum slamming me into the ground, even made my fillings hurt. Gawd I love this.  
  Some pictures below of an afternoon to evening ride on 1/2/12. Sun went down, moon came out.  


There's a contest going on over at the Cup-O-Dirt web sight. Seems the challenge is to guess how many dirty metrics I have done for 2011. Nick the web sight master is threatening me with kidnapping all my 'gals' if I don't do a count.
Ok Ok, I will go to my blog,  FaceBook and my diary work records and do a century count. But I think this borders real close on extortion. 

Now I must say this, and then I will finish, I shall shuddup, and let you get going. Last week I had my 3rd shot of cortisone in my right shoulder in 7 months. My doc doing a real through examination became quite concerned about the looseness of the joint. The MRI technician with a busy schedule worked through her lunch to give me a MRI and I laid on the examining table for 45 minutes while the machine clicked away taking magnetic pictures of my shoulder's insides.
To make a long story short, and translate the medical jargon, it is this. It will never heal on it's own.
Seems bike crashes, years of weight lifting, 100s of miles as a swimmer and just an active life of wear and tear has now come to collect it's due.
So on Jan 20th 2012, I will have surgery. Impingement bone will be cut away,  rotator cuff will be trimmed, bursa removed and smoothing up rough services,  along with a few things I forgot.  

I didn't tell my doctor I am in a 65 mile bicycle race snow covered farm fields, trails and gravel this Sunday. I didn't think he would understand.  But unless you do this, most people don't. I'm not sure I do.  

Well I think I will officially be entering the feared 'off season' unvoluntarily I might add.
Those close to me are frightened and thinking of running away, I would too, but I've found out that where ever I go, that is where I will find myself.    

I'll be back,