4 Hours in the Saddle = Sore Butt

Up early and out the door this morning into 43 degrees and a fine mist. An old friend and I drove down south to ride the Minnesota Ironman, a 62 (or 100) mile supported ride. I needed the training time and this was a great way to get a good ride in while having some good company and plenty of food every 30 miles or so.

The first couple hours were fine, though it was really, really windy and never got over 50 degrees. We averaged probably 18 mph for the first couple hours, which is pretty good for us slow suburban boys. The route wasn’t hilly and we had the roads blocked off for us. With some wind at our back and the rain slacking off, the day wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. So we were pretty pleased as we pulled into the rest stop at mile 42. We ended up making it in about 4 hours, but that includes a couple stops and a very slow last 12 miles as my partner was suffering a bit.

There were a lot of people who obviously started the day without really understanding what they were getting themselves into. Lot’s of Wal-mart bikes, too many day trippers on mountain bikes with fat tires, and a surprising number of kids. But the rain and the wind must have really bothered people and it brought into sharp focus the importance of the right clothes. I was dressed perfectly: Craft base layer, jersey, arm warmers, wind vest and a wind and water resistance jacket. I was wearing some leg warmers (not the Flashdance kind) and some thermal socks. I could have rode all day. But I saw a lot of people wearing jeans, or worse, grey sweat pants. Flimsy, see through rain ponchos. Moon boots. Oh, man, I can only image how bad those folks will feel after slugging it out for 5 hours on their bikes.

I need to do this every weekend now until July 15th or so. And I need to get my time down, too. But, at the same time, I need to work on climbing. So, in the weekday workouts, I’ll focus on 12-15 minute climbing intervals (or simulated climbing workouts) and try to get some long, slow rides in during the weekends. Overall, I’m feeling really good. I had a couple weeks off and I think it helped me recuperate and rebuild and now I can feel my “form” (as the racers call it) coming in.

I’m very pleased, but now it’s time to really focus on losing those last 10 pounds. But, first, I’ll have some Treatza Pizza to celebrate a good day of riding.

Wow! Another Billy Joel Accident!

“Singer Billy Joel was involved in his third car accident in two years Sunday when he slammed into a house on a wet road on Long Island. No one was seriously injured…There was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved and Joel was not suspected of any crime, said Nassau County police Officer Joan Eames.” Nothing newsworthy, other than to laugh at the drunk.

Close to the Racers in Georgia

I’d love to be down in Georgia right now, watch the Tour De Georgia as it rolls through the state. Becase the sport isn’t as popular here as it is in Europe, there’s an opportunity to get very close to the worlds best racers, as this picture of Mario Cippolini shows. For cycling geeks like me, it would be the equivalent of seeing a Tiger Woods / Phil Mickelson shootout on a public course with no crowds or TV.

Getting Ready for My Trip to France

I’ve been meaning to get up to speed on my french, but there have been too many diversions (the slow, spiraling fall of the national prestige, Nipplegate, IRS suits knocking at my door). So, thanks to the Internet, I’ve learned what I need to know:

I understand your language perfectly.
Je parle français comme une vache espagnole.

Stupid uncultured lout.
Stupide beauf inculte.

Where can I find the dissidents?
Où se trouvent les dissidents ?  

It’s nothing compared to our shopping centers.
Ça ne vaut rien à côté de nos grandes surfaces.

I’m a personal friend of the Ambassador.
Je suis ami[e] intime de l’Ambassadeur.

I know I’m naked, could you just tell me how to get back to the hotel?
Je le sais bien que je suis à poil; je veux simplement savoir comment rentrer à l’hôtel.

Don’t you speak English?
Vous parlez pas anglais ?

It’s better in the States.
C’est mieux aux Etats-Unis.