Well summer is winding down and with that will go the warmer weather and the increased daylight hours. A lot has happened these in first 9 months, not to mention getting married to my beautiful wife. But outside of that, other life curveballs basically shelled my event schedule before it even got started and have generally made it difficult just to get on the bike. I’ve actually done less miles this summer than I did in one month last year. In an effort to restart my motivation I decided to create this bucket list as a way to capture all the things I would like to do someday. There is no particular order to these, just what came into my mind first – some I had planned on doing this year and others that just look really cool although probably unrealistic logistically & financially. This will probably be a living list and maybe I’ll even make it a page on my site, I’m not sure. I have added some context to each as to why I’d like to ride them, many are for charities that have meaning to me. And please feel free to suggest your own stuff, I’m open to suggestions and if I think the ride/race/event is a good fit I may must add it!
- Miles for Megan
- Benefits a foundation in memory of a hometown girl that passed away from Leukemia 2008.
- King Challenge
- Benefits the Krempels Center who is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with brain injury from trauma, tumor or stroke.
- CT Challenge
- Benefits the nonprofit organization, Mission, who is dedicated to helping the 15.5 million cancer survivors around the US.
- Phil’s Cookie Fondo
- Race CX again
- Jamestown Classic
- Homestate race that benefits the Jamestown Rotary Club which has supported a variety of causes over the years.
- Police Unity Tour
- Benefits the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial & Museum.
- I think every cyclist needs to ride in Colorado at least once.
- Ride all the Farm to Fork Fondo events
- Bringing awareness and supporting to local farms and preserving open spaces.
- Ride any of The Col Collective climbs
- Need to see the history and scenic beauty first hand to full appreciate.
- Ride & Run to Remember again (if they ever bring it back)
- Benefits the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial & Museum.
- Ride in Walt Disney World
- Not sure if this is even possible but as a Disneyholic I would love to be able to.
Last night was my second CX race. Due to travel and other life circumstances I had not been on my bike, any bike, in a week. I was hoping to arrive a bit early and get some good warm up laps in but that didn’t happen either and I had a whole 3 minutes of warm up and I paid the price. My first lap was ok, I was in the last 3rd of the field but then the side stitches hit a little ways into lap 2 and I had to drop my pace for a bit to recover. I held my position for the most part until the lower back pain kicked in on the next lap. I still don’t think I have my tire pressure dialed in and I’m taking a beating over the course. Once that pain kicked in my power was off and I was just riding around. I did manage holding off getting lapped until lap 3 this week, but ultimately I would be 3 laps down by the end but still not last place. I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad as over half the field got lapped at least once. It was some fast competition out there.
I’m still learning, this certainly isn’t like road riding and not riding for a week certainly didn’t help. I think my aerobic engine went into shock. I’m traveling again and wont be back to my bike until Monday but hopefully I can get one or two rides in before the next race to make sure I’m more prepared. Oh and I need to leave 1/2hr earlier so I can get some proper warm up laps in.
Yep, thats right, tonight I actually entered my first sanctioned bike race so I need a license and all that jazz. However this was not a road race as most of you might think. No, no, if you saw my previous “Tire Teaser” post you might have an inkling. I pinned on a number for a cyclo-cross or CX race. Now if you don’t know what cyclo-cross racing is, well, it’s hell on wheels that involve, barriers, stairs, running, carrying the bike and sometimes also includes mud, snow and all sorts of foul weather. If that isn’t a good enough description for you here is a video that summarizes it well. Thankfully our course was dry and it’s way to early in the year for snow.
I prefer to ride with no gloves. I’ve always worn gloves until recently. I don’t get along well with padded gloves and the last couple of pairs I’ve bought had no (or very little) padding which suited me well. My favorite is a pair of leather gloves but my biggest problem is when my hands sweat and get the gloves soggy I tend to move around in the gloves a bit. So recently I’ve stared to ride barehanded. I like the feel, my hands don’t get sweaty, but I’m not thrilled as I’m always afraid of hitting the deck and landing on my bare palms. I was a teenager with a bike and a skateboard so I know what road rash on the palms feels like, it’s not good. Also last week on my fondo ride my palms were getting a little sore from such a long ride, something I never experienced before. So I’m on the search for a decent glove thats tight and won’t cause my hand to sweat too much. What say you, gloves yea or nay?
Never eat hot dogs before a ride, bad things happen. ’nuff said
I’ve found that I really like 52×28 on grades up to 5%. Yeah, technically I’m cross chaining but there is something about staying in that big ring.
My lack of proper nutrition at the fondo has prompted me to go back to the drawing board and expand my repertoire. I’m back to testing GU gels again. When I started riding I used them almost exclusively but then I got away from them when I went to more real foods, but on a long ride there is only so many solids I can digest. GU also seems to be the most prevalent thing at supported rides so I just want to make sure I can still tolerate them before I head out on a long ride. It gives me another option to my Honey Stingers, Untapped Maple, Bonk Breakers and Skratch. I’m also very intrigued with the SiS products, especially their gels. Supposedly their gels are isotonic which means it has the same concentration of the fluid make up in the body (or something like that). Essentially it means you can ingest/digest one of their gels w/o needing to take on additional water, unlike all of the other type of gels I’ve used which always say to take with water. Because it’s close to what the human body is doing naturally it will be digested and get into the body quicker. Anyone have any experience with SiS?
This past Sunday I participated in my second Farm to Fork Fondo. Last year I chose the “Medio Fondo” route which was essentially 100k, but this year I stepped it up to the “Gran Fondo” which was billed as 140k (87 miles) and ~5800′ of elevation. This ride would be a first for me as I had never done that much elevation in a single ride before.
Just to get it out of the way, hands down, this was the most challenging ride I have ever done. I was good until about mile 75 when we hit a climb known as “The Wall”, but more on that later. My biggest issue was that my nutrition was off and I underestimated my needs for the day. I always tend to take too much food with me and never finish it all. This time I planned for exactly what my expected time to be and missed it by a bunch.
The idea behind this ride (and its sister rides) is about bringing awareness to and support our local farms along with the open green space they provide and the relationship between cyclists, the landscape and healthy living. There are three more rides in the series this summer if you are so inclined, just visit FarmForkFondo.com more more details.
As with the ride last year there was no shortage of pros and retired pros on hand to mingle and ride with. The Colavita | Bianchi women’s cycling team was there, Ian Boswell from Team Sky, retired pro Ted King, along with a few others who’s names escape me at the moment.