Saturday, April 3, 2010

You like bah-logging?


Anyone? Anyone?

2 posts in one day!! Wow.

Just finished a nice 43 mile ride to the bottom of the Botanical Gardens and back. Average pace, 15.1 mph. Wind=yes, very! What a wonderful day it turned out to be.

Starting to feel something just shy of terrified about this MS150 ride on April 17/18. It is a 2-day ride from Houston to Austin, TX. 1st day is from Houston to LaGrange, TX, about 99.6 miles, second day is from LaGrange on in to Austin, 77 miles, if you take the "Bechtel Challenge" route (not to be confused with the "Pfizer Lunch Express" route, all really rolls right off the tongue, eh?). While I'm at it, this is actually the "BP" MS150. Those allegedly earth-loving, actually drill-baby-drilling Brits really know a good cause when they see one! What about the Goldman Sachs sag wagon?! "I've flatted and I don't have a spare tube, bail me out, bail me out!!"

Going to ride this with my old compadre Ryan with whom I rode the Hotter 'N Hell 100 last year. He rode it last year too, but last year was the year that the first day was cancelled for the first time ever (on the rides 25th anniversary), so he felt like he didn't really ride it (and honestly, he's right, even an old man like me can pretty much buck up and ride around 100 miles almost any old time, but can we do it two days in a row? Very different question!!). SO, in the interest of having felt like he did it and wanting to pal around with yours truly, we are making a go of it this year. I'd like to give a special shout out to all my friends and family that were kind enough to help me raise the required funds for the very worthy cause of working on a cure for MS too. Y'all are cool!

Anyway, here's the route for those of you who have some idea of Texas geography:

Should be fun-ish. I'm hoping to find a quite hilly ride next weekend in Madison, WI, to simulate some of day 2. Day 1 is supposed to be typically quite windy, so I have been getting a decent dose of that this week in our fair city. Trying to get used to long periods of time in the drops pursuant to that issue. For my day 2 related problems, I have procured a nice Shimano R700 compact crank to put on my trusty P-Mount down in Austin. Changing equipment one day before a big ride, mmmm, sketchy, yes. BUT, riding a 53/39 on 77 miles of fairly ferocious hills (I am a 40 year old man with a bad right knee after all), perhaps even more sketchy. Only two weeks time will tell.

Otra cosas:

I've been reading the pretty enjoyable "A Significant Other", which chronicles the 2003 Tour de France from the viewpoint of Victor Hugo Peña, one of the USPS and Lance's more heavy hitting domestiques. It's a pretty nice read, with a historic overview of the TDF interspersed with VH's personal recollections and some pretty gripping writing about stage 15, where Lance bites the asphalt really hard after hanging up on some idiots goodie bag on Alpe D'Huez, then gets up, fixes his chain, takes off, racks himself while coming out of his pedals about 30 seconds later and then just goes all Popeye-on-spinach (literally all but the bulging arms and steam) and rides away past everyone to win the stage by a good 40 seconds. Good stuff.

I got the word on this book from the great blog, Cycling Inquisition. There you can find a treasure chest of great writing about cycling in general, but with a strong focus on Columbian cycling history. Check it out! Also, if you enjoy whiling away your winters (or whenever) with cycling related writing, a lot of these books including A Significant Other are just cheap as dirt on the interwebs. I think I got this one for about $.99 plus $4 shipping on ebay or or some such thing. Cycling "literature" is a pretty cheap habit.


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