Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rain sucks

The topic says it all.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and Monday was the day. I got rained on, while cycling home. Up to then, I was fairly lucky and the worst I got was a light misting.

The worst part wasn't so much the rain, but the puddles I had to ride through at the side of the road. My shoes were soaked.

I got a sports cam for my Birthday earlier in the month and I've begun filming most of my rides. Sometimes there's an asshole who cuts me off, and other times there's something cool to see. This is one of those "something cool" moments.

I'm really pleased by the steadiness of the camera, considering it's mounted to my handlebars. It's a Contour ROAM, but it doesn't have any kind of stabilzation feature. I've tried mounting regular video cameras or pocket cameras and the quality of the footage is terrible. I plan to eventually post a video of an entire ride (sped up around 300%), just for fun. By the end of summer, I may also have enough for a compilation video showing how bad some cyclists are.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hoping it's not a setback

A few years ago I tore a muscle in my left shoulder. An MRI indicated the tear as well as bursitis. After over a year, the muscle pain subsided and I was left with about 95% mobility.

Up until about a month ago, it's been fine.

I started experiencing a pain/tightness in my left shoulder. The pain ranges from hardly noticeable to a fairly intense burning sensation. In can be anywhere from my shoulder joint to the bicep. Sometimes I can feel it while sitting at work typing on the computer, other times while cycling. Most of the time I can get some temporary relief by doing a few stretching exercises, and/or taking some Advil. If I tilt my head up, to look at the ceiling or the sky, my shoulder and neck feels tight and there's some pain.

When I wake up in the morning, I usually feel no discomfort at all. It tends to build up during the day. This morning, for example, I'm pain-free. I feel great. Last night, my shoulder and bicep had a nagging pain.

I'm starting to wonder if it may be due to my cycling. At the same time, I'm really hoping it isn't. I could stop cycling for a week or two to see if it gets any better, but that's a lot of working out that I'll be missing and I really don't want to do that.

It's too bad our family vacation isn't sooner than August, because I'll be missing a week or so while we're away and it would be a good way to test the theory.

I have my annual physical exam in about two weeks so I'll be mentioning it to my Doctor, although he tends to want to deal with things like that in separate appointments "due to time constraints" (that annoys me)

In the meantime, my stubborness will likely help me to suffer through the discomfort so I can continue cycling. :)

On a different note, by the end of the day over 1515KMs will have been completed with 2485KMs to go.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Better than expected

This weekend's weather was supposed to be pretty crappy.

I got rained on riding home from work on Friday. It was a light rain and wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.

Saturday was a write-off.

Sunday was supposed to be more of the same, but when I woke up this morning it was sunny. The weather forecast was calling for thundershowers later in the morning and afternoon.

I decided to take a chance and see how much cycling I could fit in before the rain. I headed west, toward the darker clouds. The logic behind that was if it started raining, I'd turn around and come home, and hopefully stay ahead of the rain, or most of it at least.

I expected to be out for about an hour, max.

2¼ hrs, and 53½kms later, I made it home, still dry (aside from sweat). As I was putting my bike away, it began to rain. The timing couldn't have been better. :)

One of the highlights of my ride was as I drove along the Rockliffe Parkway. Instead of turning off, to ride the side streets home, I decided to continue along the parkway to Montreal Rd since it was closed for the "Sunday Bikeday".

As I rode along, into the wind, another cyclist, hunched over his handlebars, passed me. That's not unusual. :) After passing, they pulled in front of me about 20ft away. My brain must have subconciously increased my pace (or maybe they slowed down?) but I managed to keep up with them. The wind was nasty, so I leaned down on my handlebars to reduce the resistance. I soon realized that I was slowly closing the gap.

I took that as a challenge. I stayed with them for the next 3kms or so, slowly reducing the distance between us. We had a pretty good pace going.

I decided to push harder and regain my lead. :)

And I did. I passed them and pulled back in front of them one I had a ~20ft lead. I think I managed to keep it for a km or two. I had no idea if they were even still behind me, until the wind picked up and started to take its toll on my new found energy.

My mystery competitor passed me.

He pushed pretty hard, and I noticed that he looked over his shoulder a few times. I think he had the same idea. Again, I stayed inline with them, this time about 25-30ft back and they were slowly increasing that gap.

The wind was brutal and we were on an incline. But I was having fun. This guy was setting a pace, and giving me something to strive for.

I did regain the lead one more time, but not until he pulled over about 1km before the end of the parkway. :)