Paddys Cycle Playlist

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Picnic in The Park - NOT!!!!

Nestled between downtown Houston and the Galleria area is Houston's version of the Golden Gate Park. Its a favourite amongst athletes of all disciplines. For the cyclists their is a 1.25 Mile loop called the "Picnic Loop" which is really great for speed work and is often used to event Criterion's. The loop is closed for vehicle traffic and most pedestrian's and joggers are reluctant to jog the route because of bike traffic and also the numerous other alternative options they have in the Park.
Dave (One of the Mules) and I often try to get at least one midweek ride in at the loop to keep up our training regime and last Thursday was no exception especially with the "Hotter than Hell" ride only two weeks away.
The only trouble was it was raining!
Not to concerned about the rain we set off only for the rain to intensify, the road started to flood and lightning started to strike all around us.
After the second time around the loop we decided to seek shelter in some partially covered restrooms as the lightning was getting too scary. (Partially meaning a 3 ft overhang from the rain and lightning.
As I made the detour I remember seeing the Restroom about 100 yards away and then the next minute I went hurting through the air landing on my left side in a pool of water.
It was certainly the worst tumble I had ever taken, and it reminded me of my earlier rugby playing days after being trampled on the bottom of a scrum. I thought I had broken my shoulder, but the next lightning strike that erupted about 100 yards away made me quickly realize that any pain I was feeling would be mild compared to being hit by a bolt from above.
My bikes front wheel had lodged itself between two concrete pavers and had sunk down 6 inches. The force of the impact and crash not only introduced me to "flying lessons" but also wrecked my front wheel ........Boo Hoo (Mavic Ksyrium SL) and cracked the frame.

We scampered into the rather smelly rest room and spent the next half an hour looking at my now square shaped wheel and the tarmac that I was now wearing on my legs and arms in the form of Road Rash. We also had time to reflect on how quickly situations can change when riding and what was to be a quick 20 mile training ride cost me Physically (Road Rash, ligament damage & heavy bruising) and Financially (New Frame & New Wheel).

I don't think I will go back to Memorial Park for awhile as it certainly was NO PICNIC.

Friday, August 14, 2009

For Kids Sake!!

I just spent the last three weeks with my boys who were visiting from California and if there is one reason enough to try and stay in good shape then the answer is easy. "For Kids Sake"!!!
Being a Dad is one of many roles one has to incorporate while entertaining a 11 and 12 year old.
In the adage of the true superhero "Faster than a speeding bullet,More powerful than a locomotive.Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." the urban Dad has much more creative roles to play dependent upon the event in Question.

For Instance
The Water Park
Where the roles can change between a variety of characters (In chronological order)

  • Tiny Docile Shark
  • DARE-DEVIL Extraordinaire
  • "Fear" Counsellor
The Paint Ball Assault Course
Again the Roles Vary (No resemblance to the picture but smiling is important)


Of course this was only two of many events but I am sure by now you can fully appreciate the pattern of how these develop into complex scenarios.

The boys have left now, back to Northern California and although I am sad to see them go I am happy to purge the fridge and pantry from items that are extremely tasty and decedent but are so bad for my training regime.

  • Out with the Cinnamon Rolls in with the Spinach
  • Out with the Chocolate Milk in with the fat free Soy Milk
  • Out with the Blue Bell Ice cream (Minus one Spoon) in with the Blueberries

One of the things that I know that my kids is that interaction is paramount.I realize that if I don't stay reasonably fit and active in my own life and lifestyle it makes a huge difference in what I am able to do with my kids.

It would be so easy to throw a video game in their general direction, or turn on the TV but to me that has a similar feel to pushing the "Snooze" button on the alarm clock.

I am trying to get my boys into cycling and Sam the oldest (12) was quite thrilled when he was able to sustain a 20+ Mph clip for 5 minutes or so on his first road bike experience. (Sam Right)