Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charlie Farrow's Amateur Bike Racing Website: An Open Letter to Rookie T.I. Racers: A call for reason...

Charlie Farrow's Amateur Bike Racing Website: An Open Letter to Rookie T.I. Racers: A call for reason...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Blog Location

OK - I thought about my blog title and it does not really fit me that well anymore so I made a new blog up.

Come check it out!  Thanks

What Are You Training For???

Last year at this time I was anxiously awaiting confirmation that the beloved post card for TransIowa V6 had reached it's destination in time to be accepted for the race the following April.  It did make it on time and I set out a plan to train over the winter sort of like this - ride my bike every chance I get, snowshoe when possible, cross country ski when conditions permit, and swim when all else failed.

A little while later my friend Todd put a bug in my ear - He was taking a 3 month sabbatical at church and wanted to ride his bike for 30 days somewhere somehow.  I plotted trips out west (my favorite part of the country) that left Denver, CO and headed to The Grand Canyon.  We would then venture up through Utah and Wyoming to Grand Teton National Park and then wrap our way back to Denver.  This trip sounded like a great idea to ME.

Todd and God had a different plan.  He presented an idea to me that did not strike me nearly as much fun as my route would have been.  The Underground Railroad from Mobile, Alabama to our hometown of Orchard Park, NY.  I was disappointed but I knew Todd would not venture out alone so I said if work allows me the time off then I am in.  Work did and as you know, if you follow me at all, we did the Freedom Tour leaving Mobile, AL on June 4th and arriving in Buffalo, NY on July 2nd.

The photo was taken on our final day as we pressed into Dunkirk, NY to meet Pastor Ray, our church Youth Pastor, and his wife Mary for lunch and the final push into Orchard Park.  The memories of this bike tour will be forever ingrained in my head and I hope to put them to paper some day, but that is a long way off.

People would ask how do you train for a bike tour of that magnitude.  Well you ride your bike every chance you get for as long as possible, snowshoe when possible, cross country ski when conditions permit, and swim or run when all else failed.  Sounds familiar to TransIowa training huh?

It has been a successful year on the bike.  A quick check of my training log shows me that I have ridden 6346 miles so far this year.  I have "commuted" 67 times so far whether that is to work, church, gym, store, or somewhere else I could have driven.  My goal is to hit last years mark of 77 which would be honorable since I had 1 month of no commuting at all due to the bike tour.  Or I could call that a commute since I could have driven from Mobile to Buffalo right????  That would put me at 97 but that is cheating I think!

Next year my goal is 100 commutes since TransIowa (it ends on Easter so I am out) and Freedom Tour are not on the docket for next year.  So my bike riding this winter is going to be for fun since I don't have anything "official" to train for.  My goal is to hear how God wants me to utilize my biking for His Glory and I cannot wait to find out what He has in store.

See you on the trails somewhere - weather is beautiful this week so I will be riding some more all week long!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunset on The Ohio River from Cave-In-Rock State Park, IN during our Freedom Tour

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blog Plagiarism????

Well today I am copying and pasting Guitar Ted's blog about a cycling incident in Vail, Colorado.  Hopefully you find it as maddening as I do and follow through with some action of your own!

Justice And A Cyclists Life

 Today I have something a bit more important than the regular cycling related post that you normally see here. It has to do with the rash of hit and run cycling events I've noticed this year and this one in particular really chapped my hide......

Recently a cyclist was involved in a hit and run accident in Vail, Colorado where the cyclist was severely injured and the automobile driver was tracked down later, and admitted responsibility for his actions. (See the story here) Then something weird happened....

A lawyer got involved.

The place where this happened was in Eagle County. A place where a certain high profile case involving a certain District Attorney named Mark Hurlbert. occurred. (Kobe Bryant case,) According to the website for the Colorado Fifth Judicial District, Mr. Hurlbert is described as being "... an experienced prosecutor, Mark knows it is important not to simply secure convictions, but to seek justice.(emphasis mine). 

Hmmm......really? Check this out....

Mark Hurlbert is not charging Martin Joel Erzinger with a felony, because "Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession," Mr. Erzinger is an employee of Smith Barney which manages billions for rich people.

So how is that for justice?

I guess you could slag this off as just an oddity, just some weird aberrant deal "out there". But think about this: High profile cases like this, (and make no mistake, this is going to be a big deal in the media and especially amongst cyclists),  can be seen as precedents. They can be interpreted by non-cyclists as being a "way out" of a serious crime. That it smacks of making a life "cheaper" merely by the fact that the "life" in question is riding a bicycle should be enough to cause alarm right there though, in my opinion. If you don't see this as being injustice, then we are all in big trouble.

So, what can you do?

There has been an online petition started which you can sign here. and Bike Radar tech editor, James Huang, has started a Facebook page called "We're People on Bikes, Not Lifeless Obstacles in Your Way"

My blogging comrade, Richard Masoner, of Cyclelicious, has an idea to hit the Vail area where it might hurt them by starting a petition to take away potential business that will be generated by the Quizno's Pro Challenge bike race which is a stage race visiting Vail next August. There are several contact links on this page where you can voice an opinion to Eagle County and Vail officials. 

If you care about justice, protecting all lives fairly, and cyclists rights, please consider checking these links out getting involved. Thanks!

Thanks Mark for the use of your page and the links involved with getting people to voice their anger at this tragic decision.

Hopefully you still feel comfortable riding your bike - just be careful out there! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lake MXZ302 Black Shoe Review

Yes this is going to be a review but I have to put some photos in there as well.  The lighthouse photo was a walk to my car after work 2 weeks ago.  I remember walking up towards where I park and seeing the light and then running to my car to make sure I didn't miss it!  I drove down to the marina and snapped it and a couple of others - but this is my favorite of them!

The other was an October bike ride out in the country by our house.  The trees are pretty much leafless now and we have had light flurries a couple of times.  You know what that means - winter is here YIPPEE!!!

OK onto the shoe review!

I got them on Wednesday and it had been raining since then so today was my first chance to give them the once over.  It was low 30's when I left the house and headed to the YMCA for a swim and the shoes did not let down.

They were warm, comfortable, and all that I expected.  I am excited to get the cleat location dialed in and trying them in lower temperature weather - say 0's, teens, 20s before I make my final decision - but somehow I think I will be pleasantly surprised at how effective they are at keeping my toes warm on my winter rides!!!!

Look for more to follow on them but I picked them up from Performance on deep discount and then scored an online Performance discount.  At the end of the day I paid just under $150.00 for a $250.00 shoe!!!!!  That makes my wallet happy and my feet warm!

Tomorrow is my first cyclocross race of the season.  Well actually first race of the season.  And possibly the last race of the season.  It is at Delaware Park and next weekend they have one at Kissing Bridge so maybe I will sneak out and do that one also.  I might as well see how slow I am compared to all the other burners around here!

Have a great weekend - and get out in this beautiful weather!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Week in Review

This is one of my favorite photos that I have EVER taken.  It was last winter in Sprague Brook (shocking I know) and the sun had just broken out from behind the clouds and I decided hey let's take that shot.  In looking over all the photos of that day, most were dark and dreary, but this one made my heart jump with excitement about the upcoming winter and the activities (I won't ever bother calling it training anymore because it isn't - it is fun :) ) that will be happening.

Snow is in the forecast this weekend but not enough to make this possible.  That is still 1 month away - BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ok, so this week I took to heart my pastor's message on the sabbath and about media and it's deluge on our daily senses.  I have not watched television at all and another big step was I stopped listening to music at work.  This is very difficult because it means I have to hear more of the co-workers senseless banter but it allows my mind to be that much more clearer and freer to hear from God and His plan for me!

I have also begun the attempt to give up sugar as much as possible.  You would not believe how many products have sugar listed as one of the first 3 ingredients and that is what I have been told is the main ingredients in each item.  I have not had any candy since Tuesday and have cut my pop consumption down to 1 can a day at lunch and I generally don't finish that.  All in all I am very happy my body is handling it, besides the brutal headache I had for 2 days.  Maybe this weekend I will drop pop all together and see how that works.  But I love my Ice Cold Dr. Pepper out of the fountain so I don't know!!!

What is next - The Budget!!!!!!!!!!  Been working on it and trying to get something set in stone for 2011.  It has been alright so far and with some more minor tweaking I think we will be bang on with our giving increasing and our Faith promise for missions and our building fund being over what we estimated it to be.

I know I am very excited to see how we grow in the next 12 months and what God has in store as Amelia gets close to college and Jake to high school.  I have visions of year round snow in my mind :)

Have a great weekend.  Get out there and ride, run, skate, or play.  Most of all set time aside to spend with God and see what He desires from you!  His work will be done no matter what we do, but wouldn't it be cool to be able to witness it first hand and receive that blessing?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Welcome To November

Yes I have this on my mind :)  I know a lot of people do not agree but it is a true love of mine and I cannot wait to ride the snowmobile trails and hopefully it happens real soon.  There are flurries in the forecast this weekend but I doubt they stay around.  My daughter and I saw flakes on the way to church last Sunday and that got me excited :)

Other things going in my life right now - well I am riding to work as often as the weather and body calls for it.  Right now I am at 65 commutes for the year and I am trying to hit 77 (the number I hit last year).  That would be good since I had 30 days of no commuting with the Freedom Tour earlier this year!

I am also becoming a devoted swimmer.  I want to do a 1 or 2 mile lake swim race next summer and my swim needs a lot of help.  To get good at swimming means drills and laps and time but I am willing to invest in it right now and see how it turns out come spring time :)

The biggest thing right now is that I am on a kick to cut out senseless media.  Last week I watched about 2 hours of television total and that included football games Saturday and Sunday.  Actually most of the time was football Saturday night as I relaxed in bed.  Since my beloved Denver Broncos are one of the worst football teams this year I have no desire to watch them on Sunday's so that rules that time out as well!  So far this week I am at 0 for television consumption ;) and hope to keep it that way.

I have been weaning myself off of it recently and Sunday our pastor gave a great sermon on the Sabbath and how things distract us from focusing on God at all times during the day.  A big part of that for me was donning the IPod while riding and I stopped that about 3 weeks ago.  It is freeing knowing that the only thing penetrating my mind our my thoughts - well maybe that is not so freeing after all but you catch my drift - and God's which is truly freeing!

What is next to go - hopefully the car but I am having a difficult time coming up with a commuting plan for winter time around these parts.  I could try and ride to work all winter long but right now my body does not like when I do back to back commutes (sorry Dave you are a rock star and I am not) so I don't know if that would really work out.  I am sure something is out there for me to latch onto plan wise - stay tuned :)

Alright that is all for today - get out there and ride your bike, or walk your dog, or play with your children, or just enjoy God's creation for a while.  It is all good - if you don't believe me read Genesis!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Walk to the Car

The sky yesterday was amazing over the lake.  I loved the lighting!!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Added Ways to get Bicycle Time

I am contemplating ways I can get riding time in besides commuting and riding around the neighborhood.  The wife won't let me buy a trailer for my bike to grocery shop with so I am contemplating rigging up my Single Speed Mountain Bike to a grocery cart.  I should have thought of that when the kids where younger because I could have put a helmet on one of them and taken them with me!

I really don't like mowing the lawn, but I love riding my bicycle.  Maybe this would solve the quandary.  The kids want a riding mower and I could tell them this is a riding mower so go get 'em.  Do you think it will work?

I cannot believe October is almost over and that means snow is just around the corner - YEAH!

Funny side note - I looked on Facebook today and it said it is my mother's birthday today.  I always thought it was the 28th but FB says the 27th so it must be official.  Either way - Happy Birthday Mom!!!  Even if it is tomorrow I doubt I will be posting another blog so we will make it official today.

Have a great day and get out there and ride your bike!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little Fall Riding

This is from all the rain we have had this fall
Yesterday was a beautiful day.  It has been a very wet and windy fall in Western New York and I snuck out for a ride to my favorite destination - Sprague Brook.  I am excited about the winter and skiing out there and all other winter activities.  I think my body is ready for a change of seasons and different training because it has all been a struggle lately!

Sunshine trying to break through
I put myself in a pickle though - I have been doing my not ride the same road that I have been on already thing this fall and as I was leaving the park I thought - hmmmmmmm I have never left the park any other way.  So I made a left instead of a right and headed off into the unknown.

Next year I am getting a local road map and I am going to highlight all the roads I ride and see how many I cover in Southern Erie County.  Somehow I don't think it will be as many as I think.

Leaves are almost all gone
Well the leaves are almost all gone.  That means time for the snow to start falling and time to get some new training in. 

Have a great day and get out there and ride your bike!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Busting of out IBWS

Ahhh - Fall in Western New York

The weather since my ride last Saturday has been horrible.  So for all of those that are worried the IBWS disease that I had was (I)rritable (B)uffalo (W)eather (S)yndrome.  It rained all week long and I finally got on my bike yesterday.

So what happens yesterday - the winds are about 20-25mph gusts all the way home - talk about wiping you out.  But when you have scenery like this it makes it all good.

My Neighborhood
I rode in the country all day today and I started a new game.  I cannot get on any part of the route that I have already ridden that day.  So I leave one way and the only way home is a big hill but that is good, I got to stop at a LBS just before to pick up some new brake housing/cable for a switcheroo I am doing.

My Felt Breed is going to be wearing my Woodchippers and my Bianchi MUSS is going back to a flat bar with bar ends as well in preparation of selling her.  They are all cabled up and now I just need some tape for the Woodchippers and my Breed will be rideable again!

I love my country home (no this is not mine)
This reminded me of Iowa and was on a new road I have not ridden before.  Next year I am getting a local road map and highlighting all the roads I ride each year just to track it for fun.

Have a great weekend and get out there and enjoy the Fall!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goodbye September Hello October

I am still here - just not doing any day light rides that warrant carrying a camera with me.  Actually I am not doing much riding at all right now.  I believe my summer bike tour has finally caught up with me and I took some much needed time away from the bike and hard workouts in general to try and get refreshed for the upcoming winter season.

What made me ride today you ask?  Well I had a dream Monday night that I went back out on the Underground Railroad to do the tour again.  This time I was looking for my soul that I left out there.  It was a very freaky dream because it seemed so real.  I don't like those types of dreams personally but I will add this: being a Christian I believe that we hear from God in very different ways at very different times and I believe it was His way of saying "all is well if you want to ride your bike for Me!" - Like Todd and I did on the Freedom Tour.

I don't know what that means.  That is a question that gives me mind time on the bike.  So when I finally figure it out well I will let you know.

I have done some bike stable downsizing as well.  I sold the touring bike last month and just sold my fixied/SS commuter this past weekend.  Time to switch the basement to our bike repair shop for my son and I so we can learn a trade and make him some extra money!

Sorry about no pictures but I will leave you with this:

Go ride your bike and hear the leaves/branches crunching under your wheels, or run a trail and look at the changing leaves, or swim a pond because the water will be too cold sooner or later, or chop some wood, or rake some leaves with your kids.  Get the blood flowing - there is no better feeling!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I cannot  believe I have forgotten to post these pictures from my Saturday ride.  Guess that what happens when you have a tax deadline at work and are busy wrapping up projects for clients.

Well Saturday was a beautiful day and there is a Windmill Farm about 22 miles from our house.  I have always wanted to ride to them but just never put it together until Saturday.

Over The Hill & Through The Valley
There is a flatter option which would have included more traffic flow until I got outside of East Aurora or a hillier option which is basically no traffic so that is the way I went.  I believe I rode flat ground on the way to the windmills for about 10-20 minutes max.  They were not brutal hills, but a hill is a hill is a hill.

Getting Closer
You can see the windmills from the road I live on but once you drop down off the hills the windmills disappear until you get with 5 miles.

Green Energy
When I arrived I pulled into the companies parking lot, took some photos, ate some energy, and enjoyed the scenery.  I really need a good camera instead of using my cell phone camera because there were some awesome valley views from my perch atop Windmill Alley!

Great ride back home and I have even done some commuting again this week.  Fall is definitely in the air but I love this time of year!

Have a great day and go ride your bike (or run) (or swim) (or hike) (or play with your kids)!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back In The Saddle

This post is delayed because the computer is fried at home again - so here goes from the tease on Friday!

Took a long time off the bike - 10 days.  First I traveled, then the weather went to pot, then I just decided it was not the time to return, and finally the time and desire returned.

18 Mile Creek Canyon area
So I loaded up the Felt Breed and headed out for some flat land riding.  I didn't want to pound the hills since it was 10 days ago that I last rode the bike.  I headed towards Hamburg and decided I would see what was in store out that way.

My Favorite Single Speed
I took my normal route and then decided that I would turn left on South Creek and see where that took me.  Lo and behold - it took me to some new trails I had never seen before.  I was in heaven!!

Single Track Heaven!!!
It didn't go very far but it is always fun to ride the skinnies on single track and keeping the rubber dirt side down.  Tree roots are always fun to work on balance drills also.  The best part of this trail was that I saw 1 person the whole time.  I will say up to here I had seen 6 riders and 3 of them actually had helmets on.  The other 3 are just not that smart!!!

I see Cross Country Ski Training!
I came back out of the trail, saw this awesome meadow area and snapped a couple of shots.  I will definitely be back!

Tomorrow is another catch up day - Saturday's ride to a green area of Western New York.  My teases are so tempting aren't they????

Have a great day and go outside and burn some calories!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Phoenix Hiking

Well this has been a pretty busy week and I was in Phoenix last week and did some hiking so I took some pictures with my cell phone, sent them to Facebook, copied them to my laptop, and am now bringing them to you for a close up look of Camelback Mountain in suburban Phoenix, AZ.

That is me at the very top
I arrived in town on Wednesday afternoon and headed over to my work site.  That took a couple of hours and then I headed out to explore Camelback Mountain.  I set my GPS to the main trail head, arrived to the sight of a Park Ranger Truck blocking the entrance, was told a rescue was in progress and to head over to the other trail head.

Suburban Phoenix

Off I went and up I went.  It is 1.5 miles and about 1200' of vertical gain so my legs and lungs were burning pretty quickly.  Saw a lot of people and just enjoyed the climb.

The weekly destination
On Thursday I had a little more time so I headed to the main trail head, climbed up, came down the way I went up the afternoon before (got stung by a nasty wasp on the way down also which was not fun), and ran 3.0 miles back to the car.  Man was that a brutal brick and it was stinking hot!

Stairway to Pain
Friday brought me to my departure flight but I had 1-1.5 hours to spare.  So I booked up and back down the main trail head.  This was around noon and it was about 110 or so out.  Very hot but dry!!!!

This was a great workout and some nice cross training.  I love hiking and climbing around and even took my son over to our local park for some hiking over Labor Day weekend.

I just spent 10 days off the bike but have some pictures to post from today's return ride.  That is what they call a tease folks.  Stop back this weekend when I post again :)

Thanks for stopping by and get outside this weekend!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Single Speed Century

The family did the annual camper camping trip at a local campground with friends my wife grew up.  I took this year off and decided that I would punish my body a little and go for a century ride.  Not that big of a deal because this is my 6th this year and I have over 5500 miles of riding in, but I decided to take one of my single speed rigs out instead of my gear Vaya!

My weapon of Choice - Felt Breed
I love this bike but there are downsides - 1 bottle cage, no pump holder, no tube bag, so this means that I carry my backpack when I ride the Breed but it is worth the inconvenience because I love this bike!!!  It is fast (except 1 gear holds me back on long flats and uphill), it is light (except my 175+ body weight adds too much weight to it but I love my food more than I love this bike so my weight is going to stay the same!), it is responsive, and it is cool looking!

My home area
I rode 3.5 miles with my son to start - I never said it was going to be all at once did I?  Then I rode to the Y so I could swim some laps before heading out.  I stopped by home because the new computer's heart rate aspect was not (and is not - yes QBP I will be contacting you to see if I can score another one) and then I headed out.  It was an absolutely beautiful day for a bike ride!

Ski Country - My destination
I ran into a logistics problem - I became quite hungry about 10 miles out from my refueling stop.  I had a huge breakfast but delayed in getting on the road and the energy bars I at were not holding up.  I was a little concerned because energy was fading quick and heart rate was going up quicker!  I could have dove into my bento box but I figured I could tough it out and wait - and I survived!

My lunch view
Not a bad view for lunch - devoured a Personal Pan Pizza, 32oz of Ice Cold Dr. Pepper, 1 Liter of Ice Cold water, and 4 recees peanut butter cups.  Had a great chat with a motorcycle tourist who stopped to rest at the same location.  He asked how far I was riding today and I said oh about 100 miles.  I asked him and he said the same.  It was cool he takes all the side roads that I usually ride down so we had a nice little chat, then he headed off, as did I!

A cool looking bride they refurbished at the county line
My energy levels were much better and I had a great ride home.  Saw some awesome stuff and kept turning the pedals over!

Sun Over Lake Erie

Can you critique my fit please??

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.  Get out on your bike and see the sights.  They are much better at 15mph than 55!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Single Speed Mountain Bike Ride

My riding has been very limited this week.  Well actually all of my training has been limited because I am trying to work back into a 3 heavy 1 light workout week and this is my first light week.  Well that is until tomorrow when I am planning on a century ride on my Single Speed Cross bike.

So when I got home early yesterday the wife was working and we had no plans and I asked permission for a 2 hour max ride.  She approved and I headed out.

My Single Speed weapon of choice
I took the mountain bike because I figured with the new chip seal down in the area I could save some hassle and then I could hit the park for some dirt riding.  It was a blast but the legs are definitely tired after a long year of training (and it is still just August!).

Big waterfall huh?
My local park is a haven for me and I have most of it all to myself whenever I head over there.  Periodically I will pass people on the trail but not very often.  In the winter it is even more abandoned and all mine!  Thanks Erie County!!

My cool bridge shot
So I rode around on the dirt, cracked my knee on the handlebars, and headed to flat asphalt cruising before heading home.

Flat or Hill??
So I came to my option point and I asked the legs - Do you feel froggy?  They said no so I went flat besides my always climb home - some hills are just easier than others.

Should have a lot of pictures tomorrow from my century - Get out there and ride your bike!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Bike Ride

What a great day for a ride.  The sun wasn't out one time today so I went without sunglasses and only 2 water bottles.  I tucked some food into my bento bag and headed off to Sprague Brook on my Bianchi MUSS.  I love this bike for some strange reason and now that it is road ready I see a lot of time on that bike coming up!

Cemetery 5 minutes from the house
I have passed this cemetery for every ride and run since we moved here almost 5 years ago and I never realized it was there until this past spring.  Today I shot some pictures.  1800's was a long time ago!!

No Hitchhiking allowed
There was a pretty steady southerly headwind heading up the hill so I cut down to the main road sooner than usual to get out of it.  Made good time to the park and it was vacant.  I am still getting used to no suspension again so I stuck to the easy routes for another week or so.  I need to get my human shocks built up again for the rigid beast!

Love the Single Track
I rode around for a while and then headed back up hill to another section and bam - my first flat on the Bianchi this season.  Not my first flat by any means.  I fixed it and headed off to the parking lot to see if I could score a floor pump but no luck.

Off into the woods

So I headed home and hit the bike shop on the route to top off the rear wheel.  Headed over to church to check on the kids who were doing a road cleanup project for youth group.  They were just finishing up and the wife had a funeral luncheon to help out with so I rode home and grabbed the vehicle and went back and grabbed my son.

Have a great weekend - rain is blowing in tomorrow so no bike tomorrow.  They said the same thing last Sunday also so we might luck out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Salsa Woodchipper Review

Today was a relaxing day of bike maintenance at Sprague Brook.  I had some repair work to do on the Bianchi MUSS so I loaded the bike, my stand, and all the equipment I had with me to the park and set up shop.  Part of my maintenance was installing my 2nd pair of Salsa Woodchipper Handlebars.

I have them on my Salsa Vaya and a very knowledgeable and reputable bike guru - Guitar Ted (Does it make sense that someone so knowledgeable about bikes has Guitar as his first name??  I was thinking more like Derailleur Ted or Single Speed Ted would be more fitting - but hey I digress!) recommends these bars on his blog and uses them on his bike so I tried them out and loved them on the Vaya.  I then decided to try them on the MUSS.  Needless to say I am very happy!

There they are - I have red tape on both sets - Boring I know!
So I got the bike all set and headed off on the trails.  I have never ridden drops on single track so it took some adjusting but the bars gave me the ability to wrench hard on the pedals of the Single Speed beast.

Top Side View

One change I am planning on making to the cockpit of the MUSS is to add some cross brakes.  I decided on the trail when I almost went headfirst into the river that an upper set of brakes would be helpful for times when it is flat or downhill and I am riding the flat part of the bars.

Needless to say I am very happy with these and will be making another purchase for the next bike.  Maybe even the Felt Breed for cross season to get some more power out of riding SS during cross races.  Hmmm that thought just came to my mind!!!!

Have a great weekend and get out and ride your bike.  Tomorrow is a long ride to Sprague Brook from the house to give the bars and bike another run!  I cannot wait!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Response To A Difficult Question - Why?

Jill's blog got me thinking yesterday a lot about that simple question.  Why?

I posted the following response to her question:

Very profound - Why? Great question that many ponder and hopefully never answer because once the answer is found I believe the drive will be lost!

I honestly believe that!  If you ever really answer the question of Why then all your drive will be gone and you will stop pursuing that never answerable questions answer (does that even make sense?)!  I don't have an exact answer because when we were doing our Freedom Tour this summer we had many question us as to why and we had an answer because we were doing the Freedom Tour for a cause!

So does that make my response wrong because I knew WHY I did the Freedom Tour?  But I honestly don't know why I ride my bike or run or swim or lift almost every day.  Sure I do it to stay in shape and because I enjoy training but there is no honestly reasonable answer as to why I desire to ride my bike in Iowa for 300+ miles or across northern Minnesota doing the Arrowhead 135 in most like sub-zero temperatures.  How about why, if I could run further than 3 miles without pain, I would love to train to do a 100 mile ultra run and then qualify for the Western States 100.  Or possibly learn how to swim strong enough to swim the English Channel.

Or how crazy is it that I would love to move to Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin area just because of all of the gravel races and winter races they have out there and the better winter snow riding and cross country skiing conditions that exist compared to Buffalo.  Or the fact that I would love to move next door to Sprague Brook Park so that I would have instant access to the best trails in Erie County since I doubt my family would agree with me on moving somewhere were they know no one.

Maybe you do know why and care to share with us?

Whatever the reason or contemplations that come from this - go out and ride your bike!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What I Learned Off The Bike

My Salsa Vaya (Factory Image - Mine is much cooler looking) - Commuter Rig

Last Thursday morning my alarm was set for my 5:00am bicycle commuter wake up.  The alarm went off and I thought to myself what in the world am I doing??????  Reset it for 6:00am and drove to work.  That morning I decided it was time to take some time off of the bike, so I told myself that I would look at my training schedule (Yeah Right I have no schedule I just ride or run or swim or lift or play tennis), adjust some things, and decide a better way to finish out the commuter season and train for the 60 Mile Iron Cross race October 10th.

First thing I came up with was that I would go back to Boot Camp Conditioning class Mon-Wed-Fri and that would require me to drive those days.  So that would leave Tue-Thur for commuting and Sat-Sun for weekend rides.  I would run Mon-Wed-Fri while my son practiced football and try to sneak off to the pool every chance I got.

Today I rode to work again - 5 days off of the bike.  I came up with a brilliant blog post - 5 Things I Learned on my Bike Sabattical!  Now I just hope I have 5 of them!

1.  Bike Maintenance is as much fun as Bike Riding but not nearly as efficient at burning calories.  My Single Speed Mountain Bike needed some loving to get her ready for the upcoming winter rides so I spent some time on Sunday getting her cleaned up and deciding what I needed new and put that list together.  She is going to be so happy with me come October when I start riding her again.

A picture of Todd and I on our bike tour - the big reason I have so many miles

2.  Effective today I am only 500 miles away from my 2009 total bike mileage.  That is easily wiped out in 1 typical month so this will be the most mileage I have ever ridden in 1 year come the middle of September.  Do I push it and shoot for 7000 miles for the year or do I just let it all fall in place and take what I have?  A point to ponder.  What will 7000 miles get me?  Nothing at all.  So I will probably just let it all fall in place!

3.  I may have a lot of bike miles in but I can say for a fact that I have done interval type bike training less than 10 times all year long.  This needs to change because next year I hit the Masters 45+ age group and I think I could have some fun competing with my peers in that age group but I need to grow some fast twitch muscle fibers instead of my long/steady/plodding twitch muscles I have developed.

My SS Mountain/Snow Bike out on the trails last winter

4.  I cannot wait to ride on the snowmobile trails again this winter.  Last year I found the perfect set-up on my SS to make this a great time and fun training.  I even pictured myself riding out to the local cross country trails with my skis on my backpack and wondering what types of looks I would garner with that look!

5.  I really love riding my bike and there were about 100 times over the last 5 days that I just wandered off into deep thought about how bad I wanted to ride my bike.  I even shouldered my SS Cross Bike to carry it upstairs on Sunday but I put her back and let the love grow even deeper.  I wish I lived in a much bike-friendlier city but I will do my best to make it as bike friendly as possible!

Have a great day and go ride your bike please!!!!  Oh and avoid Boot Camp Conditioning at all cost - it hurts!!!!