Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The first morning after donating blood, I shut off the alarm and went back to sleep until time to go to work.

The second morning, today, I rode but had no energy. Climbing a small hill, I stopped to let a couple of hikers go by and got lightheaded while waiting for them to pass.

Tomorrow will be an improvement.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Early morning rides

Thunderbird Park opens at dawn, according to the gate sign. It was still dark when I arrived this morning and a car was waiting fot he gate to open. Fortunately, the bike fits under the gate. Unfortunately, the trails are a little hard to see without a light. For the record, I did not run into this saguaro.

The trails are pretty good.

Downhill switchbacks aren't my favorite, though.

More practice needed.
The blood suckers at Red Cross got me later in the morning, so tomorrow's ride may be a bit tiring. We'll see about that reverse blood doping thing.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday ride and White Tank Mtn trip

I am getting into the habit of waking up at 4:45 and heading out on the "You'll throw your back out" Klein by about 5:00. There's a nice loop at Thunderbird Park between 59th and 67th that takes about 30 minutes, which makes an hour before its time to get ready for work. Its Saturday, but I had some work related stuff, so I rode the loop, then hopped in the truck for a run to the White Tank Mountains. At work, we're placing some antennas on an existing tower up there and I wanted to get a look before we start. The road in from the south is closed to all but folks with towers and equipment onthe mountaintops. It's steep and rough with tight switchbacks for about 12 miles to the site. Throw in the rain and lightning and it was an interesting drive. The 24 mile in and out drive took a little over 2 hours. Because the vestiges of Hurricane Dean made it cloudy and rainy in the valley, I couldnt get any decent pictures.

Tomorrow it'll be another early morning ride, then a blood donation which, by the way, is the proper order for those activities. Once, in Kansas City, I rode my bike to donate blood. Going to the Red Cross was fine, but the hilly 5 mile ride back was awful. I can't recommend reverse blood doping for its performance result. If the positive cycling effect of blood doping is the converse of the effect from donating a pint, I can see why the racers would do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First ride in Phoenix

OFS got in his first Phoenix ride at oh-dark-early today. Since I'm on midwest time, getting up at 4:30 was pretty easy. Starting out at 67th, just north of the 101, I headed north to Thunderbird Park. It's an very gradual 2 mile climb to the trailhead and it was still dark when I got there. With no headlight, I waited about 5 minutes until there was enough light to see, then rode maybe 3 miles on the trails, climbing the hill in the southwest corner of the park. I was the only bike out there, but hikers were everywhere. The trail is pretty non-technical, but it looks like the park will be a good venue for weekday rides.

As mentioned in the earlier post, I'm not going to do much about the old part, but I established my benchmarks for fat and slow. I'm shooting for losing 30 lbs. Starting weight is three digits, including a 1, 2 and 6. Put them in any order you want, then subtract 30 and that's what I'm after. When the weight drops, the speed should also improve.

My charming son felt it was necessary to dis my bike a few days ago. It's a 10 year old Klein aluminum hardtail with a Rock Shox Judy XC. All up, it weighs about 25 lbs and I like it just fine. As long as I don't break it, I'll keep riding it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Going to Phoenix

We have been in Kansas for 4 1/2 years, and although we've met some good folks and did some interesting things here, the mountain biking leaves a lot to be desired. There are some decent trails, but they are all at least 60 miles away. The best ones in Kansas are near Topeka and Lawrence, which are both over 120 miles from our home.

We recently decided to move, and the job search is taking us to Phoenix, where the mtn biking is pretty good, definitely a major step up. I start my new job on August 20th, so we are heading out in a couple of weeks. In 33 years of wedded bliss (yes, we are still gaga over each other), this will be our 12th move. Each time its supposed to be our last!

This blog is entitled Old Fat & Slow, because that what I am. I can't do much about the first part, but I am going to do something about the other two. After a few months in Phoenix, I want to be older, less fat and not so slow. Riding rhythm, endurance, speed and technique have all suffered over the last few years of gravel roads and not much else. Its time to fix the problem.

One of our sons and his wife lived in Phoenix for the last two years and they recently moved to Seattle. We were able to visit them a couple times before they left and I was able to ride some great trails with Sean. http://theyearofthebicycle.blogspot.com/

I've had so much fun reading Sean's blog, that I decided to follow up with my own, and track my progress at becoming less fat and less slow. The getting older part will take care of itself.