Riding for a Reason

Changing the world, one mile at a time

The 2010 Training Season is under way!

I’m back and I’m ready to take on the world!  It’s been a quiet several months.  Winter is always slow to retreat for the year up here in Wisconsin, so often when it’s nice enough to ride in the spring, the southern winds like to push my bike from side to side.

So far this season, I’ve ridden 200 miles on my bike.  I will begin to keep a more accurate count of the miles now.  My goal for the year still sits at 1,500 miles, so I have work to do, but I will get there.

Another personal link to cancer…

I just found out about a week ago that my aunt’s mother had a brain tumor.  The performed surgery and removed most of the tumor.  After further tests, it was reveiled that she has stage 4 cancer.  Grandma Benjamin was like family to all of us.  I keep her in my prayers and think about it often.  Keeps reminding me that there is a reason for doing all of this and someday, maybe it will make a difference.  I just ordered my LIVESTRONG Jersey and Shorts, so I will be a rolling advertisement before we know it! :)

Scenic Shore 150

I’m all registered for the Scenic Shore 150 on July 24th-25th, benifitting LLS of Wisconsin.  I’m riding with Team Destroyer.  This year, we’re riding in memory of Dennis “The Destroyer” Werra, who lost his long battle with cancer late last year.  We have a big team this year which should be a lot of fun.  So far my fundraising total has passed $300! 

If you’d like to contribute to the cause, please click here.

Miller Lite Ride for the Arts

This weekend is the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts in Milwaukee.  This will be the first year that I’m participating it.  I signed up for the 75 mile ride, which I’m a little nervous for, but I think it will be fun.  It will be a good warm up for the Scenic Shore.  I will have a report next week on it.  This ride kicks off the week long Bike to Work Week in Milwaukee, which is always a lot of fun.  Although I’ll be traveling part of the week, I hope to get out several times for a ride.

Ride/Race Schedule Updated

I just updated my 2010 Ride/Race schedule so everything is current.  I’m still looking for a triathlon to do on August 1st, so if you know of anything, let me know!  All I know is that i can’t wait to start racing!  I’ve finally recovered from my sprained ankle, so I’m eager to get out there and see what I’ve got!

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Still Here!

Just wanted to put up a quick post to say that I’m still alive!  I’ve been pretty bad about posting lately, but then again, nothing has really been going on now that the temperature has dropped and the snow has covered the ground.

I have been riding still, especially now that I have my indoor trainer.  Still not as good as riding outside, but it will do until Spring comes around.

I’ve setup the Riding for a Reason LIVESTRONG page.  If you’d like to join the team, go here.  Otherwise if you’d like to make a donation to support the team, go here.

Next up for me is ordering my jersey and shorts and getting the RIding for a Reason logo printed on them.  It will still be a little quiet for me up here until it warms up, but I’ll do my best to leave an update here and there.  Happy New Year!

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Closing the Book on My First Season

 Last Sunday I competed in the Latebird J-Hawk Triathlon.  This was the same course as the first triathlon I competed in back in April.  The weather for this race was much better than in April, but the conditions still weren’t ideal.  Six of us were competing and all got placed into the same wave, which was nice.  We all arrived at about 7:30 for our 9:12 start time.  It was calm when we got there, but the forecast was for the winds to pick up throughout the day… not a good sign considering out in Whitewater there isn’t a lot of buildings to block the wind. :)  A big of change from the Earlybird race was the now everyone had race chips which allowed for accurate split and transition times.

I started out strong on the swim.  I was feeling good and wasn’t getting very fatigued.  My first split clocked at 9:50, which is about on par from my previous three races.  Still I know if I focused more on training for swimming I could probably get another minute trimmed off of there.  However, I have bigger weaknesses to focus on. ;)  The T1 transition I still need to focus on.  I’ve cut down how much I need to do in that transition to trim some time, but I still have difficulty getting my barrings together after getting out of the water.  About 3:14 later I was on my bike and off on the route.

 Bike Route

Bike Route

 Doing this route for the second time definitely was an advantage.  I knew what turns were coming next and what kind of terrain to expect.  Unfortunately, the winds are what got to me.  Starting out there were strong winds coming from the west.  Considering that most of the ride was heading north and south, that gave me no help and really just kind of pushed my bike all over the road for most of the ride.  I had about a mile of having the wind at my back, otherwise I was fighting the winds and riding in the drops most of the way.  I managed a respectable time of 46:23 on the bike with an average speed of 18.1mph.  My goal was to get at least 19mph, but on a day like this, that just wasn’t going to happen.  I had a great T2 time of 1:48, but I felt pretty gassed getting off of the bike.  I headed out to the cross-country trail for the 5k.

Run Route

Run Route

 It was nice to do this running route when it wasn’t drenched from the rain.  After getting a sip a water and walking for a few seconds to get my heart rate down, I was off.  I felt pretty good running.  Going through the nature preserve was pretty peaceful and helped me stay focused on the task at hand.  I didn’t really see anyone on the run, which made it difficult to try and pace myself, but for the first time, no one passed me during the race.  That was a first for me. :)  Granted there were only about 200 people total in the race, but hey, you have to have your achievements somewhere!  I finished the race strong and finished with a time of 1:35:27, about 13 seconds off my PR.  It wasn’t the time that I wanted to finish in, but given the more difficult bike and run courses, I will take that time into the off-season.  In all, I would say I had a successful season.  The first triathlon I did I finished in 2:03:38 and 5 months later I managed to trim more than 28 minutes off of that time.  Not too bad!  Like I’ve said before, this is a great triathlon to do for anyone who’s looking to get into the sport.  The swimming is in the lap pool which, for many people, is the biggest deterrent for doing a triathlon.  There is plenty of helpful staff around and they understand that many of the participants are newbies.

What’s Next?

Next I am going to spend the rest of the month of October resting my body.  My shin splint is still hanging around, so I’m going to stay away from running.  I’ll be hitting the pool once or twice a week to keep that fitness level going and I will probably try to bike to work a couple more times before it gets too cold.  After that I’m looking into getting a coach for the high expectations I’ve set for myself next season!

In regards to my Riding for a Reason campaign, I am getting ready to order my LIVESTRONG jersey and shorts.  After that I will be setting up my 2010 Grassroots Fundraising page and begin some preliminary fundraising.  I’m looking for corporate sponsors to place on my jerseys, so if you’re interested, check out my About page or feel free to e-mail me.

 

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Olympic Cycling to be held near Madison?

Chicago2016There has been a lot of talk lately about the 2016 Olympics and Chicago’s chances of landing the bid.  We will find out next Friday, October 2nd, when the host city is announced.  More importantly for Cycling fans and the State of Wisconsin, the mountain and road cycling events would be held near Madison in Blue Mounds, WI.  The area is well known for it’s hilly terrain and is host to the annual Horribly Hilly Hundred ride.

Here’s a great ESPN article about choosing the location for the course.

Olympic bid could help bring high speed rail to Wisconsin

With the cycling events scheduled to be held about 160 miles from the host city of Chicago, transportation could be an issue for both the athletes as well as spectators.  Cars will not be allowed at the venue, so spectators would need to be shuttled to the race.  This would add yet another argument for Wisconsin to build a high speed rail from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison by that time.  In addition to cycling events, the sheer volume of people attending the olympics would add tourism opportunities for both Madison and Milwaukee to host visitors with the dense population of Chicago.

Want to test out the course?

It may not be the mountains that cyclists climb through in the Tour de France, but this isn’t a walk in the park!  The 22-mile loop ranges in elevations from 750 to 1,750 feet.  Here is the mapmyride.com route.  If you want to check out a race there, check out the Tour of America’s Dairyland.

Map

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Elevation

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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work Travel = Stationary Bike

So this week I’m traveling for work which definitely limits what I can do in regards to exercise and mainly cycling.  I’m less than two weeks away from the J-Hawk Latebird Triathlon in Whitewater and I really didn’t want to start tapering already.  I managed to get a solid 3 mile run in at lunch on Monday before we left, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  So I’m left with two options…  Option A) Calculate a random route in Laredo with lots of stop lights and run in the dark in 85 degree temps or B) Workout in the “workout room” at the hotel.  And I use that term loosely.

I decided on option B.  After trying to run on the treadmill Continue reading

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures from my work commute

As promised, here’s the pictures along my work commute when I ride in.  Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Along the bike path…

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The Crazy House in Cudahy…

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Front of the house

Side of the house

Side of the house

 

Back yard

Back yard

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Type of Cyclist Are You?

Came across this entertaining article from bikehacks.com.  Check out the full article here which includes examples of several types of riders. :o)

Basket Gal: This is the gal that is rocking a front basket with all sorts of stuff in it, most often including a helmet. Basket gal must believe that as soon as she starts to fall or gets hit by a car, that in the split second before she hits the ground she will be able to, in one swift motion, reach down into her basket, scoop out her helmet, fling it onto her head and snap the buckle before her dome meets the ground.

Breeder Guy: This is the guy who is transporting more than one small human. He is a family man and is not going to let breeding stand in the way of his bike lifestyle. The combination of gear can be different, but there is one guy in charge of himself and two other people. Having just one kid in my eyes does not make you a true breeder, it’s when you add a second that the “breeder” moniker enters my vocabulary. The most common one I see is the “Trail-a-bike” being towed behind along with a child seat on the back of his bike. It’s also funny to see this guy after he drops off the kids towing an empty bike behind him.

 

Butter Guy: This is the guy who is obviously involved in some sort of competitive racing because he wears shoe covers, but not the winter kind to protect you from the cold – rather very bright (often pink, yellow, or white) that I guess are meant to reduce drag. He wants to cut through the air like butter . . . and if his shoe covers are yellow his feet look like sticks of butter.

Cleavage Gal: I might get hate mail from guys on this one if it leads to corrective action from the female cycling community. I’m not sure if some female riders are aware, probably not because of the large instance of this, but when riding a bike and leaning forward in any capacity while wearing a low cut shirt, your cleavage is exposed in all its glory and is sure to catch the eyes of male riders coming in the opposite direction Continue reading

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Work Ride and a New Group Ride

Tuesday I got back to riding my bike to work.  Now that summer hours are over, I can wait for the sun to come up a little more before leaving the house.  The weather has been PERFECT lately, which made for a really nice morning ride.  This week I took a camera along and snapped some photos along the way of my ride to and from work.  It was a little foggy in the morning but I think the pictures turned out pretty well.  I promise to get them up tonight!  I got some great views of the lake from the bike path as well as the crazy house in Cudahy that most south siders know about. :)  It was a relaxed 33 miles.

Map

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Elevation

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Wednesday I took a half day at work to go on a networking ride with the Midwest Cycling Network.  Basically a bunch of professionals that meet to ride once a month and chit chat a little bit.  Really friendly and fun group of people.  Although towards the end of the ride I was doing a lot less chit chatting and a lot more huffing and puffing!!!   Needless to say, the south side of Milwaukee is much flatter than the west suburbs.  Yeesh!  It didn’t help that I ate too big of a lunch beforehand.  Some things you just have to learn the hard way!  We finished 32 miles in about 1:45.  A solid afternoon ride!

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Friday = PERFECT day for a 50 mile ride!

On Friday, my friend Jayson and I met up for a 50 mile ride. I had the day off, so it was a perfect opportunity to get out for a long ride. We started out in West Allis and hopped on a bike path heading west to Dousman, passing Carrol College and through a few small towns on the way. Our turnaround point was at Bicycle Doctor in Dousman, WI.  While we were stopped I strolled through the store to check it out.  Pretty great store actually.  They have a huge selection of bikes including Orbea and Cervelo bikes.  Definitely will have to head there again soon.

The ride was pretty normal.  Not a lot of exciting things happened, although there were a lot of chipmunks sharing the path with us which was entertaining.  A solid 49 total miles in about 2.5 hours.  Felt pretty good even though I was a little sore from running 2 days before. :)

When I post tomorrow about my work commute I should have some great pictures from the ride.  I decided to play photographer as I was riding today, so I got some good shots.  I should have the crazy house in Cudahy as well!

LIVESTRONG Update

I signed up as a bluegrass fundraising community leader last week and got a packet full of usefull information.  I’m reading through it right now and finalizing my strategy and will report back as soon as I have something finalized. 

I’ve also got my first Riding for a Reason teammate as well!  Jenni will be committing to miles for LIVESTRONG as well.  I’ll get her bio up soon!  Welcome Jenni!

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

This Woman’s Work – Dedication to all those who have suffered from cancer

This was on the last season of So You Think You Can Dance. No words can really describe how powerful it is, so see for yourself.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment