Thursday, July 31, 2008

3 Man Curse Broken

Did the 3 man loop this evening with Sean, Matt, Andy, and Duane. Now the 3 man loop, is very interesting for the simple fact that no matter how many people start the ride, weather it be four, five six eight, it really does not matter the way the group finishes up is with at least one group of three by themselves. What is strange about this particular loop is that it is not terribly hard. not too much elevation gain and is right around 35 miles so it isn't super long.

We started the ride as usual and just about 2 blocks out from the shop I realized that I had forgotten my water bottles. So i told the guys just to soft pedal and I would catch up (now our 5 are 4). So I return to the shop, grab my bottles and head out, just outside of town, right before the climb I encounter Andy (2 + 3 you can see where this is headed. So I blow past Andy, and my heart is ruining on all 8 cylinders this evening and I am felling strong. So up the climb on Fulton run and down the other side. I did soft pedal to let Andy latch on, and the chase was on. It wasn't too long before we had the other guys in site. We finally caught them and throughout the whole ride it was a real struggle to keep the group together. but we did finally finish with all 5 of us together. that is absolutely the first time that has ever happened.

I felt really Strong this evening and only had my heart jump once during one of the times I was bridging Andy and Sean back to the other 2 guys that had gaped us. Andy has not been himself lately either. He also has some sort of heart issue as well. We really should get a cardiologist to ride with us. Tonight's ride included 2 guys with heart conditions and one diabetic.

Look mom I'm Hypoglycemic.........

So we return to the shop and Sean was hanging out letting his sugar balance so we decided to test mine as well. Now I'm no pro at this diabetic thing so after 3 tries I was able to finally draw enough blood for Sean to get a Reading on his glucometer. My blood sugar was at 87 which I took as meaning that I had a good hard ride. Low blood sugar and ringing ears...nothing like it.

The Russians are doping the Russians are doping....

So the Olympics are just around the corner and there is already a doping scandal. At least its not only in if we didn't already know that, right? The list is long and well known most just refuse to believe it.

The heck with exercise...just give me a pill......

That's right in a bottle is just around the corner. No more exercising just take 2 pills and race me in the morning. The Journal Cell reports that US researchers have 2 possible pills that appear to grow muscle, increase stamina, even burn fat and in tests, 44% of mice were able to run further-suggesting that humans without prior training would be able to do the same. SIGN ME UP....I'm tired of all this suffering. Of course this is all controversial for fears that they would be used in sports.....DUH.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Last Week S&@^@d

What a horrible week. the only highlight that is remotely cycling related was reading Burt's Blog (that guy cracks me up, although I'm sure his boss would be P*&^#d if he found out he was blogging instead of working. BTW if anybody can figure out who he is let me know.). Anyway, last week for me was horrible. after a pretty descent race the previous weekend, at Clark Valley, Wednesdays ride was quite the let down. the shop was a zoo and I was spent but I figure that what does not kill me will make me strong.Rich, Andy and myself did one of Rich,s through together loops and ended up with about 40. it wasn't a lot of fun but I finished. As far as the rest of the week went I totally bagged Thursday and did not ride again until Sunday.

I really need to start keeping my Camera at the ready.........

The family and myself headed out to Steel City Samiches for dinner. That's not a misspelled word its just a Burg thing. The guy worked for Permanti's for 24 years and just opened shop in downtown Indiana) So we are cruising along and this dud on a custom Harley pulls out in front of us and My wife starts cracking up. I ask her whats up and she points at said dude. Just so happens that his low rider jeans didn't quite make it to his midriff. This picture tells the story but does not quite meet the specs. This guy had enough crack showing that I bet if he want riding a Harley you would here a whistle.

Then not 2 minutes later we are headed up Philly street towards our destination and I see the owner of previously mentioned restaurant crossing the street, in the cross walk none the less, now everybody starts to slow down and come to a stop to let them pass. Except for the State Trooper that blew right past them, no lights and nobody else around coming his way. I will give him credit though, he did look in his rear view mirror to make sure they made it across unscathed.

Weekend race news.......

I didn't race this weekend but others did. Brian, Mike, and Nicol did the Wilderness 101 in state college on Saturday. Mike finished in 9 hours and 09:51:00 (not unscathed of course), Nicol in a little over 11 hours and Brian in over 12. Hoovis raced a Carlisle and broke the 1 hr barrier in the 40K TT.

Sundays Ride........

Did the Prosperity Hill loop with Andy and John....another horrible ride. I felt good at some parts but mostly wished that I was home. Of course the ride started out with the regular Sunday after church crowd yelling and blowing their horns at us. Unfortunately on this particular day I had to apologize for one of our Church members for his exploits. Andy had drifted a little far out into the road the next thing I heard was a horn blaring and a motor revving, i turned to looked over just in time to see one of our Church Deacons speeding by. I told them that the difference was that there was no foul language or improper gestures flying from the SUV. Anyway I figure that I must be getting dehydrated again, therefore the explanation for my poor performance, I have no explanation for the Deacon. Oh well better days are on the horizon

Monday, July 21, 2008

Clarks Valley 40K (25mi) ITT

Headed to Mechanicksburg this weekend to visit Brian and participate in the Clark's Valley 40 K ITT. A pretty good race venue except for the turnaround at the 20K point. I really don't like races where you literally have to turn around. the upside to it was they did it on an uphill grade so it made accelerating out of the turnaround much better than others I have seen. The course was fairly hilly but more downhill portions on the return trip. I only remember struggling on 2 of the climbs on the way back.

I felt pretty good this morning and again had pretty high expectations for myself. My start time was at 9:15:30 and was one of the4 last start times on the day. The race started out on about a 3 mile uphill grade. I was feeling pretty good and usually can ride pretty Strong on climbs like this. I was holding between 23 and 24 mph for this entire portion of the ride then things leveled off for a bit then back to more climbing. It was really hard to keep a good rhythm on this course but I was holding my own. I probably went a little too hard though because by the time I reached the final climb before the turnaround i was really starting to feel it. Man I need to lose some weight.

The turnaround as I said want bad and I was able to accelerate back up to speed fairly quickly although I was really starting to feel the first half in my legs. I continued to push myself though and finished with a 1:09:09 time (21.69 mph). I was pretty happy with this time but am pretty sure I could have done better. I did not have any trouble with my heart today but i did back off on my efforts a couple of times during the race fearing that I was riding too hard, I really need to get over that though, hopefully I will over time.

Of course Brian smoked the course on his new REK breaking the sub hour mark with 56 or 57 minutes...Good job Brian.

UPMC ITT, Team TT Family day at the track

The next race I did this month was the UPMC, ITT adn Team TT family day at the track on July 12th. What a great time, Ag3r/ had a good turnout on the day and had some great times to boot.

The ITT was 10 miles on the oval track in Pittsburgh and I was excited about it. I had pretty high expectations for my self on the day and didn't walk away too disappointed. The races got off to a late start, being the first time for this event, but once things got started everything went fine.

I started off the race feeling really good, and ramped it up right out of the blocks , which can be a bad idea for me but seemed to be working for me this particular day. At about the 2 mile mark though my heart kind of flip flopped, so I up shifted immediately and increased my cadence, increasing my heart rate a little. I have found that this will sometimes keep my heart from jumping into affib, that along with some controlled breathing did the trick. My heart held its rhythm and I continued on. Unfortunately though it was in the back of my mind so I kind of backed off the pace for a while. I did however ramp it back up for the last four laps which definitely helped my finish time of 24:34 with and average speed of 24.42 MPH.
Overall I was pretty please with my performance but I know that I could have done better having plenty left for the end. Hopefully as my racing and training increased I will have fewer problems with my heart as in the past.

The other high point on the day was my soine race as well. They had kids races between the ITT and the TTT. ONe lap around the treack sith a rider coach along for the ride. Kids that had parents racing that day got to have them as thri rider coackh so I also got to ride with him. He is only 5 but tey let him race anyway. His one lap time was 02:46 with and average speed of 10.84 MPH. A great time was had by all and I look forewar to next years event.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UPMC Time Trials organized a (painful!) 10 mile Individual Time Trial this past Saturday......and while the day took a bit longer than many had planned for, the multiple category event went off quite well. A few of us (not me!), even went home with money in (our) pockets!!!
Additionally, there was a Junior's Race...
...and even an U12 Kids Race, completing one lap of the circuit with their still-in-kit dads at their side, and their own race numbers pinned to their backs. Cool :)

And last...and least... Agr's Team Time Trial Record for the 20 mile distance fell.
New 20 mile TTT - WB Track Record => 43:10.0 @ 27.80mph
Old 20 mile TTT - WB Track Record =>
2007_0720 => 44:57.0 @ 26.70mph by Ag3r: DeFurio, Dimmick, McCracken & Rogers
(Thanks to Dave Hickey for the photos in this post :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Ride

Had a good ride this afternoon. Closed the shop at 1:00 today since it was a Holiday weekend and rode with Brian, Sean and John (a student from wyoteck) . we started out doing the Five Points Loop but a one point lost John. We did not realize he had ridden form Blairsville and was struggling to hang on, so he decided to make a turn towards home without telling us. We turned back and I just caught a glimpse of him heading in the opposite direction. We chased him down and he explained that he was just going to head for home, which would have been about a 60 mile ride for him, so we decided to change our route to one that would get him in a more homeward bound direction.
So we opted for the 3 man loop, and as usual 4 men started together and 3 finished. We had a really nice ride, although my quad were still screaming from the night before, but the further we rode the better they felt.
The ride was pretty much uneventlful, except that Sean cant make low speed turns without falling off his bike.

Friday TT at the Track

Well...I must say that this race did not go as planned. As a mater of fact it was down right miserable. Brian, John T. Lyle and Myself all went to the Friday Night TT at the track on July 4th. I had really planned on having a good race since I have been feeling so good as of foolish of me. Now if it had been only a 5 mile TT i would have done pretty good but since it was 20 I should have just stayed home.
I showed up a little later than I wanted to and did not have much time to warm up. I did not think this would be a problem though since it was a 20 miler I figured that I would just ride into it and still be able to do well. The problem is I have not learned how to do that in a race situation yet. I started off hard from the start, big mistake, but was feeling pretty good. As a matter of fact I was feeling really good until about five miles in. Thats when my world fell apart.
I had been pacing "T" since he started 15 sec ahead of me and was slowly closing the gap. I was feeling really good until the 5 mile mark when my heart went into affib. Fortunately the track is pretty level so I continued to ride, slowing my speed and increasing my cadence. I was still feeling OK and if my heart would have been my only probem this particular evening I would have been happy.
Now I have ridden my new bike a couple of times but no sustained time in the aero bars....big mistake. It was like Erie all over, my saddle started to feel like it had teeth and I was unable to get comfortable, that along with my heart beating funny really made me want to just quit, but I didn't. Fortunately my heart came back into rhythm fairly quickly but by that time I was more or less just turning the pedals. My discomfort was really ruining it for me now. I kept trying to find a good position, but was unable to until almost the end of the race. I crept out onto the nose of the saddle and was able to sit there with little discomfort and was able to concentrate on riding.
My speed also increased back to where it had been earlier but it was too late. I ended up finishing 10th out of 11 and I also think that i did an extra lap as well. It was a 40 lap race and I was using my computer to gauge my distance. I had ridden the apron of the track and got exactly .5 miles. At the 10 mile mark my computer read 10.3 so I figured that at the end of the race my com should read around 20.8. When i got to the 20 mi mark though my computer only read 20.4 or somthing close to that so I went around again. It is my hoe that next weeks TT goes better. Brian and I are going to work on my position this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weekend at Galitzen

Not much to report from this past weekend. Went camping with the family. I did however commute back and forth from Prince Galitzen State Park and Indiana a couple of times though. The first time was Friday afternoon with Dirty Mike. He was heading out on a 5 day Biking/Fly fishing trip,(lucky sap). So we rode together to the park together since he was staying there as well on the first night of his journey.

It was an enjoyable ride, Mike and I don't get to ride together that often these days so it was great to have the time together JRA. So after a leisurely 3 Hour ride to the park we got showered up and sat down to a nice meal and conversation. Of course 2 cyclist know nothing of getting a fire going fast.

Got started the next day off headed back to Indiana to work for a few hours.. I had Gail drive me back to Caroltown so I did not have to leave too early in the AM. Had a nice ride home, although it was not without its oddities one of which has me baffled. If humans bring hamburgers and hot dogs to a barbecue, what do cows bring. That's right folk looks like the back at the barnyard gang is at it again, now this begs the question, why is Indiana County called the Christmas Tree capitol of the world, maybe it should be changed to the Barbecue capitol.Now you got to believe I have more reason than the cows for this, Right?

That's right folks R2Barbeque including a setting for one as well as a dogie bag. Oh i almost forgot this one. How about Clymers version of muscle beach. Nothing like a little Barbell Barbecue you know packing it on while your packing it on. Also got a little time on my new TT bike this weekend. Bike feels really good but needs a little tweaking to be perfect. Did 28 miles on it on Saturday and the same on Monday. Oh and i had no heart issues this weekend although I did bonk on the way home on Monday.

Rider Out.......