Monday, November 26, 2007


Have you ever made a "plan" or a set of goals for your bike season/year? At home I get laughed at for dreaming up ways to get faster during the year, and trying to execute "the plan".

This year I have cycled without a plan, mostly just riding when it was convenient with no specific goals in mind. There are several problems with this style of riding. If you don't ride and "train" to get yourself up to the level of performance of the guys that you occasionally ride with, you Suffer Like a Dog (Which I did far too much this past summer) during group hammerfests.

The alternative? Develop a better plan. This could take several different approaches.

The Hard Plan, simply put, train hard all winter and come out riding better and stronger than 95% of my comrades. This of course will only work for about a month or two until they catch on and become faster than me, which puts me right back to where I am right now, the Dog Sufferer.

The Easy Plan, do no training. Give up any faux fitness I have, stop riding with the Sunday Group. Sleep in Sunday mornings, eat as if there will be a long famine next summer. If caught out riding by any of my comrades, feign a flat tire, ride into a ditch, pretend my knee hurts, otherwise hide my inability to ride a bike up a hill.

So what's it going to be?

Spring is just around the corner...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Last Dash

With little time before dark, my son and I took to the road. We didn't have much of a plan to start with, so we didn't shoot off like a gun, but a couple miles down the road I let the hammer drop.

The wind was driving us along pretty well and we arrived in Apison, with 20+ mph. At the crossing of Apison & E. Brainerd we ran into a riding buddy who we coaxed into continuing on with us. From there we flew up to Clonts, over to McGhee, down to Bill Jones and decided to head back to the house.

It was back into the wind, with a valiant effort, turning ourselves inside out, we got back to the house with a 19.9 (I'll take it).

Going up University Drive, just past Moore road, there is a steep pitch that is our final climb and final test. We hit it just as hard as we could. Ahead of us near our turn-in, on the side of the road, was a man standing (waiting for us so he could cross the road) that shouted as we went by "VIVA le Tour De France" in a french accent, to which I could not respond because I was in serious oxygen debt, barely able to feel my legs. Just imagine 10,000 people standing beside the road cheering you on, the roar of the crowds lifting you up the mountain. Well, one was pretty nice, I don't expect I'll ever see many more.

Most rides are worthwhile just because you're out there riding, but this was one of those special rides. A ride to remember through the cold and dark evenings of winter when you look back and analyze the year, and wait and make plans to do it better next year.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years here I come!

Here's the Track & Stats