Thursday, May 28, 2009

Well June is right around the corner

Not much exciting going on around here.

Mount Washington Road Race is June 20th in New Hampshire. As the heading says - Only 1 Hill but it is from start to end and over 6K feet of elevation gain. Should be fun :)

Will post a report after the race but for now I am just doing some running, swimming, and a lot of riding (which is my first love!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beautiful Commuting Weather

5-Day Forecast for ZIP Code 14170 Customize Your Icons!
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
79° F | 54° F
Partly Cloudy
72° F | 49° F
Chance of Rain
72° F | 49° F
Partly Cloudy
68° F | 45° F
Partly Cloudy
67° F | 49° F
Clear Partly Cloudy Chance of Rain
30% chance of precipitation
Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy
Today is forecast to be Warmer than yesterday.

Well this is how the week turned out to be. I have been on the bike every day since last Friday May 15th. I took today off because it is Jake's birthday, but will be back on it tomorrow and the whole weekend, if the forecast holds out.

Speaking of the birthday boy:

Christmas 2005

Summer 2006

Last Summer Fishing - They just went last night again so this must be 1 year old exactly (or pretty close).

He is growing up into quite the young man with a beautiful heart that loves the Lord and a good sense of humor also!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hardcore 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race - Should I do it?

Just found this race. Time to ask the wife if she is alright with me trying a 24 hour solo race. Should be interesting right?

TransIowa - Some Continuing Thoughts

This is from my BeginnerTriathlete Log that I posted today:
So as I was walking in from my free parking spot I feel like the blinders have been taken off of me concerning TransIowa. Instead of beating myself up, I need to look at the whole experience and be greatful that I was able to train like I did all winter long, that I went to the starting line healthy (no injuries at all), and I was healthy after the weekend and still could and wanted to ride my bike!
Many said that to me, but it is like telling a blind man the sky is blue. Until he sees it for himself does he truly believe you? Well I would tell myself you all were right, but inside I had the opposite feeling - until today.

And then this a little while later:
I was e-mailing Eric from TransIowa and he put it very eloquently - The TransIowa is haunting! Perfect. The word I have been looking for.Definition:
having a quality of great beauty or sadness so as to be memorableNow the question is what is TransIowa: a quality of beauty or a quality of sadness or a combination of both? Today I think it is the combination. In my future years without successful completion of this beast I might see it as sadness until I can see the beauty in being able to participate in such an undertaking. Succesful completion might bring both back into the equation - a goal successfully reach (beauty) yet the destination has been reached (sadness).A history of TransIowa is available here: yes I am listed on the roster :)

Thursday May 7th:
Pity party is over. I have been struggling with even doing a TransIowa type event again in the future. As a Christian, father, husband, and employee there is such a huge dedication needed to complete in successfully, much less win, an event like it and that has been my struggle. I physically know I can train to be successful, but do I want to make that type of time committment.I really believe that I received an answer today. There is a way to balance it all out and that is what I am going to try and attempt to schedule a way to balance it. I am not anal about scheduling stuff. If I feel like riding long I ride long. If I want to swim I swim. You get the picture. Well I guess now I need to sit down with the family and do a real schedule to ensure there is enough time for everything in there.A good thing at work is flex time started up so I will have 2-4 day weekends each month until the new year.
thank you for all the inspires, messages, comments about TransIowa. Soul searching is a good thing and putting my thoughts into words just makes it easier for me to comprehend in the end. thanks to all
Well the RD just put his words down:
He puts it so much better than I could have.
Even though T.I.V5 has just been completed, a T.I.V6 is already in the works. Look for updates on this event at
Those words brought a smile to my face and I guess mentally every bike ride from now until next May is in preperation for this!I love when my body gets chills just thinking about it!
It isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely a life changing experience that all of us involved with Trans Iowa can attest to - Guitar-Ted (RD)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TransIowa v5 Done - Not Completed but it is over with!

Race Report from Beginner Triathlete:


Well where do I start. First of all this type of race does not work well in this race format because some of the questions are just non-existent so I will adapt because I understand that this is a Triathlon race forum. The start - It was awesome. 51 riders - $100K worth of bikes minimum - Red blinking rear lights - head lights - darkness (4:00am) - stars (Middle of nowhere Iowa) - A Cemetery :) (appropriate).
A group broke off the front and I followed in the 2nd pack. Averaging around 15-20 mph depending on conditions. I did not go out too hard which was key for me. Race my own race. Had one fun time about 20 miles in. Was on the right side and caught a lip of the gravel and ended up in the grass. Pretty funny. No one even asked if I was alright as they rode by though :(. Met a lot of good people this part of the race and just chatted and enjoyed a good easy pace!
Made it into checkpoint #1 (40 miles) Washington, Iowa at 7:00am (1 hour ahead of deadline) and was feeling very good. Went to a local coffee shop that opened up just for us and had an Walnut Oatmeal Sconce - Supreme delicious!!!

Eric and his bike (Al's is the Orange Salsa)
Took off with Eric on the way to checkpoint #2 (110 miles away). Eric was from Florida and this guy just pushed on through hills that I know he has never seen before. I was very impressed by him and his endurance! It was an honor to ride with him as much as I did!

Had to confirm a couple of streets and the info to make sure we were heading the right direction. All was good! Hit our first B road (unmaintained) and my road brakes did not like the mud. Had to walk the bike to the gravel road (not a long walk at all!) and proceeded to clear the mud. A local farmer came up on his quad and we asked how he was doing. He proceed to ask what the hell was going on (in a good way). He had never seen this many bikes in his area at one time. We chatted and headed down to his place for some water replacement. A great guy and we appreciate your friendliness and generosity!

So we continued on towards Checkpoint #2. We hooked up with Al from Wisconsin but he just dropped us like we were turtles. My right upper arm started to hurt a little at this point and I just brushed it off - but I would find out later my improper planning would put a major damper on my ability to finish.

My bike, pack, and snack at stop

Came into North English around 10:30am and got some fuel. I bought some water, gatorade, pizza and chicken fingers, and a pepsi. Eric told me I was crazy and was going to be puking that up in about 1 hour. So I took a picture of it for before and after. The after never happened :) Headed out into the gravel wonders of Iowa and the headwinds started kicking up. This leg was mainly west bound and the wind was out of the southwest so it was brutal at times. The shoulder kept getting worst every hour. I never remembered to purchase any advil at the stops I hit which was a mistake!

The hills - well I have never ridden that many hills in my life. It was like a roller coaster set up. You would ride up the hill, coast down a little, ride up a bigger hill, coast down a little, ride up an even bigger hill then coast down and start over. I would say at least 80% of the 151 miles I hit was hills. I was prepared physically but it was still punishing at times! I loved all the different grades they each had. Some you could cruise up in an easier gear - others you were grinding up in the lowest gear you had!

The gravel was solid except where they had just laid down fresh gravel but it was not fun to ride on with the tire width that I had chosen. About mile 80 the darkness sat in. I rode up to Eric and told him I was bailing because of my arms. He told me to give it 10 more minutes so I pulled over and reworked my pack. We came up with an idea to find a store and but some bungees to strap my pack to the rack. We saw a truck stop in the distance and my reprieve was getting closer. I pull into the truck stop, go inside and find bungee cords and I bought a styrofoam cooler. Emptied my backpack out, refilled the water, drank some gatorade, had some doritos and a pepsi. Pack was substantially lighter now and I was feeling better about the race.

We headed out from the truck stop and I proceeded to drop Eric in the hills. This is the last I would see of him until checkpoint #2. There was a lot of lonely riding, some cool B roads where I had to walk the bike some, and a couple of grueling hills where walking was as fast as riding but easier on the legs so I walked those as well. I caught some people and that really jazzed my spirits. Chatted with one while we walked some B roads and decided that I needed to pick it up to make the cut off so off I roared.

It was a special time when I would have to switch cue sheets because I knew we were that much closer to the checkpoint and water! I failed to fill up my bladder at the truck stop and I ran out so I was rationing a 20 oz bottle of gatorade! Not too smart my friends! I hit the 2nd to last cue sheet and knew I was going to make the cutoff but had decided to pack it in there for some reason.

Coming into LaGrange, Iowa we crossed a flat highway and hit the biggest hill of them all! I was like come on why could you not have let us cruise blacktop flatness into the rest stop. No way. Gravel and hills. The recipe for the sufferfest :) Pulled into the checkpoint with 35 minutes to spare. The guy went to pull a set of cue sheets out and I told him to save his energy I was done. Called the wife after I found out how to get where I was and proceeded to rest and recover. That was the biggest mistake I made all day!

What would you do differently?:

Train on gravel roads (which I do not know of any in the western new york area but will research that).

Have my rear rack pack so I am not carrying a backpack that weighs 20lbs for 30+ hours.

Get in a better mental spot from the beginning!

Bike with disc brakes and a wider tire clearance.

Post race Warm down:

Sat around the checkpoint and waited for SAG wagon to arrive (81 miles away). Ate a pizza, drank a lot of water, had a Mr. Pibb Extra, chocolate milk, doritos, and anything else I could find to eat.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This event for me was not about speed but about endurance. That being said I will be training harder and faster from now on to make these types of events a little more manageable.

Event comments:

This is an awesome event put on by 2 people who set up the whole course, arrange volunteers, and basically give up their lives for months to make this ride happen. Guitar Ted and D.P. get such major props for running this - I was honored to be in the company of such awesome people at the start and throughout the day! Major Props!

I think I made the SAG wagon call too soon. I ran out of water coming into checkpoint #2 and was rationing my last bottle of gatorade. If I was thinking clearer I would have replenished my supplies and my body's water some and then thought about it more before I made the call. I bailed too early and that is something I will have to live with until next year if I line up again.

I woke up in my own bed Monday morning and I was not happy with my decision at all. I told my wife that from all the people that pulled out, I would be able to go further the next day because my legs felt fresh. I was running up the stairs to the room at the hotel and I drove 13 hours home from the race. I am not happy with my decision but I have to live with it.

I went to thank the RD at the finish line before we pulled out and I told him I didn't know whether to thank him or kill him.

That was the most physically and mentally demanding thing I have ever competed in. Makes boot camp look easy!

I would also go with a different bike setup as well. One with disc brakes, wider tires, and a rack pack!

I was out for a ride Monday after the race and needed to adjust my cleat so I stopped by the church to get one and they were all excited to see me and hear about the race. Then the question came out - So Bill why did you stop? (not in a mean way but just wanting to know) They were shocked I stopped. So I stood there and took my glasses off and my eyes watered up and I told Kellee that when I find the answer out to that question I would let her know and I walked out.

So Bill why did you stop?