I’m back…

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Guess my last post wasn’t completely accurate. Missed another month here. Man, do the winter months go by so fast. The racing season is nearly a 12 month a year deal nowadays. So, the “off season” is nearly nonexistent. It gives us all the impression we need to get on the bike. Especially when the Tour of California is going on. But, we all should remember it is only February.

It has been a pretty harsh winter in Kansas this year. The whole midwest in general I guess. It has snowed 32 inches in Topeka so far this year. That is 3 X the total of all last winter. And it’s been cold. For Kansas.

So, when I got a chance to head to warmer weather, sans bicycle, I took it. Just got back from a 10 day treat in the Caribbean. It was interesting for me because the majority of it was on a cruise. Admittedly, being on a cruise ship wouldn’t normally be something that would fit my personality very well. But it did to a certain extent. I’m interested in just about anything and there are tons of things going on that are interesting. I did feel more in touch with the workers on the ship than the other passengers, but that is how I usually feel when I’m in a nice resturant or fancy hotel. Anyway, there were plenty of chances to exercise and explore some new territory, snorkel, swim, tan, etc. Plus, Spinning on a moving ship. Just shoot me if that happens again. The main downside was the quantity of food available at all times. Fresh fruit (raspberries, pineapple, blackberries, mango, etc.), plus the same fresh fruit in tart form. I love pies and tarts! But, that isn’t such a downside when you really think about it.

Anyway, hopefully I can post a sampling of photos below. I’m having a little problem posting photos with a change in web hosting.

I did go on a group ride in Fort Lauderdale, Sunday morning before getting on the ship. Tam, Catherine’s Kenda ex-teammate had arranged 4 extra bikes for our group from Kansas. We met at a bike shop. There were maybe 20 or so riders there. Most on super high-end bikes. Not like the local rides in Kansas. After riding down the road a few miles, there was a moving mob of over a 100 guys. It was crazy. Maybe the most crazy ride I’ve been on in my life. And I’ve been on some pretty crazy rides all over the world, so that isn’t a small thing. The group was was moving pretty well, hovering around 30 mph. And it was mayhem. Running red lights through state highways, swarming cars at intersections, crashes. The language of choice was Spanish. Which was fine by me. I was glad I couldn’t understand what everyone was yelling continuously. Anyway, no one I knew fell and I got 70 miles in before vacationing. And now I realized that I have no racing form. OK riding form, but no top end. Where does it go?

Trudi is out at the Tour of California working for BMC. I’ve been trying to ride the last few days as much as possible, but the weather hasn’t been conducive. Windy, cold, wet. I’ve got some shoulder issues from past and present. Trudi was picking (Dr.) Eric Heiden up at the airport a couple days ago and I had a chance to talk to him a little while. He said it sounded like rotator cuff issues, not separated AC’s. I’m now doing some exercises and stretching. We’ll see. It was good talking to Eric after all these years. It’s pretty weird how you can take up a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in years without missing a beat. That is cycling!

So, this weekend is historically the first weekend to race around here. Either Frozen Toes in Missouri or a couple great road races I’ve done in Austin, TX the past couple years. But, I’m thinking I might just need to train some. Might go down to Poteau, OK and do some long miles. It’s on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border about half way down the state. Some really old mountains, with huge, steep climbs. And the temperatures are at least 20 degrees warmer 4 hours South. I’m not sure that I need to be riding up mountains right now, but early season is painful. Might as well add a little. Or, I could head up to Wisconsin and ski the Birkie on Saturday. That would be painful for sure.