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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Rider by Tim Krabbe'

I just finished reading The Rider by Tim Krabbe'. It wasn't the easiest book to read, but I did enjoy it. The book pretty much covers a single race kilometer by kilometer with some other stories mixed in. I could feel his pain and understand the feelings and thoughts that he had as he progressed through the race.

In the end I would say that it is a good book and recommend it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

UWF/Scenic Hills

Yesterday I rode with the Firestone & Summit group. We did the UWF/Scenic Hills Loop. You can read a different take on the ride here.

After having ridden 68 miles the day before my legs were heavy. I had a hard time getting my cadence up. There were only five of us. The average speed was a little over 15; so it wasn't a fast ride, but there were some fast sections as usual. I enjoyed the route, especially riding through Scenic Hills. I did take one hill and came in 2nd for the finish on Maygarden.

This morning my son and I were going to ride with our FSU friend, but 40 degree temps caused us to stay inside. The wind is up too. To tell the truth, my legs are heavy today too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Molino 68mi

Yesterday my son, a friend, and I rode my Molino 68mi route. It was a nice day. I dressed warmly, but never got hot, just nice and toasty. I did get cold at a rest stop. This was the first time I have ridden some of these roads in over 20 years. Not much has changed, just more traffic in some areas and a few roads have better pavement. But, some roads appear to have the same pavement as 20 years ago.

Our friend is a student from FSU and is on the team there. It was the strongest rider of the day. I came in last. Towards the end of the ride going down Scenic Hwy I had very little left in my legs. To think that our friend had wanted to ride the 200k, there's no way I was ready for that.

We got a 9am start and ended at 1:30pm with 4 hrs of riding time. There was quite a bit of traffic on Pine Forest and the turn onto 297A. After we turned up 97 the traffic thinned and the pavement was good pretty much all the way to Muskogee Rd. The pavement all the way to Molino was about average with some good pavement thrown in from time to time. Molino Rd was pretty good.

The stores on Muskogee Rd and in Molino on 95A were open which is good. But we didn't stop until we got to Five Points. Quintette Rd is no better than it use to be. I take that back. The first half had good pavement, but the Santa Rosa part was numbing. I've never been a fan of Quintette Rd, but it does connect the two counties which opens up the possibilities of nice long rides without having to double back.

The traffic on Woodbine was intense at times, but it was around 12:30. The traffic on Hwy 90 was heavy and it was difficult to make the left onto Scenic Hwy. Some were saying how cruel it is to finish up the ride on Scenic Hwy. I think it is a good way to finish up the ride; although my legs were screaming at me.

We had a great ride! It was about the right distance for me for this time of year. I might make some modifications to the course to avoid Pine Forest Rd and the 297A intersection, but we'll see. This was the first time my son has ridden this course. He enjoyed it so much that he thinks it should be a weekly ride. BTW, I designed this version of the route just for him by going directly to Summit Blvd instead going via Bayou Blvd. He doesn't much care for riding Bayou Blvd.

Our friend will be in town until after the first of the year, so I'm sure we will get some more nice rides with him. It sure is nice having a 3rd riding to ride with; especially since he does a lot of pulling too. Thanks Joe!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Warmer

My son and I rode Loop-T-Loop today. The temps were in the 50's. All in all it was a nice ride, but my son pushed me pretty hard. I rode the 928 for a change, but I could feel every bump in the rode. We are hoping to ride the Scenic 25 tomorrow if it doesn't rain with a friend. Got to ride when you can...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pine Forest Loop

I got to ride Saturday with the Firestone & Summit group. We rode the Pine Forest Loop. There were 7 riders total. I was a little tired and the pace wasn't very fast. All in all it was a nice 40 mile ride. I'm not really crazy about the route, but I knew that the colder temperatures were coming, so I very much wanted to get some miles in while I could. I'll have to try to remember the route and post it on

Today it is too cold and windy for me. I'm thinking about getting some more winter clothing; otherwise I'm going to have to learn how to ride rollers. I don't want to loose my fitness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold Weather

I don't like cold weather. I rode yesterday, just a short ride in the afternoon. I never warmed up. I couldn't wait to get back home just so I could warm up. The legs felt heavy after saturday's ride. This cold weather has got me down. The thing is, it isn't really that cold. 50 degrees isn't cold, but it sure feels cold to me and I don't like riding when I'm cold. Some how I'm going to have to get use to it if I'm going to build upon my fitness which is my goal.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Innerarity Point Ride

Today I joined the Firestone group on the Innerarity Point Ride. The ride started a little after 8am at the Fish and Wildlife parking lot (I can't help but call it the Marine Patrol) with very little wind. The pace started reasonable, but it sped up several times and finished fast. The temps were slightly chilly to start, but it didn't take long before riders were shedding some of the extra clothes.

I hadn't been down Innerarity Point in years. The last time I road down there, there were only about 3-5 houses. The pavement was pretty good. It was fun.

Going through the back gate of NAS not all of the riders had ID's. The gate keepers let us through anyway. Very nice guys today. Riding along the water was very beautiful.

Main St. is still torn up towards the end of the ride, so we took Garden St. instead.

I have mapped the course and it is now listed on the right under rides. The course maps at just under 50 miles.

This was the first time I have ridden this course. All in all I would say that this is a very nice course. There was some traffic here and there, but for the most part the traffic was reasonable.

It was a beautiful day and I got home before 11:30. I really needed this ride as I haven't ridden much lately. The legs are sore now, so hopefully I will ride tomorrow to work out some of the soreness.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Cold Weather Has Arrived

My son and I had some good rides over the Thanksgiving holidays. It was nice and I was starting to feel strong again. Then it got cold. I'm not a cold weather cyclist. On top of that, I've been working non-stop the last several weeks (except for those nice rides).

So, I'm not sure how much riding I'm going to get in this winter. I had high hopes at the end of the season. Maybe I need to learn how to ride the rollers. I sure don't want to loose the fitness I have achieved.

Just the same, if I don't do much riding I won't be posting much either.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Posted 3 routes

Today was a windy dreary day with rain in the afternoon and evening. I started out to ride around 23 but cut it short to 15. It was so windy. I realized that I wasn't enjoying the ride and had other things that I could be doing. None the less, I'm glad that I rode. I rode the Spanish 15 today.

I mapped 3 routes today on MapMyRide; they are included in the list of rides on the right panel. I've been thinking about it for a while, but haven't really been able to take the initiative to sit down and map the routes. After doing the Three Amigos route this past Saturday, I knew that I better get these routes mapped out soon. Besides, I keep referring to the Spanish 15 and Loop-T-Loop in the blog. Those are the routes that I've been riding the most of lately. The Scenic 25 is still one of my favorites, but it takes time and energy. So here are the new mapped routes:
  • Spanish 15 - A fairly flat spinning route when there isn't time for a longer route.
  • Loop-T-Loop (23mi) - A variation of Spanish 15 which includes the Airport Loop and finishes on Scenic Hwy. This route is rather compact and doubles back on itself a couple of times with very little duplication.
  • Three Amigos - This is a Firestone & Summit group ride around 45 miles.

Three Amigos

Almost four weeks off the bike when you include the trip to AZ. I've pretty much recovered from my strained achilles tendon injury. It is still sore, but at least I can ride now as long as I'm careful not to strain it again.

My son and I rode with the Firestone group Saturday. We rode the Three Amigos route, about 45 miles for us. The pace was a little slow and the traffic seemed heavy (maybe because of the Blue Angle air show). On the home stretch my son broke away. I worked hard to catch him. I finally did, but it took me all of Garden Street to do it. It was a nice day to be on the bike.

I had never ridden the Three Amigos route before. It started with familiar roads heading north then west. There was a fairly long stretch of Blue Angle Pkwy which had a lot of traffic. Then the course got onto Lillian Hwy. At first I was a bit concerned because there was little to no shoulder, but the traffic thinned out rather quickly and the views of Perdido Bay were very nice. We then found ourselves on Dog Track road, then Gulf Beach Hwy. From there we went through Navy Point and then the Country Club. Once we got onto Barrancas Ave. we knew we were on the home stretch and for some of us the pace picked up considerably. Overall the course was nice. If it weren't for the traffic, I'd say it was a very nice course, but being Blue Angle Homecoming Show weekend could have had a lot to do with the heavy traffic.

Last week we rode the Spanish 15 and Loop-T-Loop routes. Not really very many miles. I wanted to test the ankle, but gently. Last night my wife and I rode the Townies around the neighborhood; it was nice to get her back on the bike too.

We are trying to get back into training/riding. But, it is hard. Between my work and my son's school it is taking a lot of discipline to make ourselves make the time to ride. But once we get on the bike all is good. Right now when it comes to training I just want to concentrate on the miles, but work keeps getting in the way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spanish 15

Today is the first time I have ridden in two weeks. I spent a week in AZ at a software conference; it would have been nice to have a folding bike there. But I returned home with a strained achilles tendon; so I had to take another week off. It felt good to be back on the bike. My son and I rode the Spanish 15 loop. Just a short ride as I wanted to not stress my injury. It was great, but a little warm today.

Note: I did stress my injury. I made the mistake of contesting the sprint at the end. So, more rest before I get back on the bike again. And when I do return I need to not contest the sprint for a while.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pensacola Criterium - Photo

I'm currently in AZ at a Software Developer's conference. A friend of mine sent me a photo that his wife took of me at the criterium. I sure appreciate it.

Prentiss Berry (taken by Carol)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Return to Tops'l

My wife and I spent the weekend at Tops'l east of Destin again. We had a wonderful time. We took our Townies and road to lunch and dinner to Baytown. We also went exploring to see more of what was there. We probably put in around 20 miles. The lights worked great on both our bikes.

It is so nice to ride slowly on all the bike trails in that area. It is a good example of how planning for multiple modes of transportation works. It's too bad we don't have those kind of trails and planning here in Pensacola.

Next time I will try to take some pictures.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pensacola Criterium

I finally finished editing the photos I took of the Pensacola Criterium which was part of the 2010 Pensacola Cycling Classic. The 82 photos are posted here.

The 2010 Pensacola Cycling Classic was a great event. The criterium was very exciting to watch. It was truly amazing to watch the Masters race; they stuck together, rode very fast, and exhibited incredible handling skills.

Below are a few pictures that are posted.

My son

Start of the Masters 35+

Masters 35+ - Turn 3

Masters 35+ - Turn 2

Monday, September 27, 2010

Full Moon Ride - 9/23/10

The Firestone Group rode its Full Moon Ride last thursday starting at Casino Beach with around 18 riders several of which were some of the younger riders. The pace was pretty spirited, at least for us on the tandem; captain and stoker worked very hard to keep up. It was a real struggle. I worked so hard that I took the next several days off the bike; that ride really tired me out. We had a really hard time finding a happy gear and the headwind on the way back from Ft. Pickens was stiff.

It is my understanding that this was the last Full Moon Ride of the season as the days are getting shorter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Full Moon Ride

Last night's Full Moon Ride was a tough ride for this tandem team. The make-up of the group was young and fast and the wind was strong out of the east-southeast. It was pretty much a loosing battle to keep up; but we tried.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pensacola Cycling Classic - RR photo

The Pensacola Cycling Classic is over now. I will write more about it in a later post with photos, but I wanted to post this picture of myself taken by Dana at the finish of the road race. Notice the Western Washington University jersey; that's one of my favorite jerseys. Looks like I need to loose some more weight.

Prentiss Berry (taken by Dana)

Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 Dothan Criterium

It has been almost a week since the Dothan Criterium, so I thought I better comment on it before this weekend's Pensacola Cycling Classic. The Dothan Cityfest was really nice. There was a decent showing for the criterium being the first year of the Cityfest event. The criterium was on Saturday with a century ride on Sunday.

Cat 4 Start

Both my son and I raced, but didn't put in a very good performance. The course was nice, but had a hill which hurt me. The Pensacola Subaru Team was very well represented and did pretty good in their races. This is the first race that I have participated in for over 20 years. I list good excuses for why I didn't do very well, but I'll just accept it. I did enjoy it, but I sure was glad to hear the final lap bell. I would definitely race it again. I hope Dothan puts this event on again next year.

Below are some of my favorite photos that I took. I took a total of 216 photos and then trimmed it down to 65. These can be viewed here. I only took photos of the Masters 35+ and Cat. 4 races. Hopefully my son and I will do better this weekend and I hope to get some good photos too.

Cat 4 racers - turn 1 - 3 man breakaway

Cat 4 racers - turn 4

Cat 4 racers - turn 4

Friday, September 10, 2010

Show and Tell (My Bicycles)

I got around to taking photos of my bicycles. I found this to be rather difficult and hope to eventually take some better photos. These will have to do for now. It sure makes me appreciate the photos that Alan @ EcoVelo and Veloria @ Lovely Bicycle take; they do such a wonderful job.

My favorite bike is my Bianchi Infinito. This bike is built up with Campy Record (11sp) and custom DT Swiss wheels. This bike is a dream to ride.

My Bianchi 928 SL I've had a couple years. It is a nice bike too but not as comfortable as the Infinito. It is built up with Campy Record (10sp) and Mavic Krysirium SL wheels. It is stiff and I plan to use mainly for criteriums.

I have a Salsa Mamasita that I built up to take to Washington State when my son was going to school at there. He doesn't go to school out there anymore and sadly enough this bike has never been ridden. I still plan to take out there as my daughter lives there and they mountain bike quite a bit.

Then there is Electra Townie; I wrote briefly about this bike in an earlier post. It is a beach cruiser. I had by LBS put on a dyno hub, but the light that came with it didn't work to good. I ended up ordering some lights from Peter White Cycles which made a huge difference. Both lights are LEDs, are powered by the dyno hub, and are plenty bright for the riding that I do on this bike. I also did away with the old saddle and put on a Brooks.

Those are my bikes for now. You know how it goes; always need another one...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Today was too beautiful a day not to ride a bike. The weather has been wonderful the last couple of weeks with temperatures below 90 degrees. I have ridden the last 3 days, the first 2 with my son. My legs are now sore as when I ride with my son I tend to push harder. It has been great! Even in the 80's it is starting to feel like fall which is one of my favorite times of the year. Lately while riding I've been having flashbacks of wonderful rides I had 25 years ago. Of course I don't remember the pain. But I feel it now and wonder why it hurts so bad.

This coming saturday we are headed to Dothan, AL for a criterium which is part of the Dothan CityFest. It should be interesting as this will be my first race in over 20 years. I plan on riding in the same category as my son and ride for him. I expect to exercise quite a bit of caution. Also, we are preparing for another race the following weekend.

That's right, another race, but this time in the Pensacola area. The Pensacola Cycling Classic (PCC) is next weekend and last for 2 days. I will be riding this race as part of the Florida Senior Games. Yes, I'm riding with the old guys, but that is not to say that it will slow.

The PCC has been one of my targets all year, the first one being Ride Yellow in June. I had hoped to have lost more weight than I have and be in better shape. I had really wanted to win this event. But, I don't feel much stronger or faster than I did at the first of the year so my hopes of actually winning are slim. It will be more about the "experience". It just seems to be taking forever to get back into shape.

I'm not letting it get me too down. I have plans to get involved in randonneuring which means I need to keep working on getting in shape and doing longer distances. My rides lately have been quite enjoyable and I've been spinning a pretty high cadence which is good. It really takes time to get cycling muscles up to speed. I rode off my base for years, but the base went away. Now I'm rebuilding the base and it just takes time. The good news is that once I get a good base again then I believe I will be very close to where I want to be fitness-wise but now I have more wisdom and experience. I'm actually pretty excited about my future when it comes to cycling; I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend 2010

The Mrs. and I spent Labor Day weekend in Destin at the Tops'l Tennis Villas. We played tennis, rode bikes, ate, and had a very nice relaxing time.

The restaurants we ate at and like are:

I think the thing we liked most was riding our bikes to Baytown to eat.

The bicycles that we took are Electra Townies. I would classify them as beach cruisers. They are comfortable, but kind of slow. They do the job they were designed for. On my Townie I have a dyno hub that powers a headlight and a taillight. The lights really came in handy riding to Baytown at night as the paths are dark. I plan to install a similar setup on the Mrs. Townie.

Tops'l is one of our favorite places to spend a weekend away from home. It is close to home, lots to do, lots to eat, private, quiet, and not too expensive. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Sun Shone Today

I finally got to ride this morning after days and days of rain. I did my favorite route, the Scenic 25. I forgot how nice it is to ride in the morning. The temps were in the 80s which beats the heck out of 96 degrees. The traffic was light; I went after the morning school traffic. While I didn't set any speed records, it sure was nice to ride again.

I hadn't ridden since doing the Full Moon Ride last tuesday night with the Firestone and Summit Group. We met at the east parking lot before entering Ft. Pickens instead of Casino Beach. I liked it better as we avoided all the traffic. The Mrs. and I rode the tandem we have been borrowing. This is the 2nd time we have done this ride and both times on the tandem. This time we actually got to see the moon. It was a very nice ride, but a headwind on the way to Ft. Pickens. I highly recommend this ride and believe it to be a monthly ride on the night of the Full Moon.

As I mentioned, this is the 2nd time the Mrs. and I rode the tandem. Years ago we rode a tandem quite a bit. Now, over 20 years later, it is nice to ride together again on a tandem. Our old tandem is, well, old and rusty. It is nice of Victor to loan us his tandem. We are still working on the right saddle for the Mrs. and seat height for both of us. I was told by the Mrs. that I also need to work on my communication. Communication is key to riding a tandem.

Since the Full Moon rides are intended to be easy rides, we will probably stick with those for the time being, unless we just ride on our own. With the headwind last time I got to do some drafting on the tandem (was drafted too for a bit). I found it more challenging to draft on the tandem than when riding by myself, but still worth the effort.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Map My Ride

It has been either hot or raining. I've been staying up too late to get up early to ride. And last week I went to New Orleans. So, I haven't ridden in a week. What I have done is get familiar with MapMyRide.

MayMyRide is really cool. I've been having a lot of fun creating routes and have spent hours and hours doing this to try and make the routes perfect. The possibilities seem endless.

Below are a couple of routes I've created. There are several others I've created as well: 100k, Century, 200k. As of this writing some of the routes still need cleaning up. Some have directional arrows. It's hard to decide on how many arrows to use. Click here to see my profile which list all of the rides I've created. I have also listed rides in a list on the right on my blog page.

Here is the Firestone & Summit group's Super8

My favorite training ride - The Scenic 25

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ride Yellow

Yesterday I rode Ride Yellow for the 2nd year in row. I am pleased with my performance as I cut a little over 30 minutes from last year's time.

I rode with a group of 8 riders (one being my son) which started as nine. Dana Foster's front hub cracked after 2 1/2 miles; so he was out. Near the end we had another casualty in that one of Earl Page's sons got dehydrated and had to be taken to the hospital; I learned that he has since been released and is ok.

Eventhough I was riding with a group, I still got dropped on the hills. It seemed that I would catch back up only in time for another hill. I had to work hard, but I enjoyed this year's ride much more than last year. Thanks to my group for pulling me around and thanks to my son for setting a nice reasonable pace; I know it took a lot of self-discipline.

We did the 62 mile course. My riding time was 3:37:30. We only stopped twice, skipping the other rest stops. Last year I stopped 4 times. Stopping twice broke the ride into three nice segments; I really liked it. I forgot my heart-rate monitor so all I could do was use how I felt to pace myself. I also forgot my camera, so no pictures.

This is a great ride, very well supported and for a good cause. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This is the beginning of this blog. I intend to write primarily about bicycling in Pensacola, but may from time to time write about other things as well. While my primary interest lies in competitive cycling, I have admiration for all types of bicycling; other blogs have opened my eyes to various types of cycling that people enjoy. After all, it is all about the love of the bicycle.

Currently I do not intend to be an active blogger, but that could change. I've been very interested in creating a blog, so today I did it. I mainly wanted to create an account so that I would no longer be anonymous anymore.

Happy cycling!