Sunday, November 12, 2017

Le Pup Walks, Le Ride and Le Riding

I've been getting in some nice walks with Toby and Charlie in the cooler weather. I use various Garmin devices to track my activities throughout the week and I recently decided to track my walks with the pups separately rather than mix them in with my solo walks or golfing; mostly so I could more easily see how far we're walking together each week. The results are in -- here's a typical week for us. That's 13.45 miles (21.65 km). Or viewed another way. I mentioned in a previous blog post how Toby loves to run. He's not at all an alpha-male but when he's leading us in a run and Charlie tries to take the lead, Toby runs even harder to stay in front, sometimes leaning his body into Charlie to keep him from passing him. I think that's so cute!

Tammy and I went to see Le Ride a few nights ago. It played across the country for one night only in select theaters. I was prepared to go alone but Tammy was also interested in seeing it. There was a time when we both used to love to watch coverage of Le Tour de France but that was when Lance Armstrong was winning it. It's not quite the attraction for me now that it once was although I still maintain a passing interest in it.

The movie/documentary chronicled Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race host) and his riding partner's attempt to circumnavigate France along the same route that was ridden in the 1928 Tour de France, and they did it on bikes from that period with very few upgrades! Intertwined in the video shot by Phil's crew were historical accounts and footage from the 1928 tour, focusing on a 4 man team made up of 1 rider from New Zealand and 3 Aussies -- a team that wasn't expected to survive the 1st stage. The word "epic" is too often used to describe long distance cycling efforts but this one is truly worthy of that descriptor. The only thing lacking for me in the film was any discussion about forms of "doping" that were likely employed by riders back in the day to get them from one stage to the next -- but it was legal then so maybe that's why there was no mention of it. I would guess that the movie will be available to download or purchase at some point. We both highly recommend it.

I've dusted off my indoor trainer and fired up my Zwift program once again to enable me to ride throughout the winter in the comfort our basement. I've been riding indoors for more than 37 years and never in those early days (or even 10 years ago for that matter) could I have imagined indoor training being what it is for me today. It's incredibly motivational. My nephew Brent picked up on my enthusiasm (at least I think he did) and recently purchased a smart-trainer and signed up with Zwift. Brent lives in Texas but we were able to ride together for an hour early Saturday morning on the roads of Watopia. It's quite cool! I kept him working hard for the 3 laps we rode together but he beat me in the sprints. Too fun! I can't say enough good things about this setup for indoor riding.

After my rendezvous with Brent I had to hurry to get refueled and out the door to meet up with a group ride on some gravel roads south of Lakeville. I'm typically a loner out there but it's nice to occasionally have some company to ride with. I think I see more of this in my future.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

There's No Sweeter Guy In My World


I was hoping to get in at least a few more rounds of golf this year but my golf season has come to an abrupt end. Our temps have cooled considerably to where we're hovering around freezing with no relief in the long-range forecast. But even if the weather were to cooperate I still can't play. I crashed my fat-bike at Murphy last week and landed hard on my chest, injuring my ribs on my right side. I think I may have caught my right pedal on something causing me to crash on a part of the trail that's not at all technical. I was down before I had a chance to react. My left leg was cut up as well as my face just to the right of my right eye. I hurried home and cleaned up before Tammy could see me but there was no hiding from her that I'd crashed.

Crashing goes with the territory, especially on the trails.

And if I'm honest with myself I have to admit that I've avoided trail riding for much of the summer because I know there are risks on the trails and I didn't want to be sidelined and have to sit out much of the golfing season. I tried to hit some balls yesterday at an indoor golf simulator as part of a group lesson but I had to quit early. I could tell I was doing more damage to my injured ribs. Between golfing and riding I seem to injure my ribs quite a lot, and it's always around a 6-week recovery. I rode indoors today but I really need to get back on the trails and sharpen my skills there.

Toby turned 14 last August and he's showing his age. He struggles to see, mostly in dim light, and his hearing is all but gone but when we're out walking he's happy to run and run and run. I have to give an occasional tug on his leash to keep him out of storm drains and to make sure he safely negotiates curbs but for the most part, he does well without my help. He'll sometimes be looking for me in the house and he'll walk right by where I'm sitting and not see me. I'll wave my arms to get his attention and that usually works. There is no sweeter guy in my world. Charlie is a close 2nd but he's such a taunter and a dickens -- Charlie Dickens as we sometimes call him. He's a precious guy as well.

Steve came by a couple weeks ago and we were able to get the wisteria stained glass lamp hung above the table in the front room. I find it a nice place to plunk down with my laptop, and Charlie enjoys being able to watch the world go by from his new perch. I made the windows in 1994 and they've been displayed there ever since but they were always somewhat hidden away. Now that we've mostly removed the wall separating the kitchen from the front room they're much more noticeable and I like that. The wisteria lamp used to be above the kitchen table. This is a new and improved place for it. We're really happy with the new look and the function of the space.

Rachel and Drew went to a Halloween party last weekend dressed as John and Yoko. I told her I had to have a photo for my blog. I think they nailed it! We're looking forward to seeing them in a few weeks. Drew will be playing with his band at a gig in Rochester and they've invited us down to watch them and shoot some video.