It's a Miracle!

Went for a ride yesterday. It was about 30° out, overcast, spitting snow.
Wound up being just over 2 hours. It was great getting out for a decent ride.
This was a regular route of mine which I call "brookview-s.albany-rarick-rowe-308".
As I usually do on this ride, I stop at a certain point a little over an hour in and have a Clif bar break.
I took off my riding glasses cause they will fog up when I stop riding and put them in the "drop slot" in my seat.
When I took off again, I forgot all about the glasses and didn't remove them from the seat.
I never missed them until I pulled into my garage at the end of the ride.
I hopped in my car and went back to the rest stop cause I knew exactly what happened although I had little hope of finding them intact as it was over an hour.
Well, long story short, I DID find them sitting nicely folded as if on display quite a long distance from where I stopped, in fact at a second stop where I adjusted my handlebar mounted camera. Right in the middle of the road with nary a scratch on them. I guess it helped that it was Rarick road which I frequently ride without ever seeing a car! ;-)
It made my day (besides the ride).
Here's the route:

Here are some video highlights of the ride:

Alarming weight gain!

Alarming but not surprising. No, I can't say I was alarmed. Chagrined maybe.
Well, combine typical holiday eating excesses with an abrupt cessation of all exercise and what do you expect?
It's not really the weather that has stopped me from cycling but the time and the daylight.
And daylight is not really an issue for the gym but time is.
I finally went to the gym today and worked out for 50 mins on the stat bike.
I'm going to ease back into it. I'm working out up to the top of Zone 2. That's 69%MHR.

Probably would be a good idea to clean and lube my bike too. It's still messy from my last ride.

And, I still need to get my XC skis ready. They need to have the heel plates installed.
A simple enough job.

Cycling makes me happy

I'm sorry to have to say it but I'm glad I CAN say it. It's so conditional. True happiness should not be conditional.
I got a couple of good rides in this weekend after almost a week of nothing but the gym and I went from doom and gloom to whistling a happy tune.
Even my wife noticed it this morning (a Monday morning).
I finally got together with my friend Brad on Sunday. He lives up in what we call the "hill towns" around here, the Helderbergs.
I decided to meet him at his house and ride from there 'cause I wanted to get on some new roads that I haven't tried before.
Brad raced for the Air Force in Italy and has nice bike so I'm way out of his league but I was grateful for the challenge.
My numbers are all messed up though because I forgot to turn on my HRM until well into the ride and my cyclocomputer said I did 37mi in one hour and my average speed was 27mph(?)and maximum speed was 77! It seems to like that 77. 'Twould be nice but I DON'T THINK SO!!! Needless to say the 'puter is not accurate. What happens is, it keeps counting numbers after I've taken it off the bike so if I don't record it right away it will be goofy (sometimes!)
So this was 2 days after the big ice storm and the ride was gorgeous ... a world of crystals and diamonds.

Here's the route. Keep going and there's a video:

Here's the video but it doesn't come close to capturing the beauty. Remember to click the YouTube logo on the video (you might have to click it twice) and then select "Watch in high quality" to get the best resolution.

ice storm ride

Well, the day after the ice storm, actually.
Here in upstate NY we had a severe ice storm on Friday as you may well know.
I wasn't going to ride on Saturday primarily because it was predicted to be very cold and it was but it was so beautiful that I wanted to take some video.
I figured I could ride for an hour in that cold (19° or so) without a problem.
I'm glad I went. It was a good ride. I only saw 2 other riders out that day.
One, looked like a pro rider out for training and the other an old geezer like me puttering along.
Here is the video of that ride. For better resolution, go to YouTube and click "Watch in high quality":

1st day at the gym since last April!

Yes, yesterday was the first day I set foot in a gym for 9 months!
Of course, I overdid it and boy am I sore today.

I desperately need to work on my upper body. It's been weak all my life and cycling exclusively for 9 months doesn't help.

So that's what I did ... an upper body workout; pecs, delts, biceps, triceps, etc.
Also some incline board crunches. I'll be feeling those presently.

Today I just did 40 minutes on the stationary bike. It's weird and kind of sad to be cycling in a room with a bike that you control how hard it is rather than the terrain determining the difficulty.
But there are advantages to that kind of a workout so I need to be looking at that.

I'm still going to ride, weather permitting but the lack of daylight is the problem.

My new potential cycling buddy, Brad, has two mountain bikes equipped with good headlights and he's been trying to get me to do some night riding on the trails but we haven't been able to connect yet.

I think 20° is my lower limit for riding. I can do about an hour comfortably at that temp.

Of course, there's skiing!

1st ski day of the 2008/2009 season!

Sunday Mrs. MTBMan1 and I went to Jiminy Peak for our first day of skiing this year courtesy of Warren Miller.
In case you don't know, Warren Miller does a ski movie every year for the last 50 years and included with the $22 dollar admission are 4 free lift tickets to local ski areas.
So we skied free today and it normally would have cost us $112 for the 2 of us. Not bad for a $44 investment and we still have 3 freebies to go! Sweet!
The forecast for today was 27° at the mountain but the thermometer at the lift said 23° so I don't know it that was right.
I was certainly dressed warm enough so that was no problem.
It was pretty windy at the top; near white out conditions. Kind of cool. Like exploring the Antarctic or Everest or something.
As long as I'm dressed for it I think it's great being out in the elements.
Here's some video I took. Give you some idea of the conditions at the top!
As always, if you click on the YouTube logo you can watch the video in high quality by clicking the "Watch in high quality" link in the lower right of the video.

Give up!

I was hoping to take an at least 2 hour ride on Saturday.
I only rode once this week on Tuesday for about an hour.
The problem is limited amount of daylight for riding what with having to go in to work at 9 or earlier in some cases.
Anyhow, it was not a good ride.
I was getting frustrated right from the start with all the prep necessary to get out for a ride.
It wasn't really that cold, about 29° I think. I've ridden in colder weather and had a better time.
Usually when I'm not feeling like riding or not feeling good about a ride, I know to just keep riding and then after awhile, usually no more than an hour, I'll start to feel much better.
But Saturday, I just couldn't get over the hump.
It was kind of a gray day which I usually don't mind. It was a little windy not too bad but for some reason it really irritated me on this ride.
Plus the feeling of being warm and sweaty in my core yet cold on the surface at the same time had me being really cranky.
I cut the ride short at just under an hour and a quarter.
In retrospect, I'm thinking the problem might have been that I stayed up late the night before.
And my calves are sore like they haven't been in a long time. It's amazing that not riding for 3 days when I'm used to riding every day could get me that out of shape!

Here are some pics of my homemade camera mount. It's still slipping around the handelbars on rough downhills.

The camera tripod mount just screws into the screw and you tighten it up with the top wingnut.

dirty camelbak

I finally got around to cleaning my camelbak.

For a long time I put only water in it because I didn't want to have to clean it.

But lately, I've been filling it with lemonade with a dash of salt in it primarily because I need the carbs and the sodium and primarily because it doesn't freeze as readily as water and primarily because it tastes good.

The problem with that is bacteria like sugar, mm-mm!

To avoid cleaning it, I've been putting it in the fridge or on the porch if it's cold enough (I'm hoping it's cold enough).

Yesterday, before my ride, I decided I had better clean it. I had bought a cleaning kit some time back and used it once.

Let me tell you it was bad! Lots of black stuff all through it. Yechhh!

Here's a video of me cleaning it. At one point you can see some of the black stuff rinsed out in the sink.

Bon appetit!

ride video - old army depot loop

Here's a narrated video of a ride I did on the 28th of November.
I'm still working the bugs out of my handlebar mounted camera.
You can play it here but if you go to YouTube, you can click "watch in high quality" or something like that. It'll probably be just below the video to the right.

work can be hazardous to your health!

I'm working full time right now as opposed to 4 hours a day starting at 1PM previously.
That's good, of course, for the livelihood but it plays havoc with my riding (and blogging) schedule! :-(
Also, I was feeling really sick last night (chills, sweats, aches) so I bagged any thought of a ride this AM for safety sake but I think I'm ok.
Right now I'm working on a video of a ride which I will post soon. I thought I had it done but when I uploaded it to YouTube, they said it was too long (15 minutes). I thought the length limit was 20 minutes but it's 10 so I'll have to edit it down and redo the narration. It really was too long (boring). Maybe it's still boring! :-)
Except for me. ;-)