randomduck

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Month: August 2006 (Page 1 of 4)

workout log: 31 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > Hains Point
Distance: 19.2 miles (flat)
Duration: 1:03
Weather: overcast and blustery, 73 degrees
Avg HR: 155 (max 182)
Type: aerobic

Some laps around Hains Point, done partly because I felt the need for a ride, partly because it’s gonna rain cats-and-dogs for the next day or two. And Thursdya nights are “sprint nights” for most of the local cycling teams, so it’s easy to find a good, fast paceline or two.

I wore my baggy Pearl Izumi mountain biking shorts (note to self: wach cycling shorts), which gave me a very “tourist” look. It had some of the guys in their team kits snickering. However, I ended up falling in with the fastest group and even paced a couple of laps at 27-28 mph – so much for their snickering when I was able to give ’em a good pull! By the end, they were asking me what team I rode for, so I guess I impressed ’em.

The ride to and from the point was stop-and-go, and I took my time on the way back to enjoy the view from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial steps. As the city was getting dark, the lights on Lincoln, as well as on the Washington Monument, were quite impressive.

thirteen years ago….

Before August wraps up, I guess I should note the thirteenth anniversary of my arrival on the east coast of the United States.

In August 1993, I packed up most of my worldly possessions into my red 1989 Dodge Raider and a U-Haul trailer and headed east to Connecticut – via Minnesota, where my friend Dan went to college.

Why am I reminded of this just now? Well, tonight is the thirteenth anniversary of The Late Show with David Letterman. And I remember watching the Dave’s first show on CBS from the living room of the house I shared in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

And what an experience it’s been since!

quick review: “modern times” by bob dylan

Bob Dylan - Modern TimesBob Dylan is one of the few people in popular music who honestly deserves the label of legend. Bob blew open the wall between folk music and rock & roll, along the way injecting shots of blues, country and gospel. All the while, he kept stressing the importance of a good lyric, as his lyrics have been the only true constant over his ever-changing career.

Today sees the release of Dylan’s latest, Modern Times, a spirited romp through country shuffles, pop ballads and a bit of rock. While not as edgy as his recent Time Out Of Mind or Love And Theft, Dylan isn’t rolling over and playing dead as he marches through his sixth decade on this mortal coil.

After unleashing a bit of open criticism of modern rock and pop, Dylan throws his hand onto the table with some of his best vocal work in years. My initial reaction to Modern Times was “this is Dylan’s crooning album.” Indeed, Dylan visits a lot of classic pop and country styles that have been the staples of other luminaries: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Elvis, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Yet the sound is still uniquely Dylan: the raspy vocals, the guitar twang, the melody lines that don’t quite go where you expect them to.

Is this one of Dylan’s finest? Not necessarily, though it’s certainly a strong entry that will see many playbacks on my iPod.

Grade: B+
Must-Listen Tracks:
“Rollin’ And Tumblin’,” “When The Deal Goes Down,” “Nettie Moore,” “The Levee’s Gonna Break”

workout log: 27 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > White Flint, MD
Distance: 29.3 miles (slightly hilly)
Duration: 1:32
Weather: overcast and muggy, 89 degrees
Avg HR: 152 (max 175)
Type: aerobic

An out-and-back ride on Beach Drive. I kept a good spin the whole time and really enjoyed myself on the ride. I was looking for a quality ride that was more of a spin than a “pushing it” ride, and I think I succeeded. The overcast weather was a gosend, as it’s really humid out right now. But Rock Creek Park and Beach Drive have plenty of tree shade, and the number of cyclists and runners on the road was quite low – perhaps a sign of folks getting in some “last hurrah” trips to the beach before the full academic year kicks in.

workout log: 25 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Georgetown University > Potomac/Avenel, MD
Distance: 29.7 miles (moderately hilly)
Duration: 1:33
Weather: warm, sunny and hazy, 92 degrees
Avg HR: 165 (max 180)
Type: aerobic

Solo ride that I squeezed into my post-work routine, as I’m on campus all day tomorrow for new student orientation (i.e. dealing with overprotective parents and kids who don’t understand computer security). T’was a fine ride: fast, with good spin time, some out-of-the-saddle sprints up hills, and a fast cruise back to my office. And my average speed was nearly identical to the Tuesday night PPTC ride – the big difference this time being that I rode solo tonight, so no pacelines, “rabbits” or conversation. Good times….

it’s been more than a year

It’s been more than a year – that, plus nine days – since my shoulder dislocation.

Wow. All that time, and here I am.

And what has happened?

  • I’m riding strong and faster than I was prior to the injury – I’ve reached the next level.
  • I’ve lost a lot of weight – fat replaced by lean muscle.
  • I’ve completed two centuries, with at least another two or three to go before the end of autumn.
  • I’m happy, healthy and looking up to the next thing.

So here’s to another year under the belt, with lessons learned, strength gained, and miles to go before I sleep.

workout log: 22 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > Potomac/Avenel, MD
Distance: 31.8 miles (moderately hilly)
Duration: 1:39
Weather: warm and clear, 86 degrees
Avg HR: 166 (max 187)
Type: aerobic

PPTC “Downtown Breakaway” ride. A good crowd this evening – almost 20 showed up. The sun is going down earlier and earlier, so we kept up a good pace tonight: even with the stop-and-go of the back roads leading out of DC, I managed a 19.1 mph average speed for the ride, which is quite fast. Even better, I feel completely refreshed post-ride, which bodes well.

(And for those who are wondering, the new rear tire works quite well.)

workout log: 20 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > Potomac/Avenel, MD
Distance: 36.1 miles (moderately hilly)
Duration: 2:00
Weather: warm and muggy, 86 degrees
Avg HR: n/a
Type: aerobic

PPTC “A Quick One, Starting In The City” ride, led be me – at least part way. Y’see, I had a bit of an issue with my rear tires on the LeMond today. The just-a-touch-too-old rear tire that hade seen, oh, abour 3,200 miles decided to have its casing belts separate at about mile 2.5 of the ride – a dangerous situation if the tire were to shred on a high-speed descent or bumpy road. I sent the group on ahead – not an easy thing for a designated ride leader to do, for both practical and emotional reasons.

After lowering the pressure in the hobbled tire, I rode back to The Burrow (gingerly, on the sidewalk) and changed tires, using a spare that, while old and used, still had some life in it. Not. It started to burst (from an old cut) and rolled with a dangerous “thump-thump-thump” (the same sensation I had when the first tire was blowing out). Again, the risk of a blowout was high. Oy.

I returned the 2 blocks back home, called my fellow riders (a tip ‘o the hat to Pam and Colleen for leading the group in my absence) and told ’em I was switching bikes, to my Marin mountain bike that I use for my daily commute, and that I’d meet them at the rest stop at mile 25. The Marin has slick tires and isn’t a bad road machine, though my position is more upright and less aerodynamic than on the LeMond.

So, after a change of bikes (and the necessary change of shoes), I was off for a third time. I made great time, averaging 21 mph out to the rest stop – I’d beat the group to the meeting point! So I followed the route, backtracking the cue that I laid out (thus, an easy task), and met ’em another mile-and-a-half down the road, and rode the rest of the route with the gang. I managed to keep up just fine – in fact, I pushed the pace (easy for me to do, given the computer on my Marin has a dead battery, and I have no speed feedback).

So the ride ended well, and everybody had a good time. Pam, Colleen and I had frosty beverages at a local coffee house before going our separate ways.

And I had a blast leading a road ride on my MTB. Perhaps I should use it for leading other rides that are below my usual ride pace….

workout log: 19 august 2006

Activity: road cycling
Location: Poolesville, MD > Jefferson, MD
Distance: 58.8 miles (hilly)
Duration: 3:09
Weather: warm and muggy, 87 degrees
Avg HR: 165 (max 188)
Type: aerobic

Potomac Pedalers “Poolesville Pool & Picnic Ride.” A great ride with a great picnic and swim after the finish. I rode at a decent pace, averaging 20.3 mph over the first 20 miles, which was a bit too fast to keep up for the duration. But I did fine, rode strong, and saved enough in the tank for tomorrow’s ride. I saw an egret up-close – close enough that its wingtip touched me on the shoulder a few times – very cool. And the conversation after the ride was great – I really love my bike club.

random stuff in my life

Some randomness from Friday:

  • While walking in Georgetown around noon, I saw a family that was a spitting image of the Weasley family from the Harry Potter books and films. Ma, pa, and at least six children (one of whom was a girl), all with shockingly red ginger hair.
  • I find it absolutely unbelievable that motorists in the streets of Georgetown insist on passing me while I ride my bike, even though I’m riding 25 mph – the posted speed limit for said streets. It’s not like they’re getting to point “B” any faster, folks – I tend to meet these motorists again at intersections.
  • Had a great time at the WNBA game tonight between the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun. The Sun won – yay! – and it was a decent game, though any NCAA champion squad from the past ten years could’ve mopped the floor with either team, the way they played tonight. But the attendance was fairly pathetic – the lower bowl of Verizon Center was maybe half-full, if only slightly above that.

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