Thursday, November 29, 2012

High 40s and SUNNY!!!

After a few blustery, dreary days this week, we finally got a good dose of sun today, with temperatures in the high 40s!

I had a great ride out to the north end of Port Washington, which ends my week on the road. Sunday and Monday looks like we might be getting into the high 50s. Could there be another day of riding in shorts in the plan?!

Here's a link to today's ride, compliments of Garmin and Strava:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Day ride

I've recently been introduced to the Strava application, used to log workouts. I'm usually a bit late when it comes to adopting any kind of new technology into my training, and this is no exception. But I can easily see what all the hoopla is about.

For the past 3 years, I've been manually entering each workout into Map My Ride. It's been great, far easier than using the old pen & notebook style of years ago. But now, with a Garmin and a number of similar on-line workout logging applications, the world has really changed for athletes. All the detailed information that is available from the Garmin, and quickly transferred to the web-journal of your choice, can be a bit over-whelming. But hey, for now I'm having fun!

I'm also trying to decide which web-journal is going to suit me best. I like Garmin Connect, because it's designed by the very people who make the GPS computer. I also like Strava, mostly because it records  segments of rides chosen by other cyclists (or yourself), that become friendly challenges viewed by everyone in your area, that you can go back and ride again, and improve your performance as you move on up the "virtual podium".

Today I went for my last ride of the week, at least as far as an outdoor ride goes. It was beautiful out, especially for a late November day, when the weather can often be quite gloomy. But today was sunny with temps reaching the high 50s and creeping to near 60. I wore arm warmers, but opted to keep my legs bare and let them soak up possibly the last amount of sun that they will see for this year. It was heaven! And after cranking out an enjoyable 57 mile ride, I think I'll be reaching for an extra piece of pumpkin pie tomorrow when I gather with family to celebrate all the things that God has blessed me with this past year.

I hope you and your loved ones have a happy and a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Here's a link to my Pre-Thanksgiving Day ride.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Get'r dun!

My last cycling goal for the year was accomplished today as I reached the 10,000 mile total for 2012. I haven't done this in 25 years, when I was almost half my present age.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Blessed Reunion

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Cream City Cycle Club, Milwaukee's oldest bike club. I was one of the original members of this club, back in the early '80s. I haven't been a member for over 20 years though, so I didn't know if I would see any familiar faces. But to my surprize, it was a real pleasure when I walked through the doors and was warmly welcomed by several of my old friends, still alive and kicking and riding. To be able to share the experience of breaking the Wisconsin cross-state record with these old familiar faces was a true blessing.

In a big way, it felt like a reunion, maybe even a home-coming. Back in the '80s, this club was a big part of my life, and these friendships gave my life a richness I had never before experienced. My wife was there too, and got to meet some of my old friends. And Brian, my crew chief, also a former club member from the old days, also received a warm welcome.

We also had Nick, the UMCA official, along with Ruth, Nick's wife. Ruth had been part of the SSC (Secret Support Crew) during the latter hours, guiding us into Marinette and the victory party at the finish.

After I gave my presentation, each crew member and official offered their own perspective on the experience. I was glad to have them there, as they were able to fill in many thoughts that I had left out, in addition to providing me with moral support (and they thought their job was all done at the finish line!).

Now, as the days get shorter and colder, my rides have also grown shorter and less frequent. I recently picked up a new indoor trainer, the Kurt Kinetic Rock & Roll trainer. This will help me during those long, cold winter days when I just don't feel like getting me and my bike all full of the winter slush.

My plan for next year? Well, I won't be attempting to break anymore cross-state records. I plan to compete in the annual 95-mile Race the Lake again in 2013, after taking a break from it this year. I also hope to complete at least one double-century, probably with a bunch of old friends who still organize one each year. And since we're all over 50, I'm sure there will be no crazy sprints involved. At least that's what we're all sayin'. ;)