Thursday, December 23, 2010

This hill too shall pass

Well, I'm still playing the sicko role, as my virus/throat infection/whatever is stubbornly lingering on. I've learned that I just need to be as stubborn and persistant with the gargling. I haven't been on the bike for a week now, and at times I find it hard to imagine that I could ride another century, much less break a 290-mile record. But I always remember something that I heard one of ultra-marathon cycling's living legends, Susan Notoragelo, say years ago when asked about experiencing low points in your training. She gave a comparison to the hills you encounter in a ride. And I know I will be frightfully misquoting her here, but Susan said something like, "Don't worry about those low, difficult times. Because like the hill that you find yourself painfully climbing, those times too shall pass. And you know there will always be the downhill up ahead."

Getting older usually means getting slower. But age can also bring a wisdom and a opportunity to nurture faith that circumstances can, and often do, get better. Lord willing (and I truly mean that), this "hill" too shall pass, and that downhill won't be too far ahead. For now though, I'm using this opportunity to focus on more important things in my life. Things like the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth, and all the other blessings that have been showered upon me in my life. How about you? What will you be celebrating on December 25th?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gargling, throat spray, and grandma's chicken soup

Well, just two days into this blog and I'm already reporting illness. Last week I was on a two-hour ride - much of it through snow and icy trails - and I just pushed myself a bit too much. I ended up with a throat infection. But thanks to my wife, who cared for me like I was deathly ill (or maybe I just made it sound like I was dying), she kept me on a regular discipline of gargling, throat spray, and chicken soup. Okay, it wasn't grandma's chicken soup, but it still worked.

Yesterday was the worst day, and I called in sick to work. But today, it seemed like the infection was completely gone and all was right again with the world. Hmmm...maybe I learned a lesson and won't be pushing myself again in that cold air like I was still 20 years old. No riding today, as I want to make sure I'm fully recovered.

But for now, here are some pictures of my home-made handlebar windshields. I hope to try them out later this week. These aren't any new invention, as people have been making these for as along as I can remember. But if you're interested in winning a prize, stay with me. To the first person who guesses what these are made of, and posts the answer in the comments area of this post, I will make a pair for your bike...FREE! There is one catch though...you have to join me on a test ride on one of our cold, winter days. Are there any brave souls out there? ;)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Gearing up for 2011

I've bicycled more in the past 10 months than I've done in the past 20 years. In November I completed a 6,000 mile goal since I set in April. I haven't even come close to an annual total like this since 1988, when I completed my solo ride across the United States. A lot has changed in my life since that epic ride. Now a whole new ride begins. Please join me. I promise you it will be an enjoyable one, filled with adventure!