Thursday, June 30, 2011

Let's Go Links!

Last night we discussed an 8 mile ride, since it was 96 - with a severe heat advisory (do they have those in places where it's hot all the time??) but after talking to the band treasurer, and deciding on a plan to trade off money (band deposits from me to her, and money for a scout sash from her to me) we decided to meet at Lincoln High.

The first mile was astoundingly hot, then we got to the spot on the trail where there seems to be cool air almost all the time. I'm sure that this has been studied by someone, I would love to know what causes those pockets of coolness. After that I was warm for the rest of the ride. The rest of the evening was spent on homework and Brian took the dogs out for a VERY hot walk where they were both frightened by fireworks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Preparing for the Highway

Last night we rode 10 miles with only a few stops. If I were thinner I would have lobbied to increase it a mile and grab a cold beer at the Press Box, but I'm still fighting to get my thyroid pounds off - so no extras during the week!

This weekend we are planning to ride from our house to Cortland and back. That's about 42 miles. There are a few gas stations along the way to keep us hydrated and I'm trying to find out if there is somewhere there to eat to make it a destination ride. I haven't ridden on the highway since the summer before our wedding, it seems like a long time ago, even though it really hasn't been. I'm sure we'll do fine. We'll definitely be safer from fireworks there than we will be on the trails.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trekking the Trail

My bike was ready for pick-up on Friday and Brian and I rode 10 miles to make sure I wouldn't need any adjustments. Saturday morning it was POURING rain so we spent part of the day running errands, getting groceries and I worked on my homework.

Sunday morning was the 9th annual Trail Trek ride in Lincoln - routes range from 10 miles to 36 miles and at the end of the event there is lunch and sometimes live music. Erik voted for the 25 mile ride this year, and since Brian would have to pick his parents up at the Omaha airport in the afternoon we decided to ride the basic 25 mile route with a few modifications. We rode from our house, down to A Street and out to Holmes Lake dog park - from there we climbed the hill up to 84th Street and stopped for a sponsored break at the Mopac trail head. We all added some extra fluids and had a snack before heading downtown. Erik hadn't been on the Antelope Valley Trail yet and he enjoyed it on the way back home. After 26.2 miles, we showered quickly and then headed down to the "race start" for lunch and the chance to win a bike. There were legion playoff games going on at Haymarket Park and unfortunately it was nearly impossible to hear the PA system over the music being played for the game. Sadly we didn't win anything but we still had a nice time. The rest of the day was dedicated to homework and rest. Last night there were terrific storms in the area and we got three inches of rain - so there will be no mowing tonight, and I'm not sure which route we'll take for our evening ride!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Get a Grip

For the last few years I have been whining about the rear derailer on the Giant (the bike I ride more for training). Last weekend when I blew my rear tire Brian had to put the chain back on afterwards and ever since the derailer has been better. I complimented him on the fix and we moved on.

Yesterday we planned a ride to Devaney and back - with trail construction its about 17 miles round trip, regularly it's closer to 18. All was well on the way out and things seemed ok on the ride back until we crossed the bridge over 27th and Hwy 2. Brian was behind me and my shift seemed to lock up. I couldn't get into 5th gear or 7th gear and it seemed like I was sticking between gears. We pulled off the trail at Essex and Brian checked out my bike while I checked out a garage sale. We couldn't see any real problems with the chain and Brian was able to shift the bike with a little extra pressure (read in that my hands were tired and I had worked all day, so maybe I was just being a weiner). We got back on the bikes and within a block the problems were back so we decided that I would ride to Joy Ride and let the mechanic check it out while Brian rode home to get the car. The first guy at Joy Ride took the same path I had and looked over the chain but when Dave (the best bike guy EVER) took a look at it he realized I had a broken grip shift. My bike got to spend the night and I'll get it picked up this afternoon. Poor baby, this year its gotten a new chain, two new "tires", one new tube, something else in the "cog" and now a new shift. I hope it feels better =)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forgetful Jones

For Monday's ride I left home without my sunglasses - with the rain it was for the best. Yesterday afternoon I left home without my water bottle. Thankfully at all the "anticipated" stops there wasn't any traffic so cruised through and didn't reach down for a drink until I was home. Don't worry, I re-hydrated after the ride!

Yesterday offered 30 mph southwest winds, today will offer 30 mph northwest winds. Even though I know it's good for me, I still don't like wind training. I guess it's kind of the Brussels Sprouts of bike riding!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Before the Storm

Yesterday when I got off work it was sticky and cloudy, perfect conditions for storms in the Midwest. I raced home, changed clothes, let the dogs out and jumped on my bike. Every mile or so it would rain for 2 minutes or less. I detoured around lots of road construction and made it to church in about 45 minutes to get Erik's car home. Today or tomorrow we'll take it over to TO Haas for new tires.

The rest of the evening was spent trying to get my homework submitted before the storms became too intense since I was concerned about losing power. Cache was convinced that barking at the thunder would scare it into being quiet so we all went to bed early and this morning both dogs were happy to go out in light rain. Hopefully I'll be off a little early again today and get a quick ride in. The weatherman is predicting 15-30 mph wind so I'll have to pick my route carefully.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It was a Real Blowout

Friday I spent the afternoon engaged in my textbook and got Erik and his friend Nick ready to go to the Saltdog's game. I took in lots of fluids, rested, took the dogs for a walk and contemplated my paper. My plan was to get up at 4:30 Saturday morning and be on the bike by 6, that would give me time to eat, grease my chain and get centered to ride 40 miles. When I got up at 4:30 it was pouring down rain. I decided I would sleep another hour and get on the bike at 6:30. At 5:30 it was raining even harder and the lighting looked really close. I decided to sleep another half hour and get on the bike at 7. At 6 it had transitioned to a light rain, the air was very thick and we had just over and an inch and a half in the rain gage. I decided to eat breakfast and re-consider my routes - since my initial plan had me traveling under a few bridges. At 7 Brian decided we should probably ride Sunday instead so we went and got groceries.

Saturday I worked on homework, finished getting ready for Father's Day and got the laundry back under control, not a day wasted but not 40 miles either. Sunday morning I got up at 4:30 with a plan to be on the bike at 6. We had a little last minute drama with Father's Day lunch preparations but by 6:20 I was on the bike planning to cruise the first 20 miles myself with a round trip to Devaney. At the five mile mark I was checking out my Cat Eye (bike computer) and thinking how cool it was that the little bench we usually take a break at on the way home is exactly 5 miles from our house. Seconds later there was an incredible hissing sound followed immediately by thump-thump, thump-thump. I jumped off the bike and sure enough my back tire was completely flat.

I called for a rescue and Brian took me home to get my tire changed. After that I decided that Sunday would be best spent writing my paper - so my total mileage for the week was 49 - 26 miles short of the 75 mile per week goal. This week Erik is in Schuyler but with any luck Brian will be home, and Sunday we're all riding Trail Trek. The metric is getting closer all the time. At least I'm getting miles in during the week. Maybe this weekend I can ride 40 Saturday and 30 Sunday to get a better feel for what the metric will be like!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bride Rides and Dog Bags

I honestly don't know what my problem is, sometimes I'm a super dork! Last night I decided to ride the Bride Ride - it's almost exactly 8 miles and I wanted a short ride, but didn't want to ride the big hill on the Quick Six. I don't know why I always think the Bride Ride is a good idea when my legs are already tired. At the end of the first two miles I was panting and miserable. The wind was 17 mph and in my face the whole way, there weren't any cute ducks in the first stretch and it was hot. I had leftover pasta for dinner so I didn't bring emergency nutrition and I just wasn't feeling it. At the top of the last hill in that section I got my legs back and by the end of the third mile I was feeling much better about the world. So much better that I decided to explore the Tierra Trail (which is closed halfway in) to make the ride exactly 8 miles. I panted hard up Tipperary but never lost my speed and cruised easily until I hit the baseball fields, where the wind met me again and tortured me on my way up the hill.

After I got home I decided the dogs would benefit from a quick walk. Unfortunately at the top of our block I used up the last dog poop bag. Then I decided we would do the really short walk since I didn't have anything to clean up with if Cache needed to go or Ozzy needed to go again. Of course, that meant that 1 block later Cache did indeed have to go. And then another block later Ozzy had to go again (2 per walk is his normal). So they got their exercise, and I got to leave them in the nice air conditioned house to walk back with a bag and get the rest of the poop picked up. The next dog bag dispenser will be clear - or have a counter on it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Gu It

Last night I tried Gu for the very first time. It went OK. I was worried from the horror stories that I wouldn't be able to swallow it or that it would make me feel really thirsty. It actually increased my saliva by a bit. I did it at the turnaround, at the bottom of the Holmes Lake Dam (the Damn Hill) and drank about half a bottle with it. Brian will be watching for a case of it to go on sale.

Post ride I was miserable for awhile, lots of right leg tightness and some calf cramps that didn't really resolve with liquid. After a hot shower I felt more human and I slept like a rock. We'll see if the rain cooperates with me riding today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To Pay the Bills

Even though the 30 rides in 30 days challenge is over I'm still trying to use the bike to help with errands. Last night I rode 11.2 miles in right about an hour, stopping to pay the cable bill on the way home. I picked an east/west route since there was a north wind when I left the house. Sadly, the minute I turned east the wind did too so I rode home into a moderate west wind.

Erik survived the second night of football camp, Cache is sleeping through the night, and Brian is struggling with hotel internet in Des Moines. Tonight Erik and I will meet my mom for dinner and then I'll get in a long ride while he goes to camp. Sunday will be 5 months until I am COMPLETELY done with college!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Last night was Erik's first night of football camp. He had a good time and thinks he learned some useful tools. They did a lot of drills. Before he left I rode the quick 6 and finished homework. Brian arrived safely in Des Moines and spent a little time on the exercise bike last night so that he can get some training before the ride on Saturday.

This weekend is the 40 mile ride. I've been pondering a million different routes so we'll see what I decide to ride. With any luck there will be a Dairy Queen somewhere along the route.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A College Graduate!!!!

Saturday morning I climbed out of bed and slurped down cereal and toast with peanut butter and got myself cetered for the long ride. Erik got up and ate so that he would be ready to take the ACT, and Brian made sure that the bikes were ready.

We had planned to ride a Trail Trek route but Brian ended up feeling yucky from not riding all week so he rode the first 12 miles with me and then I headed down the Antelope Valley Trail on my own. Brian changed clothes quickly and sagged for me at Devaney and at the post office and with a riding time around 3.5 hours I made it 36 miles. I had some leg cramps coming off the bike so did a lot of funny stretching in the garage before we met Jeff for lunch at Braeda. Honestly, it was the best macaroni and cheese I've ever eaten in my life. Shortly after lunch I took a quick nap and took the rest of the weekend to recover. Total distance for last week was - 80 miles - so I exceeded my distance goal of 75 miles per week!

As of last night, about 11, Brian is done with college!!!! He is still waiting for the grade for his Capstone but the general impression is that all is well =) As long as I get everything done, we'll walk across the stage together in December to get our diploma's. Pretty awesome!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Home of the Huskers

Yesterday when I left the house I wasn't sure how far I would ride. I wanted to get in at least 16 miles but I figured I would play the rest by ear. Saturday we are riding one of the routes for Trail Trek so I wanted to see how we would get to Haymarket Park from our house. I rode down the Rock Island Trail to the zoo, made my way around trail construction on Capitol Parkway, passed Lincoln High (Go Links!) said hi to Mr. Clark and got onto the new Antelope Valley Trail. From there I rode through downtown and decided to take the turn for Memorial Stadium, since we already know where Antelope Valley ends from last weeks ride. With the construction projects I decided I had gone far enough and went back without finding the connection. There weren't many bikes on the Antelope Valley Trail and I have to admit, I was surprised at the number of people who were in the area but not on the trail.

On the ride back I was getting pretty tired so I'll have to make sure and take along nutrition for solo rides over 12 miles from now on. I rode 17 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes with breaks (Brian's bike computer gives fancier information than mine does!). Maybe most interesting, on the ride back, in the pedestrian lane of the O Street Bridge I saw a man dressed as a beetle. I didn't get close enough to find out what they were doing, I'm suspicious it was related to Lincoln's protected Salt Creek Beetle.

Today I'm planning to rest up for tomorrow's ride. So far I have ridden 45 miles this week =)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cat Eye

Apparently there is a tiny difference between my Cat Eye and Brian's. Last night I rode from our house to 56th and Van Dorn for a total distance of 15.2 miles. Today I'm hoping to get off work before it rains and get in a ride before spending the rest of the day with my textbook.

This weekend we're planning to ride the 36 mile Trail Trek loop. We're due for a 35 mile ride and this route looks good for training. With any luck I'll easily get to 75 miles this week!

My office mate lost her brother-in-law yesterday very unexpectedly. He was at a national competition in Iowa and was found unresponsive in his hotel room. It's been a sad, and shocking time for our office and I can't seem to stop thinking about it. I am sure his wife and their three kids will be the source of many prayers for the next several weeks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Feeling Sleepy

Yesterday after work I mowed at our house, made dinner, finished grocery shopping, rode 8 miles, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and did 2 loads of laundry. Today I'm feeling a little sleepy =) Hopefully with the addition of caffeine and plenty of walking today for work I'll perk back up for tonight's ride. I'm planning to put in 16 miles tonight, so we'll see if the weather cooperates.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Triple Digits

It was 100 yesterday afternoon when I got off work. Yuck!!! Before I could chicken out I wrote out the gas bill and jumped on the bike to deliver it. I don't think I've ridden that hot before, the heat kind of radiates off the concrete. I touched my leg against the chain once and burned it so we'll have to be careful about that the rest of the summer!

Brian will be home from Iowa tonight so we're planning yard work and another ride - the forecast high for today is 98. I keep hoping they're wrong!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Get Lost

I didn't make my riding goal for last week.... by 2 miles.... - so last week will be forever on the books as 73 miles =)

Friday I left work at 8 so that I wouldn't go into over time and got a ride in before we left for KC. Saturday when we got home Brian and I did the quick 6 and yesterday we rode 30 miles, including the brand new Antelope Valley Trail Project. We left our house and headed North past the University where we took the Mopac Trail east to 84th street and then headed up the sidewalk to a gas station where we got more Gatorade and had a few snacks =) My legs were a little tired on the ride but are doing fine today. My hands are still a little off, but we're hoping to go glove shopping this week. The next three days are supposed to be REALLY hot (all close to 100) and the end of the week looks like rain so I'll do a recovery ride tonight and then try to get in long rides Tuesday and Wednesday so that I can rest during the rainy days. This week I'm going to try my hardest to get to 75.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Old Nebraska Wind

Wednesday night after we each mowed a yard it started to thunder so we packed it up and spent the evening inside. I would like to say we were productive, but Top Chef Masters was on, so I found a comfy spot on the couch.

Last night we rode the bride ride. My mileage for this week has a long way to go. I've only gone 26, so that's 49 miles to my weekly 75 mile goal. We're going to ride this morning before we leave for KC and tomorrow when we get home with a long ride planned for Sunday. Hopefully next week I'll get more cooperation from the weather =) 1 more week until Brian is all the way done with college.... now to figure out how to celebrate!!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

This week is kind of a killer, I'm working long days and still trying to get some distance on the bike so that I'm ready for the metric century, which is now 6 short weeks away!!!! For June my goal will be to ride a minimum of 75 miles per week. Monday I did 5.5, last night I did 12.5 so tonight we'll try for 15-20. The wind is supposed to pick back up today so hopefully it won't be too awful.

This weekend we're off to KC, Brian and I will see Cake and Mumford and Sons while Erik and his friend Ethan check out a Royals game. Hopefully it will be lots of fun for all of us.