Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baker's Bikes

Stopped by Baker's Bikes in Urbana today to see about a rim and thought I would snap a few pics of the shop. They've helped me out on many occasions and I can't say enough nice things about them. Stop by their web store or email to setup an appointment to see if they can help you out with your next bike project.

And a random pic from the journey to replace my hot water heater today. I felt it was appropriate since the knee is currently bum.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Still Swole and Sore

Well, the knee feels and looks like crap. Not sure if I should bother calling a doc and getting an opinion. I pretty much know what the result is going to be. Anyone want to buy an XL Litespeed ?

And a pic as I waited for the sag wagon on my failed matlodextrin run. I laced this wheel last winter and within 3 miles 6 spokes are very loose. Like almost completely unscrewed loose. I'm on a roll today.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

48 @ 20.2

Someone mentioned our group of 8 was the largest they'd seen for a Sunday ride in a while. After promplty shelling 2, the remaining riders saw winds from the NW at 25 and temps in the mid 70's. I felt pretty good untill just before halfway. My stamina and energy levels are pure crap. I was actually running the, " Im dropped in the middle of nowhere wtf do I do? " scenerio. I havn't felt that since my first few rides with the group. Nothing like the fear of rednecks to motivate you to dig in and find a way to get it done. Thankfully Jay the Big Mack Truck saw me suffering and offered to switch sides and sheild the wind. After sucking down gel and as much malto drink as possible I managed to recover and put together a fairly decent ride. Jay and Martin went off the front about mile 35 and left us to do some decent tempo work. I was feeling pretty good by then and managed to pull the recovery train for long enough that the other guys got their legs back.

Knees felt OK, with the left knee throwing out some ache-type pain under power and the right knee is now also aching a bit. Ugh. After talking with a couple guys looks like the right leg shim by 2 mm for a 5mm shortness is the next place to look. I dialed up the power agian on an overpass and everything felt solid so thats a good sign.

Hope everyone at proctor raced safe and well !

Saturday, June 27, 2009

34.5 @ 19.1

Good to see some WildCard faces agian. Hope you guys tear it up in Proctor. The weather for the ride was near perfect with a very light east wind, upper 70's and light clouds. Since this was my test flight I wasn't looking for anything too far and fast. I managed to line up with Martin who seems to go warp speed on anything but gravel, even with a stress fracture in his leg. He was taking it easy and decided not to do three triathlons in a day and instead rode with us. JB had to be back by 10 so about a quarter mile after he dropped I had the bright idea to also drop and ride back to town with some company. I have a really hard time not ramping up the pace for atleast a half-hearted sprint attempt for the town signs so dropping early was a good thing for me today.
The left knee felt great on the bike, even dialed up the power a bit ont he way home for a hill and experienced no funny business. However, my right knee is now barkin at me. This is the 5mm short leg so maybe I need to look at a wedge after all. Nice thing about the fitting with Larry is he will work with me for a year to get the bugs tweaked out.
I think it's kind of funny getitng back on the group rides after taking time off. So many things going through my head and the bike handling is not as soild as it was a few weeks ago. Naturally, I doubted my abilty with the knee weirdness but it seemed like I fell mostly right back in place. Here's to hoping the habits I'm developing are good ones.
Oh and also spoke with martin about fueling for Jay's loop ride. Looks like 400 cal per hour is good so oassuming 0ne cup of maltodextrin is aboout 300 cal. I can get just under a cup in a bottle with cytomax before it gets too thick. I've been running about 1 cup per 4 flasks of the gel thinned to pancake syrup consistency with water and brown rice syrup and honey. If I drop some water and up the malto I think I can go to 2 cups per 4 flasks. I might as well fuel for the full 12 hours as incentive which works out to roughly 12 cups of malto. For every 6 hours I'll need to do 4 malto/cyto bottles and 4 flasks. The 6 hour mark is a good spot for a refueling. I'm guessing I should bring a 5g bucket with water for a bottle and flask rinse before refilling them with premix stored in a cooler using a funnel and rocks glass for flask holder. 6 hours seems like a long time to expose the gel and drink mix to the temps in my jersey so I'm guessing I should have them staged in a cooler ready for pickup. Phew .. lots of mental prep

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New and Improved

Larry took good care of me today and made some adjustments that should fix me right up. After checking flexibility, careful measuring, and all sorts of bike fit type stuff I now have cleats aligned and moved all the way back and a saddle height that puts me smack in the middle of the green part of that big protractor thingy. I had big plans to do some miles afterward but the heat had me runnin for the AC and I took a much needed nap.

The fit master and his tools:

I was expecting to be told my bike is too small but I guess I'm good to go.

Now to work on building the core and fitness back up after my vacation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well, two weeks have passed and I didn't exactly accomplish my goal of rest, ice and alleve. I managed to take the alleve daily and rested some but did not ice once and did plenty of digging and garden labors. I commuted a few times and did a few errands by bike and each time the knee felt funny. By funny I mean there weird feelings in there, like a tightness or a tickle right at the front of the knee cap area and a soreness behind the knee cap. My right knee is feeling a little funny too, maybe from taking the extra load from the left side. Swelling on the left has gone down only a small amount, wasn't much to start with. I called Larry to schedule a fitting but still waiting on a call back. If I didn't know myself better I'd quit now while I think I'm ahead. I'd always wonder how close I was to getting the knee pain tweaked out in adjustments or if its just a passing thing .... I really enjoy my time in the saddle and working with the team so I'm going to see if the bugs can be chased out with some help from a skilled bike fitter. Looks like Im gonna sit out for another Wednesday atleast.

Gardens are developing nicely, I'm even getting to the point where Im passing up plants and wondering where to put others since most of the prime spots have been filled. Pics to follow someday ... keep the dream alive.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swole and Sore

We'll my advisors have counselled me and suggest 2 weeks rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. After a left 90% meniscectomy about 7 years ago and a nasty left knee gash as a kid the mere mention of another possible draining was enough to inspire a very cautious and protective approach to knee preservation. That battle wound you saw was the result of a BMX crash that peeled the skin on my kneecap back, tore a ligament or two and introduced me to the wonderful worl of knee aspirations. Not once but several times. I all but quit the team in my head at the exact moment I relived that horror. Not sure what happens from here, maybe it's just mad about the extra gardening and bigger group efforts.
I did notice on the group rides that I need to apply extra power sometimes in twitchy bursts to get myself situated back in the pocket. I recall thinking this is probably not good.

In the back of my head I knew my knee would be my limiting factor, I had just hoped those limits woul be a bit farther out.

It's pretty hard to know if I should look at the Lemond wedges or a fit at the LBS or if I'm just doing somehting I shouldn't. Going to soft pedal the commute and see how it goes. See you WC guys in 2 weeks. Ride safe!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Knee Pic

Don't mind the battle wound on the left knee. Hard to tell from the pic but they certainly don't match. Kinda hurts behind the knee cap. Hrmmmm

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sedums and Semps




Starting them from seed:


and by divisioin:


site documenting their wild habitat:



Since starting my training with the Wild Card guys Iv'e seen a decline in my commuting miles. I think I'm even seeing an almost 1:1 trade off with WC miles for commuting miles. I attribute this partly to the efforts I've been making to landscape our yard with low cost but high quality plants. For anyone who's done landscaping you know what an energy and time consuming challenge this can be. I've managed to meet my goals of riding each Wednesday and a Saturday or Sunday but the commuting miles have suffered. I'm hoping once the transplanting wraps up here in the next few weeks I'll have the extra energy to pedal to work vs sleep the extra :45 mins and pollute my way to work. In the mean time, those of you with pesky hostas or ostrich ferns that need divided or removed, I'm your man !

Looks like Big Jay's Big Ass 12 hour in Mahomet on July 18th will be my 1st race. A 12 hour endurance race starting at 6am .. seems like making it to the line up will be half the battle. Last 12 hour results I heard from Jay were 260 miles in 12 hours .... lets shoot for 130. BBQ starts at 6 pm. I guess I'm going to need to put some thought towards staying fueled on a sensitive stomach in the heat. Sponsors ?

Last couple rides were solid with mileage at 59 for Wednesday and 39 for sunday with averages about 20.5 mph. Left knee has been feeling a bit sore, wondering if I need to look at the Lemond wedges.