Friday, November 17, 2006

Back In the Saddle Again

Sorry, longtime no post. I'm back in the saddle again! My wife and I were needing some time so rather than do a month off in Dec. I did it in october/november.

I've been keeping one ride going during the month off and picked up running and walking. Longest run was nine miles of trail on Salado Creek. Fastest mile was somewhere under ten. Lost my pedometer on the trail. Ha! They're doing some good work on it, expanding with a paved trail, clearing the natural trail, and I look forward to using it even more.

Although I can feel I'm not fatigued, I also don't have the get-up and go that I had in my legs. It is time to rebuild and for the next 34 weeks that's exactly what I'll do.

Did you read the article about Lance and the marathon? If you have completed a marathon before and are now cycling that would be a good one to read. Makes one feel good about our skills.

Long rough day ahead of me at school so I better start putting my armour on! We'll see you out on the byways of cycling.

Obligatory bike workout note (OBN): I'm slated for 3 to 5 hours of training this week and I already have 3.5 so the rest of the miles I get tomorrow and Sunday are all gravy.

OBMaintenanceN: Don't know what I'm going to do. I'm supposed to get a new chain and new bar tape and new front tire, but I'm shy about taking it in. The last time I took it in I was sidelined for over four weeks. Not my idea of fun or a decent way to stay in road cycling shape.

Check out: http://www.northwood-hikeandbike.blogspot.com to see what's going on there

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Training Effect Loss

I have worked my butt off for the past three years to build speed. I have ridden pos bikes during that time and endured the fun being made about my old pink bike. That's fine!

No where in all that time was I unplanned off for more than a week! So I never really lost training effect. I did the periodization like I should and at this time I should be enjoying the effects of riding at 21 plus MPH average, but I am not because of a derail that was beyond my control.

I tried to maintain and plateau, but that was hampered by a week and a half vacation where I gorged myself and gained fourteen poundages. No problem, I thought, I can lose that! Ehhhn! Thanks for playing!

It is proving very difficult to lose that which I have gained. My periodization has taken me to a peak and I'm doing less mileage, but at faster speeds, but my speed is hampered by my weight so here I am unable to improve like I would like. I'm almost considering blowing off the rest of my peak and training and assume the work of losing those pounds. You know what else? My BP is up! That sucks! Maybe it's a stress thing and God really intended me to be a full time cyclist and not work?! Ha!

I'm supposed to race this weekend, but who wants to race when it is too hard to maintain even a decent speed. Best I could do on a sustained effort last week was 16.3 average. 16 through 75, but then I hit the wall at about 83 and everything hurt so I only bettered my time on a 100 miler by about a minute from when I did it back in May.

Beats me what I'll do! Probably just try to race this weekend then do the Hike and Bike ride on Labor Day and then go from there. I think my peridoization has me going easy till the end of the year. So perhaps I'll just do the old stay under 150 bpm on my HRM and work at losing the poundage and finish up my four thousand miles for the year.

Any one know of a good core workout book? I'm not so good with tapes and dvds for workouts.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Holy Guacamole, Batman Drawn and Quartered

What will Commissioner Gordon do? Can Robyn run the Wayne estate by himself? Is Gotham doomed to be a wasteland?

Batman found quartered on the side of the road. At the time he must have been shrunk a la Honey I Shrunk the Kids because what was left of him, his torso, was just three inches long.

This all may have been a fig-newton of my imagination since it happened in the last throes of a 100 miler I logged yesterday in and around San Antonio. Final time 6:50 temp 103, stops three, drinks nine with a lunch break taken. It was truly hot, but not as hot as Hotter N Hell. I hear it was 112 and the course was closed early by Medical staff to ensure the safety of the participants. Ouch!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hike & Bike Adventure Camp

Last week I completed my first cycling camp where I was in charge. My attempt to give something back to the sport that gives me so much daily. It sounds trite, but I also wanted my church to gain some from the cycling knowledge I've accumulated. It will probably happen again in a different form because I know there are some adults that were not able to attend and learn what they needed to learn.

The camp was run for fun, not to instill training regimens or anything. We did rides of moderate challenge for Junior High Age kids. We ended up doing about 15 miles per day. We ended the week with over 75 miles all on hybrid mountain bikes or trick bikes. We had days that were road only, some that were road and trails and one that was road and trails and horse-back riding.

First couple of days there were mechanicals so we were able to practice some of the things that the kids had seen done on the first day when all we did was learn how to repair some basic things and to handle obstacles and how to keep a straight line. We did practice going from a group riding technique to a single file paceline type arrangement. We did practice good traffic skills within a group using city maps and being smart about what roads we traversed.

It was cheap for the kids and basically paid me back on what I spent on go-juice and goomies. They were also introduced to various things to try to eat while on the road so there was a nutrition component. And since it was done in August, they had plenty of practice dealing with the heat, but most days we were out of there before the hottest part of the day took effect.

We were also able to secure sponsors for the shirts and will use this opportunity to produce our Hike and Bike t-shirts which each participant will receive one for free and jerseys which participants will have to invest some to receive. But the point is that we have begun the process and that is the big challenge.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Teams of At Least 6

Ok, the scandal has done its damage! Vinokourov (sp?) lost five of his team mates, but one of the biggest consequences is Vino can't race because you can't show up with four team members, but you can with six. He was not implicated. Maybe the team withdrew in disgust like another team. Here's the question, what prevents a team from getting a couple of riders from wherever to jump in at the last minute so that your team leader can do his job? That has to be able to be done in one day. All the two riders have to do is finish the stages within the cutoff time they don't even have to compete per se.

I know there are plenty of people out there willing. There's bound to be people out there that are even in TdF shape and could finish the daily stages with respectable times. No, Vino would not have the benefit of the support of a full team, but heck at least he'd be out there doing his job (as LA would put it).

Just doesn't seem right that one of the premier riders in the world doesn't compete in the premier race in the world. Que est que vous pense?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Riding With a Faster Group & RBR.com

So I'm reading along on RoadBikeRider.com, the newsletter where they have an opinion short about riding with a faster group. This question came up ealier on uphillbattle.spaces.msn.com and I put the link above if you want to try and find the discussion on it. In that forum it was mainly about taking turns at the front of the group. Again, I'll take a turn, but if I'm not able to hold it that long then I peel off and fade back or try to stay with it. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can't which may be the case with lots of folks.

One of my greatest and most efficient strategies in the last two years has been to ride with groups that are faster than I in the hopes of getting as fast as they are and it has worked. I believe one of the groups I ride with has served this purpose and I have gone on to ride with another that challenges me even more. Now when I can't stay with a group eventually I just fade back and end up in the second group which then I'm leading. So success! Alas, according to the opinion on RBR I'm causing an unsafe situation.

Their point about needless crashes being caused by riders hanging with groups that deplete them to such an extent that they are no longer able to make wise moves and decisions. I say to them, if we take away that avenue for improvement then we are left with getting faster solely on our individual training. I don't know about you, but I'm able to push myself further when I'm with a group than when I'm by myself pushing myself to the limits. I just am not able to sustain an 18.3 average on an 32 miler when I'm by myself. When I'm chasing someone or trying to hang-on to a group I am able to average that 18.3.

Personally I've not been involved in those kinds of crashes. The crashes that I have witnessed or been close to has been caused by carelessness at the beginning of the ride. Maybe people are just a little groggy - I don't know.

I also know when I'm on the mountain bike I get in the groove after a few minutes of easy riding on less technical stuff. I fall when I attempt the technical stuff too soon after the start of the ride.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

To Bike, or not to bike (Adapted from Hamlet 3/1 w/ apologies to the Bard)

To bike, or not to bike: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the hills and byways of your favorite 100 miler,
Or to take off due to a sea of work,
And by resting lose training effect? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by sleep to say we end
The ease at which we climb and the thousands of hours in the saddle
That cyclists are heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wisked away. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death-like fatigue what dreams may come
When we have sprinted off this mortal road,
Must give us pause: there in retrospect
That makes calamity of so long a route;
for who would bear the heat and humidity of time on the bike,
The opressor's breakaway, the proud man's arrogant solo sprint,
The pangs of horrendous hills, the law's delay,
The broken promises of politicians and potholes
That unsolicited support of the caboose club member takes,
When the lame excuses for falling behind he makes
With a stone face? Who would challenges bear
To grunt and sweat under a weary ride,
But that the dread of hors categorie.
The undiscover'd country from where new mettle is formed
No cyclist makes it back, puzzles the will
And makes us challenge ourselves to levels otherwise never attempted,
Than sandbag and draft on others we know not of?
Thus the logbook makes slaves of us all;
And thus the obvious tan lines of resolve
Is paled o'er with the sickening thought,
And accomplishments of great achievement and courage
With this point of view their efforts get blown-off,
And lose the name of action. -Soft you now!
(The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Salado Creek MTB Tour - Possibly

Theoretically speaking we now can do a tour on Salado Creek. Recently some members of the Thursday night Bike World ride sponsored by STORM (http://www.storm-web.org) stretched the envelope a bit on the access to trails from McAllister Park. A doable extension was found to the trails north of 1000 Oaks by going through a greenway access that puts you on North Jones Maltzberger which from there you can go all the way to 1604 of groomed trails and can even be extended past 1604 to reach 281. Wow! First of all very cool trails go around a damn for the Edwards recharge I'm assuming.

So that's North of McAllister, now I've personally gone in the creekbed South of McAllister all the way to Ft. Sam Houston (I think in and around McAllister it's actually Mud Creek, but who's counting). You make your way to Lady Bird Johnson via the creekbed and from Lady Bird you make your way South and eventually you will have to tip toe through Los Patios (Trespass warning - plus if you do get stopped just mention someone that you that lives there at the retirement/apartments - and no I'm not telling you to trespass - I know folks that have gone to court for lesser trespassing violations so noli consequi - don't know if it's appropriate, but it sure sounds more forceful with some Latin thrown in). After you pass under the bridge at 410 you then enter an old horse ranch (currently overgrown - darn near impassable) which connects with the new park area at Austin Hwy and Ira Lee (creek crossing here as well about a mile up from Austin Hwy and Ira Lee). BTW did I mention you do about 4 or 5 creek crossings so if you don't like getting your BB wet then wimp out and stay home - whatever! This is a gnarly trail so if you're faint of heart stay away. Anyway that new park area has a map of the proposed Salado Creek Greenway expansion project so you can get an idea of the big picture.

So now you're under the bridge at Austin Hwy and Ira Lee (if you're chicken or your MTB isn't as stout as you would like then you can take Ira Lee all the way to Ft. Sam) and you enter the trail by Nations Rent and it's pretty well groomed in this section and most of the next. So you'll have it easy from Austin Hwy to Under the bridge at Eisenhower and from Eisenhower you go about half way and you suddenly have to go right and cross the creek again (wear your sturdy MTB shoes). And you hook up with a trail that every time it rains/floods you get all this trash on the trail so be ready to get off and climb over piles of dead wood or whatever else gets washed down the Salado. Eventually you come to a section of the trail that seems impassable, but it's doable without a machete (although there's a section later that I wouldn't have minded having one for cutting down all the bramble bush that attacks your legs). Careful right before the Rittiman Bridge there's some sewer spillage there - do not immerse your feet or bike in that caca water. Right after that you enter what seems to be one of the nicest trail systems close by.

You are now at James park which has trails that connect with the equestrian trails off of Ira Lee somewhere in here you morph from the equestrian trails of the people off Ira Lee and the Ft. Sam equestrian trails. Now at a certain point yesterday when I was adventuring I came across an obvious camera out in the middle of nowhere - where Uncle Sam said this is where we draw the line. To enter Ft. Sam you must show your license so I dutifully held out my license so they could zoom in on it and clear me through. The MPs didn't come to get me when I kept going so I guess that was ok. Eventually you make it to the Binz Engleman gate to Ft. Sam by going on some of the paved roads - enjoy it whilst you can because it gets way worse here in the next section. Anyway cross the creek over the low water crossing bridge there and go immediately back into the brush eventually you reach access to the RR tracks and go under the bridge there now in this section there are a couple of creek crossings so beware. This is where I pretzelled my back wheel yesterday and had to ride the next hour on the worst looking wobbly wheel ever. I was embarrassed at how visible it was! Drivers were probably saying, look at that homeless guy, poor b@st@rd! Has to ride a pos bike like that. BTW that last section is where you need the machete or you can do it the hard way like I did. Look for a better place to cross the creek than what I found because the pretzel happens.

So then I'm out at I-35 and Splashtown where one can theoretically go all the way to the Southside Lions.

Since my wheel was trashed I decided to forego the next part of my adventure. Think about it someone in the group parks their truck at SS Lions and the rest meet up at 281 yeehaw and you have thirty plus miles of gnarly trail to enjoy. Make sure you bring lots of water. I drained 64 oz camelback plus a waterbottle of go juice in three plus hours.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hierarchy of San Antonio Riding Groups

This post is not meant to insult anyone or anygroup, it is simply a guide based on the experiences of one rider with various groups found in and around San Antonio. As always, your mileage may vary or in other words your experience may be different. This guide will be organized from fastest to leisurely.

Groups are fluid, members change and so does speed. Groups that at one time were crazy fast may become leisurely and vice-versa. I believe what is paramount is to find a group that caters to your needs in training and in camraderie. It may be that Britton's Ladies only ride is the one for you. Or it may be that you like the STORM Thursday Night stay-together ride that is crazy fast that starts at Broadway Bike World around 7:30.

Of course the fastest I know are the ones that smoked me so bad it left me spinning arond in circles at the intersection. The first time this ever happened was when I had recently upgraded to look pedals and I thought since I was in marathon shape that I could hang with the big dogs. Wrong!!! I got dropped before we even headed away from Camp Bullis of course this was back in the day before 9/11 and the bases in and around SA extending their protection zones.

The first of this type was the Spectrum Club Ride http://www.spectrumsanantonio.com, start locale is off 1604 and Rogers Ranch in North San Antonio. 8:00 AM start. Before I knew it I was alone even though I had plenty of visibility I had no earthly idea where this group had headed off to. I eneded up going on Babcock and Scenic loop up there and met up with the group going in the opposite direction coming back from Boerne.

Next in the hierarchy is Bike City Chain Reaction http://www.bikecitychainreaction.com. A true all-level group with a stay together mentality and safety at the forefront where with some other groups even the ride leader drops you like a hot potato. A for instance was when more mileage was being discussed decisions were made based on the fact that there is safety in numbers and we should stay with the big group rather than venture out alone or with just two riders. The wolf pack is the fastest and their average MPH on even long rides is 20 or 21 miles an hour. Sporting team members for national teams. A true challenge to hang with these guys and gals. The slower paced groups are stay together groups with reduced speed and distance with some of the kindest souls you'll find around this area. Start locales are easily accessible in and around San Antonio.

Next are the San Antonio Wheelmen http://www.sawheelmen.com, where normally the group going the furthest is the fastest. You are expected to be self-sufficient on your rides although maps inform of where the ice-houses are where beverages and sustenance can be purchased. Normally three distances are offered and groups are formed at the pre-ride briefing and helmets are required. Come and hone your group riding skills with some of the shorter distance groups. You probably want to have your stuff consolidated if you're riding with the fastest/longest group or else you'll be informed of it when you ride. Stay-together-rides are offered at various start locations. Childrens rides are done quarterly in conjunction with other rides. Safety briefing training is offered occasionally 30 minutes before the ride start at some rides. The wheelmen sponsor a premier tour, The Easter Hill Country Tour that is shared with four other Texas organizations and has some of the highest attendance of tours in the adjacent countryside normally staged out of Kerrville/Fredericksburg.

Britton's Bicycle Shop http://www.brittonbikes.com and another Bicycle Heaven http://www.bicycleheaven.com are up there in speed and distance although I wouldn't show up to these rides with a missmatched kit or your old beater that you use in the rain and ice of South Texas :-^ or you'll give them the opportunity for a good laugh or be left in the dust. I hear that the Tuesday night Ladies Only ride out of Britton's is tops where one can come and be one of the fastest bellas on the road. Rides start at the shops.

Cycle Logic rounds out the top as one of fastest http://www.cycle-logic.net. Their Sunday morning ride that is used to train for Bike to the Beach 150 is a staple in my training for a short but fast ride. A fun group of mostly guys (don't ask me why just guys, but most of the ladies only come to visit). Allan goes way out of his way to make everyone feel welcome and being a pro-mountain biker turned wrench you'll get the best advice around on upgrading, trading-in or trading-up from your current machine. The only Caloi dealer in Texas which I'm personally biass since that is my ride. A mountain bike series is held at McCallister in the off-season. Rides start at the shop.

The Hill Country Touring Group is the perfect choice for that friendly leisurely ride you may be looking for on a moderate length ride. I'm having trouble finding their presence on the web, excercise your search prowess and you're in for a good find.

Some local churches have beginner rides offered, Community Bible Church http://www.communitybible.com off 1604 and Northwood Presbyterian Hike and Bike http://northwood-hikeandbike.blogspot.com in Northwood Estates Area off of Harry Wurzbach. Mostly monthly events with one big event for the year out of town.

Please feel free to add your comments as to why one or more of these should be listed differently. YMMV.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Flecha

You know I'm not the fastest arrow in the quiver, but I do enjoy getting faster. So last week I had a peak week, but no race to go test myself so I went and did a time trial on a route that I've timed myself very accurately for the past 8 months.

I was feeling real good at the turn around point of 16 miles having averaged 18.2 miles an hour and 17.3 for the whole thing (29 miles). I thought well maybe I am improving.

So are my friends though:-) here's how I know.

Took a buddy out with Bike City Chainreaction, very nice group multiple levels that are pretty stricktly adhered to. The wolf pack is truly fast the other groups are slower and do shorter routes.

Again, I was feeling really good when at 34 miles I had averaged 20.5 miles an hour and then at the end I ended up with 17 overall avearge for the 55 miles.

My buddy averaged 21 for the whole 55. Ouch!

Yes, I'm getting better, but my buddies are kickin' it! I don't know what to say...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Too Old

I'm getting too old for some of the scheise I do at work! I've had talent show tryouts the last couple of afternoons and the first day my knees were screaming like I had been up in the hillcountry. Just the simple up and down off the stage helping contestants get ready for their auditions - I'm going out to see what I have to work with and go from there. Tomorrow's long ride may be curtailed. Vamos ver...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Scheduling Workouts

After a large number of miles in a single weekend and at the rate that I'm recovering from these long rides I believe my scheduled workouts needs to change.

Normally I take two days off, but not in succession. Yesterday the soreness was still screaming so I did not do my regularly scheduled interval session.

Doing away with a workout is not an option because I still need it to improve.

So let's say I do the interval workout today and bump all the other workouts right along with it, then the problem becomes how can I make Friday the day before my normally long ride an easier day? The answer is to move the single-speed workout normally done on Wednesdays to Friday because it seems like an easier workout. It could also be that it is easier because I'm not doing it at the level of intensity necessary, but I'll have to worry about that later.

So, after an intense mileage weekend the Schedule would be:

Monday & Tuesday Off to recover
Wednesday Intervals Reverse Ladder
Thursday AT and LT workout on hilly terrain
Friday Single-Speed Workout/Spinner Workout
Saturday Long or Long with Club (http://www.sawheelmen.com or http://www.bikecitychainreaction.com )
Sunday Short & Fast with Club (http://www.cyclelogic.net )

After reasonable mileage weekends the Schedule would go back to:
Monday Off Cycling/Run with the Dog
Tuesday Intervals Reverse Ladder
Wednesday Single-Speed/Spinner
Thursday AT & LT Workout on Hilly Terrain right now 2:1 Recovery
Friday Off Cycling/Run with the Dog
Saturday Long
Sunday AM: Short w/Cycle-Logic PM: Trail-Run with the Dog

I'm glad we had this little talk, but now I'm out of time for the interval session that I'm supposed to do today so If I bump today's workout...Nah - Cheesewhacking Happens!

Cheesewhacking (chizhuéking) the process of sitting on ones couch or in front of one's computer and placing cheeseballs in ones mouth and eating them without carrying out previously planned workout.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

86 In the Bank

As opposed to 86ing the bank, but I digress! The morning started out cool 32 degrees so rather than freeze my tuckus(Oy vei - my Yidish spelling!) I layered for the extreme. It quickly warmed up! By 9:00 AM it was already in the 50s. My black gloves were just holding in that heat. I had just ridden out to the start of another http://www.sawheelmen.com ride. Lots of folks doing the 51 miler. I started with them - always the optimist! (In my defense I didn't go buy the team jersey until I could sustain the effort for the full 51 with the fast group and although that day we did a lot at 24 MPH my average for that day was still only 16 something. Oh Well!). I got dropped today in the first six miles. Man that sucks!

So then I hooked up with almost a time trial team all we needed was one more rider. If we had caught up to the tall lady that smoked me after getting dropped by the first group we would have had a full complement, but alas! Anyway, I pulled a couple of times with that group and kept jumping off the gap. Not good, I tend to do that with Cycle-Logic http://www.cyclelogic.net also (try the video tour - you can take control of the camera in the shop and like zoom in on the Airbornes, Calois, KHSs and blah blah blah it's fun!).

So then, we hit some rollers and it's too much for me. I actually redlined it!

(Aside: Did I mention that on Thursday I had been matched with a cancer patient for transfusion that was coming up Friday? I gave a full complement of platelets Thursday Night - rush donation. All of this came up within two days and it was my honor to be matched perfectly. Moral of this little story is donate and get registered for the bone marrow registry.)

Now that little aside was to give again an experiment of one and your mileage may vary (YMMV) the reason for the redlining is that I'm not all the way recovered from the blood letting. Some times it affects me a lot and sometimes it affects me very little. Today it was a lot! I even got nauseated, don't tell my wife. She'll kick my tuckus (sp?) I got nauseated towards the end of the 86, but at that point I think it was a hydration issue, but then the whole platelet thing is a hydration issue, but I ramble.

So, the better part of valor I slacked off from the paceline and proceeded to ride my own ride. At the halfway stop, or is the 1/3 of the way stop? I don't know, but in the beautiful river town of McQueeney, Texas. I took my time stowed all my outer layers. Ate some goomies standard fare of peanuts and sugar-orange slices downed some rocksalt to keep the cramp monster away, starbucks frappuccino, and two gatorades one to slug and one to put on the bike. I make my way!

I come to the two thirds stop at the Bakery/Cafe/Gas station/feed store/curmugeon hangout in the lovely little town of New Berlin (pronounced burlun not Berlin) and low and behold back behind the huge above ground Gas Storage tank there was the paceline that I got dropped from. Hum! I'm thinking! Did they fake something again to boost my self-esteem? (Earlier they said they were faking looking at the map to see where they were going, but their real reason was so that I could catch up to them. Nope, they almost went all the way to China Grove (of Doobies Fame "Woh, oh China Grove!" "Sleepy little town down around San Antone"). Oops! Lucky me, I thought I was going to be "Just a poor wayfarin' stranger" alone. But company, I thrive in company!!!

So I quickly got a Yoohoo http://www.drinkyoo-hoo.com no Starbucks Frappuccinos out in New Berlin and a gatorade and downed the yoo-hoo and got back on the bike to catch up with the paceline that was quickly taking-off.

I caught up quickly and started leading! Took a couple of tricky turns with them and then left them in the dust for a while. Then I slowed down for a questionable turn that they showed me and then again I smoked them. No bragging, these guys normally hammer and kick my butt regularly. Maybe they gave platelets Thursday night also? Nah! I smoked 'em!

Back in the town of Cibolo I hit 70 in 4:30 hours and averaging 15.4 and then proceeded home after refueling at a neighborhood Chevron because by then I was out of bike money (money used for goomies along the way). Checked in with my better half since by then it was already 1:00 PM no biggie one hour to toddle home and I did so.

I mentioned earlier to one of the guys too bad we can't get paid like normal and ride the hours that we work instead of getting paid for our work and ride when we can. They said it doesn't work that way! Once a dreamer always a dreamer...au revoir!

1st 100 Miler

It's been said that the Century is the 'thon of the cycling world. I say the Century is the ultra and the metric-century is the 50k of the cycling world.

I over analyze things when given too much time to prepare! So when the night before I pondered doing the century as part of the San Antonio Wheelmen club ride all I had time to do was plan and skipped the stressed out stage of the event. I got on to a service provided by google called GMAPS-Pedometer http://www.gmaps-pedometer.com where one can trace a route specifically to find out the exact mileage one way or roundtrip. (Just watch out for those curves).

It was 30 miles to the starting point in Boerne and I am determined to save gas-money therefore riding to the start is a necessity if I still want to get my long club ride in the bank. A lot of the http://www.sawheelmen.com rides start way the heck out in the boonies.

Nevertheless in the spirit of http://www.hellweek.com up in Fredericksburg where some of my friends from around the nation come to visit my neck of the woods for some hellacious hill-training I was thinking I could go up to Luckenbach and maybe catch a glimpse of the type of road warriors that head to Hell Week every-year as they zoomed past my sorry butt going around 30 miles an hour.

Well, GMAPS-Pedometer showed that I would finish with upwards of 100 miles if I went all the way to Sisterdale let alone Luckenbach. But I was undeterred, remember I hadn't had time to stress out about it and over analyze the crap out of it.

The morning started out fine a little behind the clock to make the 9:00 AM start, but no problem I'll make it up on the road. Ehhn! Thanks for playing! I get about 5 miles from the house when I go to adjust my goggles and boom boom boom, I fumble my rearview mirror that attaches to my glasses. To tell you the truth I feel very exposed when I can't periodically check what is behind me. South Texas drivers are not the friendliest lot to the spandex clad cyclist. But still after searching for about fifteen minutes and coming up empty I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice the looking under your armpit thing that I saw riders in the http://www.letour.com doing on the Champs Elyses (sp?). Honestly, it is possible to look out under your armpit and see whats coming up. Now can I do it fast enough to not end up splayed on the pavement?

So, I get to Boerne late and refuel, but I still manage to catch the slow group up in Comfort. I took the turn off to Little Joshua Creek that adds four miles to the route so I ended up with 51 by the time I got to Comfort (where the ranch can be found - miles and miles of mountain bike trails where I hear if you want to put some work in to it you get to use the ranch free) so I decided that's good enough. So, I refuel and head back again meeting up with some of the slow folk on the way back to Boerne.

Make a long story short, another refuel in Boerne and I'm out there when the sun is really hot so I get cooked to say the least. I made 100 in 6:51 averaging 14.5. I took it easy 'cuz I was going long and it paid off. I was not "Ded" as Ifiok would have told me, but I had a warm glow going.

Next couple of days I did a fifty something up to New Braunfels and it feels like 25. Woohoo! There are hidden benefits to logging a 100 miler.