Tuesday, December 29, 2009

WTF...............

Is wrong with these people. How hard is it to get a plumber out to fix something. According to the warranty company I was supposed to here from a plumber this afternoon to schedule an appointment for tomorrow A.M. I am pretty sure at this point that is not happening.
I did however receive the parts I needed from whirlpool today. Unfortunately though it was broken so yet another day without hot water.

Some Light At The End Of The Tunnel......
I think anyway. I talked to Lowes this evening and told them how useless the warranty they sold me was. They are sending out their installer tomorrow and if he cant fix it they will install a brand new tank so I should have hot water by tomorrow evening. It is a good thing it is winter or my entire family would smell worse than the family dog.


Big Talk Is Coming From..............
Over at Poser Central these days. I shouldn't get on him though the rest of the team does enough of that. Anyway I hope he survives Hockey camp and then gets back out on the bike this year. Speaking of bikes...Brian over at Cartwheels just installed his new Quark power meter today. He spends more money on bike parts like one of my buddies wife spends on purses.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So Its Christmas Eve........

And I am into the usual Pre Holiday rush. No the shopping is done ,and we have no where to be just another Christmas catastrophe. Well not really catastrophic but still a problem and kept me from spinning this morning.
There has been a ongoing battle between me and appliances ever since I became a home owner. I can't remember how many times an appliance has gone on the fritz during a holiday so why should this year be any different. Seriously I should have expected it. I have had everything break from the stove to the garbage disposal on or near a holiday more times than I can remember. This year the water heater has left us in the cold.
This all reminded me of the year I came home around Christmas and my wife was holding the tree up that had started to fall down. As I rescued her from this folly she informed me that the washing machine was broken and the garbage disposal was jammed.

We Need To See Your Papers................

So when I purchased our current water heater I bought one with a 6 year warranty and an extended warranty just in case. This will be the second time I will have used it in the past 2 years.
So of course the paperwork has disappeared since the last time but I was able to find out the name of the warranty company and contacted them. S0 I give them a call and the nice lady on the other end tried her best but could not find my information on her computer. So i did a little more digging around here and called back getting another Customer disservice representative on the phone. Of course she was even less help than the first. So I call back a 3rd time and still no luck but at least they were more helpful.
I finally end up calling the place I bought it and they went he extra yard to help but still could not give me all the info I needed but told me that they would help me research the issue. they call me back a while later with a number but nobody would be able to help me until next week.

I Have Learned Over The Years.................

That sometimes to get the results you want you need to be persistent so I call the warranty place back a 5th time and gave them my information. The exact information I had given the previous 2 times and low and behold she found my information and called a local plumber. the plumber called me within the next half hour only to tell me that he no longer works for the company as he has trouble getting paid. He was however kind enough to tell me what he thought was wrong and the place I bought it gave me the part so it all ended up not being too bad in the end.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Visit WIth My E.P.

Went very well yesterday. Its been 4 months since my ablation at UPMC. Living in NSR without the fear of going into Affib is such a blessing. My EKG was flawless and my Resting heart-rate was 45 bpm. He decided to keep me on the Flec for another 3 months but took me of Cumadin. This was fine with me as the blood thinners have had the greatest impact on my lifestyle.They will send me an event recorder 1 week prior to my next visit in March and if everything is still good at that point he will discontinue the Flec as well.

Getting Back Into The Grind.......

So I guess it is time to start getting back on track (Biking and Blogging.) I have been back to spin class for the past 4 weeks and will be teaching my first class of the year tomorrow. I will be teaching a Friday class after the first of the year and am looking forward to it. "Monkeyboy" is going to be back in town today and wants to do some mountain biking this afternoon. I think I will have to pass though as I still have the blood thinners in my system. I am looking forward to seeing him though. He transferred to Kent State this pas semester so we don't see very much of him these days.

Its About Time..................

They start doing more to promote cycling to the youth of our fine state. And what better way than through mountain biking. We are blessed here with some of the best mountain biking you could ever want around here. Unfortunately this program probably does not stand a chance in this area, but wouldn't it be great if it did. Seriously what would it take? You could probably outfit a whole team for under $5000.00. You wouldn't need to build a stadium or install astro turf. Just cut take them to the trails and cut them loose. Even if you had to supply bikes or subsidise bikes for the team it would be under $10000.00. Thats a dropp in teh bucket for what our local school just layed down for their football field.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today Is The Day.........................

That I meet with my E.P. It has been nearly 4 months since my ablation and as far as I can tell all systems are a go. I am not sure of what the next step is but I believe that I will wear a monitoring device for a few days and if nothing shows up he will discontinue the anti-arrhythmic drugs and hopefully the blood thinners.

After living with Atrial Fibrillation for the better part of the past 18 or so years I have had to adjust to not having it. You don't realize how much control something really has over your life until it is gone. Expecting it to crop up at any moment and the initial disappointment when you think that it is. Then the overwhelming relief and thankfulness when it doesn't. I am sure that this will all pass with time but I will never forget all that I have had to deal with over the years as I am sure those that I spend time with will as well.

It has been almost 5 months since I have really ridden a bike other than short little jaunts around town. I am so looking forward to getting back to racing, riding and suffering with my friends.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Keystone Cops


I have written and commented may times on the diligence with which the local police force and parking authority have for running business and people out of Indiana. I personally avoid driving through the Borough at all cost. My wife however does not and has been stopped no less that 30 times over the past few years. Never receiving a ticket as in reality there has never been good reason. Her problem is she often goes to work around 4:00 am and of course if you are out at that time that is suspicion enough to get pulled over. She actually got stopped one time, after stopping to tell an officer of a person she saw lying along side the road. She pulled into the local Sheetz, it has the same magnetism as a donut shop, and reported what she saw. So as she left the parking lot, instead of going to investigate what she saw they pulled her over.

Yet Another Reason To Avoid Downtown Indiana
So I was working on a friend’s bike a week ago and needed a part. So I sent him to town and wished him luck. After retrieving the part from a LBS he discovered that the return street was blocked so he performed a 3 point turn. As he was performing the move he approached a one way street the wrong way. Now he did not actually enter but was pointed that way during his maneuver. Unfortunately for him there was a borough officer coming down the street. Long story short he received a ticket for going the wrong way on a one way street even though he was not.
He soon returned to my place with a ticket that clearly read $107 & and some change and the wrong part. Bummer.

Bureaucracy At Its Finest
So my friend calls me the other day saying that he received a letter form the borough that there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to pay his ticket. Now this really surprised me as he had stopped by my house on his way to pay it only a few days before, which he actually had. It seems though that there was a mistake. As I said, the ticket clearly read $107.??. At least that is what you could make out from the 3rd grade scribble. Unfortunately it actually read $109.??. So, instead of a letter requesting the two dollars, they issue a warrant for his arrest. I am guessing they went this route as they stand to make additional funds, over and above the two dollars.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Hunt Is Over.........

Another Archery season has passed us by and I must say it was on of the best in a while.This has nothing to do with actually killing a deer but the whole outdoor experience.The weather was near perfect and I got to take my son with me on his first hunt.I saw allot of game and got to enjoy an abundance of much needed solitude.

The First Hunt With My Son......

So it wasn't the perfect hunt.It started with him getting home late from school then deciding that he really did not want to go. So after about 20 minutes of whining and discussion he decided that he would go after all which put us in the stand about 30 minutes later than I had planned.So we got into the woods and up into the stand and I discovered that there was something wrong with the way the stand I would be sitting in was attached to the tree so I had to spend another 20 minutes fixing that.I was really getting disappointed at this point as I new that the hunt was probably going to be a wash,and this was time I had planned on just sitting and talking with him.
Regardless of all that we had a really nice time, and I am looking forward to many more days spent in the field

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"GONE HUNTING"

So not much happening cycling wise these days. I keep threatening to get on the trainer but that has yer to happen. I have been commuting back and forth to work though and try to get as much out of that ride every day that I can. I have been doing some lifting though and plan to bring the spin bike into the living room in the next couple of day so maybe I will see a HR of over 100 soon.

I also plan to get back to spin class within the next couple of weeks and hopefully get back to teaching some classes next month.

Cash For Kittens......
So now our government is trying to pass some legislation that will allow you to take a $3500.00 deduction per person, for pet care off your tax bill.Now I love my pets as much as the next guy but they are a luxury not a necessity people. Of course I'm sure that the "PETA" People are all over this one praising its existence.Give me a break.

Government Stimulus Money Going To The Middle East...
So a fellow cyclist of mine is praising the government stimulus for al the nice new paved roads that the now has to ride on. He says that they are even busy paving roads in his area. Even roads that were just done last year. He is however wise enough to realize that all that pavement leads to more oil consumption, thus fleecing the pockets of our middle eastern friends.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Roaring Run

Just time for a quicky today. I had promised to place a link to the Roaring Run Race photos. If you cant view them email me and I will put them somewhere else.
Thanks to all that came out to participate dn suport this race even though the Stongland folks leave allot to be desired but just be glad you weren't at the Road Race.That is even worse as far as organization and Support goes.Thanks to all the RRWA volunteers that did show up to hep out. The chamber does nothing to help out as far as setting up and getting things at the course ready.I am actually trying to get RRWA to put on their own races including a triathelon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Interesting research on Atrial Fibrillation......

As it relates to exercise.......

Jogging increases risk of atrial fibrillation

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. Although there isample evidence that habitual exercise is healthy
and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease,hypertension and diabetes, and can help normalize
lipid (cholesterol) levels, there is growing evidencethat too vigorous exercise performed for extended periods of time can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF), especially lone AF.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital now report that regular jogging may be particularly detrimental afs ar as the development of AF is concerned.Their study included 16,921 male physicians who were enrolled in the Physicians’ Health Study in1982 when they were between the ages of 40 and 84 years. Three and nine years after enrollment, the participants were asked if they regularly engaged in an exercise program vigorous enough to work up a sweat. The majority (62.6%) answered yes and 12.6% reported that they engaged in vigorous exercise 5-7 days a week. The frequency of vigorous exercise was directly associated with alcohol intake, fish consumption, and the use of multivitamin, vitamin C and vitamin E supplements.

It is interesting that more than 90% of exercisers reported consuming fish at least once a week, 35% regularly took multivitamins, and 25% supplemented with vitamin C. Non-exercisers, on the other hand, tended to be older, overweight, and smokers. They also had a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes and hypertension.

The physicians participating in the study were asked at 15, 17, 18 and 19 years after enrollment if they had ever been diagnosed with AF – about 10% answered yes. Based on the exercise data
obtained 3 years following enrollment, the researchers concluded that men under the age of 50 years who exercised vigorously 5-7 days a week had a substantially higher risk than non-exercisers of developing AF when corrected for all confounding variables. Further analysis of the data showed that regular jogging was associated with a 53% increased risk of AF in all age groups with those jogging in excess of 4 miles a day having the greater risk. No overall association was found between regular cycling, swimming or racket sports and the development of AF.

The researchers speculate that frequent, vigorous exercise may cause AF through several possible mechanisms including enlargement of the left atrium, development of left ventricular hypertrophy, left ventricular dilation, and an increase in parasympathetic (vagal) tone. They point out that jogging results in greater enhancement of the parasympathetic nervous system than does other types of exercise. They also suggest that the fact that aging tends to decrease parasympathetic activity may account for the finding that older men are less likely to develop AF as a result of vigorous exercise. They conclude that frequent, vigorous exercise is associated with an increased risk of developing AF in young men (under the age of 50 years) and joggers.

Aizer, A, et al. Relation of vigorous exercise to risk of atrial fibrillation. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 103, 2009, pp. 1572-77

Editor’s comment: This report adds to an already impressive body of literature concluding that, while regular, moderate exercise is healthy and materially helps in preventing many serious disease conditions, overdoing the exercise, especially by engaging in frequent, long-distance jogging sessions significantly increases the risk of developing afib, particularly in men below the age of 50 years.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cash For Clunkers.......

So I took a bite from the apple. I tried to resist but could not pass up getting $4500.00 for my rust bucket of a truck to get my wife a new car. As to be expected though, the car buying experience was far less than stellar. Never have I dealt with an industry that is so obviously hurting, and so unwilling to give an inch. Not a single one was willing to budge on the sticker on their vehicle and I had pretty much decided to forgo the purchase and wait it out. I had settled on a car and had a salesperson that treated me pretty good but i seriously could not get her to budge even $400.00 on the price. Finally I called a local dealership, and much to my surprise they were willing to deal a little so that's what I did.

I hope its at least another 10 years before I have to go through that again.... Although I will be purchasing another truck in a month or to but I will just pay cash for that an deal with an individual.

While We Are On The Subject.........

As we were talking at the dealership I brought up the CFC and my real feelings on the situation. Of course my wife, who is smart as a whip has little knowledge of politics and the real cost of programs such as this and who will actually be paying for it. So to drive the point home I looked at my 6 year old son, who was very excited about his new chariot and I said, " Thanks for the $4500.00 loan son", which brought some uncomfortable laughter form the group staff standing around.

I'm So Tired...........

Of this health Care issue. How can anybody think that the Government, with its track record of overspending and miss-management of everything they do can possibly run health care. I actually started reading the bill the other day, which is pretty much impossible to understand with all the double speak and references to this part and that part. It did not talk long to see that this is more a bout job creation of Washington insiders and their political friends than health insurance. All decisions on changes to the program fall on the shoulders of one person who will be advised by a panel, all of which will be appointed witch means little more than my way or the highway. The other real problem I see with it is that the plan can be totally be revamped within a year, so even if they were to pass something that we as a country can swallow they can turn around and completely change what we all agreed on to whatever they want. within one year, by people that are appointed to their positions (like minded thinking instead of diversity).

Lets be honest here folks...the real problem with health care costs is the skyrocketing costs of "MALPRACTICE INSURANCE". I have several friends that are both doctors and surgeons and they pay between $300,000.00 and $600,000 dollars a year before they can even practice. No payment plan folks that is a lump sum payment and that was a few years ago an I am sure that those prices have not gone up. The other 2 leading causes of expensive health care are illegals and those on government health plans that run to the emergency room for every sniffle they get. This is not a biased opinion this is a fact that I have personally seen first hand.

And as far as those without health care not getting help I would refute that as well. As of right now my wife has no insurance...but has never been turned down for care and has also been given assistance with her obligations. Our local Hospital actually has a plan to help those without health insurance as does her regular doctor. These plans have covered a major portion of her costs, which to this point has been far less $$ than we would have paid for her to have coverage. They are also income based plans so they are more than fair on what your part to pay will be as well as having gracious payment plans.

"Doctors are a lot of times forced to make decisions based on demand fee schedules"..........

I will let this statement speak for itself. I also wont mention whose mouth this was uttered from except to say that "They Acted Stupidly".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two Weeks To The Day........

After my Ablation. Everything is going great so far except that I am about to go crazy with the fact that I cant do the things I really enjoy right now. Its just temporary I know but it still stinks. I have started walking to work every day (3 miles) and will start running in about 2 weeks then back to spinning 2 weeks after that.

The Procedure....
Ended up taking about 10 hours since they did both Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter Ablations but that is fine with me. I had actually been in Atrial Flutter for about 7 days leading up the the Ablation with a heart rate of between 160 and 170. It was like I had drank 100 espressos or something like that. I only slept a couple of hours a night and was totally amped up. They quickly took care of that when I got to the hospital with some drugs but I never converted back to NSR until they zapped me. Thank god I was out of it when they did that. I almost forgot I had one of these done as well. Ended up staying a week in the Hospital

I was wondering what that big horseshoe shaped, wired patch they placed on my sternum and the big one on my back was for.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Countdown Is Underway..........

So my ablation was scheduled for late October originally but they called me the other day, saying they had a cancellation so I am on deck for next week. Of course I have pretty much been in Affib ever since. I don't feel like I am stressing about the procedure but I know that I am deep inside. Also the constant talking about it to people about it when they ask what going on does not help Everyone I ride with know...don't ask how I am feeling until the ride is through.

Speaking of Stress......
Actually had a stress test today which was pretty involved. The staff there were really nice and the nurse was excited as I was the only walking stress test they had scheduled for the day. I asked her what other kind of stress test there was and she said non-walking. "Non walikng...I asked? So I asked her "What do you do, just keep insulting them until they reach their boiling point. Then I told her "If you want me to do a non walking stress test to just go out and bring that red head the came along with me today in here, I'm sure she can get me riled up."

They started off by injecting me with some kind of radioactive material the took about 40 pics of my heart...then the stress test.....then more radioactive stuff and more photos. The whole process took about 5 hours from the time I arrived until the time they cut me loose.

Its Just Like Exercise IN A Bottle......
Only worse...Like I said I had a stress test today but by the time I got around to the walking part I was in Affib so non walking it was...."Bring on the readhead." I only wish it was that easy. They actually injected me with something to mimic the stress created by exercise. Now I have exercised allot in my life. Done some races and endured quite a bit of pain, but I can count on one hand the number of times I felt like this during it. I cant put the experience into words but I told them if they were ever planning on marketing this as an alternative to exercise that they were going to be poor for the rest of their natural lives.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Update......

On my current state is that I was to the Eloctrophysiologist last week and after a lengthy discussion I am on the path to Ablation. Finally after 17 years of this troublesome little pain in my life it may finally be coming to an end. Of course over those 17 years I have been able to compete and even place pretty well in allot of the races I participated in. But as many close to me know that has not been the case as of late. My ablation will be scheduled for early August.


It's Killing Me Though..........

Not being able to ride now for almost 3 weeks. It's amazing how you can feel your fitness starting to slip away. Now its not super dramatic as I have been cycling and racing for well over a decade now but I can feel the difference just the same. Once I have the Ablation it will probably be another 3 to 6 months before I will be able to get back to serious training...or at least as serious as a guy with a family can. A good friend of mine has come to the same realization as of late that you cant be supper competitive, hold down a full time job and spend allot of quality time with your family. If you think that you can then you are sadly mistaken my friends. I remember once on a long ride with some friends somebody asking a fellow rider how he kept in such good shape with a wife and kids at home? His response was, "Well, I just don't go home after work". That left a lasting impression on me, as I am pretty sure it did on everybody else that was listening in on the conversation as well. I could see it in their faces.


At The Races........

This weekend. Not racing but Marshaling. Our team was sponsoring a race just outside of Butler this weekend, Renfrews Ras, so as I am unable to participate I thought that I would go help out. Now I have been to many races over the years, and I hope that this does not sound biased, but this was probably one of the best organized race events I have seen in a while. There are no better races than those organized and supported by cyclists in my opinion. Not only that but having the organizer be as detail oriented as Henry is, then its bound to be good. It was also good to see a majority of our team show up to help out as well. Ag3r colors were flying everywhere, both on and off the course.

Not only was every category of race touched on, (Cat 4-5, Woman's Category, 40+ and Elite), they had a Citizens Race as well. There was great support, at least 3 people at every corner, motorcycle, Fire Dept, Police and neutral support vehicles for each race. On top of that the course and prizes were great as well. These are the kinds of things as a racer that you look for when deciding if you will ever return to the race in the future.

A Brief Photo Montage........

Its never to early to get you kids involved in all aspects of athletics. We really had a good time.

Great races have great race coordinators. Here is our race director extraordinaire. Thanks to Henry for putting forth such an effort to promote such a great race.

There is a story behind this one. This guy dropped his chain and frantically tried to put it back on by using his front derailleur. Having no success with that he jumped off the bike and started trying the same technique while holding the bike up off the ground. Still with no luck he requested assistance, "Hey, can I get a hand here?", in a smart-assed tone. I thought "Your chain is off idiot, its not like your having a heart attack or something.
Of course he wanted somebody to hold his bike in the air while he continued to try to put his chain back on by using his front derailleur ("What an Idiot"). So one of my Fire Station volunteers obliged him. I was kind of enjoying the show but the bike mechanic in me could not stand to watch any longer. SO I walked over, pushed his hand away from his crank, Grabbed his chain and put it back on for him, all in one simple motion, in all of about 5 seconds. He looks at me as if I have just performed some sort of miracle, said thanks and was on his way........."IDIOT"



This is my buddy Luke. Not the guy above but the guy below./ Anyway Luke is finding that having a family and a successful cycling career is near impossible...at least for us mere mortals. Anyway I think I heard him saying something about a bowling league.


Last but not least is "Poser". Leading the ladies race claimed that he had the king of the mountains points pretty much wrapped up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Well........

I'm out...... or at least on injured reserve for now. After my event recording the other evening my doctor wants me to take it easy until I see the electrophysiologist. So lets see...No State ITT Championships (Sorry Brownie), No ITT at the OVAL, "NO RACING PERIOD" (Sorry Ag3r), at least for now. Hopefully this is another step in the right direction and hopefully the last chapter in this part of my life, so I can get back to being competitive. It's been a long time coming and really has not been that bad until now.

A Part of My Life....
That I don't' want to give up. I've Been riding and racing for almost 20 years now and it has helped to create some the best experiences and friendships I could ever hope for. I have physically suffered, been injured and hospitalized all as a part of it and relish every moment of it. I have ridden and raced in the pouring rain, and gone out for a ride with friends in -10 Deg. weather at 9 o'clock at night just for the fun of it. Did a 24 hour mountain bike race with a broken wrist and a guy with only one arm. I've ridden over 100 miles in under 4 1/2 hours.

Ive Been Inspired by...
Those with disabilities


I've won races with friends that we probably shouldn't have (if you ever see the strongland team trophy look for the "FLYING FUHRMAN FOUR" , that's right OJ"s Buddy, and our team name. Chuck, far left in the photo, thought it would be funny)


And I have seen more of my friends that I probably should have and or wanted to.


I'm Sure........
That there are those that might not understand the Psyche of an athlete and their passion for what they do, and their willingness to go to any end to achieve their goals, and for those I feel sorry. But For those that do understand and their families that support them, cudos to you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keep Your Enemies Close.................

I am my own worst enemy. Our ride last night was phenomenal. I had decided not to push myself and just ride how I felt, and I was feeling good. Event recorder all hooked up and ready to go and I was feeling no hint of problems. I haven't and wont brag about how fast the four of us were going but we had covered nearly half of a 43 mile ride in less than an hour when stupidity or competitiveness finally got the best of me. We were just motoring along this nice section of road and I decided to get my sprint on and play some reindeer games. Well a little too hared for a little too long and blamo I was toast and puling off to the side of the road to record my arrhythmia. Fortunately it did not last too long and I was able to finish the ride fairly strong and I got a good recording for the doctor.

A Can Of Worms.............
As I said I had a good recording for my doctor so upon returning home I called the monitor company and sent the results over the phone. So upon finishing that the lady starts asking me some questions, are you OK, are you dizzy, do you feel faint. The answer to all of these was no and then I explained to here that this recording was from an hour ago and that I had just gotten to a phone. So she had me take another recording and send it to them. Now I had ridden the whole way home without any problems but as soon as I got off of the bike it started again. So after the recording she started telling me that I was still in affib and if I had any problems to immediately go to the hospital ..... not what I wanted to hear and information I did not pass onto my wife. She also said that I would be hearing form my doctor soon.
Now the downfall to these type of situations is that the protocol the company uses is for sedentary nonathletic people...hence all the panic. I guess that they had received a substantially high heart rate reading that kind of freaked them out, but in my case is normal when the affib kicks in during exercise but I did not know that is what she was seeing until my doctor called. His associate called shortly after and after talking to me for a while and telling him my history and experiences he did not seam to be too concerned.

Ladies and Gentlemen....."THE DOORS"
Now I can't even tell you how many times I have watched this particular movie, lets just say several. I am not sure what draws me too it other than THE DOORS are by far one of my favorite groups. Now I am sure that most guys watch it as it is the the one and only time that you will see a Meg Ryan full on breast shot, but I'm well beyond my teenage years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Step in The Right Direction........

So I went to see my Cardiologist yesterday for the first time in over 8 years. Due to my general non-well being I thought that it might be in order. He asked me many questions about the current state of my Affib, and we talked over many options, most of which he thought were not right for me due to, what he stated, my youthful age. He would also, I believe, Like to see me rid of this problem in my life as would I adn I pray that that is exactly where this is headed. So this is where things stand.....
  • Continue riding, but really pay attention to how I feel and try to prevent agitating my heart (no racing for now)
  • Carry Heart Track Monitoring system with me at all times until my stress test to record the events as they happen. I actually have done this before but he wants current information.
  • Stress test (these unofficially occur every Tuesday and Thursday evening, bring your bike all are welcome, we meet at the Oak Grove at IUP at 5:15) to see what kind of shape the ticker is in (last time I did this the people running the test thought I was crazy and could not believe that I was able to carry on a regular conversation with them throughout the entire test) Of course the real excitement came when after the test, while sitting on the edge of a Hospital bed, my heart rate jumped from 63 bpm to over 250 bpm. I have never seen people move so fast or frantically in my life. Of course the doctor and myself were used to seeing this type of thing and took it in stride.
  • After the test I will hopefully be going to see a Electrophysiology Specialist to discuss my options for permanatly ridding myself of this issue.

So What's The Point........................

So on my and "Z's" last ride one of the subjects of conversation was motorcycles, particularly loud pipes. I have often wondered about this over the years as many Loud Piped Idiots have blasted my eardrums over the years. "Z" had always wondered if the sound was as deafening to the rider as to the spectator. Now I could have answered that question as I know a guy that rides a Harley that actually has mufflers on it, which does tone it down some, wears ear plugs when he rides. (does that seam stupid to you as well or is it just me) Now if your Bike is so loud that you have to wear earplugs yourself then what is the point. Also, as a cyclist being aware of your surroundings is very important and hearing is a big part of that. "Z" also came to the conclusion that loud pipes make riding unenjoyable as he actually took one for a ride. He said it was so annoying that he could not even enjoy himself.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Not much happening......

Not a whole lot going on these days. Taking some time off the bike, at least hard riding, for a few days. Too many heart fluctuations to allow me to enjoy the outings lately. I have however started a discussion on the afibbers website. Lots of good information to be found there, not to mention fellow affibers. Like I have mentioned before I personally have 3 other friends that ride that also have affib. 2 have had ablation and the other to this point has not. I am not sure that this is an option for me, and from what I have been reading even if it is, getting your doctor to do it is hard to get them to agree to it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Hearts Just Not In It........

Wow!!!!!! What a terrible past two weeks. Limited riding time and it seems I am in Affib or just not feeling right more times than not. Affib attacks on both group rides last week, as well as periodic attacks in between.
I was really looking forward to doing two different races this pas weekend. Friday night at the track ITT and Dash for cash on Saturday MTB. I was not only looking forward to racing but also seeing some friends and teammates that I have yet to see this year, but after last weeks rides I decided against. I really hate to pay entry fees for a race only to either have a miserable ride or be unable to participate at all. If this keeps up I am going to by a MOTO.

It seems that even an easy ride these days cause me grief. Went out with "Z" last evening for some LOE and did good through the ride. We did about 20 easy miles with a few good climbs. I wen hard on the climbs just to see how my heart would respond, I started back on my supplementation on Friday, and had no trouble at all. But later in the evening and all through the night I did. I really need to get this figured out before I go completely nuts. I am going to try doing some longer tempo rides ans see if that helps. I will have to try to hook up with Fanning as that is the only type of riding he does.
Speaking Of "Z"........
Was over at Poser Central the other day and he seemed surprised that somebody could sweat enough to ruin equipment. I will have to introduce him to "Z" someday. This guy has ruined more cycling equipment with his sweat than The Poser could possibly fathom. Actually I should get these guys together so "The Poser" could draft "Z" and get some of his caustic sweat on his bike parts to further his Posability. This guy ahd ruined frames, cranks, chains, derailures, cables, paint and brakes to name a few.
Anyway, "Z" is in pretty good shape for a guy who, due to a neck injury has been doing nothing but roller mile this year, haveing only just over 100 mi on his ORBEA. When is the last time you only had 100 mi on the road by JUNE? Probably before you even owned a bike as a kid Im guessing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Most accidents happen within a mile of home........

There has never been a truer statement. While riding around the house with my son this evening I figured I would try some wheelies. the 29'r seems to take a little more effort to get the wheel up but after several times I started riding it out further and further.I was having trouble though keeping my handlebars straight. So the next time around I really focused on that but lost focus on how my front wheel was coming up too far. Needless to say I ended up on my back...fortunately in the grass.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A day at Yellow Creek......

Spent Saturday morning riding at Yellow Creek with Monkeyboy, The Disenchanted one and Sean. Spend about 2.5 hours riding the trails built by LHORBA. The trails are in really nice shape and well maintained, but if you don't know where they are....GOOD LUCK. The trails themselves reminded me allot of the trails at Boyce Park (8 years ago), as that is the last time I was there. There is nothing I would consider to be technical, although Steve found a way to get bloodied up. Can you believe I actually had time to pull out my camera on this one?

There was one rock garden that I doubt anybody except a trials rider could ride but for the most part I would say that these trails are beginner to intermediate in nature.

The other annoying thing was the bridges. It was pretty damp and the bridges were treacherous, so if you happen there on a rainy day...and you can actually find all of the trails watch out for the bridges and the single board bridge that kind of jumps out of nowhere at you. No real penalty if you happen to miss it,at least that I can remember, but watch for it.

There are also several tricks and log piles to ride over as well. they are all ridable...even Steve managed across one without any mishaps.

All in all we had a really good time and supposedly there is a map of the trails that somebody has mad up and I am trying to lay my hand on one of these right now.





If you get the opportunity to get out to Yellow Creek to ride you wont regret it. The park is beautiful and I am sure that they will work harder to make the trails easier to find. There are plenty of facilities and the lake is there for an after ride dip.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mountain Weekend

Spent the better part of Saturday at roaring Run with Sean, Bill, Jay, Liz, Dave, Chris, Paul and Nina. Had a really good time and the group only had a couple of mechanicals. One really bent derailleur hanger and back to back flats. We road all of the old trails and most of the new. About half of the group bailed while we fixed the derailleur hanger but they all had to keep moving. Chris had just driven in from Maine the night before so he was already tired before we started.

















Had another group Ride at Laurel Mountain on Sunday but was unable to attend due to my wife having to work. Hope to make it up there some day.

The bike is finished......

Finally got my sons bike finished this morning. I must say I was kind of concerned that he wanted it painted gold but it turned out really nice. I ordered some red stickers from eBay which finished it off quite nicely. Its a TREK but since there aren't any mass produced bikes made in the good Ole USA these days, not that there would b ea 20" anyway, any of them will do now.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why is it I never have my camera......

So I got a late start on my ride to day and had a laundry list of things to do as well so I headed out for a quick 35. SO I am riding along minding my own business and I notice this truck sitting along the side of the road. As I approach this guy starts to get out and kind of flags me down, and as a fellow citizen I start to slow down.

As I get closer he asks if I want to see something cool, and as I ride past I notice he still has his pants on, (someday I will have to have my wife write about all of the times she has been flashed in her life), so I figure it might be safe to stop about 25 yards or so down the road from him just in case. As I stop and turn around he points to the sky and says check that out , a bald eagle. Now that is pretty cool. I have heard of some nesting near a rails to trail about 6 miles from here but come to find out there are a couple of eagles nesting near Keystone Dam as well.

Here is a crappy photo I took with my phone.


















Now the only bald eagle I have seen up until this point in my life was when I was in high school. I was a member of the sportsman's club and for our field trip we went to Pymatuning. Now this was an impressive feet in itself as most of us were completely plastered (about a three hour drive on a greyhound bus, with all the smuggled liquor and dope you could handle) by the time we got there. That coupled with the spotting scope you had to look through to see the birds was ridiculous.

Not much to say but this is funny.......

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shoveling poo and paintin frames

So as the weather could not decide what it was going to do yesterday I bagged the ride since it was pouring down rain and told my son we would take his bike apart and repaint the frame to a more manly color. It is hard to lay down hard cash for a bike that will maybe last a year, and as all cyclists I have along list of friends that have barely used, good quality bikes that their kids have outgrown as well.

So I scored this bike for him last summer from a friend whose 4th kid had finally outgrown it. Unfortunately all but one of his kids have high levels of estrogen so a more testosterone based color was in order. We got the bike tore down, sanded and the primer coat on. My son is only six but he did a pretty good job helping me sand and I even let him shoot some of the paint.


The Poo Part

Since it was damp from the rain I wanted to give the paint a good day to dry so we hopped into the truck and headed out for some manure for our garden. Its a short trip as there is a farm just across the road from our house. Of course my son came along to supervise the operations and to ask questions. He can make me nuts some times with all of the questions he has, so I asked him "Whats up with all the questions son?" He replied " I just want to learn all I can". Now how can you argue with that response? I guess all those books and tapes my wife invested in when he was a baby are paying off.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

No....It's more like riding in the garage.

Was the response I gave to my wife the other day when she asked if riding my trainer felt like riding outside. I have been using the trainer in the garage on bad weather days, since I have moved it out there for doing some fittings for some friends. Of course this response was totally off base according to here but after all of our years together you would think it would be the answer she would have expected.

Riding with Brownie......
Brownie was in town the other day to finish the testing that Monkeyboy is conducting for his thesis. we did the revers five points loop and ended up running into both Wallwork and the rain. Fortunately though we were only about 10 miles from home and you can only get so wet. Unfortunately the temperature dropped about 10 degrees from when we started so needless to say we were pretty cold by the time we returned to my house.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

More riding less blogging.....

So i have been riding more lately. Did 50 on Tuesday, 25 on Saturday and 30 on the TT bike last Friday.
Last Fridays ride was miserable. I went out hare without a warm up and fought to keep my heart beating correctly for most of the ride, so I m not sure if my tt position is bad or if I was just so uncomfortable because of my heart. Brownie, Steve and I did the Tanoma loop and Caught Music Matt just past the prison. Brownie of course is in great form already and Steve is coming along as well. They both did TT's this past weekend, Brownie in Carlisle TT and Steve the Presque Isle TT. Both did pretty well and Brownie added a hill climb TT later in the day.
Brownie and I did a quick twenty five on Saturday morning before heading out to Pro Bikes in Squirrel Hill. What a tremendous shop loaded with eyecandy, and very professional service, I highly recommend.
Tuesdays 50 miler was an awsome ride. Did 50 miles through Marion Center by myself. I tried to talk Nicol into going along, promising a LER, but he was taking a couple of recovery days. So I went alone. Fortunately for nicoll he did not come along becaus it ended up being a pretty fast ride. The MC loop is probably the flatest 50 miles you can do around here, although I still think I had over 2000 feet of climbing. Anyway I hammered the flats sections and paced the climbs. i did not PR the loop but it probably was for April.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Legstrong County invasion part II

So "The Disenchanted One" and I headed out into Armstrong County again yesterday morning. We went out through Conemaugh into Saltsburg, then across 286 to 380. Took 380 back to 819 then into Apollo. Back out Sugar Hollow then across to King Road then out towards Maysville to Edmon. Cut back through Saltsburg to Parkwood then back home. 82 miles with over 5300 feet of climbing for the whole ride, though I must say it felt like much more climbing than that. My legs were really fried form the weeks Vo2 max testing and the other 2.5 hours of testing Monkeyboy put me through, but pushing through the pain is good.

We were supposed to meet up with a couple of other guys in Apollo but we ran into "Scrawny White Pale Guy" just outside of Salstburg and chatted for a while thus throwing our schedule off but I that's OK I haven't seen Dirty mike in a while. He had just finished up a 13 mile run...I guess he isn't having enough knee pain these days. Before we dismissed ourselves he handed off a cliff bar that I later gave to Steve...Thanks mike.
So in the end we ended up finishing at a brisker pace than last weeks climb fest so I guess that means that our off season ,off the bike, on the couch, feeding frenzy type training has paid dividends...NOT. Anyway will probably do a long ride next Sunday as I am meeting Brownie and some of the other team members at the oval in Pittsburgh for some TT training.


Look out Beachcomber........

So one of our team members has a propensity to find and retrieve many numerous and sometimes odd things along his training routes. everything from water bottles to a full on pair of cover-alls. So look out beachcomber there is a new kid in town......









That's right my son found these and they are kids glasses to boot. Now if I can only get him to find his own bikes that would be great.

Well I'm of to hit the spinner for a recovery ride.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And I thought yesterday was bad

So Duane set me up for Vo2 max testing yesterday afternoon. The test went pretty good. For those of you that aren't familiar with Vo2 testing it is a test that is considered the best indicator of cardiorespiratory endurance. As exercise intensity increases so does oxygen consumption. However, a point is reached where exercise intensity can continue to increase without the associated rise in oxygen consumption, this is VO2 Max. In other words how hard can you go before your heart cant get enough oxygen to your muscles to function under stress. Oh ya, and your nose is plugged an there is a device you breath through your mouth with that records data as well. So no drinking, or swallowing for the entire test. It takes only a bout 5 minutes before you start wishing you could at least swallow properly and not nearly that long before you wish you had a drink of water. Oh and thanks Duane for standing there drinking your powerade in front of me while I gasped for air.

Anyway as I said the test was going pretty good til near the end when my heart decided to p-lay tricks on me.I'm not sue exactly at what point it happened but it felt like it started sometime after the next to the last increase in resistance. It was not bad at first but on the last 3 minute interval I was a wreck but I pushed through. I was really disappointed because it totally goofed my reading and I would have really liked to push it to another level. I did however complete the actual battery of test so I am happy with that. I ended up with a reading of 42 and they said that that was probably about 10% under my actual so I was somewhere between 42 and 46 which isn't bad considering.

That was yesterday.....

So today is another day and I really wasn't feeling up to snuff as I do some days but I thought that a ride would cure me. Big mistake....We started out on 6th street and I didn't make it to the first turn...stupid heart. So I told the guys the route and headed for the barn. I probably should have pushed through and kept going but I had some lactic cramping in my neck and just was not into it this evening, so I headed back to the barn

Looking forward to a long ride Saturday. Probably do 80 or so in the morning..

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Legstrong county invasion.........

Took Monkeyboy and The Disenchanted One into Armstrong County yesterday. We went out five points to Copper Valley then across old 210 through Girty then into Brick Church. Then back across through Shady plane and into Avenmore. We then proceeded back to Parkwood and finished up on the 3 man loop through Bethel Church then home. All told it was a pretty good ride with lots of climbing and an unrelenting headwind. we ended up with 77 miles with 5160 feet of elevation gain for the ride. We gained most of our elevation in Armstrong County which is to be expected, but by no means the most you will encounter there. It always has amazed me how the rides we do in Indiana are so much flatter.

So I ended up with a pretty good 4 day stretch, no PB by any stretch of the imagination but I did brake 150 miles. I had planned on 200 but Fridays fishing outing put the cabosh on that one. we did 39 on Thursday with 2060 feet of elevation and I did 42 with 2020 feet today. The wind today and the sub 40 deg temp really put the hurt on. I had actually planned to do over 50 but time constraints adn a good meal waiting on me at the end of my ride ....well I think you get the picture.....

Speaking of pictu
res........

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and maybe even a few laughs. Videos sometimes have the same affect on you as well......

Anyway if I was to just tell you about the sign we saw on our ride yesterday, through rural PA you might believe me. But if I were to tell you that there were 2 of them you would probably raise your eyebrows and say..."yeah right". So we are riding along and Monkeyboy says ..."Hey , did you see that sign back there?" "What sign?" we reply. "The one that says the same thing this one does." So fortunately I had my camera and Monkeyboy and TDO were more than happy to pose. They actually kind of fell over each other to get to it. Anyway here it is.


















That's right it says "GAY LOVE"

Enough said :>)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Like fishing in a barrel........



















Skipped the ride today and went fishing with my son. A friend of mine keeps a nice sized pond near his house pretty stocked up with trout, bass, perch and such. We scored 6 today, 1 perch, 3 brownies, 1 palomino and 1 rainbow. All but one were really nice sized and we threw the perch back since they tolerate the warm weather better than the trout that will probably not last the summer.

















































And the spoils of our outing....fresh fish and chips.

Going to do 60 or 70 tomorrow with Matt and maybe Steve and another 60 or 70 on Sunday.