Archive for February, 2010

Walking the walk

28 February 2010

Well, today, I walked the walk.  I changed the Miller Place ride to take a different route up from Port Jefferson instead of 25A.  I knew it was a steeper climb than 25A but I didn’t know what to expect.  Anyway, I hit it in the wrong gear and even though I was in the lowest gear for the middle cog, I could not shift over to the smaller cog on the front.  To be honest, I couldn’t remember which lever to shift and was scared to shift the wrong one.  As it was, I decided to stick with the 10th gear I was in and it got tough, really tough. Deciding to risk personal embarrassment over a busted heart, I stopped the bike and walked the rest of the way.  There was a corner ahead and I didn’t now what was around the corner and how far it went.  When I got there, I saw that it didn’t go that much further.  I was soon back on the bike and continued the ride.  Next week I’ll be in a lower gear for sure! (more…)

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Rain and snow have got to go…

27 February 2010

February has been a tough month.  There has been plenty of rain and plenty of snow.  I am struggling to get in my 300 miles for the month but if I pull out the plug for the next four days I can make it.  Yes, my month does not exactly start on the 1st and is governed by the 300 miles in 30 days challenge sitting on MapMyRide.  So as we drove back from sushi on Friday night, the snow was falling very lightly, the roads looked clear and as I drove by the two hills I usually cycle up I couldn’t help but notice they were fairly clear.  I prayed for a night without much snow. (more…)

Outside but no bonus

21 February 2010

One of the good things about cycling downhill is the bonus – freewheeling and letting the body recover.  It is amazing looking at my heart rate and seeing how it drops dramatically whilst freewheeling.  However, two of the longest downhill sections today was against the wind – I had to pedal all the way.  Despite that, I was pleased to be back outside having been stuck inside training for a week and a half. (more…)

Staying motivated

14 February 2010

When it snows ten inches and the roads are only partially ploughed, it makes it a not too difficult decision, safety-wise, to stay inside and train. However, continuous indoor training leads to cabin fever and I itch to be back outside cycling on the roads.  The comes along the Winter Olympics…  I have switched the training to afternoons so I can watch the Winter Olympics live and cycle at the same time.  It keeps the motivation up to continue training if there is something pleasant about the cycling. (more…)

What’s your cycling rhythm to Abba?

11 February 2010

Ten inches of snow fell since Tuesday evening so it was no surprise that I have not been cycling outside.  I didn’t go cycling yesterday preferring to get acquainted to a couple of bottles red. 😉  We did clear the driveway between snow fronts so worked out a little there.  Today was back on the indoor trainer.  Rather than cycling to music videos on MTV or VH-1 I went for a movie – Mama Mia of them all.  Really the choice was very limited.  And I couldn’t really get a rhythm going to the songs – just not perfect pedalling tunes.  I must say that the time seemed to pass by quickly however the pace was not as quick as it has been when cycling indoors.  I was half thinking that I had tightened up the flywheel too much and the friction was heavier than normal but who knows.  I will see if I can adjust that tomorrow.  I don’t think I’ll be back outside before next week yet.  Maybe in time for President’s Day.

Tastes of gasoline

9 February 2010

I have been meaning to write about this for a while now.  It is most noticeable when I am climbing hills.  The air is still, the roads are quiet apart from a distant car engine moving rapidly away, and you move into a patch of air where the molecules stick to your tongue and activates the salivary glands.  The taste of gasoline in the air is quite distinctive.  Not foul but certainly not pleasant, just different.  I am sure it is the older vehicles that are emitting the fumes as it is not noticeable all the time.  And it does seem to be at the lower temperatures.

Today’s ride was just getting back in the groove.  I was not aiming for a fast time but I did want to make sure I get back below 51 minutes.  I am beginning to get my mental checkpoints and can gauge what overall time I can get if I am at a certain time at a certain place and the wind is blowing in a certain direction.  I think I lost about ten seconds at two left turns when the Edge activated the auto start and I had only moved the handlebars and not the bike.  Those two seconds took my time over 50 minutes but at least I got below the 51.  It was a nice ride and I am pleased to see that the sun is rising earlier and I can get out before 7 o’clock now.

Two for the price of three!

4 February 2010

Two days in a row I got back home in under 50 minutes.  I have been striving for this for a while.  Today’s was doubly pleasing as I wasn’t trying as hard as yesterday.  I knew I wasn’t going to beat yesterday’s time but I was conscious of my overall pace and did make sure it didn’t slip.  I think I have now set a precedent and that I cannot go above 50 minutes again.  Hmmm….

[Warning: Technical bit]

Comparing the two rides has been interesting.  Normally most of my ride is in heart rate zone 3.  This seems to be where most of the calories are burned so I like zone 3. 😀  Sometimes I slip into zone 4 going up hills but on the whole, it is zone 3.  Yesterday I slipped into zone 5 on occasion and I spent a lot of time in zone 4.  I was almost shocked.  Today’s ride I was back in zone 3 on the whole so it is not surprising that I took 58 seconds longer.  I’ll see if I can get a graphic of my heart rates for both rides.  (How do you do screen grab on the Mac?)

Heart rate comparison

The blue is today’s ride and the pink is yesterday’s ride.  The top grey bar is zone 5.  Cool, huh? 😛

Beat it, just beat it.

3 February 2010

I was in two minds at lunchtime whether to go outside or stay indoors.  I opted to go out as the snow had melted.  It’s amazing what a climb in temperatures will do.  Not only did I break the 50 minute barrier, I hit the stop button on 48:59 only for the Edge to click over to 49:00.  I was cursing the time when I moved the bike at the red light and the unit added a couple of extra seconds when I wasn’t even moving!!  Doh!

Anyway, I was pleased with the ride today.  I was thinking I could have gone out in my shorts but looking at the temperature gauge, it is still only 35F.  What am I thinking?  So that is the quickest I have done the ride since, err, since sometime last year.  I will have to go back and check but I think it might be sometime ago.  Really looking forward to the summer now.

What’s this?

3 February 2010

I woke to find the roads looking like this…

Snow covered roads

How am I supposed to go cycling this morning?  Boo!!  I never thought I would ever say I don’t want to see snow but I guess here I am and saying that, I don’t want to see snow this morning.  The temperature is around 27F so hopefully it will rise a few degrees and be gone by lunchtime.  If not, I will go cycling in the den.

Burning cheeks

2 February 2010

No, the cheeks on my face!  Temperatures were about 17F when I went out this morning but there was no visible wind that I could discern.  I didn’t want to do two days of indoor cycling in a row so I had no option but to go out.  After not doing any long rides this weekend I also cannot afford to take another day off either. (more…)