Another Century Complete: Louisville Ironman Course
Aug 2013 10

CYCLING WITH IRONMEN AND IRONWOMEN

Last year, I finally managed to sneak in a frigid 40 mile ride with good friend Chris (aka Big Dog, aka Schmidty) Schmidt over Thanksgiving weekend in Marion County. Along that route, we discussed some of the different events we had each completed in 2012, with his toughest conquer being the Louisville Ironman competition, and mine being the Hincapie Gran Fondo. He stated that he would like to join me on some of my century rides this year, so when I called and invited him to the Redbud Ride in London in April, he showed up. On that ride, I told him about the Kentucky Century Cycling Challenge, and how he could get a free jersey if he completed three of the four designated events, and that I planned to do all 4. His good friend Toby Young (fellow Ironman) joined us at the second event, Horsey Hundred and now that Schmidty and I have completed the first 3 and earned our free jersey, we look forward to finishing the last with Toby so he can earn his.

Somewhere in the middle of my 114 mile ride this past Saturday, on the Louisville Ironman course, I mentioned to Schmidty that I had come a long way from that frozen 40 mile ride last November. This was my fifth century ride of the year and his last chance to review and recon the course before taking it on in the official race again in just a few weeks.

This would be my first ever bike ride in or around the great city of Louisville, KY and I took advantage of the situation by making it a weekend getaway. One part was the century ride, while the other part was a mini-vacation for my wife and I before the boys started back into school. As I rode to the start point from my downtown hotel to the yellow lot on the Ohio River, I saw numerous runners and cyclists and felt right at home. Then I spent about thirty minutes in the parking lot with friends, old and new, before rolling out around 9am. My closest friend Tim (aka the Renaissance Man) Stout was parked between Stephanie Allen (a strava friend and professional triathlete who I hope to race someday), and a couple of guys from Chicago. I also met Sam Dick (local news anchor at CBS in Lexington) and Mark Rucker (Lexington attorney) who has a heart-wrenching story of a DNF from last year’s event. Later, Courtney Greenlee (I first met on Presevation Pedal century ride and now see regularly at Bluegrass Cycling Club rides) joined the conversation as she came out of the river ready to ride 112 miles. Finally, my Columbia Century Crew (Chris and Toby) arrived for the pre-party.

I can’t say enough about how well this event was organized and supported, and it is all put on by primarily one gentleman. Excellent job “I Am Tri” guy!! Early observations from the ride included these various thoughts: the tri-bikes are wicked fast on the downhills, but slow going up; the first 9 or so miles go out along the Ohio River with beautiful and very flat scenery, and I thought to myself, I would be very glad to come back in this way later in the day; I was surprised by the number of women that were present, I would guess the male to female ratio at most cycling events I attend is about 15/1, and this event felt more like about 5/1.

I’ve learned over the years that the cycling sport is dominated by males, but it appears that there are plenty of female triathletes. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re red, black, white, green, male or female, if you ride a bike we’ve got something in common. And probably more in common than the bike. The Louisville Ironman cycling course is pretty challenging from a racing vantage point. Much of it is up and down, and several of the turns require nearly stopping to maneuver safely.

Probably the most obvious observation for me, despite the repeated arm twisting from Schmidty, Courtney, Toby, and Steph is that when I got finished riding, I sure was glad I didn’t have to go running! Good luck to all the triathletes that will be racing at Ironman Louisville in a few weeks. I have a true respect for the level of endurance and fitness it takes to complete the challenge. Who knows? Maybe I’ll join you one day …

*Masher

Jan 2014 25

Team L30

Posted In Blog

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Every new day brings new beginnings. Near the end of December, I was on a training ride with my friend Tim, the Renaissance Man, and we were discussing our great cycling accomplishments of 2013, when it dawned on us he was going to run his total miles for the year over 3,ooo and I would pass 4,000 before the ball dropped in NYC. This was a major accomplishment for both of us, and he ask me what was I to shoot for in 2014? That was a simple answer: no mileage goal, but more of the same … more staying fit and well, both physically and mentally! It kinda felt weird not making “New Year’s resolutions” for the first time in a long time, but rather, personally committing to stay the course that was laid out over the past year. I remain loyal to the idea that I don’t ride to accumulate miles, instead the miles, whether they’re few or many on any given ride, are my healing power. I say “I don’t ride for the miles,” but in fact, the good that comes about for me because of the miles I ride (and now occasionally run) is the beat of my heart, the breath of my lungs, the desire to wake up early each day and be better.

 

I developed my plan to regain fitness last year as I began training for Assault On Mt. Mitchell, which I knew would probably be the toughest ride I ever attempted, but I found the mentality to dig deep and challenge myself from the “lead by example” mentality of my mentor Chris “Big Dog Schmidty” Schmidt. We have come a long way from the first GABRAKY ride together, and when I learned about him completing his first Ironman triathlon in Louisville 2 years ago, I was inspired to push myself to reach my full potential. That’s the basis, the whole philosophy behind L3, which stands for Live, Learn, Lead. To quote Schmidty: ” We hold each other accountable for getting together to train, to race, and especially to have fun. There are others who join in that kind of make up our Team, we try to invite and include anyone who shares our same passion for life that we do. L3 is a philosophy about life. It’s about mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. It’s about being a lifelong learner. Finally, it’s about being a leader and realizing our (and others) full human potential.”

 

During the events that I rode with Schmidty last year, he couldn’t help but notice how much we have in common in our ability to sweat! Near the end of some of our century rides, I would be wearing down and certainly not feeling as fresh as he was, nor as strong as I would earlier in the ride. In early August, we rode the Louisville Ironman course for training and recon, and it was a hot day indeed. At the finish, my jersey appeared to have enough salt on it for several of the big hot pretzels you get at a ballpark, and while I felt spent, he and Toby Young (another Ironman and member of Team L3) went for a run. I know they have developed more endurance from their triathlon training and racing, but they also have a secret weapon in their bag tricks, or water bottles to be more specific. A product call Skratch Labs.

 

Near the end of the season last year, Schmidty sent me an article to read, about proper hydration and electrolyte replenishment. Obviously, a couple of strategies that I could benefit from. Then, as the new year rolled in, he ask me to join his Team L3 as we became officially sponsored by Skratch Labs. I’ve honestly never tried the product, but from what I’ve researched and heard from my very trustworthy mentor, it’s exactly the product I need in my bottles in 2014, and I’m very excited to try it. Who knows, maybe I’ll win some county line sprints and still feel like joining Chris and Toby for a run after a century ride this year!

 

I look forward to representing Team L3 and Skratch Labs at some awesome and challenging events this season. Some of those include Redbud Ride, Assault On Mt. Mitchell, Horsey Hundred, Tour de Lou, Preservation Pedal, Hub City Tour, GABRAKY, Bluegrass Cycling Club rides, and numerous other cycling events. I also plan to run in a few various 10-K and 5-K road races but have not decided which ones yet, and I am even giving serious consideration to attempting my first triathlon in the Olympic distance at the Buckhead Border Challenge in Louisville. Not to mention, I have sons that tend to sweat like their old man during the heat of summer baseball season, and they’ll be drinking Skratch in the dugout as well. I’m excited to be included in Team L3 and fully intend to continue to stay my course and rise stronger each day.

 

I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life, I ride a bike to add life to my days,

KP

masher

Sep 2015 20

My Apologies1

Posted In Blog

 

It’s been an up and down year for my cycling, no doubt. I started off ready, willing, and able but shortly into the spring season I found some obstacles that slowed me down. In early summer I overcame a few struggles and fully hoped to get going steady again, however as July passed, I only managed to ride once the entire month. Trying to get some momentum again in August, I resorted to a tactic that I’m comfortable with, and at this point, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was ready to do whatever it takes to get back on my bike for good. So I committed to return to Assault On Mt. Mitchell in 2016, and immediately, my passion has returned. And with it, came my motivation and renewed consistency.

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Before I can move on mentally, I feel as though I owe a few folks an apology for missing in action (though I’m sure these folks don’t feel it’s owed to them). So without further ado  and in no particular order …

 

First to Tim, the Renaissance Man, sorry I haven’t been there as much this year to support your continued transformation and the beginning of your triathlon career. I’ve certainly missed the great conversation on our rides! Next, to Chris Big Dawg Schmidty, I’m sorry it took me 9 months to get down for a ride with you. For the last 3 years you’ve showed up at nearly every ride I invited you to and I’ve missed riding with you for so many reasons.

To the mass of close friends that I ride with regularly, either at a club ride, century challenge event, small local group ride, or the occasional one on one rides with St. Onge, Madara, Allran, Linn, Toby or anyone else, I’m truly sorry we haven’t gotten to bond on the bike this year. And last but not least, I owe myself an apology for not staying committed to one of my life’s greatest passions.

 

It it feels great to have renewed energy and be back to regular cycling. I’m very excited to reconnect with all my close cycling friends as soon as possible, in fact I hope all of you can show up for our annual RAM Cycling Oktoberfest ride next month. I’m also very excited to make up ground on my training through the off-season and get back to the Appalachians next May for AOMM and I look to PR once again on the mountain! I don’t use any mirrors on my bicycle, so now that my apologies are out of the way, I’m not looking back any more. The only thing that matters is moving forward and that’s exactly what I’m doing on my bike! Again.

 

Sincerely, KP masher

 

 

 

 

 

Renaissance Man’s Season Update and Teaser
Nov 2015 01
Well the days are getting shorter and shorter.  The sun is becoming an endangered species.  And the ride season is winding down.  But here at RAM Cycling, there is a lot of buzz about things that are going on.
First and foremost, KP the Masher is back in the saddle.  And he has set a big goal that will require some massive offseason training – Going sub 6 hours at AOMM 2016.  And to add to that, it looks like a big group of our friends from the BCC will be planning to accompany him on this ride.  We will be setting our own individual goals and aspirations for this unbelievably challenging but rewarding ride.  If you care to join us, let one of us know so we can plan accordingly.
As I reflect on this riding season that is coming to a close, I must say that I am very excited about all that occurred this past year.  Some of my highlights where busting my first 18 mph ride.  That was followed quickly thereafter with my first 19 MPH ride and then finally my first 20 MPH ride.  I must say that I did achieve my speed goals this year.  But I had some big goals at the beginning of the year.  How did i do?  Well let’s explore that and beyond…..

Goal #1 – Hit Target Weight of 215 LBS.
STATUS:  Did not happen.  Still hanging out at 230 LBS.  (Big news coming on this front!)

Goal #2 – Increase FTP to 230 from 215.
STATUS:  Complete.  Achieved 238 FTP.  I plan on doing a current FTP in the next week or so.  (Big news coming on this front too!)

Goal #3 – Complete first triathlon at Sprint and Half Ironman distances.
STATUS:  Yes and no.  I completed two Sprint distance triathlons.  So my racing career has started and you guessed it big news coming here too.
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Goal #4 – Ride 4,000+ miles

STATUS:  Complete or at least On target.  As of this writing, I am on target with 3,516 miles and over 15,000 miles in my short cycling career.

Goal #5 – Complete the Kentucky Century Challenge
STATUS:  Complete.  I rode in three of the four rides and averaged over 18 MPH on the Preservation Makeup Ride – my fastest century of all time.

So overall I would say it has been a very successful year.  Next year for me will take a decidedly different approach as I transition from just cycling into training full time as a triathlete.  There will be more big news in this area shortly as I mentioned above and I hope you will join me on the journey.
Most of you will also notice that between Masher and myself, there was limited blogging this year.  There were many reasons from both of us.  But I think you will see a significant change as we set new goals and transition into new areas.  The other big change here at www.ramcycling.com is that sometime in the next 6 months or so, we will be transitioning to a new website.  We hope that this will enable us to bring our stories, reviews, events and other cool stuff to you on a more regular basis, faster and easier.  Look for news and updates on this in the short term.
@rnssncman
Jan 2016 26

Random Stuff0

Posted In Blog


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So, as I hang around healing, rehabbing, and mostly becoming bored beyond measure in hopes that I can get back to normal as soon as possible, I feel compelled to keep some info flowing here at RAM Cycling. With no real agenda for this blog post, I just thought I’d offer some random stuff. Some of it with purpose and some off the top of my head.

 

Off the top of my head … I have at least been a pretty decent house husband washing the dishes, cooking supper, and keeping up the checkbook on a daily basis. I’m not able to do any kneeling or squatting, so I’m off the hook on doing any serious household cleaning and laundry, but I’m sure what I am doing is helping make it less painful on coming home to see me sitting around. Everyday.

 

OTTOMH … I had some nice email correspondence over the holidays with Adam Crowe and Aaron West. Adam is a long time acquaintance from Bowling Green, KY that I’ve tried to hook up with for some cycling but the timing never cooperates. He is very excited about going to ride up Clingmans Dome from Gatlinburg this year (we have several posts here related to multiple trips I’ve completed)! Aaron is the injured cyclist from South Carolina, that formerly wrote about great climbing rides on his personal blog Steep Climbs. He has a new hip now, and has aspirations of getting back on the bike in some capacity this year. His blog site is still online and worth the time to browse at: www.steepclimbs.com

 

With purpose … As I looked back over my proposed 2016 cycling schedule of rides, I noticed that I left off (and honestly hadn’t given much thought to) a ride that I keep saying I’m going to do, yet have failed to plan: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail! I first noticed the route a couple years ago when I found the official KBT on Twitter and checked out their website: www.kybourbontrail.com/map which actually posts the various routes online with directions. The long route is about 180 miles total, which would make for a nice challenging  2 day ride. I’m tired of talking about doing this ride and ready to do it. I’m adding it to my schedule this year, who wants to join me?! Let me know who and when. It’s on!

 

WP … Also, along the lines of my 2016 schedule, I’m rethinking some of the out of state events due to my knee surgery. Initially, I really thought I’d be back to 100% by 4 weeks or so (this was my first surgery, so I had no idea), but I’ve learned the hard way, that it takes time for things to heal and strengthen and the more I try to rush it, the better chance I prolong it by messing up what’s been fixed. So at this point, I am using some of my hard earned vacation days to help compensate my missed time from work which limits the days I will have to spare later. Having said that, I still fully intend to complete the Assault On Mt. Mitchell in May, but I probably won’t get down there or Clingmas Dome for recon work in April. I am strongly considering adding the Ky Century Challenge rides to my schedule to substitute for out of state rides I may have to give up. I completed the first 8 centuries of the challenge in 2013 and 2014, but didn’t complete any last year.

 

OTTOMH … My Renaissance Man (Timmy) is doing some serious work, training like a beast this off season. He’s definitely all in on the triathlon gig as he’s officially hired a tri coach, joined the Audi KY race team, and already signed up for his first 70.3 half Ironman event! His Strava activity makes a lot of folks appear to be hibernating (like me). Check him out and shoot him some encouraging kudos and comments on the regular.

 

OTTOMH … I have been working with the Kentucky Hand and Physical Therapy clinic in Georgetown for almost 2 weeks now and I am making major improvements in my physical recovery process. They have done a great job of identifying the stretch and strengthening exercises I need to get back to 100% and the staff is great, I highly recommend them to anyone in the area that requires physical therapy.

 

OTTOMH … The Polar Cube icing machine is the bomb. They sent one home with me from the hospital and it’s so much easier than old school ice packs. Especially considering I’m still icing my knee and quad about 6 times per day!

 

OTTOMH … Another cycling acquaintance that I’ve become friends with, Trevor Williamson from Louisville, invited me to join him and friends at the ride Mountians Of Misery in Virginia on Memorial Day weekend. I took a look at it, and it looks right up my alley with plenty of climbing, including some steep stuff in the Appalachians. I am pretty doubtful of doing it this year, but definitely something to keep on the back burner.

 

WP … The University of Louisville has a cycling coalition club that competes in various disciplines and events in cycling and triathlons. Recently, they partnered with Hincapie Sports to become the official outfitter for the team with their top of the line sportswear. In the near future, they will be designing a jersey to be sold to the public. As soon as it’s available, we will provide more info because I know plenty of friends and followers that are avid Louisville Cardinals fans, just like myself (Trevor, Linn, Rusty, Steve, etc. etc.).

 

OTTOMH … With all this extra time on my hands, I have already mapped out excellent routes for our 4th of July and Oktoberfest rides. I have grand plans for making these rides very enjoyable and most importantly, memorable. Please stay tuned for specific details to be released as the time draws closer.

 

That’s probably enough random stuff for now but stay tuned for more soon!

@KPtheMasher

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