Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some Downs, Some Ups

I had to put my old dog Sandy down a week ago Friday.  It had been coming for a long time, still didn't make it easy.  We got her when Blake was in first grade so she'd been with us for 15 years.  She was a sweet dog and will be missed.

Still I will admit to a certain sense of relief.  She had been deaf for the past 5 years and had had hip problems for the past year.  I would look out in the garage every morning to see if she was still alive.  A gentleman I used to bird hunt with told me once "If you're gonna be a dog man you'll have to put a few down in your life".  This was number two, I'm not sure I can do it again.  So we'll spend a while dog free and see how that goes.

Anyhoo, so much for the downs.  On the up side Blake came home for his spring break and we got to ride the Dirty Pecan together.  Rumors of 500 riders showing up had me wanting to be anti social and roll out early.  Blake was okay with that as he had a certain wattage he wanted to do for 3.5 hours and being around 500 bobos would make that difficult.  Turns out there wasn't near 500 but we had already made our plans.

I soon discovered that holding a certain wattage was quite a bit different from holding a heart rate.  At first it felt easy, but as we got into the hills I discovered that you pedaled just as hard going down as you did going up.  Every time we crested a hill Blake would go "click, click, click" on the gears.  I soon worked up a little hate for that sound.  He dropped me not long after the water stop in Boston but couldn't leave me since he had forgotten to download the route (snicker).

What a great day though.  I'm very fortunate to be able to do these things with my son.


This weekend is the start of the Georgia Series.  Rain is in the forecast so I'm having to work to stay positive.  My training is going good so far.  Training Peaks shows my fitness is on the rise and I'm looking forward to the time trial Saturday and the XC Sunday.  I can't believe it's race season again, once again I sooooo happy to be able to do these things.  Let's see how this goes.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Brown House

There used to be a brown house sitting here.  I have no idea what it was ever used for.  This is now a parking spot for moto heads using the ANF, it's right next to the bike path along side Silver Lake Rd.  I wonder how many people remember it being there?  Back when I was riding moto it was common to meet "at brown house" for a ride.  We even had monthly club hare scrambles just down the road.

Testing, Testing

I unloaded the clay bike at Trout Pond trail head a couple of weekends ago to do my LT test.  The test itself isn't much fun but I do enjoy the ride down to Bloxham Cutoff and back.

Oh yea, they call that trail the GF&A.  It used to be a railroad when Helen was an active town.  Now it's just good spot to listen to the wind blow.

After completing the test I rolled back up to the pond and sat on the dock for a while.  

I love days like these.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Trend?

I skipped the Urban Gorilla ride this past Sunday.  Just as I had bowed out on a group clay ride Saturday.  I did go with a group on a MTB ride instead of the clay ride, so that was kind of sociable.

I am beginning to see a trend.  Less group rides, more time on the bike alone.  I could use some more friends but you wouldn't know it by the way I avoid people.

Anyhoo, I'm in the first week of Build, Peak, Race.  Since the OMTP is not very flexible it doesn't yield itself to social rides (see above) but I do enjoy my solitary time at Forest Meadows.  Zone 4 and zone 5 intervals coming up from the lake on a cold winter afternoon makes me smile.  It really is a perfect place to ride.  Especially with Overstreet right across the street.  Throw in the trails that are orange and it gets even better.

I have managed to get a little more comfortable with Red Bug clockwise.  This route includes the rock climb, rooty route, and the climb after the long bridge.  All of these challenge me in some way.  My goal is to get really comfortable with these sections and be able to ride them with confidence.

Our group MTB ride on Saturday took place in the forest.  Munson and Gold Mine were in perfect shape.  Gold Mine is my second favorite trail system.  I really appreciate the woods elf that takes care of it.  After hunting season I'll hit the trails to the south of 305, maybe get in some 40 mile days.  We had a good group and I enjoyed the company.

For some reason my weight is up 2 pounds over my average for the past couple of weeks.  I don't think I've changed my eating patterns.  I wonder what's going on.

I was looking at the pictures of the 60+ class at cross nats last week.  Damn those guys look fit.  I have something to aspire to.  I wonder if they eat the whole bowl of chips at the Mexican restaurant?  Not that I do.

A Bad Idea

I am circling around the idea of a dual sport motorcycle.  Big Jim started this fantasy while we were eating oysters and drinking beer (something else those 60+ guys don't do).  I need one like I need a hole in the head...... but.  When would I ride it?  Cycling takes up so much of my time.  Still, it intrigues me.

Longer Days

Finally getting daylight back for my evening rides.  I don't even take the light with me anymore.  I need to work in some clay rides to get my butt used to 5 hours saddle time since the Dirty Pecan is coming up in a few weeks.


Yep, in a few weeks I'll turn 62.  I was supposed to be retiring with a huge pension right about now.  My how things changed.  No complaints though.  I'm just damn glad to be here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Group Rides vs The OMTP

After wimping out on my Thursday workout because of the cold I rescheduled it for Friday.  5/8 minute zone 4 intervals felt good, but left me a little tired Saturday.  Dr. Sworks and Catman agreed to ride with me Saturday.  The Doc is still rehabbing so we stayed on multi use and kept a moderate pace.

Catman peeled off but bumped into Postman and they both found me after Doc went home.  It was then the pace went up and so did the single track.  I was working hard and they were talking.  Not quite the 2.5 hours the plan called for but close enough.

Sunday brought word of a group ride with the promise of pizza and brews afterward.  Once again not what the plan called for.  I was already tired but felt like I could work a good effort into the ride by starting early and maybe riding longer.  I had forgotten how easily people who don't ride often tire out.  Look, I get it.  Just two years ago I was rehabbing and wasn't able to ride long without stopping, so I know how it feels.

This is where I struggle with a training plan vs just riding my bike.  I did manage to ride 3 hours, which is what the plan called for.  However, it took over 4 hours to get that 3 hours in.  I enjoyed the fellowship of the group ride, they are more talented than I will ever be.  I liked watching them have fun on their bikes.  But, combine the erratic pace with what some would call a questionable recovery strategy and I worry I may have thrown away a hard training block.  Should I worry?  I mean really, it's just the 60 plus class.  That's not it though.  I enjoy the process and I think I let the process down.

Anyhoo, it was still a good day on the bike.  The beer was cold and the pizza tasty.  In the grand scheme of things having fun with friends will be more important than a training day (?).  The group rides don't come very often anymore.  So I guess I should just chill the hell out?  On the other hand I enjoy finishing a hard training block also.

If this is all I have to worry about everything must be going pretty good huh?

Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Sorry

The launguage in that last post was rather strong.  I apologize.  I had a better control over that type of thing when The Kid was in the house but I seem to be slipping back into bad habits.


Anyhoo, I'm feeling pumped about the OMTP this year.  I downloaded the plan to Training Peaks (TP) ( I think I already covered this didn't I?) and it's adding a layer of accountability to my training.  It's week 10 of base and it's hard to believe I'll start Build Peak Race in two weeks. 

My first event is the Georgia State XC Series (GSC) on March 10 and 11.  The South Eastern Reginal Championship Series (SERC) starts March 25th.  I have both series in TP and Linda (the lady who makes these plans) set up the training schedule.  I have followed the plan closer this year than I have ever done before.  Like foam rolling and Yoga, I have skipped those in the past.  My mistake.  Doing both of those on a regular basis makes a huge difference in my workouts the next day.

Linda set me up to peak twice, once in April and again at nationals in July.  I'm going to stay in the 60+ class again (cue the groans).  Yea I beat those guys pretty bad last year but going down an age class doesn't make any sense to me.  Everybody else in 60 + can train harder than me, if they want to.

I had to pause there after that last sentence.  I'll have to admit I like being able to race at 90% and win the class.  There I said it.  I have all the rationalizations I had last season.  It was obvious a season of that class didn't prepare me for the 60+ nationals.  Would 50+ sport prepare me better?  Comparing my lap times I would have struggled to finish mid pack in that class.  I would have been competitive in 50+ base but that's still a base class.  Well that settles it.  I'm sticking with my first pick.  60+ it is.

San Elfreezo

The Tour Of San Felasco was this past weekend.  CS and The Kid and I rode together (sort of).  I can remember when just finishing that deal was tough.  It's never really easy though.  

Temperatures started out in the low 40's and by the time we got to the lunch stop they had dropped.  It was cloudy with a biting wind.  Many garmet changes were made.  I ate two tacos which I regreted as we rolled out.  But the sun finally came out and it warmed up for the last hour of the ride.  We sat in the grass eating pizza and having a beer afterwards.  I love days like that.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I'm gonna rant. 

It all started in my neighborhood in Beautiful Downtown Havana the week of Christmas.  The thieves got into unlocked cars and the back of pick up trucks.  Stealing whatever they thought was worth anything.  Expensive coolers and even a gun from one unlocked vehicle.

Then The Kid got word that their house in Gainesville had been broken into sometime around Christmas.  The thieves broke a window in a door, stealing two TVs, a bicycle, and anything else they could grab.

The walking pieces of shit that do this don't deserve "a second chance", or "rehabilitation", they just fucking need to go to jail.  I'll gladly pay taxes to build more prisons to hold these bastards until they rot.

Didn't they used to hang horse thieves?

Couldn't you get shot for cattle rustling?  I'm almost ready for some Game of Thrones justice.  They used to do some really horrible things to thieves in 15th century England.

But you know it didn't stop them.

This is all an old tired story.  There will always be bad people.  They will always have a rationlization for doing what they do. 

I'm thinking of getting a rattlesnake and putting it in a cooler, drill some holes so it can breath, and set it on my porch.  That would be fun to watch.

There, I feel much better.  Back to cycling stuff next time.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


My MTB skills need work.  I know it's something I should concentrate on yet I'd rather do intervals.  That is until I have a compassionate crew to ride with.  A crew willing to wait while I hesitate on the simplest obstacles.  Willing to offer advice in a friendly manner, and allow me to ask questions while they patiently wait for me to catch up.

Wait, they don't do that.  But they do graciously accompany me while I attempt what I call skills training and they call just riding.

Last weekend it was Red Bug in a direction I don't normally ride.  Because it has three climbs that have either roots or rocks.  I hadn't done the rock one since before THE CRASH so I was looking forward to getting that demon behind me.  On the approach W. B. starting singing AC/DC "thunder!".
I balked the first run but cleaned it the second time.  It felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders.  I've been back since and was able to ride it with only one freeze up.  Unless you've struggled with this type of thing you don't understand.  I am pumped to be almost 62 and still able to do stuff that scares me.
Not Red Bug, but this is how it looks to me

The Holiday

Too much food and alcohol.  We did go to church.  We also saw family.  I like the time off.  I have a friend who once said "Christmas and Thanksgiving ruin the best part of the year".  I don't go that far buttttt. 

I didn't do my strength training on Christmas day, the first time I've missed since starting base.  I think I handled it pretty well.

The Kid will be home until January 7.  It's a pattern we should be getting used to.  We will be accustomed to having him around then he'll be gone again.  I guess we should be grateful, when he gets a job he sure won't have this much time off. 

Another Year

After New Years it will be a while till I take some time off.  This stretch used to go by slow but nowadays, not so much.  This is also the time I schedule all my annual checkups.  I try to be more consistent about this stuff since my doctor almost culled me from his patient list because I hadn't been to see him in 2 years.  Walking out of his office with a clean bill of health feels almost as good as getting over the rocks on Red Bug.

This is what the section looked like right after it was built