Category Archives: Rides

2016 Ride For Mike – Greenville to Bladenboro

Here 2016 Ride For Mike by the numbers. This year’s version took me from my current home in Greenville, SC to my childhood home in Bladenboro, NC. I continue to ride in memory of my friend Michael T. McMaskill and rode this year in honor of my father recovering from a massive stroke. Here is a little data insight into I Ride For Windell.

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Day One

2016 Ride For Mike - Day One Route

Day One: Greenville, SC to Ruby, SC.

<img class="size-large wp-image-11834" src="http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24.38-PM-1024×170.png" alt="Elevation profile for 2016 Ride For Mike" width="625" height="104" srcset="http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24 cialis livraison.38-PM-1024×170.png 1024w, http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24.38-PM-300×50.png 300w, http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24.38-PM-768×128.png 768w, http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24.38-PM-624×104.png 624w, http://lowcadence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.24.38-PM-900×150.png 900w” sizes=”(max-width: 625px) 100vw, 625px” />

Elevation profile

Greenville, SC to Ruby, SC
Distance: 143.6 miles
Time in saddle: 7 hours 37 minutes
Total elapsed time: 10 hours 23 minutes
Average speed: 18.8 mph
Weighted average power: 200 watts
Elevation gained: 5,663 feet
Calories: 7,022
Read recap

Day Two

2016 Ride For Mike Day Two Route

Day Two: Ruby, SC to Bladenboro, NC

Elevation profile for 2016 Ride For Mike

Elevation profile

Ruby, SC to Bladenboro, NC
Distance: 95.1 miles
Time in the saddle: 5 hours 3 minutes
Total elapsed time: 6 hours 59 minutes
Average speed: 18.8 mph
Weighted average power: 178 watts
Elevation gained: 1,529 feet
Calories: 5,013
Read recap

Totals

Distance: 238.7 miles
Time in the saddle: 12 hours 40 minutes
Total elapsed time: 17 hours 22 minutes
Average speed: 18.8 mph
Weighted average power: 191 watts
Elevation gained: 7,192 feet
Calories: 12,035

Funds Raised

Total: $3,025

The ride itself was a success. I was able to keep a goal of riding yet another year in memory of Michael T. while being an encouragement to my mom and dad. I must admit that the amount of money I was able to raise is discouraging. DON’T GET ME WRONG, I am very, very thankful for those who have given. The discouragement comes with the knowledge that while $3000 is going to help maintain the foundation for another year, it is not enough to advance it as I hoped.

If you have not given, would you please consider donating event small amount? The opportunity continues through October 31. Thank you!

DONATE HERE

 

Ride For Windell Day Two Recap

After enjoying some pretty good Tex-Mex at Fiesta Tapatia in Cheraw, SC, the Beautiful Redhead and I headed back to the hotel. We ended up going to bed around 10 PM.Of course, I had to write the Ride For Windell Day One Recap first.

I had good intentions of getting up at around 6 AM in hopes that we could get going by no later than 7:30 AM. The alarm went off and I awakened. Getting out of the bed was another matter.

I got some waffles yogurt, and juice — oh and plenty of coffee — from the hotel breakfast and then started to load up the truck. We were going to have to drive me back to the point in Ruby, SC where I had stopped the day before.

It is a nerve-wracking feeling when you are driving in a car the opposite direction that you are supposed to be going in on the bicycle. The ride to the hotel didn’t seem so far when we covered this ground on Friday! Watching the rolling terrain didn’t help either.

Unloading the F1

Getting ready to start day two in Ruby, SC.

Finally, we came to the small “station” where I had pulled the plug the day before. I unload the bicycle and we were off. On the way to the start, I noticed there were a number of cyclists on the road. I would be awesome if I could come upon some and pace along with them.

I only saw one cyclist as I crested one incline after another. I kept telling myself that the climbing would stop on the other side of Cheraw. This business of pushing out watts on cold, tired legs was not enjoyable!

The good news was that Annette was with me this time. Just knowing she was there and hearing her voice over the radio was an encouragement. It was like going back in time to the Memphis-Raleigh and Greenville-Charleston rides. It made me feel warm inside on an otherwise chilly morning — even at 8:30 AM.

Somewhere between Ruby and Chesterfield, SC

Another hilly start on day two.

Cheraw came faster than I anticipated. For a good amount of the time, I was averaging over 20 mph. However, that average got wiped out as I neared town. There are some pretty long grades and I simply could not power up them without my legs starting to get that expanding feeling.

In Cheraw, we took our turn off of Highway 9. We were going through some residential roads and then turned onto a street lined with businesses. In the distance, I could see the bridge over the Great Pee Dee river. I knew for certain the terrain would begin to change on the other side.

It did. It just wasn’t as much as I hoped. When I was on flat roads or descending, I felt great. I could even get some power down. However, as soon as I hit any sort of grade my power dropped. It wasn’t that I felt sore or anything. It was just that my legs wouldn’t produce it.

This became my existence for the next hour or so. I got a reprieve right at the North Carolina state line when my sister and her daughters drove up from Florence to cheer me on. Thanks, Suzanne, Grace, Melinda, and Stephanie!

North Carolina state line

Welcome to North Carolina! Two counties to go…

Buoyed by the visit, I climbed up from the line and then started to descend to the next intersection. As I neared it, I could see the road I was supposed to take on the other side. There were orange signs plastered on either side: No through traffic. Detour.

I could think of no option but to follow the detour. Even if I could make it through the obstacle, Annette couldn’t. The question was how far out of the way would this take us? I figured it couldn’t be too far since this was a local detour.

A slight deviation from our plan.

Detours add the ad in adventure.

As it turned out, it wasn’t that bad. Maybe we went a mile out of our way. The best thing was it was a distraction to my mind and gave me something to think about other than my legs, back, and neck.

We reached Laurinburg, NC and I loaded the bicycle in the truck as we went in search of something to eat. I always have to remind myself that these rides are not a race. It is okay to eat at a restaurant along the way. There is no rule that says I have to eat on the bicycle!

Ahhhhh, here were the flat roads I was looking for. It took 50 miles, but this is what I hoped for back near Cheraw. I was able to keep a pretty good pace through the landscape becoming more and more numerous with pine trees. I knew I was heading in the right direction.

Tired legs near Lumberton

These puppies were tired!

Then the wind came. It started as a headwind. I saw the flags along the route waving toward me. A particularly disheartening scene was a small balloon on a mailbox. It was out straight to the right of the mailbox straining on the nylon ribbon as though it was trying to escape.

Wind changes, though. It swung to a cross wind from my right to left. I wondered if I could use my upper body as a sail. Maybe if I moved my right shoulder forward and my left shoulder back I could turn it into a bit of a tailwind. Can you tell I was starting to get a little warm under the afternoon sun? Now it was just settling in for the long haul.

As I neared Lumberton, NC, the wind seemed to die down. I looked for flags and found them gently swaying. Now I had another battle. It was with my body. I found more and more that my head was hanging and I had to remind myself to look up and not get mesmerized by the white line along the shoulder.

Then Annette came over the radio. “Why don’t you draft off the truck for a bit?” That was not something she would normally offer! I was willing to give it a go.

So, for periods of time I would slot in behind the Pilot and Annette would hold a speed around 24 mph. Then she would radio back to me that a car was approaching us and I would go off to the right while she would drive ahead, pull over, let the car pass, and then move up to be my shield again.

It helped. I’m not so sure that it made me that much faster, but it certainly was an awesome emotional lift. In some ways, it was an effort as I accelerated to get in position and then had to stick my nose back in the wind. All I know is that before I knew it, we were at the Welcome to Lumberton sign.

Entering the far side of Lumberton

Happy to see Lumberton!

Wow! I was almost home! I knew from this point on I would recognize all the landmarks. I started through the city streets with a renewed energy. Still, by the time I reached the intersection that would put my on Highway 211 — and just two turns from home — I was needing to find some shade.

We pulled over and I got new water bottles from the cooler. I poured one of them over my head.  I was now 17 miles to the finish. That was exciting, but also a realization that I was going to have to spend another hour on the saddle. There was nothing to do, but to do it.

211 is a pretty flat road. It is also a pretty straight one. Once again, I started to find myself staring down at the computer screen. Annette offered to draft again and I took the offer. As it turned out, I didn’t get to enjoy it for long because we were closer than I thought.

Welcome to Bladenboro

Reaching Bladenboro! Only a few miles to go.

We stopped to take a photograph near the Welcome to Bladenboro sign. Then I started to roll over the next five miles to my parents’ house. Now I was feeling great! I’ve ridden this road many, many times.

As we turned onto the road to my childhood home, Annette came over the radio to tell me that my mom had called to say that my dad was looking at his watch and trying to communicate the question, “When will Jonathan get here?” I was happy that it would be less than a minute!

Windell and Jonathan

The man I was so please to honor with this year’s ride!

The whole trip was worth it when my dad stood up from his porch swing and came over to hug me. Of course, I didn’t let him! I didn’t want to kill him with the sweat and smell! I’d get the shower out of the way and then we could spend more time together.

And so, the 2016 Ride For Mike comes to an end. I was glad to honor my father in the process.

Please support the I Do It For Foundation with a gift today!

What about you? Countdown Day 1

Tomorrow I roll out on the 2016 Ride For Mike. I’ll be doing it for my father, Windell Pait. I hope you’ll follow along with me throughout the day on Twitter and Instagram. More than that I hope you will make I Do It For your own.

There are two ways you can, as our slogan says, “Do it for someone you love.”

Many people reading this blog are active in different sports. There may be a few who are looking for motivation to get involved in a more active lifestyle. I Do It For is here to help add a little motivation to your training… or to your desire to get started with a more active lifestyle.

The "Doer" Dave Vandeventer

The “Doer” Dave Vandeventer – 2012

Here is how it works. Dave is beginning to train for a local marathon. A friend of his at church is also enduring an ongoing battle with cancer. He learns of the I Do It For Foundation and decides to start an I Run For Juanita project. His objective is to raise money for the extra expenses that Juanita faces while rallying others around her in emotional support.

As Dave begins his training, he launches his IRunFor.org/Juanita website. He encourages friends to give money to support Juanita, but he also asks them to join him the day of the run… either as a fellow runner or just along the route wearing “I Do It For Juanita” t-shirts.

Through social media, he keeps people aware of his own journey toward his goal of the marathon while also telling Juanita’s story. The two journeys become intertwined. Dave’s run is no longer simply about a PB. It is about Juanita and her battle.

The day of the run Dave starts with a group of “Doers” for Juanita cheering him on. But they are there also to cheer on Juanita. She is too sick to be there, but people keep her up-to-date with the progress. The day ends with Dave accomplishing his goal of finishing the race, but think about what more he accomplishes in the process.

Juanita receives money to help her with the expenses surrounding her treatment not covered by insurance. More than that she is bolstered by the outpouring of support of the many who give, encourage her online, or express their love for her wearing I Do It For Juanita tees around town. That’s what it is all about!

What is your next event? You’re training anyway… why not use that time training drawing attention to someone else in need? Why not make that event mean even more? Do it for someone you love!

Maybe you aren’t even exercising, but you want to get started. Perhaps making your exercise routine about someone other than yourself will give you the extra motivation to follow through. Choose an upcoming event — charity walk, local 5K event, or organized cycling ride — as your target. Start an I Do It For campaign and tell your stories as you reach your target.

Start your campaign today!

The other way you can help is to support the I Do It For Foundation. There are many ways we would like to aid our “Doers” as they support their “Inspirations”, but it takes money to build and maintain these tools. Also, we are committed to giving 100% of the funds that come in to the Inspirations.

That is why I am riding the I Ride For Windell tomorrow morning. Yes, I am riding to show love for my father, but I’m also riding for all the others who in the future will inspire doers to make a difference. I’ll be thinking of my dad and the many others who have inspired us to do a little more as they run their own races in challenges far greater than sport.

Give to I Ride For Windell now!

I am not a ribbon, a color or a disease.

I am a person. I have a name. Do it for me.

Do it for someone you love!

How NOT to join a Zwift group ride

Most every Wednesday night my family and I head over to meet with members of our church for a time praying for one another and Bible study. Typically we will finish around 8 PM and then drive home. Sometimes (often)(okay about every time) the Beautiful Redhead will stay around to talk. I’ll admit that this time I was starting to get a little antsy. There was a ride on Zwift with Ted King.

We ended up arriving home about 8:45 PM. I jumped out of the vehicle and got changed hoping I could make it down to the Low Cadence Lair to catch a few moments riding with the group. Scottie Weiss was leading it and — using the new Zwift mobile app — I noticed a good number of other folks with which I would have enjoyed riding. They were still out there, but passing the 20 mile mark as 9 PM approached.

I made it onto the bike before the top of the hour. I could see Ted’s name on the list of riders out on the course. That is when I made my first error trying to join the group ride on Zwift.

The bad thing is that I knew better, but for some reason thought it wouldn’t be too bad. What was my mistake? I joined the group by clicking to “Ride with Ted.” Well, why not? Isn’t that what I wanted?

There was a great turnout for Ted's most excellent adventure

There was a great turnout for Ted’s most excellent adventure

The deal is that Ted was riding at least at a 20 mph pace. He was also surrounded by a number of other riders. If I made the choice to join a point on the course where Ted was, he wouldn’t be there by the time my avatar got mounted.

Yep, by the time I was pedaling, I could see the group disappearing into the distance just before you enter the town containing the sprint zone. Looking at Strava I see I went from a standstill to 335+ watts for over 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Enter error number two. The other thing about joining a group ride in the middle of it (or near the end in this case) is that you don’t know the flow of the group. Once I made it into the peloton, I was in a guessing game to determine what effort I needed to hold. It meant that a couple of times I got gapped.

Once again Strava shows that I had three spikes in wattage — all over 1200 watts and the final effort at 1300. That happened during the rolling section just before long run down to the finish. Thankfully, by that time I figured out the pace and was starting to catch my breath.

Unfortunately, the banner was the finish of the ride. I didn’t even get in one lap with the group. It then began to splinter as some kept riding and others signed off. I decided to stay around to get in a 30 minute exercise workout so I could get the satisfaction of seeing my Apple Watch activity tracker fill up all the rings.

The problem is that I was hurting. I say I got stitches, but it was more like my kidney was bothering me. It is that sore spot you feel in the lower left portion of your back that makes you have shortness of breath. I knew I had started out a little too freneticly.

As I was climbing the KOM thinking I would just recover for a bit, Scottie came up behind me. So, I hooked up with him and another rider as we crested the hill. Even getting in Scottie’s draft, I was moving into the 4.0 wkg range here and there. The soreness wasn’t leaving.

Finally, just about the place where I joined the group initially, I let Scottie and the other rider go. I needed to back off. Even so, I felt good about completing a sub-15 minute lap. I continued spinning along to complete a second full lap before calling it a night.

So, what did I learn? 1) If you are joining a group and you want to ride with a certain person, choose a rider well up ahead of the person with whom you wish to ride. 2) Once your avatar is active, keep an eye on the watts per kilogram being put out by the riders coming up behind you. 3) Realize that because it is a group, you cannot expect to join into the ride at that same wattage. 4) Ride at a pace that exceeds the numbers in the group because the group effect will chase you down. 5) You can then merge into the group with less pain and have less of a chance of getting dropped immediately.

Ride On!

More Than Sport 112 mile charity ride on Zwift

I decided Friday evening to climb on my bike Saturday afternoon to ride 112 miles to raise $112 to go to More Than Sport. That doesn’t seem like much, but judging from all the other folks out there on Watopia island there were a number $112 donations coming in!

112start

To see the details of the ride, you can check out the Stava activity report. Want to know why I did it? Why did I ride as “I Ride For Manish”? I share that in Saturday’s blog post.

Oh, and I did get one other achievement from the effort…

4xgoal

Now, who are you going to Do It For? IDoItFor.org

I Ride For Manish

Today I’ll be attempting a 112 mile journey on my trainer. Zwift is donating $112 to MoreThanSport.org for every Zwift user who completes the challenge. Today is the last day to pull it off.

So, I went to learn a bit more about More Than Sport before I put myself through this suffering. I learned that the organization is raising money for five particular categories… Water, Food, Medicine, Shelter, and Education. All of those things are good things and worth supporting. I learned from the website how just a $1 could make a difference… what difference could $112 make?

However, I was reminded why I started the I Do It For Foundation. As I looked at the site, I could see how the organization would be supporting broad initiatives that would create and maintain an infrastructure for meeting a need. What I had a hard time finding where the individual instances where all this work was making a difference.

What are their stories? Exactly how much of my $112 was going to end up actually touching an individual? It is awesome to feel that you are being a part of something big, but what is more important is the people that big thing is touching.

I’m thankful for More Than Sport and other organizations that are doing these “big things.” We need them! However, I think there is a place for an organization like the I Do It For Foundation that allows people to focus in on the individual and bring 100% of a resource — no matter how small — to the individual. Often, the personal nature of the attempt means more that the amount of money you might raise.

CFH-On-The-Ground

As I searched through the More Than Sport blog, I came upon Manish. He is a 13-year old boy whose mother was injured during the devastating natural disasters in Nepal. Through Convoy of Hope (a More Than Sport supported group), Manish was able to find some relief.

He took on the role as provider and protector for his family. He cut grass for cattle to make money, while worrying what his family would eat. That’s until he heard about Convoy of Hope’s food distribution near the remote village of Lamosangu. Manish hiked down the mountain to get the food-kit consisting of rice, lentils, salt and oil.

I don’t know if any of my pedal strokes will actually bring relief to Manish. However, as I pedal today, I will be Riding For Manish. Needs have faces. Manish represents those faces to me.

For you next triathlon, ironman, marathon, fondo… or whatever event you are already training for… why not turn it into something more by finding a person near you who has a need and turn that event into your I Do It For ___ campaign? You’re already training for it… why not make it something more?

IDoItFor.org

Today, I’ll be riding for Manish.

Time or Scenery

Yesterday there was a Zwift race at 1:30 EDT. My Team Experimental One was going to be racing. I hated to miss it, but because it is in the middle of the day it cuts right into my afternoon work schedule. It means that most weeks I can’t do it. However, we were going to take a “team photo”, so I took a late lunch and hopped on the trainer for a couple of minutes.

After watching the guys roll off from the start, I headed back to the office. As I drove through the beautiful fall weather (mid-70s and sunny), I had a battle start waging in my mind. There would be another race that evening. Still pumped from seeing the huge roll-off from the line on the afternoon race, I was feeling the pull to jump back on the trainer for a six o’clock event.

The thing was, I had made my plans to ride on the road that evening. The weather is absolutely stunning and the days will soon be gone where there is enough light after work for riding. Make miles while the sun shines!

By the time I left work, my mind was made up. I was going to go climb Paris Mountain. If I left at 6 p.m., I would be able to get in an hour before the sun started to fade. It would also be interesting to see how 20 miles on the road would compare to 20 miles on Zwift’s Richmond course.

The ride turned out to be great! Altamont Road, which runs along the upper ridge of Paris Mountain and was featured in the USA Cycling National Road Race Championships for seven years, is being newly paved. Most of the sections are done. So, the ride was smooth and fast. Well, the road was fast… I don’t know if I was!

I met a rider I had not known before and Brock and I enjoyed the descent from the top and then turned around to climb back up the famous 2.1 mile “Furman Side” of the mountain. We talked along the way and admired the scenery looking out toward the Appalachians. I was glad I had chosen the road!

So, how did the two rides compare? I looked at this on-the-road ride and compared it with a Zwift ride of similar length where I felt that I was giving the same level of effort. Here is a snapshot of the two rides linked to the Strava activities.

Paris Mountain over and back from home.

Paris Mountain over and back from home.

Two laps of Richmond on a TT bike with only one hard lap

Two laps of Richmond on a TT bike with only one hard lap

So, I immediately noticed the difference in the “suffer score.” Everything else seemed to be pretty close — other than the elevation climbed! Also, the feeling of effort at the conclusion of my road ride was one of much more fatigue.

I decided then to bring out a recent Zwift effort where I recalled having a feeling of the same level of fatigue. It was an effort where I first tried out the TT bike on Zwift. This time I was on Watopia. That one hurt! How would it compare?

TT ride on Watopia

TT ride on Watopia

Ah, this one came out closer. I rode for 13 more miles and about 15 minutes longer. However, the road ride had several stops where Brock and I talked. It also had more downhill than Zwift. What I mean is you have to work more on Zwift to get your speed on the downhill than you do on the road. Of course, looking at the Max Speeds, they are all pretty close to the same. Those stops would also have an effect on my power averages since I didn’t stop the Garmin — so I got a few 0’s added into the average!

parisclimb

What is my conclusion? I really think it comes down to Time and Scenery. If I have the time to get out on the road and ride, it is definitely the way to go. However, especially in the winter months when the days are so short, it is pretty clear that Zwift is — while maybe not as good as the road — a great option for keeping your fitness and also enjoying the social aspects of cycling.

Rediscovering Watopia and the fun of it all

It has been sometime since I’ve ridden on Zwift’s Watopia island. There was a period where I wasn’t on Zwift hardly at all. Then I got back into it when the new Richmond course opened up. Last night I signed on not knowing which course would be active. When I saw it was Watopia, I felt that odd feeling of something old being new again.

First thing I did was look through the list of riders to see if there was anyone that I would like to ride with. I noticed the entry, “C. Schumn 3.3 metric”. Casey I knew from him being a long time Zwift user. I was intrigued to see he was trying to do a metric century with an average of 3.3 watts.

I decided to log in near him to see if I could help him out a bit.

Immediately I was in trouble. Just because I entered the course near him didn’t mean that I would be able to ride with him! I came onto the course at 0.0 wkg while Casey was matching his average of over 3.0 wkg. So, he put seconds on me right away.

Not only that, I joined him on a climb. So, here I was trying to chase him down with cold legs. Now, for a 47-year old man, that can be a painful undertaking!

I did catch up with him and he waved. I rang my little cycling bell. We started to ride together. I let him pull me for a bit while I worked to loosen up my legs.

Before long I was feeling better and I came around him. He was already nearing halfway of his metric century mark. He was trying to average around a 15 minute to 15.5 minute lap. I tried to pick up the speed with him on my wheel. I could go harder because I wouldn’t be riding as long.

theeffort

This went on for two laps. However, on that second lap, I really uncorked it on the straight to the  finish. That meant I was riding for a sustained period at over 500 watts. I was pretty much blown after that one. It did mean that Casey was able to get two sub-15 minute laps, but I had to back off and recover.

I rode easily — very easily — and waited for Casey to come back around to me. This time I decided to ride with him at around 3.0 to 4.0 wkg. The only variation I did to this was I did go all out on the KOM climb to see if I could snag the polka-dot jersey.

I was pleased that I got it with a PR of 1:52 (I thought I had climbed that faster in the past… oh well.) Then I waited up for Casey who was now over a half minute behind me. By the time he caught up, I was recovered and we started to work together.

That was the most fun of the evening. We were able to pretty effectively stay together for the remainder of that lap. It was a challenge because I was having my Zwift session controlled by the Kickr while Casey’s session was being controlled by a power meter on this bicycle. This made his ride more smooth as we transitioned from flats to the climbs and while descending.

The Kickr tends to send you shooting up the first few meters of a climb and makes you work like a dog to get momentum going down a hill. That meant in those areas Casey and I would leap frog each other and it was harder to consistently stay together.

However, on the flats and once we got sorted out on the climbs and descents, we were riding well in each other’s drafts. Then we hit the final straight for my last time. I once again ramped it up to help him get speed with the least amount of effort. Casey held my wheel and we pulled off yet another sub-15 minute lap.

It made it even more rewarding when I found that Casey finished the metric century in the 15th fastest time — ever. He pulled it off in 2:45:03. That is impressive!

This is what 1.5 hours on an indoor trainer becomes not only doable, but actually fun! When was the last time you didn’t want to get off the trainer, but you had to because you had no more time? That is what Zwift does to you.

Well done, Casey. We’ll see you for your metric attempt on the Richmond course.

How slow can you go?

Wednesday’s ride wasn’t for reaching some goal. It wasn’t me trying to increase my fitness. It was a ride just to get away.

I struggle sometimes when life seems to be piling up on me. I know this happens to most everyone, but we all deal with it differently. I get almost paralyzed.

It is hard for me to concentrate. I find myself just staring at the task I need to accomplish. Of course, it doesn’t help anything to just stare! Reason knows that the best thing I could do is to just start. Emotion just keeps staring.

I have found at times like these that the bicycle is great therapy. There have been many times I’ve left for a ride under these clouds and returned with a sunny disposition. More times than not I also return with a solution to some roadblock I’m facing.

11756962_10155852748760650_576901071_o

I set out in search of that relief. While on Tuesday night I focused on riding with a high cadence, for this ride I just focused on going slow. Low cadence doesn’t always mean you are pushing a big gear and going fast. It can also mean you are just putting along taking in what is around you.

Wondering how long it would take me to climb Paris Mountain at that pace, I started climbing the Furman side of Altamont. I’m so used to going hard up that climb I had to work to hold back.

It gave me a chance to look around at things and notice some characteristics of the road I hadn’t really paid attention to in the past. It also freed my mind to think of blessings I have in my life. It was a pleasant 20 plus minutes.

11733970_10155852982580650_838457357_oI woke up this morning in a better frame of mind — until I looked at Stava and noticed that John James had taken the KOM on Walker Wimps.