- You Either Do Or You Don't, Trying Doesn't Count - There are definately days that are better than others in the world of "tiredathlon"
July 2007 Archives
For the last year and a half I have been under the impression that my bike was an 18 speed bike--2 chain rings in the front and a 9 speed cassette in the back. Here's the story of how I found the hidden 19th gear.
I decided to do my Sunday ride from my parents' house in beautiful Mokena, IL. I dropped the wife and dog off at the pool and proceeded to do a loop that included parts of the Old Plank Road Trail along with some of the backroads between there and eekaknaK.
What the bike map I had didn't tell me is that most of the backroads are gravel--not terribly comfortable on a road bike (skinny tires). C'est la vie. Somewhere around mile 19 on the loop map above, riding around 20mph, I hear a growling coming from a yard that I'm passing. I don't think a whole lot of this as this happens often--I'll hear a dog in a yard and they may bark and slam themselves into the fence trying to annoy me or something (dunno, my dog doesn't really bark).
Then out of the corner of my eye, I see this dog snarling and growling, tearing down the driveway and into the street. Now he's got a decent angle, but I'm going at a decent clip. I decide to up the speed to around 22 and leave him behind. Except there's one problem. He's fast--and he doesn't look like he wants to make friends. He's running off my wheel at 22 mph. I bump it up to 23-24 and he speeds up a little bit, but he's starting to falter. I think at this point that he'll probably still catch me if he wants to.
This is where I kick it into adrenaline gear. I really don't feel like being an angry dog's lunch. I'm already on my large chain ring up front, so I drop it into the smallest cog on the back and start hammering. Uphill. My heart rate monitor is beep at me like crazy (it does this when I'm out of a training zone that I set for myself). I get to the top of the hill and finally look back and it appears that the dog is gone.
It takes me about 10 mins or so to settle back down, but unfortunately I'm spent for the rest of the ride. I bonk about 5 miles out and am miserable the rest of the way. When I get back I look at my HRM. I got my heart rate up to 187 (I'm guessing that this is my max--or pretty darn close to it), and my max speed was 30.2. Not bad for uphill.
I have a few random thoughts from the past week...
- NBA Draft -- I think my worst fears came to fruition on Thursday. Joakim Noah, the freak of nature, is now a Chicago Bull. Great. It's a good thing I don't watch a whole lot of NBA hoops.
- Flying -- I think that Beth had a realization this weekend. Flying rocks. We went to Evansville, IN for her cousin's wedding. Here's an interesting comparison based on events (not exaggerated):
Beth's Parents Us 1330 CDT Leave Arlingon Heights, IL Pack 1530 CDT Sit in Traffic somewhere in Chicago area Leave Mount Prospect 1700 CDT Finally on 41 Wheels up @ LL10 (we had to kill some time) 1830 CDT Are we there yet? No. Oops, we can't land until 1900, time to slow down 1903 CDT Almost to Terre Haute Land in Evansville 1930 CDT Phew. Terre Haute Headed to dinner 2100 CDT Almost thereeee Checking into hotel 2115 CDT We made it!
- Weddings -- I heard a saying that if it rains on a wedding, it means good luck--or irony. What does it mean if you get a military flyby (and you aren't military)? It just so happened that the church was between the airport and the location along the river for the Evansville Freedom Festival--also the reason we couldn't land before 7 on Friday. Right after the pastor said "You may kiss the bride" I heard a 2 or 3 ship flight outside. Obviously I couldn't run outside and look (as is my normal inclination), but I thought that it was pretty neat. There was also an F-117 doing passes as we were driving to the church from the hotel.
- Champaign County Man Puts Symbol in Stones - Apparently you can see this from the air (I would hope so--it's 17' in diameter)