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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Started an event on Facebook last week where I invited 20+ people to come ride with the WVWC college students during their first week back. About half replied, and a quarter of them were planning on attending. No one showed up. It snowed like crazy two days before, and I guess that killed everyone’s appetite for a ride.

Not me!

I suited up, rode to the meeting point, and waited a whole five minutes longer than I said I would. After that, I scuttled off on my adventurous ride. The route I planned has been ridden by me several times, but never on the cross bike. I didn’t know how it would handle it, or how the snow would affect its maneuverability over rocks, dirt, and mud… For the most part, it rode like a dream. After a very arduous climb, I ended up not having brakes on the way down since the rims and canti’s were coated in ice. Luckily I was able to slow myself down with my foot, and death grip on front and rear shift levers.

At the bottom of the hill, I saw a stray horse. Not knowing much about horses, I didn’t know if I should confront it like a dog, or whether it would attack. Do horses attack people? Bite? Trample? What, anything?

After unsuccessfully wrangling’ up some horses, I went back on the ride. There were many photogenic landscapes and opportunities, but for some reason, this was the only shot I took during the ride:

bike ride in the snow, cyclocross, cross, snow cross

I couldn’t even keep my shadow out of the photo 😦 I blame using a phone to take such pics…

By this point in the ride, I had been on the bike for almost an hour and a half, and the only part of my body that was cold were my feet, despite the temperature only being 22*F. The sun was coming out, and I knew I still had enough time to have some fun…

Off I went to Gene (Fat Tire Cycle)’s house to see why he didn’t make it to the ride. I didn’t see any vehicles there, so I decided to leave him a little surprise:

cyclocross snow angel

A ‘cross snow angel! I knew he would know it was me, and I thought it would be a funny gesture.

All in all, the ride was very fun, and kept me burning calories, and improving my bike handling skills by leaps and bounds. This is the first year I have really embraced cold weather riding; I’m really wondering why I wasn’t so receptive to it before….?

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Now that the cross season is winding down, what are most of you guys doing to keep fit with snow right around the corner?

We all know about weight training and indoor trainers/spin classes, wbut what else is out there? Is running even an option? What about rowing machines? I hear those are intense, but pretty expensive

It would be nice to have something like a Surly Pugsley, and just be able to float on top of the snow and still pedal.

surly puglsey

Big Wheels 😮

As much fun as this would be, being on the bike year round can possibly be a deal breaker, and potentially lower your interest for riding midway through your next season.

Who has time to start a new off season hobby though? Cycling is expensive enough, what is it like trying to pick up a second sport that helps with the cardio aspect during the winter? I’m tempted to get a pair of skis, and while I’m hoping it isn’t that expensive, I still know it is going to cost more than a pair of running shoes.

Hiking! Even Chris Carmichael believes that this one is a winner. In his book, Time Crunched Cyclist, he states:

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

But, you say, you’re a cyclist, and you’ve made the choice to focus on the sport you love. That’s great, but more well-rounded fitness gives you more options for activities and adventures and won’t take anything away from your abilities on the bike. I live at the foot of Pikes Peak, and I know cyclists who have lived here for a decade yet have not experienced the sense of accomplishment and wonder that comes from hiking to the summit. It’s not a particularly difficult climb; in fact, it is conquered every year by thousands of out-of-shape tourists. But it’s a nearly impossible challenge for highly specialized cyclists because the 13-mile trail is too hard on their feet and hips, and they struggle under the weight of packs if they choose to turn the adventure into a 2-day camping trip. I’m all for maximizing sport-specific performance, but unless you’re making a living as a cyclist, I also believe that the benefits of nonspecific fitness are worth pursuing.

Okay readers, tell me what you are going to do this off-season, and for what duration/intensity?

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Man, I’m tired; I came to Apex, North Carolina thinking that these flatlands would be a breeze to do with tempo running perfectly with the lack of Appalachian ridges. I was awfully wrong. First day in town, I ended up meeting someone named Tom who invited me to a fairly popular group ride. My previous obligations had me running about ten minutes late and disappointingly missing the ride. Luckily my Garmin came in handy, and I had a few popular local routes installed as courses. Setting off alone in this new town was exciting and none the bit scary; it was so great to be riding in a place other than North Central WV for a change.

Several miles down the road, caught up to an older gentleman name Matt/Mark/Something… I can’t remember his name right of the bat… Asked him if we could take turns pacelining, and he agreed. This guy stated he was on a recovery ride today, and he was only planning on a 35 mile ride. That sounded perfect to me. About ten miles in, I was blowing up on every pull. The tempo was crazy. While Matt was cruising at this speed, I was pushing myself to near-anabolic to keep up and hold his wheel. Knowing when to secede from a hopeless battle, I asked which direction I should go to get to a road that I could recognize and get back to the hotel on. We parted ways, and I was solo again.

Passed four or five cyclists on the way back to Salem Road. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was doing some local popular ride backwards; I’m always guilty of starting off in the exact opposite direction that a ride loop is supposed to go…

I kept my pace up as well as I could to make the most of this unexpected hammerfest I volunteered for. I would have hated to seen what it would have been like riding with the A group or B group riders if I had made it there in time. It was just a different world to me.

apex north carolina bicycle chain bike shop LBS

Oddly enough riding that much on the flats also caused me to sit differently on the bike, and the pinched nerve in my shoulder started to give me issues. I also seemed to be riding in a way that was using my hips more. I guess I would need to modify my fit or adapt to this foreign area in order to optimise my position.

I have to hand it to this area though, there is an abundance of stores, suburbs, and interesting opportunities to be had, but go out five or six miles in some directions and the land is either residential with acreage, or farmers still making a living on crops or holding out on selling. It is nothing like the rural roads of WV, but it is a very welcoming atmosphere. Is nccycling.net registered? 😛

apex north carolina bicycle chain bike shop LBS

The bike shops in the area  are top-notch. The Bicycle Chain was a very sharp and modern store, but still felt welcoming with items and resources suitable for anyone! The store employees were witty, intelligent, and more than “this is just my job” type of friendly. I was glad they were willing to lend a hand to someone from out-of-state in learning the area and to true a wheel.

If you are ever staying in North Carolina near the Raleigh/Durham area, you have no choice but to check out this area!

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