Sunday, May 31, 2009

Horses and Dogs.

Sitting here drinking coffee out of my Grinnell College coffee mug (thank you, Dorothy) and making myself do physics work, which I've been managing to put off for a while now. Apparently, coffee is the only thing that can manage to get me working.

But I'm naturally procrastinating now. The training is going well. I had to take my Giant into the shop because the front derailleur cable snapped during a ride last week. So, I've been riding my 15 year-old faithful, all steel, Trek with Shimano RSX components that don't work half the time with 36/46 up front and 24-12 in the back. It doesn't like to absorb much shock and isn't the stiffest of bottom brackets in the world, but it's getting the job done. I figure when I hop back on the Giant I'll be stronger for having endured these rides on it. However, at the moment I just kind of ache thinking about each bump I hit while riding that bike and how much it starts to take a toll on you.

But alas, I've hit 60+ mile rides on it with some sheer will and am now riding rather comfortably, quick 40+ mile rides. My method of long-ish ride followed by short recovery rides is going pretty well, and the body's getting pretty used to sitting on the saddle for a few hours at a time.

Fund raising is picking up. I'm hopeful I'll meet my goal.

As for today's ride in particular and the title of this post, I am going to say I was chased by at least 10 dogs today. This is a fact that I'm not actually proud of. As a dog-lover, I normally try to talk to the dog to calm them down and give up the chase, and if the dog's not running full-speed at me, that usually works quite well. But geez. Every dog was coming at me with full heart today. I mean, it gave me some good sprint work that my legs are actually feeling right now, but man. It really worries me because I'm just waiting for the time that a car hits one of these dogs. I promise I had one chase me for a mile. After I thought I'd lost him, a woman actually drove up beside me to ask if I had a Lab with a red collar chasing me. When I said yes, she said he was still on my tail. So, I sped off again and fortunately didn't see him again. If you're reading this and have a dog, please train him/her to stay in the yard, or I beg you chain him/her up or fence the pet in. I hate doing that to dogs, but when it's between that and possibly having your dog killed by a car because he/she can't help chasing things in the road it can't catch, I would take the chain.

As for the horses part, I came across a horse farm today and had horses ride along side me for a few hundred yards. It was pretty epic and kind of felt like the scene from Cool As Ice, featuring Vanilla Ice of course, but I was riding a bicycle and not a motorcycle. I also didn't do a miraculous jump over the fence without the help of a ramp because that would've been stupid...just like the movie.

Now, as for that physics work, I guess I'll get on that...

P.S. Did you see the Giro d'Italia?!?! Epic duel between Di Luca and Menchov. And Menchov crashing with 1k to go in today's time trial? Man. That was a good race. And Armstrong finished 12th overall. And after seeing the way he was handling the mountains this third week, I'm really excited to see what he's going to look like in July. I didn't think the Contador/Armstrong thing would be a problem in the the Tour because honestly, I thought Lance was just going to take it easy and not really get any results this year, but after just missing the Giro top ten after a collarbone break, I think he's showing that he's still got some of that spark in him. So, I'm going to go ahead and jump on the bandwagon and say, I'm looking for a #8 in July. Really, this guy was my hero as a teenager. When I started cycling after high school, I would wake up every morning to watch his '05 Tour run, and after feeling properly motivated, went and drilled my bike ride as hard as I could thinking that some day I would race a Tour. Then, I started racing and found out that was an absurd thing for me to think...

But alas. I like bikes.

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