Saturday, January 29, 2011

New PRO - NOT PRO Diet

Tired of the temperatures getting lower & the scales numbers getting higher?
Are you a real hardcore cyclist or at least wanna be this year?  If you are (or want to be), this new diet may be for you.  First you have to decide if you are truly a hardcore cyclist.  Here's a little quiz to test ya ....Do you know who this is in the pic below?

If I say "Giro", "precipitation",  and "Andy", what comes to mind?  And what is a "Festina" and what does it have to do with cycling?

If you know these right off the top of your head, this diet is for you.  It's based on a rather simple concept ... no points, no crazy calculations, no label reading, no mailman delivering meals -- basically no nonsense.  Here's how it works ... every time when you open your yap to put something in it, you have to decide if it is PRO or NOT PRO.   At the end of each day, you must reflect on how many times you answered PRO or NOT PRO.  If you consistently noting PRO much more predominantly than NON PRO (and being brutally honest with yourself), chances you are on the right path.  So here's some guidance:

PRO:  modest serving of oatmeal or raisin bran or two egg whites plus 1 whole egg scrambled-- NOT PRO:  4 egg, ham & cheese omelette with a side of corn beef hash
PRO:  turkey on wheat w/veggies, no mayo, side salad w/sprinkle of olive oil -- NOT PRO:  Philly cheesesteak with fries
PRO:  grilled  Ahi, sweet potato & green veggies -- NOT PRO:  The 16 oz "king cut" filet with mashed potatoes & gravy
PRO:  a glass of wine w/dinner -- NOT PRO:  a bottle of wine w/dinner

There you have it.  Simple, straightforward and just like your training log -- if you're not honest, you're only cheating yourself

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Have ya been doin' the Sneeuwschoenen thing?  Ya gotta face a few basic facts of life here in CNY & upstate NY ... one of those undeniable facts is that it IS gonna get cold and snowy for a relatively sizable chunk of the calendar.  Sorry kids, just no way around it if you truly "live" here and call this place home.  This pretty much leaves you with two choices come snowflake season .. you can hibernate or you can celebrate. 

So sneeuwschoenen ? ... we're talking celebrate.   The sneeuwschoenen (or snowshoes) scene seems to have inched just a bit closer to becoming a mainstream winter fitness activity here in da 'Cuse.  A quick peek at the local "events" calendars for Jan & Feb show three snowshoe races  (Highland Forest, which was last weekend and upcoming events at Sunnycrest & Beaver Lake parks).   There's also a NYS series, a state champs, a New England series, Empire State Winter Games, and stuff all over place if you look for it. 

You lackin' da sneeuwschoenen?  Rent'em.  Various options all around town.  This way you get to test drive 'em without the commitment.  Get out to Highland or Green Lakes or wherever.  Check out the scene on-line and then get out there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surf's Up . . .

Sorry for the lack of posts. The holidays tend to sap anything resembling inspiration from me. The good news is that the holidays are behind us and I've been logging plenty of outdoor base miles. It seems like more and more people are coming around to the idea of riding outside through the winter. That said, there are still plenty of people that think sliding around dodging snowplows is crazy. I wrote a post on surviving the challenges of winter riding last year, so I won't go that route again, but I will say this: These are some of the best rides of the year. Each season brings with it variations in training and mindset. Spring for me is for the local classic road races. Summer is for Tuesday Night races and Fall is for CX. Winter is for long rides on sketchy roads on a slow heavy bike with nothing to worry about but base miles. Wind it up to Z2/3, and let the conversation flow. Hill repeats have their time and place and I look forward to those workouts, but nothing clears the head or raises the spirits like 3-4 hours of riding in the cold and snow.

I must admit that there are moments, on unavoidable roads with icy shoulders and cars that are annoyed you're out there, it can get a little dicey. The prospect of getting mowed down in the summer by some idiot trying to text their wife that they're picking up KFC for dinner certainly crosses your mind, but it does seem that the frequency of driver stupidity increases in the winter months. I'm assuming that some of them are pissed that we're tying up their roads in the winter now too! Some of them are probably a little agitated already because it's 14 degrees out and their car is freezing since the window is open so they can smoke. On the other hand, there are just as many people that are impressed and happily wave.

One thing is for sure, the risks are higher, but the gratification is higher. I used to listen to some surfer dude or skydiver on TV say something like "hey bro, if this is how I die, I died doing what I love." Or, "If I get eaten by a shark, that's cool man, circle of life bro." In turn I'd think "what an a-hole." I think the last few seasons of riding in the winter have given me a similar outlook. The simple act of riding outside in the elements have become some of my favorite rides. I find myself at the end of long rides rolling down hill no handed just taking it all in. Racing and fast group rides bring on a tremendous high, but it's a sugar high. A sugar high has it's place, but during the winter months, I'm enjoying the long slow burn.

So, if I get hit by a snowplow tomorrow morning, know this . . . I'm well insured so Mrs. Skinny will be fine and up until the last second when the shark ate me, I was in love with my life.

Some random surfer quotes:
"I took off on a wave, went down the side, popped out the other end, and went, shit, I'm still alive!" - Greg Noll

"For those searching for something more than just the norm. We lay it all down, including what others call sanity, for just a few moments on waves larger than life. We do this because we know there is still something greater than all of us. Something that inspires us spiritually. We start going down hill, when we stop taking risks." - Laird Hamilton

"You either surf or you fight"

"If I say its safe to surf this beach Captain, then its safe to surf this beach. I mean I'm not afraid to surf this place, I'll surf this whole fucking place!"
"Charlie don't surf!" - Kilgore (Apocalypse Now)

And I can't resist a lame quote from Point Break:

If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love. - Bodhi