Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Today's Hour of Power started out pretty rough and it ended up that way as well. We still made it through the 30 mile ride. The only problem is I didn't have time to eat some cake.

I had thought about skipping out on the ride in order to ride my bicycle up to the Sky Top Apple Orchard. I learned Thursday night that the plan was to celebrate Dave's fortieth birthday. I didn't want to miss that, so I decided to do the morning ride and then decide what to do with the rest of the day afterward.

That seemed like a good idea, so I showed up just before 7:45 AM. If we could get started, then I would have time to get back and go to my kids' music club at 10:30 AM. I might even be able to enjoy a piece of Dave's birthday cake!

Unfortunately, we had a hard time getting everybody together. Owen seemed to have a problem with his bike and Dave the birthday boy didn't show up until late. We didn't get out until ten minutes after eight.

Mentally it messed me up. I realized that would put us getting back at nearly 10:00 AM. That wouldn't give me much time to have cake and get home to clean up for the music club. It was Thing Two's first club and I wanted to be there to see him play the piano. It kind of took the enjoyment out of the ride.

The fact that I planned to ride later in the day also messed with my mind. It caused me to be indecisive during the ride. Sprint or not sprint... climb hard or roll easy... what ends up happening is you don't do anything well!

Going into the first sprint, I was just hanging there about fifth place. I heard John yell from behind, "Car back." So, I moved over to the far right of the road and stayed in place behind the slowly moving line.

Suddenly, John and Tony came flying up beside me on the left. I let them go at first and then jokingly called out, "Cheaters!" Where was the car that was supposed to be back there :-) I changed my mind and went after them.

It took a little work to close the gap, but I got past John and then tried to nip Tony on the line. He looked to his left and I went right. He drifted right and we almost bumped as we crossed the line in pretty much a tie.

My indecision to start the chase cost me. Trying to sprint that early in the ride ended up making my legs feel like lead. Here was hoping I would get the feeling back before Meece Bridge Road.

It came sooner than I wanted. My heart rate was back down and my legs were feeling slightly more loose. The question in my mind was if it would stay that way.

John and a Land Rover rider were going around the riders who had tried to go off the front early. I again hesitated on whether I wanted to give it a try or not. Then I decided to go. I stood and tried to shift to my big ring. My fingers slipped off the lever and I had to fight with it to get in the ring.

By this time there was a good sized gap and Tony came around me. There! I was up to speed and jumped on his wheel. I was kind of hoping he might pull me all the way up to the two riders ahead.

As we got closer and closer to the finish point, I started to wonder if we would make it. So, I went around Tony and tried to bring the two breakaway riders back. Then I realized it wasn't going to happen, so I eased up.

Okay, now I was really feeling used up. I had exerted a lot of energy on those first two sprints. Next up was the quarry road. There we were running a pace line toward the climb. Just as we neared the left turn that would take us to the base, John, the Rover guy, and I were at the front of the line.

I was feeling pretty spent by this point and I eased up a bit while on the front. I felt a hand on my bum pushing me forward. It was John. He wanted us to put the hurt on the riders behind us and push it up the climb. Problem was, I was already hurting!

I kept pushing anyway and entered the climb with Tony. "That's too much work for me," Tony said and then sat up. I tried for a little longer to stay with the two guys up front. Reality set in as they moved away from me. It was time to find my own pace and just ride up.

Art and Tony came around me and I just kept my pace. Rob came around me and I just kept my pace. After a bit, I was able to overtake them and ended up finishing fourth with Art in third. John took it. However, the happy news for me was that I was feeling a lot better.

Because I was feeling better, I decided to do a flyer for the fire hydrant sprint. As we moved down the road toward the left turn that would take us down to the bridge and then up to the hydrant, I moved off the front.

After crossing the bridge, I kept on going and sneaked a peek behind me to see what was going on. I saw one rider between the main group and myself. I wasn't sure how quickly the rider was closing so I pushed it up the hill a little more than I needed to do.

I ended up taking the first hydrant easily. However, there is a second one soon after the first. Had I not worked so hard on the first one, I probably would have had more juice for the second one and Tony wouldn't have pipped me at the line.

The bottom line for these rides is that John is starting to exert his control. You get the impression that he can win any sprint he wants to. I figured that would be the case on the Paris Mountain State Park entrance sprint as well. The only thing was that I thought I would be in the mix.

Turns out I didn't get any chance to participate. At one of the regrouping points before the attacks begin for the entrance, I went down a side road spinning a little to keep my legs ready. When I came back, I could see the group riding off into the distance!

I tried to chase back on, but the whole time I was doing it I knew that it was a fruitless endeavor. Still, I motored past some of the stragglers and was able to see the leaders near the top of the climb as I was entering it. The whole episode seemed indicative of my day. Oh, by the way, John took that one as well.

Yes, John took Nature Trail and I once again was slogging my way to a third place finish. Thankfully, after that last climb, it was time to head to the shop. We all followed Dave up to the Pine Knoll turn and then rolled into the shop just before before 10 AM. I stopped long enough to check out Dave's cake and down a Mountain Dew, and then I was out the door to try to make it to music club.

Hey, Happy Birthday, Dave!



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