Archive for the ‘Training Ride’ Category

Sammamish River Kirkland Circular

20 February 2014

So, looking for a regular route to do, as I had in New York, I created the Sammamish River Kirkland Circular.  It is roughly 23 miles and I feel it is a good distance for a daily route until I start commuting for the elusive job I’ll be getting soon. 😀

Of course, we happen to live near the top of a climb so most rides will start off with a descent and end with a climb.  The route takes me down to Sammamish River which has a bike path running alongside of it.  The bike path is about 10 miles long and it then moves on Burke Gilman Trail which takes me another mile or two before hitting the roads again.

Once I hit the roads, there is a two mile climb (roughly) of category 4. The second red light marks the end of the climb and the third red light marks the beginning of a descent.  After follows a short bump to Kirkland town centre and once through there, the climb back up to Redmond.

Yesterday, I could not cross Redmond Way to take my left turn and ended up going right, doing a U-turn and then a straight over at the light.  Also, coming up from Kirkland on NE 85th, as I approached I-405, I half expected to be hit from behind from crossing traffic.  I wasn’t but the feeling was there.  Due to this, I modified the route to take a different approach to the Sammamish River Trail and a different route up to Redmond.

The new approach to the trail was not good.  I found another trail that would get there if I climbed up to 132nd Ave but to my surprise, the descent to the trail was either riding down a scree path of walking down a load of steps.  I opted to walk and carry my bike.  The trail itself was not that great so I’ll be going back down Redmond Way.

The return was much better though it is steeper.  My legs felt it today.  It took me above I-405, literally, so I didn’t have to worry about that traffic coming on and off.  That part will stay.

Was slower today than yesterday. 😦


Washington State – a cyclist’s dream or nightmare?

13 February 2014

We moved to Washington State from New York.  I am preparing to complete my first ever Washington series of brevets but first I need to get fit.  After the damage I did to my hands on LEL, I have been off the bicycle for a long time, doing just a handful of rides since August.  I am overweight!  The hands feel good now so I shall begin my training on the bike path that runs alongside the Sammamish River.  However, I have a nice climb at the end of the ride as I have to get back to our house which is up Redmond Way!

I shall report on how my first ride goes.

A different training schedule

14 January 2013

For Xmas, Alma bought me the Insanity 60 day Workout DVD set. The schedule allows for a day off once a week – Sundays. Going by the experience of just doing the fitness test this morning (Day 1), it seems tougher than CTS, and it was only 25 minutes! Today set the benchmark and I do another fitness test in two weeks to see how I compare. Tomorrow is proper training and is over 40 minutes. I watched the DVD last week and some of the “students” on the DVD dropped like flies during some of the exercises. I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring!

New Year, another resurrection.

31 December 2012

I am really looking forward to the upcoming year. I will be cycling LEL which is 200k further than PBP. In addition, Long Island will be hosting its first two brevets, a 200k and 300k.

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. 🙂

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.

Wow, an outdoors ride

14 March 2012

So, I ventured out on the road this morning.

Riding on a road is a different beast altogether. You’d have thought that with the constant pedalling an indoor bike brings, you’d be in fairly good shape for an outdoor ride. At least, I would have thought. I had rivers of sweat running down my spine after three miles!!! Ok, that was probably down to my choice of layers; I think I have forgotten how to dress for the outdoors. It was 51F when I left and 48F when I came back. I was surprised in the drop of temperature, especially as the sun had risen, but I did come to a cold patch on Vets Highway.

I threw on both front lights, the dynamo and the Nite Rider, and the last two remaining back lights. I need to purchase a couple more now, one bust! Hey, did you know Nite Rider has closed down for business. I don’t think their lights for bicycles have closed but the division that made diving lights. I had one of their lights for diving and it was like a beacon but I think I shorted in on one dive trip and it never worked after that. I have a bigger beacon now which lights up a football field!! But I digress.

I filled up a water bottle, threw on the frame bag and set off. I should have brought a Gu. I really ought to have. Anyway, I didn’t and I barely took a sip of water. Cadence, I think, was high and that’s probably the side effect of doing the Hill Speed workouts. I headed off down Smithtown Blvd, then on to Portion Road and then on to Patchogue Rd (Ave?). It was nice to see a newly painted bike lane on Patchogue Rd. It goes all the way down to the LIE. When I say “new”, it’s probably been there for months!

Riding along Vets Highway, I saw the landfill. Is this new? I recall seeing it when driving in the car with Alma and we weren’t too sure if was new or not but riding the bike and taking some time going past it, it definitely seemed like it had not been there before. I have cycled up that road many times and don’t recall seeing it. Must ask Becky tomorrow.

As I reached Connetquot River State Park (where we hiked on Saturday), I suddenly felt chilled. It is the faster section of the ride with a slight downhill, but I immediately thought, west wind!! The leaves weren’t even moving, ha! I was glad of the layers then. Coming back along Townline (opposite direction) it again felt like a head wind but again the leaves weren’t moving. Probably just a drop in temperature.

Anyway, I got back and felt pleased I had done the ride. No real drawbacks from having done the CTS yesterday. I’ll be back out again tomorrow though this getting up in the dark is getting old fast!

3 State 3 Mountain ride

13 February 2012

This year I shall be doing the 3 State 3 Mountain bike ride with some fellow cycling enthusiasts from Florida. It is an event I am looking forward to even though it is only a 100 miles!! The 3 mountains get steeper and finishes with an 18-20% climb. They fail to mention the distance at that grade so I guess I need to up the CTs training as I get nearer the date. It is the first week of May and begins in Chattanooga, TN. I think it is ten years since I have been to Chattanooga so I hope I remember the way!!

A first ride for 2011

10 January 2012

Unlike all my cycling buddies who had a nice ride at the weekend in not too low temperatures, I waited until the temperature had reached freezing before deciding to do my first ride of the year. It was not too cold though I had wrapped up well. I had almost forgotten how many layers to wear for 32F temperatures. I was concerned that I could not find the warmest balaclava and a sleepy Alma told me it was in the sunglasses drawer! Thanks, Alma!!

So I was out cycling on the roads. It was sometime before I realised what was different about a January ride – no salt on the roads! Normally we’d have had buckets of snow by now but this winter, nothing, zilch, nada. It made for good riding.

However, when I started climbing the landfill for the first time, I soon noticed what this diet is doing to me. A serious lack of energy. of course, I know I can keep climbing without energy as the PBP showed me but I had not even gone two miles! if I had been monitoring my time, which I wasn’t, and if I had glanced at the Garmin at the two mile mark, which I didn’t, I may have noticed that I was already two minutes behind. But I wasn’t so I wasn’t. 😉 I was expecting my slowest time ever!

My hands have almost recovered. I am not sure that the injections I got into the tunnels fixed them but they are almost back to normal. Just a slight tingling which is nothing compared to how they were last year.

So what to do about the diet? I want to get down to a running weight and I think I need to lose another seven pounds. But I don’t have the energy to sustain a training programme on the bike as we only eat about 900-1000 calories per day. We’ll see how it goes and I may switch to the transition phase of the diet.

Pleased to be back on the bike.

They passed that bill quick!

9 September 2011

So, I was finally back on the bike this morning. This was the first time since I climbed off it the day I finished the PBP, just over two weeks ago.

It felt really strange being back on familiar routes. The familiarity seemed to have lessened and I was seeing the roads almost like the first time. The “hills” on this local circular route seemed like small hiccups on the road, as if a couple of pedal strokes would be enough to get me over them. It took more than a couple of pedal strokes of course but the feeling never left until the last little climb when I didn’t even bother changing to a low gear and I had to put some effort to reach the “peak”.

It wasn’t a fast ride and at the first checkpoint, well, the only checkpoint today, I was about 20 seconds behind what I consider a fast pace. Ah, I remember, I checked the time again before I went around the lake and I was about 90 seconds behind then. But I had an excuse for being so far behind the pace at that point…

After the two climbs, I come shortly to the fastest part of the route – going down Motor Parkway as it heads to Old Nichols Road. Coming to the start of the downhill, I see the big electronic sign announcing roadworks. No big deal, I thought, as they have been working on the water drainage for a while. But, to my shock and horror, they were not working on the drains no more. They were resurfacing and what I was facing was that road surface with the top layer removed and it is all uneven. I hate those roads cycling on the flat but this was the first time I had gone down one. To make matters worse, the side of the road was all loose shingle. As I descended the road, the muscles in my arms were being violently shaken. I could barely keep a grip of the handlebars never mind keeping any sort of pressure on the breaks to avoid a total runaway situation. My legs were also beginning to feel the effects. It was not nice. Somehow, I had the strength to hold on and jump the bump at the end of the section to get back on a normal surface. So as I was descending, I was think, “Wow, they passed that jobs bill quick!!”

Overall, my hands have not recovered. As I type this, the outer side (follow the little finger down, that side) of my left hand feels stiff. The outer side of my right hand, a little less so. I forgot to take a water bottle. I didn’t even think about water, though that in itself is nothing new. I ended up taking the small saddle bag with one inner tube, just in case, but the bike felt the lightest in a long while. Despite it all, it was good to be back on the bike. However, the feeling of dancing like Contador over the Alps has abandoned me.

I noticed a lot of downed trees.