Riding for a Reason

Changing the world, one mile at a time

6 Common Worst Case Scenarios for Open Water Swimmers and How to Avoid Them

I found this great article on active.com about worst case scenarios during an open water swim and how to avoid/deal with them.  Here’s the article below…

By Alex Kostich

Every athlete ever to skid, stumble, or crawl across a finish line has a race-day horror story to share.

Triathletes and cyclists recall getting a flat or going down on the road. Runners compare notes on excruciating cramps, blisters and shin splints. But perhaps the most anxiety-inducing tales come from swimmers, who live in constant fear of experiencing their worst open water moments again and again.

Lots can go wrong in the water; after all, we evolved to live comfortably on land. From losing a pair of goggles at the start of a race to experiencing a debilitating cramp in deep water, swimmers have it rough.

Below is a list of the most common open water Worst Case Scenarios, and how you can prevent them from occurring—or at least cope with them should they come up in competition.

Ways to Avoid Having a Worst Case Scenario Become Your Worst Race Scenario

1. Losing Your Goggles

Nothing is more dispiriting than rushing into the water at Continue reading


August 31, 2009 Posted by | Triathlon | , , , , | 2 Comments

Training Rides and Campaign Update

Last week was another normal week for the most part.  I didn’t make the Gear Grinder ride, but I still managed to get in the Beans and Barley ride and make it out to Greenfield Park.  The Beans and Barley ride was just two of us again, myself and Mark who I rode with the first week.  Nothing too exciting, but a solid 26.5 mile ride at about 17.5 mph.



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 Friday I had a half day and since I only have one more for Summer hours I really wanted to get out.  The clouds cleared up around 2pm and I was off.  The last time I tried to make it out to Greenfield Park I ended up turning around early because rain was making it’s way through town.  Although I was actually only about a mile from my goal.  So I set out and made it to Greenfield Park, then rode by my old house just north of Hwy 100 and Greenfield where I lived until I was 4.  Interesting to see how things change in 24 years.  The house looks the same, but businesses and schools around the neighborhood have updated and changed over that time.  I really need to start remembering a camera on this ride to illustrate the entertaining things happening around me.  For a short period of time I was following a perfect emaple that even plumbers are into cycling.  I kid you not, the dude was riding his bike with a plumber butt hanging out for the world to see.  I couldn’t help but laugh. :)  On the way back I saw two more deer in Whitnal Park.  They were younger and still had their spots.  They were running in the grass playing which was pretty entertaining.  But I digress.  Total the ride was about 2:15 and covered 36 miles.  The only difficult part of the ride was the big hill around 51st and Puetz.  It’s one of those long inclines from the trail to 51st, then levels off briefly, only to have a sharp incline up another hill!  I’m usually pretty gassed at the top, but then it’s pretty much all downhill from there.


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 Charity Campaign Update

This week I will be selecting the charity that I will be riding for in 2010.  Huge thanks to Mary Navolio and Michelle Podmokly, I’ve got a handful of logos to choose from to represent Riding for a Reason to brand this site and my jerseys for years to come!  I’m weighing through them all and should have that selected this week and posted as well.

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Charity, Cycling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Site for Group Rides in Milwaukee

group-bike-rideI just stumbled across a great site for finding group rides in the Milwaukee area.  The site is called Wisconsin Bike Law.  It has a lot of other general cycling laws, tips, and information for Wisconsin, but the Group Ride section is pretty accurate.  A couple of rides I go on every week are on there.  Each ride has detail of about how far the ride is and the general pace.  Here’s the list of rides…

Mondays, 6:00 p.m. Crank Daddy’s, Milwaukee MORE…

Mondays, 5:30 p.m. Concordia College, Mequon  MORE…

Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Atwater Park, Shorewood MORE…

View complete list

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Cycling | , , | 2 Comments

Training Rides and Cancer Campaign

Last week was a pretty normal training week for me.  Monday night I met up with Kris for the Beans and Barley team ride.  Same ride as the week before about 26.5 miles in around an hours and a half.  It was only the two of us though, so the pace was a little slower and we didn’t do any drafting.  Hopefully this week we’ll have a few more people.






Wednesday I had the day off and decided to go for a ride around 3pm.  I drove up Puetz to the Oak Leaf Trail between 51st St and 68th St.  I wanted to try and get to Greenfield Park and back since I was feeling good.  When I got to Greenfield withing about a 1/4 mile, I saw two pairs of deer right on the side of the road.  I was a little freaked out because a car was passing me on the left and they just lingered behind me for a while, then I realized they were checking out the deer about 10 ft away from me.  Just up the road that same thing happened where the deer were just hanging out eating on the brush line.  Pretty sweet to see as always. :)  Once I got around Hwy 100 and National the skies started looking pretty dark, so I turned around to race the rain back to my place.  When I was heading back through Whitnal Park I ended up riding along side another cyclist who was rounding the curve as I was passing through.  Back a little further, he was bumped by a guy in a van that was yelling at him for not being on the curb.  Adam, the guy on the bike, was going 28 mph in a 25 mph zone.  On top of the fact that cyclists, by Wisconsin law, are considered a vehicle and are suppose to be towards the right side of the road “as deemed a reasonable distance” when you’re going over the speed limit, I think you should have just as much right of way to the road as a car.  Apparently the COEXIST bumper sticker that the car had was just for show. ;)  But I had a riding partner the rest of the way since Adam lived near me and come to find out we both work for Rockwell.  Small world!  Towards the end of the ride, the rain started to fall, but was light enough that it didn’t affect me.  A pretty solid 30 mile ride, although next time I hit this rout it should be 10-20 miles longer as long as the weather cooperates!

Commit to Fight Cancerlaftoplogo

Please visit the LIVESTRONG site in the next couple of days and sign the petition to fight against cancer.  The petition is already more than 100,000 people strong and has a goal to get 10,000 more before the Global Cancer Summit ends on Wednesday.  It only takes a minute and will do a world of change!  Check out the LIVESTRONG Blog for more info.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | cancer, Charity, Cycling, LIVESTRONG | , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Lance Armstrong News

Seeing as how Lance Armstrong is one of the most influential cyclists in the world both for his efforts on and off the race course, I will have some info about him from time to time.  Three quick updates about what’s new with Lance…

Lance to get back into Triathlons?!?

In a recent interview with Outside Lance flirts with the idea of doing the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in the future.  For those that don’t know, before Lance became a world class cyclist, he actually compete in triathlons as he was growing up.  It would be pretty awesome to see how he can measure up to the other top competitors in multisport.  I think it’s easy to assume that he’d be the first one off the bike, but would he have enough legs left to run a marathon???

Leadville 100 – Lance dominant in another big race… a MOUNTAIN BIKE race!

Lance early in the race before he decided to leave the competition in his dust.

Last year Armstrong placed 2nd to Dave Wiens who added to his streak of six consecutive Leadville wins.  That was before Lance started training for a return to the Tour de France.  This year with the Tour already under his belt, Armstrong spent most of the day pedaling by himself.  Continue reading

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Cycling, LIVESTRONG, Triathlon | , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Championships of Cycling Recap

Last weekend Downers Grove, IL hosted the National Championships of Cycling.  This was the first criterium event that I’ve attended, but it was quite a thrill!  Over 15,000 spectators were on hand to watch more than 900 cyclists compete in 14 races.  There was everything from a kids big wheel race to the Professional Criterium Championship.



A couple weeks ago I was considering competing in the Cat 5 race which is the novice level.  After talking to a couple of people, I’m glad that I didn’t, because it was pretty intense.  Definitely a goal for next year, but this year I was just there to enjoy it.  Although Katie’s comfort level with it diminished a little bit with the 3 crashes that we saw over the weekend.  The first 2 crashes Continue reading

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t forget to vote!!!


I’ve now updated the charities page and posted information about the five charities that I’m choosing from for my 2010 Riding for a Reason campaign.  I’m going to keep the voting open until September 1st, then the charity will be selected so I can start preperations for sponsors, donations, and the strategy for promoting the charity.  Thanks to everyone for all of the support so far.  It’s going to be a great year and a great cause!!!

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Multiple Sclerosis Society

MSThis week I’m profiling each of the charities that have been voted for so far to provide others with a little more information as to what they are all about.  To view all  the charity overviews, please click the Charities page in the upper right.  If you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to vote for your favorite charities.  Today I’m covering the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

About the Society

The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops Continue reading

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Bike MS, Charity, Cycling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Susan G. Komen for the Cure


This week I’m profiling each of the charities that have been voted for so far to provide others with a little more information as to what they are all about.  To view all  the charity overviews, please click the Charities page in the upper right.  If you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to vote for your favorite charities.  Today I’m covering Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

About Us 

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, Continue reading

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gear-Grinder team ride and Lessons Learned (Doogie Howser Style)


Today was my first ride with the team I just joined called Gear-Grinder.  I noticed them at the Tri-ing for Children’s Triathlon and they seemed pretty fun and were a very good team, so I decided to join to improve my own performance and meet some other fun people.

I was getting ready to leave work and head over to the Highland House in Mequon where we were meeting.  One last look at the website and something caught my eye.  They have some world class athletes on the team!  Just about every race that the team enters, there are people finishing on the podium for them.  It’s pretty impressive.  I thought nothing of it and went about my business. 

I was planning on this being like the Monday ride I had with Beans & Barley.  Continue reading

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment