Tag Archives: cycling

Why do we ride?

14 Jan

I was fat, broke and lazy. I’d lost any semblance of high school runner shape, several years of fried food and complete inactivity left me breathless trying to play disc golf with friends. Even attempting to squat to put away dishes in lower cabinets was beginning to become quite uncomfortable. Something in me started to realize that my condition was going to go one way or the other. I was either going to get in shape, or give up. Well, being broke, I bought a cheap fixie online and started riding a bike again. Continue reading

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Product Review: Giant Surge

15 Jun

Hello beer cyclist followers! It’s been a long time! How were things for you while I was away? I’m happy to announce that I have finally emerged from the ‘let’s be depressed and hate ourself’ rock that I crawled under like 2 years ago. Whew, about damn time folks!

Anyway, more on that sprinkled into future posts, today I am going to talk to you about shoes! Yes shoes! Don’t worry, it’s apropos to the site, I’m talking about my new cycling shoes.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out a pair of Giant Surge race shoes from my wonderful bike shop, theRecyclist. For the past 3 years, I’d been riding a pair of the most basic Body Geometry shoes from Specialized. Not bad shoes, but I was in for a shock.

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point, but often times when I get new gear I am surprised at how much of a difference it makes. Shoes are most assuredly no exception.

GiantSurge-7

 

The first thing I noticed about these shoes is the fit and the comfort. I kind of expected racing shoes to be uncomfortable, but these fit wonderfully. They way the BOAs are set up makes the tightening of the shoes holistic and balanced. I do have fairly wide feet, so finding shoes that fit me well is difficult when not considering performance. The one thing I have noticed after putting about 500+ miles on these shoes is that my big toes do get scrunched. To the point that I don’t think I would wear these on a century or anything, but I totally think that’s okay, the comfort up to the 50-70 mile range is great for this style of shoe.

GiantSurge-5

Giant is working with a sort of new technology with this shoe, and it’s the part I cant really speak much about as I don’t have much with which to compare. The bar on the bottom is supposed to provide torsional flex and improve pedal efficiency. I can’t say how much of a difference it makes, but the shoes are certainly stiff, yet move enough to not be painful to wear. At high speeds and while racing it’s good to not even think about what’s on my feet. The power transfer compared to my old Body Geometry shoes is staggering.

I would definitely recommend these shoes to other racers. Again, I don’t have a lot to compare, but the performance I’ve experienced is substantial.

GiantSurge-1

 

GiantSurge-4

 

 

Got my rider packet… Little bit Excited

10 Jul

So, I got my rider packet for the scenic shore 150 yesterday! I’m feeling excited, not that I’ve raised the funds. I was way off the $1000 mark but I did make more than last year so who knows, maybe I’ll get there one of these years! I’ll try to snap some awesome pics on my iphone on the ride, last year it was absolutely beautiful!

ss150-1

My first century

9 Jul

Well, since I finally got a bike with some gears it was about time to ride a century! Since I’ve been welcomed in by all the wonderful group riders here in Appleton, it’s been an interesting ride, pun intended (=

I’ve been given plenty of advice, as well as beers, rides and am getting a really great deal on a wonderful bike (who I have since named Gallafrey by the way). I heard about the ride on one of our weekly rides out to High Cliff State Park and decided it was time. We met at a park and ride at 5:30am, got the bikes packed up and headed up to Menominee for the Menominee River Century.

We had I think about 26 riders on what turned out to be a gorgeous day. We started out at a pretty easy pace as usual, and I even saved us from certain doom! Well, at least from a few miles out of the way. A couple of the signs weren’t exactly clear and we were so happy to be riding that we turned at the loop meant for the finish. Thankfully I was paying attention, and got everyone turned around. It was nice to be able to contribute. The first 60ish miles were pretty much a breeze, I felt beyond great. One of the rest stops had burgers, which was awesome; they also had some wonderful fresh peaches and cookies and everything. Miles 60-80 brought some new loops and scenery, and by around mile 80 I was feeling it. Susan asked me how I was doing and I responded “Well, I feel pretty much like I just biked 80 miles”. The last 15 miles or so are a slightly down hill stretch with a gorgeous tailwind so we picked the speed up to about 23-24 miles per hour.  I even managed to hang with a couple faster guys at about 85 miles in, pulling about 25-27 for a while. My legs blew up, of course, and I fell back to the pack, but it was an encouraging burst!

Even the weather cooperated perfectly, with high 70’s low humidity and perfect sunlight. I managed to build upon the crazy tan lines I’m crafting. Such is the life of a cyclist. Anyway, I felt pretty great overall. I was definitely feeling sore at the end, especially the backside, but it felt awesome to complete my first 100 miles. Around 84 miles I felt like Sam in Lord of the Rings when he tells Frodo, “this is the farthest from home I’ve ever been” (the most miles I had previously ridden in a day).

I’ve got a few longer rides coming up, including the Scenic Shore 150, Race the Lake and the Door County Century, and we’ll see what else pops up over the summer. In the meantime, keep riding and thanks for checking out the blog!

I got a geared bike! Bianchi Trofeo

10 Jun

Well,
it finally happened, I procured a geared road bike. It’s been a journey, for sure, but I am really excited to ride! I’ve been doing group rides for a while now, and after seeing a 2009 Bianchi at a shop in Two Rivers (that was waaaay out of my current price range), I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Lo and behold, one of my riding partners heard me out, and remembered this bike sitting in her garage, and now a few days later, it’s in my living room being tuned up (= She offered me a very reasonable price which I plan on taking. First I have to get some shoes (hopefully tomorrow) so I can take here out on a good long ride, but I can already tell it’s a fit. After doing some minor adjustments we are clicking like old friends. She doesn’t have a name yet, but soon, friends… soon.

Bianchi-1

Bianchi-2

Bianchi-3

Bianchi-6

Bianchi-5

Bianchi-7

Bianchi-4

Oh, the sweet sweet taste of victory

29 Apr

Well, I attempted to write a poem about my ride yesterday.

In conclusion… I am not a poet. Yikes.
I write kind of how I think, disjointed and random, but somehow things tend to come together in the end, albeit often with much effort.

I’ve been stressed out lately. This is not an apt description. I have been burning out like a 1988 honda civic with four flat tires. Eeesh.
Money sucks, my job has been stressful, and I’m “neurotic to the bone, no doubt it”. So I tend to find every single thing that could possibly count as a failure in my life and I just zero in on it with absolute focus. I can put on a fake happy face for so long, and then get absolutely exhausted at trying to keep the disguise and then I just get crabby.

I find I’ve been placing my identity in the wrong places. Whatever you believe in, I put my faith in Christ, and my identity as well. If my identity is found in being a child of God, the failures I rack myself over the coals for, become less and He becomes more.

Anyway. The ride.

I’ve been meaning to get on my bike, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it. I’ve been commuting most days, and I took an 8 mile ride a couple weeks ago in a bit of nice weather, but I really hadn’t given it my all. I decided to do the High Cliff State Park ride today. If you don’t know, or aren’t from around here, High Cliff State Park has a really nice big hill. Okay, so I know there are bigger hills, but I ride a single speed and haven’t done more than 8 miles yet this year.

There was a second about 5 miles out when I told myself I may not make it up the hill today, and then I immediately caught myself. What are you saying? Not make it up? Are you *expletive* crazy? Of course I am making it up this hill.

As the slope drew nearer I could feel myself shake a little, thinking what if, what if I can’t make it. I pushed the thoughts away and powered through, and climbed. I fought with every breath, and I cursed the wench for its foul existence and I dug my heels and I climbed.

And I made it up the hill.

As it turns out I really needed that victory today.

Oh, the sweet sweet taste of victory.

It’s that time of year again… asking for money (=

12 Apr

So last year I embarked on a refreshing new journey. In honor of several who lost their lives battles to cancer, I resolved to participate in a fundraising bike ride for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s an annual ride, and it takes place from Mequon to Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. It involves cycling about 73 miles each day with the option of defeating a full century on the opening day. It was one of the more fulfilling journeys I have taken. I was given the opportunity to use a love of mine, cycling, to raise funds and support others who have suffered from similar circumstances.

This year I have determined to give myself an additional challenge.  I want to raise $1000.00. I need to do this by July 1st, and I need your help! I am sending out a ton of letters, but would really appreciate the help from my online friends! Even if you can only donate a couple bucks, every little bit helps!

If you would like more information about who I am riding in honor of, and also want instructions on how to donate, this is the link to my personal fundraising page and right now I don’t have any donations, so please help me make my page look a little more hopeful (=

Thanks so much guys, and keep reading, I’ll be getting back to new beer reviews next week, I’m picking up a sample pack today, so I should be set for a few new ones!