Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Derail CX Training in 10 Minutes Before Yoga

I could’ve sat in my car in the parking lot and tried not to look like a creepy dude watching women go into the gym. I could’ve watched Tiger announce his divorce on ESPN on the TV over the juice bar.  I could’ve whipped out my dumb phone and checked out pro cycling pre-Vuelta chest thumping on Velonews.  I could’ve snagged a copy of Muscle and Fitness from the magazine rack with my beanie biker arms and enjoyed a banana.  Traffic was light.  I got out of work a tish early.  I was 25 minutes early for Yoga on Monday.  How I chose to kill the time before class killed my entire cyclocross training plan for the week and I’m still trying to unkill it.

They have fancy names like blocks or periods in most training plans.  Mine’s no different.  If you don’t have a coach or a Joe Friel book to make training sound all scientific and calculated; you ride hard, recover, repeat and use the word interval twice a week.  I took my weekend beating and rode hard on the BioWheels’ shop ride, aptly nicknamed the Saturday Morning Beatdown.  Sunday, I rode the mountain bike with my wife and a few female teammates at moderate pace.  Monday, I was faced with a dilemma.  (This is precisely why having a coach or a Joe Friel plan is a good idea.  It keeps you from making dumb decisions or at least being able to blame someone else for bad ideas.)

I didn’t feel like I needed a recovery, but knowing that I had to get a cyclocross practice and an interval workout in sometime Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided still it was probably best to take it easy on Monday in anticipation of the hard work ahead.  That WAS a good idea.  I chose to go to Yoga, stretch out the body and get a little core workout in.  That WAS a good idea too.  If you haven’t tried it, Yoga is quite challenging and leads do discovering that even though you can trackstand your bike for the duration of three minute stoplights, you have the balance of a 21 year old at bar time compared to the nine nymphs that will surround you in class.  I’m quite certain they all could do no-handed stoplight track stands while balancing only with their big toe on the headset cap.

However, I was early to Yoga.  Not a good idea for people who can’t sit still in a gym.  With 25 minutes before class, I plopped on the sticky vinyl black mat in the gym just outside the Yoga studio.  I stretched a bit.  I looked at the clock.  With 24 minutes remaining, I rolled onto my back and busted out a set of bicycle crunches.  The trainer and his client nearby were doing planks with a stopwatch.  Being able to over hear them, I secretly joined in, holding my planks as long as her.  When she rested, I went back to the bicycle crunches.  I felt strong.  25 bicycles, one minute-twenty plank, 25 bicycles, one minute-twenty plank, 25 bicycles, one minute-twenty plank, 25 bicycles, one minute-twenty plank, 25 bicycles, one minute-twenty plank.  Oh look its 5:52pm!  Time to get embarrassed by the nymphs.


I still feel like someone took a Cuisinart mixer and made a smoothie out of my abdomen.  It’s been nearly 3 days.  I skipped hill repeats on Tuesday.  It hurts when I sneeze.  I skipped Wednesday cyclocross practice in favor of an easy ride that didn’t require a whole lot of use of my middle muscles.  It’s Thursday and I’m running out of options to put the pieces of my training plan back together.  One thing is for certain, in retrospect, looking like a creepy guy in a parking lot doesn’t seem to be a bad choice anymore. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Six Degrees of Floyd Landis’ MTB and 2 other Snapshots

Maintain An Active Lifestyle...Or Else!
An avid reader pointed out this sparkling priceless gem to me earlier this week from a grocery store ad.  Like all cyclists we’re drawn to words like adventure, exercise and active lifestyle.  Things like that reach out from the page like rusty bike frames on the trash day curb.  Then you look closer.  Oh it’s a Huffy.  If you get out your bifocals here, to “maintain an active lifestyle” you might want to ebay your current 2-wheeled steed and pick up something that’ll really get the job done.  Lose weight, get fit, stay healthy, and escape your couch potato life with this incredible…$39.99 Folding Walker!  If that’s just too much to handle, maybe your skinny biker bean arms cannot support your weight, try the wheel chair that has no big wheels to push yourself around, but instead relies on a stoker.  It could be the perfect gift for a convalescent tandem team.  Now I’m not picking on people that actually need these devices, my grammy has a fine folding walker, but maybe the copywriter should’ve chosen a more appropriate phrase such as, I don’t know, “maintain a mobile lifestyle.”  Either that or “maintain an active lifestyle…or else!”

Six Degrees of Floyd’s Bike
I knew I should’ve got the phone with a better camera than 1 mega pixel, but that’s what I had at my disposal at the 2008 Mohican 100 when, gathered at our bunkhouse cabin in Loudonville Ohio, Floyd Landis rode by.  Had I known how much mileage I'd get out of this photo, I would've hired Anne Geddes to photograph us in cute vegetable suits.  The Friday before the race, Floyd was doing some recon of the last few miles of the course with a few buddies.  As they zipped by we invited them by for beers afterward.  They kindly obliged.  On their return, we shared a few Sierra Nevadas, laughs and snapped some photos.  I guess none of us noticed that the bike Floyd was riding was not his team bike, but a replacement.  According to this article that ties the loose ends of the Floyd Landis bike mystery, it must have been that same morning when his bike, being brought up by his buddies, flew off the bike rack, disappeared into the brush, was discovered many months later and eventually sold to a very happy Greg Estes at a yard sale for $5.  

Trailside Sobriety Checkpoint
At first glance the single track looks plush.  The trail system very well marked and it wont be torn up by ATV tracks.  All systems go!  Then…wait…what?  Dammit!  One of our readers sure the hell picked the wrong trail to bring the Camelback with the martini shaker and bottle of Grey Goose inside.  Either this trail is in a dry county or James Bond and comedienne Chelsea Handler are not allowed shred here.  Cheers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

There’s An iSensor For That. (Sweat Voids iPod Warranty…really)

I thought I struck upon sheer iGenius.  Riding in this heat, I prefer to ride with my jersey unzipped with a thin base layer underneath.  If you like to use an iPod and do this, you run into an iKunundrum.  With the jersey zipped, the iHeadphone Cord is long enough to make it out and around the jersey pocket to your noggin, but with the jersey open, the iCord is not quite long enough and tends to tug at your ears when the jersey flaps in the wind.  My stroke of iGenius was to tuck the iPod Nano under my base layer on my shoulder blade.  I know!  I started singing the Homer Simpson song.  “I am so smart…s-m-r-t…I mean s-m-A-r-t!”  That was until sweat, detected by the iSensor, damaged my Nano and voided the warranty.  Really Seth and Amy?

With the Nano on my shoulder blade, it worked iAwesome.  In a riding position, the iPod rested flat; there was plenty of cord and no tug at the ears.  I tucked the excess cord in the back of my jersey.  The Nano is light and flat and after a warm up, I didn’t even notice it was there.  Guinness Brilliant!

Not quite.  After a few rides, I began noticing that the iPod wasn’t holding a charge as long as it used to.  Initially it would work for 3-4 rides.  Now it was dying on the 2nd ride.  Then, it died in about 2 hours.  Uh oh.  Then, it wouldn’t charge.  Then…dear iJesus.

I was upset.  I received it as a holiday gift only 7 months ago.  I loved it.  It was blue.  It matched my team cycling kit.  I used it a lot.  Bike rides last a lot longer than most people’s 3 mile runs.  It’s certainly possible that I could use up a battery designed to last for more than a year in 7 months, I rationalized.  After exhausting all the fixes on the Apple website, I took it to the Apple store.

“Did you make an appointment,” the young iClerk asked.  What?  Really?  I need to make an appointment to return a product?  It’s broken and I’d like to see if you could either fix it or replace it.  It’s under warranty.   I can’t just leave it with you?  “Our back room is very big and this (iPod) is very small,” eluding that it would be easy to get lost.  I nodded.  You really need to make an appointment with the Genius Bar, he pressed.  You can do it online.  iSmoke was about to blow out my ears, but I held it back.  So, what you’re saying, I said, is that I need to go home, make an appointment, and then drive all the way back here.  I think he saw my point and appreciated a calm demeanor, so he offered to look into my issue between appointments.  I faked my gratefulness.

A few minutes passed and he came back out with a fresh iPod Nano, some paperwork to sign and noted that the warranty period would only extend one year from the initial purchase.  Understandable.  Happy, I signed the repair form and went home to charge it up, load the music and ride. 

Two weeks later.  Same thing.  iPod Nano, iDead.

So, I went online to make a service appointment.  Click.  What?  You have to be kidding me?  In more or less words, the error message said, we’re sorry our system doesn’t work with your browser.  Please download and install Safari (Apple’s web browser.)  I blew my top in our living room.  How many (bleeeep) fiery burning iHoops do I need to jump through to get this (bleeeep) fixed?  Serenity now.  Serenity now.  Luckily, I found another link, I think the one for my specific store, and I made the appointment without Safari.

This has water damage.  The iClerk said when I came in for my appointment.  You see there’s a little sensor (pictured from Apple website) in here and it’s been exposed to water.  “Well I didn’t drop it in a puddle or a toilet.  I use it for cycling.  It’s been hot out.  It must be sweat,” I retorted.  He pointed out the iSensor inside the headphone jack.  Like a pregnancy test, it turns color when touched by water.  He said, it shorted out.  He wasn’t budging and the sensor doesn’t discriminate between sweat and water.  He offered a discount on replacing it, 89 dollars and change.  “It’s not water damage.  It’s sweat.  I’m not paying $90 dollars to replace a product made for exercising that isn’t impervious to sweat.”  He was kind, but unyielding.  I left in a huff, dead iPod in hand.

Later, I found this iPod Warranty post on the Apple website:
So be alert.  The world needs more lerts.  Sweat is made of water.  Sweat will kill your iPod and it won’t be covered by warranty.  I’m not the only person this has happened to.  Here’s another funny blog,  and another with links to a ton of comments about the issue.  So until Apple makes an iPod with better seals to address the problem that sweat can find its way into the electronics, you’re no better than a dufus who drops his iPod in the toilet.  Then, get ready to jump through the iHoops.  It’s you against the water sensor. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Frigging Science: Too Hot? Ride Faster.

With a similar sweaty eye stinging heat wave sweeping the nation, almost four years ago to the day, I wrote a post about cycling wind chill and discovered that you can feel a teeshy tish cooler, if you ride faster.  Against all the recommendations from meteorologists and health departments, with a heat index of nearly full-on Africa hot, I went out for a ride.  For the record I did not die.  In fact, I felt cooler.  Not a whole lot, but on a scale of Sudan to South Africa, I felt Southern Congo.  Here's a revisit of that "It's so hot my hands are slipping off the bars" post.

Four years ago when zippin’ down Kellogg Ave (now Riverside), a slightly downhill road along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, at 27mph, I couldn’t help but notice I felt cooler than when I was climbing a hill at 10mph into Eden Park.  Does wind chill apply in warm weather too?

These are the thoughts that go through your head when riding by yourself.  If my memory would serve me better on bike rides, I'd have retired like a Jet Blue flight attendant a long time ago having acted on one of my brilliant bike ride induced million dollar ideas.  These thoughts are precisely what makes cycling such a great escape…and precisely why your co-workers think you’re a kook for wearing spandex.

So, when I got back from my ride, I did a little Internet research on this phenom-enom-enom-enah.  Some weather websites said their wind chill factor calculator couldn’t be used if it was over 40 or 50 degrees.  Huh?  But, I felt cooler flying on my bike in 90-degree weather at 27mph.  The dog doesn't stick his head out the window to catch bugs.  Surely there must be a wind chill effect while cycling…a cycling wind chill. 

So, I dug a little deeper, expanded my search, and wah freakin’ lah, I found a Wind Chill Calculator that did accept temperatures over 50 degrees.  (insert evil laugh here)  Here’s the link:

So, I started plugging in numbers.  And, for the most part, it seemed to work.  That is, until I plugged in 100 degrees.  Over 100 the calculations came back saying it would feel even hotter riding at 10-30 mph.  No way Al Roker. 

But, maybe not.  Maybe there’s a temperature where no matter how fast you're riding, your body just can’t dissipate the heat any faster and thus the wind chill effect wouldn’t be in effect.  Yo!  The cycling wind chill is not in effect.

Here are the results of the numbers I plugged in.

Temp Bike Speed Cycling Wind Chill
100      30                         104
100      20                         102
100      10                         100

90        30                          87
90        20                          87
90        10                          89

80        30                          73
80        20                          75
80        10                          77

It seems like to enjoy a noticeable cycling wind chill, the speed needs to be over 20mph and the heat preferably south of 90 degrees.  However, there are other ways to feel cool on a ride, like using white bar tape, having only one gear and keeping your sunglasses on the outside of your helmet straps.  If you can't do that, think of the other things that can impact on how cool you feel when you ride like: wearing a black plastic trash bag instead of white lycra or a shaded bike path along a river, as opposed to climbing with a 50 pound huffy up exposed blacktop.  Experience has proven to me on a mountain bike it feels hotter wearing a sasquatch outfit when riding in a field of tall grass as compared to riding naked in a shaded forest. 

So there.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Loaf Of Toast: Dad's Bowling, My Cyclocross

A loaf of toast.  That's the only real difference between our cyclocross series and fall bowling leagues, especially for a Masters racer.  We like to think we're so different from our parents.  We have more advanced education.  Exercise is part of our lifestyles, not something that happens when the car breaks down.  We call it training, but really it's a good excuse to be with friends and have fun.  When I think about it, cyclocross isn't any different that my Dad's Thursday night bowling league, aside from the loaf of toast he and his buddies would order at George Webb's restaurant at 1 a.m.  Then again I could crush a loaf of toast after cyclocross racing.

In his 40's, my dad was a bowler by sport, Meatcutter by trade.  He had the chain mail glove and diploma from the Toledo School of Meatcutting to prove it.  Maybe his strong right forearm, built thick by cutting sides off beef, gave him the power and dexterity to lay the ball down on the alley with the speed and grace necessary to tick his average higher than most.  Like me, he was no pro, just good enough to be respectable and maybe win something once in a while.  Having a good time was the bigger priority.  

He didn't call it a kit.  Similar to local cycling, his team was sponsored by the metal fabricating company owned by a friend of a friend.  He'd button up his stiff "Custom Products" team logo'd bowling shirt, grab his bag (with ball, shoes, towel and wrist brace inside) and jump into our Buick Regal on the way to Petroff's lanes every Thursday evening in fall.  I have a backpack with pockets for water bottles on the sides (helmet, shoes and gloves inside) and a custom name sticker on my  bike.  His custom drilled & fitted Brunswick ball was engraved in 18 font Arial, "NICK."

Bowling may have been a good excuse to have some beers with his buddies, but, even a little tipsy, he was still proud of the score at the end of the night, whoopin' up on the team from Brookfield and the trophy at the end of the season.  If he practiced more, he could have been even better.  Just like cyclocross, there was a trophy for every imaginable category of bowler.  Youngest player high score, best average, coed team, gutter ball king.  I attest, single speeders are the cycling equivalent of the dude with the finger tipped drilled ball.  

I'd nix him for smoking, but I've ridden with guys who've enjoyed a grit after a ride.  If you could successfully ride and smoke, more would do it.  Not to mention, doping aside, there's guys that dip Kodiak and Copenhagen and ride just fine.  

So, am I any better off than Dad?  That's really what this is about isn't it.  Sure I am.  It's just more subtle than we'd like to think.  It's more about the degree of dedication to the sport.  I'm sure there are bowlers that don't smoke or drink, practice 5 nights a week, and go to the gym.  There's probably Yoga for bowlers.  I guess that's the type of bowler I am.  I like my beer and to have a great time with my friends, just not in the quantities that result in a full ashtray and a loaf of George Webb's toast at 1 a.m.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not Phat on Fat Tire Ale

Any minute now I expect Joe Breeze and Tom Ritchey to barge into my living room and beat me senseless followed by every other beer drinking mountain biker that reads this blog.  Have I lost my mind?  My taste buds?  Do I need to see a doctor?  Should I remove the bottle opener from my workstand?  I feel guilty, like I've sinned against bike-manity.  I’m a mountain biker and I can say without a doubt that I do not like Fat Tire Ale anymore. 

I know!

Oh I used to.  Like every other knobby tire knucklehead, I was seduced by the spritely red cruiser on the label.  From the first sip off the bottle, this beer would forever be the perfect end to a perfect ride.  It used to be synonymous with our trips to Colorado; partly because that’s the only place we could buy it.  Aside from getting winded walking up the steps to the post office on the first day of vacationing, I used to day dream about Breckenridge.  Not only because I love mountain biking on the Peaks Trail, but because I’d be able to enjoy a Fat Tire Ale from New Belgian Brewing Company on the deck overlooking the 10 Mile Range afterward.  

Then, like an amber hued light from the display case, I saw the red cruiser label at the store right here in Cincinnati.  Late on a warm Friday afternoon, after hastily putting away groceries, we cracked ‘em open and retreated to the rooftop deck.  Happy Friday!  Cheers!  We knocked back the first swig.  Hmm, my eyebrow rose.  Like it just talked back to her, my wife gave her bottle a questioning look.  Sheepishly, I asked, “Does this not taste the same as I remember?”  “I was just gonna ask that,” she replied. 

We got into a whole conversation about taste buds, how cells die and regenerate.  We looked up taste bud stuff online.  Clearly the beer couldn’t have changed.  It’s a beer recipe.  That’s more protected than nuclear secrets or KFC’s 13 herbs and spices.  Dear God!  We’re getting older and losing our Fat Tire taste buds.  I knew about gray hairs and wrinkles, but this…losing the taste for my favorite beer…this is awful. 

But, wait!  There was a Sierra Nevada, a Guinness and a lone Magic Hat still in the fridge.  For 2nd’s, she took the Sierra.  I took the Magic Hat.  Crack.  Mmmm.  Still just as tasty as ever.  What’s up with the Fat Tire?  Clearly if it’s not me, it’s you.  So we looked it up online. 

I found an answer on in an article called, “Does Fat Tire Taste Funny To You?”  Yes.  Yes it does taste funny Mr. Beerutopia.  Not bad.  Not the same either.  He talked about hops, quoted an expert, and yada yada yada, concluded (allegedly...however you wanna put it) that something having to do with creating more beer to meet demand may have forced Fat Tire to reduce it’s brewing time and consequently the flavor may not be quite the same. 

Whatever it is, my mountain bike universe is off axis.  It needs to go back.  I’ll play extra.  Do whatcha need to do Fat Tire.  Heck.  Fat Tire used to cost me a $600 plane ticket and a $125/night condo on top of the 6 pack price. If that's what it takes, I'm completely prepared to go back to the way I used to enjoy it…with an annual mountain bike vacation to the Rockies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Amazing Race Phil Keoghan's Ride Across America Now Movie (maybe I'm in it)

After meeting Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan on a few occasions, long enough to put the star struck jitters aside, his real talent is not bike riding or hosting a reality game show (both of which he's amazing at by the way).  Whether it's joy or pain, Phil possesses a remarkable ability to open people up, dig at their heart and bring it all out for the world to see.  The fact that he's found a way to use that talent with travel and cycling, and not competing with Oprah, is even more impressive.  If the trailer for "The Ride," a movie based on his "Ride Across America" to benefit the National MS Foundation, is any indication of how it will be received, I certainly expect to bring a hanky and leave the theater wow'd by the adventure, moved by the story and hopefully laughing that I was in it.  

I rode the Columbus, Ohio leg back in April of 2009.  For a good stretch Phil and I were alone behind the motorbike.  Occasionally I could muster the strength to come out of the draft and pull up side-by-side to chat.  Late in the ride, it came up that one of my friends has MS, and if it wasn't for the rain...a tear certainly would've made me turn around sooner than expected.  Below is the story of my amazing ride with Phil, originally posted April 30th, 2009.        

Video of the ride is here, click on Day 33.

“Take it up to 22,” I overheard Amazing Race TV Show Host Phil Keoghan say to the driver of the BMW motorcycle.  While I’ve been in some really fast races, I had never been motorpaced before.  It was a rush.  We left the GNC on Polaris Pkwy. in Columbus OH with about a group of 20.  Some were local GNC employees and MS Foundation volunteers who had only enough legs to hang for the first 5 to 10 miles of the 108 mile leg to Dennison, OH.  Others hung on to the increasing pace a little longer or decided to turn around.  Since most didn’t have arrangements for a ride back, myself included, and Phil’s people don’t provide transportation back to the start city, most picked a place en-route to pull even and shake hands with Phil and turn around for a solo slog back to Columbus.  It was either that or do 216 miles in a day.  I don’t think so.

I had met Phil about a year ago, at my real job, on a radio station promotional tour for The Amazing Race.  I write and produce commercials for those dying to know my glamorous occupation.  His first reaction was, “you look a lot like Lance and you ride bikes?”  I do get that a lot.  Believe me the slight resemblance ends where the helmet straps hit the cheek bones.  I guess my eyes are a little beady like Lance’s.  He did remember me on Wednesday and kept calling me Lance on the ride.  I’m sure some of that will end up on his daily video blog, or maybe when the show about the ride airs on national TV.  Eek.

When I first saw Phil that morning in Columbus, I have to say, he looked thin and sort of wiped out.  My face has looked like that from time to time.  32 days of back to back centuries, glad handing, and promotional stops is bound to take its toll on the body and mind.  Just the day before, he wrecked on a set of rain slicked railroad checks leaving him with road rash on his knee and hip.  He took a little nick out of his cheek too.  You can see the bandage in the photo.  The video of the incident is here, see the day 32 video.  Soft spoken with the Aussie lilt, he was gracious enough for photos, book signings and autographs, but you could tell he really wanted to get on with the ride and more importantly a midday nap.  After check presentations from GNC and the local MS group, he announced to the crowd that he was going to put on and I quote, “Belgian Butt Butter,” and by 10-10:30am, we were on our way.  Phil’s riding across America to raise awareness for the National MS Foundation. 

The ride itself started out like most group rides do on the way out of town.  Phil chatted with riders who worked their way up to his side and the pace was easy for the first 5 miles or so down Polaris Pkwy.  The casual riders fell off the pace or decided to turn around.  As we turned onto OH-3, the pace ratcheted up again.  I didn’t have a computer on my bike, but I guess it went up to about 18-20mph.  A group of about 10 or so hung strong till we pulled over for Phil’s crew to check their route on GPS while the rest of us took the opportunity for a natural break.  At this point, some riders said they would be turning around in a few miles; there were one or two that still intended on doing the entire 108 mile leg to Dennison with Phil.  Since I didn’t even have a map or know the route, I told someone that I thought I’d go about 50, before I would turn around and head back to my truck in Columbus.  We mounted up and were on our way.

As the road became more rural, I heard Phil tell the motorpace driver, “Take it up to 22.” We had a slight cross wind, but luckily I had Phil’s wheel.  We were starting to haul.  The conversations among riders ceased.  I quickly understood that this is how you ride across America when you’re on a deadline.  This is also how you systematically and kindly keep riders from getting in over their head while trying to follow you across America.  Somewhere I Iooked back and realized that I was the only rider left on the train.  We hauled on.   I nearly popped at least once when the motorcycle didn't ease up on a riser.  I’m sure at points we were running 23-25 mph now.  I was just trying to keep track of the turns, so I could find my way back to my car whenever it was time to turn around.

Earlier, I had heard Phil say that he really needed a nap and that he had hoped to grab some winks around lunchtime.  That made me wonder.  Was Phil trying to drop me?  He put my stewing thoughts at ease when he asked me to pull along side and ribbed me on camera about how I kind of look like Lance.  It was just the two of us now.  I think I had gained his respect as a strong rider and truthfully I think he welcomed the company and conversation.

We rocketed through some sweet country.  The rural farm roads we were on, sandwiched between OH-3 and OH-62 were freshly paved.  Smooth, twisty and rolling, this is what I came for.  We stopped twice along the way for them to check the GPS and confirm lunch plans with the people towing the Airstream which stuck to the bigger roads.  I tried to recall the way back.  Right at the cement factory, left on Johnstown, right at the new yellow house on the farm road, a slight chicane and back to Route 3.  The sky was starting to look a little grey.  My legs were starting to feel the pace. I had two swigs of Gatorade left in my bottles. I told Phil that I’d turn around at the next convenient store.

“Join us for lunch,” he said, “we just have another 12 miles.”  Sure I could do that, I thought. I can’t pass up lunch with the host of the Amazing Race.  At this pace it’d be just another half hour or so.  I could tell Phil was getting tired.  He lost the motorcycle's wheel up a gradual climb.  Not to be a chest thumper, I could tell Phil was running out of gas.  Then, somewhere within the next 5 miles, it started misting, then lightly raining.  It wasn’t so bad, but the spray from the motorcycle was hitting my feet.  My jacket was feeling damp on my arms.  I didn’t want to be stuck in the rain with wet feet and a 50 mile solo ride back home.  About 45 miles in, probably 15-20 minutes from lunch and just a few miles east of Martinsburg, OH, I pulled even with Phil and told him that I was going to turn around.

Sitting backwards on the passenger seat of the motorcycle, the camera guy lifted the camera to his shoulder.  Phil and I said our goodbyes and shook hands.  I signaled a turn around with my finger in the air and we parted ways.  Hopefully that’ll be up on the website’s video blog.
With renewed energy from the adventure, through patches of rain and sun I absolutely killed the 45 miles back to Columbus.  What a great day on the bike.  But, man climbing the stairs at work hurt the next morning.