Friday, February 21, 2014

Atlantans: Get your collective head out of your collective ass

I rode home yesterday, but the app only recorded from school to Baker. Too bad. I'll still write up the interesting anecdote here:

I generally like one-way roads while on the bike, because they provide multiple lanes for motorists to pass without bothering me. In this story, I was in the far-left lane on (one-way) Centennial Olympic Park Dr to make a left turn onto (one-way) John Portman (old Harris). I slowed a bit while approaching the light to allow pedestrians to cross and noticed a pick up a couple lanes over doing the same, with the left directional on. Realizing that this truck meant to turn left from a right lane, across several lanes of traffic (and probably into me), I yelled "Hey! Hey! Hey!" and made eye contact through the open window. He returned "Hey what?! I see you." And he proceeded to turn left from his right lane, behind me, into a left lane on Harris.

The pedestrians, who were several adults and a few children and maybe a younger teenager, of course witnessed this whole exchange. They saw fit to make fun of my "hey hey hey" as they continued down the sidewalk. Yes, that is exactly the behavior you should teach your children.


Also, a note to motorists: that solid white line that often precedes an intersection or cross-walk, or accompanies stop signs, is a stop line. You are supposed to stop at it, not on it or over it. Your front bumper should not cross it if you are stopping at that intersection, even if it is not even with the stop line in the lane next to you: that is by design, for visibility and tight turns. When you stop across that line, or inch over it, you make me angry, and you put me in danger.


On my ride home on Tuesday, the driver of an 18-wheeler took the right turn from Baker to Luckie too wide (it's a brand-new, poorly designed intersection, because Atlanta: no one makes deliveries to the Aquarium), while I was stopped at the light waiting to make a left. I saw he couldn't make it and backed up. He started waving wildly and told me to just get off the bike and change lanes. What if I were a car? He endangered me by not calculating his turning speed, and then by forcing me to change lanes and re-enter traffic for my left turn at a light as it changed.


I hate this city.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The snow is melting

As it is wont to do in Atlanta. It was in the 50s and sunny over the weekend, and it will be in the 50s and sunny this weekend as well; the forecast projects 70 and sunny by this time next week. Snow doesn't stand much of a chance in this part of hell (figuratively speaking, of course).

What does that mean? It means that, despite Atlanta's determination to keep me away from school (perhaps this is some almighty force's way of giving me extra time to GtDD), I should be able to get on the bike and ride to school again. I've been on the trainer twice, which in addition to being miserable, means the heart rate and temperature are pretty intense. Neither time did I end up with a headache, so there's no stopping this girl now (again, figuratively speaking: the drivers in Atlanta will have to work with me on this one).

I'll be working on getting the base miles in, which with the commute is an easy 15-16 twice a week. Add that to the GTRs and KSR, and that's 4 rides a week, and that's a good week of riding for someone who hasn't done much of anything besides run and code for six months. I'm looking forward to it.

Speaking of GTRs, the few of you who read this AND ride bikes AND who aren't already on the team AND who live in Georgia AND who hate cancer (the problem with intersecting events is that the subsequent event ends up being very small) should sign up. The rides are in Fletcher, NC and Tahoe, NV/CA (that's right, two states for the price of one) and are both beautiful and both allow you to give cancer the finger.

Even if you're not in Georgia, you can still register with your local chapter (Tahoe is a national event, and we can meet up and ride in Tahoe together! You can meet Graham, and that's a real treat.)

My fundraising starts in earnest in March. In the meantime, hit me up for some cookies.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cycling and Debugging

While I wait for the current run of my analysis to ... run, I'm going to talk about this morning's GTR.

That's right, it was a GTR, meaning cycle training has officially begun. Now, I'm not officially on the team yet, because I'm under the gun for the dissertation and I want to make sure I can do the rides without a whanging headache for the effort (so far so good!), but I plan to join the team every Saturday until recommitment and do all the training so that it's as if I'm on the team.

(I just started another debugging run attempt)

Recommitment is around the time I'm supposed to defend the dissertation (for a May completion, everything really done, graduation date), so I'll know whether I'll have had enough training in, how I'm feeling, and all that good stuff. It would be a nice defense treat to myself to be able to join the team, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and not just for that, of course). I'm hoping that I'm able to keep riding without headaches, especially as the weather warms up.

I watched the heart rate today, and it doesn't really seem to correspond with my perceived effort. It could be just that it was chilly out there and so effort was hard to gauge, but I was just plugging along, feeling great, and my heart rate was higher than I wanted it to be (and higher than my effort felt). I'm not sure what it should be, neither am I sure how to figure that out. I do know that on the piddly climbs on the course my heart rate jumped right up, and I was trying to focus on breathing deeper (which is hard), meaning I'm also trying to focus on posture and form. I think I see some trainer training in my future. Sigh.

Click here for the Strava details.