18 January 2011

Nailed it!

time for new toe warmers
Notice how that little number in the right hand column, the one announcing how many miles I've pedaled so far this year, exploded overnight?

I had Martin Luther King Day off. The Lizard did not. I noticed during our most recent ride up Waterton Canyon that he could use a new pair of toe warmers. I have needed new neoprene booties since about 2003, when the zipper on the right foot broke. For Christmas, my bosses, knowing I lost both derailleurs last year (mountain bike and road bike), gave me a generous gift certificate to a high-end bike shop where I don't normally shop. Not near enough for a new bike, and not near enough for the parts to rebuild the road bike into a 10-speed. Nevertheless, I could get bike-related stuff, and it most certainly would be used.

time for new bootiesI decided to ride to the bike shop on Monday to make our feet toasty warm again, since we're trying really hard to be ready for our big rides this year before they start in June, and we have a lot of cold-weather training before things start to green up in Colorado. The bike shop ride would be 30 miles each way.

I thought most of the 10 inches of snow we got last week would have melted by now, but that wasn't the case. I had to walk my bike three times during the morning ride to the bike shop and once during the afternoon ride home. Just a little adventure added to big mileage. For those who don't know, bike shoes have no traction on ice; might as well be wearing roller skates. Nevertheless, I did not take a spill. I stayed upright.

Also had a teenager pull right in front of me as he was coming out of a hairpin curve to get onto the bike path. I had no choice but to pretend I was Lance Armstrong in the 2003 Tour and take the muddy, snowy, off-road, obstacle-loaded detour. When I engaged similar tactics last year, I didn't fare as well. I landed handlebars first upon a grate, breaking my pinkie finger in the process and damaging one of my shifter hoods. I tried to remember everything the Lizard has taught me this time, chiefly: don't panic, and I tried to visualize my line as I zoomed into uncharted territory. Once again, I kept the bike upright. Got a cleat full of mud, but easily fixed in the snow. I didn't fall! I didn't break anything!

Every time I do it right, don't endo or crash when something unexpected happens, I gain just a little more confidence, and then I do a little better the next time.

time for a bathThe bike shop had the toe warmers I wanted for The Lizard, but the size of booties I need was sold out. Meaning I had some extra money. On a complete lark, I approached the parts and service counter and asked if by any chance they have or might be able to order a derailleur for an eight-year-old road bike that parts aren't made for anymore.

They had my part! In stock! High end!

I tell ya, I had one happy ride home, even though I was beginning to run out of steam at about 41 miles.

Last year, during the winter, I stayed above 30 miles on almost every ride. It made training so much easier when spring finally arrived! So my goal this winter was to stay above 40 miles. Then next winter, I wouldn't get below 50 miles. Then spring training wouldn't be such a bear, and maybe I wouldn't gain 20 pounds over the winter.

So my MLK ride was quite a big chunk for me, especially given that I had not done 60 miles in a day since (oh, gee, is this embarrassing!) the MS-150 last June. Amazing what a little derailleur adrenaline can do!

time for a napI did it! I did exactly 60 miles. I didn't even have to ride around the block to bring it to 60. I did a 60-mile ride, first time ever in January! Not bad for a 50-year old, eh?

This, of course, means I was too tired to work on my Denver National Quilt Festival piece de resistance when I got home, but, well, who cares!?!

After a little bit of surgery, The Lizard will have my eight-year-old road bike in good-as-new condition. And I still have $13 left on that gift certificate!

The very best part of riding 60 miles in a day in winter, of course, is that I didn't have to ride the trainer Monday night! Also must bask while I can. As of right this moment, I am 42.5 miles ahead of The Lizard for 2011. It won't last long, and it likely will never happen again. But for right now, yeah, there's a little bit of bounce in my step! Even with the 60-mile sore tush!


  1. I have no idea what it was you bought, but it doesn't make you any less amazing. Congratulations on the mileage!

  2. Hey, what a great day! A new derailleur in stock and warmer toes for the Lizard. Plus, NO indoor trainer! I despise indoor trainers, so I totally understand that you reveled in that!

    Big miles on a cold day. Way to go!

  3. Ack, I am glad to hear that they way ward teenager did not hit you! crazy drivers! esp in bad weather you need to be more alert, bikes share the road too! yes, I can see you need new boots! I hope you get them soon & some toe warmers for yourself as well. congrats on the mileage!

  4. Sixty miles! You are my idol! It must feel so good to have done that ... I cannot imagine. Congratulations.

  5. I hope to hit 90 miles by May 2011. I have been hitting a bike at the gym a couple times a week to be a bit prepared for my return. Your wordless blew me away as usual. And I have memory cells popping about how good it felt to ride 60 in a day.

  6. I love it, love it, love it. Every bit of it. Your solo ride with ice, danger and potential bodily harm, your scoring of the part you needed, your extreme mileage and the fact that you're ahead of the Lizard today. And I thought I had a good Monday!!!


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