Saturday, September 7, 2019

Another one bites the dust! (Year that is)

On Monday I turn 59.

In years past I'd have put an exclamation point after that number...not so anymore...not really freaking out yet, but NEXT year likely will be some lamenting and wringing of hands and woe-is-me moaning and such. I mean, holy smokes! I think back to when I was 10, and how OLD my grandfathers were! They were ANCIENT! Silver hair, wrinkly skin, OLD!

I don't have exact date, but I have to assume when I was 10 they were likely around 60., wait...OK...doing the math, more likely that they were around 70...(I was born in 1960 when my dad was 31 and mom was assuming their parents were about 30 years older, that means my grandparents were around 60 when I was born). Dang...that throws everything into a tizzy...NOW I have to wait until I'm 70 to cry about how old I am!

I guess 60 is the new 40...and 59 is what exactly? Surely not 39. However, I do have to admit that I'm in pretty reasonable shape for an old guy. And as I type that (old guy) I cringe and think about Bill Kennedy...a guy in my weekly Saturday Morning road-ride group. Bill is 72. He KILLS it out there! Honestly...I can only take him on the climbs, and also when the rides get to around 50+ miles I start to pull ahead of him. But he's a terror on flats/rollers AND descents! I actually have a hard time staying with him. Maybe he's a mutant...certainly he won a genetic lottery of some sort, and he MUST take pretty good care of himself. But still...he is a real hero to me as I hope and pray I will be like that. That I am ABLE to be like that (that I"m not all broken down and barely able to move).

I don't have a crystal ball giving me insight into what my next decade + will look like...and even if I could find out I wouldn't want to. Let the future remain a mystery...let me believe I will still be able to Mt bike like I do now until I'm 70 (or longer). I need to believe I'll be riding like Bill when I'm 72...that guys well over a decade (or 2, or 3) younger are going "holy smokes, he's 72!" and trying (unsuccessfully) to hold my wheel.

Rae, you turned 65 a bit ago, but ladies in general outlive men (you've heard the joke "why do men die sooner than their wives? Because they WANT to"...HA HA! Um, er, maybe not so funny to the current readership attendees....but it's a real  hoot to the guys). Susie, I am assuming you are around Jeannie's age (I have 5 on her). All I really know  is that I MUST retire while I'm still young enough AND healthy enough to ENJOY it. SO many guys I work with retire late and die w/in a few years...that is a very sad thought. Work your whole life and finally retire only to croak in a few short years.

Anyway, boy I really went on a wild tangent on this one. about that Vuelta?? Rae and Susie, I'm jealous both of you are watching it. Thanks for the updates Susie....Rae feel free to chime in with your insight...the more the merrier. Pretty crazy race so far this year...but when isn't it?

And so...another birthday is almost here...Jeannie will be gone all next week (she leaves for LA on Monday, comes back Thursday I think) it will be a rather lonely b-day week...but the babies will be here to keep me company. And I will be bike-riding at least Tues and Thursday, maybe Monday too...I'm trying to hold to four rides a week just's my annual Post TDF's going pretty well actually...I have really picked up my pace since the end of July both Mtb and road. But I'm still a ways away from setting any real "PR's" (Personal Records on STRAVA). Setting PR's, 2nds and 3rds is how I know that I'm riding on that high-end knife-edge of my fitness. I getting close confidence is there now that I've had a few good hard rides with times to show it, and that confidence lets me believe it's actually possible...that I WILL arrive at that knife-edge if I keep it up.

For my b-day this year Jeannie is getting me a "FitBit"...I'm a data-junkie, and from what I see (just about everybody at work has them) it's a pretty cool resource of info...tracks steps, heart-rate, sleep, exercise....I'll be anxious to see how that goes with my riding. Also be cool to see what my sleep is actually like vs what I THINK it's like (I get woke up a lot by the babies...maybe I'm not getting as much sleep as I THINK I am).

OK...time to get some dinner....I'm starved! Welcome to September!!Fall is here (which is summer where I live...our Fall is the best time of year, though our Spring is quite nice AND it's green from the winter rains).

Later gators....and Cheers!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Stages 14-21

And suddenly, we are in the final third of this years Tour! And as always, I'm always stunned that it got here SO FAST!

Anyway, Stage 14...more WOW! Alaphilipe was fantastic! Stayed with the lead group all the way, and even after GT was DROPPED! Bernal hung in there and was better, but GC lost MORE TIME! I had goose bumps! Watching the other GC hopefuls drop off 1 by 1...I was really hoping Rigo would hang and even gain some time back, but even he dropped.

And if there was any more surprise, it was Team Jumbo! They were still there with 2 guys when Ineos was down to just Bernal and GT! I think the era of the Superteam is over....things are a LOT more even now...other teams staying with them, and that they are BEHIND blows my a GOOD way!

My other takeway is that I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to ride the Col du Tourmalet one day while I am still young enough to enjoy it. That climb looks fantastic! It's very similar in length and altitude gained to our own Figueroa Mt that I ride a few times a's a 40 mile loop from where I way it's 7 miles to the base of the climb, then a 10 mile climb with about 4000' of climbing, 10 miles down the other side, and then 14 miles back to my car where I refill my water bottles and get food, and then take off again going the opposite direction and do the entire loop a 2nd time, netting me 80 miles and just under 10,000' of climbing. This is the mountain that many teams come to our area every January to train on, as it's very similar to the big climbs of le Tour (Lance and US Postal/Discovery came here every year during his heyday, and they stayed in Solvang and trained on our local Santa Ynez valley roads including Fig Mt. I may not be fast but I can ride all day, and it's kind of funny that I dont' know anybody who wants to ride the double Fig loop with me. That's my kind of ride...a grinding hour and a half climb, twice (it's rated HC and there's only one other one in this entire area rated that, and it's out of Santa Barbara....Gibraltar Rd...which is also a great climb!)

OK. I need to get some sleep...did a road ride today with my local bike shop group, and hope to take the Mt bike out tomorrow and do a few laps on our local little hill....I REALLY need to get some saddle time in as I'm in just about my worst fitness of the year right now.

Tour ON!