Sunday, August 30, 2015

HHH 2015 - Holy Smokes!

Went up to HHH this year, with a January goal of a sub7 hr century.  I really didn't think I would be able to do it, as this year has been fraught with setbacks and downtime.  Plus my gut has been a bit tender this past week and I was scared it might flare up badly while I was out of town.

Stayed with the good folks at First Christian Church ($50 incl dinner and breakfast all you can eat).  Slept up against the scoreboard wall (warm side of gym),  and slept well.  It was a little warm at first, but cooled off after the lights went out.

Got up about 04:30 and had a good breakfast (coffee, oj, 2 hb eggs, oatmeal and a chocochip muffin.).  Took a little too long packing up, and was almost late getting to the start of the ride!  Had to hunt a parking spot and then reassemble the bike in the dark (harder than it sounds).  I got to the cage, and just a couple minutes later we started!  I'd almost missed it!

I settled into a fair pace behind a tandem, but then before Iowa Park learned they were only doing the 25mi route.  I managed to get hitched onto a pair of tandems and a CA2, and rode with them until close to RS2.  I skipped that stop too, and rode on up the road to the 100mi turn and stopped at RS3 in Electra.

The course was fine, and the roads in better shape than in 2013.  High thin clouds stuck around until 10am, which helped keep the heat down.  Winds were very light, and had the tendency to follow us around the course.  There was really only one short stretch where it felt like a headwind.  I don't think you could have asked for better weather than we had yesterday!  I think if Dave had ridden the century. he would have beaten his PR 20mph pace of last year.

As it was, I hit Hell's Gate with a bunch of time left before it closed.  I felt great, and didn't even think about taking the bailout route.  I admit it grated a little to still get passed by large  packs of riders (not pacelines, just masses), but I just kept reminding myself to ride MY ride at MY pace.  I guess it worked too!

The rest stops were excellent for ice and water support, with a ton of volunteers manning pitchers of ice water at the curb, in addition to under the tents.  Made for faster transitions.

Moving time 5h 56m  gps.  Chip time #3148 6h 4m
Distance 100.66mi
HR 151 max 170
cad 65
speed 17.0

A sub-6 hour century!  WOOT!
Finish line selfie.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dog. Tired.

Just a fun photo from this morning, early, as Shiloh snoozed on the dog couch.

I'm off to the Hotter N Hell bike ride this weekend, so I don't know if I will be posting anything until I get back.  I'm going to play it by ear on how far I go.  If I'm feeling strong and my speed/time is good enough I may try the full century.  After that there is the long drive home too.  By that time, I'm sure I'll be dog tired too!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Early Monday Morning Musings

After Family Game Night, which ran long, as Liverpool Rummy often does, DH and I got to sleep a bit later than normal.  It was a fun game, though I lost badly, with DH winning the final Down and Out hand, and Monkey3 the overall winner on points.

I found myself awake at 04:00, though I managed to stretch the snoozetime until almost 5:00am.  Seeing DH go off for a check-ride on his Bacchetta CA2 with the new modified J-bar set from Schlitter Bike.  Changing the bars over, necessitated some significant reworking of the brakes and drive train, though it does appear to have fixed his shifting issue, and now he can use the granny gear if necessary.  Around here where we ride, a granny gear is not really needed most of the time, but when we go up to KS to ride, boy howdy it's handy!

While seeing DH off on his check ride, we both noticed the broken sprinkler head in the subdivision common area.  It launches a geyser of water some 20' high, watering nothing but the street and sidewalk.  If it weren't for the lack of drought here currently, the city would have fined the HOA for wasting water.  Which can total several thousand dollars, that ends up getting passed on to us homeowners via special assessments.  I managed a passable low-light shot of the geyser, so I emailed it with a repair request to the management company for the HOA.  I wonder how long it will take for them to repair it?
Not a lot scheduled for this week.  I get my hair cut finally, on Friday.  Time to shear this shaggy mop of hair!  Just in time for the HHH bike ride at the end of the month, and not too far out from vacation either.  I am hoping for cooler weather for HHH, to increase my chances of completing a century this year.  It's a good ride to do a 100 mi on, as it is well supported, there's a real supportive energy there in that crowd, and it's a relatively flat course.  The heat and tendency for high winds are the main problems one usually faces on HHH.

But, after riding with DH Saturday, for 53mi in moderately warm weather, I felt great!  As in, gee, I probably could do another 50 miles, if I had planned for it. Poor DH though, he suffered a grand total of 5 front wheel flats Saturday!  He had a tire we had booted (repaired a small hole cut in the sidewall).  But the boot abraided the tube and that one flatted.  So we replaced the tire with a new one we had with us.  Then there was a succession of patched tubes, where the old patches failed, for a grand total of 5 flats!  It's just no fun, when the Flat Fairy comes to visit you.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Random 5 Friday 08/14/2015

Another installment of Random 5 Friday, where you list five random things or thoughts from the past week.

1.  I'm finally back to feeling more like myself, after a bout of diverticulitis, and the course of meds to kill it off.  Bike mileage has been ok this week, though not as high as needed.  I was taking it easy, to make sure I am recovered.  Yesterday felt almost normal...I have high hopes for Saturday!

2.  The heat has broken at last in NTX, though our rain-free streak is still ongoing.  Highs are only in the mid to upper 90's now, which is far more tolerable.  Humidity has dropped some too, which is nice.

10-Day Weather Forecast

Daily | Hourly  Customize
  • Mon 08/03
Tue 08/04
Wed 08/05
Thu 08/06
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Sat 08/08
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Tue 08/11
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99° | 72°
Partly Cloudy
 0 in
Sat 08/15
99° | 73°
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98° | 75°
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Mon 08/17
96° | 76°
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Tue 08/18
98° | 78°
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Wed 08/19
100° | 78°
 0.11 in
Thu 08/20
96° | 77°
Partly Cloudy
 0 in
Fri 08/21
97° | 77°
Partly Cloudy
 0 in
Sat 08/22
99° | 77°
 0 in
Sun 08/23
100° | 78°
 0 in
Mon 08/24
Tue 08/25
Wed 08/26
Thu 08/27
Fri 08/28
Sat 08/29
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Tue 09/01
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5 pm
3.  I worry about the kneejerk reaction to things in the news, that many folks seem to have.  This country is more divided than it was less than a decade ago.  I fear for our children's future.  This is no longer the same country I grew up in...

4.  I'm gonna plug a small business here, that I have done business with.  If you find an interest in cycling, especially if you are interested in recumbent bikes and trikes, you would do well to include Vite Bikes in your research.  Owned and operated by appointment in Florida (Venice I believe), the Schlitters are wonderful, experienced folks to do business with.  Their attention to detail, and willingness to work with customers is outstanding.  They also sell some outstanding bikes and trikes!  They are both a wealth of knowledge about cycling in general, and long distance/Ultra distance cycling in particular.  If anyone wants to get a first hand look at an Encore from Vite Bikes,  they are starting a list of folks who have volunteered to let others see their personal Encore bike.  Just contact Vite for information.

5.  Winter is coming.  Hold on to that thought, in all its connotations.  Prepare.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top Gear Amazon Style

Over the summer, somehow, the Monkeys and I have become hooked on the former BBC show Top Gear.  For those unfamiliar with the show's concept, there are three core presenters, a team of friends, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.  They review various cars in Britain and then are sent on "challenges" by the show producers, usually with quite comic results.

The show has been on for many years, so there are all sorts of reruns, and our Uverse has BBC as one of its choice channels.  So suddenly I found our DVR loaded with tons of Top Gear reruns.  It's remarkably entertaining, and I've gotten hooked.

So imagine my dismay to learn that there had been a tiff between star Clarkson and a producer.  This resulted in Clarkson being fired or not having his contract renewed, depending on which version of the story one reads.  This led to the other two, May and Hammond, deciding to quit the show too, in a show of solidarity with Clarkson.

Fans over the world were quite disappointed from what I understand.  However, not all was lost.  There was lots of talk over Netflix or some other network  picking them up.  There was even an offer from the Beeb for Hammond and May to host the show, and have Clarkson visit periodically.

I was thus surprised to learn via Google+ this week, that Amazon had scooped everyone, by landing the trio for a new Top Gear show, to be on Amazon Prime!  DH has a Prime account, and it has proved useful for watching movies for free, and such.  While we have not yet played with the TV on Amazon, I suspect it will be relatively simple, much like the movies are to watch.  I confess, I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.  They are a hoot to watch, so if you have access to the reruns on BBC, check it out.  And if not, wait for it to show up on Amazon.  Amazon also says they will sell/distribute it to networks to broadcast.  So if you like Top Gear, never fear, there WILL be new shows!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

35 Miles of Fun, Then OUCH!

The weather today was nice this morning, so I went for a bike ride with my sweetie, DH.  We chose one of our regular routes, about 35 miles total.  That's good for a two hour ride.

We were having fun, playing Fox and Hound to start with, and then riding together after he caught up to me.  We rode through a small town, and then through a country cemetery.
Stopping by a little country church.
We saw lots of other riders, and even chased a couple!  Everything was going great, we were almost home.  Unbeknownst to me, my front tire was almost flat.  I was following DH as he went into a hard right turn.  That's when the front wheel slid out from under me as I leaned the bike over in the turn.  I had just enough time to realize something wrong before I got slammed down hard on my hip/glute.

Just 3 tenths of a mile from the house...And I had to walk home.  The tally so far from this mishap?  One pair of expensive  shorts now with extra ventilation!  One badly scraped right brake lever.  One scraped rear derailleur.  One pair of expensive internally cabled J-bars (handlebars) cracked and ruined.  One latex tube.  And one moderate case of road rash with swelling and bruising down the thigh.

Road rash covered with Silvadene and Tegaderm.