Intensive Weekend - Touch 'n' Go!

I got a lot of biking in this weekend. I am training for the bike ride in Ireland with TEAM CRAZY BIRD that I leave for in just under a fortnight.

The difficulty was that my biking time windows were adjacent to other mission critical endeavors.

On Saturday (yesterday), I had to play a gig in Ridgeway WI with the RITA WITTER BAND at 5 pm. So I biked the 42 miles of Military Ridge Bike Path between my house and Ridgeway, arriving for the show about 4:45 pm, just in the nick of time, though it turns out the rest of the band was behind schedule due to technical difficulties with the sound system, so it worked out well.

I would have been at the gig sooner but I stopped at the Grumpy Troll brew house in Mt. Horeb WI for carbo loading and a burger, which waylaid me about 30 minutes. I had eaten some chicken before the ride, usually an energetic protein source for me, but I started to hit the wall (athlete speak for getting fatigued) after passing Riley WI. It was a wise choice to stop but I really had to pound it out to get from Mt. Horeb to Ridgeway after I ate/drank.

My wonderfully supportive and ridiculously awesome girlfriend Deborah drove my car, loaded with music gear and a change of clothes, to the venue, the Ridge Bar. Thus, I did not have to ride home after the gig because my Prius has a bike rack on it. The gig was OK, though sparsely populated by audience members.

After the gig Deb and I went out for drinks with her son and his girlfriend in Middleton WI. We hit the Free House Pub first and then walked a block down to the Hody Bar, a tragic sports bar that often has mediocre cover bands playing and always has surly and unfriendly staff (all the times I have been there). This night was no different. The band was called 5 MINUTE RULE and was OK for what it was, but I think I am completely through with cover bands now. They are too cliche and the whole cover band schtick at such venues has grown tiresome for me...and a lot of people based on the dearth of patrons in the Hody.

Notwithstanding the poor Hody experience, the outing was fun. Young millenials that they are, Deb's son and his GF headed for downtown Madison to cavort with their own cohort of peers, and Deb and I went home to chill out.

On Sunday morning, I met my good friend Sherry at my house at 10 am to ride our bikes to Riley WI for Sunday morning pancakes at the Riley Tap dive bar, with the option to continue on to Mt. Horeb (same bike path) if we felt like it. About 2 miles from my house, my cruiser bike (the same one I had ridden all the way to Ridgeway the day before) broke a spoke, majorly harshing my bike riding gig for the day. We decided to go back to my house so I could swap bikes. My dad's bike was in my garage. I had to pump the tires but they were sound. He has a weird seat on that bike that I don't like and the seat post kept sliding down...but we made it to Riley with 5 minutes to spare before the pancaking shut down at noon. It was a hard push, slightly uphill and hot and humid, with a headwind.

Sherry was not keen on pushing on to Mt. Horeb initially, but after a pantload of cakes she got more optimistic about it. That next leg was also uphill into a muggy headwind, but we made it and had beers at the Grumpy Troll before reversing direction on the bike path to head home. At that point, I was on schedule to get back in time to get to my 4 pm GUPPY EFFECT unplugged gig with Stefan at the Cardinal Bar downtown (for ART NEST).

But on the way back from Mt. Horeb, Sherry succumbed to a bit of heat stroke and got a really bad leg cramp. We limped to the Tuvalu Coffee Shoppe in Verona WI where she terminated her ride and I raced home to get my car and come back to get her.

Once again my angel of a GF came through for me and I will repay her ridiculously for it. Originally, I was going to ride home with Sherry, then drive to Deb's to get my music gear for the Cardinal gig and head downtown. But the Sherry rescue operation crimped that plan. Not that I have any resentment. I usually plan for such contingencies and it wasn't her fault.

Deb was kind enough to bring the music gear to my house and load it in my car while I was racing back from Tuvalu on my bike, saving me a step. I retrieved Sherry and made it to the gig by 4:20. GUPPY EFFECT actually was scheduled to rock at 4:30. I wanted to get there at 4 to allow for a medium-paced setup. But I can set the gear up in 10 minutes, and I did.

We rocked an hour set and it was good.

I don't like cutting shit that close though.



Weekend Bike Rides and Rocking to Prep for Ireland and Burn Calories

This weekend looks to be fairly promising weather-wise, helpful in my quest to prepare for the week long bike trip to Ireland I embark on in a fortnight, with my RAGBRAI bike team, the CRAZY BIRDS.

On Saturday evening from 5-9 PM, I have a rock show to perform with the RITA WITTER BAND at the Ridge Bar in Ridgeway, WI. Ridgeway is on the Military Ridge State (Bike) Trail, so I am going to bike the 30+ miles to the gig, at a leisurely pace. The plan is for my awesome GF Deborah to drive my car, with bike rack attached and my music gear and change of clothes loaded inside, to the venue. If we play our cards right, we should be able to coordinate a roughly 4 pm arrival in Ridgeway. I’ll have to roll out of Madison on my bike about 1:30 PM at the latest, because I don’t plan to bike too fast. I just got my cruiser back from the bike shop (spoke repair), so I am going to ride the Green Machine to the show and hope no more spokes break (this is the third one, so I am getting a new wheel if another one goes... After the show, I’ll throw my bike on the bike rack and Deb and I will cruise home by car (probably with her driving, depending on how many Irish Ales I suck down at the show. You know cuz…training!).

Since it is not a super late show, I should get a decent night’s sleep. The Sunday morning plan is to bike out to the Riley Tap in Riley WI with my friend Sherry (not going to Ireland…though she is on TEAM CRAZY BIRD)) for the weekly pancake breakfast, and maybe forging on to Mt. Horeb WI for lunch at the Grumpy Troll if we are feeling motivated.

That should give me some decent weekend miles of bike training. I am going to cross train during the week, running the 5k round trip to work a couple times next week and bike commuting when I don’t. Next weekend, I am going up to the cabin again to hang with the fam, the last chance to see my sister, niece, and nephew before they head back to Colorado. I’ll get a 10 mile ride in around Shell Lake for sure and maybe try to do the 52 mile round trip to Stone Lake (a la Bike With Melinda Ride), weather permitting. That will be a good route check for BWM too, which I host over Labor Day weekend.

See ya.

A Fortnight and One Day

Tomorrow, I'll be a fortnight away from a week long bicycling trip to the Emerald Isle (Ireland). I am starting to gear up mentally for gearing up physically. The essentials are in place...

Smart phone (for photos and blogging)
Travel journal (for when smart phone is unavailable)
Power converter kit
Backup charger for smart phone

I usually begin my research on the place I am visiting during the fortnight prior, so that might happen. Or it won't. Sometimes it is fun to just wing it on the fly.