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Friday, December 16, 2011

Megan Baab

One of my son's team mates from Lees-McRae College (LMC), Megan Baab, was killed yesterday in a cycling accident with a car while on a solo training ride. My son called me last night to tell me. He had had lunch with Megan the day he left to come home for the holidays. It is so sad. She had a bright future as a cyclist and was a freshman at LMC.

Here is a link to an article in the Watauga Democrat. There are several posts to this article some of which really touch the heart. The comment below says a lot. I wonder if it is from her dad.
To all of you that have posted your concerns, THANK YOU from the bottoom of my heart! Megan was a wonderful daughter. My daughter loved riding her bike and did it to the best of her ability! She loved to compete and loved being at Lees McRae! This is a very sad time for us all, but we are all blessed to have her in our life! Megan will be missed and I will miss her on our rides together so much! Remember , she died doing what she loved! WE are blessed with her memories! Chris Baab

As a dad I can totally relate. I love riding bikes with my son; it is always the highlight of my day. It is interesting that he points out she died doing what she loved, riding bikes.

And then there are these two posts:
Heaven has a special place for LMC cyclist!
The streets are gold in heaven. Ride on...
It has been a tough year for Less-McRae College when it comes to loosing cyclist.

As I tried explaining to my son last night, we all take a risk when we ride our bikes on the road. It is a risk that I am keenly aware of and accept. I love riding my bike. I didn't know Megan, but it sounds like Megan loved riding her bike too. I do know that she will be missed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Riding Rollers

I rode the rollers last night for the first time in two months. It only took about 10 seconds to feel comfortable on the rollers again. I was worried about feeling comfortable, but there was no reason.

It was tough going though. In the past I would ride for 45 minutes, but last night I last for 30. I'm sure I could have ridden a little longer, but I didn't want to push it too much.

The whole purpose, or I should say my primary purpose behind riding rollers is to get my leg speed up for riding on the track. I do a 10 minute warm-up and then do a sprint followed by nearly 4 minutes of spinning at a high cadence, and then a 1 minute slower cadence; for 5 minute intervals in total. Repeat until the time has run out and with each repeat try to increase the cadence by 5.

Last night I was doing good to maintain 105 rpm. A few months ago I was maintaining 110 rpm and at times could maintain 115 rpm for a few minutes.

All this got me to thinking if it is too early to start this kind of workout. I still think it is important for me to ride the rollers and I think it is important to keep the leg speed up, but what exactly should I be concentrating on this time of year. Since I've not been able to ride much the last couple of months I figure I've had my break, so time to start training for next year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Map My Ride

I've created some more routes on Map My Ride. I have posted about this before, maybe a year or so ago. The mapping tools are much easier to use now. It is truly easy to map a route now.

I mapped the Firestone & Summit Hurst Hammick route that we rode last Saturday. What I haven't been able to figure out is how to mark the route as a "Must Do".

I also mapped out some of the routes that I either ride or would like to ride. The route that I ride most often these days is what I call the Hour Loop which incorporates most of the Airport Loop. The other routes also include the Hour Loop but add more distance. You can see all the routes that I've made public on the right side of this blog.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hurst Hammick

This past Saturday saw the Firestone & Summit Group ride the Hurst Hammick Route, one of my favorite routes. Thirteen riders, including one Hand Cyclist, started the ride. We had David Mayo, Dana, Happy, Nester, Left Lane, Bugno, the Count, Retro Dave, and others who I don't remember their names. Several of us had been at the Wheelmen party the night before and might have stayed up a bit too late and/or enjoyed ourselves a little more than we should have. We lost one rider heading out to the Hammick; I think it was voluntary.

The ride out to the Hammick was fairly calm with a tailwind. The group would split and then regroup quite a bit. It seems we lost another rider coming out of the Hammick; for some reason he never showed up at the first rest stop; we did wait quite a while. We all hoped he didn't take a left on Hwy 90 and head to Alabama.

For some reason I was the last to leave the first rest stop and got delayed at the light on 9 Mile and Beulah Road, so I ended up chasing the lead group. I finally caught up with them about 500 yards onto Muscogee Road. I then was dropped again after the Happy RR Crossing when the road went up. Happy decided he wanted to attack after the tracks; I was maxed out after all the chasing and couldn't hold on. I briefly caught back up after making the right onto 97 at the bottom of the hill and crossing RR tracks again. But, that was short lived as the road went up again. Even after the road leveled out there was no catching the group with the head wind. I ended up riding solo until the second rest stop where every one was waiting for me. Thanks guys for waiting. That head wind was brutal and I sure didn't want to ride the rest of the ride without some protection.

The third segment saw the group splitting a bit. We did regroup briefly at Palafox before heading down Johnson where we split again. I ended up in a four man group that had a fairly relaxing ride down Johnson and back to Maygarden. Nester jumped with about 500 meters to go and I think took the line followed by Bugno. I say I think because when Nester jumped I didn't even react; so I wasn't there.

It was a nice ride, but really wore this rider out. I haven't ridden much lately and it showed. Several of the other riders seem to be in good shape and raring to push the pace on the front. After the ride I went home, ate lunch, and then took a nap. Later in the evening I was hurting. That ride had taken a lot out of me. On the plus side I feel that I was about in the middle of the group which isn't too bad considering how little I've been able to ride the last several months. I hope after the first of the year that I can start riding more and get back into shape.

My training partner will be returning home next week from college. That should help with the motivation and hopefully the two of us will be able to ride with the group over the Christmas holidays. I have added the route to MapMyRide.