The Cold

May 26, 2009

Taking the week off to really recover from this cold (which has become a nasty cough)

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Yesterday I was sick and stayed home.  This morning is my recovery ride, and I have to say it wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, I set a new record–with a lingering headcold!

0:19′50, 6.77mi
avg 20.4mph, max 28.9mph
60ºF, Odo 905.9mi
Cadence: 70-110rpm

While I didn’t carry a bag with me (thank you cycling jersey with pockets!) and somehow always attribute this with speed, clearly this incredible sub-twenty minute ride has more to do with resting for a day before riding again.

That’s a full 60 seconds off my previous best, which I made on my last ride in.  Good week!

I tried to keep my cadence between 80 and 90rpm.  I realized that keeping a single gear only benefited me when I would normally spin out on some climb.  Instead of spinning, I would keep the same gear and  maintain momentum.  I realized that if I only downshift a little I can avoid the (tiring) strongman pull, keep momentum, and devour the hill.

Wow, what a ride!

0:19′37, 6.76mi
avg 20.7mph, max 33.8mph
90ºF, Odo 912.7mi
Cadence: 63-112rpm

Not bad but I would have rather been faster.  Nothing in the tank, still sick, and three heavily traffic-ed intersections.  I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Test tomorrow at the studio, wish me luck!

Bike to Work, day 31

May 20, 2009

While I was trying to beat my time, I’m still surprised I did.  I started out with no seriousness: coasting while fiddling with my headphone cables.  On the other hand, this makes sense.  If I learned one thing about racing last year it was this: don’t burn out early.  What I never figured out was this: attack every hill.  Keep your average speed up by never going slow.

0:20′57, 6.77mi
avg 19.4mph, max 27.1mph
50ºF, Odo 887.9mi
Cadence: 70-90rpm
G-Ratio: 6.5

But here I am: fastest time (by a whopping two seconds).  My first thought is “I could have done better.”

Who cares?  Enjoy it.

I had to leave my coat and leggings at work yesterday, so when I saw it was 50º out, I breathed a sigh of relief.  If it had been 38º again I’d have had to bundle up.  But instead, it is beautiful out!  Shorts and a windbreaker, visible from space.  Not a bad morning at all.

Took the bike out for a spin during lunch.  The sun was much too bright for me to stay locked up inside at my desk breathing recycled air.

0:17’24, 4.8mi
avg 16.55mph

Nothing impressive here, but this was not about impressing anyone.  It’s wonderful to be outside in this beautiful weather, even if it’s only for a short lunch break.

Sometime after lunch, I was struck with what felt like a ton of bricks.  I’m coming down with something.  Chai helped, but I still took the easy way home.  Nothing to look at here.

0:21’11, 6.48mi
avg 18.3mph, max 28.5mph
82ºF, Odo 899.2mi
Cadence: 64-104rpm

Time to cancel everything and get some sleep.

Bike to Work, day 30

May 19, 2009

Due to an oversight, I’m carrying my karate uniform (heavier than you think) on my back today.  The 6.5 ratio was otherwise very good, only about 30 seconds slower than my fastest.  Not bad!

0:21’28, 6.77mi
avg 18.9mph, max 27.5mph
38ºF, Odo 865.7mi
Cadence: 63-105rpm

After work today I’m biking up to Manchester.  Whee!

The ride was uneventful.  Traffic stunk, my bag was heavy.  In spite of all this, I still put down a huge average speed.

0:45’58, 15.39mi
avg 20.1mph, max 40.4mph
70ºF, Odo 881.1mi
Cadence: 65-95rpm

Not bad!  Now for some karate.

Really Fast

May 15, 2009

How to be really fast:

  1. Train all the time.
  2. Cheat

Today I employed option 2 and drafted a truck for miles. He had a big trailer which made a really nice zero-wind zone. Coasting at 30mph is sexy.

1:03’15, 20.17mi (week 63.50mi)
avg 19.1mph, max 40.8mph
78ºF, Odo 858.9mi
Cadence: 66-105rpm
*Reverse direction, 1273ft climbing

That top speed was on Pine Hill Rd.  No drafting.

Beautiful! A new record without even trying:

Today
0:20’59, 6.75mi
avg 19.3mph, max 27.3mph
39ºF, Odo 831.9mi
Cadence: 60-80rpm
*wrong gloves: cold hands =(
Previous best: March 27
0:21′38, 6.75mi
avg 18.7mph, max 25.7mph
40°F, Odo 197.1mi
Cadence: 65-76rpm
*very wet, light rain

One thing I did differently this morning: No Shifting.  I’m 3 gears down from heaven (53-11 is BIG) and when I have time to lookup the ratio, I’ll post it here.  Still, I felt constantly that it was too high a gear.  Tomorrow I’ll try one gear lower and shoot for 75-95rpm.

I didn’t feel spectacular during the ride.  My hands were cold, I felt like I had no energy to draw from; and yet here I am with a New Best Time.  I’m psyched to try this gear ratio on the ride home; it’s a slight decline.

I definitely feel that moment of “giving in” when I hit a hill and downshift.  I downshift way more than I need to, drop all my speed, then spin like a chump with little effort.  Sure, some days I’m too tired to muscle up some hill, and in the end what does it matter?

It matters.  Giving up is addictive.  Don’t make a habit of it.  Make a habit of perseverance, of determination.  Have indominable spirit!

Today’s ride home was disappointing, compared to the morning ride.  Sure I hit one of the intersections perfectly, but the second one caught me.  Nothing like starting from a dead stop, up hill, in a painfully high gear.  Not a bad ride, anyway.

0:19’42, 6.76mi (week 43.24mi)
avg 20.6mph, max 30.0mph
72ºF, Odo 838.6mi
Cadence: 62-105rpm

Gear ratio, morning and afternoon: 53-14, or ‘7.5’  Tomorrow I’m going to try the next gear down, 53-16, or ‘6.5’

Bike to Work, day 28

May 12, 2009

Yesterday was epic.  Today I managed to crawl out of bed and trudge in.  Nothing special…

0:21’54, 6.76mi
avg 18.5mph, max 26.5mph
~40ºF, Odo 818.4mi
Cadence: ~85rpm

As with so many mornings, today’s struggle was simply to get out of bed.

0:20’36, 6.74mi
avg 19.7mph, max 33.9mph
65ºF, Odo 825.1mi
Cadence: ~85rpm

Bike to Work, day 27

May 11, 2009

Good Morning!

0:22’32, 6.75mi
avg 18.0mph, max 32.3mph
47ºF, Odo 802.2mi
Cadence: ~80rpm

During my ride in I drafted behind a fat post office van, downhill; hence the 32mph max speed.  Too bad for the red light, I could have tailed him another mile.

Midnight Snack
After scarfing my lunch I noticed two things: the warm spring weather, 65ºF, and that I still had 20 minutes of break left.  Like stealing a midnight snack, I escaped for a few precious moments of freedom.

0:08’48, 2.67mi
avg 18.3mph, max 24.6mph
65ºF, Odo 804.8mi
Cadence: low

Since I was just out for fun, I kept my cadence low and flew around like a speed demon.  Beautiful sun,  slight breeze, the sound of thin tires on pavement.  Wind in my ears and hair, on my face.  Pavarotti in my heart.  This is bliss.

Today I am a sportscar: a tuned machine.   My acceleration is phenominal.  My top speed, unmatched.  I’m sleek black with razer thin wheels.  I broke my record today by one full minute!

Today:
0:18’58, 6.74mi
avg 21.3mph, max 33.1mph
65ºF, Odo 811.6mi
Cadence: ~85rpm
Previous best, March 31:
0:19′50, 6.76mi
avg 20.4mph, max 32.3mph
53°F, Odo 230.8mi
Cadence: 70-90rpm

Two green lights at major intersections helped.  No traffic at the turn at the bottom of the hill.  I was full on the wrong side of the road, sweeping a super wide arc to the opposite curb, cutting deep between potholes, maintaining as much speed as (in)humanly possible.

Today I am untouchable.  Woohoo!!

Bike to Work, day 26

May 8, 2009

Though chilly and humid, it was not raining this morning; finally! I tried to enjoy the scenery, to look around and see the world I was cutting through.

0:22’38, 6.75mi
avg 17.9mph, max 28.8mph
49ºF, Odo 788.6mi
Cadence: ~80rpm

And by rain, I don’t mean a light drizzle.  I don’t mean misty.  I mean downpour.  When it’s cold out, being soaking wet is not fun.

Riding home I was a rocket.  Yes my legs felt tired the whole ride, but I did not give up.  I kept pushing and finished with great results, considering the traffic stops:

0:19’51, 6.74mi
avg 20.4mph, max 31.9mph
76ºF, Odo 795.4mi
Cadence: ~80rpm

Wow!

Two wonderful things

May 7, 2009

It has rained heavily every morning  this week.  In spite of this, Wednesday afternoon was positively amazing.  So I went for a little ride:

1:29’48, 27.40mi
avg 18.3mph, max 41.6mph
?ºF, Odo 781.9mi
Cadence: all over the place

After this wonderful ride, I cooked dinner for myself and a friend, watched Donnie Darko, and generally had a great time.

At work, I discovered these great numbers:

Activity Fatalities Per Million Hours
Skydiving 128.71
General Aviation 15.58
On-road Motorcycling 8.80
Scuba Diving 1.98
Living (all causes of death) 1.53
Swimming 1.07
Snowmobiling .88
Automobile Driving .47
Water Skiing .28
Bicycling .26
Flying (domestic airlines) .15
Hunting .08

Biking is half as lethal as driving a car. Half! That is exciting news, isn’t it?