Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looks like I made it through Xmas in pretty much one piece. To celebrate I hunkered down in my fortress of solitude, slept 14 hours, cleaned compulsively and watched the majority of The Riches (on Hulu, for free, quite a good show actually). All in all, a pretty good day.
As far a biking goes, things are looking up. I haven't had to use the trainer for a while now as I have been braving the elements with evening outdoor rides. I've got a new headlight - Dinotte 400L - its as bright as hell and the batteries don't quit (batteries: it came with 2!). The only limiting factor to my outdoor riding is now road conditions (see: ice) and whether I'm feeling up to spending 20 minutes getting layered up before heading out the door. The cold has not really been that bad this week though, both yesterday and today the mercury almost reached 60. Not too shabby for late December.
Last weekend I took another swing at snowboarding. I think I'm actually getting better. I took 8 runs down the bunny hill, and on the last 2 I didn't even crash. Feeling cocky, I took out the nifty little map that shows all the runs. I picked out a green (easy) run that would get me down to the base area. On the bunny hill (Discovery Park) I had controlled my speed by making wide swooping turns down the field. I quickly found out that the route I had picked out to get back to base was less than a quarter the width of the hill I had been practicing on and a continual dogleg to the right. This was not good. I am better at turning left (lean back, facing downhill, if you fall, you fall back on your bum, no biggie) not turning right. The narrowness of the run gave me problems and I only found one way to effectively slow my speed: crashing (falling forward, not good). First one, I hit my head so hard when I got up the snow had turned a neon green, and so had everything else. Probably not good. After the visuals got back to normal my nerves were still shot. So every twenty yards or so I bailed and pulled a digger. Not the best way to finish, but now I know I need to get those turns a lot tighter before I do that again. On the plus side I've pretty much got over my fear of ski lifts, so I've got that going for me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, this blog is nothing if sporadic. Lets see, since Leadville (bike wise) it's been pretty mellow. Still got in regular loops around Palmer Park on the Monkey and regular evening and weekend road rides on the road bike. It's December now and since my last post I've moved (all of 2 miles) destroyed one car and bought another car (same make/model, diff. year) started dating, and tried snowboarding (no "success" yet).

So, all in all, a pretty good Fall. The one key thing that I learned last year is that mountain biking is fun. Lots of fun, but it doesn't burn half the calories that road cycling does. So while my legs were strong as hell by the end of the season, my weight was still 10-15 heavier than I would have liked. I think I'll try a more 2:1 road cycling to mountain biking ratio in 2009, that should keep me a little lighter on the wheels.

Speaking of 2009, I've got a few cycling targets already on the horizon:

Trans Iowa

Buena Vista Bike Fest

MS 150

Leadville 50

Leadville 100

That's the big stuff, I think I might even try my hand at some crits and 'cross racing next fall. Because I can never get too much abuse and humiliation. Plus the best way to imporove is to get your ass handed to you.

For now, I'm trying to get as much outdoor riding in as weather permits. It's freezing out there, but I'm wrapped up well. I really can't stand the trainer. Stationary sweating just is not fun.