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My Cycling Log

2006-06-20 20:37:15 686

I'm engaged to an RN! Goooooo Emily! Emily took the NCLEX last Thursday. She got cut off at 75 questions and thought she did terrible. Her mom called her in the wee hours of Saturday morning to tell her that she showed up as an RN on the MS Board of Nursing's website.

The Leader is alive. I was able to cannibalize some parts from the poor Trek like the brifters, the front derailleur, most of the cables, the pedals, and the seatpost and seat. Installing the front fork was the most fun, especially having to take a hacksaw to a carbon fiber that I paid $80 for. I had a difficult time getting the headset to seat into the frame and ended up making a homemade press from some handy materials from Lowe's. My favorite part of the bike is the crankset; I got an Ultegra Octalink bottom bracket and a brand new 105 crankset with 172.5mm long cranks. It is soooo smooth! I managed to make my 7-speed wheel fit properly by adding a spacer bolt on the non-drive side. My rear derailleur is an old Ultregra that I had picked up on ebay a while back and had used on the Trek back when I had my first "accident" and bent the rear hanger. Sadly I had bent this derailleur to work with the bent hanger, so I was semi-successful in bending it back for the new bike. So the Leader rides wonderfully and shifts pretty good too. It is a really really twitchy frame so I really need to check the alignments on everything. The next upgrades to come are a new rear nine speed hub, rear derailleur, and maybe Santa Claus will bring me a set of Ultegra brifters...

Tomorrow I will be engaged to a 25 year old RN! Yay for sweet low car insurance rates!

2006-06-14 09:13:53 685

I got my order in from Bike Tools Etc. yesterday of the stuff I ordered for the blue Raleigh before I destroyed the Trek. I laced the rear wheel up with a 3-cross and discovered that the spokes I ordered were a bit too long so there was no way to tighten up the wheel. So I double twisted each pair of spokes to take out the extra length as an experiment and it worked! I rode this monster to work this morning and lived to tell about it. It is hard to remember not to coast...

tn tn

2006-06-09 16:27:10 684

My poor Trek 1400 has officially died. Yesterday the derailleur hanger finally broke off as I was riding back to work after lunch. At least a year ago I had a small accident that basically sucked the derailleur into the rear wheel and bent and slightly cracked the hangar. By forcing it back into place with a big crescent wrench, I was able to get something that worked. In January I noticed that the threads in the hanger were non existant so I drilled out the hole a little bigger and put a steel insert in it to screw the derailleur into. This worked great until yesterday when the small bit of aluminum finally broke off. It actually broke my poor little low milage 105 derailleur in half. What makes it worse is that the Raleigh that David gave me is out of service too, as I took wire cutters to the rear wheel spokes just last week. The new spokes for it will be in Tuesday of next week. Of course I have already ordered a new frame, a Leader 735R and it will be here on Wednesday. A new bottom bracket, fork, headset, and stem are on their way too for later in the week. Right now I am bidding on a sweet 105 brand new crankset on ebay. The only other thing I need is for my slightly narrow 7-speed wheel to have enough axle to fit on this wider frame...

Going to Natchez for the first time since Christmas this weekend!

2006-06-05 22:26:33 683

I was sleepy last night and did not finish the weekend. After the 5k Cory and I ate breakfast/lunch at Cracker Barrel with Sarah, her mom, and her grandmother. After that I headed back toward Starkville on the Trace. Took the 389 exit and ended up in Montpelier and eventually made it to Pheba and back to Starkville. I wanted to keep driving so I picked up Emily and I drove to Artesia because I had never been there. Turns out that Artesia is not that impressive. I kept south on Alt 45 and turned east toward Alabama. We got some lunch at a gas station and ate it at the Tom Bevill Dam and watched the boats go up and down the Tenn-Tom. We went to the visitor's center which is in a fake antebellum house. It had some neat wildlife exibits in it and there was a retired river boat, U.S. Snagboat Montgomery, that we got to explore too. It turned out that its airhorn was functional and that was pretty neat.

On Sunday we decided to go to the water park at the casino with Sesti and Kallie. We stopped for lunch at Wendy's in Louisville and had the dumbest Wendy's person everj take our orders. It took her 10 minutes to get the orders, but at least she got them right. We had Applebee's coupons for buy one get one free tickets so it wasn't expensive to get into the park. It was my first time at a waterpark and I had a lot of fun, I even did the freefall slide that Emily wouldn't do. At 6:00 when the park closed we decided to get something to eat at the former Hard Rock place next door. We won't make that mistake again as the food took an hour to get to us even though they were not busy, we were covered in flies, and our waiter really really sucked. Sesti and Kallie claim that there is a curse of bad service that follows them everywhere.

Today I decided to go on a long bike ride because the water park yesterday screwed up my schedule by a day. My goal was to try and make it to Pheba and back. Turns out it is right at 14 miles to Pheba from my apartment. I ate a Hammer Gel for the first time and it really did make me feel better halfway through the ride. I finished the first 21 miles in 1:06 of riding time which is not to far from my goal of being able to do 21 miles in an hour for the next triathlon. It was a 28 mile round trip and I added a loop through campus to put me up to 33. Also this put me at 900 miles exactly for the year.

2006-06-04 23:05:27 682

Had another wonderful weekend. After work on Friday I drove to Tupelo (yes I actually drove somewhere in my own car!) and met up with Cory. We checked into our favorite Tupelo hotel and walked across to Vanelli's and saw Philidelphia Plowden's comedy act. On Saturday morning Cory and I got up pretty early and got across town to Veterans Park. Joe, who ran with us in Jackson and the volksmarch with us, was there and had came with another Air Force guy, I think his name was Jake. Anyway Jake was out running the course as his warmup when we got there because he is one of those super crazy running people. The race started a little after 8:00 and Cory, Joe, and I started way back in the pack so that we would not get passed by as many people in Jackson. The course was fun and made a strange series of circles so that Cory and I could see the fast people (Jake) completing the third mile as we were in the middle of the second. Cory and I had enough in us at the 3 mile marker to sprint to the finish so that we both finished in 25:04. His goal was to break 15 and mine was to do better that my Jackson time of 28:48ish. Anyway it turned out that Jake won the race, and he and a few other of the speedy guys ran the course again to cool down!

2006-05-28 23:58:56 681

So yesterday was the tri it on triathlon (or YTRI) in good ole Birmingham. As soon as I got off work on Friday afternoon Emily and I headed towards Birmingham. I dropped her off at the hotel and met up with Cory at the information meeting where they pretty much rehashed everything about tris that we had learned from the internets. Cory's Air Force buddy Jessop was there too and I got to meet him. So we signed in and got our packets and got a few decent goodies but nothing really super. Cory and I drove the bike course one more time and then picked the girls up and met with Jessop and his lady at the Macaroni Grill to load up on pasta. After that Emily and I hit the Bruno's at the Summit (the awesomest grocery store I have ever been too and a reason in itself to move to B'ham) to buy me breakfast for the next day, a banana, Pop Tarts, and Gatorade. I did not sleep very well and had pretty much woken up at 4:30 AM. Cory and I got up at 5 and I made myself eat. We got everything down to Emily's car and got the bikes racked up (we had the bikes in the hotel room to keep them safe.) The parking lot was actually starting to fill up when we made it to the race site at 6:00. We got our stuff carried up the hill and started setting up our transition areas. At some point I got body marked which was kinda wierd having someone write numbers on my arms and legs. Guess if I died on the course they would know who I was :) There was another "meeting" that went over the rules right before we moved to the pool area to get the race started. Out of all of the tris that I plan to do, this one had the strangest swim setup. The distance was 200yd which is 8 laps in a 25yd pool. So they took a 5 lane pool and halved the middle 3 lanes to make 8 lanes total so that to make 200, you would swim the length of the pool, switch lanes and come back until you had crossed every lane. This sounds wonderful on paper but kinda gets out of hand in practice. Also our race numbers were assigned on our estimated swim time when we registered and it seemed that most people had lied about their ability. The first guys that started swam like fish and freestyled throught the whole swim. At about #30 things started going downhill with people bunching up and a few guys even walking a bit through the pool. Stupid me had submitted 6min as my swim time because I had no idea what I could do so I was in with the slow people. In the first 25yd I caught up with the guy in front of me. After the second lap he let me pass at the wall and then it did not take long to catch up with the next girl. She was so slow and would not let me get around. So finally in the last length of the pool, a whole lane that was not divided, I swam around her and the two people in front of her. The freaking ladder climbing out of the pool was the worst part of the swim. I ran to my bike and of course I had screwed up the placement of my gear and put my shirt in the wrong place. Got it on, my helmet, and glasses and headed out and saw Emily and Sarah taking pictures right at the edge of the transition area. I was doing the "shoes already attached to the pedals" trick so it was easy to run to the bike line barefoot. The bike was a blur. I passed a ton of people and no one ever passed me. The "hill of doom" was not nearly as bad as I remembered it being when Cory and I rode it the first time. I made it back in on the bike and was feeling ok when I headed out on the run. The first mile of the run was all downhill and I managed to run almost all of it. After the turn around I was hurting and really really hot so I would run a little and then walk a bit. Somewhere around then Cory went by his bike. When I got back close to the spectators again I started running and managed to run all of the way to the finish line to finish in an official time of 0:53:26 to meet my goal of under 55:00. Alas but Cory ended up beating me in 51:00 with his speedy running legs.

Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Total
Cory 4:52 1:55 27:53 1:22 14:55 51:00
Jim 4:30 1:47 28:33 1:46 16:47 53:26

We did pretty good, in the male beginner 25-30 category Cory placed 3rd so he got a little trophy and a couple prizes and I ended up 5th with nothing but the knowledge that I finished 5th but could have been 3rd as a clydesdale... Out of 316 finishers, I came in 74th and Cory was 55th. The whole experience was so much fun for me even though I didn't manage to beat Cory. We will not race together again until August so I have a little bit of time work on getting better.

2006-05-16 16:38:46 680

The last week and a half has been nuts. I survived my exams, Emily's pinning and graduation, and a cruise. My stats final was Friday afternoon. Immediately after it I headed to Columbus for Emily's pinning. I got to meet Sarah's family and Cory's mom and sister there. Afterwards we waited for a table at Harvey's and finally got to eat. MUW's graduation was Saturday morning and Emily and Sarah both walked. Cory and I got good seats in the balcony so he could video. Afterward we went out to the base and had Little Dooey's. Emily and I came back to Starkville and I spent the rest of the night and Sunday studying for formal languages. On Monday morning I took the exam and it was kinda strange being my first oral exam. Almost like the old days of the Boy Scout board of review. I did good enough on it, and then I headed back to the apartment. Russ and Emilie showed up a little early so I went ahead and packed my stuff in their Escape. Of course we got to Emily's earlier than she expected so was not even ready to go. We did get on the road a little after 9:00 and Russ drove like an idiot so we got to Mobile early too. We found the cruise terminal without much trouble and started getting checked in. It was way more efficient than the New Orleans terminal was last year so we got on the Holiday pretty quick. As for the cruise, the Holiday is tiny, old, and smells in places. The food in the dining rooms at night was awesome but the buffets were not so great. There were a lot of scheduled events that did not actually happen or at least it seemed that way. The comedian did not make the boat for the first two nights and a massage class did not happen either. We did go to two art auctions mainly for the free champagne. On Wednesday we did not get to dock in Cozumel and had to ride the little boats in. Emily, Sarah, Cory, and I went on the same ATV excursion that Emily and I did last year. At least it was billed as the same but turned out to be a lot different. The path was freshly cut through the woods and was super rough. The beach we went to was not rustic like last year and had bar at it. We did not get to go snorkeling because the "ocean was too rough." We did play in the water some but it was not a very good beach. On Thursday we went to Play del Carmen and had a great day on the beach. I apparently covered my entire body with sunscreen except my lips, my shoulders, and the inside edges of my shins. On Saturday we rode back with Sarah and Cory and made it back to Starkville pretty quick. It was a great trip because we knew people on the boat, but if Emily and I ever cruise again, it won't be with Carnival.

2006-05-04 21:08:29 679

Emily has an interview at the Oktibbeha County Hospital ER tomorrow! Yay! If she gets a job there and can work there instead of Tupelo, we will save like $10k in gas money in two years.

"If you cut me in half, I wouldn't fight with my legs, I'd try to work with 'em and get us to a hospital."

"I have some very cool apps that are bundled with me. Calculator. Clock." Yes I am an Apple stockholder and I do own an iMac (even if I got it from eBay...).

2006-05-01 16:17:15 678

Somehow Cory, Joe, and I finished the Volksmarch on Saturday morning. Turns out that it was a 10.7 mile loop around the airfield on the base. We ran the first 5.5 miles, walked 2 to the 7.5 mile water station, and then ran the 3.2 left back in. I was still feeling good at the end so I picked up a the pace a bit on the last 3/4 mile and beat Cory and Joe in by a minute or so. My final time was 2:09:49.

Cory grilled for lunch and then we spent the afternoon making our "training" video. The first part of it is here on Cory's website.

Emily and I spent the night at Cory and Sarah's so we could get up early and head to Birmingham. We found the Mountain Brook YMCA where the tri is going to start. We drove around the course so we would know where to go. The weather was starting to look bad so we got out on our bikes as quick as we could. The wind was terrible at the start. Our camera crew got ahead of us and got some good footage. Somewhere around mile 3 it started raining but we kept going. Between miles 4 and 5 is a monster descent that we were both constantly braking to keep under 30. It was scary because my brakes don't work so well when they are wet. Luckily the mother of all hills was coming up to slow us down at mile 5. According to the Gmap Pedometer the ascent is somewhere around 130 feet in less than half a mile. Nothing in Starkville even compares! The best hill that I can think of to train on in Starkville is on Garrard Road from west to east where it rises about 90 feet in a mile. Anyway we finished up in a little more than 30 minutes, Cory beat me in at the end. I am ok with 30 minutes because of the crappy weather and the 10.7 miles on foot the day before. The entire triathlon is going to be less than the Volksmarch! I will have to pace myself a bit better, I went up the first hill to fast and barely had enough steam left to make it up the hill of doom.

So we got cleaned up at the Y and then went to Stix to eat. Was my first time for hibachi. Went to the shopping center behind the Galleria for a while and the girls shopped for clothes. After a while we went to the Summit and Emily and I looked for a linen shirt for me to wear at the wedding. We found some potentials but did not get anything. Cory and I both got more triathlon reading material at the Barnes and Noble and then we headed home.

2006-05-01 13:04:19 677

Thanks Northand for my quickly changing IP! I am going to have to put my script back up to auto update. Right now it has changed back into the original net , 69.59.104.167.

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