Thursday, June 25, 2009

French Girls Are Hot

Here's the podium shot for the French Women's Time Trial National Championship, which took place earlier today. Oooh-la-la!

Do yourself a favor, and don't click on the image. Smaller is better. Seriously. Don't do it.

Kidding aside, Jeannie Longo is amazing. At 50 years old, she just captured her 56th national championship. That's really difficult to grasp.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

First June Ride

I went out for a nice little ride today. After the month of May, it was a relief not to have a mileage goal or route planned. The weather was cool and comfortable, and the roads were quiet. I kept it short and never went very hard. Great ride.

About a mile from home I saw this guy:

I caught him and decided to take him home.

Unfortunately, it was tough climbing the last couple hills with one hand. He slipped away and became wrapped up in my spokes where he was torn to pieces.

Just kidding. Both snake and rider arrived home safely. I released him in the yard where he will be expected to eat baby rattlesnakes to earn his keep.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Goal Met

I ended May with 604 miles, barely making my 600-mile goal. Apparently when you reach your goal, you also get the animated fireworks:

As previously mentioned, it’s the most I have ridden in six years. I learned a few things in the process.

1. Six hundred miles is a lot at this point in my life. I guess that’s why it has not happened since my son was born. It's not the mileage that’s tough; I could actually ride much more than I did. It’s the yard work, home improvement, errands, cooking, cleaning, homework, job, home life and lack of sleep that makes physical and mental recovery difficult. There were at least a few occasions when I went straight from a long ride to working out in the yard in the heat. Not really a great recovery strategy, and it made riding the next day tough, but life doesn’t stop because you want to ride. I simply couldn’t ride much more than 600 miles without another facet of my life suffering.

2. Although I have been racing off and on for my entire adult life, my training has never been very structured. Every once in a while I would peak at the right time in spite of myself and accidentally win a race. In the last six years especially, I have simply been riding my bike and taking whatever fitness happens to come with it. Even when trying to prepare for endurance races, I didn’t ride this much. But by setting a somewhat difficult numerical goal and attaining it, I can see that numbers are where it’s at for me. I liked setting the number, figuring out the pace I needed to ride at (average ~20 miles per day), and clicking off miles toward that goal. This sounds simple, but again, I DON’T like structure. Most of the time I don’t even leave the house with a planned route or distance. I just like to ride down the driveway and make it up as I go. But for one month, I was able to design a plan around my hectic schedule and stick to it.

3. A comfortable saddle is nice luxury. I’ve been using Flite saddles for years and years. Lately they don’t seem as comfortable as they used to. Midway through the month I acquired a used bike with a Brooks Team Pro saddle. I threw it on my cross bike, just for grins, and it’s awesome. Very, very comfortable, and every ride it improves as it molds to my body instead of the previous owner’s. My only complaint is the forward bias of the rails. Even with a setback post and slamming the saddle all the way back on the rails, my position still isn’t as far back as my Flite was.

Not sure if I'm completely in love with the retro look: