Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughts while riding

The following are thoughts that I had while out riding over the last week and a half:

Long rides in the middle of a weekday cannot be beat. This is why we moved up here. This is why I quit my 8-5 job. This is why I now work at a Bar-b-que restaurant: so I can ride my bike when and where I want to. So I can train, and it doesn't have to be worked into a commute through the ghetto in order to get my mileage in. I love it.

Bike lanes are awesome! In the past, I have heard of these mythical sections of the road where you can ride your bike without blowing out tires or having cyclist try to kill you, throw things at you, cuss at you or wish that you had never been born. It turns out that they do actually exist in Colorado, and some of them are as wide as the lanes for the cars!

Prairie dogs are crazy looking little creatures. I saw hundreds of these little guys today! They were running all over the place and I was so close to some of them that I almost ran one over (on accident of course). It looked like a hundred little Ollies running around.

The wildlife is much different here. It is still really winter here, so I imagine I will see more and more creatures out, but instead of the only wildlife I see being road kill raccoons and possums and hookers, I saw longhorn cattle, horses, crazy birds and tons of black tail prairie dogs (ok, maybe the cattle and horses weren't wild, but they were cool to see).

The inverse law of cycling gains to cordiality: If you pass a fat slow guy on a bike, he will always wave back to you. In fact it is likely that he will wave to you before you wave to him. However, if you pass a fit or fast guy on a bike, he will almost certainly not wave back. The opposite is in fact true of women. If you pass a fat slow woman, she will not wave to you. But if you pass a fit or fast woman, she will almost certainly wave back and will often wave first. Note: as I typed this, I realized that I am by definition of this law, a fat slow guy.

The ocean and beach are awesome, but there is something special about the mountains. If you are one block away from the ocean, you might as well be 100 miles, but you can see the mountains (and ride into pot holes while staring at them) from miles and miles away. They look just as awesome from up close or far away. 

I am way out of shape right now. I am pretty sure this doesn't need to be explained.

I am really bad about matching my kit - therefore I could never be a roadie. On today's ride (3/5) I am wearing Louis Garneau shoes, with Shimano cleats, Specialized socks, Cannondale shorts, Pearl Izumi base layer, Primal Wear jersey, Giro helmet, Garmin watch, Louis Garneau jacket and, Cannondale gloves. 10 items, 8 brands. Also my wheels are different brands, and my drive train is made up of too many different groupos to count. Matt Cusack is puking as he reads this.

Moe's Southwest Grill is way better than Chipotle. I spent $12.22 today on a burrito, chips and a drink at chipotle. That same meal would have been $8 and change at Moe's. If Chipotle is 50% more expensive, it should be either A) 50% more food, B) 50% tastier, C) 50% better for me, or D) a combination of A, B, and C that adds up to 50%. It is none of those.

Eating that much Chipotle and then trying to ride again was not a good idea. Yeah, that food refused to digest. I had to pedal home with a food baby.

What in the world is a conch shell doing next to a creek in Colorado?? Today while walking home (refer to this post: I found a conch shell laying on the side of the path next to a stream. All I can imagine is that this must have been one very lost hermit crab.

Monday, March 5, 2012

All In a Days Work

Today was certainly an interesting training day. Since November, I do not think I have had one ride outside. All of my rides have either been on the trainer or on a spin bike. Yes, I have been going through addict type withdrawals: headaches, twitching, convulsing, the junkie itch. But, all was cured today!

The weather today in Boulder was supposed to be 65 degrees (!!!). Finally some weather that I know how to tolerate! But, we moved into our apartment just a couple of days ago and I still don't know where anything is (on Sunday, I couldn't find the bag that had all of my clean boxers in them, so I ended up wearing tri shorts under my church pants!). So, I decided I was just going to ride to the bike shop, top my tires off and go. Enter Problem #1: both of my tires were completely flat. Ok, so now I have to find my pump, but when I found it (Problem #2), the nozzle was broken. I then decided to drive to the bike shop to get a new pump but (Problem #3), Anna had already left for the grocery store in the truck. Normally I could call her and get a ride but (Problem #4), I smashed my phone and had no way to get a hold of her. I checked the bus schedule, but it was going to be a while before the bus I needed came through. I then grabbed Anna's mountain bike but (Problem #5), the wheels on that bike were flat as well. So what's next? Her new road bike she got for Christmas. I found a couple of wheels that would hold air and took off for the bike shop! I am 6' tall. Anna is 5'1". This was the closest I have been to riding a BMX bike since I was 12! I received plenty of crazy stares riding a tiny pink and teal bike through town, I made it! I bought a much needed new pump, a couple of spare tubes, Co2 cartridges and tire levers and headed home to grab my bike and set out on my ride.

Once I got going, the ride. was. awesome! The weather was perfect. the roads were perfect. Drivers didn't try to kill me. I rode all over the place for 3 hours and 15 minutes and was doing my best to limp back home, when bam! "What was that? Why is my cadence so high? Why am I slowing down?" Yeah (Problem #6), I popped my chain. At this point (Problem #7), I have no idea where I am. I only know that my apartment is somewhere southwest of where I am. I always carry a power link and chain tool with me, but (Problem #8), I thought that I would be fine until I found my other bike stuff. I guess I was wrong on that account.

Normally in this situation, I would call Anna, but please refer back to Problem #4. So I started walking. After an hour of walking, I found my way back into Boulder then I stumbled upon a bike shop that I did not know existed. Score! I ducked in, bought a power link for my chain and borrowed their chain tool and I was back rolling again! I ended up making it home just as it was getting dark.

Despite the craziness, this was one of the most enjoyable solo rides I have ever had. This place is great! I can't wait to do it again tomorrow!