Monday, September 24, 2007

Mini-Soda Day 1

4:30 a.m. and the alarm is ringing. I literally levitate out of bed I am so excited to begin my journey to the land of eagle-sized mosquitoes.

I had my morning all planned out - it was like clockwork:

  • 4:30 a.m. - Wake up, have breakfast, load car
  • 5:15 a.m. - Be on the road with Mrs. Zen and Zen Jr.
  • 6:00 a.m. - Arrive at airport.
  • 6:15 a.m. - Plane departs....
Astute readers will notice the mis-calculation above :). I really don't know what happened except that I was so excited I forgot to allow the 1 hour pre-flight arrival.

I calmly ate a PB&J wrap and drank a cup of coffee. I unhurriedly put my bag and bike in the car. We all piled in and started discussing the fact that we were doing well on time, maybe the family could go in with me and see me off instead of just dropping me at the curb....and then....

The bottom dropped out of my stomach. I looked at Mrs. Z and said, "What time does my flight leave?" She checked her PDA and said, "6:15." At that point I knew I had missed my flight :(.

I sped up to between 95 and 100 miles an hour on the interstate, trying to get to the airport on time. Rushed in to the check-in desk and was promptly told that while I could definitely make the flight, my bike wouldn't. I elected to catch the next flight so that I would arrive with my bike (or so I thought).

I slowly walked to the A terminal (shorter security lines plus I wanted to burn off some nervous energy) and went through the line where I proceeded to forget to zip up my carry-on and dumped the contents all over the floor. Oh, man this was shaping up to be a day alright.

Finally I get to my terminal and have a seat to wait out the extra 3 hours until the next flight. Finally as I am still fighting the anger and disappointment in myself, I call the BlueEyedBikinBabe (B^3) and told her what happened. She suggested to pick me up in the cities and I checked with a counter agent to make sure it would be OK. I was assured it would be so long as I told the gate attendant at the other end I would be skipping the next leg, so as my plane was loading I made arrangements to get picked up instead of flying that last little commuter leg.

Boring 2 hour flight later I land in MSP and called B^3 on the cell. She directed me to just go out at the baggage pickup doors and there she was! OK, my day was looking up, finally. We navigated out of the cities and drove back, chatting and laughing and listening to music. It was good to see my friend again!

We get to Rochester and head to the airport to get my bike only to find it didn't make it. The commuter plane's cargo doors were too small! They tell me it will be in by 11 p.m. OK. Fine. Here's my number, call me when it comes in.

Heading over to the house, I can tell B^3 is stressed. Stressed barely even begins to cover it! Mr. B^3 agrees to lend me his bike, and I had the foresight to pack pedals, shoes, helmet and 1 set of cycling clothes in my carry-on, so I go to work getting his bike ready and changing clothes.

Finally ready to go, we get a call from the airport - My bike is here! OK, cool. Since the loaner is ready to go, we agree to get the bike and just shove the box in the mini-van but I'll ride the loaner.

We park in a church and start off and I immediately know I'm in trouble this week. B^3 sets a blistering pace and I could never get close enough to her to remind her I haven't eaten much and I'm tired from traveling. 25 miles later I'm starting to feel a little weak and mention it at a stop sign, but I know we're close to the end so I decline the offer of a Clif Bar and say let's go! We hammer down the final hill at breakneck speed and make it back to the van in one piece :).

The rest of the evening passed blissfully uneventfully. A quick shower, dinner at a great BBQ place then putting the bike together with B^3's son. Eventually we settled in the basement where I was subjected to a chick flick on DVD (they were inflicted on me nightly - Mr. B^3 expressed his deep and heartfelt gratitude that it was someone else getting it for once).

I went to sleep with a smile, knowing I had a full week of hanging out and riding with my best friend :).

Mini-Soda Overview

As I look back my trip, I see that my days fell into a general pattern:

  • Sleep late,
  • poke around a bit having coffee,
  • eat breakfast,
  • run errands (if we had them),
  • prep for ride then ride 30 to 40 miles,
  • take care of bikes, shower, eat dinner,
  • watch movies until way too late ;).
Overall, I am extremely touched by the hospitality extended to me at Triple B's by both her and Mr. Triple B. I was treated just like a member of the family. I can honestly say I have never been so comfortable visiting someone as I was at their house.

Lil' Sis's house is a 50's ranch-style house with a finished basement. The basement has a living room with TV and DVD player,

bedroom and half-bath. The stairs opened onto the kitchen so I never had to bother anyone. It was like having my own little apartment.

Now that I've had time to fully integrate the experience, I'll start posting highlights from the various days.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm off!

OK, alright. I guess everyone knows I'm not normal, no news there. No, what I'm talking about is I'm flying out tomorrow morning at the sinful hour of 6:15 for a week to visit my Lil' Sis, the BlueEyedBikinBabe, Tiff in sunny, tropical Rochester, Minnesota.
Tiff assures me there is plenty of good riding, if one can avoid the local wildlife.I am a little concerned about the weather. I've heard that at this time of year the leaves are starting to turn and there is a chance there could be just a bit of wind.
I'm sure we'll have a good time - we always do when we get together. I'll try to post updates here as I think about it. Maybe I'll even use some real Minnesota pictures ;).

Monday, September 03, 2007


The weekend rides are over for me and my calorie estimates were pretty far off. I figure part of that is this new Polar HRM seems to give higher numbers than the old one and part is that the Peak to Peak century was harder than I thought it would be.

Here is the math:

Peak to Peak: 8399 cals in 104.71 miles = 80.21 cals/mile.

Mt. Evans: 2836 cals in 29.30 miles = 96.79 cals/mile.

Now, for comparison, my (flat, boring, easy) Greeley century comes out at 33.36 cals/mile (using the old HRM - this one would be slightly higher).

Yeah, it was a hard weekend. I think I need a nap.