Friday, July 30, 2010

4:00am Mountain Bike Ride (No Photos)

Sorry photos are not obtainable at 4:30am so there will be none but I will explain to you the pre-sunrise that I caught a glimpse of later on (yes this is a tease to make you read the whole post)

I got this brilliant idea last night - I have not been on an early morning bike ride all year long. In the years past I would maybe not sleep through the night and when I woke up I would get dressed and go for a ride - no matter what time it was. Lately I have been sleeping like a baby (one that sleeps through the night - I think this saying needs changed but that is another post (by someone much more articulate than I am) for another day!) and wake up to my alarm and then get on the bike around 5:30 or so each morning.

I have lights - boy do I have lights. My thoughts on lights are that the more you have the more likelihood that the car that can crush you in a blink of an eye might just see and give you another day on the bike. I put my blinking front light on, I put a strong steady front light on, I turn my helmet head lamp on, I turn on helmet rear red blinking light, I try to turn on my rear seat post mounted (forever because I stripped the plastic screw) but it does not work so I pull my other rear red blinking light off another close by seat post, put that on, turn it on, and magically my other rear red blinking light starts to work also. In case you lost count - 6 total light sources - they will never be able to say that they could not see me without any lights!!!

So the alarm goes off at 4:00am and I contemplate life for a while. I really didn't want to go - I really wanted to go back to sleep. I told myself how awesome it would be - still didn't work. I went to the restroom, came back, reset the alarm to 6:00am and said if I feel asleep before 4:30 then I won't ride, thankfully I stayed awake!

The trails were muddy so I bailed on that and just did a hill ride to keep working in my new 2x front ring setup I put on this weekend.

Then I came to my favorite hill in all of Western New York - Ward Road right before Old Chestnut Ridge Road. When you hit this point you can look north and see the whole city of Buffalo and a good percentage of the surrounding suburbs. The lights were still on and off to the east the sun was beginning to make it presence known.

Close your eyes and picture this! (You might have to find someone to keep reading for you because I always found it difficult to close my eyes and read:) There were some clouds in the sky and further off there was another set of clouds that were much lower on the horizon.

A little interruption came to mind: I thought back to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, ME and how the sun rise would have already been visible for quite some time and cannot wait to go back with Jake after football season ends.

The sky was turning pink and it was a beautiful sight looking off into eastern Western New York and the farmlands that separate Buffalo from Rochester. I don't know how far you can actually see and it would be interesting to find out a way to learn that but once again another post (by someone much smarter) on another day! The land was visible, lights were beginning to fade, and I got to ride home with that picture in my mind.

G-Ted and GNAT say it best - Get out there and ride if you have a bike. If not, get to a local shop and purchase freedom in the form of 2 wheels! Bring a camera, bring your sense of adventure, and learn what payback truly is!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Another Beautiful Sunrise

I have no words other than WOW!

Thursday, July 22, 2010



I just cannot get over this picture and many others of sunrise that I have taken over the years of riding my bike or hiking or camping at sunrise!


I had to hike up Green Mountain early in the morning to get this photo from my old stomping grounds - that sun was spectacular!


I remember this morning and how cold it was. I would love to go back to this part of country and do a lot more exploring. Hopefully work has something in that area again soon because it is amazing there!


This was one of the few sunrises we caught on the tour because we normally did not have to wake up that early.

There is nothing as spectacular as seeing a new sunrise in the morning. It is a chance to start over. It is a chance to reset your odometer to 0.0 and start renewed. We cannot scratch what was learned in the past but we can learn from what we want to scratch! Be strong!

In the words of G-Ted - Get out there and ride your bike! or Hike! or Run! or Swim

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1.5 Hours of Ascent + 20 Min Decent = AWESOME!

This week I was in California on Monday and Tuesday. I could not get out of town until Afternoon on Tuesday so after I finished up Monday I headed up to Big Bear Lake, CA for some mountain biking.

What an awesome area for mountain biking and I will definitely return there someday for a longer visit with much more dirt riding as well.

The sunrise on Tuesday morning over Big Bear Lake

I snagged a quick breakfast and headed out for a ride before I had to drive back down to Los Angeles for my flight home. I picked out a trail that would take me to the top of the ski area but I had to start at the bottom first!

Base Camp operations - all is quiet on this beautiful July morning - bet this place is hoping come winter time!

I had no knowledge of the area besides a trail map that I purchased so off I went. I rode up the same area I rode Monday night and took a right on a single track to take me across the base of the mountain. I wanted to get some spinning in because it is 7,000+ feet of elevation and the body was not used to the lack of oxygen since I live at 1,500 feet and do a lot of sea level riding around Buffalo.

There was some hike-a-bike involved and I passed a local who gave me some good news - if you are pushing here just wait until you see it up a little further. Man he was not kidding - ouch and the sweat was pouring off - good thing it was a dry heat!

My view from the top

Well I finally made it to the top after 1.5 hours of riding and walking. Took my time looking around and snapping photos. They were doing chairlift work in preparation for the upcoming season and besides the 1 local rider I had the mountain to myself - at least in my part of the world it seemed that way. I am sure there were all sorts of animals out there laughing at me but they stayed hidden!

30 Minutes later (max) I was at the bike shop returning the bike and getting cleaned up for my trip home.

This is the access road to the single track - at 7000+ feet this just plain old hurts the lungs. I wish I was more acclimated but that is just not the case right now!
A shot to the south off of the peak

All in all - I could see many a trip to Big Bear Lake in the future with my LA trips - much more fun than hanging out in the desert and it's 115+ temps!

But at least it is a dry heat!

Please if you have a bike - get out there and ride! You don't understand what you are missing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why I Ride My Bike

So this morning on my way into the office I started to contemplate the reasons why I rode my bike as much as I do. The past 2 commutes have provided an unbelievable sunrise and I got a photo of it today but it was not the opportunity I was hoping for and that triggered my mind to go off onto a Bill tangent - so Bill just what is/are the reason/s that you ride your bike so much?

Do I have a Top 10 list or a Top 100 list? I don't know - I will pose some reasons and see how far along I get!

#1 - To be compared to Chuck Norris by people in our church Youth Group - I would post the link but you can only see it if you are friends with my daughter so you just have to take my word for it!

#2 - To have calves that glisten in the light because they are so muscular (My wife said this not me - I cannot see my calves and I would take a picture but I think that would be just wrong - you will just have to go on a bike ride with me someday to see for yourself - but wear your sunglasses)

#3 - To be ready for the phone to ring and your friends to say hey I am going on a bike ride do you want to come along? This seldom happens because only 4 of my friends ride bikes. You might think wow that is not that many but you have to realize besides my family I have 5 total friends. You would think an 80% bike ride friend rate would result in more bike rides with these friends but it just doesn't work out that way. Case in point - besides the tour I rode with someone for the first time yesterday since May!

#4 - To take photos - see above. But I am so far below GNAT's ability with the camera. If you love photos look at his sight - amazing!

#5 - To come up with witty banter like Fatty (Elden). But I do not have that ability and my mind wanders so much that I had a list of 10 on the way into work this morning and forgot them all!

#6 - To train for rides that people put on in the middle of Iowa that are suicidal in nature but so much fun you just want to keep going back or do his other ride in the middle of summer but thankfully I just came back from 30 days away from the family and that means no weekends away.

#7 - To dream of riding in Alaska or Montana where Jill came from and lives at now. Her blog is out of this world and if you like good writing (which you might not since you are reading mine) I would definitely take a look at her penmanship!

#8 - This one is in all sincerity - To pray for friends and family. I find my time on the bike to be a wonderful connection with God and He puts all sorts of needs into my mind to pray for. Dave just lost his mother and he has taken up a lot of space recently. The list is so long and if I know you, most likely you have been prayed for while I have been pedaling around!

#9 - Because I have a deep desire to ride the Tour De France someday and I will look back on this as my training ground. I know I am 43 (soon to be 44) but Lance did it at 37 and I want to top that! One problem I don't do enough intervals, I don't do enough Hill Sets, and I don't do enough nutrition watching so I doubt this will ever happen.


Get out on your bike and go for a ride!

Friday, July 9, 2010

1 Week And Counting

Well we have been home for 1 week now and I figured I would do a mini-recap post. I picked pictures out of both Todd and I at different points along the tour. I will provide deep thoughtful insight along the way just like Jill, Guitar Ted, and Crazy Dave do in their blogs, but they are much more eloquent than I am. So I will just post some information and share some photos and hope you enjoy the report.

Todd & I at the Airport - Rock on Twin 6

Number of Miles Ridden: 1802 (per Todd's computer which was more than mine so I will use that number). I get to add 22 miles to that for the ride from the Mobile, AL airport back to the hotel and my ride to Breck's Bike Shop in Owensboro, KY to get my bar end shifters looked at! Total for Bill = 1824

My home state Jersey at Mile 0.0

Number of days I wore a bike jersey = Day 1 (1/2 day) and the last 3 days when I was cold. Other than that it was muscle shirts because of the heat. Rain jacket was worn 3 days: 2 for warmth and 1 because of rain

Our first sabbath - Lunch stop

Amount of food consumed and burned: I have no idea on how to compute this number but I can tell you this I was never hungry during the tour because I ate every chance I got. And another thing I will never have Grape Jelly again in my life!!!!

Break in Coffeeville - we had Powerade though

Number of Flats = 0, Nada, zilch, nil, zero. This is overwhelming to me. Besides a fender adjustment the first day and my bar end shifters we had no mechanical issues at all.

Century Cycles, Peninsula, OH

They did a great write up for our tour and the cause - it is in the link if you click on it above.

Days Finished Early - 2. We skipped our last sabbath and pushed on from Erie to home so we wrapped up last Thursday instead of Saturday and that was a great thing!!

Thanks to everyone who supported, donated, and prayed for us during this time. Awesome does not even begin to describe it all. Someday I might be able to put it into words but for now I just daydream and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Weekend Back in Reality

We returned from our the Freedom Tour on Thursday afternoon. We sat in Erie, PA at dinner and I told my buddy Todd that when we hit Dunkirk, NY tomorrow around 1:00pm I was going to have a hard time checking into a hotel. He agreed with me and we put the plan in action to just ride from Erie, PA home instead.

It was right around 100 miles - but as I have said a couple of times during the tour - it was the easiest 100 miles I have ever ridden. We were in Dunkirk at 11:45, grabbed some lunch, waited for a friend to join us to ride back with us, hit the road, and were at the church at 3:15pm.

Friday was a very casual day around the house and I rode Saturday and Sunday. These pictures are from my Saturday ride. Sunday was my official I think I am tired day on the bike. I rode to my mountain bike mecca but the legs just didn't have it in them so I tooled around a little and headed home.

18 Mile Creek in Hamburg, NY

I was trying to get the cliffs in the picture but not so good!

My natural vitamin D source

Still working on getting back into the swing of reality - but it is coming along. I have been back on the bike since Sunday but no photos - this weekend I promise. I hope to do more mountain biking because I just found out about a mountain bike race!

Friday, July 2, 2010

We Are Done

We were sitting at dinner on Wednesday night and I told Todd that if we made it to Dunkirk by our normal stop time 1 or 2 - I would have a hard time pushing into a hotel and not just finish riding out. That put the wheels in motion because he agreed.

Ahhhh Lake Erie and the makings of a great Lake Effect Snow Storm if it was 6 months later. It is so amazing seeing weather in action all day long!

I saw these and they reminded me of my walk to work when I drive so I decided to stop and take a photo for memory sake.

The Chatauqua Ridge and that is where the snow really flies. See how the clouds are forming. I want to go skiing or snowbiking but I have 6 months or so before that happens!

Wine County in Southern Western New York. This house has to see some amazing weather patterns.

I think it should say welcome home Bill and Todd.

Well time to do some chores. Oh 1 last thing here is a link to our interview on Channel 4 in Buffalo if you want to see Bill on TV - LOL!!!!

Our church link also: