Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So much for starting an aggressive training plan...

Two weeks ago I signed up for the Hotter 'N Hell 100 Mile bike ride. I was originally aiming to do just the 50 mile ride but a mate of mine suggested I sign up for the 100 mile and then decide my actual target distance the day of the race. Sounds fair.

I was going to pick up the training this week, and try to get out on the bike each night. But, the weather has put a stop to that. As can be seen below, we have lovely storms forecast pretty much each day of the week.

So, it looks like I'll be training at the gym instead. If the forecast is right, Sunday should be relatively decent and I am planning a 50 mile ride East of Austin just to get the ball rolling and prepare for some long distance endurance riding.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Let's Ride!

Inspired by the current Tour de France? Perhaps.

But, anyone who has been reading my astronomy blog for the last few months would realize that it has changed its theme, somewhat. Small blog entries surrounding new bike purchases, occasional attempts at large scale cycling events and the odd moan and grumble about the poor weather hampering with training activities have been interfering with geeky posts about observing the heavens with fancy telescopes. We can't have that - no!

So, in the age of free blogospheres and publishing one's life activities for the world to see, I decided to create this here blog to capture my cycling goals, adventures and mishaps.

I've actually been cycling for many years. Back in my home country of Australia, I often rode my old Graecross Trekker mountain bike into the main city area to terrorize pedestrians and up into the local mountain ranges for some serious endo~ing and general tomfoolery. Actually, I averaged around 150KM per week, which isn't bad.

Since moving to the States, I'd bought another mountain bike to keep me going, an el cheapo Raleigh M150, which I have ridden here and there. I never really got back into it, though. Early this year, however, I met some folks who got me a little hyped about it, and after much thought and procrastination decided to get back into long distance riding again.

Two months ago I purchased a new road bike. It's a Bianchi Via Narone with Sora gear-set. It's the 2007 entry level bike for this manufacturer, but cost me around $700.00. I am told you can't spend much less than that for a decent entry-level road bike. Anyway, this bike test-rode the best out of the others I tried for the same price range, and anyway, it just looks cool!

In the last few months, I have been trying to get into the flow through frequent Sunday morning rides averaging between 15-30 miles and two hard sprint rides (about 8 miles) a week. It's not brilliant, but it's a start. Also, back in early June I rode my first major event, a 35 mile fun ride in Fayetteville, Texas. Lots of rest stops with free water, Gatorade and fruit and cookies. A really fun event that got my motivation lifted way up there!

So now I have a goal. Next year, I think in April, will be the next MS-150 ride, a two-day charity ride benefiting Multiple Sclerosis suffers. Total distance is 150 miles (although folks tell me it is more like 180 miles!). This is the ride I am going to train for, and this blog will serve as a record and, maybe, a motivational source for others to try and do something similar.

Here's the deal. I am overweight by about 30 pounds. Being in my 30s I have let things go somewhat. Still, in the three months that I have had the bike, I have actually lost 20 pounds total. So, if I can keep up the cycling with the light dieting I am doing, and partake in a few other cycling events between now and the MS150, maybe I can reach my target weight and have fun doing it.

So, come back often, if you're so inclined, and see just how committed I remain to this adventure!