Thursday, November 27, 2008

Neil's dad

Neil is a great friend of all the cyclists in the North metro. His father passed away this morning. To see a slideshow of his dad, click below. His dad liked to ride too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2008 = 3,532 miles

Just after I had put all my cold weather bike duds away, due to November being unusually cold, windy, and downright inhospitable,we get a 40 degree day with no wind. Of course, I promised my child bride this was the day I would put up the Christmas lights. Some promises you have to keep for peace in the family. I was a little more irritable due to my mistaken belief that I was only 11 miles short of 3500 miles for the year. Anyway, at 3:00 I got out my clothes and bike and off I went, to get those elusive 11 miles. My thinking was to do a lap in the park, about 15 miles and be done. I had forgotten that this was the weekend of the deer hunt, and there were barriers at several points. So, I just rode Territorial out to 81 and came back, 13 miles. Last September, I did a rough count of my miles from my daily log book, and there was a chance I could pedal 4000; but only if November was mild. Obviously it wasn't. I totaled up all the miles after I got home tonight and lo and behold, I was over 3500 before I went out today! Oh are my month by month totals:
April: 477
May: 362
June: 530
July: 808
Aug: 390
Sept: 425
Oct: 445
Nov: 95
Total: 3532
Not monster numbers, but it is the most miles I've ever done for a year. I think my previous best was in the 3200 neighborhood. Next year's goal is 4000!

Always the best part of the ride, the finish!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All shoe and no go...

They finally arrived, my new SIDI Genius 5 road shoes! Only one problem, FWK keeps waiting for a 40+ degree day with sunshine and a slight breeze. None to be had. I guess I'll just have to admire my new shoes and think spring. When they first came, my child bride and I were watching TV downstairs and I was wearing them the whole time. She didn't even make fun of me. Now that, my friends, is true love. Or tolerance. WTF.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Killer Jody

Yeah, she may look sweet and innocent in the picture, but she's not. At least she's not innocent!
This fine young woman is Jody, one my first spin instructors. Her reputation as a workout queen is well deserved (a nickname she received at another club is "the bilelator"). Jody is a teacher on sabbatical, trying her hand at being a physical trainer and Pilates instructor (along with spinning). She also teaches a class called "Total Conditioning,", which is what has prompted me to write today. Two days ago, she gave me a 40 minute private lesson on total conditioning. I had asked her to give me a profile of sorts so I could have more power when cycling. I suck at hills and would like to improve that aspect of my sport of choice. We met Saturday afternoon at Lifetime in Fridley. We go into a studio and Jody puts down a couple step boards, a pad, and a medicine ball. "Pushups!" she tells me. I'm kinda like, what??
I have gasoline hose arms, haven't done pushups in 30+ years, and what the hell are they going to do to help my legs? I struggled through 15 pushups. I could have done the pushups with my knees on the mat, but, geez-louise, that would not be macho. Then she had me doing lunges to the top of the step, from the top of the step, jumping on one side of the step to the other and then she had me do them with the medicine ball! All this in about 15 minutes. My mouth is dry, my arms no longer work normally, and I'm wondering WTF am I doing here? We take little breaks as she explains each new routine, always reminding me that there aren't breaks in-between the sets (in her class) and that it is constant motion. Hell, if I didn't have those breaks I would be on the floor face down. Then we start doing all sorts of other routines, with dumbells and stretch cords. The 5 lb. dumbells were more than I could handle after a minute or so. I was completely gassed 30 minutes into it, and this was with all the little breaks! Then she showed me several Pilates core exercises, lying on the mat and using a big ball, doing different versions of sit-ups. Finally, after 40 minutes had gone by, Jody asked if I wanted to go have a beer. Sure, I managed to say. I checked my heart monitor, and I burned nearly 500 calories in that short amount of time. When I got into the car, I could hardly lift my arms up to the steering wheel. Lifting a bottle of Newcastle was difficult, but, I managed. The next day, I could barely lift my arms over my chest, my chest hurt like hell, quads and the side of my legs were sore, my shoulders, arms, and elbows were not happy.
Jody has this total conditioning class on Monday mornings at 9:30. I'm usually off on Mondays, so I decided that I will attend this morning. The idea of this class is power. If all the muscle groups are in shape, including the lungs, that will help my overall fitness and climbing on the bike. Class starts in 2 hours. I think I'll be kneeling on the pad during the push-ups.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Radiators

The Radiators are a band from New Orleans. I first heard a song of theirs on KQ about 17 years ago, and have been following them ever since. They usually are in town Halloween weekend and Easter weekend, occasionally once during the summer. Diane and I have seen them play at many places over the years, but we had not seen them recently. The last couple times they've been here they've played at Trocadero's in the warehouse district. We'd never been there before, and decided to make a night of it by staying at a hotel downtown. We stayed at a new place called Aloft, located on Washington Ave and 9th St. It's about a mile from Trocadero's. We walked over there from the hotel and took a cab back. Staying at Aloft was a spur of the moment thing and was nice not to have to worry about driving. Trocadero's is set up with mostly standing on the main floor, but a open 2nd level has seating overlooking the floor. We tried to go up there, but were told it was for diners only. We wanted to eat something anyway so we became diners. It was a smart move and we got great seats overlooking the stage. What we hadn't realized what was going on before the show started, was they were having a DFL rally! Mpls Mayor Rybak came on stage and talked politics for a while. There was a woman and a very familiar man next to her standing behind Rybak. The young woman turned out to be Al Franken's daughter. She was energetic and outgoing, but she has one of those high pitched voices that wear after about 2 minutes. I finally figured out who the smiling guy in the bad suit was: Howard Dean!! The former DFL candidate for president who John Kerry beat out for the nomination. I wanted to ask Howard to scream for me, but I didn't. He walked right by me so I had the opportunity!

Anyway, after all the political stuff was over, the Radiators took the stage. I tried taking several photo shots, but because of movement was afraid they would be blurry. Something I've never done is take a movie with my camera, but I gave it a shot. The video turned out quite well, considering. I just wish I had taken video of them when they were jamming a little bit more! It's about 40 seconds long. It took over 1/2 hour to upload it onto the blog.