ONLY 4 DAYS TO GO …….!

WIND

 

Sunday, a bit of a change in the weather, less windy (at last) and a warm up trend. Just 4 more days of school bus driving then effectively 3 months off when all the work and pleasure begins.

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0945 and up to 53F already, no overnight freezes this week and temps going up from a high of 66 today and gently climbing into the low 70’s before next weekend!

A good ride yesterday so no excuses today as the weather is much better. Off down the valley towards Telluride and see if I can surpass the previous best of 10.20 miles before the turn round. Getting tough as I come to the 9.80 mile point but press on and see what is over the crest. Finally make it out to 11.11 but that last mile was hard! Well, the way back was much nicer and then coming into town a few vicious gusts to contend with but another 25.61 is done and the total is now 1312.12 and 1500 could fall by the end of the month?

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This wind is getting to be something else!!!  ……. Monday, and the push continues but I’m being blown around all over the place and 30 mph gusts are not helping progress and my legs are certainly feeling it. By the time I was 7.5 miles out it was time to come back in as it was not very pleasant. 23.38 today but it was hard work.

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Not Mary Poppins weather!

Tuesday, colder and even more wind! Too difficult so an early turn round and try and find some shelter in town. Eventually give this one best and finish with only 16.31 with the idea that I might bang in a few more miles after work. The wind never lets up so no more today.

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Wednesday, warmer and MUCH less wind. Today out to the 8.55 marker and by previous standards a much nicer ride for 21.35 due to the early afternoon driving for “early release”.

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Being Wednesday its time for 9 Ball again and so far I seem to have been back on form with two 2nd places in the 3 weeks we have played. Tonight is more of the same and I run out the Winner!

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Seems I’m turning into “The 9 Ball Shark of Dolores”

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Here we are, the last day, Thursday 25th May! Standard early morning run, then a 1 hour wait before setting off again to collect the elementary kids at 1045. Back for Middle and High School and take them home and back to the Bus Barn at 1330. Now clean out the bus, sweep it, unlatch the seats and tip them up and I’m done for the 2016/17 school year. Charlotte will wash and clean the bus for me as she likes the extra money and the washing action aggravates my shoulder injury sustained in the epic Pre65 in Scotland in 2009.

Before I left in the dawn I had been trying to find my diary where I record daily cycling distances, pool winnings etc, etc. No such luck but now I’m home Brenda tells me that Hercules has eaten it !!!!!

Home again but no rest quite yet so just a refreshing couple of beers before dragging “Plan B” out of her boat house. With charged batteries the motor is raised for transit, tires pumped up, lights checked and we are ready to roll and Slot 1 is now available for tonight’s arrival.

The school year is done, gardening and “those” remedial things begin but before I do a few final words on the school year from Clint Eastwood

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TONY DOWN

 

…. AND IT GETS WORSE!

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Difficult to get a mental handle on this freaky weather which is more winter like than springtime.

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Sunday I ride to the 10.2 marker as I can’t turn round when I want to because of traffic so that becomes 23.68 when I get home and is a good opener for the week’s account.

With just 9 days left in the school year the forecasters are claiming that we will be hit with a monster spring storm ALL this week…….. and they have it RIGHT    …….. BIG TIME!!!

Monday and low temps and a biting strong 25mph wind with gusts to 40. Not my kind of cycling weather! Tuesday, I make it out with full thermals and get hailed on …… great! …… only saving grace was after the hail the wind dropped and the ride home was pretty quick for another 23.37 in the books.

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biking in the rain 580

Wednesday, even colder, had to de-ice the windscreen before I left for the morning run. Snow, hail, rain and of course the bitter strong wind. Too cold to ride and no real change for the afternoon run but then it gets worse with a major snowstorm all night and while we were playing 9 ball pool where once again I finished 2nd.

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Thursday more snow showers all morning after cleaning off the car once more! Friday not much better and I think we made 50F briefly before coming back down to freezing again. Friday bitter cold but no snow and that wind is proving too much.

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Saturday and after 4 non riding days I set off again and despite the wind turn in a respectable 25.56 to complete a dismal week.

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Well never mind, all being well I’ll pass the 1300 marker tomorrow and might knock up 1500 by the end of the month?

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You just have to keep pushing on!

 

TONY DOWN

14 TO GO!

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No, not an order at the local Chinese take out but the number of bus driving days left in the school year. By now everyone is VERY tired and looking forward to some serious sleep and personal time. I too will be knocking off the days and then it will be serious gardening and the non stop weeding!

What a very strange week this has been! It starts badly when the ominous sore throat turns into the expected head cold ……. the joys of driving small children! After some lawn mowing, strimming, and general clean up on Saturday Sunday should have been the Mancos pool championship but I didn’t fancy it especially as Brenda was the dedicated driver and was certainly none too happy with the task.

I did however ride out of town for 9.25 miles (My longest ever) and knocked up 24.54 to start the week. Monday and Tuesday the weather is awful, cold, very windy and exceedingly wet! Two no riding days but with the ongoing head cold the enforced rest days are acceptable. Wednesday and I venture out for a short, time restricted ride, as its early release day, and bang in 17.20 before the clock has me home again and getting ready for the afternoon run.

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Monster storms are everywhere, high winds, torrential rain and hail so big its damaging buildings up in the northern part of the state. Its winter driving for sure with slush and snow conditions,  aquaplaning on the highway. Back in Dolores the hail/snow is 3 inches deep on the road!!!

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Hail damage!!!

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Serious hail

Thursday and another enforced rest day as I’m driving an activity trip to Monticello over the border in Utah. However did find some whimsical “bees & ladybirds” in the Family Dollar very reasonably priced at a buck a piece.

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Friday and the weather is improving at last and despite yet more wind 20.23 is in the books as I close in on the “1200 Banner”. They say the weekend will be warm, but as always very windy!!

Saturday and the cold is in retreat so I’ll try for a NEW max distance up the road towards Telluride. Zipped past the 9.25 marker and made the 10.10 before the turn round. Nice to see the 20 come up just as I come back by the house.

Despite the week’s problems, both personal and weather, I did put another 85 miles in the books and I’m now at 1213.90 en-route to the target of 3000.

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Buzzzzzz   Buzzzzzz

More gardening to finish the day and another $10 spent in Family Dollar buying all their bees and bugs!

 

TONY DOWN

GETTING CRANKY

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It might be the headwinds, it might be my bicycle fitter’s comments, or the article I recently read on the Internet concerning gearing but whatever the reason I’m cranky!

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So what prompted this you ask ? ……… after the fitting of my high speed racing Roubaix, Scott, the fitter, said he thought the current gearing of 53/39 might be a bit high for the Colorado mountains. This sent me off on my research mission where I found the article saying 53/39 might be great if you live in the Netherlands with flat roads and dykes but for USA a set of 50/34 is really a better choice.

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Current set-up on the Roubaix, 53/39 …….. great for Holland !

Next step is back to the cycle shop and then Ebay to search 50/34 chain rings to swop over. Not so fast cycling amateur!!! Your set comes with a BCD (technical term for hole spacing) of 130 and they don’t make a 50/34 set, only a 46/38 which is more for cyclocross rather than road riding.

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Having increased my limited cycling knowledge, yet again, I finally find a 50/34 crank set by the same makers in the 110 BCD range so I have now opted for this and a bid is on the “Bay”.

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Just won this set on E Bay

The whole assembly arrived yesterday (2 days early) and I should have it fitted next weekend, all being well, and then with only 9 days of school bus driving left I should be able venture further afield on the daily ride.

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Furthest distance from the house got extended this week out to 7.6 miles which has a certain feel good factor to it as over 15 clicks up as I come back by the house. After yesterday’s efforts I’m at 1106.93 and still have the weekend to go and no local pool today.

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TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

KITES, BANNERS AND TARGETS

Losing Ground

The manic cycling quest continues! Those that had any interest  in this endeavor will remember my goal for 2017 was 3000 miles up here at 7000′.

The 1st milestone was to hit more than 400 miles before my doctor’s visit on 28th March. 400 was the challenge to equal last year’s numbers on my first visit back in June 2016. This was done running out at 550.90 despite wind, snow, rain and ice.

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My biggest challenge is the infernal headwind!!!

Adding the Specialized Roubaix to the inventory has increased the daily riding distances from last year’s 10+ daily target and I now seem to be clicking over a solid 20 miles on each outing.

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Fast and furious!

Last week finished up at 781.83 just missing the 800 due to a bad weather day but since then, with only one rest day I was through the “800”and with some dogged determination I just made the “900” before pool playing on Saturday. Next challenge is the first “1000” kite before the end of April. I must confess these current headwinds do nothing for the enthusiasm.

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What a week this one has been! The weather spun backwards and gave us another look at winter with raging winds, pouring rain, serious big hailstones and another bout of snow. The combination of all of this forced the “manic cyclist” to take stock and take 2 weather enforced rest days.

So here I am, 28th April, 44.22 miles short of my first 1000 goal of the year …….. another dreadful day, bitter cold, rain, snow, hail,  and a biting westerly wind ! No matter another 18.65 in the book but the weather is still holding the trump cards.

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Last year’s Tour de France when they say a spectator accidentally unplugged the air compressor!

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This morning its 24F and a light sprinkling of snow. Also my son’s birthday and our local pool competition final. Two days left to crack that “1000” and only 25.57 to hit the barrier but if I do venture out this morning its looking like taking the mountain bike might be a better prospect and just knock off a few miles.

Cold at 34F but the intrepid cyclist will NOT be denied and another 13.70 comes off the required distance until the banner flies overhead.

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The end of the 1st 1000 miles is in sight!

April 30th, the target day, and despite the misery of all last week’s weather I only need a smidge under 12 miles to go under that banner. However, its bright and sunny outside but only 30F on the thermometer and the wind could gust up to 40MPH !! I’ll be looking for a sheltered spot and just go round and round until I’m dizzy.

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After 15.66 miles I had had enough of the bitter cold and crippling winds, but the objective had been achieved with the total at 1003.79 miles !

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Made it !

Time for another milestone so over to Mancos and in for the last week of qualifying for their Spring Championship. Last week at the Dolores competition my play was getting back to some of its former glory and today I sail through to the final for a satisfying 2nd place.

TONY DOWN