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!

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...


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My RTR Gear is Here!

This just got real! My official Ride the Rockies 2017 hat, sticker and $25 gift certificate to the RTR merchandise store arrived in the mail today. I love the gift certificate idea. Instead of sending the traditional commemorative route shirt to everyone, you get $25 to shop for whatever gear you want. I went with the traditional route shirt for $25. ☺
The arrival of the care package always signifies that the start of the ride is near at hand. In fact, there fewer than eight weeks left to train. That's a little scary. I feel good about the miles I have put in since January 1 (1,051) but I haven't really gotten out and tested my legs on the hills yet. The weather looks promising this weekend. Wish me luck!

Ride on...


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1,000 Miles in 100 (and one) Days!

This morning I rode 11 miles on my CycleOps Fluid2* indoor trainer. It may not seem like much but it was significant. This is the first time, since I began recording my mileage on my Garmin Edge* cycling computer, that I have reached 1,000 miles in the first 100 days of the year! OK, so it was actually 1,002 miles in 101 days, but the record still stands. I am on track to hit 2,000 miles between January 1 and the start of Ride the Rockies for the first time -- and this will be my 10th RTR.

*I do not receive any compensation from CycleOps, Garmin or any other brand I mention on my blog. If I mention a brand it's because I am a true fan of the product!

RTR starts on June 10, the 161st day of the year. If I maintain my current average of 10 miles per day I'd hit 1,600 miles before the start, but nearly all my miles to date have been on my indoor trainer in chunks of 10-20 miles per ride. I typically increase my mileage significantly when I am able to get out on the road and put in some long, slow distance (LSD) rides (not to be confused with riding on LSD).

I have racked up 1,002 miles over 70 different workouts totaling 50 hours and 33 minutes to date in 2017.

I'm hoping those days come soon. This past weekend was ideal riding weather but I took the opportunity to sand and stain my redwood deck with Penofin Brazilian Rosewood Oil.*

*Nope. No sponsorship. 😊

Yesterday I noticed I rode 10 miles on the 10th and 11 miles on the 11th, so figure I'll do 12 on the 12th, and so on. In fact, I may try and keep this up for the rest of the month. By my calculations that would put me well over 400 miles in April. In May I will begin riding to/from work and should have no trouble hitting more than 500. That should put me in striking distance of 2,000 (factor in travel days and it will be close).

In an earlier post I talked about riding 2017 miles in 2017. I now think that it's possible to reach that goal before Ride the Rockies. 

Ride on!