Friday, April 30, 2010

race to school

ot a call at 6:30pm that i was supposed to be at the school for an awards banquet at 6:30pm. hopped on floyd and raced up the street. good thing it's only a quarter mile there. walked in just as they were announcing me. whew! two hours later, i rode home at a much more leisurely pace. (0.48 miles @ 11.4mph)

looped the loop

needed a break this afternoon, so i took off on floyd and made a complete circuit of town. added a few roads that i'd skipped in the past. enjoyed most of the ride. there were a few moments when i had to deal with the wind since it had picked up a bit, but they were pretty short. none of the windy stretches were longer than a half mile. so i looped the loop and then got back to work. (5.38 miles @ 10.2mph)

everything in moderation

the sun is shining. the grass is green. the wind has moderated a bit. it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. a beautiful day for a bike ride. wish you were my neighbor.

modified my interval workout a bit today. i warmed up for about five minutes and then started moderately hard efforts for one minute followed by moderate efforts the next. i did this for most of the ride. the only variation was the two times i stopped to try my luck at the 'flying flatlanders' mile. both efforts fell short of my controversial 2'08. the first was a 2'20. the second was so slow (for me) that i have conveniently forgotten the time. really! i don't remember what it was.

a couple of little side notes...

1) i rode my final 9 miles at 21.6mph.
2) i hit a max speed of 36.9mph.

my best overall speed in some time. helps that i didn't have hurricane kansas to ride into today. (19.94 miles @ 19.1mph)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hold on and find grace...

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? ‘He is not here; he has risen!’

“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

“Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”
(Luke 24:1-6; 9; 11-12, NIV)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight, right? “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, NIV)

If this is true, what action should we take? Should we just shrug our shoulders and go on? I don’t think so.

Three verses in Hebrews 4 – verses 14, 15 and 16 – tell us exactly what to do. “…since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV)

There are two actions mentioned in these verses, two things that we ought to do because God knows all and because we will have to give an account to him.

First action: hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Makes sense doesn’t it? If God knows all, he knows we are sinners. If he knows all, we won’t escape his wrath without help. That help comes from Jesus, our high priest in heaven.

Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus “is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (NIV)

When we sin, our resurrected Lord pleads our case. I paid the price, Father. Have mercy on him! And the Father listens to his once-dead-but-now-living Son. The Father has mercy. He relents.

“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 103:8-14, NIV)
Jesus himself told us that we had to come to the Father through him. Remember these words he spoke? I’m sure they’ll be familiar to at least a few of you. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV)

Pretty clear, huh? Jesus is the way to the Father. There is no other. He is the truth. Others claim to save, but can’t. He is the life. We are dead in sin without him.

And how do we come to the Father through Jesus so that we can be saved? Paul chimes in here. “…because of his great love for us,” the apostle writes, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9, NIV)

So if we are saved by grace through faith, it makes sense to do what the writer of Hebrews says – to hold firmly to the faith we profess.

I sometimes, on my knees, say to God, “I cannot save myself. I’m not good enough. I put my faith in your Son Jesus. If he does not save me, I am without hope.”

Do you ever pray like that, acknowledging your complete dependence upon grace? If you don’t, I encourage you to do so. It will bolster your faith. It will correct your view of yourself and your own righteousness. There is no righteousness that saves except that which we are given when we believe.

Romans 3:20-24, “…no one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Second action: approach the throne of grace with confidence.

You see that there in verse 16 don’t you? Plain as day it says it. Approach the throne of grace, God’s throne, with confidence. Without fear we come into God’s presence. How can we do that? God is holy and we are not. He is our judge.

Yes, but haven’t you been listening? Jesus gives us his righteousness so we can come to the Father. We can come boldly before God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We need not be timid. Jesus is alive and interceding for us. We will, this verse says it, find mercy and grace in our time of need.

And when do we not need mercy? When do we not need grace? I need both every day! I get both every time I ask! God is faithful.

What about you? Do you confidently approach God and find mercy? Grace is yours for the asking. If you’re a believer, you can receive help from God every day for every need. If you’re not, you can receive salvation by faith and begin a relationship with God today. It is by grace you are saved!

Do you need grace now? Ask for it. Approach the throne of grace with confidence. Know that God loves to give mercy and grace.

Jesus spoke these words of instruction and promise to his followers. “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.” (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

Our living Lord awaits your heart’s cry. Ask him now as we close for what you need. Hold fast to the faith you profess and find mercy.

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commuter miles?

i forgot to post these miles yesterday. i rode floyd around town on a few errands - to the school, to the bank, to work and back a dozen or more times. nice relaxed miles after the torturous journey into the wind earlier in the day. (5.05 miles @ 8.2mph)

too much pain

today was not my day. i woke up with back pain. i rode with back pain. i didn't even think once about making another wind-assisted attempt at the 'flying flatlander' challenge. too much pain. so i just spun out a few miles with the wind to my left going out and to my right coming back. thankfully, i only had to deal with a headwind for about 2.5 miles. (15.57 miles @ 14.1mph)

60-second confession #5

strange things happen when it's hot out and the vultures are circling. a dailymile cyclist, with a little help from his friends, tells all about that one day when, half-delirious, he picked up an odd habit.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

God sees all...

“Two…men, both criminals, were…led out with [Jesus] to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots…

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’

“But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’

“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’

“Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’”
(Luke 23:32-34; 39-43)

We’ve all done things that, thinking back upon them, we feel ashamed of having done. You have. I have. All God’s children have. The devil’s offspring too. It’s one of the hazards of living in a fallen world. Sin overtakes us often. We fall. We try to cover up what we’ve done, but know we can’t do it. Not really. And so we all live fearfully. What if someone finds out? What if my shame is exposed? I’ll be judged.

I’ve thought those exact thoughts about some of the things I’ve done. Anyone identify with me? We’re all alike. Sinners scared spitless by the thought of being shown to be sinners. Doesn’t matter that we’re already exposed by God’s word. Doesn’t matter if the Bible says, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23, NIV) We don’t want anyone to know we’re wrongdoers. It’s silly, but it’s true. You know it is.

Even sillier, we all try to hide stuff from God. I don’t know what we’re thinking. Maybe he was watching someone else. Maybe he was busy when I did that. He has to be distracted every once in awhile.

But then we read Hebrews 4:13 and cringe. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight,” it says. “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (NIV)

Yikes! He did see that! He wasn’t busy or distracted! What am I going to do? And the fear returns. The shame increases. God knows!

Can I share with you some good news? God sees more than just your trips and stumbles. Nothing is hidden from him. He sees your victories too. When you turn to him for help and overcome the temptation that always gets you, he notices. When you say or do the right thing even when it’s difficult, he smiles. God sees your growth and isn’t troubled, at least not overly so, by your faltering ways.

He loved Paul despite Paul’s propensity to do the evil he didn’t want to do. He loved Paul and made him into someone he could use for his glory. He loves you in the same ways and sees your potential even when you can’t.

I am reminded of a verse that caught me off guard a few years back. It is so encouraging. 1 Corinthians 4:5, “…judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (NIV)

If you are a believer, God sees your heart’s deepest desires. He knows you want to follow him and obey. He loves that in you and he will reward your good motives in eternity. Forever you will receive praise from God. That, my friends, is the highest praise!

So what do you and I have to fear? We can “know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18, NIV)

If the thief on the cross next to our Savior could receive a clean slate by faith in his last moments, you can too. Let God take away your sense of shame. Let him assuage your fears. Let him give you peace.

“…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2, NIV)

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned…” (John 3:17-18, NIV)

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enemy and friend

a few minor spasms in the lower back and a twinge or two in the left leg, but felt pretty good overall. the first 10 miles took me 54 minutes. riding into the wind really slowed me down. the final 8 miles took 23 minutes and included two attempts at a faster "flying flatlander" mile.

the first attempt started at 90th street south and went to 80th. i just wanted to see what i could do on a section that was a little bit uphill. didn't have the best of starts, but managed a 2'26. not my worst, but not good enough to move me up in the standings.

i cruised the next couple of miles, recovering and then at 60th street south, i stopped to ride my second 'flying flatlander' mile. the winds had not yet reached their top speeds for the day, but they were extremely helpful. i pushed hard over the mile to 50th street and stopped the clock at 2'08, almost 20 seconds faster than my first best attempt.

the wind is supposed to reach 32mph this afternoon, so if i can talk someone into taking me out to that same mile around 4:00 this afternoon, i may get it under 2'00. we'll see.

the wind was my enemy. the wind was my friend. i prefer it as friend. (18.14 miles @ 13.8mph)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

180.03 to go

i created a very personal challenge on dailymile today. i invited all my friends to ride 180.03 miles with me, the number of miles i have left to complete a virtual circuit of the world on my bike. i started this journey seven years ago. back then i could hardly ride four miles without heaving a lung. can't wait to post my "mission accomplished" in a few days.

ladder intervals

still fairly windy today, but only half as windy as yesterday. i was glad for a little relief from the stormy blast since today was interval torture day. i decided to do interval ladder sets today. i completed three ladders. the first two were 1 min on/2 off/2 on/2 off/3 on/2 off/2 on/2 off/1 on/2 off. the final ladder was the same except i went up to 4 min on before starting back down. the four minute push was painful! (21.95 miles @ 16.0mph)

flying flatlanders

monday: the wind was in my favor on this one. i rode hard and only lost power a little towards the end. i could've recorded a better time, i think, if my stupid cateye strada computer had been working properly on the other mile i wanted to make as my entry for today. grrr. (1.00 mile @ 24.5mph)

tuesday: my cateye was working today, so i got to ride my 'flying flatlanders' mile where i wanted to. improved my speed by 4 seconds. perhaps tomorrow or the next day when it's supposed to be really windy again i'll best this time. (1.00 mile @ 25.2mph)

wednesday: made two attempts at a faster "flying flatlander" mile this morning.

the first attempt started at 90th street south and went to 80th. i just wanted to see what i could do on a section that was a little bit uphill. didn't have the best of starts, but managed a 2'26. not bad, but not good enough to move me up in the standings. (1.00mph @ 24.7mph)

i cruised the next couple of miles, recovering and then at 60th street south, i stopped to ride my second 'flying flatlander' mile. the winds had not yet reached their top speeds for the day, but they were extremely helpful. i pushed hard over the mile to 50th street and stopped the clock at 2'08, almost 20 seconds faster than my first best attempt. (1.00 mile @ 28.1mph)

the wind is supposed to reach 32mph this afternoon, so if i can talk someone into taking me out to that same mile around 4:00 this afternoon, i may get it under 2'00. we'll see.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

video shoot

you are going to laugh till milk shoots out your nose when you see the video we (my family and friends and me) shot tonight for this week's "confession" video. i had to ride around from farm to farm for footage. i wore myself out trying to keep up with the video team. they cheated. they were in a car. fun ride. (4.85 miles @ 12.7mph)

a bigger loop

my eldest wanted to go for another long ride today. "to help our walk kansas team." so we decided to do a larger loop than the holden nature center loop we'd done in the past.

we headed out on the highway with a strong NNW wind in our faces. we rode slowly, averaging 9.2mph over the first four miles. then we turned south.

oh, the difference a little turn can make. we were soon flying along at 17-18mph, then with a little push we jumped up into the 20-22mph range. in a sprint to the railroad sign, i hit 30.9mph. that's faster than my top speed on the 'fastest mile' challenge last week!

when we turned east onto 30th, we passed a house and two dogs gave chase. one of them gave up after a quarter mile or so, but the other ran along beside us or just behind us for over two miles. we lost sight of him only after dropping down the little incline just past jeff and eddie's farm.

turning north, we again had to fight the wind. thankfully, argonia road is a bit more sheltered than the highway, so we weren't destroyed by it. we pedaled the two or so miles into town without much difficulty, ending our ride at the house at exactly 12 miles.

since it was so windy, i went back out for another mile or so while my daughter shot some footage for an upcoming "confession" video. what she captured is classic. you'll love it. (13.15 miles @ 10.8mph)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

60-second confession #4

i remember as a kid trying out a cycle that i just couldn't quite master. now i want one. can you help a poor desperate soul? (my wife is a really good sport. she played along with this video even though she thinks my desire for this item is crazy!)

slow and easy

riding here and there around town. to the library and back. to the school and back. from the school around half the town. over half with my wife. got rained on a bit. didn't melt. life is good. (6.00 miles @ 8.8mph)

a hollow victory

i won a challenge on dailymile. i was the only one who posted a time. yippee.

it wasn't all bad

heeding thumper's mom's good advice - "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" - i'm not going to complain. instead i'm posting my top ten "good things about about today's ride" for you.

10. only six of the nine dogs who barked at me also gave chase. two of them were in a kennel and unable to attack.
9. the wind only picked up speed and force after i had ridden long enough to be tired and sore.
8. my back pain was only an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being a femur fracture and 9 being childbirth.
7. my bike computer only quit working four or five times. it could have quit six or seven times.
6. no one was with me to witness my crazed mutterings as i rode along the highway's shoulder.
5. the pickup truck that appeared to be playing chicken with me turned out to be a friend who stopped for a chat.
4. it was 47 degrees when i left the house, just cold enough to make my fingers numb without permanent damage.
3. the two drops that hit my leg turned out to be sweat dripping off my brow rather than a torrential downpour.
2. close to the end of the ride i figured out how my wife and i can have five days away in june without the kids.
1. it had an end.

see. i can be positive. it wasn't all bad. (26.14 miles @ 15.3mph)

Friday, April 23, 2010

belt-drive livestrong bike

had to share this video of a very cool bike on display at mellow johnny's bike shop in austin. ran across the video on team radioshack's website.

interval insanity

i headed out around 7:30 this morning and decided to take argonia road (main street in town) south since the wind was from the direction and every once in awhile you just have to face the enemy. i pedaled over railroad hill and shortly thereafter, began intervals. i did one set of three (1 min on/2 min off) and then flatted at the base of tracy hill. that was the only thing that dampened my enthusiasm on this ride at all. (on the bright side, this was my first ever on-the-road patch job that held. i'm thanking wil r of argonia again this morning for his expert training a few months back. before his lesson on fixing flats i had never got it right.)

repaired tire back on the bike i turned and headed back toward town with plans to check the pressure and top off the tube. plans changed as i tested the tire with another set of three intervals. accelleration felt right. rolling was smooth. so i just kept going to the west.

if you're keeping track, you know that at this point i had complete two sets of three intervals. what i did next almost did me in. i decided to do a single set of 2 min on/2min off. by the third interval, my legs were screaming for mercy. i gave in a few seconds early. i just couldn't push any more.

after a brief rest, i hit it hard again with another set of 1 min on/2 min off. another rest and i decided to do another stupid thing: see how fast i could do the mile i have picked out for next week's 'flying flatlanders' challenge. i don't think i was fully recovered from the 2 on/2 off interval set. i started fading fast at the half way point of this mile. i pushed on though and ended with a time of 2'47. same time as my mile on dirt yesterday. i'm going to have to improve on that next week.

with 3 sets of 3 times 1 on/2 off and a set of 3 times 2 on/2 off and a hard pushed mile under my elastic waistband, i decided a set of four times 1 on/2 off was in order. i polished off the last of these intervals less than a mile from home, so i just spun on in.

my legs feel a bit weary, but they'll recover. glad i had a chance between storms to get these miles in. hopefully tomorrow there will be a break long enough for another 20 or more. until then...see ya! (19.93 miles @ 16.7mph)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a mile on dirt

about five miles into the ride i took with my daughters this afternoon, i made an attempt at my 'fastest mile' challenge. this week's is on dirt, so i used sandy eden road to test my skills. felt pretty good. took 47 seconds off my first attempt - the one that didn't record on the challenge for some reason. feel pretty good about that. it's so much fun flying down a hill on dirt. (1 mile @ 21.6mph)

riding dirt with the girls

came home from work and went on a ride with my two eldest girls. they wanted to just do the holden nature center loop, but i talked them into a little longer ride - the longest they've ever taken. we climbed up tracy hill and turned east onto 50th for a few miles in the dirt. they liked that.

when we came off the dirt back onto argonia road, we worked on drafting just a bit while we were riding on the pavement.

arriving back at the city limits, we turned left onto the holden nature center loop and completed it. just over 13 miles. this workout is minus a mile for the 'fastest mile' challenge. (12.64 miles @ 10.7mph)

a break in the rain

looked at the radar. saw a break in the rain. looked at the sky. saw the sun peeking through the clouds. decided to go for another ride. i had an hour for lunch. i ate up the road wearing the amber-lensed glasses of a bike ninja.

i rode out to about midway up nine-mile hill, turned around and rode back. pushed fairly hard, but stayed aerobic. after all this is supposed to be my recovery day.

the main reason for this ride? to get my mileage over 100 for the week. i was afraid if i didn't do it when i had the chance, i'd be stuck indoors while thunderstorms roll through friday and saturday and post my first sub-100-mile week this year. couldn't let that happen. felt a few raindrops just as i turned the corner into town. (16.89 miles @ 18.0mph)

the night was moist

"the night was moist." (throw momma from the train)

woke up early this morning to see my youngest off to texas. she and her teammates are going to be in the houston area this weekend for their final Bible quiz tournament of the year. they've placed at every other meet so hopefully they'll bring back a plaque to hang on the church's wall of fame.

well, i was up anyway, so put my lights on my bike and went for a ride. it was beautifully calm this morning. the roads were a bit damp in places where it must have rained last night. it wasn't raining this morning, but it was, well, sultry. (not sure sultry fits when it's only 57 degrees, but we're going with the sultry. wish they had a sultry button instead of humid on dailymile's weather options.)

so i rode out to the 10-mile mark and turned around. picked up just enough speed that i decided an extra four miles wouldn't hurt, so i did a short turn around a mile from home, went back to the top of mock hill, turned around again and came back.

throughout the ride there were occasional flashes of cloud to cloud lightning in the distance, but nothing striking downwards. i was going to take in a mile or two more when i got to town, but a flash nearer than the others had been changed my mind. decided it was better to live to ride another day than to die for a mile or two.

strange note: i rode 24.23 miles in 1:24'23. weird!(24.23 miles @ 17.2mph)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

no perfect weather

if you wait for the perfect weather, you'll never ride. i rode today through a fine mist at first and then through sprinkles. i'm thankful the clouds never really got it together. i was wet enough as it was without a downpour.

since i rode a time trial attempt on monday and recovery yesterday, i decided to ride intervals today. i didn't have it in me to do my usual three sets of six, i just did two. my legs were a bit tight, but it was mostly my mind that stopped me today.i was mentally tired. too much to think about.

hopefully, i can pull it together for some dirt riding tomorrow and a second interval session on friday. (18.04 miles @ 17.2mph)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

around wellington

didn't have a lot of time to ride today due to extra work duties in wellington, so i just squeezed a few miles in over the lunch hour. nothing remarkable about them. i tried out some dirt roads just outside of town that i'd always been curious about. they go nowhere. that's what i had suspected. now i know. i hurried back and got back to work just on time. oh, and i got in a first attempt at the 'fastest mile' dirt challenge. came in at 3'24. the road i chose probably wasn't the best road to try to ride fast on - lots of loose gravel and some washboards - but it was the only available road so i took it. (15.32 miles @ 14.0mph)

Monday, April 19, 2010

in honor of boston

i rode today in honor of my dailymile friends running the boston marathon. this is the leftover miles after i subtracted out my best 20k TT time to date. (TT at 21mph; the rest at 19.3mph; total ride 20mph) my total mileage was, of course, 26.2 miles.

hope everyone enjoyed their run as much as i enjoyed my ride. felt great to be basically pain-free!

wore my cadillac jersey for the first time on a ride. i'd been saving it for a special occasion and this seemed to be special enough. (13.77 miles @ 19.3mph)

into the top 11

everything felt right today. i accellerated right out of the gate and never let up. my legs felt great. my back was not an issue. (only two or three slight twinges in 26+ miles!) i just rolled over the countryside. i climbed a couple of hills (slight inclines) at or above 20mph. crazy! it sure was nice to ride hard and fast after last week's slow, easy rides. can't wait to take a stab or two at the 'fastest mile' dirt challenge.

26.2 miles was my total mileage, but i had my best TT time - 35'35 - so i had to separate it out. i'm in 11th place now right behind mark, josh and paul. can't be more than a few seconds between us. i've got 11 days left. i'm gunnin' for you guys! (12.43 miles @ 21.0mph)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

maiden voyage

rode floyd (my mt bike) over to the methodist church this evening. my two older girls were sharing about their spring break missions trip to mexico. they did a great job. (proud papa here!) then i rode back to our church for our evening worship service.

afterwards i rode up to the corner store for some ice cream. got there and had less money in my pocket than i thought i did, so i had to ride home and get a few dollars more. i returned and purchased the ice cream. we ate half of it!

this was the maiden voyage of my dailymile sticker (thanks, thomas!) on floyd. it included a bit of wandering about here and there around town. i never take the straight route when i go on errands.(5.13 miles @ 11.8mph)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a ride in short sentences

back pain still there. legs feeling better. able to accellerate a bit today. will work though this. hopefully sooner than later. lower mileage, fairly easy riding until then. barely broke 100 miles this week. will not give up. (14.19 miles @ 15.9mph)

Friday, April 16, 2010

one shot

ONE SHOT Documentary Trailer from Guy Mossman on Vimeo.

One Shot is the inspirational story of Team Type 1, a team of international professional cyclists embarking on the journey of a lifetime. With exclusive access, we'll follow the riders as they battle to become the first diabetic athletes to conquer the Tour de France. Will Team Type 1 do for insulin-dependent diabetes what Lance Armstrong did for cancer research? From tryouts and training camps, from riders fired to new cyclists hired, from the first pro tour race to the ultimate goal of the 2012 Tour de France, this feature documentary will follow Team Type 1 as they give history their best shot. They're inspirational, but they're also competitive. And they have great legs.

The film's Director, Lisa Hepner, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 17 years, will also explore the deeper and more personal questions of living with a chronic illness -- what does a day living with diabetes look and feel like? What impact does the disease have on relationships, family and otherwise? One Shot will also reveal the reality of living with a demanding chronic illness -- a disease that many people have heard of, but few people understand.

last fastest mile

i rode south to the top of tracy hill first. i really wanted to try to improve my 'fastest mile' time down the hill. unfortunately, today the very light wind was against me, out of the north. i pushed, but it pushed back. i was well over the 2'10 i pulled off with the wind at my back less that 24 hours ago.

so i rode north past the highway to see if i could get a better time. the rain started about the time i'd covered the first mile. it wasn't much of a rain. just a few drops here and there. not even enough to wet the road. i turned around at three miles out and came back a mile. the incline i had chosen for the day's second attempt started there. this hill is much less steep than tracy hill. in a car, you wouldn't even notice it. i stopped. i set my watch. i rode hard. the clock stopped at over 2'30.

so i rode to town and turned west. (now you're getting the NEWS part of my workout title.) i rode less that two miles that direction thinking i might take one more stab at the 'fastest mile' if the wind was strong enough. it was, but my legs and back decided it was not going to be. i stood to accellerate and the pain shot through my hip. i slowed to a steady pace and rolled home.

i guess yesterday's 'fastest mile' is going to be it. my two attempts this morning were unsuccessful. there either wasn't enough wind or it was out of the wrong direction. oh, well. there will be another day. monday begins the 'fastest mile' dirt version! can't wait. (17.36 miles @ 15.9mph)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

60-second confession #3

i've kept this secret long enough. i really, really want to be a part of a certain group of elites. want to know more? watch this video shot at a drama contest where extras are easy to find. (all confessions made for and accessible on

riding with pain

my legs and back were not quite right today. i kept feeling little pin prick pains in my left calf, my right quad and my lower back at the waist line. the pain was sharp, but not constant. i'm heading to my chiropractor this afternoon. something is out of place.

the ride itself wasn't very remarkable. i took it easy. only on my 'fastest mile' attempt did i ever raise my heart rate. cruised out of town. coasted back in. yippee!

in other news: my third 'sixty-second dailymile confesion' is, as they say in hollywood, in the can. i shot the entire episode at a high school drama competition. got almost a dozen aspiring actors (read: suckers) to help me out. it's great! watch for it tomorrow. (19.04 miles @ 15.4mph)

fastest mile attempt #2

nine-mile hill being the steepest and longest descent near me was the chosen hill for my second attempt at the 'fastest mile' challenge. i improved only slightly over my earlier time despite the advantage of speeding down hill. my back and leg pain just wouldn't allow me to accellerate the way i wanted to at the beginning. hope to have at least one more chance at this before the challenge ends friday. (1.00 miles @ 22.5mph)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sprinting in the dark

still sore this morning, but after a five-mile warm up, i was able to get in a little interval training. since it was dark, i couldn't do traditional intervals since i couldn't see my watch nor my cateye, so i just stood and sprinted as hard as i could at every intersection. sometimes that was around a quarter mile, sometimes it was less. my hardest and longest sprint was the one that started at milan road. a truck coming up from the south stopped at the intersection just before i started my sprint. i thought, "i'm going to race this guy to the bridge." so off i went, flying like the wind. i beat him. in the end, i did ten sprints total. one at each mile after mile five and an extra when i turned onto pine street for the final 0.30 miles to home. i'm thankful i woke up early enough to get this ride in before work and judging a forensics meet this afternoon. (14.24 miles @ 18.1mph)

post hard effort recovery

after this afternoon's hard effort and reffing a soccer match, i decided a good slow recovery ride was in order. a ride to milan and back fit the bill. no wind to speak of at 9:00 when i left. no wind when i got back around 10:00. enjoyable jaunt. (12.90 miles @ 15.9mph)

Monday, April 12, 2010

time trial times three

awesome! i don't know what else to say. after riding hard for the first mile for my initial attempt at the 'fastest mile' challenge, i kept pushing and never let up. my legs and lungs were working as efficiently as they ever have. i hardly felt the headwind as i sped over the miles. i raced out and back and cut almost three minutes off my last best 20k TT time! crazy! (12.43 miles @ 20.5mph)

it ain't cheating

Mike N. Challenge from Run Talk Radio on Vimeo. i am honored. thomas n of dailymile, a runner, created a challenge for runners named after me. the 'it ain't cheating' challenge requires participants to ride their bikes five miles in my honor. pretty cool!

fastest mile attempt #1

1 mile from a dead stop. 1 mile on the flats. 1 mile against a slightly in your face wind. 1 mile at 21.18mph. 1 mile to start the fastest mile challenge. 1 mile that won't likely be the fastest for long. 1 mile that is the fastest so far. (1 mile @ 21.2mph)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

off the path

my wife wanted to go for a ride again tonight. yippee! we took the same route that she in my youngest walked last night, so she could know how far there meandering had taken them.

when we got to the bike path heading south, i decided to give myself a bit of a workout and dropped off the path into the grass beside it. doing that, i've found, keeps me at my wife's speed. i rode down and across dried up waterways and through ditches. it was a blast!

when we turned around down by the river and headed back, i took the high road up and around and came back to the path and dropped back into the grass again. my wife accellerated. i pedaled like crazy and she kept riding away from me. when i finally caught her, she breathlessly reported she'd hit 16mph.

i returned to the pavement for a bit and then saw another opportunity to go offroading. i jerked my wheel left and dove down between the two rows of trees. my wife accellerated again. i was bouncing this way and that trying not to end up hanging from a tree like a modern day absolom. mind you, this is not a hard-packed trail. i was riding through tall grass, over very bumpy dirt made even bumpier by roots and sticks and mole tunnels. i laughed a lot as i wove in and out trying to catch that beautiful young woman who stole my heart more than 20 years ago.

toward the end of the rows of trees, the paved trail curves to the left. that's where i caught her. she had to slow for the bend in the sidewalk while i was able to plunge almost straight forward.

back together again we proceded home. that's when she decided we needed a bit more riding. she wanted to know how far our regular walking took us. so after a brief stop to drop off our sunglasses, we were out on the streets again. i took a few small detours on this once-around-town loop, but mostly not through the grass. people tend to frown on cyclists riding through their manicured lawns. the loop was 1.6 miles.

what a fun ride! my wife loved time with me. i loved the crazy stuff. and floyd was beaming from gear to gear. let's do it again! (6.80 miles @ 9.6mph)

Friday, April 9, 2010

the dirty dozen

after riding floyd around town this morning - this accounts for a little over three of this workout's miles - i decided he deserved a reward for his hard work, so i took him out on dirt. it was a blast!

i rode as quickly as i could out of town toward the nearest dirt road i could think of: blackstone at 30th. as quickly as i could was not very quickly. the wind was back up to gale force again today.

so i turned south onto blackstone and rode for two miles, uphill on dirt into a nasty headwind. since it hasn't rained much recently that meant eating a bit of dirt. my teeth were gritty when i reached the summit of (newly named) rusco hill. (mrs. rusco was the lady who rescued me when i flatted and my bike was "stolen" a while back.)

turning onto 50th, i had the wind slightly at my back. this sped me up a bit, but it also made me fight to stay upright on the loose gravel. this single mile included (newly named) stolen bike hill.

crossing argonia road and continuing on 50th, i started grinning. 50th east or argonia road is barely a path. it's hard packed dirt is great for rolling fast and there is NEVER any traffic! perfect! i rode hard toward eden rolling down stolen bike hill and then up and over (newly named) jackrabbit hill before turning onto eden road. (jackrabbit hill is named for the jackrabbit that i chased there a few years back.)

eden road was crazy fun! with the wind at my back, i accellerated up and over the top of (newly named) sandy eden hill and plunged down the hardpack at just over 30mph. about 3/4 of the way down, i slowed up a bit. a few years back i hit a sandy spot and almost lost it. no such danger this time. i made it down to 40th without the slightest bit of fishtailing.

40th is another gravel-strewn causeway. again i struggled to stay upright because of the crosswinds and the loose rocks on the road. an added hazard on 40th: washboards. i had to loosen my grip on the handlebars at times just to keep my arms from being shaken off as i climbed both (newly named) phillips hill and (newly named) pike hill.

turning south into the wind again, i crept up (newly named) mt. manly beard. don't know where that name came from, but there it was. at least i only had to travel a mile south before turning east again on 50th.

on 50th, i rode across the flats and then climbed part way up a hill i just couldn't come up with a name for before turning north again on morris road.

morris road. oh, the memories. i have taken morris road numerous times over the years. going north it is wonderful. going south is not. (thus my choice of directions today.) going north morris plunges down (newly named) birkholz hill. i hit my max speed of 32.6mph plunging down birkholz. then i encountered "sandy bottoms", the reason you don't want to ride morris road south. morris road is close to the chicaskia river and the road is made of sand, loose sand! i hit the worst of it going pretty fast and floyd's rear end started swaying this way and that. i nearly fell over once or twice, but made it through. going south on morris i have NEVER made it through the sound without having to stop and walk.

i turned on to 40th again and climbed up the other side of pike hill and then rolled over phillips hill and out to argonia road. since i didn't have much time left, i turned onto paved argonia road and sped back to town. made it back just in time to go back on call for the person who was covering for me until noon.

and that's the dirty dozen report. (21.42 miles @ 12.6mph)

three times to the bank

my van is in the shop for maintenance, so floyd (my mt bike) and i have been running a few errands around town. we've covered about 3 miles so far. went to the bank three times. first time i rode there, i forgot the check i was going to cash and had to ride back home to get it. second time i had the check in my pocket and got my cash. almost as soon as i got back to my office, someone stopped by with a check i needed to deposit, so off we went. floyd is happy that it's "take your bike to work" day. (not officially...only here.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

time trial take two

i set out this morning with one goal in mind: get my TT challenge time under 40 minutes. i took off fast, but about two miles into the ride my legs felt horrible. pushing hurt. i let off the gas a bit and actually kind of gave up on the TT attempt. i was just going to ride 15 or 16 miles and call it a day. i could always blame the cold. it was 29 degrees. "my legs just couldn't warm up." that's what i'd report.

a few miles later, however, my legs came around. i climbed drouhard hill with little effort. i looked at my time and figured out that if i pushed just a little more, i could make it back home with a sub-40 time. so i pushed just a little more.

after i turned around, i brought my speed up over 20mph and kept it there most of the way home. there were only a couple of dips into the upper teens that i noticed. the crazy thing is they didn't come on any of the uphill portions of the course. i was riding on the flats. i suppose they was just lapses in concentration that caused these slow downs.

so i made it back and stopped the clock at just under 40 minutes, taking almost two minutes off my previous finish. next week, i'm hoping to start knocking off some of the people ahead of me. (12.43 miles @ 18.8mph)

60-second confession #2

in this, my second "sixty-second dailymile confession" created for the folks at, a social network for athletes, i admit to majoring on the foods at the top of the USDA food pyramid.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the cyclist's special

this is an awesome old documentary about the cyclists' special, a train from london which transported riders out of town for rides in the country. (part 1 of 2. find part 2 here:

into the north wind

the driver's ed meeting i was required to attend on my daughter's behalf got out much more quickly than i had expected, so i decided to go for a little ride. i layered up and headed straight into a 20mph northerly headwind. what was i thinking?

i crept along for awhile, hovering around 10mph, then decided to turn around and head back. that was at 7.52 miles, i guess. it took me 44'23 to get there.

the 7.52 miles back took a lot less time - about 20'12 if my calculations are correct. i was flying, hovering around 25mph the whole time, wishing i was able to work this into a 20k TT entry.

i wasn't able to do that, so i just rode into my driveway and dismounted. i logged in to and was gratified by the number of people who are genuinely concerned for my friend, mark. (see previous entries. here's one: then, before i posted this, i logged in to facebook. there i found the greatest thing: mark had commented on my "please-pray-for-mark" status. his words: "thank you!" what else would you expect? i don't know any more about his prognosis, but he must be doing alright if he can log in and check his social networks. i'm sure his "thank you!" is for all who have prayed and who are praying. (15.04 miles @ 14.0mph)

pray for mark

please pray for my friend mark, a top-notch rider on kansas state's cycling team. (he placed 2nd overall at collegiate nationals a year or so ago - 5th in the road race, 3rd in the time trial and 1st in the crit.) he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike near campus last night. his broken arm will require surgery to set, and his leg is banged up pretty bad but not broken. it was another student, driving an explorer. he made a turn and t-boned mark. didn't see him on the bike. please pray for the other student, too, and for mark's parents, allen and nancy.

what a difference

wow! what a difference a day makes. yesterday it was a warm and sunny 77. today it was a cold and cloudy 44. yesterday was all-out intervals. today an all-in recovery ride. yesterday my greatest fear was sunburn. today it was frostbite. yesterday i was mr. armstrong. today i was mr. bean.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

a high what us?

mike chides eric for his seeming disappearance from the biking scene.

not fast, but fearless

inspired by the hill workout and quote - "you don't have to be fast, but you'd better be fearless" (born to run) - dailymile's barb g posted today, i decided to ride interval training straight south, INTO the wind.

my five-minute warm up got me out to the highway, around the corner and up and over railroad hill. from there i began the self-torture some call intervals. i accelerated sharply at the 5-minute mark and hammered for a minunte. after a two-minute rest, i did it again. it took two sets of six efforts each with an extra two minutes between to get to my turn around point 8.58 miles out. at times, pushing hard into the wind, i was barely able to hold on to 12mph. the wind was wicked. my outbound average speed was 11.5mph. it took me 44'45.

what a difference a u-turn can make. i did my about face just in time to start a third set of six. my first acceleration took me up and over 33mph. i think i had a higher top speed, but my odometer decided to take a hiatus today. stupid thing. didn't matter. i felt strong and fearless as i flew down the road. at the end of this set of six i was just to the south of town. as i rested, an idea popped into my head. what if i ended my intervals with a final push the entire length of town? crazy idea, but i couldn't shake it. so at the south edge of town i jumped on the pedals and charged into the heart of argonia. i shot over railroad hill and past the city building. i roared past the post office and bank and clinic. i continued pushing until just before the turn back onto the highway. it took just over two minutes. after that effort, i shifted down and enjoyed a three- or four-minute spin back home. i covered the same distance in 23'28 for an average of 21.9mph!

i was not fast, but i was fearless today. i probably worked harder on this ride than i ever have on any ride. the work i did ought to help me achieve a better time in boni's dailymile 20k TT challenge on thursday when there's not supposed to be much wind. we'll see. i'm aiming to catch mark e, who's just ahead of me.

thanks, barb for the shot in the arm! (17.16 miles @ 15.1mph)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

dull, cold and slow

i thought i was done with this cold weather stuff. i'd even put my extra pair of tights away. then i wake up and it's 34 degrees out. well, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. (never did like that saying.) so i layered up - balaclava, double tights, shoe covers, the works - and headed out. i didn't regret one piece of clothing i had on. i only regretted not putting on more. it got colder and colder as i rode. the temp when i returned home was 30!

my ride was pretty unremarkable. my legs were cold and would not warm up. my mind was numb as well. there were times that i'd notice that i had spaced out for a mile or so. couldn't remember passing a landmark that i always notice. i was on autopilot and i was flying slow and under the radar.

on the way out, i kept changing my mind on how far i would ride. i first thought i'd turn around at 13 miles out and race home to get a time for the TT challenge. (more on that in a bit.) that would've brought my total for the week to a nice even 150 miles. then i thought i'll go to harper and turn around. (by to harper i really mean through harper.) numerous times i thought, "i should just turn around now." but i kept pedaling through intersection after intersection until i found myself on the far side of harper turning around.

the outbound journey took over an hour. somewhere around 1:04 or something like that. the return was just slightly faster. part of the reason for the increased speed was the wind. with it at my back, i could go a tad faster without any more effort. the other reason for the higher pace was my attempt to pick it up and get a TT time. (i told you i'd get back to that.)

at 13 miles from home, i reset my odometer (it had been acting up anyway) and accelerated sharply. i was going to make a go of it and at least get a time on the board of boni's race. my lungs were soon heaving and my heart was pounding out of my chest. my legs pushed hard, but i knew it wasn't going to last. it just felt wrong. as wrong as my TT attempt on wednesday felt right.

after less than a mile of hard effort, i settled back into my earlier pace. i just kept my cranks turning out of long established habit. at 12.42 miles i checked my time - 43.02. i decided not to post that to theTT challenge. it would require all kinds of math to do that and roopak, the challenge's current leader, set the standard high with a time of 31:33. i doubt i'll ever beat that, but i'd like to be closer before i post.

so this ride survives as a single uninspiring workout. (31.87 miles @ 15.9mph)

Friday, April 2, 2010

riding with susan

this morning i talked with my wife about taking a bike ride together at noon. she agreed immediately. so i got a bunch of work done before twelve o'clock rolled around, then walked over to the house.

i pulled her away from her shrub trimming and we got ready to ride. the weather was beautiful. the wind had dropped dramatically from this morning and the sun was out. the temperature was hovering around 60 - a bit cool for my wife's tastes, but perfect as far as i was concerned. we started out and had to circle around the block immediately because susan (that's my wife's name) wanted a jacket. once we got back to the house, i ran in and got her one and we started out again.

this time we made it out to main street and headed south to catch a dirt road we like riding. this particular road runs past the holden nature center, so i've named this regular-to-us loop after the center.

didn't have any major problems along the way. almost wiped out on the sand once and nearly hit my wife, but managed to get it under control before any harm was done.

when we got back around to the highway, we rode single file until we reached main street. that's when a crazy urge hit me. i dove down into the ditch and climbed the far side. then i rode along in the ditch parallel to susan. this equalized us. she cruised along on the highway and i pushed a bit to keep up as i rolled through the grass. fun!

when we got back, i rode a little extra to get my mileage up to five miles. not sure why. just felt like it i guess. (5.01 miles @ 9.0mph)

black dog rider

this is by far the funniest entry in the 'foolish 4x5 challenge' on dailymile. i laughed so hard my children made fun of me.

60-second confession #1

this is the first in a series of confessions i need to make. i have a problem obsessing over a certain part of my anatomy. find out which part in this "sixty-second dailymile confession" created for the folks at, a social network for athletes.

sailing, sailing away

my crazy children on april fool's day 2010! what will they think of next?

good NEWS

in remembrance and honor of my Savior, who's death on a cross purchased so much for me, i took a cross-shaped route. i rode at least a mile from home in every direction - NEWS. would have ridden further east at the end of the ride, but the wind picked up and the lightning got suddenly closer. i only got rained on a little. a drop here and there. intending the ride to be an easy recovery ride after the last three days of suffering, i chose to stop rather than have to fight the wind for an extra two miles. have a good Good Friday. (15.49 miles @ 15mph)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

foolish 4x5

what do a rubber chicken and intervals have in common? nothing usually, but today is april fool's day and a rubber chicken rode along with me on today's interval training ride. yes, you read correctly. a rubber chicken rode along with me today. it was part of the 'foolish 4x5' challenge which 70-some brave souls signed up for. the challenge was to ride 20 (4x5=20) miles or more with something strange attached to your bike. thus the rubber chicken. can't wait to hear (or see) what others attached. if they can, they're supposed to post video. watch mine.