Monday, November 5, 2007

Weekend Rides and an Increase in Training Time

Saturday Solo Ride - Sycamore loop - 25.5 mi.
Total Time: 1:23:32
Avg mph: 18.2

Saturday I rode the Crow Canyon to Sycamore loop solo and after warming up for the first few miles my legs didn't feel too heavy. Overall I felt a bit sluggish/tired on the hills in the beginning but toward the end of the ride my energy picked up and
I was able to maintain 22/23 mph for the last 9 miles or so. That afternoon we just relaxed around the house then went to Yoshi's, a jazz club in Oakland, to see Eddie Palmieri; it was a really great show.

Sunday Ride w/ Cyclepath Group - 30.2 mi. - Palomares Road loop - CLIMBING
Total Time: 1:47:40
Avg mph: 16.7
Top Speed: 45.2 mph

Sunday I once again headed out with the Cyclepath group and this time we went on a new route (new for me at least). The shop owner was driving a van and had a photographer along with him so hopefully in a couple of weeks I should have a couple of pictures to post. There should be at least one of me cruising in the pace line and one of me near death on the climb up Palomares. So yeah, the climb was tough. I like to think of myself as a pretty strong rider but that is really called into question on rides with climbs. This was the toughest climb I have ridden on so far (granted that is not saying much) and I was humbled at the end of the climb to learn that the first guy up (who was right in front of me when we turned onto Palomares) was 60 years old. Friggin awesome is all I can say about that. Anyway - back to the ride. In the beginning of the ride the van passed us and two guys took off to ride in the dead air behind it. I took off after them and sprinted hard to get there, standing up out of the saddle at one point and hitting 33 mph on a flat/slight uphill stretch. Once I caught up (maybe 60-90 seconds later) I was very glad to see the van had dropped them and they were down to about 26/27 mph; my legs were screaming at this point.

After the initial stretch we turned onto a two lane frontage road that made me a bit nervous even though there were probably 35 riders in the group. At one point this ass&@le in a green suburban flew past us swerving into the opposite lane honking his horn the whole time. Most people in this area are very tolerant of bikers but this guy (or girl) had some sort of personal issue with sharing the road. Thankfully he just looked like an ass and no one in our group was put in jeopardy. Once we turned onto Palomares the climb started right away and the group spread out. I found myself at the back of the A group with one other guy and we stuck together for the rest of the climb. On this road there were maybe one or two cars so I was able to focus on climbing without having to worry about traffic coming up behind me. The total climb was about 4 miles and I'm not sure how much elevation we gained but it sure seemed like a lot to me. Once we got to the top the rest of the A group was waiting and re-hydrating so I drank some water and ate a pack of my transformers gummy snacks.

After a few minutes of talking a couple of guys started heading down the hills and I wanted to go with them since I was not familiar with the road. I had been told that there was one big turn then I would be able to open it up and pick up as much speed as I wanted to. Right away I could tell we were going pretty fast but I didn't dare look down at my speedometer. Later that day I checked and saw that I hit 45.2 mph; next time I'm pretty sure I will break 50 mph now that I know where the big curve is. Once we got to the bottom of the descent I grouped up with a couple of guys that were trying to catch the leaders (a tandem and one other rider) but fell off after a few minutes because I couldn't hold the pace (30/31 mph on rolling hills). After a couple more rollers I caught up to them once they realized they couldn't catch the leaders and they dropped back too. On the last climb of the day I saw first hand why you should never cross wheels with the person in front of you. I was riding uphill talking with another guy when the wind picked up so I dropped back two riders and got in the pace line. Two minutes later I saw a guy two riders in front of me go down hard and fast. I swerved to avoid him then stopped to make sure he was ok; thankfully he didn't get hurt (other than some scrapes and cuts) and his bike was ok. He said that he had gotten too close to the rider in front of him and crossed tires which caused him to go down. Luckily it was on the uphill stretch and we were only going about 15 mph. Overall it was a great ride and even though the hills were hard I am looking forward to doing that ride again.

On a side note, I had a bagel and coffee before the ride and afterward I was surprised at how not run down I felt. I think the carbs/calories and caffeine might have helped me during and after the ride.


So I got a new job which is walking/biking distance from our house. This will give me about an hour of extra time in the morning and at night. I am excited about going back to work for a big company. For the past year I have been working at a small firm in San Francisco; I didn't find the work all that interesting and the challenges were few and far between. The thing I like about larger companies is that usually if you work hard and prove yourself there is plenty of opportunity to take on more responsibility and move up within the organization; this was something I did not see at my current firm. There were some positives to working at a smaller company but in the end the potential opportunities, better pay, and shorter commute made it an easy choice. I will have a few days off in between and I hope to go on a couple of longer group rides during the week; something I have never been able to do in the past (and won't be able to do once I start the new job).


jen said...

Awesome group ride- I love long adventures like that. That's why I love distance running although I admit your rides sound a lot more exciting. Ha ha- my running stories are less '45 mph downhills and seeing a guy crash' and more 'lots of people in the park and I saw a bunny' Different strokes.

Congrats on the new job, you're going to do great. :) You'll love the short commute too.

Anonymous said...

Great write-up on your exciting bike ride. Wow, too fast for me but sounds like it would be a rush.

Congratulations on the new job. It will be nice to walk or bike to work & have more time for all your other outside activities.

Dragonfly on the Water

Marathon Maritza said...

You are logging in some major mileage on that bike, great job! :)