Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tour of the Vineyard 2009

This year for the Tour of the Vineyard I ended up doing the 50k. It was my first ride of the year and as expected the last portion of the ride was rather rough. Still the weather held at around sixty and overcast for the whole ride, which made for great weather. It did finally open up once we had finished eating, but by then we were ready to head home and nap the pain away.

I was more tired than I looked in these last two pictures, but being around Gabe can energize you after you've been away for a while. He's been amazing the whole trip so far, and charmed the pants off of the whole Folks on Spokes crew.

Here's Pete coming into the finish and Kim bravely standing in his way to get a good picture.

After the ride we all chilled out and chowed down on the burgers both veggie and otherwise and hot dogs.

Jen is wearing a hat in this photo. She kept me company the whole ride and did an amazing job considering it was her first really long ride on her new road bike. She had some trouble with turns, but absolutely flew up the hills. At the first rest stop I asked her how she was enjoying her clip in and she replied that she was to scared to use them. The way she was going up those hills you could have fooled me! All in all it was a great ride and my best fund raising year ever. This year I managed to raise one-thousand two-hundred and fifty-five dollars with the help all of my very generous donors. Thank you!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Winter Sigh

It has been a long while since I last got a good ride in on my bike. Once Gabe came out the chute there just wasn't time to do everything in a day. Mostly it was losing my ride home from work. While I could mange the 18 miles to work, signing up for 36 a day was beyond my energy level with the nights being full of interrupted sleep.

I can only hope that when the ground thaws I'll have the time and motivation to start back up again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

MS Ride the Vineyard 2008 - May 3rd

The past several years the ride on the Vineyard the first Saturday in May has been beautiful. This year it was anything but beautiful. The forecast was for a cool, clear, and overcast ride. What we actually had was rain, cold, and wind. Though to be fair it didn't actually start raining until we were all out on the road, and up until that point I thought wearing just shorts was a fine plan. In any case I started the ride in high spirits, and planned to enjoy my first 100k on my road bike after suffering through it last year on the mountain bike.

By the end of the ride I was well soaked through. My knees, wrists, hands, and fingers were all numb. My legs were a marvelous shade of purple, and my energy was completely sapped. I completed the ride in 4 1/2 hours with stops, though I found after the first two stops that I really couldn't afford to waste anytime standing around. Every stop meant I wasn't moving, and my core temp would plummet. I think part of the reason I finished as fast as I did is I was pretty much just moving as fast as I could to keep warm for the last half of the ride. Many of the 100k riders dropped out, and I don't blame them. It was a really hard ride, and I feel I earned every last penny in the donations I received from Turbine and individual sponsors.

Once I had some food in me post ride I started to feel a little more human again, and I really enjoyed the rest of the trip. We camped out with the whole Folks on Spokes crew at May and Wally's yet again, and it was like a little family reunion. The trip as a whole is really a highlight every spring. The grilling team really outdid themselves this year. The post ride meal was just awesome, made even more awesome by the post ride nap just before.

Unfortunately I've been down and out the last two weeks with a horrible cold. I hate to blame the ride, but it really sapped me and I think it left an opening for the virus to get in and cause some real damage. My cough is still racking and deep. Hopefully it'll take its leave this weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Spring Thaw

It has been spring for a while up here in Massachusetts, but the way the weather has been you could have fooled me. I've done the important yearly maintenance to my bike to get it in shape for the coming season. Including new road shoes and pedals to replace my mountain bike shoes and pedals. They were causing circulation issues on really long rides, so I'm hoping the new shoes will clear that up. To further complicate issues with finding time to ride I've been doing a mountain of work in my garden, which means when there is nice weather I have a tough choice as to what to do with my time. Since the garden has some tight deadlines over the next month for when beds need to be prepared for planting it has largely won out. Come early may, however, the heavy work in the garden should be largely complete and I should be able to get more riding in.

If the weather improves next week I'm hoping to be able to start riding my bike into work, though I know that's going to kick the crap out of me the first couple of times I do so. I ended up going out for a rather chilly 16.4 mile ride this afternoon. It let me know that I could make it into work if I wanted to give it a go. The hills were wicked, and really drove home how much work I have left to do before I'm back in shape again. Though I'm not exhausted the ride did drive home that I need to get some serious mileage in if I'm going to do the 100k MS Tour of the Vineyard on the 3rd of May.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Time of Cold

I've been on a number of short 5-10 mile rides on weekends over the past month, but my riding time has definitely decreased. It doesn't mean I'm not already looking forward to next spring though! I often find myself dreaming of rides as I slip off to sleep, and I'm already doing some preparing for keeping in shape this winter. I probably won't spend much time on an indoor trainer, at least until January or February. Instead I've taken my rowing machine out of the mothballs and started cranking out workouts on the ergometer.

I think rowing can have many similarities to cycling in terms of workouts when you're actually on the water, but on the erg it couldn't be more different. Where you can easily spend three hours on a hard training ride just a half hour on the erg can leave you completely destroyed. Even during my peak rowing crew in college anything much over an hour would leave me in a state of exhaustion so complete that I've rarely been there since. I think the only time in recent memory I've felt similar was after the 100k Tour of the Vineyard I did this spring on my mountain bike.

In any case it looks to be a long cold winter, but the promise of spring already has me excited to be back on the bike.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Knocked out by a Cold

It was pretty amazing, the poison ivy and then a wicked head cold that has run me down over the last three weeks pretty much ended my riding season. Now that I'm finally starting to feel better a part of me wants to get back out on the road for October before the rough weather sets in but I'm not sure if I'm going too. The TMI version is cycling cooks the family jewels, and if you're looking to start a family it helps to try with uncooked goods.

If I do get out and about on the bike more this year I'll write about it, but only time will tell. In bike maintenance news I removed my wife's clipless pedals and put on her old iron blocks so she can hop and whenever she wants to with her street shoes. It took a little more force than I was expecting and it was plenty greasy, but all together a pretty easy task.

Aside from riding my last big chore of the fall will be to give the bike a good cleaning and fresh set of lube before I store it for the winter, but that's a greasy story for another time. Until then, cheers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Surreal Ride

Surreal, that's how I would describe today's ride. I haven't been on the bike since the last Landry's group ride thanks to a combo of poison ivy, allergies, and a cold. I felt like I was floating over the bike for most of the ride, and just watching a bike cruise along the road. The air was cool and crisp, and the sun was bright but not overbearing.

The only thing that kept bringing me back down to earth was the amount of glass I had to avoid. The evil side of me would love to force people who throw glass bottle onto the road to pick it up by walking over it with their bare feet. The lawful side of me would love to see them out there with brooms sweeping up the side of the road for all the many miles they've covered in glass shards. The good side of me is depressed that people would do something so maliciously idiotic.

I only went six miles today as a sort of test run to see if everything was still working before riding in to work tomorrow. I'm already certain that it'll be a hard ride, but if I'm going to survive the 110 mile Tour de Landry's on Columbus day then I need to get back out there and get some miles under my belt.