Sunday, January 18, 2009

All Kinds of Random

Last year I rode almost zero in Jan and Feb. So one of my goals for this year was to fix that. So far, so good. The weather and not having to travel have helped. So have my friends. Last Saturday, Jerry and I headed south. He's apparently starting '09 just where he left off in '08 . . . by kicking my ass up any hill in our path.

In winter, I guess, you do what needs to be done . . .

The following day, I rode out 195 with an SRV group that Dale organized. The thing I can't get over is that I had a choice of 3 group rides that day: John's morning ride, the SRV afternoon ride and the Fiasco. 3 group ride options on January 11 in Spokane. Friggin unbelievable. Spokane has bike life, no doubt about it.

As everyone knows, the cornerstone of any successful training program is a good re-hydration strategy.

I love my winter bikes - they're making it all possible. Last year I got the cross bike, along with an extra set of wheels. Road tires on one set, studs on the other. Easy swap, depending on conditions, and I've done it a number of times this winter already.

This year I added the urban tank. It gets me through anything winter dishes out that is remotely rideable. I've got some great hardware and fully acknowledge that I am one lucky bastard.

Yesterday I did my longest ride so far - 48 miles and just shy of 4 hours. It was one of, if not THEE worst ride of my life. I started feeling like total krap about 10 miles in and it just got worse from there. I think I didn't respect my need for fuel (I always thought fat guys couldn't bonk). Or maybe it's just old age. And of course I had to flat on this particular day. There's a lesson to be learned somewhere - I hope I did. I have to thank a couple of people: Alan rode with me all they way. Man, that was so cool. Mike and Sarah SAG'd me home from the Maxwell House Tavern, which was the first point coming off the ride that I could get some calories. Saved me from a climb up the hill that I didn't know if I could do.

I'm not sure I've ever let myself quit on a bike, but I had to say uncle on this day . . . I got to the point where I didn't think my arms could support me off the bars. I pulled over and had a 2-year-old, petrified oatmeal Cliff Bar. It was one of the best things I have ever tasted.

Hope to not do a repeat of this anytime soon. Very few pictures of this day, as there just wasn't a lot of desire to do anything but survive.

Alan and his Maxwell House fried chicken extravaganza:

Today was the 8:30 ride from the Carousel up to De Leon's north with John and his crew.

Would have been the perfect breakfast ride, except that De Leons has been running this add about how real men eat Menudo and they goaded me into ordering it and acting all brave and nonchalant and coming within one spoonful of hurling. It was the gift that kept on giving, all afternoon and into this evening. But anyway, I'm a real man now, so that is good. I hope it's a lifetime deal and not something you have to renew.

The sun was out this afternoon, which made it a good day to spray all that nasty road salt off your bike.

Looking at this year's and last year's calendars side-by-side makes me happy. Yellow highlights are miles pedalled (circles outdoors, squares indoors). 175 miles so far this month vs 4 for the entire same month last year.

On winter's silver lining side, you have to admit, the snow berms are creating some nice bike lanes.

On this mid-winter's night, I'm just feeling so grateful for this great bike place and for so many great bike people to ride with.

1 comment:

Hank Greer said...

Pat, you're livin' the dream. (Well, maybe except for the menudo part. If they'd just cut the "meat" into smaller pieces it would be less likely to trigger the gag reflex.)

I think Spokane's bike scene will continue growing as people realize they, too, can use a bicycle as a utility or sport vehicle. So many people discount the idea of cycling because the well-ingrained car-centric culture convinces them it's unsafe.

Ride on!