Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Training for Misery

In the month of June the weather man in Seattle has predicted rain 10 out of the first 13 days and he’s been right. Honestly, I don’t always like what the weather man predicts but when he predicted a day of overcast but DRY skies for last Friday and I had the day off I started planning out a training route with a lot of miles and some great scenery. My plan was to ride from our house up to the Canadian border along the Puget Sound and end up at the new LDS temple in Langley British Columbia. Sometimes I think planning is half of the fun.

On Friday morning I got up a little after 4am and started getting everything ready to roll. At 5am I stepped out the door with my bike in hand only to be greeted by wet roads and that familiar Pacific Northwest consistent drizzle.

That’s when the internal negotiating started between Mike the slacker and Mike the fit cyclist. It was a fierce battle with a lot of passionate pleas, power plays, bargaining, jumping up and down, and whining. In the end the arguments were for:

  1. Crawling back into our warm bed and spending the balance of the day eating assorted deep fried food.
  2. Going on the ride anyway because I really need the training miles.

Amazingly enough I decided to head out in the rain with the hopes that it would stop after a couple of minutes and follow the forecast of overcast but dry skies. It's amazing what denial can do for you sometimes if you use it in your favor.

After 30 minutes of riding I was soaked to the bone but I also had either warmed up or become completely numb because I was finally comfortable. This being the case I decided then and there I was going to just keep going until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Occasionally, the rain would stop and I would somewhat dry out but then the showers would start again then I would think to myself “I hate that weather man”. This is how the entire ride went. I rode through drizzle, rain, downpours, and occasional dry spells.

The overall ride was very beautiful from what I could see through my wet sunglasses. This ride served two purposes. I was able to pound out 113 miles but I was also able to endure some miserable conditions. I think I’ll be able to use both of these things when shooting for the double century. In my own little way by finishing this ride I was giving the rain the finger without actually making an inappropriate gesture. It felt kind of good.

Next time I think I’ll opt to stay in bed and eat the deep fried food.
P.S. Hi Dayleen!

Riding Chuckanut Drive in the Rain (Still fun even with wet roads)

Cows out in the rain. I wonder if they worry about their leather coats shrinking if they get wet.
The Border between the US and Canada (Peace Arch)
Crossing the Boarder. I got in line with all the cars. It was kind of fun.

My wet welcome to Canada

My final destination in Langley, British Columbia

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Monday Cafe

Today I have the privilege of hosting The Blog Café. If you’re not familiar with The Blog Café basically it’s a virtual get together at a favorite cafe of the host’s choice where we sit around and discuss a topic that I throw out to you. Food, fun and conversation even though it’s virtual is kind of a nice place to be for at least a couple of minutes during your Monday

Before we head over to the café I first need to take you on a journey with me. I’m currently training for a one day 204 mile bike ride on July 17th so before we do lunch we need to get some training in first. Seriously, it won’t be as bad as you think. Our day is going to start at 5:00am as we all ride away from my house on our bikes. I know what you’re thinking. Mike, that’s way too early to ride a bike. I know it’s early but if you leave this early there are some benefits.

1. The dogs aren’t awake this early and if they are they are way too tired to chase you down the street.
2. You get to ride into the sunrise and enjoy amazing views like this.

Here are a couple of roads that we’ll be riding through on our tour of the Pacific Northwest.

By noon we’ll be finished up with our required 100 miles of training for the day and even though you and I have already consumed our weight in Cliff bars, Snickers bars, and Gatorade we will still be running a huge calorie deficit which of course we’ll need to take care of.

So for lunch we’ll be heading over to Everett Washington to hang out at Barney’s Pastrami Dip.

Barney’s Pastrami Dip is a one man show run by the owner Dave Barney that basically offers one item on the menu which is of course The Pastrami Dip.

Dave will make your sandwich on the spot after you place your order so you can watch him pile heaps of pastrami that he seasons himself on a crusty, split baguette with spicy mustard and pickles. I know it doesn’t sound like much but to quote a food critic “Barney’s is the best pastrami I have ever had on either coast.” You just can't go wrong with a Pastrami Dip. Sorry I don't have any pictures of these creations. I went on Friday to partake of this yummy goodness and also take some pictures for you but he wasn't open. Honestly, I almost cried on his door step. So for today you'll just have to use your imagination.

Barney’s isn’t exactly heath food but since you have ridden 100 miles with me today there’s really no need to be a nutritional role model. All you have to do is sit right down and enjoy a great sandwich with me. In fact, you might want to order a second round before we leave without any guilt at all.

While we’re enjoying our Pastrami Dips I’m sure we’ll do some typical cycling chatting about super important things like pedals and saddles of choice. We also might swap some embellished stories about some epic rides of the past. Finally, we’ll get down to the topic of my choice for the day.

“If you could have any super power what would it be and why”?

I love this question and honestly my answer constantly changes.

So for today if I could have any super power it would be to have the ability to time travel and to take others with me. Think of it, wouldn’t it be nice to travel back in time to witness major historical events like the signing of the declaration of independence or more importantly the 2001 Tour de France. I could also travel into the future to figure just how old I’m going to be when I go completely bald. OK, maybe I'll skip that one.

Super heroes only use their powers for good so I would promise to only use this power with good intentions with one exception. Occasionally, I've been known to say things that I wish I could take back. If you’re married you know what I’m talking about. So I would also use this super power to travel back in time by 5 minutes to correct any unlikable statements that I make and replace them with incredibly sensitive lovable statements. Better yet, maybe I'll replace it with nothing at all. So if we're talking to each other and I suddenly don't say anything at all when I should be don't worry it could be that I just used my super power on you.

So, now it’s your turn to chime in. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

I'm looking forward to your responses. Have a great Monday.