Friday, July 11, 2008

Hours to Go.

I should be sleeping.. but I know that a few of you are watching....

We rode easy today.. was nice.. and mellow.

The Pre-ride panic was similar to last year, but this year.. I'm nervous too.

More details if I survive.

Thanks to those of you that wished me good luck.

Maarburg the Mad.
Entering the Ha Lu Sin Nation

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Two Days and Counting

Yesterday was more of a goof off day.
Spent most of the day hanging out with two of the most fun people I know, ZenLC and Tiff. Pizza, teaching the young'uns how to effectively splash someone in the hotel pool.

Today, on the other hand, was a bit more of a serious ride day.
We headed off to do a two hour ride. The plan was to visit the Morgul-Bismark site. This hill is also known as "The Wall". It was featured, and made famous by the movie American Flyers. It's the finish line.
About 20 minutes into the ride, ZenLC asks "Up or down The Wall." I'm no dummy, I said "Up."
We rode a bit more to get to the base and took a break. Once we started, Tiff (though complaining that she didn't feel all that well) took off and ascended the wall with much poise. ZenLC wasn't too far behind her. I rode at my pace, which is to say that I was considerably farther back.

It's a hard climb, and it did wonderful things for my confidence for a finish at this years Triple Bypass.

I really enjoy getting the chance to ride with ZenLC and Tiff. Sure wish they lived closer.

We capped the day off with a blues/jazz concert in the park. Very nice.
Back at homebase.. it was time to work on the bikes.
I (more ZenLC if I'm to be truthful) cleaned my rear cog-set, which will hopefully remove that horrid squeak in the 12 tooth.
The chain got a bath, and the jockey wheels on the dérailleur got 'serviced'.

Great day.
Too bad I'm going to ruin this pleasant vacation with a 120 mile, three mountain pass pain fest.

Lost in the Ha Lu Sin Nation

Monday, July 07, 2008

Four Days and Counting

The Diamox is still making me quite sleepy. Screw it, I'm on vacation.
Hung out with Tiff and ZenLC today.
Gotta say that none of seemed to have much energy.
Naps seemed to be the priority of the day.

Todays test ride was more spirited, with a max beats per minute only 2 less than the highest I've ever done. It seems that the legs are strong, but the lungs are still taking issue with the lack of oxygen.
10.5 miles today.
The Knee Issue: There was just a bit of tightness behind the left knee today. Not pain per se. The knee remained slightly tight for most of the night. This is good. It's better than pain.

I'm starting to feel a bit of confidence. A glimmer of hope.
Four more days till I lay my soul on the fate of my training.

Come one, come all, see the freak of endurance and suffering. Ladies and children, you may want to think twice before you step inside this tent, the horror that awaits is not for the timid.

Somewhere in the O2 deprived state of Hypoxia.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Five Days and Counting

Today was a big day.
Tiff came in! Hurray!
We wont talk about saddles. It's too early.

The ride went good. Kathleen doesn't seem to have a problem with the altitude, but I do.
The Diamox is fun. Sort of a sleep dep/disconnected feeling, with tingling fingers and toes. That should pass.

The test ride today was just over 8 miles, and once again my skills are outdone by those of Tiff and Zen, though Zen said that my speed is better.

Feeling confident, and hopeful.

Somewhere in Colorado with an altitude of 5822ft...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Six days and counting.

I'm now in ZenLand.
It's considerably warmer than last year, and I am hoping that this is an omen of nice weather for the ride.
Kathleen has come out of her cage and the first test ride seemed to also provide a good sign. No knee pain. A short ride with no pain and good weather, my spirits are up.
One of the challenges for last year was the altitude sickness. The doc gave me a prescription for Diamox.
Diamox is providing me with some interesting side effects. Some tingling in the fingers, and the constant feeling of not having slept in two days.
See my previous research in this feeling.

All in all, things are going as well as can be expected.
More after a nap.

Maarburg, somewhere in Colorado

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What I Kneed...

Doc called.

X-Rays show some fluid in the knee. Infusion.
Recommends not cycling.
I laughed.
She wasn't joking.

Good news, as it were:
No extra bone build up.
No arthritis.
No erosion.

Potential for long term damage is there.

Still digesting what this means for Triple Bypass 2008....

16 days until Triple Bypass.


Monday, June 23, 2008

TBP 2008 -18days

After my 200k ride in early May, I did not really have much desire to get back on the bike. Unfortunately, I hopped back on the bike with vigor and enthusiasm exceeding my abilities.

After a few weeks of knee pain, and playing with my saddle position, I went to the doc.
Doc says that I most likely have Chondromalacia Patella. Short version of what that means is that I need to keep off my knee for some undetermined amount of time.
Chances are, that I will not need surgery, and when the doc ever brought that up I involuntarily started shaking my head "No!". I'm thinking the doc wanted to scare me into resting.
I hope so.
Got some X-Rays taken, and I should know more in a few days on the severity of the situation.

Meanwhile, what do I do?
Can't continue to train, at least not at the level/intensity that I want to.
Will the knee be better in time for TBP?
Will I just ride anyway?

Eighteen days and counting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Triple Bypass 2007 Ride Report (finally)

Triple Bypass 2007 Ride Report (finally)
To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trail head, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks.
-Scott Martin

To understand, to have a frame of reference, for this tale, you might want to read about my previous excursion with ZenLC.
Below is my official account of my ride and related events for the Triple Bypass Ride of 2007. Any person mentioned should be considered guilty, and a menace to society. I will pull no punches.
Perspective on the altitude that Triple Bypass event is at: The beginning, yes beginning, altitude it 2382 meters above sea level. The highest point on the 2007 Tour de France was 2642 meters on the Col du Galibier. The beginning altitude has roughly 77% of the oxygen than at sea level, where all of my training was undertaken. At the summit of the first climb, altitude 3402 meters, the oxygen is roughly 67% of sea level. In order to get oxygen, you need to breath twice as much. Yes, my friends, twice. In keeping with my love of useless trivia: this altitude, is very close to the altitude of the capital of Bolivia La Paz at 3630 meters. The highest capital city in the world. Neener. What is this sanity-forsaken ride? It's none other than the Triple Bypass ride, sponsored by Team Evergreen. 10,310 ft of climbing over 120 miles. On a bike. In one day. I am well aware that this amount of altitude, not to mention distance, falls far beyond what a normal human can comprehend. I often find myself in the company of atypical humans. In fact I find them more interesting. Two of those friends will be the co-stars of this little drama. Triple Bypass is a monumental bike ride by nearly any one's standards. You may already be questioning my sanity by committing to such a ride. Question away. I have. The following should clear up any doubts you have about my mental stability: A little cycling history:
YearTotal MilesLongest RideNotables
200356875.2First Metric Century
20041070100.2First Imperial Century
20051330101Second Imperial Century (Waimea Canyon)
200611813Not a typo.

While training for this ride, I did the following: 45 Rides, both indoor on the *Vomitron and outdoors for a total of 1187 miles.

*Vomitron [vom-eh-Tron] noun. Loving nickname (coined by Tiff) for an indoor resistance trainer. It's like breathing real hard and watching paint dry. But less fun.

I burned an estimated 90,879 calories and climbed over 48,000 vertical feet. I lost 14 lbs.
I also spent a nice chunk of change with Walter at
The result of Walter's patience and expertise and a few hours building bikes for cash yielded Kathleen. A 2007 BikeFriday New World Tourist. All the advantages of a touring bike, but in 20 minutes it packs into an suitcase. I love this bike. If you travel and take your bike with you, you need to talk to Walter. Tell him Maarburg sent you. Or ping me and I'll get you in touch with him.
Fast forward to the week of the ride:
Location: Colorado, ZenLC's House

Thursday before Triple Bypass (TBP)
The training ride was quite discouraging... The altitude seemed to be a bigger problem than I'd expected. ZenLC (the evil bastard that he is) is so used to riding with no oxygen, that he was his normal chipper self. Tiff, seemed to have lungs to spare and at one point took off. ZenLC dropped back to me and we rode with amusement about how Tiff had no idea where she was or where she was going, and when she would look back and see that we were a few hundred meters behind her. Tiff is like that. Strong, independent, focused. She did look back, then slowed and allowed us to catch up.
I spent 55 out of 73 minutes in oxygen debt. Oxygen debt, if you're unfamiliar with the term is that intense burning feeling that occurs when you're pushing hard and need more oxygen than your body can process. Similar to suffocation, but takes longer. If ever there was a bad juju, this was bad juju. Bad juju indeed.

Friday: Today's training ride seemed to be a bit better overall; we rode faster and it seemed a little easier at the same time. I was still little discouraged, but there really was nothing that I could do. I'd trained how I'd trained and my nutrition was what is was. All there was to do was to ride my ride, and try not to ride anyone else's. That's what they say, ride your ride. No way in hell that I was going to back out.

The night before The Ride.
This was it. The single most difficult thing I have ever attempted. (So far.) I should feel nervous. Butterflies in the belly and all that. I didn't. I might not be normal. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
ZenLC and Tiff were sitting on the floor in between ZenLC's living room and family room. The are going over gear, double checking, triple checking. Taking things out of bags and putting them back in, only to take them out again. And put them back in. I have introduced ZenLC's most excellent and exceptional son, Kevin, to a classic game, NetHack. If you've never played it, you do not qualify for a Geek Card. Period. (I mention that Kevin is an excellent child, and there's a reason: ZenLC and his wife are excellent parents. I bring this up, simply for the fact that there is so infrequently a time in which I can.) Kevin and I are playing NetHack and ZenLC and Tiff are packing for the Big Ride. It dawns on me after a good half hour that "Holy Crow, I should be packing too!!". I finish the game with Kevin and gather my Big Ride gear.
Ten minutes. Done. Shouldn't that have taken longer? I mean, this is a serious ride. This is the ride of rides. The Epic. There's no room to kludge this up by forgetting, my helmet or something.
By the way... I have done that. I've ridden away from the house without my helmet. Turned around went back and donned the melon cap, only to have to turn around and ride back to get my CamelBak that has all my food and water.
Suddenly, I feel anxious. Very Anxious. I pause and gather my nerves, there is little use for fight or flight feelings now. (I'll get to use that reflex tomorrow) The nerves that I'd expect for an event of this level, just seemed to have passed by. The bikes and gear go into Tiff and Mr. Tiff's van.
Note to self; Let Tiff pack her own damn van. Period. Laughing didn't help. And was potentially painful. Possibly fatal. I mark that up to a lucky escape.

Strangely enough, my attempts at sleep were taken by other worries in my life.. and very little was spent thinking about the ride. Saturday. Ride Day. Everything had been taken care of the night before. All that was left was to get to the event start, and ride. Or is that 'get to the ride and start'? Who cares. I'm here. I'm doing this! The trip up is gorgeous. I spent most of the time looking out the window at the spectacle that is Colorado, and thinking about the last crazy thing that ZenLC talked me into, and listening to "Up" music.
"You can't hurt me (NO)
You can't stop me (NO)
You can't beat me (NO)
You can't bring me DOWN!!"
"If I hadn't made me, I would of been made somehow..
If I hadn't assembled myself, I would've fallen apart by now.
If I hadn't made me, I'd be more inclined to bow.
Powers that be, would have swallowed me up
But that's more then I can allow. (But)
If you let them make you, they'll make you Paper-Mache;
At a distance you're strong, Until the wind comes.."
"I need you to trust who I’m gonna be
And in everything I’m going to do
Cause I’m not afraid of what I don’t know
For understanding is all that I earn
But what is for sure is I’m going to go
I’m going to live and I’m going to learn"

I think long and hard about what I'm going to do. How it's not the body that gives up. How growth all stems from adversity. I know that I've not put in the hours into training or taken my weight down to where it needs to be to do well on this ride. I know that right now, sitting in the Tiff-Mobile on the way to this ride with two of my most trusted friends, I can throw in the towel and they will not think less of me. They'll argue against it, they'll be disappointed, but they'll let me bow out. I guess that I am scared. There is nothing that is making me do this. I choose this. I want this. Even though, when I look at it objectively, I have serious doubts about my ability to pull this off. I need this. Like I need air, I need to throw myself at this with everything. I can't wait. I may succeed, I may fail, but there is no chance to succeed with out the attempt.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt
You tell'um Teddy!

When we get to the parking area, I can feel the electricity pulling my hair straight out from your head. I B-line immediately for the loo. Looks like I've hydrated sufficiently. The line was about fifteen Spandex clad cyclists long and both sided of the loo were being treated as unisex. One line. Tiff joins me in line. Never the patient one, after a few moments she says "Screw this. I gotta go.", and heads off past the line. She walks around back to take care of business. One of the cyclists at the front of the line said to the equally matching spandex clad rider next to him, "That's my kinda girl." The guy in front of me in line just looked back at me and raised his eyebrows, presumably in admiration. Or fear? It's hard to tell. Was he looking for approval? Comfort? Camaraderie? Who knows. A short moment later, Tiff walks out from behind the bathrooms and heads back to the van. When the guy in front of me gets into the bathroom, I could hear him calling Earl. Repeatedly. Not a good way to start a ride. Ever. I feel for him. I try to remember what he looks like. To see if I see him on the ride. I don't.

The air is thin and crisp, though I'll find out soon enough just how damn thin the air is. ZenLC and Tiff look ready. I don't feel the weight of this ride just yet. I'm too calm. I'm too relaxed. Shouldn't I be freaking out right now? Calling Earl? I'm going to try to ride 120 miles over three mountain passes on a folding bike that I took out of a suitcase four days ago. Getting prepped, I had the distinct feeling that I was missing something. I had a mental checklist. Too bad sanity wasn't on that list. You won't believe how many times I checked to see if I had my helmet on. Believe it or not, I don't care, I ran through my checklist a few times; Shoes, helmet, socks, tights, Wuss Switch in "off" position, shorts, helmet, jersey, jacket, helmet, bike, brakes hooked up, ditty bag with tools, pump, bottles with fuel, Camelbak with H2O, PayDay bars, Perpetuem, HammerGel. Check helmet again. Check Wuss Switch.
The phrase, "you could feel the tension in the air" is used and abused. But true. Zen seemed calm. I thought to myself, "Be like ZenLC, be like ZenLC..." Oooohhmmmm. Tiff, on the other hand was jazzed. I could tell that she was nervous, but excited. We ate bananas while standing next to the back of the Tiff-Mobile. Banana peels go into the Crocs. Um, don't ask. I'm not even sure I understand at this point. Everything is in order. Everything in it's place.
Pose for photos.
We are off. Meaning that we're riding.. not just that we're not well. I will leave that as exercise for the reader. We cycle along side other cyclist. Each has paid over $100 to have the privilege to be here. To ride together. We loop around a pond littered with goose poop. The image of my skinny front tire dodging flattened globs of goose goo stays with me. I don't want to start this ride with goose goo on me. The road turns upward, but gradually and evenly. It will be this way for many miles. Uphill. Make that up-mountain. Hills are what they have where I live. They have something else entirely here. I'm tempted to ride at the pace that Tiff and ZenLC are going, but I know better. They are both in better shape. Stronger. More disciplined. I ride my ride. My pace. I pass very few people. A group of ten or so riders, all with Texas state flag jerseys are bunched up on the side of the road. Waiting for another Texan or fixing a flat? I don't know. The road turn up, just a bit more. Four to six percent grade. Nothing serious, nothing to laugh at either.
After about 40 minutes I see Tiff and ZenLC on the side of the road. Pee break. I hydrate the foliage. What a supreme joy it is to be male. We head off again. The miles pass slowly. Tiff and ZenLC are far ahead. Team Texas passes me. A lot of people pass me. I can't ride any faster without pushing to far and too hard. My heart is running at around 160 beats per minute. Too fast and too early. I have to go to the bathroom. The non side of the road type. Mile seven, there's a faux flat. Small respite. I gear up and make up some time. I pass a handful of riders.

This ride has been what I've been waiting for. The anvil that I have thrown myself upon. My head as begun to pound a steady beat like the rotation of my pedals. I pull off to the side and take a picture. More riders pass me. Twenty minutes later, I pull over again. Is that...? Holy Crow, that a ski lift. The top of a ski-lift. Ouchie. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. This first ascent is around sixteen miles long. Goose goo to rest stop loo. I stop a total of eight times, taking pictures at most. I spend a great deal of time looking at the Heart Rate Monitor mounted to the handlebars. I'm watching my heart rate. It's too high. I'm venturing too quickly into oxygen debt. The headache grows. My desire, or need, to find a porta-poty increases. Uncomfortably. My stomach is protesting almost as much as my lungs. And my head. I need the rest stop. Sooner the better. There are riders near me, riding about the same pace. When the pace quickens a bit, I realize that the first rest stop it just up ahead. Woot! One massive leg killing, lung torturing mountain done. From 7,819 ft to 11,162 in 3 hours and 40 minutes. 4% average grade. Damn, sure felt like more. I'm late. I look for Mr. Tiff, but he's not there. I'm running way behind. Now, where is that honeybucket?

I head straight for the first PortaPotty in a line of about 30. It's a banana. Note to self. Either chew better, or avoid bananas before epic rides. I needed to refill my shake bottle. I top off the Camelbak with water, and realize that I do not have any fuel to refill my shake bottle with. It's in the Tiff-Mobile. As long as I find Mr. Tiff at the bottom of this hill, I'll be ok. I grab some oranges and a cookie and hop back on the bike.

The descent is awesome. The ride organizers posted these silly signs "Slow! Sharp Corner" in black on neon green cardboard. I drop my speed to 20 mph around the first corner. And keep looking for the Sharp Corner they warned against. I take the next few corners at similar speeds and then give up. I fly the rest of them, taking some at 30mph plus. I pass 15 or so riders on the way down. One of them, a guy wearing the day's jersey, already, is wobbly and unsteady. I ride on the far side of the road, the opposite road edge, when I pass him. I don't want to hit this guy and end both of our days. "Yeah, I was doing ok until this ass on a freak-bike slammed into me." or "I was doing ok until this poser in the TBP 2007 Jersey wobbled out in front of me."

One of the guys I pass near the bottom of the descent has taken issue with me passing him. He chases, then passes, then slows to catch his breath. We play leapfrog for three miles. My speed does not change. I'm tired, but I have found a rhythm, it is a quartet of my legs lungs and throbbing head. My stomach has settled down and I sip water almost constantly. One major climb is behind me. Fishing around in my pack, I find a Payday bar. Yup, sugar and nuts. This one, this particular bar, looks like it's been on a few rides with me. The white wrapper is no longer crisp, it's not like paper. It's been through a lot. The bar itself is smooched and flatter than it was when it left the store. I tear open the package with my teeth and can smell the pea-nutty goodness. Now here's the magic of this particular candy bar. It keeps. Try this with a snickers and it would be a nasty gooey mess. Now the Payday bar. Now that's a perfect candy bar. Not too sweet, with a nice touch of salt. High glycemic sugars for that instant pick me up, and the lower glycemic sugars for a little longer energy.

Down in Idaho Springs, I find Mr. Tiff and the Tiff-Mobile of goodies. He says that Tiff and ZenLC have just left. They waited for me. Striping off my tights and jacket with the zip off sleeves, I grab my spare shake bottle and a third of the food I have left and I hit the road. I make this pit stop quick, hoping to catch them, delusionally. Though I no longer have the sense of mind to realize that even if I can catch them, I won't be able to hang with them. Back on the bike, I try to pace myself. Content with the fact that Tiff and Zen, even if I were to catch them, are too fast for me. Details of the ride seem to fade from this point. I do remember volunteers at intersections waving me through. My heart rate monitor was my guide. I had to try to keep it below Zone 5, or I'd be toast for sure. There seems to be a bit more oxygen here in this valley, and I make good time. Good time, considering that my body has definitely thrown in the towel. No matter how deep I try to draw breathe, I only seem to get my lungs half full. The deeper I try to breath, the more intense the desire to cough. The altitude has had more of an effect on me than I had feared it would. Good thing I brought my attitude.

For a brief time, I rode with a dude from Minnesota. I think he was wearing the ride Jersey already. I hope he finished. I don't think he did though. We chatted, and rode. I don't recall what we talked about.

A few miles up the road, when I was ready for a break, I saw a cyclist talking to a civilian. I stopped near them. She was the support crew and he was a UMCA rider, not doing the Triple Bypass Ride. Just out for a brevet. Folded up in my jersey pocket was the Planet Ultra Motto. I showed it to them and we all had a nice laugh. I wasn't really concerned about the pain. My head still hurt, and my legs were getting numb, but it was the inability to maintain any speed. I was not getting enough O2. My lungs could not get enough oxygen into my blood to fuel my legs. I didn't know how to fix that. All I could do was ride on. They wished me good luck, and I mounted my bike again, and set off.

From this point on, I'm very unsure of the sequence of events. Memory and reality and altitude sickness blur all lines. I see an old train that passes over the bike path, and wind through a park. Riding along side the highway, I see no riders in front of me, and no riders behind. I've lost track of how much or how little fuel I'm eating. I ride alone for what seems like along time. There seems to be only one way to go, so I'm not concerned about getting lost. I have begun to stop frequently. This ride, all of the training, has come down this battle between my brain and the mountains of Colorado. I have nothing left. Every thought is boiled down, distilled into a zen-like meditation of slowly turning over the pedals. There is a solace in this. My concerns about Escheria Coli's ability to adapt to modern antibiotics and the crushing effect of the Earths dwindling petroleum supplies are gone. My goals for life, now absent from my mind. All that exists is my bike, this small patch of asphalt in front of me and the throbbing of my head. A sensible person would stop. For, perhaps, the tenth time I check to make sure the "Wussy Switch" is in the off position. No sense trying to do this with the Wuss switch engaged.

A fellow rider catches up to me. bmclaughlin807. BMC looked like his was out enjoying a nice little jaunt on his bike. He slowed up his pace and rode with me. We chatted, but I have no recollection about what. I do remember that he and his wife had come down with some stomach bug. Funny, he didn't seem to be hurting. I'm jealous of him. Not in the evil-want-to-hurt-him way, but in the idolize way. BMC, to me is a very strong example of the type of person that I seem to find in the cycling world. Mellow, confident, friendly, intelligent, caring.. . Caveat: he could also be an axe murderer, I have no idea. Read the above description of my separation with reality. BMC rode with me to the Georgetown feed station.

Georgetown, or a lake. I'm not sure. I meet up with Tiff and ZenLC, and feel much better about things in general. I don't want to walk. I don't want to see Kathleen ever again. I want this nightmare to be over. On the other hand, I don't like to give up. And I can walk. If I can walk, it means I can ride. If I can ride, then I will. I don't want to let ZenLC and Tiff down. I don't want to remember this ride as something that I gave up on. I think ZenLC talked me into pouring water on my head. I don't remember. Sounds like something that he would do. It's possible that I chow down on a bunch of oranges. I'm not sure. I remember laying down in the gravel and grass beside the Tiff-Mobile, and figuring out how much I had left in me. Not much. Not sure how long I lay there, but I gathered the mindset to head off to the Loveland feed station.

I guess, at some point, I got back on the bike and headed out. I don't recall leaving the Georgetown feed station.

I'm alone again.
One of the official SAG vans stops a few hundred feet ahead. When I get there, the ask if I need a ride. I tell them that I don't, and I'm just going to try to get to the Loveland station. On the other side of the van, three large Big Horn Sheep trot down from the hillside. I blink a few times, not trusting that I'm see that large of an animal less than twenty yards away. While talking to these nice people that want me to give up, I try desperately to not look at the sheep. Partially because I don't believe that the are there, and partially because if I ask about them, they might not let me continue on. I eventually pointed and offered a questioning look, and the lady offered, "Big Horns, they've lost their fear of humans.", and proceed to inform me that I'm the last rider. I must have seemed at least a little coherent, because the let me ride. It took a good 20 minutes for me to process that last bit of information about me being the....Last Rider On Course.

Further up the road, I ride off the road into the gravel and unceremoniously fall off my bike. Not really a crash, as my forward momentum was too low. Nothing seems broken on the bike, so it's back out on the road. I'm crawling now. There is nothing left in the tank. I crash again, but manage to unclip and catch myself against a tree. I don't remember when I've eaten last, or had water. I rest by that tree for awhile, unsure why I'm doing this at all. The Perpetuem tastes really good, but the water doesn't. I ponder why I'm pressing on and pushing myself. I must have found an answer, for I climbed back on my bike, and started up the road again.
If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
My legs are weak, my lungs are dried out, and my head is throbbing. I ride with my head hung down, staring at the road right ahead of me. Occasionally I look at the road ahead, then back down at the road right ahead my front tire. This continues for about three days. When I look up again, I see, not a Big Horn Sheep, but a Lion. Lounging on the opposite side of the road. I lower my head, thinking how strange. My oxygen starved brain finally processes that image and I jerk my head up. The Lion is gone. Or never was. I'm not sure. I saw Big Horn Sheep less than ten meters away, so why not an African Lion? (Because you're in Colorado you eeediot!) Wildly looking on both sides of the road, I ride up to where the Lion was. He's nowhere to be found. I'm nervous. I have either had a tremendously vivid hallucination, or I have the potential to be Lion chow. Neither option is comforting. Actually, both are slightly disturbing. I weigh the options over in my head and decide that the hallucination option is most likely, but not ruling out the possibility of a Lion.

Glancing in all directions I ride nonstop, and a faster pace than I have in the last hour or so to an intersection. Flight of Fight syndrome to the rescue. I'm far enough from the Lion sighting to feel a little safer. The course of the ride crosses over a freeway and continues along the freeway all the way to the Loveland feed station. I have enough functioning brain power to realize that the two (or was it three) crashes and the possible hallucination are not positive signs for me riding near fast moving traffic.

I throw in the towel and call Mr. Tiff. I've run myself down to the core. I'm not disappointed. I'm not frustrated. I'm not proud. I'm not even afraid of the Lion. I'm empty.

Mr. Tiff says he's on his way to get me in a bit and I plop down by a tree and finish my fuel and water. I remember calling my wife. She's disappointed for me, which works just fine as I can't drum up the energy feel anything at all. I try to sound positive, but am rather numb, and still freaked about the Lion. The SAG van from earlier spots me and picks me up. I call Mr. Tiff and let him know that I'm on my way to the aid station. I wasn't that far away.

Final Ride Stats:
Elevation gain 6,390ft
Overall grade: 7%
Max grade: 11.2%
Start Elevation 7,819ft
Max Elevation 11,162ft
Average speed 7mph.
Maximum Speed 41.3mph
Distance: 51.57 miles
Climbing Distance: 21.02 miles
Max Hart Rate: 172 BPM
Time in Zone 5 : 1:00:27.... way more than my training.

When I get dropped off, I get the pleasure of walking my bike across the gravel parking lot that is the Loveland Aid Station to the Tiff-mobile. I don't recall if ZenLC and Tiff were there already, but I think they were. Curious about my own sanity, I ask ZenLC if Lions are indigenous to Colorado. Surely he'd know, or know if there was some recent zoo-break. Calmly, he informs me that Mountain type are, but not the African variety that I've seen. Ok, it was a hallucination. That doesn't make me feel any better.

Tiff is frustrated, I can't process what about. I sit in the front seat of the Tiff-Mobile, talking with Mr.Tiff, fading in and out of consciousness. ZenLC and Tiff are in side by side HoneyBuckets holding a conversation. It not until the next day that I realize how funny that is.

At one point the conversation focuses on Tiff's hydration levels. By the side of the Tiff-mobile, Tiff drops shorts and pees, allowing ZenLC and Mr. Tiff to check. She's hydrated. Even so, I avoid taking any of the Gatorade or water, leaving that for these two brave friends that are going to continue on.

Tiff and ZenLC head out again. I ride shotgun in the Tiff-Mobile. I'm sure Mr.Tiff an I talked, but I'll be damned if I know about what.

Mr.Tiff and I wait at the Frisco feed station for ZenLC and Tiff. Mrs. Zen and Kevin show up. I try to be chipper and happy. All I want to do is pass out.

Tiff and ZenLC ride up. I cheer. I'm proud of them. I can't manage to be proud of myself, but I'm very proud of them. I try to be cheerful, but can't seem to muster the energy.

I'm delirious. We went for food. Pizza, I think. I remember wanting a beer, but deciding that I didn't want to be carried back to the Tiff-Mobile Triply Bypass 2007 was an anvil upon which I had lay my being. Each pedal stroke, a strike of the hammer. It was too much for me. No excuses. It was more than I could endure.

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. -Sidney J. Harris

Am I stronger now, for this year? Have I put in the training I need to survive this ordeal. And yes, the big question; why the hell would I try again... Next time....because it is AViciousCycle.

Monday, June 09, 2008


On a routine training ride, I noticed some tightness in the tendon inserting into the back of my knee from the calf.

In the longer rides that I do, I will get strange pains. Most go away.

This one did not. By the end of the ride it was quite painful, but manageable.
I limped for three days in an attempt to baby that angry tendon, and decided to give it some time to heal.

That same tendon spoke up again, not 50 meters from the house at the beginning of my ride.

I'm very discouraged. TBP is too close and too important to be dealing with things like this.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Challenge Accepted

Apparently, if something scares me, I can be talked into it pretty darn easily.

Readers of this intermittent rambling might remember my little Waimea Canyon trip, or perhaps the daring (some say stuuupid) attempt at Triple Bypass 2007.
I swear that the write up of that event is coming!!! I swear!
Two of my best friends, ZenLC and Tiff, had agreed to do the Stove Prairie 200k. A brevet held by the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club.
I was invited to join them, but with TBP 2008 and my first trip to Europe on the schedule for this year, it was out of the question.
Let's not get into how I didn't think I'd be ready for a 200k ride by then. (and seemed to think that I'd be ready for that same distance, but at 'altitude' only two short months later)

I like to think of myself as rather independent. Certainly I try to be, but there are some groups that I very much want to be a part of. One group is the jokingly coined Team One Degree. They're doing a 200k on May 3rd, then dammit I want to too! So, with surprisingly little though at all, I agreed to do an empathy ride. ZenLC and Tiff would ride in CO, and I would ride here in the land of rainbows.

One of these days.. I will hesitate long enough to give some of these leaps a bit more thought. There are three main factors that let me chose this empathy ride.

  1. ZenLC and Tiff were doing it. (yes, I know this is a really lame reason.. but I explained it above)
  2. I was afraid of it.
  3. It would serve as a great benchmark for my training.
I didn't claim that there was much rational to it.

I did a fair amount of procrastinating regarding this ride. It culminated in choosing the route the night before, working out my nutrition (Hammer Nutrition ROCKS!), and not really getting to sleep until ~ 1pm. (Cranky comments about support edited).

Ride day. May 3rd 2008
I woke up late. Not rested. Nervous. Anxious. Reptilian brain looking for excuses to not ride. I had lay out my cycling clothes, bib shorts, Metallica ...And Justice For All Jersey, Metallica socks, Heart Rate Monitor chest strap. My Camelbak Pack was filled with everything sans the bladder. Which was filled in short order, ice and water.
Out the door, on the bike. And can you believe it? I remembered my helmet this time! I never cease to amaze myself.

First hiccup of the day. I had tested a rechargeable back up battery with my Garmin 305. Worked wonderfully. The problem is that I had not cleared it, which I think you can only do on a computer. So, I'm in full bike geek outfit, silly shoes and all. I'm already running late. I recite a line from Risky Business, and clip in. I'll figure it out.
While riding away from the house I reset the lap counter, and that seemed to at least give me the current ride time and distance. Should work. Fingers Crossed.

I previously called this post an 'attempt' at 200k, because I had serious doubts that I could pull off such a leap. There's a rule that prattled about a bit in cycling that goes like this:

"For an event, you can ride one-third farther than your longest training ride"
Ok. All good. Here's the rub. My longest training ride was 54 miles. This means that the longest I should be able to do, more or less, for an event is ~72 miles. This is a bit of a problem. I was attempting something in the magnitude of two and a quarter times my longest training ride.
Not a brilliant move. I have come to realize that I have no idea what my limits are. I don't know what I'm capable of, until I fail. And that only shows that I had a limit for that thing, at that time. Certainly doesn't mean that I won't be able to do that thing sometime in the future.

I set out on my favorite non recumbent bike, Kathleen. We talked for a bit. Me about my doubts and fears, her about how she thinks her chain rings are bent and that she needs a good scrubbing. She's a great listener. Though she seems to only want to talk about cycling and travel. NEVER bring up the existence of any other of my bikes with her.

We set out on a familiar path, the training ride from Ewa Beach to Haleiwa. Five miles of flats on a nice bike path, then rolling 6-8% for the next five miles. Nothing too challenging, but a nice workout. I knew that if I was going to survive this silly idea of a ride, that I would have to be conservative in my riding. No jumping up out of the saddle to sprint-climb the shorter hills. Nice even pace. Eye on the Heart Rate Monitor. Slow and steady.
The reward for climbing up to Wahiawa is the decent from Wahiawa to Haleiwa. Very nice 6%. Quite easy to hit speeds of 40 M.P.H.
Once into Haleiwa, I stopped at the park and topped off the water and switched from Hammer Gel to Perpetuem and Sustained Energy.

  • If you are into any long distance exercise and have not tried Hammer Nutrition, you will be in for a treat. Message me. I know a guy that can get you 15% off your first order.
My nutrition plan, worked out thought trial and error, and confirmed with a call to Hammer was simple and fool proof. Two of my favorite things.
  1. Hours one and two Hammer Gel every 30 minutes
  2. Hours three+ Sustained Energy or Perpetuem, every 20 minutes from a one-hour bottle
  3. Endurolytes (capsule) every hour
  4. Plain H2O, as much as I could drink. (recurring pee tests to validate)
Ok, for those of you that are not familiar with endurance sports, there might be some details that you just don't want to know.

Back to the ride.
Instead of heading out of Haleiwa and taking a right, back the way I'd come, I take a left and venture out to roads untraveled. That has a much more romantic sound to it than the reality of I only had a vague idea where I was going.
I've put in roughly two hours and about 41km. I have a long way to go. A few miles up the road I spot, on the opposite side, the Haleiwa Bike Path. Having heard of it, but never ridden, I figure now is a good time as any. After riding and waiting for traffic to break, I jaunt across the road. There's a small break in the trees and a little gully to ride through. Down and up, I pop out the other side to find my gearing too high and the pine needle covered and too deep. In slow motion I cease forward movement and pitch like an over loaded sailboat, to the right. I'm pretty sure I was laughing before I hit the ground, and quite certain that I was howling in simple mined glee after. The elderly man on the beach cruiser and the lady performing yoga asanas either did not hear me, or chose to ignore me.

Undeterred and only slightly covered in sand and pine needles, I rode the Bike Path just long enough to realize that it is very bumpy and has stop signs every 100 ft. Not good for what I wanted to accomplish. Back to the road for me.

Yet further down the road, I see in my rear view mirror, a small pace line chasing me down. Now, it needs to be stated that I have never considered myself a fast rider, and doubt that I will every be fast. They are pleasant and cheerful as they pass me. Instinctively, I hop on to the back of the pace line, making sure to keep a safe distance behind. I don't know these guys. I ride with them, ignoring my goal of a nice steady pace. I'm a dog, and they are the rabbits. It's instinct. I look down and see my heart rate is way to high for this long of a ride and drop of the back, painfully watching them pull away.

Not a mile up the road, they hit a rough spot and someones back light commits suicide. The scatter like ducks at the sounds of a gun. All form and line is gone. I roll past the light. It's broken and shattered. Before this day is out, I think that I too might be like that light. Half of them pull off to the side and wait as the other half rides the wrong way, towards me. I pass both groups, and keep rolling. They'll catch up, no doubt.

Catch up they do, though it took them much longer than I expected.
Many miles of mountains to the right, and ocean to the left, I see that group pulled off to the side. I'm not ready for break but stop and chat anyway. This is the spot where they split up. Some head back to complete a 40 mile route. Others push on to some named, but unknown to me, landmark to make an 80 mile route. When the question comes to me, about my ride, I am greeted, quite to my pleasure, with trout mouths and deer eyes. Yes, fellow cyclists, I am throwing myself to the wind and attempting to ride farther than any sane person would.
I leave them in that state. Looking at my little tires, back to me, back to the little tires. They are so cute when they can't compute. I roll on.

I've done something on this ride that I'm not sure about.
I have music (Good damn music!) in an ear bud in my right ear. It was a tough decision. The idea of being fully aware of the cars and just everything around me, is very appealing. I counter that thought with that fact that most times, I have song stuck in my head for an entire ride. This started on my first Imperial Century, and seems to happen when I ride for more than a few hours. That kind of repeat rate can kill even your favorite song. The iPod Shuffle and headphones are small, so if I didn't like it, I could just stow it and move along. Turns out, it was a life saver. Gave my mind just enough to think about to keep me sane. So far.

I don't see my cycling friends. They don't pass me again. Maybe they didn't take the same route? Kidding, there is only one way around this side of the island. The road along the North Shore of Oahu is, all things considered, not bad. Decent shoulder, though there's always room for improvement. "On The Road Again" comes up in the play-list on my Shuffle. Nope, not that version, the Me First & The Gimme Gimmes version. I ride for a few minutes, singing and laughing. That's followed up by St. Anger from Metallica. When I reach Kawela Bay, I stop and take a picture, and as I'm doing so two of the pace line zip past. That is officially the last time I see them.

I ride through Kahuku, and pass the fresh corn stands. The road slips under my 20" wheels, mile after mile. Though I'm alone on this ride, I am not alone. I have friends with me. Some are suffering, as I am, but have that physical presence as company. I do not. I ride for hours with only myself to talk to. My friends are with me though. That's one of the great things about friends, they are always with you, always cheering you on. Thinking of the friends that are cheering me on as I attempt this, my legs gain renewed vitality. I relax, and the ride gets easier. My speed picks up. My load is lightened. The trick is to remember that they're there.
With this new lightness, I ride many miles and many hours. Pleasantly. Just a nice little bike ride around the island. Nothing difficult or arduous. 90% of everything is mental, the other 1/2 is heart.

I don't remember riding through Lai'e. Off over the ocean, the storm clouds are gathering and waiting. They know that I have no place to hide; no escape route planned. Those clouds, like angry children, seem to be gathering the courage to attack me.
Kahuku passes so quickly that by the time I decide not to call Anton, I'm past Kahuku and in to Punalu'u. Ka'a'awa, oh how I love that name, is a small blip as my pedals circle and the rock keeps flowing.

As I enter Kaneohe, it begins to rain. The grumpy children are attacking. Thick heavy drops that pop and thud on my silver helmet. Pounding out peal of war drums. Announcing their arrival. When the those clouds let loose, my visibility drops, and I'm worried about my electronics. GPS, iPod, front and rear lights, cell phone. The temperature so far has been in the high 70's. The rain drops the temp considerably, enough for me to actually feel cold. Yes, I know. I live in the land of warmth. I don't know cold, like my poor impoverished mainland bike friends do. You see, the rider (me in this case) is moving through the air, creating a windchill factor. I do know the difference between OHMYFLYINGSPAGHETTIMONSTERIT'SFINGCOLD, and "brrrrr" it's kinda chilly. This was the later. I tell you of this cold, so I can tell you about the sensation of riding through the puddles. The warm Hawai'i sun lends it's heat to the asphalt, and the puddles absorb this heat. The puddles reach 80 plus degrees in no time. It feels like riding through puddles of pee. Yes, this is what I think about on rides. Zen, I can empathize with getting peed on now. Another benefit of long rides. The simplest of things can be eternally amusing. It's raining, I'm cruising through puddles of warm pee and laughing like a little kid. There' something very primal in my make up regarding bikes and puddles. Something pure.

When the rain becomes to much, and my vision and visibility are too hindered, Kathleen and I take a quick turn to into the empty parking lot. I ride up the walkway and take shelter in the small roof over the store's entrance. On cue, the rain dwindles to a mere drop. No respite for me. Riding away from my impromptu shelter, I realize that it was a mortuary or a headstone engraver. Not a great omen. I've ridden quite strong so far, any my mood is very high. Omens be damned. More miles and more puddles.

This road that I'm traveling is along the edges of the island, drawing near, then away of the beaches. Nice views, lots of sand. Sand that is now being kicked up by my tires and tossed all over the place. Kathleen is filthy. Road grime. When I reach the half way mark, read :62.5 miles, I look for a nice place to stop and make some phone calls. At the bus stop, I park Kathleen and take off my helmet and CamelBak. Look over at Kathleen. She is covered in road grime. Sand and mud. Small globules of sand drip from the seat bag and, my reserve water bottle. I have to wipe the grit off my hands on the inside of my jersey so I can keep my camera clean. I take a few photos while I try to catch my breath before I make my calls.

After my calls, I begin to realize that what I've said on those calls is actually true. I've got this ride in the bag. Barring a mechanical, I'm as good as done! Today, this very day, I will ride farther than I ever have. Today, is one of those moments. Pushing my limits. Finding that most are imaginary, or at the very least temporary.
Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them. - Orison Swett Marden

A lot of the remaining ride is the same as the return half of the Honolulu Century Ride, so I was familiar with the roads and conditions. Kathleen was not, but I assured her that there was nothing too bad ahead. Few small climbs, some rough asphalt.

Toward the end of Kaneohe, I managed to find a very very rough section of road. The mini-pump I bring with me managed to bounce to the side and the hose part was flopping around. Not wanting to break myrhythm , I tried to right this wayward pump while riding on. What I did manage to do, was run over a golf ball. While leaning forward. With only one hand on the bars. Considering how wide the shoulder was at that point, and that I was steering with one hand, I'm quite impressed that I managed to hit it. (Pretending that it was intentional).

Kaneohe lends itself to Kailua. Kailua, being one of the higher end neighborhoods on the island, you would assume that the drivers there would be of the more educated type. I have found, and did find again, that this is not true. "I'm on a bicycle you moron, I really can't speed up to much more. Go around." No amount of 'waving them around' seemed to get the message across. When the finally pass, I get nasty looks. Screw 'em.

I manage to get through Kailua with out an incident. Waimanalo does not have much in the way of cycle safe roads, so I stick to the side roads. Overdue for a pit stop, I 'check my hydration levels'. Seems good. I missed my turn in Waimanalo, so just tooled around on some back streets looking for the school that was supposed to be my next refueling stop. Never found it. I know the main road for this area, but not much else. I had plenty of food and water ready for to get to the next three possible stops.

The next stop ends up being Makapu'u. I'm getting tired. Filling the water bottles and CamelBak bladder are now tiresome chores.
Reminder: Cycling shoes and public bathroom floors are a very slippery combination. I didn't actually fall, but I have no idea how I managed to stay vertical. The ocean is a remarkable combination of every color of blue.

After a brief climb, I'm rewarded with a nice straight decent heading twords Sandy Beach. Nearly 40MPH. Seems so much faster on a bike than it does in a car. Cars Suck.

Before Sandy Beach, I take a right, inland. The trade winds are gone, the temperature has climbed. I try to drink more water, know that I'm sweating more now. In Hawaii Kai, a fellow cyclist passes me without saying anything. A few miles later, I pass him. He's getting up off the ground. Looks like some ass in a van passed him and then turned right. I think about stopping, but there's nothing for me to do. Aina Haina, and Kahala roll past with little to mention. The climb up the back side of Diamond Head rewards me with a breath taking view. No wonder tourists love Hawai'i.

The remainder of the ride is simple a repetition of the thought, "Heading home, heading home, heading home." The Great Sage Yogi once proclaimed that .. "Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical." I think that this is true of cycling as well.

Arrival at the ol' homestead is considerably less celebratory than I think it should be. There's no banner proclaiming my victory over the road, and myself. No fanfare. No shocked faces, incredulously in their shock and awe of my personal glory. In fact, the reaction is remarkably similar to every other ride I've done recently. There should be trumpets. People to carry me up the stairs, singing songs of my might, endurance, athletic prowess.

Now, I'm not trying to belittle the welcome that I did receive. There were congratulations and all of the normal will wishes, but it just seems out of proportion to the effort. I guess it breaks down to the reality that I really did this ride alone. No one else knows the level that I've pushed myself to, and monumental accomplishment that this was for me. The lack of celebration leaves the victory feeling incomplete. All of the effort, hours in training, late nights fretting over the route and how much and what type of food to bring. In all of the many times I visualized completing this ride, I never thought that victory would seem hollow. Don't mistake this grumbling for lack of pride in my accomplishment. There is something missing. An emptiness to the whole experience. Like a voice in the depths of my mind saying, "Yeah, now what?". The whole process is like the sound going out for the last twenty minutes of a movie. There's a whole anti-climactic overtone to the whole thing. Perhaps next time, I'll plan a party. Or share this type of event with like minds. Bike Minds.

I'm not afraid of 200 kilometers.
Triple Bypass 2008 is clearly a possible goal.

Ride Stats:
Miles: 126.85
Time on Bike: 10h 29m 44s
Start Time: 5:56am
End Time: 5:46pm
Total Time: 11h 49m 36s
Vertical Feet: 5,885
Avg. Heart Rate: 140BPM
Max Heart Rate: 174BPM
Personal Difficulty Rating (1-12): 9
(12 being the most difficult thing I've done to this point)
KCal consumed: 3,755
KCal expended: 10,051

Where do I go from here?

Where ever Kathleen takes me.

Thank you to all that believed I could do this, when even I had doubts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rest is good.

I over trained.
Simply put, I put more stress on my system than the amount of rest and nutrition can make up for. I use a system to calculate the total workload I put on my system; by multiplying the minutes exercised times the heart rate zone.
Zone 1 = 15.75 minutes = 15.75 workload
Zone 2 = 73.75 minutes = 147.50 workload
Since everyone has different heart rate zones, this system has a certain reliability to it.
By adding up the total workload for the week, you can have a number to assign to the training you've done. Typically, though I calculate the workload, I don't spend much time looking at the progression of those numbers. Looking back at them, I can correlate those workload numbers to how tired I am. Below is a breakdown of the workload (cycling only) of my training since the first of January:
Week 1 -85
Week 2 -159
Week 3 -175.8
Week 4 -150.55
Week 5 - 465.25
Week 6 -143
Week 7 -692.9
Week 8 -206
Week 9 -345.5
Week 10 -143
Week 11 -693.4
Rather inconsistent, if I do say so myself.
Back to over training. The last few workouts of Week 11, last week, I was unable to get my heart rate up as I had in previous trainings. General disinterest in turning the cranks over. I'd pushed too hard, and I knew it. With that in mind, I skipped my strength training on Monday and the scheduled hour of cycling training on Tuesday.
The result?
For a similar ride, I rode two miles farther, with a average speed of one mph faster.

Rest is good.
Rest in important.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hypoxian's Are Crazy (a parody)

Hypoxian's Are Crazy
Adapted from Faries Wear Boots by Black Sabbath

Goin home, late last night
Riding up, that steep incline
Suddenly I got a fright
Suddenly I saw a sight
Yeah I looked through the window
Yeah, I looked up the road
and surprised what I saw
Terrified what I saw
Hypoxians riding in a pack,
A lion waving to me with his paw.

All right now!
On the Bike! Now!

Hypoxians are nuts and you gotta believe me
There's Lions in Boulder, you gotta believe me
Yeah I saw it, I saw it, I tell you no lies
Yeah I saw it, I saw it, I tell you no lies
Hypoxians are nuts and you gotta believe me
There's Lions in Boulder, you gotta believe me
I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes,
I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes,

Well all right now!
Off the Bike! Now!

So I went to the doctor
So I went back to Zen-ster
See what he could give me
To see what he would say
He said son, son, you've gone too far.
He said man, man, you've gone to far.
Cause slacking and working is all that you do.
cause riding with too much O2 is what you do...

(Lion reference - might need some explainations, and I'm STILL working on that write up.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sometimes, inpiration was there all along.

Proud to say that the dude in this interview is a buddy of mine.

Colorado Man Changes His Life

Way to go man!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Modified Strength Training Program

Here's what my TRX training program looks like now, after a few weeks of fiddling.
Day One (currently Mondays)
Swimmers Pull Superset with:
Back Row
Standing Back Extensions
Hip Press
Single Leg Squats
Suspended Lunge
Suspended Pendulum
Hip Abduction (Leg Spreaders)

Day Two (currently Thursdays)
Y Delt Raise Superset with:
Single Leg Chest Press
T Deltoid Raise
Delta Deltoid Raise
Triceps Press
Reverse Dips??? Looking for something that replaces standard Reverse Dips.
Biceps Curl
Press and Crunch

I've de-deemphasized the leg work, as I will be training quads/hamstrings for cycling specific motions. Primarily on the bike efforts like hill sprints. The above is an adaptation of my traditional Strength Training work out focusing on Free Weights. I had much success with that program, and have high hopes for how the TRX system will incorporate more of the interconnected muscles and require considerably more total muscular development.
I welcome any questions.

Current Meatspace
Lat = 21.31, Long = -157.85
Alititude 184ft

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Anger, Jalapeno Poppers and Baseball Hail.

Funny thing about a good dose of anger. If you're careful, you can channel that energy. Akido-style it right into something useful.
Rarely is anger useful, I've found.
Tonight I'd planned a nice TRX Upper body workout with a mellow hour on the vomitron after.
After exhausting all of my patience on .... er.. other matters yet to be resolved.. I set up the TRX and got to a-strappin. That thing is brutal.
I love it.
I'll hate it tomorrow, but today, that thing is awesome baby, awesome.
I ended up putting a little too much energy into my Strength Training, I had little left for the vomitron. What was supposed to be a 1hr ride.. .. I used my anger and frustration to turn it into a 2hr sweat fest. Day After Tomorrow, is a longer movie than I remembered. Just as a side note. Don't eat Jalapeño Poppers and go for a vomitron ride. Just don't. Trust me. Don't make me post pictures. *shudder*
Zen, Tiff, if you're out there.. I think I have a better understanding of that four letter word you throw around. Snow. It's that white crap from the movie, yea? Damn. Looks cold.
How bigs the hail in you're neck of the swamp... 'cus when that dude got knocked out from the Baseball sized hail, I just kept thinking... I gotta check Zen and Tiff's head for lumps!

It's now 01:35 on v-day.
Time for a shower and a nap.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Balance and the BHAG

I think that the answer to life is not 42, after all. Twelve, maybe. But let's not get off on a tangent for my fetish for numbers. Perhaps in a follow up post.

Balance. I think that's the key.
Now, if it was just two things to keep balanced.. I think I'd be okay. You just get a nice long pole and strap a thing to each side. Duct tape, paracord, superglue and paperclips, y'know- whatever works. Whadday do when you got three things? And four? Now that pole wont carry four things (two on each side), so you have to get another pole.
As life gets more complex, so does the system I seem to use to balance all of it. Here's the rub, I seem to only have so much energy. I can only do so much. I have to compromise. Something must give way to the other things. Choosing what to give up, in favor of something else, now there's an interesting problem.

Why is this on a cycling blog? Thanks for asking.
Triple Bypass 2008, the 20th annual painfest, is looming.. and becoming brighter and larger in my mind every day. This is the big one. This is my BHAG.
Everything I do for the next 149 days will be compared to my BHAG.
This is how I plan on obtaining balance.
Cycling/Strength Training/Nutrition/Rest/and those that actively support my BHAG will by my focus.
Everything else, consider yourself on notice.

Current Meatspace
Latitude = 21.3115, Longitude = -157.8592
Alititude 185ft

Monday, February 04, 2008

Ride Report - Saturday the 2nd

First real ride on Celeste.
This ride was supposed to be a nice mellow, time in the saddle, ride. Apparently I have issues with mellow.

The five morons in the white pickup truck, get my special unique one finger salute. Took me awhile to remember that I didn't even have a bike pump to back that up. Entire contents of pockets: Cell phone, Health Insurance Card, Debit Card, Driver's License, Heart Rate Monitor, House Key.
I guess I could always joint lock one of them.. and threaten the rest with the screams of their friends.
I keep an eye on them until they turned off the main road. Ever cautious that they will take my invitation to put up or shut up seriously.
I don't think I'll ever understand the need of you humans to taunt people that are obviously in a weaker position than you. 3000 lbs. vehicle with 5 teen agers vs. one 37 year old cyclist in spandex (and out of breath).
C'mon back if you want to find out how un-terrified I am of your punk-ass.
Rounding the corner at the end of North Road eased up the headwind a bit.
I let up on the pace a bit and try to get into a groove. I find the groove, but it's about 15 beats per minute higher than I should be at. Oh well. I'm on the bike, I'm outside. I'm smiling. A little hard work, sweat, and sunshine should do me good.
Turning on to Iroqouis Road and the wind is now at my back. I'm spinning out. Mean tailwind.
Back into civilization, a cyclist comes up beside me but turns right. I head out to the main road and take a right. A block up I see that cyclist again. He took a short cut? But I'm nearly on him, so it wasn't quite so short.
I try not to chase him. The dog in me wants to run.
I follow a few hundred feed behind. I could catch him. I hold back. I'm supposed to be riding mellow. When we get to the leetle hill exiting Ewa, I can see him running thru his gears as he climbs. He's half way up by the time I get there. The road turns up to about 6% and I'm forced to stand. No gears to run thru. Celeste is a simple girl. No frills, all thrills. I think about smooth clean circles as Celeste and I rapidly gain ground. Flying up this hill is the first time today that I've felt like a cyclist. When I get to the top, I'm ten feet behind him, but quite out of breath. It feels good. The burning quads, my lungs requesting more oxygen. (They should get used to that!)
I turn right and let the rabbit go. If this was not a mellow ride, I might have stuck with him.
Cruising around, I discover a park, and a paved path. It's not very well maintained. Rain and the footfalls of thousands have removed the soft tar and left a gravely grey strip. I follow along, only vaguely aware of where I'm headed. It wander between the loch and a golf course, which provides me with alternating aromas of cut grass and fertilizer and loch water.
When you're on a bike, everything smells better. Even things that normal don't. I wander, say hit to the LDS's going the other way.
The path ends at a T intersection with a cane road. Hawai'i's version of a fire road. I randomly choose right and ride until I get my bearings. Looks like a good place to go exploring. Noting that mentally, I turn around and find my way back to civilization. Time to head home. I wish I'd brought some water with me.
The wind is a partial tailwind, so Celeste and I make good time home.
Home and happy.

My average Heart rate for this one hour jaunt is 86% of max, or 160 BPM.
Way too high. I was supposed to be under 132 for the average.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Strength Training Journal 8114

Strength Training Program Prelim.
After hurting myself trying out my new toy/training system, I took wise counsul and decided to do a ramp week. That week is this week.

Suspended Lunge 5ea
Single Leg Squat 5ea
Sprinter's Start 5ea
Hamstring Curls 6
Press 5
Hamstring Bicycle 10 (I don't like this one)
High Bicep Curl 9
Triceps Press 7
High Rotation 5ea
Side Plank 5ea (difficult for me right now)
Suspended Crunch 5

Total Time =12min 19sec
I kinda supersetted the whole routine. There is supposed to be 8 minutes of rest in this system. Opps. I very much like to keep the heart rate high while doing strength training.
Average BPM 151
Max BPM 172
I'll be ready to start the 12 week program next week.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Challenge

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), King Henry V, Act 3 scene 1

Once again I've tossed sanity reason and self preservation to the wind.
Triple Bypass 2008, I waiting for you.

Have a Bi-Polar new year.