Monday, July 25, 2011

Two Rides - Thursday, 21 July and Sunday, 24 July

This past Thursday wasn't a ride as much as it was a mini-brick for H and me. I convinced her to come to Brookhaven to get more time on some hills and roads. Our plan was to do one 10-mile loop and then run a mile or two afterward. The sky was ominous, and the distant thunder and lightning even more so, so we opted to do the front 5-mile loop twice (just in case). H still is getting used to the lightness and responsiveness of her bike (and to the clipless pedals), so we took it easy and had a good ride, without real incident. We then changed shoes and started to run, but because of gulping down 20+ oz of water over 3 or 4 stops on the ride, H got a stitch early on that just wouldn't work out. We still managed a mile.

Bike stats:

Maximum speed: 25.3 mph
Average speed: 12.0 mph
Distance: 9.53 mi
Time: 0.47.13

I felt good. I didn't work too hard, but because I was able to run pretty easily after the ride and feel good, I am much more confident about the tri in August. I know it'll still be a challenge to put it all together, but I'm looking forward to it, for sure.


I commuted on Friday, and besides saying that I get my hackles up every time I go near the overpass where the guy challenged me, it was uneventful.


Sunday, I was the nominal leader of the KSR, which had another good turnout. I really like meeting the new people and the regulars who join us. I was feeling fishy (possibly residual from Thursday's brick and a late night Saturday) and weak, but V, L, and P were pulling up the rear so I had good company for the duration.


Maximum speed: 78 (damn computer)
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Distance: 30.59 mi
Time: 2.19.57

Like I said, I didn't feel great, but I really enjoyed the ride.

I spent a good portion of the weekend meeting a few of G's friends, who are pretty cool people. In all, it's been a positive several days.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two Weekend Rides - Saturday, 16 July and Sunday, 17 July

Saturday, I rode here I like the link because I can see the profile and you, dear readers, can ALSO see the profile. It isn't very impressive (for impressive, see the profile for Stage 14 of the TdF), but it was still a step beyond the first time we went up to the Gaps last month.


Maximum speed: 39.5 mph
Average speed: 13.4 mph  (1 mph faster than last time!)
Distance: 49.41 mi
Time: 3.39.43

We expected a large group from Sorella to be there, leaving from Turner's Corner and, as we had already opted for a 50-miler, we rode the front three gaps again, leaving this time from the Walmart in Dahlonega, about 10 miles from Neel's gap.

This made a big difference, I think. Last time, we did a piddly 3-mi warm up which, I'll be frank, did nothing to actually get the legs going: I still felt like I hit the first climb cold. This time, however, we rode 10 miles, pulled into and then immediately out of Turner's Corner 10 miles later, and I actually felt warm (it takes ~7 miles for me to get going). We hit Neel's, and I didn't feel great, but I found a comfortable pace, remembered that it took about an hour to crest it last time, and then hunkered down for the long climb. I did NOT drop into the granniest of gears, knowing that if I could spin at a higher gear I would get stronger. Keeping an eye on the average speed, it didn't look like I was going any faster, but I definitely got to the top 10 minutes faster than last time (and my back didn't hurt and I wasn't dreading starting the day).

After Neel's, I knew from experience that the worst part of the ride was over. I also had half a pack of Honey Stingers (those things are aMAzing), and just booked it (for me on hills) the rest of the way through the ride. D passed me on Wolfpen, but I kept him in my sight the whole rest of the climb, getting to the top not long behind him. Rode up Woody's and back to Walmart with him. The descent from Woody's was the best payoff ever, except for getting stuck behind an SUV for a little bit of it. I swear, I felt freaking GREAT the whole time.

We had gotten to the ride start just about on time, and it had been drizzling to raining the whole drive up. I was secretly (and then not so secretly) hoping that we would get rained out, but nature would not cooperate. Instead, I had to do the damn ride and by the time I crested Neel's I had totally changed my tune. I felt great, amazing, spectacular, etc. etc. I couldn't get over myself! It was a great ride, and I think the weather DID cooperate, afterall:  68F and overcast the whole time! Perfection!

It also didn't hurt that the TdF had entered the Pyrenees the day before and I was acutely aware of how quickly those fng guys climb. I will not be put to shame by the skinnies!


Sunday, I rode the KSR with the usual group of great people. It was great to ride with K and V again, it had been forever! I was definitely feeling the ride from the day before, so I took it easy (and by took it easy, I remember feeling like I was pushing and just not getting much reward for the effort). I did NOT go around the mountain. I DID, however, get the breakfast special at brunch following the ride, which I enjoyed immensely.

Maximum speed: 33.8 mph
Average speed: 12.9 mph
Distance: 30.13 mi
Time: 2.18.45

Summation: I am a happy, happy girl.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Commutes and a Jackass - 11 & 12 July

It looks as if, for the time being, I'll be posting two rides or so at a time: the previous day's ride home and the current day's ride in. Until I get into the habit of being on the computer at home, this is just how it's going to be. I'm also not sure I'm going to post every commute still, but yesterday's ride out really pissed me off and I want to blow off some steam (yes, I wear anger for a while).


Maximum speed: 30.59 mph
Average speed: 13.7 mph
Distance: 7.57 mi
Time: 0.33.09

I took basically the same ride out as I did in, and I am not sure how I managed to add .8 miles. The chain joyfully hopped out over the big ring again (before I got off campus, at least), and it was squeak-squeak-squeaky, which was just annoying. I'd had a long day at school and just wanted to be home.

Anyway, I will preface my frustration with the statement that I am one of the most law-abiding cyclists out there. It's how my dad taught me, it's the law, it's just the right thing. That said, I was riding up toward an underpass through a residential area. There were cars parked along the side of the road, and it was one lane in the direction I was headed in. At the underpass, the lane split into a left-only turn lane and another lane, which was basically the one I was in anyway (I was headed straight). The stretch between the last parked car and the light was 50-100 feet (not long, but I'm no good at judging distances), so I stayed in the center of my lane and came up and stopped behind a car that was stopped at the light. Another car, windows down, pulls into the turn lane next to me.

Driver: (very politely) It's three feet, isn't it?
Me: (thinking he's asking for verification) yes, it's three feet, and thank you
Driver: no, that's the law, three feet, right? And you have to give three feet, too
Me: (confused as to how to explain why I don't have to be in the shoulder) well, there are cars, sir (gestures toward the line of parked cars behind her)
(the light changes)
Driver: three feet, you also have to give three feet and get over, (starts driving) that's what sharing is (pulls away angrily and makes a right turn across my path)
Me: (stands there, heart racing, shaking, dumbfounded, frustrated, and angry;  proceeds to ride the rest of the way home in tears, mentally finishing the conversation at least 15 times)

The thing is, he wasn't a dick about it at all, he was just a total dick. I think he was angry (obviously), but was very polite in his tone, but the way he pulled off with what amounted to a parting "fuck you!" and his own righteous (and misdirected) indignation marked him as an enemy for life. Dick.

ETA: I just checked google maps, and it is about 200' between the last parked car and the cross-walk. I still maintain that the guy was a total dick and that I was in the right for staying in the lane, I just hate to be factually inaccurate.


Got on the bike this morning, and immediately picked up the argument where it had left off. So unfair!


Maximum speed: 30.31 mph
Average speed: 13.32 mph
Distance: 6.88 mi
Time: 30.59

Tonight are the hills of Buckhead.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two rides

Kirkwood Sunday Ride

I got back in town Saturday night and was happily able to join the KSR crew yesterday morning for the ride to the mountain. For not having been on the bike in (exactly) two weeks, I felt really good. I caught P's wheel around Katie Kerr and was just off the back of the A group for a while, before my chain decided it just couldn't be away from my pedal any longer and hopped off the large ring. Easy fix and rode in to Stone Mountain, no problem. I even did a small loop with P, which was a good time.


Maximum speed: 30.27 mph
Average speed: 14.02 mph
Distance: 32.78 mi
Time: 2.20.19

Not bad, though I could have been better. I pulled or strained something behind my left knee (it seems like I remember it hurting a few weeks ago), and it bothered me on the way back yesterday. At this point it's a discomfort more than anything.

We had a great showing on the ride, too! Almost 30 riders, most of whom were new to the group. It was cool to meet new people and to just get out and go go go.


Monday Commute In

I spent the night in town to make the commute easier and to ease the homesickness for the puppy, among other things, so I had a shorter ride in than I might normally. It was an easy jaunt, which took me through Little Five and past my old apartment (I think I saw B walking Odin, but on the other side of a divided road, so no chatting :/ ). I didn't anticipate the construction on North, but even with the traffic the drivers very nicely let me into their lane and I made it in without a problem.


Maximum speed: 31.72 mph
Average speed: 12.6 mph
Distance: 6.78 mi
Time: 0.32.16

There are few better ways to start a morning than with a bike ride immediately followed by a warm shower. Just saying.