Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

My first year in WA

30 January 2015

I was stoked about joining Seattle International Randonneurs. Theirs was the biggest group I noticed at PBP in 2011, the reason why I got into this pastime. So I was very much up for the challenge, careering up and down hills, sweeping through vine covered valleys and the like. However, life did not turn out like that.Portland

I did my first 100k in March, I think it was. I turned up really early for this event. I was not used to driving to an event on the day of. Normally I had spent the night in New Jersey before, and sometimes afterwards, an event. Of course, the two Long Island brevets I set up were different.

The 200k and 300k were hilly affairs, in comparison to the normal NJ brevets. I believe the 200k had Lord Hill upon which I was ready to get off and push the bike. I had stopped and was in the process of dismounting when I looked behind me and saw Narayan and Keith zigzagging back and forth across the road. Ah ha, I thought and got back on the bike and did likewise. That was the toughest climb and I heard that some people did it twice as they missed the left turn after the turnaround, didn’t they Jason?!!

The 300k was a tough ride. I was tired of climbing and in particular, I was tired of Camano Island. It felt like I was on the forever. We had to cycle over a bridge to get onto the island and I knew we had to cycle over the same bridge to get off. And did that bridge ever come around again? Oh, sure it did, but only after 3 hours cycling time. I rode to the finish with Jason having caught up with him at one of the stops. However, the 300k prepared me for the 400k when finishing as I recognized the approach to the end coming into Woodinville, I knew how far to climb exactly!

I completed my first ever permanent, albeit only a 100k. It was a nice little ride from Redmond to Issaquah to Seattle and back to Redmond. I will be making use of this ride.

I signed up for a fleche, starting at Portland, OR and made our way to Olympia, WA. Apparently this was a wet event, we spent some time in a pub at crazy o’clock, and curled up on the floor in a bathroom of some park. I do remember taking off my rain jacket, or is my memory playing tricks. Anyway, what I do remember is that I felt strong for this event.

After the fleche came the 400k. The route was changed from the original one as that had us going through Oso which was still suffering from the landslide that happened earlier in the year. I wasn’t complaining about the change of route as it was relatively flat. It did, and this was the cool part, go all the way to the Canadian border. I could have easily stepped into Canada, without my passport or visa! I was taking selfies when a border patrol came along just to see what was doing. Like I had ridden all the way to Canada and was going to turn around straight away? Yeah, right! So that is the closest I have been to Canada, beat my trip to Niagara Falls by a river’s width.

Alas, the 400k was the final brevet of the year for me. I did not complete a series which was the first time since I started randonneuring. The Spring 600k, which I had signed up for, saw me with a heavy cold. I was in two minds about not doing it and it turned out I made the right decision as I believe I would have DNFed. The summer 600k fell on the wrong weekend as it was Alma’s birthday and I would rather spend the time with Alma than riding a bike. 😀

Intermittent riding: strange, strange year. I could have ridden thousands of miles due to not working but the Catholic guilt would have been dumped down as how could I justify being out riding when I ought to be looking for a job? So I probably rode the least number of miles in a year since 2009.

This year is going to be a challenge but see my next blog for more on that!

Neglecting to update the blog

29 April 2012

Seems as if I have been overly neglectful of the old blog here. I need to finish the postings about the first brevet of the year and the fleche ride I did with Team Sins of the Fleche.

I have signed up for the Eastern PA 600k as I cannot do the flat NJ 600k this year. That’ll be a 400k and a very hilly 600k on consecutive weekends. Look forward to that.

The Specialized bike is in for a service so will be training on the Trek this week. I am enjoying going back to the big circular rides around Lake Ronkonkoma. They add a bit of climbing though not much. I wonder if I can get a Port Jefferson ride done before work in the morning. I’ll see what my shortest route is with the climb from Port Jeff.

I have started doing spin classes on Sunday mornings. They are tough though very enjoyable. I paced myself better today knowing what was coming unlike last week whereby I reached the top gear very quickly and couldn’t move the pedals at one stage. The music is pretty good too.

A balancing act

18 June 2011

On both Wednesday and Thursday mornings, I sat up in bed and the room started spinning for a few seconds. It was so disconcerting that I made an appointment at the doctor’s to get it checked out. With cycling and scuba diving my two main activities, a loss of balance would not bode well with me. I got up early yesterday morning and sat by the back door with a nice cup of tea and reflected on the meaning of it all.

So I went to the doctor’s and he checked me out with his array of tools. He asked me to do some balancing acts and hand eye co-ordination exercises, all of which I successfully accomplished. He seemed quite satisfied that I did not have anything seriously wrong. I asked if I was able to go cycling and scuba diving still and he said if I was to go scuba diving that afternoon he would say no but for next week, sure, no problem. He seemed to think it was a temporary condition. I left, feeling a lot happier, but having to go back on Wednesday for a full medical check up. Last night as I went to lay down in bed, the room began spinning for a few seconds. That was new as it had only happened sitting up before.

This morning, I gingerly sat up in bed and the room did not spin. I was so happy. I put on my cycling clothes and went out for a short spin. I did 21 miles or so and felt quite good. No funky movements of the road or cars so I was really, really pleased.

Next weekend I am to do my first scuba diving plunge of the year, at Ponquogue Bridge. Fingers crossed.

Wow, long ten days

16 February 2011

Those ten days turned into a month. Well, if I was going to go a month without cycling, it is best to do it now than later in the season. I could have risked getting the procedure done last year but with an offshore scuba diving trip in December, I didn’t want any complications occurring then. Tomorrow is the day I get back on the bike. The snow is still around but I don’t anticipate any problems.

2011 – this is the year

4 January 2011

Wow, I haven’t posted anything for three months.  Did the internet die or something?  Time to dust off the blog.  Time to get work out my schedule.  Time to also write some stuff on Examiner as well.

We are now into the third day of January and we still have snow on the ground.  Indoor training is the order of the day.  Dieting is the order of the year as I am sure the excesses of December (3 week vacation) have piled on the pounds.

Water bottles and road repairs

27 July 2010

I seem to have gotten into a nasty habit of forgetting my water bottle when I go out for a training ride.  I did it again this morning.  I realised after I had left the house so decided to do a different route and, depending upon how parched I was feeling, whether I would do the short route or long route.  I got the decision point and opted for the shorter route.  I’ll go out tomorrow as well to make up for it.  I am going to get Alma to make some sticky labels and will place them somewhere on the handlebar area to remind me to grab a bottle, or two. (more…)