Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sloppy, sloppy

Date: Feb. 7
Mileage: 32.2
February mileage: 141.3
Temperature on departure: 24

Today's ride was sponsored by Thomas, and by my beautiful sister Lisa, who has some very exciting "unofficial" news that I'm probably not allowed to publish, but I'm very happy for her nonetheless.

I got out of work just in time for the most beee-utiful day imaginable - that is, there was some semblance of sun outside. So I set out in a very good mood, only to realize very quickly that the price I would pay for the warmth and sunshine was miles and miles and miles of this mess ---> (and, really, this picture does it no justice.)

This point is about a half mile from my house. The going was slow, slippery and precarious, and I was trying to decide whether to return home and ride the trainer for some good, heart-thumping exercise, or stay out and ride in the slop to practice, well, riding in the slop. I chose the slop. And I'm glad I did. Because it was a beee-utiful day; I did get some good practice riding through soft snow and semi-frozen puddles; and I ended up dropping into town, where I had to deal with fierce headwinds and the grueling climb back, so I even got some good exercise.

Since I was planning to do a longish ride after work, I turned down free pizza to eat Mini-Wheats cereal and yogurt for lunch (I usually only do good by conscious nutrition *before* rides. After-ride meals can and often do descend quickly into all-out sugar binges.) So before I took a shower I decided to weigh myself, because I was so proud of myself. But I was more than a little surprised to see it stop on 127. Since I still have tree-trunk legs and I'm always buried in three or four clothing layers anyway, I didn't really notice how slight my upper body has become. My weakling arms are starting to show muscle definition - probably because there's not much else there. My collarbone looks like it's trying to escape from my chest cavity. Even Geoff said my faces looks "thinner."

I thought my publisher was referring to my grumpy demeanor this morning when she looked into my eyes and said "you need pizza!" I fear that if I've actually dropped eight pounds during the past month, what I may have lost is muscle mass, which I probably burn through during my longer rides. It seems unlikely that I actually burned that much fat, since my caloric needs are well fortified, believe me. I don't know. I think that best thing to do about it is not to worry much about it. I feel strong today, and that's what matters.

On a related note, The Old Bag compared me to this guy in a Bicycles and Icicles post dedicated to "real" football players. That's right. Jack Lambert. Um ... thanks. This guy is scary, not to mention about as attractive as the back end of a rhino. But I guess he's tough. I guess he's real. And I hear he rubbed a lot of faces in the grass. So I probably should feel complimented. Even though putting myself in that category of "tough" really is kind of laughable. Right now, there are people in Alaska attempting winter summits of Denali, running their dog sleds in -50 degree wind chills and trying to cross the Bering Straight on skis. What I do is go out for bike rides. But they keep things interesting, and that's what matters to me.


  1. I'm just some old guy that rides bikes for fun, but *I* think you're tough:-)

    I mean, *seriously*-you are riding a bike in the middle of winter in Alaska.

    How can you NOT be tough?

    Good stuff!

  2. Hey, we all have our heroes (I'll be watching some of those dogsleds pretty closely too) and I do think you're probably capable of grinding others into the snow on a bike!

    Glad to hear you've still got all your toes, and teeth, for that matter.

  3. Take a look at the Training and Nutrition forum on http://www.bikeforums.net - there's quite a few people doing cold weather rides there. Machka in particular does a lot of cold weather centuries.

  4. Granted, there is a possibility that those dog sledders and strait skiers are tougher than you . . .

    but I'll be darned if any of them are nearly as entertaining.

    Let them get their own blogs!

    You're dang tough :)

  5. Hey, all the comments were definitely meant as compliments. Jack was a genuine hard guy. Besides, you're way better looking than the back end of a rhino.

    Come to think of it, so was Jack.

    You're way better looking than the front end of a rhino!

  6. Compared to most of the folks I know down here in the 48,(including me) your a freakin Superhero.... :)


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