You Never Know Who You Might Meet

Posted in Training on July 27, 2013 by bikeslave

On my way back from a 60 mile warm up century ride, I encountered a fully loaded cycle tourist with a Canadian flag peering over the Manhattan side of the George Washington Bridge.  You don’t see cyclists like this everyday, so I just had to stop.  He was busy asking a pair of cyclists how to get to the bike path below, but was told it was complicated (NY City shorthand for I really don’t know).  I introduced my self and told him I was going that way and would be glad to guide him.  I then began the usual interrogation of where are you coming from and where are you going.  He introduced him self as Barrie Faulkner, coming from near Toronto going to Istanbul on the Queen Mary to meet his Son, Nat Faulkner for some ongoing cycling touring in Europe, Africa, and South America.  He also mentioned that among the usual cycle touring gear, he also had packed a tuxedo for the Atlantic crossing.  He noticed my Kissena Kit and asked me if I knew his son who rode for the Kissena pro team about 7-8 years ago.  I didn’t recall the name, but told him that the pro team didn’t have much interaction with the everyday Kissena members back then.  We then rapidly discussed our separate bicycle adventures over the last twenty years.  I know we could have spent at least 5 hours talking cycling, but given our time constraints, we had to settle for a few moments on the bridge and on the bike path before parting company.  



First Time on the Podium

Posted in Training on July 19, 2012 by bikeslave

In case you have never rode Pawling Mountain,in the HIghlands, it is brutal. It was my first time. I decided on this race over the New Britan Crit (another
60+ event) since it was closer and I got a chance to sleep in. Just
before the race I bumped into William Doyle, who warned me to drink
lots of fluid. It started out fine with a nice warmup of 29 some
riders consisting of six 60+, 19, 55+, and 4 juniors 17-18. As we
got under way along the rolling preliminary 6 miles, one of the
juniors who thought we were going way too slow asked: “are we being
neutralized?” Most everyone knew that in about a mile the suffering
would begin. I had studied the profile and knew when it would become
vertical. I was ok and sitting comfortable in the peleton until half
way up the climb. I lost momentum and eventually was dropped. Not
much relief in the 3 miles of climbing. Once that was tackled I
caught back on with a junior that was also dropped and rode strongly
until the 12% gradient on the last climb of the first lap. I was
pretty knackered by then, but rode hard on the downhill until I caught
my junior friend. I was thinking of dropping out, but I just kept
moving the pedals and tackled the 2nd lap with much less enthusiasm.
Now, I just wanted to finish no matter what. With the 95 degree heat,
I drank all my fluid I had on board and was glad there was a neutral
water zone that I showered myself and drank. I finished strong and did
better on the steep 12% grade the second time around. I had no idea
what place I came in. I was surprised to learn that I finished 4th in
my field and 2nd for the NYS championship. I was a case of just keep
moving the pedals until the end. I saw other Kissena guys that all
were suffering from the heat.

Frist time on the podium for me. Our presenter was awed with the
elder racers and said: “You guys are so inspiriing”.

so that was my day.

Recovery is Hard-January 2, 2012

Posted in Training on January 2, 2012 by bikeslave

I just finished the toughest week of CYCLO90 HIT Training System: “Recovery Week”. Maybe a strange thing to say, but I bet the majority of cyclists and other athletes doing your workouts don’t know the benefit of letting your body rest and have a hard time in recovery mode.Let me add a little more credence to what happened to me after a week off. I got back on my bike this past weekend and did my absolute PB on a route I have been riding for thepast 20 years. I have never been able to sustain 26mph by myself for more than a few minutes, yet I kept that pace for three miles and managed to ride 5.5 miles at 24.4 mph. I can’t explain it any other way except that I allowed my body to recover and have reaped the benefits I only dreamed about in the past, but have never been able to achieve. I can’t wait to see what happens in block 2. I will be 62 next year and have never ridden better my entire life.

90 day HIT Plan- Week 1

Posted in Training on November 22, 2011 by bikeslave

I knocked off week 1, 11 to go. It was not too demanding, which means I can up on the dumb bell wt. a little. Big gear tension today was a little tough, as I picked some terrain with a combination of a moderate short hill and flats. Have to watch those knees though and not go too deep. Lets see how week two unfolds. I had been using Graeme’s original pre-season 90day workout with Cyclo-Core/Speed. There were days on that plan that I simply didn’t have enough time to fit in all the phases. I will see if the less is more paradigm works this year.

A few other interesting occurrences:
-Meeting a surfer from Equador in an apartment building in the Bronx.
-Meeting a biker from Vancouver on 9W in NJ. We talked about crashes and if it is better to go limp or be proactive during a crash.

Bike or Die?

Posted in Training on November 17, 2011 by bikeslave

Started Graeme’s 90 Day hit plan Tuesday. It really hit hard at first after being off the bike for a month. So I’m still standing and ready for more. This is readily adaptable for crits since they usually are under an hour at max tempo. If I stick with this I will see improvement. My son opened a fortune cookie today which pronounced: “Little and often bring great results”.  Try and beat that!

Share your experience with others, be passionate about something.  Try a new beer.  

March 24, 2011

Posted in Training on March 24, 2011 by bikeslave

I have been neglecting my blog.  Like a plant needs water, a blog needs words and I had run out of them.  I scarcely know what to write or how to put my thoughts into order.  Writing about my training and what I am doing now seems horribly trivial and not very interesting.  I would like to get down to the molecular level of things and hear the whirring of atoms and particles and raw emotion.  Could that be possible without going insane and having to learn how to live with all that charged noise in my head 24×7?  I once had a button that I liked to wear: “Does the noise in my head bother you?”  Who is insane: the listener to the noise, or the one who produces it?   Besides, things are very complex these days.  Uprisings and natural disasters are on the rise.  How can we continue living as we have always done and not notice anything?  What wisdom can I impart to my children that will give them solace?  Does anyone know how to fix this mess?  many questions, but only partial answers.  Right now my solution is to swing my leg over my crossbar and pedal on, pedal on.  Maybe I will come up with something the next time I’m out on my bike.  Be compassionate and most of all,  love yourself.

Just Pedal On!

Posted in Training on January 4, 2011 by bikeslave

Is your motivation flagging just about now?  Just listen. Guaranteed to lift your spirits:

If you can’t understand the lyrics:

The Acoustic Motorbike
by Luka Bloom

The day began with a rainbow in the sand
As I cycled into Kerry
Cattle grazing on a steep hillside
Looked well fed, well balanced
Close to the edge

Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

I take a break, I close my eyes
And I’m happy as the dolphin
In a quiet spot talking to myself
Talking about the rain
Talking about the rain
All this rain

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

You see whenever I’m alone
I tend to brood
But when I’m out on my bike
It’s a different mood
I leave my brain at home
Get up on the sattle
No hanging around
I don’t diddle-daddle

I work my legs
I pump my thights
Take in the scenery passing me by
The Kerry mountains or the Wicklow hills
The antidote to my emotional ills
A motion built upon human toil
Nuclear free needs no oil
But it makes me hot, makes me hard
I never thought I could have come this far
Through miles of mountains, valleys, streams
This is the right stuff filling my dreams
So come on, get up on your bike
Ah go on, get up on your bike

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

With my face to that bitter wind
I bombed it into Killarney
Skin raw like a sushi dinner
And an appetite
That would eat the hind leg of the lamb of God
Even though you know
I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing
Then settle down for a quiet night
Think about what I’ve seen and done
And wonder

There’s a reason for this
Now is the time
To speak of the problem troubling my mind
Sick of the traffic choking our towns
Freaking me out, bringing me down
Knock down houses, build more lanes
Once was a problem, now it’s insane
My solution it’s one that I like
It’s Muddy
The Acoustic Motorbike
So come on, get up on your bike
Ah go on, get up on your bike

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

Ah go on
Ah go on
Get up on your bike
Get up on your bike

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Posted in Training on October 24, 2010 by bikeslave

I have to admit, I was not feeling the best today.  Having turned 60 has burdened me with all kinds of shit of my own making.  Why do I ride?  So I won’t get old.  What will happen if I get old?  I might loose my memory and have to rely on others.  Eventually someone will tell me I have to stop driving before I kill someone.   Meanwhile I go out and ride to squeeze the endorphins out and keep my mind sharp while I still have it.  I keep in mind the adage:  I didn’t stop riding because I got  old.  I got old because I stopped riding.  Yes that’s right, that old man with a leaky bladder and bad teeth is just right behind me and he’s not getting tired.  I can’t keep going at this pace forever.  Sooner or later, I’ll just have to let him catch me and merge his body with mine.

September 12-A Good Day to Ride

Posted in Training on September 12, 2010 by bikeslave

Finally the heat lifted and it was my kind of day in the Northeast: Cloudy with a threat of rain and temps in the high 60’s.   How I love this weather.  I pushed off from my front door and opened myself to whatever might come my way.  As I was crossing the George Washington Bridge I caught up to a guy with an interesting rig: MB frame, drop handlebars with bar end shifters, water bottle holder on the front fork, front and rear disk brakes , and big knobby tires.  As I came by his side when traffic permitted, I chatted a bit.  I asked him if he set it up himself.  He said it was a off the shelf Salsa Fargo.  Just before we hit 9W and parted ways he added as a footnote: “you know, an adventure bike.”  That’s just what I had in mind today, an adventure on the roads of Northern New Jersey and Rockland Co.   Lots of bikers out today.   I was looking to ride to the the top of State Line hill and then jam it back to the bridge.  I was feeling good and riding a nice pace of 22-24mph, when I was passed by a rider in full Ceverlo Time Trial Kit.  I shouted: “way to go!” as he passed me and jumped on his wheel.  He had huge calves and pressed on over a few risers.  I lost contact until he hit a light and had to slow.  We had a brief chance to chat.  He was a down to business Brit, who really just wanted to ride.  I left him alone with my silly chatter and slotted in behind him until the bridge.  As I pulled up to my house, it was just another episode of bicycle time travel where I could not recall how quickly the time passed.

February 26, 2010-Some Literary Pushes For Turning 60

Posted in Training on February 26, 2010 by bikeslave

Yes it’s snowing again and I’ve become well acquainted with my trainer.  I’m the biking champion of my living room.  It has been paying off and I’m feeling I’m in the best shape ever just two weeks before racing season.  I’m looking to jump into my first race on March 13, providing the weather cooperates.  Not having to concentrate on the road has given my mind plenty of time to wander about a bit.  I have been thinking a lot about turning 60 this year.  I look to Dylan Thomas for inspiration on this, except for the drinking part: 

“Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage, rage to the dying of the light.”

George Carlin also had some good advice on the subject as well:  “Making it to 60 before hitting 70.”

For a full treatment of the subject, follow this link: