Sunday, May 31, 2009

It has been a loooong time!

I've got to catch you all up on my cycling life!

I've been getting a lot of riding in lately, which is great, but I've neglected my blog. That's unfortunate, but I'm ok with it. Recently, my brother asked me to go look at bikes with him, and last week, he finally bought one! He's riding a 2009 Fuji Roubaix. He got a great deal at Performance also. We've been on a few rides together. Two this weekend! On Saturday, while my fiance was working, my brother, friend, and I went for a 30 mile ride and hit a MONSTER hill on the way back. It was brutal, but I told myself at the beginning of it if I got off my bike, the hill didn't count. I wanted it to count. Easily the worst hill I've ridden yet.

A week ago last week was when I first started riding. My fiance pointed out to me that last summer on memorial day weekend, my step dad asked me if I wanted to do the City to Shore ride. I said yes, started training, and here I am... a cyclist. I don't think I would have called myself that a year ago, or even six months ago, but I do today. I love the sport and I know it's going to get me healthy. Better yet, I'm getting pretty good at it!

Today I went for a ride with my brother and fiance. We went to the bike path and put in a little over 25 flat miles in just under an hour and a half. We did it at an average speed of 17.4mph (a personal best). I also a met a guy on the ride. I didn't get his name, but that's ok. If I see him again, I'll recognize him. Going out was a nice easy ride, averaging about 18mph. We turned around and got stuck with a strong headwind. After our 30 miles on hills yesterday, my brother and I were struggling a little bit. My fiance on the other hand was fresh and pushing us hard core. I'm proud of her.

We decided, all four of us, to do the Iron Tour ride on June 14th. We signed up for the 50 miler. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Today's ride:
Time: 1:27'17
Distance: 25.32 miles
Average: 17.4mph
Max: 24.9mph

Monday, May 18, 2009

Large Fella On A Bike

I saw a post on the's discussion board and it contained a link to an article about a man who lost weight riding a bike. I thought it was very interesting and inspirational for guys like me who need to lose weight, and have chosen to ride a bike as our primary form of exercise. He has a blog too. Check him out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Personal Best

I went for a ride today and made a personal best speed, 19.1 miles at 16mph. YES! There were a few hills, 2 really bad ones. Although, I remember riding one of those hills last summer and thinking it was much easier this time. I took some Clif Shot Blocks before the second bad hill, but they didn't kick in until after the hill was done. I'll have to learn to manage my food intake better. Overall a very good ride.

City to Shore Team

I started looking around online this week for a City to Shore team to join. I wanted to see if I could find a group of people to train with so I'm not going solo all the time, and to push me a little bit. Unfortunately, I'm not finding anybody to join up with yet. Hopefully that turns around soon. If you read my blog and know of a team/are on a team, let me know! I'd be interested in checking the group out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I went for a ride today. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out the way I'd imagined. I left my house, climbed up my driveway and the hill on the street, then started my descent down a nice sized hill. I decided to shift so I could get my speed up. To my surprise, when I shifted back, I broke the damn front shifter! So I hopped off the bike to try to see what I'd done, and couldn't figure it out. I decided to ride over to Performance because it was only a few miles away. I ended up keeping my cadence way up because I couldn't shift. When I got there, my buddy Scott who did the fitting for me, looked at it and said I'd broken it for sure, probably over shifted. Damn. My fault. I figured I'd have to pay out the ass for a new shifter. Turns out the Performance guarantee covers stupid mistakes too! I got a brand new Shimano 105 shifter, an upgrade from my Tiagra for FREE. SO now my bike looks a little funny with two different shifters, but the bike shifts very well and I am pleased that I purchased at Performance.

When I got back out on the rode, I looked up and saw some angry skies, so I just rode home. About a mile away from the house it started to rain, so I was sorta happy my shifter had broken and I hadn't been 10 miles from home on the 20 mile ride that I'd planned on doing.

I'll look forward to the next time I get to go out and get a good ride in.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Quad County

Today, I rode in the Quad County Metric Ride with my buddy. It started off a little rough because we hadn't warmed up and the first five miles was full of some nasty hills. It got better, though. I worked on developing my pedaling and climbing skills. With the new fit, I felt much better in the saddle, although I still have some shoulder soreness. I'm pretty sure I'll have to strengthen my core to avoid putting so much pressure on my arms. Overall, the ride went well. The second half was mostly down hill, so it was easy and allowed us to go fast... which I like. I topped out at 37.2mph! I think that's the fastest I've ever gone.

In order to follow the bike route, we had to follow small arrows that were painted on the road. We didn't have any trouble for the most part, we even had a lot of time where we didn't see other riders. Unfortunately, at the end, we made a turn off the course because it didn't look like we could go straight, and there was no arrow to be seen. Little did we know, that we had to cross the street to find the arrow that told us to go straight. We rode a few miles the wrong way before turning around. Oh well. It's not the first time we've done that together.

The rest stops were really good. I got to try some Clif Bar Gel Blocks which taste awesome, but I'm not sure if they helped much with the energy levels. I had a few and then felt like I was going to bonk a few more miles down the road on a climb; my quad started to twitch. When we rolled into the start/stop we went over to get some more water and have the free lunch, pasta salad and cheese burgers. yum.

Here are our totals:
Time: 3hrs 21mins
Distance: 49.19
Average Speed: 14.6mph
Max Speed: 37.2mph

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bike Fit

I went to Performance today to get fitted on my bike again. This experience was so much different than the first time I had it done. The fitting probably took between 20 and 30 minutes once we got started. When he was asking me to pedal, he was looking at different things and was continually explaining to me what he was looking at and why. He checked my knee angle, foot position, asked where I was feeling pressure on my seat. I actually felt like he gave a crap. He ended up raising my seat up about 2 inches and explained that he was trying to open the gap between my arms and my legs to enable me to breath more and stuff.

I also asked him to check out my pedals/shoes because they were squeaking. He looked at them after making me pedal a little more and then told me I wasn't pedaling in a full rotation. He said to pedal up ONLY. When I did that, both of my feet popped out of the pedals! When that happened, he asked me if that had ever happened before. I said no, and his response was, "then you've never pedaled up before huh?" I thought I had. Oh well, I know what it feels like now. He tightened the pedals and that alone made a world of difference. I'm really looking forward to getting out this weekend and riding. I almost don't care if it rains.

OH! The best part of getting fitted today? The guy gave my bike a quick tune up and DID NOT CHARGE ME A DIME FOR ANYTHING! I felt like I owed him something for the work and the education I got today, so I gave him 5 bucks and told him to get a beer, on me. He thanked me, we shot the shit for a little while, and then I rode home. It was so smooth and comfortable. I wish I hadn't had to come home!

If you're ever in need of some mechanical help on your bike, go to my local Performance and ask for Scott. He rocks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I convinced my buddy to sign up for the ride. I wanted to take the week I have off from school to really get into training, but I can't because this weather is TERRIBLE. I'm taking my bike to get refitted and tuned up tomorrow so I'm ready for the ride as best I can be. I'm hoping that the weather holds out on Saturday at least until the ride is over. I'll let you know my results.