Thursday, December 30, 2010
We then made plans to head south to Arkansas, but Christopher wasn't really motivated and I did not want to go alone so the decision was made to stay home and catch up on some projects, get in some long MTB rides here locally and chill out and enjoy a week with the family without too many worries.
Christopher called this Christmas a Redneck one. I kind of agree with him. Especially with his new toy - Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotgun. I must admit that the kid is very good with guns, which is kind of scary when you think about it. But seriously, he handles them extremely well and has a tremendous amount of respect for firearms. He certainly knows they aren't toys!
Got in some very solid rides this week and learned some valuable lessons. Most importantly is that what would be warm enough on single track will not provide the same level of warmth when you have 20+ mph winds on a very cold day on the open road. I already knew this but it hit home hard on Christmas day when I went for a 3 hour ride. I had to bail into a QT (thank goodness it was open) to warm up. I think I actually saw Santa Clause in there or at least a fellow who looked liked a very tired Santa. I always enjoying riding on Christmas day because there is hardly any traffic and you really get to enjoy the ride. Well, at least until you start to freeze to death. For a moment there, I feared that I would end up like the little squirrel I saw on the way home.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Some very fond memories from these pictures. I remember having to step-up my game when I moved to the Pro/Expert class in 85. At times I could run with just about anyone. Funny thing is fitness was my weak point. I tired to put in the time, but there were so many family conflicts back then that really prevented me from reaching my potential. I always tell Christopher that he is very lucky that he has my support in anything he does. I sure wish I had the same growing up. My brothers and I did the best we could in MX and we have several state championships to prove it along with a lifetime of memories. Some great battles with these two riders. Old Glenn was a nut case and kept it pinned the entire way around the track on his Cagiva . Tom Rice was a very talented rider that came from New York and raced in Florida to stay warm I now realize :-)
I am right behind Tommy Watts in this photo. Working it hard trying to stay with Stanton. Man that guy was a work horse and could ride a steady speed all moto long.
I will throw in one bicycle pic just because I won on this day :-)
Hard to tell it's me because I was wearing a mustache - third from the left sucking some wheel back in the day racing the Great Coconut Grove Bicycle Race. I can remember getting in a three person break with two other riders who did not speak English. I think they were pros from Cuba that had defected. They had legs the size of my chest. They would try to kill you to win a messily $150.00 prize for 1st place. I good part is I showed em how it was done on that day taking the win.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We ended up doing all 29 miles of the trails (out-back). The new section that leads to Lee's Summit Road is not completely open yet, but we still some how managed to make it to the end without hurting ourselves.
A very fun night of riding and perfect to burn some of those holiday calories off. Looks like there are several fun rides coming up over the holiday break. I plan to be riding everyday and am looking forward the snow that is in the forecast.
Pictures from tonight's ride
|Festivus of Nights Gravel Grinder|
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Ralph Performance Roadwear has come up with the The Festive 500 which takes place during December 23 - 30. Their premise is "rather than let the holidays get the better of you, they want to see riders worldwide taking up the challenge and joining us to ride 500km in a week".
Sounds good to me. Let's just hope the weather around the Midwest cooperates
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
This Christmas season, give someone you love (or don't love) the gift that
keeps on giving: 62 miles of unpredictable weather, potentially horrible
road conditions & hill-after-hill-after-hill-
what's better than the sense of accomplishment that comes after 62 miles of
Madison County gravel, chasing after Jerome (big guys can't climb?) & some
dude from Minnesota for 4+ hours, then sitting down in a
gravel-filth-covered haze to free beer and a sandwich with some fellow
smelly, dirty, exhausted cyclists at a local dive bar? On second thought,
don't answer that...
So give the gift of the memory of one of the *(pick your adjective)* bike
experiences of the year. Your loved one will grow to love you again a few
weeks after the event. Trust me. I'm sure the secret to marital bliss lies
in learning to forgive each other's misguided gifts. And we have the
coolest hats ever, so you'll get one of those, which is nice. Coolest.
Merry Friggin' Christmas!
*CIRREM 2011: Race it. Ride it. Love it.*
Jed & Kent
*CIRREM registration is up!* go here & click *"buy now"*
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This year Christopher is planning on participating in the Ouachita Challenge with me. He was on the fence for a few days and kept asking if the course was harder than the Dakota 50 which we both raced in during the summer. I could not answer his question because they are both very different events/courses. I think he will enjoy the event and if he puts in some saddle time should be able to finish the OC before the cut-off times.
I am still working on building a program for 2011. Doing some fitness testing and bike fitting right now. The problem for me is I like to do some many things that I end of being a "jack of all trades and master of none" and we all no that in today's world you must specialize to succeed. The problem is what should I specialize in???
Saturday I had to be at work mid-morning so I was not able to partake in the Gardner Gravel Grinder. Bummer because I always enjoy a ride in hard conditions which I hear they encountered on Saturday.
I did have time to race in the Kris Kringle 5K run out at Swope Park. A little 5K race held at the new Southeast Community Center. A very nice center which the city of Kansas City should be proud off. One of the reasons I signed up was to support the center the other was to do some fitness testing with my run - my biggest weakness in the past. I wore my little Garmin 305 and raced barefoot. Well not really barefoot, but I did wear my Vibrams. I feel my time was a little slow running in the uneven fields of Swope Park, but still good enough for 2nd in my age-group. I do not think I will be racing the the Vibrams anytime soon. 3 days later and my calf's are still killing me and I ran slower in them than my normal trail shoes. I actually thought I would be faster but I was wrong.
Pics and Garmin Connect info below:
I guess the real question is what am I really good at anymore? Do I still have the ability to succeed in cycling or triathlons? Should I put myself out to pasture and become an adventure racer. I have never been able to excel in any one sport (well, except Motocross :-)) and that is why I think I do better in triathlons than any other sport I do. I guess my results will let me know for sure or maybe I should just do what I enjoy and do not worry about it results?
Friday, December 10, 2010
Below is one of the best "Zone" descriptions I have seen in awhile. Training comes up often, especially when riding with someone new. I always talk about training, workloads and training in the zone.
So when you go flying by me this winter you will know that I am in "My Zone" and working on achieving my goals in 2011.
Zone 1: Barely above normal. Light and relaxed
Zone 2: Deep steady relaxed breathing. That’s your aerobic, endurance-training zone. It’s an Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of 3 to 4.
Zone 3: Slightly labored. This is a steady “tempo” pace, where you’re working just a hair above your endurance comfort zone. It’s where you’d be if you were riding with someone just slightly faster than you. RPE 5 to 6
Zone 4: Short, quick rhythmic breathing. This is your lactate threshold zone. Right where you’re hitting your sustainable upper limits. Also known as race pace It’s an RPE of 6 to 8
Zone 5: Hard, gasping-for-breath breathing. This is your VO2 max training zone, which is a fancy way of saying, the top of your limits, as hard as you can go. It’s an RPE of 9 to 10.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Part of my off-season training is to better my navigation skills and running skills. I will need both for the planned adventure racing in 2011. It has been nearly two years since my last orienteering event. Over the time period I forgot everything I learned on that day and was basically starting over. The Possum Trot is a mass start which you would think would make it easier. Well for the first three controls it is. Until you lose your pace setter :-)
Today I got to try out my new Rudy Project Rx glasses that Carolynn bought me. I got the new Magster model with transition lenses. With age my eye sight has gotten so bad that I just can not ride off-road anymore and see the trail - this is part of the reason crashed last month. And yes the chops are coming in nicely.
Here is the course we had to do. Let me tell you there are a lot of hills on this thing and a heck of a lot of briars and thorny plants. No I know why most everyone was wearing these funky things on their legs.
Before the start I was looking for anyone who might have earned their Orienteering Merit Badge. I did find this one guy who had a nice Cow Town hat that I need to get. He was having nothing of my offer to buy it. Eventually I did find one and once the gun sounded I was on his heels. In hind sight I should have followed my own path and used today's event to actually learn something. Well, I got all competitive and decide I would just follow this youngster. Like I mentioned above this worked for the first three controls. By the time I left control 24 I lost my young merit badge winner and was lost in the woods. I got my trusty compass out and tried to use it, but gave up once I saw a couple of my fellow participants. It just seemed easier to follow someone who knows where they are going. This only lasted for two more controls until we all got lost. I soon realized that I just needed to settle down and follow my own path.
I found control 30 on my own and felt good about myself. I then used my compass (based on my limited knowledge of said device) and plotted a path to 31. Things appeared to be going well and I gain felt a sense of accomplishment t when I spotted another control. Only problem was it was not the control I was looking for. After wondering around for about 15 minutes I decided to head up to a clearing and find a location on the map (like a pond) that I could reference. Being down in a frozen creek bed was just not working for me. After just about giving up hope and deciding to give up I finally found a reference point. A large cross out in the middle of a field. A quick look on the map sure enough there was cross - I had found the holly grail.
I took my time and 2 hours 15 minutes later I finally reached the finish line. I learned several good lessons today namely that you should always Follow Your Own Path in life and in Orienteering events...
The Possum Trot club put on a very nice event. Great vibe at the event, plenty of hot food and I for one am looking forward to the next event - Shawnee Mission Park 1 Hour Score O. Until then plenty of Gravel Grinding to do and of course some more map reading practice.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This years gravel grinder calendar is filling up fast. Check out http://gravelgrinders.blogspot.com for complete info on local rides. The first weekly ride starts with Brett's. We have weekly gravel rides out of Stilwell every Wednesday evening. These are night rides and will require a light and rear flashing light. If you would like to add a gravel grinder yourself to our calendar please us know - email Chris.
Here is a little more information and tips for our gravel grinders this year.
- Ride pace will be announced prior to the ride. The majority of our rides will be a moderate pace to allow proper "winter training" (i.e. Long Slow Distance). We will use a fat, old, out-of-form guy as a pacer (me).
- A cross bike is the preferred weapon of choice but we get plenty of MTB and road bikes out on our rides.
- Ride terrain will include: gravel roads, double track, levees, easy single track, hills (big ones) paved trails and tarmac among other things.
- Ride time will be between 2 to 4 hours depending on conditions and terrain. We are planning some longer ones which will be announced to allow for training for events like Trans Iowa.
- Rides are self supported and you ride at your own risk.
- Details on rides will be posted on our Gravel Grinder site.
- Ride start time is 9:00 a.m (unless posted otherwise for longer or shorter routes).
- We usually eat lunch after the ride and enjoy some food and adult beverages.
- We ride in all kinds of weather but when temps get below 0 degrees we usually hit the MTB trails and stay out of the wind instead. I say we, but it is usually just me when temps get that cold :-)
- Dress in layers and use embrocation for an enjoyable ride in the cold.
- Keep those feet warm with a pair of winter cycling shoes - trust me they are worth it!
- Another thing to keep warm is your head hands. You loose a lot of heat out of your head so you can also keep a lot in with a nice skull cap. I sometimes bring a lighter cap (or ear covers) in case I heat up and need remove my thicker cap.
- Tip of the day: Frozen water bottles a problem? Use insulated water bottles and fill with hot water. My water bottle stays "none frozen" for most of my long winter riders when filled with hot water (or the beverage of your choice). If you use a camelback beware of frozen tubes/bit valves - keep under your clothing close to your body to keep the bit valve from freezing.
- One last thing, do not over dress. I see this all the time. Riders show up with thick baklava's and winter coats and can hardly pedal or breath. Just wear what I do and you will be fine :-)