Cycling

...now browsing by category

 

LIFE

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

I had planned on giving you an update of our Day of Service but LIFE has a way of throwing Clayton Kershaw curve balls at you. Yesterday (Monday) I was riding my bike about 2:30 in the afternoon. I had gotten a late start due to thngs at the office. I was a little over 4 miles away from the church building (where I keep my bike) when out of nowhere a speeding early model Ford Escape-like SUV decided to use me as a bumper car. It is so surreal-terrifying; anger for being hit and left; not sure what or if anything is broken; searching for your phone to take a picture then call 911; to watching a hematoma blow up to ungodly proportions on your hip; to spending 6 hours in an ER waiting for X-rays ; to being so sore & knowing tomorrow is going to hurt worse; to gratitude for friends close by & those far away (people you don’t even know) telling your daughters they are praying for their dad; to unlimited thanks to a good, good Father it was not worse-all go through my mind even as I write this.

I am grateful for the outpouring of support I have received. This is one of a cyclist’s worst nightmare (paralysis being the worst) and tears roll down my cheeks as I write this out of gratitude for God’s grace & protection. I do hope they find the perpetrator-not for the purpose of revenge or medical bills help-but so he/she will NEVER do this again. People who leave scenes like this are cowards of the highest order. Did they do it on purpose? Did they hit me then realize it and run? Were they texting or playing with their phone or looking down? Did they realize what they did & run? Are they even aware of what they did? Questions which will probably go unanswered.

I may never know the answers to those questions. It bugs me but I am more concerned now with fellow cyclists who face the same cowardice & recklessness.

In the end, I’d appreciate your prayers for a full & complete recovery. Share the road folks. Cyclists have as much right to be on it as cars do. Stay alert while driving.

TraveloguePictures

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Rather than try to insert these into the post I thought I would just start a new one. Here is the one from the Pirate baseball game at PNC Park. It was a beautiful night for baseball and was even better when the Buccos won 12-1. We left in the 8th inning. Rob said, “If they lose with this lead, I don’t think I want to be here.” I laughed. The man is also wearing my favorite player’s jersey.

ballgame1

When I rode the trail I hit a little burg called Whitesett. I decided to get off the hard-packed trail and get on asphalt. I turned left I came across this log home (a dream of mine & Jo’s only not this big). It was a gorgeous home!

log home1loghome2

Riding on a little further I needed to find a place to stop. (‘Nuff said). I came upon this field in Whitesett built-as you can see-by Pirate Charities. It was a fantastic baseball diamond, well-maintained, and spacious. It also included a really cool picnic pavilion and area. Way to go Pirate charities! Many small communities are left out of adequate facilities due to finances. They made it happen for this community.

Piratecharity

I rode early Saturday morning while in Ohio. I have ridden this route frequently before and have always passed this park/haven. I needed to stop this time and decided to take a picture.

bikehaven

26 miles later I pulled up alongside my other steed (2012 Nissan Frontier). One requires my effort; one requires none at all. Can you guess which is which?

2 steeds

And here…ladies and gents…is the dude. He is a never-stopping whirl of activity. He is also an exceptional young man who takes after his grandpa. (Yeah, I had to say that). He had his summer haircut (a fresh Mohawk) done the day before, but as you can tell it will lay flat. He is not into gel. 🙂

dude's mohawk

Sorry I wasn’t able to include the pictures in the other post. Taking pictures is sort of new to me. I forget to take them because I get wrapped up in what I am doing. Besides, it took Tami (my oldest daughter) to show me how to make this happen. Maybe I will remember how to do it myself next time. (But don’t hold your breath).

Travelogue

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Well…I’m back from my week away. And what a week it was! I really wish I knew how to download a couple of the pictures I took to this blog but my technologically-challenged mind wasn’t able to figure it out. I’ll ask Diana (the secretary) how to do at least get them from my phone to my computer. One small step for mankind… 🙂

We left Sunday afternoon about 1:15 with the plan to spend the night in Ohio with our grandson and his parents. Notice the word: plan. On the way we stopped at a  bike shop to have some maintenance done (which they said I didn’t need because you know nothing goes wrong when the mechanic looks at it). Then we stopped about 1/2 later for something to eat. We were not out of Indiana when we hit stopped traffic. No way out. SIX HOURS OF STOPPED TRAFFIC! A wreck 4-5 miles up the road (which included at least one fatality) at a construction zone changed everything. After about a 6 hour standstill, the traffic started up. I drove until I needed toothpicks to hold my eyes open and we stopped at a hotel.

Monday we arrived in PA shortly after 1:00 and hung out for the rest of the day. My brother, Rob, and his wife, Joy, were fantastic hosts.

Tuesday I visited my dad and his wife in a nursing home where he introduced me as a family friend. (He has dementia). Tuesday night we went to PNC Park to watch the Pirates play. (Insert picture of ballgame here). THEY WON!! I entered my first casino ever to get to the third floor buffet restaurant. I don’t see the thrill of watching a screen. Sorry.

Wednesday I had a chance to ride 20 miles on a trail which goes from West Virginia to Washington, D.C.  I got off the trail and saw a beautiful log home (Insert picture here) and also a picture of a ballpark the Pirate Charities helped build. (Insert picture here). That evening we spent time with one of my other brother’s, Garry, his wife, Debra, and daughter, Lea. She absolutely had us in stitches. Laughter is good for the soul.

Thursday we left for Ohio and when we arrived I had time to ride 23 miles. We took our grandson to Chipotle for supper.

Friday I went to the Powell “Y” and then took Braden to see Captain America: Civil War. Oh Wow!!! It was good.  Afterwards we took him to get his Mohawk. (Insert picture here)

Saturday I rode 26 miles in the morning. (Insert pictures of a stop and my two steeds). Then we watched Braden play baseball except the second game was rained stormed lightning-ed out. I’m taller than all of them so I was in no hurry to be a human lightning rod. We took Janna & Jason out for their 12th anniversary which was Sunday.

Sunday after church we ate at Greek Express, loaded up the bike, then headed home. The weather was absolutely gorgeous for traveling every day. I came to the office Sunday night only to find it 81 degrees in my office. The A/C was not working. Still is not.

Monday I came to the office to work then went for a 23 mile ride. Worked inside the house; cut grass; had a friend over for a cookout, then collapsed.

Tuesday (today) it was back to the old grind. The respite was good, but like most times away…not enough. I missed my fellow staff (Ryan and Diana) and working with our summer intern. I also missed “my” people on Sunday. But if I can be honest I’d say I look forward to the few days here and there I’ll be taking. No Sundays off unless an emergency arises. Ryan has a full plate this summer and I won’t ask him to take on one more thing. (What a good guy I am!).  🙂

There it is. A travelogue with no pictures. Where it says “Insert picture” use your imagination. Maybe some day I can make that a reality. But…don’t hold your breath.

Distraction

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

I’ll be candid: I’ve been distracted. A lot lately. I don’t believe I have ADD but I sure feel like it some days. In fact, I had someone tell me the other day that they wonder if I do. Naaah. I can settle in too easily, read for hours, and study consistently.

But I have been distracted lately. The result is the blog has taken a back seat. Last Thursday I was able to get out on my bike for the first time this year. Rode 17 miles. Rode again on Friday. Rode 19+ yesterday (Monday). I have to take a break today. I’m not young any more! 🙂

Emonda ALR 5

Distracted from my blog is one thing. Distracted from God is another. This distraction is most often a result of the enemy’s attempt to divide me. This past Sunday I called it “destruction by distraction.”  Life is so much more than FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. It is so much more than what the latest celebrity is doing, wearing (or not wearing). It is more than endless gaming, TV binging or athletic competition. We get so caught up in the trivial we forget the important.

People ask me if I’m on FB and look at me like I’m a two-headed monster when I say, “No.” “Why not?” Simple. I know me. I know my penchant for the trivial sometimes. I know my weakness for reading and reading. I don’t need the distraction frankly. I have enough issues staying focused and on task with the need to go bed early, so I can do my 4:00 wake up, without the further temptation of distraction.

So…don’t look for me on FB or any of the other media junk stuff site. Hopefully you will see me here more often than I have been. Thanks for being a faithful reader.

2000

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Not posts. I’m way past that. (Heading toward 2500)

Miles.

Not driven miles. Ridden miles. During Friday’s ride, I crossed the 2000 mile mark for 2015.

However, that was not my goal. The goal I set on January 1 was 2500. Unless the weather can remain above 30 for the next two months with absolutely no precipitation, it is highly unlikely I will make my original goal.

That’s the thing about goals. My philosophy is what I will call flexible goals. When I set 2500 as my goal for the year, I did not count on getting a later start due to a month long February snowfall.  Well, maybe not month long, but we seemed to get a whole lot of snow that month. Road bike and snow/ice do not mix; nor was I counting on a cranky knee which would take several weeks of riding to make it even road worthy (easy rides of 12-15 miles); nor was I counting on having the rainiest June on record. Several other factors entered in as well. By July I was already a good 100-200 miles behind my norm. So I went into flexible goal mode. I adjusted my thinking and my goal. I lowered my goal to one more realistic-one which would challenge me but also be reachable. Thus the 2000 and the excitement of seeing a goal realized.

Whether a personal goal or, in my case, a professional goal (church), setting goals must never be put in concrete. (IMHO) Goals which are too high can lead to discouragement. Goals too low can lead to “settledness.” The mission (goal) of OVCF is “to connect people to Jesus.” My next three posts will be how we hope to make that a reality (reached goal). I do hope you will tune in and take part.

I inadvertently published this too early. Sorry for the inconvenience. It is now back on schedule.

Sobering

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Many of you know I am a cyclist. I’m a little behind this year in my mileage. By now I am usually approaching 1500-1600. But this year I am at 1100+. Rain has a habit of doing that. Plus knee issues. My goal was 2500 so it is going to take a yeoman’s job to make that happen. But it is what it is.

What is more tragic is what this video is about. I take my life in my hands every time I get on my bike and ride. I NEVER wear headphones because I want to/have to hear what is coming behind me. I have gotten buzzed way too closely by some-some out of meanness, some out of distraction. They both scare me. The onslaught of the cell phone, in particular texting, has made things “hairier” for me in so many ways. I wish I could say I don’t talk on my phone. I won’t text though.

Maybe watching this will give you pause to be a bit more aware. P-L-E-A-S-E!!

I’m leaving early Monday morning for Ohio. I will be back Tuesday sometime with a grandson in tow. I’m not sure if I will be insane, tired, or insanely tired when I take him back next Tuesday. But I’M GOING TO LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Please say a prayer for me & Jo.  🙂

Caught

Monday, May 11th, 2015

“Caught in a rundown” (Baseball term)

“Caught with your hand in the cookie jar”  (Whew! Not me! I never eat chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal scotchies)

“Caught in a lie” (Fits in with what I previously said about cookies)

I got caught today. No not in sin. In this.

Yep, you got it. I decided to go for a ride today. The weatherman predicted it would rain about 1:00. The radar said 2:00. With the film clip in my head I decided to trust the radar.

I was about 9 miles out when little drops began to fall. I decided it was time to head home quicker than I planned. The weather helped make the decision for me, and mine fortuitous. No sooner had I decided to head home than the sky unloaded. My goal was the church building which was about 3 miles. Figured if I made it there Jo could come get me. I made it there as Ryan, our youth pastor, was pulling away. So he turned around and took me home. I still got pretty wet. I have always said, “To start out in the rain is foolish; to get caught is a hazard of the sport.”

Should have heeded my own words.

Sort of like sin. We can be be-bopping along and not have “bad weather” in sight. Then it hits. Sometimes there are darkening skies. Sometimes the wind blows. Then comes the curiosity. The utter disregard for the “signs” of trouble ahead. Then comes the downpour. Fortunately, I had an escape plan. I got a bit wet (okay a lot) but I knew I had a place to get to for safety. I hope you can make the parallel without much help from me.

It has been awhile since I have been caught in the rain. Just when you least expect it…. What kind of escape plan do you have?

Oh…I should have listened to the weatherman. It started raining at 1:00 right on the tick. 🙁

 

Redemption

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Take a look at my header. I think it is a foregone conclusion that I am a cyclist. 🙂

I sometimes write about cycling. My efforts. My muscle aches. My accident. Most often relating cycling to life.

I make no apologies for being a Lance Armstrong fan when he was winning his record-setting 7 Tour de France victories. I defended him when accused of using EPO (a blood doping scam). I was disappointed he was guilty. I was pleased when he finally admitted it. I was not happy he received a lifetime ban when all the other users were given maximum two year suspensions and some even less. He doped in an era of dopers. (I know someone will be a smart aleck and say, “What does that make him?”). There is no question he was manipulative, a bully, and a cheat. Yes, he lied. Yes, he tried to cover it up.

I wonder if any of us are any different?

No…I have never used EPO…or any drug for that matter. I have mentioned here before I have never had a smoke, a drink, or taken any drug (unless you consider the caffeine in Diet Dr Pepper a drug). I don’t even drink coffee (can’t stand the taste).  But…

But this thing with Lance was, IMHO, over the top. Why? Because he is me. A flawed human being. It is called sin.

But there is a  bright side to his story. I just read an article yesterday with the subtitle: “Possibility for Armstrong redemption.” Long story short, his recent testimony to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission may pave the way for the ban to  be dropped. Here is the statement:

“I think that there is potential for redemption for him and anyone, really. I think it all depends on what [Armstrong] said to the commission and if he was prepared to talk about his or other people’s involvement and whether he’s genuinely contrite and deserving of redemption,” Cookson said. “I think it has to be said that what Lance did, not that he was the only one or only one involved, but it all depends on what Lance said to the commission and what they come up with. … we have to acknowledge and approve of any redemption in the sentence in the sanctions that he got.”
Several things stand out to me. First, “there is potential for redemption for him and anyone, really.” I’m glad there is more than a potential for redemption with God. There is the promise of that. Second, genuine contrition (repentance) is a necessity. Forgiveness is possible to all and for all who come with a repentant heart. Third, it is available even though I am not “deserving of redemption.” God operates differently than man. That is called Grace.
For Lance: a lifetime ban was too much. I hope it is overturned and he is gifted with redemption.
For me: I’m glad my ban was overturned by the actions of a Man (a Savior) on a cross and redemption is mine.

Funny

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Have you ever had something just strike your funny bone and you well…laughed or chuckled out loud. I read/saw something the other day that did exactly that.  Please take a moment and check this out.

Is that not a hoot? Can you imagine the looks the car drivers had on their faces?

Not much redeeming value in this post. Sometimes you just gotta break away and out of the norm for a time of refreshing.

Hope your day is a good one and laughter is on your lips and your face.

And just in case…yes I do have a weird sense of humor. Just ask Jo and my daughters. For that matter, ask just about anyone who knows me. I think even my grandson knows.

Recover

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I’m going to be upfront with you from the very start. This is a review.

It is not a book review, a movie review, a 12 Step program.

It is a health review. Say what?

As a cyclist I have nothing to prove…nothing to gain…nothing to brag about when it comes to any cycling prowess. I am 61 years old and the reality of age is becoming more and more apparent to me as I ride. Some days I feel really good; the next day I feel totally wiped. One day my legs have strength and spring; the next they feel like a wet noodle.

My issue is recovery. I will admit I don’t do everything a cyclist should do. I don’t have the money or the time to get a massage regularly. I don’t have the money or the time to adequately help my muscles recover by proper stretching, self-massage, and correct eating.  I don’t even have the time to get the 8-10 hours of sleep every night they say one should get. My “real job” as pastor changes that game. It takes one dedicated cyclist to do all that is necessary to recover and be ready to ride strong the next day.

So I am always on the lookout for something to help me with recovery. Some (most) protein powder not only tastes gag-nasty (unless I mix it with chocolate milk and ice cream 🙂 ), it is also loaded with ingredients that are fake and/or are good for building muscles, i.e. bulk. I don’t want either.

I heard about VegsSport through my daughter, Tami’s blog. She did not care for their drink mix so she brought me a sample. I then contacted them (Trevor) and he graciously sent me 4 mixes and 3 protein bars.   He sent me two each of the Tropical and Apple Berry mix and 3 Chocolate Mint bars. (I specifically asked for them because I like both chocolate and mint). 🙂

First, the mix. I liked the Apple Berry better than the Tropical. Personal preference.  Also, I experimented some with the amount of water I added. I started with 15 oz and finally did the 12 oz. With a good shaker bottle, the 12 oz. was fine and mixed well.

Second, the bar. My first bite was “WOW” to my taste buds and the more I ate it the more I liked it. Some might prefer it because it is not too strong in either flavor. Me? Bring on the chocolate and the mint. But I realize it is all in personal taste buds.

Third, results. After my first ride I tried just the mix. For my next ride I had a mix and a bar. Whether it was in my head or not, I noticed a distinct difference in how I felt after the second ride compared to the first. I was able to ride the next day and felt my leg muscles were greatly improved over just drinking the mix.

I am new to VegaSport. I confess I am not Vegan (I like fish, chicken and dairy), but I did like the products I sampled. I will use them again. Want to know more? Click on the banner to my right and check it out for yourself.