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!