We’re smack in the middle of another winter storm

It’s nothing like “Snowpocalypse” a few years ago, our low this time is only going to be something like 25, compared to 2 or 3 then, and this one will only go 3 total days, versus the 14 that one did. It’s funny though, we’re all feeling the PTSD. That thing wrecked Texas, we’re just not equipped to deal with weather like that here. I’ve travelled extensively, and to some very cold places, I very much enjoy it, when the region I’m traveling to is equipped to deal with the weather. Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois, even (unfortunately) Indiana. All of these places were more than able to deal with severe winter weather, on orders of magnitude worse than what wreaked havoc here.

Today is “Confederate Heroes Day” in Texas

This is a holiday that is actually observed by the state.

We have the day off.

This remains one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen, that in the year 2023, were taking a day off work to celebrate some people who attempted to tear the country apart 150 years ago.

No one in their right minds would reasonably consider celebrating the perpetrators of the January 6th attack on the White House, and that was no where near as destructive as the secession movement and subsequent Civil War proved to be.

This country is absolutely insane.

Le Tour

I genuinely don’t think it would be possible for me to have less interest in the Tour than I do this year. I don’t really know why. I tried to force it the other day by reading some tech articles on Cycling News, which usually gets me going, but nope. Just meh.

I’m not hugely familiar with Jonas Vengegaard, but woohoo for Jumbo-Visma I guess. I think they won the Points, GC (Wout Van Aert) and Mountain Jerseys (Vingegaard won both GC and Mountain), so that’s impressive, but really, I just can’t find any passion in it this year.

Like a lot of folks, I’m totally, 100% tired of hearing about doping in racing. I’m generally convinced that whoever wins will be stripped at some point once they test positive for whatever new cocktail is running through the peloton. I have no answers, but its a constant thing, and it just adds to the bike racing fatigue. Headlines like this… “We’re clean, you’ll just have to trust us” make me wish there was a more vigorous eye-roll emoji. That’s not the only thing for sure though, it’s just a malaise with bike racing in general right now. I guess I hope it passes?

Sitting in 102-degree weather in Texas

But very much mentally in the mountains, in Colorado. Almost exactly one year ago today, I was exploring mountain passes with two of my very, super cool kids. We took the road less traveled, which thankfully they are almost always down for, and ended up at the top of a pass when a little but intense storm blew through. In a flash, the weather went from 50 ish degrees and sunny to 29 (per the thermometer on the car) and raining, rapidly becoming sleet, then snow. In July.

We weren’t dressed for such weather, but as I said, the heavy part was brief and blew through quickly, leaving us free to wander in the almost freezing tundra at 12,000 feet a few kilometers from a public park. We took full advantage, found a lovely alpine lake, and just took it all in for a few hours.

Our little escape to the alpine at 12,000 feet.
Amei and Grace were very much blown away that such places existed just off the regular roads.

We explored and wandered for a while. The kids were totally in love with the place and blown away that they could find something like it just a few hundred meters from a regular road frequented by folks going to work or grocery shopping. I think I managed to set the hook for a move once Grace graduates.

Once the cold set in fully, we took to the road, enjoying the switchbacks and one “oh my lord” view after another as we came down the backside of the pass and into Keystone, where we picked up coffee, and warmed ourselves at the lower altitude. It was their first exposure to how the mountains can present two entirely different personalities just a few miles and a few thousand feet in elevation apart.

Had some Landcruiser problems

I also had some problems sorting out the navigation here. I think I’ve got this handled now.

When you click on the link tree on my IG it should bring you directly here, which is the Landcruiser category of my blog. Most of y’all who get here that way probably aren’t interested in my bicycles, how far I ride them, and other such.

Now that I’ve got the navigation sorted, I will get cracking on the write ups of what’s happened with the cruiser, how I resolved it or what I modded, and then cross post them to my build threads on ‘MUD and expeditionportal.com for posterity, as I don’t expect this site to do too much traffic.

The cruiser has been a handful over the last 18 months, and I’m eyeball deep in resolving some other problems, (primarily of my own making at this point) with it now. I’d love to say we’ll be back up and running soon but I’ll be honest, I’m getting tired of having my expectations dashed. It’s life with a 27 year old daily driver, but man it’s wearing thin. I’m a hairs breath from relegating her to special use and buying a simple, fuel efficient DD. Which, if I’m being honest is really what I should do.

The pandemic hasn’t done me any favors, supply side wise especially, though if it weren’t so hard to get things, (new cars included) I would have probably already bought a new DD and parked the cruiser, so six one way, half dozen the other I guess.

Anyway, more to follow soon, if you’ve read this far thanks! And I hope you enjoy.

The Beast of Provence -Ventoux

I love when the Tour hits Mont Ventoux. As long as I can remember it’s just such an iconic stage. I can remember seeing photos of Eddie powering up it when I was a kid, as well as Lance, and Froome and Contador.

Van Aert on Ventoux. (Image: Reuters)

chapeau to Wout van Aert for his victory today.

It’s just a surreal place to ride a bike, and it’s been decisive so many times. It’s a bucket list ride for me, even if I only survive it.

Mount Ventoux. Like a moonscape.

Thoughts on training…

I am in need of a reset as to my training methodology. A reset taking into count my kind of new reality. The ‘ol leg is telling me we may never be the same again. I do believe that while it may not be the same, it will be as good or better in a different way. The problem statement here, which is pretty obvious I suppose is simply put, “how do we get there?”.

The answer isnt so obvious, at least not to me. I spend a good bit of time researching and staying abreast of training information online, and with friends in the same or similar boats. Getting professional information has been more challenging in the new COVID-19 world reality.

I went to the PCM last week with complaints about my hip, a new type of pain, more of a burning than a sharper pain as I’d become accustomed to it. The response was to send me for an X-ray (which in their defense is the approved first step per my insurance), though this seems to be in direct contraindication to the description I’ve given. Meh, in the end, its a road right. The PA who did my write up asked if she could touch my hip before I left, and she immediately stated “it’s hot”. I said that while I appreciated it, I thought we should keep things professional (😂) which thankfully she found amusing. That being said, she was right, it was hot to the touch, a good 4 or 5 degrees warmer than the tissue around it. So she did some quick tests and decided that I have a sub dermal infection of sorts, in the soft tissue. Not uncommon in post surgical areas, however it has been quite a while since the last cut. The gist was that removal of tissue creates voids internally that invite infection. Thus, I got the broad spectrum anti biotics that destroy your stomach, and I’m feeling in general like someone is laying on me all the time.

I hope to shed the wet blanket feeling in the next few days and get back on the horse with both feet in the stirrups to follow my analogy further down the road. Today is a ride day, with no real goal other than at least 45 minutes of time spent spinning the pedals. I am likely producing a normalized power of like 150 over these rides which hurts me to say, but it’s the reality. So the loose plan I’m following right now is M-W-F Run/Walk, T-Th-Sa Ride. The weekday rides are 45m and 60m respectively with 90m on Saturday. Monday is a run day, roughly 40 minutes overland, Wednesday is a ruck day, and Friday is an hour of running/walking mix. I’ve been riding the cross bike single-track style during the week to build strength and re-true my bike handling skills, with a nice longer pure road ride on Saturday.

This plan hasn’t changed in a bit, but there have been a bunch of setbacks that I’d like to think I might be passed at this point. I’ve kind of accepted the new slow me, and while I dont like it, I can deal with it. I’m treating it in a sense like I’m a rank beginner. A rank beginner with some pretty nice bikes 😂. By going this way I keep my expectations in check, and in a reasonable zone, but I can also flex to accept improvements.

Time will tell I guess.