Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh, that farmer's tan.

There's nothing better than that point in the season in which you get your first cycling sun burn. Here in the northeast, we've been stuck in the throes of a miserable winter for what seems like eternity. Recently, we've been lucky enough to get a couple warm days here and there which have allowed time on the road. Trails are too wet still, but a couple more days of sunshine should be all they need to dry out.

I can't fricken' wait, but still, it's nice to be outside enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine just the same. Although, there's no better way to get base miles and feel good on a bike than to chill out on a road bike, hitting some wicked climbs and screaming descents. Who knew that road riding could be such a thrill?

On a little more thrilling note, I've signed on to ride the Livestrong challenge in Philadelphia this August. So that means I have about 5 months to get ready to ride a century with nine thousand feet of climbing. Shouldn't be too difficult, right? My ass will be the color of sangria by the time I'm done with that thing. Preparation is key, and I've got my racing and event calendar planned out already. Mountain bike race in June, metric century in July, and the Livestrong in August. One good solid event per month should have me enough incentive to put the training time in and keep me having some fun at the same time.

Anyway, I need to go and prevent my future dear wife from punting my cat across the room. Such civil unrest...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Woo hah, daylight savings time.

The first sign of the beginning of cycling season is the extension of daylight, courtesy of the federal gubbermint. Maybe it doesn't save a lot of energy, but it sure does help me expend a bit more. I love the fact that in the middle of March, I still have daylight on my drive home (although it IS usually about 6:30, and too late for a ride.)

Of course, even if the after work ride isn't happening yet, at least I know that the temperatures will be warming up and the nice weather will mean lots of weekend thrills.

That being said, my buddy, is helping me guide myself (through the magic of Garmin 705 gps love) through some wickedly cool routes. Give them some love, they deserve it.

And start riding ya bums!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yee HAW! Sunny days and rolling tires!

FINALLY! A weekend with sunny skies, warmer temperatures and a lack of wind/rain/snow was in the cards. Yes, I could have posted a little earlier, but there's been absolutely nothing to post other than "trainer again, more snow, freezing cold" ad nauseum. The weekend was a gift of sun and mid 50s temperatures, and although trails are a swampy mess of runoff water and oily mud, the roads were clear and inviting.

22 miles on Saturday, 10 on Sunday and around 2500 feet of vertical gain were served up with a healthy dose of humility; damn it is early in the season to be hitting it that hard. Trainer miles just don't compare to hitting actual eight and ten percent grades out on the open road.

Ahh, but the joy of having the wind whip through the vents in your helmet, the feel of tires at the limit of adhesion on a screaming descent, and the almost nostalgic pain of climbing for miles on end just made the weekend perfect. Pasta and homemade bolognese following a quick scrub-down of the soiled road racer reminds me that yes, the season is coming. It's already here. Time to giddyup!