Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hoopcycling 102

Hooping while bicycling

Hoopcycling is a fusion of two of my hobbies:  hooping and bicycling.  Much of hooping is an upper-body activity, with hand, arm, and torso movement.  Bicycling is mostly about legs, and the body just comes along for the ride.  They are perfect complements.  Combining the two energizes all parts of your body, and doubles the workload on your brain.

We finally took some video.  Here is a 10-second clip:  video

I first wrote about hoopcycling back in May.  My cyclist friends guffawed.  My hooper friends gasped.  But I think it's a perfect mash-up.  And learning new combinations is such a magical rush.  

Think about what activities you can combine, and try something unusual.

Just be careful, and don't hurt yourself.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Scared Gritless before the Howling Grits 100K

I rode my bike the 10 miles from home to the start of the Howling Grits 100K.  It was around 4:30am, the night was dark, and two unusual events helped me get warmed-up early.

Newspaper Delivery Car

First, I crossed paths with a car going the other direction.  The car immediately pulled into my lane behind me and stopped.  The car went into reverse, the engine gunned, and the car raced toward me from behind.  When it didn't stop, I did a quick U-turn in the street and it zipped past where I had been riding only seconds before.  Then it made a U-turn and came at me again.  I did a second U-turn.  Finally I heard the 'plop' sound of a newspaper thrown onto a driveway, and the car went on its way.  Phew, I thought.

But wait, there's more...

Herd of Deer

Another mile or so down the road, I started hearing a 'tit-tat-tit-tat' sound coming from behind me on the left.  Within seconds, it got louder and closer.  Then it came at me from both sides.  I turned repeatedly but saw nothing.  I felt the presence of ghosts.  I channeled Alfred Hitchcock.  As the stampede whooshed past me, I realized it was a herd of deer running on the road.  Several dozen deer, perhaps several hundred, all huge, were swarming past me on both sides at high speed.  In total darkness.  Finally, they veered off into the woods and all was quiet.

I was fully awake.  I was completely warmed-up.  The Howling Grits 100K with JayJay went uneventfully fine.

Checkpoint photos are here:  photos

Derailleur repairs on my dumpster bike

Several folks have asked why I call my bike the 'dumpster bike'.  It's because my wife actually found the bike in a dumpster where she works.  She knew me well enough to insist that I go look at it, and sure enough we hauled it home.

The bike needed 'some work', and the rear derailleur was badly bent.  I took photos as I disassembled it so I could tell how to reassemble it.  This was all back in 2005, so I guess the repairs worked out okay.

I recently discovered the photos.  Enjoy:  photos

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Search for Sandy Hook Lighthouse

I biked from Asbury Park NJ to Sandy Hook National Seashore today, about 35 miles round-trip.  I visited there years ago, and wanted to see it again.

When I got to Asbury Park, I was surprised to find a triathlon going on.  My first encounter was that the boardwalk was closed.  Participants were finishing their ocean swim, and were running along the beach and across the boardwalk.  Most passersby were waiting patiently for the finish, but I was wearing rando reflectivewear, sneaked through an opening in the runners, and no one challenged me, hehe.

My second encounter was a mile northward, when I got off the boardwalk onto surface roads.  Ocean Ave was blocked off for several miles and towns for the bike portion of the race.  Woo hoo, I biked in my first triathlon.  I'd never seen so many plastic bikes.  Every time one approached buzzing and creaking, I thought I had something caught in my spokes, but luckily not.  At one point, I stopped to help a racer fix a flat tire.  No one else stopped, no surprise.  Unfortunately, the guy was not in the mood for help.

But enough about Asbury and the triathlon.  I continued biking north through several oceanfront towns, some rich, some richer.  Eventually I got to the Sandy Hook park.

Sandy Hook is a gorgeous barrier island which extends the Jersey Shore northward for miles toward New York City.  It is completely natural except for the historical military fortifications which pop up at every turn.  A paved bike path runs the length of the island, from the entrance to a beach at the far north.  The trail goes through wide-open windy flat sections, as well as tunnels of overgrowth.  It passes huge parking lots for beachgoers every half-mile or so.  The trail becomes a mesh of trails at the north end, after going through Fort Hancock.  Several trails end right at beach access areas, and bike racks abound.

I wound around the trails for a good while looking for the lighthouse, enjoying new sights and surprises at every turn.  (See the stop sign photo for one such surprise.)  Every so often I could see the lighthouse through an opening in the trees, and then it would disappear.  After finally finding it and taking the obligatory photos, I explored the beach a while, then headed back south.  A glorious morning on the bike.

Verbosely captioned photos:  photos

30-second video of riding in the triathlon:  video

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PBP 200K

I rode the RUSA Princeton-Belmar-Princeton 200K in central New Jersey today.  I started five hours into the new month to snag an early 'R'.  And I remembered my perm card at every checkpoint, woo hoo.

The checkpoint in Belmar is a Dunkin Donuts at the beach.  Usually it is jammed with beachgoers every summer weekend morning, and the line takes forever.  However, there was a race going on today, Ocean Ave was closed to motor vehicles, and the store was empty.  Sweet!

I had excellent weather, despite a gloomy forecast.  The morning was dry and cool, the afternoon had intermittent light misty rain, and only a few minutes of real rain.  My sneakers didn't even get soaked.  I encountered only one thunderstorm.  It approached me from the rear for two hours, then my route turned to the side.

For the Yungfalbz files, there were tractors and heavy equipment everywhere.  I even saw a woman yelling at her boss while driving a big front-end loader filled with stone for a construction project.  (No photos, since it was raining and my camera is not waterproof)

No blisters, nothing hurts, light traffic, no flats, no mechanicals (other than hitting a small clump of branches on the road which flew up and cracked a fender and whacked me on the shin), and great pizza after the ride.

This is a delightful ride.  I highly recommend it.
Here are a few photos from when it was not raining:  photos
And here are three videos in Belmar and Spring Lake, at the ocean:  videos