Friday, March 20, 2015

Enjoy the Ride - Essential Bicycling Skills

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cycleops and Bike radar

This post is an update regarding my indoor cycle training.  I use my fluid trainer everyday, especially  on indoor/treadmill running days.  I want to comment about these dual training days.

On these dual training days, I ride the Cycleops Fluid Trainer for 35 to 50 minutes.  I set up my Mac Book and log in to and use the Bike Radar videos which lead several Cycleops Trainer training sessions or I utilize one of the other trainer videos available to give me direction for a good work out.

The Bike Radar clips run around 30 to 35 minutes in length and fluctuate the cadence between 105 and 60 while some of the other programs increase the cadence as high as 110.  Those high cadence programs generally last upwards of an hour in length.

I love the Cycleops trainer.  The more I use it to off set running or as an additional workout, the more I can't wait for the weather to clear and warm up so I can take it t o the streets.  Until then I will ride my Cycleops Trainer and hit the treadmill for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes three days a week and run a couple of times outside and a couple solo Cycleops Trainer rides.

Has the Cycleops Trainer helped my endurance?  Absolutely.  Two time I was able to run the first two miles of my runs below 18 minutes.  That  is pretty fast for me.  I will slow down after that mark and just coast for a few more miles to enjoy the run and return home for a shower and a meal.  It feels great to eat after you have earned it.  I wish every meal could come after a bike ride or a run.  Could you imagine NYC if  Mayor Bloomberg had been a runner or a cyclist?  He would have made a law.  No run, no McDonald's.  That would have been more draconian than limiting the size of soft drinks. 

Please don't vote for a commie-lib and run or bike for your daily bread.  I will ride tomorrow and see you on the road.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gear List

As spring nears and the temps, at times this winter, begin to rise above freezing the thrill of completing my first overnight bike camping trip fills my veins.  Each month my Surly LHT gets outfitted a little bit more.  On a daily basis I ponder about the remaining items I may require for a successful trip.

I need to think about purchasing the correct shoes.  I will require spd clipless mountain bike shoes so I can get on and off the bike and be comfortable.  I need small toiletry items to stay neat and tidy.  I am a clean freak; I wonder often if being a little dirty may scare me off from accomplishing my goal.

I know I need a few more items to be sure I am all set for the Erie Canal this April.  My trip will take me from home to Rome.  I will spend one night camping if the weather is right and return the following morning.

So, I have started investigating checklists to be sure I have what I need, and if not, start planning on acquiring those items for the best possible price.  I BOLDED the items I still need.  So peruse the list below and visit their website.  You may catch the touring bug too.

See you on the road.

This list below is from the web site  This is a website I like visiting to learn more about Cyclo Camping or bike touring.  I love the phrase cyclo camping.  I think its cool.

The Basics for Camping:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp pad
  • Small tent, bivy sack, or camp hammock
  • Food (or a nearby dining establishment)
  • Personal items: toiletries, etc
Deluxe Gear List:
Perhaps you’re not a minimalist. Just remember: everything you bring adds weight to your bike. If you have much hill climbing or a lot of mileage planned, you may want to reconsider how much you take along.
Deluxe Camping Gear List:
  • Route map(s)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp pad or air mattress
  • Small tent, bivy sack, or camp hammock
  • Camp pillow or stuff sack
  • Cooking equipment (small stove, cookware, utensils) including food
  • Camp chair
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Pocketknife
  • Waterproof matches
Deluxe Personal Gear List:
  • Toiletries
  • Two sets of bike clothes
  • Two sets of off-the-bike clothes
  • Raingear
  • Cold weather gear
  • Shoes/sandals
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
Other possibilities:
  • Books
  • Camera
  • Playing cards
  • Sports equipment
  • Fishing gear
  • Radio/iPod/MP3 player
  • And more!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Running Minneapolis

I love running in the cold while the snows gently falls.  However, its a rare winter's night that the snow falls gently to the ground. Usually the flakes are small and crash to the ground by the force of a bone chilling breeze.  Those are the nights, if its snowing, you kind of think twice about gearing up and stepping outside.  Who in the world looks forward to being struck in the face by lake effect snow pellets?
Hmm... Raise your hand.  Ok. I do.
Well last week was definetly cold.  I ran at home and in Minneapolis but there was a stark contrast. In Syracuse that weekend it snowed every day. Each morning saw a fresh six inches of the white stuff.  That means its a snow blower morning and a treacherous day of driving while working followed by a slippery and snowy run.
I survived the weekend runs. I ran once outside. Beautiful run. Cold? Yes. Snowy? Absolutely. Yet, it felt great. When I run after work, I feel like i have earned my evening meal and a badge of honor because few people, runners, actually get out to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a cold, snowy run. It may be slick. The snow striking your face hurts sometimes, but you get beyond it. The miles bring your body tempeture up. After a couple short miles the snow isn't even a thought.  Its the rythm of your breathe; the sound beneath your feet; and the memories of today and thoughts of tomorrow that bring you to the finishline.
Oh, but running in Minneapolis.  Thats another different tale. 
Minneapolis is a beautiful city. You do not get a feel about how cold it can be since all the buildings are connected by the Skyway, a series of indoor, over the street tunnels between the buildings.  So it feels comfortable. Looking out the windows at the sun can be deceptive as to how cold it really is.  The high on a couple days was 4.  Tuesday was the warmest day; the high was 33.  IDC ended at 4:30pm. We returned to the hotel by 5pm. I was changed and ready to roll by 6pm. I waited for a friend til 6:15pm.
I have run in Minneapolis before so we ran to the river and headed up and down for 6 miles.
It was cold. It was about 20 when we hit the road.  The breeze we wicked coming off the river, hitting us directly in the face on the way out. The path was icy in spots and snow covered in others. I only fell once over some snow covered chopped up asphalt that hadn't been cleaned after the city made some improvements.  It was a good fall.  I stumbled for 20 feet attempting to stay on my feet as a running back may stumple to stay up long enough to cross the goal line.  I didn't stay up. I fell after hitting a second pile of rubble.  Never a fun experience although funny after the fact.
Once we reached our turn around, Minneapolis was lit up.  The skyline is gorgeous.  The buildings were different colors and the three bridges, crossing the river into St. Paul, had their own splendor.
The run back to the hotel was swift and uneventful.  I didn't fall.  I stayed on my feet.  Our pave was around 9:35 minutes/mile. 
I look forward to running in Philly at our next meeting when the weather ought to be better.  Maybe, just maybe, i could wear shorts.
See you on the road.