Friday, August 29, 2008

What The Hail ?

Sure, I get time off to finally make the Thursday night lbs group ride and what happens. Hail, thats what. Big ice chunks start coming down about 5:15, along with rain and wind. 5:45, the sky clears, I kit up and buzz down the hill to the Lester Park lot. Several cars in the lot, no bike racks. No one shows. So I head up the shore for a 20 mile cruise. Suddenly, the black clouds reappear, rain comes down, but luckily no hail. A few minutes later, all clear for a nice, but damp ride. I'm glad I stuck with it. I had a great ride, the legs felt good, especially after not riding very much lately. The new Fizik saddle is really working well, the most comfy seat I've ever ridden on.

I've been catching the Tour Of Ireland opening stages, and Mark Cavendish still amazes me. On the second stage finish, he was boxed in tight in the final meters. He gave a shove to the rider on his right, hit the nitrous and was gone. Julian Dean could do nothing to stop him. I want to see some Cavendish/Boonen scaps at the Tour De France next year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall Is Around The Corner

Cool nights, warm, low humidity days. The nip of fall in the air. Great sleeping weather. My favorite time of the year. Just wish the days weren't getting shorter. Well, you can't have everything, I guess.

I haven't gotten as much riding in as I had planned. So what else is new. Family business crops up, and my ride gets derailed. Tonight would be perfect, but soccer is on tap instead. I think a new light set up is in order, so I can ride later safely. I see a lot more lights lately, so more people are on the same train of thought.

The wild life are starting to move around more, so one has to watch out. Deer, especially the young ones have little common sense when it comes to traffic rules. The bear cubs are curious and the sows protective, so take a wide birth when passing them on the trails. Or, turn around and goes back. The mothers will snort a warning or 2 before charging, so listen up if you come across a cub.

With the Tour De France now over for about a month, the pro tour starts revving up for the fall classics. I'm glad to see Tom Boonen back on form after his personal problems took him out of the TDF. He's already won a couple of races, so maybe missing the Tour was a good thing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Drywall & Teeth

No, that's not the name of some alternative band, but what I've been up to lately. I'm doing a drywall project to raise some extra cash and have been having some dental work done. No of it what you'd call fun, but necessary evils of life. I'd never do drywall work for a living. Too tedious and tough on the shoulders and back. On the bright side, I haven't experienced any shoulder, back, or knee pain so far. Let's hope it stays that way. The dental stuff, now that's another matter. Root planing and antibiotic treatments are not comfortable, nor is tooth extraction. Diabetics have a distinct disadvantage as far as gum disease goes, so you have to stay ahead of things. I haven't, and now I'm paying the price. I learned my lesson the hard way, unfortunately. The damage was limited to one lost tooth, so it's not all bad, as I'd lost the one directly above it previously. It comes out next week.

I haven't been riding much due to all the extra work, but should get out several time this week. Time will tell. My blood sugar is still up and down, but should stabilize after the abscessed tooth is pulled. The infection plays hell with glucose levels, so once it's gone things should level out. I hope.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic TT

Ol' Fabian Cancellara, one of my fav's in the pro peloton, put the wood to the field in the olympic time trial. I think he let Stephan Schumaker win in the Tour De France time trials to conserve energy for the team and lull the field into a false sense of security. His making "Swiss cheese" of the rest of the boys in the time trials is getting to be a habit. I love watching him ride!

On the diabetes front, a recent trip to the dentist turned out to be a major bummer. It looks like I'll be loosing a tooth and having some anti-biotic treatments, along with some major root planing. More vacation used on anything but rest and relaxation. That's just another side effect of diabetes. Fun times....

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Ride

No, not a new bike, but a new route. Sunday, I took the MTB out exploring different roads and trails around the camp ground area. I took a Google map, and set out around Sand Lake. What nice, quiet, smooth country roads. Rolling, twisting, perfect for the road bike. Then, some gravel roads and trails that are a gas. I wish there were more bikers in the area to ride with and enjoy the quiet country side. I never run into anyone on a bike, except on the Munger trail. The ones i do meet are usually on their way someplace special, and not riding locally. Too bad, they're missing some good riding.

Diabetes-wise, I'm going to cut back the carbs a bit more for a couple of weeks. I'll be monitoring my glucose levels more closely to see the reaction to low carb meals in the hours after eating. I sure would love to not have to be shackled to the regimen of a medication schedule. It's tough to be spontaneous in life and have a good time with others when this stupid disease looms over everything you do. But, others have it far worse than me, so I shouldn't complain. Just work harder at being healthy, maybe I can reverse this.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Rantings

OK, it's my Saturday to donate time I will never get back. Yes, I'm at work. One tech, no luber. What a waste. But, on the bright side, I can catch up on some paper work, explore the 'net, and generally waste time. Here goes...

Sammy Sanchez took the Gold at the men's road race at the Olympic Games. I sure didn't see that one coming. David Rebellin took silver, and my boy Fabian Cancellara fly up from the chase to take bronze. I hear the heat and humidity were ungodly.

On the diabetes front, there sure are a ton of studies coming down that favor fats and such over carbs a way to combat diabetes. Seems the ADA pyramid suggests we type 2's eat lots of whole grain based starches. From what most make of this is that combating heart disease first and combating blood sugar with drugs is secondary. Now many doctors and researchers are trying to defuse this theory. And it's all just theory it seems to me.

Way back in the late 1900's, E P Joslin was helping people control their glucose levels with a diet of 70% fats and 10% carbohydrates. It worked well, in fact his own mother reversed her diabetes with his methods. Along came Canadian (those damned Cannucks-ha ha!) Frederick Benting with insulin. Soon the low carb fell out of favor due to insulin being effective for those with poorly disciplined eating habits. And there in is the rub. Injecting insulin is a trial and error process. You never know exactly how much to take due to all the variables involved. Diet, exercise etc. change from day to day.

Me, I take Lantus, a 24 hour dose in the a.m., to maintain my glucose level daily. A metformin in the a.m. and p.m., along with Byetta at the same times help also. For me, with my lifestyle, this is a crude form of control, in my humble opinion. My usual dosage of Lantus is 33 units. But if I'm going on a 4 hour ride, I'll cut it back to 20 units, or so. If it's a morning ride, I skip the Byetta. It's stomach emptying control gives me heartburn under hard exertion, so I don't take it if I'll be riding shortly after breakfast.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, when there is nothing left to say or do, when the last dog is hung, exercise and weight loss are the key for me. The effects of an epic ride last for a couple of days, in that my blood sugar stays fairly low mo matter what I eat. But I just don't have the time to ride every day, and effort changes, too. A 4 hour spin is different than an hour of hill repeats. It does appear in my case, the longer the duration of the exercise, the longer the positive effect is on my glucose levels. But life throws in too many curve balls when your a fast ball hitter. What's my plan, you ask? I'm working on it. More details Monday.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Light Bulb In My Head

Just went on.In Steps. Progressions. OK, I finally put two and two together. Higher cadence equals more endurance. I read a Joe Friel article in Velo News on the 3 main keys to better riding and racing. Basically, work on your weaknesses, you'll be faster. No kidding, Joe. But what I did realize after reading this, was that I pedal too slow. I seem to be in that 80-84 range, lower on grades, relying more on power than efficiency. I always have used that "torque feeling" judge how well I am riding. That was fine when I was young and strong as a bull, but not any more. Jan Ullrich could get away with grinding it out as he was a genetic freak, I am not.

So Sunday morning I set off on a 30 mile ride from the camper south on the state trail. I tried to up my cadence to the 85 to 90 rpm range. My speed was the same as usual, but the effort seemed less. Pretty soon, a guy on a bent pulled up along side. He obviously was an experienced rider, well conditioned and fast. I asked why the bent? He said he had a serious back injury many years back and couldn't ride a normal bike, so he tried a bent, and can tolerate it. He was a Cat 2 at one time and it showed. We went through the hilly twisting area behind Rutledge, and he put 200 yards on me in no time. I was amazed at how quick he could corner and climb. Fun times.

He stopped to meet his wife in Finlayson, so we chatted a bit before I went another 5 miles south. I asked what his thoughts about cadence were. He said one of the big things he works on with younger riders is spinning faster than you think you should be. I mentioned I was working on that, and he agreed I was still to slow. Concentrate on the 90 to 100 rpm range and you'll ride faster longer. I headed on south to my turn around point, as I decided to do 40 miles instead of the planned 30. Concentrating on upping my cadence was tough, but after a few miles, it started to feel normal. After I got back to the camp ground, my legs felt much fresher, and the inner thigh soreness I normally get after a long ride never set in. An 18 mph average for 41.36 mile was a good effort for me. Combined with 2 hours of hard MTB riding Saturday and 1 1/2 hours Friday night, it was a good weekend for me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Look

Thought I would update the look of the blog a bit. I like this layout better, hope you do.

I rode up Lester River road, then left onto Stark. That Col is a leg breaker, for sure. Anyone got a spare compact crank they can bum me? Come on, help a brother out. Actually, I found a nice deal on a Ultegra compact crank set for $160.00 on line. My current set is an FSA SL-K Mega XO carbon. A compact version runs about $299.00. Nice, but a little spendy.

It looks like a nice weekend coming up, I'll get some good mile in at the camper on both the road and mountain bikes. SWMBO wants to get in some ride time with me, so I won't have to ride alone all the time. Last year there was a couple of riders in the site, but I haven't seen them this year. Hope you all have a good weekend, I hope to.