Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pictures from a Ride

Thought I would post a few pictures of the area I ride to out and back. The countryside is beautiful and it makes the miles go by so fast.

This is a view of the lake that I pass by on my way to the turnaround.

This horse keeps watch at the corner almost every night. Oh the stories it could tell. I still can't figure out why it has a full mask on its head though.

Another view of the lake on the way back.

Not a great picture, but it is a tree growing out of a silo. I don't know much about silos, but I bet this is not the real purpose for them.

I'm sure there will be more pictures later too since I just figured out how to take them with my cell phone. I know. Technology on a bike is dangerous. Lately I have been running on Tues., Wed., Thurs., Sat., and Sun. The long runs being on the weekend. Then I have added the rides to Mon., Wed., and Fri. It's been a good plan leading up to my ultra on Sept.11th.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Running, Riding, and Critters

It happened again tonight on my 43 mile ride. Bugs. Not just a few, but at least millions. What's up with that?

I've been running for about eight years. Distances of 5K,10K, Half-Marathons, Marathons, and Ultras. No bugs. Then I started cycling again about six weeks ago. Now bugs. Does speed attract bugs? I'm not really sure, but I think there is a difference between being a runner and a cyclist that I never thought of. Critters. Bugs, and all sorts of things.

Just tonight I saw two raccoons (roadkill I'm afraid), 10 goats, several cows, piles of stuff in the road that cows make, a lizard-like creature that was running across the road, ducks, geese, turkey vultures (at least that's what people tell me they are), and bugs. I mean stick in the teeth bugs. A couple of them had an express lane trip right down my throat.

I consumed at least a dozen mouthfuls of a variety of these protein Man vs. Wild gourmet delights. Who needed to bring a protein drink along when all you have to do is open your mouth and say, "Look I'm speeding past you, jump in for a ride".

Then it got serious. They got all over my Hammer Nutrition clothes. Commonly referred to as a "kit". Not cool. I was covered with bugs from helmet to toe. I love my kits. I really don't like to get them dirty at all. A little or even a lot of sweat is ok. But bugjuice. No!

Now, it's not the first time this has happened. I have been riding this course for several weeks now and no bugs. Why now? Did the Bug Bus just happen to let off a billion bugs along my route just to attack me? The little ones, hey, I can handle them maybe. But the large ones hat hit the helmet and various parts of the my body with a thud and a splat need to go somewhere else. This is just not working for me. When I finished tonight I looked like the front end of a Ford Pick-Up truck.

Not that my 15-25 MPH pace will stagger the Tour de France people, but it is definitely attractive to the bugs of the Midwest. As a runner, I have had no bug worries and don't anticipate any. I have some foot speed too. Qualified for and ran Boston and am scheduled to run it again in 2010. Am a member of the Marathon Maniacs. Have put down some pretty good PR's now and then as well as some clunkers. But in all of those races, I have been bug free. Is it the speed that attracts bugs? Or is it just that I am running into them and they are totally surprised too?

Think about that. As a bug, you're just flying along minding your own business and then Wham! You're a helmet decal. I guess it goes both ways. Anyway, any advice you can add would be appreciated. I have a long run tomorrow and will ride in a Livestrong event on Sunday. We'll see about the bugs.

On a more serious note, my son Andy just loaned me his copy of the George Hincapi DVD. Wow! That is a must watch DVD. Very inspirational and very well done. What an amazing individual.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!