Jeff rides a bike

Switching gears

I don’t post here as much anymore. I go through these manic waves of posting - sometimes I feel the urge to always be writing, and then I’ll go months with never logging in. 

My true love is cycling, but I’m having to dial back on that and focus on my running right now. I set a goal last year that I wanted to run a half marathon in 2013 and full marathon in 2014. November 8, 2014, I will run the Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon. 

Marathon training is no joke! Running a few days here and there and increasing your mileage on the weekend simply won’t cut it. I’m invested in Hanson’s marathon training, laid out in their awesome book, Hansons Marathon Method (if you’re thinking of claiming your own 26.2, this book is certainly amazing and worth a read). 

A big point that is stressed throughout the book is making sacrifices. Marathon training is not easy and not quick. This is an 18 week program that starts with 5 runs each week for the first 5 weeks, then increasing to 6 days a week for the remainder of training. There is a mixture of speed workouts, strength workouts, easy / active recovery runs, long runs, and tempo runs. Running is a brutal sport and the body really takes a beating, which is why cycling is taking a back seat for the next few months. Focusing on running and recovering from runs, as outlined in the book, is the best way to prepare for the marathon. Anything that takes away from the training could have a negative impact on the rest of training and, ultimately, how I perform on November 8.

Now, I’m not saying I’ll cut it out entirely, but this is a goal I’ve set and I must stay dedicated and committed to doing everything I can to achieve it. This will mean not only sacrificing time on the bike, but lots of other things as well. I’m a groomsman in two weddings and have to run the day of and day after each wedding (that’s going to be interesting)! 

It’s going to be an interesting few months, but I’m hoping the rewards are many. I’ll miss cycling, but won’t be gone for long. 

coffeentrees:

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

coffeentrees:

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

Happy tumblr birthday to me.

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! 

Bike MS: Break Away to Key Largo

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! 

Day 1

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. 

Day 2

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.

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.

At least it’s not snowing?

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. 

cranktastic:

It’s funny. When I wave to a cyclist going the other way and they don’t wave back, I always say out loud…

"Or not"

This is an awesome video.

(Source: thechainline)

My wife rocks! Amazing Christmas present: ParkTool PCS-10 work stand. This thing will get some serious use.