Monday, March 31, 2008

You ever have one of those near perfect rides

Well I actually had one of them this Saturday. It was one of the rare occasions where team actually had a training ride out in my neck of the woods. We rode out of the Davidsonville Park and Ride and did the 42 mile loop around Davidsonville and Galesville.

It was one of those days where I just seemed to be hitting on all cylinders. I was able to maintain a fairly decent pace of just under 17mph over the duration of the course, which for me for a 40 mile course is pretty strong. I was hammering a 17.7 pace on the first 20 miles but the second half was quite a bit hillier and took out some of my steam. Still all things considered it was a great pace.

I am really starting to feel the effect of dropping 25 pounds since last season. The hill climbs are quite a bit easier and I'm able to sustain a long pull on the front of a pace line for alot longer. In addition to just feeling quite a bit healthier.

My riding is going pretty well recently. I've been able to get in just over 300 miles this month. If I can keep up that pace I should be on track to a 3000 mile year at least.

A great ride by any measure and lot of fun. Map below.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Collective Natural Break

www.cyclingnews.com presents the 99th Milano-Sanremo: "99th Milano-Sanremo - HC, Italy, March 22, 2008
Collective natural break.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net"

If you're forced to wear silly looking kits, at least you get license to do your business pretty much anywhere you want.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Stupidiest Bike Lane

Fortunately I can't think of a dumber bike lane in the District. Go DC, we're less dumb than LA!!!

Further Proof Cycling is Good For You

Don't forget to buy a bike...

The Club For Growth - http://www.clubforgrowth.org: "Strangest Paragraph I've Read Today"

From the Wall Street Journal, under the headline, 'Study Ties Belly Fat to Dementia':

'Too much abdominal fat, which extends into the body cavity around major organs, is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. These new findings, published Wednesday, show that large amounts of belly fat are associated with declining cognitive function as well.'

I better start losing...um, I forget, uh...oh yeah...weight.

Monday, March 24, 2008

You ever have one of those perfect rides

You ever have one of those rides or runs when you go out and every thing is perfect and its just a fabulous ride? Well Saturday's ride was nothing like that. Had it been closer to Passover I would have thought it was a divine re-enactment of the 10 plauges in cycling form. We had sleet...we had snow...we had rain...we had wind...we had wrong turns...we had broken cue sheets. It was a taxing ride and made the day take longer and feel colder than it would have had it just been a normal ride during a sunny day.

The sleet was a new experience. I don't think I've ever ridden in sleet before. The sounds of the sleet tapping on my helmet reminded me of the sound that we used to hear when we would camp-out in the old pop-up camper and it would rain..plink - plink - plink.

But to put it all in perspective a cruddy ride is still better than sitting on my duff watching the boob tube.

More importantly though, as hard and physically taxing as this ride might have been it is nothing compared to the challenges men, women and children face when they're fighting blood cancers. I may piss and moan about the cold, but being chilly for a while is nothing in comparison folks fighting cancer endure.

On that note, we've got a great team out there and a large proportion of the Team has recommitted (meaning they've absolutely positively pledged to raise the minimum funds required) for Tahoe (me included). We're going to have a great group out there and it looks like we're well on our way to having the National Capital Area summer teams (run, cycle, & tri) raise over $1,000,000!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stomp out Blood Cancer / Put Your Best Foot Forward for Team

As most of you know the main goal of the Team in Training Program is to raise funds for research and support for families fighting blood cancers. To that end the participants in Team in Training are required to raise funds to support the program. One of the ways I am doing that this year is to sell classy high-quality TEAM emblazoned SockGuy socks. As many of you already know, SockGuy makes some of the finest high quality athletic socks on the market. For those of you not familiar with SockGuy let the folks at about.com sum things up:

What could be better than a high-performance wicking sock that also comes in fun designs? SockGuy socks have a great blend of light cushioning, moisture control, and high style. The ribbing keeps the socks in place over the miles and the Channel Air design keeps your feet aerated so sweat doesn't build up to help blisters form.
Pros
* Arch support woven in
* Design eliminates slipping and bunching
* Great fun designs (LIKE A TEAM IN TRAINING CUSTOM DESIGN!!!)

Cons
* None

Description
* High performance wicking socks for running, walking, triathlon, and biking.
* Fun, fun designs for high fashion and great for gifts.
* Great fit for no slipping or bunching, yet doesn't irritate the bunion area.

So since these are such great socks, it was obvious that they would be the perfect fundraiser for this year's season. We've customized the socks with the TEAM In Training logo around the cuff of the sock and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society "drop of blood" logo on one side of the arch of the foot and "Racing Towards a Cure" on the other side.

So with out any further ado, I would invite you to purchase a pair so that you can show off your support and love for Team. We've priced the socks at the basic retail price of $10 with way more than half of that price going to Team. I'll toss them in an envelope and just charge the $.97 for postage/shipping (handling has always struck me as a hidden profit center.) To purchase click on the "Buy Now" link (I'm using PayPal because they keep fees low) below. Pictures of the socks are below. Feet and hairy legs not included.


TNT Socks 001
TNT Socks 004

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

Watch out for cyclists out there....and while you're at it keep an eye out for ....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Schwinn sponsors Team In Training - Cycle-Licious

Great work TNT folks!
Schwinn sponsors Team In Training - Cycle-Licious: "Schwinn sponsors Team In Training
By Fritz
Schwinn today announced the signing of a partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training to become the first-ever national bicycle sponsor. Team In Training (TNT) is endurance sports training and fundraising program. Now in its 20th year, TNT participants have raised more than $850 million for lifesaving cancer research and to help blood cancer patients live longer, better lives. The program provides coaching to help support participants crossing the finish line at century rides, triathlons and marathons.

'Over 20 years, we have seen Team In Training expand from a single sport program - the marathon - to a multi-endurance sport program with challenges such as triathlons and 100 mile rides,' said Nancy L. Klein, LLS senior vice president marketing communications. 'We are thrilled to have Schwinn's support because it's a brand that people already know and trust.'"

It'll be great to have a cycling company on my jersey in addition to Runner's World. I've also had my eye on a Schwinn Peleton, so this is just another good reason to give strong consideration to them.

crazy crazy crazy

These last two weeks at work have been just completely nutso. I've had a bill or amendment on the Senate floor pretty much consistently for the last two weeks. And while the Senate is usually only in session Tues - Thur when they are in they're pretty intent on cranking out votes any time during the day, so I was pretty much on call to be down on the floor whenever I was needed. This is all to say that I haven't been getting alot of after work riding in.

It you're interested in seeing what I do with my day job, click on the youtube video below and you can see me sitting next to Senator DeMint.


When I have been getting out the rides have by and large been great rides. I rode yesterday out in the boonies of Virginia in a place called Nokesville. Its out past Mannassas. The ride was the team's first ride out on the roads and I think everyone did great. Folks are starting to settling into the longer rides and aclimating their bodies to being in the saddle for long peiods of time.

We're really starting to accumulate the distance now with yesterday's ride logging in at 36 miles. The course was fairly flat but we did get a good bit of wind to make things a little more challenging. I was able to maintain a 17.0 mph pace over the lenght of the ride which I was very happy with. The map is below.

My fundraising is going well, but I can always use some more donations. Next week is recommittment when we pledge to do the ride. I'm sure I am going to make my fundraising goal, but it would always be better to make it sooner rather than later. If you could help out, please click here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

<200

For those of you who have seen me lately, I've dropped a few pounds. I was happy to discover this morning that for the first time in probably 15 years, I'm below 200 lbs. YAY!!

The weigh in was funny. I went down to the nurse's office to check my weight and the normal scale wasn't in the front. I used the electronic one and it told me I was 198. I asked the nurse if it was just as accurate as the spring and weight one...and she kinda hinted it gives "nice numbers" ... immediately taking all the air out of my ballon. I went to the other scale and checked and it was maybe a 1/2 lb off and I am still sub 200. YAY! Alot fewer lbs to haul up spooner junction!

WABA Vasa 14 miler riders

Jake and I made it out for another WABA / VASA bike ride. This year's ride was just as much fun as last year's ride and went by a little quicker.

With the addition of the road bike to Jacob's cycling arsenal we were really able to put the hurt on the mileage. Jake rode super well and we were able to keep up with the rest of the folks doing the 14 mile ride.

Some of the highlights of the ride included a swing by the new Nationals stadium, which looks like a fabulous expenditure of $600 million. Hopefully we will get to a game there if for no other reason than to see what $600M looks like. I do hear they will be having a bike valet at the stadium, so that might be an option for getting there.

We also did a lap around the old Nationals Stadium RFK. There is a brand new trail there which is super smooth. While we were there there was a car in the parking lot doing some kind of trick....it would back up real fast and then slam on the brakes and turn the wheel and spin the car around. I saw an episode of something on the discovery channel where they taught secret service agents to do the same maneuver with a stretch limo (a J turn?)...it was much more impressive than the tricked out Scion we saw.

We made our way back through the city on some of the bike lanes and then eventually down Pennsylvania Avenue past the Canadian Embassy, past the White House and then back to the Swedish Embassy.

Since we were much faster this year, the soup was still hot when we got there. I enjoyed it. It was a blueberry soup with a nice blend of sweet and savory. And it warmed you up very well. Jake didn't think much of the soup. The embassy is exactly what you'd think the swedish embassy would look like. Very sleek modern and blond.

The ride was great and a nice dad Jake bonding activity.

More Photos Here