Thursday, June 21, 2012

Training my Son

I spent time today 'training' my son: we serviced our little Honda 50 as it had been sitting for the winter with some fuel in the carb and a tiny bit in the tank. Things he was taught:
- the difference in color and smell of 'good' gas and 'bad' gas (varnished)
- how to drain the carburetor and tank
- check the oil
- check for spark
- clean the spark plug
- reminder of the proper technique for kick starting
- oil the chain

Taking a pause for a photo: got out the tripod, set it for 10 second delay, ... take 3 shots and use the best one!  :)
And after that, it was time to ride. We're thankful to have a 1/2 acre lot, so we can ride in the back yard and get up to a decent speed.  :)

So, while he was riding, I serviced the 100 and we rode together. We had a great time.

Then later in the evening I was able to go for a MTB ride. I did two loops on the trail that has become my staple MTB ride. My loop times were slower than before - not sure why, BUT ... I went down the rock surface on both loops this time. It was the first time I rode that part of the trail. So that was good. My MHR was 179. It's good training: having to hold on, those quick bursts of fear - then gone as quick as it came, ... even wondering where that Mountain Lion is as I pass by the section of the trail where I saw him/her in weeks past.

The more one is trained, the more one should be training another: passing on the experiences and knowledge of life for others to enjoy and/or benefit from.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sakata bug

No training today ... :(  

But I did get to spend a few hrs golfing with my son-in-law this morning and then the rest of the day with my youngest son who found a Sakata bug in the yard. We both like taking pictures, and he asked me if I wanted to take any 'Macro' pictures of it. I like macro photography, so I did. The pictures are on a blog that I'm posting macro photos to that I've taken. Here's the link to the bug shots.

Friday, June 15, 2012

First MTB tip: how not to spin your back tire going up a climb

On my last ride on the trails - I continued to have a problem with loosing traction going up a couple of the climbs. When it was steep, I would be up over my front handle bars and the back tire would spin and loose traction. What I was doing subconsciously was pulling back or up on the handlebars and pedaling slower.

The bike that I was given, just like my old bike, has no suspension; so when I pull back/up on the handle bars the front end gets light and even can loose contact with the trail: not desirable, but neither is loosing all traction and having to dismount part way up a climb. I was on my second loop and towards the end when I finally started to be intentional about this technique to get up the climbs with out spinning my back tire.

Maybe tomorrow I'll get to ride again and see how it works when I'm doing it intentionally.

Attached are two shots of the same portion of the loop that I still have to walk ... sigh. The rocks look to unforgiving and the pictures don't give justice to the downhill turn. For now, I walk that section. Maybe when I get a buddy to ride with, or get more confidence in my skills and bike - then I'll try ig.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yesterday - Road, Today - MTB Trails, Tomorrow - Run

Taking a photo at speed ... a little scary
This is a steep, 1st gear, out of the saddle climb
I've attached some photos from my road ride on Monday, which has kind-of become my staple road route at around 33 miles. It takes about 2 hrs these days and includes some hills and 30+ mph sections on down hills and even a flat sprint section.

Nothing much to report other than I'm starting to pay my dues again now, so that in the future I'll have something to write about. This ride was hot, windy and once I got back home I laid in the grass in my front yard for a few minutes relaxing and being glad to be home.

One less rattle snake to have to contend with
Today was a quick trip to the trails before the thunder and grey produced water ... as it turned out as I was loading my bike there were some very small sprinkles that started to accumulate on my windshield. Not a lot to report here either: did one of the loops twice. It still has a down hill, switch back on rocks that I walk down - not ready to attempt it on my bike yet. There's another downhill switchback on bricks that still makes me nervous. Confidence is coming, but I'm trying to keep my brakes on it so I don't accumulate to many cuts and scratches too quickly.

We also went bowling yesterday and today. It was fun. There's a program over the summer where you can pay a one time fee and get two free games everyday. Since my family all has their own bowling shoes, all we have to do is get there and then we can bowl without any additional cost. It's fun and inexpensive. Today my 19 yr old won the first game and my 11 yr old bowled a 130. Yesterday I had a 193 game, today 170.
The wind, as usual, flying a full flag

Tomorrow will be a full day - so I may only have time for a short run. That's not a complaint, but rather preparing myself for what's realistic.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mtn Biking ... after 4 plus years of not!

Today was the second time I made it out to ride the trails at Big Cedar Wilderness Trails in the last 7 days. Before this week .. it's been about 4 years since I've been on a trail on a Mtn Bike. The last 4 years have been exclusively road bike riding.

The first time out on a rigid frame and fork (as I'm used to riding) I saw the redish-brown tail and back end of a Mountian Lion as it ran around a corner up ahead of me as I came around a switch-back. That caused me to pause, catch my breath ... and once I started riding again - crash two times before getting off the trail. [Something about trying to look up the side of the hill and having my front tire get off the trail .. that big cat got in my head!]  No sightings today - other than 4 other cyclists: one I couldn't keep up with and three others I could.

Intervals are to the Treadmill as Mtn Biking is to Road biking

Having been so long, I had forgoten what it was like: the fear, excitement, fun, hard work .. and overall Great exercise that mountain bike riding can be. Even with the down hills and recovering on the flats, my avg heart rate was 160 bpm, with a Max Heart Rate (MHR) of 187. Now that I have another Mtn Bike, I plan on riding weekly.

What I like most about it over road cycling are the sudden changes of terrain, having to constantly be moving around [out of the saddle, to the left, right, getting behind the saddle], having spikes of fear [about hitting a tree, going off the trail, falling down, not being able to stop, hitting my helmet on a branch I didn't see], and how nice it is to ride in the woods.

I will try to ride my road bike tomorrow as I've not been on it for over a week now. There is a 33 mi loop that I like to ride.

Anyways .. I'm excited to be Mtn Biking again and think I'll keep track of some of my experiences here. It's been a difficult season of life and exercising has been bumped down further than I like: I've gained wait, lost strength, increased my resting heart rate and am slower running and cycling. I'm hoping to bump it up a few spots for the next few months and see what happens.

 Photos are coming with future posts ...

 I will start taking my camera once I stop crashing every time I go riding! I like photography and think they capture and tell their own stories.

If it's been 4 or more years for you, and you're starting to ride the mountain trails again, build your confidence slowly. I've got cut's and bruises from this evenings ride to remind me to do the same ... time to start training again!
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