October 2, 2007

From the Archives: Pre-2002 ride journals

Old Ride Journals


(anything prior to 7/99 was on Trek Mtn. Bike, on bike trails)

07/21/99 – WED – “EASY ROUTE”
First ride on Schwinn; (or a road bike for that matter) Indian Creek trail system west to 119th $ Quivira, then back track to trailhead at park – college and mission (approx) College to Indian Creek Pkwy, south to 119th, then backtrack sprinting, college and ICP – up College, up the monster hill, back to trail and home (shorty’s house) Good first Road ride!
Evening ride:
(22.7 miles, 1:45 ET, 13.5 avg, 27.5 top speed) Temp 93, cloudy.

07/25/99 – SUN – “Little Tour”
Trail east to 127th and mission rd, south on mission to 143rd St., turn west, 143rd to Roe, Roe south to 151st, 151st West to Switzer, Switzer north to college – old switzer to trail head, trail thru corporate woods, trail home (shorty’s). Felt good today!
Evening ride:
(25.6 miles, 1:35 ET, 15.1 avg, 30.7 top speed) Temp 92 and cloudy

07/28/99 – WED – “Killer Hill Loop”
trail west to switzer, south on switzer (!) to 167th st, 167th east to Nall, Nall north to 159th, 159th east to Mission rd, Mission rd north to trail entrance (127th St) – Trail home. Home of the big hill: Hope to tame this hill going South someday on mission to 159th– FAST downhill going north – ate too much, and it was too hot today – didn’t feel 100% until after the trail near the end of the ride. Shorty’s power in the hills is frustrating to me – I want longer legs…rather, stronger legs. This is how it’s done. Ran out of water halfway thru the ride… ‘Camelbak’ time??? I just remind myself, training in this heat makes me stronger.

Evening ride:
Temp 103, no clouds, no wind – HOT!!!!

(27.89 miles, 2:01:57 ET, 13.9 avg spd, 30.9 top speed)

08/01/99 – SUN – “Time Trials and Road Rash”
finally the heat wave is over – temps today much lower – high today about 80 degrees. Took trail east to Mission rd & 127th st, 127th east to State Line, State Line south to to Amoco at 133rd (?) in hopes of going out to Longview Lake – ROAD CLOSED?! AHHH! - back north on State Line to Red Bridge Rd, Red Bridge west to College, good downhill sprint here; college and mission to trail, trail west to 119th and Quivira, to Bike Source (closed – too early). Back on trail to 103rd & Metcalf – back to Shorty’s – made good time thinking Shorty took a shortcut to get ahead of me at the Corporate Woods park; turns out he wrecked trying to get ahead of me --- was wondering why it was taking so long to catch him! Shorty’s leg gets a little messed up, but the memories from this ride will last for a while --

Temp 75 ~ 80 degrees Light rain early in ride on State Line
(30.01 miles, 2.01.50 ET, 14.7 avg, 44.0 top speed)

08/05/99 – Thursday – “The Rush”
Trail west to Switzer, Switzer south to 151st, 151st west to Pflumm, Pflumm south to Heritage Park (175th) – return route: Pflumm north to K150 (135th), 135th to Quivira, Quivira north to 119th st Trailhead, trail home (Shortys) -- A FAST ride – fastest to date for me…right on Shorty’s butt the whole way this time….

TOTAL mileage to date: 152.8
Temp 85, sunny, breezy --- Time, 6:45 to 9pm
(27.66 miles, 1.44.33 ET, 15.8 Avg, 33.5 top speed)

08/09/99 – SUN – “Solo Time”
First solo ride on Schwinn – wasn’t sure how far I’d push myself without Shorty as a pacesetter, but I did well, I think. Every ride to date with Shorty, I have put the bike on the back of the car and drove to Shorty’s house at 103rd and Outlook; about ¼ mile from the trail. Today, I felt a little weird just driving to Shorty’s house and leaving my car there while I rode, so I rode from my house at 75th and Lamar. South on Lamar to 103rd, south to trail, trail east to mission rd and 123rd, mission south to 159th – home of the killer hill that I wanted to try, and I GOT IT – 159th west to Switzer, over 69 Hwy, Switzer north to College Blvd trail entrance, trail east to 103rd and Lamar, across Metcalf at 103rd st, Lamar north to 75th and HOME! Lamar is hilly, but makes for a good cool-down. Time to Gloat: Hills felt flatter today! Headwind all the way north – grrrr….

(32.78 miles, 2.09.00 ET, 15.2 avg, 34.5 top speed)
(185.9 total, 78 and sunny, 10am-12pm ride)

08/11/99 – WED – “SOLO II – Hills Suck ride”

Put the bike on the back of the car and drove it out west to Shawnee Mission Park for a little jaunt. BIG MISTAKE. I forgot how big the hills were in there!! Started on the lake loop going west, then south on the dam road; three laps around the park – then got on the bike path, going southwest from the park to the trailhead at 87th Lane and Woodend Rd; refilled water, climbed the MONSTER up 87th Lane to 87th St, 87th St East to Renner Blvd, Renner north to Midland Rd, Midland Rd west to the park access rd (Ogg Rd?) – park access rd is too hilly for CARS!!! MY GOD!!!!! Made it up, after stopping a few times, made one more lap around the park for good measure, then back to my car – damn.

(23.05 miles, 1.35.55 ET, 14.4 avg, 41.0 top speed)
Average not bad, considering wind and hills….

08/14/99 – SAT – “The BIG Loop”

Felt pretty good this morning – a little shaken up from a movie the previous night (blair witch project) wow. Freaky. – ANYWAY: From home, took Lamar south to 103rd, caught the trail, head east – trail head at 123rd and mission Rd – mission rd south to 159th(rested for five minutes – saw a guy on a yellow $3500 Softride beambike coming towards me from the south – rrrrrrr) 159th West to Quivira this time – Quivira north to 141st (CLOSED!) Backtrack thru residential to 143rd, 143rd east to Switzer, switzer north to the trailhead at College and Switzer, trail to 103rd and Marty, 103rd to Lamar, Lamar north to home – Good ride today – felt like I was hurrying, and the numbers prove it – a new personal best ET J ….and a new personal distance record for me!

(35.94 miles, 2.14.28 ET, 16.0 avg, 36.5 top speed)
Welcome to the 16’s, boy!

08/19/99 – WED – “Standard Loop”

At least, that’s the name I’m giving it….turning into the standard solo ride, since I haven’t ridden with Shorty since the ride on 08/05/99 – 75th and Lamar (home), Lamar to 103rd, to trail, trail to Mission and 123rd, Mission south to 159th, 159th West to Switzer, Switzer to 112th (approx) to trailhead, trail east 103rd and Marty, 103rd to Lamar, Lamar to 75th and Home.
Getting faster on this loop, and it’s not terribly easy, especially on 159th – lots of hills – today, hills and headwinds.

(32.94 miles, 2.01.49 ET, 16.2 avg, 35.5 top speed)
New best time! J

8/21/99 – SAT – “Standard Loop Reversed!”

Took the standard loop in reverse – just for a change of flavor – not sure if I’m fully recovered from the 16.2 avg run – a little slower today, and more rest stops. A little backsliding is acceptable, I suppose. Need time to rest my legs. Ate differently this morning, too, and that may have affected me. Normally, 1 Clif Bar and 16oz of Milk is perfect – today, muffins: too heavy. Felt bloated and cramped up on Switzer. Here’s the stats: not bad considering this was my best time only a week ago….

(32.66 miles, 2.04.42 ET, 15.6 avg, 39.0 top speed)

09/06/99 – “Standard Loop”

Hit the Schwinn again – after 2 weeks on the Trek Mtn bike commuting to Sprint – made a BIG difference training on a heavier bike, and them getting back on the road bike: stats:

(33.36 miles, 2.01.24 ET, 16.4 avg, 37.0 top speed)

09/26/99 – “Abbreviated Run”

Nice day, but too windy to beat any good times…left at 11:00am and did the first half of the Standard loop, out to 159th and Mission, and then returned back the same way I came. Developments in the weather, and otherwise busy weekends have kept me off of the Schwinn for nearly a month, although I have been commuting on the Trek most of that time….slipped off my time a tad, but the wind was a definite factor today, and I had decided ahead of time that this was to be a leisurely ride, NOT a record breaker. With winds gusting to 25 mph in my face, it wasn’t going to be anyway…..

(28.75 miles, 1.51.21 ET, 15.4 avg, 41.0 top speed) so,so….
<> ß some shorter rides not figured into this total…


5/13/2000 – “New season Ride” – Std. Loop w/ Warbird

Have signed up for the MS150, and training begins today – Got the Schwinn out of the garage for the first time since the last entry. Eight months off of the bike have caught up to me, and our first time out this year is proof – although compared to last year’s averages, and this year’s over the std. Loop, the route hasn’t changed, but the mileage has ---- computer problems?
We’ll see what happens… the bike trail is finished from Marty to Lamar now, so there is a little mileage lost here and there, but no big deal – safer than crossing Metcalf! 52 degrees this morning – COLD!!! Headwind from the Southwest…. Hit the trail at 8:00am.
Brief points: computer glitch? Bathroom fiasco as Switzer – ugh! Back to square one on averages….

(26.12 miles, 2.00.05 ET, 13.3 avg, 31.5 top speed)

05/20/00 – “Standard Loop w/ Warbird”

Warmer today – hit trail at 11:30am. Biketrail completion at 103rd near the end, and at Mission and 435 has cut mileage down, but has increased the technical factor. FIRST RIDE ON THE MICHELIN tires, and I love them. Felt much better today, physically: killed Warbird on the hills, and messed up my average by waiting for him at each hillcrest ~ it’s a gentlemanly thing. Couple of good sprints downhill in places – hills and legs felt really good – and my cardio threshold has increased by having done the treadmill three to four times per week for 30 minutes. Not nearly as tired or sore after rides as I was last year. Warbird and I really pushed the mark today near the end of the trail – at about 107th St or so on the trail near Corporate Woods, some guy on an expensive mtn. Bike, no helmet, and headphones cuts off of a spur right in front of us – so we pass him, which apparently makes him upset – so he gives chase ~ and on the way out of the park, with me in the lead, Warbird next, and the chaser, I hear Warbird saying thru gritted teeth, “Get it ON….get it ON….” to me, so the other guy can’t hear him….so we hit it, HARD. We averaged over 20 MPH in this last stretch, and put a 25-30 second gap between us and the chaser --- it was AWESOME, and Warbird and I were working like a well-oiled machine, matching pace perfectly. Totally schooled him, and he was big in the legs… Felt GREAT!
Notes: better average than last time – not enough hard pushing at the end to bring the average up much more, but was a good ride either way….not bad.

(26.11 miles, 1.43.37 ET, 15.1 avg, 37.0 top speed)

05/25/00 – “Hills Suck, part 2”

Another trip out to Shawnee mission Park for a little hill-treatment, solo ride.
85 degrees and sunny, breezy. Lots of pro-style riders on the lake road today, all w\riding bikes I’d never heard of – doesn’t matter; I suck! Before I say that, I have been sick ALL day today with an annoying cold, so I’ve been loading up on Advil, Chlortrimeton, and Albuterol, and I am just NOT 100%. Not even close. Went to the park, did two quick laps – this was the first time I have used clipless pedals, by the way, and I now have a scrape on my left elbow to prove it. Compared to last year’s efforts in previous pages, I just don’t feel like I’m getting any faster or better, and it’s frustrating…..even with better equipment, I’m slower. Although I’d have to exactly mimic last year’s ride out here to know for sure. I stayed in the park, no trail action, and tried the monster hill on Ogg Rd. that goes by the golf course – got farther up than last year before having to stop. I need to wait until I’m feeling better – and fresher on the bike, before I make any direct comparisons. Some high points, though: on my first lap around the lake road, I got passed, but I managed to catch and maintain a 31 mph pace on a flat against two hardcore road guys on expensive looking bikes and extremely skinny tires. I have to remember, this is only my third time out this year, and everyone admits that SMP is a difficult ride, period….which explains why the hardcore guys are here; everything else must be boring by comparison. I WILL GET THERE, BUT I WILL BE PATIENT AND I WILL NOT GIVE UP. MS-150 training ride on Saturday – FOCUS.

(12.61 miles, 56.32 ET, 13.3 avg, 38.0 top speed) ß sick and tired; okay…


05/29/00 – “BIG LOOP”

90 degrees, stiff south wind 15-20 mph.
Solo ride this time; Warbird out of town. 75th and Lamar, south to 103rd, trail east to 123rd and Mission, mission south to 159th, 159th to switzer, switzer north to 112th and trailhead – trail east to Lamar, then Modified route home: residential shuffle parallel to Lamar on the east side.
Felt Really Good today – used Sobe POWER drink during the first part of the ride (w/ creatine, proline, etc) – Good stuff, but not terribly quenching – helped on the hills , SEEMINGLY. Fell once, because of the stupid clipless pedals that I’m still not 100% used to yet. Roe Park switchback was the culprit, and I couldn’t get my stupid foot out….oh well. Didn’t happen again. High points: Better performance on the hills, at 123rd and Mission I beat and passed a man going uphill, and held him off by 3 minutes at the light at 135th and Mission. Awesome! Felt really good to pull this off, considering last Thursday, I was the guy getting passed – I’m getting better at long, steady climbs. Caught another guy at 159th and Mission, despite monster hill, which I did in a better gear than last time, despite the headwind as well. Uneventful trip to Switzer…..switzer to 127th was good, fast downhill to 119th, but had to let off because a car was threatening to pull out as I mashed down the hill. Then on the trail, I got hit by a tree. A branch, actually….fell from above and landed on my left forearm…..about a 4 inch branch, too – lucky it didn’t break my wrist! Left a nice, 10” long abrasion, though. Grrrr….Stats:
Notes: computer was rest from last year at some point, so averages aren’t matching up:
Set at 225 for next ride – was 221.

(34.21 miles, 2.18.04 ET, 14.8 avg, 38.5 top speed)

06/01/00 – “Short and Hot”

101 degrees with hot sun and 80% humidity.
Started to do the standard loop with Warbird, and it got WAY too hot, so we cut it short. Stopped at 159th and Mission and returned to same way, but made decent time doing it. New high-speed pass on Mission, northbound at big hill before 151st St.!

(20.52 miles, 15.3 avg, et erased before recorded, 52.1 TOP SPEED!)

06/03/00 – SAT – “First MS-150 Training Ride”

8:00am, Blue Springs South High School

The best ride to date! Warbird and I headed east for the first , and my first, MS 150 training ride. I was very nervous, since this was my first ride with someone other than friends. My fears left quickly. We hit the route, and me, Warbird, and about 7 other riders missed the first turn. After a mile or so, we turned around, and headed the correct direction – Warbird and I, uphill and down, slowly started picking off members of the pack…except for the few riders that took a wrong turn a Coburn Rd…we wouldn’t see them until later. The only riders that managed to stay with us the entire time were two Bianchi riders, father and son – both riding $2200 Trofeo’s….NICE, and intimidating. However, they were not enough to match Warbird and I. We even ended up catching the riders that took the shortcut at Buckner-Tarsney Rd (circled on attached map) and amazingly, the pinnacle was mine! After a barrage of hills near the end of the ride, especially Taylor Rd, Warbird was out of gas….he died on the last hill before the parking lot. I was the first one back to the lot, Warbird was 15 seconds behind, and the next rider was 10 MINUTES later. Damn! The Last rider in the group = 35 minutes later. I don’t know how I did it, but I DID IT, and Warbird and the guy handing out Clif Bars at the lot were witness. I feel fantastic, but I can still get better.
Plus; AFTER the rider, I found out that the ride itself was rated with a difficulty rating of 5 out of 5 --- a fact, that had I known it ahead of time, might have prevented me from riding it at all. Check out these stats: new personal best, on the toughest roads I’ve ever ridden…..don’t believe me? Go drive those roads! J

(26.02 miles, 1.30.51 ET, 16.8 avg, 45.0 top speed) ß Killer AVERAGE!

06/10/00 – “The Johnson County Bicycle Club’s Discover the Lake Ride”

8am, 117th and Roe, 82 degrees, south winds 20-25 gusts.
Second Group ride ever for me – and this one was even more intimidating. The ride was put together by the Johnson County Bike Club, NOT the MS150 people, so the caliber of rider was much higher. Lots of expensive bikes, Trek 5200 Carbon, Trek 5500 Carbon, LeMond ($5000!!!) a Torelli, and some little woman, early 40’s, riding an eighties vintage Schwinn 972 – cool! Lots of powerful looking legs.
The attached map shows the route – kinda long, but not terrible. In the parking lot, as riders gathered under threatening skies, there were yarns spun about previous MS150’s, and tales of triumph from two cyclists wearing ‘Bike Across Colorado’ jerseys, telling stories about biking across the Rockies, etc…..scary stuff.
Then, the ride started: not bad, healthy pace. Got most of the hills under control, but ended up dropping back on a few of the bigger ones – always managed to catch up to the pack on the downhill side, though. My performance on the flat sections is improving, and this is where most of my time is made up. Short, fast hills are not a problem, but the long ones I think I just don’t want to die before the top, however I kinda am anyway on some of them…..
Cadence? Gear changes? We’ll work on it…until we master the hills, especially hills lke 129th st on the map, which went on forever ~ even Warbird got me on that one; he was in the pack fighting against the wind, while I got dropped off the back, and was forced to battle the headwind all the way up. The downhill on the other side, however, I made it all up with a blistering sprint (heh,heh) at 40 mph, and caught everyone before the rest stop. Need to take lessons from the Lady on the Schwinn 972 – Mike Neven’s wife – best hill climber I’ve seen to date --- high cadence and attack, attack, attack!!!
After a quick rest, we were back on the road, and soon got back into familiar territory – got stuck behind a Cadillac at 127th and State Line Rd, and missed the right turn with the group, and was forced to play catchup again – Northbound and downhill on State Line, and a quick left into Overbrook residential, and I began the pick-off. Catching Warbird, and everyone, a little at a time, and finally charged ahead at Tomahawk Creek Pkwy to take second place behind the ride leader at the parking lot. Wasn’t a complete blowout like last time, but I managed to hold the second rider off by ten seconds or so, and Warbird by three minutes --- hell, these guys ride more in a month than I can ride all year! Confidence is growing! Stats? Kick ass!!!
Ride Quotable: Lynn Neven: “Car Back; I’m coming up!” as she attacks hill on Blue Ridge! Fast climber!

(33.03 miles, 1.57.34 ET, 16.857 Avg, 40.0 top speed)

06/17/00 – 8:00am, 65/75 degrees

Discover the Lake, Part 2 – Swope Park VooDoo

Similar to the Discover the Lake ride from last entry, but this time – Spinman, his pal Rick, Warbird, and myself started at Longview Community Recreation Center. East on Longview Rd, south on Sampson, east on Scherer Rd, South on Pryor, west on 155th, North on us-71’s outer-road, west on Highgrove, and then a little residential shuffle to Main St., the Grandview Rd North, Blue Ridge Blvd West, Blue River Rd North all the way to Swope Park; left at Gregory, right at Lakeside (Gregory), left at Golf Rd, up the spiraling hill road to the circle drive at the top, and rest. Whoof…..Blue River Rd is awesome! Return down the big hill on Golf Rd., out of Swope Park south on Blue river Rd, east on Blue ridge Blvd, residential Shuffle again, using Duck Rd, east on main/highgrove, north on Raytown Rd, East on 109th, South on Viewhigh Dr, back to parking lot at the Rec Center…..wow! FAST: First one back to the parking lot, and leader on most of the hills again, for some reason…..just felt really good and confident today. However, the ride was a little jinxy for the others involved. Warbird rode his old Trek for the first time, fresh from the shop…..but on the outer road, the rear wheel came flying out of the dropouts – quick-release was loose from the shop, and no-one caught it! Then, on Blue River Rd, Mike gets a flat! Ugh! After that, farther north on Blue River, Rick’s chain slips with a huge CHUNK! Scary….but nothing happens to me or my bike, much to the chagrin of the others…..oh well….
Had a lot of fun, and Warbird couldn’t catch me again, on the finishing sprint --- cool for me! I’m not gonna get too cocky, though – still lot’s of room to improve.
But, for the day, a new personal distance records for me (now I know what day 2 of the MS150 feels like, mileage-wise), and still fairly fast, even compared to last weeks ride, which was 18 miles shorter! Cool! Stats:

52.09 miles, 2.57.51 ET, 17.6 Avg, 43.0 top speed

7/19/2000 – 73ºF, cloudy, 6:30pm ride – Low humidity

Longview Lake II – Haulin’ butt.

This would be miy first ride after the 95.33 miles showdown last Saturday, and it was a good one! Drove out to Longview Lake Rec. Center for a 6:30pm ride ~ the temperature had dropped about twenty degrees from the day before, and I was loving it, along with everyone else. Fantastic weather. The Ride was fairly unorganized – although put on by the MS150 people, there was several riders that were taking off from the parking lot early – we didn’t pass anyone on a bike when we left (also early) at about 6:15 or 6:20pm. Warbird and I left together, and after a few miles warmup and yelling back at some children (heh,heh) we began to pick up the pace a little. I was hurting (again) – had to pee BAD. So it was a race for the Casey’s General Store in Greenwood, MO. At Madison and Mo-58 Hwy. In rare form, I managed the entire ride in the big chainring, save for possibly 20% if it. Fairly hilly ride, but today, I FLEW. I felt like Ullrich, charging up hills in the big ring and in the drops. Warbird was on my butt most of the time, but was breathing hard and working. A quick pee stop at Casey’s and a brief exchange with another MS150 rider (piloting a $1600 Schwinn Peloton – the Passage meets its big brother! Cool to see another Schwinn out there…) we departed the lot, with new friend on Peloton in tow. I looked back once before the first turn, and after that we never saw him again! With an empty bladder and a short rest, I was freash – ready to work- and I worked. Pulled every hill with Warbird on my tailside, dominated every descent – feeling awesome, but in retrospect I should have saved a little for the final loop around Longview Lake. As soon as we got to the lake road at Raytown Rd and Scherer, Warbird began a high RPM spin (“sprint to the finish?” I think were his exact words) and began to cut the headwind. Slowly a gap grew, and then I was alone against the headwind, with Warbird pulling away. I caught him once up the long hill before 109th, but it didn’t last long. My plan? Catch him again before the short hill up to View High Drive. Didn’t quite work out that way: I did manage to catch him yet again, but didn’t pass him – kept close up the last ride, but my earlier performance in the hills had caught up to me – should have spun up to him, but I charged and wasted energy. It was too late. The last downhill on 3rd street back to the parking lot was me out of the saddle in a power sprint, trying to catch his wheel, but in the end it was ‘Il Pirata’ at the line – Warbird ‘the Warbird’ wins a stage of the training season for the second week in a row – Saturday will be different! Check the numbers! Haulin’!

27.4704 miles; 1:30:02 ET; 18.30 avg; 42 max

08/30/2000 – 100ºF, no wind

Hills, you say?

Warbird and departed for a short jaunt to get in some serious hills before the MS150 – And so it was ~ we drove out to the ballfields near Barker Rd on 55th Street. Not much to say about this ride, aside from the fact that my butt got kicked by Warbird on the hills today: DUH. Heh,heh… This is his forte so I’m not terribly depressed by it. His average was 17.0 MPH, he claims, and mine was considerably lower at 14.7. The route is deceptively simple: From the ball-field’s parking lot, east on 55th/Johnson Dr., past Ogg, past I-435, past Renner, Maurer, Lackman, Pflumm, Rosehill, to the parking lot across from Margarita’s, and then back. And my personal modicum of success: I managed the entire ride without retreating to my tiny chainring in the front, nor the biggest cog in the back! Certain hills were certainly tougher than others, but I also managed the ride with lots of energy left ~ I should have pushed harder ~ speed on the downhills was downright illegal – all of these roads are posted to 35 MPH, and my top pass was at 47 MPH….awesome! That pass came on the return to the parking lot, flying down the big hill that climbs out of the Valley from Barker Rd….there’s a corner at the bottom of that hill, and I tested my tires here – thankfully the test was successful: Full on cornering at 47 MPH, leaned all the way over, and she held like duct-tape on facial hair…whatever that means.
Hills felt good, downhills felt awesome, but I’m not breaking the wall ~ I will need to push my self to get faster. The MS150 is 8 days away, and after that it’s time to train for the Octaginta Time Trials in Lawrence during the month of October. If time permits, of course….heh,heh…..kids???
Saturday, Warbird is in Lawrence for a 50 mile organized race, and I am forced to go it alone – time constraints are keeping me in town, but that’s okay. This week has been busy, and I need some time with wife and my families. Saturday morning, however, I will ride ~ probably tackle the standard loop, or maybe a new loop that includes these hills…of course, there is Longview Lake… the last attempt at a personal time-trial…I may opt for that instead…it will be around 70 miles total, but I will have to leave so early to get there that I would still be home around noon, like the ride on July 1st. We’ll see…..this was fun though…..gotta master routes like this: short and hard, if I’m going to foray into time trials in the future.

10.09 miles; 0:40:49 ET; 14.7 AVG.; 47.0 MAX
08/19/2000 – 70-77ºF – Rainy, 15-20 MPH ESE wind (The Blue Valley MS-150 Training Ride)

Hosed Beyond Recognition!

I had high hopes for this ride when I rose early today – I had skipped riding on Wednesday, so I was REALLY, really ready for this, regardless of conditions. Since last weekend, a cold front had blown thru, and took with it the upper 90º temperatures that had marked most of the summer – refreshing! I left the house for Warbird’s at about 7:00am, and rode south on Lamar, in driving rain – awesome feeling , but a little chilly. By the time I got to Warbird’s house, the rain had stopped. Then realized that my computer was not calculating. I had remeasured the wheels last night, and had reset the computer again, but forgot to turn on the auto-timer function. Thus, the official timing of the ride would begin at Warbird’s house. Off we went, to the bike trail, then south on Tomahawk Creek Pkwy to 119th, then to Mission, where Warbird kicked the back end out around a slick, uphill corner from 119th to Mission (cool!). Up Mission we climbed – in good time – even on the monster hills that used to define my ability: they seemed much easier to tackle since my hill-climbing revelations a few rides ago. On to the school on 159th Street, over some before-challenging hills, and we arrived at almost exactly 8am. This time, mileage was about 10.9 miles from Warbird’s driveway to here, with an average of about 16.7 – most of the ride out there was hilly, but at least I now know my computer is dead-on accurate. (See inside cover of journal for detail on measurements) After a quick MS-150 group meeting, and Warbird downing a power-bar, it was time. The surprisingly large group of riders poured out onto 159th, and we headed west. Attempting to take it easy and give the pack time to naturally spread out, I waited behind some slower, erratic riders – I was packed in good --- Warbird had managed his way up the group with his typical hard-charge early approach, and by the time was all got to 159th and Metcalf, he was nearing the front. I continued to wait, being continually cut off by the nervous pack of riders – slowly we began to spread out , and I hung with this guy in a blue tank top for a bit ~ by this time, Warbird was well ahead, but not out of sight yet. A few seasoned riders were beginning to break free, and were coming up from behind and passing ~ including a tandem. I got passed two more times, once by a guy on a yellow Trek and then by the hill-veteran ( an older guy with interesting teeth and glasses who was running support on the Blue Springs Ride back in early June ) -- at that point I confirmed how serious he is about hills: he’s an attacker, much like Warbird but a little better at it simply from experience – head-to-head, Warbird might edge him a bit – His red-anodized Mavic Helium wheels were the giveaway – the weapon of choice for serious climbers. Regardless, I watched him go by, too. By this time the tandem had caught up to Warbird – still in sight, but not unreasonably far away ~ but Warbird, instead of letting the tandem pass, latched on and was soon out of my sights. There was no catching that train ~ I had waited too long. It was time to work --- with Warbird and the tandem making HUGE time, I looked to the yellow Trek guy and the veteran climber. I said goodbye to my pessimistic blue tank-top wearing draft-buddy and got on it. Time to eat some clock: After about a mile of working with the tail-wind, I grabbed the wheel of the yellow Trek, who was drafting with the veteran, and managed to hold the hills without any problems, and without getting out of the big ring. The power in the veteran showed, but I was no longer intimidated by him; too many gear changes, not enough forward momentum, and like Warbird, in certain situations actually blew himself up by sprinting uphill, and not conserving energy --- this works okay on short distances, but I’m focused on the bigger distances, and my method, although not as fast uphill, always gets me back with the group with energy to spare. We approached the first turn at Ridgeview: CLOSED! NO WAY! And apparently the construction was started very recently. Regardless, we couldn’t get through: and this was only the beginning. We, rather they, elected to go further west on 159th, so we crossed 169 Hwy and soon found 159th Street was also closed. Again, against my better judgment, we went through construction – maybe it was fear of a flat tire or the trueness of my wheels I valued, but I elected to walk, not ride, through. MISTAKE. Ended up with cleats full of mud, and frustration overflowing as I got yelled at by a passing yahoo for being in there, where only 50 yards to my right were the other two guys, RIDING thru the mess. Fine: I can take it – without a word to the yahoo, I trudged on, and made it to Lone Elm Rd., where the surprisingly apologetic group awaited me. Southward, brave soldier….not having gotten on it very hard after my fun in construction, I was now fighting the strong southern headwind, slowly closing the gap between me on the now (?) seven rider group – to my delight, I managed to close the gap on an uphill into the wind, and found the veteran, the yellow Trek and a third guy on a red Cannonwarbird with expensive new Shimano wheels – very eye catching and probably quite fast. Southward for a while, we exchanged the draft and began to intersect with other riders that had found a paved detour around 167th or so. Then came 183rd street and Lone Elm Rd. Another set-back: GRAVEL. The pack began to gather, and soon the veteran chose (again) to sacrifice his wheels and tires for a straighter path. This time, none of us followed him. On a spur of leadership, I began pedaling east on 183rd street, knowing that 169 Hwy had a good shoulder – but I stopped there. My two followers came up behind me right about the time a fellow in a Trek jersey rolled by … I head him ask “MS ride?” as he passed… good: someone confident…but by the time I clipped in again (my cleats were not working so well after the mud-jam miles back) they were well down the road – I worked a little, into the headwind again, and caught them about ½ mile later. Good, wide shoulder on 169 was practically another lane – very little debris and not very choppy – now it was us four: me, the yellow Trek, the Trek jersey, and the red Cannonwarbird, all shooting down 169 Hwy’s shoulder. We came to 199th about 2 miles later, and it was time for our turn – with the traffic light, the turn across 169 was flawless, and soon we were all eastbound on 199th, as it curves south and becomes Webster Rd – back on the intended route-path. At this point, it was me at the front – pushing the headwind again, which was easily gusting 15-20 MPH. My thoughts keep turning to aerodynamics at times like these ~ aerobars? Still not sure – so many sources discount them, but long distance pros like Rob Kish (13 time RAAM participant, and 3 time winner) swear by them. Anything to narrow the body in winds like this would have to help, if only a little in the overall time, perhaps the mental factor would improve, too. I self examine, and see pockets of air under my arms where turbulence is likely robbing my speed when my hands are forward in the drops – I do what I can; knees touching the top tube, toes pointed down slightly, elbows tucked in, head slightly forward, back flat, kissing my stem…and still I lose speed downhill in this vicious wind. Regardless, my efforts pay off ~ I am slightly gaining ground against my four tag-alongs. South we charge, all the way through downtown Spring Hill, even with the occasional shout and applause from people in cars and on sidewalks; kinda cool – and nothing negative shouted (nice!) All the way to 223rd, I maintain the pull, hitting the headwind back with each pedal stroke. At 223rd, we regroup for a second, but we’ve lost the red Cannonwarbird – with several opportunities to stop in Spring Hill, he might have elected to rest. West on 223rd, the same road that Warbird and I ended up on during the Paola attempt…familiar territory…time to work again…next turn was 7 miles away at Gardner Rd. Here we go again! With the wind now slightly off of my back, I decided to get it on! I again managed to pull the entire length of 223rd leaving the yellow Trek, and the Trek Jersey in my dust ~ there would be no challenge – uphill or down; I felt really good, and energy flowed thru my legs, straight to the pedals and to the wheel…I was throwing dust! Then, about 2/3 of the way to Gardner Rd, I saw approaching cyclists from the other direction – Warbird and the tandem! Hands extended, and a hearty “whasssup?!”, and in a split second, they were gone…must’ve had a closing speed in the 50’s easily! Energized by seeing my friend, a spark was lit … I hammered it good to Gardner Rd, after exchanging waves with almost 30 cyclists that were behind Warbird and the tandem’s lead; the closest to them was within a ¼ mile at best. Warbird was cooking! At Gardner Rd, I was doing a little deep-fryin’ of my own – to my surprise, my lead gap grew to over a 1/8 mile between me and the yellow Trek/Trek Jersey pair, with only a few stragglers in the distance – I charged north on Gardner Rd, with a small tailwind advantage, and extended my lead to a bit more, until stopping at 199th and Gardner to check my map. I began thinking about construction again, and the rest of the map did not look promising. To go to Clare would have put us on course, but then north to 175th and East to Ridgeview, which was closed….could have gone across Ridgeview and continued east to Swizter but 175th was also closed East of 169 Hwy. There were other options that wouldn’t pop into my head in time, unfortunately, like Warbird’s eventual route across 199th to Metcalf, and then north, which would have been ideal. While I though at the intersection, the yellow Trek and Trek Jersey caught up to me, and stopped as well. The words of praise I received from yellow Trek for my impressive pull and ‘stellar pace’ were taken with appreciation and blushing – I still can’t allow myself to get a big head about this… I’n not that good, only in this particular group … if the situation had been different, Warbird would have been the one receiving the praise for that pull… anyway, put the map away and head east, into the headwind/crosswind again! And again, I pulled the entire run across to 169 Hwy, even into the wind, even beginning to feel tired, even resorting to the middle chainring on a few ascents, even with my short legs, I pulled without challenge again, and grew another gap by the time we got to 169 Hwy, at which point, as I pulled into the left turn lane to go north, the Trek jersey and yellow Trek pulled off into the grass beyond the shoulder, laid down their bikes and declared that they were going to rest. I nodded my head, and shortly thereafter, I got the green light and proceeded north on 169 Hwy. There I pewarbirdd, alone again, on the nice wide shoulder – I passed 191st, 183rd, and a few sprinkles hit me; 175th, the rain picked up a bit, but still slow; 167th – oh my god … where’s the shoulder!?!? My nice wide shoulder suddenly reduced to a sizeable gutter .. which was okay, so long as I could stay out of the traffic lane. That was not to be, either: the gutter was interspersed every 1/16th mile or so with large storm grates, big enough to swallow a bike rim and throw a rider … good thing I was paying attention! … so for the next mile or so from 167th to 159th, I white-knuckled the hoods, praying that I could be seen in the now steady rainfall. I made it to 159th safely – and thankfully – I have no problems using the US Hwy system now, so long as there is some sort of shoulder! The Ottawa ride may yet be in my future, even without support … but I will drive it first. The trip back on 159th was fair, but energy was running low – I passed a few cyclists here and there, left over from the short route, but no Warbird and tandem. The sprint finish was not to be today – they were already back at the parking lot, off the bikes and chatting, with a 20 minute lead over me…no big deal! With a route that got as hosed as this one, nothing would’ve surprised me. But he did have a draft if he’d wanted one J Without the walk though construction, perhaps it would have been closer ---- overall: good ride, but would’ve liked a better route. Warbird and I rode home from there, rounding out the day with a good cooldown.
Note: After this ride, my left shoulder, which has consistently hurt while working, typing, stressing at work, felt especially sore today, but only after I got home from the ride – it was like I had pinched a nerve. This is for future reference in case it gets worse. Warbird note: Sunday, 8/20, Warbird gets his ass kicked by his neighbor down the street, who rides daily to work downtown – Warbird might’ve done better if not for today’s ride, but hard to tell.

76.5 total miles for the day
72.62 logged from Warbird’s house
4:12:20 elapsed time rolling
17.3 overall avg.; 17.8 avg after training ride ended
40.1 max speed

<>whabooom!< …a clap of thunder from storm-cloud that we hadn’t even seen! Pretty awesome, being out there in the middle of no-where (essentially) and witnessing that. No rain for us, but still quite a sight… West to Switzer, then north to the Park at 137th St, quick rest and pee-break, then back to it – got back on Switzer, caught the light at 135th, and Warbird and I beat the crap out of the next hill, the long Switzer hill the climbs from 135th to 123rd without letting up – we conquered that one at 20 plus MPH without a problem! Bombed downhill to the trailhead at 112th and Switzer, and took the trail back to Warbird’s place, which is about the time I finally got used to the downtube shifters and touchy brakes. My equipment on this frame would be EPIC – I’ve grown too used to STI shifters. SOOOO nice, because your hands never have to leave the bars. A botched detour and sprint attempt put me back in the driveway 5 minutes after Warbird’s arrival – oh well, that was my own fault. No computer on this bike, but Warbird’s is correct and calibrated, and since I stuck with him, I can trust the figures: although he didn’t reset the computer until somewhere around Nall Ave., so we came up short. Actual route is somewhere in the 20-22 mile range, but our pace made it seem MUCH shorter. Good, hot, sweaty ride – yet strangely refreshing. Felt very good, even on an unfamiliar bike and in the ungodly heat. I don’t have Warbird’s computer in front of me, so the stats are from memory. Looking forward to Saturday, with the Shawnee Mission Park Ride and my own bike back, with fresh parts – heh,heh…..See you then! (afterthoughts: Managed to hang with Warbird all day today? Warbird being nice, or slightly off of his game? Me on a better bike? Is the Schwinn really THAT in-efficient? Something that performs like this Trek 450, but with better, up-to-date components is in my future….) 17.22 miles measured; 0:56:22 ET; 17.3 Avg spd.; 32.6 max speed <>

07/26/2000 – 90ºF, sunny, humid – 4:50pm ~ 6:50pm

Longview Lake III – Solo Mission!

Due to his nagging knee injury, Warbird was not able to do this particular ride, so I headed out a little earlier than normal to a spot I was familiar with that didn’t have a lot a traffic. The drive there and back took longer than the ride itself – traffic was BAD and backed up on 435 ~ getting off on Holmes didn’t was no easier. Regardless, I finally got to the parking lot at Longview Rec. Center – after getting everything ready, I was off. Not looking to break any records, but wanting to try a new hill technique designed to save my knees from Warbird’s current fate. Seemed to work, but a strong south wind blew in my face the whole first half of the ride – although the hills, even with the added resistance from the wind, seemed less steep. Legs felt good, and no knee stress. I didn’t feel like I was pushing as hard as the ride with Warbird just one week before. Arrived at the Casey’s at Mo-58 and Madison; quick Gatorade purchase and bathroom break and I was back on the road, this time with the wind at my back, and some extra motivation provided by some teenage hick-girls riding in (appropriately) a large, maroon E-350 Long wheelbase Ford van, with handicapped plates, Missouri 2 NVK --- tell them I said ‘HI’ if you see them. They’ll get theirs; Called me ‘fat-boy’ from across the parking lot as they pulled away from the gas pump. I just waved and smiled. What else was worth the trouble? Unless you’re gonna post a bike and challenge me directly, you can say whatever you want -- still, it kinda hurt, considering where I’ve come from – stupid girls should have seen my three years ago. I’ve gotten lots better, but the brutal honesty of immature girls has told me I still have work to do in the gut area. ANYWAY: FLEW north on Madison like a madman, putting as much distance between me and the ‘fat-boy’ comment as I could. Made up all of the time I lost riding south into the wind – took each hill with ease, blasted down Scherer to Raytown Rd at 41 MPH, holding pace with a curious Cadillac one lane over. Then took full advantage of the tailwind northbound on Raytown Rd., on the first leg of the Lake Loop, averaging 25 mph in that section. Spotted cyclists ahead on the road in yellow, and gave chase into the wind on 109th St., overtaking them UPHILL at ViewHigh Dr and 3rd Street, and then bombed into the parking lot at top speed. Decent ride, seeing as my usual motivation (Warbird) wasn’t around to push me. Even if this had been a group ride, I’d have taken names, big-time. Take that, ‘fat-boy’.

28.73 miles; 1:31:02 Et; 17.94 avg; 41.0 Max

08/02/2000 – 78ºF and HUMID, but no wind….

Longview Lake IV – Haulin’ Ass Revisited!

This would be awesome! This time, to better our performance from Longview Lake II, we elected to hammer the hell out of this ride. Becoming a very familiar route, and famous for fast times, we headed out to Longview Lake once again. Left the parking lot at exactly 6:30pm, and began the ascent to View High Dr, towards Longview Rd., where we exercised a nice, slow 15 mph spin, then it was ON. As soon as we hit the first turn to Longview Rd, I got on it HARD, diving deep into the turn and slamming up the first rise to Sampson Rd – then thru residential we flew to Scherer, a road that I’m not terribly fond of because of it’s condition. It’s quite messy on the right shoulder, which often forces riders into the traffic lane – not fun, and compounded by the short sight distances. Anyhow, as soon as we hit the first uphill section my legs began to protest: I hadn’t warmed up to this pace nearly enough and I suffered for it on the first hill – we were hammering out 23 mph, but Warbird was beginning to prove his power in the hills once again. After the turn onto Pryor, and the passing of the first five riders, I began my chase to catch Warbird, which I finally did at 139th (Hook) – but not in enough time to tell him not to turn south on Horridge – we had agreed to hammer out the shorter 17 mile route and average well into the twenties for the first time -- but Warbird turned (out of habit, most likely) and suddenly we were committed to the long route. After trying so hard to quicken the pace for the short route, the prospect of 11 extra miles was disheartening – regardless, we pressed on and out of nowhere, Warbird had a new riding partner (Eric) --- he had caught up to us, frenzied by our hurried pace, he grabbed Warbird, and the two of them flew ahead of me. They pulled hardcore all the way to Casey’s, but I kept them in sight the whole time, not wanting to give up. Got to Casey’s, a quick rest, and back to work: “Your warm-up pull, Keith,” Warbird chimed, and off we tore back north on Madison at 30 plus Mph down the big long hill – but again, a short time off the bike, and not enough easy warmup, and my legs paid the price. First turn, first hill – BLOTTO. I wasn’t fresh again until 150 Hwy and Horridge, at which point Warbird and Eric were invisible to me. I still gave chase, but it was too little, too late again – I came out here to get a good ET, and I was at least gonna try! It seemed that every attack was countered ¼ mile ahead of me by Warbird and Eric, who by this time were not expecting to see me again until the parking lot --- they got their wish! As hard as I hammered, I had no rest, no draft, no wheel to pull from. My leaders maintained their distance, but I slowly began to chip it away around the lake, especially on Raytown Rd – the ‘tunnel’, I call it. Catch the right tailwind, and you can make up MINUTES here. Ten more miles and I would have had Warbird’s wheel again, but not today. Regardless – I achieved my BEST TIME TO DATE: Warbird has a computer now, and we’ve matched times and distances for accuracy. Haulin’ ASS for sure, but still not in the twenties…..soon, soon, soon….with more work.
I didn’t get the win today, but I got the numbers: Check it!

27.12 Miles; 1:25:06 Et; 19.13 avg!; 42.0 Max spd

08/23/00 – Stupid HOT – 100ºF +, with high-humidity, slight SE wind.

The Time Trial Attempt
Longview Lake V

After a couple of days of talking it up, and discussing what could have been at Longview Lake IV, Warbird and I decided to give the short, fast route another go. Problem was, that was already one of the hottest days this year ~ and even with this being an evening ride, the temperature was not subsiding. We arrived early, and got ready ~ Warbird started a trend, and I caught on after stretching out a little: A few quick laps around the parking lot to warm up – not a bad idea, but for me (again), too little, too late. I still have to figure out my pre-ride race strategy. After a full summer of this kind of thing, I still have trouble after the first 3 miles or so…after that, I’m seemingly okay. And the bitch of it is this: mentally, I feel like I’m losing ground – failing, but in reality I’m still doing better on my worst day than some of these local riders perform on their best days. I simply am refusing to allow myself to fail, at least on a personal level ~ but I also have to brighten my outlook upon the results of rides like this, regardless of my physical well-being on the bike. I need to analyze my performance objectively, not negatively .. here’s the ride:
We started a slow spin out of the parking lot, Warbird giving me the lead-out. Up to View High Drive, I began to warm-up finally… just in time for the corner at Longview Rd, which is where we dove into the corner and flew up the first rise, past two bikers (who I would pass again later!) and continued on Longview Rd out to Pryor Rd .. Warbird and I trading placed in marvelous fashion .. turned on Pryor after passing another biker .. then, on Pryor, it happened. The combination of the heat, too rapid a pulse-increase in too short a time, and not enough warm-up hit me literally in the gut. I began to lose speed and Warbird slowly pulled ahead, an occurrence I’ve grown used to. About this time, I get passed by two guys on a separate training ride (Bike Source), which only makes me feel worse. Warbird looks back, practically begging me to help him chase these two riders , but I have nothing left .. and a nasty swig of my now flaming-hot Gatorade only makes me want to puke. My sinuses began to drain in protest, and my lack of energy, from having not eaten before the ride (dumb-ass), began to produce a thick phlegm that practically blacked my air passages. I was forced to hock this crap up for the remainder of the ride, some of it getting on my jersey, my leg, my face. Nice, and a BIG sign of lack of hydration – the hot Gatorade mix that usually goes down so well was not too hot to enter my system at all, and I was not getting any better. Still, after getting passed on a DOWNHILL section on Pryor by a Team Sprint Rider, I trudged on – watching Warbird put the trademark distance between us. I would not even come close to catching him thins time out. After catching the Red Jersey Team Sprint passer, I managed to hold him off for a spell, and then we turned onto Hook/139th St ~ passed three other riders, and then, miraculously, from the deepest depths of my legs, I managed to pass him going up the first hill on Hook/139th – and I held him off past Horridge, past Sampson (the long uphill) and on the way out to just east of Petersen, where my efforts and the dehydration phlegm, began to catch up to me again. I hocked, hacked and spit more crap on myself and the road as the red jersey passed me again. Then, as I slowed to almost 5 pathetic MPH, I actually considered stopping on this ride (the first time it ever got bad enough for me to think I couldn’t continue, since I first climbed on a road bike back in Sept. 1998) … but I didn’t: I stayed on the bike, feet in the pedals, and began to accelerate again, slowly, and gave Raytown Rd a good run – climbed to Scherer for the first big downhill, passing the water stop in the process (like a MORON!). The one thing I was dying for, and I just rode right by, delirious from the heat. In retrospect…DUMB. On I went, and instead of charging downhill like normal at 40+ MPH, I slummed down at a lethargic (sorta) 30 or so … and then turned up around the lake, maintaining a pace of 20-23 MPH consistently, and passing 3 other cyclists, including the two that I had passed from Longview Rd at the beginning of the ride; they were here ahead of me from doing the 11 mile loop! Cool, I guess, but I never should have seen them again after the first time, had my performance been better. As I continued along the Lake loop, slowly pushing my speed up, I began to relax a little, looking out at a couple of jetskis skimming across the water ~ I was delusional, tired, and my mouth and face were sticky with dried Gatorade and spit … but then I noticed the clock ~ we had left at exactly 6:25pm, and it was about 7:03 … I could still salvage some sort of high average if I worked a little. So I got on it once again, sprinted across the rest of the dam, up the short hill, onto View High Drive, up the long ascent, and then died halfway there … bonking was in my future, because my ability to hold a hard pace was shortening fast. Thank goodness the end was near. Turning onto 3rd Street and the welcome downhill to the parking lot: I rolled in, found my car, and laid down next to it, spit the rest of that crap on the road, and saw Warbird again for the first time in 30 minutes. He also looked whipped, but had a 20.1 average speed to show for it! Damn good … today was not my day ~ with some food, a better warm-up, some water, and a temperature other than triple digits and it might have been better. Sept. 2nd is another Longview ride, and it’s in the morning….perhaps one last attempt before the MS150?

Felt like crap, and suffered, but these stats are only 0.17 MPH slower than my best time ever.

16.04 miles; 0:50:48 ET; 18.95981 mph avg; 35.5 max spd.

01/20/2001 – 22ºF @ 1:00pm; stiff SW wind 10-15 MPH

Solo Polar-Bear!
Longview Lake VIII

Well, that’s a two week advantage I have over Warbird now: Last week was his visit to Hungary, and this week Warbird calls an bugs out of the ride twenty minutes before I left the house! Sick – not a huge surprise, since I got an email from him Friday at work, announcing he was home sick then, too. Not good, but I’ll take whatever advantage I can get. So it was me alone – I still can’t believe I’m riding in January! Today was not the coldest I’d ever ridden in (New Year’s Day hold that honor still) but I was the ONLY one out there on a bike, and I saw only one other person – a lone jogger, whom I passed on the shoulder – we exchanged waves as we approached each other from opposite directions on the dam on 109th. The only regret I have from today was not having Warbird for the motivation factor: I got in the same mileage, but on flatter terrain – today we were supposed to meet at the Ballfields at Johnson Drive for the same hill workout as last summer (see back in journal), but without a ‘buddy’ rider, I wasn’t going to brave the traffic. Maybe I should have, I dunno – no regrets: I’ve got such a head start this year, I can get those hills in when it’s warmer and I can work harder without preoccupations about traction and traffic and cold.
Started a new nutrition program this week, also: starting to find unique ways to solve the ‘three-mile wall’ problem from late last year with some drink mixes – details about each at the back of this journal – and it’s working well so far. The PreFormance gives me exactly what I need before the ride so I don’t crash near the beginning, and the Revenge drink is SO much better than Gatorade. Lots of stuff in there I can use to improve physically, plus I plan to stick to the diet so I can lose as much fat-weight as possible.
On another note, wheels make a difference! I fully intended to keep the Mavic wheels on for this ride, but I had to clean the bike up a little prior to this ride – GOOD THING I DID. Rust on the chain, for one thing: ugh! Last week’s ride was a little sloppy and salty, so a quick WD40 treatment and re-lube and it was fixed. The rear wheel was another story: I decided to clean up the spokes and rim a little, so I started wiping them down, once at a time – and one of them came off in my hand! This spoke, I discovered, had been broken like this for three weeks now, and I was VERY lucky that it had not popped out and wrapped itself around the frame, like perhaps on a descent! On the Longview Lake VII ride two weeks ago, the rear wheel had popped audibly – that was when the spoke broke at the hub – I should have checked it then, but I got lucky. Put the Rolf’s back on, with the Specialized tires – with no moisture on the road, salt spray was non-existent so the good wheels are spared. It’s a good thing I HAD spares! Speed, low-rolling resistance, and braking confidence are all back! Shows in the average this time, although the numbers may be skewed in direct comparison to the other wheels, based on computer settings. Either way, I love these wheels/tires. 22-23 MPH average on Raytown Rd northbound, comparable to last years numbers in this stretch of road, but still need to work on that big hill on Scherer Rd – long, with a heady grade; this is where the overall average suffered most, but there’s time to work on that as well. Decent ride today, but only one lap – toes were beginning to get numb from cold, so we’ll wait for 40º and above for longer distances to work on endurance again. If I can improve my average on these shorter distances, it will translate into good performances in the 30-60 mile range later this year, and consequently help me work on my time-trial ability. With more layers of wind-catching clothing on, I am getting a good workout --- the extra wind-catching shows up most in the downhill on Scherer towards Raytown Rd – only 31 MPH, which is better than last time, because of the tires/wheels, but not nearly as fast as it could be with skin-tight clothing in the summer months. This is a 45 MPH hill, easily, but my sleeves are acting like a big parachute.
Also, coach Keith is in full effect! Alan is getting a bike, and is already signed up for the MS150 as well – cool! I get to teach a new cyclist the ropes! Gonna be fun – but I have to remember to work on my own speed as well.
Next week: Hills? More Longview? Warbird? We’ll see! Wonder what the weather will bring?

10.63 miles; 0:40:55 ET; 15.74348 avg.; 31.0 MAX MPH

01/06/2001 – 1:00pm start, 42ºF, sunny, breezy.

Crisp and Satisfying.
Longview Lake VII

Might as well get started, right? Instead of waiting until later in the year to get the training schedule off the ground, I’ve decided to start the season now. Last Monday’s Polar Bear Ride has raised my tolerance for cold, so there is really no excuse or good reason not to do this! Today’s ride, for example, was MUCH warmer than Monday’s – hell, it might as well have been springtime out there! A warm front from the southwest has shifted winds, and temps are above freezing for the first time in 20 days! Massive thaw, which is good and bad. I’ll explain later….So, Warbird and I met at the Rec. Center parking lot at about 1pm, with Warbird’s friend Matt, with whom Warbird works, in tow. Matt is new at this kind of thing, big time….in fact, the 11.7 miles from Monday is the longest he had ever ridden before – Jeez! Warbird contends that I was never as slow as him, thankfully. Matt donned all of pricey clothing and gear, and rode a chunky GT mountain bike, which was destined to slow us down anyway. We got ready, and proceeded around the lake, up to View High Drive, slowly. As the first (of many) cars approached us from the rear, I chimed out “car back!”, to which Matt replied “say what?” Oh dear. He is new. Not to be snobby, but it was kinda funny at the time. I let him know what that meant, as was done for me so many months ago at my first group ride. We got to View High Dr, and I proceeded to pass Matt and latch onto Warbird’s wheel. We climbed the first hill up to Sampson on Longview Rd, turned and looked back – no Matt. Ugh! Had we lost him already? Warbird was in rare form, in the sense that he was holding back for Matt’s sake, big time – which I didn’t realize until I got to the intersection at Sampson and Scherer Rd., where I stopped and waited a full 3 minutes before I saw them, trolling up the road towards me. Warbird had this look on his face, like “CUMMON!”. I could tell that he wanted to WORK this ride, but he was being nice. He looked at the anguish on my face, which was there for the same reason, and like a true gentleman, he waved me ahead.
On I went, up the monster hill on Scherer, doing a little better than Monday’s climb of the same hill – not quite as out-of-breath; in perspective, I hadn’t touched the bike since October, and I have since killed all of my cardio-capacity with a certain bad habit that will not be joining us again – ever. Time to rebuild. Anyway – climbing felt a little better today, but there was this nagging feeling in my gut that would not let me slow down. I just had a feeling that Warbird would break away from Matt and some point and try to overtake me, which he could have done easily. It was not to happen though, but at the time, I kept looking back for him, and checking myself for cadence and speed, especially on the hills. What actually transpired was something that, despite my lower-than-par performance compared to last year, made me smile inside. I completed the first lap, and tore up the second lap – trying to put as much distance between me and the ‘chasing’ Warbird as I could, when in reality I was close to LAPPING them! Upon completing the second lap, and returning to the parking lot after a quick sprint, I saw Warbird and Matt hanging around by the cars. Huh? My first thought was “where did they pass me?” – but then I realized, they only did one lap. Matt simply gave out. Gotta start somewhere! My next thought was that they’d probably been waiting for me for 40 minutes then…..nope. That’s the kick-butt part of this ride for me: I did two laps, and they only did one --- and they only arrived ten minutes ahead of me!!! Had I gotten on it harder, I could have caught them! Perhaps…..ten minutes is awfully hard to make up on a bike, especially at these distances…either way, it was a great ride – not the fastest, not the longest, but this is a rebuild period – and the start to a really great year of cycling: I’ve already got a FIVE month head start over last year’s season, since our first ride then was in MAY. It’s gonna be a great year: a year to break personal records, and to get into the best shape of my life. This ride is barely the beginning!
NOTE: Riding on the original Mavic CXP-11 wheelset currently, to keep the Rolf’s out of the salt spray – which is the only bad part about winter thaw and cycling – however, these wheels are showing their age: need truing and tightening – on a climb, the rear wheel pops, and comes out of round, rubbing the brakes along the entire second lap of the lake.
20.58 miles; 1:23:39 ET; 14.796 avg; 28.5 max MPH

07/29/2000 – 67 ~ 75º, Humid, partly cloudy, STIFF northeast wind 15-20 mph!

Paola or BUST!
(okay, fine…BUST!)

Warbird returns to the scene after receiving the go-ahead and anti-inflammatory prescription from his doctor – cool….but fears of the outcome of a future MRI has lead Warbird to believe that this was to be his last ride for a while, so we wanted to make it something interesting and memorable…I tried to accommodate him with a brand new route. 7am, we put the bikes on the car and drove to what I believe was Indian Trail Jr High school at 143rd (Dennis) and, well…1 mile west of Parker/K-7/Lone Elm. Confused? I am, too. It’s there. We pewarbirdd west, after some good natured ribbing from some local runners who mat at the same school that morning, on 143rd south of Olathe Lake, then curved south on what would become US-56 Hwy, slightly before 151st St. – from there, west on 151st (good road!) where we hammered out a solid 27 mph pace with the wind at our backs, and loving it – not realizing at the time that the wind would be our worst enemy later on. At Gardner Road East, we headed south, around the lake on a twisty, hilly road that took us thru some very scenic areas, and popped us out on 162nd St; then Gardner Road south, into Gardner, where I took a short restroom break – back to Gardner Rd, south to 199th St., and then 199th East, into the crosswind for about 7-10 miles over some really impressive hills…on that note, the hills felt better today – my spin technique is improving – instead of major gear changes in the hills, I change my pedal stroke – it WORKS! Anyway – 199th, across 169 Hwy (thank goodness for the traffic light here). Curve south on Webster, thru Spring Hill to 223rd and Webster. Just before this section, Warbird tested me: at one point he asked how fast we were going (Warbird still has no computer), to which I replied “23 mph”, to which Warbird replied, “Kick it up to 30…” , to which I replied, “Yeah, right!”, but still began to accelerate. We hit 30 mph about 50 yards from the stop-sign at 223rd St. Leave it to traffic control to break up a good pace. Ugh!
Here’s the ‘bust’ part of the ride: what should have been marked better, and updated on my map, was NOT. This was what I got for not pre-driving the route. I need a Miami County map, badly. Never got to Paola, KS., never met up with Old KC Road – we instead flew back west on 223rd St, getting caught up in the moment of a match-sprint up to 40 mph, which I won simply from better gearing - all the way back to Gardner Rd , then north on Gardner, straight into Hell’s Headwind. A quick stop at a Conoco station at 199th and Gardner Rd, where we spotted a fast paceline headed south…..tempted, we declined to give chase. Back north on Gardner Road West, which flanks the western side of Gardner Lake – that road sucks!!! ..north to 151st, to 135th St. and east towards ‘Hell’s Twins’, a monster pair of hills just north of Olathe Lake….after Warbird’s and my training, the hills didn’t amount to much more than an optical illusion….they were BIG hills, just not the steepest. I’m no longer worried about them. Big and middle chainring the whole trip up…..after those, south on Parker, where I raced a Fire Truck, stoplight to stoplight all the way to Dennis….fun! then west, and a vigorous and explosive sprint from Warbird all the way back to the school parking lot (Warbird won bigtime!) the verdict – better route planning needed, and avoid Gardner Road West if you value the trueness of your wheels (expansion joints everywhere!) and I had hoped for more speed on ‘Hell’s Twins’ then I got on the downhills, but other than that stuff, cool ride! Warbird and I are on pace for a sub-six hour century! Awesome! Next challenge: out-sprint Warbird!!! J

45.159 miles; 2:35:58 Et; 17.78 avg; 47.0 Mph Max

08/05/2000 – 80 ~ 85ºF, humid, rainy, WINDY with gusts out of the SW up to 23 mph

Hacked off, and loving it.

After a traumatic 48 hours, from Thursday and wife and I buying a new car for her and the twins (forthcoming), and then Friday playing catch-up at work and having my so-called riding partner act like an ass: he wants to go to Pittsburg and ride for pie; whatever, man. Thanks for the one day notice – then the ultimatum of Baldwin City, or nothing at all…..fine; no-one understands the personal struggles I’m going thru, especially my single friends, apparently. Besides, I don’t know about this RAAM thing anymore. Warbird is turning this into some sort of personal quest, which is fine, but he’s assuming that all things are equal with me. I have two kids coming, a wife, a home – for all I know, I’ll be in a completely different place in 2005, the projected date for the attempt. For now, I’m not committing to it anymore. I know I can physically do it, but I don’t need this kind of pressure right now. I have enough going on without having added pressure that turns something I enjoy into some sort of ‘job’. If I can’t ride and enjoy myself, I’m not going to ride. So today was a solo trip – after telling Warbird exactly what he could do with his ‘pie-ride’, I woke up late and rode alone on my new standard loop – 71st into Swope Park, south on Blue River Rd to Blue Ridge Blvd, west to State Line, north to 128th, west to Overbrook, west/north to 123rd, west to Mission (where I picked up some glass on the downhill, piercing my front tube) Mission to 121st, Climbed the first hill – flat tire. Pulled over onto the sidewalk, pulled put the kit, first flat in almost 1000 miles – NOT BAD – Got the tube out of the tire, found the glass, removed it, found hole in tube – figuring I would patch it later at home, I pulled the spare tube out, used the SuperFlate system that I bought –compressed CO2 gas – worked well, but found a hole in my other tube – grrrrrr!!!!! Patched the original tube using my Park Tool SP-2 patch kit – awesome patches! – inflated, and got back on my way --- after the failed attempt with the spare tube, my SuperFlate was only good for about 80lbs in the front tire – not optimum, but certainly rideable – time to carry a spare cartridge. But, for the first flat, and a solo ride, success! Will still carry a spare tube, but the patch kit almost seemed faster/better. And the SuperFlate was a huge plus. My only beef; I got passed by so many cars, runners, walkers, OTHER CYCLISTS ~ not a single offer for help from any of them. I hate Johnson County sometimes. Continued after a rider/jerk on an expensive bike, thru the light at 119th and Mission Rd, right to Tomahawk Creek Pkwy, passed him, then got passed, then gave chase and caught him at College and Mission – no words exchanged – no courtesy from his pass (jerk) plus, caught him mumbling something under his breath as I stopped at the light at College and Mission, and he continued thru on his Torelli Custom --- if I could afford that bike, I don’t think I’d be as angry as him – probably pissed that he was matched for a time by someone on a Schwinn. Whatever. With the flat, and the high winds galore, this was a slower ride, but that’s okay. I got a lot out of my system. Took Lamar home, and then took bike to the shop for a 1000 miles tune-up and new parts (handlebar, etc.) I’ll train alone until Warbird gets a clue.

29.60 miles, 1:45:40 Et; 16.8 Avg; 32.0 Max

01/01/2001 – 1:00pm (sorta) – Sunny, 11ºF above zero

The Polar-Bear Ride!
(Longview Lake VI)

Cold, cold, cold! That can’t be overstated enough: this was THE coldest I have ever ridden in before. Eleven degrees above zero was the high temp for the day – the morning dawned at a balmy –5ºF, and slowly warmed. Had this been an early morning ride, I don’t think ANYONE would have showed up; today, however, a nice turnout for such a cold day. There were 10 or so riders at the parking lot, which blew my mind! Unfortunately, all I got to see were their cars, parked lonely in the cold, bike racks vacant. WE WERE LATE! I blame Warbird for not remembering how to get to the lake parking lot – he called me from US71 southbound near Belton at about 1:14pm…and finally arrived at the lot at about 1:35pm, wherein we finally departed the lot on bikes at about 1:45pm or so. WELL behind the other riders! I half expected to see the first of the on-timers coming back down 3rd street as we made our way out from the lot, but it didn’t happen. 45 minutes around Longview Lake is reasonable, if it is warm, and it is NOT warm today. Warbird and I, layered with the warmest technical clothes our holiday bike-shop gift certificates could buy, made our way out to View High Dr for the first turn. UGH!!!! COLD. With the mercury sitting firmly at 11º, our motion thru the wind was pushing windchills into the 15-30 below zero range at our faces. They say that the best test of your equipment is simply to use it and see what happens: today was perfect for testing cold weather gear, and I have a few purchases to make before the next cold-weather ride: namely GLOVES --- even with two pair of gloves on, the wind made it’s way to my fingers, and soon they were almost useless to me. It was scary at times, as my nerves went thru a few stages of early frostbite. Thankfully, the ride wasn’t THAT long, or there would have been problems in the digit department.
The only godsend was internal heat generation: despite the wind, a few hills and short (and pathetic) sprints produced enough heat to start thawing the torso. The legs were good, thanks to a few layers of the good stuff. Toes? Fine really, thanks to good wool socks. Toe covers would have been nice, but the ride was okay without them. Overall, a BIG success for such a chilly ride.
The thriller (for us) was PASSING the last two riders before we even got to View High Drive again! Climbing the short steep hill up to View High from 109th St saw us passing two riders on mountain bikes, husband and wife, no doubt. They were slow going, and not very well dressed – an offer to help was respectfully turned down, but they did not look well. The female riders’ CamelBak tube was frozen solid from leftover drops of water that had collected after each sip. Scary! My waterbottle was practically frozen upon reaching the parking lot, even with lowered freezing point of my Gatorade mixture. After passing them, I made my way back to the parking lot, trailing Warbird by only a 1/8th mile or so – roughly 1 minute arrival difference. Not bad, considering his level of performance, and the cold. UGH! COLD, COLD, COLD!!!! Did I say that already? Heh,heh…..I will definitely ride in the cold again – was worth it for the bragging rights alone, and the looks on the faces of passing drivers as we made our way around the lake. So, one balaclava $19, two knee-warmers $29.95, one pair tights $30, one pair shorts $50, one base-layer jersey $50, one fleece pullover $40, one windbreaker shell $60, two pairs of gloves $30, one pair wool socks $12, pulling off 11 miles in near-subzero weather and growing an icicle goatee in the process: PRICELESS.
Next weekend, perhaps???? We’ll see …. Supposed to be warmer. Happy New Year! Stats not really recorded for this ride, for fear of computer freeze-up, but here are estimates:

11.7 miles, 00.57.00 et, 12.31 Avg., 32 top speed (?)

09/30/2000 – 65 ~ 75ºF, strong south winds, 20-30 MPH

Pushing the Wall…

After two Saturday’s in a row off of the bike, this would be the first fairly long ride since the MS-150, and it wasn’t bad at all – ended up averaging better than day 2 of the tour itself, although didn’t better than the solo ride on this same course a week prior to the 150 – less wind that day. Having commuted 3 times and running again over the last two weeks ha helped keep me in form, but the lack of an extended ride has me a little out of long-distance practice. Regardless, with such a strong head-wind, all of said headwind being mostly in the uphill section of the ride, not bad at all. Even Warbird was taxed by the breeze; I did manage to hold his six-o-clock for the entire ride, save for some short sections where I fell back ¼ mile at times. Always managed to catch him again, though. It was refreshing, but I had to work for it ~ and I pushed the wall back a little today in the process – legs screamed, sides ached, but I stayed with Warbird, attacked the hills, felt fresh and willing. Even got to the Conoco at 199th and Metcalf, after the 5 solid uphill miles from 159th, straight into the wind, and in the big ring, too boot, within 1’ 30” of Warbird, to his surprise! A hand-shake and congrats for my good climb came without hesitation from the ’King of Metcalf’ himself. Cool. I was surprising myself at this point; Warbird is very fast, and to even stay in sight of him anymore is an accomplishment; I was doing it. A rest at the Conoco, with water and carbs, and we were off again, back into the wind, which was now stronger from the lack of buildings down there. Another 1.5 miles to 215th, and we finally turned east, out of the wind – whew! We flew to Mission, attacking hills, and a few power sprints (which I lost), and then the party began. Mission Road Northbound – we reveled in the newfound tail-wind, 25 MPH worth of it! Warbird and I absolutely soared north ~ unfortunately for both of us, the fight against the headwind getting here didn’t help our averages any; but our 30-40 MPH flyby northbound brought those averages up, three full MPH up for me: not bad. We hammered on, and I brought my top-speed on this course up from 43 to 45 today at the big downhill from 179th to 175th…..niiice! Flew through the twisty section, and uphill to 159th (Warbird cramped up here L ), to Kenneth, to 143rd (good hills), to Mission and north to 119th, another hi-speed section, and then to Tomahawk, to the bike trail and then to Warbirds’ and then home for me. Nice ride ~ average at the trailhead upon returning was 17.4 MPH, and fell to 17.2 by Warbird’s house, and then fell again to 16.9 by the time I got home – not bad for taking it easy on the last 4.5 miles. I need more conditioning like this to get faster, but even from today, I can feel the results: legs sore ALL day afterward, even with the usual recovery shake I drink…..GOOOD. The soreness means they got worked. Next week, more work, pending babies or weather!
Smile moments: - Catching Warbird on 159th Uphill – catching the tail-wind, finally! – 2 Cheltie dogs giving chase at 20 MPH, looking like they’re loving it! – Cresting a hill on Metcalf, and still able to see Warbird – Feeling the burn go away after pedaling thru it.

49.48 miles; 2:56:01 ET; 17.4 high average (16.9 overall); 45.0 max.spd.

06/24/00 – 7:30am – 72 degrees, Rain, high Humidity

Rain Ride Standard Loop

Decided to do the standard loop on the Trek, just for kicks, especially since it was raining, something it wasn’t supposed to do until Saturday NIGHT, which upset me a little: Today was to be my big distance day on the Schwinn – I was going to do 70 miles, and was fully prepared to do so. I had a plan to ride from my house to the starting-point of an MS150 training ride at 159th and Metcalf. However, my bike-snobbishness got in the way: I didn’t want to get the Schwinn wet! AHHHH!!! Too much post-ride prep needed, and I just wasn’t ready to do it to the good bike. Probably a good idea to keep the bike in good shape – if it happens to rain on the MS150, so be it. Despite my wishes to do the big ride, I left the house a little late, and took the Trek. I would’ve had to have left the house at 6:30 or so to get there in time, and I ended up leaving at 7:30. The bike trail was an absolute mess. I ended up covered in mud – plus, I added some extra distance which took me west on 159th to Quivira instead of Switzer – Quivira was STILL closed from last year between 141st and 135th; instead of backtracking, I trudged forward, thru the mud – mudding my way across to 135th – cool! Sometimes it’s nice to be able to do that ~ couldn’t have don it on the Schwinn, after all. Next week, Longview Lake MS150 ride: may ride out there from the house if it’s dry, but gonna have to leave SUPER early to pull it off….we’ll see….
Stats: Trek computer – not comparable to the Cateye on the Schwinn, but it’ll work for this ride….
Stat’s not too bad, considering rain, mud, strong south headwind, and lesser gearing for hi-speed…..also, note: this is the last ride on the Trek – sold to Mitch B. a few months from now….

35.74 miles, 2.34.21 ET, 13.6 avg, no top speed avail.

08/26/2000 – 75ºF, cloudy, southwind 10-15 MPH

The Southern-Fried Sprint Special
(Warbird’s Team Sprint Training Ride)

(Hosin’ the Average, and Haulin’ Compadres) – The Ms150 draws ever closer, and training rides are becoming scarce … to fill this open Saturday, Warbird had worked diligently to create an adequate training ride for the Sprint Team. Left my house early, at about 6:30am, got to Warbird’s house at about 6:50 or so. Waited for a few for Warbirds to get ready, and off we went, bike trail west to Corporate Woods, where we arrived also early ~ and waited for everyone else to show up Slowly, the group began to gather – some I had seen before, some on their first “Ms105 ride” ever. Mark Ash was there, a burly attack-style rider on an aging Cannonwarbird, and Mark ‘Compadre’ ß that’s what I’ll call him, since I can’t remember his last name, and at least 16-18 other Sprint riders that showed up. Also in the mix was our rag-tag support team: Tim ‘N0SZE’ ; Don ‘W0DEW’, Frank ‘N8FN’, and Ray ~ whose callsign I can’t remember: he was the sweeper, riding a recumbent equipped with 2M gear – cool! Everyone arrived, and by the time we all got together at the top of the parking lot, it was 8:06 or so…..time to get it on!
This is where the ‘hosin the average’ part of the ride comes into play. After nearly 40 minutes of hanging around, and spinning loops around the parking lots to look for fellow team Sprint riders, I had basically kept the clock running, and my average was smoked ~ I had forgotten to reset to computer when the actual ride started. Oh well ~ we get too fixated on numbers anyway, especially me! On we rode, slowly out of Corporate Woods, and I had to remind Warbird to slow down! He’s now riding his Dad’s Schwinn Circuit, and early eighties model ~ Gorgeous! Anthracite Grey paint with chrome accents on the seat and chain stays, and the Paramount geometry – Warbird is basically centered over the rear axle – power transfer must be amazing! Today, however, I would not get the ‘opportunity’ to get spanked by Warbird … he maintained his steadfast role of Ride leader, and held back. I’m sure Longview Lake VI next week, and the second time-trial attempt, will make me a witness to eh true racing power of this old Schwinn. Anyway: we went across College Blvd, into residential, and found our way to the bike trail that would take us out to Switzer, and the first long uphill of the day. Slowly the pack began to fall apart, which is typical of long uphill sections. Warbird, Mark, Compadres, and several others including myself began the climb to 119th , where we gathered again at the light…green light and up the next rise to 127th, where I made my ‘move’ against Compadres – he began a little uphill sprint, which I answered with a little charge, and we both broke away from the pack on the uphill, just in time for the descent to 135th St, where I caught Warbird’s Dad out of the corner of my eye in the parking lot on the right side – a quick wave of the hand and a smile … I was alone at the front for the first time in a while, thanks to Warbird’s holding-back. Passing the traffic light at 127th, there was the quick jog east on the downhill curve, past the school, and then 135th St. Traffic light. Red. We sat and waited, rather I sat and waited for the light to change, as first Compadres pulled up, then the rest of the group. A short discussion about the weather, and the green light saw us off again. A bad clip-in saw me fall back a hair, but the time was quickly recovered as I picked off a few passers, and set my sights on catching Compadres again. This would be the game for the rest of the ride. Passed Mark , who for the second time today, mumbled something to/about me as I passed (?) – not sure what that is about, but oh well….on I went – if there was some frustration about me being a ride leader, I’m not sure; My role may have been unclear, but regardless, I trudged on. Slowly picking the last couple riders off, there was no-one left but Compadres again. Alone, we pulled off again to 143rd, and stopped to check the map. This was the junction of the slow route – and straight we went after getting caught-up-to by the others again. Next stop, 159th. And again, Compadres and myself hit the front again, the turn at 159th, left and up a big ride to the cemetery, then downhill, passed Mark Ash again (more mumbles? He wears a headset, so maybe he’s singing?), and caught Compadres at the bridge over 69 Hwy – conversation ensued about training, etc., who has done what, that kind of thing; kinda cool….then, the turn to Metcalf, southbound. This was now uncharted territory for me. My only recollection of this section was Warbird mentioning that you could climb this thing for 5 solid minutes – that it went on forever, and he wasn’t kidding. After the first ride leveled off, I was still at the front, and began to wonder where the rest of the hill was, when I turned my eyes farther down the road – Metcalf was plainly visible all the way to 199th St, practically. It was all uphill, if not consistently so, the general grade never dropped below 3% for the entire run. So be it – into the headwind we charged, trading places occasionally to squelch the onslaught of air impeding us, and after about 5 miles of climbing, and passing someone that was walking his bike up the monstrosity, we arrived at the first rest-stop; the Conoco Mart at 199th and Metcalf. Compadres and I were the first to arrive, and wee waited about 15-20 minutes before anyone else showed up! Quite an amazing feat, if I say so myself. The first to show up was Warbird, not surprisingly; charging up the hill in typical fashion – he had been biding his time all the way so far, but the allure of the Metcalf climb was too hard to resist, and he was well ahead of the group behind him. Compadres, Warbird, and I went inside, bought a little food, got some refills on our after, and by this time a few more people had shown up. After some more conversation surrounding bikes, careers, etc, it was time again to ride – Compadres and myself had now spent almost 40 minutes off the bikes, and any more time would have been un-wise. So our group of 7 or so riders made our way back to Metcalf for the southbound run to 215th St, but not until a quick average check by me: this is where I realized my error back from the ride start. I had no stellar average to show for all the hard work at the front of the pack. 14.8 was the reading; although it had likely come up a few notches since Corporate Woods, I had no idea what I’d started with back at the park. Oh well – I half considered resetting the computer at this point, but I wanted the total distance more than satisfaction of a high average showing. I knew I was going faster than normal, with Compadres pushing me to my limit. South to 215th, we pushed down thru the now-more-apparent headwind, quickly dropping those that left with us. A quick right on 215th, eastbound. What a nice road … this new adventure for me was quite refreshing … and will likely be part of the standard loop in the future – too good of a road to pass up! Fairly flat and fast, we charged towards Mission Rd, turned north, and again – new territory: Mission Road south of 159th was fantastic, and flat mostly – we flew again, and even passed by Tim, who was sitting, waiting for the first group of riders to come thru – US! J We hammered past his location, with a quick wave, at over 30 MPH on a flat. Awesome speed, thanks to the newfound tailwind! Then, suddenly, my legs did some sort of transition ~ died for just a second, and began to drop a little off the pace ~ but like Obi Wan Kenobi’s apparition in Star Wars, I saw Warbird’s face hovering over the road in front of me saying, “just pedal through it,” … the words from last Wednesday’s ride rang through my head, and slowly I regained Compadres’ wheel, just in time for what is now my favorite section of road: Mission, northbound from about 179th to 159th – as we approached, I began to remember this route from when I had last driven it: Hilly, twisty, FUN! In the front, I charged down the first drop, hitting about 44 MPH and dropping Compadres like a rock – I got passed by an F-150 truck (who was speeding just to pass us, since the limit is 35 here!) and managed to hold his bumper until the stopsign at 175th St. DAMN STOPSIGNS! Would have been a speed-freak’s paradise had it not been for this intersection, but we stopped and then (after Compadres complimented me on the downhill run) and then proceeded up a short hill, then down again thru some twisties and then onto a fresh new bridge – and then spotted the biggest damn sprinkler I had ever seen in my life to the right of us --- wow! Too bad it was pointing the wrong way when we arrived, but the spray from our tires as we crossed a 50 meter long section of water-soaked road felt mighty good. Speaking of tyres: Changed back to specialized Team Turbo tires for this ride, dropping the Michelins – these are my tyres of choice now, as the ride is 100% more comfortable than the Michelins with my particular wheels. Next came the long climb up to 159th St., which was quite a toughy – deceptively steep ~ and pleasantly strange to be approaching such a familiar intersection from the opposite direction for a change. Then, right turn to 159th, transitioning north to Kenneth Rd – a very nice road. Flat, scenic, lots of sod-farms, older houses, trees, very tranquil ~ even at 27 MPH! Compadres and I continued to haul-ass north, at a pretty good pace … someone with similar abilities as a riding partner was refreshing, and gave this entire ride new flavor – no offense to Warbird: his riding has improved, and now his equipment has too, to the point where it’s struggle to hold his wheel for even only a few minutes. What I need to do is do what I did to re-catch this guy when I died for a little bit ~ just ride thru it. I will improve if I allow myself to: what one man can do, another can do , also, is how the saying goes. I need to be prepared next time to suffer on the bike, to ache, to push, to look ‘death-of-the-legs’ in the face and spit. I will never reach Warbird’s level if I do not do this. Somedays, though, you just want to have a nice, relaxing ride… this is the same thing Warbird faces with his neighborhood Cannonwarbird rider, who schooled him last weekend on these same roads: Warbird must suffer more to catch him and reach his level – but Warbird and I differ in one specific area: Warbird doesn’t doubt himself. Warbird doesn’t say “I can’t”. Warbird doesn’t even say “I’ll try”. He does it. I need little tastes of victory, like this ride, to feel better about my riding, and improve in the future. Considering where I came from, I’m not surprised as to my mental plight – but the solution eludes me…someday, it will come together: the day I stop doubting myself is the day I ‘allow’ myself to improve, and triumph over Warbird, and more importantly my doubt of myself and my ability: Warbird has said it, and so have others: “You’re good – how do you do those hills? How’d you get so fast?” etc…Why will I not allow myself to hear them? Why can’t I get confident? I need to ponder this over the next week – and center upon these thoughts. Focus on the good to produce more good things…it’s okay to duffer for what I love: I’d do it for wife and the kids, my job, my home … now I need to do it for cycling…so my legs will be sore for three days afterward…so what??? FOCUS. By the time we hit the waterstop at 143rd and Mission, it was time for Compadres to cut out to his house at 140th and Nall ~ he had stuff to do…a firm handshake, and kind words exchanged, and he was off, and I was alone to work the route homeward. North on Mission, and a nice downhill run to 119th, passing two guys in the process (cool!) Then to 117th, 115th, Lowell, 108th and into Corporate Woods or the finish … and conversations with other riders, and words of praise for my hill performances – cool, again! J I will definitely do this loop again! Bravo! MS150 in TWO WEEKS – AHHHHHH!!!!!! J J J J J J J J J

Note: Warbird lays it down! On the return route home with Warbird, on the bike trail, Warbird lays it down into a hard left corner – tire adhesion gave out, and he gets a nice scrape on this elbow – legs were okay, though: shaving works!

56.20 miles; 3:31:41 ET; 15.9 avg.; 44.1 max speed
(14.8 avg. at 199th & Metcalf / 16.9 avg. at Corporate Woods!)

07/15/00 – 6:30am – 2:37pm – 97º , high humidity, very sunny – Stupid Hot! – Sprinkles in AM, Hot PM.

The Beast!

Well, here was the day that would indicate whether or not the first day of the MS150 would be do-able or not – and it’s DO-Able! Started from my house at 5:45am, rode south on Lamar to Warbird’s house, met up with him and his Dad, Don, who would run support for us for the day. Got wired up for the day with an earpiece and my micro-2m HT on 145.555 MHz. Then we were off! Southwest winds and clouds looked interesting as we rode back north to Tomahawk Creek Pkwy, and 79th st. Tomahawk northeast to 71st, and by this time, it’s raining a bit, but it doesn’t last long – by the time we get to State Line, the rain had stopped. As I quoted at some point, it figures that it would rain in the 8th mile of the ride and not the 80th mile. Oh well. We continued all the way to Swope Park on Gregory/71st, then right at Oldham, and then another right at Blue river Rd, and took this fast route all the way south to Blue ridge blvd – at this point, we have lost Don – I think he underestimated how fast we were able to go while he stopped for a quick breakfast up the route a ways – and technically, we missed a turn early in the ride. Regardless, we got to the Longview Rec. Center at 8:30am, and the clock showed 37.68 miles, and the average speed at that point was an all time high for me, and possibly for Warbird: 18.4 mph! Unfortunately, we then had to find Warbird’s Dad, via relay on the 2 meter HT – after one hour off of the bike, which would prove devastating to my performance for the rest of the day, we were off again to continue the work on the route; south on Viewhigh Dr. to Longview Rd, east to Pryor, south to 155th St., west to Horridge, then north to 139th, to Peterson, north to Hook Rd, then west to Raytown Rd, and north to Scherer Rd., then back west thru Grandview to our second rest stop, at which point Warbird’s Dad was in sight almost the whole time and providing really good support. From there, west on Blue Ridge, then south at Blue river Rd, continuing west on blue ridge to State Line, then South to 128th St, west to Overbrook, and thru residential to 123rd St, then to Mission, and Mission South – by this time, my muscles were beginning to protest my efforts – I had not eaten enough at all; but I would not realize this until later. At this point it was getting VERY hot and bright, and fatigue was setting in. As we headed south and uphill on Mission, towards 135th St., Warbird was consistently pulling away from me on each hill, but I was able to catch him on a few – at the first big hill between 143rd and 151st St on Mission, I got delusional and mad – screaming at the top of my lungs “What the F*ck is wrong with my legs?!!!?”, at which point I jumped out of the saddle and hammer that hill within an inch of it’s life. Consequently, I died at the top, and had very little left at 151st for the BIGGER hill at/between 151st and 159th St. ~ which I made it up the hill with no problem, but Warbird conquered it and had kept right on going – he would have been LONG gone if not for Don stopping him at about 159th and Nall ~ Warbird had put about ½ mile between us. I was close to being through. I stopped with Don and Warbird, downed Gatorade, Lemonade, water – nothing seemed to matter to my system. However, my performance would magically improve for the last part of the ride. Warbird had gotten used to looking back for me at the tops of hills, but now he was looking back and finding me right on his butt. I either felt a lot better, or the heat was starting to get to him also. Either way, we held together for the rest of the ride. I think he was just being nice near the end. Next rest stop was 151st and Lackman/Blackbob Rd., at the Kicks66 station, where we paused for some air-conditioning and food. Then, outside, I practically crawled inside the huge Ice cooler – felt good in there… Drank a quart of Gatorade, and: here’s an indication of how hot it was out there: I bought a ‘Balance’ energy bar, and set it down next to me on a bench in the shade – after finishing my drink, I reached down for the bar to find it melted. Ate it anyway. Then it was north on Blackbob to 143rd St, and then east to Switzer, then north to 135th, the ever-popular petting zoo rest-stop, where a small child almost disassembled my bike for me – Warbird’s quick vocal reflexes prevented disaster – of course, the child’s mom apologized, but never took her cellphone away from her ear while it happened…..grrrrr…..oh well. I was feeling good at this point, and we made our way north on Switzer, at which point I stayed in the big ring the whole way uphill to 123rd St. I was starting to notice changes in me over the last part of the ride – I was managing bigger gears than normal, and since my new lifestyle change, my cardio health was 100% -- ALL day, it was never my lungs aching or my heart pounding too fast, it was JUST my legs. I’m cured! A fast downhill run to the bike trail – at which point our insanity was confirmed when we found NOONE else on the trail on a Saturday afternoon (????) – and then to Warbird’s house, where were rested again --- there, disaster struck: I got off the bike, and my legs cramped HARD; at least they wanted to – a little joint movement helped them from cramping permanently; a miracle. After Warbird laid down on his driveway, I started to wonder if I could make it home or not. Offers were made for me to put my bike on the back of the car and be driven home, but I elected to keep my promise to myself and make it home under my own power. Off I went again, north to home on the commute-route. At 2:37 pm, I made it to my driveway, went inside and disrobed, and had my protein shake to recover by. WOW. I now know that I can do the MS150, but I need to get more, shorter rides in before then – after last week’s embarrassment at Shawnee mission park, and Warbird having ridden almost every day since then until today, my performance was not as legendary; but still – for this new personal distance record, I’m very pleased with the day…
With less traffic, more support and motivation from other riders, the 150 should be a piece of cake….

90.3021 miles, 5:52:30 ET, 15.388 Avg, 39.5 top speed

07/01/00 – 6am- 12pm – 80 degrees, high humidity


My only regret is that this was a solo ride – no witnesses! To solve this problem, however, I took a picture of my cycling computer and saved a receipt from the first rest stop! What a freak I be. Ugh.
Anyway: Left my house at a little after 6am, rode a familiar route out to Longview Lake; Lamar to Indian Creek Dr, Nall south to College, College East to Red Bridge Rd, Red Bridge East to Blue River Rd, south to Blue Ridge Blvd, Blue ridge East to Duck Rd, east to Grandview Rd, South to Main/highgrove, east to Raytown Rd, north to 109th, east to Viewhigh Dr, south to the parking lot at the Longview Rec Center: 22.6 miles, approximately, with an average speed of 16.8 ~ great warmup, although with the fog as thick as it was, it was practically raining; my glasses, bike, helmet and the tips of my shoes were dripping with moisture when I hit the parking lot at about 10 till eight.
Little rest time, and then we proceeded on the training ride: Slow-ass pace back to viewhigh drive, south ~ then I break away before the first turn at Longview Rd east. I must’ve been hauling ass on the training ride – east on Longview Rd, south on Prior, west on Hook, south on horridge, west on 155th, south on Madison, then to the Casey’s General Store on 58 Hwy in Raymore/Greenville. Then, a short rest, bought some Gatorade (see Receipt) and after 15 minutes of rest, I was back on the bike. Back to Madison, north to 155th, east to Horridge, north to Hook, west to Peterson, north to 139th, west to Raytown Rd, north to 131st (Highgrove), west to Raytown Rd, north to 109th, east to Viewhigh, south back to parking lot. At this point, after 52.85 miles and NO computer reset, I had achieved my best average speed to date: 18.0 MPH!
Another short rest, and conversation, then the ride home – legs were feeling tired, as expected and I knew that this high average wouldn’t last for very long. Same route back home thru Grandview, Mo., south around the lake on Scherer (up the big hill with better performance than previous rides), then west, into Kansas on College, north on Mission to the bike trail, trail west to Horton, and the ‘commute-route’ home. Hit the driveway at exactly NOON. Literally watched the computer clock roll from 11:59 to 12:00 – awesome!!! Average for the day…..well, check the stats! MS150 is 69 days away, and asses will be kicked!
Notes: New personal distance record, new long-time on the bike --- I’m ready for the 150!

73.20 miles, 4.30.00 ET, 16.27 avg, 43.0 top speed

08/12/2000 – lower humidity, slight south wind, 85ºF

“The Revenge Ride – Shawnee Mission Park 2”

Well, here we go! This would be my personal rematch with the Shawnee Mission Park MS Ride on 7/8/00, where the night before I had drank profusely and partook in other impurities – you know the story…anyway, left the house at 7:15, but made the mistake of looking at the kitchen clock, which was a little slow – this put us behind schedule if we wanted to be at the parking lot by 8am. Met up with Warbird at his house, and then it was west on 103rd to Pflumm; Warbird and I traded places pulling, and I felt really good today! Although, if we want a hills workout, this is the new loop! 103rd was much hillier than I remember it ever being in my car, same with Pflumm, and 87th for that matter – all streets I have driven hundreds of times, but had never ridden until today. We arrived at the parking lot about 15 minutes late, which was fine, really…met up with the ride organizer, got our maps, and received words of praise (unsolicited!): “the big group already left, but you guys should catch them; you’re fast enough,” she said, seeing us off. Cool! Thanks for the kind words, ride leader lady! Off we went ~ leaving the lot with about 5 other late-comers, including a recumbent rider…didn’t seem to matter much, though: we quickly disposed of all 5 of the first group and slammed our way west on 87th, transitioning north to become 83rd – felt MUCH better than the last time at this point in the ride, and no-one from the first group had managed to stay with us. Warbird and I were alone at the ‘front’ (for us) – west to Mize, up the long-ass hill which I pulled away from Warbird on (to his surprise!) – “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do hills, man,” he said as we rounded the corner onto Mize Rd. Thanks, man! This comment, coming from Warbird especially, is worth gold to me. Onward we went, upon reaching 63rd St., we picked off another rider just before K-7 Hwy, onward to the hard section: slammed down the first big downhill, to the flats next to the ballfields – saw a group of riders huffing up the same hill in the opposite direction (hmmmm….) – passed the official turn on Barker Rd, and began the uphill transition from 55th to Johnson Dr, on the (arguably) biggest, longest hill in the county. WOW! As hard as I remember it being from the first time we climbed it! Warbird lead off, spinning carefully in his lowest (?) gear (not sure what gear he was in) - A flick of my left shifter threw me into the tiny chainring – mistake!!! This gear was essential last time, but too fast this time – I coaxed the shifter and moved into the middle chainring instead…better. Crunched the hill, out of the saddle alternately, and made it to within a bike length of Warbird’s rear wheel (UPHILL!) Felt great on a huge hill for once! Warbird took the more conservative climb, and ended up victorious by not wasting too much energy on this killer --- by the time I almost caught him, he began to pull away again. Warbird spun away, but I managed to catch him in the big descent to the second hill that climbs over 435: flew ahead of Warbird in the downhill, and then pulled up to the top of that second hill --- careful planning in the gear-change area kept Warbird on my six, if only briefly – with grades in excess of 15 degrees, it’s really hard to spin these babies out. By the time we reached the peak, we could see the lead group of riders from the training ride – we had caught them, but what were they doing here?! They must’ve either missed the turn at Barker, or were as crazy as Warbird and I for taking on purpose. Either way, we caught up to them – Warbird did first, actually, after pulling about 10 bike lengths ahead after the 435 climb – right before the turn onto Renner Rd. I quickly caught the pack, also, and began to pick them off, two-by-two. The first was a strong looking guy wearing an MS150 ‘Lifetime Rider’ jersey, who upon reaching the first hill on Renner got up out of the saddle, so – and IN THE BIG RING SINCE THE LAST HILL – I got out of the saddle and charged past him effortlessly. Then, with enough leftover breath to say ‘on your left’ at each rider, I picked them off until there was no-one left in front of me but Warbird, who was about 15 lengths ahead at this point, just in time for the big downhill to Midland Drive. – I smacked the gears and launched the Schwinn after Warbird, and watched the traffic light change from green to yellow at the bottom of this hill, just as Warbird flew thru the intersection – I was close enough; time to move it or lose it! I hammered, out of the saddle, and made the light at 42 MPH, flew down the lane, making a bee-line for Warbird’s ass ---- tick, tick, tick, and I flew past Warbird on the left, wearing a big, stupid grin in the process. I hammered up the first part of the monster climb over 435 on Renner bridge – Warbird only managed to catch me after the bridge was about ¾ over with, and I had lost a little steam….by then, Warbird was working for the good lead, and extended it out to over 20 bike lengths, as we both spun the last of the big hills out of our legs on Renner Blvd – right before 87th street, I had managed to chip away a little of Warbird’s lead, and as we both turned onto 87th Street to return to the parking, I began to prepare for the usual Warbird finish: the part I always lose; the final sprint. Strategy ensued: I followed Warbird’s wheel, watching, waiting for that twitch, waiting for that gear change….WHAM!!! I swung out to the left, switched gears like a madman, stood up and fired past Warbird! I don’t know if he reacted or not, because part of the game is not looking back. VICTORY WAS MINE for the first time in MANY rides; I had won the final sprint, and had time to zip up my jersey in the process! J Warbird was impressed, and shook my hand firmly when we finally came to a rest under a shady tree. A few minutes rest, and we rode home, only to hose our average completely by getting lost trying to find a safe route home – eventually we got to 67th street (79th just west of Pflumm has a huge hill, by the way) and then to 71st to Lamar and home to my house, where Warbird refueled and re-congratulated me on a stellar performance. I’m beaming – my climbing formula is coming along, and my quads along with it, to keep my knees in check. REVENGE IS MINE!!!! J J J We’ll see how long my euphoria lasts – Warbird still trains much more often than I do --- Wednesday is open….. J This was a good day!

45.84 miles; 2:48:03 ET; 16.4 overall avg (17.2 after MS ride); 45.1 max
First ride with new Profile H2O Stem, and 7075 Profile Hammer Handlebars: solid, nice!

07/22/2000 – 74ºF @ 8:15am – Cloudy, breezy, sprinkles off and on – Nice…

“The Cool One”

Today was to be a rebuilding day for Warbird’s left leg/knee, which had been giving him problems ever since the 95 mile run a couple weeks ago. He called me at about 8am or so and mentioned that a friend had come into town overnight (Jeff) and would be joining us for the ride. Turned out to be the best thing, really. He was kind of inexperienced, and this helped keep our pace slow – despite Warbird’s need for speed. This still didn’t totally prevent the occasional sprint from erupting, especially when Warbird and I got excited about something. For instance, at one point on Blue River Road I started talking about a Bianchi frame that I had seen on sale at Bike Source earlier in the week. The mere thought of owning it threw Warbird’s legs into motion, and he was quickly 1/8 or more up the road from Jeff and I. Awesome. There’s just no getting around it sometimes, but obviously Warbird’s leg wasn’t acting up too badly. Not a bad route: this will definitely be added to the ride catalog. From my house to Warbird’s, then back north to 79th and Tomahawk, Tomahawk to 71st, then east on 71st to cross State Line, where 71st turns into Gregory. Gregory east to Swope Park, south on Oldham, and then south on Blue River Road all the way to Blue Ridge Blvd., west to State Line, north to 128th, west to Overbrook, Overbrook to 123rd St., west to Mission Rd., north to 119th St., west to Indian Creek Pkwy, ICP to College – past College, ICP turns into Mission Rd., north to 99th St., then West to Horton and back to Warbird’s house…then home from there for me. Nice ride! Seems short, but it’s not too bad. Potential for some really fast action in some sections.
Felt good to take it a little slower for a change – gave me a chance to be ‘ride leader’ in the sense that I spent a lot of the time back with Jeff, making sure he didn’t get lost in an unfamiliar town. Warbird and I had always pushed each other, but the presence of Jeff kept us even and controlled, at least until the end of the ride. Warbird forgot his own set of paceline rules later in the day: ‘If you can’t hear anything behind you, you’re going too fast for the group…’ Warbird was way out in front at times, especially on descents and climbs, where Jeff was uneasy on the unfamiliar Trek 450 he borrowed from Warbird. He often ode the brakes downhill, and chose too easy a gear for the climbs, mistakes I used to make. Can’t blame him – that was totally me six month ago. Kinda puts in perspective the level of improvement I have enjoyed, and Warbird’s level for that matter. We’ve become road warriors, where speed and dominance are king…..this change of pace for me was almost torturous at times, watching Warbird charge ahead, but I kept my promise to Jeff, and held back. He doesn’t know these roads, and would have become quite lost at certain points of the ride. All good…..Felt good – a little rain at 119th and Mission that lasted for about 20 minutes felt fantastic – and then, and all-out sprint for Warbird’s driveway at the end gave me the stage win for the day, which I think surprised Warbird a tad – whether he let me have it or not, I let out my cries of commentary to the sky, arms extended: “..and it’s me at the line!!! Whoooo!” Stats: (Brought average up by 0.1 from Warbird’s driveway to mine, after leaving them – only 3.8 miles (?) cool!)

41.56 miles; 2:44:15 ET; 15.1 avg; 35.0 max

07/08/00 – 8am; 90 degrees with 103 degree heat index by 9:00am! ‘Stupid Hot’

This-is-why-you-never-drink-the-night-before-a-ride Ride

The title for this ride should say enough: Friday the 7th, Alan, Warbird and myself went to the Lakewood Pub in Blue Springs for a little taste of the Traveling Whiskey Roadshow band, featuring Chris Sieggen and Marty Wall from 99.7 KY. Had two beers at TGIFriday’s before leaving for there, then four beers at the Pub, not to mention the bad air. Stupid Choice – got home at 1am – in bed by 1:30, and 6 hours later I was standing in a parking lot next to Warbird preparing for this ride, a level 5 – the toughest in the county. I felt horrible – Warbird had ridden from his house to this ride, so he was nice and warmed up, and having driven the night before, was a LOT fresher that I was. It showed. I got my ass KICKED today. Never, ever, never, never, never, NEVER, EVER, EVER, never drink the night before a ride. Combined with the heat, my muscles and cardio system were completely dehydrated – my legs were cramped and felt like lead weights. It SUCKED. Start of the ride was okay, I suppose – good downhill section on 87th St heading west as it transitioned into 83rd St – moved to the front of the pack with Warbird, but as soon as the first uphill hit me the leader took off, and we wouldn’t (rather I wouldn’t) catch him again for a while. This was a level 5 ride, and the majority of this jaunt was ALL uphill. It was a struggle, at every new mile I felt like quitting, but told myself that this was my punishment for the night before – “Quit yer crying and climb this hill” I thought to myself over and over. Completely missed the first rest stop – didn’t even see it. Rolled on 55th street east, and finally caught Warbird, and then the two of us caught the ride leader, wearing his one-piece Assos triathlon bodysuit thing – found out thru Warbird that he’s a racer. Figures, but then, how did we catch him? Oh well, we wouldn’t be with him for long. Big downhill, and we were down by the ballfields in this valley, when 55th curves south a little and becomes 57th (Johnson Dr.) ~ this is where all my fears came to pass – the biggest, longest, m-f’er of a hill I have ever attempted. Thank the maker that I was able to get into my smallest chainring this time – I needed all of it. I spent all of my energy going straight up, not realizing that there was another hill just like it waiting for me in a few miles, and then a third. Looking back, I feel a sense of pride, however: I conquered some of the biggest hills in the county, all in the condition I was in, and I never had to get off the bike once. Even then, we completely missed a turn on Barker Rd that would have taken us around those monsters altogether. That’s where the rest of the riders went, and by the time Warbird and I made it to Renner and Midland Dr where the route rejoined us, we were still ahead of the majority of the pack. Then, glory-time: the Renner/435 bridge climb – something I had thought about in the past as being a tough climb (and it WAS), I got my picture taken by a KC Star reporter who was doing a story on the upcoming MS150 – she later met me in the parking lot back at the start/finish for a little q&a session – Cool! Might be in the paper! Despite the hills, the night before, and my constant thoughts of collapse from heat stroke, the stats weren’t terrible….
FOLLOWUP: My picture was in the paper on July 12th 2000, in the Olathe Neighborhood News section! J
NOTE: I’ve had my last beer – next time will be better!

18.90 miles, 1.11.10 ET, 15.93 Avg, 45.0 top speed

01/13/2001 – 40ºF, 100% humidity, light fog, cloudy, windy: 10, gusts to 20 MPH, SE

The Tomahawk Circuit

Warbird is in Hungary, so this weekend is a solo mission – a little ‘me-time’ with the bike. Has been pretty warm this week, up to 50º on Wednesday last, but today a storm system is on the way: Cold showers expected this afternoon. Time to get a move on. After rising and feeding the kids, tossed the bike on the back of the car for a few laps at the Tomahawk Creek Pkwy loop. Nice, flat and fairly fast…a good opportunity to get some spinning work in without the pressure of competition. Also, with the wind factored in, this would be a great chance to try some aero technique. I’m still flirting with the idea of aerobars, but not 100% sure how much they’d help me. Conditions on the circuit were pretty good – no salt of standing water to avoid, not a lot of traffic, and only 1/16 of a mile or so with muddy conditions near some construction near the road’s edge. Started on my way; still rebuilding after the shaky time off the bike, I didn’t expect any high averages, but hoped to do a little better than last time at least. First few laps warm-up were productive, lap 3 showed an improvement, and lap 4 gets the high-speed pass. My legs, lungs and spin technique are coming back slowly but surely: spent most of the time in the middle ring – maybe 44x15 or 44x17 was ideal for 90 RPM cadence with the terrain and wind. Got into the big ring once or twice, but the headwind and subsequent chain angle slowed things down a bit too much. I’m certain that the cold is a factor, too – too pre-occupied with the sniffles, excess clothing, tight helmets straps and throat pressure from the balaclava, and trying not to tense certain muscles is detracting from my forward motion; especially the clothing factor, and the wheels. The heavier Mavics I’ve been using so far this year have thicker spokes, and lots of them – the crosswinds are a battle to keep the bike straight – I miss the Rolfs – and my rain/wind jacket sleeves catch a lot of wind. These conditions will help me build more speed, though. Come later in the spring, when I can shed some layers and add the lighter, faster Rolf wheels, speed should improve greatly. Regardless, I did get my wish – today’s run was decent. Saw lots of other cyclists on rather pricey bikes, but always on the other side of the road – until the second to the last lap for me. I was running the full loop, from the turn into the soccer fields parking lot, up to 112th St, and back. Some of the other riders were cutting the loop short, by turning at 117th, for example – result: I never got into a paceline, but I never got passed, either. Did manage to close a pretty good gap between myself and another rider who drove down for a few laps; he turned early at 117th; would’ve caught him had he not turned early, but I elected to finish my full lap, so the chase ended short. Used my computer for motivations this time: part of my new plan – always accept the reading, but strive to improve upon it by monitoring it during the ride now. Last season, I would leave the readout on time-of-day only, checking the stats when the ride was complete à Now, I’ll use the average speed readout, and try to better it during the ride. Good tool, cause it has worked. Kept the average speed up at the end of the ride by pushing a little harder than normal, even though the wind was getting progressively worse. Rain was coming, and unfortunately not the kind of summer-rain I like to ride in. Utilizing an aero position that I played with during the 2000 MS150, I made up some good time on the last lap, brought average up a hair. The position entails having my hands on top of the hoods – the heel of my hand resting atop the brake levers, fingers forward and curved down, arms tucked in a little, head down and forward, back flat. With all these layers, plus my layer of winter gut, it’s hard to maintain this position for long, but in this stronger headwind it ended up being good for an additional two MPH. Would aerobars help more? Hard to tell – trimming my own aero-profile (aka: love-handles) first will help more. Found, personally, that laps like these are monotonous – probably won’t do too many rides like this, or multiple laps of Longview Lake for that matter. I prefer real road rides, like last seasons’, but wintry road conditions leave me no choice. When the spring rains and street sweepers finally clean the streets, it’s gonna be a good time….until then, monotony. But….the training mileage is priceless. This is the off-season – and getting rebuilt and faster is the goal now. I’ll get my scenery and long, fast straight-aways later on…..no doubt! Warbird returns later this week, so who knows what next week will bring. Longview Lake would be a good choice: after hearing his tale of riding the Southern-Fried Sprint ride last Sunday, and almost getting HIT and run off the road, I think the regular rides will have to wait until it’s warmer/brighter/safer.
NOTES: Average getting higher, but not 100% confident that computer setting is correct for THESE wheels/tires…regardless of accuracy, the relative improvement IS there. When the Rolf’s are used again, the accuracy will return.
16.84 miles; 1:03:07 ET; 16.0 AVG.; 22.5 MPH MAX

end of old journals

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