Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Breathing New Life Into Old

My truck is nearing ten years old. Between new tires, ball joints, front axels and a fuel regulator I've had to sink more money into it in the last few weeks than I'd care to think about. I gave it a coat of wax last weekend for whatever protection that may provide from the salt of a pending winter season. I also spent some time cleaning the engine. Before and after.

With Rachel at college it's not likely I'll be driving something newer anytime soon. But that's okay. It fits me like a worn pair of jeans and I don't worry about small scratches and stuff. I just want it to run well.

Speaking of Rachel; she was elected to Student Senate for Student Affairs Committee, U of M Twin Cities. She'll be UMR's representative. Our little go-getter.

Mom is off to the doctor once again this morning still in search of a solution for a weak and inefficient heartbeat that has her tired much of the time. She'll have an occasional good day but they're too few. They gave her heart a shock last month that restored her heartbeat to a normal rhythm but it was short-lived. She said the procedure sometimes has to be repeated a few times before it takes. There's also a heart ablation procedure that her doctors are considering for her.

I started my riding season last spring with intentions of keeping my mileage on the conservative side just as I had the previous two years. I figured I'd be happy with anything over 4000 miles and I was pretty much on pace to do exactly that through the first few weeks of June.

Funny how a trip to the bike shop and a few minutes with Scott Flanders can change everything.

I'd been having saddle issues and had been through several different saddles in the last couple years in a futile attempt to find one that allowed me to be in it for more than just a few hours at a time. I'd have small successes but nothing sustained. Scott set me up with a Turnix Pro and made some adjustments to my position on the bike which gave my cycling new life.

A new pedal stroke that eliminates mashing of the pedals on the downstroke while emphasizing more glutes has also been key.

Since June 22nd I haven't looked back and have ridden more in these last four months than any other four month period. Ever.

A bit of geek extrapolation for me to look at many years from now (the blue line being this year's progress):

First half of the year comparisons

Last half of the year comparisons

Totals

I got out Friday morning for what may have been my last longish ride of the year. 133 miles along the Minnesota River Valley down to Le Sueur then points east. Some of my favorite riding of the year was done along the part of the route that follows the river. It's lightly traveled and scenic with several rolling hills. The ride put me over 6000 miles on the road for 2010. Can I make 7000 before the snow flies? I'll soon know.

I'm a solo rider out there battling the wind on my own so when the occasional farm machinery happens by I'm quick to catch a draft. They're thick out there this time of year.

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