Wednesday, June 30, 2010


yesterday i took care of the details that made this morning's long ride possible. i begged off on the 7:00 swim team practice and had a fellow EMT cover for me from 4:00-6:00. i woke at 4:20 and drug myself out of bed by 4:30. i honestly didn't feel like getting on a bike this morning, but i had "work" to do. with 45.08 miles to go to my year's goal of 4020 miles, i had miles to go and no time to sleep.

i didn't want to blow up and have to cut my ride short, so i started off pretty easy. my first five miles or so were under 16mph. i saw a deer and a raccoon along side the road. they turned and ran back into the trees when they saw me. probably saved the deer's life since there was a truck coming the other direction.

when i reached milan road, i felt better and my legs were warm, so i picked up the pace a bit. a mile or two later, i was briefly accompanited by one of eric m's friends, an elanoides forficatus. at least that's what i think it was. the crazy bird flew about 10-15 feet ahead of me and only about 3-4 feet above my head. a truck passed going the other direction and scared it off. glad the nutty thing wasn't in the mood to attack. they're nasty things sometimes.

as i rode closer and closer to wellington, i felt better and better. i was able to push my average up and over 17mph long before i reached the bridge the crosses sand creek and enters the city.

my ride through the city was pretty uneventful. i had to stop briefly at two of highway 160's six traffic lights. two in a row, of course. i passed by wal-mart and rode up and over the railroad overpass then passed the toll booths for the kansas turnpike. i rode on just a bit further so that i would have a full 50 miles at ride's end.

i turned around at countryside and headed back toward home. the wind was at my back, so my pace was considerably higher. as i rode through wellington, i only dipped below 20mph a few times.

the ride back was pretty unremarkable. i rode above 18mph almost the entire way. on the flats and going down hill i seldom dropped below 20mph. on the way down nine mile hill i hit 35.8mph with just a little harder effort. about five miles from home my average finally reached 18mph.

i got back to town and my odometer read just a little under 50 miles, so i did a little extra riding. i turned south on main, rode to boys street, followed it around to bryana and then came back up main to walnut where i turned east back to pine and home.

so i did it. my bike log now says that i've ridden 4026.60 miles this year. never thought i'd pass my goal this early. time to make it higher i guess. but that can wait for a day or two. i've got to revel in the glory of this accomplishment for a little bit. (51.68 miles @ 18.2mph)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

praying for green

it was a bit chilly this morning. at the beginning of my ride i almost wished i'd taken the time to put my tights and jacket on. mind you, 65 isn't anything compared to 32, but it feels brisk after last night's 86 degree ride.

the best part of this recovery ride came on the return trip. there's a construction zone on the east side of danville and a traffic light controlling passage over l'alpe d'anville. i was a bit concerned about this crossing since the sensors aren't touchy enough to notice a bike and the one lane open is really narrow. i didn't want to meet a truck head on, so i was sure i'd be sitting there for twenty minutes waiting on a car to trip the trigger.

some of you will think i'm crazy, but i prayed about that light several times after i crossed the bridge going west. i didn't have a lot of extra time, so i needed a green light when i came back.

as i approached danville, a car went buzzing passed me. too early i thought. he'll get to the light and it'll turn green then back to red before i get there. i kept pedaling. i saw his brake lights come on. he stopped. the light stayed red. i kept pedaling. as i passed the last street, the light was still red. just as i was about to brake behind the car, the light turned green. the driver signaled for me to go around him and i rode up and over l'alpe d'anville with a kind driver blocking traffic from behind. how cool is that?

God cares about the little things in our lives. i don't know why He chose to turn that light green but doesn't always heal sickness, but i know He cares and i'm grateful this morning for a little glimpse of His grace. (23.88 miles @ 16.6mph)

Monday, June 28, 2010

hammering in the heat

my second ride of the day was a bit more intense than this morning's. the heat was up - 86 now as compared to 67 then. the wind was stronger. the humidity more of a factor. still, i hammered it. i rode out a mile further before turning around and made the round trip in just a little over three minutes longer than this morning's two-miles-less ride. fun stuff! (12.21 miles @ 19.3mph)

waking late

i overslept (for me) a bit this morning. i woke with a start at 5:55. late! i dressed quickly and rolled down my driveway at 6:02. i pushed myself a bit and got up to speed quickly. riding east, i wanted 11 miles to bring me within 80 miles of this year's goal, but i ran out of time. i had to turn around at milan road and sprint back. i cleaned up and made it to swim team practice only five minutes late. i plan to ride another 10 miles or so this evening before my ems class. hope that can happen. (10.21 miles @ 17.9mph)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

ball diamand and two

my family and i rode down to the ball diamond to get burgers and watch a little softball. sadly, argonia's little leaguers lost 10-12 to kiowa.

when the game was over, i did two laps around town before it got dark. the wind was atrocious going south. slowed me way down. it was enjoyable. i stopped in and picked up some ice cream at argonia mart before coming home. the chocolate hit the spot post ride.

just over 90 miles to reach 4020 miles for the year. don't know if i'll get it before the end of the month. (7.49 miles @ 11.5mph)

to belle plaine

i got up early this morning and loaded up the van with swim meet stuff - food, drinks, chairs, clothes to change into, etc. i put everything together and then loaded myself on my bike around 5:00. at that time it was 72 degrees with a light south-south-east wind around 6mph.

i turned on my lights and headed out on the highway. i ramped up my effort slowly until i reached my cruising speed after two or three miles. with the wind slightly in my face, i was able to ride at 16-18mph most of the way to the turn at anson road.

i rounded the corner just as the sun was peeking over the horizon and headed north. the wind helped me up and over 20mph. i was able to bring my average speed up to 18.5mph by the time i reached the turn onto parallel road. i saw one car on anson road and one dog in anson. that was the extent of the excitement for that stretch of back road.

on parallel, also called 90th, the wind was back in my face, but i was able to keep my pace up a little higher. maybe i was warmed up more. maybe i was more awake. not sure why i was able to ride faster than the first thirteen miles in the same direction. i saw three more cars and two dogs before hopping onto the short stretch of highway 81 i had to navigate.

when i pulled onto 81, i got nervous. the traffic volume jumped up a bit and the space between me and cars hurtling down the road got smaller. i hugged the white line and hoped everyone could see me.

when 81 curved northward, i kept my front wheel pointed straight ahead and rolled onto highway 55. i was pleased to see a good wide shoulder after the miles on 81 with next to nothing to ride on. i had forgotten that lane-width margin was there. yippee! i was passed by a couple of people on our swim team while i was speeding merrily along. crossing the railroad tracks, i climbed the little hill into belle plaine and rolled the few blocks to the pool. i arrived there about thirty minutes earlier than i had planned, so i had no clean clothes to change into. thankfully, spandex isn't an uncommon sight at a swimming competition. a lady talked with me for a bit about riding. her husband rides from clearwater down to argonia at times. i need to meet him at the next meet. maybe we can find time to ride together.

my wife and kids arrived around 7:00 with our stuff. after unloading the car, i showered quickly (they had no hot water) and got to the coaches meeting a minute or two late. our head coach and the 8 and under coach were there on time, so my brief absence wasn't a big deal.

the meet started around 8:00. our team did well. even with 13 swimmers out for ball tournaments or sickness, we placed our usual second overall. my daughters placed in all their events. my youngest had a first ever first place finish. her smooth strokes and powerful kick put her atop the podium in the 11-12 age group 50m backstroke!

we stopped for a picnic in wellington on the way home. i took a short nap and i'm staying in now. it's 96 degrees! yikes! may go watch some little league softball later this evening. that's always good for a few laughs. (34.82 miles @ 18.9mph)

Friday, June 25, 2010

no ufo sightings

no ufo sightings this morning. i got hit by a few bugs and a moth or two, but they were ifos. i rode for distance this morning. i woke up early enough that i could get in 26 miles bringing my week's total to 120 if i worked hard. so i did. i warmed up for about two or three miles then put the pedal to the metal. the wind kept me from a stellar performance, but this will do. (26.07 miles @ 17.5mph)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

a quick 20

i was hit by a ufo today. it happened less than two miles out of town. the first hint of morning light was just appearing on eastern horizon when out of nowhere, a flying blur. it came from the north, swooped down and passed through the space between my arm and leg, brushing the underside of my right forearm before speeding off into the dark. the shape was too fuzzy to recognize in the few seconds i saw it. the feel of it on my arm was too vague to tell what it was. a large moth? a small bird? i'll never know.

other than my close encounter with a ufo, my ride went pretty well. i was able to push hard this morning and ride a few more miles than i had planned. there wasn't any stiffness or soreness from yesterday's long ride. it was great!

a cold front came through last night, so the moderate winds were from the northeast today and the temps were much cooler. when i left it was 70.6 degrees. when i got back it had dropped to 70.1. the humidity was low too. really nice after the past few weeks of 80-90% humidity with early morning temps in the upper 70s and lower 80s.

i pushed it coming back and pulled into my driveway with about 15 minutes to spare. i showered quickly and walked over to the pool for swim team practice. the head coach wasn't there, so i got the team started. she showed up just as they were finishing warm ups. (20.12 miles @ 17.2mph)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

half century morning

i had time between swim team practices to get in a long ride this morning. i rode out a mile to the east and figured out that the wind was with me, so i turned around and headed back into town. at main street i turned south into the wind and rode the eight miles to highway 44. it was pretty slow going, 12-13mph most of the way.

turning onto highway 44 headed west, the wind's fury was lessened only a bit. it was still against me, but not directly. i kept seeing the grain elevators and water tower in anthony, but it seemed that they were always farther away when i climbed to the crest of the next big hill. seriously, there are some hills on this route!

in anthony, i turned north toward harper and noticed the bank thermometer which read 87 degrees. that was almost ten degrees warmer than my start time temp. i really enjoyed nine miles of wind-assisted bliss going north. i was pushed along at 18-20mph with bursts up to 24mph. the shoulder on this highway is much better than the non-shoulder of highway 44, so i felt a lot safer. i reached harper just before 10:00am.

as i rounded the corner onto highway 160, my odometer turned over to 34 miles. that's when i knew for sure i was going to get a full fifty in. it's exactly sixteen miles from the junction of highway 14 and 160. 34 + 16 is easy enough math i can do it on the fly from the saddle.

the last sixteen miles were great. the wind pushed me along and i made it back into my driveway just in time to shower quickly and run over to the pool for practice.

i'm ready for a nap now. thank God for days off! (50.78 miles @ 15.8mph)

injured RAAM rider update

Here's an update on the injured RAAM rider that I got through the Oz Bicycle Club's listserv...

Well it is time to keep everyone informed with what is going on with Diego Ballesteros, the Spanish "Race Across America" rider He was moved to a regular room at WMC yesterday afternoon. He still does not have any feeling from his waist or so down. He has a very positive outlook but says it is very hard under the circumstances. His Dr's have told him that they feel the paralysis is due to severe inflammation. He did have 4 broken vertebrae's but the spinal cord was intact!! He also has 4 broken ribs and road rash galore, from face to toe!

His girlfriend, Ana arrived Saturday eve following 24hrs of travel. Two from his support crew, Mattias and Chavi, remain to help him through the red tape involved with this kind of situation. What insurance covers and which insurance covers what, has been a real headache.

Their goal is to find a medical airplane to airlift him back home to Spain. The cost is prohibitive and whether or not insurance will cover is still in question. His girlfriend only has 10 vacation days and so she is hopeful all will work out. Another option is a rehab hospital in Colorado until he can board a regular flight. A local couple have opened their house (2 bks from WMC) to these 3 to keep their cost of stay at a minimum. They are surprised at Kansan's generosity and concern. (I’m not.)

Diego rode as close to Marco Polo's route from Spain to Peking, China 2 years ago in 100 days or so, all by himself, just shy of 13,000 km. He would stock up on water whenever he could as he had some pretty isolated areas. He has written a book on his trip which will be released in the fall. This year alone he had over 7000 miles logged on his bike. His physical condition was extraordinary and that will be in his favor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

piddlefarting around

i rode around town one and a half times while my wife was on the phone with her sister. i stopped in after the first 3.5 miles and told her i'd be back in about ten minutes if she wanted to ride with me. i sped around the north side of town and pulled in to the driveway with just over 5 miles.

she was about ready when i returned after riding a lap around the north side of town, so i waited and then we rode together around the holden's nature center loop. the pace was slower, but the company better. we made it back home just before it got dark enough to need lights.

after a short rest, we walked up to the school to get a vehicle for her to take to a class in wichita tomorrow. we jogged about two blocks on the way.

after we got the suburban out of the garage and through the gate, i decided to run home. it's just under a half mile. i made it back in about the same time my wife took to drive. i was in the way part of the time, so she had to go a little slower.

an enjoyable evening of exercise. should get in some higher mileage tomorrow morning. (10.49 miles @ 10.8mph)

radioshack's tour team

teamradioshack's tour roster was announced today. team members riding in support of lance armstrong's eighth tour victory are andreas klöden, levi leipheimer, chris horner, jani brajkovic, sérgio paulinho, yaroslav popovych, gregory rast and dmitriy muravyev. with so many strong riders on board, many of them capable of top places themselves, surely lance has as much chance as anyone to stand atop the podium in paris. here's hoping!

God gives good gifts...

There are a couple of places in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says incredible things about God, our Father. Three times in Matthew 6, Jesus says this: “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (v. 4, 6, 18, NIV)

God promises good things to those who quietly, even secretly, go about doing what’s right and good. Giving to the needy in secret – rewarded! Praying privately – rewarded! Fasting quietly – rewarded!

God rewards those who follow him. Nothing could be clearer in the Bible. There is no good thing done that will not have its reward in heaven. Even a cup of water given to one of God’s children will be honored.

Our Father in heaven notices the good we do. He keeps track of our deeds. We will receive his “Well done” in paradise and enter into our Father’s happiness.

In Matthew 7 Jesus says more.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
(Verses 7-11, NIV)

God is delighted when we ask for good gifts from him. When we ask selflessly for the things that will further his kingdom, he is glad to answer. Sometimes he gives us something better than we could’ve asked for, more than we could’ve imagined.

As imitators of God, dads, you need to follow his example. When you catch our kids quietly doing good things, you ought to reward them. Give their deeds the praise they deserve. Honor them with more responsibility than they expect.

When your kids ask for things that they need, do your best to meet those needs. Not spoiling them by meeting their whimsical wants and wishes, but caring for them by providing what they need. You ought to jump for joy when your kids ask you to meet their needs. It’s an opportunity to model God’s joy in giving good gifts to those who ask.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17, NIV)

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

Discipline matters...

“My son,” King Solomon once wrote, “do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:11-12, NIV)

This passage is quoted in the book of Hebrews. Immediately after the quotation, the writer adds these words of encouragement and instruction.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:7-11, NIV)

God disciplines his children. He does so through his word which Paul says is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV) He does so through circumstances as well.

No matter how he does it, God disciplines his children for their good. He knows that following his ways will give his children a good life. They will not be harmed by sin’s consequences.

Dads, your children will be glad one day that you took the initiative to discipline them. Your daughter will be grateful that you steered her away from gossip. Your son will thank you for teaching him the value of hard work. Your children, if they heed your instruction, will miss out on so much of the heartache that comes from ignoring God’s ways in every area of life.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children,” Paul writes, “instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, NIV)

That’s what discipline is all about really. Training. Instruction. So do the hard work required of you so that your children can grow in obedience to God himself.

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

God is good...

If God is good, why does he allow suffering and evil in the world? That question has been asked a thousand times in a thousand different ways. This short film answers that question succinctly. I hope you will be challenged by it and that you will trust in the God who is good.

Our compassionate Father...

Psalm 103 begins with a call to remember the awesome benefits of following God. David praises God and describes his goodness, likening God to a loving Father.

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:8-13, NIV)
God is compassionate toward his children. He doesn’t kick a believing son out of his family when he messes up. That’s what the erring child deserves, but that’s not what he gets. He gets grace. He gets forgiveness. He gets mercy.

In the New Testament, we see God showing these same attributes.

Jesus says a lot about God when he urges his followers to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36, NIV) Paul describes God at the beginning of his second letter to the church in Corinth as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” (See 2 Corinthians 1:3.) John doesn’t call God Father in 1 John 1:9, but he tells the church that God “is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” when we confess our sins to him.

God’s power to forgive and forget goes well beyond our own, but we can forgive with his help. We can be merciful with his help. We can be gracious.

Dads, acting like your heavenly Father in this matter may be the most important thing you do. If you are not compassionate and merciful, how will your kids ever believe that God is gracious? If you are harsh, they may believe he is harsh and reject him.

Perhaps, in part, this is why Paul gives the following instruction to you and me in Colossians 3:21. “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (NIV)

Be compassionate, dads. Be gracious. “Be merciful, just as your Father [in heaven] is merciful.” (Luke 6:36, NIV)

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

nothing to report

can't ride very far when i'm on call and i don't have anyone to cover for me, so i rode around and around and around town this morning on floyd. nothing terribly exciting happened while i was out. i've got to get ready for swim team practice. that's all for this one. (12.84 miles @ 12.3mph)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

good, fast ride

i only had an hour to ride this morning, so i wanted to get in all the miles i could. from the first pedal stroke to the last, i was going all out. i stood to climb hills. i gritted my teeth and pushed harder. i had a good fast ride. time to get cleaned up and ready for my girls' first swim meet which starts at 8:00. (17.97 miles @ 19.2mph)

Friday, June 18, 2010

spanish RAAM injured

just got word of this terrible accident today. through the oz bicycle club email list, i learned that the rider is currently a paraplegic. he cannot feel or move his legs. the doctors at wesley medical center are hopeful that feeling and movement will return over time. (read more...)

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

had to fix my flat rear tire before i rode this morning's recovery ride. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. nice, neat little hole patched easily. recovery ride this morning. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. lots of humidity in the air. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. wind picked up a bit while i was out. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. have to go to work now. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. (15.07 miles @ 14.9mph)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

tired beats dead

i don't know if i've ever sweat as much as i did this morning. there were times when the wind was blowing drops off my helmet like i was riding in a rainstorm. it's a good thing i was riding early in the morning. if i tried the same work out at 95 degrees (predicted high) and 81% humidity instead of 73 degrees, i'd have died. as it is, i'm just tired. tired beats dead most days.

i rode intervals again. after a mile warm up, i rode three sets of five - half mile hard effort, half mile rest. the rest between the first and second sets was longer than the rest between the second and third. (19.31 miles @ 17.1mph)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

danger: spectators ahead

who said watching a bike race is a safe thing to do? when a rider in the tour of switzerland's brake cable breaks, a fan gets a jolt!

a long, hot ride

i started work at 5:00 this morning. spent all morning and the early part of the afternoon sitting, so when i got home at 2:15 i was ready to ride.

i headed out on the highway around 3:30 and after a quick turn around to retrieve my forgotten sunglasses, rode out toward wellington. i wanted to get in at least 34 miles to put my total mileage for the week over 100. with the short rides on monday and tuesday mornings, i wasn't sure i was going to do much more than that this week, but last night's ride (which put me past my total mileage for 2009) and this afternoon's ride did the trick. wish i had time for longer rides like this more often.

it was hot - 85 degrees - and some what muggy - 66% - this afternoon, so i didn't push too much. i drank all my gatorade and almost wished for more before i pulled into my driveway. it's a good thing i'd downed several beverages earlier in the day. i might have been in a bit of trouble without a little pre-hydration.

i'm cooled down now and ready for a nice evening at home. i think i'll pop in a movie and relax. drop by if you like. (35.30 miles @ 16.7mph)

fun on a road bike

this guy is awesome. he takes a road bike out to do what mountain bikers and bmx-ers do. crazy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

north with oz

i'm at borders. the air conditioning is working wonderfully. i'm almost fully recovered. rested enough to report on my best showing with the oz bicycle club. i hung with them for 29.09 miles before seeing them ride away.

the ride tonight went north for the first time since i started riding with this club. it started out at a leisurely pace, leisurely for these guys. we were cruising along at 18-19mph, chatting. i met a guy who went to KU and knew a friend of mine who rode for kansas state. (remember mark s who was hit by an suv?) joe and i talked about riding the hills in lawrence. it was great.

the northerly route we took had a ton more hills than any of the southerly routes. one seemed to keep going forever. i hung on and managed to stay on the wheel in front of me the whole time. there were a few accelerations on the way out, but nothing terribly violent. more a friendly game of cat and mouse than a battle to the pain.

i sat in with the main pack the entire way to the turn around at highway 196. after the turn around, the jockeying for position started in earnest. i had to jump out of the saddle a couple of times climbing a couple of short hills and the beginning of the southbound trek, but i didn't get into my red zone until the fourth or fifth rise. it was then that i began to struggle to stay with the lead group. i managed to hold on and even led a bit down one of the hills.

when the road slanted upward again, i pulled to the side and let about half the group rocket ahead of me then i pulled in to the line and climbed out of my saddle. i made it to the top of the hill with the group. the next acceleration was the one that did me in. i'd given it all i had and there was nothing left. the twelve or so remaining riders left me in their dust as they sped toward highway 254.

i reached 254 on my own and pedaled across its four lanes. a little way ahead i could see joe. he'd been dropped too and seemed to be hanging back so i could catch him. i pushed a little harder and soon rode up to his wheel. we rode the rest of the way in to minneha school where we'd started almost two hours before. he rolled on to his home. i turned in and coasted to a stop, exhausted.

whether anyone else thinks so or not, i felt like this was my best showing with the oz club. i'll be back in a couple of weeks to ride with my brother-in-law and my nephew. hope they don't drop me. (37.99 miles @ 21.3mph)

a sad day for racing

today at the tour of switzerland, a very bad crash. cavendish and heinrich haussler hit each other and go down, taking many with them. it's awful to watch. hope everyone will be back up and ready for the tour in two and a half weeks.


anger fueled my interval workout this morning. anger at that crazy little black box that sits on my handlebars and does nothing. anger at a computer that won't work properly. angrrrrrrrr.

i started out with a five or six minute warm up this morning and then started what were supposed to be timed intervals. after only two hard efforts, my cateye strada started it's stupid behavior. it just quit registering. no time. no speed. nothing!

so at the n.e. 120th, i decided i'd try another strategy. i'd push hard for as long as i could at every intersection and spin to the next. my first hard effort was up drouhard hill. i pushed it up over 21mph and stayed there until the road leveled out just before the drouhards' house.

the next effort took me about a half mile over the flats at 23-24mph. i was feeling strong and loved flying down the road under my own power.

i sprinted to the construction cones, rested to the base of l'alpe d'anville, turned and sprinted out of the cones.

i was headed back east toward home now. i pushed it over half a mile and then rested. did a three-quarter mile sprint. rested. pushed it to the river. rested. pushed from the county line up and around the corner until i could push no more.

my intevals done. i spun out a four or five mile cool down. now i've got to run to swim team practice. see ya! (15.93 miles @ 17.9mph)

Monday, June 14, 2010

over the raging river

i'm thankful i'm not out on my bike right now. it's pouring rain and there are flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder every few seconds. my ems pager just went off. two roads to the south are closed due to high water. one of them is the road i turned around at. (see below.) i'll leave the roads to the cars for now.

i did get a few miles in on cato about an hour ago. i woke up at 5:45 and it wasn't raining, so i pulled on my freshly-washed jersey and a pair of shorts and headed south. i went that particular direction for only one reason: i wanted to see what the river was up to. the chicaskia river which crosses under argonia road about a mile south of the city limits is normaly an ankle-deep, tame-as-can-be waterway. when it rains like it has over the past 12 to 15 hours, it becomes an over-your-head, raging monster. crossing the bridge on my bike, it was the devourer i saw, not the ankle-biter.

i rode on to 30th street south before turning around and heading back toward town. i passed over the river a second time and rode up the rise that turns argonia road into main street. a quick journey through town brought me back to u.s. 160.

i turned west onto the highway and rode around the correction curves and over the river again near the harper-sumner county line. the same mad currents were rushing under the bridge there. i continued on to n.e. 120th avenue and decided i wouldn't have time to ride up drouhard hill and make it back to town in time for swim team practice, so i turned around.

about two miles out, i looked at the puddles on a side road and saw the telltale ripples that indicate rain. soon it was obvious that i was going to end this morning's ride a bit wet. the drops got bigger and bigger. they grew closer and closer together. soon i was being smacked in the face constantly by the windblown precipitation.

i picked up my pace a bit and made it in to my driveway before it really let loose.

i walked over to the pool for swim team practice after changing into street shoes and pulling on a pair of shorts. we got about 20 minutes in before the lightning started and we had to pull the kids out of the pool.

i jogged home and stepped through my front door just as the really serious downpour began. i'm dry and warm now. i think i'll go take a shower and get ready for the day. (11.86 miles @ 15.6mph)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

lance's TT bike

this bike is amazing! wish i had one. lance gets all the cool toys.

chicaskia road loop

i headed out this morning around 6:30. the wind was out of the southeast at about 10mph. the sun was shining. the temperature was around 75. the humidity was hovering near 90%. almost perfect conditions for a longer ride.

i headed east into the south-southwest wind with plans to complete one of my favorite loops, the chicaskia road loop. it's one of my favorites because of the rolling hills on the bottom side of it. they give me a bit of a challenge and a change of scenery.

on the way to chicaskia road, i pushed hard and got my average up to 18.3mph. i gained speed the whole way. i even gained a tenth or two chargine up antichrist hill. just before i reached chicaskia road, my tire started acting weird. it felt like i was hitting little bumps when the road was as smooth as smooth can be. i looked down to see if the tire was going flat. it looked firm. i kept going and the bumping got worse. i was about to stop when BANG! the tire blew. (see picture above.)

i rolled to a quick stop and changed out the tube. there was no sense in trying to patch the old one. it had a three or four-inch hole in it. not much fun changing a tire on the side of the road, but at least i didn't have much trouble getting the tire off the rim. about nine inches of it were already off. a friend from argonia stopped to see if i needed help. i thanked her and sent her on. i had everything under control.

after fixing my flat, i rode around the corner and headed south on chicaskia road. the going was much slower. i could hardly hold 13mph most of the time. for eight miles it was me versus the wind and the wind was winning. my average dropped to 16.3mph.

then i turned west. the westward journey was much more enjoyable. i had the wind off to my left and it was pushing me a bit. the hills slowed me from time to time, but i was able to keep a fairly decent pace. by the time i reached argonia road, i was ready for a tailwind.

my speed at the corner was 16.6mph. i put the pedal to the metal and flew the rest of the way home. my only frustration was that my crazy cateye computer started acting up. it would be working fine and then stop reading. so i rode a little over a minute longer than what this workout shows and probably covered just over 35 miles. i decided it wasn't worth the math to fix the problem. (34.87 miles @ 17.3mph)

Friday, June 11, 2010

pardon the french

"par une belle journée, je dois rouler." pardon my french, but today's ride deserves a touch of class. it was smooth and easy. it had a certain savoir faire. oops! french again. i usually hate recovery rides. they're a boring necessity, but today's ride was nice. not exciting. just nice. relaxing. enjoyable. (15.63 miles @ 15.0mph)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

riding in a sauna

sweat is pouring off of me as i write today. it's only 69 degrees out, but pair that temp with the 98% relative humidity and you've got the perfect formula for cleansing the pores. if it was warmer, i'd have expected to see men sitting in towels by the side of the road pouring water on the gravel to increase the steam.

my ride wasn't filled with a great deal of excitement. it was dark when i started out. the overcast sky blocked out any moonlight or starlight that might have lit my path, so i was completely dependent on my headlamp to see what was coming my way. what was coming my way way pavement, mile after mile of asphalt.

i decided at ten miles out that i had time to go for another couple miles before turning around. when i got to that point, i dove south into mayfield, adding another mile or so to the round trip.

the trip back was a bit better than the outbound journey. the light wind was at my back and i could see without my light. about ten miles out, i switched over to strobe so people coming toward me would notice me. between the flashing of my light and my brand new screaming yellow (their words, not mine) pearl izumi jersey, i didn't expect a repeat of "didn't see ya...almost hit ya" this morning.

i got back to the turn off to home with time to spare, so i rode on to blackstone road before turning to race back to the house. it was nice to get a bit longer ride in today since the weather and other commitments kept me from riding yesterday. (28.17 miles @ 18.1mph)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

hit and run in san fran

the grim numbers for the car-vs.-bicycles rampage in san francisco tell only part of the story.

three neighborhoods invaded by one car wednesday night with a driver bent on mowing people down. four bicyclists left sprawled on the pavement. six minutes from start to finish, from first victim to last.

the rest of the story could be found thursday in the three victims still recovering at san francisco general hospital, in the manhunt for the driver, and in the sense of disbelief among residents and workers that such random hostility could shatter their corners of the city. read more...

cato's back!

cato's surgery took place at my favorite shop on the north side of wichita.
his surgeon fixed him up good as new. cato was ready to rock and roll.
his old double ring compact gearing was shot. look at the points on these old things!
the new rear cassette is a beauty to behold. titanium has a glorious luster to it.
the chain and front rings look awesome! they performed beautifully under pressure.

rain dropped

i was hoping they wouldn't do it again, but they did. the oz guys dropped me like a sack of hammers on the way back to minneha school. i had no excuses. cato had a new chain, a new rear cassette and new rings up front. there was no skipping and popping when i accelerated. i just plain wasn't strong enough to hang onto the wheel in front of me after 24 miles. i could talk about the cramp in my side, but it wouldn't make a difference. i got dropped again. i'm kind of bummed, but i'll recover.

the ride out was great. though there was a strong headwind, we sailed along near 20mph. we cruised up and over hills. we chatted as we rolled along.

near the turn around point, i popped off the front up and over a hill. i thought it was the last hill and that i'd get a bit of glory. no such luck. i was two rises too early. had to laugh. i sat up as the young guys buzzed by me. they rode hard up to the turn around and headed back. i u-turned early. no sense in going all the way and never catching up.

on the way back i hung with the first few mad accelerations. i instigated one of them. then i started cramping up a bit. my side ached. i struggled to take deep breaths. still i stayed with the front group.

i made it around the first two corners with them. i was still on the wheel in front of me through the next two curves. i pushed for the next mile, but the slight uphill and my cramp did me in. the rain started falling about that time and the wind which had been in our favor switched. we had a headwind again. i could blame my demise on that bit of bad luck, but i can't. i'm just not strong enough to hang with these guys yet.

i rode alone in the pouring rain for several miles. if you'd seen me, you'd have thought you saw a drowned rat. i was miserable. then, through the spots on my now-too-dark sunglasses, i saw another rider ahead. i locked onto him and accelerated ever so slightly. my cramp was subsiding, so i pushed myself to catch him. i did so just after the last turn on to webb road.

the rest of the ride was a bit more enjoyable. my friend (i forgot his name and didn't ask) and i pedaled along and talked. we caught most of the lights right and sailed up and over the overpass south of kellogg avenue. crossing kellogg, we sped up a bit. somewhere before minneha, he spun off to the left and rode home. i rolled on alone and made it to the parking lot just before the last two riders left.

i was tired. i was wet. i was not as happy as i would've been had i stayed with the group, but i was glad to have been on a bike. i was glad to be alive. i was glad the lightning stayed far away.

there will be another time. i will keep trying. someday, i won't be dropped. someday. (32.99 miles @ 18.6mph)

making sure

i wanted to make sure that i got some miles in today, so i rode this morning even though i plan to ride with the oz bicycle club this evening after i pick cato up from the shop. the weather forecast gives the chance of thunderstorms starting around 7:00 tonight, so i couldn't risk waiting.

now that swim team practices have started, i won't have quite as much time to ride every morning. coaches have to show up at 6:45 to set up lane ropes and such. i'll have about a hour to ride each day if i want time to clean up and make it to the pool on time.

not much to report on the ride. i went out four miles and came back to town. i went out three miles and came back to town. the extra mile came from circling through town to turn around between the two. (15.16 miles @ 14.0mph)

enjoying the scenery

a late report on monday night's ride: i decided to go out for a ride around town with my wife and daughter. we took it really easy and enjoyed the scenery. it was hard avoiding puddles after the rain earlier today. didn't get too muddy. (3.51 miles @ 6.9mph)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

less little, more middle

since this morning was my last ride at higher elevations, i decided to make it a memorable one. from the first pedal stroke, i aimed at making this my fastest out and back. no sense going out with a whimper.

i started out descending like a madman. in the dim light that barely illumined the road down from quaker ridge, i had a couple of near disasters. i felt my body going forward a bit too far a couple of times, but threw my weight backwards enough to keep from flying over the handlebars. i crossed the grate at the entrance in 6'32", a minute at thirteen seconds faster than yesterday.

i couldn't savor that accomplishment for long. shortly after slipping across the highway to the bike path, the first and perhaps the longest of the trail's climbs began. for almost a mile and half, i pushed hard in my middle ring. my breathing was hard, but steady. my heartbeat rapid, but not near my redline. the other times i'd climbed this ascent, i'd shifted to the small ring. not today. i got near the bottom of the middle ring's ratios, but didn't give in to the urge to make life easier and slower. i crested and enjoyed a brief reprieve from the pain before the next climb.

that next climb is much shorter - only a quarter mile or so - but it is a doozie. not sure on the grade, but there are short sections that are steeper than the 7% near the top of the camp road. i somehow managed to turn the cranks and go up and over this mini-monster without downshifting.

for the next half mile or maybe a little more, i was able to recover on the slight downhill that runs passed the golf course. i brought my breathing and heartrate back under control and then started the next ascent, a longish climb, but not as steep as either of the first two. i felt pretty good on this one, but finally had to down shift when i hit the steepest section of the entire ride just before the descent to the city limits of woodland park.

entering the city, i climbed as fast as i could. my aim was to beat thirty-six minutes, the time it took me to ride to my turn around from the bottom of the camp road the first day. i bested that time. i got to the turn around in 35'45". if you subtract my camp road descent time, that means i covered the same distance that took me thirty-six minutes the first day in 29'13". when i did the math, i was pretty proud of my accomplishment.

without a break, i rolled right back up to the top of the descent that took me out of woodland park. the only thing that ruined the joy of this downhill was the multiple stop signs that slowed me down a bit. still, i was able to enjoy some active recovery riding, spinning my cranks as i plunged down the hill.

the ascents on the way back to the camp road aren't nearly as bad as those encountered on the way into town. though you'd never guess it in a car, the road is mostly downhill. i rode up and over the few little climbs in my middle ring. one i didn't even drop from the big ring to master.

it was just before 6:30 when i ducked under the highway and came up to the camp road for my final assault of the formerly dreaded hill. i intended to look at my time before i began, but i looked at the wrong numbers and so i don't have an accurate climb time. it was somewhere under eighteen minutes. that's all i can say. i pushed the middle ring all the way to the 7% grade and then dropped into my little ring. i'm not in good enough high altitude shape yet to do that in the middle ring. it's a bummer that i have to leave this afternoon. another week here and i'd be flying up the hill.

i'm happy with the riding i got in this week. it was way more miles and time than i thought i would get when i thought of this week early this year. i thought i wouldn't get any miles since i hadn't been able to bring my bike in the past. i'm glad it worked out this time. i've had fun.

goodbye, woodland park. you will be missed. (15.31 miles @ 12.9mph)

Friday, June 4, 2010

faster, stronger, better

what a difference a day of rest and a good night's sleep can make. this morning i woke up before 5:00, got ready and headed down the mountain from quaker ridge. i crossed under the arch at the bottom 7'15" into my ride and turned south toward woodland park.

i felt stronger today than i did on my first ride into town. i was able to stay in my middle ring more often and push up and over the steepest grades. i met up with the same helmetless guy on the mountain bike i'd passed two days ago. he acted just the same as before - didn't acknowledge my "good morning" with even a nod. i made it to the start of the centennial trail in just under 40 minutes. i was happy with my time since it had taken me around 36 minutes to get to the same place two days ago without the extra two miles down the mountain.

after a three or four minute break and a granola bar, i was ready for the plunge back down the trail. going down is much more fun than going up. going up is a painful kind of fun. flying down is a pleasant kind of fun. at one point, i nearly hit a deer. i was descending at around 25mph and there she was right at the edge of the trail. i grabbed my brakes and yelled, "deer," and she shied away. a little while later i met up with a familiar face. i'd seen the woman walking her golden retriever two days earlier. she smiled and said "hello" when i greeted her. mr. mountain biker could learn a thing or two from her.

when i got back to the quaker ridge road, i rolled passed it and continued down the centennial trail. i wanted to see how far it went. that question was answered fairly quickly. the trail doesn't even go another two miles. i had to go out onto the highway for a brief time. there was a bike lane, but it was still out in traffic. then for about a half mile there's a trail again and then it ends abruptly at a lake.

i turned around then and headed back up toward the camp. i took a little side trip to see what painted rocks look like. the sign poined up a slight rise to the west, so i climbed up and around the corner. the rocks were pretty cool looking. they looked like someone had built snowmen out of rocks. odd shapes were stacked on odder shapes. pretty cool!

my tourist excursion finished up, i sped back up to the hill and turned back onto the quaker ridge road. what took me 7'15" coming down took 18'16" going up. those sections of 7% grade near the top are killers. i was breathing pretty hard when i pulled to a stop outside our lodge. it took several minutes for everything to return to normal.

tomorrow's my last day here. i hope to ride the same route or some variation of it again. i'm thankful that i was able to bring my bike with me to this beautiful area. it's been fun riding through the pines and aspens. (19.92 miles @ 12.3mph)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

60-second confession #10

i love riding with a a bunch of cyclists. there's nothing quite like the rush of speeding along wheel to wheel. the draft is awesome! but i have a confession to make concerning a few recent group rides. while the good is really good. the not so good is really bad.

recovering from sickness

between puking up everything i had in my belly and alternatively sweating and freezing, i didn't sleep well last night. thankfully, the former ended by midnight. the latter kept me awake for hours after that.

i woke up at 6:00 and decided i felt well enough to get out for an easy recovery ride. i dressed quietly so that my wife wouldn't wake up and tell me i was stupid for trying then slipped out the door.

i felt okay for most of the ride. i explored some of the trails near the camp, climbing slowly when they headed uphill. i coasted down the short inclines and just spun my pedals.

after about a half hour of riding around the camp, i dropped down the mountain to the camp sign and rode back up. that was probably the worst decision of the day. it took a bit out of me coming back up. obviously i made it. i took one more circle around the camp, dropping down by the dining hall and then creeping back up to the horse stables. i finished just as my "time to wake up" alarm went off.

my wife was up when i walked in. she frowned at me and scolded me a bit. exactly what i had expected. i'm showered and shaved and ready to go to breakfast now. hopefully my health will stay with me for the rest of the day. (5.18 miles @ 7.7mph)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

kansan takes on mountain

i did it! every year i've come to this camp ground and every year i've felt like i was going to die just walking around. my heart would start pound and my lungs would heave. not this time!

i drove down the hill with my bike because i didn't know if i'd be able to climb it. i wanted an escape option. if i got too tired, i'd be able to turn around and coast down. turns out that wasn't necessary.

i started out riding the centennial trail into woodland park, a ride of nearly six miles, almost all of it uphill. i stopped in town and rested a bit. i wasn't exhausted, but i was tired enough that stopping felt good.

after five minutes or so, i clicked back in and pedaled back to the camp road. well, i didn't pedal much on some sections. i hit over 30mph several times on the steep downhill sections of the trail. i hated slowing for the street crossings, but had to do it. there were two places where i would've hit a car if i hadn't braked.

arriving back at my van, i took a minute or two to switch to sunglasses. the amber lenses i'd been using weren't quite enough to make the glare of the morning sun bearable. i'd been up since just before 5:00 and the light had changed a bit. the temps had too. it was almost 40 degrees when i started up toward the camp.

i had anticipated two miles of pain when i thought of this ascent at home. i imagined the lack of oxygen and the sections of six and seven percent grade doing me in. the suffering i dreamed of in kansas didn't come. i climbed slowly and steadily all the way up. not once did my heart rate get close to my red line. i inhaled and exhaled in a regular, non-labored way. no problems.

on the way down, i'd noted the distance from the camp quaker ridge sign to the actual camp, so when i passed under it i knew i had only seven tenths of a mile to go. that last seven tenths was probably the hardest and steepest section of the ride. i just kept pedaling, creeping along at 5-6mph. i pushed it a bit for a quarter mile or so and got up near 8mph. not an incredible pace, i know. but this kansas flatlander was pretty pleased.

fifteen plus miles was by far more than i expected to get in. one other year, i'd been here and hardly been able to ride for thirty minutes on a borrowed bike. after nearly an hour and a half, i felt like i could've ridden more. i stopped because i needed to get a few things done before breakfast. i'll be back out tomorrow. no driving the van down the mountain then. i'm planning to go north on the centennial trail and see what i can discover. (15.73 miles @ 11.1mph)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

riding in colorado springs

i could’ve ridden a lot faster today if colorado springs hadn’t installed so many hills on their streets. my pace was pretty good going down their inclines, but not so great going up. there were times that the hills kept me under 10mph! evil hills! i learned that if a street has hill or mountain or ascent in its name, i should take another.

then there are the curves. every street veers this way and that. i would be riding along and all of a sudden there wouldn’t be any street in front of me. i’d look right. no street. where’d it go?! then i’d look left and there it would be. one street I followed went meandering around downhill to the west, turned north for a short time, then doubled back to the east and climbed back up the hill it’d just come down. crazy people these coloradans. streets with hills and turns! What’ll they think of next.

oh, and then there’s the oxygen level the city fathers have chosen. it’s way too low. someone needs to complain until they do something about this problem. import some air from somewhere else for crying out loud! not from kansas, mind you. We’re keeping ours. i hear illinois has some extra oxygen. maybe the president could transfer some of his hometown’s air to the folks in the mountains.

most of my riding today was wandering around in housing developments. the main streets were a bit too busy for my liking, but the side streets were awesome. friendly runners and cyclists were everywhere. i bet i smiled and waved at a dozen or more potential dailymilers. i would’ve recruited them on the spot, but i’ve heard city people are kind of skittish about talking with strangers. my “good morning” greeting was probably more than threatening enough without a sales pitch.(37.12 miles @ 13.4mph)