Bikes, Bubbles and BBQ’s

I’m now back on my ‘normal’ time zone, at least for another week anyway.  This means a fairly relaxing Saturday.  My only workout for the day was a 4200 yard swim, which ended with a 500 time trial (TT).  This particular TT was actually the fastest I’ve ever swam a 500 before, so that was a solid start to the weekend.

From there I picked up stuff for BBQ’ing up some chicken and corn later in the day – as given the 85* weather, it seemed like the best course of action. 

While cleaning my grill last night I remembered that I was meaning to clean out the insides a bit.  Now, I use my grill all winter long – probably once or twice a week during the winter, and 3-4 times a week during the summer.  So a lot.  Except this time, when I peered inside below the grates (where you place food) I found a less than ideal situation (where the fire comes from, and where you don’t place food).

Holy rusting grill batman!  My grill’s only five years old, and I already replaced a number of pieces back a few years ago.  And the story is actually even worse on the burners themselves.  :(  Now, the grill works and all, but the cooking is uneven, which is less than ideal for my famed 8-hour pulled pork recipe.

So I went online to find out about replacement parts, but once I added up all the parts I needed I was looking at a price tag of at least $200 – almost as much as the grill itself.  After some more research, I found out that this particular brand (only sold at Home Depot) apparently has a short life. :(  So I added stopping by Home Depot and Lowes to the list for Sunday to scope out a new grill.

Sunday brought much morning rain.  I was initially scheduled to be up on Skyline drive doing 60+ miles of awesomeness, but with 20+MPH winds and heavy rain – the steep and exposed descents of Skyline just aren’t worth the high risk of crashing.  Especially given the first ride there of the season where you’ll still memorizing all the curves.  So instead I went to my usual location down near Prince William Forest Park (after sleeping in, for a total of 12 hours last night!).

Oh – wait – I almost forgot!  When I went to get my nutrition together…I was given this sight:

Sweet!  Yes, they fit perfectly (well, almost, there’s an extra one floating around…).  Btw – in case you have no idea where these all came from…read this.

Anyway…back to the ride.

I had 3:30 all in Z2 on the books, of rolling terrain with a few climbs tossed in.  This netted me a nice 65 miles.  The winds were a bit rough, made only slightly worse by my decision to use race wheels.  But as I’ve noted before – if you don’t train on them, you’ll likely end up on the pavement with them in a race that’s windy.  They catch wind like a sailboat (which…is kinda what they’re designed to do).

Post-ride I had a brick run to finish with.  Just a nice 2 minute walk, 20 minute Z2 run, and a 5 minute cool down.  The walk is designed to let you’re body adjust – and in theory will allow you to run longer.  I used this technique at Ironman Canada last year.  Today’s run itself went exceedingly well for Z2, averaging 7:18 for that section.

Below you can see the 2 minute walk, then the run, and then the CD (cool down).  Oh, for those curious, this is from Training Peaks.  The one feature I really like about TP (and all their products) is the ability to easily select a whole chunk like this and see the averages on the left hand side.  This is one feature that Sports Tracks doesn’t have. :(


After that it was finally time to stop at Home Depot and Lowes – which are conveniently located across the street from each other.


I think I was able to narrow down my grill selection to a few specific grills.  I have a very specific list of requirements to go with, so that makes it kinda easy:

  • Must be no greater than xx” in width, excluding one of the side trays which I can detach (has to fit on my little deck).
  • Must have a rotisserie rear burner.  I have a rotisserie attachment today, but without the rear sidewall burner, the grease simply inflames the lower burners, causing much badness.  Some day I’ll share my charred duck pics…
  • Ideally have the extra side boiler attachment on the ride side, so it places the grill further from the house.

Anyway… I’ve got some internet research to do tonight and picking up a 10% off coupon at the Post Office tomorrow, before buying the grill sometime tomorrow evening. :)  I think a rotisserie chicken is in my future for dinner tomorrow!  See ya!


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  1. My Weber grill is holding up well. I have to say, prior to the Weber I had a very inexpensive model which was still working fine after 12 years when I upgraded. Standard part replacements one time over 12 years.

  2. Chicken,me like Chicken

    Hey good job at training it looks like you are getting stronger.

  3. welcome home Rainmaker! i hope you like your new toy/grill. :)

  4. well come back and yes was windy as hell yesterday I was at Hains point and it was bad
    enjoy your new grill

  5. Anonymous

    go weber, you won’t regret it :)

  6. Agreed on the weber– my dad just bought me the Weber spirit and it’s a little bit expensive but oh is it worth it. The meat is perfect every time as are the veggies. You wont’ regret it!

  7. Welcome back home! Boy, that is some whirlwind traveling you’ve been doing. I’ve never ever used a grill before but might try that 2 min walk before running. I often do better starting out slow when running.

  8. Dave D'Abrosca

    Weber all the way! Mine is 5 years old and it’s still in great condition.

  9. Go for the ceramic grill surface. makes a big difference. Btw, nice pool!

  10. Enjoy your new grill!

  11. Gratis Hammer bottles…lust!

  12. Hey! That’s the Natatorium next to Sans Souci beach in your open water swim photo–you must have been swimming out to the wind sock (if it’s still there). I’ll be there in August, but first to DC this July. Looking at past posts.. I used to bike past Sandy’s all the time.

    I need a grill too and am lookng at a Weber…

  13. I’ve been searching Lowes and Home Depot recently too. Although for a patio set, not a grill. But your potential purchase is much prettier and shinier than mine!