Archive for category Random Stuff
This morning I shoveled the slushy detritus pushed into my driveway from this morning’s snowplow. When I was done, I looked up to see what has become two huge towers of snow. One side is at least 6½ feet tall, the other nearly so.
These behemoths have been tall enough to affect both the view when entering/exiting the road and trash pickup since the first week of January. So why am I thinking spring now?
Well for starters tomorrow is forecast to bring heavy rain and 40°+ temps, along with above-freezing highs for the rest of the week (mostly). More importantly, I ventured to my LBS yesterday and ordered up my tires for the year. A nice pair of Continental GP 4000s (700×25). I settled for Gatorskins last year. Never again.
All of this makes me so very hopeful that Spring will be here soon. March is here in two days, and that is always a good sign. I just have to stay focused on the trainer and stay disciplined on what I eat. I am optimistic for this year’s rides.
We all know cycling is good for you. However, sometimes I still discover new benefits of a life spent behind (handle) bars.
When I got home from work today, the temperature in my house was 60°F. I turned on the heat while I got ready to ride the trainer, and turned it back down when I got started.
When I was all done, the temperature had returned to about 62. I was warmed up enough to be comfortable for the next hour without turning up the heat. In the meantime, Mrs. Stallion returned home and started a fire in our wood stove. The heat steadily grew from it and we were comfortable.
I can imagine that there would be a large energy savings if a significant number of people exercised at home on a cold day and used that as an opportunity to reduce their need for heat.
Another fringe benefit. Who knew?
When Mrs. Stallion and I moved to a new residence this summer, I took little note of the wood stove listed as “supplemental heating”.
As I type this, it is a seasonable 30°F outside. Inside, it is a decidedly unseasonable 81°F. Supplemental, huh? I think our “primary” gas furnace has run for a grand total of about 48 hours.
I think we’re going to be spoiled by this thing.
It’s November, the days are shorter and colder. Times like these lend themselves to reflection. Fortunately I was able to land an interview with the man himself. The following is my interview with Mild Stallion.
Me: Outdoor season done?
Mild Stallion: Yeah, Mother Nature makes that decision for me. Too cold and windy, short days. Typical stuff.
Me: You sound kind of resigned to it. Do you have trouble leaving the road?
Mild Stallion: It’s part acceptance, part looking forward to the change. My riding becomes so sporadic this time of year that my fitness takes a hit. Love it or hate it, the trainer is more “aerobically correct” – I can get a more focused workout.
Me: How was the season?
Mild Stallion: I had some high hopes going into it. I had great fitness coming out of the winter and it translated very well to the road. Unfortunately for my riding, we moved to a new house in June. The whole process started in mid April, and the craziness didn’t subside until sometime in July. It took a really big toll on my rides.
Outside of riding, the new house has been a huge positive. It’s a much better situation than what we were living with for the previous seven years.
Me: I take it there was no Circuit Century?
Mild Stallion: Sadly, no. I just didn’t have the consistency of rides to build up to it. I had to concentrate on just getting rides in where I could. My average ride was under two hours. Compared to the previous 3 seasons where I averaged around 2.5 hours per ride, it was a significant drop.
Me: It sounds like a tough season. Were there any positives?
Mild Stallion: Oh sure. Physically I went through it unscathed and I got to get in some serious test time with a few “new to me” items.
Me: New to you?
Mild Stallion: Yeah, I wore bib shorts almost exclusively this year. That along with using chamois cream and the tires I rode on – it gave me a chance to see if they were for me.
Me: So how did you like the bib shorts?
Mild Stallion: It’s one of those items where I wonder how I ever rode without them! Very comfortable, no fear of showing my backside to the public (chuckles). It kept the chamois centered naturally.
When I used them in conjunction with the chamois cream, it made for a level of long-ride comfort that I didn’t know was available.
The tires I rode were Continental Gatorskins. As for them, let me put it this way; I can’t wait to go back to my GP 4000s next year.
Me: So what’s next for you?
Mild Stallion: Well, I’m already on the trainer. Getting used to the room in the new house where I ride it. It’s a smaller room than the old house. No problems after the first ride.
Looking forward to giving myself a good thrashing from time to time! (laughs) I’ve got a new Sufferfest to try and I think there’s going to be more coming out; I need some variety in the workouts that I do. I think I have about 20 separate video and audio workouts to do, so hopefully they won’t get too routine.
Me: Thanks for your time. Hope you have a good indoor season.
Mild Stallion: Thanks, I hope the fitness comes around.
There you have it, the man in his own words. One outdoor season over, one indoor season underway.
Thanks for reading!
If you wish to contact Mild Stallion for interview requests, please refer them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The last few weeks have been weird. The Mrs. and I moved into a more appropriate domicile about 3 weeks ago. Since then, it’s been mostly errands, appointments, contractors, weekend parties and projects with a few “normal” days interspersed.
Fortunately I have access to the same bike routes that I like and have been getting in 2 or 3 rides each week. I know there’s been a dearth of posts, so sorry about that.
I’m totally psyched for the Tour. It starts Saturday and it’s looking to be a good one. I have read the articles on this years route and there are parts that stand out to me. First, the stage 3 ride on the cobbles. It seems to me that the LA fanboys are viewing this as the “OMG Contador will miss the cut because we all know Spaniards can’t ride cobbles” stage. I have trouble thinking that he can lose huge chunks of time there. I’d like to see Lance do well, but this view of the stage seems exaggerated. I’m glad that they have cobbles on this years route, if only for variety in the first week.
The two trips up the Tourmalet should prove interesting. Such a sadistic pastime, enjoying others’ suffering. I think I like the Tours that have major mountain stages in the Pyrenees better than the Alps. Difficult to quantify: the nutso Basque fans, the climbs themselves, I dunno.
If they aren’t going to have a Team Time Trial, they should have two long Individual TTs instead of one on the penultimate stage. I remember not too long ago there would be a pair of TTs no shorter than 40k or so. They were a great way to show just who is the strongest rider.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. It’s good to be somewhat back and I totally can’t wait for three weeks of great racing.