A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ride the Rockies 2017 Training Update: Three Weeks to Go and We Still Have Snow!

Egad. There are only three weeks remaining until the start of Ride the Rockies 2017. How did that happen? It still feels like winter in Colorado. Maybe that's because a late May snowstorm hit us this week dropping more than a foot of snow the Denver area. Fortunately this year's route is in the Southern Rockies!
Spring snowstorms in Colorado are not unusual and quite beautiful.
The late spring on the Front Range continues to make it difficult to get in some long rides on the road. I've only been out four times so far in May. Normally I would be logging some serious miles riding two/from work by this time. However, I have been hitting the trainer hard and am feeling pretty good about my training to date. 
Rocker and I riding along the coast in LaJolla, California.
This past weekend my family gathered in San Diego for my nephew's graduation from San Diego State, Mother's Day and birthday celebrations. Brother Jon (Jonny Rocker) brought his bike so I rented a nice ride from The Bike Revolution and we went on a couple of short morning rides (32 and 20 miles). Rocker said he is finally feeling excited about RTR and could "do it today." I agreed but am still glad we have a couple of weeks to reach the peak of our conditioning. I don't want to just ride the Rockies; I want to rock it!
The view from the Mt. Soledad National Veteran's Memorial is well worth the ride up!
I've recorded 1,469 miles in the saddle since January 1 in 96 workouts burning a whopping 129,354 calories (according to my Garmin 810, which notoriously overestimates calories). My goal is to ride 2,000 before the start of RTR. I'd have to ride 183 miles per week in the final three weeks to get there. That's still possible but factoring in tapering it's not likely. Besides, I haven't ridden that many miles in a week yet this year!

My goal at this point is to pack on as many miles as I can in the next two weeks then scale back the final week. The sun is out today and the streets are fairly dry so I am going to venture out. 

Ride on!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ride the Rockies 2017 Route Includes Three of the Ten Steepest Passes in Colorado!

I saw this post from a friend of mine on Facebook this morning and just had to click and see how many of them I have ridden on my bike. As I scanned the list I realized that we will ride three of them on Ride the Rockies 2017, including #9 Wolf Creek Pass (6.8% at 10,850 feet above sea level), #6 Molas Pass (7% at 10,910 feet), and #3 Red Mountain Pass (8% at 11,018 feet). Oh, by the way, we do those last two on the same day!
Time to shift training into high gear! Actually, I did that this past week, riding 17 miles on Monday (the 17th), 18 on Tuesday (the 18th), 19 on Wednesday, and so on, for a total of 117 miles in six days (all on my CycleOps Fluid2 indoor trainer). 
Jonny Rocker is quickly catching up to me in miles now that he is training in earnest. I'm only 110 ahead of him at 1,151 for the year. According to his text yesterday he is at 1,040 with 400 of that in the past week! At this rate he will pass me next Saturday sometime during his century ride (let us know how it goes, brother, and send some pics for me to post). It's decent riding weather today so I'm headed outside for a quick 23 miler (keeping with the theme of riding the number of miles that corresponds with the date that I began with a 10-mile ride on April 10.)

Ride on...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Food is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Saturday, April 22. Earth Day 2017. We woke to snow falling in Colorado this morning. Big flakes melting as they hit the ground, nourishing the grass and flowers that have sprung up in recent weeks. It was a beautiful sight but I really need to start getting outside to ride sometime soon. Ride the Rockies is only seven weeks away!

I'm not complaining. If you complain about snow or rain around here people will quickly remind you, "We need the moisture," especially the farmers and I ranchers I work for who need it to grow our food. Precipitation is a pretty common topic of conversation in the agriculture community. 

Water availability is also one of the key issues in sustainable food production. No water, no food! From the time my great great grandfather Americus Vespucious Angell settled in western Kansas in 1886 farmers have been hard at work finding ways to produce food with less water and returning it cleanly to the environment. My great-grandfather Charlie John Angell invented the one-way disc plow in the early 1920s to preserve precious moisture and reduce soil erosion.
My great-grandfather C.J. Angell even has his own Kansas Historical Society Trading Card!
Farmers and ranchers today continue to reduce water usage with improvements in irrigation techniques, no-till, and, yes, even GMO crops (gasp!). To learn more about what cattle farmers and ranchers today are doing to reduce beef's water footprint, check out FactsAboutBeef.com.

One thing that is often overlooked in the discussion about water and sustainable food production is food waste. Food waste has a huge impact on on water use. Think about it. If food is wasted, all of the water that was required to produce it is also wasted. With beef, if we could cut waste in half it would improve the sustainability of beef production 10 percent
Plannedover beef roast and broccoli, tomato and egg scramble.
I have personally been working to reduce food waste by making sure we eat the leftovers from dinner before they go bad. Throwing food away is like throwing cash in the trash! The average American family tosses $2,500 in food in the garbage, which then ends up in a landfill, the third largest source of methane emissions.

Plannedover Flatiron steak, broccoli, squash, red pepper and egg scramble with avocado.
This morning after my 22-mile workout on my indoor trainer I enjoyed a #plannedover power breakfast scramble with two eggs, steak, broccoli, squash, red pepper, and avocado. Not only was it delicious but it was all food sitting in the fridge waiting to go bad -- all but the eggs and avocado leftover from our evening meals this past week.
To join the fight in reducing food waste, sign up for the 30-day Food Waste Challenge to get lots of great ideas for simple changes that will make a big impact!

Ride on...