Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sick No Mas and JayP talks

I officially declare my sickness over. Over two weeks of low activity. I need to be careful in ramping up the mileage too quickly. The 24 degree temperature this morning helped convince me to not push it. One big week of work ahead will get in the way of too much exercise. I have to spend an all nighter watching over a 200 lb pig that I am roasting for a big charity event Friday. After this weekend my calender is wide open again for awhile which will be a nice change.
Also here is an interview with JayP. Not much of value in it other than word that he is going to be challenging Curiak's Iditabike Nome record. SHould be a good race to follow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Buying, Spending And Using

Bicycling the coast with your two year old: money well spent.

Unbelievably I am still sick. I am not completely knocked out like last week but the foreign substance being produced deep in my sinuses and throat will keep me from doing any of the high end aerobic exercise I had been enjoying. I have a theory that our bodies want us to hibernate, to slow down, to get fat in preparation for a long winter and these autumn illnesses are the result of our attempt to fight that biological imperative to be lazy and fat. Just a theory. I have been back on the bike just running errands and commuting to work.
Yesterday I rode the bike over to buy a watch ( I have never been a watch wearer but thought it would be handy on the trip). I have a master purchase list that lays out all the things I need to acquire before next June 20. As my squirrel cache of cash fills up i look over the list and see what I should buy next. Looking at the list all of the big items are taken care of bike/bags/ lights/backpack. Remaining are things like chlorine dioxide, sunscreen and socks. Looking at all the things I have picked up and the things left to buy, I had to wonder if this event is an elaborate excuse to buy new stuff.
Twelve years ago I had a similar feeling when my wife and I biked down the Pacific Coast with our two year old daughter. The REI dividend that year was amazing. Twelve years later, we still have and use many of the things we purchased for that trip. We definitely got our money out of them because we bought good stuff that was going to last.
I have always thought that you don't have to have a lot of money to have the things you want, you just have to have a way to analyze what is important. I could find justifications to buy an iPhone, a 320gb external hard drive (on sale for only $99), a new ski jacket or a coffee maker. All of these things I have a legitimate need for but I have narrowed my field of vision for acceptable personal purchases. All of the money I spend is separate from the general operating fund that pays the mortgage and keeps food on the table. All purchases involve cash, no credit. I have committed myself to acquiring the items I need for this event and given myself enough time to get the money together for them; no impulse buys.
Perhaps after the race I will decide it is time to buy a coffee maker and forego my morning routine of boiling water and brewing one cup at a time with a mesh cone filter. The important thing is that whatever I spend my money on I want to feel like it was money well spent and the truest test of that it use.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I am sick. It is bound to happen this time of year. Despite missing out on a 70 degree fall day when I could have been on the road doing a 100 miler, the timing of my sore throat is as good as it could be. I have all day to sleep and drink hot toddies before the work week begins. The Bioneers conference and Epicurean Charity event are coming up and it is a reminder that I have to get better at clearing my schedule. Lately, there has been a lot of activity on the food side of my world and the calendar is filling up with meetings and events. The goal is no obligations after the first of the year. Work keeps me busy enough without having to do a lot of extra curricular activity.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heart Beats And The Beater Bike

After a month of riding the new bike almost exclusively it was something to get back on the Ibis. With over ten years on this bike, it really stands out as the bike that feels like home. I can't even begin to fathom the tens of thousands of miles I have ridden on it. Despite what appears to be a long loving relationship, the Ibis is in deplorable condition (as always) The brakes are for braking only in theory, the chain is protected by a thick layer of grease that looks more like crude oil than chain lube, the headset has an indexing problem, the left crank arm is bent, the bar tape is disintegrating, the chain tensioner is held together by a zip tie and the once beautiful paint job is just plain sad. With that being said, it was great to take the bike out on it's favorite ride to CDA and back (no hills limited stop signs).
You would think that a regular diet of 5-6 hour dirt rides with 4-6 mile climbs would make the CDA ride seem easy but singlespeeding is funny that way. 80 miles of flat is 80 miles without coasting. It is 40 miles of high cadence tailwind and 40 miles of high intensity riding back into the 20 mph wind. No wonder those Belgiums are such tough bikers.
Digging through my bike boxes I came across my old heart rate monitor. There was a time when I thought that I needed to learn how to train and got into the science. I read all the books and tried to follow a structured routine. It did not work for me. I stopped using the HRM because I discovered that my breathing was an accurate way to access the level of effort I was expending. Regardless, I thought it might be fun to put a new battery in the HRM and see what kind of readings I would get with my now older body.
I was interested to see that my walk around Hr was 42 BPM. I can ride with a tailwind for a couple of hours without breaking 110 bpm. I can ride hard for an indefinite amount of time at 162 bpm and drop down to 124 bpm when I stop at an intersection.
I won't be riding with the HRM everyday but I will use it on some rides throughout the year just for curiosities sake.