Yardwork took a back seat to cycling this weekend. I mean the grass will be there next weekend and for many weeks after that. It was time to tune some gears and get some cycling miles in. Saturday was spent cleaning the derailer and adjusting the derailer to move into the 11-tooth sprocket of the cassette. The derailer had all kind of grime that didn't prevent rotation, but probably caused it not to move as freely as it could.

The rest of the day was spent on the recumbent bike. I had picked up a very nice stroller with 16-inch tires out of the trash at work a couple of weeks ago. I removed the front tire and placed it on the recumbent. The rest of the stroller was fabricated into a trailer for Travis.

Placing the smaller wheel on the front of the recumbent caused the front brakes to be about three inches out of alignment. So a fork modification was in order. I cut three inches out and we'll see how the JB Weld takes hold. It should lower the front end of the recumbent.

This morning the cycling couldn't have been better. A trip down Mopac for eleven miles and five laps around the veloway for 15.5 miles. Being able to tap the 11-tooth sprocket, I gained a two-three miles-per-hour which I'll need in the Tour de Cure and the CapTexTri. There weren't many riders along Mopac, but the veloway was quite congested. A mix of all types at the veloway; families, groups, and on all types of bikes. The wildflowers were in full bloom, the weather was warm but not too hot. Quite the day to be on a bike or working on one.

Spongy Tires But No Blowout

I. Could. Not. Wait. For my bike ride this evening. With rain expected the next few days and the disastrous two blown tubes the other day, I was ready to get back on the bike and recover some mojo. I reworked the mess of a mount of my bike computer, gathered my tools and put them in my new seat bag, and pedaled out for Mopac Expressway. Today's goals were to cycle the time trial route that Run-Far is putting on monthly and also to stay on the bike for some time, say 60-90 minutes. Oh, and not to blow a tube. I left the tires at 60 psi, and a little spongy, just ot get out there and complete a ride. I'll experiement in the garage with the pressure when it's 100 degrees outside or raining.

I crossed La Crosse Avenue and 30 seconds into the pedal push a female cyclist passed me up. I followed her a bit but didn't want to draft too close or immediately pass her again, so at times I coasted. I did this for a mile or two and then decided what the hell and hit the cranks when she slowed a bit. I wanted to see what I could do the eight-mile route, compared to the April Run-Far Time Trials. I lost a little bit but the route ahead was clear. I passed the half way mark and turned to go back to La Crosse. A couple of miles into the push a couple of riders passed but stayed close. I was able to stay with them and draft a little until the sixth or seventh mile. The final time was 25:30, which compared to the time trials puts me in the lower 75 percentile or 18.9 mph. Not bad, could have been better, but it was said that at the time trials the people were cruising faster for the start of the season, compared to last year. I'd say 29 mph for the first time trial of the season was cruising.

Cycling the Run-Far route brought up an idea for the next Tour de Cure survey; should I participate in the May Time Trails. That'll be next Thursday's question.

After finishing the route, I made my way over to the veloway and cycled three laps of 3.1 miles each. Easy does it miles at a low heart rate. Total miles for the day computed at 21.5. Average mph was 15.5 mph. Time Trial mph was 18.9. Getting the miles in without a blown tube...priceless.

Final note. There's plenty of time to donate to Tour de Cure if you're on the fence about it. Simply go to my Tour de Cure page and click on the red Donate button. One dollar, two dollars, all is fine and gets you in to particpate in the surveys.

Cycling Miles for the Week of 5/1 - 5/7

The first survey has arrived. It's for those of you that have donated to Tour de Cure or have confirmed a donation by sending me an email. It took a couple of days to get the free service to cooperate with the Blogger service but it's ready. A new survey will be posted each Thursday, between now and May 21, the day of the 80-mile ride.

Thank you for your support.

UPDATE - It appears we now have a fourth rider on the team. Becky Santarsiere signed up and has $60 in her bucket, so we're well on our way to the goal of $500. Go Seton Scrubs!

Cycling Miles for the Week of 5/1 - 5/7
0 miles- Sit back and relax
10 miles - Do some miles, but also watch a cycling movie
50 miles - Put some effort into it
75 miles - This will get you ready
100 miles - We want you to win the thing
Free polls from

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Tour de Cure Update - I have a few more donors so the voting for the first survey this week is going to be interesting. I tried one of the free survey code sets and Blogger doesn't want to accept it, so I'll have to figure something out in the next couple of days. There's still time to donate.

So much for the ride home yesterday. I got about a mile out and blew a tube. Sounded like a gunshot. Two ladies, standing in front of their SUV, heard the sound looked over and approached.

"Is that tubed or tubeless?," said the woman.
I said, "tubed".

They both disappeared. I weighed my options. I could sit down and call for an extraction. I could wait and see if the women come out with a tube. I could roll the bike back to the office and get a ride home. I could call for a tube delivery. Nah, that's not available yet.

Crap. Why did I not take a tube, my compressed air and pump with me? Why isn't there a tube delivery businees like pizza delivery? Or better yet, tube and pizza delivery together. As I had that thought, one of the ladies appeared with a tube. Thin with a presta stem. No problem, but I had left the air back at the office. I had left the pump at home. So I thank the lady and offered her some money but she refused. She said a cyclist had helped her out one time and she asked that I'd return the favor. No problem.

I gathered the blown tube, tire, new tube and the bike and made my way back to the office. I hadn't traveled 100 feet when two other individuals asked if I needed anything. Very nice.

I got back to the office and the tube appeared to have a puncture or I put one into the tube mounting it. Either way, there wasn't enough time to get to the bike shop, pick up a tube, mount the tube and cycle home. My lights were in the garage at home. Argh! Time to call for an extraction.

I've learned my lesson and had the pickup team stop by the bike shop on the way home. Two things I won't go on another ride without are my new seat bag WITH TOOLS and a tube and my Camelbak.

I got home thinking I had enough sunlight to get in five miles. I mounted the new tube and BAMM! Another tube blown and this time it took the tire with it. Definitely, I was not in the bike flow last evening. My cycling mojo had been drained and was bone dry. I took the hint and left everything scattered in the garage and poured myself a glass of wine. I wsan't too depressed as I had run four miles in the morning and done forty-five minutes of core. Four+Core is my new insurance policy against getting pissed when the evening is taken up with other things.

Today, I learned my electric air pump was ten pounds off. Duh! The tire and tube said to inflate to 90 pounds. The first blown tube was actually at 100 pounds. Bamm! The second tube shouldn't have blown, as I only filled it to what I thought was 80 pounds, but it was actually 90 pounds, and within the stated limits. So another lesson learned. FILL THE TIRE BY FEEL, not what the stupid compressor guage states or what the tire states on the side.

Bike Fit

Every few months there's an article that changes the way I train or is a piece of equipment that will make training so much more effective. The heart rate monitor was one of those pieces of equipment, the 100-lap chrono watch was another. Last night I read about John Cobb's bike fitting expertise. Luckily, the author included photographs of himself on his bike that was worth 10,000 words. See, I've listened to podcast after podcast where they recommend getting a bike fitting. However, there's only so much you can do with audio.

Before reading this article, I had looked at various photographs in trathlon magazines and gathered the angles as best I could. The article put it into perspective and made adjusting the bike much easier and more accurate. The result...more power. How much you say? Two-to-three miles an hour on the veloway this evening. So rather than the 15-18 I normally see, I saw readings of 18-22 on the same track, under pretty much the same conditions as the last few times I've been at the veloway.

The adjustments included raising the handlebars about an inch, moving the seat forward, and flattening out the aero-bars so that they were parallel with the ground. Minor adjustments, but they transferred into more power, more speed and more comfort.

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Chop Wood, Carry Water Workouts

Not much that's exciting with the workouts lately. The Stacy Pool is closed for it's yearly repair and cleaning until April 28. Recent storms and work schedules have meant that I've spent most of this week in the gym on the bike and the elliptical. I call these the chop wood, carry water workouts. Usually, they're boring, but a necessity to maintain fitness. Check the Training Schedule and Log for more detailed information

Yesterday ended the rest period from the Freescale Marathon. My knee is now feeling good enough to start adding miles onto the Tour de Cure and triathlon training programs. I'm still building the aerobic base and the miles will increase dramatically next week and up until the taper for the Tour de Cure on May 21.

By sponsoring me in the Tour de Cure ride, you will be able to participate in the weekly surveys. These surveys allow you to determine my training, from zero miles and eating chocolate pie to eating like a Kenyan with corn, rice and beans on the plate and cycling 100+ mile weeks. Your sponsorship also gets you a say in what I wear for the event, from traditional cycling apparel to modified scrubs or even maybe an Elvis cycling outfit.

By the way, Travis is in training this week. He has his annual Buda Weiner Dog Race next weekend. Last year he over trained so this year he's taking it slow. When you come out of the gate behind the dog in a wheelchair, the training has to be adjusted.

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The Jerseys Have Arrived!

The cycling jerseys have finally arrived. Man it took a long time to get here from Italy. I guess it was worth the wait as they were $12 and change for each, plus shipping. Not bad, compared to the $75 retail for something similar.

Today, I went for an 18-mile ride; a mixture of veloway and South Mopac for about 70 minutes and an average HR of 139. Average speed was 15mph for the HR 139. The bike held up well and the new jersey felt great.

This week mostly included runs. My truck didn't pass it's inspection so I had to run a bottle of Guaranteed To Pass (G2P) through it's gas tank, which meant I had to drive every day to deplete the fuel before the next inspection. The knees felt good durning the runs. The left knee problem is slowly going away. I can only occasionally feel anything on the uphills and downhills.

I tried a swim at Deep Eddy yesterday. I only lasted 22 minutes as I could never get my breathing down. The water temp was 73 degrees which was a little chilly for me. I bailed and went on a six-mile, 70-minute run instead. Although it was hot, the humidity was down and it felt good to sweat.

The most unusual thing for the week had to be the resting heart rate. This morning it was 52bpm. I took it a couple of times to check accuracy and sure enough, 52bpm.

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Cycling Home from Work

The route from work towards home took 12.41 miles. Not much, but with the hills thrown in, it was a exhaustive workout. It was pretty clear on the trails and on the freeay feeder, except for one stretch of a quarter-mile of Mopac Expressway. I had the three-foot emergency lane to myself, but cars were zigging and zagging at 70mph. One little tag from behind, even at 20mph could have sent me over the edge into the abiss of the Barton Springs Greenbelt, 180 feet below. Did I get a rush out of it? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably.

I've seen countless cyclists traveling the same route and thought they were crazy. Yet, it's the only pass through to the South Austin, unless one wants to tackle an emense uphill and three miles of diversion to the east. This route is not for the faint-of-heart. It's also not for me when I'm in la la land. Suburbans will mow me down in a heartbeat, yet there's something to say about getting to and from work on a HPV. Friday I didn't become Suburban bumper meat, I instead had a great workout.

Daylight Savings Time and More Work

I was frustrated for the last couple of days. An increased workload trying to get two large Web sites launched had provided little time for training. By the end of the day, even with the additional hour from daylight savings time, I was a little bitchy. Since the bike maintenance and upgrades have been done, I thought I'd wake up earlier and get my workout in so that no matter how much work piled up, the miles were in the bank. This morning was the first try at this and worked out great.

Two other things made me change the schedule. For one, Travis had been leaving little presents for when I got home. This was a result of my neglecting his morning walk. He wasn't into cold weather walks and so we both slipped out of the routine this past winter. The second thing I noticed was how much my running mileage had slipped with the addition of swimming and cycling to the program. Therefore, the only thing to do was to add a morning run to the schedule. At 4:30 a.m. we both got up, had a drink and then it was out the door for a half-mile walk. I brought him back and then went for a four-mile run. Mission accomplished. He's happy, I'm happy.

The new schedule should add about 20 miles of running to the totals, as well as 20 to 50 miles per week of cycling. Now if I could just get the Suburbans to stay out of the bike lane.

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Thursday, April 6

Not much to report today. A good 6-mile run yesterday at 150 HR on the Town Lake Trail. Today was supposed to be a 2K swim but work took most of the daylight, so I substituted a 45-minute inline skate.

Sweet The Sting

Tori Amos has a recent song out called Sweet The Sting that I have on my MP3 player when I run. On past rides at the veloway I've been stung by flying insects and stung by other riders and inline skaters passing me. Hell, everyone passed me. Oh, and how sweet it is to finally have a bike that can pass riders, rather than be passed. Today was awesome as I passed brand new Cannondales, new Treks and new Specialized bikes with a $69 used Bianchi. OK, given the Bianchi's not in the same shape as when I purchased it at the pawn shop, but still. And granted some of the bikes were mountain bikes and some of the riders were beefier in the BMI category than me, but still. One or two had ripped calves, quads, and brand new bikes.

The Bianchi was put together with parts from two other thrift shop bikes, left for dead, with a $15 price tag. The used aero bars alone on one of the bikes were worth $15. The only thing new on the bike were the cables, the seat, tires and tubes.

This was the first time I really got to test the new aero bar extensions and they worked great. They sat in aero bar tubes and jingled a little when I switched to the regular bars during the turns and this was a little annoying. I'll have to wrap them or cushion them so they sit better.

The other thing I noticed was the lack of a small sprocket when going through some of the down hills. I received a new seven speed 11/28 cassette from an eBay auction and I'll have to install it to get some additional speed. I have to fix the speedometer, as I accidentally yanked the wires while adjusting the position on the fork. Converting my lap time to miles per hour I came up with 18.9 which is respectable for a $69 bike, and that's an average with some inclines thrown in. I'll have to do a time trial on a flat surface to get a true measure of the bike.

To break into the turn because I was going too fast and might have lost control was a great feeling on a trash heap bike. I couldn't go any faster into that turn. Damn straight. Sweet the sting.

Aero Bar Modification

Taking the night off and recovering from the Capitol 10,000, and having an extra hour with daylight savings time, I decided to work on the bike. Yesterday, I fabricated some extensions to the aero bars. I started with some electrical conduit measuring .72 of an inch that would fit inside the bar. I then dipped the bars into a can of rubber paint with a couple of coats and let it dry overnight. Today I wrapped the extensions in some left over handle bar tape which with the rubber, made a very nice cushiony feel. I cleaned up the wrapping with some black electrical tape.

Since the bars looked and felt so good, I decided to clean the bike up a bit. I hadn't done so since I bought it. It cleaned up nice. It looks much more expensive than the $69 I paid for it.

I reworked the brakes and the back wheel fit. It now has come together and rides like it's supposed to. No rubbing of the brake pads as the wheels are true. The brakes actually stop the bike without coasting to a stop. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, it finally feels like the old Trek I sold while I was under a momentary lapse of reason, thinking I no longer needed a road bike.

The bike, in it's current condition made me feel better for passing up the Bicycle Sport Shop's three day sale and the sweet $1200 tri-bike that had my name on it. I walked out of there with just a $2.99 water bottle cage. Ha! If I get smoked on the bike leg of the CapTexTri I may feel different, but for now, it's a sweet ride for the price.

Statesman Capitol 10,000

Another goal checked off. I had always wanted to run the Statesman Cap 10K and it finally happened during the 29th running of the race. Between 12 and 15 thousand runners ran, walked and with the humidity and heat, wobbled the 6.2 miles to the finish line.

For the size of the race, I felt like it met most of my race criteria, although there weren't any breakfast tacos at the finish line. They gave us a granola bar and a cookie. The organization was impeccable throughout and the crowds cheered everyone which was inspiring. I listened to my MP3 player this run, so I couldn't hear the bands playing throughout the course. They seemed to be every half mile.

I was running this race for a new PR and sort of achieved one with a 54:07.9 finish. I beat my true 10K time of 58:29, but fell a few seconds short of the 10K I ran during the Decker 20K of 53:44.3. I didn't push it as I ran based on heart rate and the HR was in the 170s the entire race. It seemed it was about ten beats over my average for the distance. Average for the race was 172bpm.

The heat and humidity played a role I'm sure. The leader wobbled at the First Street bridge before collapsing from dehydration or became overheated. Another two or three did the same a short time later.

Looking at the splits, it appears besides the humidity, the hills on 15th street cost me sixteen extra seconds for mile three. Splits = [1] 8:50.15 [2] 8:30.14 [3] 8:56.36 [4] 8:47.37 [5] 8:40.60 [6] 8:22.21 [.4] 2:01.50

Cap10K Race Results

  • Overall Place: 1020 of 5059 chip timed runners, 12,000+ total runners
  • Age Group Place: 148
  • Time: 54:07.9
  • Pace: 8:43/M
  • Avg HR: 172


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Shoe Lacing

Saturday afternoon I decided to wash my Asics. Most of what I read on the forums said not to. They also said to buy new shoes every 200-500 miles. I took both pieces of advice with a grain of salt, especially those tips found on retail shoe sites. Isn't their goal to sell more shoes. Enough said. Out came the insoles and into the washing machine with the lacing taken out.

A little time in the sun and they were ready to relace. I had purchased some lace locks, or cord locks several weeks ago, so I decided to put them on. Usually bad juju prior to a race. I also had waited since they didn't come with directions. With a couple of glasses of wine (race mojo adjustment) it came to me how to lace the shoes.

They worked great!

I never knew there were so many ways to lace shoes. Here's a site dedicated to the science of shoe lacing.

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