Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The View of the Wheel Ahead from a Rookie

It was the last couple of miles of a 30 mile day and Steve and I were pulling the group. The computer read just a bit over 19 MPH. Steve looks over at me and tells me the couple on the Tandem bike are about to take off…”Dave, try to stay on their wheel.” Two seconds later that tandem bike blew by us as if we were rocks on the road. I looked over at Steve, sweat dripping off my brow as the Texas mercury registered 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and responded, “Alright!” I immediately changed to a higher gear, out of the saddle, and pressing hard. Another cyclist had surged as well. Looking up, Marcel in his black and white jersey had excepted the challenge as well…and our two bikes were wheel to wheel to wheel with the tandem bike that had two engines to crank out high RPM’s….in a high gear.

The legs were already spent….the 62 mile solo ride the previous day and now another 30 in the Texas heat. This afternoon ride with the group had proven something memorable. It was the maiden voyage of the Trek in a group setting. My mind was racing, “You show up with a Trek Carbon decked out in racing components, you better have the engine to operate it!” For most of the 30 miles I had been up at the front…not trying to prove to anybody but myself that I had the engine. The ride is easier draftingwithin the peloton, the front guys have it tougher, but that’s what I wanted on this ride…the harder I work now, the less pain during the race…an adaptation to a Marine Corps mantra, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” And so, this was what I asked of my self…from the start to the top of Windhaven hill. Make it hurt more now, and it will pay off later.

We were wrapping up the ride, the 3 of our bikes had surged from the group…with about a mile and half left. I gear up another gear…and look down at my computer; we had just passed the 25 mph reading. Lactic acid poured forth into my leg’s quads, they burned like fire, they screamed like a tormented demon from that fire. The heart rate was high…too high…my breathing labored with quick shallow breaths….and my body went into severe oxygen dept. The mind had become fuzzy and told me to quit…”Dave, you have ridden well…coast on in for God’s sakes.” I tasted salt as sweat dripped into my mouth with every labored breath. My vision was blurry, either from sweat dripping into my eyes or the oxygen dept, I couldn’t tell…but that blurred vision was on the wheel in front of me…on Marcel’s wheel…”Dig deep Dave, I told myself…hold it together!!!” And for the next mile I did…until the tank was empty, completely, and every effort I had was not enough. My mind demanded but my body just could not respond. The mind screamed, cursed, shouted for my body to give more, but there was nothing left to give as the tandem and Marcel began to pull away….and so for the last ½ mile I coasted…the engine had blown…but for the first 28 miles…well…we have room for improvement but the Trek Carbon actually had responded with the new engine….and that was a good thing….a satisfying thing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A New Bike...and French Braids...

Ok...EPIC Father's day Weekend...and I really don't know where to start. It was a busy weekend with running, cycling, softball and just being a Dad.

Heck...let's go chronological:

Saturday at 0600 I found myself at Northshore Trail at Grapevine lake with Kevin, Matt, and cut to the chase...13 miles on the trail...with our mild spring, I still have not acclimated to the heat/humidity yet. We all suffered and had a good time...does this make sense???

Then back to the house...Macy's has started the Softball playoffs. The 1st grade Speedy Hamsters were 1st place in the regular season thus being awarded a first seed into the bracket...and a victory on Saturday Afternoon.

As soon as the game was over, Luke and I went to go look at a bike a guy was trying to sell. A bike of the caliber had been neglected and the owner thought maybe somebody else could find a better use for it...a TREK carbon with Shimano Dura Ace components...a lot of bike...with the specs HERE for you bike freaks. is official, I now have a real bike!

I have not gone for a real ride yet as I need to get the cleats for the DuraAce pedals.

Sunday, I slept in and relaxed as we had Father's Day stuff to do. Off to church...then back to the another Speedy Hamster softball game...with not so good results as the previous day. On a much less important note...last week I posted on Facebook...that "My name is Dave, I am a Marine and can French Braid my daughter's hair." Yep...I French braided her hair for the game...and here is a picture for proof...

After the ballgame, we went swimming with some friends...then I got off for a 30 mile recovery ride on the ole Fixie...

Wow...what a weekend...

I want to close with this...that meant more to me than you can imagine...

My Wife, Bren got me a Father's Day card with Superman on the front...and the inside reads, "I wish you could see yourself the way I do!" That gal is the wind to my back, the anesthetic to the pain, the octane to run the engine and the lead that shields the kryptonite...I love that women!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another First...and I nearly Puked!

Ok…Another weekend…and another First….but I will get to that in the minute.

First, the Baseball/Softball season has wrapped up and playoffs will start this next weekend. Both Macy and Luke are playing well. Luke hit the ball like a monster this past weekend and Macy went 1 for 2…and loves every minute of it.

So Saturday before Luke’s 0800 game, I was able to squeeze in a 10 mile run…but it was Sunday that I was focusing on.

I was going on 2 rides….a 40 mile ride solo before church early on Sunday…and at 3:30 PM a group ride in the heat for the purpose to accomplish 2 things….heat acclimation and to get use to riding with a group. The heat index registered 100 degrees and there was about a 20 MPH wind out of the south. If you are on a Fixed Gear…well there are certain challenges when riding in a group. I still have a lot to learn on how the handle the fixie in a group ride. To get up a hill on the fixie…well the best way is to get out of the saddle and use momentum to ride up the hill…which means that you may break away for a minute…but then, ironically on the downhills the group will take off and keeping up is difficult because your legs can only move so fast…and being “fixed”…you are always having to “peddle.”

The first 22 miles I slipped into the group and had a good time riding with the group. I even did some work on the first part of the ride. Then we came to Windhaven Hill…and Maria warned me about a mile out. This was “THE “ hill. We start into the hill and I hear everyone slip into what they called “granny” gear. My granny gear was out of the saddle and up we started. I have never ridden something so hard…my heart rate JUMPED to a 190…I couldn’t believe how hard this was…can I move any slower and still stay up….finally it was over and we all regrouped at the top. Someone asked Amy, how was it…and she responded, “I don’t know, I watched that psycho on the fixie ride up that thing.” I didn’t tell everyone I nearly puked at the end…I could feel it starting to come up as we peaked the hill…”hold it down…don’t let it come up…”

I had burned the entire matchbook on that climb…the legs were done…and so the last 5 miles I struggled to keep up with the "A" Group…soon the ride was over…31 total miles for total afternoon ride…and a 71 mile day. I was cooked…a little disappointed that I couldn’t keep up very well the last few miles…and well also glad it was over…and glad I didn’t puke...really…not a good way to acquaint yourself with a new riding group. Ride on…or run on…but do something other than sitting on the couch…

Monday, June 7, 2010


even Contidor...even he...I dare say has bonked.

Pronunciation: \ˈbäŋk, ˈbȯŋk\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: imitative
definition: In endurance sports, particularly cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy.

The sad case…I know better. You exercise for over 2 hours, you better have some fuel…some food…you know the fine art of nutrition. Karl Meltzer has been know to run a full 100 miles on gel packs alone. The thought alone turns my stomach. My buddy Paul Tidmore concocts his own mad science recipe…to the nth gram and calories…you know right, that 4 calories is equal to 1 gram of carbs…right?

So when I left on early Sunday morning to get a long ride in…I realized two things at about mile 20…a.) I forgot any nutrition…doh!...and b.) I forgot ID and credit card…DOH DOH! Dave you are a freaking knuckle head…a term I affectionally call my kids when they do something less than stellar. So at mile 35 I am hungry and by mile 47…begging for Mercy….oh Lord, have mercy. I had hammered a lot of hills on the fixed gear…and well…the last 10 miles were anything but pretty. You think back when people call you a machine…and you think the good Lord that a.) there are no cameras around and b.) they aint there to see you BONK…to Suffer…and so at mile 57 I wrapped it up…lamented that fact that I was a knuckle head…and thought…that won’t happened again…and by the way…it had nothing to do with me running 13 miles the previous day.

To close on a completely different note…the below photo is a pic of my son, Luke, sitting in the dugout between innings with his catching shin guards still on. He predominately plays catcher and loves it. I tried to talk him out of playing catcher…that’s what I played from PeeWee through high school…I warned him that there would be days you would feel like you have been in a war…Saturday he had 2 collisions at the plate where he made play…I asked how it was…he replies, “It’s a war Daddy, and I love it.” Dang, I am proud.