Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Training Continues

Puppy Training
The word "training" means a couple of things around the Cook home right now. With a new puppy in the family, we are training him to let us know when nature calls. That's going "ok" but we have to remember he's still a pup and accidents will happen. He's also training us that he wants to play at 2 am (and yes, I'm a good daddy and get up and take him out).

In all seriousness, Ryder has been doing great he's bonded very well with Ally. Alicia and I can tell he's going to be quite the spunky pooch though. This past weekend we walked the trails behind our home and he did the entire two mile loop without having to be picked up... at nine weeks no less. What a champ, and he loved romping in the weeds with Ally.

Bike Training
The other side of "training" is the ongoing preparation for my big event in June. I took out the LeMond this weekend for a couple of rides and did a Spinerval tape on Sunday. Also took Ally for a trail run and we did the "long" 2.5 mile loop (she loved it). Good news is my body fat % is going down (yes, that's the right direction) and I hope to be in the 15% range or lower by June. In April I head down to Tsali in North Carolina for three days of mountain biking with the "Alma crew", which will also help the training process and my new RUSH is supposed to be in sometime this week or early next. I'm pretty excited.

Another cool thing worth noting here would have to be Friday's End of Winter party at Team Active. In addition to having all three floors open, they had a huge tent out back, lots of good grub and I got to meet Keith Bontrager, this year's special guest. As you can see from the link, he's one of the "founding fathers" of mountain biking and my LeMond has his cranks, stem, handlebars, wheels/hubs, seatpost and I'm sure something else that I'm forgetting. It was pretty cool being in the presence of someone that has been so instrumental to the sport I love.

Anyway, back to my Team Active "plug". The guys allowed me some "microphone time" to announce my Pedaling With A Purpose event and set out some flyers to help spread the word. Their support of my effort has been great and I've already had three donations qualify for a $25 gift card by contributing $100. Hopefully some of those that heard me will stop by my site and send some money my way...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Addition(s) to the Family

Aah, puppy breath... Greetings web-friends. Yes, the long awaited day finally arrived and we brought home a little brother for Ally last week. His name is Ryder and he is in the adorable "fluffball" stage right now. What a cutie! He was born on Christmas Eve, which has special significance to Alicia and me, as you may know from my postings about the loss of Dutch. Ally is getting along quite well with the little guy and they are quickly becoming buddies. I have created an index of pictures online if you want to check out some more shots of the little guy. Visit www.eggott.com/ryder and check 'em out.

But you said "Additions"... Yes, I did. In preparation for my June 100 mile mountain bike race for charity, I decided to upgrade my equipment and replace my 10-year old mountain bike with some new technology. My new Cannondale Rush should be here by March and am looking forward to throwing my leg over the new ride and taking it out for a spin. This is the same bike that Cannondale's David "Tinker" Juarez is now riding for his endurance events, so if it's good enough for him, it's got to be good enough for me! Thanks also to Steve & Mike from Team Active, in Battle Creek. They took the time to help me pick the right size and make sure that it's gonna fit me perfectly. A hundred miles is a LONG time to be on a mountain bike, so a good fit is very important! They are also supporting my Pedaling With A Purpose event in June with $25 Team Active gift cards for anyone that donates $100 or more. You guys rock!

However, those of you who have been in my basement know that I'm kind of a bike junkie. Some would say that it looks like a bike shop down there, with four (soon to be five) mountain bikes, three road bikes and a road tandem. Of course, my wife claims one of the mountain and road bikes, but still, we have a lot of bikes. Well, I figured there's room for one more and we have an addition to the stable. I've brought home a LeMond Poprad cyclocross bike for winter road training. While it looks like a regular road bike, it's designed with a beefier frame, better brakes and can be taken off road on trails. The tires are wider than a traditional road bike, making it the perfect training bike for Michigan's crappy roads (gotta love potholes if you're gonna live in Michigan).

So, can't type much more, I have to go play with our new puppy and then get out on a training ride. I've got a big race in June, ya know...