Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Naked Lady Ride

Wednesday brought another long ride out of Peachtree City with the two fellow Ironman Florida 2013 entrants I rode with last week, Chad and Jared, and two new guys, John and Tommy.  Chad, John, and Tommy were wearing their Beck Janitorial team kit.  Jared had a kit that matched his bike colors.  I wore my Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project team kit.  Chad and I wore our CBSAP kit during Ironman Florida 2011.

Before the ride I applied some Chamois Butt'r.  More butt'r than I'd ever used before.  I was glad I did. Later, for a short run, I put some butt'r where my Garmin heart-rate monitor strap rubs on my "massive" chest.  I was glad I did that too.  The run was shorter for me than for Chad and Jared.  I was out of gas after the first mile and rode the golf cart with the women and children for about two miles before recovering enough for the final half mile sprint to the finish.

Back to the bike.  This would be a good time to include a disclaimer.  Here it goes.  At no time did I take the lead or pull during the seventy-six mile ride.  I was probably in the front a total of two miles and while there I was being pushed by the four beasts behind me.  I'm glad I got that out of the way.

Chad, Jared, John and I took off and headed north out of Peachtree City to meet up with Tommy.  With Tommy on board and John, for the most part, in the lead we crisscrossed through Fayette, S. Fulton, and Coweta counties.   The cities of Tyrone, Fairburn, and Chattahoochee Hills all came and went.  We stopped for a minute at Le Jardin, an abandoned high-end subdivision obviously started before the real estate bubble burst.  I took take a few pictures of the "Naked Lady" statute located behind the swanky iron gates and stone walls of the entrance.

(l-r) John, Jared, Tommy and Chad like the Naked Lady
I like her too
I came prepared for the ride with three water bottles, a Clif bar, GU Shot Bloks, and a banana.  After our stop at the statue I ran into an orange barrel barrier bending my rear derailleur hanger, lost my Camelbac water bottle on a gravel road, and lost my backup bottle of water.  Fortunately, we stopped to refuel at a gas station twenty or so miles before the end of the ride.  And fortunately for me, I didn't go down on the asphalt when I hit the barrel.  I recovered from the impact but had to stop briefly to clean my drawers (if you know what I mean).  My bike was rideable albeit noisy as the rear derailleur chattered as I pedaled.  One might ask how does one ride into a four foot tall, two foot wide orange and black barrel.  However, the more appropriate question would be how does one avoid one when it's obviously bent of destruction.  The answer to that my friends I don't know.

My rear derailleur

Chad's wife and kids followed us on the run and gave me a ride when I needed it which was soon after we started.

(l-r) Audra, Tamara, and Carter

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trek from Trek to Trek Ride

Saturday, June 22nd was the 3rd annual Atlanta Trek Customer Appreciation Day.  The day featured a 60 mile "Trek from Trek to Trek" bike ride.  The ride started at 8:00am from both the McDonough Trek shop and the Peachtree City Trek Shop.  The plan was for the two groups to meet in the middle at Woolsey Baptist Church at the corner of Antioch Road and Hampton Road west of Woolsey, GA.  There was also a 30 mile option that turned around at the church and a 15 mile option that stayed near the shop in McDonough.

Atlanta Trek in McDonough
A quick briefing before the ride.

Derek Arwood's 8 bladed helicopter mounted camera system
Derek Arwood brought his 8 bladed flying camera machine along with us to practice aerial video recording.

The group stayed together, as much as possible, for the ride on GA-20 to the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  From AMS it was all out for the lead group until we reached the church.  At the church we had a brief respite before continuing into Peachtree City.  The last mile or so was on the cart paths and through a parking lot.  We'll probably have to change that next year. 

Atlanta Trek in PTC
At the PTC Trek shop we refueled and readied for the ride back.  As I was in the shop talking to someone my group took off on the return trip to McDonough.  I was probably at most 60 seconds behind them.  It just so happens that 60 seconds coupled with two red lights make it impossible to catch a group of riders bent on hurting themselves.  I really can't say for sure that they were hurting but I sure was as I came close but never could rejoin the lead group.

Back at the shop in McDonough Alec was grilling up a mess-a-burgers and hot-dogs.  My stomach had started to eat itself at that point.  I grabbed a burger, ate it, and grabbed another.
Chez Alec and Thirsty Rob
Burgers and Hot-dogs
Overall, or as compared to last year when the weather was reportedly freakin' HOT, everything went off without a hitch.  It was a great ride.  We (Trek) had good participation.  About 50 riders.  The route was good.  The weather was good.  The food was good.  Sign me up for next year.

I had to leave the shop for work soon after the ride was done.  I bought six raffle tickets to support the Wounded Warrior Project on my way out.  Alec called me later to tell me I had won a pair of sunglasses.  What a great way to end the day!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lake Spivey OWS

Today, I had my longest open water swim since Ironman Florida 2011.  I decided, as of yesterday, to do the same things that I've been doing, just more of it.  My typical open water swim session might have been forty or 50 minutes in length.  Today I swam 2.25 miles in about 85 minutes.  I need to get my body used to going longer distances.  Yesterday's 72 mile bike and subsequent run showed me that.  I'm feeling good about my first real week of training though.  I suspect that I'll close out the week well ahead of my planned training.

The lake was choppy.  It was probably the choppiest I've ever in the lake.  I got a snoot full of water twice.

I broke up my swim into two segments - out and back. 

For some reason the lake looks smooth in the above picture as I start the second segment of my swim.  It must have been a fluke!

My swim is done.  I had a 2:06 / 100m pace out and a 2:10 / 100m pace on the return.  I'd like to get that down to around 1:45 by November.

Susan followed me in the kayak.  She thinks I'm gonna drown.  I hope not!

When we got home we found that we have some new neighbors.  A mother wren built a nest on our gutter downspout.  I hope they make it.  We have hungry hawks all over the place.  The last time we had baby birds I'm pretty sure that they got eaten.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Peachtree City Training Day

I debated on what I should call this blog.  I thought "I Survived" was appropriate but it was already taken by a television show.  "I shouldn't be Alive" was also taken.  I went with "Peachtree City Training Day" because it seemed less negative.

The day started for me with a 6am alarm clock wake-up.  I ate a bowl of Cheerios with a sliced up banana and Lactaid.  The Lactaid keeps gaseous emissions to a normal level.

I got to Chad's house at a little before 8am.  Jared arrived a few minutes later.  Jared and Chad are both doing Ironman Florida this year and, it just so happens, so am I.  Chad was trying out a new tri-bike fit he'd just gotten done at All3Sports and Jared was riding his Felt road bike.  I had my trusty QR CD0.1.
Chad, Jared, and Neil
Chad's wife Tamara was kind enough to take this great picture of us before the ride.  In my case, I'm glad we took a before picture because an after picture wouldn't have been so pretty.  I'm sure I quit smiling somewhere around mile 60.  While they didn't drop me, they had ample opportunity.  A well placed minivan was a welcome relief.  Those last 10 miles I was just barely hanging on.  I tried my best to play the "I'm old and feeble" card but they wouldn't have it.
Chad and Jared on the back roads of south Fayette County
Enough complaining!  The ride went well.  Chad was pleased with his new fit and Jared rocked that road bike.  As we rode, I found myself wondering how many different types of asphalt there is.  If one were to categorize the road surface, degree of incline, median between the lanes, width of the road, the amount of asphalt to the right of the white line, and the condition of the ground and grass and plants to the right of the asphalt there would have to be upwards of 200 variations.  I briefly thought about attempting this project myself but I quickly came to my senses.
Chad having some fun and loving the new fit

Tamara and she and Chad's kids provided golf cart support on the run.  They carried our drinks while  we ran on the cart paths.  That was an awesome idea and we all appreciated the support.  I thought so much of it that I took the opportunity to ride the last 1000' feet while Chad and Jared soldiered on.
On a side note, I've got X-Lab Gorilla Cages on my tri-bike.  They're not perfect but they're pretty close to it.  I rarely ever lose a bottle.  The picture below shows the regular water bottle and the Purist water bottle that I used during the ride.  Once the Purist bottle was empty I couldn't keep it in my bottle cage.
Regular and Purist water bottles
Some final thoughts regarding training distance, water, nutrition, and Chamois Butt'r.   Since the Tony Serrano Century on April 13th I've been mostly riding short 30+/- mile club rides.  Seventy mile rides are harder - do more of them.  When Chad says he's bringing two water bottles, you decide to bring two water bottles.  But then you find out that he has a secret third water bottle tucked into his jersey, don't believe him if you ask him that question again next Wednesday.  Nutrition - bring more (and eat it).  Chamois Butt'r - bring some (and use it).

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Healthy Newton Criterium

On Saturday, June 8th Susan and I drove on over to Conyers/Covington, Georgia for the Georgia Bicycle Racing Association Healthy Newton Criterium Cat 3, 4 and 5 races.  To prepare for a day in the heat Susan and I brought a cooler and some folding cloth chairs.  The Southern Crescent Cycling team already had 2 tents and one tarp to place on top of the long grass.  The tarp was a good idea that I will remember for next year because ticks were all over the place.  Big ones and tiny ones too.
A Big tick
We brought our dog Max to watch the races.  He's on a regiment of Trifexis for fleas and heart-worms.  The literature doesn't say it works on ticks so Susan and I will have to be careful with Max.
Susan and Max the Wonder Dog
Our Southern Crescent Cycling friends and teammates were competing in the last three races of the day.  The Cat 3 race started at 4:45pm and was 45 minutes in duration.  The Cat 3 race was followed by the Cat 4 race which was 35 minutes long.  The Cat 5 race was the last race of the day.  It was 30 minutes long.

Having friends in each race made them much more fun to watch.  We had four friends in the Cat 3 race.  A fifth Cat 3 racer got caught in traffic out of Atlanta and missed the start.  We had one teammate in the Cat 4 and Cat 5 races.
Taylor Dunn followed by Marcelo Martino
The Cat 3 race went well with SCC riders scoring several top ten finishes.

Cat 3 Results
The Cat 4 race had one lone SCC rider making a podium finish much less likely.
Heber Cristino
Cat 4 Results
We had a better showing in the Cat 5 race.
Kenny Gilead
Cat 5 Results
Kudos to all our Southern Crescent Cycling teammates who competed this weekend.

Shane Matthews was also at the race.  He's taken some really good pictures in the past.  I'm sure he'll upload his new photos to his website soon.

Below is a link to some pictures I took.
Healthy Newton Crit Race

Thanks for reading.

Bhojanic Restaurant

On Sunday evening, as storm clouds invaded Atlanta once again, Susan and I, along with our friends Jim and Mary Ann Macie headed to Buckhead for another meeting of the Hoochie Map Dancers.  The HMD is a group of friends that like good food and wine and enjoy trying diverse Atlanta restaurants.  Many members of the group have been dining together for years and others are new to the group.
Hoochie Map Dancers
For this trip we decided on dinner at Bhojanic Fusion Homestyle Indian Tapas restaurant at Around Lenox in Buckhead. Before a restaurant is chosen it has to been recommended and then someone will try it out to see if it's a fit for the group, if they haven't done so already.  Jim and Mary Ann did the reconnaissance work for Bhojanic.  In addition to having good food, the restaurant has to be able to accommodate a large group and allow for us to bring our own wines.  Members try to bring wines that 1) they like and, 2) will go well with the food.

They usually meet at restaurants that serve foods from all over the world. The theme is pretty much anything but American style cuisine. The restaurant is located at 3400 Around Lenox Road, Suite 201, Atlanta, GA 30324 and their website is

Here are a few pictures of our delicious food.

Alu Tiki chole
Chicken 65
Shrimp Bhojanic
Goat Curry
Chicken tikka masala
Saag paneer
The food was great, albeit a bit spicy.  If you like spicy, which you have to expect from Indian food, then you really like what Bhojanic has to offer.  The service was great too, even for our large party.

Jim Macie prepared a quiz for our group that consisted of the following questions:

1) What is the primary religion in India?
2) What is the most popular spectator sport in India?
3) In what city did Sister Teresa perform her good works?
4) What herb or spice is used to provide Indian food its yellowish color?
5 and 6) What two other countries where created following India's independence?
6) What is the name of the current Indian Prime Minister?
Tie breaker) In what year did India gain its independence from Britain ?
 * see the answers below.

In what would surprise anyone who knows me, in a cliff-hanger of a challenge, I won the quiz.  Three of us got 5 out of 7.  The prize was bottle of  Indian wine.
The surprise winner of the quiz - Me!
Thanks for reading.

1) Hinduism
2) Cricket
3) Calcutta
4) Turmeric (I guessed Saffron)
5 and 6) Bangladesh and Pakistan
7) Manmohan Singh (I had no idea)
Tie-Breaker) 1947

More pictures on Picasa.  Just follow the link below.
Bhojanic Restaurant