Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday's Bike Ride

I have so many awesome pictures but our home laptop does not have a photo program to compress them so I am stuck waiting until Tuesday when I return to work to post them. I took the mountain bike out to the park again today, did some great trail rides, then met Todd for some tour training and dinner.

Ended up at just over 50 miles for the day and I am 12 miles short of 900 for the month. Do I stupidly take the bike out for 1 hour tomorrow just to hit 900 or do I take my original plan and just run and call it a day? Only tomorrow will tell but I am thinking a run is on tap and then relax time.

Two fun times on the bike today. I unclip, lean right (not far enough), tilt left, and tumble into some trees the first time. Good thing the trees were there or I was rolling about 20 feet down further. Second one same scenario but it did not involve trees and I did not become unclipped from the bike so I ended up laying on the side hill with my straight up in the air attached to my foot. I was dying of laughter on this one, then I unclipped, held the bike by the seat, stood up, and dragged the bike up to the trail by the seat. Unreal. The worst part was no one was there to see it or take pictures!

Happy Memorial Day :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Am Plagurizing (sp?) From My Tour Blog - Sorry :)

Saturday In The Neighborhood

Well which neighborhood might you ask??? I was in about 5 different ones doing different errands getting ready for the trip and then having a great ride followed by some awesome fellowship. I started the morning off heading off to Chestnut Ridge Park for a little trail run to get the day going. Then I meandered off to Lancaster and Tom's Pro Bike to pick up a bike box. Tom has an awesome shop and if you need something stop on by for a look around. Then I booked down to the YMCA for a real short and fast swim. I have aspirations of doing another triathlon this summer if time and my body allows so I work on swimming from time to time since it is my weakest link.

After that I had an awesome fellowship time with some youths and adults from our Sunday
School Class. Nothing like hanging out with teenagers to give you a sense of what fun really is. Thanks guys for a memorable breakfast and PRay I will challenge your 7 pancake record on the tour I promise :). I then headed into the city to get a new bed for our spare room (isn't this an exciting day :) ) and took it home and set it up.

Now the fun begins - Ride time. Took the bike down some hills, up some hills, and realized I needed some public clothes so I stopped by home before heading off to a little get together. I got just over 40 miles in today and loved every one of them. By the way if you ever want to get a good cry in be around your son as he prayers for protection over you and your Pastor on your bike ride after another special lady prayed for the girls that will be protected once this system gets put in place in Odessa. Thanks you two - I was perfectly content not crying all weekend long :) but I still love both of you but Jake more so since he is my blood :).

Time to clean up and relax and head to the most awesome church in the world tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mountain Biking

This is going to be a short post because all I have to say is I love Mountain Biking.

I didn't take pictures. I didn't have a care in the world. I was on my mountain bike at Sprague Brook and I was happy!

Afterward I did my first trail run in my Five Fingers and that was awesome as well.

The only thing that could have topped this was a swim in a lake to cool off afterward.

Tour Departure is 1 week. Follow us here:

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Have a great day and ride your bike if you have one. If you don't - Shaking My Head wondering why not?????? You don't know what you are missing :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weekend Recap

Well the weekend came off without a hitch!

Friday was a short ride after I got a bunch of errands taken care of then we took my son to dinner. Got just over 31 miles in on the mountain bike.

Saturday was a rain filled day so we cleaned the house, moved rooms around, found all my missing dress socks, and rode in the rain. We did just over 50 miles and had to change 2 flats on Todd and Jeff's bikes. But I remained solid in that department.

Sunday was crazy busy. Had church with the kids leading worship at both services, had to get our lunch meets for the week, family birthday for my son, then I left and headed home to hit the road. Ended up doing over 40 Sunday with my buddy Bret. Great ride and great conversation.

Monday was 3 hours of yard work followed by a 5 hour mountain bike ride. That got me around 50 miles. So I hit 170 miles in the 4 days, which is a good sign for me on the upcoming tour, because I rode to work today and the legs actually felt strong.

I did have a funny point yesterday. I was riding down Murray Hill road which is a seasonal road and they were doing some patching work on it. I came upon the work crew which had the road blocked so I said hi and road on some rocks in the culvert and went around them. One guy yells you have more b*lls than I do. I thought to myself I hope you are not here when I get back and you see me ride up the road. I'ed it today and it was over 20% grade at points. Thank goodness for my granny gear on my mountain bike. The type of hill where you worry about flipping backwards so there was a lot of leaning forward and keeping weight over front wheels.

I should have brought the camera but it was 85 and I didn't want to lug it around. I will get some shots in the near future.

9 days to the tour!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Weekend

Mine started earlier than usual since I took yesterday off of work. I laid in bed until 9:30am (still amazed at that - 7:00am is usually my max but I think my body is getting Tour mode. The wife and I then had to run a lot of errands (and I still have a lot more to run today and Monday) and I was getting grumpier and grumpier as the morning turned into early afternoon. One last key errand had to be run - dropping Ice Cream Sandwiches off for my son's 12th birthday party at school. His teacher gave us rave reviews of him as a young man and I was a very proud dad at that time.

We flew home, unloaded the vehicle, and I started seeing who was riding or not. I had a lot of interest in dirt riding at Sprague Brook but 2 people wanted to ride so I hit the mud on the snowmobile track for a while before we met up on the road. I forgot the camera but I got an easy 31 miles in on the 29'er Felt and then headed home for birthday dinner with son.

Today is rainy so I guess I will get wet on the bike and tomorrow we have the family portion of his birthday again. Remember when birthdays only lasted 1 day???? After that I am riding and I promise Sprague Brook that I will be there Monday with bells on!

I wonder if on my tour it would be odd for me to find a mountain bike to rent for the day on our off days and ride some dirt then as well. I enjoy asphalt but dirt and gravel is my true love!

Have a great weekend everyone and remember it is free to sign up to follow us on our Tour. We will be blogging daily as long as computer access is available and hopefully providing some good insights into what God is doing in our lives!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2 Weeks

2 weeks from today we will be en-route to Mobile, AL for the start of Freedom Tour 2010. We don't actually start riding our bikes until Friday June 4th but I am sure there will be a lot of stuff happening June 3rd to equal a physical day.

Last night Todd and I did 40 miles after work so that put me at 60 for the day. I am shooting for the same today but we have our Annual Church Meeting tonight at 7:00pm so I need to make sure I am there on time. It would be nice if I could sneak a shower in before as well so I see a 50 mile day.

Tomorrow I am going mountain biking at Sprague Brook. The trails should be dried out and the pavement is getting sort of old. I think I will have enough pavement ahead me in June! Time to play in the dirt!!!!

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek - A Review

I have been researching the Five Fingers for a long time now. Many posts I had read specifically mentioned not ordering online until you knew your size because the fit was so different from regular shoes. I would look for them while traveling but never came across them. A couple of weeks ago a local tri shop posted on Facebook that they were now stocking them and it put the plan back into motion for me to try them. I ended up with them from a different store, a large national outdoor gear shop, but they replanted the seed.

As of last night, I have now run in them 8 times for a total of roughly 13 miles. Everything I read stressed starting out slowly in them so I have been doing 1, 1.5, or 2 mile runs in them. I might have been able to progress a little faster because all of my recent running shoe purchases have been flats with the thought of reducing stability and cushion while moving towards the Five Fingers as soon as I came across a pair.

I have not had any discomfort at all so I must be progressing properly and not overdoing it. Last night was a 2 mile run on the treadmill and my legs felt great besides the general overall fatigue from all the riding I have been doing of late. I did develop a small hot spot on the ball of my right foot big toe area. You definitely will need to build the skin toughness up along with bone/muscle comfort if you plan on going this route.

The basis of me going to Five Fingers and lack of stability in my shoes comes from the nerve problem I developed in my left leg. I am willing to try anything to see if it loosens up that issue and I am able to marathon train again in the future. I read many people speaking of leg/back issues disappearing once they moved to this shoe and I wanted to see if it works for me as well. As of today it has but then again the long run is 2.0 miles so I need to build up to 3.0 and longer to determine if they will help with the nerve issue.

If you are interested in barefoot/no stability running I definitely recommend purchasing the Vibram Five Fingers. I went with the KSO Trek because I plan on using them as my tour shoe and also trail running when we return. If all continues well I will drop down to the standard KSO or other type depending on what my needs are at that time.

My overall rating after 1 week - 5 toes up :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saturday's Long Ride on Tuesday????

The forecast was calling for sunny skies, some wind (shocking I know), and temps in the 50's. Without the wind that would have been an awesome day on the bike, but how would the wind play out - that was the QUESTION of the day.

I headed south towards Ellicottville because they have Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas at a local gas station and I just love those for fuel. Leaving my house I climb up to the highest road point in Erie County and the wind is always worst up there than anywhere else. I cruised down the other side into the valley and had an awesome ride towards my fuel stop.
I passed this awesome cemetery on the way and decided to snap a couple of photos. They must have owned all that land behind it back in the day. Picture that before modernization took over!

Back on the road I took a road that I have never ridden on and was very excited. I love new roads on the bike because things are more apparent than in a car.A view of my new road - nice wind block from hills on both sides and this was a very enjoyable part of my day. This will become a regular staple in my Ellicottville rides from now on!
Fuel!!!!! Yeah. I polished this off pretty easily and headed back inside for a peanut butter cup surprise. $1.19 for a 2 Pack and $1.39 for a 4 Pack. That was an easy decision. 2 for now and 2 for on the road back home. Refilled water and gatorade and headed east towards some new bike roads as well.
I saw this awesome barn on the way into town but didn't snap a shot. This was heading east bound and I was pedaling and shooting at the same time. I hope that is not illegal but I just loved this barn for some reason.

Continuing on towards Machias, my plan was to head north to Wales and eat at the Subway in town and then finish up my 100 mile day fully fed. The wind was fun at times and the road steadily climbed with no major hills - just uphill. I was looking forward to Subway that is for sure.

I rolled closer and saw no cars in the lot. That was strange. Saturday afternoon. Close to lunch time. I figured it would be hopping. Get closer and it is closed. That is not good!!! Plan B is called into action. Ration my last Peanut Butter Cup and just head home. That would put me at 85 instead of 100 and I was quite happy with that!This is the creek close to home. I love riding over this bridge. You can see so many different light variations depending on the weather.

The ride was a success and my legs hate me but I think the tour will be manageable. Just need to make better use of my food intake opportunities!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Questions - It is always about the questions

So the first question today is do I do a weekend summary without posting anything from Saturdays ride. I forgot my pictures at home on that laptop. I could not find 5 minutes yesterday to move them to my zip drive and bring that with me to work so what to do?

The second question is why my legs feel alright after doing 173 miles since Friday afternoon when I left work?

The last question is will I be crazy and commute all week or just write tomorrow off to the weather and take an easy day?

Answer #1 - Nope no summary. I will remember photos tomorrow and will do that report and then do a summary on Wednesday - aren't you excited?

Answer #2 - I have no idea because when we first left yesterday my legs hated me for about 20-30 minutes. That could be because I spent 2 hours mowing the lawn.

Answer #3 - Easy day if I guessed right now

See you tomorrow with photos and ride summary - it was a glorious ride!

One other thing - tour website: Send it to your friends if you think they would like to follow us ride 1700 miles starting June 4th in Mobile, AL. There is a list of sponsors that have helped us with logistics or lodging and we would appreciate any support for them if you are need of their services!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Day Behind

Well I just got in from a long ride - 85 miles in just over 5 miles. This was not a hard ride by any means but the wind sure made it interesting at points. There were not any huge hills I had to worry about - just larger rollers. Not a lot of time out of the saddle so they must have just been typical to my regular journeys locally. I purposely stayed off the side roads that I was riding for TransIowa because this is my longest ride since early April and I don't want to blow up before our tour.So in typical Bill fashion I am going report on yesterday's ride and play Ketsup all weekend long.

See that first picture - the sun was shining :) - It was about time!I was cruising down Rt-240 and I saw this awesome small waterfall so I pulled over, climbed down to creek level and took some pictures of it. I love how the light is filtering down.
My home away from home for the majority of the year. I mountain bike here during the summer and this is my favorite ski trails because I can go get lost and not see a soul. People don't realize what they are missing and this is 1 hour via bike or 20 minutes via car from my house - Yes I am blessed!Found this area - Will be exploring that on skis this winter for sure. Looks like it might be snowmobile accessible with the bridge to the left but I am sure I will find lots and lots of deep powder to explore on the skis!I took the Felt Breed - A single speed cyclocross bike that I have commuter slicks on. I decided to try it on the single track but I knew it was going to be dicey because of all the rain we had this week and the tires. I didn't go down but came close a few times. This is one of my favorite bikes - I love the simplicity of it. 1 bottle cage, no gears to worry about, quick reacting.With the rain we had some pretty vicious winds as well. This was blocking the single track so I thought I would give it some press time because I am sure the trail club will have this bugger diced up this weekend. It could be gone right now as a matter of fact.

Tomorrow I will post the photos of today's ride and then wrap up the weekend with a Monday recap. By the way I was eating a recovery shake while typing this - Vanilla Ice Cream, Frozen Fruit, Vanilla Protein Powder - YUMMY :)

Have a great day and get out and ride those bikes!

Friday, May 14, 2010

This Weekend


Saturday Sunday

Chance of Rain
63° F | 47° F

Partly Cloudy
58° F | 40° F
Partly Cloudy
65° F | 45° F

Chance of Rain
30% chance of precipitation

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy

This weekend I ride. Last weekend stunk, this week has stunk, and I need to ride my bike.

Thanks to the on-set of Flex Time at work my weekend starts at 1:00pm est today. I have a 30 minute drive home and then I change, kiss the wife goodbye, and ride my bike.

I have to be home by 6:30 to clean up for my daughter's school concert so I am looking at 4 hours on the bike today.

Tomorrow I have nothing. My Saturday riding buddy is in church conferences all weekend so I can ride when I want and where I want. I see a century happening (might be metric might be standard - only time will tell).

Sunday - I drop the kids off at 5:15 for Youth Group worship team practice and then I ride until 8:00pm when I have to pick them up. I will just park at the church so that will be almost 3 hours in the saddle.

Next weekend I hope for the same weather and I hope to do an overnight bikepacking trip Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday to make sure my camping set up for the tour is all set!

Have a great weekend and get out there and ride your bikes!! I plan on taking a lot of photos also :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Freedom Tour 2010

Well we leave Buffalo, NY for Mobile, AL on June 3rd. By my calendar that 3 weeks from today.

Am I ready??? Only time well tell. I still have some logistics to take care of but physically I just don't know. The weather around here has been crap of late with wind and rain or just wind or just rain. Either way you look at it - crap!

I have been riding, just nothing long or sustained. My commuting has come to a halt because I was getting sick of riding home in 20+ mph winds and now it is raining all week long. It does not worry me, I just enjoy riding my bike and would love for the weather to return to somewhat normal May temps and precip levels for the Buffalo area. Is that too much to ask?

I was hoping to do a ride/camp/ride day this Friday and Saturday morning but the weather is not looking good and I refuse to ride in the rain, just to camp in the cold, and then ride home in the cold again. Plus I found out my daughter has a concert Friday night at school so I will use that as my main excuse and not the weather.

It might happen Saturday to Sunday morning but I would have to be up early and flying home in time for church. I prefer Friday to Saturday because I can relax Saturday so I might put it off until next weekend.

Outside of that I need to get the bike tuned up, a bike cardboard box to ship it to Alabama in, a front rack and panniers to match :), and some more bike mileage.

Here is the link to our website if you would like more information:

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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wow It Is May

Well life has somewhat returned to normal. As normal as life gets when you are working, have a family with 2 children that believe you are a taxi service, and when you are trying to prepare for a 1700 mile bike tour in 1 month. Yes somehow I don't think this would quantify as normal!

I have been riding and I have been battling wind. It has been windy in this part of the country for about 1 month now. Not much rain but the wind has been relentless. My commute is pretty much south east to north west and the opposite on the way home. The winds have been blowing in every direction and it is just tiring. Mentally and physically tiring.

Last Thursday my buddy who is doing the tour with me and I headed out for a ride. I told him no matter what it was going to stink so we headed due west into the teeth of the wind. We got 25 miles out or so and were lucky to avg 13-14 mph and that was with a high h/r. Hit the turnaround point and cruise home at 17-18 avg and that was zone 1 the whole way!

I got home and was refreshed from the ride home. The legs recovered while on the bike and all was great!

Wind wind go away - I don't want you back any other day either!

Have a great day and I need to bring photos in from my camping/bike trip with my son and do a little write up about that - maybe this will remind me!