America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ride No 8: Spin Class led by Cheryl Payne

Charts are boring. Rollers are boring. Wind trainers are boring. Writing about charts and rollers and wind trainers is boring. So the highlight of my week, my month, my 2007 thus far, was doing tonight's spin class at the Attleboro YMCA. (In the T.I. campus) Tonight there were only six of us, including Cheryl our drill sargeant. Music didn't suck either- the selections were very compatible with my tastes. There were 15 or so empty bikes to spare. Next Wednesday.. I'm there at 1900 hours, sharp.. for an ass-kicking like I haven't felt since the Jamestown Classic. Anyone else up for it? Bring your shoes, pedals, a wrench, and 5 bucks for Cheryl's superbly essential coaching. Helmets and shirts optional. All are welcome. Write me for more details. (reiscotools at y a h o o dot c o m) As you can see from this chart, my last few rides on the rollers have been real sleep-walks in comparison. Three consecutive days of indoor training means tomorrow is a rest day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ride No 6 & 7: Rolling on a River...

I can't feel my junk after 20 minutes.. My hands are numb after 40.. at which point, even if I touched myself neither my hand or my junk would know it.. That's what sucks about rollers. You are seated constantly. No standing, no stopping, no relief from the pressure on your crotch.. "This can't be good for me".. crosses my mind a lot.. as I watch television, listen to the mp3 player, fumble with the remote control and almost hit the deck a few times.. Towards the end when you're a bit tired, taking a swig of water can get dicey. How is it that I can see THROUGH my stem and the top of the front wheel, all the way down to the bottom portion of my front rim? Must have something to do with not being a cyclops.. Here're the charts. Hour a piece.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ride No 5: "You weakest of all the Sloan brothers..."

What flick is that from? Whatever, it's what my rollers were telling me for the incredibly boring hour I spent spinning on them today.. My team did a ride early this AM at Arcadia.. I skipped it because my bike needed some serious attention, plus we have a houseful of guests.. I must say the rollers felt really tight.. Storing them in the freezing cold garage seems to have gummed up the bearings.. that, and they're 17 or so years old.. McClains. Sometimes on of the cylinders shimmies. Today's "Hour of Un-Power" was made slightly more pleasant with the addition of my mp3 player. Best track? Jesus of Suburbia- Green Day. The wireless Polar was a disappointment though. Loss of signal because of the cold? Shit that's one of the reasons I like to use the rollers- I get to track distance.. The other reason being that you can't slack off on rollers, can't coast- or else you fall.. So riding the rollers is kind of like riding the fixed gear I suppose.. The realization that the light in the garage is controlled by a motion sensor scared me at one point. What if the light went out? I'd hit the deck for sure.. then the light would come back on.. Weight is holding steady at 176-1/2 pounds. If I'm under 170 by the time I go to San Diego on 2/21, I'll be very happy. Note that my weight at peak form in 2006 was 172.. and a year ago today I was over 180.. Heck at the first Wells of '06 I was over 180.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ride No 4: Happiness is...

..forcing yourself to do the right thing, even when far more attractive alternatives tempt you. After watching "Air Force One" with my dad, it was ever so tempting to just veg in front of the tv or surf the blogs... but I was disappointed in today's weather and wimped out on a road ride.. so the only solution was to kick the pedals for an hour on the rollers.. It felt like a friggin eternity.. my shoes were on too tight, so I stopped for a sec to loosen em.. then my testicles went numb so I stopped a few more timed to adjust the equipment.. They still haven't descended, 1/2 hour later.. In the end I have myself a cheerful dispostion, less about a pound in water weight.. Which reminds me, I forgot to wipe up the puddle of sweat I left in the living room. Yes, intend to post every single Polar chart of every race and ride here, all season long. Well... let's see how long that lasts..

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ride No 3: Feeling bloated and heavy

It's been a shit week for me, physically and emotionally. Worrying about things is bad for form. Today I spent some time at work, trying to make up for my absence from the office on Monday and Wednesday.. Around 2:30 I headed over to Casters to buy some new inner tubes to go with my new Conti 4 Seasons tires.. Met some very nice people in the store. I hit the road at about 3:30 after changing my rear tire and tube. Heading up Seven Mile Hill Road (it's only two miles of gradual 200 feet rise) I felt like my brakes were rubbing (and they were) but even so, something wasn't clicking and I made it to the checkpoint at the top (at route 12) with a very crappy time. My Polar HRM is pissing me off too, with frequent loss of signal.. making the record of my riding speed and distance deficient.. Grrrr. The important thing is that I got my ass out there I guess. Admittedly, I had to force myself.. because I'm a weenie when it comes to riding in the cold.. which for me, is anything under 50 degrees..

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm registered: Long Beach Shoreline Circuit Race

I will be racing on Sunday February 25th in the Long Beach Shoreline Circuit Race, which takes place right before the Amgen Tour of California's 7th and final stage, on the same course. Should I do the Pro-1-2? or the Masters 1-2-3? Maybe I shouldn't bother with either? No way, I'd regret not trying for the rest of my life.. Better just get my ass in shape and perform.. Show those Left Coast weenies what New England racers are all about. I hope I don't eat these words..

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Travel plans are finalized

I will be in San Diego February 21 thru 27, staying at the Naval Air Base in Coronado. This was arranged by an old friend who I raced with, back when I first started in the sport of cycling. We were quite the dynamic duo when we raced together, attacking the GVCC club races on a weekly basis. Whenever we took off on an attack, you always heard the words "there they go" from the rest of the field.. So it's been 17 or so years since we've ridden together, and I'm stoked about having good company during my training camp.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Velonews Photo Contest: Tour de Trump Prologue

I submitted this picture and they posted it in this week's Photo contest Gallery! On that day in 1989, I skipped school and drove to Albany with a friend to watch the prologue. 'Twas a miserable and rainy day. I have a few other pics I took that day.. Gert VanTeunisse (sp?), Ron Keiffel, Eric Vanderaerden, Davis Phinney and Andy Hampsten I think.. Here's the link to this week's Velonews Photo Contest Gallery.

Murat's 2007 fitness: ahead of schedule

Hopefully everyone in New England was able to ride these past two days. I did, though limiting the rides to an hour each left me wanting more.. Today I took a very typical route- one which I use to test fitness. It includes Hope Furnace Road in Coventry, and the first time check is at the point where Maple Valley Road meets Route 117. There's a nice challenging 300 feet of vertical rise for the first four miles.. My best time ever to this intersection is 27:22, and today I did it in 29:41.. What I'm excited about is that last season, the best I could do as of April 25th was 29:55.. I believe the weekend off-roading is paying off, I'm watching my diet very closely this winter, and I'm only about 4 pounds over my in-form weight of 2006. Last year's first edition of Wells Ave [for me] was on April 2nd, and I finished with the field without getting dropped. If I'm about as strong today as I was at the end of April 2006, then I have a feeling that good things will happen in '07. Now I'm motivated.

Blast from the Past:1990 Peko Team Rochester NY

This is the first team I raced with during my first year as a Cat 2 senior.. 89 was my last junior year.
Clockwise from the left: Ken Wright, Scott Hollenbeck, Mr Peko, Murat, Jon Wirsing, Dave Bulter, Glenn Kaiser, Todd Scheske. What a sweet deal we had back then- all clothing tires and entry fees covered by the title sponsor, Peko Precision Products. Look at me- youngest member of the team and thin as a rail (150 pounds)

2006 Cox Classic Crit: Murat smells cabbage

This was taken during "warm-up" before the masters event. I quit this horror show after 5 or 6 laps because the rain was freaking me out and also because I had badly sprained my ankle just a few days prior..

As the wheel turns: Murat is s.o.o.l. lately

Saturday's temperature soared to an unseasonable 60+ degrees, and you can be sure that Murat took advantage of it. But my luck has gone to Tahiti or something because for the 4th time in as many rides, I had a mechanical mishap. First there was the off-road incident, where a stick jammed my rear derailleur and shattered it.. I replaced it at considerable expense. A week later I took Reis out for a ride in his trailer, towing him behind me for 1-1/2 hours. On that ride, just 100 meters from our driveway, my chain disintegrated, destroying the newly replaced derailleur.. Grrr. A week or so ago I went for a one hour road ride on the LOOK bike and had a flat tire on the bike path. Today's ride was no different. Another pffffffffft meant that the rear tire was punctured again. Being that the roads were all wet today, my hands turned black with grime by the time I repaired it and rode home.. These Vredestein Fortezza tires have flatted on me about ten times since I bought this bike. So today I ordered a pair of the Continental 4 Season tires which are tried and true. On the bright side, I find that I have not lost much form, in spite of skipping the indoor soccer this winter because of my sprained ankle of last June. My weight is coming down too- 176 today (One year ago today I was over 180) Picture is of a racer who hit the deck in the Elite Cyclocross National Championships last month in Roger Williams Park. His fork snapped from the impact. Ebru and I made sure he had some water to drink after his fall, as you can see by the bottle in his hand. (Blogger is not letting me post pictures! Grrrr.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blast from the Past: Cross Nats 1989 Milwaukee

I had no business being in there, believe me.. Got lapped by Bobby Julich, who took gold.. Notice the entry fee..

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A startling discovery

My carbon EPX frameset (the one I was riding when I was hit by a car last summer) uses the same derailleur hanger as my Fuji cross bike. I thought I was S.O.O.L. since EPX seems to have gone out of business. (Besides the crushed hanger, the frame seems to be otherwise intact) Guess I can ride the thing again after all... Just as I was getting ready to start converting my old aluminum SOMEC into a time trial bike.. (heavy and quirky frame, the Somec.. can't even get the seatpost to penetrate the seat tube without jamming)
So I guess I'm happy about this discovery.
One positive thing: I've only gained five pounds (179) since my peak of form in September.
If I can limit myself to tis five pounds, I'll bein good shape come March..
Which reminds me, I have permission to go to a one week training camp in February. Anyone out there going to one? Tell me about it and maybe I'll join.. Otherwise, I plan to go to San Diego solo. Ever been?
Sorry for posting so infrequently!