Saturday, August 7, 2010

The "big" ride

The ladies are on the road and should be about to crest Freemont pass.  The guys are all kitted up and are heading out to start Freemont.  The sun is still down behind the Ten Mile Range mountains.  I'm having a poorly timed GI issue, or shoud I say issues, plural.  None the less I am taking it easy, and bright side -I'm in CO.  Watching the sun come up, I'm thinking a nap is in order, if my stomach will allow.

I'm hoping to get on a bike later this afternoon and head over to Vail and climb the pass with the crew.  Toilets are few and far between and I don't want to be "riddin' with the bib straps down."  if you know what I mean.
-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gettin' skinny and fat

Wish you were here don't you?  As you can see we have something for everyone.  We just like to ride bikes.  What more can I say?

When in CO you must try the single track it is exquisite.  It is also paired excellently with lift service.

Tomorrow is the "Big" ride.  Hope for a blue bird sky and nice temps.  It's what we came out here for, but the MNT biking is so flippin' awesome.  Oh choices?  What to do?  -get on a bike and pin it.
-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Some sights from the road

Alright, the next time you need a Samurai Sword just head to the local truck stop.  $20.00 off.

Poker face.

Can you get one more bike or stroller up there?  Maybe a bbq grill or two. People buy a rack already, judging by the vehicle you are driving you can afford one.

I love roadtrip sightings, more later
-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

My room for the night

I know what you are thinking...too many man sodas.  I will not lie, I did have a couple, but it is a bug that I brought from home, the one thing that I should have forgotten.  Lucky me, right?  Got up about 2am and started emptying the contents of my stomach, and finished this morning at 6am.  I rallied and was on the road by 9am.  Rough trip I drove the 6+hrs. We had to detour over Loveland Pass, because someone thought it would be cool to wreck right before the tunnel.  Not cool either way, bright side...Lovaland  Pass was awesome over to A Basin and Kestone was a well needed rest stop.  We are here in one piece.  I hope I can kick whatever I have before tomorrow's MNT bike ride @ Breckenridge.  8,500 ft and feel like I lost a barfight.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi


What makes for a good ride?

Is it the group? Is it the route? Is is winning the county line sprint? Is it making it up the climb with the lead group? Is it the weather? Is it a hard ride? Is it an easy ride? Is it that perfect rotating paceline? Is it having a tailwind both ways?

A good ride is indefinable, it has no parameters. You cannot check off a list to quantify if a ride is good. It is many things to many people. It's like art, you just know when it is good. Unlike art, everyone agrees when you have a good ride.

Somewhere in Kansas

Are you Tulsa Tough?

Sitting in the Applebee's after a long day out of the sadle.  Love roadtripin' hate sitting in a car.  Have to have one to get the other.  Well, almost there.  Probably half way, and maybe a Golden Brewery visit tomorrow.  We'll be in Copper tomorrow.  Wish you were here. Ciao for now.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Road trippin'

Road trips are today’s medieval conquests without all of the killing and plagues. Plans are laid down sometimes months in advance of the pillage, which is usually what a pilgrimage turns into. Transportation is readied with the stores of survival and weapons of war. Vehicles are packed; no space is without something in its place. If it does not belong there, then shove harder. We will take more than we need because you never know when that ‘80s vintage windbreaker or the fourth extra pair of shoes will be called into action. One cannot be too careful when traveling to foreign lands just two states away. The Boy Scouts believe in always being prepared, but are they prepared to take it to the limit, break it, come back and fix it just to kick it when it is down? I don’t think they are, but the mass of necessities in the back of the vehicle says that is what we are prepared to do.

City Limit sign on the opposite side of the road says it is time to break out in a cold sweat panic trying to remember what you were not supposed to forget to bring. Was it a guide? Did you remember underwear and socks? You always remember the favorite hat, the one that is see-through and has been to three continents or your lucky shirt, but the necessities; those are the sleepers that you forget to pack. Curses of all things unholy it was the toothbrush again, with the candlestick in the library. No? I put the toothbrush in with the toothpaste and razor. Mind racing against the clock you have an uneasy feeling of leaving the iron on and then peace washes a wave of warm salty ocean water over your body. You have everything. Was that a cop, check your speed. Five over should be fine, right?

Counting the mile markers makes time hit the brakes slamming into reverse turning the vehicle into solitary confinement with no chance for parole. The tires on the chip and seal sing a siren song that painfully reminds you that you are not there yet. You know its melody and the chorus; it is the same as it ever was. How much longer can the off-beat syncopated seams in this road last, can someone just cut them so they are able to keep time? Misery does indeed love company and we are both headed in the same direction. Just when the thoughts of turning the wheel into the oncoming traffic and ending it all feels like the only thing left to do, it is there on the side of the road. Destination 126. Only 126 miles left, that is the vision that gives reason to continue with the journey. A numeration that signals the finality of the trek, the prize that is the destination is just ahead, a point on the map.

When the little hand points to E the search begins for the next available services. Bringing the vehicle to a stop halts all forward progress, but every fiber in the body says otherwise. The first freedom is met with pain as the unused muscles are now forced to provide locomotion, one step after the other seems so unnatural. Make this stopping of travel brief, time is still making progress. Roadside services are all the same. Everyone is an extra in a low-budget b movie where nicotine and poor personal hygiene are as celebrated as is their ‘70s western attire. Smoke Filled Room is the industrial strength air freshener choice of the day, with a hint of fried whatever. The restroom is always being cleaned, especially if your bladder is beyond the recommended capacity, but once allowed into the newly cleaned facility there is only a one word question. Really?

Hitting the lottery, winning an election, Christmas morning, living through a plane crash, holds nothing to the feeling of reaching the destination with bleary eyes numb body parts and an irritable disposition. Arriving transforms all of the wrongs to rights, time is restored the planets realign. Destinations would not hold their value if the process of travel were simple without suffering. Memories of past conquests are made more powerful with every soul wrenching tic of time spent trying to arrive.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Garmin Edge 500 (short term)

I have had my Edge 500 for three weeks. My wife has had one for about three months, so I have been familiar with the Edge 500 for about three months, but have been using it for only three weeks.

The 500 will give you HR, Power, Speed, Time, Distance, Elevation, and all of the variations of these metrics, ie %grade, vertical feet, etc...blah, blah, blah. It does a great job. They will download to several aftermarket programs. I use TrainingPeaks WKO+3.0 which has a device download built into the program, super easy and fast transfer. Garmin has its own online download with Garmin Connect, I have used it a few times. It is pretty to look at, Connect used to be Motionbased. Anyway, I am not going to get into all of the third party software that the 500 will talk to, but there is quite a few out there that it does. So, that's a plus.

The 500 has a rechargeable battery via USB and wall. Battery life seems pretty good, but I download after every ride and it gets a little top-off.

I like the ability to create a new file on the fly. So you can do a warm-up before a race, reset the unit for a new file, race, then reset the unit for a warm-down. Three individual files, all waiting to be downloaded. You can also delete/view a file in memory on the device. It has a lot of memory, not sure how much, but I have to download after the ride so it is not an issue for me.

It comes with two mounts that work on the stem or bar, so presto you have a two bike set-up right out of the box. There are jelly bracelet looking bands that hook to the mount and secure it to the stem/bar. It looks pretty weak, not aesthetically, weak as if they are going to snap and the $250 computer goes crashing to the pave. So far so good, no problems, and it holds the computer securely in place. No traveling on rough roads or potholes, the unit stays in place. The unit twists off the mount with a 90* turn. Easy Peasy. The bands are simple to take off one bike and put on another, if you have more than two bikes that you are going to use. Remember, two mounts come in the box.

The 500 is sold with a cadence, and speed sensor, and HR. I don't have the cadence/speed sensor, I use the speed from the gps unit, and cadence from the power tap.

The 500 is ANT+ compatible, so it will talk to third party power meters and HR monitors. Here is where I have been having problems with the 500. Since the 500 is ANT+, it is actively looking for ANT+. That means that it is trying to talk to every PowerTap, SRM, Quarq out there in a 100m radius. So setting up your 500 on a group ride can be done, but you just might have to ride a block away. Set it up at home, and whatever you do....DO NOT PUSH RESCAN on a group ride.

I have had the unit drop a whole file on download. Very annoying. Lucky for me it was not a "training" ride. I would probably have worse things to say if it had been. I have the attitude that "if your not gathering metrics, why ride?"

When I have had a little more time with the 500, I will do a long term review.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Too hard for flats

Road hadzards are no match for B.  Just try and stop him...if you dare.

Hitting the road

Goin' on a road trip soon, so I am testing out how to keep you up to date with my exploits while out of the area code.  So, if you see some kookie looking nonsense it is just me testing out the water.  It's called beta, after the beta VHS video revloution.  So I'm told.  

I will be testing the mobil picture functionality.  Hang in there, we are about to go on a wild ride together.  I'd take all of you with me, but my car is not big enough.

Can't wait to get out of this heat.

-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

All in the Family

Joining a cycling club or team is a rite of passage for the fledgling cyclist. You have the choice of joining some clubs by just signing up and paying a small fee and then buying their kit, proving to the world that you ride for a team. Other teams are semi-selective and you get nominated by a current team member. Some of the elite teams ask, or invite you to be a part of their team.

I joined a small first time team, with a single bike shop as the sponsor, a little over a year ago. My wife knew one of the founding members and so I had my "in".

I had no idea at the time, but I didn't join a team or a club. I became a member of a family. We don't have a Mom or a Dad, but we do have Moms and Dads. There is a Godfather, an el Jefe, a Brown Bear, the infamous la Verde, and a Doc or three. We have "Workers" and "Winners", but no losers. We function as a family and we have our problems, but what family doesn't?

When I pull on the bib straps and zip up the jersey for a ride or a race, it is not for the sponsor on my kit. (Although they are very important). It is for my family. We ride and race together, but we also are there for each other off the bike.

We are leaving to go to Colorado to ride. It's not a race, it is for fun. We tell everyone we are going for "training", but we know the truth. Will we gain some fitness, sure, what we are doing is pretty much like the summer trips you went on with your family.

I was very disappointed when Frank crashed out of the Tour, because I love to see him ride, but more importantly I love to see Andy and Frank work together selflessly. They get so excited when the other wins. I see that with my team, I mean family. When someone gets a podium or does well we are ecstatic for them, as they would be for us. We are not driven by results, we do what we do because we have fun doing it. Together

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Clean Bottle

I do not own a Clean Bottle. If anyone would like to send me one so that I can review it, I would enjoy the challenge.

That being said. What's the deal with having two screw-off lids on a bottle?

Here's the deal people: you want clean bottles? Rinse them out when you get home after a ride. How about the top rack in the dishwasher? OK, here is my favorite, wait for it... Soap and a Bottle Brush. I know it is not as cutting edge as two screw-off lids, but you know what? It works.

How does adding a second opening on a bottle make it Clean? Am I missing the point? Is this a revolutionary product destined to change my life and I am to blind to see the significance of such a breakthrough in technology?

Besides, if you are like me and misplace things, this clean bottle now adds one more thing that can become lost. Thanks

Well, here's to you clean bottle wearing, at the Tour guy for making a product that is... I'm pretty sure that I don't need. So, until I see the light, thank you and good day.