Friday, March 23, 2018

Trigger Warning!!!!!!!

Not really, or in the sense of this new found anomaly that has somehow found its way into our current society. So for the 1 or 2 of you that read this blog anyway or by some mishap of misfortune get linked here by some search engine that was intrigued by my tags. Have no fear I promise its safe to continue.

Anyway, as stated in my previous blog I received the LIFEWATCH monitor my doctor ordered yesterday to monitor for any anomalies that may still be lingering from my ablation in January. My next appointment is a little over a month away and this is the best way to see how the heart is doing.

So I activated and put the monitor on at around 1pm yesterday and had my first recordable event at around 6pm. So far as I know this is the first event I have had since going back on the Flecanide and Metoprolol regiment since back in mid January following my procedures. I'm not sure what the rhythm was but it did not feel like affib. 

Like I said I made a recording and sent it. The monitor supposedly does this on its own but it also has the option for me to record events I know are happening. The LIFEWATCH people did call me afterwords and make sure I was feeling OK. They also said they would be sending copies of the recordings to my doctor. 

So, is this a major setback? I don't know. I'm still within the 3 month blanking period. This is the first event I know of since January 17th. It can take six months for symptoms like this to totally disappear. I have been exercising without any issues. I guess only time will tell and I remain optimistic.

So Exciting

UPS has visited me the past 2 days. Yesterday they delivered the LIFEWATCH monitor. Today the delivered a second LIFEWATCH monitor and my order from PERFORMANCE BIKE. A trainer specific tire,chain lube and a new bike computer.

I haven't ridden with a bike computer for quite a few years now. I have been keeping track but just using my phones GPS and STRAVA. So I'm still collecting information but don't see it until the end of the ride. A couple of the guys I ride with complain because instead of keeping a certain pace I just ride how I feel at any given point of the ride. So maybe this will put an end to his complaining while giving me more information to assist in my training.

The computer I ended up getting is the  WAHOO ELEMENT BOLT. I was also considering  the GARMIN Edge 520. Both computers are very similar, and I think GARMIN actually makes both computers. I read a bunch of reviews and watched some videos and came to the conclusion that the WAHOO was the best choice. Not to say GARMIN does not make a great product its just the bolt seams to be more technologically advanced. Also if you are looking for some good in depth cycling equipment reviews you should check out these two guy's. DC Rainmaker and Steve over at In The Know Cycling.  Both of these guys cover all the bases in their reviews.

I'll keep you up to date on the BOLT as i get into using it. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

We Will Monitor Your Every Move

So I received a care package today from my Doctors office. Hooray its one of the final steps in seeing how successful my ablation was. I wore a similar type of monitor back in 2010 several months after my ablation back then.

The monitor constantly records my heart activity and sends it via cell phone to a central recording station. If I am to have an issue it will alarm to notify both myself and my doctor. On the up side I can still wear my WAHOO TiCKER HRM with it so I can monitor my rates while exercising.

I often wonder what the recordings looked like last time around as I was instructing spin classes at the time and doing a good bit of riding because the weather was so nice.

Really...... We Are Monitoring You

So FACEBOOK is in the news again for privacy infringement. I'm pretty sure the only reason this is happening is due to the current buzz about the trump campaign purchasing data from a third party source during the last election cycle. Otherwise we would probably not be hearing about it. This only further entrenches my opinion that the left will go to any extreme to undermine our current president. Even to turn on their own if necessary.

Al Frankin was the first victim of this particular strategy now Mark Zckerberg.  What is really telling about the situation with Zuckerberg is the fact that it was the Democratic Party, The O'Bama Campaign in particular, that perfected this strategy.  So I feel it is safe to assume that during the same election cycle the Democrats were using the same strategy but have somehow not found their way into the news for doing it. I'm not saying this isn't news worthy. I'm saying if your going to cover a story cover the whole story not just the parts that you agree with or think will further a particular agenda or narrative.

Of course if you didn't already know that FACEBOOK, GOOGLE and any other Internet savvy company isn't collecting and selling data on you your a fool. This is why I like many others don't use their full names or use and alias for FACEBOOK Identity. Not this this really stops it but it will curb it and at the very least keep the average Joe or potential employer form immediately identifying you on social media. 

Not that we all have anything to hide, However, in industries I have been involved in I had to work with people and companies that I know for a fact that I was diametrically opposed with both politically and in some cases morally, and didn't care to be judged on that basis as I know many of these institutions and companies would.

Facebook Isn't All Bad

It really isn't. It has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and to stay in contact with old. I'll admit I'm not a FACEBOOK hero having thousands of followers and friends. I'm a big believer in quality not quantity and live by the mantra "Be the best friend you can be, someone may be counting on it." In other words, don't pick your friends based on their financial stature or popularity because those criteria will surely let you down.

To that point back in January when I was sitting in the hospital waiting to see if I was going to be able to have my surgery I get a cryptic messenger text from a friend. "Do you still hate me?" the text read. "How could I ever hate you", I responded. Which lead to a great conversation which included the uncertainties and fears people have with situations like the one I had currently found myself in and how we personally dealt with them. Which I topped of following my surgery with, "I'm still alive so we will continue to be friends". She found this particular statement amusing.

Back story.......

This particular friend was a girl I dated back in high school and Quite frankly I cant really remember how long we dated or why we stopped,  but I really did like her and we had allot of fun together and that is the part I do remember. She was spunky and outspoken and I really liked those traits in a person and still do to this day.

I'm not completely sure where her question stemmed from, but I wont over think it or inquire as to the particulars beyond the conversation we had that day. I'm content in the fact that we remain friends today.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Well I got responses form both FUJI and NOTUBES today. It goes without saying that neither company feels as though they could do better. This is how we do it the part number you need is  blah blah blah.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

As the title says to you and yours. Was a pretty uneventful day. My wife and  I worked night shift last night so my son spent the night at my moms. I picked him up on the out of the way home. On the way I decided it might be nice for us to meet my wife for breakfast at Perkin's before lumbering off to bed so that's what we did. So needless to say I did not get much done  today. Staying up that extra 2 hours really kicks you in the rump. I did however get a little time Zwifting today.

The Sky

The sky was remarkable this morning and I couldn't help but pull over to take some photos of the morning sky. Living in PA we don't get a whole lot of clear mornings so I tend to take advantage of what we get when I am able too. Speaking of which 6 years ago today the temperature was in high the 60's and when the header photo was taken. I spent that day riding 45 miles with the dentist. 

Hes and interesting fellow and good company on a ride. Especially on a flat riding behind him is like riding behind a brick wall.

 New Toy

Picked up our new bikes the other day and hope to get out for a spin tomorrow. I'm pretty pleased with the purchase but as always the bike industry always comes up a little short. In this particular case I'm not sure if its the bike campy, FUJI, or the components manufacturer NOTUBES.

After much deliberation I decided to move to the next model in the lineup. This is  secondary bike for me but I've learned you can never go wrong upgrading. In this particular case the upgrades included 105 11 speed, hydraulic brakes and stans wheels. Now the issue is with the wheels. 

Part of the appeal to the upgrade was indeed the tubeless wheel-set. Lighter weight and no tubes means quicker spin-up and less flats. So I as I am getting ready to leave the store I asked Russel if the tubeless valve stems were in a bag somewhere. This is when he broke the news to me that the wheels did not include the valve stems. So I now have a set of tubeless wheels that I cant at this point run tubeless. That is until I come up with valve stems.

Needless to say this is very frustrating. I went to the NOTUBES website and they list the valve stems as being part of the wheel kit. Then later state that the valve stems are not included. Which to me makes zero sense. Why in Gods green earth would I specifically purchase a set of tubeless wheels from the best tubeless wheel manufacturer and not run them tubeless? Which takes me back to FUJI and their inability to place tubeless ready tires on the bike. You can bet your last  dollar I have already sent off emails to both companies looking for an explanation on both fronts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Al ls Well

Nothing earth shattering on the heart front. Still taking the Flecanide,metoprolal, and magnesium. Heart hasn't missed a noticeable beat in a while now. Should be getting the event monitor in the next couple weeks. I'm hoping it will allow for me to still where my HRM when exercising.


As you may or may not know I am a control room operator at a power plant and to say that the last 7 days were the worst would be an understatement. Both units were off for repairs and we ended up putting them both back on line over the past several days. One of them twice.

The physical stress in the control room is marginal at best but the mental strain creates a different type of tired for sure. And you don't even realize it until you get home and hits you like a ton of bricks.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Part of my recovery this time will be making an effort to both keep a good training regiment while keeping my heart rate in check. So Ill be using Zwift on days I cant get outside and a WAHOO Ticker HRM.

I did my first ZWIFT ride this afternoon and I think its going to work out just fine. I definitely is better than just siting there spinning the wheels.

Still Feeling Good

So I suppose that the first part of this post confirms the second. I do feel good these days even with the meds. Don't get me wrong I'm more than ready to toss them to the side and put this stage behind me, but I can wait.

The Doc got back to me the other day following up on my little setback last week. He didn't seem concerned and we talked for quite a while. Ill have some more questions for him in May at my next followup appointment. He will also be sending me a HRM recording device to wear here in the next couple weeks. He wants me do make sure I get some riding in during this time to see if there is anything there to catch.

Ill also have some questions for him myself. As he did do Cryoablation this time around I will be asking him if there were any other trigger points he might have not been able to address this time around and Cryoablation does limit the ability to hit some trouble points that I may or may not have. This second part is one I am not 100% sure on as the technology and techniques are always changing.

My other sticking point is my insurance. I now have BC/BS and my doctor is UPMC. And as you may or may not know these to entities do not play well together.

Anyway here is a link to a great article on Ablation and what you should look for when seeking out an EP to do it and increase your odds of complete success.

And here is another link to another great resource to those new and continuing to live with the beast.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

That Didn't Work Out So Well

So I had mentioned in one of my last posts that my EP wanted me to start tapering off of the meds.  I was apprehensive and excited the same. So I started tapering. 1 3/4 dose,  1 1/2 dose, 1 dose . Each step separated by 4 days or so.  the single dose is as far as I got before I started having trouble.

The weather turned at about the same time and I had started riding my bike. Not hard by any means but riding. Watching my heart rate as best I cold without a HR monitor. This was probably a big mistake. I was doing fine until my second day of cutting y dosage in half.

This had been my third day in a row on the bike. I had been doing about 30 miles each time and again taking it easy. The third ride went really well but I was pretty tired. Riding on the meds I'm on seams to really take its toll. I finished the ride a little faster than i had planed so I know that I pushed my HR higher than I had wanted to. About an hour after my ride my heart was out of rhythm. Needless to say I was bummed but understand that this can happen early on.

So the first thing to do at this point is get my heart back in rhythm so I went back to my normal dose times 2 to try to get my heart to convert to NSR, This is also what I did back in January  and ended up passing out. I didn't pass out this time but my heart did not convert either. The next day I was still out of rhythm and whet back to my normal dose. I was wiped out and disgusted as I hardly slept the night before.That evening when I got home I took a double dose again and about another hour later I converted. I must say this whole thing is enough to make a Guy nuts but I have faith it will get better. I had similar issues last time around then went almost 9 years without any real issues.

So I am back to my normal dose 2 times a day for a whole now. The doctor will be sending an event monitor in the next couple weeks and I am very anxious to get back to normal life.


Working night shift is always a drag. I adapt to it very well and I never have issues getting things done between work and sleep. Ill even get out on the bike after I wake which is usually before noon.The guys on my shift seem to be able to cope pretty good as well which helps.

The real issue is the work place and if it weren't for the people running the show it would be great. Like the saying goes, its the best job I have ever had at the worst place I've ever worked. It amazes me how they put people in control that have zero idea how to to any of the jobs that those direct do.

Many of the guys I work with come from similar backgrounds or industries that I do. So we make for a pretty cohesive group and any one of them could do a better job than those we work for. Maybe not the complete operations segment but for sure would be better leaders.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Follow Up

Had my 2 month follow up appointment with my Electrophysiologist 

today and we reviewed what he found and did during my procedure. Apparently Atrial flutter showed up during the procedure just like it did in 2009. So he was able to go back and touch up the area he did back then. Its amazing, and in this particular case annoying, how the body heals itself. That is exactly why I found myself back in the Electrophysiology lab. 

He is very pleased with where I am right now and wants me to stop taking the blood thinners tomorrow and taper off the antirhytmic drugs over the next week. At that point I'll be med free and in sustained NSR.

Beautiful Day

For a bike ride. You don't get many 70 degree days this time of year and blue sky days happen rarely throughout the year so you don't dare pass them up if you can help it. I pieced together a loop and ended up with about 34 mile according to strava but I think its off a little bit.

Friday, February 16, 2018

First Ride Of The Season
Got out for a ride yesterday. First cardio exercise since my ablation back in January and it felt really good to be out doing what I enjoy most. It was a LER (Low Effort Ride) which suited me as my fitness is low and being on lopressors and arrhythmic drugs its about all I could muster. I did 20 miles with very little climbing. the skies were cloudy but the temperature was above 60 so no complaining here. I hope to get out again before I have to go back to work on Wednesday. I'm also going to set up the trainer and maybe sign up for ZWIFT.

It's Not About The Bike

I'll never understand the psyche of some cyclist, case in point......
As I was headed out I saw another cyclist turn onto the road ahead of me.He happened to look back so I waved to him. I really had no intentions of riding with anyone nor did I have any plan to try to catch up to him. However, he did slow up allowing me to catch up to him.

Turns out it was not a someone I already knew so I introduce myself to him. He did the same in return, then proceeded to tell me he thought that I was somebody else. At this point I had even less interest in joining him for a ride than I had moments before.He then proceeded to ask me where I was headed. When I told him just out for a short one he then sneered at me and rode off. Normally this woudl be the point I would speed up my pace and just sit his wheel to annoy him but considering my current condition I decided that would not to be a good move. Ill get opportunity again I am sure.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Feeling Good

Not much going on on the heart front and I have had a couple nights where I slept more than 4 hours. Oh and the nightmares are back which I experienced before from the meds I am on. Otherwise, I'm feeling really good and plan to start doing some light training this week. 

I did get to the gym last week and plan the same for this one. I also think I'm going to set the rollers up and start doing some light spinning. I've probably been a little overly cautious about exercising but it hasn't hurt anything either.


So I took the family to the Carnegie Museum Of Natural History yesterday. We always have a good time there and my son is really into dinosaurs so of course they are his favorite exhibits, He is annoyed that they tend to focus on the more popular species although he does really like the T-Rex. I always try to test his knowledge or at least have him explain something to me. And to me the easiest target is the T-Rex. 

When I look at the Rex all I can focus on are those tiny arms. Tiny in comparison to the rest of its body and appendages. They just seem out of place to me , especially when you look at the rest of the natural world and how proportional they are in how they are put together.

I also had a interesting experience with and employee of the Museum. In one of the exhibits they had small scale windmills and solar panel's on a card table with a young lady sitting there. I wanted to avoid her but at the same time wanted to here what she had to say and maybe have a conversation with her. She started showing me her windmills and I let it slip that I actually work in the power industry. She became really interested then and asked what I did. Oh to have a video of her reaction when I told her I worked in the central control room of a coal fired power plant.

Her grimace and convulsive reaction was priceless which turned what I thought might be a conversation into a lecture/by me on the downfalls of both these sources of power at this point in time. This didn't last long as my son and wife where dragging me away. I was by no means belligerent or disrespectful in any way but they just wanted to move along. my wife said that she ran off as they were dragging me away. I'm guessing they have a safe space set up somewhere or maybe she was off filing a hurt feelings report

I did see that she later returned and was frantically typing on her cell. I would like to think she was checking up on the facts I was telling her but most likely she was texting her friends about the horrible coal guy she just encountered.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Sad Day Today

We had to let our Male Golden go today. It is never easy losing a pet especially when they are so special to you and there is no doubt Goliath was my dog. When he was a pup he used to go to work with me every day. As time passed so did my career path so instead of going to work with me he greeted me at the door every day with a shoe and hos golden smile. 

Not only was Goliath a great companion but he brought so many wonderful people into our lives through his and Lucy's puppies over the years.Goliath was a gentle sole that loved everyone and was by far the most obedient dog I have ever owned. 

Goodbye old friend you will be sorely missed. Goliath The Timid One

Time Marches On

Well its been 30 days now since my ablation and things have been going pretty well. The only hick-up was a couple weeks ago (day 14). I started having some weird heartbeats. I don't think it was affib gut it might have been. This of course is normal following an ablation and making it 14 days in NSR is a good thing IMHO. I only made it 3 days following my first ablation.

What was odd though was that I went out of rhythm at the same time of day. The third time was earlier in the day and took a little longer to covert 2 of 3 times and converted using flecanide in about 5 hours. The third time took a little longer. All episodes were separated by a few days. So I talked to my EP and he put me back on the daily regiment of flecanide 100mg twice a day. I've been in NSR ever since. Again this does not worry me or make me think that my ablation was not successful. As the heart heals this is normal and can last for up to 3 months.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Its Been A Week

So we are just over a week since my second ablation and I feel really good which is a double edged sword. There are so many things to do, 5" of snow in the driveway, projects around the house that need completed and a plethora of other things I can think of. Oh well. I suppose those will all have to wait.


No not cigarette's. I purchased an electric smoker a few weeks back and can see it was a good investment. I had always planned on building a small smokehouse but never got around to it. A couple guys as work bought electric smokers an always say how nice a job they do so I went out and bought one for myself. I smoked salmon fillets a couple weeks ago and made smoked mac and cheese and both were amazing. I also threw in a couple potatoes.I have a Venison roast thawing out right now that will find its way into the smoker tomorrow. Probably smoke some mac & cheese again a some veggies as well.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Been A While

Lets Dust Off The Cobwebs

So its been a long time again. I just cant seem to get into a rhythm here any more.

Speaking of rhythm, I had my second ablation done last Thursday. It is something I had spoken to my Electrophysiologist about back in October but we decided to put it off as the runs of arrhythmia's still weren't affecting me that badly. Also we weren't sure what we were dealing with yet.

In 2009 I was treated for both atrial fibrillation and flutter with RF ablation but there were n current recordings of what was ailing me currently. So when I was back to see him several weeks ago he ordered a portable recorder to try to catch the arrhythmia in action. While waiting for the recorder I was contacting my insurance. Since the first of the year my new supplier is BC/BS, and as anyone in the Pittsburgh area know BC/BS and UPMC don't play well together and all my doctors are UPMC.

So in the midst of this my heart continued to carry on. So last Wednesday night we headed to the ER as I am have never been on blood thinners and was concerned with possibility of throwing a clot. We decided to go to UPMC Shadyside for allot of reasons. The least of which is that is where my EP works out of and to see anyone else was unfathomable to me.

This time around I had Cryoablation done. My EP thought it was the correct approach since I had RF done last time.

I'll keep this blog up to date on my recovery. So far so good by the way. NSR is a wonderful thing and for those that have never known anything else consider yourself blessed.


Blanking is the process of the heart healing form an ablation. This process lasts for 3 months as the heart heals form the procedure. So I wont be doing much cardio for a while. I do plan to get on the rollers after my visit in February. Just light spinning and low HR until the 3 months is up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)

So I thought that the infamous words of Kennny Rogers and the First Edition were fitting since it has been a while since I have posted.

To say that the last couple of years were kind of a roller coaster health wise might be an understatement. A long drawn out bout with Lymes disease and the return of my demon. (A-Flutter)  pretty much had me at my whits end up until a month ago.

The Lymes was pretty debilitating and I was unsure if cycling was going to be something I would be able to do anymore. The joy was all but gone and the drive was hot on its tail. After several rounds of antibiotics most of the symptoms had gone away but the fatigue and pain in my legs were relentless.

I was hopeful during the last round of antibiotics as i started Herxing. But unfortunately it was not the end. The fatigue was finally gone but the severe aching in my body persisted. Finally, in desperation I went to see a massage therapist thinking if nothing else I might get a little relief.

After talking with the therapist we decided that a deep tissue massage may be what I needed to release the rest of any toxins that remained in my muscle tissue. After the massage I felt a little better but did not get my hopes up. The next day I actually felt worse than before the massage but every day after that was a little better. and after about a month and other massages I was back to feeling like myself again. and finished out the cycling season in pretty good form for me anyway.


So this year I started taking some spin classes to get a early start on the cycling season. I was really enjoying the classes until my heart decided it had had enough.

Since my ablation back in 2009 I have had random heart beat anomalies (PAC, PVC) but nothing that I would classify as Affib or Flutter. But a month ago I found my self in full blow A-flutter for several days. I could get no relief. My PIP had zero effect on it and I was pretty sure I was headed for a cardioversion which was something that is defiantly not on my bucket list. Fortunately the day before I was going to go to the hospital I converted back to sinus rhythm.

I had an appointment with my EP a couple days later and he had me where a event recorder for a month and had zero presentations of any heart rhythm anomalies. So he said to carry on and keep doing what I do. So that is what I am doing. Been riding allot and will be picking up my new ride in 2 weeks.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why I don't Race Anymore.....

Two weekends ago two friends and myself participated in the TOSRV (Tour Of The Sciota River Valley). 2 days of riding between Columbus and Portsmouth Ohio, which covers 105 miles each day. We had a really good time and road hard the whole time averaging 20mph for both days.

The ride is very well supported with food stops every 25-30 miles, loaded with the perfect mix of food. Of course when planning or participating in such an event as this, you must be prepared for any type of situation or weather. Also, being that there is no SAG support provided, except for emergency situations, you must also be physically and mentally prepared for said weather or situations.

Day one was near perfect weather ranging form the mid 60's to 70's with a slight breeze. We headed out of Columbus setting a moderate pace, gradually ramping it up as we went along. The three of us pretty much kept to our little group with the occasional person catching our wheels along the way.We rolled into Portsmouth @ around 1:30.

Day two brought the challenge of rain. It started sometime during the late night as I remember being awakened by the rain tapping on our tent. We awoke Saturday morning to 62 degrees and a steady rain. Fortunately there was a dry place to get dressed and we had covered our bicycle seats the night before so we were able to at least start out the first few minutes of the ride dry. I know, what good was covering the seats, when we were going to be in the rain all day. I dont know, but there is just something pleasing to the psyche to start out in dry clothes and a dry seat.

We finished up the day at just about the same time on Saturday,except for the fact that we spent far lest time socializing @ the food stops. With temperatures hovering at around 62 with rain, it does not take long for the cold to creep in and weekend your spirit.

So you might ask....

What does any of this have to do with me not racing anymore?

When participation in events such as this, especially one that has been going on for over 50 years, you encounter a very diverse group of cyclists. Young, old, fit, not so fit, racers and people training for longer trips. I actually road the entire ride with a RAAM finisher and road a portion of the second day with another. So after leaving the 50 mile stop, we just started out easy. This was also lunch so we set a digestive pace and slowly ramped things back up. @ about 5 or so we had come up onto a fairly large group of riders and were just starting to work our way through them as another group of racer types approached from behind.

This was surely a testerone laden group, as they were hell ben on getting by and through this other group at any cost. Weather cars were approaching or not. during this particular waylay, a couple of them had to dart out of the way of oncoming traffic and cut me off. So at this point it occurred to me it might be fun to chase and see what kind of fun we may have. This is also a point in the course where there are many rolling hills, which played to our advantage, as being form SWPA hills are a major part of any outing.

So we took of quickly catching and passing many of these riders by the top of the first climb. We soon caught the rest and passed them before the top of the second climb. It became readily apparent that we could easily allow them to stay with or slightly ahead of us then quickly overtake them on the hills.This little reindeer game went on for quite a while until things leveled off and we all just started riding together until we came to a place where we had to yeald for traffic before we could carry on.

This is the point where my heart decided that it did not want to play anymore. Ever since my ablation I have been able to ride as hard as I want so long as I keep the pace steady and my heart-rate consistent. However when racing or riding such as we just has been your heart-rate can be all over the place. In my case, during this 30 or so minute interval, it had been from 160 to 188 and everywhere in between. Which may have been ok if we had not had to come to a complete stop immediately following.

The recovery period after hard efforts was always a trigger for my AFFib in the past, and even since my ablation can occasionally still set my heart atwitter so to speak. So I soft pedaled the next couple of miles to the next food stop and allowed my heart to settle down., Which it did after a fairly short period of time. I did however take my PIP just to make sure things stayed that way.

(The arrowed portion shows my HR OOC) 
Notice the jump from below 160 to near and over 200 then back to below 120 when I converted.

That all being said I still love to push myself on the bike. And maybe someday I will start doing time trials, as they require more of a steady effort. At this point I am very pleased with the results of my ablation, though I believe that I will one day have to go back for a touch up procedure.To either eliminate what ever it is that has either reconnected, or that they missed during the first procedure.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Best Grapefruit I Ever Ate......

Over the years I have covered many miles on the bike. And every so often a ride, or part of a ride will remind me of yet another ride form the past. Thursday eveing was not exception..

Andy Matt and I headed out to the power plant, which in itself covers real estate that is very  familiar, but this particular evening I turned onto a road we rarely ride. Even more rarely in this particular direction. It instantly propelled me back several years to a ride I did with  slacker extraordinaire "Nicoll" and "Brat Brainiac" (Bret Barronak.

We had headed out in the heat of the day for a long hard ride. We were long from home when food and water became a premium and once we got within 20 miles form home everything was pretty much depleted. As we were riding along I noticed this big round bulge in  "Brats" center jersey pocket. As we rode along I inquired of "Brat" about the growth in the center of his back. He truned and smiled and said, wait a little bit, we are all going to really be happy I brought this along."

So we trudged along till we were about 8 miles from home. As we turned on to this not so familiar road to me at the time, he reached around and pulled a very large Pink Grapefruit form his pocket. I must say that Nicoll and I were both elated at the view. "Brat" then proceeded to peal and divide up the grapefruit between us.

To this day I have never eaten a grapefruit that was as satisfying or delicious as the one that day.

Friday, March 30, 2012


When I purchased this framed poster some 20 years ago I did so because it spoke to me. Not so much as it had cyclists on it but the message below the cyclists. "There Is No Substitute For Hard Work".

There has never been a statement so true, in sports or in life.  And work does not specifically apply to 9-5 it applies to plain old living as well. 

Now don't misunderstand  me. Perseverance does not guarantee success in everything you do in life, but it will propel you through it. It can allow you to achieve that which you thought was unattainable or lead you in the direction you need to go. 

It can even help you to overcome obsticals others see and turn from, or carry you through the toughest times and allow you to become an inspiration to those that see it. It will make you a better Husband , wife, friend, employee or student. It is aplicable in every aspect of life.

Throughout my life I have known many people that are great examples of the benefits Perseverance. So here are a couple examples. 

The first and one of the most recent being my wife. Who despite working full time and helping maintain a household, was able to complete her BSN in the same amount of time most students do with nothing else to do in their lives but study.

Another would be my good friend Scott. Having been injured in a train accident and losing an arm, he decided not to feel sorry for himself but to continue to live his life as if he had both arms. He is currently racing for the Paralyzed Veterans Racing Team.

Of course if you have been keeping up with this site you know I have had my own obsticals to overcome.

I could list many more but I believe I have made my point. So get out there and do something. Live your life to the fullest and when time get tough, or you dont think you can go the distance, put your heart into it and go for it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thanks Mark

For those of you that know me, this heading may send your mind reminiscing to the days of old. When a group of rag tag cyclists, some racers some not from Indiana County, regularly put a team together to participate in the Tour De Strongland. bike race. Yes that was actually the name of our team one year, "Team Thanks Mark". One of many off the wall names. It actually got to the point where the race promoter would just call us those guys from Indiana. 

Now there may be other reasons for that. Not the least of which was the year of infamy. The year we actually took the traveling trophy home for the year. The year I know the Strongland Chamber of Commerce, reluctantly put our team name on the trophy. You see this particular year was a year that everyone will remember to this day. A year of slow speed police chases. The year an American icon, A professional football player and hack actor, would be accused of murder. The year an infamous lawyer would make a name for himself with a tag line, "If the glove's don't fit, you must acquit". the year a complete police precinct would be turned upside down. I digress.

So as usual this particular year we show up for the race and have yet to pick a name for ourselves. So after having gone through the usual litany of  names that would never make the cut, one team mates wife says, "Why don't you guys call yourselves The Flying Fuhrman Four". So there it was, we looked at each other , laughed and filled out the paperwork. Needless to say at the awards ceremony, that is always painfully late and long, they refused to call us by our team name, and just referred to us as those guys form Indiana. And that is how it would be for years to come.


Back to the reason for the original heading.

It is not often you get 70 degree sunny days in early March. Lets face it, here in PA we only get about 50 blue sky days a year, so one must take advantage when they can. So of course a ride was in order. So I made plans with a couple of friends to get out after work. One could go early and one a little later. So I devised a plan to do a short 15 miler with the one friend then meet up with the other to go for a longer ride, reaching for the 50 mile mark for the day.

I've been seriously lacking in saddle time this year and figured this the perfect plan to get some good long tempo riding in. So Matt and I headed out at a good even pace. The winds were not too bad, compared to what they have been lately and of course the weather was perfect. We cruised around the first 15 miles without a hitch. As we rounded the bend to where we were to meet our 3rd rider I see a 4th. A familiar face to me, and immediately knew that my steady tempo ride was about to turn into a hammer fest, wrought with reign-deer games.

There sits Mark, a guy that I have spent countless hours with on the bike. Riding places on our road bikes that most would cringe at. No winter maintenance was our battle cry. A gravel road, a good excuse to find out where it went. Bad weather, no problem. So I knew I was in for some major pain.

So after some niceties we were off again, like a shot out of a cannon. It was not bad at first as I had a 15 mile warm up. Attacking the first climb, then ramping up the speed on the decent, only to catch the draft of a pickup and accelerate even more. But as the ride progressed, my lack of mileage for the year started to show, and Mark loves to take advantage of such situations, so he never let up for the entire ride. Needless to say my legs were thrashed at the end but in a good way.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Catching Up

Been doing more riding than blogging these days and that in my opinion is a good thing. Had a really nice ride on a dreary evening a couple weeks ago with Andy, John, Duane, and Dave. John is in the best shape I have seen him in and Duane the exact opposite. The only thing Duane had going for him was his ridiculous choice of cycling attire. I actually thought he was just playing around at the start of the ride but it did not take long to realize that he was hurting and nobody seemed to mind making him suffer a little more than he probably wanted to.
As I have stated before, the metal bridges around here are starting to get a little precarious. I somehow managed not to kill myself again on this ride when my rear tire decided it wanted to be in the lead. Fortunately the bridge is only about 8 feet long and just before I reached the point of no return my wheels hit pavement righting me. I would rather be lucky than good any day, and this time I was very lucky.