Monday, January 10, 2011

Well, I finished the San Felasco 50. The weather was the best I have experienced it for this event. My feet never even got cold. Usually this time of year North Florida is FREEZING cold.

My friends started about an hour earlier than I did. Driving up that morning I just wasn't going to leave at 5:30 a.m. It's just a fun ride. What can I say - no race, no prize, no reason to be on the road by 5:30 a.m.

Anyway, a good ride completely through the woods of San Felasco Nature Preserve though. New trails since I was last there and nice condition. Okay, some climbing to be had. I'm proud to say that I only walked one short section of straight up and that was because I slipped on a root making the switchback. My new Continental Vertical tires did an awesome job on traction, but they are a little big for my frame design. The bike just wasn't designed to handle a 2.3 tire. With only 2 rides on them (71 miles) I'll see about selling them to someone who's frame can take them and go back 2.0 tires with good knob traction.

Unfortunately I won't make the Ididaride again this year, so the annual "Triple Crown" of early year 50 milers won't be had. Not sure yet if I'll be working or riding the Croom 50, but I will be laying out the WT-50 soon which is a self SAG two loop excursion through Flatwoods/Morris Bridge/Trout Creek. Last year this event was brutally c-cold. 19 signed up, 7 showed and 2 finished. That just goes to show how bad the weather was! Lesson learned - don't get warmed up in the truck between loops.

I have three bikes now to clean and lube then find a chance to ride each of them. Looks like it's the local road route this week, then a Sunday jaunt through the woods. If the weather cooperates Saturday - no wind/rain - then some kayak time. Yes, might get to hang out with some manatees. Always a cool experience.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Well, starting the year out right with a 25 mile off road bike ride. Weather was beautiful and trails in great condition at Trout Creek.

I thought I might be riding with friends today but very few folks showed up, so I switched gears and laid out the WT-50 route for sometime in February. I can't believe it that I started to bonk some shortly after taking my energy bar, so I must have waited too long to nutrition up during the ride. I'll just have to keep in mind that fruit, nuts, gel, and cliff bar all get their chance to be absorbed by me on longer than 20 mile rides.

If you have never had a grit sandstone dirt in your eye let me tell you it is no fun! Entering Heart Break Ridge my wheel tossed up some dirt and in my left eye goes a speck of sandstone or limerock that was laid over some of the worst roots. Man did that irritate my eye. It took over 30 minutes to flush it out. Tried pulling the eye lid the over the other, using my eye wash kit in my first aid bag, then finally squirting gobs of water into my eye with my water bottle. Luckily there was no gatoraid in it! Here it is 9 hours later and my left eye feels like crap. Some blurryness and some minor irritation. I've had dirt in my eyes, saw dust in my eyes, even mud, but sandstone or limerock is the worst! Hopefully my focus will be back by worktime Monday morning.

This coming weekend, Jan. 8th, I will be doing the San Felasco 50 in Alachua. Can't wait. It's been a few years since I have done this epic ride partly because it fills up in one day, and partly because over the last few years I have been underemployed and unsure of my next paycheck and recouperating from my spectacular crash of Aug. '08. This summer was the first time since that I have felt like I had my strength and ability to function athletically without pain. I think I can now start to work in some sort of exercise routine to build strength again in my upper body. That's the 2011 goal.

My dog Daisy is getting older. She turned 12 this past August and recently the Vet diagnosed her with arthritis. Poor thing, she seems to be holding up well though. The Vet prescribed some medicine once a day for her and she also gets OPC3 for dogs. It's been two weeks and she seems to be doing better with it. She can actually jump onto the back seat of the truck without much help at all from me. Three weeks ago she just stood there and waited for me to lift her in.
We went for a nice hike at Soldier Hole Trail at Ft. Desoto today. Daisy likes that hike because we almost every time have the trail to our selves and she can just trot along in front of me 20 feet or so like she owns the place. She's funny when she gets around the bend out of site - all of the sudden she stops and waits for me to catch up. Good dog!

2011 I hope turns out to be a good year. Although I am overdue for a physical I need to schedule one soon as things in the head just haven't felt right. I think I may have a sinus infection which causes minor headaches and a clogged head feeling which also seems to affect concentration levels. Oh well, sooner or later I'll catch up with that stuff. Just threw several hundred $$$ at the truck, so a little recouperating of the wallet is in order.

I had wanted to do the Dirty Duo Race this January in Tampa, or May in Sarasota. My race partner doesn't think I'm ready for that much running, so I'll set my sights on a few solo races as I enjoy getting out there whether it's up front or somewhere in the field. Gotta' enter to keep the desire and motivation alive. :-)

Well, when I finish the San Felasco 50 I'll try to post again.

Great rides to all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall 2010

Wow, it's been a while since posting anything. Guess just life gets in the way sometimes.

I had hoped to enter a few races this year, but I had ALSO hoped to train for a few as well. Didn't really happen. I did race in the Squiggy with my friend Frank Truluck since Gabrielle couldn't get off work with the rescheduled date. Fun race, and glad that I didn't try to do it solo! I'm sometimes amazed that I can still do this stuff after my spectacular bike crash of '08. Frank had a super bad crash too and broke his femur bone which could have been critical with the amount of blood lost. We both healed and competed again. Sweet!

On my birthday weekend, just a few weeks ago, Gabrielle and I once again did the WECEFAR Crumbler Adventure Race. Last year it was at Croom (place where I broke my back in '08) and we took 4th place Co-ed. This year it was in Chassahowitzka and we took 2nd place! Yes, getting better each time.
Bodies were a little sore. We swam out a short distance around an anchored kayak and back, ran to the bikes to get shoes and gear to ride a 12 mile course, pull ourselves across the ground on sleds for 25 feet, run/walk 4 miles, find 3 checkpoints, then swim across a small river to an additional checkpoint and back across, finish the bike ride, hop in canoe and paddle to a special challenge where we had to walk barefoot over limerock in mid-thigh deep water to get to a couple of holes to dive into to retrieve tokens and read scrawling on the wall 12 feet underwater. Got back in the canoe to paddle down river to 2 other check points and paddle back to start/finish in time to take 2nd place Coed. Whew! It was fun!

What a great way to spend my birthday weekend?

Well, all the fun comes to a screeching halt as the economy whoops up on me. Or at least gets put on the back burner for a while. Since the recession I have been unemployed, underemployed and battling to get back on top with a decent paycheck. Tried starting a small window cleaning business which did pretty good for a time, but just not enough clients to keep it afloat. Everybody has money woes, and rare few people want their windows cleaned if it looks like rain. Too bad because dirty windows look worse after it rains, but it's really hard to convince folks otherwise. So, in the job search mode while working 37 hours. Wouldn't be so bad if the hourly rate were much better.

Recreation and exercise will be mostly be local in town biking, kayaking, and fishing. Perhaps take up running again as a way to escape.

Hmmm, I wonder how long it will take for my next blog entry. Maybe when I find a way to enter my next race or hilly ride! I love being outside and enjoying the competition.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anniversary of a year

At this time last year I was laying in a hospital bed with a broken back and shoulder blade.
My clothes were cut off of me and I had no idea where my bike or truck was, nor did I care. Breathing was aided by oxygen tubes and morphine to quell the pain which controlled me with every shallow breath that I took as the helicopter whisked me away to the nearest hospital with a trama center. This "pain reliever" would wear off every few hours and the guy in the hospital bed next to me was ready to beat me with a bat to put me out of my misery - and his.

I have some very good friends who saw that I was okay and helped me afterwards to pay some bills. I won't list them as they, and I, know who they are. I am forever greatful to you folks more than you even know!!

After almost a week in the hospital, two weeks at my sisters, three months in a back brace, over two months of physical therapy, then trying to come back too soon, another month of physical therapy, slowly trying to come back to my previous level of fitness while battling muscle atrophy, trying to start a small business, trying to find a paying job to afford to try to start a small business, finding a job that's draining the life out of me - today I was a slug on the bike. A slug that struggled to finish 45 miles on the road bike today.

Even with a job with life draining hours I must find time to train and regain what I have lost. A new job may be on the horizon - yes, even with every shake of the head and the words - "sorry, we don't have any positions for hire at this time, but you're welcome to fill out an application", there may be a chance to replace the LSJ (life sucking job).

Once again I have safety netters at the ready to prop me up if I fall. Damn, I owe the Karma Gods big time!

Anyway, a year ago today I was laying in a hospital bed with a broken back and shoulder blade and my clothes were cut off of me. Funny what runs through ones mind on the anniversary of a year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New day

Let the healing begin; or the path back to strong riding anyways. Hung in there for the beach ride of 34.41 miles at an average of 17.4 mph. Not bad for a gimp! Not so sure I'll be doing the St. Pete group rides much as they like to cruise through red lights and the remainder of the pack that gets stuck with cross traffic has to turn it on harder if they want to remain a group. Hmm, wet roads, going against traffic, not so good. I just want to live to ride. So, my return will be on my own terms.

Later today, after stretching and running some errands, I will take my dog Daisy for an energetic walk to continue bringing the ole body back online. With no lightening even if it rains it will be good; gives me an excuse to bathe that crazy dog too. Whatever it takes to speed the metabolism up to where I used to be last year. Mmmm, iced coffee after a morning ride is good by the way. :-)

Two mountain bike rides are on the schedule for this weekend, so it looks like about 75 miles will be had in three days of biking. Sweet! Now hunger kicks in so a little protein snack before it's time for lunch.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have finally reached a point where the pain is gone, but I still am taking it easy. I have decided that it is time to get back into training. (No pun intended...haha) I want to focus on doing the Croom Crumbler with my good friend Gabrielle this September. That will be a good birthday present for myself. I will have to get the running thing under control and the doc said swimming would be good low impact exercise as I start building myself up again. Geez! I am so out of shape it's not funny. When I say that to people they look at me and say - "can't tell by looking at you." I appreciate that, but I feel like a slug, and my upper body is way out of competive condition.
Anyway, pain free, so that means I can start pushing myself again. July 3rd will be my regular 34 mile road ride. If I can make the time for that 3 times a week and at least 20/25 off road on the weekends I'll have 120/125 miles a week of biking. Throw in some kayaking and speed walking and hopefully my endurance and strength won't be far off.

My bike. Oh my sweet Sugar Race. It has had some transformations of late. Just replaced the main pivot and it is back to it's quiet, speedy, nimble self. I also finally replaced the crankset to a SLX outboard bottom bracket. That should alleviate the occasional chainsuck problem I have had in the past. I have disc brakes sitting on the shelf waiting for the funds to grab a killer deal on a set of Bontrager Race Lite center locks. Abc Bicycles says they can set me up with an unbelievable price for a really nice set. I'll need to act soon or the chance will go away. This is a new frame as of January and is all black. I wasn't sure if I would like it as I really liked my red bike, but it looks cool!

Well, that's my update for now. Excited about training and NOT overdoing it! Croom Crumbler lookout. This should let me know if Spring is good to get back into racing.

Great rides to all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Finally went to see the Orthopedic this morning after a couple of weeks of Chiropractic didn't help. He diagnosed me as have a sprained left lumbar muscle, which explains why it is so very painful to get up out of bed or up from a sitting position. And turning or twisting? Yeah, not so good. Tough deal as a window cleaner too!
Anyway, a few doses of steroids, 4 more weeks of physical therapy, and then reassess in 6 weeks. He's betting that it is not a herniated disk; I'm going with that bet too because that means surgey!!
Good thing is I get to ride my bike during this time. Bad thing is I can only ride it easy just to keep the joint and muscles of that area fluid. Oh man - rehab all over again!
This past week was a painful one. I'll give the bike a try in a day or two after the steroids kick in. Hopefully this will be a short period of PT and things start to get back to normal for me. The whole idea of scar tissue removal, and/or surgery does not appeal to me at all. A few days in the hospital and a few weeks of recovery is not in my plans!