Photo by @argonautphoto (Aaron Huey) of the Aurora Borealis over the Snaefellsnes peninsula in Western #Iceland. (Repost from an accidentally deleted post earlier this week.). I had never seen the Northern Lights before. I chased them all night long as the changed in shape from a thin band to a twisting circle and ended in a wide flowing river of green that passed over this abandoned building by the sea. Truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed in my life. by natgeo
So apparently I started this blog three years ago today - yahoo! I have been sorely neglecting it for quite some time, with sparse posting. I am sure anyone reading this is saddened by my lack of attention to JeffRidesABike.
I will say that the last year has surely been an interesting one. The bee sting at MS150 last year, starting running again, conquering my first 13.1, moving to south Florida and having to start my cycling life and network from scratch - it’s all been part of the big ride.
What’s up next? Not exactly sure. Right now, I’m loving my Saturday rides with Galiz in Weston. I also love that I don’t have to get out and kill myself with training right now. It’s purely for fun. A marathon is on the list for 2014 so that’s on the horizon. I’m logging base miles and will start increasing my distance running pretty soon.
I think the theme of this year is fun. Hopefully there will be more adventures and more pictures!
I participated in a new MS ride this year that went from FIU’s stadium to Key Largo, and then back the second day. What an awesome ride!
The route on the first day was amazing. We went through some very pretty areas of Miami and Homestead (yes, they do exist). Road conditions were pretty good; a significant portion of the roads were actually brand new, which is a cyclist’s dream!
It quickly became clear that riding with a team is the way to go with this ride. In Orlando, there were hundreds of individual riders each year, so I had to quickly adjust.
I went with a small, fast group of about 6 riders. Everything was great, except for the idiot on the tri bike who had never ridden in a group before. You can always tell this by the number of times they look back over their shoulder. This guy looked back at me once every 10-15 seconds. Then, in the typical never-ridden-with-a-group triathlete fashion, he gets to the front for his turn to pull and surges like crazy, upping the pace 2-3 mph. This was happening at roughly mile 10 out of 75. It happened once and I stayed on his wheel, then it happened again and I just let him ride away, receiving praise from the other riders. Riding like that just isn’t smart during a long day in the saddle, not to mention it was a charity ride.
I joined a bigger group with Team Bacardi and rode with them to the finish. We averaged about 20 mph over 75 miles. It was an awesome day in the saddle, perfect weather, and a nice, easy pace.
I started with a group of riders and told myself I’d sit back and enjoy the ride the second day. When I realized we had been passed by just about every rider in sight, I had to make a move. Luckily there was a faster group within striking distance so I dug deep, crossed no-mans-land and hooked up with them. Unfortunately, it was a horribly organized group that would get up to 22-23 mph then instantly we were back down to 16-17 mph. The roads were very narrow and there was enough on-coming traffic to stay put and deal with it. As much as I am talking about speeds, I realize that’s not what riding is about, but this is the best way to give context to how inconsistent the group was.
Once we got out to bigger roads, the group stretched out a little bit. We finally maintained a solid pace only to be interrupted by a serious crash. At least two people went to the hospital and probably 5 were injured. The smell of burning rubber is one you never want to experience during a bike ride.
I ended up riding the last 20 miles or so with a very strong group of 10-15 riders. I was very grateful to have found them. We worked well together, took turns on the front, and stayed relatively consistent with a strong head wind.
Overall, this was a great ride. It was smaller and not as well-run as the ride in Orlando, but it’s still an amazing cause and they put on a great event.
First ride with my new helmet: Bontrager Specter.
I rode about 2 hours 20 minutes with this helmet and loved it. It is super comfortable and fits extremely well, though that will change for each person with their head shape. It was a cooler ride so I’m not sure how it will do in hot temps, but it is well vented so my guess is it will do just fine.
I shouldn’t complain about the weather, because we are above 0 degrees (well above, in fact) and there is no snow on the ground, but I will anyway. It’s been raining for the last two days. I try and run during the week as cross training, but it seems as though that’s not happening this week. I’ll be setting up the hamster wheel tonight and riding the trainer.
My wife rocks! Amazing Christmas present: ParkTool PCS-10 work stand. This thing will get some serious use.
Newest toy added to my collection. Picked this Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 up from a seller on Craigslist. It is awesome. Been wanting one for a while but a brand new one is about $1000 with tax.
I plan to so some fishing from it and use it as a great upper body workout. So far it has been a blast cruising around the inter-coastal.