I’ve decide that I will name my blog “The Pickle” because I always get myself into pickles. Especially with my friends and the crazy things I agree to do with them. The things I agree too are usually things that help and enhance my life but they are always a lot of work. Like the MS-150 with Wayne, but this is a good pickle.

Check back later for comments on our 1st training ride. We are doing the ConocoPhillips training series. And this week we are doing 14 miles in Brookshire. I’ll post up thoughts, concerns and maybe some pictures if I get a chance to take any.

If you have any question please feel free to list them on the comments section and I will try my best to answer all of them.

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments.


Bicycling Essentials #1 — Bike Shorts

I used to think bike shorts just made you look cool, and weren’t necessary for anything other than enhancing the aerodynamic-ness in competitive cycling.  That is completely wrong!

Bike shorts are mandatory if you are going to be riding a bicycle for any length of time longer about 5 minutes a day.  Why, you might ask?  Well, remember in high school anatomy when you looked at the human skeleton, and mused over the usefulness of a tailbone?  I am still wondering what the use is, and haven’t figured it out; however I have figured out what happens when you put 250+ pounds on your tailbone!  The next week after your first 5 or 10 mile ride, you walk around all day like John Wayne, having to carry around a doughnut pillow to work in shame.  I am serious folks, bike shorts are an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!

But which bike shorts to pick?  Because they range in price between $20-100+, it is sometimes hard to pick out the exact ones you need without spending too much money.  My first pair of bike shorts two years ago was in the lower range, I think about $30-35.  They were functional, had a thin pad, and were useful on rides up to 5 miles without a great deal of pain.  The first time I used them on a 15 mile ride, I was sore for about 2 days.  If you are truly using a bicycle as a recreational activity, once a week or month for a shorter distance, these should work ok.

For the caliber of training Anna and I are trying to perform, with a daily requirement of at least 10 miles, we had to kick up our bike short choice up a notch.  TJ and the guys at Sun & Ski suggested that we use the Canari Elite Gel Cycling Shorts ($59.99).

When I first put the shorts on, I noticed that the pad was indeed very large and marshmallow-like.  I was a little apprehensive because I thought maybe the pad was TOO large (again, I was used to a thin layer of padding).  When I was driving my car to Memorial Park, I constantly noticed the pad between my legs. Anna and I were commenting to each other beforehand “I just don’t know about these shorts”.

It’s been over 3 months since I’ve touched a bike, and as such, I usually ride about 5-7 miles just to get my pelvis acclimated to the bicycle.  The next day, with my old bike shorts, I used to be sore for at least a day.

This time, it was different.  Anna and I rode 10 miles on an unfamiliar bike, and the super pad worked!  I was not sore immediately afterward, nor am I sore the day after!  While I am not a fan of lounging around in these shorts due to the awkwardness of the large pad, the extra amount of money spent on bike shorts, if used on any ride longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time, is defintely worth it!  Go Canari!

Bicycling Essentials — Introduction

Yesterday evening, Anna and I rode at Memorial Park for about an hour, testing out our new bikes.  I’ll post the video later today or tomorrow so y’all can see our initial nervousness about getting out of our confort zone to ride the new MS 150 bicycles.

This is a first of a series of blogs entitled “Bicycling Essentials”, which will share tips, advice, and stories on the bicycling sport to amateur and aspiring bicyclists.  For intermediate or advanced cyclists, this will not be rocket science.

While I am fairly new to cycling as a sport, I think it’s important to share the “what you REALLY need to succeed” products.  I remember buying my first bike, the sales person suggested all of these bells and whistles in addition to the investment in the bicycle itself.  As any good consumer tries to do, I went in with the explicit intention to only buy the bike and nothing else.  As an intermediate or advanced cyclist might tell you, this really isn’t the mindset needed for a purchasing a bicycle.  After a few days, one of two things happens: 1) those customers usually burn out on cycling because they don’t have the accessories required to truly enjoy cycling, and their bikes sit in the garage for years to come; or 2) the customers have a bad cycling experience with the bike and come back to buy any and every accessory possible.  I was customer #2.

So, in the coming weeks, I’ll examine the necessities and accessories Anna and I are using in training for the MS 150, giving honest appraisals of usefulness, as well as skill level required to see benefit in any of the products we use.

I think it is extremely important for all Sun and Ski customers to be as educated as possible about the sport of cycling.  Fairly green in the sport myself, I think it will be a fun adventure that we can all embark upon, learning and sharing experiences at the same time.

Please save the dates of January 23-24th to attend Bike U at Sun & Ski, which is a catalog of free topical courses covering everything from beginner safety rules to advanced topics.  But more on Bike U on a later blog….