Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shifting Gears, 8.16.2009

Big, interesting weekend. Long 80-mile ride with lots of climbing (5,660') in the Shenandoah valley Friday (my AWS day), fast hot criterium in Millersbug Saturday (I took pictures, Nate took 4th), and follow-up ride Sunday. We're shifting gears a bit. I take Nathan to University of Colorado/Boulder to start his freshman year later this week, Avery continues high school after Labor Day, and the bike race season is tapering. That said, it's been great ... a silver medal at Junior Natz for Nate, two bronzes for NCVC's Steve Black, and a number of additional top ten finishes among our squad ... good progression by riders among the categories with sharp, region-leading results by many. I really enjoy helping kids advance in bike racing. And I like a good ride.

Shifting gears? My sense is that I'm going to dive-in more to get in shape, to burn the pounds a bit and build strength. I turn 50 in a couple months and, while I doubt I'll get another 50, I'd like to get as many as possible, as competent and pain free as possible. So to stay engaged and fit.

On the engagement front, I need to rev-up the Africa project. I'm going over this fall. I helped found a clinic program that each month serves 100+ women and children in Addis-Ababa that would not otherwise receive pre-natal or infant care. It's a good thing. We will increase the program's scope and reach, serving more patients and deepening technical and medical resources. That requires money and partnership-building with folks like World Bank and GWU medical school. That's my (volunteer) job. We'll get there. More later.

Enjoy pictures from Millersburg posted here. (Pretty good work in bright sun; normal manual focus techniques described in preceding posts.) On Friday I rode this route, a loop from Front Royal over Edinburg Gap, the heart of the Shenandoah valley. While I burned 5,000+ kCal, I took my time at it. Nice lunch at Cucina Italiana in Edinburg, bigger dinner finale at Soul Mountain in Front Royal. On Sunday I'm riding the Marshall route over Mount Weather. While both rides are good, I miss the longer, simpler rides out west, where you can do 90 miles and 6,000' and only have to take three or four turns. Because I'm new to this weekend's routes, I had to stop briefly every 5-10 miles (or less) to check my cue sheet for the next left or right ... 40-turns kind of messes up the long distance flow.

Anyway, it feels good. Onward and upward.

PS -- Got to Marshall and forgot my shoes ... so retreated to Arlington and rode local.

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