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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First After Work Training Ride

When I planned yesterday to go for a ride today I forgot one very important thing - my daughter's birthday. She turned 7 today. I know that sounds awful but we had a big family party to celebrate her birthday last Saturday and this Saturday she gets another party for her friends (a gymnastics party). Silly me that it had escaped me on Tuesday that we were having yet another birthday cake on her actual birthday with my in-laws coming over (I don't remember having so many B-day parties when I was a kid )-: ). So when I told my wife on Tuesday night that I was riding after work on Wed, it was not exactly met with her approval. All was good though as I managed to leave work a little early and lo and behold - I finally got a bike ride in!! Another shoehorn special!

Glad to get that one done and over with...the first of the season. I kept going back and forth on deciding whether to stick with the fixie or take a road bike out. I went with the fixie and decided to simply ride the flat 4.8 mile loop near my home...that way I could easily bailout after the 2nd lap or shoot for one or two more depending on how I felt. Three laps was just right and gave me a decent workout with all the non-stop pedaling. I was happy with the 16 mph average speed.

As far as how the riding conditions were, all I can say is 50 degrees F never felt so warm and comfy!

Ride Stats (25Mar09)

Bike: Fixie
Distance: 14.4 miles
Time: 54 minutes
Average Speed: 16.0 mph
Next scheduled ride: Friday, 27Mar09
Temperature at start: 51 F (5:18 pm)
Temperature at end: 49 F (6:12 pm)
Gear: silk weight base layer/SportHill Summit LS jersey/PI Zephrr vest on top...and LG tights on the bottom...perfect for the temperature!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Falling Behind the "Firsts"

Here is a list of cycling "firsts" I've been reading about in the blogosphere lately:

I'm very pleased to see that my fellow cycling bloggers are faithfully completing their 2009 cycling "firsts" and moving forward toward meeting their cycling goals. I'm certainly not in competition with anyone for any type of cycling stat or bragging rights (except perhaps myself), but my inability to get on track while others are off and running is starting to weigh on me.

The month of March has been particularly frustrating so far with snow-clogged roads to start the month, followed by a bout with the flu, a need to prioritize the completion of home remodeling projects, lingering effects from being sick, and finally this past weekend, a home full of guests for the weekend (my SIL and her 3 children stayed with us this weekend and on Sat we had a birthday party for my daughter). Then a review of my cycling goals for 2009 reveals that I've already missed one entirely - to start routine "training" rides BEFORE daylight savings time begins on March 8. And now I'm starting to question my ability to commit to early morning rides on the weekends as I wimp out upon sight of the thermometer!

I need to get on track soon...the pressure is of my own making but it's building quickly and I don't like the feeling!

Tomorrow looks like a fine day for my FIRST after work ride of the season. We'll see what happens.

Where in the World is Matt Lauer?

While the cycling community is all a buzz about the Lance Armstrong crash (what a bummer), another cycling incident hits a little closer to home IMO. Apparently Today show host Matt Lauer was out riding over the weekend on Long Island and had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a deer...which I guess he did by being thrown over the handlebars...OUCH!! News reports indicate that he was going fast on a downhill stretch when a deer came out of nowhere. He suffered a separated shoulder as a result of the crash. He was wearing a helmet and no head injury is being reported.

That just got me thinking of all the close calls I've had with deer in my area when I've been driving in the car. Just this weekend a friend was telling me about two deer that had darted out in front of her on Route 152 earlier in the week. It completely startled her because they had never seen deer in this particular area before.

Until now, I haven't really heard of any close encounters between deer and least in the local area. But it certainly makes sense given the close calls with cars that cycling accidents with deer are VERY POSSIBLE. I'll sure be thinking about deer on my next few bike rides...especially if they're early morning rides.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Longing for March 1998

Continuing where my last post left off, this past weekend brought less than ideal weather conditions for cycling least to be thought of as truly Spring-like. Saturday was sunny with temperatures barely getting out of the 40s and on Sunday the low 50s did not feel warm with the sun playing peek-a-boo and the wind picking up. I was particularly bummed with the cold early morning temperatures on both days. You can see where I'm going with this...yes, no cycling for Glenn this past weekend (the less than ideal weather is only one of a couple of excuses for not riding; the other is we had house guests visiting for the weekend).

But thinking about the weekend weather jogged my memory of a March about 10 years ago. I remember that at the end of that March we had a heat wave with temperatures touching 90 degrees. As usual, my curiosity got the better of me and proved my memory for trivial weather-weenie facts to be fairly accurate. 1998 was the year.

From the Penn State Weather World website ( I found this.

March 1998 Weather Across the Nation:

"...The month concluded with a spectacular heat wave in the Northeast. Portland, Maine reached 88 degrees, their highest reading ever for March and April. Boston and New York City reached their highest March temperatures. Charlottesville, Virginia hit 90 degrees on three consecutive days. A rare outbreak of tornadoes in southern Minnesota devastated the town of St. Peter. One renegade twister even hit northern Michigan where nearly a half foot of snow was still on the ground."
A quick check of climatological records revealed that temperatures peaked on the 31st at:

Boston - 89
Norwood - 90
Providence - 85
Hartford - 89

How I long for those temperatures. And as soon as we get them, I'll be longing for something 15 degrees cooler!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring

Funny...didn't seem like it with a low 30s air temperature and stiff NE wind hitting me in the face as I waited for the train this morning.

We'll see what the weekend brings.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Return From Hiatus

It's hard to believe that my last blog post was over six weeks ago. It wasn't just sort of happened...per usual! I even got a ride in 3 weeks ago but couldn't get myself to post about it.

So what's been going on in my life since early February? Essentially, I got sucked into the dreaded winter funk...a place I tend to visit each winter but was hoping to avoid this year. Couldn't do it. Despite the snow and lack of riding, January was a good month...even as I found my motivation waning. But in February, laziness took total hold and motivation was lost. It didn't help that near the end of January I suffered a pinched nerve, followed by a 2-week head cold in early February and most recently a bout of the flu. Add to that the stress of dealing with the most severe slow-down I've ever been through at work and you clearly have a good recipe for winter funk!

When I last posted I called out my need for an 8 week training plan to transition to the riding season at a certain fitness level. Sadly, 6 weeks later and that plan has yet to materialize. However, all was not completely lost as we made good progress on the bath remodel project.

Ride Stats (21Feb09 Ride)

Bike: Fixie
Distance: 17.5 miles
Time: about 75 minutes
Average Speed: approx. 14.0 mph
Next scheduled ride: Sunday, 22Feb09 (never happened)
Temperature at start: 38 F
Temperature at end: 35 F
Gear: the winter stuff

So in the final analysis, with Winter finally behind us (I hope I don't regret saying that), I accomplished a whopping total of 2 rides this 2009 winter season. To me that's a HUGE disappointment given my mindset at the end of 2008. On the other hand, riding in the cold in general was a first for me...something I never thought I could motivate myself to do. I guess I can only wonder what might have been accomplished had the winter been warm and snow-less. For example, simply doubling my meager December ride stats (5 rides for 82.2 miles) over the last two months would have been a HUGE success in my book.