To the West exploring



Forgot a water bottle today! Duh.

Just wanted some exercise and to explore a little. This is a good little short 20-mile loop to the West when pinched for time. I need to iron out a little longer route that makes a loop this way as well. Fun to explore a bit. I was a little unsure at times, but never really lost today….a nice big rectangle loop concept.

Hey…FINALLY a stinkin’ THOUSAND miles….low total this season what with the move to the Fox Valley.

Tour de PhilCast II


The weather was NOT as nice as the forecast made it out to be….clouds for the most part with a cold wind. But a group of PhilCast listeners bundled up and met at Gear ‘n Up in Neenah and off we went in two groups. Nice gathering afterward at the shop with snacks, refreshments and prizes. Had a great time and we will do it again next year.



Had some extra time on a beautiful day today for a ride. And I had the chance to finally ride with a long-time listener/cyclist in the area, Paul Kordus from Team Sluggo. Paul, riding a sweet older Colnago, has been into riding since the 70s! And I thank him for taking time  to show me a few variations on my basic route (and for going slow enough and blocking some of that headwind today too).

Out of shape for sure, but still was able to do a nice easy 35 miles with him.

One odd thing happened…a first for me…

On the way back a hornet brushed into my face and in that instant it stung me right in the middle of my nose. Yikes. Like I said, that was a first.

I’m off to Gear ‘N Up next to get a new helmet. I found that an inner plastic strap on mine broke when I put it on today, thus making it impossible to correctly tighten it up.

Urban Exploration



I felt surprisingly good on Sunday morning after my big effort of 50 miles on Saturday. The sun was breaking through some morning clouds, and although it was very windy it was also very hot and humid, just the way I like my riding weather.

So I decided to just do a little exploring on some kind of urban route, since most of yesterday was spent out on rural country roads.

Basically I rode around Little Butte Des Morts Lake before the urban exploration that left me with a spectacular rest spot view at Riverside Park in Neenah.

It was all just enough to work yesterday’s kinks out and give me 22 more miles this  weekend.

I won’t be keeping this cue sheet however. I rode a good chunk on Memorial Drive….too busy….too narrow…too dangerous.

Plus today while on it some yahoo in a camper pickup truck yells out the window at me, “Hey get off the street.” Ah, I don’t think so moron. I’ve got every right to be on that street riding. Idiots. I wanted to tell him so too, and picked up my pace in the hopes of catching them at the next light. They made it through. I did not. I suppose it’s for the better. The guy might have just shot me.

So with my urban exploration done, I’ll say I’m gonna stick to rural routes. No farmers yelled at me for 50 miles yesterday!

Five Miles Short


I tried.

I tried like hell.

But in the end you know when you’re done on a bike. I came up five miles short of some crazy-ass dream I had about riding my age on my birthday today.

The hubris of it all. Who am I to think that with no miles in my legs whatsoever…having not even been on a bike in weeks…and coming off two weeks of a nasty lower back injury that I would be able to just hop on and ride 55 miles. (Yes, 55 on Monday)

For the past several years I have been able to ride my age on my birthday. The  thought occurred to me Friday night. Then an even sillier thought occurred to me….maybe I’ll try it on Saturday.

The weather was nice, but there was a west headwind on the course. I rode to High Cliff State Park, and again, feeling cocky, actually took the climb up the hill to the tower where I took my first short break.

My back was not cooperating. I’d say I was at about 70%, fighting some pops of pain along the way. Yet I was still enjoying the sunshine and trying to limit the effort I was putting into the pedals, all along wondering in the back of my head if I dare attempt 55 miles.

When I got to a point where I had to make a decision, I took the tough road and circled back to make an extra loop. Two Powerbars and three water bottles in, I started to fade.

Mile 37-ish and things were getting sketchy. Still there was hope for 55.

Mile 42 and now my legs were threatening cramping shutdown. I could feel my I-T band over my hip replacement wanting to knot up a couple of times. Not good. My right eye was burning from sweat in there. The fun was gone. The challenge and hope for 55 still there.

But as I neared home I could see I was going to hit 50 miles on the head. That would be it. I knew I could perhaps ride around the neighborhood for five miles to accomplish the feat, but to be honest it might as well have been 30 more miles needed.

When you’re cooked you’re cooked and I knew it.

Disappointed I didn’t ride my age this year? Yes, a little

But the pride I feel in accomplishing what I did under the conditions I did it….that far outweighs any disappointment. What a day! 50 miles out of nowhere with zero training in me. I’ll take it. Maybe next year I make 56 miles. Who knows.

“Tower Hill”



Well there it is.

(Site is not posting my pix! Damn…will try later I guess)

The tower at High Cliff Park, and my turnaround point today on a wonderful 44-mile adventure on some new roads.

I finally found a hill in my new area to ride! And it’s a steep one up to the tower. When I got there I dropped my riding shoes, took the 64 steps up and then took in the view.

This will be my Tower Hill route and it should be about 40 miles. Today it was 44 because I got a little lost on the way back, as I am still learning the lay of the land around these parts.

One thing is for sure at this early stage…it sure is pretty.

I felt pretty good out there today too….for a guy who is out of shape and has had no time for training. To pull off 44 miles and a good climb….that’s a GOOD day!

The “Rural Rectangle”



Well I finally nailed what will be my basic training route.

As you can see, it is a pretty route. Flat. Windy. Rural. This is nothing like my old daily rider the Loomis Loop in Wauwatosa. And yet ironically when I finished today the mileage was almost exactly the same at just over 26 miles.

Cue Twilight Zone music.

I like the route because it’s flat and no nonsense. I’ll be able to push hard on sections if I want to work on speed or intervals. But I’ll also be able to just cruise this for some exercise without much effort since there is no climbing at all.

It’s basically a big rectangle, thus the name of the new route. Thing is, you head back West and that is usually the way the wind is coming. Plus out there in the fields there is nothing slowing down the wind so you really take it in the face during the second half of the ride.

I’ll do this route a few times to lay down a base of miles and try to get back into some type of shape, then branch out and look for a longer route and a few hills to climb eventually.

Learning the roads

CLICK HERE for ride stats.

SEASON Miles: 776

Experimenting continues. Today I finally got to where Ironman Mike wanted me to get, which is progress. Next up I need to study out and try going farther and also see where a loop may be possible as opposed to out and back.

Just 19 miles today, but each ride these days is a real bonus. Tuesday I plan to take a little more time if my schedule holds up to explore the road a little deeper.

As the Guess Who sang, “No Time”

Now that things are starting to settle in after the move to the Fox Valley I was hoping to start exploring some riding options. But alas, do not look for any posts here for about a week. My life just has no openings for riding for another week.

I’d like to thank PhilCast listener and triathlete “Ironman Mike”, a long-time fan of the show for his help in getting me notes on some possible routes. I’ve got some cue sheets made out and will be hitting the road to explore soon, but not soon enough.

This week’s schedule is such that there isn’t a single opening when I could get a couple of hours free for a ride. I knew moving would make things tough, but this not riding is more difficult than I thought it would be.

Well, at least my new “Manttic” cycling room at the new house is starting to come together. All I need now is the old I-V bag holder and bag to complete my Lance Armstrong tribute corner.