Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Atomic Men And Woman

9-23,24,25 18 miles each day
9-28 56 miles
9-30 18 miles
MTD milage 485
YTD milage 3729

Here we are the 2nd fastest Coed Relay team at this years Atomicman Half Ironman! This was my first competition since leaving college many years ago. It felt good to train and compete again. each one of us put in great efforts and were given great results. Let me break down the day for you;

We arrived bright and early, still dark outside and we had to check in. As I placed my bike in the transition area, I noticed some serious bike gear. It seemed as if every bike had 2k + Zipp wheel sets and deep dish rims of one make or another. Lots of Bling Bling. I even noticed some of those sperm looking bike helmets. I do not understand the use of those. What I decided, was this must be a serious race. Oh shit I am going to get crushed

I had spoke to Phil about his experience doing the hammer in the past and all he said was the bikers were fast and aerodynamic looking.

So now, I was starting to get a little performance anxiety.

The morning started out rather foggy, you could not see 5 feet. The swimmers all gathered on the beach and began to go through there individual routines. Phil and I stood and watched with amazement. Wondering how long it would take one of us to drown out in that water.

We then realized the competition for the relays and us were the only ones not heading for the water. We began to size up our competition. Trying to figure out who the other coed relays were.
After a while we went to the bike to get ready. Kathy, my cousin, came up from Texas to complete the swim. She was my ringer. You see, Kathy has been a swimmer her whole life. Through college and into her adult life. She spent time testing scuba equipment with the Navy Seals in Ca. then opened her own dive shop, Saba Reef Divers, on a remote island named Saba a short ferry from St martin. She was going to be fast, Phil and I could not judge how fast due to our own inability to float. Well, I can float

The issue is the swimmers went off in waves,

1st wave men under 40
3 mins later 2nd wave men over 40
3 mins later 3rd wave woman and relays

This gave the leaders a 6 min. head start. I figured I would have 75 or so bikers in front of me to use as bait for the 56 mile grind.

The first male exited the swim and was flying to his bike. It seemed like his transition was 30 sec or so, and he was off. One of those Zipp wheelsets with a full disc wheel. Wow he looked fast. I sat down and began to put on my shoes. I gave my legs a little stretch and Phil watched over the lake. the swimmers had about a 100 yard run after exiting the lake to get to the bikes. All by the way, it was all up a steep hill.

A couple more swimmers exited and I was caught up in watching them go through there transition. I had never seen anything like this before. There was an all male relay next to us, the biker looked very serious. (Sperm Helmet) and also had zipp wheels with a full disc. I watched him leave and suddenly Phil begins to get excited saying here she is. What, how could that be, I have only begun to watch these athletes exit. Kathy, has passed 141 swimmers and came out of the water 17 overall. She posted a time of 40:22. If not for the fog she would have been very close to 30 mins. Turns out the course was also longer than half.

I am pumped with excitement and nerves. I transfer the timing chip from her leg to mine and off I go. Thinking Oh shit this is going to hurt.

I head out and during the first six miles, all I could think about was the lack of bait I had to chase. I was riding with some very fast riders who were all business. I was expecting to start the ride with the average Joes and work my way up to the serious athletes. My mind just kept saying don't get passed!

The first 5 miles of the race is flat and I had to maintain 22-24 mph. Luckily, due to training on the course, I new the first lap would be without wind. I had to hold my own on the first flat section and hurt them on the next 2 miles of hills. I was passed early on the flat by a rider, but I was smart not to attempt any pace over 24 mph. I was feeling a little how could I put it, tight. Once again I had no warm up. This is just like a lunch ride I kept thinking to myself. I want to tell you about each rider who passed me and all the thoughts that I had. I just can't remember them.

We hit the hills and I hammered the first section. I remember thinking to myself, I am supposed to be dropping these triathletes like bad habits on these hills, and I was not. I was making ground on some and I passed a couple, but they were hanging like the new kids.

We crested the hills and headed out for the back half of the loop. I just kept the hammer down and we all rode rather consistent. I was happy to somehow keep up with these Sperm Heads and aero bars. By the way, they looked to be about 25-30 year old. Each time I passed one, I said, "I am just a relay and I will try not to get in your way see ya"

We hit the last straight section on Bear Creek rd. it is a 5 miles section of rollers. I continued to hammer and to my amazement, passed back a couple of riders who went by me earlier. I thought for sure they would come back by me once they ate or recovered. But to my amazement, that was the last time I would see them. All of a sudden I felt a breeze blow by me! I looked to my lrft and it was no other than VIRTUAL TONY! He had came to show his support of the slow rider.

I hit the hills to head back and kept the pace high. By this time, my average was over 22 mph for the ride. I Had hoped to complete the ride around 18.9 average. This would bring me in at the 3 hour mark.

The issue was, I saw my competition, the closest coed relay team early in this ride. The rider was wearing a bright red and yellow shirt.

By the way, I sported my WIN SUSAN PINK jersey in honor of Susan's fight against cancer.

Click on this link and enter this contest

Anyway, by my calculations he was not very far behind me. I had to keep up the pressure. I finished the first lap and saw Birdman, Big B, Kathy and Phil all there cheering me on. I made the turn and headed back out. This time feeling just a little more confident about the outcome. My legs felt good, I had only been passed by a couple of SH and I was way ahead of my planned pace.
I used the same strategy as the first lap, but to my amazement again, this time the tri boys legs could not climb with me. i began to pass a couple more. The back half of the ride was more of the same, I stayed with the riders for the first sections then as we turned back onto rt 95, with a big tail wind, I hammered all the way to Bear creek rd. I hurt the riders I was riding with. I just hope I did not hurt myself in the process. I turned onto bear creek and a rider passed me. This pissed me off. I new this section was long and full of rollers. This was the same route as the tour de cure earlier in the season. If I could hammer then with cramps all through my body, i told myself I could drop this Sperm head. He gave me a bad look as I went by, he should not have done that. It pissed me off, like I did not belong because I was a relay. Oh well that was the last time I saw him.

Out of the blue I was passed by a rider on a willier, He went by so fast I had to google the name for spelling. This bike was sleek and he was moving. I am betting he posted the fasted bike time. I never saw him again.

I now was approaching another rider who was looking strong, we turned onto the cry baby hills to return for the last time and he hammered the first hill. He stayed in his 53 tooth sprocket and looked strong. I really did not think I would make it around him. He had huge Calv's and was in good shape. I stayed, as close as I was allowed, and happy to follow. The second hill, I decided to attack. I made sure that as I went by, I went by fast. he sat up and hit the wall.

I never saw him again. He bonked, I did see him later running, looking like he hated life.

I finished the ride being passed by 3 but passing 8. This put us in 12th position after the bike portion. With a time of 2:49:11 good for 18 best bike time.

Here I am coming into the transition area. I almost fell on my a@# as I unclipped and ran toward Phil. Many thanks go out to virtual Tony who helped me maintain my balance. Phil grabbed the timing chip from around my ankle and he was off. 13.1 miles of running in front of him.

Phil, has been running for many years now. He also came from operations of Pilot. His path to fitness is similar to mine. We both left field ops looking like Pillsbury dough boys and now both of us are over 50lbs lighter and much better off.

Phil qualified and ran in the Boston this year. He posted a respectable time, I just can't remember the time.

I need to start by saying Phil, the night before in Walmart, dropped a 2 liter of pop on his little toe. I know I wasn't sure If I believed it either. the night before???

Later in the day I saw the toe, it looked bad. Real ugly, I mean nasty

Phil ran great he posted a 1:46:20 for 13.1 miles
Nice off road finish for Phil

When it was all said and done, I am a little torn. You see, we watched some amazing athletes run that race and we only did segments. I watched and as each competitor crossed the line, I was getting the urge to complete this race solo!

So today and now I formally announce my plans to race the 2009 Atomic Half Ironman solo!

I would like to say, If I sink in he water I reserve the right to do a relay again.

I also challenge all readers of this blog to join me and finish this race. Time for the 2009 race is not the challenge, finishing will be. If you don't step up well I will not get into name calling. I would like to see 5-6 of us out there next year cheering each other on to completion.

We can at least get 2-3 more relay teams built up.

Below is a picture of my cousin Kathy and me and It is strange to have an article that is about both items in the title of this blog. Love and Two Wheels is about the love and support of family and the love and passion of biking. Kathy is family and she came and supported me in this crazy idea.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Classic

David wins, he gets the grip refresher. Just squeeze and twist!


Many thanks go out to velo friend David this week for inviting me to play in The Classic. This is a fund raiser for Blount Memorial Hospital. Of course I had to accept the challenge.

One issue, I have only played one time this year. I was worried about making a fool of myself. I do not know why I worry, I have never been good at golf. So I went to this outing with low expectations and played above what I expected. Wow this worked out great, I should try this with more of my daily duty's. Aim low and then you are almost guaranteed to overachieve.

Why has it taken me 38 years to find this philosophy? I have always aimed to be the best, and have frequently failed.

This is much better, even with this Blog, I want it to be great not just good.

But today all that changes, today I am ok with just being good. So here are some Pics I snapped at the event, we all had a blast. David, feel free to sign me up for next year.

Make sure and check out the videos,

Josh and the inside out strong draw

Josh, wanted everyone see that he could stop the ball. Nice shot

Jerry knows to Watch, Listen and Learn. Look at the form here Jerry!

Josh, just a bit outside right

Here us the video of Josh's best hit of the day, Just not in the right fairway! Pay close attention to the audio portion, Classic

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lance Rides with Astana

Lance announces his plan Here. He also announces the team will be built around Taylor Phinney. Sphere: Related Content

Oh my here I go

9-22 18 miles
Mtd 357 mi

I am spending my time this week tapering my training for the AtomicMan this weekend.

As much as I try, I can not seem to get my mind off of buying a mountain bike. Even though I have never ridden around east Tenn.

I am open to all types of bikes, with the constant quality seeming to be lighter the better and 29" wheels. Now with 29ers I already gain weight with more tire and more front fork. Here is a version that is hot in the lead http://www.salsacycles.com/selma09.html

But then I could go full ridgid picture this frame with a rigid front fork http://www.moots.com/#/product/bicycles/29er_mtb/uno/

Now, both of these 29ers I have shown you are single speeds. My mind says I will be mountain biking to gain fitness for road biking. I somehow believe I will be riding with some of the same super strong riders I road bike with. If they are on full suspension carbon beasts, how do I keep up with a single speed? I go up hill faster and they go down hill and ride the flats faster. The area will will be riding in is Haw ridge. Lots of hills and some of the best single track in the southeast.

Do I need to be looking for a Full Beast? I am liking this Giant. I can not afford this bike, nor the Specialized I ran across the other day. One of my velo friends suggested this bike .
Still too much

What ever I end up with, it will be a used bike and a great deal.

craigslist awaits! Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Up Up The Hill

Date 15,17,18 and 21st

Milage 16,18,18 and 50

MTD Milage 339

One week from the Atomic man and I decide to go on a hill climbing Sunday ride. How could I turn it down, great weather, two wheels and the GSMP. It just doesn't get better than that.

Two friends of a Knox velo friend were in town for the Big game, you know the one, Florida vs. UT

Turns out they live in south Florida, they are also triathletes. What luck, two flatlanders who want to do some climbing. The plan was to take them on three ways to hill.

The problem was, on Friday, they climbed Butterfly gap and did not want to experience that pain again.

We decided to hit the wall and sweetie pie then regroup and figure out a finish to bring us around 50 or so miles. Here is the pictures I snapped on the start of sweetie pie, 24 degrees half mile bitch. It took me five attempts before I got snapped into my pedals after stopping for these pictures. I almost had to descend.

The camera does not do the grade of this hill justice. I will say, the flatlanders climbed like they were on fire. I do not think they would last on 3 ways to hill, they were too competitive. Each time one would begin to pull away, the other would jump up on his pedals and close down the gap. At the top, I stopped and snapped off a few pictures from the overlook. This is why they are called the Smoky Mountains!

Nothing like riding in this area, any day we choose. Here's a pic of the guys posing like a group that just ascended Alp De Huez

All in all, the ride was great. I got a chance to meet two new velo friends who I have a feeling will be back for some more.

Great job Smoky Mountain Cycling Tours! Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shout out to the Men of the Pilot Mailroom

Today is a special day, today I give my thanks to the men of the Pilot Mail room. You see, more than I would like to admit, I forget to take my key to the re-enter the office on my lunch rides. To my rescue come the MEN OF THE PILOT MAIL ROOM

You see without these guys, I would forever be locked out! Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Velofriends unite for Knox County

Why can't knox county be more bike friendly

Bike industry generates $90 million in Portland, OR
By Yokota Fritz
From Portland, Oregon: a new report shows that the economic impact of the bicycle industry in Portland has grown significantly in recent years - to roughly $90 million. Read more at KATU, with much more discussion and analysis at the excellent Bike Portland.

The report shows:
Between 850 and 1,150 jobs are related to the bicycle economy in Portland
The city is home to nearly 4,000 annual races, rides, events and tours, which is equivalent to about one ride every 27 minutes. That is up from 2,100 in 2006.
The number of companies building bicycles by hand in the city has grown from 5 to 17.
In recent years, two international high-end cycling apparel companies have also chosen to make Portland their U.S. headquarters. London-based Rapha Racing Ltd. moved in February while Italian-based Castelli made the move in 2005.
The study said the fastest growing sector of the bike industry in the city is manufacturing and distribution.
The report only estimates direct bicycle-related business activity in Portland such as gross revenues. It does not, for example, factor in the increasing number of businesses turning to bikes as delivery vehicles, the report authors said.The report shows:
Between 850 and 1,150 jobs are related to the bicycle economy in Portland
The city is home to nearly 4,000 annual races, rides, events and tours, which is equivalent to about one ride every 27 minutes. That is up from 2,100 in 2006.
The number of companies building bicycles by hand in the city has grown from 5 to 17.
In recent years, two international high-end cycling apparel companies have also chosen to make Portland their U.S. headquarters. London-based Rapha Racing Ltd. moved in February while Italian-based Castelli made the move in 2005.
The study said the fastest growing sector of the bike industry in the city is manufacturing and distribution.
The report only estimates direct bicycle-related business activity in Portland such as gross revenues. It does not, for example, factor in the increasing number of businesses turning to bikes as delivery vehicles, the report authors said. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day Of Truth

9-13 mileage 56

MTD mileage 237

Today is the day I test my legs for the upcoming Atomic Man Half Ironman. This half ironman at this location is considered one of the hardest in the country. Lucky for me, I am on a team. Today I have planned on meeting up with a couple velofriends Lindsey and Jeff to ride the route. 56 miles of pulling my friends. I ate good the night before and felt solid at the start. I wanted to set a time to use during the race as a base time. The course is considered tough because it climbs over what the locals call the cry baby hills. Jeff reminded us they are also referred to as the three bitches. You see, they are not long or even very steep, only 6% at the max. They are just long enough and just steep enough and all three in a row, that make you want to hit them hard. I pushed over them in the first loop. This is where I believe I can make time during the race. I do not have tri bars and would not consider them this late in the game. I know I can climb harder than any part time biker. I also know they will go faster on the flats. OK, we travel out to where I believe the turn around point is and head back. This means over the hills again. I hit them hard again and return to the starting point in 1:24.

Second loop, I take the first 4 miles a little easier and climb a lot easier. I feel strong the rest of the loop and when it is time to come back over the hills, I hit them hard. I can not believe it, I have a chance to finish under 3:00. I push to the finish and wow 2:59 on a perfect day. Not too hot and hardly any wind for the area. I want to thank my velo friends who helped me push along. I also need to add a couple of qualifiers to this time. 1st, I have rode 5 of the last 6 days and my legs were not 100%, and I also took 30 mins in between loops due to a work conference call. So 2:59 comes with some baggage. Either way, I feel good about the race. Two weeks to taper and be ready.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Ryans Playground

9-10 17mi

9-11 40 mi

9-12 14 mi

Mtd 165 mi

When we ride, we each have our little favorite parts of each ride. Today we rode in Ryan's playground! Let me describe Ryan, he rides with us everyday and never rides on the weekend. He has family commitments. I think he is afraid of riding longer than 1 hr. :)

Ryan is a really strong climber and I mean strong, I do not think he knows how strong he is and his playground is filled with ups and downs.

Ryan likes it steep! earlier in the year, we took him out to the foothills parkway and the first time there, he posts 58 min time. This with no one pushing him and no knowledge of the climb.

last night,

I rode the CBC (A/B) ride last night pretending to be a racer again. It had to be shortened due to lack of sunlight.

This ride runs about 21-22 mph average for 43 miles. It is a fast paceline with a couple of sprints. I could not imagine the (A) ride on Tuesdays.

There was a surprise last night, Spiderman returned! Yes, if you remember back from the Tour de Cure ride where I was allowed to ride with the ex Olympian for 85 miles. Well, spiderman was the first of the final four that day to cramp up. He fell off the pace at 65mi or so. He is a strong big man, I would say a solid 190. You would think I would out climb him on this ride, problem with the CBC ride, it is as flat as you will get in Knoxville. 1,700 measly ft of climbing. So spider man has the advantage. Next, our route is modified due to light. Once again, I am at a disadvantage. I will make this short, we approach the last hill, I take off on a sprint and pass spidy saying, "come on spiderman lets go". He replied, "I will go with you". We dropped the other 10 or so riders and raced to the top. Lets just say, the hill was too short for me to win. I felt good about the effort I gave and anyhow, I have already proved on a long ride, I can outlast Spiderman. By the way, his real name is Jeff. And he is a stronger rider than myself.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lance Returns

Can't wait for 9/24 until then you can find out the news from Cycleliciuos at this link

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2008/09/lance-armstrong-in-vanity-fair.html Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here is the ride map for the half iron man

I should announce, I am doing a relay half iron man. I am not sure if this qualifies for a post or not, as it seems at very least only 15% of the output required for a real iron man.

The team is made up of;
A co-worker Phil "I ran the Boston this year" or Phil "don't expect too much from me" or is he Phil " I can do it in 1:30"

Kathy "I swam the English channel" or Kathy " I have over 3,000 deep water dives"or Kathy "I swam in college"

and Me!

We or I hope to at least come in at a respectable position in the coed relay. Of course if we don't the beer afterward will taste the same

I need you , the readers to name the team. We will get shirts made up with our name and logo

If your name or logo is chosen, it is worth a $25.00 gift card.

Here is the route for the bike portion. Two laps
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/tn/lenoir%20city/664701750997 Sphere: Related Content

Sunday Tour Of The Smokies


Sundays ride 75 miles

Mondays ride 15 miles

Mtd 156

I woke up Sunday wanting to get in a good ride. The problem, no one to ride with. So virtual Tony and I headed out for coulters bridge(above) see the nice parking area. This is where all good SMNP rides begin.

I had to snap this picture of river road leaving coulters. This is what the day would bring, great weather, little wind and lots of sunshine. Look at the vista, how perfect!
Along river road, sit many little cabins and houses. Some nice, some not so much. This property and house is about perfect. Sits back off the road with a nice yard and river for a back yard. Notice the steady hand as I pedal down the road.
At the end of river road you cross a one lane bridge over to Kinzel Springs. This is the view from the road. You might recognize Kinzel Springs as the home of HGTV's BLOG CABIN. Seems fitting I mention that on my blog.
As I make my way up to the park, I decide it is time to stop in Townsend at the coffee shop. I am very surprised to find it open on Sunday. The owner has just began to open up on Sundays for a couple of hours. A bagel for me and I am off. I did have a plan to stop on the way back for a cup of Joe and a muffin, but the shop had already closed.

As you enter the park, you come to hillbilly beach. This is the curve of the little river. We refer to this area as the Y. This is where you decide to go up to cades cove or head to Gatlinburg. Today I went west to Gatlinburg. 18 miles of the most beautiful road you could ever ride a bike on.

One example of the Little River

I took this picture as I crested the hill at Laurel Falls trail head. This has to be the busiest trail in the park. Very tourist friendly and paved.

I admit, I stopped to snap this pic. THE SINKS this is the location of one death per year. Very fast moving water at times and many dangers below. DO NOT SWIM HERE

I went down to Sugarlands visitors center and on my way back snapped this pic going back up to Laurel falls. This post is turning out to be more of a picture slide show and not a strong story line. Oh well tough luck.

As I made my way back into Townsend, I met up with two other cyclists. I think there names were Lance and Floyd. I names them this because they had just began to ride for the day and I already had over 3 hour on the saddle. I quickly sized up there strengths and weaknesses, and there were many of both, and decided to make them climb. I knew I could stay with them going up hill. We hit the Foothills Parkway. You can see a slide show of the parkway on the right hand side of the blogs front page. This is the best kept secret of Townsend. This has to be one of the top rides in America. There are five ways to ride to the top and all require lots of effort. I snapped the above picture as I road with the two disbelievers. They could not believe I was riding and taking pictures at the same time.

As you reach the end of the first climb, you get a grand view of Maryville, TN. I was right, lance and Floyd had no warm up and 3 miles into the climb they were toast and begging me to head back down.

Out of order a little, but I had to get the sign.

I headed back river road, but first I had to stop and cool off. This is the local pool for Heritage HS
Not sure they wanted there pictures taken.
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Foothill parkway on Wednesday

mileage 30
Sept mileage 48

I rode the weekly foothills parkway ride on Wednesday this week. Another rider who is great at organizing rides, thought it would be good to do this week on Wed. vs Tues. I think he was out of town until Wed. Oh well, I rode cautiously due to a sore hammy and felt good. 65 mins from the bridge to the rock. it turned out to only be the two of us, so the turn at the rock was fast and I was home by 8:05. Yes, in time to help with bedtime. Score!! Sphere: Related Content

Shout out to John and Lisa

Many thanks go out to John and Lisa, for letting the family stay over the last weekend. We had a great time at Benny's Pizza! Oh no we did not you see, Lisa forgot to call and make sure they were open. Not to worry John saved the day and took us to Bag of nails bar for all you can eat fish. Yes, in central Ohio! Fish, I only wonder where it came from?

It must have been good, all that is left are the devils fingers on my plate

Have you noticed the weekend seemed to revolve around how much food I could eat. By the way we had Ice cream every night. I left home at 162 and returned 170 bloated and feeling huge.
Anyway, one last meal to talk about, yes Skyline Chile!! A must have when traveling to and from Columbus. I will let the pics tell the whole story. I had a 3 way and Justin enjoyed cheese coney's.

Olivia and Jennifer were just happy to be out of the car.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sad day in Knoxvlle

Date 9-2
Todays ride 16 mile
Sept mileage 16
YTD through Aug 3,244

Knoxville is as into football for UT as Ohio is for OSU
Today they are Pissed off and very quiet.

Ok enough with the picking on UT. Today we took a very easy, yes I know strange, ride around the boulevard. I have a sore lower hamstring and others were tired from staying up late watching UT.

I am the one who should be tired, well that is not true Big B should be tired. He is fighting the LA power grid and Gustev. I wonder what kind of stories he will have when he returns.

I can see the headlines now

"Big B Battles 80 mph wind Yet Still Pulls Pace line At 27 mph"

How can we compete. We are not worthy Sphere: Related Content