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Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

As Biketober Day 10 comes to a close it is warm here in Louisville – the high topped out at 80-something today. Even the mornings are 60+ and I’m left wanting a chill in the air. It’s been a good second week of Biketober, and you can read more about it after the jump…

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Oct 15 2008 ~ 7:30 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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So yeah, it rained on Day 4 on the way home. It was actually kinda awesome (I thought so, Matt was withholding comment) – with the exception of the splashy-splashy from the wheels. Matt also mentioned something about constant stream of water flying in his face when he was travelling behind me -  but I can’t double-source that actually happened. :)

It was slated to rain on the way to work on Day 5 in the morning, and I wasn’t really looking forward to getting all splashy-splashy on the way to work.  Fenders to the rescue!  Cheap fenders.  Fenders inspired by the Internets – Kent’s Bike Blog Coroplast Fenders.

I went to my local Lowe’s and picked up a blank coroplast yard sign for $6 (which is !@$& highway robbery, but I digress). With that I found I could easily make 4 sets of fenders as pictured above.  I had some plastic zip ties already and I was set.  A quick measuring job told me that 13 “flutes” wide (the little segments in coroplast are called flutes) for the actually fender parts was right on. The length of the sign was actually just right as well. I cut some 5-flute wide fender supports for the rear and trimmed them appropriately.

Rear fender-y thing

Front fender thing!

Worked like a charm in the rain that morning and Matt reports that rearward projecting rainwater from my tires was effectively reduced to zero.  The front fender works great as well – my feet were kept somewhat less wet from splashy-splashy from the front tire. I may make some front fender supports to wrap the fender around the front tire.

filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Oct 9 2008 ~ 10:30 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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Good ol’ Matt and I have completed Biketober: Week 1 with 5 commutes between home and work since last Wednesday. The weather has been very good, if a little chilly up until today when it rained on the way home. Also, according to Matt’s own statistics, it’s getting easier every day (on a cardio-pulmonarial level).

It’s been a pretty busy week in the cycling world with as much bad news as good. Meanwhile, the ride has provided me some time to gel my thoughts on cycling safety. More after the jump…

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filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,,
Oct 7 2008 ~ 8:08 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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…or is it BIKTOBER? You tell me.

All I know is that Matt Rasnake and I are going to attempt to ride out bikes to work every day in the month of October. Not exactly a tale of epic proportions or anything, but definitely something worth noting, I think.

You bike commuting folks in major metropolitan areas are probably thinking “wow, way to go, you hayseeds! I do that every day,” but let me tell ya that it just doesn’t happen so much here in Louisville. I’m seeing more and more bike commuters here in Louisville, but it’s still kind of a novel thing for our suburban-sprawl town.

Bike commuting is becoming more popular, not only because we “Got a War On” or “Oil Prices are Sky High” or “The Economy Is in the Toilet”, but because Louisville has been rolling out a bike-friendly city plan over the last decade. We’ve got 30 miles of bike lanes (in fits and starts all around the city), and just last week the city announced $4.9 million dollar grant from the state for bike friendliness improvements. Thanks to the [Review] of the State’s Bike Grant to Louisville over at State of the Commonwealth, I now know that some of those improvements are slated for Taylorsville Road (near my home) and the Bluegrass Industrial Park (near my work). Huzzah!

Here’s my ride from Home to Work:


View Larger Map

More later – a diary may ensue.

filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Sep 30 2008 ~ 2:54 pm ~ Comments (4) ~
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(20 minutes, 60 megs, so be patient!)

Shot on location during Kelly’s Ironman Louisville 2008 race!

Big thanks to Hunter, Jamie, Matt, Sara, Chris, Mom, Katy, Ron, Erica, Scotty, Jen, Kelly’s sister Cherie, Kelly’s dad Jerry, Tony, Megan, Tony, Keith, Beth, Team Hatton and everyone I forgot to mention who came down to IronMan Louisville on August 31st to cheer Kelly on. It was an amazing end to a year-long odyssey.

(Also much love to Doug for the HD camera, which I took great pains not to break during the day)

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Sep 7 2008 ~ 10:22 am ~ Comments (2) ~
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KELLY WILSON… YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!

SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL RANK DIV.POS.
1:11:19 7:03:56 6:02:36 14:36:47 1228 of 1975 52 of 86

Kelly and I would both like to extend a hearty “THANK YOU” to everyone who has supported her through this adventure. I know that many of you didn’t understand just WHAT she was getting herself into, much less understand WHY she was doing it. I hope that having followed her journey, you’ve been gained a little insight into what drives Kelly as well as some inspiration. While Kelly might now be an IRONMAN (which I no doubt will be oft reminded), she is just an average girl. Something in her “switched on” a few years back is all.

In short – I never want to hear “I could NEVER do that” out of any of you! I’m sure the Kelly of many years ago said the same thing… and look what happened to her! All of us are capable of great things.

While Kelly’s been running for the last few years, this Ironman thing is a whole other ball of wax. Did you notice all the of “Team <insert last name here>” shirts out on the course yesterday? That largely doesn’t happen in running. The IronMan demands the love and support of many for the Ironman hopeful, which you all gave without demand. We are forever in your debt for that. And the minute you start YOUR adventure, you know Kelly and I will be there!

Photos

Check out the 2008.08.31 – Kelly’s IronMan Louisville gallery for photos!

More photos @ Flickr tagged as “IronMan Louisville 2008″.

Video
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2008 IronMan Louisville Highlight DVD given to Award Banquet attendees!

WLKY Channel 32 Live Report @ Ironman Louisville 2008

Race Reports

“Team Brazo” IronMan Louisville 2008 Race Report

Update: WLKY32′s John Boel did not fare well at IMLou 2008 – The ‘Ville Voice has the scoop: Boel’s Ironman Ends Badly. I saw him on Southern Parkway, probably around mile 8? or so – I knew he was shooting for a sub-12 hour time (he finished in 12:16 in 2007) and assumed he was in the home stretch – but that wasn’t the case at all. Looks like the bike hurt him much more than last year, and whereas he started the run last year doing something like 9 minute miles, he didn’t this year. View his 2008 results here. I know it’s got to be devastating for him and his family.

Further Boel Update: Boel describes his IronMan in “IronMan beats Boel” over at WLKY’s website. A lot of dehydration going on lately…

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Sep 1 2008 ~ 10:32 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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Make sure to hit the Kelly’s IronMan Race page for all the latest updates.

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Aug 27 2008 ~ 8:24 am ~ Comments (7) ~
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Kelly’s been using BeginnerTriathlete.com to help her train for her 2008 Louisville IronMan triathlon. Being the statistic-loving guy I am I went and pulled Kelly’s mileage totals for all of the training she’s logged since mid-April:

2008 totals

Bike:	  1814.42 miles in 122h 30m 46s
Run:	   332.94 miles in 59h 24m 16s
Swim:	    77.50 mi1es (124,865.7 meters) in 43h 16m 45s
Strength:   15h 55m
Canoeing:    2h 00m
Step:	        45m
Walking:     1h 40m

Man, that is far when you put it all together. Far!

filed under Athletics,General and then tagged as ,,
Aug 26 2008 ~ 9:24 am ~ Comments (1) ~
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Kelly is a total bundle of nerves, and there is still 10 days to go until IronMan Louisville 2008!

Want to help cheer her on?  Check out this handy page that will be updated with all the latest and greatest news and info I can muster: http://thelocust.org/blog/ironman.

Wanna join in the fun? Check out my Socializr invite: http://www.socializr.com/event/686211368

Update: This just in – Kelly’s race number is 877.  We’ll be making signs and such this weekend.

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Aug 21 2008 ~ 3:47 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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Getting marked for battle.

On Saturday, I competed in the 28th annual E. P. “Tom” Sawyer Triathlon (sprint-distance). I also ran in last year’s Tom Sawyer triathlon – my first ever! This year, I just wanted to do better.

…and I did!

Last Year: 1 hour 47 minutes 12 seconds

This Year: 1 hour 36 minutes 44 seconds

Woot! A great race, and I really felt the difference that my training made this year – I was much, much stronger than last year, and it showed. I cut nearly 6 minutes off the bike and almost 3 off the run, and my transitions were much faster. Awesome!

Kelly had the rare opportunity to watch me run a race while she spectated, and she took all the photos you’ll see here, including this one – a real gem:

During the last 50 yards of the run, I saw a guy coming up on my right side and when I looked back he was just behind me, so I took off on a sprint. He responded with “OK, boss!” and took off after me. He wasn’t in my age group and thanks to the seeded swim start, it’s impossible to know what time the other guy is at – but it was great fun and we had a good laugh over it. (Update: that guy is Kevin Maynard, and he finished in 1:32:44)

I’m also turning 30 this year – so I moved into the Men’s 30-34 age group, which helps my age group ranking a bit – 9th out of 22. Last year I was 2nd to last in the Men’s 25-29 age group. Though, had I stayed in the Men’s 25-29, I would have been 10th out of 13th. Age groups are a funny thing though – the race and your locality all play into it making it all a bit of a crapshoot. Though I do prefer to be in a crapshoot of which I finish squarely in the middle.

Being the stat nerd that I am, I took the results that you can find on HeadFirstPerformance.com (2008, 2007) and put them into a readable, sortable Google Spreadsheet you can view online:

2008 E. P. “Tom” Sawyer Triathlon Results (view in browser)

2008 E. P. “Tom” Sawyer Triathlon Results (Excel)

More photos in the 2008.08.02 – E. P. “Tom” Sawyer Triathlon gallery.

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Aug 3 2008 ~ 10:43 pm ~ Comments (3) ~
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