Monday, August 11, 2008

Gearing up for the Tour de Cure

Never mind the pillow in my jersey, I've started raising money for the Diabetes Association's Tour De Cure. Please visit my Tour De Cure web page by clicking here. I will be riding the century on October 11th. Thanks so much for your contributions which will help fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My new bicycle route.

Today I rode my bike 61.2 miles and took my new bike route which presents me with mostly back roads where traffic is not as intense, the views are beautiful, and the route presents a plesant ride that is not too difficult, but challenging enough to get a mix of a variety of conditions. My ride started with three bottles of electrolite drink, two on my bike, Nemo, and one large bottle in my riding jersey. Foolishly, I didn't eat breakfast. My camera phone is not a good camera, but was easy to carry and document my ride. I first take a right down the hill, which I have to climb coming home and always presents a challenge at the end of the ride. It is the last major stressor in my ride and I judge my conditioning by it's precieved difficulty. I then take a few quick turns to a road that is often used by road bikers and the sign with a picture of a bicycle on it says, "Share the ride." Most roads allow bicycle traffic in Arkansas, but trying to tell the motorist that. After a quick and long slight down hill flat area, and with the wind at my back today and the temperatures like fall after the cool front came in, I start a one mile slight incline that always is a good measure of fitness as it always kicks my butt. After the long slight climb the course takes the new turn. I turn left off the hill and the road winds down and up several short but extremely steep little hills that eventually crosses the main highway. After the highway crossing, the road again is serene and relatively traffic free in comparison to the main highway. This road eventually connects the town Farmington and I have to take a left at the main highway and ride about 3/4 of a mile before I take a right on another country back road which is again relatively traffic free and serene. I pass several beautiful houses and some newly built mansions. I love the old brick church and a brick house along the country road leading to the bottom of the hill on the highway to Prairie Grove. At the top of a long shallow, but deceptively difficult climb into Prairie Grove is the Prairie Grove Battlefield Park which the locals have done a wonderful job recreating the history of the area decide to ride on towards Cove creek which goes to Sulfur Springs which is another back country road that is surrounded by farm fields and the higher hills in the distance. This winds back toward an area used by the Joe Martin stage race in a little town called, "HOGEYE." Only in a place like Arkansas would a person find a town named HOGEYE. I decide to take a smooth country road that again connects to Prarie Grove a different way and reconnect back the way I come. The temperature was unusually cool, and didn't start to heat up until I started to return to town and into the wind. I had to stop and refresh my water supplies and my right leg knee area seemed to be a little cramped from standing and pushing hard on the steep little hills coming home. The hills are not long, just very steep. I am planning to ride a 100 mile ride in October to raise money for the Diabetes Association, and I couldn't help but note, that my conditioning is good, but I have a long way to go. Thank goodness October will be much cooler.