Saturday, January 30, 2010

Has anyone seen this dog?

I did a ride out in Katy again today. Cold, cloudy, windy. No matter how fast you spun, your legs never really warmed up.. it chilled you to the bone. At the rest stop, the guy organizing the ride advised everyone to take the short route back because the headwind.. so I did (36 miles).

The ride back was easy because there was a nice tailwind to help me along. When I got to Brookshire, I saw one of those houses on the side of the road that stands alone, has no fence around its yard and has a child's toys everywhere. I saw a big dog that resembled a sharpei coming at me like a T-Bone. So I went to the car lane and sped up knowing what I was in for. That bitch was fast.

I had to hit about 23 mph before I lost the thing and it still got right on my tail. I warned some others coming the other way to watch out, and who knows how many more people it chased taking the same route behind me.

My first instinct was to go into the car lane without looking and speed up. I was lucky no car was coming behind me. That would have spelled disaster. I owe my thanks to something today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bike rage

This past Saturday was a kick-off to the Conoco Phillips training rides. This one was an optional 28 or 36 mile ride and I was eager to test my legs. It was my friend Teresa's first time riding a bicycle longer than 6 miles so I stayed with her at the beginning but after mile 2 I went ahead. She refused to ride near the front because she had some uncertainties, but she fared well and finished the whole 28 without a hiccup.

Anyways on to etiquette. After I stretched my legs on the bike and started cruising comfortably, a guy started to draft behind my wheel. I'm no experienced rider so I can swerve at anytime, but this guy stood on my back wheel for a good 4-5 miles. I pushed hard but w/ the headwind, there wasn't much I could do to get him off of me.. I was breaking the wind for him anyways so he wasn't really working hard. Finally after a bend in the road I got fed up, stood up on the pedals and left him in the dust. I pushed up to 27 mph on the flat to get him off. I thought cycling would lead to better manners as opposed to driving since you don't have a shield to protect against any misbehavior, but I was wrong. This guy was definitely no pro and I'm definitely a beginner so riding my ass was a recipe for disaster if we clipped each other. After he caught up with me at the rest stop he said "thanks for the pull back there." I wanted to degrease his bicycle chain.

On to happy thoughts. The ride proved well and I was able to cruise comfortably at 21 to 22 mph on the flats and down to 18 with the strong headwinds. 36 miles was no problem. 45 miles this weekend at a forecast of 32 degrees..

Thursday, January 14, 2010


93 days till the MS150! I always seem to underestimate bike rides and runs (or I overexert myself to keep up w/ the guy who passed me up).. when I'm in the middle of one I always think to myself, what the hell am I doing this for? That said I'm trying to ride this one for a cause and really be ready for it physically.. I'm already in pretty good shape, but I don't want to think 50 miles in about cashing in… I've been good about riding to work most days and lifting on occasion so I'm starting training at a lean 145. I've been trying to gain weight since training will probably make that number go down more, but my metabolism has been on full throttle.

Anyways (cue drumroll), I'm going to eliminate or cut back on alcohol. Luckily I don't think anyone knows about this blog, so I should be okay and not lose face if I don't succeed!

My training will consist of:
  • Weekend long rides starting gradually from flat/30 miles to hilly/70 miles. Do back-to-back rides late March/April since the MS is 2 days long.
  • Climbing stairs/plyometrics to build power for climbing hills in Austin
  • Squats/leg work on weekdays to build pedal stroke strength.
  • Core work/lower back for stability and to minimize fatigue on the bike.
  • Lifting during the week.
  • Rest mid-week w/ 1-2 offdays.
  • Light cycling during the week.
  • Nurse and massage my ITB 5x a week.. if that fucker flares up I won't be able to ride. It sidelined me for 7 months last year.
I can't finish without a plug to donote to sponsor me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I've been all about simplifying my life these days. It came to mind when I cycled to work yesterday and saw an apartment building completely gone from a fire.. 24 units destroyed with most people escaping only with the clothes on their backs. It reminded me that STUFF can disappear in seconds, so I despise how media and marketing places it on a pedestal and convinces us to value it so highly. Since I've moved back from Australia, I've gotten rid of:
  • An extensive cigar collection and my oversized humidor. This was liberating, and I made a good buck off of it.
  • My need to eat out all the time. I do simple meals at home which leads to eating healthier and saving some dough. That said, I need to reduce my alcohol consumption this year. I looked at my 2009 spend on all alcohol vs. eating out… it was almost 3x the amount!
  • Lots of books. I used to have the hoarding mentality of wanting to supplement my knowledge with books I'd heard were good or topics that interested me just a little bit.. to Half Price Books these went.
  • Clothes. All the clothes that I told myself I'd wear one day went straight to Goodwill… 3 full garbage bags worth.
  • Papers. Lot of old paperwork, schoolwork, receipts… when would I ever look at these again? Straight to the bin.. recycling bin.
  • Cable TV. There's nothing more unsatisfying to me at home than sitting on the couch letting the cable TV wash over you.. it becomes background noise your mind gets so used to, it feels foreign to have it turned off. I'm happy with the local news at night so I built my own rabbit ears antenna from leftover wood my parents used to redo their floors and metal coat hangers… works like a charm.. the 3 channels it actually picks up.
  • Data plan. Do we really need to see the weather, get directions and browse the internet from our phones?

There's still some more things I need to unload… anyone interested in surround speakers, SLR gear and fishing gear ??