Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crank Brothers

Thanks to my generous Christmas bonus (which I'm not sure I deserve for being at the job less than two months, but regardless) I was able to pick up some Crank Brothers Egg Beater SL pedals. They rock. That is all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Joy Of Commuting

So, on Friday I donned what is to be called the "Hibernation Outfit":
And followed a new route to work. It was much safer than dealing with the clustercuss that is the I-95/Baymeadows interchange, but adds another couple of miles and a new minutes to the route. This wouldn't have been quite so bad, but it just happened to be balls-ass cold outside to boot. My toes were frozen, and I had trouble breathing. Not to mention commuting fifteen miles by bicycle in Jacksonville is damned near suicide. Unless you have THIS:

This sweet piece of commuting machinery is the Felt F95 TFCCE (Too Farkin' Cold Commuting Edition [yes, I know it's a bit of a mouthful]). Maybe if I petition Felt, they'll make me a custom model?
Note the sweet 8 dollar Schwinn bag setup, and the hobbled together lighting:
It's a good thing we'll never run out of zip ties. It's also good that my bottle cages are generally unmolested, so they could still hold this fancy deal here:
So anyways, the trip wasn't TOO bad... except on the way home, wherein the coldest rain evar* began to fall.
*NOTE: this claim is completely unsubstantiated.
I realized, though, that even through all this, I was having a great deal of fun just being on the bike. I love it, all the soreness, coldness, and minor inconvenience aside. This is why I think I'll be ready to race this next season. I hope so, anyways.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One Day...

...seems like forever when your bike is in the shop. I'm getting my 90 day maintenance done up at Champion, whatever that means, and they'll need the bike until tomorrow. I'm losing my mind! I wasn't even going to ride (stupid crummy weather), but just not having the bike hanging up in the room is driving me nuts! Here's hoping the next couple of days goes by fast!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

40 Degrees: I Must Be Out Of My Mind…

Today in Jacksonville, it was a balmy 41 degrees at 8:00 am, right about the time I was crawling onto my freshly cleaned Felt F95. I got all of 9/10ths of a mile down the road before I decided I was ill-dressed for the occasion. So then I donned this get-up.

Do I Look Cold?

Do I look cold, or what? Not only did I have a good bit of trouble warming up, but I was also carrying a pretty hefty payload:

Loaded Up

I don’t think jersey pockets were designed for 30 pounds worth of tools, but I could always be wrong…

I had a pretty decent ride, but the cold and lack of food conspired against me, leading to a 6-mile bonk. I tried to stretch out and tell myself, “it’s just a hurdle, jump it and move on” but I guess that sentiment got intercepted by my roiling stomach on the way to my legs. I dejectedly turned back to go home, but spotted the entrance to the UNF Fountains dorms and swooped inside (pardon the pun). I continued to go through at a pretty easy pace, as I couldn’t seem to get my cadence up in the higher gears. I eventually worked my way over to the library, and while I was working on turns, decided to use the parking garage for instant artificial hills. I had a decent time running around there, and eventually worked the knot out, I guess. I hit some decent speed on the way home, took a little detour, and got a good amount of miles for the day.

Later, the girlfriend and I went to the town center to ride around for another 10 miles or so. Check out this expert locking job:

Awesome Bike Lock Job

I really need to work on that.

So, yeah. Look forward to more updates as the training ramps up for January.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

About Me

So, first post.  Always the hardest place to start.  

My story is as follows: I am a twenty-two year old college student and musician who has always had trouble keeping fit.  After a tumultuous year (getting laid off, starting back at college, and surviving off a dead-end job), this past August I got the idea of becoming a cyclist.  After a few rides, I decided to train for the road race segment of the St. Augustine Cycling Festival, which at 26 miles was some obscene distance I could never travel.  Come to find out on race day that the Category 5 (beginner) riders had been absorbed into the Category 4 (amateur) riders and would be racing their nearly 40 mile course.  September 12th came much too soon, and my unprepared self suffered a bonk and watched in terror as my left leg cramped up solid as a rock.  I was able to limp through one 13 mile lap, but could go no further.  The experience was very educational, and I got bit hard by the racing bug.  I promised myself I would be ready for the first race of the next season, which looks to be on January 30th, 2010.

I discovered through much research that the bike I was riding (a LeMond hand-me-down) was much too big for me, and looked into getting a better fitting bike.  Champion Cycling here in Jacksonville, FL got me a great deal on a 2010 Felt F95 in orange.  I'll post pics of it soon.

We're still fighting fit issues with the bike, but I'm having a great time riding the Felt.  I've gotten much more comfortable riding, and have since put 240 miles on the bike in the past month.  I'm gearing up for some longer, out of the city rides (from here to St. Augustine, most likely) and want to be able to pack in some heavy miles before January.  I plan to keep this blog updated with my trials and tribulations as I train to become a bicycle racer, with the aim of becoming a Cat 4 this upcoming season.  I hope you enjoy the read.