Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Game On

I generally race a couple of times a year. I did have one podium experience a few years back, but it seems my only remote shot at the podium comes every 5 years when I tick over into a new age bracket. For example, next year I hit the big five-oh and so am looking forward to kicking some serious AARP butt in 2011.
Digression: I entered by first race when I was 45 years old. I was pumped because I figured the geezers in the "45 and over" class would be pushovers for a youngster like me. Well it turned out that a podium finish in the "35-44" class was barely mid-pack in the "45 and over" class. Apparently old guys who are still racing at this advanced age are pretty tough competitors.
But anyway I just race just for the fun of the run-up to event day, the buzz of the race day activities, and the chance to maybe beat a friend across the finish line. And the spring Hibernia Duathlon is the perfect event because it's low key, it's local, and best of all my 13 year old daughter is the perfect partner to take on the running leg.
Digression: I would rather ram a rusty icepick up my nose than run 5 miles on foot - which is a problem because I have a brother-in-law who is twisting my arm to do a triathlon this summer. But that would be another tangent so I will table it for now.
So anyway, this morning over breakfast I teed-up the duathlon relay idea with my daughter. And she totally bit. Big time. So now we're committed, the run-up has begun, and my riding schedule has taken on a new sense of urgency.

Looking Forward

It feels good to be blogging about riding instead of Google's embrace of bicycling or MRIs of compound fractures. I mean that stuff is fun and all that, but this is a biking blog, so it's really just a lot of blathering if it's not about riding bikes.

So anyway, three rides in two weeks -- which after a couple of months of sitting on the couch watching the snow melt, is HUGE. Last weekend, Jason joined us for his first mountain bike ride in years. He is a roadie/cyclocross guy and rode a borrowed SS. Well it turns out that cyclocross not only keeps you in shape, but it develops some bike handling skills as well. Yeah, he pretty much dusted Sean and I up, down, and all around. That's OK, after a few more weeks in the saddle I will be able to make a better accounting of myself. I know it's not a competition, but I think we all appreciate riding with someone who pushes us in some way.

And yesterday, Scott joined Bob and I for a morning ride. Scott is a 20-something roadie who decided to get into MTB and dropped some coin on a spanking new Giant Trance. I can't remember the last time I saw a bike that shiny. After a busted chain, a lot of mud and a little blood, Scott was grinning ear to ear. Another convert to the dark side?

Ahhh, spring time. No gloves, booties, balaclava or long pants. Newbie riders testing the waters. Weekday sunrise rides. Months of peak riding ahead of us. The possibilities!

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live."
– Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Bike

I was fiddling around in Google Maps this evening. Pathetic I know but times are tough with trails still recovering from our awesome record snowfall. Anyway I stumbled upon a new option to get map directions for Bicycles. Google Maps already had directions for cars, public transit, and walking. Biking is a new addition. Cool.

So I punched in part of our ride from last weekend. Sean was our guide and he took us on an awesome 30 mile loop from the Blue Heron out Little Conestoga past Struble Lake and St. Mary's, and home via Creek Road. It was a sweet route - rolling country roads and very little automobile traffic.

Anyway Google Maps took a more direct route which I presume would be less bike friendly. By fiddling with the map I was able to coax it into routing us along Little Conestoga. I was curious to see how long it would take (to ride that leg, not fiddle with Google Maps). Google predicted 1 hour and 10 minutes.

We beat that time by at least 20 minutes.

We must be studs.

Yeah right.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Cannondale

'Twas brillig, and the slippery slopes
Did gyre and gimble in my wake.
All mimsy were the spandexed legs you know,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Cannondale, my Father!
The wheels that rip, the frame that mashes!
Beware the pedestrian, and shun
The frumious motorcycle!

* * * * *

Best birthday card yet, from my 13 year old daughter.

Monty Python and Lewis Caroll fans should be impressed. I was!