Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Rides

Yesterday (Christmas Eve) I got out for a very enjoyable 34 miles in z2/z3.

Dist: 34.3 mi
Avg. Speed: 19.1 mph
Duration: 1:48

I rode shortly after lunch so didn't eat anything for the entire ride.  Felt good the entire ride.


Dist: 48.3 mi
Avg. Speed: 18.3
Duration: 2:38

Again started the ride shortly after lunch - I've found this makes the ride a lot more pleasant.  This ride was entirely z2 except for some hill climbing.  It was kinda surreal riding in the middle of "winter" in shorts and a jersey.  I downed a PowerBar of the nut variety at about mile 20, and that combined with an entire bottle of gotorade mix got me through the entire ride without bonking.

The extra 14 miles compared to yesterday's ride made a big difference in how I felt at the end.  

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rides Rides Everywhere

Since I posted last I've gotten in one fairly long and one short-ish ride.

Distance: 45.5 mi
Avg. Speed: 18.7 mph
Duration: 2.5 hours

This was a very pleasant ride - I had eaten a large lunch about 45 minutes before starting, so I didn't get too hungry. This did wonders for how I felt in the latter half of the ride. This tells me I'm still not eating enough while I ride. I have yet to really pin down a system of eating and drinking that works for me. I've had pretty good luck with Clif bars, but until I'm pretty hungry they are not terribly appetizing.

I also got chased by four dogs on this ride - it seemed like all the loose dogs in the county were out. When I hear a bark now I reflexively reach for a water bottle. Even on large, very aggressive-looking dogs, a quit squirt to the face of just water stops them cold.

I originally planned to do my normal Paceline groupride, but when I woke up the roads at my house were soaking wet. The rule is wet roads @ 8 am = no ride, so I assumed the ride was off. Unfortunately, the roads were dry in town, and I missed a fun ride for no reason at all, which was not thrilling. So instead...

Distance: 27.2 mi
Avg. Speed: 18.7 mph
Duration: 1.5 hours

My dad, who hasn't ridden since Thanksgiving because of back issues and work, rode with me for the first 8 or so miles, and it was nice to have the company while I warmed up. After he peeled off I essentially went and got lost for 20 miles. Although I could have gone longer, it's good I didn't because it started to rain as I pulled into our neighborhood.

It's interesting that my average speed is exactly the same for both of the rides. I don't really know why that is - I consciously work a little harder on the short rides, so my average should be a little higher. However, the decelerations for stops, turns, and the like constitute a larger portion of the ride, as does the warmup. I guess when I've really got the hammer down on longer rides I'm working just as hard.

The other thing this indicates is my base/zone 2 is quite strong, but my zone3 and up is pretty weak and needs work. The cycling team's coach is starting to throw in some hill climbs and spinups into our workout routines to strengthen our upper zones.

Tommorrow I think I'm going hill hunting... time for some hill repeats. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So it begins...

Finally, done with exams and into Christmas Break.

I am way behind on how much riding I should be doing, so the goal for the break is to crank out the miles.

I brought my road bike, commuter bike, and fixed gear home, the latter two because they need a little work. After I got back today I spent several hours stripping, cleaning, waxing, and reassembling my commuter bike. It's not quite done yet - I need a new shifter cable, and I think some new tires - the current ones I have, Specialized Armadillos, rub the arches of the brake calipers >:-( I have not been impressed with these tires: they feel slow, have no "road feel", don't corner particularly well, and have never seated properly. On top of that, I don't think they're much more flat resistant than my Conti GP 4000s - I almost never get flats anyway (knock on wood!). In general I am not a fan of Specialized tires, but I can't articulate exactly why.

The fixed gear came home because the chainline needs correcting, and I want to wax the frame to give it a little bit of protection against the elements. Part of me thinks I should flip the wheel around and run (or rock) the 22 tooth to make it useful for training, but the other part of me is lazy and thinks it won't work anyway because the dropouts are vertical, and I got really lucky with the 14 tooth working out, so there.

Alright, off to bed to try and break my habit of getting up at 10 am. Ugh.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seeing Results

Today I got in a 25 mile ride in our bizarre weather: overcast, 65+ deg., and blowing 20+ mph out of the south.

Distance: 25.7 miles
Average Speed: 18.8 mph
Duration: 1:22

Now these might not seem like impressive numbers, but they don't tell the whole story.  For most of the outbound leg (heading south), I was not pushing hard.  When I started paying attention to speed after about 8 miles, I was doing 20-23 mph with a quartering crosswind for most of the ride.  With about 3 miles to go I started cooling down, average speed at this point was 19.0 mph.  

Again, that might not seem impressive, but my best ever 25 miles, on a much flatter loop and in absolutely perfect conditions, was 20.0 mph at the beginning of last summer.  The fact that I averaged 19 mph in much less than ideal conditions, in the off season, feels very, very good.

This ride has shown me that my power output is way up, along with my distance.  My gut feeling up to this point is that my endurance had come way up, but my output had dropped off.  This ride shows this is not the case.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Distance: 65 miles
Average Speed: 16.7 mph
Duration: The better part of 5 hours.

This ride went fine until about mile 45, when I ran out of food.  I bonked hard at mile 50, and averaged a pathetic 13 mph for the remainder of the ride.  The lesson?  Pack more than 2 clif bars for a 65 mile ride in cold weather.  Idiot.