Monday, June 22, 2009

Sorry for the Radio Silence

It's been an interesting last week or so, and blogging and bike riding have not been at the top of the to-do list. I've been busy looking for and interviewing for a new job. Also, the movie is almost finished but it's crunch time and I'm still trying to track down some additional financing for post production work. So while you may have thought that I've just been sitting on the couch watching the Price Is Right and Judge Judy all day, alas that's not the case.

I do have a Mileage Monday report for you today, so that's something. Plus, Todd and I are planning a ride this afternoon even in the face of 50/50 rain odds, so I'm getting back in the swing of things. The race is fast approaching so we gotta stay on track.

Mileage Monday

Chad, while not turning the screws on Clint and me as hard as he's been doing lately, is still leading June which surprisingly is almost over. I was barely aware that June began and here we are, already coming down to the last week. Clint again has maintained a good effort and will hold on to 2nd place. And as for myself...I really shouldn't have jinxed myself back in May, cause I've been struggling ever since. I've got to break out of this training funk and get back into a good routine. A nice ride today should help, and this weekend Beck and I are heading up to Ithaca NY to see her folks and the bike is coming with. There are some beautiful roads up there and a fresh ride in some new surroundings will do me some good. Also, I could take out the Lotus for a quick spin which might spark some new flames. Ahhh, the Lotus.

Anyway, here are the pics and numbers.Chad showing a little LIVESTRONG love in his pic this week.

Clint, over the thirteen hundred mile mark on his new bike.

And me, over the 500 mile mark...whoopee.

Mileage Challenge Total for June (so far)

1st Place - Chad: 342 Miles
2nd Place - Clint: 257.8 Miles
Last Place - Clay : 100.89 Miles

Wow. Honestly, I didn't know how pathetic I've been this month till I just did the math just now. Ouch, I've really been slackin...barely over 100 miles in 3 weeks is really not good. Must ride more.

Also, how weird is this, Chad's numbers, while over 300 apart are all the same digits just rearranged. He started at 2482 and is now at 2824...eerie.

Alright, gotta go ride now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good News, Bad News...

Good news is I now have a lot more time to train for the 100 Mile LIVESTRONG Challenge.

Bad news is I got laid off Monday so I'm now unemployed. D'oh!

I guess that makes me a full time blogger now, although this doesn't exactly pay the bills. While I've made about 10 bucks since starting this blog thanks to you who have clicked on the ads on this page, I don't see this as a viable career option. So like so many others these days, I'm off to the unemployment line, and the job hunt begins.

If anyone knows of some incredibly high paying job in CT that requires little work, is within 1.7 miles of Meriden, is a Tuesday through Thursday schedule, reports to a funny and relaxed boss, or better yet no boss, and has a huge signing bonus and guaranteed 10% raise every quarter, please let me know. I'll forward them my resume if I can squeeze it in my schedule.

I jest of course.

Sorry for no Mileage Monday update. As you now know, it was a bit of a downer day for me, plus Chad didn't get me his mileage till Tuesday, and Clint has yet to send me his. Unofficially, I'm pretty sure things stayed about the same last week, Chad first, followed by Clint and then me, but I feel like all that is about to change. Without that pesky thing of having a job, I'll be able to put down some serious rides and maybe come from behind and win the month of June. We'll see.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Christmas in June

Fatty Gear Arrived!!

It's a good day. I opened the mailbox and was greeted by a sizable package from Twin Six. It could only mean one thing, my new FatCyclist apparel is in da house. Now you know I'm not a real cyclist, and as such, up until today I did not own a real cycling jersey.

Well friends, now I do.

And not just any jersey, a limited edition 2009 Fat Cylcist jersey. Oh, and I said sizable package so you know there's more than just a jersey. That's right, I also got a Fatty water bottle, Fatty socks, a Fatty t-shirt, and the creme de la creme...FatCyclist bib shorts. It's the complete package, and it's nice. Bib shorts will be a new adventure for me. What could be cooler than padded spandex shorts? Padded spandex shorts with overall-like suspenders to hold them up. Oh yaa. I'm contemplating posting a picture of me in the bib shorts, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that level of public humiliation. Plus I'm trying to gain new readers, not scare existing one's off, so I'm on the fence about it. Probably would be pretty funny though...I'll think about it.

The best part of this cycling gear extravaganza, all of the proceeds from Twin Six's sales of this Fatty gear goes right to LIVESTRONG, to help cancer survivorship and research. Awesome. A while back I did a post on how Twin Six rules, and this is certainly more proof of that fact. Keep up the good work Ryan and crew.

I'm proud to wear this stuff, and it's a constant reminder that this is all for a great cause. A nessesary cause.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mileage Challenge Update

You are correct in noticing that I didn't label this post Mileage Monday, as it clearly is Wednesday, but you need an update all the same, so here it is.

Actually, before I get to it...any guesses?

Wow, you're good! How did you know that Chad was in the lead, followed pretty closely by Clint, with me keeping a close eye on last place? That's incredible, you have a gift. Either that, or you just assumed that since nothing has changed in the last five or so weeks, why should it change now. I guess it doesn't matter how you knew, just that you knew. Anyway, here are the numbers and pics and I'll do everything in my power to make this more interesting for you (and us) this month.

Here's Chad's pic, he continues his mileage reign of terror and lately he has made it more than clear why he's the real cyclist in the family who got Clint and I involved with this whole thing in the first place.

Clint is being the strong silent type with this whole mileage thing. Every week he does what he needs to do to stay in the game and log good mileage. One of these weeks I fear that he's going to drop a two or three hundred mile bomb on Chad and me.

And for me, I'll update this post with a picture when I get home, but I only got in the one 60 mile ride last week. I know, I know, I'm not going to survive Philly if I keep this up. Trust me, last Sunday's ride was a wake up call, and I'll be ready. My new coach and I are developing a training plan as we speak and don't you worry, I'll get to where I need to be. Oh, and by new coach, I mean Becky, what a great girl.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Nice Big Slice of Humble Pie.

Longest ride to date kicks my butt.

I haven't been riding enough lately. This is evidenced by my lack of interesting posts regarding rides, and by my devastating loss last month in the Frost Mileage Challenge. Knowing that I have to get back in the habit of logging some serious miles, I saw an opportunity this weekend and took it. We were trying to organize a ride this weekend, but it was hard getting everyone together. I was on the phone with Chad, who already had ridden a ton this weekend, and couldn't ride on Sunday, but thought it would be nice to get together Sunday evening for some grilling. Nothing closes out a weekend like some beer and brats.

I got off the phone excited about the brats, but bummed that no ride would take place. Then a light bulb went off in my head. I could ride down to his house, about 60 miles away, Becky could then meet me there, we all laugh and enjoy chowing on charred meat, have some beverages and then throw my bike in the trunk and drive home, stuffed and very pleased with myself. The crown jewel of this plan, was that it would be a surprise to Chad, and seeing his face when I pull up to the BBQ on my bike would be priceless. It was a good plan.

Then the phone rang again. It was Todd wondering what my ride plans for the weekend were. Well, I told him, and he said alright, let me talk to the wife and I call you back. I was a little surprised that he wanted to tag along, but I was psyched that things seemed to be coming together. A couple minutes later, he called back and it was on. We just needed to plan a route and settle on a time. Here is the route we came up with and we planned to meet up around 1:00.

As you can tell by the elevation chart, the first half of this ride was a grind. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The beginning of my eating of humble pie, started only 4 tenths of a mile away from home. My first flat. Can you believe it, not even a mile from home and my rear tire blows out. There was some glass in the road and it didn't agree with my tire. Not to fear. Todd had a tube and a CO2 inflater so we would be on our way in no time. Or would we? Todd pinched the new tube with a tire lever when trying to put it on so the new tube wouldn't hold air either. Doh. Back to the house. I had to do the walk of shame almost a half mile in cycling shoes, where we could patch the tube and pump it back up. We managed to do this, but agreed that a stop at Pedal Power on our way through Middletown to pick up a couple new tubes and more CO2 was a good idea.

We were finally on the road around two o'clock and things went better this second try. We made it to the bike shop, picked up the supplies and kept riding. We crossed the Connecticut River over the Portland Bridge which was pretty cool, nice view from up there. After that, the next nice part of the ride would be about 2 hours away. Once we turned onto Route 16 after Portland, we were slapped in the face with some serious climbing. Turns out, I've never really climbed before. I mean, I've done some hills, and I thought that with Chad a couple weeks ago we were doing serious hills, but no, that was all just chump change compared to these seemingly endless hills. As you can tell from the elevation chart, around mile 20 there was a hill that was about 2 miles long with most of the climb being steeper than a 6% grade. One word...Painful. I don't know how this stacks up to real climbs that real cyclists make, but to me, this was outrageous. Literally, this was one of those "I think I can" hills. No joke, I was telling myself, like I was the little engine that could, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." Brutal and yes, humbling. I made it up these hills and once we got to Colchester the ride got more enjoyable, but the damage was done as we would come to find out later.

In Colchester we stopped at a gas station and got some drinks and regrouped. We got back on the road, and took Norwich Ave. all the way into Norwich. This was clearly the best part of the ride. It was flatter, less traffic, and we had just stopped and were felling better. Plus as we passed from town to town, we were getting a positive sense that we were making headway and that this would all be over soon. Also, arriving in Norwich was a morale boost as that was the unofficial start of Southeastern CT, which our final destination was a part of. The closer we got, the better it seemed although there were a couple things left that would take me down a peg.

From Norwich we rolled through Preston, then into my hometown, Ledyard. Being that it was my hometown, I knew that there were a couple more hills that would challenge us for sure. The first, Route 117, not only challenged beat us. The destruction of our legs earlier in the ride, finally reared it's head about 3/4 of the way up 117. Todd had passed me and was out in front. I was barely getting the pedals around and had to put a foot down. Simultaneously, Todd had a momentary pause in his pedal stroke, which on a hill like this is impossible to recover from and he too put a foot down. He looked back at me, and I think without saying anything, we both stepped off our bikes and started walking. Like I said, humble pie. I had never had to walk it before, and I wasn't liking it, but I felt like I had no choice, my legs simply wouldn't turn the pedals when I asked them to. We made it to the top of the hill on foot, and paused to regroup.

The only silver lining to a butt whooping like this, is that we always had something to talk about. How much this ride sucked. I'm pretty sure that Todd wished that he had never called me the day before.

Back in the saddle, we continued on, and by this point we were pretty close. A couple smaller, but still tough hills passed by slowly, and soon we were rolling up to the stoplight about a half mile from Chad's house. Enter my last bite of humble pie. I was coming up to this intersection, totally spent. This was at the bottom of one final hill that takes us up to Chad's house, and it was a flashing red light that crosses a highway. I'm not sure if it was all of this weighing on my mind, coupled with my sheer exhaustion, or what, but I had a momentary lapse of focus, and before I knew it, I had slowed down and was off balance but still clipped into my pedals.

I tipped right over.

I had heard that this happens to everyone sooner or later, but I had gotten used to these pedals so quickly and never had any problems before that I never thought it would happen to me. Well it did, and to make it a little bit better, Todd (again) had a front row seat for the fall, along with a car full, yes 4 passengers, of teenagers pulling up to the same intersection. Luckily it was warm out so their windows were down, allowing me the pleasure of hearing their laughs and chuckles. It brings a smile to my face as I write. I wasn't really hurt save a scuffed knee and wrist, but the hardest part was yet to come. How the heck do you unclip while laying on the ground? Somehow I got my right foot out, brought it over the bike and somehow managed to stand myself and the bike up with my left foot still clipped in. Todd, politely told the teens that they could go ahead. There was a break in the traffic, we got across and fought the final hill between us and brats. Actually, the last hill wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be compared to the monsters we climbed earlier, so we finally pulled into Chad's driveway about 4 hours after we left mine.

We were quickly greeted by my two nephews who immediately wanted to play in the backyard, not really comprehending that Uncle Clay was about to pass out, and was just happy to be alive at this point. Some brats and a shower did me good. I was feeling better an hour or so later, but one thing is for certain, I have a lot of training to do if I'm going to survive to 100 Mile LIVESTRONG challenge.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Not So Dramatic May Mileage Challenge Results

Chad Wins Frost Mileage Challenge for May

Unfortunately, Clint and I were powerless to stop the mileage train that was Chad this month. He was a little burned I think last month having been edged out by his noncyclist younger brothers and was seeking vengeance all month. Truth be told, May belonged to Chad all along, he came out strong week one, and kept turning the screws every week. By the last week, although he'll tell you he was worried that Clint or I would go berserk and pull of like a 300 mile week, he had it pretty well locked up. Clint made a valiant effort, getting in over 100 miles the last week, but it was not meant to be, Chad came out the victor by a mile, errr, actually by lots of miles. I lived up to my NonCyclist name this month, and came in 3rd (it just sounds better than dead last).
Chad giving us a high five, meaning he got in more than 500 miles in the month of May, and yes, that definitely wins.

Clint, quietly marches to a strong second place finish again this month. Something to be said for consistency.

I round out the top 3, and yes, for those perceptive readers, this is the same picture from my 100 miles of nowhere finish. Sore legs, and lots of rain are my excuses for blanking in the final week of the month.

Frost Mileage Challenge: Final Results for May
1ts Place - Chad: 520 Total Miles!
2nd Place - Clint: 408.8 Total Miles
3rd Place - Clay: 236.43 Total Miles
Like I said, Chad killed it. More than double the miles that I got in this month...ouch. And what's worse is that I won last month with only 230.6 miles. So even though I beat the month I had in April (barely), it wasn't even close to winning. That means that I'm now obligated to win another one of these months to prove that my win in April wasn't a fluke caused by Chad and Clint not riding up to their full potential. UGGHHH, I thought one win would be enough.
Anyway, full congrats go out to both Chad and Clint for having great months. The mileage challenge worked again, as Chad said on many occasions that he might not have been out riding had it not been for this silly (although really serious) friendly competition. Having come in dead last this month, I already paid up to the winners. Which I was happy to do, as they clearly deserved it and it's going to a great cause. On a fundraising note, another congrats goes out to Chad who finally got off his butt and sent out his fundraising email and is now close to $700.00 raised for the LIVESTRONG foundation. This is all about the fight against Cancer, so if you have done something yet, now's the time. If you'd like to help with a donation, please click here, if you'd like to join our team yourself and raise money yourself, we'd love to have you, click here. Thanks for your support!
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