Day 45- Transition


264001.tif Yesterday while I was picking up my ride packet for the Hotter’n Hell 100 I was asked to participate in a study done by the good folks at UNT.  I’m game.  The pre-screen was easy enough, I have to do a 45 minute survey this afternoon and we will see.  I am kind of excited.

Got my new Gatorskin tires and new tubes for the ride tomorrow.  If things go as they have for the last few years, there will be no less than 20 flat tires in the first mile of tomorrow’s ride.  I cannot understand why people will come from all over the United States and 30 foreign countries around the world to ride 100 miles in 100 degree heat with raggedy tires.  There is a logic bomb there that has yet to go off.

One group of cyclists I would love to meet tomorrow is the transplant team from Houston that ride as the “Organ Grinders”, complete with really cool jerseys.  In any case, looking forward to a great day, meeting new people and making a few new friends along the way.  The blog tomorrow will be post ride so don’t look for it until, let’s see, finish line-3:30(Hopefully), 30 minutes to get to the car and get home, say hi to my lovely wife, shower and 2 hour nap, around 6:30pm, my time.  Until then, then.

my food

carbs, carbs, carbs

my workout-active recovery

Day 41- Pre-Event Checklist


A bicycle century or 100-mile ride is not something to take lightly. The best of riders will be on their bikes for around five hours, some substantially more and to do that safely requires planning and forethought. Even though this weekend’s Hotter’n Hell 100 will have over 2500 volunteers to support it’s estimated 14,000 participants, that’s still 14,000 participants. To illustrate the size of this crowd very simply, if everyone was thirsty at once, to give them all an 8 oz. glass of water would require 875 gallons. It is imperative that each and every rider do as much as possible to take care of their own needs during the days ride.

This is my checklist:

1. Clean and test camelbak for leaks, bad tastes/smells.
2. Get Clif bars, fast energy between rest stops.
3. New tires for the bike. No excuse for a flat on a century just because I was too lazy to get tires at the consumer show.
4. Ride wear is clean and ready to rock! Gotta shine in the club colors.
5. Check and recheck the derailleur adjustments, during is no time to do pre- maintenance.
6. Double check setup, seat height, etc. while there is still time for some shake out rides. An eighth of an inch over 6-7 hours makes a big difference.
7. Register and sign-in early, Thursday at 4 pm.
8. Consumer show, make sure to see some friends and visit with the vendors, get new gear while the deals are on. Tubes are $3 here, $7 and up any other time.
9. Spaghetti feed, get that grub on and carb-lload the night before.
10. Friday night 7 pm. Bikin Mike has his survival seminar, do not miss.
11. Sleep!!! Remember, you are leaving the house at 5 am.
12. Get up!!! It’s 4 am. you have to leave at 5 to make sure you get a parking spot downtown. Don’t forget to bring camelbak, clif bars, helmet, sweat band, cool socks, cycliing shoes, club gear, tire pump, bike, $10 just in case, very cool sunglasses because you will need them and looking good is awesome.
14. Remember, you are not riding 100 miles, you are riding 10 miles, getting a drink, something to eat and getting back on the bike. Lather, rinse, repeat. When they hand you the medal at the finish line, you can go home.
15. Have fun!

my food

breakfast burrito(528 cal.)P29.3F30.2C33.2

16 oz.(1120 cal.)P76F88C0
1 can pinto beans(280 cal.)P21F0C56
total=1400 cal. P 97 F 88 C 56

My workout-active recovery


Day 40- For John, In Waiting Room I.

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to help a friend and in the process, see an actual miracle occur. My friend has been fighting cancer for the past two years and his doctors had told him that he had had the last chemo-therapy they would give him. What they were saying between the lines was, if his radiation treatment didn’t work, he would die, there was nothing else they could do. He was going to get the results from his radiologist to see if they had destroyed the last of his cancer.

MD Anderson is a huge complex of buildings in downtown Houston, it is also the most advanced cancer treatment facility in the world. You see an incredible diversity of people there, all with one thing in common, every single person wearing a white wrist band has been given a death sentence and this is their court of last resort. If the doctors here cannot help them, they will die.

The radiology department is in the basement of the complex, far away from the main entrance called the ‘Aquarium’ upstairs. I have been wheeling my friend around in his chair for quite a while finally arriving at ‘Waiting Room I’, radiology. The area is quite full, we manage some seats in the corner, the people next to us are a couple in their forties. We chat for a bit and I find out that ‘John’ is here for a very aggresive cancer and that he is in the middle of his radiation treatments. When he finds out where we are from it comes out that he too is a cyclist, in fact the Hotter’n Hell 100 is one of the rides he has always wanted to do but this year he is just too sick to do it. A nurse calls ‘John’ back into radiology and we quickly say goodbye, wishing each other good luck. When his turn comes, my friend is told by the staff that he is cancer free, his treatments have worked, he comes back in six months for a followup, we are done here.

At 7:05 a.m. on Saturday 29, 2015 approximately 14,000 people will start the Hotter’n Hell 100 endurance ride and I will be one of them. I will be wearing a white wrist band with the words “John from Waiting Room I” on it. My new friend from MD Anderson will ride with me in spirit. Hopefully next year he can be here in person.

My food

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F5C0
total=360 cal. P 28 F 26.2 C 1.6

The Triple, from Rafter J in Iowa Park, Tx.
1/4lb. brisket(374 cal.)P29.2F27.7C0
1/4lb. pulled pork(236 cal.)P32.3F10.9C0
1/4lb. smoked sausage(364 cal.)P13.6F32.4C2.8
1 bun(117 cal.)P4.1F1.6C21.1
1 cup pinto beans(245 cal.)P15.4F1.1C44.8
total=1336 cal. P 94.6 F 73.7 C 68.7

16 oz. chicken breast(496 cal.)P104.4 F 5.6 C 0
1 tbsp coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
4 tbsp. hoisin sauce(200 cal.)P0F0C50
total=816 cal. P 104.4 F 14 C 50
daily total=2512 cal. P 227 F 113.9 C 120.3

My workout
Bike ride- 15 miles, 1300 cal. 9.5 MET hours

Day 34- The Runner’s High: Not Just For Runners Anymore!

Cyclists wait their turn at the starting line for the start of the annual  Hotter N' Hell Hundred Saturday, August 28, 2004,  in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Gary Lawson)

Cyclists wait their turn at the starting line for the start of the annual Hotter N’ Hell Hundred Saturday, August 28, 2004, in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Gary Lawson)


I have a lifelong love of running.  I was always tall and thin as a kid and running was the one thing I could do better than almost anyone.  I wasn’t tremendously fast but I could go for miles without tiring out.  While the rest of the track team ran 5k’s after school, I ran 10k’s every single day, and longer on the weekends.  My runs always started the same way, for the first half of a mile or so, the farther I ran the more out of breath I felt until at about half a mile, my stride got longer, my pace got quicker and I could breathe normally again.  I didn’t realize until later that this was what was called the runner’s high.

As I stressed my body more and more by running, my hypothalmus began sending signals to the pituitary gland that sent out substances that tell the body to begin releasing endorphins, naturally produced morphine-like chemicals that acted like painkillers, entering opioid receptors in the brain’s limbic system causing feelings of euphoria and well-being, blocking the discomfort of high-level aerobic activity.

Now I am old and not-thin and I don’t run much anymore but when I am out on my bike, racking up mile upon mile on streets or trails I can still get that old familiar feeling by grabbing a couple of gears and taking off in a mile long sprint on flat ground or charging an especially robust uphill stretch.  I don’t leave it all out on the track anymore, I am pleased to just finish my ride and live to ride another day, but the occasional buzz from a well executed sprint is well worth the breathless minute or two it takes to work back into zone B, where I can pedal and hold down a conversation too.

My cycling goals are simple now, I live for that once a year monster century ride, focusing all of my ‘training’ on trimming my time down a bit more each year until finally I earn the coveted FOG jersey, worn by the select hundred or so that start the Hotter’n Hell 100 at the very front, the Fast Old Guys.  Because you gotta have a dream.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Protein shake
whey isolate(130 cal.)P20F3.5C6
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
Total=374 cal. P 36.2 F 13.1 C 30.6

1st lunch
2 cans tuna(180 cal.)P40F2C0

2nd lunch
5 oz. spinach(35 cal.)P4F.5C5
1/2 cup lentils(240 cal.)P20F0C40
2 tbsp. italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total-335 cal. P 24 F 6.5 C 48

8 oz. pork loin(264 cal.)P50.6F5.2C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
total=446 cal. P 52.2 F 19.3 C 17.5
daily total= 1745 P 182.9 F 66.8 C 106.1


My work out:

back squats 5 x 5 @190# 1.2 MET hours

cycling 29.4 miles   2419 calories  16.3 MET hours

Day 25- Balancing Strength And Cardio

Day 25- Balancing Strength And Cardio


Although I try to maintain a level of fitness year-round the upcoming century ride is the focal point of my efforts. If I make this ride I have attained every goal I set for this year. Two goals: Ride 100 miles, don’t die. Simple.

I am training strength this year, right up to the ride, heavy squats 3 times a week. I want to incorporate speed as well but 100 plus degree weather is not being very cooperative. I have built up some new auxilliary lift toys in the home gym and can’t wait to see how they work out. As far as cardio, no running at all up to the ride, all cycling. Got to get my butt used to the saddle again.

Weight lifting has brought me success in the last three years and I am stronger this year than ever so I think that I will be just fine. Hopefully the bike will hang in there one more year as well, it’s too late to break in a new one now.

My food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Lunch(3 servings w/o rice)
20 oz. ground pork loin(660 cal.)P126.5F13C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
1/2 cup rice(160 cal.)P6F0C74
total=401 cal. P 48.7 F 4.4 C 79.2

1 bowl(260 cal.)P6F3C50

total=1071 cal. P 85.2 F 33.3 C 139.2

My workout- Active recovery

Day 24- Drop Back 5 And Punt


Man repairing bike in bike shop --- Image by © Stewart Cohen/Pam Ostrow/Blend Images/Corbis

Man repairing bike in bike shop — Image by © Stewart Cohen/Pam Ostrow/Blend Images/Corbis

Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns. On three separate occasions I have brought my road bike in for service because the front derailleur either fails to shift or drops the chain into the frame at very inopportune times. The last time I had it in I specifically told them if there was anything that was less than optimal to replace the entire set and that money was not an issue.

I dropped the chain the other day and almost cut up my hand digging it out, I am done. A #1 phillips, 5mm Allen wrench and some youtube videos would give me a chance to do what my bike guy could not. Several youtubers have made excellent videos detailing the procedure to adjust the derailleurs on my specific bike, so I won’t pick one over the other, just to say there should be no problem finding a great video to fix your bike if you need to and feel confident in your abilities.

Simple, direct procedures lay out the adjustment process and after watching each one a couple of times and stopping at the end of each step, got the bike fixed up in about 20 minutes. Will be test driving tomorrow morning, I am confident that the repair will work, I cannot cross my fingers in the drops but I am not going to drive to far out the first time either.

As much as I like my bike guy, I will be doing my own adjustments from now on. I will buy stuff from them and will send them customers but for me, three strikes and all when it comes to my road bike. There are only 3 weeks left to the only century I am riding this year and I don’t plan on walking any of it.

My food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

24 oz. chicken 744 cal P 156.6 F 8.4 C 0
1 onion 64 cal P 1.4 F .1 C 15.5
3 jalapeños 12 cal P0F0C3
4 tbsp sweet chili sauce 200 cal P0F0C25
2 tbsp sriracha sauce 30 cal P0F0C7.5
1050 cal. P 158 F 8.5 C 51(this makes 3 servings)
8 oz. lentils 264 cal. P20.8F.8C45.6
total=614 cal. P 73.5 F 3.6 C 72.6

carb load for tomorrow’s ride
1 sleeve of crackers(350 cal.)P7F10.5C84
6 tbsp. peanut butter(540 cal.)P21F48C18
total=990 P 28 F 58.5 C 102

2014 cal. P 132 F 88 C 184.6

My workout
back squats
5 reps x 5 sets@ 175#

The woman in this video is my new inspiration to work out, she slays the burpee box jump!!!

Day 14- Can You Successfully Diet On The Road?


For the first time here I am going be dieting on the road, that is to say, I will be managing macros out of someone else’s kitchen for about three days. This will strain discipline mightily as our faraway friends are calorie friendly and seem to eat anything they desire without gaining an ounce. Of course he is twenty years my junior and works in a metal shop all day, he can be forgiven for not understanding that I cannot indulge without consequence.  I will take my kitchen scale in case there is a need for it. Most of my shopping will be done at H.E.B.’s deli and produce sections. I can run in the morning using the 20 out, 20 back method, and substitute straight jumps for jumping rope, several days will not hurt anything but my coordination. I will continue to blog on my travel computer and that way daily reports will continue. Maybe the change of scenery will inspire some new direction.

31 days and counting! This year’s Hotter’n Hell 100 is going to be HOT!!! I have been doing a little training in the heat of the day to acclimatize myself, but honestly, you can only do so much. You cannot develop a resistance to heat stroke except by staying out of the heat. This year, as last year, I will be wearing a cooling vest made by Ti Mountain.


While everyone else slaves away in 100 degree heat, I will pedal along in 80 degree comfort! Each rest stop is a ritual, water on me, water in me, get a snack and fill the camelbak.  14,000 riders and 2,500 volunteers converge on Wichita Falls, Texas on August 29, 2015.

My food

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
total=614 cal. P46.7 F 30.8 C 36.2

lunch salad
4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)P3.2F0C4
6 oz. chicken thigh(354 cal.)P44F18.4C0
2 tbsp italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total=442 cal. P47.2 F 24.4 C 7

4 sm. tilapia filets(364 cal.)P84F4C28
2 cans green beans(140 cal.)P7F0C21
total=504 cal. P 93 F 4 C 49

daily total 1560 cal. P 186.9 F 59.2 C 92.2

My workout

1 mile run
100 single unders

your workout
1 mile walk

25 single unders
10 burpees
20 lunges 10 each side
30 air squats
Here is a demo.

Day 5- The Low Down On Low Impact


Let’s talk about buzzwords, specifically these two words, low impact, as they relate to exercise and fitness in general. Low impact refers to an activity that will not sever your spine, liquify a kidney or cause one or both legs to fall off. I’m kidding there, a little, but seriously there are really 3 low impact exercises: walking, swimming and cycling. Without the interference of an outside force it is almost impossible to hurt yourself doing any of these activities. As long as you start slow and work up gradually to the level you wish to achieve. Let’s say on day one you walked 100 yards and every day after that you walked an additional 100 yards. You would literally run out of daylight before you reached the limit of your endurance. It would take you two and a half weeks to get to a mile a day, which would take you about 20 minutes. At the one year mark you would be walking about five hours at a time, probably less because you will be walking faster now. I don’t know how slow you would have to start out swimming to do the same, maybe 20 or 25 yards but it is interesting still.
I know for a fact that cycling endurance has one limiting factor above all others, that is how long you can stay in the saddle, that can only be trained so much. Cycling uses fast twitch and slow twitch muscles, fast twitch for slow, out of the saddle climbing and slow twitch muscles for the continuous quick pedal turnover of long, flat stretches and down hill portions of the ride. Early on I thought that it was peculiar that fast twitch muscles were used in the slower uphill parts of the ride but it was explained to me that out of the saddle stomping on the pedals was similar to weightlifting in the method of muscle recruitment. Rapid pedal turnover is accomplished by simultaneously pushing one leg down while pulling up with the other, neither one a maximum effort, just quick and repetitive, therefore the recruitment of only slow twitch muscle tissue. Here is the key to longer(more fun) bike rides: if you have to climb a hill, stay in the saddle and get a slower gear, more pedaling less rolling, rather than coming out of the saddle. When you stay in the saddle you force your body to use slow twitch muscles which recover quickly, when you use your fast twitch muscles, they only recover with sleep, once they are gone, they will stay gone until morning. As long as you keep the blood flowing through them by pedaling, the slow twitch muscles will recover with a minute or two of reduced effort or coasting. I don’t like to stay on a bike more than 10 miles at a time, I take frequent breaks, and then I can enjoy the ride. In my favorite ride of the year, the HH100, there are 14 rest stops in the 100 mile course and I stop at every one. It is a major rush to finish this ride but there is no prize for ‘died trying’.

Temperature during this ride was 95F/35C. This is training for the epic HHH century ride at the end of August.

Can-appl-oupe smoothie

2 granny smith apples(206 cal.)
1/2 cantaloupe(75 cal.)
1 cup water
total=281 cal.

Put water in blender. Core apples and blend on medium until you have an applesauce consistency. Halve the cantaloupe, scoop out seeds, cut in slices and then peel, make chunks and add to blender. Another 20 seconds on medium speed and you should be ready to go. This will fairly fill the blender jar. I usually drink one large glass of smoothie right then. I keep 2 quart plastic cups in the freezer with about 3 inches of ice in the bottom for ice water during the day, filling one of these up with the rest of the smoothie mixture makes a brilliant agua fresca!!

Tasty Salad

4 oz. fresh spinach(28 cal.)
4 oz. avocado(180 cal.)
5 oz. cucumber(16 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower seeds, finely chopped(165 cal.)
4 Tbs. Italian dressing(120 cal.)
total=509 cal.

I am here to tell you, this is yummy!  I split the avocado and then scored the inside, turned the skin inside out and viola! Repeat for other side and you’ve peeled and sliced an avocado and not made a big, green mess. I have a cutter for shoestring potatoes, I used the smallest blade and made spiral spaghetti out of the cucumber, it looks really cool. 4 tablespoons is too much italian, maybe half that next time.

Dinner-bad example

8 oz. cooked chicken thighs(472 cal.)
2 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce(200 cal.)
total=672 cal.

Had to cook off chicken thighs for coming week, too lazy to actually put together a meal. On the up side, the chili sauce is amazing, it really tastes good on lots of stuff. A note on chicken thighs: the place I shop has chicken thighs for $1.27 a lb. in 5# plus trays. The yield on skinning and boning your own thighs is right around 3:2, for every 3 pounds you bone, you get 2 pounds of boneless which works out to just less than $2 a pound, much better than the price if the store does it, $3.68/lb.

A quick tutorial on deboning chicken thighs. Pull the skin off one side. With a thin, sharp blade follow the attached skin and cut away the extra fat on both sides of the thigh. Next, there is a small piece of joint and tendon left behind when they separate the joint on one end, that end is usually flat. Looking down at the flat end place the point of the knife to one side of the small piece next to the bone and with the blade facing away from you cut under the piece at an angle outwards. Do the same on the other side of the joint and you will have cut out a triangular bit with the small bone and most of the tendon, pick it free and discard. Run the knife blade down the thigh from one joint to the other and with the tip of the knife, start scraping the meat off of the bone until it all comes free. You may have to cut around one of the joints to free the thigh entirely.

Late night snack
chicken, peppers and rice(leftovers)(447 cal.)

Take that dog for a walk, do about a mile and relax, you’ve earned it.

Perfect day for it…





I really like the bike trails that we have here, today was a perfect day to ride, almost no one out fighting the wind.  Just as I would expect it to be on the day of the ride, the wind quartered about half way through and I ended up fighting it about three quarters of the time.  I will have to start riding in the evening as well to get in the amount of saddle time I want to work up to.  One other thing, if you plan on doing any endurance riding at all, do yourself a favor and get your bike set up just for you.  I cannot tell you how much more comfortable it is to ride a bike that fits.  I have gone through 3 major saddle upgrades in the past three years and each one took about a month to get used to.  You sure don’t want to make a major change in the way you ride right before a big event, you want to be really used to the bike when you are going to be spending a lot of time on it.  The route I took today is becoming a favorite, it is about an hour long without wind and it favors the way I like to train, I never stop.  18.5 miles with two turnarounds and never came out of the pedals.  That is the way I will ride in August, this jaunt is just about two rest stops worth, I want to add another thirty miles to this before the ride.  Also need to work on speed, this tempo would get me 59.2 miles by 11:30, probably 20 miles short of Hells Gate, something to think about but then it is the first training ride of the season.Image

Countdown to the Hotter’n Hell 100…

The big endurance ride of the year is only a hundred days or so out now, time to fine tune the bike and get some serious saddle time, this is the year we go for the big one, the hundred mile course.  And we are going to do it with a team of at least 5 people, so we have to be serious about our cadence and especially our rest stop discipline.  We cannot stop every 10 miles or even 20 like in years past, the cutoff for the 100 mile course is closed at 11:30AM or earlier, depending on the weather, which gives us about 4 hours to get the first 70 miles done making ‘Hell’s Gate’ before the cutoff.

We all have camelbacks and know how to use them, we should probably try to make the first stop at 50 miles, somewhere to the west of Burkburnett on the way back from Electra.  Getting 5 people to adhere to that sort of schedule will be tough but the alternative is to leave the stragglers behind and go for the gate without them.  The start will include about 14,000 cyclists and we will start in front of maybe 12,000 but still, passing up the first three rest stops should seriously thin the herd in front of us so that when we do stop the lines will not be as long, keeping stops short is key though.  Rest is for after the ride, stopping is for hydration only, and then back up and ride.  Since we rode together last year I know that we have 3 strong riders and me and the rest can keep up, practicing taking the lead and rotating through the pack practice would help us immensely, both with drafting and keeping our minds off of the road and the monotony of pedalling, which can be mentally draining especially into the wind.

It will be interesting to see if my training this year will serve me as it has in the past, I am getting better at hydration too, I think, which should serve me extremely well, we are due a real scorcher, the last two years were pretty mild for the end of August(the ride is always exactly 9 days before Labor Day).  I have been drinking at least a gallon and a half of liquid a day, some days two, this seems about right as the temperatures here are in the 100’s most days and I work outside in it all day.

I plan on taking as much advantage as I can of the community rides we have here every day and getting out on the bike trails as much as I can, I have to wear in the new Brooks before August.  Yall be good and watch for cyclists when you drive.