Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The last math class I took was freshman year of college. I hated math. I bought an Srm and suddenly I love statistics. Five days of hard riding in the first training camp of the year are now in the books. Here are some statistics from that camp.

Total Number of Miles: 340 miles. Distance from D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA: 241 miles

Total Time on the Bike: 20 hours 19 minutes

Number of States Involved: 3-- Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia plus D.C. (Statehood Now)

Number of Civil War battlefields traversed: 4-- South Mountain, Antietam, Loudoun Heights and 2nd Manassas (the outskirts). Total number of American casualties at Antietam: 22,719 (single bloodiest day in American history).

Number of Mountains Climbed: 3-- South Mountain, Skyline Drive and Sugarloaf. Total Elevation Gain: 19,741 feet. Heighest point in the US: Mount McKinley-- 20,320 feet.

Total Calories Burned: 12,420 calories. Calories in a McDonald's Big Mac: 590 calories.

Total Number of Heart Beats: 162,246. My normal resting heart rate: 48 bpm.

Now for a rest day and then back to the normal life.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


It's not often that in the course of any set of events that you get to hit the reset button and effectively send things back to the beginning. However, recently for me I was afforded that opportunity and I am trying to take full advantage of it. My work detail ended and before heading back to my full time job I decided to cash in on a little leave. I know, planning a cycling vacation in VA in January is not ideal but it's not called "use or lose" leave for nothing.

I'm taking a cyclin-cation right now. It's been three good days of riding with two more to go. It's an opportunity to focus on riding and relaxing and shaking off 6 months of hard workdays. Also, it's an opporutnity to start something new. I'm starting a new project that I will carry through the remainder of the season.

I've run across a lot of strange things in my days on the bike. Odd things that most people don't see like strange signs, passionistic nuns, roadside porn and on and on. These oddies are the byproduct of being in places that people don't often go and also being focused more on the journey rather than the destination. My project this year is to put together a photo album of those odd encounters and the great company that I keep while riding and racing my bike. There is no specific theme or goal. It's just a collection of pictures about the miles as they tick over and over. In the end it's just a story about a story.

I'll post pictures here from time to time; and if you see anything out there that is noteworthy let me know and I'll go find it too.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


It's natural that everyone experiences a setback, eventually. The key is how to deal with those setbacks when you come across them. The holiday season presents a set of challenges to training just as it does to all other aspects of life. There are new and different demands on time, changes in schedules and additional stress. However, despite what I often times say, life is more than just the aggregate of miles that I ride. Therefore, it is more aptly put that between family, friends and frivolity; the holiday seasons presents a series of pleasant challenges.

Adam and I planned out our approach to this time of year very well. Unfortunately nature didn't agree with our approach and dumped 20 inches of snow on the mid-Atlantic. Washington, D.C. is terrible with snow removal when there are only a couple centimeters on the ground. So when there was almost two feet of snow I had to resign myself to the fact that the streets wouldn't be cleared enough to keep putting in the intense efforts that we had planned on. Then DC was hit was an epic cold snap that has made everyone's desire to even go outside small.

We've ramped things back up over the week and will continue to do so in the coming week, especially with a small vacation from work next week. However, it's clear that I lost something as a result of mother nature's recent onslaught of cold weather and snow. Now it's time to gather the chips and get back to basics. My work detail is ending this week and I am scheduled to return to a more balanced life. A lot of changes are on their way and I'm heading back out into the world.

Setbacks in the end are just an opportunity to get back to what was working.