Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Your Guts In Gear Ride, leaving tomorrow!

Horray! It's here!

Tomorrow I leave for the Get Your Guts In Gear Ride for Crohns and Colitis! I'll be riding for three days, and will do my best to get some handlebar-cam footage while I'm out there. This year I'm honored to be the United Ostomy Association of America rider on the NY ride!

Keep your fingers crossed for no rain! I'm just hoping the forcasters in NY are as inacurate as the ones in Pittsburgh, otherwise it's going to be a very wet ride.


p.s. - Just in case you are reading this and are interested in donating to help support the UOAA in keeping up it's good work, you can! Donations of any size are very sincerely appreciated!

Click on the link on the right (under "links") or go to --> click on "donate" ---> enter "Travis Rabbit" under the rider name and "NY-3" under the rider number.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

67 miles down, two softball games to go!

A photo from the middle of the ride, taken by somebody's smartphone:

That's me in the garish shade of day glow yellow.

I wish I got off work in time to do another long ride tomorrow!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Results of my Time Trial

I'm going to try to keep this blog less about racing and more about just plain old bicycling with chronic medical issues and an ostomy, and all the considerations that come with that. But, since it was my first TT at the track, I am posting all the gorey details. Apparently, I am now entering the world of racing at the velodrome!

The TT: It was OK. I didn't meet what I know to be a very reasonable personal goal, but I do have some ideas as to why. And, I'm totally ok with that. It means I have a lot of room to improve and can expect to be satisfied next time around. I suppose it's to be expected that it was a learning experience, being my first. Regardless of times or skill, IT WAS FUN! I enjoy working for something, and it is pretty awesome to share a track with the super fast guys on the aero bikes (fancy, real TT bikes) - their wheels make crazy noises when they zip on by!


1.)  Five miles is really very short. I lost track of a lap and realized that the end was approaching when I was only 0.2 miles from the finish. Ooops. So much for pushing myself at the end!

2.) Corners. Mine are bad. I need to practice pedaling harder and leaning more through them.

3.) Probably staying out till 4am the night before is not a good idea!

4.) Must yell name louder when finishing.

Those were my major items of the day.

I also learned that it makes sense to actually practice the distance on the track before the race. This seems very obvious in hindsight. But, seriously, before the 10 mile TT coming up, I will be practicing.  That way I will know what sort of pace to maintain at what points in the race, instead of guessing or taking other people's suggestions. This time I drastically overdid the pacing and probably could have pushed a lot harder a lot earlier on.

Here's what my computer says about it:
Max speed (on the flat part of the course. Remember, this is a TT... no drafting!): 26.6
Average speed: 20.76

Still waiting on my official time! I know it was somewhere in the 14's, which is not terrible but not great.

And, next time I will be smarter, faster, better!  I just treated myself to a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream, for the heck of it, even if my average speed was not what I was aiming for (22) this time around. I'm pretty sure I can fix this by improving my corners.

Can't wait for the metric century ride in the morning! Here's hoping it stays as perfectly temperate out as it has been this week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The beauty of a clean chain!

Tonight was bike maintenance and cleaning night! Gratuitous bike photos to follow!

Cleaning your chain and all other moving parts is incredibly important, if you care to keep your bike in any sort of good working order. I imagine I'm preaching to the choir here. But, in case you didn't know, there are a few really easy to use chain cleaning tools on the market that will save you time and make keeping everything running in good order a lot less of a chore. I use the Finish Line chain cleaner, which I think I picked up on sale online somewhere for around $20. It has cut an hour of work and clean up time down to about 10 minutes total.

 A clean chain is just so satisfying! And, downright pretty.

Check it out:

I also changed my tires because one of them was splitting. Blue!

And, now have filthy hands to show for my work...

On Memorial Day, during the [rescheduled] Pittsburgh Ride of Silence...

two cyclists were hit at the intersection of Allegheny River Blvd and Washington. The gold SUV turned into the first, hitting his front wheel. He suffered a fractured femur, pelvis, ribs, and other serious injuries which put him in the ICU. The other cyclist went over his handle bars and landed ten feet in front of the first, with injuries to his face and torso. The SUV never stopped.

It's a sad day when an intersection becomes a place to be feared. The Ride of Silence is both a day to commemorate fallen cyclists, and also a reminder to be safe on the roads. And to remember that even if YOU are riding safely, cars may not be paying attention to your speed and distance.

Although it is nice to hear the news taking this sort of accident seriously, and not explicitly blaming the cyclists (in fact, I haven't heard any blame of the cyclists), it is sad that it took two division chiefs of medicine at Children's Hospital getting hit to achieve positive coverage. Usually when cyclists get hit it sounds something like this: