sore .... and lovin' it!

Today i was a little bit sore from yesterday's ride and I intended to take it easy.

Additionally, Mrs. MTBMan1 and I had a full day planned so I really only had 1/2 hour to spare.

What I should have done, had I behaved responsibly, would have been to ride out 15 minutes and then ride back along precisely the same route; the only way to guarantee getting back as promised barring any mishaps.

Well, that was too boring and unadventurous, of course, so I set out on a new route (although in very familiar territory) that I guesstimated would bring me back in plenty of time, if not under.

So at about the 2/3rds point, I realized I needed to cut things short so I started taking what I thought would be shortcuts. Naturally I got a bit disoriented and lost although not hopelessly so but it was clear that I was not going to make my cutoff.

So I sprinted back.

I didn't do too bad. I was under 10 minutes late but boy are my legs sore now! (8PM)
That's OK. I'll take some Vitamin "I" so I can sleep.

But I like having sore legs from a hard ride.

Right after that I hit the lawn (mowing that is). Then we went down to the rel's and did some sailing. While docking at the end of the sail, I jumped for the dock to hold the boat from banging against the dock, slipped and landed on my right side on the dock. I'm a little banged up here and there but everything's OK otherwise.

A very physical day. I like that.

nnnn.... don't think so!

A few rides ago my bike computer registered a max speed of 44.5mph. On that ride, it the fastest speed would have been obtained on a small hill that I usually do in the low to mid 30s.

Next ride I tried to repeat the performance. It's a dip down and then a short but steep hill up to Meads Lane. Which is sort of the plateau.

I will usually hammer it on the way down in my highest gear getting my cadence well over 100. Then eventually shifting down to low gear on the upside but trying to keep my cadence above 80.

Yep, this time, as hard as I went, top speed was only 37.8mph. Another case of the computer crazies.

Usually though, when the computer goes bonkers with the max speed, it says 77mph so I KNOW that ain't right!

The fastest I've ever gone on the bike is 45 and that's fast enough for me. I would hate to have a flat on the front tire at that speed! Hey, it happens!

I've been having a great couple of weeks, though, riding the LeTour Challenge from MapMyRide.

I usually ride the "Dunkin' Donut" cause that's just about an hour and that's all the time I have either before or after work during the week.

I'll sprint the sections between intersections and rest in between. It works out pretty well and I'm pushing 15mph average on the hard days.

Today I used the BlackBerry GPS app and it actually worked! Although it shorted me a mile as usual cause it doesn't follow the roads when I get really twisty and turny but kind of goes as the crow flies.

The key, I think, is to pull the battery to do a hard reset before using it.

Two more days left of the Tour de France!

Right shoulder pain ...


Ha, ha! I think I've finally got over 1 chronic problem. That is, whenever pedaling out of the saddle, especially on a steep climb, I pull my right shoulder out. I don't mean actually out of joint but I do something to it that it hurts and continues to hurt for days unless I don't ride at all.

I've finally learned how to pull on the handlebars without pulling on my shoulder. The ride up to Pinnacle was proof of that and I just realized it on my ride this morning to my great joy.

By the way, this morning was a great ride. I didn't sleep particularly well and wasn't looking forward to going out at "oh dark 30" but I didn't want to miss a day of riding when the Tour de France was going to be riding and it was more likely to rain in the afternoon after work than in the morning (it did).

MapMyRide is running a LeTour Challenge where you ride every day that the real Tour rides and they rank you and you get entered for prizes. But the best part of it is the motivation to ride every day (Monday is usually a rest day). I currently rank in 889th place out of 14,006 riders.

You can only get ranked for "verified" rides, that's if you use a GPS device and I gave up on my BlackBerry GPS app that MapMyRide provided. It usually doesn't work right and it's too much trouble. I don't need the aggravation when I'm just trying to enjoy the ride.

Only minutes into the ride I felt great. It's a great way to wake up. I'd already had 2 cups of coffee too. That's good for performance and helps to burn fat.

So it didn't rain on me, I averaged 14.7 mph on the ride which is pretty good for this loop and my derailleur cable seemed to loosen up toward the last 3rd of the ride. I'll have to take it apart and lube it soon. It seems to be sticking on the upshifts since I replaced it. I feel more confident about redoing the cable now that I've done it once (watch me screw it up!).

I call this ride "Dunkin' Donut" because it's a loop with a little spur where I go out Game Farm Rd. as far as the railroad tracks and back to the loop so it looks like the "handle" on the original Dunkin' Donut. The reason I don't cross the tracks is I don't want to get stuck on the other side if a train comes through. Time is limited 'cause I have to go to work. There WAS a train going through today too.

See, here it is:

The "Dread" Pinnacle!

I did it! I climbed Pinnacle!

To me, the route up to Thatcher park and then to Camp Pinnacle via Beaver Dam Road and Pinnacle Road was the ultimate symbol of climbing hurt on a bicycle.

Today we took that route, Charles, his friend Mike and I.

It was tough but I did it. It's a real milestone for me.

One more "DREAD" scratched off the list.

My quads are going to kill me. I'm feeling it already.

One note of concern: long, steep climbs are really hard on my lower back. I have some degeneration there and it's usually kept in check by bike riding with the exception of rides with a lot of climbing, that is, more than a 5 or 10 minute hill per ride.

I hope I can find some way to deal with this. Bike fit, maybe?

Here's today's route for you locals:

Pleasure or ....?

I am reading the book by Lance Armstrong "It's not about the Bike".

Here's a great quote from the book that says it all:

"Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it's absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a six-hour ride at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for awhile you have a kind of hall pass, and don't have to brood on your problems; you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue are absolute."

And another:

"Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. 'Pleasure' I said. 'I don't understand the question.' I didn't do it for pleasure. I did it for pain."

That explains to me why I have such a hard time doing an easy recovery ride like you are supposed to do between hard workouts. Not that I ride as hard as Lance Armstrong. But a large part of the attraction of cycling for me is that euphoria that comes during and immediately after a hard ride.

cable broke!

I had to cut short my ride this afternoon after work.

As I started climbing a short roller on Van Dyke I threw the rear derailleur into 1st and the cable let go ... no shift.

I did ignore the warning signs. A frayed piece of cable kept poking me in the finger when I shifted on the last ride. I just clipped the offending strand short with my wire cutters!

So I was stuck in 6th on the rear derailleur. Too hard of a gear for me to climb Orchard Hill. So I headed straight back to Matt's Mad Dog Bicycles and bought a piece of cable.

I botched it right away by not tinning the end with solder when I clipped the end off it. It unravelled pretty badly a couple of inches in from end. But I saved the day by 1. tinning the end. 2. tinning 2 inches back to stop the unravelling from getting worse and 3. Clipping out the unravelled strand from between the 2 tinned points so I could get the cable through all the holes.

It didn't matter strength wise because the end of the cable that was frayed was beyond the binding screw on the derailleur.


That was 5 bucks saved!

Oh, by the way, I'm now in 727th place out of 12,151 total riders in MapMyRide Le Tour Challenge! No prizes though. :-(

I COULD use a head sweat or a water bottle! :-)

How easy should a recovery ride be?

I know how hard the hard ride should be ... as hard as you can. Not really any limit. As hard as you have the tolerance for pain.

But the recovery rides ... should it be easy as you can make it, say just spin over 80 rpm but not hard enough to "feel" it?

Or should you just ride not as hard as you can but still sweat and breathe hard and feel it?

Well this morning's ride was definitely on the easy side. I needed to take it easy one more day. I was still feeling sore from the previous 8 days straight of riding every day. Monday I didn't ride at all but did an upper body workout at the gym, the first since April!

By the way, my ranking in the MapMyRide LeTour Challenge is 865th out of 11,427 riders!

The GPS worked OK this morning but I think it's shorting me a mile each ride. On the map it created I notice that instead of following the road per my actual ride, it just drew a straight line across non-road areas as the crow flies for certain twisty-turny sections.

In some ways it's a convenience, in some ways it's just another hassle.

GPS Woes!

OK. I gave it another shot.

This time I did a hard reset on my Berry by pulling the battery. When it came up the GPS was working. Great.

When I went out for a ride it was not working. So I did the GPS reset option from the software and it came on. Great.

I checked it at the turnaround point in the ride and it was still working and the time and mileage seemed accurate. Great.

I checked it when we got home at the end of the ride and it was not picking up a signal. What th...!!??

The bike computer said we did 6.98 miles but the gps had stopped logging at 5.6 or something.

Technology is wonderful when it works but when it doesn't it just adds complexity and aggravation to something that is supposed to be simple and relaxing.

I should just wait until I can get a "real" GPS. Then I'll be happy. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Give up!!!

On my GPS, that is. It's not even a real GPS. It's a GPS enabled phone.

I couldn't get the GPS to go on for today's ride. I tried the 'reset GPS' option in the software but it didn't do anything.

I don't need the frustration.

After I got back, I reset the berry by pulling out the battery and now the GPS works.

OK, one more time.

On another note, I'm now up to 926th place (out of 10,211) in the LeTour Challenge.

I really should have taken the day off 'cause I'm kind of sore. I rode every day since last Sunday. I rode for 2-1/2 hours today, 31 miles. I told myself I would take it easy. I kind of did but there were are few hills. Can't help that!

It was pretty nice, mostly quiet. Big T-storms promised for later.

At one point I happened to look up and saw a puff of smoke in the sky and then a silver thing falling straight down out of the smoke. Uh-oh, that can't be good. I was hoping it was some model rocket or something cause it was right over South Bethlehem airport.

A little later I saw these jets flying around pretty low and realized it was an airshow. Then I saw 2 of the jets crash into each other! ....

Pieces flying all over the place .... and fluttering to the ground! They were models! I never knew they had such a thing as model jets. They even sounded like the real thing. Incredible! The things you see on a bike ride!

I stopped for a Clif bar break about 1/2 way and hooked my sun glasses under my saddle, telling myself "don't forget them, now". HA! I forgot them, of course. Until about 5 miles down the line. Of course they were long gone.

I did this once before. Boy was I mad (at myself). You should have heard me. (Well, maybe it's better that you didn't).

Anyhow after the ride I went back with the car 'cause I knew where I stopped and they were right there. That was good cause I didn't have to do a lot of looking and they were off the road where no car could run over them or it was unlikely that someone would see them and pick them up.

Next time they go in the jersey or you can kick me!

Here's the route:

I'm in 1282nd place!

In the LeTour Challenge (mapmyride) that is. Out of 9,425.

Not bad!

I used my Blackberry's GPS to automatically log the ride. Mapmyride provides iMapMyRide software which works with the BB's built-in GPS.

Pretty cool when it works ... which hasn't been often.

Sometimes it blows up with an "unhandled exception". Today it worked. I wiped the BB and reprovisioned it 'cause it was acting up. Also, I found that if the GPS doesn't work, there is an option in the software to restart it.

Anyhow, it worked swimmingly today and it's very convenient. Automatically enters you in the LeTour Challenge too. So far, I haven't missed riding a day of the tour. See how long I can keep it up!

It's not for physical exertion but just for time and weather and things like that.

Today I rode after work and before supper. A great ride with great weather. I rode up Orchard Hill ... it seemed easy so I pushed a little harder. Then on top, on Bullock road was just gorgeous. Totally tree-lined in the shade. Beautiful.

I'm feeling really charged up. I'm sure it has to do with riding every day! There's something to it.

Here's today's route for interested locals (15 miles):

LeTour Challenge!

MapMyRide website is running an event "LeTour Challenge" to coincide with The Tour de France.

The idea is that you ride each day of the tour de france that you can. Submit your route and time to the website and be ranked as if you rode with the real tour and be entered to win prizes given out after each stage.

The prizes range from a couple of high-end bikes to water bottles. But it's really mostly fun to be motivated to ride every day. So far I have and my current ranking is 1,024! A nice computer science kind of number!

We've had unsettled weather with some real heavy downpours every day for the last couple of weeks but I've done pretty well avoiding them.

Tonight's ride was terrific. It had just rained and the roads were wet but the sun was out and it was cool. I usually ride just about 1 hour before supper but today I rode 20 miles in 1-1/2 hours after supper.

Just what the doctor ordered! :-)

I should know better!

This morning I was feeling really groggy. Didn't sleep any worse than usual (which hasn't been great)so I don't know why.

So I bagged my morning ride. I was going to take a recovery ride 'cause I rode pretty hard on Sunday and was feeling sore. Too bad because it turned out to be a beautiful, cool morning.

I felt pretty groggy all day as it turned out. Put away quite a bit of coffee but it didn't really help.

I decided that if the weather held out (tstorms predicted for later in the afternoon) I would take my 1 hour recovery ride on a mostly flat (for around here) course. I really felt like taking a nap when i got home but i didn't think an easy ride would hurt and i could always knap later.

So I rode about 4. And I felt great, of course! Never did need the nap. If I had gone for the morning ride I probably wouldn't have had to suffer through the day! I should know that by now!