ABOVE: Bike Diva on day 1 of the 2008 MS150 ride. Posing on top of Card Sound Bridge, on the way to Key Largo. My apologies to the zMotion team, I don't have my team kit yet, so you'll have to live with this picture of me in my Office Depot jersey.
This morning my husband and I woke up at 5:45 AM to get ready for a training ride with the zMotion cycling team. Back in May, my husband and I participated in our very first MS150 ride as part of the Office Depot Foundation team. For 2009 we wanted to hook up with a slightly more aggressive team to help us become better, faster roadies.
We started racing in time trials, the beginning of 2008, so we are good for short, bursts of speed. But right now we are only averaging around 18 MPH on our metric century (62 miles) and century rides (100 miles). We are hoping that training with zMotion is going to make us CRAZY fast, well, at least fast for us. I don't think the zMotion pro team has to worry about us stealing their jobs.
MS150 Bike Ride
We recently signed up to do the 2009 MS150 ride, which takes place on May 3/4. The MS150 is a 2-day, 150 mile road bike ride which benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society. We signed up for the 2009 ride as part of the zMotion team. Zimmerman Advertising sponsors the south Florida MS150 ride, their cycle team is zMotion. ZMotion has various training rides on the weekend, once you join the zMotion team, you can go to the zMotion website and choose a training camp to join.
Right now we are riding with Team II as part of Pat's ride on Saturday mornings. Once we start training for our next Team in Training century ride, we will probably have to switch to Carmen's training camp which trains on Sunday mornings. Team II averages 20-22 MPH, which means the rides can get up to 26+ MPH at some points. A bit too fast for our blood today. It was really WINDY along A1A so we got dropped shortly after the start of the ride. We only averaged 17.7 MPH today, with a max speed of 28.1. Pat's Team I averages something insane like 24-32 MPH - are you riding in cars?
Bacon on a Stick
I was REALLY dying towards the end of today's ride. The only thing that kept me going was the vision of the free breakfast buffet waiting for us at the Cove restaurant, at the conclusion of the ride. I had visions of BACON on a stick the last few miles. Might have been a hallucination, but there was a 5 pound vat of bacon waiting for us back at the restaurant - YUM! Nothing like a crunchy piece of pork to get the legs spinning.
The rest of the breakfast wasn't bad either - scrambled eggs, bagels, sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee, orange juice, and my favorite - TATERS!!!! I'm full now. My Garmin Edge 305 cycle computer says I burned 2800 calories during today's ride - load my bike bag up with some more of that crispy goodness. :)
I'd like to give a shout out to a few of my sponsors that helped me out with today's ride. MotorTabs electrolyte tablets in the water bottles, Action Wipes for the after ride "shower" so we weren't totally stinking out the restaurant and Sock Guy socks - COOL! I forgot to bring my Fluid recovery drink along with me today - that's probably why I'm so sore and cranky right now. I've got to run. My dogs look like they are getting ready to pounce on me like a couple of vultures. I took a shower after getting back from the ride, but apparently essence of BACON is still seeping from my pores.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva
Above: Nuun electrolyte hydration tablets.
Century Bike Ride
My last post was all about the 20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Bike Ride which I participated in on October 26th. I burned close to 6,000 calories during this 102.5 mile road bike ride. It takes a lot of food, drink and equipment to get through such a long endurance event.
Action Wipes - I used Action Wipes to clean up after the ride. Our team waited for all team members to finish the ride before returning to our hotel. I used Action Wipes to clean my sweaty, stinky body before changing into clean clothes. It was almost 2 hours from the time I crossed the finish line until I got back to our hotel before I could take a shower. Thank goodness for Action Wipes!
Fluid - I had two water bottles filled with Fluid recovery powder waiting for my husband and I in his truck. After finishing the century ride, I made my way to the truck and filled the bottles with 8 ounces of water, and a bit of ice then chugged it down. Fluid is a great product to use for a quick recovery after such a long ride.
PowerBar - I ate a gel pack at each of the 5 rest stops during the ride. I was using my favorite flavor - chocolate. PowerBar gel packs are instant energy. Solid food can be a bit hard for me to digest during such an intense ride, but gel packs never seem to give me any trouble.
Chamois Butt'r - to lube up before the ride. I also had a sample pack stowed in my bike bag just in case I needed to reapply during the ride.
Nuun - my husband and I filled up our water bottles with water at every rest stop and added a ginger orange flavored Nuun hydration tablet to each bottle. Great way to replenish our electrolytes. There was another brand of electrolyte available at all the rest stops, we don't care for the other brand so we stowed a couple of tubes of Nuun tablets in each of our bike bags.
Sock Guy - mondo cool, thin cycling socks. My road bike shoes are a bit tight, regular socks are just too dang uncomfortable to wear with them.
Trek - I used my Trek Madone 6.5 road bike for this ride. I just got my Madone in February and absolutely LOVE this bike!
Burt's Bee - I used Burt's Bees honey lip balm before and after the ride. I had a tube of Burt's Bees lifeguard's choice lip balm stashed in my bike bag to use during the ride.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva
Above: Sunrise over Cocoa Beach, Florida.
20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride
My husband and I have been training the Palm Beach Team in Training cycle team since May to participate in the 20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride. The actual ride took place on Sunday, October 26th in Cocoa Beach. We left on Friday morning along with our daughter, her best friend, our son, and his girlfriend. We also gave a ride to 3 of our cycle team members and their bikes. No, we don't own a bus, we had to take two vehicles to get all the bodies, bikes and luggage up to Cocoa Beach.
Kennedy Space Center
After arriving in Cocoa Beach, we met up with other cycle team members at our hotel, so we could check-in before heading out to NASA. My husband and I first went to the Kennedy Space Center two years ago when we did the 18th Intracoastal Century Ride. Our son and daughter, along with most of our cycle team members, had never been to NASA. We got their late in the afternoon, but luckily a one day ticket was actually good for 2 days of admission, if used within 7 days. We did the more touristy stuff on Friday afternoon and returned Saturday morning to take the bus tour around the grounds of NASA.
The space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch on November 16th so we got to see the shuttle, or at least the solid rocket boosters and fuel tank, on the platform. Prety dang cool. We also saw quite a few gators on the drive to NASA. We also saw a few bald eagles at NASA; interesting bit of trivia, Florida has the second largest bald eagle population in the USA. Alaska is number one - two extreme ends of the country and two extremes in weather.
Windy Bike Ride
We had been watching the Cocoa Beach weather report everyday during the week leading up to the century ride. We checked the latest report, prior to leaving for Cocoa Beach, on Friday morning. The temperature was scheduled to be a low of 58 degrees, with a high of 76, clear skies, little to no chance of rain and winds with a maximum speed of 6 MPH. We lucked out with the rain, it rained most of the day on Friday, and a little bit on Saturday, but it was clear skies the day of the ride. Temperatures in the early morning were around 56 degrees, but by the time the ride started at 8 AM, it was a bit warmer.
The forecast for the wind speed changed by Saturday to be 9-12 MPH. YIKES! It felt like we were riding into the wind for most of the day. The last 24 miles of the 102.5 mile bike ride, when we were the most tired, were directly into a nasty headwind. Except for the two hammerheads on our team, who finished hours before everyone else, we all took advantage of all 5 rest stops along the route. It was a beautiful bike ride. All up and down the water, through Spanish moss covered tree lined neighborhoods. Beautiful temperature made for perfect bike riding. The last few miles of the ride were in a beautiful neighborhood along the water. Unfortunately, we were all so freaking tired due to the high wind speeds, that we didn't really get to enjoy the view.
My head kept dropping down, and I was weaving all over the road like a drunken sailor, good thing there wasn't any traffic on this road. I was riding by myself at the very end, everyone else was dropping like flies, so I couldn't draft behind anyone when I needed it most. Oh well. I don't even think I crossed the official finish line, the parking lot where our truck was parked was a few feet before the finish line. I made a beeline to the truck so I could launch my bike and rip off my cycling shoes. Luckily this was a bike ride, not a race, so it didn't matter that I stopped a few feet short of the finish.
I grabbed my gym bag and headed towards the Civic Center so I could change into civilian clothes and collect my Team in Training medal and 100 mile pin. The 20th Intracoastal Century Ride marks the 3rd century ride I've done with TNT to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - cool beans!
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva
My husband and I are training for the MS150 bike ride which takes place on May 3/4. We are part of the Office Depot Foundation Team (ODFT) which is up to 72 members so far - cool!! The ODFT captain Alan, AKA Capt'n Sprocket, decided a few years ago to ride 1 mile for every year of his life on his birthday. His actual birthday was Super Bowl Sunday so his birthday ride was rescheduled for today.50 for 50
We road from Spanish River Blvd to Tesa's on Royal Poinciana in West Palm Beach (Florida) and back. Not quite 50 miles, the ride turned out to be 48.74 miles. We had a killer head wind going north. But coming back south was pretty easy until the last few miles. My husband and I got our butts kicked trying to keep up. We hung with the fast group the whole way (well, there might have been a bit of a gap between us the last mile or two, but we could see their butts the whole time. )
Even with the killer wind we managed to average 19 MPH with a top speed of 27.9 MPH, it took us 2 hours and 34 mintues to complete the ride - AWESOME!!! - that's almost half a century ride. My Garmin GPS said I burned 2979 calories during the ride so I had a breakfast sammie and half a muffin from Dunkin' Donuts after the ride.
It was so cool not to be in the slowest group. When Alan was trying to figure out how fast everyone wanted to ride he said the team should break out into 3 groups. I raised my hand and said I wanted to be in the 18-20 MPH range group figuring that would be the middle of the pack group. But they decided the slowest group would be in the 14-16 MPH range, the middle group would be in the 16-18 MPH range and the last/fast group would ride in the 18-20+ MPH range.
I know all you roadies out there proably ride WAY faster than this but for me to do almost 50 miles at that speed - that was a major BIG freakin' deal for my fat a*s! Man, I wonder how fast we could have done the ride if there wasn't any wind!?! Yesterday we did 30 miles and there wasn't any wind at all - kind of a miracle for this time of year in south Florida. When's my new bike going to be here?
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva
The Bike Diva and her husband at Tsali Recreation Area
Tsali Recreation Area is located in Bryson City, North Carolina. My husband and I had a chance to ride our mountain bikes there two years ago while we were on vacation. We easily could have spent a couple of days exploring the trails at Tsali, however, our son and daughter don't share our love of biking. They decided to hang out with my mom back at the cabin we had rented in Maggie Valley.
Tsali was a 45 minute drive from our cabin in Maggie Valley. We only had time to ride one trail at Tsali while we were there. We went on the Mouse Branch Trail and added on the Mouse Branch Trail Loop which took us up to around 3500 feet. We had an incredible view of the house boats that were moored in Lake Fontana.
House boats in Lake Fontana, view from top of Mouse Branch trail
But we did have a bit of a problem breathing. Part of the problem is that we are old, and a bit over weight. But we've been living in Florida for over 16 years so have become used to being flat landers. There are some fantastic mountain bike trails down in Florida, however, they are flatter and more technical (tree roots, rocks, log overs, boulders) than the trails at Tsali.
Bike Diva at the top of the Mouse Branch Trail
Here's a brief description of the 4 trails at Tsali: Right Branch - 11 miles with creek crossing with options to do a shorter 4 or 8 mile loop. Left Branch - 11.9 miles with creek crossings. Mouse Branch - 9 miles. Thompson Loop - 7.7 miles with stream crossings.
Bike Diva's husband hiking up the trail while looking for his lungs
Tsali Recreation Area has 4 mountain biking trails covering approximately 40 miles. The trails, which are also open to hikers, are also available for horse back riding on a rotating basis. Two trails are always avaiable for mountain biking - there is a sign at the trailhead that details which ones are open on any particular day.
There is a $2.00 trail use fee for one day. You can also go camping, boating and fishing at the Tsali Recreation Area. There are a number of white water rafting outfitters nearby if you would like to turn your Tsali adventure into a multi sport opportunity. To see a detailed map of the mountain biking trails view the Tsali Recreation Area Brochure.
More climbing on the Mouse Branch trail
Lynn Smythe, AKA the Bike Diva