Sunday, January 08, 2012

Is this January?

This winter has been nothing like a normal Nashville winter. I think we've had more days above 55 degrees than days under 40 degrees. Last weekend it was 65 degrees and sunny and a group met out at Montgomery Bell for a very nice mountain bike ride, in January! No shoe covers, no wool Walz flappy caps, no winter gloves needed. Long sleeves and knee warmers and I felt perfect for the entire 10 mile ride. We are so fortunate to have a trail like Monty Bell that handles water so well, but frankly, almost all of our local trails are rideable right now, even Hamilton Creek! (in January!)

It was so nice on Friday of last week, I packed up the bike, trailer and Raleigh and we drove down to Murfreesboro and got a great ride in on the Greenway with Thad and his dog JD. Life's been so busy that I'm out of the loop these days with the old riding crew. It was fun to catch up with Thad and hear about what's new with him and his family. Raleigh had a great time in the trailer, as usual. (thanks Dan!) I have to say the Murphreesboro Greenway is arguable more scenic than the Nashville Greenway. We rode next to the Stones River for much of the ride and there was a lot of new stuff to look at for me and Raleigh. Sadly JD had a run-in with some rough road somewhere along the way and tore on of his pads. He's generally pushing the pace on all the rides we've done together but this time he had to keep his speed in check. Poor guy also had to miss out on Thad's trip to Sewanee today. Hope he heals up soon!

Scheduling and home duties kept me off the bike yesterday but my buddy Miles came over today after church and we set out for Percy Warner Park on bike from my house. It was overcast and just a bit chilly with temps hovering around 50 degrees. It felt much colder with the wind but I was very comfy in a normal jersey, a wind jacket and knickers. In hindsight it might of been a good day to try out my new shoe covers though as my toes did get quite cold halfway into the ride. We rode the 9 miles through Nashville to Percy and went into the park at the arches off Bellemeade Blvd. There surprisingly weren't many cars parked at that entrance, but when we passed the Deep Well entrance it seemed everyone chose park there as it was packed. Our loop was uneventful with no flats or mechanicals and very little foot traffic. It was great to have company for the ride and it seemed we were both in similar shape and riding the same pace. I felt good for almost the entire 30 miles ride but started to get some cramps right on the last climp up Melrose Rd. I didn't want to stop as I figured I'd barely be able to properly dismount. I didn't think I could stand and pedal with the quad cramps so I just kept spinning the pedals through the cramps and surprisingly they went away in a couple minutes of riding. It's a strange sensation to feel your muscles cramp, then feel the cramps move through the muscle and then out. I was happy to not have any instance of pirate leg for sure!

We ended up with a great 30 mile ride with 1900 feet of climbing and 2hr saddle time with no stops, other than stop signs/stop lights.

Friday, September 02, 2011

updates updates updates

This will be a jumbled pile of somewhat related riding stories.

Been riding more lately and it's been awesome. Raleigh and I have gotten out to Nashville's Greenway at least once a week since we got her trailer. We've worked our way to riding all the way to the dam and back which equals about 23 miles. She does great in the trailer. Stays awake for 2/3-3/4 of the ride then passes out until we get back to the car. That's about an hour and 45 minutes of straight riding which is pretty impressive for a 15 month old to handle. She's got her snack cup, drink and maybe 1 toy and she's happy. Pulling that 50 pound trailer can be cumbersome on some of the climbs but I have to think it's making me a stronger rider.

I've been able to make it out to 2 gravel grinder rides in the past month or so. I bailed out of the first one at the 22 mile halfway point. (in the 40 mile route). I felt pretty good that day but we got a late start and I didn't want to be out for the full day. I also didn't trust myself to be able to safely make it to the 40 mile mark. I felt good at mile 22 and felt I could easily ride another 5-10 miles, but I wasn't sure about 20 miles. We had a good crew though, some regulars like Jeffy, Jim S, Parker and Monster McConnell and a few new guys (at least to my riding) like Jim's 12 year old son, Jims co-worker Stick, Jeffy's wife, and a few peeps from NMB. It was a fun route out near White Bluff TN.  You can view the details of my ride here:

The 2nd gravel ride was this past weekend. A similar crew but on the dirt roads of Hickman County this time. I finished this ride feeling great and we managed about 45 miles. I was treating this as a test of my fitness for the upcoming Crush n Rush 50 mile gravel race/ride/party. I felt good for most of the day. I did a great job of keeping food in me and we stopped at 2 different stores so I was able to keep my bottles filled as well. We lucked into a great respite from the heat and had temps in the mid 80s most of the day. We did Jim's normal Hickman route backwards which I thought was a lot of fun. We ended up with 3600 feet of climbing in 45 miles but it didn't feel like a lot of climbing. There were long stretches of rolling or even flat gravel road that were a lot of fun to ride. We hit a few of the old favorites from a couple years ago like Tyler Ridge and the hog farm. All in all if was one of THE best days on the bike I've had in over a year I'd say. Loads of fun.  Ride details can be seen here:

I was also able to participate in another Ride for Reading book delivery recently. I've missed quite a few but this was to be their biggest delivery yet with over 60 riders signed up. We ended up riding 6 miles to the school with the first lady of Tennessee and delivering books to an entire elementary school. The ride was fun and very low key but the real reward was at the school. Seeing how excited those kids were to receive free books and to see so many people having fun on bikes. It's indescribable really. What an awesome non-profit! Photos HERE. Video posted in previous blog entry.

Today I decided to ride my bike into the studio in Franklin. I've been working on jingle sessions there Tuesday-Friday and have been taking our dog with me each day. While driving home in traffic yesterday I got a huge itch to ride my bike in today. The ride down to Franklin was great in the morning. It wasn't too hot yet at 8am when I started. It's a hilly ride to get down there and I was feeling it in my legs by the time I arrived. Google maps told me it would take 1hr 30 mins to ride there. I know they are quite conservative but I didn't want to cut it close so I gave myself 2 hours before the clients came. I made the ride in 1:05 which worked well to give me ample time to cool down and change clothes.

By the time I was ready to ride back home it was 100 degrees outside. I figured I'd take it easy and just ride as slow as needed since I was not in a hurry to get back. I am terrible at riding a slow pace so I ended up just riding what felt comfortable. The heat wasn't that bad as long as I was moving. Stopping at a light was all the reminder I needed that it was 100ยบ. I ended up making it home in 57 minutes. There is less climbing on the way home so I figured I'd be quicker but with the heat and the traffic the ride didn't feel that much faster. When I drive it takes me a good 45 minutes to get home with all the traffic so it was only an extra 15 minutes to do the route on bike.

I ended up with 200 miles logged in the past 30 days which I know isn't a lot for most cyclists but it's more than double my usual August miles. With the new family addition it's a ton of riding for me! Hopefully I can keep it up into fall.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ride for Reading Book Delivery Video

If you want to know what it's like to ride with 60+ cyclists, delivering 2,000+ books to an entire elementary school..... watch this video.

We also had the First Lady of Tennessee riding with us and a full State Trooper escort and a few secret service personnel.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The emotions of mixing a song

It's amazing the emotions I go through while mixing a song.

Excited to start

Accomplished to get things roughed in

Overwhelmed to have things not come together as quickly as I'd like

Anxious to check how it sounds in other places like the car

Let down to struggle with parts of the mix

Excited to see the song polished up and coming together better

Anxious to hear feedback from the client when a ref is sent

Second guessing my skills as I wait to hear from client

Pumped up to hear from an excited client who likes the mix

I go through about every one of these for every song I mix. It's a rollercoaster which can wear me down sometimes and also build me up other times.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Took my own advice

Took my own advice and went back out to Hamilton Creek early this morning. Met up with an old friend whom I hadn't seen or ridden with in ages. We were on the trail by 6:45am which meant I was back home and cleaned up by 9am. That's what I'm talking about, I gotta stay motivated and get out on these early morning rides more. If I want to get bad in shape and get some serious miles under my belt, I'm going to have to get it done in the early morning or in night rides.

The trail was in better shape today than it was two days ago. We rode the trail counter-clockwise at a steady pace and there were no obstructions that forced dismounts, other than the usual tricky rocky sections. It was fun to be back on a trail I just rode. I cleaned some sections that I screwed up last ride, but missed a few new sections this time. Hammy will always humble you on your handling skills. I'm always thankful whenever I can leave without any wounds. :) My knees felt better this ride and did some slight saddle angle and height tweaks. Cleats still may need a few tweaks.

Now it's time to relax and enjoy the rest of the day with the family. Nice to already have a few miles in.

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