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.

Early Sunday

April 26, 2009

Copied from my journal:

After a late night, I expected today to start late, and set my alarm for 10. My birthday party starts at 11.  Somehow, I woke up early and could seem to close my eyes again. The world looked so bright and quiet and wonderful. Energized by I Don’t Know What, I grabbed a quick bite and pedaled off into the boonies.

18.8 miles of hills later, after what I am convinced is the best riding I’ve done this year, I got home and heard my alarm go off. What perfect timing: a nice morning workout before I even had to get up.

1:01’21, 18.88mi
avg 18.4mph, max 39.0mph
80ºF? Odo 414.6mi
Cadence: 70-90rpm
*hot and humid

It’s snowing, finally.

1:15’06, 20.18mi
avg 16.1mph, max 38.2mph
25ºF, Odo 2754.0mi
Cadence: 90rpm

My toes feel like they should be burning holes in my shoes.  They were cold, but I could feel them, so I kept going.  Now that they’re starting to warm up, they’ve fulfilled their pain quota for the day, and are working overtime. These toes want to succeed from the union of my body, overthrow the government, and then hari-kari.

I crushed the coup, put on smartwool socks and some loose fitting shoes, then went about my business.  Specifically, I was applying moisturizer to my face, back, and upper arms.  I realize the futility of doing this before showering, but it was a triage step.  The sting on my cheeks/forehead from the snow/wind became intolerable once I got inside.  Snow hurts at 20mph.  It’s beautiful, I love it, but it feels like raining sand when you’re on a bike.

Yes, I have a facemask and a hat, and huge sunglasses, but the facemask is wretched.  It choaks, it gets wet inside, it constricts air intake to my nose and mouth, it is a point of frustration in every ride.  I usually end up pulling it down and using the nose hole for my mouth.  Today I stuck the camelbak tube up through that hole.  More frustration.  The tube was bent on holding it’s twisted shape, the nozzle blocked air passage.  Argh!

The windburn on my back wasn’t as bad as usual, likely due to the insulating layer I wore: a windproof coat.  It’s more like a liner than anything, but it provided the insulation I needed.  I was itching for pit zips about 15 miles in, alas, no solice for those on the cheap.

I also nearly stopped into the bike shop and bought footcover at the end of this ride.  The bags are useful and free, but I’m not in love with the solution.  It’s not done yet.  I will tinker with it more when I have more time.  Right now I’m dying for a shower.

But first, a small workout: 50 pushups, 50 crunches (cycling legs).  Because it would be stupid to do this after showering =P

My legs feel great! And sarcastic!
Every time I walk up or down the stairs, my legs remind me that I could have spent the day in bed.  I counter by reminding myself that my legs wouldn’t feel like the coiled steel cables of the golden gate bridge if I just sat on my butt all the time.

Love is a fireplace and mulled cider.
I am wearing a hoodie I just pulled out of the drier.  I didn’t think I could ever improve on the “just showered” feeling, until this moment.  Now the plan is to take fresh sheets out of the drier just after showering, put them on a bed by the fireplace.  Mulled cider and cuddling. ah love

Take Five

September 15, 2008

Naked Twenty
This was an awesome ride!  I shed my bag, my shirt, grabbed some hammer gel, Gatorade, and hit the road hard.  It’s a naked twenty because I hydrated first then took nothing with me but the bike and shorts.  (Well, I had my saddle bag with a spare tube, CO2 pump, and chain tool, too.  I’m not that crazy!)

Yesterday’s hilly route was the target, and I attacked every hill, either standing on the pedals or pushing/pulling while seated.  My goal was to dominate: no sympathy.  No poor legs, no poor me, no “wahh it hurts” nothing!  Just determination.  Look at the difference!

1:00:32, 19.7mi
81ºF, Odo 2336mi
avg 19.5mph, max 38.5mph
Total Climbing: 1192ft
1:05:03, 19.8mi
73ºF, Odo 2303mi
avg 18.2mph, max 39.2mph
Total Climbing: 1192ft

I took five minutes off the time!

After yesterday’s ride, my legs felt likely to buckle while walking downstairs, today my legs feel taxed but steady, even though I did 6.5 more miles before this!  Wow!

Hilly Nashua 20

September 14, 2008

Since I have all this good food in me, and the sun came out, I decided to go ride.  Heres’ the route, which I’ve posted the route on Bikely:

Hilly Twenty

Hilly Twenty

I mapped this ride for maximum climbing, and never used the granny gear.  Elevation chart:


Hilly Twenty elevation: Total climbing: 1192ft

Before the ride, I put on my iridescent windproof jacket (note: not waterproof, but it certainly holds the moisture in–eew) and was feeling overly warm before I even left the house.  As a just-in-case it got too cold, and for added viability, I packed it anyway.  (About five miles into the ride I packed away the red shirt, as I had begun dripping with sweat due to the 86% humidity.)

Iridescent jacket pinned to camelbak

Iridescent jacket pinned to camelbak

Finally, I can test my newly dropped handlebars!

All the dieting and resting and handlebar dropping did nothing for my ride, I was worn out from the start.  Still, 1192ft of climbing isn’t bad.

1:05:03, 19.8mi
73ºF, Odo 2303mi
avg 18.2mph, max 39.2mph
*86% humidity

Not as fast as I’d like, but it’ll do given the humidity, hills, new chainring, and proximity to a century.  What I’m saying is “I’m satisfied.” I’ll leave you with this:



*FYI, that’s a breathe right strip, meant to open up the nasal passages.  Also helpful to prevent snoring.

Bike to Work, day 81

September 1, 2008

This morning was difficult because I arrived home late last night, and had trouble falling asleep, regardless of how tired I was.

21:33, 6.5mi
57ºF, Odo 2102mi
avg 18.0mph, max 27.5mph

I pushed for a season record.  It’s not summer anymore, so there is no way I can reach the same speeds.  Instead of resigning to a known defeat, this way I can continue to push every morning!  I’ll have to look back at my August times and update my record page for the season, but I’m pretty sure this is a record! [edit: The August record for riding to work is: Aug 7th: 20:40, at 65ºF, 18.9mph.  Today is a September record!]

Sunday at the Beach
The beach was wonderful yesterday.  I parked 2 miles away on an empty, wealthy, dead end street, and rode my bike down to the beach.  After a dip in the ocean, I went looking for my friends.  Amazingly, we connected amid thousands of beach goers and had a grand time.  While my friends were at the arcade, I took rode 10 miles up to Wallis Sands, where I remember swimming as a child.  I locked the bike to itself, and managed to hook up my bag so it was impossible to open without a knife.  With this somewhat reasonable protection, I jumped in then took a short walk on the firm sand.  By the time I met back up with my friends, it was time to leave.  I averaged about 18mph for 21 miles.

The ride was windy, but I saw several other cyclists, and that was nice.  I’m satisfied with the ride and with the whole trip.  The ocean was cool, the sun was hot, it was a beautiful day.

I pushed for a record, but ran into traffic in both places.

18:54, 6.5mi
83ºF, Odo 2111mi
avg 20.6mph, max 35.8mph

It’s one minute longer than my all time record, but it’s still an amazing time.  Rock on!