Grovel Training

Tim, Asher, and I had planned to do a 50-mile gravel ride today as training for Gravel Grovel.  I am registered for the Gravel Grovel again this year.  I have a better bike for it this year, but I’m out of shape and my weight it up.

Asher is also planning on racing.  Tim isn’t, due to other obligations that day, but he’s willing to train with us.

Due to unplanned circumstances, Tim wasn’t able to drive his car to haul three bikes out to the planned ride location.  I hurriedly made up a route the night before (after having too much beer) that stayed in the Louisville area and didn’t require a car.

The new route had very little gravel, but it had some hills, and allowed me to stretch my legs on the new bike for 50 miles or so.

Asher arrived at my house at an ungodly hour.  I only managed three hours of sleep – mostly due to my light-night drinking and carousing.  Once we were ready, we both headed to Tim’s house.

It wasn’t 6:00am yet.  It was dark and cold.  Heading out Taylorsville Rd, which can be stressful during the day, just wasn’t an issue.  Once we left the urban “heat island” the temperatures plummeted, and I got quite cold.

My new bike at the Fisherville Post Office

Eventually the sun came up enough to slightly warm us.  As we got outside the city there was fog in the low-lying areas.  It was actually a beautiful ride.

I was suffering early.  I had no energy.  I’m out of shape.  The lack of sleep and too much alcohol the night before didn’t help, but the biggest problem was that I hadn’t eaten breakfast.  I’d been munching on some peanut butter crackers, but that wasn’t enough.

We stopped at a gas station for some more immediate calories and to warm our hands and toes.

Tim and Asher

The gas station stop helped me immensely for a temporary basis.  I would continue to “run out of steam” several times throughout the ride.

The overall route had us heading out of town to the southeast, turning north in a more rural area, then going back into town from the northeast.  We traveled some major roads, but traffic wasn’t a problem on a Sunday morning.  I had been drunk when planning the route, but it worked.

Once we arrived back in town, we deviated from the route.  We were I was tired and wanted to cut a few miles and a few hills off the ride.

At one point, I stopped at a four-way stop sign quickly (wasn’t paying attention and almost ran in front of a car).  I had shifted the bike, but the pedals hadn’t rotated enough to actually perform the shift.  Once I started to go again, the gears shifted with a loud “pop”.  The bike did not shift well after that.  Closer inspection revealed that I bent a couple of links in the chain.  Ah well, I’ll need to buy a new chain.

We made pretty good time down Westport Rd and wound through Cherokee/Seneca parks and to Twig and Leaf, a local restaurant that serves great breakfast and lousy but serviceable coffee.

Tim had family matters to attend to, and headed home.  Asher headed back my direction, it’s on his way home anyway, and stopped by to share some IPA with me, and get his clothes covered in dog hair.  🙂

I ended the ride with 52.5 miles.  That’s the longest ride I’ve done in a while.  It’s the longest ride I’ve done on the new bike.  I’ll write up impression about the Fargo at  a later date.

I fully intended to take a nap.  I was quite tired after the day’s adventure (and four days of being out late drinking), but I’ve been doing housework, playing on the computer, and reading a book.

I did not go out to a bar again tonight, nor will I.  I’m actually considering a shorter urban ride on my single-speed.

My poor performance on this ride reminds me I need to lose weight and get stronger for the Gravel Grovel.  My goal this year is to finish in less than six hours.

Download file: 2012-09-23.gpx

Life is Crazy

I haven’t posted in a while, but things have been happening.

I’ve been suffering on and off with depression a fair amount again.  I’m still on the fence about what to do about it. If I can make enough changes to ease things, great.  Otherwise, I may turn to professional help.

Houseboat Trip
Robin and I went on the houseboat trip.  It was four days of fun, sun, a storm, alcohol, and cool people.

New Bike
I gave the new-ish hybrid bike to Dawn.  She needs a bike for transportation.  I didn’t have a use for it.  I had bought it as a gravel bike, then decided to go with a Salsa Fargo instead.

Newer Bike 
I have the Fargo.  I’ve ridden it to work a few times, and around town for fun.  I took it on some trails today, and realized that I still suck at mountain biking.  🙂

I decided I needed to end my relationship with Robin.  I need to get my head out of my ass and figure out my life.  She didn’t do anything wrong.  I’m not pointing fingers.  I just wasn’t behaving myself with proper lifestyle choices while around her.  That’s my fault, but it needed to stop.  🙁

Gravel Grovel
I’m still planning on racing Gravel Grovel this year, but I haven’t registered yet.  I went for a ride today, and at only 18.5 miles, I was beat.  My fitness level has really deteriorated.  I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to fix this quickly.  I’ve only got a little over two months.

My Neck and Bicycling

I pretty much couldn’t ride a drop-bar bike earlier this year due to my neck flaring up.  I initially though that the painful situation I was in was permanent.  It wasn’t.  My neck has slowly improved.  It still hurts sometimes and is almost always stiff.

In any case, I can ride a drop-bar bike when I’m not having a flare-up.  I had put the upright “city bars” on the single-speed, but I really don’t care for them.  I’ll be switching that bike back to drop bars, and replacing the messed up crankset.

The new Salsa Fargo that I pick up soon has Woodchipper bars, which are shallow drops that are flared outward.  I’ll probably stick with those bars unless they just kill me.

The cheap hybrid?  I’m giving that to my daughter.  She needs transportation.  Her boyfriend’s car broke down, and has been sold.  He had an old bike that I fixed up to rideable condition.  I no longer need the hybrid, and it’ll fit Dawn, so it’s hers.

I still have my recumbent, which is the best bike for my neck.  I also have the Big Dummy, which in addition to hauling cargo, is pretty easy on my neck.

So, I’ll have four bikes to ride, two of which I’ll be able to ride during a neck flare-up.  That’ll do.