Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Dream Cycling Trip

I will be a father soon, 1-3 weeks to go is the current estimate.  Fatherhood will change everything from what i have been told.  My free time will now be focused on the kids.  

But i can still dream...

Last year Mark and I went to Belgium for a week to watch the RVV and ride the course.  We had a great time and typical Belgian weather.   When we returned i realized....it could be better.  This time of Europe there are bike races twice a week if not more often.  That means that a short trip of say 10 days could include 3 great Northern classics which would leave 5-6 days to ride bikes on the race courses or other places.  
Here is my idea:
Friday: depart for Belgium
Saturday: arrive, unpack the bike, pick up rental car, go see Tom and Nele, give Tom a bunch of shit for being a Belgian that doesn't like beer or cycling.  Go for a ride to shake off the Jetlag.
Sunday:  RVV  race around the countryside to see the pros suffer in the beautiful flemmish ardennes
Monday:  Ride the RVV, starting in Oudenaarde, follow the signs to ride all of the helligens
Tuesday: Ride part of the route of the Gent Wevelgem  Mostly flat, 4 hills, just to get a feel for the course
Wed: G-W race around the countryside to see the pros (no real suffering here...it's flat afterall)
Thursday:  Trip to the Ardennes  ride part of L-B-L some nice hills, but everything is paved.
Friday:  Ride somewhere else, day trip to holland or Germany, or just hang out and try to sample one of each of the 300+ belgian beers.
Saturday:  Ride Paris Roubaix, come on ....it's flat
Sunday:  Paris Roubaix, watch the pros suffer on cobbles.
Monday:  Go home
Looks like fun,  maybe 2011????  
Wonder if Tom will be in his house by then??? Doubt it. :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Quick Ride Route

Back in Staunton if i only had an hour or so to get a ride in, i would do the Springhill loop.  It was about 21-22 miles long, and i would push myself to see if i could do it in an hour. (the answer is yes, i was successful).  Now that i am in a new town, new home, new roads, i've been looking for a route that i could do in an hour or so.  Below is that route.  It is an out and back route that climbs to the top of Burnt Mountain on RT. 136 and then back home.  It takes about 1:15-1:20 to complete.  I will work towards knocking it out in an hour, but somehow i doubt i can fly up the hill that fast....who knows, maybe someday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cycling Fashion Faux-pas: The pain and suffering of limited cycling funds.

I have a rule when buying clothes, my shirts should not cost more than $10.  I try to carry that rule over to pants, shorts, t-shirts, basically any other non-cycling related clothing that i may need to purchase.  Granted, it is not always possible to stick to this rule, sometimes you have to pony up a little more.  The strange thing is, i have no such rule when it comes to cycling apparel. That $15-30 dollar dress shirt, that i will wear to meetings and meet customers in will make me stress about the cost, but dangle a $100 jersey on sale for the low price of $65 at the PI outlet and i'm salivating.  It's all about trying to look good while you are doing one of your favorite activities.  That is the "On the bike" fashion, but what about the "bike fashion"????

Note the pictures below:  the first is my ByStickel travel bike, notice the pretty green michelin tires.  I realize that this green color doesn't really go with anything, but there "was" a certain uniqueness about them a few years ago.  The key was that you had to go with two, you can't run just one colored tire.
The next pic is of my old Litespeed Alum/carbon bike.  Notice the blue bar tape, blue paint, blue tires.  A thing of beauty.  Color coordination is key.  The downside is if the bike breaks.  Like this one did, your new bike is red....you are stuck with extra tires that don't match.  The shame!!!
This third pic is of my cross bike, another fine example of color coordination, yellow sidewalls to match the yellow paint, red tread to match the wheels, this happened by accident actually.  But you know i would have made it happen eventually.
I know what you are thinking...is there any real meaning behind this post, or did i just want to find an excuse to show off some bicycles....mmmm....mmmm....what was the question again??  My point is this:  we are having twins in May, so we are trying to watch our spending.  I have some old tires in the basement, black, blue, gray, red, but no matching sets.  I have decided that before i replace another rear tire on the road bike, that i will wear out the extra tires in the basement.  I know right, how embarassing is that, one gray tire, one blue or two red tires that don't match. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TOOOOOO!!!!  I hope my kids recognize the sacrifices i have made for them.  I hope no one recognizes me when i am on my bike.  I'm sooo embarassed.  Thanks for listening.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Original SUV - Sweeeet Utility Vehicle

Here is my new ride.  The original utility vehicle.  My in-laws got a new car, so i bought this from them to drive back and forth to work.  Better mileage than the truck, and less wear and tear on the truck.    Pretty sweet huh.  I  think it was the wood paneling that sold me.