Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let's Talk Golf...

I can feel your pain reading the title, thinking, "Oh no, enough about Tiger Woods already." I've been thinking about straying from my favorite sports and writing this for a few days now. I wasn't sure I would, and then today I learned that Tiger Woods was voted "Top Athlete of the Decade" by a group of AP Sports Writers. Behind him was Lance Armstrong, winner of 6 TDF's over the decade, not to mention his accomplishments off the bike with his Livestrong Foundation. Then in third was Roger Federer, followed in fourth by Michael Phelps, and then in fifth, Tom Brady.

Out of all these guys, three seem to have kept themselves and their images clean. We all remember the pot smoking admission from Michael Phelps. He served his punishment, and has since returned to killing his competition. Now we have Tiger Woods with somewhere around 10 plus women claiming to have had sexual affairs with him, all while his wife and children were at home apparently clueless to his extra marital affairs.

So, when I saw that he was the choice as "Top Athlete of the Decade", I had to stop and take pause. No one can argue that his accomplishments were anything less than stellar. 56 PGA Tour victories, including 12 Majors, and three career Grand Slams. Nope, you can't argue that his performance over the last decade is with out a doubt one of the most dominating in the history of any sport.

One can argue, however, that the performance of the second place finisher Lance Armstrong is a bigger feat considering that he is the only cyclist to win 7 Tours, let alone that he won them all in consecutive years. Now keep in mind he only gets credit for the 6 he won in this past decade, but still, this is a pretty incredible feat. The fact is that Tiger has won 14 Majors, which still falls short of the overall record of 18 held by Jack Nicklaus. In other words, he isn't the only person to win at least 14 majors. The fact is that golf is watched on television much more than cycling is. AP golf writer Doug Ferguson says about Tiger, "His influence has been so powerful that TV ratings spiked whenever he played, even more when he has been in contention." I would argue that television ratings should have nothing to do with this at all. Television ratings should not be a factor in the voting process, when it is clear that television coverage is not equal with all sports.

What about image? Should image be a factor? What about someone like Barry Bonds? His image was tarnished by allegations of steroid use. I for one, can never accept his accomplishments as being great as long as the allegations are there. It's the asterisk factor. What about Ben Johnson, or Floyd Landis? Marion Jones, or Roger Clemens? In the case of Olympian Ben Johnson, he tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol and was stripped of his gold medal and 1987 World Championship title. Marion Jones admitted to steroid use, was stripped of her medals, and spent time in prison. One might say these athletes "cheated".

Well, I say that Tiger cheated. He cheated on his wife, his children, his fans, and the world of golf. He has let a lot of people down. You know, I think that most people can forgive for one or two transgressions, but Tiger has gone well over his limit. Look, I know there are some of you who feel we need to stay out of Tiger's personal life. Well, I say that if Tiger would have kept his zipper up, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I for one want real sports heroes to look up to. Real men and women who live lives of integrity, and honesty. Sports heroes my children can look up to. I can overlook one or two mistakes, but this is just too much.

I still have a sick feeling in my stomach just knowing he was chosen as "Top Athlete of the Decade". I will never understand why we continue to reward people when clearly, they have not only tarnished their own image, but have tarnished the image of their respective sport as well. Yes, golf will suffer greatly from Tiger's cheating, as will his wife and children. So, take that into consideration the next time you see Tiger step into the Tee Box. That of course is if he ever does. With that, I leave you with a few quotes from the cheater himself.

Tiger Woods about Elin: "My wife, we're in it together. We're a team, and we do things as a team. And I care about her with all my heart." 2006

Tiger Woods: "I have a balance in my life. Ever since Elin came into my life, things just became a lot better. Someone you can bounce things off, somebody who is a great friend. We do just about everything together. It's nice having that type of person around you. She's so much like me. She's very competitive, very feisty, just like I am."
Source: Reuters UK unknown date

Tiger on marriage: "Honestly, I think I can be better. My marriage is only going to help me. I found a person I can talk to and a person who is going to be by my side through thick and thin. Elin has instilled a lot of confidence in me in all aspects of my life."
Source: Tiger Wood's Website 2005

Tiger: "We are expecting our first child together this summer. Obviously, we couldn't be happier and our families are thrilled. I have always wanted to be a dad."
Source: Tiger Wood's Website 2006

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Levi's Got Skills!

Just wanted to share this video of one of my favorite Pro Cyclists, Levi Leipheimer, showing off his mountain bike skills. Incredible! I hope he's wearing his Road ID!

Levi Leipheimer on a Mountain bike from Roger Bartels on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Power of Commitment...

Several years ago, I took a class that was part of a job requirement, called "The Power of Commitment." Now I gotta tell that I was not prepared for the things I would learn in this class. This class taught me things that went completely against what I had learned over my life. The idea of the class was that we know if we are committed by the results we get. In other words, if I say, "I am committed to losing 60 pounds". And then I only lose 30, then the reality is that I was not committed to losing 60 pounds. I was actually committed to losing 30 pounds. Sounds pretty simple, right? Read on...

As the class went on, scenarios were played out that would completely baffle most who were in the class. Some were so angered by some of these scenarios, that they got up and walked out. There were a lot of emotions displayed during the course of this class. You see, the class was based on Quantum Theory. Questions like the following were asked during the class. If you were on your way to work and a plane crashed on the freeway, were you committed to being to work on time? If you missed your sales quota last month, were you committed to reaching the quota? If you were hit by a car and died while out jogging, were you committed to getting home safely after your jog? If you're feeling a little bit uncomfortable right now, imagine a whole room full of people as they pondered these questions.

You see, the Theory of Quantum Physics pretty much translate to a very simple statement, "It is what it is". The results tell you exactly what you were committed to. Now please understand that I am not a scientist, nor do I lay one on television. I'm just a guy who likes to ride his bike, enjoys a good steak dinner, and loves his family. But, I am pretty open to learning new concepts. This concept was very different and took a lot to accept. But, when I allowed myself to accept it, commitment took on a whole new meaning for me. If you're truly committed, you will do whatever it takes to fulfill the commitment you made.

Think about that. Think about the commitments you make in life and then think about the results. How did the results affect not only your life, but the lives of others who you came into contact with? Your wife or husband, your children, your co-workers, friends and family? Are you committed to riding 50 miles this Saturday, or will something get in your way? You see, we can't make a commitment and then use something as an excuse when the results show we were committed to something else.

For more on this topic, visit this blog. It's pretty powerful stuff once you accept it. Afterall, it is what it is!

Baby Steps Part Deux...

This past Sunday I headed up to South Mountain for the monthly Silent Sunday event. Silent Sunday is a monthly event where no motorized vehicles are permitted in the park for an entire day. Normally I ride a couple of out and backs on San Juan Road which can be a very good workout, and depending on how I feel, I will sometimes give the Tower Road a shot. The Tower Road is a pretty challenging 6 mile climb up to the top of a hill where several antennas are mounted. It's also a hill that is not for the faint of heart. The best I have done is 4 miles up the road.

This past Sunday, I arrived in the parking lot and began to get my bike ready. A guy who parked next to me started making small talk with me and eventually we both left the parking lot riding side by side heading into the park. It turned out that my new friend Wendell was also a good friend of someone else I new, Darrell. Wendell asked me if I was riding the Tower Road, and I promptly replied, "Probably not this morning." Well, Wendell picked up the pace and left me by myself as I headed for my ride down San Juan Road. As I got close to the intersection to San Juan Road, there was Wendell, waiting for me to arrive. I stopped to chat a little more and then he spring it on me. He informed me that I was riding up the Tower Road. He also informed me that Darell was probably up the road somewhere, and we would probably run into him at some point. Well, what was I supposed to do? I mean, you can't just say no to a challenge, even if you know you might end up puking your guts out, or who knows, have a heart attack?

Well, off we went. The ride went pretty smoothly for the first 3 miles. That's when I needed to stop for a small break to catch my breath. That's also about the time that Darrell came flying down the hill. Darrell quickly stopped and road back to us. After a few minutes of small talk, Darrell said he would continue down and would then ride back up and would eventually catch up with us. Talk about demeaning! He actually said he was going all the way down and would catch up with us! Well, anyway, off we went. Darrell did catch back up with us and thankfully he went into coaching mode. Between Wendell and Darrell, they both drug me up the hill until the end was finally in sight.

The road has a pretty steep pitch just before the parking lot. I lost my momentum and had to stop. Wendell and Darrell went on and waited. And waited... It took me a few minutes, but I finally got the nerve to attempt to finish to the "summit". At one point, Darrell rode down and went into coaching mode again. He pointed out the large audience at the top and told me they were all waiting for me. Great! Now I have an audience. Well, now I can't stop anymore, unless of course I simply keel over and die right there. I gotta say, the last 100 yards was extremely difficult, but when I crested the hill and into the parking of at the top, all I could think of was finding a good place to heave!

Luckily I didn't. Wendell took a quick picture so I had proof and after a few minutes of enjoying the view, it was time to head down. I really liked the descent, but who wouldn't after that climb? I learned a lot about myself this past Sunday morning. First, I am really out of shape. Secondly, I am really out of shape. No, seriously, I am glad I made it, and I am glad that there are other cyclists who understand what it's like to be slow and out of shape. My two friends were patient with me and helped me up the mountain. They made sure I didn't feel like I was holding them back. They gave me hope that I too can get into better shape and one day climb to the top in 45 minutes or less like most of the other riders do. Most importantly, they made me finish. Had I been by myself, I would have given up around mile 4 just like I had been doing in the past. They encouraged me and held me to a higher standard than I would have. They reminded me of the power of commitment. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Three Amigos Live On!!!

With Chris Horner announcing his decision to join Team Radio Shack, the newly created Pro Cycling team lead by Lance Armstrong, we now know that the Three Amigos will ride on. I for one, really enjoyed watching Lance, Levi, and Chris while riding in some of the smaller rides here in the States. The Tour of Gila turned into a huge success with the addition of these guys, and the Nevada City Classic fared pretty well with their participation as well. It's no doubt that Team Radio Shack will be a well oiled machine like all the teams that Lance Armstrong has ridden on since 1999. I just hope that Chris Horner has a better year than he did this year, not to mention that being picked for the 2010 TDF team would be pretty nice! C'mon Johan! Check out Chris Horner's blog here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pretty Amazing!!!

I remember seeing this kid and his father in one of the videos posted on Lance Armstrong's Livestrong website, and I thought it was pretty cool. Then, I get a Tweet this morning from the folks at Road ID with a link to their website. This father and son team are up in Sonoma County in California to ride the 65 mile option of Levi's Gran Fondo! It's funny watching this nine year old kid out there hammering away and I sit here some mornings and try to figure out all the reasons I shouldn't go riding. I also showed this to my oldest daughter, whom I would love to get into riding with me. She has showed interest in the past, which is a good sign. She has also expressed interest in a series of kids Triathlons and Duathlons this winter.

Anyway, hat's off to Bill and Liam! What a great way to teach a healthy life style, not to mention that the kid has ridden in places many of us can only dream of. Check out their website and watch the videos they have posted, you'll be inspired!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Check me Out!

Got my first Road ID last week. These are really nice and are high quality id bracelets. I have been following the Road ID guys on Facebook and Twitter for some time now. After reading about all the people who are involved in accidents and are found without any identification, I thought it was about time for me to grab one of these. Not only that , but as an ex-emergency medical technician, I can assure you that in cases of trauma, we don't have the time to go searching your bike bag looking for an id. Scroll down and take a look at the videos I have posted. Texting teens and blind politicians are everywhere!

Baby Steps...

Well, this past Sunday I went for a ride out at South Mountain Preserve in Phoenix. One Sunday each month they have what they call "Silent Sunday." On "Silent Sunday", there are no motorized vehicles allowed in the park at all, with the exception of the Park Rangers. On any given day, South Mountain is a destination from both Road Cyclist and Mountain Bikers, Runners, Hikers, and just plain ole people out for some exercise. On "Silent Sunday", however, it's a mecca for Road Cyclists, and Triathletes. There are two main options for riding inside the park for the Road Cyclists. You can ride two miles in from the parking lot with a nice warm up on some rolling hills. Then, you can either go straight onto San Juan Road which is an 8 mile out and back from that point, or you can tun left and take on the Tower Road.

San Juan Road has roughly 700 feet of climbing and most will tell you that it's a challenging section of road to ride on. I have gone out and done San Juan Road 3 times and called it a day on many occasions. It's a really good workout and you feel pretty spent when your done. The Tower Road climb is much more difficult. It's about 6 miles and has roughly 2000 feet of climbing. The deceiving part is that it actually has some downhill on the way up, so the climbing that you do, does have a few sections that are fairly steep. Last month after 2 out and back trips on San Juan Road, I decided to head up the Tower Road. I made it about 2 miles before having to turn around.

Now, let me stop and give you some background. Last year, sometime around Labor Day weekend, I weighed in at 220 pounds. That was the heaviest I had ever been. I was in pretty bad shape. My cholesterol was through the roof and I got winded when I played with the kids. My wife and I embarked on an extreme life makeover. The first thing we did was to do a full 90 day round of P90X. Yes, I'm talking about that program you see on every other TV channel at all hours of the night. Well let me just say that it really does work! I lost 30 pounds over 90 days and completely turned my health around. My Doctor was stunned when he got the lab results back from my blood work 8 weeks into this program. My wife lost 14 pounds and got into the best shape she had been in in a long time. Now my wife is also 4'11" and was never really that overweight. But none the less, she did the program and was very pleased with the results.

So, back to me. 30 pounds lighter! What a difference. I got back on the bike in January and started training for the local MS 150 charity ride. I ended up doing the 75 mile option. I felt like a new man! I've kept my riding up to around 75-100 miles each week. But here's the problem, I haven't lost any more weight. I can ride hard and can average 17-18 miles per hour on a solo ride, but climbing is still a bear for me. This past week, I did battle with the Tower Road climb again, and it still beat me. But, I did double my last effort and made it 4 miles up the road. As I said, Baby Steps. Although a little disappointed, I felt pretty good that I am making progress.

It is quite obvious that I need to get serious about weight loss again. I really can stand to lose another 30 pounds. Yes, I still have a gut, and I still need to lose it. I have struggled with nutrition since getting back on the bike, but something about that ride up Tower Road has sparked a fire in me. A new and deeper desire to finish what I started last September. I'm going back to basics. I am fortunate in that fact that our winters are mild and I can ride year round here in Arizona. My plan is to keep it simple, get the nutrition under control, and integrate a few of the P90X workouts into my routine. I am setting three goals for myself. The first one and the most important is to drop the rest of the weight in no more than 6 months. The second one is to beat the Tower Road and make it all the way to the top. And finally the third is to complete either a short distance Triathlon or a Duathlon. The second and third goals might very well happen before the first one, and that's okay by me. The first one is the most important one though. It's time to take the gloves off and get serious. Until next time...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cyclists Should be Very Afraid of this Girl...

Waiting for Hell to Freeze Over...

There is something that happens every year that almost all Desert Dwellers yearn for, the end of the oppressive heat we must endure every year. This year has been hot, but at least we had a few good storms during Monsoon season to give us a few small breaks in the heat. Last year, we didn't get much in the way of storms. This year has been especially difficult for me since this is the year I decided to get back on the bike. I got back on in January and it didn't seem like very long before I was dealing with the crazy heat. I have never wanted to move so bad in my life. But, as I said, something happens each year that transforms even me. Hell freezes over.

Night time temperatures over the last two weeks have started to drop. Heck, even the pool is finally fun to jump into. For awhile there, the pool was sitting at 98 degrees! Anyway, the night time temps are dropping, which means that mornings are once again enjoyable. Every morning when I get up to let the dog out, I feel the rush of cool air hit my face as I open the door. I know this sounds crazy, but standing there in nothing but my underwear, I feel like going out with the dog and dancing around in the cool air. Then again, the neighbors all have a pretty good view of my backyard, so I stayed inside.

Today, I went out for a quick 25 miles. I almost felt cold as the air hit my arms and legs. It's funny living in the desert. After a few years of living here, 72 degrees starts to feel a little on the cool side. But I soaked it in none the less. The cool air felt good. Another month or so and the daytime temps will be a lot better as well. Then I will be able to sleep like a normal person and not have to get up at 4:30 to prepare for a 5:30 am "Beat the Heat" ride.

There's other things to hate about the summer. The summer heat brings the dreaded Bark Scorpion out looking for water and shelter from the heat. This year, they finally decided to enter my house for the first time ever. These things are not fun to have in the house. We have found 4 in the house since the last week of July. One dead, and the other three very much alive. Nasty little creatures that can scale the walls and drop into your bed. When you find one in the house, you don't sleep very well for a few days. Earlier this year, there was a pretty bad Palm Tree farm fire just under a mile away. Since scorpions like living in palm trees, it's probably this fire that has made this year worse for home invasions. Hopefully the cold weather that's coming will get these things out of my house!

In the mean time, Hell hasn't quite frozen over yet, but today's ride was a good one. The air was nice and cool, which is a sign that the change is starting to happen. You can see what's left of the Palm Tree farm in the picture above.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What's That in the Tree?

So my friend Bob, who is a recreational cyclist, is out for a ride the other day. This is his first ride a little over a week after his first crash on his bike. Now, the crash was minor and Bob escaped with only a little road rash and his bike wasn't damaged. The thing about a crash, no matter how minor, is that it leaves a lasting impression on you. So Bob gets the nerve up to go out for a ride the other day. I can imagine that like anyone else, Bob was a little nervous on his first ride back after a crash. He was probably not riding very fast, and probably took extra precaution when riding through intersections, making sure the drivers saw him. I mean, this is only normal after crashing the week before, right? But this ride turned out to be anything but normal.

What Bob didn't expect during this ride, was to see something that will never leave his mind. Something that will forever be burned in the photo pages of his brain. Something that will make him totally forget about his first crash. Something very horrific. As Bob rounds a corner and heads down the street passing a local school, he sees something just a bit out of place. I'm sure he had to take a second look before the image was clear to him. There, hanging from the branch of a tree, is a man's body. Dead of an apparent suicide.

Now I don't know about you, but this is not my idea of a scenic ride. I much prefer the occasional wild animal, or the greenery of a golf course, or the view from the top of a mountain I just rode up. I can't imagine what went thought Bob's mind as he realized what he was seeing that morning while out on his ride. I do know that Bob had his cell phone with him and that he called the police. I do know that he waited for them to arrive and shared his story with them. I don't know much else, however, I will definitely ask Bob about it the next time I see him. Who knows why this man took his own life? We are living in tough times, and suicides are unfortunately a part of the territory. We can only hope that those around us who are struggling, will find help before what they think is the end of their rope.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Honk if U Like Pot!

I saw this guy while out riding a few weeks ago. Sorry the pic isn't the greatest, but it was my first attempt at a pic on the fly. Anyway, this guy was having a blast dancing around with his sign. As I approached, I thought he was advertising for a furniture store going out of business or for some new condo project, but as you can see, it was something entirely different! His backside was even funnier as his pants revealed that he was doubling as a crack dealer!

Ten Points, by Bill Strickland Book Review

Well I just finished Ten Points by Bill Strickland, and I gotta say, this was quite a book. I had checked it out from the library several weeks ago, along with some other books, and unfortunately didn't get to it before the due date. So, about a week ago, I went back and got it. I'm sure glad I did, I think.

This is one of those books that leaves you with a lot of different emotions and an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. I have to commend Bill Strickland for taking the chance he took with writing this book. He opened up the dark closet of his childhood and allowed some nasty skeletons to come out. I imagine those skeletons haunted Bill quite a bit while writing this book, but at the same time, I get the feeling the he tamed them quite a bit.

The book is a story about cycling, fatherhood, abuse, and life in general. Bill writes about the weekly Crit Series in his hometown that he races in each week. After promising his daughter Natalie that he will score 10 points that season, he sets out on his quest to do so. As he takes the reader along for the ride, he tells the haunting story of his childhood and the abuse he endured under the hand of his father. It's quite a dark journey that he went through, the kind of journey that no child should ever have to take. Enduring things that no child should ever have to endure, Bill grows up fighting a constant battle to not become his father, to not become a "Strickland".

Bill's description of the weekly races put you right there, as if you are riding on Bill's handle bars, they way you did as a kid. You can almost smell the sweat of the racers and feel the rain as it pours down on the streets. You can hear the chains and the gears clicking, and you might even feel your heart rate rise as if you are right there in the pack, chasing down a breakaway looking to score a point.

I must admit, there were times that my stomach turned and I wanted to put the book down, but I couldn't. I wanted badly to get to the end to see that Bill came out okay. Bill's story is an important one that every person can benefit from. Whether you race bikes, or just ride for pleasure, whether you are a father, or you will be one some day, this book tells a story of how the human spirit can survive and be stronger in the end.

I am grateful for men like Bill Strickland and their willingness to share their deepest and darkest secrets. As a father, a husband, and a cyclist, I can look up to men like Bill and know that we can all learn to tame our demons. We can all learn to allow the good parts to outshine the bad. This book scored 10 points and is a book that every man should read.

Bill Strickland was the editor of Bicycle magazine, and still contributes to it. He also has a couple of blogs that can be found in my blog list on the right side of the page. Sitting In, and Bill Strickland. If you are interested in a copy of this book, please consider clicking on the link on the right side and purchasing it from Amazon. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Totally Avoidable, The Driver Needs to be Punished!

This just makes me sick. This crash was totally avoidable had the driver simply been paying attention. By his own admission, he wasn't. Let's hope that something is done about this incident. Let's hope he doesn't get a pass just because he is a politician. Ride safe, and keep your eyes out for these crazy drivers!

Today's Forecast...

So the forecast today is for a high of 106 and a low of 81 with Relative Humidity of 54%. The Dewpoint is at 61 which of course means that a thunderstorm is possible at anytime. We're still in Monsoon season, although we haven't had much rain here for the last few summers. I remember the first year we moved here. I heard the weather guy talking about Monsoon as if it were a long lost relative who showed up once a year to irritate the family. You know, the long lost son who comes home looking for free food and money and immediately leaves once he gets what he wants. Anyway, "Monsoon" is a living breathing entity that is apparently deserving of this sort of treatment. That first year of living in Arizona was filled with some serious storms. The first one I had the pleasure of experiencing was in May of that year. It was early in the year for Monsoon to rear it's ugly head, but it did, and it did it with vengeance.

It hit about midnight and woke my wife and I up in a state of panic. Our master bathroom has glass block windows in the corner and I could have sworn the paparazzi was in my bathroom taking rapid fire photos of me and my wife in bed as if they had caught us in the act or something. The glass block windows made the lightning outside seemed light flashcubes popping off left and right. Then a clap of thunder came that shook both of us right out of bed. I went and looked out the front door and our street looked like a raging river. The rain came so hard and fast that there was 3-4 inches of water flowing down the street in a matter of minutes. The strange thing was that it was flowing slightly uphill! The streets here in Arizona are graded to slope towards runoff areas to prevent flooding from the storms that we get, only the wind was so fierce that night that the flow of water was going the wrong way. After we were finally able to get back to sleep, we awoke the next day and assessed the damage.

The wind had brought new patio furniture from of of our neighbors yards. I'm serious, we had a new umbrella, and two of those cheap plastic chairs in the yard. My bar b cue cover was gone so I guess that was the item traded for the new chairs and umbrella. Honestly, I would have preferred to keep the bar be cue cover. Anyway, lets just say that we were both questioning our move the next morning. What had we gotten ourselves into?

We would go on to have some pretty major storms once we actually entered Monsoon season and we got a repeat performance the next summer. It's kind of interesting watching your expensive palm trees bend over almost touching the ground with their tops. Seeing the water creep up to your back door is always fun as well. We haven't really had much from Monsoon in a few years. A couple of small storms here and there, but not much in the way of rain. I actually found myself missing Monsoon these past few years, wondering when he would return to unleash his wrathful storms on us. Afterall, there's nothing like a morning after a good Monsoon. The dust and debris left in the wake of a Monsoon can be pretty interesting.

What does this have to do with cycling you might ask. Nothing. And then again, everything...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

View From This Morning's Ride

Well, here it is, the view from today's ride. This is pretty typical of what I see most of the time where I ride. Dusty and dirty. There are much prettier areas here in Arizona to ride, but for daily rides, this is the view. As long as the wind isn't blowing very hard, it's okay, otherwise the dust can really get bad. Last night we had a pretty violent thunderstorm pass through. The windows were literally shaking and the thunder was loud. The two little ones crawled in our bed and one was pretty panicked. Not much rain though, in fact it seems like the only thing left behind was a bunch of new tumbleweeds I had to navigate through.

Monday, August 31, 2009

These Guys Rode Through Hell...

First Post...

Hey everyone! So here I sit looking out the window into the 106 degrees of hell, wishing I would have gotten up early this morning to ride. The truth is that I'm tired! I've been training for the Best Buddies Challenge coming up on September 12th in California. You can click on the picture to donate if you feel compelled to do so. I've been working hard and I'm tired. So this morning as I sipped my coffee and made lunches for the kids, I thought what the hell, I'm not riding today. I protested and my legs loved me for it!

Normally I ride between 3 to 5 days a week. Last week I burnt almost 5000 calories riding. I've been climbing, doing intervals, sprinting, and just plain riding. So, as you can image, my legs and the rest of my body feel like they've been worked over by a Louisville Slugger! The killer is that I've been doing all of this in the middle of the hottest time of the year here in the Phoenix area. Yes, I get up early and ride my longer rides on the weekends, and I usually leave the house right after the wife leaves with the kids for school for my shorter rides. It's not so bad early in the morning, but the reality is that it sucks this time of year. I'm getting tired of going to bed at 8:30 in the evening! I feel like I don't have a life at times. Heck, good luck getting any alone time with the wife, considering I fall asleep before the kids!

So, the good news is that the ride is in less than 2 weeks. The great news is that it's in a part of the country that cries "Heatwave" when the temps reach 80 degrees! I can't wait to see the coastal fog of my old stomping grounds! Night time lows in the 50's and daytime highs in the 70's! Carmel, California! I'm going to look really cool in my winter riding gear, riding down the California coast all the way to San Simeon, home of the Hearst Castle. And when I reach my destination, I'm going to eat everything in site! Oh, the food! You gotta love a sport that allows you to pretty much eat most anything you want, all in the name of recovery!

Anyway, the day after, I will be in my car, headed back to hell. I'll probably swear not to ride for several days, get my life back to normal, and stay up later than the kids. But, we cyclists know that wont last too long. The cycling demons will haunt me after a few days, and the hot melting asphalt will beckon me to come out to play, and before long, I will be getting out if bed before sunrise wondering what the hell I was thinking that day, swinging my leg over the bike and setting out on a new adventure. After all, it's what we cyclists do...