Saturday, January 30, 2010

Endo of the Week

This weeks training was pretty routine. I was able to get out after work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday was the usual errands, followed by bike prep for my Saturday long ride.

So where to ride this Saturday? I wanted to get about 100 miles in, with some climbing, but nothing too hard since next week is our 300KM brevet, with 11,500 feet of gain.

My friend Keith (@cyclewarrior on Twitter) was looking for someone to ride with him from Ramona to Borrego Springs and back. Sorry Keith, but that one would take me too long to recover from, although it would be a great ride, and I want to go back over Montezuma Road. (A 12 mile climb that gains 3,600 feet).

So I decided to head out from the house and go over Del Dios, a modest climb, and through the Harmony Grove/Elfin Forest area. I need to take some pictures of that section for those not from San Diego, it is probably my favorite area to ride. From there I went on up into Oceanside from the East, picked up the San Luis Ray River Bike Path, and headed to the coast. Strong winds out of the north/northwest which meant strong headwinds on the bike path. Once I got onto Coast Highway, though, it meant a pretty nice tailwind. Holding 24-26 MPH through Carlsbad and Encinitas felt great.

Normally I would continue south and go over Torrey Grade before heading a bit inland to home. However, with the pro golf tour at Torrey Pines, I thought it would be safer to go inland at Carmel Valley Road and take the 56 bike path.

Sometimes we should just stick to the plan. As I approached Camino Del Sur, where we have to cross the road, the light was green and the walk sign on; coming down a bit of a hill I looked just to be safe. No cars go for it. Out of nowhere there is a silver SUV about to hit me as I’ve started to cross Camino Del Sur. The only thing I could think to do was to angle right and hope the SUV stopped. It did, but I had too much momentum and hit the center divide. Turned a fabulous endo onto the median, landing on my left forearm and hip. I managed to bounce right up. The driver stopped and says, "what were you doing?” I said going through MY GREEN LIGHT!!!! He says, “It wasn’t green.” I point, and he has the look of a deer in headlights. A classic o-crap! moment. He apologizes. I wave him off as I am more interested in checking my bike out. Front rim looks okay, not taco’d like I had feared. Chain dropped, no biggie. My elbow and hip are sore. I spin the front wheel, looks to be true, so I get composed and put my chain back on. I take a closer look at the front wheel and notice the tire is off the bead. As I inspect it, I see a bit of a bulge. I touch it and BOOM! The tube pops.

I remove the tire, put in a tube, and fill it to about 75 PSI to not put pressure on the sidewall. I test the bike, seems okay. I’m only about 4 miles from Black Mountain Bicycles, my shop, so I proceed to the shop. I want them to inspect the bike and make sure all is okay.

In short, the bike is fine. I’ll need a new front tire ASAP, they had to true my wheel a bit, make a couple of adjustments. As usual, the guys at Black Mountain took great care of me.

I rode on home, just another 4 miles or so. Had recovery drink, food, shower, and have a nice hunk of ice on my hip. Hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow; I’d really like to ride.

Thank you, Lord for somehow keeping me safe through that one. If You are sending me a message to be a bit more careful out there, message received.

To all my cyclist friends, keep the rubber side down, and your head on swivel. Let’s be safe out there.

Twitter: @stevecycles200 -- Follow Me!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Before I get into this week's writing, I want to take a minute and say Happy Birthday to my dad. He is 82 today. Happy Birthday!

I live in San Diego. Generally speaking we have the best weather, anywhere. Usually between 65 and 77 degrees, low humidity, little rain. This week, the weather made sure we knew not to take our blessings for granted.

I usually ride after work three or four days a week. Depending on where I am in my training schedule, and what time will allow 15-40 miles per ride. I got out on Tuesday in a short, but windy dry window for 15.55 miles. The wind had done some damage here:

Wednesday I did an hour on the trainer. I really prefer riding outside, but the biggest part of the storm hit Thursday. Wasn't feeling great on Thursday, so no riding, not even on the trainer. Actually took a nap after work, and went to bed at 8:30.

Fortunatley felt much better Friday, which is scheduled off on my training. I use my after work time on Friday to prep my bike and nutrition for my Saturday long ride.

Saturday, 7:00AM roll out. The skies are clear, but the air is crisp and downright chilly. 43 degrees. I am well layered. The roads are still really wet. This will be a good test for my new shoe covers. Through Rancho Santa Fe and off to the coast. Then through Camp Pendleton (Semper Fi)! And on up to San Clemente. Refuel and turn around. Back through Pendleton, and straight down the coast. Around Oceanside my legs felt like lead. Poor early season form? Not enough riding this week? Pushed too hard outbound? Pushed through and finished my 112.2 mile ride. Building the miles up, I have some long events planned for this year.

Went out Sunday, originally thinking recovery ride, but I really need to start thinking about good efforts back to back days for 600K, 1,000K, and 24 hour events I have planned this year. And the legs felt pretty good once I got out, so I went over Torrey Grade, pushed up the grade and set a Personal Best. I track my time over Torrey since it is near my house and I do it about once a week or so. Ending a water logged, less riding than I would like week on a very positive note.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Blogger!

Okay, I've just entered the 21st century and decided to write a blog.

I already know at least three cyclists who write blogs, @BikeCrave, The Surly Rando, and George's Epic Adventures. So do we really need another blogger? Probably not, but here I go.

Some have asked me how I got into cycling. So I will make my first blog as a brief history of what got me into cycling.

In April of 2006, I was 370 pounds. I had high blood pressure, and was on two medicines for it. I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. It was way past time to make some changes.

Me before my second bike ride. Approx 370 at the time:

The sleep apnea diagnosis was a blessing. The Rx: a C-PAP machine. This allowed me to actually get a restful sleep, which gave me some energy throughout the day.

What to do? Running hurt too much. Walking bored me. Hiking was okay, but my feet would really hurt within a mile or two. I liked riding a bike as a kid, why not try it.

I knew nothing about bikes. Went to Sports Authority, I guess I knew enough to know Wal-Mart bikes were crap. Bought a mountain bike for about $220.

My first ride was on the Hodges trail. Less than 2 miles. I was gassed! But, I had fun.

I started riding after work. At first 2.5 miles around the neighborhood. It took until July to hit 10 miles, around Mission Bay.

Weight loss was slow since I still hadn't changed my diet. But I was feeling better. Way better. I discovered I preferred riding on the road to trails. I went to a real bike shop in October of 2006. Black Mountain Bicycles in Mira Mesa. I wanted to do some road riding. Could a 330-340 pound man ride a road bike? Based on my Internet research, no, but a touring bike might work, or maybe a cyclocross bike.

That was exactly what Brian at BMB recommended. The Specialized Tri-Cross. Part cross bike, but could be converted into a touring bike. Strong enough wheels and frame for my girth.

I couldn't believe I spent $1,600 on a bike! I better ride it, huh?

I started to watch my diet, as my wife and I really got focused around that time, and started tracking what we ate. And I started to ride. And ride. And ride. Since daylight savings time was over, and I was too much of a neophyte to ride in the dark with lights, I got a trainer. And I rode.
Fast forward, in August of 2007 I did my first century, the Cool Breeze in Ventura. I was hooked. In 2008 I did a few more centuries and my first brevet

In December of 2008 I purchased a true road bike. A Specialized Roubaix. Built for distance riding, in the first year I had this bike I road over 8,000 miles. I did my first three Double Centuries earning a California Triple Crown, several brevets, centuries, and just went for rides in excess of 100 miles. I joined the UMCA and completed what they call the Larry Schwartz award.
So here we are, in early 2010. I am currently 214 pounds. I like to say I've lost over 150 pounds and 4 chins. No more high blood pressure. Me today:

If you told me back in 2006 I would be 214 pounds today, I would not have believed it, and I would have been thrilled. Funny how your perspective changes. Hanging around cyclists, I realize I still have some work to do. But I enjoy the process, love cycling especially Ultra events.

I want to say, I don't think I would have done this without the support of my wife, Angi. Thank you! and of course without my faith in the Lord.

If you like, I often "tweet" during my rides. My Twitter is @stevecycles200.
Stay tuned, I am going to try and write regularly.