Monday, May 31, 2010

last breath of air

this morning i rode my last "thick air" ride of the week. i left the house where we're staying and after a mile or so on sandy roads, i turned west onto u.s. highway 54 and headed towards greensburg. the wind was at my back, so i cruised along at a pretty good clip considering the wheels beneath me. fat tires just don't roll very well on pavement.

just before greensburg, i turned in at brenham and looped around the farmer's co-op there. brenham is nothing more than a grain elevator and a few out buildings. it is famous for nothing. i don't know if there ever was a town called brenham. it's been just the co-op in the 26 years i've known of its existence. the only interesting thing i know about it is that it was the place my in-laws hid their get away car when they got married. they thought they'd keep it away from the "decorators" if they parked it behind the elevator. seems there's more to that story, but the details are too fuzzy to report.

having looped around brenham, i continued on to greensburg and did the same there. the loop around this town that was just a few years ago half destroyed by a massive tornado. it was interesting to take in the sights of town. there are, of course, tons of new houses and businesses. riding around the outskirts of town, i covered an extra five miles or so.

back out on the highway, i headed to haviland. i turned in at the dirt road just to the west of town and snuck in the back way past the high school, around the north side of my alma mater, barclay college, and down south to the friends church. rather than take the extra half mile west to the highway, i turned east and then south to ryan k's coffee shop. i was hoping he or his wife would be there, but they weren't in. hannah had just left the shop. no hot refreshments! bummer. nothing left to do but ride back to the house. the last mile to mile and half was back on sand. since it hasn't rained much around here recently, the sand was loose and kind of tricky. i managed to stay upright until i pulled into the driveway. i clicked out of my right pedal and fell left. stupid! (28.45 miles @ 13.7mph)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

irish intervals?

as if riding on heavy-set floyd wasn't enough of a workout, i decided today to ride intervals. i rode a set of five, a set of six, two sets of five, a set of six and one more set of five, finishing with a two-minute effort. while i was resting for two minutes between hard efforts, i made up a limerick to include with my report.

up and down main street i went.
at times my pace was hell-bent.
at others 'twas slower,
got passed by a mower,
but i had to rest or be spent.

next week i'm riding in the rockies!! (30.38 miles @ 13.3mph)

back of the paceline

a friend, scott g, on dailymile who rides with friends in rural indiana, posted this hilarious baiku...

back of the paceline-
riding there is where you get
the most dairy air.

think french and look at the picture and you'll get it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

close call

today's recovery ride was what you'd expect from a recovery ride: boring. my heart rate and respiration rate elevated only once and that wasn't from effort.

as i rode through the intersection of highway 150 and kansas 49, a pick up truck rolled right through the stop sign and nearly hit me. i mean he hardly slowed down. i yelled and waved my arms after i knew i had safely gotten out of his path and he didn't even see me then. i never saw his head turn to look west. it's a good thing no one was coming from that direction. i might have been blindsided.

this was cato's last ride for a week or so. he's going in for chain replacement surgery and while their in there, the "doctors" plan to replace his rear cassette and both front rings. i'm hoping for a speedy recovery so he and i can accelerate adequately to keep up with the tuesday night group soon. (22.07 miles @ 14.6mph)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the perfect storm

you'd think i'd get bored riding out and back every day, but i never do. it's not the route that makes the ride. it's the way the legs and lungs and heart feel. it's the little things the eyes and ears and nose sense. it's the way, every once in awhile, it all works well together to do something amazing.

today was one of those days when everything felt right. my legs warmed up quickly and i pushed them harder and harder. i mashed the big ring up and over the hills - mock, antichrist, nine-mile, mt. mayfield. i lost a little power on the last of those inclines, but recovered on the downward slope.

at about fifteen miles out, i flip 180 degrees and headed back the way i'd come. my average at that point was hovering around 18mph. i decided i had more in me, so i stepped up my pace. i flew up most of the hills - mt. mayfield, salt truck, nine-mile, black dog, cemetery, mock - near or above 20mph. i only dropped under 18mph on cemetery hill and that was only on the steepest part.

about five miles out, i saw where my average was and decided i could bring it up to 19mph. i dug a bit deeper and found power i didn't think i still had. as i passed over my "around the world" mark on the highway, about a mile out, i let it fly. i never dropped under 20mph until i braked to make the turn into my driveway.

i'm still looking for that 22mph average ride, but there's hope in my heart again. there will be another "perfect storm" day in the nearer than i imagine future and i'll do it. here's to big dreams! (30.32 miles @ 19.1mph)

60-second confession #9

i bag on eric all the time. he's the butt of all my jokes. my goal is to trash talk him as often as possible. still there's something about our relationship i need to get off my chest.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

leader of the pack

the difference between the oz bicycle club's westside wednesday night ride and their eastside tuesday night ride is night and day. the wednesday night folks are kind, gentle people who talk while they ride. the tuesday night killers drop you like a sack of hammers. (that is an eric m quote. you'll see tomorrow.)

i was running just a little late getting to the northwest YMCA, but caught the group just as they were leaving the parking lot. they told me their route and even at a fairly easy 16mph pace i caught them before they'd gone two miles.

i rode up the ranks one by one, stopping to chat with single riders in the double file. eventually, i found myself off the front and that's where i stayed. there wasn't much wind and there wasn't any pressure at all, so i spun a high cadence and talked with jay. he helps with the oz club's newsletter and tried to enroll me on the spot.

we stopped numerous times to let people catch their breath. the first stop was at a church alongside the road. the next time was at andale and 29th. we slowed and regrouped again when we turned back onto 21st street. the only speed came on a downhill, the same downhill that i bombed down last thursday with mark h and karla g. i coasted at just over 20mph.

had a great time. don't know that i'll come up for this ride all that often, but when i'm in town i just might. riding with a slow group makes recovery rides more enjoyable. (15.28 miles @ 14.5mph)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

off the back again

i made it back. that's about all the good i can say about my ride with the oz bicycle club tonight. i did okay on the way out, but i could tell that i wasn't at 100% even before the mad acceleration i knew would come. i was too close to my redline. i hardly pulled at all and still i felt on the edge.

we took a slightly different route tonight, turning south where we had gone east previously. that meant more straight into the wind riding. even in the draft, that was uncomfortable.

when we turned around - i think it was at 95th - the race was on. i was actually able to bridge back up to the lead group after my u-turn, but the effort did me in. i didn't have a heart rate monitor on, but i'd say my ticker was ticking away at near 180bpm. that's my bonk line and i bonked. i was in the pack, but barely hanging on and we were only doing about 23mph. fairly easy for this group. i couldn't get my systems back under control. i tried valiantly to stay on the wheel in front of me, but the pain won and i peeled off.

thankfully, scott, a guy i've talked to just about every week, peeled off too. he was hurting as much as i was. so we sat up and enjoyed the long ride back to minneha school together. we were pretty slow for awhile while we waited for our second wind. it came, but not very quickly. we picked up the pace about three miles out and made it in tired, but okay.

i won't be back with this group again for a few weeks. i'll miss the speed. i'll miss the pain. i'll miss being dropped. well, i'll miss the speed anyway. (37.79 miles @ 18.9mph)

Monday, May 24, 2010

a quick loop

got home from work and talked my wife and daughter into riding around the holden nature center loop with me. it was tough riding into the wind going south, but we were rewarded by an easy time going west and north. going east later wasn't too bad. when we got back to town i rode a bit extra and then pulled in to the garage just before my ems shift started. (9.06 miles @ 10.0mph)

great tour!

the amgen tour of california was a marker for radioshack. it had its thrills and spills from the start; and the weather swung from cool and wet to warm and sunny.tactically team radioshack played their cards well. It was a very tight race; levi leipheimer wanted to win for a fourth time, david zabriskie wanted to come first rather than second again and then there was team htc-columbia, a highly successful team with determined riders and good strategic thinkers.

it was from htc that the greatest challenge to levi leipheimer was to come, with mick rogers being the man that the rest of the team were riding for.

before the end of the tour there would be memories of hard racing, spectacular scenery, a great pars cours (for those of us that didn’t have to ride it!) and the wide-spread excitement of the american cycling fans that made the tour feel more like a european event than one being held in the usa.

the spills of the tour were, of course, horrible to watch and disappointing for the riders and spectators a-like. many retired from the race. lance armstrong and others crashed out and yet others completed the event with bandages and grazes to accompany the thigh-splitting pain that must have been prevalent in each and every mountain climb.

in the end the tour was to be contested by the three favourites; leipheimer, zabriskie and rogers. rogers was victorious but team radioshack had riders in the final day’s breakaway (popovych and then horner), the pursuing group (horner) and at the front of the peloton (leipheimer, mccartney and brajkovic) – their tactics were a great display of support and race planning.

and whilst the top three men rode over the line in the same group without gaining any additional time they did gain the respect and enthusiasm of the viewing public and cycling community. It was wonderful tour and repaid the organisers decision to move it from february to may many times over.

congratulations to mick Rogers (htc) and big thanks to zabriskie and leipheimer who, with their teams and the rest of the peloton made the amgen tour of california 2010 a most memorable event. chapeau!

by julian winn, staff writer

while children sleep

i love this time of year. my wife, a school teacher, is off work and sleeps in. my children are out of school and sleep in. i wake up at my normal time to the sound of birds singing instead of an annoying alarm clock. the temps in the morning are moderate - 69 today. the wind is fairly calm. life is good.

i'm really happy with my ride this morning. i was able to push hard straight into a slight headwind. i climbed tracy hill without too much trouble. i had time to turn east on highway 44, one of my favorite roads and hammer out an extra six miles there. (highway 44 has rolling hills everywhere!)

coming back was a blast. i was over 20mph most of the way. the wind was just strong enough to give an extra boost over every incline. awesome!

my only complaint was with my cateye cyclometer. it did some funky stuff while i was bombing down tracy hill. nothing new, just stupid. grrrr. cateye. (21.88 miles @ 16.7mph)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

shop and ride

this is the most awesome thing i've seen all day! i might even enjoy shopping if i could count my time on

slo-mo MAYhem

with less than four hours remaining in the slo-mo MAYhem challenge - - i decided i'd better get out and best scott's time. i knew i had to keep it under 2mph to beat his 30 minute time. wasn't sure it could be done, but i was going to take a stab at it.

i rode with my wife up to the grade school. we both were going to give it a try. we thought if we used the grass around the school lot it would keep from going too fast. it did.

it was kind of touch and go at first. i put my foot down at .02 miles four times before i figured out that it was better to push hard and go a little faster to keep my balance than to have to start over again and again. one of my stops was intentional. my wife fell and hurt herself. her injuries were minor, but she'll be sore tomorrow.

so we got going eventually. it took me just over 9 minutes to do my first quarter mile. my second quater mile was much better. i finished the first half mile in 17'12" and kept going. my wife had put her foot down a couple of times, but she just started up again without resetting her time. she didn't HAVE to beat scott like i did.

the second half mile was a bit faster. finished it in 17'04". that extra speed wasn't intentional. i think i went just a bit too fast when the wind was at my back going north or i think i could've stretched it out to a 35'00". thankfully that wasn't necessary to beat the the current leader's 30'00". he said he read a book while riding, but i don't know how he could do that. i had to concentrate the whole time to stay upright. was he telling stories?

will my time stand? i'm guessing it will. victory will be sweet! (1.00 mile @ 1.7mph)

on call miles

i'm in the middle of a 24-hour ems shift, so i couldn't go out and about much. i started around 7:30 riding here and there around town. nothing too exciting until around 9:30 when my pager went off. kind ended my ride for the day. i'm back now and ready to get to work on today's projects. (22.93 miles @ 12.9mph)

Friday, May 21, 2010

minneapolis #1 bike city

great short film about the amazing growth and promotion of bike culture in minneapolis, minnesota. this city was just voted #1 bike city in america, with good reason it appears.

an uneventful ride

a few days after i graduated from high school, my grandparents took me on a road trip to my aunt and uncle's house in illinois. before he headed out on the highway, we prayed together. my grandma prayed for an uneventful trip. when she finished i took her to task. "grandma, we don't want an uneventful trip. we want an eventful one filled with good events."

after last night's flat fest, i understand better what my grandma was asking for back then. i'm grateful for this morning's uneventful ride. the sun was shining. the sky was clear except for a few wispy cirrus clouds. the wind was fairly calm. cato performed well. no skipping gears or flat tires. no crazy effort. just a nice calm, uneventful recovery ride. (10.24 miles @ 16.3mph)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

my first dailymile meet up

tonight's ride was my first dailymile meet up. i drove up to mark h's house and together we rode over to karla g's where we picked her up. i felt a little out of place on my standard road bike. they were both outfitted on sleek aerobarred tri bikes.

we had a nice moderate to fast paced ride on 21st street after we left karla's place (that's where we are in the picture above) and headed east. the shoulder was wide enough to go two abreast, so we talked some. pretty nice.

i don't know how many miles out it was, but i suddenly felt the bouncing that indicates a soon to be flat rear tire. i slowed down and told mark what was up. he chased down karla and they both came back to watch me change out my tube. we shot plenty of footage, i think, to make a great confession video in a week or two. we'll see.

the tire fixed and back in place we continued on our way. about a mile and a half or maybe two later, we passed a couple of cyclists on the other side of the road. they had a flat too. we said hi and they shouted back, "we're new at this." but they looked like they were handling themselves pretty well, so we kept going.

somewhere a bit further down the road, we turned around and headed back toward wichita. we rode much more quickly now that the wind was at our backs. in just a few minutes we were back to the flat tire girls and they were clearly not doing so well. we pulled up and, believe it or not, i started working to fix their flat. got the tube in and the tire on, then started pumping air into the lifeless ring of rubber. i worked for a minute or two and then, tired from pumping up my own tire, i handed off pumping duty to mark. in less than 20 seconds, he somehow managed to pop the valve stem out and all the air we'd put in came out in an audible whoosh. (i think i have it on tape. we'll see.)

the tube was pretty useless now. one of the ladies had called her husband and he'd shown up some time shortly after we'd arrived, so they decided to pack up their bikes and head home. we told them about DM, so maybe they'll show up here sooner or later. i think one of them said she worked at the northwest ymca. if so, i hope she doesn't see my spin class video. yikes!

from there on, we took it fairly easy with a brief sprint down the only hill on the route. (this is kansas remember.) i got up to 35mph. fun stuff! i breathed for a bit while i waited for mark and karla to catch up. i weigh considerably more than they do, so i had an advantage going downhill.

at 119th, we parted ways. karla turned left. mark and i turned right. we cruised down to 13th and then hit deer trail and curved this way and that until we got back to his house where he graciously offered pizza! i enjoyed my slice with ice water. yum!

a great ride with some great people. hope we can do it again soon. mark's laughter while i was fixing my flat and then the other cycle's flat was much appreciated. no really. i'm not being sarcastic at all.

switch it up communting

i don't know how many times i rode back and forth between the house and the office today, but i tried to take a slightly different route each time. i rode around the block once. i rode around the building once. i rode around the perimeter of my backyard fence. i changed it up to keep from getting bored. then i ran to the bank and to the city building some time in there. rode from the school around town to my office. just a bunch of take it easy miles...if you call three a bunch. (3.18 miles @ 8.8mph)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

60-second confession #8

in honor of "bike to work" week, i have a special confession to make concerning my commute. watch and learn about the reason for my dislike of my ride to work.

Everything is beneficial?

I hardly ever drank pop before I moved to Argonia nearly twelve years ago. I liked Pepsi pre-Argonia, but didn’t drink it all that often. I usually ordered it when eating out, but seldom had cans or bottles of it around the house. I bought a 24-can case once or twice or maybe thrice each year, mostly when company was coming to visit or for special occasions like the fourth of July or Memorial Day or a trip to a state park with friends. I enjoyed it when I had it. Seldom thought of it otherwise. My drinking was under control. I was the master. Pepsi was the servant.

That’s the way it ought to be, right? Appetites kept in check. Indulgence occasional and limited.

Recently, while thinking about and praying about a matter I thought completely unrelated, I realized in this area and in perhaps one or two others, things are no longer as they ought to be. I don’t really know how, but Pepsi and I switched places. The can became the master. I became the slave. Nothing was right if I didn’t have my caffeine and sugar fixes.

I confessed as much to my doctor – and subsequently to my wife – a few months back. My doctor didn’t bat an eye. “Sounds like you’re addicted,” she said. Addicted sounded like such a negative word. Woke me up. I talked with Susan about it. Told her I wanted to quit or at least cut back on my pop consumption. I was only going to drink Pepsi when it was offered to me by a friend or when we were out to eat. I wasn’t going to drink more than one a day. I knew drinking a bottle or two or three every day wasn’t good for my health and at $1.60 a pop it wasn’t very good for the family budget either. I was serious about making a change. I resolved to conquer this habit. I wanted to be free from my addiction. I quit cold turkey.

I don’t know for sure how many days I had the upper hand, but I wasn’t master for very long. I’m ashamed to say it, but I fell off the wagon. Almost immediately went back to my old habits. Four, five, six cans a day.

That’s the boat I was in when I was reminded just a few days ago that Christ’s death and resurrection bought more for me and you than just pie in the sky by and by. These pivotal events and the soon-after-them out pouring of the Holy Spirit gave believers power over sin. Gave mastery over fleshly appetites back to men who would submit themselves to God. Gave habitual sinners the power to say no to sin, to overcome their addictions.

I knew this and had, in fact, overcome other similar addictions in the past with God’s help. I’m kind of prone to addictive behaviors, you know. It’s a good thing I never tasted alcohol or took drugs.

One of my favorite Bible passages is Titus 2, starting at verese11. It is so full of hope for appetite-mastered, sin-enslaved folks.

“…the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14, NIV)

Isn’t that great news? God’s power within you is more than enough to help you win the battle over sin.

There’s another passage that came to mind as I was dealing with this issue. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says this: “‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.” (NIV)

We do not have to be mastered by our bad habits. We can decide that something is not beneficial and stop doing that something. We can realize that we’re being mastered by the inclinations of our hearts. We can overcome the patterns that have enslaved us and break free.

Is drinking Pepsi sinful? It’s not against the law. No S.W.A.T. team is going to break down my door and confiscate the Pepsi in my hand. There are no specific biblical prohibitions against caffeine or high fructose corn syrup. Drinking Pepsi is not sinful.

Is drinking multiple gallons of Pepsi every week sinful? It certainly borders on gluttony. No. Let me admit it. It’s a little south of the border. Because I have let something that is permissible – drinking Pepsi – master me, it is sin for me. I have become a sinful glutton. I confess that before you. I have admitted it to God. I have repented of it.

Some of you, at this point, are thinking, “This is nuts! If drinking too much Pepsi can be called a sin, anything can be.”

You’ve got it right! That is exactly what Paul is saying here. Don’t miss the truth God is trying to convey to your heart. Any time you let anything master you, for you, that thing becomes sinful. God is to be our only master. If something takes his place of control in your life, it is an idol.

Just one example that’s very clear in the Bible. Greed is a sin, right? The Bible says it is idolatry.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5, NIV)

If the desire for money masters you, if you become greedy, you are an idolater.

Has any permissible thing, because of overindulgence, become an idol for you?

Watching movies. Do you go to the movies or rent movies or buy movies incessantly? Does the time you spend with Leonardo DiCaprio exceed the amount you spend with God? Are you closer to Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp than to your family or your friends?

Take these same questions and reword them a bit and they can be asked of playing video games or listening to and buying the latest music.

Checking in on Facebook and Twitter and MySpace and…Social networking is great, to a point. But browsing through all the updates and games and simulations can become addictive. These sites are permissible, but they can master you.

Shopping for clothes. How you look. What you have. Wanting more. Clothes shopping can definitely be idolatrous.

What have I missed? Having to have all the latest electronic gadgets? Always “needing” to have a bigger and better something. Bowling every night. Ice cream stops every 15 miles. Texting incessantly. Scrapbooking all the time.

A little less comfortable than the usual talk of alcohol abuse. You can, if you don’t drink, shake your head at those drunkards and feel all self-righteous inside. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” But all this talk connecting everyday stuff with idolatry is a bit too close for comfort, isn’t it? It ought to. God’s word says you shall have no other gods before him.

If you have an idolatrous infatuation with anything – good or bad – you need to deal with it. You need to submit yourself to God and resist the temptations as they come at you. If you’ll do that, he’ll help you overcome. Trust me.

For three weeks now, I’ve done this and I’ve got my Pepsi drinking under control. I’ve not had a day where I’ve drunk more than one bottle of my favorite cola. I’ve not had a single can that wasn’t consumed with a meal.

What God has helped me do, he can help you do. Take those habits you can’t seem to break to him and see what he does.

To receive my once or twice weekly message via email, send a blank email to Past messages are available at

refreshing, rainy ride

i had a few commuter miles (it's .04 miles to work) and errand-running miles sitting around this morning, so i added to them with a 12-13 mile ride in the rain today. i didn't know if i was going to get out because of the thunder and lightning earlier, but the reds and yellows on radar moved to the east and were replaced by gentle, peaceful greens.

for part of today's portion of this workout, it wasn't even raining. the sun came out. a patch of sky turned blue. didn't last long. it mostly sprinkled, drizzled, what have you. i got wet, but not too cold. the wind picked up toward the end, but who cares? i rode! take that weather! (22.65 miles @ 11.8mph)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


dropped...again! after last week's jaunt with these guys i knew they were going to accellerate out of that corner. i planned for it. i moved up as far as i could in the pack. i maintained speed through the turn. i put the pedal to the metal coming out of it. my stupid chain started jumping and skipping around. i lost speed. i tried another jump. chain slipped again and again. i could not hold the wheel in front of me. i was left in no man's land. there were other riders behind me, but none of them caught me this week. so for miles i rode alone back to the meet up spot at central and webb. i don't feel too bad about it, but i sure wanted to hang on for a bit longer this week. i pulled a whole bunch during the ride. uphill and into the wind even. i did my part. shouldn't someone have mercy on a hard worker? i guess these guys don't think so. sink or swim. i sunk. oh well. next time i'll get them. i'll have a new big ring and a new chain and it won't skip and i'll keep up...for 10 or 15 meters longer. maybe. (30.89 miles @ 19.4mph

Monday, May 17, 2010

free mid-ride massage

last week while i was at my chiropractor's office, i noticed that he was giving free fifteen-minute hydro-massage sessions to anyone who rode to the office during bike to work week. that's this week! i decided to take him up on his offer today.

i meant to leave around 8:00, but didn't get out the door until around 8:30. i got a little way down the road and realized i didn't have my cell phone, so i turned around and pedaled back to get it.

after this little detour, i was pretty well warmed up so i cranked up the effort and enjoyed mile after mile of wind-assisted bliss. i thought i might as well enjoy it while i had it at my back because the return trek was going to be into the wind. i wasn't overly fast, but got to his office in wellington before they opened at 10:00. my average was 17.4mph at that point.

i enjoyed a quick adjustment and my free massage, then it was right back on the bike for the return trip. i took a slightly different route out of the city of wellington. it might have added an extra 1/2 to 3/4 mile. i don't know. i wasn't paying attention to that. i was just trying to judge the wind and see what i could do against it.

when i broke free of the city limits, i ramped up my effort again. i was able to maintain a much higher speed than i expected. i was slower than on the way to wellington, but not by much. at times i was cruising along at over 20mph. at five miles out, i imagined that i could make it back home before two and a half hours. i almost made it. i was less than a mile from my driveway when the elapsed time read 2:30'00.

i turned south onto pine street and coasted along at 16-17mph with the wind at my back. i braked for the turn into the garage and stopped the clock at 2:31'57. my ending average was a decent 17.1mph. a good ride on a beautiful, cool day. (43.44 miles @ 17.1mph)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

subbing for a pregnant lady

my daughter needed to get out of the house and i wanted to ride, so i "forced" her to ride with me around town. we stopped in at the ultimate frisbee tournament and i ended up in the game for a pregnant lady who had to pee. i'm sure some of you understand that statement. the team i joined got smacked down by my daughter's team. i've got to clean up now for a birthday party. see ya'll monday. (3.10 miles @ 8.8mph)

dark and wet

two words describe this morning's ride best:

1) dark
2) wet

i knew both before i started out. the dark was not a surprise at all. it was 4:45 when i set out. the wet wasn't all that much of a shock either. rain was in the forecast. the thing is, i didn't expect the wet to be quite as wet as the wet was.

i looked at radar before heading out and nothing was showing up. nothing at all! i thought, can't be that bad if it doesn't show up on radar.

the radar must've been broken.

though you could hardly call it a downpour, the water falling steadily from the sky was definitely more than a light sprinkle. my tights and shorts were soaked through almost immediately. my jersey, under my not-so-waterproof jacket, took a few seconds longer to reach saturation. we won't even talk about my gloves and socks.

thankfully, there wasn't a lot of wind to go along with the precipitation. it was a bit cool, but not at all chilly at 55 degrees. i was working hard and my core warmed up nicely.

after the first mile or two, the rain stopped. seriously. stopped completely. the road was dry! i thought, maybe it's just raining in argonia. for the next four or five miles i lived believing that delusion. then the rain started up again. wasn't too bad, but i'll admit i contemplated turning around. i pressed on. i had more time before i had to be back. this was the only ride i was going to get all day. keep going!

for two or three miles i rode on east, the rain getting heavier and heavier as i went. what did i care? i was drenched already. i climbed up nine-mile mile and, glancing at my watch, decided i needed to head for home. my 24-hour ems shift was scheduled to begin at 6:00. i couldn't be late.

the ride home was more of the same. rain falling steadily in the darkness. i wondered if the road that was dry earlier would still be dry. it wasn't. there was not respite this time.

i got home and lubed cato's chain and wiped down his frame. then i wrung out my clothes and hung them to dry. i took an extra long, extra warm shower to get rid of the chill and now i'm ready for breakfast with the lions. those helpful guys are serving pancakes and sausage. yum! (18.03 miles @ 17.2mph)

Friday, May 14, 2010

No better than Hitler...

About three months ago I took Phil Gulley, Quaker co-author of If Grace Is True, and James Mulholland, his United Methodist counterpart, to task for their false teaching concerning salvation. Perhaps you remember that post. Perhaps not. Here are a couple of paragraphs from that “ancient” document to refresh your memory.

“The book, If Grace Is True, suggests that everyone will be saved in the end. It argues for the false belief that no one is going to hell, that a God who is love could not send anyone to a place of eternal torment. The writers then offer an alternative to what the Bible clearly teaches. People who refuse God’s offer of love in this life will be punished for a time, they say, but not forever. They will be given opportunity to repent after death. Hitler will be in heaven, eventually, along with all the Jews he gassed. Everyone of every religion will be admitted as well. Gandhi and all Hindus will be in heaven along with all Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Even atheists will be given a place at God’s table. When the authors of If Grace Is True say every person will be saved, they mean every person.”

Those words were written almost immediately after I finished reading If Grace Is True. I was madder than hops that someone who claimed the name Friends would write such claptrap. So I vented a bit. Felt good to rant and rave. Felt right to set the record straight.

After I had posted my words here and on Facebook, God almost immediately created a problem for me. He pointed out a flaw in the way I used Hitler’s name. I wrote about If Grace Is True’s assertion that Hitler will be in heaven as if he was somehow less deserving of heaven than I am. My tone suggested that I am somehow morally superior to the Fuehrer. I am not.

Most of us imagine ourselves good enough to get into heaven. We’re like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable.

Jesus said: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’” (Luke 18:10-12, NIV)

Perhaps you’ve thought such things. “Compared to so and so, I’m not that bad.” Or “I’m as good as the next guy.” Or “I’m better than Hitler.”

Time for a dose of the truth. I am not morally superior to the Holocaust’s engineer. I am no better than Adolf. I am as evil and as deserving of hell as that genocidal maniac everyone loves to hate.

The same is true of you. You deserve – same as Hitler, same as Mother Teresa – to spend your forever life weeping and gnashing your teeth.

Now what do you say to that? Don’t know what to say do you? You were doing fine until I brought that saintly old woman into the mix. Surely she doesn’t deserve eternal torment. Me maybe. Hitler for sure. But not Mother Teresa? Come on, Mike. You’re taking this a bit too far.
On what basis do you make your argument? My guess is many of you want to damn the mad man because of his works and defend the nun because of hers. And while you’re at it, you’ll say to yourself, “I may not be a Mother Teresa, but I’m certainly not a Hitler. I’m a decent chap. I’m more saint than sinner.” Not true!

“‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’” (Romans 3:10-12, NIV)

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20, NIV)

The Bible says you’re not as good as you think you are. It says you’re unrighteous. It says there’s no one who does good. Not you. Not me. Not your neighbor. Not India’s most famous Catholic. We’re all in the same boat…with Hitler. There is no more hope for us than for him as far as works are concerned. Our hearts are as desperately sinful as his; our actions as damnable; our words as venomous.

I don’t like the Bible’s assessment of me, but when I’m completely honest, I know it’s accurate. Paul speaks for me: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19, NIV)

Ever since the day Adam and Eve bit into the forbidden fruit, this has been the plight of all men – God-haters and God-followers alike. Evil from birth.

“Surely I was sinful at birth,” David wrote, “sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5, NIV) Bent toward sin.

“…I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” (Psalm 51:3, NIV) Damned if God doesn’t help us.

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” (Psalm 51:4, NIV)

What did Romans 3 say? Verse 19, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” We are accountable to God and we are sinful. There is no argument we can make before him that will justify us.

Verse 20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” I will not be declared righteous in God’s sight because of my good works. They aren’t good enough. They don’t measure up to God’s standards. Yours don’t either. You can’t point at Hitler and get off the hook. You are accountable to God.

Thankfully, this is only half of the story, the bad half. You see, the God who is our judge is also the God who loves us deeply and doesn’t want us to spend eternity in hell. He has made a way for us to escape eternal torment and enjoy eternal bliss.

Back in Romans 3 Paul shares the good news. Starting at verse 21, he writes: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-24, NIV)

We’ve already talked about the “there is no difference, for all have sinned” part of this. That was the part that had you and me and Mother Teresa and Hitler all in the same boat. All of us sinners. Hopelessly lost. Aware of our sin, but unable to save ourselves.

What’s new in these verses is the good news. A right standing with God – that’s what righteousness is really – is available to all who put their faith in Jesus. Those who believe are justified freely by God’s grace.

Justified is a legal term. It means to be free of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin. I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds pretty good. If I believe on Jesus, God frees me from the guilt of my sin. I am no longer accountable to him for it. I do not have to be judged as unrighteous. Furthermore, if I believe, God frees me from the penalty of sin. I will not be damned forever. In fact a little later in Romans, Paul shares this bit of good news: “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1, NIV) And all this costs me nothing! My good works have nothing to do with it. I am, if I put my faith in Jesus, set free!

You can be saved if you will believe. Anyone can be. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even Hitler may have been saved if he put his faith in Jesus as he was dying. If he couldn’t possibly be saved, not one of us can be. Only if the worst of sinners has hope do any of us have hope.

Have I made myself clear? None of us deserve eternal life in heaven. We all deserve eternal punishment in hell. Our works do us no good in God’s courtroom. It is only through faith in Jesus we can be justified. We receive salvation by grace because of God’s great love for us. Christ’ righteousness and not our own gives us entrance into heaven.

If this all is true, and I believe it all is, why would you not want to put your faith in Jesus? Can you think of a single reason to refuse so great a salvation? I can’t. It doesn’t make sense to walk away from an offer this good.

I have chosen Christ. Have you? You can do so now. Put your faith in Jesus and ask God for the gift of eternal life. If you ask for it, you will receive it. Pray right now and, by faith, you will be saved.

To receive my once or twice weekly message via email, send a blank email to Past messages are available at

riding at 87%

had to get out early this morning. storms are threatening. there's a big mass of greens and yellows and reds on radar south and a little east of us. i don't like riding under skies that show yellow or red on radar. i'm afraid of melting.

today i took it fairly easy, cranking out miles more than anything. my pace and effort were moderate - not recovery really, but not a hard effort either. i tested my chain adjustments and things seem to be kosher again as far as standing and accelerating. hope that holds true when i ride with the wichita group again next tuesday.

picked up the pace ever so slightly on the way back. the east wind helped just a tiny bit. didn't feel 100% - maybe 85% or 87% at the most. worked on stretching the crazy muscle that's been giving me trouble for weeks. still sore. it's got to get better eventually, right? (15.97 miles @ 16.6mph)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

her three favorite things

my daughter's three-point paragraph about tonight's ride:

i had three favorite things about the snecklifter 10k challenge. these things were going with my family, seeing the beautiful scenery of argonia and trying to navigate in the dark. my first favorite thing was going with my family. i loved going with my family because i liked having quality family bonding time because of talking. seeing the beautiful scenery of argonia was my second favorite thing. i loved seeing the scenery of argonia, because of all the pretty trees. my third favorite thing about the ride was trying to navigate in the dark. i liked trying to navigate in the dark because it was hard to see where the holes were except when there was light to reflect off the water. going with my family, seeing the beautiful scenery of argonia and trying to navigate in the dark was what i loved best of this ride and i hope to do this again soon. (7.33 miles @ 8.1mph)

two sets of seven

worked on intervals this morning. still haven't got my front derailleur adjusted right, so not violent accelerations, but i put in some hard efforts during my two sets of seven. much cooler today since the cold front that spawned a few tornados last night is still in place. supposed to be pleasant all weekend with high temps in the 70s. hope saturday's a great day for argonia's annual fun fest - argonia daze. come down and enjoy the rodeo at 8:00 friday and saturday nights. i'll be with the ambulance on standby friday. (16.48 miles @ 16.7mph)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

60-second confession #7

i had an addiction to speed. perhaps you've had the same problem. i'm recovering. will you?

here and there recovery

i rode about three of these miles on other days. today's seven were mostly around town the others were on errands. not very exciting riding, but good recovery after last night's suffer fest with the oz club. (10.68 miles @ 10.4mph)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

oz bicycle club ride

let me say it up front: i averaged 20.7mph and i got dropped. had a great time though. i'm going back for more next tuesday.

the ride started off kind of ominously. i pulled up at the first stoplight feeling good. i clicked out and waited for green. when it changed, i clicked in and stood to accelerate. my chain flew off. i spun my cranks a couple of times and miraculously it jumped back on. i jumped on the pedals again. i had to catch up. chain disengaged a second time. same magical fix. i'm not making this up. i sat and accelerated more slowly and everything went fine. i caught the leaders who were taking it fairly easy at this point. at the next light, i stayed seated and had no chain problems.

the ride out was pretty enjoyable. i actually felt pretty strong. i was tucked in about five or six back in a side-by-side paceline. life was good. the rotating didn't start until we'd been riding for quite some time. the leaders pulled the rest of us along at 23-24mph straight into a SSW wind. when we turned east, they pealed off and let someone else take over. it was probably ten minutes before i found myself back one on the outside line. we started a slight climb and the guy in the lead started dropping back. i felt good, so i pulled around and lead the line up and over the top. it was awesome!

we continued on for awhile, taking turns. after my turn at the front, i went to the back and played in the draft, spinning in my little ring at 20-22mph. the wind was killing people out front. wasn't bad at all where i sat.

about a half mile from the group's turn around there was a mad dash sprint. i was next to another guy who just shook his head and watched. "this is a recreational ride," he said. "i'm not going to kill myself. they can have the prize money."

so we turned around and headed back. with the wind at our backs, the real ride began. i immediately noticed a different mood in the line. there were violent accelerations and then brief pauses. we were cruising at 25-28mph now. the accelerations took us over 30mph. somewhere along the way i hit 36.4mph. have no idea where since my eyes were on the wheel in front of me on not on my cateye.

we rode on like this for several miles and then rounded a curve. suddenly the group was gone. i stayed with them for a very short time and then they vanished. they just rode away from me and i was alone between groups. i mean really alone. the nearest riders behind me were about a quarter mile back. i slowed a bit and set my own pace - about 19-20mph.

after a few minutes in no man's land, a second rider named shawn caught up and we started working together. we tried to catch the lead group, but alas, our efforts were in vain. we did catch one rider who was cramping and another who dropped off the back, exhausted, but we never saw the others.

next thing i know, shawn gasps and says, "i'm burnt!" i ride up and pull him along for a mile or two up and over a couple of hills. when we got to the river, he took the lead with renewed vigor. nearly killed me climbing up and over the viaduct. we coasted down the other side and were mercifully stopped at a light.

after the light, we sped across to another light and were stopped again. at this light, four or five of the guys who'd been trailing behind us caught up. i was never so glad to see another cyclist in my life. i thought they'd help with the pulls over the last two or three miles. i was wrong. shawn and i ended up pulling most of the way.

about a mile before we were back to the gathering spot, shawn and two or three others pealed off and rode toward home. i was left with two other guys. we rode fairly hard and made it back as a pack of three. the leaders were already packed up and gone. i changed out of my cycling stuff and talked with vet, a guy i'd ridden with several times when life was good in the paceline. then barry, the guy who i'd talked to about the ride earlier in the day rolled in. we talked for a while and then i drove away.

the ride was a blast. i was tired at the end, but happy too. i'm coming back again next week without riding thirty miles earlier in the day. (26.35 miles @ 20.7mph)

riding north with eric

eric showed up at my house around 12:30 and actually got on his bike despite the clear skies and pleasant temps. i took off and looked back and he was still standing over his bike. i think he was amazed at my quick acceleration. he claimed his chain came off. likely story.

so after he "fixed" his chain, we rode north on argonia road to avoid traffic so we could talk. he tried to keep up, but ended up sucking my wheel fairly often. he said he'd never ridden in a paceline before so he was trying to learn all he could while he had such a strong rider to pull him up and over the massive hills.

when we got to our turn around, we stopped for a drink then turned our front wheels south. the wind was perfect for a fast ride back to argonia. when the dog at seven miles out charged, i left eric behind. i figured the dog would ignore him when he saw how little meat there was to have. poor, skinny eric. the dog gave up either because eric found some speed that hadn't been there before or because of the smell. not sure which.

i slowed up a bit then and we rode side by side for several miles. had deep conversations about transubstantiation and supralapsarianism. neither of us had a clue, but it was fun.

as we approached argonia, eric begged to go east to my "around the world" line, so we rounded the corner onto highway 160 and headed into the wind. we pushed hard and paced each other. i did the bulk of the pulling, but who's keeping track?

we paused at the "ATW" line and eric bowed and scraped a few times. then we mounted up and rode back into town. at one point he tried to drop me. all i heard was, "i'm going to try to break 30," and he was away. i jumped on my pedals and quickly overtook him reaching a max speed of 34mph. eric said he broke 30mph, but wouldn't let me look at his computer.

turning south onto pine, we slowed the pace a bit to cool down before pulling into my driveway. somehow, eric ended up with an extra tenth of a mile. his computer read 19.04 miles. mine read 18.92. makes me wonder how accurate his speeds are.

after he changed, i walked him out to his suburban and saw him off. i had to make sure he knew he still owed me 100 miles. (18.92 miles @ 17.4mph)

warm up for oz

just wanted to get in some warm up miles before tonight. i'm planning to join the oz bicycle club at minneha school for their tuesday night ride in wichita. don't know if i'll be able to keep up with the fast group. i'm asking questions before i join a group.

anyway, nothing much to report here. eric m called me at mile 4. we talked until mile 5. he's coming down for a short ride this afternoon. he'll likely still owe me 100 miles or more. (10.32 miles @ 15.4mph)

Monday, May 10, 2010

another stab at unicycling

didn't have time to practice sunday, so i had to get some time in monday night. here is the footage of my third attempt at mastering this crazy thing. i'm improving...slowly!

less than epic

today i was supposed to ride 100+ miles with eric. we were supposed to leave from greensburg at 8:00am. eric showed up, but because of the weather, he didn't want to ride. what was supposed to be an epic, personal record distance ride ended up being something less. this is my revenge.

not so epic

this ride was supposed to be an epic 100+ mile trek. it was supposed to be my first ride through the gypsum hills between coldwater and medicine lodge. it was nothing it was supposed to be.

i woke up at jeff and lori's house in greensburg before my alarm went off. i shaved my face and got everything ready to ride - water bottles filled, clothes laid out, food ready to go.

shortly after 7:00, jeff and i headed to the green bean to get some breakfast. jeff's van was covered in a fine, wind-driven mist as we wound our way to this popular coffee shop. it was only 51 degrees. when we arrived i ordered a tasty ham, egg and cheese croissant and a bottle of minute maid orange juice. jeff chose a cranberry bagel and coffee. when it was all ready, we enjoyed our food over great conversation.

at 7:40, our meal done, we paid then headed back to jeff's. eric and doug were supposed to be there by 8:00. eric was on the front porch when we pulled up. he was dressed in street clothes and he was not excited about riding. he whined about it being too cold and windy. poor baby. he also reported that doug was having car trouble and wasn't sure he could make it to greensburg. he would call back soon.

since we weren't going to leave without doug and eric was not ready to ride, i took the trainer baby to the green bean. he thought hot coffee sounded good. we sat there and talked about this and that until doug called. he asked eric's opinion - not mine! - about riding and the epic ride was postponed.

now, eric and i had a dilemma. what were we going to do? i was geared up to ride, but knew the conditions would have to improve if i was going to get my companion to come with me. i suggested we check the river in kingman, 60 miles to the east. maybe it would be better there. eric was on the way to wichita anyway, so going east made sense. the weather channel predicted high winds, but no rain in kingman. we decided to check it out. we drove back to jeff's and i loaded up all my stuff and headed out.

a little over an hour later, we both pulled up in front of my sister pam's house. it was still misty. the wind was still howling. i hopped out and walked back to eric's suburban. when i saw the look on his face, i knew i would be riding alone today. eric begged off. said he'd live to ride another day. then he drove away. i stood and watched his taillights round the corner and disappear.

what to do? i had a couple of options. drive home and ride or ride old highway 54 east of kingman. i chose the more interesting of the two. i can ride in argonia anyday, so i took my stuff into pam's upstairs bathroom and suited up.

the ride was way more pleasant than i had imagined it would be. the wind was strong, but not in my face on the way out. i cruised along at near 15mph. not fast by any measure, but fast enough on a day like this. i turned around at 120th avenue and headed back to town.

the trip back was awesome! i picked up my speed a bit, riding at or above 17mph most of the way. i powered up a couple of hills at 20mph just because i felt like it.

i rode back into kingman and decided i needed a few more miles, so i pushed on past my turn off and headed south on main. the wind was in my face now, so i didn't ride far. i skipped and hopped over the brick street and the climbed the hill out of town. at the top of the hill, i added an illegal u-turn to my rap sheet and rode back to highway 54. i rounded the corner there and rode back to my turn off and to my sister's.

i put my bike away and then went inside for a shower. sometime during my clean up, pam came in from the school for lunch. we talked and ate together and then i drove home.

bummed that i didn't get to ride the gyp hills. sorry eric was such a weinie. glad i got out to ride. (27.92 miles @ 15.6mph)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

recovering in the cold

it was cold this morning. 37 when i set out on my recovery ride. about 49 when i got back.

i rode a nice easy pace the whole time. no hard efforts. the first ten miles i rode mostly with my hands off the bars. i wanted to work on balance since i'm trying to learn the unicycle.

after my turn around, the wind was throwing me off to much, so i just settled in to ride normally, hands on the hoods. nothing much to say besides that. monday is my 100+ day if the weather cooperates. (20.62 miles @ 13.7mph)

Friday, May 7, 2010

try, try again

practiced unicycling for an hour tonight. fell flat on my bum just once. dropped the poor one-wheeled victim of my abuse more times than i could count. scratched my inner thigh on the exposed metal on the seat. no bleeding, but nice and red. i promised i won't post pictures. no cameras around, but plenty of people drove by and took a second look. one guy even stopped and tried talking with me. i told him to go away. not really, but he was breaking my concentration. the best part was the two or three or four times i actually was sort of riding the crazy thing. i pedaled four or five strokes more than once. still don't know how to react properly when i start falling, but i'll get it. gravity will not win.

first attempts

with the unicycle out of the box and properly assembled, i take my chances and give it a whirl. when it's all said and done, the score is 0-10. i lose. i'm going to keep trying though. i will conquer this beast.

a "short" ride

i told my daughter i was going out on a short ride. that was my intent. i was going to ride 12 or 13 minutes and call it a day. i don't know what happened to that. i just kept going. at the 14-mile mark i decided to try a 20km time trial. wanted to see if i could best my time from boni's challenge. i didn't do it. i ended up with an alright time of 39'22. spun out a few more miles and pulled into the driveway. tomorrow i've got to ride recovery pace to get ready for monday's mileage fest. i'm doing a century plus with eric m and a mutual friend. can't wait! (31.75 miles @ 17.1mph)

Canned worship...

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Does it ever bother you how canned worship can be? Some churches put on a good show, but have little substance. This spoof on contemporary "worship" hits the mark in its critique of current church culture.


i hit my highest max speed of this year this morning...on a FLAT stretch of road. the wind was unbearable, constant and strong. i did intervals today and going out, pushing as hard as i could, i was going 10mph. i wasn't very happy. then my front derailleur decided it didn't want to work. i couldn't shift to my big ring at all. it took so much effort and so much time getting to the top of drouhard hill that i had to turn around there, a mile short of my original plan.

coming back was much easier. my derailleur magically repaired itself and i bombed down drouhard hill. after a rest, i flew up and around the correction curve. then, when the time was right, i put the hammer down and went for broke. i wanted to see if i could hit 40mph with the wind at my back. i accelerated through the 20s, then the 30s. when i thought i was doing all i could do, i looked down. my computer read 39.8mph. that made me mad enough to accellerate one more time. 41.1mph!

i finished that interval, my last, and heaved a lung while the wind pushed me along. no pedaling. just breathing for about 45 seconds. then the spinning began. i shifted down and let lifted my cadence to 90-100rpm. maybe more. i wasn't counting.

that's how i ended the ride...spinning and at ease. tomorrow will be an easier day followed by rest on sunday. monday, if all goes as planned, is my first century of the year. (11.50 miles @ 14.7mph)

a mysterious package

a mysterious package arrives from three states away. what could be in it? watch and find out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

to the dentist

had to run to the school and to the dentist's office today. rode a bit with my girls too. so i got a few more recovery miles in. hard day tomorrow and then another easy one on saturday - hopefully with wil r and his dad, steve. (2.42 miles @ 2.42mph)

when the lights go out

"if you pushed it, it wasn't a recovery ride!" - bernard y

i read those words just before heading out this morning. they helped me stay focused on recovery. i spun the entire time. kept my HR under control. stood only three or four times to stretch my quads. remained seated and calm most of the time.

i say "most of the time" concerning calm, because there were a couple of brief moments of panic this morning. the first came after a tanker truck buzzed me less than three miles into my ride. i thought, "jerk!" then i looked back and discovered that i'd forgotten to turn my taillight on. stupid!

the second panic attack came at the halfway point. that's when i found out what happens when the rechargeable battery on my headlight runs out of juice. i ran my high beam this morning, same as any other morning. problem is this was the third morning on the same charge. let's do the math. 1.25 hours + 1.25 hour + 0.5 hours = 3 hours. three hours is the maximum amount of time my light is said to work on high. that's just about right.

about forty minutes into my ride, the light starts going crazy. it flashes slowly at first, then more rapidly. cars are approaching from both directions. they pass me and the flashing stops. i am in the dark. i poke the power button and get the light back on. it's dimmer and it's flashing in a strange pattern. after a few minutes i realize it's an SOS pattern. i try the button again. flashing dim light. once more. super dim steady light. that's where i leave it.

thankfully the moon was fairly bright and the sun was coming up. i could see pretty well. my only real concern was the other guy. only four cars passed me in the eight-mile trip home.

certainly the most interesting recovery ride i've taken in a long time. i'm going for uneventful next time. (16.20 miles @ 13.1mph)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

slow down and enjoy

my wife wanted to go for a ride tonight, so off we went. we rode out to see my "ATW" (around the world) mark on the highway then turned around and pedaled to the argonia mart. they were still out of unicycles, but they had a few things a kindergartener could buy on the last day of school. that's tomorrow. my wife, their teacher, and my daughters who are already out of school will be bringing the little ones to the store to use the money they've counted time and time again in class.

from argonia mart, we headed west on 160 to the turn off onto the holden nature center loop. we rode slowly with no real purpose other than to get out and enjoy the perfect evening. no wind. warm temps. life is good.

on 10th street south, we encountered a couple of farmers fixing a section of fence. one of them said, "you're riding the wrong bike." i'm still trying to figure out what that meant. hmmm.

we stopped at argonia road for traffic. two cars! one stopped. the driver, a friend, commented on the beauty of the evening. we smiled and agreed. he drove on. we rode on, up the bike path and then onto main street. we turned right at the fitness center, left at the park, right onto garfield, then left again onto pine. pine took us home.

a few years back, when i was way too focused on speed and never rode recovery rides, a ride like this would've driven me nuts. how sad. i missed out on so much fun. i seldom rode with my wife or kids and when i did i was worried about the way their turtle's pace was killing my average. stupid, mike! stupid. now i just enjoy the ride and the company. some of the slowest riders i know are the people i love the most. why would i not ride with them and grin? (6.52 miles @ 7.7mph)

around the world video

i recorded the first mile on a brand new bike, a giant sedona, way back in 2004. since then i have ridden that bike and, more recently, a trek 2.1 almost daily. today, may 5, 2010, i completed a virtual journey around the world. at around 6:00am (cst), i marked the spot where i reached 24,901.55 miles. that done, i continued on, the second circumnavigation begun.

the 2nd go round

i had to get out again today. the siren call of the beginning of my second journey around the earth was loud. i suited up quickly and raced down the road. i smiled as i passed my roadside "graffiti" and rode on.

when i reached my planned turn around, i stopped and reset everything for one final attempt at the fastest five-mile time trial for the MAYday MAYhem challenge. i didn't think i'd have much chance, but i had to try. the wind fought me at times and the route i was one was a bit hillier than i would've liked. i finished in just over 14 minutes. not enough to improve my standings. i concede the race. congrats to brian m who appears to be the man in yellow on this one.

i cruised the final mile and rolled into my driveway sweating like a pig and as happy as ever - except for the wasp sting i suffered near the finish of my five-mile attempt. the second go round - - has begun.

60-second confession #6

i have admitted my struggle with hatred before, in print, but never in front of a camera. i do so today in honor of cinco de mayo, a day that commemorates mexico's victory over the french at the battle of puebla in 1862. (my apologies to any french men or women who really don't like the day.) listen in as i reveal my secret in this first ever, spanish language confession.

around the world

i woke up at 4:30, hyper as all get out. my body and mind were keyed up, ready to ride a very momentous ride - the ride that would put me over the top on my first circumnavigation of the world. i'd done the math late last night. i needed 13.09 miles to complete my journey. so with butterflies in my gut, i slipped out of bed and got dressed for the ride.

i took a couple of special things with me on this ride - a camera to record the occasion (you'll see the movie soon), my mountain bike tire bracelet to honor floyd who started this trip with me 2317 days ago but doesn't have lights to make an early morning ride safe and a can of spray paint to mark the spot on the highway where i hit 20,901.55 miles. it's pretty convenient that they make bottle holders the right size for spray paint cans.

so off i went. it was incredibly windy again this morning. i got tossed here and there. i rode out seven miles to the conway springs road and then turned around.

as i headed back toward argonia, i started getting giddy. i was so excited about the milestone i was about to pass. i rode easily, but with tons of energy. when i neared the 13.09-mile mark, i slowed so that i could stop and mark the spot. my cateye rolled over to 13.09 and i braked. while the camera rolled, i marked the road with a line and the letters ATW for around the world.

then i did what you knew i'd do. i got back on cato and started my second circumnavigation. (14.25 miles @ 14.7mph)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

more meandering

i'm kind of getting used to taking a slow, easy ride in the afternoon after pushing it hard in the morning. it's an enjoyable break. rode two loops around town, adding different side trips each time. it's time to get ready for 8th grade promotion and the junior high honors assembly now. no rest for the wicked! (8.05 miles @ 13.2mph)

the wind won

another trip to the chiropractor this morning put me in good shape to get out and fight the wind. i rode east first, thinking that was the best way to go to avoid the wind. i was wrong. i figured that out somewhere around five and a half miles out so i turned around at the six mile mark and headed back to town.

when i got to town, i turned south. another bad move. for two miles i rode straight into a very strong south wind. i had planned to ride five miles that way, but turned west after just two miles. i rode about two miles west then turned around and headed back home. going north was the only good part of the day. i flew over the river and up the road. railroad hill was a breeze. waved at the fourth graders who were out for a field trip to susanna salter's house. (argonia is home to the first woman mayor in america. her house is a museum.)

the wind won today. i hate the wind. hope it dies tonight. i want to finish my "world" tour tomorrow. (18.08 miles @ 15.2mph)

Monday, May 3, 2010

joining the 3650 club

i was all warmed up after riding home from the school program so, on a whim, i decided to take cato out and finish off the 3650 club challenge. i wouldn't have even noticed i was close if it wasn't for the motivation jeremy b sent me this afternoon. thanks, mr. b! when i saw i was only ten miles away, i couldn't resist. i strapped on the lights and set out. my legs felt great, so i cranked up the speed. the first five miles i finished in under 15 minutes. the last five were under 14. not as fast as this morning's 12'57, but pretty fast. love the overall speed and the fine finish to the challenge six months ahead of schedule! (11.93 miles @ 20.2mph)

small town riding

i decided to take the long route to the elementary school program and honors assembly tonight. i headed south first and rode a loop around town to get to the school which is only three blocks away.

really enjoyed the program. seemed a bit weird not to have my own kids up there, but i know most of the kids in town anyway. they're my kids. i've known most of them from the day they were born. i love living in a small town!

after the program and the retirement reception for our departing principal, i hopped back on my bike and rode the same loop, plus an extra bit, to get home. it was just getting dark as i pulled into the driveway. since i didn't think to put lights on before i left, i was glad to be off the streets. (7.38 miles @ 13.2mph)

back pain strikes again

i injured my back playing ultimate frisbee last night, so i didn't have a lot of push on the way out, riding into a light (for kansas) breeze. i was creeping along under 12mph most of the way to my turn around point. i would have liked to have ridden farther, but the slow start forced an early about face.

i rode back a mile and stopped to make what i thought would be a feeble attempt at bettering my time on the MAYday MAYhem five-mile time trial. i never dreamed that i'd come in with a sub 13-minute ride. in my wildest imaginationings i would've guessed just under 15 minutes if i was lucky. i thought that was pretty much a pipe dream since my back was killing me. be that as it may be, i took a shot at a better time and came away with a 12'57. crazy!

after pushing it for five miles, i shifted down and spun my way over the final 1.5 miles to home. (15.05 miles @ 16.0mph

Saturday, May 1, 2010

happy MAYday!

felt pretty good right out of the blocks today. got up to cruising speed after the first mile and pushed right on through to the finish line atop drouhard hill. this was the first of two attempts at the MAYday MAYhem challenge, a five-mile race against the clock. it was mostly uphill, against the wind, so didn't expect a spectacular time. just something to get the challenge going.

having finished my first MAYday MAYhem five-mile race against the clock, i continued pushing west through danville, past evil dog's house - may he rest in peace - and on to my "10-mile" turn around. flipped around and started the eastward push toward home. pulled up at the top of drouhard hill for a second attempt at MAYday MAYhem.

downhill with the wind is much better than uphill against it. trust me on this one. you understand, of course, that downhill and uphill are relative terms. if you saw the elevation graph for this course, you'd say, "what hill?" be that as it may, i bettered my time by over a minute on the MAYday MAYhem challenge. since scott and i are the only participants in this stealth challenge so far and he hasn't posted an entry, i'm in the lead. i expect that to change. you can join in the fun on (19.95 miles @ 17.9mph)