Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Wonderland

So the day started out lazy enough. It was below zero when I woke up at my usual 5:45 AM. I hate this, because I get up at that time during the week out of necessity and on the weekends, especially when it's sub-zero outdoors, I'd like to be able to sleep in a little. My metabolism hits the ground running wheather I do or not. So today I was determined. I got out of bed and after the usual pit stops, I made some light breakfast. Then while it was still pitch black out, I went back to bed hoping for more rest/sleep. It wasn't working, so I turned on Sportscenter and that did the trick. A little background noise to ignore, but also to help me not think about 12 different things. It worked! I actually fell back asleep for 2 more hours, and I needed it. Kev had called while I was out and was trying to get someone to ride with him in the afternoon. I called him back and we agreed that his place would be best for a mountain bike ride since they got less snow on Thursday than the Cape. It was a beautiful, crisp, cold New England winter day with bright sunshine and blue, blue sky. At the 1:30 ride time it was about 20 degrees, so no problem at all on the mountain bikes. We hit some of the usual trails, but they looked and felt different in the snow. It had rained one night on top of 2" of snow that was on the ground, and then it went below freezing and hasn't been above it yet. So we had crunchy, crusty, icy conditions. Most of the time we broke through the crust and fought to make the climbs. The woops, of which there are thousands all had little ice pads at the bottoms. So it made for interesting line selection. Kev had a pair of studded tires on his bike and I just went with regular treads. It was a blast. We rode for 2 hours and did a nice loop on one of the cranberry bogs as well as miles and miles of single track. Much of it was like riding soft sand since you sunk into the snow so much. So we didn't ride a lot of miles, but we sure got a good workout. It's easy to stay indoors or do other things in this kind of weather, but it's so rewarding to ride in these conditions, because so many don't. You don't know what you're missing! Anyone can ride when it's nice out, but with a little attitude adjustment we can convince ourselves that it IS nice out!
Thats all for today, JB

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter of Discontent

Is there any other kind of winter actually? With temps dipping under zero in all corners of New England, it seems pretty bizarre to think about bike racing and training. Still, it's that time to get the foundation in. If you want to build a big house, you need a sound foundation. After working outside all week it hardly seems appealing to ride on the weekend when the forecast calls for more subzero temps over night.......BUT, it should warm up tomorrow with the sunlight thats forecasted and the wind is supposed to be very light also. As a veteran of spending cold days outside, building houses, I can honestly say that zero with no wind is much more tolerable than 15 degrees and 20 mph wind. So I'll try to giverago tomorrow after the sun gets a little higher in the sky. It's strictly mountain biking for me when the temps go below 25. But with the fresh powdery snow we got yesterday, it could be fun making fresh tracks on the trails. We're already seeing some difference in the daylight and February is just around the corner. We get a lot of daylight back in Feb. I also believe the winter sort of averages itself eventually, which if this is true......we'll get some warmer temps soon.
See ya on the trails, JB

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well it's been a while since I posted anything. 1 month ago was Cyclocross Natz, (I finished 4th). I had been focusing on that for a long time and just couldn't keep my fitness as high as I needed to. I also took a couple of hard falls in the weeks leading up to the race, which left my ribs and back in a tough way, so I think I was only about 90% at Natz. The good news is that my good friend Roger Aspholm was able to conquer a very fit Richard Feldman and win our age group. It'll be nice to see him racing around in the stars and stripes next year, even though I wanted it. If someone could have said you won't be able to win, but you can pick who you'd like to win.....I'd have said Roger, since none of my teamates were in my race. The guy's a stud! Plus he's a great guy.
Anyway, this past Saturday was my first day back in the saddle after exactly 4 weeks off. I'm a good 8 -10 lbs. heavier than I was for my last ride and a whole lot LESS fit. I need this though, every year I kill it all through road, mountain and cross season. Now my enthusiasm, is telling me to ride my bike, not some sense of resposibility to my training. Now that it's fun again I'll be doing some unstuctured training for the next few weeks. Day one was a cold (not really, but it was in the 20's) mountain bike ride with some of the usual suspects. It was my teamates, Sammy, and Kevin, along with Mike Rowell, and some guy named McCormack (I guess he used to be pretty good or something). We rode the awesome trails of Otis, right here on Cape Cod. It was frozen and fast with some crunchy snow here and there. The pace was pretty crisp, and I was pleasantly surprised to be up near the front. I knew some of the trails and others were not so familiar, but my smile was constant. We had lots of laughs and by the end there were some tired legs, including mine. I held the couch down in the afternoon and watched the Bruins destroy Carolina 5-1. It's great to take a break, and it's even better to get back to what really is my passion. Thats all for now.