Starts and Stops

The last weekend in February was a good one.  My rain/winter rig was finally completed and working properly.  The temps were now in the upper 40s and low 50s.  My need to ride was also supported by my wife who said “you’re more present after you ride anyways” and bid me adieu.  First of all, my winter rig, which is my 2009 Specialized allez that I threw some 25c tires, tiagra shifters, and SKS raceblade fenders on, rode like a dream.  The water, sand, and grit that covered other cyclists I saw didn’t trouble me a bit.  Breathing deeply and observing the slow change of seasons along my normal training route was very comforting.  I realized that between the weather and the new addition to the family I hadn’t ridden since new year’s day.  It had obviously been too long however my fear of blowing up on the side of the road quickly dissipated as my legs got back into their rhythm.  The only sounds were my breathing and the hum of my tires on the moist pavement.  Although the time between my rides can be agonizingly long at this stage in my life, it’s good to know that my bikes stand at the ready when I need them.

Late Adopter

I was driving to work today and popped on the fabulous WKCR expecting to hear Phil Schaap and Bird Flight, but instead was treated to the Roy Campbell memorial broadcast.  For those of you not in the know, WKCR will often preempt their radio programming when an important jazz figure passes away and play 24 or so hours of their material. 

I’ve come to realize that I am an awfully late adopter of jazz music.  Gowing up, jazz was always in my house.  My dad is an avid jazz fan and has been since the ’50s so I grew up with the music providing a backdrop to everyday life.  I heard, but I didn’t always listen when I was younger.  As my tastes veered to punk rock, blues, 1st wave raggae, etc., jazz fell to the wayside.I can’t remember when my taste started to change.  Listening to WKCR and asking my dad more questions about the music and its various subgenres helped.  Now that I really enjoy listening to jazz I am disheartened by a reality that I am the late adopter.  Many jazz inventors, icons, and lumineries have passed, leaving the music with a small but devoted number of performers and fans. I can’t help but feeling that I missed the boat. 

Damn

Damn it’s been a long time.  I keep meaning to get after it and blog it up, but I somehow get away from it.  Locked in a deep freeze here in the northeast, I feel like a caged animal.  I try to get out more than most people at the office, but the reality is sometimes you just have to stay inside. Inside time is normally a hard thing for me to handle. These last couple weeks I have been occupied with thoughts of a former creative outlet: Bull Dozer

It’s been over a year since my band, Bull Dozer, has practiced or performed. After making three records and playing countless shows all over the east coast, we just decided to hang it up. The bassist, K Beans, got married in December 2012 and my wife and I had our second kid in November 2013. Somewhere along the way we lost the stoke. Lately though, I have been getting the itch again. Song lyrics and chord progressions have been popping into my head and I feel as though I’m ready to get the band back together. The one issue with re-starting the band is that I don’t feel like being Bull Dozer anymore. I want to play with the same guys and play similar music, but I want a fresh start. Here’s hoping I can convince them to change our name/thrust when I actually put the reformation plan back in order.

The Edge…Part 1

I know that I was previously on the fence about purchasing a new Garmin Edge 500.  I finally broke down and bought one a couple weeks ago and I can honestly say that it is a great little piece of machinery.  I didn’t know if I was ready to be “that guy” who is obsessed with data and the analysis of that data.  I realize that the Garmin is useful even if you don’t want to get crazy with of the metrics it provides.  First of all, training with a heart rate has been very helpful in letting me know how intense my workouts really are.  It also lets me know that my “easy” wasn’t easy enough so I know on those nice slow days I can ride even slower.  I will say that slowing down is quite an adjustment, but I definitely feel like my body appreciates the recovery. 

 

As far as the GPS goes, although the 500 doesn’t give you a map on the bike, but when you download the ride onto the Garmin Connect site you get the satisfaction of seeing the distance you covered right there on a map.  I already feel like the device has given me a little extra motivation to try that tough hill I’ve only ridden once or take a detour I’ve never ridden before. Sitting at my desk at work and being able to log on and see my rides helps to transport me somewhere else while at the same time inspires me for my next ride.  I haven’t had the Edge that long, but I can already tell that it will make for an interesting season of riding and I already feel I waited to long wondering if I should buy it or not.

Waiting for the Edge

After sitting on the fence for what seemed like an eternity, I finally bought a Garmin bike computer.  Based on what I thought I needed, I bought the Garmin Edge 500 from good old Competitive Cyclist.  I have been using a very basic Sigma Team BC1106 since I resumed cycling in 2008.  For a long time I liked the simplicity of just knowing my elapsed time, mileage, and speed, but over the last couple of months I started thinking that a more comprehensive computer might help me get a little more focused in my training.

I need some motivation.  I love to ride and enjoy passing the miles, but sometimes I just need something to get me out of the house and out of my own way.  Here’s where I thought the Edge could help.  The ability to track my physical metrics as well as being able to download maps of my rides seems like something that will stoke my fire at times when I need a kick.

The Edge comes tonight and I will be waiting patiently for the UPS guys to get to my house and leave it for me.  It’ll be hard for me to open it up and have to wait until tomorrow to get the first ride in.   As far as new technology is now concerned…I’m all in!

Echelons are Forming

The race is getting hard now. Riders jostle for position because they know that once they hit that big right hander the crosswind will be waiting for them. When faced with the toughest situation of the day, the riders know what to do. As the peloton sweeps around the right-hand bend, instinctively and without any discussion, echelons are forming. If you weren’t in the right position and didn’t make the right split your day is over.