Friday, March 22, 2013

Transition Year

With everything that is going on we have dubbed 2013 as the Transition Year.

What do you mean?

Well, no matter how hard I try I can not seem to cut back my hours at work.  My weeknights have left me a vegetable lately which makes weekends even more difficult on me. We also plan on selling our house and moving to eastern CT a year from now and I still have a ton of projects to complete around the house.

To top that all off, quite frankly, I do not feel like racing my bike right now. Bicycling is supposed to be fun and the whole process of planning out a year of races with travel and such pretty much doesn't peak my interest right now. The plan is to get back on the bike after almost a 6 month hiatus and go out there and ride. Ride some new bikes and maybe even some new locations local to me. Ride with friends and just have a fun time not caring about fitness or who gets to the top/finish first.

There are two events planned thus far. I had so much fun riding my bike to Boston from Hartford and then riding around the Boston area with a huge group of such wonderful bicyclists and then riding home that I plan on doing it again this year. Yes. T-Hom has organized another SingleSpeed 29er posse to engage with all the people on cyclocross bikes and ride the Ronde 4.0. I can not wait for this one.

The fifth and final DarkHorse Cycles SingleSpeed-A-Palooza will also take place this year. As with last year, I plan on riding my bike out to Newburgh NY from Hartford to race. Not sure if I will sleep in 32F weather in a hammock again but I am quite sure I've recruited at least one other person to ride out to Newburgh with me. That makes me so happy. Not only did the experiment last year turn some heads and make people think twice but it actually got people interested in joining me or doing it for themselves. That is f'n awesome!

Transylvania Epic is out (even though I tried to get Kuhn to move the venue to the 49th state) and so is the Bearscat50. During that time we will be in Alaska exploring the glaciers and Denali National Park. This trip is so worth passing on a few bike races.

Last weekend I got back on the bicycle outside.
I really meant to go out for a road ride but the wind was hollowing and it was quite cold (35F?). I found the courage to get back on the trail. First trail ride in five and a half months and it was a great success (no broken bones)!

I rode the bike that I broke my leg whilst riding and took it up the street to the West Hartford reservoir. There were some patches of snow and mud but the ground overall was cold enough that my bike did not leave tracks and large ruts in the ground.

While a normal loop around the reservoir takes me 1.5hours on a good day this one took me over 2 hours. I was suffering. I noticed I had top end high cadence (probably from my winter of roller racing) but I did not have the fitness and endurance. The whole time I kept telling myself its the giant gear I put on the bike but when I came home I ran the numbers and realized the gear ratio (36x20) was very similar to what I normally ride (34x19). Yup. got a lot of work to do but regardless I had fun.

To my surprise there really wasn't much of a mental block to overcome on that ride. I thought I'd be paranoid about fallen trees and rocks and other obstacles but the first fallen tree encountered was met with a smooth bunny-hop right over it. I didn't even think, my body reacted after seeing the tree, and I went right over the tree and kept on down the trail. My balance was also there too. One trail had some planks down to get over a river and I rode them without thinking. This gave me great confidence.

As you can see, that is not a hardtail. Last autumn I put together a singlespeed full suspension (Gary Fisher Superfly 100) and only had three rides on it when I broke my leg. This winter I've tweaked it some and as a result it rode perfectly on this ride. More to come on this bike.

Not sure when I'll be back on the trail again. This week we saw a few more inches of snow so now everything's covered again. Ugh. This winter has to end.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Catching back up around here.

We are now into March... The month of such confusing weather. Five and a half months since I broke my leg.

My winter has been spent going to physical therapy twice a week, working way to many hours in the office and catching up on remodeling projects around the house on the weekends. I ended physical therapy in January and began riding my road bike on rollers twice a week since then. One of those days was spent just spinning to get some mileage back in me. The second day was a my LBS roller racing. The busy weekends remodeling the house are in hopes to not have to do much once the weather warms up.

Ginger had her ACL reconstruction surgery in early January and she has been in physical therapy and making great recovery strides.

Omega, our Siberian Husky, joined us and at the end of last year he partially tore his ACL. The beginning of this year were spent keeping him calm and relaxed in hopes that it will heal and we won't have to go through surgery (he is 12 now). Looks like it healed but he lost a lot of muscle mass so now we're in the rehab phase (lots of walks and what-not).

Found some photos from the recovery. Here is when I first got into the ER.

Here is one afternoon within the first two weeks post surgery. Taking a nap.

After my cast was removed my leg was very sensitive to elevation. If it was down for a while my whole ankle would swell up a ton. I spent a lot of time on my back with my feet up against the wall to help minimize swelling.

Over the Christmas/New Year's holiday Ginger and I went down to NC like in years past. Unlike year's past there were no bicycle riding in Pisgah nor any hiking. She had no ACL in her knee and I was only walking without a cane or crutches for a month. We hid in the mountains and just relaxed. We spent this relaxing time visiting some relatives and did get to ride her aunt's horses.

Morning walks up the driveway with the dog. Turns out he partially tore an ACL while we were in NC as well. Whole family is injured. Yeah. It was one of those winters.

Have not had a winter like this, ever. Somehow we have found a way to cope with everything and keep on moving thanks to our strong mental capacity. I braved the cold winds this past weekend and did get out on the bike outside. It was difficult but fun. Stay tuned..