As the weather gets nicer around these parts, more and more bikes start showing up on the road, even here in the Salem/Keizer area, where I don’t often see all that many bikes. But the sun makes people happy and gets us all out enjoying the weather in new ways, and I can’t think of a better way than by rolling out on two wheels. That being said, any cyclist that ventures out onto the public road system knows that it’s at least tricky out there, and sometimes can be downright dangerous. Or it can at least feel that way. I’ve read tons articles about safe cycling on the road, and rights and responsibilities of the cylcist, but today I read a really great article that I wanted to share. Please read on for more…
In my just-over-two-years of cycling, I’ve never really been on a group or club ride. I’ve done organized rides, rides with small groups of friends, rides with my wife and kids, and tons of solo rides. I finally caved and met up with James, Tyler and Martha at the local ride leaving out of Scott’s bike shop in downtown. I wasn’t sure what to expect and/or which group to head out with, so I sent out an email to the team and got varying responses. (Spoiler note: I may run off at the mouth here a bit, and there aren’t any pretty pictures to break up the rambling….so click with that warning in mind.)
For anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve had a battle with the bulge for some time. In 2007 I successfully took down 50 lbs in a serious effort to eat better and take in more exercise. It was during that time that I developed my love for cycling as it was the only form of exercise I could really get into…and it all took off from there. Last year, I got a little lazy, especially towards the end of the year, and put back on 10-12 of those pounds, and just cruised through the holidays. Sadly, during this last part of the journey, I haven’t put up as much of a fight as I should have, or as I wished I had. Well, I’m happy to say, I’m back, and now with a vengeance!
My legs have been feeling very heavy these days. I mean, they *are* heavy for sure…they make up a good part of the mass that I’m rolling around with, but lately, they feel especially heavy. On my ride with Tyler on Monday, I could not get anything working right, and was just a slug. Today the sun is shining and beautiful, but as I’m kicking around here during work, my legs just feel heavy. Like I could chop-them-off-and-put-them-on-the-back-of-an-Xtracycle-as-cargo kind of heavy. I’m not sure what’s up….
Up until Saturday, it had been 10 days since I’d been on any bike, of any kind. Meetings, rush projects, kids activities…you name it, it pulled me away from being able to ride. Fortunately, I found a window -albeit a chilly one- on Saturday, and got out for a little combo road/offroad riding with teammates Pat and Ellen. Actually, I should say I tried with all my might to hang on to the back of whatever speeds they graciously slowed down to for me…but I’ll go ahead and pretend like we were all out riding at the same intensity…
I’m a victim of popular culture. While watching some clips I shot of myself to see what I can keep working on for the 2009 cyclocross season, I started taking notes…next thing I know, I had 25 of them. Thanks to the beauty of the interweb, you get to endure them along with me. In no particular order, my random thoughts while watching my own video….
1. Dang, that’s 220 lbs of rolling brown guy right there. I’ve got some work to do on the weight, it’s a good thing I’m still making progress.
2. What the heck was I thinking with my fashion choice for the day, I kind of look like a “Blue Man Group meets Oscar Meyer Weiner Mascot” mash up.
3. Yes, that IS a titanium hose clamp on that seatpost…. no, I can’t get you one.
4. Just shortly after putting my camera away, I was working on some tight corner practicing around a stump and fallen branch and found out what happens when a branch gets between the spokes and fork of your front wheel.
5. I’ve been told there’s a cougar out in Keizer Rapids Park, but no worries, I have yet to see Morgan Fairchild on any of my outings.
6. Dang, that really is 220 lbs of slow rolling brown guy right there….
7. When I see this video, I’m reminded of how every time I’m out on any of my bikes and I think to work on my form, the song comes up “Wanted, Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. Why you ask, because it sings “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride,” and there I am on my steel horse….and when I see the shadows of my legs on the road or dirt, I see how I look like a big ol’ cowboy….BOWLEGGED as all get out. Hooters may be famous for wings, but if I were a restaurant I’d be famous for thighs….and you would always be full if you ordered them. I walk the same way if I’m not careful…more reasons to keep making progress.
8. KRP (I’m not typing out the full name anymore) is just one letter short of WKRP, which was the radio station in one of the great sitcoms of my younger days.
9. If you watch the whole video, you’ll notice I DON’T have any run-ins with bordering neighbors. That’s because I clearly understand where the boundaries are now, and stay out of private property. Just trying to bring peace and unity to the city of Keizer.
10. In a pinch, I default to iMovie for my video editing, even though I have tons of more powerful tools at hand.
11. In the same pinch, I tend to gravitate towards free GarageBand loops as well.
12. You won’t see it in the video, but I actually did my first moving dismount here on this day and the Russians gave me a 10!
13. Shortly after the dismount, I decided I would pick up my bike and practice running over fake barriers. You can thank me now that there is not video of that.
14. Shane Witham is the Grand Poobah of KRP and Keizer in general. I’ve known him since he was in middle school – back when he flicked my earlobes marvelling at the sheer mass of them, back when a few of us rode with him the day he got his license and drove through peoples lawns, and back when we logged some decent nighttime wiffle ball championships in the State Hospital parking lot.
15. Shane, I’m going to be calling on you for some favors with the park soon, count on it.
16. I had “I Am I Said,” by Neil Diamond in my head all day during this ride.
17. I’m not sure what the ettiquite is in a park like this…do you yell “On Your Left,” or just slow down and sneak past someone, or just go around them. Somehow I still feel like most walkers are looking at me like someone who doesn’t belong.
18. I’ve got a nice little 8-10 minute loop where I go uphill, downhill, across dirt, mud, sand, gravel, bark chips, etc. I even have a section where I run over fake barriers and do a run-up up a steep dirt path. I’m going to keep working on bettering my time on that loop. I’m pretty sure that Pat, James, Ellen, Tyler or Martha would all do it in about half the time.
19. Before my last ride, I took off my second water bottle cage, and even left my bottle at home since it’s just a 10 minute ride to the park from my house. I’m not going to wait until James makes me get tough enough to race for 50 minutes without water.
20. I also got one of those old people emergency bracelets, so when I pass out from dehydration, they can notify my next of kin.
21. There is never a time, rain or shine, that I don’t shake my head in disbelief that we live where we do, and get to see such a beautiful place everyday. I am thankful.
22. I’m a photographer, but I still can’t help but look at the camera when I’m coming up on it. I would never be good on a soap opera that way.
23. I have no idea what a Poprad is, and I don’t plan on Googling it. I will not Google the Poprad.
24. Dang, I gotta say, that’s 220 lbs of rolling big brown guy right there….
25. I know I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m really getting pretty pumped. Gonna be fun to watch the progress! Thanks for reading and watching!
In the words of the great philosopher Snoop Dog, “when the pimp’s in the crib ma, drop it like it’s hot…drop it like it’s hot.” Well the pimp is in the crib, and we are officially dropping an *L* from our name, as of today. Although a technically correct spelling, most people find us by searching for pacific pedaling, with just one *L.*
Turns out those crazy cyclists across the pond like to double up on the consonants, but not so much on this side. Plus, we *are* facing tough economic times, so we figure it’s time to cut back a little. Not to mention, it fits better on a jersey….
Now don’t worry if you’re linked to us…all incoming links will still work, we’ve crossed all our Ts and dotted our Is to make sure stuff don’t break. But, if you are linked to us, or have us on a blogroll, consider changing out that link at some point if you don’t mind.
In Other News – Don’t forget the Salem Community Briefing on the Minto Island bridge proposal. It’s tonight from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at the Salem Library.
In Other Other News – There is some decent off-road riding at Keizer Rapids, just be careful not to miss any of the signs and accidentally end up on the roads leading to private property. They don’t take kindly to trespassers out there, even if you didn’t mean it!
I know the cross season is over, and most folks are heading into the road season. As the winter days turn to spring, everyone’s getting out on skinny tires and gettin’ all fast and stuff. I know others are dusting off mountain bikes and getting ready to head up into the trails and trees. And while I love the sunny days on the road too, I feel pretty comfy on my road bike — I’m not as strong as I’d like to be, but at least I’m comfortable on it. Yes, there will be many more days on my road bike, that’s such a love of mine, and I look forward to them. But up until this week, I’ve never really been off road, so for me, training for cross 2009 starts right away! On Monday, in the cold and rain, I got my first schooling….
Anytime I’m brand new to something, I like to take in as much information as possible before diving in. Particularly if it’s something I’m going to be doing in front of others, and especially if chances are high that I’ll make a complete fool of myself. Toss in a high likelihood that I can injure and/or maim myself, and I really want to get some heads up instruction before venturing out.
Even before I get some one on one coaching from other riders, I knew I needed a Cyclocross for Dummies type of book — something that would not only explain the history and evolution of the sport, but one that would also break down different skills needed, and the best ways to train for them. Scott Mare’s Complete Book of Cyclocross, Skill Training and Racing is way beyond the Dummies series book, and just what the doctor ordered….
No real post here today, except to say that I’m going to try out one of the options on my fitness list from the other day, and am going with my wife to a yoga class tonight. I’ve watched a few episodes of Yoga For Life this week that we DVR’d, but we’re gonna try it for real tonight. Most of the poses sound either tough – like the Warrior Pose, or majestic like the Eagle Pose, or elegant like the Goddess Pose, but I couldn’t find anything like a Buddha Gut Pose, so I could be in trouble.
I’ll let you know how it goes. And unless something goes wrong, cyclocross book review tomorrow as well. Peace.