Its Labor Day, lets take the day off and go on a 40 mile bike ride! Huh? At least its go Mummy Mountain!

its been a while since I went out on a ride with the Phoenix Metro Bike Club. Tomorrow will be a fun ride starting from Kiwanis Park and making our way north into Phoenix, and Scottsdale around and through Mummy Mountain. I am looking forward to seeing the crew and enjoying some wind break in the middle of the pack.

If you ride 20 miles on your own enjoyably then you should come!

Good Morning Ocotillo! (VIDEO) – Sunrise Cycling in the Desert

Trying something new with my cycling videos, last year it was all handheld so yesterday I tried mounting the camera. The results are above, let me know what you think. This was all shot with my Canon Powershot 550. Maybe someday I will get an actual video camera. I think a fisheye lense would be good for this type of thing.

This route goes south on Alma School to Ocotillo Rd and back up Dobson. Its just over 16 miles and takes me about an hour with a nice easy 15 min warmup and then a 10 minute cool down. Top speed today was 26MPH and I didn’t even go into the largest chain ring up front.

Its a good morning ride cause there isn’t a ton of traffic that early, the winds are generally blowing east to west, and the sun is mostly to the right or left. After the ride I am pretty much set on energy for the next two days, then I go on another ride and keep the cycle going.

Review: e2 Рparis: v̩lo libert̩ Рwhere is the archive?

E2 is a great PBS series on where things are headed for humans and how we are trying to live in better harmony with the planet Earth. Brad Pitt narrates it so its cool factor is up there. Add to this that all the shots are at least half out of focus and you have modern hipster all tied up.

The latest one covered Paris’ bicycling revolution with the “public-private Vélib’ bike initiative”. Its a pretty cool system where you are encouraged to make short, 30 minute or less, trips with public bikes. Read more here to get the details.

I really enjoyed this episode and wanted to share it with many people. The problem is that the only way to see it is to either have a TV or buy the episodes from iTunes or on DVD. I think this is very lame because the show is publicly and privately funded and is great public service information, which is to say that no one is going to buy it.
Maybe they need to cut their budget a bit: I am pretty sure you can get someone for less than Mr. Pitt goes for, and all the artsy editing and photography could be cut out.

I wrote PBS a message, you should too.

Oh and please RT this and please leave a comment below. This is your tax dollars, you should get to see what you already paid for.

Rattlers on the road – sunrise hikes at south mountain

While there was contentment with sleeping in till 6am today I knew that getting out on the trail was the best thing for me right now. After a few snoozes the sister knocked on the door:
“you up?”
“yeah” with a considerable amount of meekness I croaked.

Not much conversation in the car we listened to NPR talking about how the best paying degrees are still for engineering. More of the vocationalization of higher education. “lookie all my stuff!”

Hit the trail and every fiber of my body complained. Took a deep breath and strode on into the blue light of pre dawn. Started feeling better after a few minutes and conversation about what’s going on flowed as we meandered up the road. No EMD this morning as he is recovering from a skin irritation.

Ran into a nice surprise a bit more than halfway to Mormon Trail when a baby rattler made it’s way across the road. Snaped a shot of it for evidence and we made our way on up.

The ridgeline greeted us amicably with the first fingers of sunlight crawling over Four Peaks as we made the first summit. From there it was downhill and we started talking about rim to rim. Thinking of walking Rock and Roll to prepare.

Happy Tuesday!

Wake Up Calls, Sky on Fire, and rediculous Xmas Lights

Had a nice wake up call this week with my cholesterol test results. They are a bit high which I partially attribute to the orgy of fat I are over the Thanksgiving weekend. Nonetheless it is a serious issue and one I am not taking lightly. So I am going to get back into the serious cycling I was doing last spring.

First thing is that I needed a new training program. I want something simple but tough and most critically FREE. Its crazy how many people are trying to sell training programs online. Guess what? I aint buying your program. If I am going to pay you it will be to coach me, and I aint hiring you as a coach till I see your training program. So I found Jesper Therkildsen who writes and he has this 12 hour a week Training program which is just what the doctor ordered (man I crack myself up).

Yes a 3 hour ride is a long ride, but the better way to look at it is that you will get to see lots of country side. Now leaving the house at 5pm Dec 4th might seem suicidal but I have the fortune of living in Phoenix AZ and its in the 60’s here now. So besides rush hour traffic and a little darkness it is perfect riding conditions.

Then the sunset happened:

nov and dec 2008 207

nov and dec 2008 209

nov and dec 2008 212

Then I got to Ahwatukee and entered Never Never Land:

After Ahwatukee I was heading home on Ray but realized I wasn’t going to hit my 3 hour mark so I doubled back to Kyrene and up to Guadalupe to get home in 3 hours and 47 miles covered:

Here is the route.

Rollin Through the PHX

Had a nice adventure a few Saturdays ago. Naturally it involved riding my bicycle around Phoenix and seeing part that I hadn’t seen before. We started later than planned but in the end everything worked out very nicely.

Kathryn wanted to go and see what all of the hubub was about at the Phoenix Libraries’ Book Sale. Naturally they cannot do said booksale at their convienently located downtown location. No no no this needs to be done at their warehouse which is naturally not in so convienient, nor exactly pleasant, a location near 29th Ave and McDowell. So the adventure started pretty much right away as I have never actually biked anywhere west of 7th Ave.

So we started off down the canal to 12th St cause there is a nice bike lane on 12th that takes us to Maryland, which also has a nice bike lane:

The booksale was interesting but neither of us bought anything. Eager to get back on the road we headed down McDowell and up to Oak to make our way to the Papagos. We got a nice ride over the 51 on the very inviting 51 overpass:

The fun didnt stop there and at 27th St there was a dead body getting pulled from the bushes. Kathryn asked how I knew it was a dead body and I pointed out that the truck being used to drive off with the body was not an ambulance. No hurry to get him or her anywhere. Crazy stuff but we rolled on unscathed.

We got through some pretty dramatic road construction before climbing by the Papagos on our way to the Desert Botanical Gardens:

Had lunch at the Botanical Garden and hung out with some butterflys then made our way home:

Gmaps says it was 38 miles but I clocked 41. Here is the route we took.

Sunday Ride with ABC – Getting to know PHX and Scottsdale

Got a great ride in on Saturday down here in Chandler but Sunday’s ride was a whole nother story. Headed out to meet with the ABC group ride from the Granada Park with Kathryn:

This was my first ride with ABC and I wasn’t terribly impressed with their ability to ride in formation or at a consistent pace. Still it was a gorgeous morning and I still had fun. We made our way through Dreamy Draw Park and over to Mummy mountain for a nice climb:

Then we headed out to Scottsdale and FLW Blvd for some breakfast which was very delicious. At that point we decided to leave the group and make our way to Old Town Scottsdale:

We spent a little too long there and let the heat of the day catch us by surprise. Luckily we are top trained athletes and were able to make it back:

48 miles total, here is the route map.

Summer Shift – From cycling to Yoga

There has been a severe degradation in my posting frequency as of late. This is due to a few external factors that have thrown my routine off a bit.

The biggest shift has been away from cycling, at least for the time being. This is mainly due to the recent rash of severe temps seen in the PHX area. Over 10 degrees above normal temps along with some mild heat stroke a few weeks back have forced me to hold off on the bike for a while.

In its replacement I have started back into the yoga quite extensively. I have also found a new studio in the Central PHX area: taught by Erica. This place rocks, it is literally just a studio, no lounge or retail action here. Just a floor and restroom. Erica is over 10 years experienced in a number of Yoga traditions and works well with novices as well as experts. She loves to kill the abs, which I need, and really adds a lot of variation to the routine everyday.

I am off to Vail for a wedding this weekend so there will probably be little coming from me till next week. So keep the rubber side down and hold them mudras!