Sunday, May 31, 2009

Forest > City

The forest beats the city any ol' day! An afternoon spin around Huntsville State Park. Four laps of sandy goodness. So very nice to have some elevation, and clean air. No burning lungs, no cars, no concrete today! With shredded legs it's time for some Sunday evening relaxment...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Short Post About a Long Ride

Inner-city rhode ride today. Nothing special just 3hr long-period endurance-level riding. The pollution was bad. I did exactly the opposite of the NWS' advice:



No kidding. My lungs were burning especially on the east side of town. Tommorrow I'm getting outta this place!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Is Here

A garden visitor today...he wasn't camera shy.

I harvested a mess of small tomatoes, one large one, some thyme that promptly went into a steak marinade, and some peppermint for the afternoon's tea...

The summer weather pattern has arrived after weeks of stiff afternoon winds. Now, there is zero afternoon wind. Going out in the winds is tough, but the still humid and hot combination is tough in another way. Along with the wind change comes the degredation in air quality. Perhaps that's the cause of my recent lung have been burning... the joys of metropolitan living.

Today's efforts? Spotts Park climbs. The legs felt great! I'm resting tomorrow for some serious time in the saddle this weekend. Not sure where yet...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Revising My Ride

Happiness is a sprinkler on a hot afternoon. I stopped on the recovery interval of my threshold ride to take a splash. I feel like a kid sometimes. It's great!

I felt pretty bummed on my LT intervals. I was sure that my power was declining and not keeping up to my target. I cut them short... after looking over the traces... that wasn't the case. They were acutally very, veerry steady. Hmph.

Unfinished Business

Stuck late at the office. This tosses my evening in disarray. "Screw it" I say, "too late to ride." I sat on my couch with that miserable feeling. The urge that something was left to be done... so I slip into the dark humid still night air. Just me and the possums. City possums are not scared of bikers. Garbage day was moved this week because of Memorial day. I think they are confused.

Something is in the night air. And it made my lungs burn. My legs felt like concrete, too. It's a simple threshold ride but I can't complete it. Atleast I gave it a shot. It's really late, too. Or early. Depends on your point of view. It's either 1:30A Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning. Either way I need shower, sleep, and prep for tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hitting the Highlights!

Today's ride is a favorite. Here's the plan:

8:00 alternating 15s @165% of FTP, 15s @Recovery
10:00 @Recovery
4X 3:00 @130% of FTP, 2:00 @95% FTP
10:00 @Recovery
10:00 100% FTP, with 10sec sprint top of each minute

This is a great effort for mountain bikers relegated to the road. It emphasizes the overreaching efforts needed for those bursty moments. There is nothing more difficult than being at the limit then being faced with a steep rise to punch up! The work intervals are short. They are done in that pain zone that lies just above FTP. Beware, the first 8:00 tax the lungs. The first few 15s work intervals feel waaay too easy. I try not to overdo them. By the end I pant like dog!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Up, Up, Down

Old pic. This afternoon's adventure was held upon the mountain bike. Off to Spotts Park for some 'hill' repeats. These are getting easier. A good sign. Once again, I managed to almost fall by slipping on doggy doo.

In other news... I discovered iTunes has Dick's Picks today. I think I'm going to need a bigger iPod!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just A Pic

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Trail Ridin

First I pick my bikes off my custom drying rack. It also doubles as a swing on nice days.

Then I pick some peppers and maters out of the garden.

Then haul it up to Double Lake for some dirt ridin.

I'm late so I ride solo.

It's a beautiful day. The trails are in great shape. Especially, in consideration of the pounding they took for the race two weeks ago. These trails are resilient!

Today's one of those wonderful training days where I can see the improvements I've made this season and see that I'm capable of making even more. It's going to be a fun and challenging summer!

I finish my ride just before the rain hits. There were a ton of Boyscouts at DLRA. Methinks they are in for a wet evening!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Advancing the State of Maintenance

Yesterday's effort leaves me drained. A frustrating day at the office. Both bikes badly need cleaning and maintenance. New wheels need mounting. The combination contrives to keep me from doing my recovery ride. Instead I mount tires on a newly acquired wheelset. While enjoying a couple of Sunshines.

These are mounted toobless with Stan's. I started out apprehensive about mounting toobless tires. In my past, I've mounted toobless car tires by hand with nothing but a hammer and some screwdrivers. One miserable afternoon that was!. My fear this would bring forth a similar level of frustration. All fears unfounded, though, as the process is super simple. I don't think I'd try it without an air compressor though.

Shiny new parts...

More details after a short trial...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rookie Mistake

I didn't eat enough today. The result... a tough but do-able intensity becomes tasting-my-lunch-again intensity. I bonked. First time in a looong time. Gotta be one of the worst feelings in the world. And someone in River Oaks has a surprise on their front lawn! Thorry.

On that appetizing note, let me tell you about dinner. Grilled salmon, zukes with thyme and dill, finally carrots glazed with maple syrup, a pinch of cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Replacement calories. Best thing I tasted all day!

Time Perception Shift Intervals

Today's bout... 2 minute maximal intervals with 3 minute rest. The first 2 minutes feel like forever. The three minute rest feels shorter!

At least the weather was scenic, if muggy. Summer is here!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scurried Weekend!

Non-stop hustle this weekend. Well, not entirely true. Friday night I slept 14-hours! Man, that felt gooood. Back to the hustle...

Saturday, after finally waking, I rode down to the annual Art Car Parade. Yup, forgot the camera! It was still coool. It's really hard to describe art cars, because there is no typical art car. And it's probably Houston's only unique feature of Houston culture. That and concrete. Here some other's photos of the event >HERE<.

Then it was off to Katy for a friend's 40-th birthday party and crawfish boil. Then a return to town and chilling with my neighbor. It was nice to lay my head on my pillow.

Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNNNNDDAAAYY! Was a ride up at Huntsville. After a week off the bike it felt great to be in the forest.

My Garmin has died. So no HRM, no powerTap, no nothing. How would I measure the effort? I just decided to go for it! And rode the two fastest laps I've ever ridden out there. The improvement almost exactly mirrors the FTP gain %-age I've seen this season. Yes, in theory, they should correlate. Now it's time for some cleaning an bike maintenance...

Today was also the first real hot day of the season. Nothing is better after laps than baby wipes. Great for getting the salt off. Here's my trick, put them in your cooler. That way they are cold for even more refreshment punch!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


It's a rest week. So I have less to write about than usual. Here's two tips that seem totally obviously after I discovered them...

First, is a bent piece of clothes hanger, or spoke into a u-shape. Put this between two links of your chain to create some slack links. This way when you remove your link-pin (or quick-link), the chain won't slap back due to derailler tension. No more holding onto the greasy chain, chain tool, and turning the crank all at the same time.

Second, use a strong elastic band to hold the brake lever when aligning disc brake calipers. I found this band on broccoli! They work great. They use some pretty good ones on asparagus, too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tip Of The Day: Sleeping Passengers

This is a great way to freak out your sleeping passenger. Scream really loud when following a truck being towed backward! The closer you are to the truck, the better it works.