Posts Tagged ‘cold’

Baby, it’s cold outside

14 April 2011

I stood outside in my long pyjamas to see if I could gauge how cold 48F was. It didn’t seem that bad. Stick with the shorts. Ok, I did put on two long sleeved tops – I am not that crazy. I went out with the bike and thought, “Ooh, it’s a tad cold!” Did I come back in for leggings? No, I did not.

The first climb warmed me up but when I was flying down the first downhill I realised how cold it was. The second climb fully warmed me up. I still cannot descend Motor Parkway fast. I think I am topping 33mph when normally I am approaching 40mph. I am not sure what is slowing me down. I think my approach is up there. I may take the Trek out tomorrow to see if it’s me or the bike.

Today I wanted to beat Tuesday’s time. I was really pushing it. I think I was on target. COnsidering I ended up being four seconds slower, I definitely was on target. What slowed me down? I got stuck behind a school bus coming back down Motor Parkway. Nightmare scenario. A bus on the other side of the road only makes you stop once, a bus on the same side makes you stop every time. I had to stop twice and pedalled really slowly. I think I could have cracked the time by a minute. I’ll never know.

Anyway, I think I have done enough speed work. I need to get some miles under my belt so I’ll be back on the longer rides next week.

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Like pushing peas up a hill

9 April 2011

You’d think cycling should be an easy form of exercise. Just hop on the bike and off you go. Sounds dreamy but in winter (spring) you need to put on the layers and then just hop on the bike, etc. But there are things that will try to stop you going fast. The cold just saps out energy – see yesterday’s blog. The wind tries to fling you from your machine. Hills try to make you do a wheelie and fall backwards. And, another thing dawned on me when I was cycling along Sound Avenue, the type of road surface can strip away 3-4 mph.

Sound Avenue has mixed surfaces. There are areas where the surface is nice and a reasonable can be maintained. Other areas are plainly bad. The road surface created so much friction I wanted to get some slicks on the wheels. I am thinking of writing to whoever and asking them if they can make a slicker bike lane along the side of the road. They can also paint one of those nice white lines to keep the nasty cars away! Just need to find out who they are now.

I wanted to do a long ride today. Okay, I only did 64 miles, half the distance of last week, but I was not planning on stopping for a break. I set off shortly after seven and it was still in the 30s. By the time I had finished the ride, it was in the mid 50s. There was little wind to speak of but I did notice a slight easterly as I got further out east. At least that would be behind me as I made the return back to home.

Getting off Sound Avenue and going through Riverhead, the road surface was much better. I went by Tangers and I didn’t realise how long a road that is. When I drive along there, I have normally be scuba diving, and it doesn’t seem like a long stretch. But on the bike, it seemed to take an age. Coming back along 25A/347, the road undulates so I had periods of faster riding and slower riding.

One thing I did notice was that I cannot eat the GUs (that’s plural GU, not someone called Gus) on the way with the double glove layering. I think I could rip the sachet open but I don’t want to litter and I think I would drop the top portion of the sachet as I eat. So I have to stop and eat. I think I also reached the limit of cycling with two water bottles. The GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets arrived this week and they are so much nicer than Camelbak’s tablets. Camelbak’s are too sweet and whenever I drink liquid with a tablet in, I am reminded of the 600k where I was desperate for non-sweetened water. The GU has just a hint of sweetness and is very tolerable. I had one water bottle with a dissolved tablet in and one of plain water. We are still not in summer yet where water consumption increases dramatically. May get one of the saddle water bottle holders. We’ll see.

Day off tomorrow from cycling. Whoo hoo!

Crushing the bunny in my thighs

8 April 2011

This morning it was tough to get out of bed. I finally opened my eyes, grabbed my watch, and prayed I saw a 7 dot something on its face. No such luck, 6:38. Time to get up and go cycling. As I passed the window at the top of the stairs, I saw frost on the garage tiles. Brrr. The thermometer in the kitchen reported an outside temperature of 37F.

So, finally making the move to go cycling, I was determined to beat both yesterday’s and Wednesday’s times. No wind again but, and more importantly, dry roads. No slacking off allowed. However, as I cycled along our street, the cold sapped the energy away from my legs.

The first check point, top of the first climb, I was twenty seconds ahead. Second check point, first long downhill, greater speed than yesterday’s max. My eventual top speed of the ride did not top Wednesday’s but I wasn’t to find that out until my second and fastest downhill section. My next checkpoint is the cross section of Terry and Old Nichols. Time was 46:xx which gave me seven minutes to get back to then house. The lights changed to green and I was off again and did not let up till I reached the front door and stop the timer. I had beaten Wednesday’s time by four seconds shy of two minutes.

I am pleased with the reaction of the cycling this week and needed to do speed-work. Not the speed-work that will win races but that will get me focussed on the long and gruelling season ahead.

So tired, tired of waiting…

6 April 2011

When are we going to see the back of winter? It was 36F this morning when I rolled out of bed to go cycling. I was hoping to be wearing just shorts this week but alas, I had to dig out the layers from the dirty laundry basket. I knew I should have washed my gear from the weekend.

Half the battle is just leaving the front door. Once I am out there, and it is not windy, I actually enjoy it. I was just thinking that this morning, it is not too bad. However, I do wish I could go out in just shorts and my regular shoes and gloves.

I was two seconds down on last Thursday’s ride. I’ll be out again in the morning and I shall start clocking up faster rides. Need to push myself on these shorter rides during the week.

Shy boys only win coconuts

27 March 2011

Training for the PBP is a lot of mental preparation. The physical side requires a lot of training but the only way I know to prepare mentally for it is to toughen my wimpy self up. This winter seems to have dragged on and on. It has affected my training and there have been days where I have not gone outside to cycle. However, with the first 200k brevet just seven days away, I cannot afford any more slippage. Today’s scheduled distance was 80km and even though I wanted to cut it short, I knew I couldn’t afford to. At least it was going to be a flat ride.

Before I left out of the house, I was starving and with nothing appropriate to eat, I grabbed a handful of candied ginger pieces and gobbled them down. Not sure if that was a good move as I felt like barfing a couple of times later on. Anyway, I got to 347 and saw a nice northerly wind. I was going to have a cross wind for forty miles and a nice head wind for a couple of miles as I crossed from 25A to Sound Avenue. I kept smelling food as I passed by all the fast food places. I kept seeing 99c Sausage Biscuits signs on every 7-11 I passed too. Hardly conducive to my low carb diet but I didn’t care. However, I did care enough to not stop and purchase anything. Another suck on the propel water was good enough to freeze my stomach into quietness.

I need to look at the map. I felt like I was going into a Westerly wind on the way back even though whenever I saw flags, they indicated a northerly wind. It wasn’t until I got to Southern with only two miles to go that I had a tail wind.

My legs felt heavy at times. This has persuaded me to only do one CTS session this week as I prepare for the 200k. I need to change saddles. I will switch the saddle with the Trek. This was the longest ride on the Specialized so far and the saddle does not feel comfortable enough for a long ride. I know I can get around with the Trek saddle. The saddle I won last year for sure is not appropriate. I am now in the market for a new saddle. Research begins. I am also in the market for a new drysuit and I found the one I want to get after the PBP has been completed. But that’s not about cycling so won’t be expanded on here. ūüėõ

By heck, that were a cold ride

11 January 2011

I had forgotten what sub freezing temperatures felt like when riding.  How could I have forgotten the initial pain on my face and forehead?  How could I have forgotten how the legs never warm up?  Somehow, I had.

With six inches of snow forecasted for tonight, today was the last chance of going outside for some time. ¬†I haven’t cleared our driveway, there’s only an inch of snow on there, so I walked the bike down to the road. ¬†The road was clear, for the most part. ¬†The roads were actually pretty good and there were no icy patches that I had to be aware of. ¬†No traffic problems either; I guess the two lights on the bike helped there.

My work effort was hard. ¬†I was determined to beat last week’s time. ¬†I did, but I felt powerless to put in any sort of effort. ¬†It was too hard to really push myself. ¬†It felt like I didn’t have the energy. ¬†I am sure that is not just the cold but I will find out when I do an indoor session tomorrow.

2011 – first outside ride

7 January 2011

I went out cycling this morning as it hadn’t snowed overnight. ¬†Temperature was 32F so I was a little bit wary of black ice. ¬†I think that wariness affected performance as I took the longest time for the short 20km route, ever. ¬†I had a feeling it would be a slow time when I reached the top of the first hill after ten minutes when normally it takes me around eight. ¬†Adding all the extra layers normally slows my time but I had to check what I was doing a year ago and it was only the indoor rides that I was doing a comparable time. ¬†My time yesterday was faster than the indoor rides of last year so I am not overly worried. ¬†Anyway, it is early days into my training – only second day in.

It has snowed tonight so I’ll be back inside tomorrow. ¬†Even though it didn’t snow much, it is dead icy. ¬†We went out for a dinner and movie and it was like an ice rink when we came out of the movie theatre. ¬†Thankfully the roads weren’t like that.

The new shoes held up great but I want some really low temperatures to really test them out.  I think 17F was my lowest temperature last year and my feet were frozen when I got back.  I had the new GoPro camera though I definitely think I set the helmet strap up wrongly as could be seen from all my photos.  Here is one of the better one.

Winter Cycling

All dressed up

The winter, she comes

10 October 2010

Outside temperature was a nice 43F this morning when I ventured downstairs to get my shorts from the basement.  I had expected to go out in shorts thinking temps would be in the 50sF but it was not to be.  When I went back upstairs to get ready, I went for layers.  I even took out the new windbreaker Alma had given to me as a birthday present.  Still have not got the Lake boots so was interesting to see how cold my feet would be.

I only did a short 27 mile ride but it is an exposed route going down Nichols Rd and back along Vets.  It is about a 20 mile gap between passing the last house on 347 and passing the next one a few miles from home.  Most of that distance is open roads so no warmth from the surrounding neighbourhoods.  It is not a route which I did last winter so I am interested to see how cold that route is compared to the usual routes I did last year.

Being wrapped in layers I noticed my average speed was down.  I think the muscles do not warm up fully which makes full performance not possible and leaves the ride an endurance ride.  This is fine for me during the winter as the important thing is to do base miles and then up the performance level next Spring.  My feet were not that cold at the end of the ride but I am going to be enquiring about the Lake boots this week.

What’s it with loops?

18 April 2010

I think I must be obsessed with loops. ¬†I have them on my 40k route; I have them on my 20k route, and I have the worst one on my 70k route. ¬†By loops I don’t mean a circular route, I mean a loop within the circular route. ¬†The one on the 70k has me going up the hill from Port Jefferson twice! (more…)

Cold, cold morning

14 April 2010

What a difference the temperature makes to cycling.

When I was out last, on Sunday, I was in my shorts and cycling jersey only. It was not overly hot but it was pleasant and I clocked up my fastest time ever on the route. Today, the thermometer read 33F and I had to try and find where I had put away all the layering clothes. It took ages for my legs to get working and even then, I don’t think they fully warmed up. (more…)