Rain, rain go away …

Managed to get in about 20 miles this afternoon, ahead of (yet another) thunder storm. Actually, the rain started drizzling down as I was on the last mile and a quarter leg of my ride, which today featured a steady 5 to 7 percent incline.

So there’s only about 5 days left until the ride that got me started in this fundraising thing, the New York City Century. That’s a 100-mile tour of the Big Apple. If you recall, last year I had to drop out at about 55 miles due to a pulled groin muscle.

This year, however, I’m in much better riding shape. I’ve been steadily riding since March, I’ve dropped about 30 pounds (with more to go) and I dropped about 15 pounds off my bike, by replacing it. Case in point: That last mile and a quarter I wrote about earlier was a hill that a year ago would have caused me to stop and catch my breath for a while. Today, I took it with no problem.

I rode a metric century (67.5 miles) a few weeks ago with no real issues, so I’m pretty confident that I can go the extra 32 or so miles Sunday and finish the NYC century.

So, as I did a year ago, I’m asking those of you who haven’t already, and who can, to visit my Fisher House Foundation fundraiser donation page and pledge whatever you can to this great organization. For more information and an explanation of what I’m doing, please read on.

Thanks.

____________________

Why I do this.

I’m cycling to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides “comfort homes” on  major military base and VA hospital campus to military, retirees, veterans and their families. The homes are used for stays while the hospital’s services are needed.

I’ve set as my goals this season 6 rides from the end of July through September, including up to three “Century Rides” of 100 miles.

I know first-hand what a tremendous service Fisher Houses provide; I stayed in one in West Palm Beach, Fl. while my dad was in his final illness. He any my mom also stayed in that particular home when he needed to visit the VA hospital there for routine things.

When you’re going through the stress of a loved-one’s illness, not having to worry about where you’re going to stay, or getting something to eat, is a great relief. On top of that, at the Fisher Houses are people who understand what you’re going through, and are there to lend a hand or a shoulder.

Please visit my donation page and, if you can, make a pledge. All the money pledged goes directly to the organization, which has been awarded four stars (out of four) by Charity Navigator and an A+ designation by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

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Playing catch-up

Been a while since the last update. Lots of things going on, most of them not cycling related.

The biggest bike-themed happening was that I bought myself a new ride. I haven’t purchased a birthday present for myself in years, and I the last time I bought a bike was 1997, so I figured this was a good time to remedy both of those things.

The main reason I needed to change machines was that the bike I’d been riding for the past 15 years — a Trek Multitrack 730 hybrid — was just too darn heavy for what I wanted to do, which is ride long distances. Pushing close to 30 pounds of bike, plus my weight, was just getting too painful. And too slow. I was able to keep pace with roadies for short periods of time, but inevitably I’d have to drop off and continue at my own pace.

So I did a lot of reading and decided on the Trek Domane 2.0. This is the entry level ride in Trek’s new Domane line of endurance race bikes. I upgraded the handlebar to one with cushions, and the tires to a model that’s meant for all-weather riding and has some extra anti-puncture protection. I’ll probably also buy a better saddle, because the one that comes with it is, literally, a pain in my ass.

The last two organized rides I did on the hybrid were the Tour de Long Valley and the Princeton Freewheelers annual event, with varying results. The hills in Long Valley killed me after a while; I was shooting for the metric century (roughly 62 miles) but I bonked out at about 50. There was one more major climb left, but my legs had had it after pushing that tank through all the others. The first 11 or 12 miles felt like 25.

I had better luck at the Princeton event, finishing the entire 67.5 mile course. That was painful at times, but I was able to keep pace at different stages with groups of roadies. Several people even complemented me on my effort.

My first organized ride on the Domane will be the Sept. 9 NYC Century Tour. I’m shooting for the full 100 miles. I made it to 55 miles last year before pulling a groin muscle. But this year I have a lighter, faster bike with better gearing, I weigh more than  30 pounds less than I did last September and I’m in better shape, so I’m expecting better results.

I also have received the cycling jersey that I designed. It’s Team Fisher House-oriented, with a tribute to my mom, dad and father-in-law. I’ll post pictures when I get them.

**************

Why I do this.

I’m cycling to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides “comfort homes” on  major military base and VA hospital campus to military, retirees, veterans and their families. The homes are used for stays while the hospital’s services are needed.

I’ve set as my goals this season 6 rides from the end of July through September, including up to three “Century Rides” of 100 miles.

I know first-hand what a tremendous service Fisher Houses provide; I stayed in one in West Palm Beach, Fl. while my dad was in his final illness. He any my mom also stayed in that particular home when he needed to visit the VA hospital there for routine things.

When you’re going through the stress of a loved-one’s illness, not having to worry about where you’re going to stay, or getting something to eat, is a great relief. On top of that, at the Fisher Houses are people who understand what you’re going through, and are there to lend a hand or a shoulder.

Please visit my donation page and, if you can, make a pledge. All the money pledged goes directly to the organization, which has been awarded four stars (out of four) by Charity Navigator and an A+ designation by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

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Ride early, ride often

I was able to drag myself out of bed early both days this weekend, which translated to plenty of time for long rides.

Saturday I did a 20-mile stretch through mainly country roads. I got a few surprises along the way in the form of hills bigger than what the mapping web site I used led me to believe would be on the route. But it’s all good; I got a better workout.

This morning I picked a longer route, 31 miles that took me to Princeton and back. The ride going there was a lot nicer than coming back, mainly because there were fewer cars on the road.

I like that route because there are some nice hills, which mean some really nice descents. I wasn’t going for speed, just miles.

We’ll see how the weather holds up for the beginning of the week. I’ll probably get out at least twice and do my morning 14 miler. No riding past Wednesday probably, I want to save my legs for the 62-mile Tour de Long Valley coming up on Sunday.

**************

Why I do this.

I’m cycling to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides “comfort homes” on  major military base and VA hospital campus to military, retirees, veterans and their families. The homes are used for stays while the hospital’s services are needed.

I’ve set as my goals this season 6 rides from the end of July through September, including up to three “Century Rides” of 100 miles.

I know first-hand what a tremendous service Fisher Houses provide; I stayed in one in West Palm Beach, Fl. while my dad was in his final illness. He any my mom also stayed in that particular home when he needed to visit the VA hospital there for routine things.

When you’re going through the stress of a loved-one’s illness, not having to worry about where you’re going to stay, or getting something to eat, is a great relief. On top of that, at the Fisher Houses are people who understand what you’re going through, and are there to lend a hand or a shoulder.

Please visit my donation page and, if you can, make a pledge. All the money pledged goes directly to the organization, which has been awarded four stars (out of four) by Charity Navigator and an A+ designation by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

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