Monday, March 30, 2009

OA/CycleMania Masters Road Team

Ripping it up at a geriatric race near you! Hey, the shorts have diapers in them!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Keep Tri-ing

I was thumbing through an outdated Bicycling magazine and came across this Style Man advice I have to share. This goes out to Coach Kurt and KHS triathletes Meg and Catherine.

Question: "I passed a male rider who was on a high-end tri bike and wearing no jersey. Is is ever OK to ride topless?"

Style Man: "When we are 7 years old, we have a hilarious time playing with friends and creating a new sport out of 3 existing ones - football/basketball, for instance. Those of us who grow up dedicate ourselves to real sports. Triathletes press on, tragically unable to shed their infantile fascinations, to the point where they see nothing ludicrous about romping sans shirt like prepubescents on a summer day. The only humane reaction to those suffering from such disorders is pity."

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tough Time of Year to Ride

The sun was shining and the thermometer showed 50 so out the door and onto the road I went in my skimpiest outfit of the year: no shoe covers, knee warmers, shorts, wicking long-sleeve, and long sleeve jersey. As soon as I hit the road, I realized I was on the edge of having enough to wear. The big issue was the snowbanks and lakes. The wind would blow across the open fields of snow and send a 30 degree breeze my way. It was also apparent the temps were a good 10 degrees cooler when snowbanks still existed close to the road shoulder. Finally, anytime I went by a lake, it was lake sticking my body in the freezer.

Of course, I am a pansy and this stuff is a challenge for me, not hardcore commuters like Racin' Rick. But I accept my position as a whiny, spoiled pro who would have someone else train for me if I could. So you can't make fun of me!
Right now, this is my motivation to ride:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Riding White Dirt

I am such an idiot! Why hadn't I done this before?!

I ended up taking my own advice that I gave to fellow KHS rider Matt, and ventured out my door onto the school's nordic ski and snowshoe trails. Since the school is on break and the trails aren't being maintained, I figured it was a good opportunity to put tire to snow without pissing too many people off. Plus, I deduced conditions were probably perfect since the overnight was well below freezing and the start of the day was below 40.
Fortunately I was right and soon found myself gleefully coasting down the trail with a huge grin!
The snow was hardpacked thanks to the season-long grooming snowmobile and the top layer has gone through enough melt/freeze cycles to leave a very grippy top layer. It really was as good as dirt, just noisy as hell!

Only open water, drainage sections could stop me. The few transitions from snow to ground were plain fun!

I followed the trails right down to the lake and checked it out, albeit with some trepidation. The conditions were perfect on top there as well. Plenty of traction. I would have loved to taken a spin around it, but i have no idea whether it's safe or not at this point. Sure seemed it though.

Conditions deteriorated pretty quickly as noon approached, especially sections in the sun. But I could still ride the snowshoe singletrack.
The saddest part is based on the week's weather, this was probably the last opportunity to get a ride in like this. Figures! Bring on the dirt then, well, mud first I guess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Plan B

Last week, Drake was sick on Monday. Then Fenix got it Wednesday. Not to be outdone, I got it Friday. It was a light, 24hr deal with a low fever that emerged as I was doing an openers workout on the rollers in preparation for the next day's lactate profile test at the OA Sports Center's open house. My condition improved Saturday morning, but not enough to put myself through the torture test. I did feel good enough to make the drive down for the OA/CycleMania Masters Team meet/greet/photo though. Can't pass up some quality PR!

That left me in a quandry as to what to do today. An easy ride, another day off, a snowshoe? Since it was a sunny, pleasant day and it felt fairly warm, I opted to do the prescribed power workout on the road, my first of the season around home. Despite a rogue snow squall, it was a proper excursion. I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent conditions of the roads. I made a beeline for Rt. 133 via Wayne, then cruised to Livermore Falls and took Rt. 17 home. Aside from 1 section on 17 where the snowbank creeped into the road, it was all good. So no more excuses, unless it's below 40, I'm riding outside from now on. Big deal, huh?!

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Couldn't See the Legs for the Hair"

The time has come to shed the winter coat even though it's only 32 degrees today.

I'm off to the grand opening of my road team sponsor Orthopaedic Associates' new Performance Center in Saco tomorrow. There will be a team introduction and picture taken, plus Governor Baldacci will be there for the ribbon cutting.

I can't go looking like this:
And, I volunteered to serve as a lab rat and undergo a Lactate Profile Test. I want to look fast!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trail of Tears

After a quick group ride with the family and a 3 hour easy road ride on Tuesday (even rode on the bike path, yeah that's an easy ride!), I hit the dirt again yesterday. I had often heard about the Trail of Tears in Barnstable, but have been so enamored with Otis, I never checked it out. Thanks to the fam's flexibility, I decided to make a quick drive to the closest trail head.
I was immediately impressed with the large map and information board and then giddy once on the trail which was a twisty hard pack that was mostly flat, fast and fun! I soon started seeing trail intersections and since I had no experience there, I decided to always keep left, figuring I would establish the border, then dabble in the good shit in the middle, kind of like eating a Hostess Cupcake, the fun is inside.

I hit a couple of finger trails that led to the perimeter or houses, but they were fun and worth the effort too. I did some service road riding as well, but it served as a break from the singletrack. At one end, I popped out onto the end of a small plane airport then was treated to a freshly cut fun trail made by actual Town of Barnstable DPW employees whom I happened upon as the were working. I would have snapped a pic, but they had heavy equipment and weedwackers with blades on them!

There actually is a trail in there, awesome!
I eventually made my way around and wound up back to the start. With about another 1/2 hour to kill, I started exploring the middle stuff and began to get a sense of what all the hubub was about. There was some seriously fun stuff up and down hillsides. At one intersection, I had 4 trails options plus 4 roads that converged there!
I summited one hill and found an observation deck built by the local NEMBA chapter who clearly do a kick-ass job maintaining the area.
It was here I discovered this dog guarding an empty plastic bag. I tried to give it a treat, but I'm not sure he could see it for the bloody tears in its eyes.

There is also this box off to the side where you can sign in and apparently take and leave something. I didn't want no bad juju spirit so I left it well enough alone!

So, Trail of Tears is definitely a good time and well worth exploring in greater detail next time down. For now, unfortunately, it's back to Maine where there's still a ton of snow on the ground. The Surly gets the fenders back on, and I hit the rollers again. Dangit!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again - Otis

The fam and I are spending a few days on the Cape and the weather is finally cooperating, allowing for actual outdoor riding! I seized the opportunity today and pedaled from Mashpee Commons down 151 to the mountain biking haven known as Otis. Because I’m trying to sell my old Kona and the new one isn’t in, I opted to reward the Surly campus commuter with a ride worthy of its service to me all year ‘round. Thankfully, Steve at the shop put the AED to her and resurrected the Surly's affection for ripping it up off-road.
Following Thom's ritual of consumming DD coffee prior to riding without gears.
Not sure if a latte is kosher.
It’s a rough ride, and a suitable substitute for a gym session, there was some serious slow cadence/bar wrenching sections. The terrain is spelled out well here by Colin. I rode for 2 hours in there and didn’t retrace my treads once, that I know of at least!

The 1/2 pipe, berm section

One of many unique trail markers. Tried to give this guy a boost, but the liquid kept pouring out its neck.

So happy, making sand angels

Mites Tournament

Spent 24 hours in Rockport for the hockey season-ending mites tournament. The team went 0-2-1. But this age is the best because they were upset for like a nanosecond. As soon as the participation trophies and cookies were handed out, life went on just as great as before!

Bikes are loaded and we're off to the Cape for 4 days!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Studded Tires No Longer Required

Now you see it,

Now you don't.

Could an outdoor road ride be in the future?!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Snow/Ice is Melting!

This weekend was filled with closure. We had rain instead of snow; Babs attended a full-moon final snowshoe; the family went to a season-ending ice fishing/sledding party; and I turned off the ice rink tonight. Maybe, I'll ride outside this week, MAYBE!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ready to Rip

Someone else in the family is getting anxious to hit the dirt and was doing some indoor training himself!