Monday, November 24, 2014
We arrived in Tucson on Thursday, after an 8-hour drive from Alpine, Tx. We stayed at a local Marriott (wife works for Marriott so, we get great rates there) until our Timeshare was ready on Friday. Had very nice supper at Pinnacle Peak with grandson and wife, followed by a good night's sleep. On Friday we went to the Convention Center and picked up my ride packet and gave the Special Olympics folks the $1,000 that I scrounged up from my family and friends. Boy, they were really appreciative and rewarded me with some very nice goodies. I'm a believer in supporting the Special Olympics.
On Friday night we met up with several fellow RAGBRAI riders and had dinner at one of their homes. Had a wonderful time and we agreed to try and meet up at a different location each year, following RAGBRAI. We discussed the Tour de Tucson and agreed to meet up the following morning at the starting line.
Saturday morning came and wife drove me close to the starting line. The weather was in the low 40's so, I had on a long sleeve jersey with leg warmers. I was still freezing. The ride began right on time at 7AM. I decided to let all riders pass me and start at the tail end. With over 7,000 riders, it took a while to get going.
Sure was a nice feeling to pass the slower riders as opposed to being passed by the young speedsters. After some miles, the road opened up and I was able to maintain 18+ MPH until the first of 2 dry river crossings. Here we had to dismount and either pick up or push our bikes to the other side. At each dry river crossing there was a mariachi group playing for us. What a neat touch. One note: I noticed, after getting back on the bike, that my speed had dropped from an average of 18+ to 14+. Silly me, walked my bike through the dry river bed and drastically reduced my MPH. At the next crossing I lifted up my bike and didn't drop my avg MPH. Anyway, the ride was a bit hilly, with over 3100' of climbing. The wind was a bit challenging during the last 30+ miles. I normally stop for either potty or liquid replenishment reasons. This time I stopped to have my bike guide wires tightened as I was stuck on the small chain ring. So, I stopped twice and took advantage of it by helping myself to some bananas. With 25 miles to go i came across one of the ladies that I met at the Friday dinner. She passed me and we ended up passing each other several times. My competitive juices started flowing and I decided to let her get ahead of me until 1 mile left. At that time, I planned on really hammering til the end. If she passed me, I would succumb and let her beat my old beat up bod. I just didn't have much left. So, with one mile left, I flew by her and didn't look back. As I saw the finish line in the distance, I thought she was going to fly by me.....It didn't happen. I finished the ride and saw that she came in minutes after me. She later shared that she couldn't mount up a charge. I hugged her and thanked her for helping me finish strong. The funny thing is that she was doing the 40-miler and that I was able to pass her after having completed 103.66 miles. Overall, a tough but rewarding ride. Hopefully, will do it again next year.
This will be my last century for the year. Frankly, I'm glad it's over. HOOAAA!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Not much to report that's different from previous blogs. The doggie is doing super. Last class attended, he did incredibly well. One lady indicated that we were ready for competition. I remarked that one more year and we would be totally ready. The cycling continues, in spite of the frigid weather. Other than my normal Sunday off, I've been religious about getting on the bike. Today through Friday, I'll be taking a break in preparation for Saturday's Tour de Tucson, a 100+ mile ride. We will be leaving today and stopping about 600 miles down the road in Alpine, TX. We'll spend the night with sister-in-law and head for Tucson on Thursday. Looking forward to the trip. Will miss the dogs. Luckily, we have a wonderful lady that stays in the house with them. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. HOOAAA!!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Last week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were frigid. In particular, Friday was really a challenge. While I'm passionate about cycling, there's a limit to the madness. And folks, the limit.....................has not been reached. I dug deep, gave myself some choice words about not being a jive wimp and got on the Momma bike. We hung tough and DID IT. Boy do I feel like Tarzan, Rocky, Brady, Manning, and Alberto Contador. I'm just a super stud. And to top it all off, I rode today with winds in the 20's, gusting into the 30's. Feeling pretty good right now. HOOAAA!!
Friday, November 14, 2014
I love cycling and it takes bunches to make me Not get on my bike. Day before yesterday, the temperatures dipped into the low 30's (wind chill brought it into the 20's) with extremely high winds. We toughed it out and cycled a bit. Yesterday, the same with a bit more wind and lower temps. There again, we toughed it out and cycled a bit. Today, in the 20's and high teens with the wind chill. Don't know if this Puerto Rican "Bod" will make it on the bike. Will see if the temps climb just a bit. HOOAAA!!
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Some of us have a tendency to make up for not being good on the nutritional intake by really kicking butt on the exercise regimen. As was pointed out by my good buddy GHK1962, after doing not so good last weekend, I would make up for it by going hard on the bike. Well, that is just what happened. Being somewhat of a data freak, I have Personal Bests for different cycling challenges. Some of these challenges include power wattage for different times such as: 5 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 20 minutes, and 60 minutes. In the past, I have attempted to focus on one of the latter, during a given week and work hard to break that one time. Now, to even consider setting a new mark requires going all out on the bike, with the heart rate jumping to the high 160's. I was so disappointed on last weekend's nutritional performance, that I decided to break not one, but three Personal bests. On Monday I attacked the 5 second mark and established a new standard. Normally, that would be it for the week. However, to prove to myself that I was serious, I went for the 1-minute and 5-minute marks. Never before had I broken more than I PR within a week. So, it's Thursday and I'm really focused. First up, the 1 minute PR. After a 25-minute warm-up I went for it. I climbed this very steep hill and watched as my heart beat hit 163 with my legs were begging me to stop,and to top it all up, I was almost bringing up my breakfast. That was one tough climb. After a 20-minute recovery, up came the 5-minute mark. I began to climb another challenging hill and focused on the cadence and the breathing. At the 2-minute mark the legs were good and the lungs weren't complaining too much. At the 3-minute mark, i was hurting for certain, but determined to continue the climb. At the 4-minute mark, there wasn't much there so, we had to dig deep and like another good buddy LIV2RIDE would say, SUCK IT UP BUTTER CUP. The heart rate climbed to the 170's. With 10 seconds left, I gave it all that I did not have and finished strong. It took over 10 minutes to recover from that MOMMA. Unfortunately, I could not see the result of my efforts and would have to wait until I hooked up my Garmin to the computer. Eventually, I got home, took a quick shower, and prepared a quick lunch. As I sat in front of my computer, I began to analyze the almighty data. The result: a new 1-minute PR by a mere 1 watt and a new 5-minute mark by over 20 watts. What did I learn from that experience?......let's stay within the caloric goals and not have to suffer the pains of making up for the lack of self-discipline. HOOAAA!!
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