Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter's Coming

So I have to dress warm.  I know it looks a little odd, but not as odd as Silk's pose.  I actually thought I looked pro when I left the house.  Apebike just couldn't stop laughing though.  I did regret the jacket and booties later as we hit the single track.  Still had a great north side crew ride.  I wish we did more of these.  I ride so much alone lately I've almost forgotten what it's like to ride with others.


I'm in week 6 of base.  Haven't had to skip much at all, just reschedule some workouts.  Been doing all the yoga and roller stretches the OMTP prescribes.  I am surprised how sore some of this makes me feel the next day, sorta sorry I'd been skipping them.  I've had some great rides along lake Jackson as the sun goes down.  If I hadn't been on a plan I probably wouldn't have even gone riding.  Look what I would have missed.

Winter and Christmas

Both cause me joy and some melancholy.   


 This old church is located in the small town of Waynesboro Tn.  My father's family had a hand in founding the church in the mid 1800's.  His family had their own pew and we spent many a Christmas eve here.  Of course for a kid from the suburbs of Jacksonville it was all kinda hokey.  We used to walk to church from my grandparents house on those cold nights.  All I wanted to do was to get back and open presents.

Now I look forward to The Kid coming home from school.  We have our traditional golf game on Christmas day.  He's really happy about it as you can tell from the photo above.  I guess for a big college guy it all seems kinda hokey.  Funny how things come back around.

Friday, December 8, 2017


Yes we were riding where we were not supposed to.  No way to rationalize it.  We were in the wrong.  It's kinda of like having 12 items in the 10 or less checkout lane.  Or just riding in the left hand lane on the interstate at 5 mph below the speed limit.  How about not using a turn signal.  All of these are against the rules, if not against the law.  All of them make me angry.  I wonder what would happen if I decided to physically challenge the offender?

The Hiker

Dressed in a blue long sleeve shirt, blue shorts, a blue stocking cap, and carrying a water bottle, the gentlemen was coming toward us.  We were strung out, there were 4 of us.  As the first rider passed him The Hiker said "This is an orange trail, bikes aren't allowed".  I don't remember if Rider 1 made a reply or not.  When Rider 2 met The Hiker things got a little more interesting.

The Hiker stood blocking the trail, mind you he had plenty of sight distance.  Rider 2 and Rider 3 were close together.  When rider 2 slowed and moved off the trail to go around The Hiker, The Hiker shoved him, causing Rider 2 to fall over.  This is where I rolled up.

At this time there were 3 of us and one of him.  Rider 2 explained that what had just happened constituted assault and he would be calling law enforcement.  The Hiker walked past Rider 3 and then me yelling as he went.  I attempted to get my phone out and take a picture but wasn't quick enough.  I may have hurled a few expletives his way also.

The Aftermath

Nobody was hurt but the adrenaline was pumping.  We all continued the ride.  We went back by one of the parking lots to see if we could find the guy, no luck.  After we cooled down we went from anger to disbelief.  None of us are fighters, far from it.  But in the moment I was mad enough to pick up a stick and go to war.  If it had been me or a family member I might have crossed that line.  I can be just that stupid.

So when do we get to enforce the rules ourselves?  Should I push every dog walker whose dog isn't on a leash?  Maybe I should shove those butt heads with 12 items out of line?  I have mentally beat the idiots in the left lane many times (if you've ever ridden with me that doesn't come as a surprise).  Obviously we don't do that.


We weren't hurting anything.  We were in control of our speed.  I don't think what we were doing was against a law, just against a rule.  It's all public land, even though another user group maintains the trail.  The traffic is normally very light, the trails are underused.  They ran a zero turn mower over them which caused more damage than 50 bikes would.

Anyhoo, this is the first time this has ever happened to me.  I've had people block the trail but never actually touch me.  In today's world this type of thing could escalate into something really bad really quick.  So peace out!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Off The Back

In cycling "off the back" means you have been left behind or "dropped".  It happens to everyone at one point or another.  The older you get the more of a chance you have of it happening to you.  It can be good for you, it will make you work harder (sometimes).

A Different Kind of Dropped

Lately people I really enjoy riding with have stopped or drastically reduced their riding.  Mostly due to health issues; and not the kind that you just take an aspirin for.  Some due to the dreaded burnout.  I realize that as I get older this will become more commonplace.  Active people will tend to get hurt every now and then.  But recently it seems to be lumped together.  I feel bad for them but it makes me thankful I'm still out here.  I never take this life for granted.

I feel like there is a sweet spot when it comes to any active hobby.  That place where you are working but you still wake up the next day wanting to do it again.  Everybody has their own level.  I'm not talking about injuries here.  As long as you have the desire to come back, and can come back, if you haven't crossed that "over doing it" line, you'll be okay.

I speak from experience here.  THE CRASH certainly changed my life.  I ride by that spot on the multi use at Overstreet and think "how can that little clay hill have done so much damage".  My hip and knee still hurt.  Of course they may not hurt so bad if I didn't work them so hard at the gym two nights a week.  The pain has become the new normal.  I get paranoid if my leg doesn't hurt.  Psycho, I know.

Peaks of Training

Training Peaks, I love it.  It tells me what type of training I'm supposed to do every day.  I don't have to decide how I feel, I just look at my phone.  The best part is when I've done the prescribed workout it will light up green!  Yellow if I've done too much, and red if I did too little.  Then there's the graphs and data to geek out over!  I downloaded the OMTP to it and even though I've followed this plan for years it seems brand new on TP.

Oh No

It's taken me a few days to write this and I didn't mean for it to be prophetic.  Last night my training partner had a crash on his MTB.  An ambulance was called and he'll be out for a few months (at least).  It was a spot we've ridden hundreds of times, he wasnt' doing anything risky, just clipped a tree with his bars and took a header.  Unfortunately he landed on a large collection of roots.

This of course scares the piss out of me.  I know he'll be back, he's a tough old dude, but just how many rehabs do we have in us?  This cycling thing seems to be more dangerous than moto.  Is it just because we're getting older?  I don't want to take up golf (even though I do enjoy it) yet.  And I'd hate to give this sport up, but it sure has me thinking.

So now he has to deal with the pain and inconvenience of a major injury.  Having to have others do for you.  The scary look into a future where you can't do whatever you want, go wherever you want.  Having to rely on others for simple things.  Then there's the loooong trip back to fitness with all the physical and mental pain that will entail.

In the end it's just another one of life's hard lessons.  We like to think we have control over what happens but that's just a mirage to help us get through the days.  We really just need to be prepared to accept and play with the cards we're dealt.  As they say it's not about what happens it's how you react to it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some Direction

I don't know why I feel the need to have a plan in place to train.  I resubscribed to Training Peaks then uploaded LW's 40+ Base XC Plan.  Now I'm feeling settled.  Finally someone (or something) is telling me what to do.  Is this weird?  The process of following a plan is enjoyable to me.  It gives me some direction which results in less stress. 

So I did the LT test last week.  HR number was down 7 BPM which was disconcerting.  But I reset my zones and zone 4 still feels hard so I guess it's okay.  I really hate that test.

I got a head cold the second week.  Fun stuff.  First one I've had since February.


The Kid and I raced the FSC XC race at San Felasco two weekends ago.  We both managed to win our respective classes.  He crashed and came from behind to nip the leader right before the finish.  I had to work hard to keep Ron behind me.  He was able to stay on my wheel until half way through the second lap.  I don't know why it hurt so bad, the times were slow for both Ron and me.


Of anything to do with riding, my skills need the most work.  Fortunately the OMTP has some type of skills work prescribed every week.  Is it my favorite?  No.

Anyhoo, last weekend the crew tried to teach me something.  I was not a good student.  Sections that every one else could clean I would automatically just unclip in.  Strange.  Dr. Sworks calls it mental self preservation.   Whatever.  I was the same way with double jumps in moto.  It just takes me a while to get my confidence level up.  But I'm working on it.

Random Stuff

The weather is amazing right now.  Best fall in years!

Why do so many assholes go to my Ufit gym?  Didn't their mom teach them to put their toys away when they were done playing with them.  And my gosh, if there wasn't a mirror close by we couldn't even work out.

Is there any way to stop the white hair that grows out of my nose?  This is something they don't tell you about getting older.

A quote from Rons' wife after the race; "you guys act like you're sixteen out there."  She's right, as soon as that whistle blows I'm 16 again, it's one of the reasons I keep coming back.  


Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Little Off

The Lovely Wife loves the coast, me, not so much.  But she does spend all those hot days somewhere in the southeast waiting for me to finish racing my bicycle so I guess I owe her.  As they  say, happy wife happy life.

So I have a friend who owns a condo (see above) in San Destin on the bay side.  It's a short walk to all the restaurants and shops in Baytown plus there's a shuttle to take you down to the beach.  I like not having to drive once I get there so it suits me.  No bikes involved on this trip but we'll take some next time since the shuttle was not as prompt as they said it would be.

The views from the eating establishments were great, most of the food was excellent.  All of it was pricey but you kind of expect that at this type of resort.

I am amazed by how much money there is out there in the world.  Like one of my contractors tells me: "Hell, everybody ain't broke".  Lines of million dollar boats, high end cars, not to mention what a place here costs if you buy it.  

While it was mostly deserted (the way I like it) I understand it's full of people during the summer.  Just thinking about that much of humanity converging on those 20 story condos on the beach is enough to give me the willies.

The bay side is beautiful, I'd like to go again when its not 50 degrees with a 25 mph wind.  The beach ,while covered in condos, is hard to ignore.  I imagine I could stand it a couple of times a year, but not during the summer.

Anyhoo, it was fun.  I drank and ate too much.  It took us most of the day Saturday to figure out where everything was and how to get around.  Next time we'll bring more stuff to eat and limit the restaurant time.  

It's good to have a change of scenery once in a while, it kind of hits a reset button, even though I resist it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Just a Blip

Feeling guilty about not writing.  Almost 2 months since the last entry.  No real reason, just lazy.  No body does these things anymore, heck I don't even read the blogs on my list.  I have years of journal entries going back to the late 70's so it's something I've done for quite a while, just not in a shared format.

Anyhoo, FB did one of those "look at what you posted 2 years ago" things and it was a blog I posted right after I broke my hip.  Wow, I'd forgotten so much already about those first weeks.  Now I'm glad that I documented it, even if nobody else is.  I wonder where (if) I'll find this post in 10 years?  Where will it be?  Maybe I should print these?  And do what with them?  Sad, all this really interesting stuff lost to time.


Bike racing, I've done some.  First round of the FSC was at Hailes again.  I rode 60+ base and I'm proud of it.  Last year I was running third when second place crashed and gifted me the spot.  This year I got first and even managed to clean some sections I couldn't do last year.  So that's an improvement.

My home race contained some bad luck for me in the way of a flat front tire.  Only DNF I've had in years.  It was my fault, I was well in the lead going into a rock creek crossing when I saw a rider walking his bike backwards in the racing line.  I should have just slowed down but nooooo.  I moved over and hit a rock.   Pffffffffffttttttt went the tire.  I was bummed but not for long.  Only one more MTB race on my calendar this year, then I start training for the GSC/SERC again.  Damn, I'll be 62 when this next season starts.


The Kid is still at UF, which in itself is a good thing.  We miss him after having him home all summer but it's not like when he first left.  As I was loading up at Forest Meadows last night I suddenly thought about all the times we rode there when he was younger.  It went by quick.

The Lovely Wife is still teaching.  She's been a awful good sport about going to all these races with me.  I should do some of the stuff she likes to do now that it's the off season.  Whoa, let's not get crazy here.

I am making a pledge to myself to stay regular with this.  It may come in handy someday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


The summer drags on as it has always seemed to do.  The Kid went back to UF, leaving the house a little empty.  You'd think we'd be used to it by now.  Schools back in for the Lovely Wife which is always hard for us to adjust to.  Being an elementary school teacher would never be my pick of something to do.

A Plan

Or rather a lack of one.  It's too early to start training for GSC/SERC.  I am enjoying just riding the rides as they develop.  My riding associates can't believe when I shrug and say "no plans today".

I do have a couple of decisions to make.  First, should I train with nationals in mind?  Ignoring the GSC/SERC year end placing?  I am considering either riding 50+ base or 50+ sport.  Both would help me build fitness approaching nationals but would have less of a chance of success than defending my 60+ championships.  I struggled with this all season.  Let's see how I do in the FSC 60+ in the three races I plan on attending.

Second, I am thinking of hiring a coach.  CTS seems to have the most experience with gray headed athletes.  I have had great results with LW Coaching.  Not just placing but injury and general health.  But I really have the urge to try something more advanced.  

Which leads me back to my first decision.  It doesn't make sense to spend all that money and effort just to beat up on those same 60+ guys in GSC/SERC again.  First world problems huh?

Anyhoo, I miss riding with Jim, it looks like he'll never come back.  Dr. Sworks has been out for a while, he's been my steady Tuesday-Thursday training partner for the past 2 years.  We have had some good group rides but we seem to loose momentum pretty quick.  Maybe when the weather cools off?

Just a few more weeks till the Tallahassee race.  I am looking forward to participating.  See ya there!