Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rosedale Ride 2009

The 15th Annual Rosedale Ride!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The Rosedale Ride is an annual bike ride benefiting Rosedale School, the Austin Independent School District's only school for children with multiple disabilities.

I know for a fact that the hills training we did last week helped me to be strong today in the cold and blistering winds. Despite the cold and wind, this ride was much easier than Bastrop's Pedal Through The Pines. Best of all was the volunteers. They had people lined up everywhere guiding and supporting the cyclists. At one rest stop they had kids running up to us saying "You want me to hold your bike sir?" By far the best volunteers I have ever seen on any ride.

I ran into a few people I know including Eric, Catie's boyfriend who was with his brother and father. I hope I can keep up with my kids in 10 plus years like Eric's dad. They flew past me in the last 7 miles.

At the very first rest stop I got some mud stuck in my left cleat and I'm pretty sure that is what caused the extreme knee pain I experienced at the tail end of the ride. (last 10 miles) I'm reading up on it now. I don't know but it sounds like I need to go in for another fitting.

I have been kind of sick this week. The one thing I am sure of right now is that my body is dead tired. Another 63 miles clocked and the training continues. I have fallen asleep three times since I got home and I am ready to get to bed again. Good night!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dam Ride Last Saturday

Kevin and I are still training for the Tour de Cure. Last Saturday we elected to do hills and not little ones but a big dam hill. For those of you who do not recognize the scene, this is Highway 620 that leads down to the dam by the lake. As I was taking this photo I could feel the bike picking up speed quickly and the wind was rushing at me. I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid when putting my phone back in my jersey. You do not want to go down this hill with only one hand on the bars.

"A casual spin around the neighborhood may be an excellent recovery workout, but to challenge the cardiovascular system and reach peak fitness, you have to invest a little more energy. As with running, that means quality workouts like tempo rides, intervals, and hills."

"Short, high-intensity, steep climbs will raise your anaerobic threshold and give you that “top end” for tough sections on the mountain bike or particularly steep climbs when out road cycling."

We only clocked 50 miles but it was a great ride. We even stopped at a little taco stand in Lakeway, between the drive thru beer barn and the fireworks store.... And James claims that there is no culture in this part of town. Bah! Anyway, note to all, greasy barbacoa tacos are better than any energy bar out there.

The Steiner Ranch and Lakeway areas are very hilly and we got a great workout. In fact, I am certain that this workout will be a tremendous help in future rides. No one wants weak legs. =)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hittin' the Hills

Saturday's weather was nothing like we've seen these last couple of days. Temps in the mid 40's, Kevin and I were proud of the fact that we even made it out there. The subject of this posting may sound like we were intentional in our selection but the truth is we chose the hills to avoid the wind on our normal routes.

In the Great Hills area of Austin, we hit Yaupon, a steep 8% grade. The caution sign is at the top of the hill and I saw it just before we flew down! We turned to go back up and it looked ever so daunting. This photo does NOT do the hill justice. As I gasped my way up the hill, I sucked in so much cold air that my throat became really sore. Kevin seems to think that we should start repeating this climb regularly until we can make it 6 or 7 times. I want to be optimistic and think positively but seriously, is that possible for me? What kind of time frame are we looking at for successfully accomplishing a goal like that?

Is there anything that I can say or feet/time that I can calculate that will convey to you in words exactly how challenging this hill really is?

The afternoon temps are now in the 80's again and I'm riding in the morning before work. All my friends and cycling buds are somehow on Spring Break, enjoying this awesome weather and riding during the day. You guys suck!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Fund Raising Progress

I received an email from the leaders of the American Diabetes Association here in Austin. The event is two months away and they are so far from reaching their goal. I increased my goal from $1000 to $1500 and you guys really came through. This is my first experience with fund raising and I have to tell you that your donations have inspired me to really get involved with volunteering. I am not sure what to do at this point with the Tour de Cure. Should I stop raising funds where I am or press on to see how well we can really do? What do you think?


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pedal Thru the Pines!

This was my first time attending this ride so for those of you who have never heard of this event, here is a brief summary of why we ride:
"The 7th Annual ride through the beautiful Bastrop Pines supports the mission of the Family Crisis Center, which offers programs and services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Bastrop, Fayette, Lee and Colorado Counties."

Members o
f the Austin Endurance Cycling Meetup Group joined up at the Chestnut Theater in Bastrop before the ride. We met some new people like Adam and Chris and saw regular biker buds like Matt, Todd and of course there was the leader babe, Patti. As I said, this was my first time Pedaling through the Pines so I didn't know what to expect, except of course the first hill that Weiland mentioned so I thought/hoped that was the end of the hills. In order for me to complete 63 miles I needed as few hills as possible. Well, that was far from the last hill. Ugh, I have never encountered so many hills. Todd said that one of the park hills had a 22% grade. It was a short lasting hill but at the beginning of a metric century it was tough. My family has camped in this park before but I have never seen it or appreciated it's beauty like I did while cycling. Flying down some of these steep and winding park roads was a thrill but left no real site seeing time because I needed that speed to get up the next hill. You also might notice that I have no photos of the hills - no way was I reaching for my phone while going up or down in this place. I was exhausted but happy to be out of the park. I saw flat roads and thought the next 53 miles would be more of the same. NOT!

The first rest stop was great. I saw bikes there that I had only dreamed about. Teams of cyclists pulled in wearing the same jerseys, all with top of the line equipment and Italian bikes. What would I do with one of those bikes? Right, I know. I'm perfectly fine with what I have but a guy has got to drool once in a while.

I felt like I was going to collapse a few times during the 63 miles but this was more than appropriate. When I saw the second stop was across from a cemetery I found it funny to see bikes standing along the edge. It was as if they knew I was coming.

Every stop we made we got a chance to listen to others complain about the wind. Patti may have complained about the wind once but that is only because it blew the sweat off my face and onto her. =) Now, don't get me wrong, the wind was strong but it just does not compare to the winds in the Hutto area when you ride the
Round Rock Salt Lick Ride. There were so many trees in Bastrop that it gave you shelter long enough to get ready for the next gust. You don't get that kind of break in Hutto. So, if you'll listen I would choose to complain about the hills. Not that they were bad or unfortunate, the hills were just a real challenge and I am a better cyclist because of them.

If you haven't been fortunate enough to meet our buddy Patti, I encourage you to join her meetup. She really helped me get over the last few hills of the day. I chased her often and we had some great conversation. We haven't known each other long but my kids love her - they feel like she could be one of my sisters.

For me, I would love to do this ride again next year. I think that it helped me train for the Tour de Cure and I need all the help I can get.
Finally, this last image is one that Adam shot. It is a beautiful view of the last hills before reaching the highway. It looks peaceful but it was not. The wind came gusting in hard from the left and at 35 mph your entire body is flexed including your butt in an effort to keep the bike vertical.

Until next time,


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tour de Cure 2009

What a year this is turning out to be! I am recently becoming more involved with the church, I am taking a class, I am networking, I have joined clubs & groups, I am looking for opportunities to volunteer and for the first time ever, I am fund raising. This must be what "living" is all about. I feel truly blessed by the support from friends, family and clients who are joining me in the fight against diabetes. In 24 hours we have almost reached the half way point of our one thousand dollar goal.

The link to my Tour de Cure page is to the right under "Links I Like". Feel free to share it with everyone you know so that they can join in the fight too. Thank you so much to everyone who has already joined me.