Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bike fever seems to be high...

I got out for a brief ride today. It was a cold day but almost no wind and beautiful clear skies with a warming, springlike sun shing down. I needed a short 15 or so miles to top 100 for February... a record since I started riding 7 years ago. Got in a short loop from the house and explored a bit of Cedar Creek.

I saw more people out riding today than I expected. Frankly, I was surprised. It seemed there were more people out than I usually see on this route, even when its warmer. And the types of riders were more diverse. A MTB biker cruising on the road (I rarely see this), a racer in full winter kit (see this somewhat regularly), a guy like me (recreational road rider, see these regularly), and a couple, riding upright hybrids (I see this very rarely) cruising along. This all makes me hope that the coming spring will see an upswing of cyclists on the road.

I have a crazy busy week ahead of me and then am out of town next weekend.... so I think I am done for February. So far this has been a great year for my mileage goals. I set personal bests for January and February, I am ahead of my best year ever at the end of March, and I am thinking about upping my mileage goals. I have been shooting for 2000 miles a year for the last 6 years, and have struggled most years to make it. I travel, have kids, and am way over quota on excuses why I can't ride more.

Well, this year, I am trying to ride more but am finding that commuting and having a regular ride, mid week helps alot. Not to mention I am not letting cold or darkness stand in the way. So maybe it is too early to up my miles... my busy travel season is April, May and June. So I will re-evaluate my yearly goals come the end of March. But right now I am expecting to have a best ever year and hope to crush my 2000 mile goal by good percentage.

I am making arrangements to fit in a ride at one or two of my upcoming travel trips so stay tuned for photos and reports from Oklahoma City and Orlando.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yet another nice night for a ride...

Thursday night is my ride night. I have permission from the family and my schedule is clear. So out I go...
Tonight was cool but another great night. About 12-15 people were out tonight and it was good.

A note to safety... I almost t-boned a truck that did not see me when I was riding solo to meet up with the group. I have a headlight and a flashing light on my helmet. I always try to flash the light at the drivers to be sure they see me. This joker, was following 2 buddies off of K-7 onto Prairie Star Parkway and did not look my way after the others made the left turn across my path. He just followed. I was able to brake, although hard, and he realized his error. So, everyone be careful out there. Drivers still don't see us and we have to anticipate their stupid moves.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Last week and the warm windy weekend...

Kansas weather is amazing. It was mid sixties last Thursday and another great night for a ride and last Friday turned out warm but very windy. Saturday was 70 and Sunday was nice but a little cooler.

The Thursday night group was a bit more spirited than normal. While, usually, this ride is casually natured with some brisk runs from time to time, this night was a much faster pace. Maybe it was the weather or the feel of the coming spring, but the pace was up and it was a great workout. felt good to sweat and feel the legs burn. It was a great night and I find myself really enjoying the night riding. I am looking forward to spring time an some of the area's full moon rides.

Friday was a great temp day and the commute to work was very nice. Temps were upper 30's and very low winds in the morning, but, on the way home it was a different story. The winds were 27 MPH out of the South - Southwest when I looked on just before leaving the office. My coworkers thought I was nuts. Of course, my route was South-Southwest directly into the head wind. Really intense. Truly a slog.

I was again amazed at how mental wind is. If I had been trying for a fast ride or was trying to get somewhere fast, it would have been very disheartening. But I was looking for the challenge and bragging rights for braving the wind.

I did jump on the trails by Lake Lenexa to get out of the wind for a short stretch. Even had to dodge a tumbleweed along the trail... it was moving along pretty well when the gusts hit it right.

I did not get out over the weekend. I had kid activities, stuff around the house and a dozen excuses. The wind was blowing but it was a great temperature on Saturday. Sunday was nice as well... I like that cooler weather.

So far this has been a great year for cycling. I am off to my best start in years and have high hope for the coming season. The mild weather (at least not much snow or rain) has really helped, as have the Thursday night rides and the commuting to work, even if it is only one day a week. Maybe this will be the year that I finally feel ready for the MS150, with enough miles under my belt by the start. Every year for the past 6 years I have felt unprepared for the MS150 with not enough base miles. This year I hope to have 4-500 more miles than last year.... about 1300 last year. So if I can get 1700 or better this year by the MS150 in September, I should feel ready.

They just announced that the KS MS150 is moved back two weeks since it was going to conflict with the end of the Tour of Missouri. That helps a well.

See you on the road.