Thursday, September 17, 2009

Very Timely Update {rolls eyes}

I know that I said I would try and give nightly updates of the ride (that happened almost a month ago), but it turns out that after you've physically exhausted yourself each day it's tough to work up the effort to do much besides take a shower, curl up on the bed and weep. So I'll give a bit of a rundown here on events. And thank you again for you readers who donated and helped me be able to do this.

First off, a short rundown of what the ride actually turned out to be during that 7 days:
  • 500 miles traveled
  • 22 thousand feet of climbing
  • 35 thousand calories burned
  • 2 extremely wicked saddle sores (more on that later)
Needless to say it was, without a doubt, the most physically demanding thing that I've ever done. To be honest, I thought that I was in pretty good shape for this ride. Turns out, I'm not nearly as strong of a rider as I thought I was. There were guys on this ride that destroyed me as far as riding ability. To be fair to myself, most of those guys were either A) college kids who are on their school's triathlon team or B) guys who have been riding much, much longer than I have. But it was a bit discouraging to be one of the last 5 or 6 people in at the end of the day. But I completed every day no matter how badly I wanted to quit on a couple days. About a third of the whole group didn't ride each day to completion.

Regarding the days that I wanted to give up, there were two of them. One was the day going through Big Sur (Day 3). If you're not familiar with that area, it's a beautiful, forested stretch along the Central California coast. But it's insanely hilly spread over about a 50 mile stretch. The elevation climbed that day was over 5K feet in a 70 mile ride. That was the day I first started really noticing saddle sores (turns out my seat alignment got jacked up at the end of day 1 and didn't notice until half way through the day). Let me tell you, when you've got to do 70-80 miles a day and your ass is raw, it is not good. Luckily, I had a couple ride partners with me to talk me through the last 10 miles of the worst of the climbing and I finished.

The second day I fantasized about quitting was the last day. We were going from Dana Point to San Diego, it was hotter than hell and my ass was just pure mechanism of fucking misery at that point. I could not, for the life of me, find a comfortable part of the saddle. It was excruciating. I managed to make it though, even if I was the last guy in. And I have to tell you, it was worth every bit of cursing, anger and agony when we rode up to the picnic where the hemophilia foundation was having an event. It was great to see all the appreciative people that came out to cheer us in to the final stop and express their thanks for raising money for their families. It made me feel really good about what we all had done. Goofy, but true.

Nonwithstanding my whininess, seeing the Cali Coast by bike is specfuckingtacular. You don't really realize how much of the scenery and awesomeness of a place you miss while flying by in a car. On a bike, you get to see it at a much slower pace and much more closely than you ever could by car. I can't recommend enough seeing some majestic part of our country on top of a bike, it's a whole new experience.

Starting next week, I'll share some of the funnier stuff that happened during the trip and maybe some more of the daily break-downs of the ride.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Almost Time To Ride...Or Die

Here's a little update on the charity ride I'm doing next week. As of the end of this weekend, I've reached my fund raising goal of $3K ($3200 actual) so I don't have to worry about having to pay for any of the lodging or making up a shortfall on my goal. Whew! And a big thank you to everyone who donated, I really appreciate it.

As far as the training goes, this weekend was also the last big push before taking it easy this week leading up to the ride. Since I decided to actually do the ride and started training in earnest in mid May, I've put 1100 miles of saddle time in. That's almost more than I've done in any 6 month period of time since I started riding in mid 2007. Let me share a little of what I did this weekend.

Friday I took off early from work to do what was, by far, the hardest ride I've ever done on the bike. For some insane reason, I let members of my ride team talk me into doing a climb up one of the local mountains around here. It's a 10 mile (also with climbing) or so ride to get there, and then we got to do this:

Now, in all fairness we didn't climb all the way to the top, we only went to mile 8 or so. But that's all uphill folks, and no matter what that map says, my friend's GPS says there was no grade lower than 7% and it went to as much as 12% at times. I can tell you by the time I made it to the point where we stopped, I thought I was going to have a gdamn stroke. Here I am, post almost-stroke:

Then, of course, on the way back I got separated from my friends, got lost, and added about 5 more miles (38 total) on to the ride then I needed to. Yes, I'm an idiot.

Saturday I took the day off to work on my bike and get it tuned up for Sunday, when rode from the beach and back. All told, I put 123 miles on the bike for that day (215 total for the week) when all was said and done. I guess at this point, I'm about as ready as I'm ever going to be. I hope.

I'll try and post up at night after each days ride to update on the progress on the ride. If anyone, you know, cares.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where I Might Have To Turn In My Balls - Part 2

Last summer we had to have our house tented for termites. During the process the fumigators had to tear down a piece of our fencing so they could get the tent on the garage. Since then there's been an opening on the side of the garage that allows a space going up to the front gate on the side of the garage. Last week M went out and bought some lumber so that I could finally close that up now that we have another dog and she likes to go chasing after our cats along that opening since that's where the cats travel through. Should be pretty easy right, it's only like a 3 foot gap. Wrong.

I tore off the old wood that was still attached to the garage so that I could start with fresh lumber that wasn't all rotted out. Easy enough, cut a 2X4 to length, level it, nail to garage. From there, I was going to put three cross members to the other side of the chanlink/wood fence that borders the neighbor's yard and then put up planking to cover the gap. At this point my neighbor here's me hammering and asks if I need some help. Sure I say, it'd be great if she could hold up the cross members so I could get those level while nailing them in.

She comes over and I proceed start putting up the cross members. After I get them up, she checks up the setup and the strength of the cross members (since they are only going to be attached at one point), looks at me and says, "Yeah, this isn't going to work. Let me tell you what we need to do." At this point she goes into great detail on we need to attach another 2X4 to her cross beams for her wood fence then secure the cross members to that with hardware. All the while I'm standing there just nodding, looking like a home improvement dumbass.

I have to say, if she hadn't offered to come over and help me out, I probably would have ended up with a rickety, Mickey Mouse fence section. Since it of course, with her input, came out golden and sturdy as hell. Though I did have to run back to Home Depot again since the planking M got from there was riddled with termites. I mean, WTF is up with that?! Just what someone wants, wood you're attaching to a structure that is termite infested. Nice quality control.

Oh, I almost forgot the part where I had to enlist the help of her partner to get one of the planks cut on an angle so that it would line up nicely at the end. Lesbians to the rescue! Again

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where I Might Have To Turn In My Balls

Here's the thing, I'm one of those guys that's not super handy. I mean, I can do basic stuff like mow the lawn, do routine maintenance around the house, etc. But I'm not one of those guys could rewire his house or build an add on to our house. Lately we've been having a lot of trouble with our back door locks and I figured WTF, I'll go buy a new lock set and try putting it in myself.

This weekend I attempted said install. Shockingly, I had actually purchased locks that looked they would be the same size as the old piece of shit ones I was trying to replace. So far so good.

The top deadbolt went in no problem. Believe me, no one is more surprised about this than me. Then came the actual door knob {tee-hee...knob} replacement. I got the old knob out no problem. Here's where it got sideways.

For the life of me, I could not get the two pieces of new door knob to match up for the life of me. I sat there struggling for probably 20-30 minutes trying to get it to go together, the last 10 minutes of that cursing up a blue streak. At that point my neighbor came over to visit the mutts since she heard them out running around. She asked me what I was doing and after explaining to her what kind of a hassle I was running into, she offered to take a look.

She spent about 45 seconds looking at it, she stopped, stood up and laughed. She points at the bolt part that gets screwed into the door, that the inside/outside knobs connect to and says, "You might want to try putting that in, you know, the way it's supposed to go."

Fuck! At least I can take comfort in the fact that my neighbor's a lesbian and she's supposed to know this stuff better than I am anyway...right?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So, That Was Not Easy

Hope that everyone had a great 4th (timely right?)! You're wondering what I did? OK, let me tell ya:

Friday the 3rd, myself and 3 friends decided to ride to the beach and back from our neighborhood. We figured it would be a cool way to spend one of our holiday days in addition to being the first test to see how we'd handle the distance that we'd face on one day of the charity ride. Cause you see, to the beach and back is about 100 miles round trip.

Actually, it went really well*. Going the 50 miles down was a breeze. We stopped, had a nice breakfast and then started making our way back. The first 30 miles back were also a breeze since it's all relatively flat. The last 25 miles were NOT a breeze. Before you start making the steady climb back into our town, there is one gargantuan, steep hill about a mile or so long that must be conquered. I swear, I thought I might have a gdamn stroke. But, I made it to the top without ever stopping or getting off the bike. Yay me!

From there, it was just the slowly building elevation all the way til we got back home. That and the motherf*@king traffic control. I swear we must have hit 95% of the lights on the way back. And I can tell you there's nothing quite as fun as having to stop at every light in 95 degree weather, sitting there baking waiting until you have to get yourself started again. It's not a lot of fun. Managed to make it the 105 miles at about 14.5 mph, so a pretty big accomplishment.

So the training continues and we're going to start ramping it up by doing 20 or so miles every morning and hopefully get a couple 30-40 mile rides in at night on top of that. At this point, about 5 weeks to go!

Oh, and if you're interested in donating to a good cause and helping a brother out, go here.

*If you don't count the fact that my junk was completely numb by the time I got back home. Gotta get that fixed before I end up a Viagra popper.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Me = Boned!

And not in the good way.

Last Friday, M found a stray puppy on the road on the way to work. She ended up bringing it home and was quite, "ZOMG! She's soooo cute!" We took her to the vet and unfortunately she was also afflicted with Parvo. We had to put her down and M was crushed. Insert sad smiley face. On top of that, she felt horrible about potentially exposing our dog to the disease. Hopefully the tanker truck full of bleach that I used to clean out his kennel will prevent an issues. The ground water table be damned!

Saturday she decided to go do some running around and somehow ended up at the local Humane Society. I get a text from her, "So many cute doggies here! You have to come see!"

And I did...rookie mistake. I give you Carolina. So behold, the new instrument of my doom!! (And serial drive-by pee dropper)

Super Exciting Update!

So, I know, it's been a while again since I've posted, but I've been busy trying to finish up this semester in class as well as riding as much as possible, so I thought I'd give you guys a brief update as to what's happening with the ride thing (like there's anyone reading, and you care).

With school, I've been limited to riding mainly in the morning and just once on the weekend, but I've managed to put in about 100 a miles a week and averaging pretty good pace of just about 15mph. Now that school is done, I'm ramping up the training. Now I'll be riding four mornings a week, a couple times after work and on the weekend. I'm hoping to ramp it up to about 200 miles a week and still keep the same pace, if not increase it.

So far, I've cleared $1300 towards my goal of raising $3G. Not too shabby with about two and a half months to go. Related to that, I need to give a big shout out to fellow blogispherians TK and Lainey for graciously donating to the cause. Hell, I didn't even know Lainey read this thing! So I guess I'll need to go and return the favor as well as through her on the ole blog roll. Not that she'll get much traffic from me, but her good deed deserves at least that much. So go check em out! And thank you both.

And I'll try and improve at putting...something up more frequently.