Friday, December 30, 2011

Who Needs Tenerife?

In the first official training camp style ride of the 2012 season for the Smyrna Bicycles Cycling Team, pronounced "lay-o-pard", eight of us got together yesterday and put in a brisk, 19 mph, 40 miles on the Silver Comet Trail.

A good time was had by all and a little smack-talk has started to rumble about the upcoming "race of truth", the Tundra Time Trial.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rocket Reducer #66

The memories of my youth on Internet radio

I was so much older then

Sensory sounds at the click of a button

I'm younger than that now

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'll Go This Way: Sizing Up The Competition

Mongo had every intention of "layin' it down" on Saturday morning and doing a serious ride. My ride options were 7:30 am, 10:00 am, or 3:00 pm, with various or no teammates.

I chose the 10:00 am option...which was one of the two "Enemy Bike Shop" rides. They both start at the same time from the same place with the shorter, Cat 6/7 ride breaking off after a few miles. This is the ride that Mongo has dominated all year...with either a win or a podium the last thirty or so times I've participated. I figured that for my last, probably, suburban-alley-cat-group-ride of 2011, I was going to do the longer, faster, Cat 1-5 ride.

When I arrived at the parking lot and looked around I knew that "wasn't" going to happen. There were way too many matching kits belonging to local pros, and there were even a couple of guys wearing Hincapie kits and riding BMC's. Too rich for Mongo's blood! Had it been a month ago and twenty degrees warmer, I probably would have given it the old college try. was 45 and windy and I hadn't doped properly for the effort needed to hang, or try to hang, with this bunch. So...I broke off at the appointed spot and did my usual ride with the usual suspects.

It actually turned out to be a little slower than normal, which led to "Hairy Guy With Beard On Parlee" and Mongo breaking away from the peloton about halfway through the loop. We battled each other over the last five miles, with both of us attacking several times, but in the end we decided not to contest the sprint...though Mongo did cross the line first.

Feliz Navidad

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Climb On The Back And We'll Go For A Ride In The Sky

“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

(Henry David Thoreau)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Back To Back: That's The Fact Jack

For most of Mongo's life, I have followed the "do what I want, when I want to do it" credo. While this cavalier attitude might seem admirable to some and childish to others, know that Mongo has paid the price many times over in the face of stability, commitment, family, and society. That being said, it has allowed me to pursue, or not pursue, avenues that might normally be closed to many. A ceramic bearing gathers no moss.

I was peeling off my kit a couple of weeks ago after a strong, 44 mile, 20+ mph ride with "He Was In The Front Most Of The Time" Tom, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. When did a small Shar-Pei start living on my stomach? Sure, I hadn't been riding as much as normal. And sure, my honey-bun and ice-cream intake has continued. But other than that, I was stunned at this development.

The past two weeks have been a boot-camp style immersion into regaining my fitness and losing the flabalanche. Long rides mixed with interval climbing have finally gotten Mongo back to ground zero. I put my fitness to the test on Saturday and Sunday with fast loops on the 23/2300 Hammerfest and the Beyond Six Flags courses.

Like most human beings, I'm not a big fan of cold weather. Throw in some wind and a bicycle, and it can be pretty miserable. Mental fortitude becomes the main factor under these conditions. Both rides offered Mongo the opportunity to pack it in early, but in honor of my teammates who were out there H'ing The F Up and racing cyclocross, I hung in there and finished strong.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Noises In My Bottom Bracket And A Real Asian Doing Tai Chi: Back On The Bike

(Photo: Powell-Peralta (Mike V Is The Shit!)

Mongo is typing this while all hopped up on Goody's PM. There's a good chance I'll soon fall over like a freshly-darted Honey Badger on his way to relocation. I have been riding, and will be riding tomorrow, so stay tuned for a lazy synopsis of the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Between The Truth And The Consequence

“In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Kaiser Does Fondo: Cat 6 For Ex Pros


What Will $134,000.00 Get You At Liege-Bastogne-Liege?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Blinky Lights And The Weekend Wrap Up

I'm surprised that I haven't mentioned this before. It irritates me as much as a snotty, parking-lot-poseur or a tri-geek rocking a triple and "every" add-on accessory that's made by Profile Design. I'm talking about, of course, people who insist on running their lights during the daytime.

Mongo is all about safety, don't get me wrong, but a high-intensity, flashing light when the Sun is out does nothing more than reinforce the fact that the person using it is an idiot. I don't need a thousand lumens blinking directly into my eyes to let me know you're there. Why? Because it's not dark...and unless you're wearing your Nashbar, Klingon "Cloaking Vest", there's a good chance that I'll see you before anything bad happens that might have been prevented by me being blinded by your stupid light.

Mongo didn't get to defend my victory this Saturday at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride. Work and being old got in my way. Though disappointed, I was actually happy to get some rest. When you reach Mongo's age, sometimes your chamois writes checks your legs can't cash. Anyway, I was eager to get back at it on Sunday.

Mongo put in 45 miles on the Silver Comet Trail (Home of the annoying blinky lights), and managed an average speed of 19.2 mph. Not too shabby for a solo ride. I did have to dispose of two Cervelos when they decided not to play nice and tried the two-pronged, "Schleck" attack on me several times over ten miles.

Today, I went back to the hills of the 23/2300 Hammerfest for a day of moderate suffering. Except for some dude in a car stopping me on one of the climbs to ask for directions, it was a smooth ride. I hate to say it, not really, but I'm riding pretty well these days. My weight is down to what it was in college (I was kinda chunky in college), and my aerobic and anaerobic fitness is at an all time high. If I keep this up over the winter, well, I can see myself moving up from the rear-middle of the peloton to the front-middle of the peloton next season.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Will $3219.00 Get You On Ebay?

"O.G." 1981, Sims "Brad Bowman" complete with Indy trucks and Powell-Peralta wheels.

The Irony Is In There Somewhere

As I was finishing up another training ride today on the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop, "Lone Wolf McQuade" style, I was thinking about what I was going to write about tonight. Up to that point, nothing particularly eventful had happened.

Mongo turned down going mountain biking with "I Forgot I Owned A Really Nice Mountain Bike" Tom and "Ibid" Brown in lieu of putting in some needed miles on the road. I stopped by the shop first and chatted with MC and "Crash" before I headed out, and after I remembered I had eaten nothing yet, an organic energy bar and a Coke Zero were consumed to fuel my afternoon.

The ride was fine and I worked on some different gear combinations on the steep climbs as well as in/out of the saddle positions and how they all affected my HR. My stamina out of the saddle is getting much stronger and my ability to sustain momentum uphill is making me a better climber.

Then...on the final climb of the day, a mere two miles from home, I got run off the road by a school bus. Seriously! The grade was steep, the road was curvy, and the bus driver's seating position didn't allow a clear view of me until he was along side and was able to use his mirrors...which he obviously didn't. I don't really think he ever saw me at all!

Mongo got sandwiched into a curb. Had I not been blessed with terrific balance, thanks to several years on the Pro Log Rolling circuit, I probably would have gone down and possibly been run over by the rear wheels of the bus. Mongo managed a modified track stand on a 20% grade for a few seconds while the bus passed so close to me that I could smell the metal. Seriously!

After some well placed and diverse expletives on my part, Mongo rode home.