Saturday, July 31, 2010

metric century meet up

another great dailymile meet up this morning. bryan j, who lives in wellington, and i met on dailymile less than a week ago. i was so excited to find someone that lived so close whose cycling workouts looked similar to mine. we immediately struck up a conversation about getting together to ride. today was the day it worked out.

i rode alone out to anson road with a minor detour into mayfield because i was ahead of schedule. bryan rode up about 7:05 and we talked for a bit before deciding on the route we'd take. that decided, we rolled north toward anson.

the ride to anson was filled with get-to-know-you stuff. what do you do? how many kids do you have? how'd you get into cycling? it was interesting and helped the time pass quickly. soon we were through anson and pulling to a stop at parallel. we took a brief break there while a car passed by, then rolled west toward conway springs.

going west was great! the wind was at our backs as much as it would be all morning since it seemed to be mostly from the east with only a hint of southness. (i made that word up.) we cruised up and down the shallow rollers. it was funny that we both knew about chitwood's barn for different reasons. i knew it for the country music on saturday nights. he knew it from family reunions.

in conway springs, we stopped at a convenience store and picked up a little liquid refreshment and talked for a bit before heading west again toward argonia road. riding along parallel west of conway springs is a chore at times. the hills are steep, but they are long and they come at you one after another after another. i think we were both glad when it was time to head south.

riding south, we slowed just a bit. it was warming up and the wind was at least a little in our faces. we were still talking about this and that. bryan had done freewheel oklahoma, a cross state trek, a while back and he told me about several incidents from his days in red dirt country.

in argonia, we stopped at my house to refill our bottles with cold gatorade before heading east again. i was close to fifty miles and wanted to get in a metric century. we had to do a little more single file riding on the highway, so we couldn't talk as easily as our time together came to a close. still, we talked enough that i missed my metric century turn around by a few miles. i ended up going ten miles out when i'd only planned to go seven miles.

we talked for a few minutes at chicaskia (chick-ask-ee-uh) road before going our separate ways. bryan continued on east toward his home in wellington. i did a u-turn and pedaled toward argonia. i rode a bit harder than i should have for the first few miles and paid for it the last four. it was a lot warmer than i thought and i had less to drink than i would have liked. i just kept turning the cranks and ended up at home ready to drink a ton more.

i've downed about a quart of gatorade now and feel a little better. i guess i'll go shower and then see what the Lord brings my way in the day's remaining hours.

one more's miles made this week my third largest week for miles - 219 miles - and made july my highest mileage month ever - 854 miles. what's even better is that i went 31 more miles this month than i did in march and i did it in 1'02" less time! i love it when that happens! (67.23 miles @ 17.7mph)

Friday, July 30, 2010

a half before breakfast

i woke up at 4:00, but couldn't get my lazy self out of bed until 4:25. i dressed slowly and was on my bike and rolling by 4:35. that might be a bit too early. we'll see.

so i rode west at a moderate pace. not too hard, but a harder than recovery would require. i ran up and over l'alpe d'anville on the construction side of the barrier. i was very excited to find no gaping holes in the road. i rolled down the other side and pedaled on through danville toward harper. i reached the harper city limits just before 5:30.

when i got to the other side of harper, i had a decision to make and only three miles in which to make it. my choices were: 1) ride straight south into the wind all the way to anthony and either turn around or continue on around the anthony loop or 2) turn west again and head toward attica. when the time came to make my choice, i chose the second of the two.

it had been a very long time since i'd ridden this stretch of road. it was long enough ago that i had forgotten the long ascents i had to deal with. they weren't very steep, but they went on and on and on. there were two or three "hills" like that and, after my turn around, i discovered they were worse going east.

that was the only downside to the eastbound journey home. the wind was at my back and i was able to gain more than a mile per hour on my average. i went from 17.1mph up to 18.2mph at the end.

two memorable events took place before i reached home. the first was the meeting of evil dog's replacement. the new "evil" dog seemed a bit more friendly, but he was fast and he did come out on the highway. the second event was the climb up l'alpe d'anville from the west side. as i approached the bridge, the construction traffic light was red. an eighteen wheeler was sitting at the line waiting for green. i rode out and around him and was about to switch to the construction side of the bridge when i saw the light change. i don't know what came over me, but i switched tactics and sprinted up and over the monstrosity at 25mph plus! the truck never caught me.

so now i'm back at home, cooled down and ready for breakfast and a shower. (i've got to wash off the gnats. there were swarms of them everywhere!) may be riding with a dailymile friend tomorrow morning. still need to check on that with my wife. (50.07 miles @ 18.2mph)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The dad life...

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

I loved this video that I ran across on a friend's Facebook page. It says it all. I'm glad I'm a dad.

tour de MAMA

stage 1 of this morning's tour de MAMA (Milan-Anson Road-Mayfield-Argonia) started off on the "cobbles" of pine street. my body was jolted multiple times on the cracked and rutted chip-n-seal surface making the first 0.30 miles a pain in the seat.

turning east onto u.s. 160, i accelerated up to speed and rolled past argonia's city limits headed for the finish line at the railroad tracks in milan. (it's pronounced my-lun in these parts.) i cruised up and over bruce hill at near 20mph. i sliced through the corner and crushed the run into the finish. my average for the stage was 18.39mph.

stage 2 of the tour de MAMA left milan headed north. because law enforcement failed to stop traffic and an oncoming vehicle forgot to turn on its turn signal, i was forced to slow at the intersection of milan road and u.s. 160. irritated at the hold up, i hammered the pedals as i turned east once more. the wind was from the south southeast, giving me just a bit of resistance, but i plowed through it.

at the bottom of nine-mile hill, i stood and danced up the hill that durning yesterday's scouting ride i had crept up. my speed today was nearly 8mph higher than it was yesterday.

as i approached chicaskia road, the deep orange orb of the sun rose above the tree lined horizon. it was beautiful. the whole sky glowed with warmth. i smiled and pressed on.

from chickaskia road on, the stage was mostly an uphill slog. i engaged my will and powered over the rises that came one after the other. i ended the stage with a combined average over the first two stages of 18.9mph. my average for stage 2...19.5mph!

stage 3 of the tour de MAMA was a short, but painful 1.59-mile time trail. i could practically see the finish line from the start.

this stage began and ended with climbs. the first rose to a mesa then dropped down to mayfield road. at mayfiled road, i dove through the turn south and met the wind head on just as the second climb began. it was awful. my speed dropped down to under 17mph against the combined resistance. my average for this stage a paltry 18.23mph.

stage 4, the final stage, was by far my best stage. it began with a steep downhill past mayfield's waste water lagoon. the wind was at my back, so i flew past the stinky cesspool and sped out onto u.s. 160 headed west.

i rode hard, wanting to raise my combined average speed. i pushed up every hill. at chicaskia road i realized i had a good chance of reaching the finish line before 7:30. it would take some effort, but it could be done. so i rode all the harder. i danced up black dog hill. i rode up mock hill at 20mph. i rocketed over the last two miles and bombed across the "cobbles" to the finish. my average for this final stage was an incredible (for me) 20.49mph!

my overall time was a respectable 1:27'56". my average 19.6mph! (28.70 miles @ 19.6mph)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

narcissus reports

this morning i will report on my ride as if i were narcissus. (if you don't know who he is, google his name and look for a guy primping in a mirror.)

i got up this morning because the sun was rising just for me. the warm rays reaching the ground were there to bronze my muscled legs as i pedaled smoothly along the highway.

i noticed almost immediately that the county highway department had finally repainted the lines on the edge of the road for me. i had been wondering if they even remembered i existed. i will have to call and thank them for making my road safer for me.

i rode slowly on purpose. i wanted to make sure that the work i had done on my legs yesterday during interval training would not slip away. i wanted the power in my legs to increase, so i rode recovery today. my legs are worth it.

i made it back to my driveway at just the right time. i had time to report to my adoring fans on dailymile and still grab a shower and some mirror time before i headed to my highly important job.

narcissus is disgusting, isn't he? good thing he doesn't normally report for me. (20.11 miles @ 15.7mph)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 last!

yesterday i dreamed of riding further today...then i remembered i was on call with ems until 6:00 and couldn't get out early. oh, well.

so at 6:00 i rolled out of bed, got dressed and headed out on the highway. i warmed up for 10 minutes and then started in on (1 min on/2 rest) intervals. i did one set of five headed east for the first three and west for the final two. then i rested seven minutes and did another set of five going north and west for four and east for the last one which i extended to 90 seconds.

my final hard effort of the morning came after a six minute rest. i cranked up the speed to over 22mph and pushed hard for a full six minutes. i wanted to see what i could do over an extended period. i felt great most of the time, but started suffering near the end.

that finished, i spun the final three or four minutes to the house and dismounted, glad to have finally found the energy and time (and daylight) to get back into interval training. (17.61 miles @ 18.3mph)

Monday, July 26, 2010

racing to wellington

after i got back from my early morning ride with my wife, i sat down and ate a quick breakfast before switching bikes and heading out on the highway. i was going to meet my family in wellington and needed a bit of a headstart to get there as near to the same time as them.

i wanted to ride faster than i ended up being able to ride. i thought i was warmed up enough to cruise to 19-20mph, but the stupid wind was stronger than i thought and more against me than it ever should be.

about ten miles out, i started looking over my shoulder to see if the family van was coming. i figured they'd need to be passing me soon if they were going to be on time for piano lessons at 10:30. i passed eleven miles, twelve miles. still no van. i raced up the hill at mayfield road and made it almost to anson road before they overtook me.

shortly after they took the lead in the race to wellington, i noticed that i was nearing the time my wife and i had taken to ride eight miles this morning. i was nearing 14 miles in the same amount of time.

at the 14-mile mark, i started slowing. the correction curves turned me into the south wind and when i came out of them, i had to deal with the long incline up to maize road. i slowed dramatically. i pushed hard, but couldn't completely overcome the evil forces of gravity.

i finally did make it over the hump and enjoyed the downhill to slate creek and the wellington city limits. a quick uphill into town and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. i passed the clinic where my wife was getting her TB test for work and kept going through the city to the back side of the high school. i snuck through the parking lot there and ended up out on the highway near wal-mart.

i looked for our van in the wal-mart parking lot. it wasn't there, so i pushed on to the turnpike where i turned around and came back. this time the van was there, so i circled the building and rolled to a stop at the back of the van.

it was a great ride - a little on the warm side, but i felt good nonetheless. hope i can get out for a slightly longer ride tomorrow morning. i'll have to get up earlier. (27.04 miles @ 18.2mph)

warming up with susan

my wife and i went out for a leisurely (for me) ride this morning. we left around 6:45 and rode through town and then headed south toward tracy hill.

our average speed got up to 11.8mph headed down toward the chicaskia river. i had aired up the tires on both of our bikes, we we were rolling better than we did last week. it was great.

as we came up out of the river bottom, our average started to drop. my wife worked hard as we climbed up the first rise and kept riding well to the base of tracy hill.

on tracy hill, we were talking about the difference between her couch to 5K running workouts and riding. she mentioned that there's a real difference in effort between walking and running, but there isn't that kind of difference on the bike. i suggested she shift so the pedaling is harder.

when we got to tracy hill, we were averaging around 11.3mph and i put out a challenge: stay over 10mph all the way to the top. no problem for many of you, but my wife doesn't ride very often. she was up to the challenge. for nearly a mile, she rode steadily up the hill at just over 10mph. she petered out a quarter mile short of the turn around, but her effort was awesome.

we turned around and headed back to town. our average which had dropped to 10.2mph, came back up to 11.2mph. it stayed there for a short time and then dropped a couple of tenths. we ended at 10.9mph.

i'm hoping this is a warm up for me. i am planning to ride to wellington in a few minutes. maybe i'll be able to get the speed i've been looking for. my legs are toasty and ready to ride hard. we'll see. (8.01 miles @ 10.9mph)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

interesting time trial

interesting end to the tour. the controversial actions of contador on an earlier stage took him from 31 seconds behind to 8 seconds ahead. today, he beat schleck by 31 seconds. all other things being equal, they would've been dead even.

i for one don't blame contador for continuing on earlier. schleck was attacking when his chain popped off. i'm just saying it's interesting that the time difference issue makes this a rather interesting moment in cycling history.

saturday in the city

i slept in today. i woke up and looked at my watch. 5:20! yikes! i slowly rolled out of bed, got dressed and headed out.

i left the dorm parking lot and headed north on st. clair. i cut through the stadium parking lot and hooked up with maple just west of hiram. i rode east on maple to seneca and turned south past the mason's home.

when i came to the light at mccormick, i turned west and pedaled over to southwest boulevard. i turned left on southwest and headed, well, southwest.

i pulled up at west street and caught the left turn light to go south on west. i rode past macarthur and enjoyed a mostly traffic-free ride down to 55th. i turned on 55th, crossed the flood control ditch and rode past the solid waste transfer station to hoover.

at hoover i headed north with the wind at my back. a nice change after pushing against it for nearly ten miles.

at macarthur i turned back to the east and reconnected with west. i rode north on west to 31st street and eaded east again. i rode 31st for a few blocks, but had to turn north at meridian because of construction. i rode on up to 27th street and enjoyed a brief jaunt through a quiet residential district.

after crossing seneca, i turned north on osage, caught pawnee east and eneded up on mclean headed north again.

i rode mclean all the way up to taft and turned for the jog over to sycamore. i didn't want to go to maple and have to wait for that stupid triggered light again.

sycamore took me to maple and maple to walnut where i turned south a block to mentor. mentor took me to seneca where i jogged another block south to university which took me west back to campus. i turned north on hiram and spun through the business building parking lot and crossed over to the stadium parking. on the other side of the stadium parking lot, i turned south on st. clair and soon found myself back at the dorm.

i really enjoyed my time out today. it was quiet an peaceful almost everywhere. felt more like riding at home than either of the other days up here.

headed back to argonia this afternoon. i'll be back out on the highway monday morning. have a great weekend everyone! God bless you all! (21.16 miles @ 15.8mph)

Friday, July 23, 2010

seeing red

i woke up a bit later than yesterday, so it was almost 5:15 before i was on my bike rolling down the streets of wichita. i couldn't tell much about the wind other than it was from the south, so i took university east to seneca and just started riding south into the wind. all the way to 55th street the lights were green or just turning yellow. okay, there was that one reddish light, but my front wheel was in the intersection. honest!

when i reached 55th street, i turned east and rode over to broadway. that's when the traffic lights turned against me. it seemed like every light going north was red when i reached it. i'd be cruising along at nearly 25mph only to have to grab the levers and stop. over and over this happened until i was seeing red. grrrr. the one that made me maddest was the light at maple and mclean. i rolled to a stop in the left turn lane and waited for green. i waited and waited while cars zipped through going north and south. figuring the signal must be tripped by approaching vehicles, i was glad to see a car coming toward me from the west. it pulled up to the crosswalk. the cross traffic slowed as their light turned yellow, then red. the light for eastbound traffic turned green while my light, i kid you not, stayed red! i don't usually do such rash things, but i slammed my cleats into my pedals and sprinted through a left hand turn onto mclean. i'd still be waiting there if i hadn't. grrrrr.

i rode to the next intersection then crossed over to seneca and circled back around to university and the dorm. i pulled up to my van at 6:28 and made it up to my family's room to wake my wife just one minute later than she'd asked me to last night. whew! (16.67 miles @ 16.7mph)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

to clonmel and back

i woke up really early this morning. since i knew i wouldn't have time to ride later today, i got up. i was dressed and on my bike before my alarm would've gone off.

i rolled out from the dorm at friends university and never had to stop for a stoplight on the way out of town. (that required a little creative turning right on red once.)

i rode south down edwards and then cut across to west on mccormick before heading south on west again. (i know that was a bit confusing. directional words should never be used as a street name.)

i took west to southwest boulevard and then headed west on southwest. (here we go again.) i rode southwest out past cessna and the airport and headed out into the country on k-42. i pedaled all the way to clonmel then turned around and headed back.

on the way back i turned east at macarthur and rode to hoover where i turned north. i rolled back up to southwest boulevard and retraced my path to the dorm. i did have to stop at a couple of lights this time. i got at the intersection of west and southwest and at the corner of mccormick and edwards and the next light at meridian too. grrrr. i hate stopping.

when i pulled into the drive at friends university, i circled the campus once to get my mileage up over 30 miles, then pulled into the dorm parking lot and ended my morning's ride. (30.35 miles @ 16.3mph)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't quit...

“I quit!” The last time I remember saying those words in all seriousness was way back in the fall of 1982. My family had moved from Sacramento, California, to LeGrand, Iowa, early that summer. There had been over five hundred students in my class at Sacramento High. At LeGrand-Dunbar-Ferguson High School there were just thirty-nine juniors.

In Sacramento, I hadn’t participated in sports at all. There were try outs and I was afraid to fail. At LDF, anyone could play as a walk-on, so I bravely showed up to the school’s first basketball practice. I discovered that day that you can’t sit out of a sport for three years and expect to be playing at the same level as those with more experience. I was awful. I played and moved like a junior higher, not a third year high schooler.

I survived the first practice without puking and headed to the locker room with the rest of the team. Our coach, Mr. Berggren, walked in with us. He talked to us for awhile and then moved to his office so we could shower. That’s when Todd Phillips started in on me. He snapped me with his towel and berated me. Soon others joined in. I wasn’t used to this kind of treatment. Band people don’t treat others like this and that’s all I’d known for three years…band. I was upset.

The next day the same thing happened. Mr. Berggren talked with us. He left. I got nailed. Day after day the tormenting continued until finally I’d had enough. I talked with my dad first and then went to see Mr. Berggren. Standing in front of my coach’s desk, I said those words. “I quit.” I felt bad. I’d never quit anything I’d started before. I just couldn’t handle the pressure.

I learned later in life that quitting when the pressure gets to you doesn’t really make a lot of sense. It’s endurance that creates character. It’s perseverance that makes you strong.

Perhaps you’re facing difficulties in life because of your faith in God. Your coworkers or classmates are mocking you because you’ve chose God’s ways over the world’s. Don’t give up! Think of Jesus. Remember what he did for you on the cross. He is with you and will help you.

Let Hebrews 12:13 encourage you. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Side note: I looked up Mr. Berggren on the internet while I was writing this. It turns out he retired this past spring at the close of the 2010 school year. He was the boys basketball and track coach at LDF before and after it consolidated to become East Marshall High. His total tenure...34 years! I didn't give up entirely on sports after that rough start in basketball. I tried out track and loved it. Mr. Berggren helped me excel as a runner and I ended up qualifying for the state track meet my senior year. Todd Phillips was on the mile relay team I qualified with.

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early birthday ride

for the past several days, i've been wondering how i was going to maintain my birthday tradition...riding the same number of miles as i am old. tomorrow, my 44th birthday, i'm going to be in meetings from 8:00 in the morning until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. i'll probably be able to get a few miles in before breakfast at 7:00, but there's no way i'd have time for 44 miles.

so this morning, i woke up at 4:45 and got on my bike by 5:00. i rode out west to the base of l'alpe d'anville and turned around because the light was red. i kept going back east because i discovered that i'd judged the wind incorrectly. it was out of the southeast, so i was working harder to maintain speed.

i got back to town and continued on down the highway. about a mile out of town i was looking down at my odometer when i hit a huge bump. road kill! the bump was a decaying raccoon that i failed to see in the dark.

somewhere around ten miles out, i started thinking. it takes awhile for my brain to kick in. i did the math and decided then and there that i could get 44 miles in today. i'd have to ride a bit longer than i had planned to, but it was managable. i'd be back with time enough to shower and shave before rushing off to work. i pushed on and finished up just as the garage door guys showed up to install our new door. (44.44 miles @ 18.7mph)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

look up! look around!

if i'm not looking at my odometer, i'm better able to relax, so i tried keeping my head up this morning. i glanced at the numbers from time to time, but not as often as i would normally. instead i looked at the beauty of God's creation - the brown earth just worked by the farmer, the green and yellow grass in the ditch. the blazing orange of the sun rising above the horizon, the bright blue of the fresh, clean morning sky. kansas is an amazing work of art. (21.24 miles @ 15.3mph)

Monday, July 19, 2010

an extended cool down

i was still dripping with sweat after my hard ride this morning when my wife walked past the computer and said she wanted to go on a ride. i was agreeable, so off we went. we rode south out of town and then west. the wind was a bit stiff for the first five miles and my wife suffered.

things were much better when we turned north. we picked up speed with the wind at our backs. by the time we reached the highway, we were up to 8.3mph. turning east and then southeast, we kept pushing and made it back to town with an 8.4mph average overall. a good workout for my wife...and good recovery for me. (12.18 miles @ 8.4mph)

goal remains elusive

i thought today was the day. i felt great when i woke up. my legs were rested and refreshed after three days off the bike. the wind was fairly calm. if i could knock out 20 miles at over 22mph, it would be on a day like this.

today was not the day. i took off like a rocket from my driveway. i shot out onto the highway and ramped my average speed up to over 20mph in less than four miles. i was hoping i could maintain that for ten miles and then let the wind assist me on the way back.

my hopes were dashed. the wind was too inconsistent and my legs weren't quite as good as they'd felt early on. by the time i hit my turn around, i was tired and my average was down to 19.3mph.

i cranked the speed back up to over 20mph for the first mile or so heading back, but i couldn't maintain that speed. the wind which was predicted to be from the southwest was switching around to the southeast often enough to kill any attempt to get up to the 25mph+ speeds i needed to pull my average up.

as i climbed up and over l'alpe d'anville my average had only climbed two tenths. i wasn't gaining nearly fast enough. i pushed down the hill and motored over the flats. i gained two more tenths by the time i reached the bottom of drouhard hill. then the tenths started falling off. i couldn't do a thing about it. my legs were shot. i pushed as hard as i thought i could...17mph. i pushed harder...18mph. i was maxed out.

as i turned onto pine, i was cruising along at 19.4mph, just one tenth faster than my average at the turn around. i wasn't happy. then my odometer which had worked perfectly to that point started acting up. i wanted to smash it. i didn't to it. i just growled and pulled to a sharp stop in my driveway, sweating like a pig in the high humidity.

the goal remains elusive. another day perhaps. (20.43 miles @ 19.5mph)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

red splotch on the road

another warm muggy ride this morning. took off around 5:15 and nearly hit something strange laying alongside the road a little over a mile out. couldn’t quite make out what it was in the dark. i took a closer look on the way back home. it seemed to be a plastic bag with something red in and there was a red splotch on the road nearby. paint? not sure even now. anyway, i rode east past milan road a mile, turned around and came back. rode at a fairly moderate pace so i could properly recover from yesterday’s ride. nothing more to report really. a boring ride to get me ready for something more exciting. (12.25 miles @ 15.8mph)

ironman armstrong?

lance armstrong will turn his focus to triathlon and ironman competition once he brings down the curtain on his tour de france career at the end of this month.

the american competed in the multi-discipline event before he began his illustrious cycling career that saw him win an unprecedented seven tours.

and with the radio shack rider too far off the pace in this year’s event to pose his customary threat to the podium his thoughts have already turned to what comes after.

“the first thing i have to do is to compete in a half ironman to test myself,” said armstrong.

“because of my age and i would rather not compete in olympic distance. those triathletes who dispute this distance achieve speeds that I cannot get close to.

“what is clear is that if I want to be competitive, I have to focus on the longer distances as they often have tougher cycling sections and that would benefit me.”

though armstrong, who recovered from cancer back in 1997, is an able swimmer and runner his strong suit in the swim-bike-run would obviously come on the second discipline where ironman’s non-drafting rule would also assist him.

whatever comes next for armstrong, he is adamant that a return to the tour de france is not something he would consider, despite his emotional attachment to it.

“this tour will be my last race of three weeks,” he said. “i would give me a chance in a triathlon but do not know how fast I could go.”

steve wilson,

sprinting 101

how the race was won - rules of the group sprint from cosmo catalano on vimeo. a little lesson in sprinting rules and ettiquette. really timely considering the action taken against renshaw today in the tour.

renshaw out!

mark renshaw, the lead-out man for british sprinter mark cavendish, was shown by television pictures trying to headbutt the garmin-transitions rider from new zealand three times in the final 400 metres of the home straight.

cavendish then raced ahead towards eventual victory, his third this year on the race and 13th in three participations, with renshaw then seen trying to block dean's sprinter, tyler farrar, as the american tried to come up the inside of the barriers.

top race official jean-francois pescheux said after the race: "renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw him off the race.

"we've only seen the pictures once, but his actions are plain for all to see. this is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena." staff and agencies

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

stage 10 goes to sergio

two french riders in a day-long break, bastille day and the tour de france... it would have been an irresistible mix, except that sergio paulinho hadn't read the script. team radioshack's portuguese domestique salvaged something from this year's tour with victory in gap this afternoon, dashing the dreams of the locals.

fairy tales are called so for a reason - they don't happen often - and while a french winner today would have capped what has been thus far a fantastic tour for local riders, with the exploits of sylvain chavanel and yesterday's stage victory for sandy casar, cinderella's pumpkin was used to make soup rather than carry a local rider to a triumph in the shadow of the alps.

paulinho's daring in the final 10km of the stage deserved the victory it garnered however, the 30-year-old fighting for line honours with caisse d'epargne's vasili kiryienka and pipping the belarusian at the post in what was a tight finish. "i knew i had to attack to get away from the group, and I actually felt pretty good," paulinho said after the stage. "I was just a little bit stronger than kiryienka, and waited until the last moment to make my move."

the victory was an important boost in morale for the american team, whose leader lance armstrong had his dreams of an 8th tour win all but dashed on the road to morzine on sunday. read more...

sergio tried his luck

so happy for sergio paulinho of team radioshack. he won the 10th stage of the tour de france today. i love it when hard working domestiques get the honor they deserve. hope you enjoy this post-win interview.

the humble cyclist

picked this up from someone on the oz bicycle club's listserv. thought it was really funny. hope you enjoy!

muggy, buggy, fixie ride

muggy: the feels like temperature at 5:00 this morning...80 degrees! a light wind was blowing out of the southwest, then southeast, then southwest.

buggy: twice i ingested bugs. i wondered what kind. they weren't very tasty. i drank several swallows of gatorade to wash them down.

fixie: i couldn't decide which direction to ride, so i rode east, then west, then east, then west, then east, etc., etc. i rode without shifting for most of the ride. i wanted to see what it was like to ride a fixie. i've decided i wouldn't like it much. i hated pedaling while making sharp corners. i felt like i was going to clip a pedal and wipe out. i'm shifting on my next ride. (23.06 miles @ 18.2mph)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

working out the kinks

i couldn't find anyone to cover for me this morning, so i had to stay in town near the ambulance. i rode up and down main street working out the bit of soreness that snuck into my legs overnight. i took it really slow, spinning an easy gear. i reached my maximum speed of 15.9mph coasting down railroad hill. hopefully this non-taxing ride will get me ready for something harder and faster tomorrow after work. (8.78 miles @ 12.3mph)

Monday, July 12, 2010


what a day! what a ride! at 7:45 my brother-in-law, fred, and my nephew, christopher, set on for what we thought was a 107-mile ride. the wind was out of the northwest at the beginning of the ride, but was predicted to swing around to the southeast later in the day. if we timed it right, we'd have favorable winds all day long.

i led for the first 10 miles, taking us over a number of my named hills - mock, bruce, antichrist, black dog and nine mile. we flew down the road with the west wind pushing us.

the wind kept pushing us when we turned south. all the way to caldwell, we were riding fast and easy. we turned into the convenience store after 27 miles. we'd been on the road just under an hour and a half.

after our break and a bit of refueling, we rode south into oklahoma. the state department of transportation doesn't care much for highway 81 just south of caldwell. it's a bumpy, rutted mess. our seats were beaten to a bloody pulp as we rode through renfro and on to medford.

in medford, we stopped again for more gatorade and snickers bars. we asked a half dozen people how many miles it was to manchester. no one knew. none of them had ever been there. the answer to our query, according to google maps, is 29.8 miles, but we didn't have google there, so we set out west without a clue how far it was to our next possible break.

the way west was painful. the wind had shifted to the south, but it wasn't consistently southeast or southwest. it sort of swirled around and mostly hurt us. the other thing that became apparent as we rode along is that every road in oklahoma goes uphill. we'd get to the top of one hill only to find that there was a short flat space and then another upward slope. it was funny for awhile. then it got disgusting. we stopped under the first trees we saw after the junction of highway 11 and highway 11a. if you haven't been to northern oklahoma, it is barren and today it was hot too.

about four more miles to the west, we came over a rise and for once the rode dove downwards. the only problem was in the distance we could see another hill climbing to the horizon. we groaned. i said, "i don't suppose it would do any good to pray that we get to turn north before that hill."

well, the next road - the one at the bottom of the hill we were descending - was highway 132, the paved route we'd been looking for forever. turning onto 132, we put the wind at our back and cranked up the speed. it was awesome! for the next 13 miles, we cruised along near or above 20mph. there were still uphills, but they were a piece of cake with a tailwind. we made it to manchester with gatorade to spare. not a lot of gatorade, mind you, but some.

we spent a long time in the air conditioned state line co-op. we drank the best tasting pepsis we'd ever had from ice cold cans. we refilled our bottles. we sat in the cushy chairs and dreamed of never leaving. thirty-seven more miles did not sound like much fun. sitting still did.

we finally got ourselves out of our chairs, loaded our water bottles in their cages and started out again. the first few miles weren't much fun. they were all uphill again. not steep uphill, but enough to annoy tired legs. after five or six miles the elevator at anthony came into view. we rode on, rounding bends in the road, first right and then left. two or three times that happened and then the city limits came into view.

i'd never approached anthony from this direction, so i wasn't sure where we were when we passed the welcome to anthony sign. we rode north until we reached main street. there we turned west and i suddenly remembered the old fashioned soda fountain at the rexall drug store. we pulled into irwin-potter's and enjoyed sodas and sundaes.

once again, it was hard to go on. we had to push and prod each other to move again. we swung our legs over the top bar, clicked in and pushed off to the west. three blocks later, we turned north, headed for harper.

we reached harper and pulled into domino's convenience store. i downed a 32 ounce pepsi at a booth inside and then we headed out one last time. i took the lead through town and out into the countryside on u.s. 160. my lead out was a strong one, over 20mph. for two of the four miles we needed to reach 100 miles, fred and christopher's original goal, we maintained this speed into the mostly south, but slightly east wind then chris needed a break. i backed off to 18mph for a couple of miles and then when fred said we'd reached 100 miles, i took off. he'd given me the go ahead to leave them to ride in slower, so i did that.

for the next 13 miles, i was over 20mph almost the whole time. i dipped a bit under that when i climbed l'alpe d'anville and again when headed southeast into the wind. the rest of the time, i was pushing it. i felt awesome! i looked at my time and tried with all my might to make it home before i'd been on the road six hours, but i just couldn't do it. i swung left into the driveway and pulled to a stop at three and half minutes over my goal. i wasn't all that disappointed though. i'd finished my first ever ironman distance ride at 18.4mph.

i opened the garage door, put my bike away, grabbed a protein bar and a recovery drink and went back out to wait for my teammates. they arrived about twenty minutes after i had come to a halt. they were riding strong. their finishing average was 18.2mph, just two tenths under what they'd been at when they passed 100 miles - their best century speed ever.

all in all it was a great day. none of the predicted thunderstorms popped up. the wind was almost always helpful to some extent. we didn't die! perfect! (112.04 miles @ 18.4mph)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

what powers you?

interesting take on what powers lance up and over the world's highest, toughest climbs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

should have stayed home

my nephew got in from chicago last night. after the swim meet this morning, my brother-in-law, my nephew and i went out for a quick ride to harper and back. it was only 85 degrees with 50% humidity when we left.

perhaps we should've stayed home. i had a flat before we even got out of the garage. it would've saved us a bunch of trouble.

the ride started out all right. i led for the first four miles and then swung off so my nephew could lead for a bit. he took us up and over drouhard hill and most of the way to l'alpe d'anville before his dad took a pull.

we only stopped for about five seconds at the road construction traffic light before it turned green and we were able to go up and over the monstrosity. when we reached the other side we had to stop for our first on-the-road mechanical. my nephew's bar stem had come loose. his bar was flopping all over the place. it's amazing he kept the bike under control. we tightened it and went on our way.

we made it to harper before our next mishap. passing by the subway, i was talking to my nephew about his elbow position and suddenly there was a loud pop. his front tire blew out. thankfully, he'd had a bit of warning, so he didn't have to brake too hard. we changed the tire in the shade on the south side of the subway building. we got the new tube in, pumped it up and the valve stem broke off. so we had to patch the original tube and put it back on. it was crazy! on the bright side, we got a good long break.

from subway, we rode on to a convenience store for cold, liquid refreshment.

with our two breaks done, we headed back home. the trip back was blissfully uneventful - no flats or mechanical problems.

we're warmed up now, ready for our century on monday. hope the thunderstorms don't spoil our fun. (31.10 miles @ 18.7mph)

my new favorite ad

i love this ad. the biking by both riders is awesome!

Friday, July 9, 2010

new trails

finally! a recovery ride worthy of the name. i took off around 8:00 this morning for a nice easy ride on my own. while everyone else slept in, i rode a number of bike trails on the south west side of wichita. i didn't push at all on the uphill sections. i coasted down most of the descents.

while i was out, i discovered a few trails i hadn't been on before. they were mostly extensions of trails i'd ridden before. one was really fun. it ran passed joyland (a now defunct amusement park) and then over a bridge that crossed i-135. a steep switchback took me up to the bridge deck. it was kind of eerie watching cars speeding below me.

i made it back to my in-law's house just in time for coffeecake. my legs were happily rested and i feel much more ready for monday's century. (25.40 miles @ 13.6mph)

a little too hard

i went out for another great ride with my brother-in-law wednesday. we rode part of the oz bicycle club's route, but turned back before reaching mulvane. did more of a loop. i didn't feel very strong and probably pushed a bit harder than i should have. i wasn't fully recovered from the 109 miles i did on tuesday. (27.79 miles @ 17.5mph)

finishing up my 109

i enjoyed a great ride with my brother-in-law tuesday night after riding 86.22 miles around argonia. my ride with him was an easier ride around south wichita and derby. this ride put my total mileage for tuesday at 109.21 - the most i've ever done in a single day. i felt great, but knew i would pay for it over the next few days. (22.99 miles @ 17.9mph)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

83 degrees is hot

there are times when i make decisions that i later regret. this afternoon i made one of those choices. i thought it couldn't be that bad to go out for a 60+ mile ride and get my mileage up to 100 for the day. it was only 83 degrees. how bad could it be? pretty bad it turns out.

i didn't have any problems riding the first 19 miles. i was at 18.3mph by the time i'd ridden to the top of mock hill. six miles later, at the top of nine mile hill, i was up to 18.8mph. just after i rounded the corner to head south, my average jumped up an other tic to 18.9mph.

i rode hard for the next few miles and got my average up to 19.3mph by the time the road curved west. less than two miles later i was at 19.4mph. then the hills came.

as i pedaled up and down over the rollers on highway 44 for the second time today, i began to leak tenths of miles per hour. i was getting hot and beginning to wonder about my sanity.

i made it to argonia road in 1'30" and unwisely decided to keep going as i had planned. i was going to go to anthony and then up to harper and back to argonia, completing a large loop.

a few miles down the road, at 90th, i thought better of continuing and made a quick u-turn to head back home. i slowed even more as i rode into the wind. the predicted sse breeze was once more out of the nne, so i didn't get any reprieve the whole way in. my once glorious average dropped back to 18.4mph by the time i rolled into my driveway, exhausted.

it's time to rest now. in a couple of hours, i'll take an easier ride with my brother-in-law and get my total for the day up over 100. that's assuming i live that long. man, i am tired! (49.20 miles @ 18.4mph)

what southeast wind?

a good night's sleep does wonders for the legs. i went to bed at 8:30 last night, exhausted from too many late nights while at my brother's house in iowa. i woke up at 11:30 and fiddled around on the internet for a half hour, then went back to sleep.

when i woke up at 6:00 this morning, i felt great. i swung my feet out of bed and slipped into my cycling kit. i was ready to roll. a quick look at the wind direction determined my route for the morning. i'd head east to chicaskia road, south to highway 44 and back around to argonia. i love this route. the rolling hills on 44 are great.

leaving town, i was able to get up to speed fairly quickly. the thick, muggy air (99% humidity) filled my lungs with beautiful, warm oxygenated bliss. the rich mixture was pushed through my body by a strong, happy heart. my legs sucked the power-giving gases from the capillaries and spit out the waste in an efficient manner. all was in tune and running smoothly.

when i turned south, i was surprised by the additional speed i was able to gain. i had thought that a wind out of the southeast would have slowed me a bit, but it didn't. i "outran" the greyhounds on chicaskia road. my average climbed over 18mph. i was as full of joy as i thought anyone could be.

then i turned onto highway 44 and my elation grew. i rode the hills with little effort. i raced down into narrow valleys and burst out the other side. i was a cycling hero of old, hercules on wheels. (i have a vivid imagination.) my average crept up to 18.2mph.

when i turned north, i was expecting to gain even more speed. i did not. i slowed way down. my speeds dropped down to 15-16mph at times. i was confused. a southeast wind doesn't blow in your face when you're riding north. i gritted my teeth and kept pushing forward.

it wasn't until i reached the outskirts of argonia that i discovered that my southeast wind wasn't actually blowing southeast. the greenwood's flag said it was blowing northeast. it had been in my face for the last eight miles. grrrrr. i hate it when the wind doesn't do what i planned on it doing.

a train was speeding along the railroad tracks when i got halfway through town, so i spun around a couple of extra blocks before returning home. (37.02 miles @ 17.9mph)

Monday, July 5, 2010

racing the raindrops

i took a look at the radar when i got back from iowa and decided i'd better get out or today was going to be a bust. i dressed quickly and rolled down the driveway and up the road.

i rode hard all the way to milan and back with little trouble. the hills at home don't seem like much after riding around lawrence and near pella. i miss the climbing already.

i got back to town and thought about riding out a couple miles and back, but the rain started and i didn't feel like getting hit by lightning. i'm glad i rolled back home and quit when i did. a short time after i called it quits, a torrential downpour started.

rain is predicted nearly every day this week. hope i can get in some long rides between drops. (12.57 miles @ 17.8mph)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

lance in fourth!

lance in fourth after the prologue? who'd have guessed? here's the post race interview.

racing down G28

we made it to iowa yesterday and enjoyed a trip to the red rock dam and then a trip to the jersey freeze in monroe. i had a chocolate marshmallow malt. yum!

i woke up around 5:45, rolled out of bed and hopped in the van. i drove to the beginning of marion county road G28 and parked. i pulled out my bike, geared up and headed out.

immediately out of the gate, there's a bit of a climb. this and one other climb slowed me a bit. i dropped down to 12mph on this one. the rest of the hills on the way into pella weren't too bad. i climbed them at 17-20mph.

when i got into town, i had to deal with a bit more of a headwind going south. at the town square, the highway turned again and headed straight toward the pella window factory. a sharp left took me toward the outskirts of town.

the highway's asphalt was awful once the county maintenance took over. i had to avoid holes and ruts. it was not a ton of fun. i made it to the end of business 163 and turned back.

when i got back to the square, i stopped at the smokey row coffee shop where i talked for a bit with my brother-in-law, my brother and nephew who were there for coffee.

at 7:15, we all left the shop and i raced back toward my van. my brother-in-law wasn't sure i could make it back to the house by 8:00 to work hay. i told him i could, so i was hammering it. one dropped me under 14mph. the rest were, once again, over 18mph.

the "boys" passed me just a little before i passed the turn off to my brother's house. i sped down the hill following them and nearly hit a bird just before rolling up and over the last hill and over a small levee to my van. i put the bike in, changed shoes and raced for the house. i pulled in at 7:58. told ya, seth! (27.54 miles @ 17.7mph)

Friday, July 2, 2010

riding to vinland

met up with travis s - - at south park in lawrenc at 7:30 this morning. we headed out as quickly as i could get my bike out and my stuff put together.

we left the park and snaked our way through town headed south. we passed broken arrow park where i've met up with the lawrence bicycle club on a number of saturdays in the past. we kept going south to county road 458 and turned west. i hadn't ever climbed up to the wells overlook, so he thought we should do that. the road to the tower is just a quarter mile long, but it has two switchbacks to get you up it. pretty fun.

riding back down, we turned east and then south again on a country road. i don't know the road's name. we turned east again when the road turned to gravel and encountered a couple of nasty short hills.

eventually, our route turned on to a main road that took us south and then east into the little town of vinland. vinland can't have more than a couple hundred residents, but it has three churches and a grass airstrip. we stopped in the shade for some shotbloks there before continuine on east to 1900 road.

at 1900 we turned north to head back to lawrence. the southeast wind we'd been fighting the whole way out suddenly became our friend. we pushed it hard up and over hills making it to the old highway between eudora and lawrence fairly quickly.

from there we rode on into lawrence. my chain popped off just as we were starting the climb into lawrence on 15th street. i told travis to keep going and i'd catch him. i made contact at the top of the second hill and we rode back to south park.

a great ride! travis and i will reconnect the next time i'm at my parents. maybe next time a few more DMers will be able to join us. (27.77 miles @ 17.1mph)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

gently rolling

i rode a nice, easy recovery pace today. not spikes in the heartrate. no excitement. no out of the saddle climbing. just gentle rolling to the conway springs road and back. enjoyed the cool air and the light breeze. (14.18 miles @ 15.6mph)