Archive for May, 2012

Speedy Gonzales

23 May 2012

I am a happy cyclist today. I just beat my track record which was set back in 2010. And, I beat it by 32 seconds. That’s all. 🙂

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Feeling a little deflated?

22 May 2012

Yesterday, I got my first puncture in a long while. Ever since switching to the Bontrager Hard Case Lites I have not suffered a puncture out in the field, as it were. I think it was on the Frenchtown practice ride back in 2010 that I got my last puncture. So to get one on a local ride means it is time for new tyres.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day for riding. A very slight breeze, maybe too light to be even considered a breeze, coming from the East. I was finally out in short sleeves so the temperature at 6am was nice. Sunday had been a hot day and I got a little burned working in the back garden wearing just a vest. So I was looking for a faster time as I was not wearing a layer that would add air resistance.

My first checkpoint is after 2 miles, once I get to the top of Hoffman Lane, to the West of the landfill. 8:15 minutes is a good time to get there but I am normally around 8:30 – 8:45. From my time there, I can usual gauge how the rest of the ride will go, especially if I can discern the direction of the wind, if there one. Yesterday’s split was 7:49. I could barely believe it. That’s a great split. Of course, when I get a split like that, you know there is not going to be any letting up. My next split is when I come back to Motor Parkway after climbing Blydenburg Rd. I got there in 18:58. Under 20 is a great time there so I was very pleased to see 18 at the front.

The rest of the ride was going well. I got up to 37+ going down Motor Parkway and it has been a while since I have gotten that fast. Normally, with layers, it is about 32/33mph. So I was maintaining the pace, if not actually increasing it. Nipping down Terry, where I was briefly dismayed having gotten behind a school bus which put on its red stop lights, then along Johnson to Ocean Avenue and back up to the start of Motor Parkway, I got there in 36 minutes. Normally I think 38 is a fast time. By now I am sure I am challenging for my best ever time around this route. I got my second best time ever last week, down two minutes on the all time fastest, but I was almost two minutes faster on that time already.

I was zipping around the lake when I got the feeling that my back tyre was flat. You can tell straight away. It is a feeling of harmony with the bike and you can tell when the wheel behaves out of character. I checked the tyre and it was deflating. I slow wheeled around to a safer place to change the tyre. As I was trying to inflate the spare a little before tucking it under the tyre, I couldn’t discern any air coming out of the inflator. No! It’s broke? Couldn’t be! But it was. I tucked the tube inside the tyre, popped the tyre back into the rims and tried inflating the tube. Nothing. I disassembled the inflator, wondering, hoping it was just dirt. Put it back together and felt a little air. I twisted the inflator a little more and felt more air come out. It was going to be enough to allow me to limp home rather than go all out.

I decided to take a different route as I had given up on the fast ride and I nearly got lost. I knew I was in the triangle between Motor Parkway, Ocean Avenue and Old Nichol’s but where in that triangle I was, I couldn’t tell. I decided to head east, after coming to two dead ends as I was bound to hit either Motor Parkway or Old Nichol’s. Fortunately, I came out on to Old Nichol’s and from there, I found Townline which leads to home.

So it could have been a fast ride, a very fast ride, but it wasn’t to be. However, I think it is indicative that I am feeling strong which is just as well as I have a 400k on Saturday and then the big ride of the year, the PA 600k the following weekend.