300 miles and I’m a little Toast

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I forget how hard it is riding in the end of November, early December, even when it is relatively warm. I’m not that out of shape, well maybe I am, and I have been eating antibiotics and antiviral medicine by the handfuls, but whatever the reason, it sure does seem hard getting a 300 mile week.

Part of the reason is because there isn’t anyone else around here that can pull much, so I spend a nearly the whole day in the wind. We did have a day this week that was nearly perfect, really still, but normal wind speed for around here is 15 mph+, emphasizing the +. Plus, even though it has been in the 50’s, it seems colder. It only stays warm for a couple hours a day, so it seems like you’re never quite dressed right.

Catherine came back from Seattle and rode with us for 3 days. Up in Seattle, she has been riding outside on the weekends and then 3 times a week at Todd Herriott’s Place at night. You’d think that would be enough to keep her in pretty good shape, but it isn’t. Well, it isn’t good enough to allow her to go out with us and do an even share of pulling, in the wind, 3 days in a row. When it got down to four of us one day, Catherine was pulling out all the tricks to rest. Whenever I looked back, instead of 2 riders behind us, there would only be one, then Catherine was drafting him. There is a much better draft two guys back, and after the ride, she admitted that she was just being overly cautious, but this time of the year you never know when your going to just blow. I can’t blame her.

The temperatures are supposed to plummet tomorrow. Thursday the high is supposed to be in the lower 20’s. Same Friday and Saturday. Those temperatures are when I like to ride off-road, slower speeds, harder pedaling. But, I’m sort of trying to take it easy and riding on trails or in the grass isn’t ever easy, but neither is the wind, so………….

Catherine taking a little break 30 miles into the ride.

Catherine taking a little break 30 miles into the ride.

Trudi headed off to Park City for a little BMC mini-camp for the US riders.

Trudi headed off to Park City for a little BMC mini-camp for the US riders.

Last night they went to a Utah Jazz game.  Watched from a skybox of course.

Last night they went to a Utah Jazz game. Watched from a skybox of course.

It's been so warm that we're still eating lettuce and spinach for our garden.  We cover it at night.

It’s been so warm that we’re still eating lettuce and spinach for our garden. We cover it at night.

How about Black Friday sales at Walmart?  An AR-15.  "For your favorite outdoorsman"? I don't think many people think of this gun as one for hunting.   It is pretty much an assault rifle.

How about Black Friday sales at Walmart? An AR-15. “For your favorite outdoorsman”? I don’t think many people think of this gun as one for hunting. It is pretty much an assault rifle.

28 thoughts on “300 miles and I’m a little Toast

  1. mike crum

    when you do a 3 hour ride, is there a slow warm up before the normal pace sets in, or do you guys just go from the gun?? what do you and your friends usually average mph on your rides?

  2. Steve Tilford Post author

    Mike-It’s never very far to get out of town, so we kind of go from the gun. And we average right about 20 mph usually. If it’s calm, then faster.

  3. Tman

    You got the gun thing wrong again Steve. Those ARs are a nice tool. But, lets put this into the perspective of a cyclist. Those rifles are a highly specialized tool akin to lets say a $8000 Crabon Fiber Wunderbike. That Savage for $500? The working mans rifle that can do everything the Colt can do and in many cases better. The guy that shows up with the Colt is like the guy on a weeknight ride kitted out like some Euro Pro while the guy sporting the Savage bolt action is like the dude that shows up on a 10 year old Ultegra bike and beats up on the whole group. It is a gear thing mainly. Every sport and hobby has it. You can spend as little or as much as you like. Sometime spending the most does not outfit you better.

  4. Joe Christian

    “You got the gun thing wrong again Steve.”


    I’m not buying what you are trying to sell. Comparing an assault rifle to a ten year old bike is rather pathetic.

    The hunting rifle has a purpose of killing game. The assault rifle, chambered with the 5.56mm round is only good for killing, and I suppose target shooting. However, most that buy them are “wannabe” types. And that hunting rifle takes a lot longer to reload or fire, as each time the trigger is pulled, another round has to be chambered by operating the bolt. Where as the AR-15 can kill lots of people real fast.

    What about the shot gun in that add? does the average person need a a shot gun with a “breacher” barrel? For the uninformed, a breacher shotgun is used for gaining entrance to a room by shooting off the hinges and lock. That is something the military and tactical law enforcement members use. Not your everyday outdoorsman.

    I’m not trolling, I just don’t like it when people try to glaze over the use of firearms. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a firearm, then you no just how much it sucks. I served in the military for 22 years, had to carries weapons to protect myself, and my friends. I didn’t enjoy it, but did what I had to. I don’t think the general public knows just how much it changes a person to have to commit violence on their fellow man. Yep, we have a right to defend ourselves, but, in my 45 years of living, outside of my military duties, I have never once been in a position where I thought I thought I would need to use a weapon to defend myself. I think that often, people go looking for trouble, rather than trying to avoid it.

    How about we focus on riding our bikes, and other health endeavors.

    Joe Christian

  5. Steve Tilford Post author

    Tman-I have the gun thing wrong again? I’ll be the first to admit I have little knowledge about rifles. But, I’m fairly sure that Ar 15 is not the hunters choice. So, I search the web and ended up in Outdoorlife magazine. They had an article about the 50 best hunting rifles the last 10 years. I wasn’t surprised that they AR15 was not on the list.

    Nearly every rifle on the list was a bolt action rifle. In Kansas it’s illegal to hunt deer with an AR 15. I believe it’s illegal in most states.

    Walmart advertising an AR 15 for outdoorsmen is bullshit. It is an assault rifle.

  6. Wildcat

    Those AR-15’s are super fun to shoot. I agree, not for hunting. Well, maybe pest/varmit control if you had a farm on a lot of land. But really, they’re just fun to shoot. My favorite things are phone books soaked in water, old bowling pins, and just about anything from the produce section.

  7. Jeremy

    Actually AR’s are a very viable alternative for hunting. True, the .223 (5.56) is not a legal round for deer in KS, but it is for other game such as coyotes. And it IS a legal round for deer in MO. In addition, the AR platform is very versatile and the customization options are only limited by your imagination. I’m not just talking about stocks and sights. Even the caliber can be changed, so one can shoot targets with .223, then switch to 25WSSM for hunting.

  8. Rod

    And who gives a shit what they advertise them for? We (still) have the right to purchase firearms for whatever reason we decide, and someone else choosing what weapon I need for hunting, home/personal protection, or whatever else, would be like someone telling me what kind of health plan I need. Oh, wait…

    BTW I was in the USMC for 30 years and still work for the Navy, so I’ve spent a lot of time around a lot of weapons, and loved every minute of it. Hand grenades are probably the most fun.

  9. Joe Christian

    Rod – Then why don’t you go out and get yourself some claymores and set up a good defensive position in your front yard. After all, no one should have the right to tell you what weapon to choose for protection. Maybe even go as far as getting some light anti-tank weapons.

    Seriously, home defense requires nothing more that a handgun. The military arms watches based on the perceived threat. Guard posts in the states post guards with a pistol. Only when the threat condition is elevated do you see that change. The close quarters that are involved in a home defense situation are best handled by a pistol. or maybe a shotgun.

    Rod, I respect your service, but i disagree with your position. My military pedigree – I deployed seven times in my career, including boots on ground in Iraq. I did maritime protection, boarded more than 200 vessels in the Arabian gulf and Indian ocean. I was a anti-terrorism and force protection subject matter expert, and a non-lethal and small arms instructor. So, I am not just a liberal whining in a forum. I like Mr. Tilford’s blog, and enjoy bikes, and bike racing. It just pisses me off when people stand behind the constitution and cry foul.

  10. Rod


    Thanks for the constitutional lesson and the rather silly suggestion for home defense. Claymores and LAAWs are illegal, BTW, and at this point assault weapons are not. And re the constitution, standing behind it is the only way this country is going to survive, and it looks like that isn’t going to happen since this administration and Senate are doing their best to remove it. Our country as we knew it, and as it was intended, is toast. At some point the dollar will tank, unrest will happen, and at that point maybe I’ll need an assault weapon.

    At this point I don’t even have an assault weapon or even a rifle, other than a PCP pellet rifle; I protect my home with a couple of Glocks and a riot shotgun, so we’re on the same page there.

    My major problem is getting old and not being able to go as fast as I used to, which wan’t that fast in my best days. I’m living vicariously through Tilford.

  11. chuck martel

    ” boarded more than 200 vessels in the Arabian gulf and Indian ocean.”
    Wow! Really? I wonder what you would think if some Arab “boarded” your car as you were leaving the shopping center, just to see if you were legit.

  12. Steve Tilford Post author

    Hey guys – Play nice. No name-calling here. I put the Walmart ad photo there, just because I thought it was very strange advertising for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Struck me as odd.

  13. Bernd Faust

    Joe, well said. I see it your way. I was 12 years in the german army, my ex -wife was in the us-army. After I left the military , I never shot a gun again and I never thaught that I need one to protect myself..etc…..the last 21 years of my 53 I lived in the US, greater St. Louis area. I was very good with all kinds of guns, but never liked them..it was just part of the game.

  14. Bernd Faust

    Steve, you are not odd and I am no psychiatrist. The gunissue always gets people going..not strange at all, because nobody should have one..everybody can snapp, even the most “perfect loving caring” person.
    Just see what “the gun” brings out of a person, how they feel threatened or are threatening etc…
    Kind of sad but reality. I think the moral of the story goes like this: Even a small man can be a big man if he owes a gun..even better a big gun..even better the most deadliest gone!
    Much better to talk about Life as in Beer, Boogie, Burger…..”Bikes”…..etc…
    Mit freundlichen none gun threatening Gruessen, Bernd

  15. H Luce

    “I just hate it when people stand behind the Constitution and cry foul…” Well, the fact is, is that the Second Amendment was all about making the adult population of the US – 16 years of age and older – into a military force capable of resisting and defeating invasion. It was also about not forming “select militias” and “standing armies” – what we’d recognize as the various forms of police forces and the military, respectively.

    There’s more to this than a controversy over which sorts of weapons a US citizen can possess and use, the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights – including the 4th Amendment as well – are under assault.

    James Madison wrote, presciently, this: “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people. It is perhaps questionable, whether the best concerted system of absolute power in Europe could maintain itself, in a situation, where no alarms of external danger can tame the people to the domestic yoke. …” 1 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 465 (M. Farand ed. 1911), cited in 2 Hastings Const. L.Q. 961-1001 (1975), see http://www.guncite.com/journals/rwstand.html

    Of course, the professional military, starting with George Washington, have long expressed disdain for the idea of a general militia, in favor of a standing army, regardless of the potential consequences for the citizenry:
    “To place any dependence upon Militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff. Men just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestick life; unaccustomed to the din of Arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to Troops regularly train’d, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge and superior in Arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows…. The Jealousies of a standing Army, and the Evils to be apprehended from one, are remote; and, in my judgment, situated and circumstanced as we are, not at all to be dreaded; but the consequence of wanting one, according to my Ideas, formed from the present view of things, is certain, and inevitable Ruin; for if I was called upon to declare upon Oath, whether the Militia have been most serviceable or hurtful upon the whole; I should subscribe to the latter.” Letter from George Washington to the President of Congress, Sept. 24, 1776, ibid.

    One wonders what Washington would think of the present state of affairs, with the rise of the Military-Industrial-National Security Complex and the militarization of police forces, coupled with extensive surveillance of US citizens and the restrictions placed on political speech and protest by various governmental means, as is the present situation.

    Another of the founders, Elbridge Gerry, wrote:
    “By the edicts of authority vested in the sovereign power by the proposed constitution, the militia of the country, the bulwark of defence, and the security of national liberty is no longer under the control of civil authority; but at the rescript of the Monarch, or the aristocracy, they may either be employed to extort the enormous sums that will be necessary to support the civil list–to maintain the regalia of power–and the splendour of the most useless part of the community, or they may be sent into foreign countries for the fulfilment of treaties, stipulated by the President and two thirds of the Senate…” E. Gerry, Observations on the New Constitution and on the Federal and State Conventions 10 (1788), ibid.

    It’s interesting that there’s constant pressure by the federal government to cut Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, and other programs useful for the citizenry at large, while throwing large sums of money to the corporations – our version of aristocracy – and supporting the Military Industrial Complex and US troops which are posted in no less than 170 foreign countries in the US Empire… Gerry was right on target.

  16. Jeremy

    Tilly – I’m going to have to call you out on this one. You did not just write it struck you as odd. You also made false and inflammatory statements.
    “In Kansas it’s illegal to hunt deer with an AR 15.” Incorrect. Kansas restricts the round/caliber and bullet type that can be used to hunt deer, as well as the magazine capacity. Kansas does not exclude specific firearms.
    “I believe it’s illegal in most states.” You might believe that, but it’s not true.
    “I’ll be the first to admit I have little knowledge about rifles.” So why do you make such strong statements on a subject you admittedly know little about?
    “But, I’m fairly sure that Ar 15 is not the hunters choice.” Ask 20 bike racers and you will get 20 opinions. An AR is certainly the choice of many hunters.
    “Walmart advertising an AR 15 for outdoorsmen is bullshit. It is an assault rifle.” This is an opinion, so it can’t be correct or incorrect, but it is an inflammatory statement and a bit hypocritical if you expect everyone else to just “play nice”. Technically it is a semiautomatic rifle; period.
    I honestly think that if you were a different kind of “outdoorsman” and appreciated the hunting and shooting sports you would totally geek-out on AR’s. Think of them as a generic bike frame that would let you run whatever wheel/tire size, drive-train, braking system or geometry you wanted and would let you make all of those changes at the drop of a hat. Drop me a line next time you are in KC and I’ll introduce you.

  17. Just Crusty

    Not to change the subject, but…..
    Your opener “it’s hard to get in a 300 mile week” really tells me I need to ramp up my program. I have clear warm weather lately and I’ve been at 150-200 miles/week.
    Got to raise my training goals.

  18. James

    I am with Crusty. I need to ramp up my program too. 300 miles a week in November/December? (or any time of year really). I would like to structure my life to have that much time to ride. Good on you Steve!

  19. UCI

    ” there isn’t anyone else around here that can pull much”

    Jesus dude, get over yourself. If anyone else had no job and rode their bike for a (meager) living, sure, they’d pull you around. You’re a has-been never was. Maybe if you were ever good enough to have been offered drugs we could have seen your real potential.

  20. mike crum


    2 questions..

    1)for the local races here in the midwest, most 30-75 mile road races, what kind of weekly miles or hours training do you like to get in to feel like you done enough training and are confident..you wouldnt feel confident doing 5 hours a week, so how many for you?

    2) i know we are all different, some needing more that others, but in your opinion, what kind of miles do you think most guys need to get in to be good in these midwest races at these distances.. and thats on a weekly plan of maybe a long one a week, a few ez rides, and interval session, maybe a club hard ride or weekly crit race.. remember now, most work, its dark out am and pm.. what miles do you think we all should be doing on the weekends and our trainers, or maybe how many hours should we be putting in..

  21. marko m

    Don’t fall for evil black rifle nonsense either. Most deadly is just what you called it, the Savage with a scope. Or if you look at the statistics a plain jane .22 pistol. If you get a wood stock and make it look different, would it pass the scare test then? Call it what you will, but the AR platform is used heavily for hunting, usually anything smaller than a deer, and in most states for a deer as well. And most target competitions use the AR. Even after all that, a car will get you before any of these will.

  22. Ted

    Mike Crum,

    I know I’m not Steve tilford, but I have on good authority a certain cat 1 that won quite a few races this year (steve mentioned him in a post or 2 earlier this year) trains about 12-15 hours per week. I know of some other cat 1 MTB and cross guys that also train in that range of hours and are very competitive both regionally and nationally. You are right, every one is different. Some can do more with less training and others need more training to accomplish the same results. Others can never get there. There is no right answer, but if you have a decent engine and train properly you should be able to do pretty well training 12-15 hours per week IMO.

  23. Skippy

    NEXT week is the Anniversary of Newtown ? Since that time 10000+ , including L.E.Officers have been killed in additional atrocities !

    As an outsider , an Aussie living in Austria , i see Polizei , carrying GUNS , yet rarely hear or see the NEED ! See my posts from last December for more on my views .

    It is a great shame that the USA Legislature , were unable to follow Australia’s lead in Legislating CONTROL of the types of Gun available .

    People may need to protect their Household & Family , ON THEIR Property , but BAZOOKAS,; Claymores , Assault Weapons ?

    Austrian Polizei carry , yet there is rarely a need !

    English Police DO NOT Carry , yet visit Sky News today , and you will see there is a Manhunt ongoing, after a Policewoman was wounded today ( domestic at 4am ) . There are ” Specialised squads ” , that will be called to that scene , when the Killer is located ! The gunman was seen Cycling away from that incident ! This area is close to the start of the 2014 Tour de France ! Meanwhile the rest of the population will sleep soundly in their HOMES , knowing that the ” Mentally ILL/deranged ” are not being peppered with ” Ads ” such as Steve’s photo has shown .

    I come to this Blog to see and learn about Cycling Issues . Although it is interesting to see the US pov on other daily matters , i feel certain that many , are like me disappointed to see the subject of the day , sidelined by controversy .

    TRY Helping here :

    Cyclists are being picked off individually , yet every country has numerous Cycling Groupings that can UTILISE the best ideas/initiatives being introduced elsewhere ?

    Queensland Government announced on the 29th Nov , that 1M safe passing under 35mph ( 3ft ) and 1 1/2M (5ft ) over 35mph WILL BE LAW on 1st Jan 2014 for a 2 year TRIAL !

    This came about as a result of @safecyclingOz creating an Aussie petition reaching 6000* !

    Lets ALL work to make the ROADS Safer , for EACH OTHER ?

  24. Tman

    Joe, you read me wrong there brother. If you see what I wrote I compared the AR to the wannabe pro and the Savage to a functional, affordable tool. I too served and still shoot. I grew up around hunting, fishing AND bicycles. Steve, I truly enjoy each and every one of your posts. I understand not all have experience with firearms, just trying to bring another perspective into the conversation.

    And FWIW, I would rather shoot 50cal flintlock than anything modern. My bike preferences are almost as anachronistic.

  25. Oldster

    Thinking there might be a way to mount an AR on my Niner MCR, might even have to powder coat some pieces to match

    Buddy of mine has a piece of family property in the sticks with broken buses and appliances and whatnot – one of those AR’s is a big hoot. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it

  26. John

    Without reading every comment…
    The AR is a GREAT hunting rifle for coyotes, pigs, and other pests. There’s much more to hunting than just deer.


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