Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Cache Valley Century

Greetings All,
Well the 2006 Cache Valley Century is in the books. For me, it was a mostly successful adventure. As is the norm with long distance rides, I learned some positive things about my riding, and learned that there is still a lot of progress to be made.

The day dawned wet and cold as a nasty line of thunderstorms rolled through about 3-4 AM. After months of hot dry weather, we were greeted at the start area with 53 degrees and light rain. What timing! But it all turned out fine. By 9 AM, the sun was out and the weather was lovely.

As far as I saw, there were only two recumbents on this ride, along with one fellow riding a beautiful WizWheels TerraTrike. The rest of the group was the usual mix of high end speed demons, intermediates, and a smattering of beginners.

My new friend, Kerry from Clearfield on his Rans V-Rex.

With Amy and Jon as my side crew, I was off to the races around 7:40 AM. The first part of the ride went wonderfully. 51 miles at 17.5 mph average. Right on target! In fact, following one long downhill, downwind stretch I had another rider comment to me that he had been chasing me for 6 miles and wanted to know if I had an extra motor on board!

At the 70 mile rest area in Nibley. (note my happy cheery face)

Of course, all things come to an end. Three factors changed the whole tone of the day. 1. The wind. The second half of the day was mostly into a north breeze. 2. About 1/3 of the ride from Trenton to Wellsville was newly chip sealed road with a very rough texture. Not the fastest road to ride, and it just made for slow progress. 3. The most important issue that arose was self-inflicted. I worked too hard going up a hill, and something happened inside my right knee. So, for the latter part of the day my right ACL was screaming and sending nasty E-mails to me for about the last 40 miles. My mistake was twofold. First was that I rested too long at the Trenton rest stop, and second was not “spinning” up a long hill and mashing the pedals instead. Probably over-stressed the knee in some fashion, but it sure impeded my progress the rest of the day.

The total numbers: Total miles:103. Average speed: 15.7 mph. Maximum downhill speed: 45 mph on the big downhill west of Preston. Total riding time: 6 hours, 27 minutes. (27 minutes over my goal)

What did I learn? That I am a much better rider than I was 3 years ago; That I still have a long ways to go to be ready for a double century like LOTOJA or Seattle to Portland; and that I am very proud of my efforts so far. As Amy tells me, “How many men in your age group can ride 100 miles on a bicycle?” Seriously, I have made progress on nutritional issues, and being comfortable on the bike. I probably once again did not drink enough water and paid the price with a stiff headache the day after. Although I can maintain a great pace for 50 miles, my conditioning level is still not up to century standards. Next year I will need to incorporate more 50-70 mile rides in my training. Commuting back and forth to work with a round trip of 51 miles once a week has been a good method to build base miles, but it's not the same as a bonafide 60 mile training ride.

What’s next? Well, a little rest, and then I am going to explore riding some of Utah’s hilly canyons this fall as the weather cools to a better climbing temperature.

A completely random photo from the Eden Balloon Festival. ( We had a great time watching the balloons being inflated!

I hope you have all had a great summer, and still are finding time to get outdoors.

Happy Riding, All


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Road Hazards

Hi All,
Sorry for the two week lapse in posting. Since the last post from Antelope Island I have put 168 miles on the bike! I have been getting good solid miles of late, and feel ready for next weeks Cache Valley Century.
Getting ready for riding is such an adventure. You make time to ride, and do all the logistical things to get ready. Then with a full head of steam, lots of motivation, you head out to the garage and find:

Yes, the dreaded flat tire. Now, you have throw your whole plan out the window, fix the flat and then get on the road. It is so frustrating! I read over on of riders who go thousands of miles without a flat. Riggggght. Deep sigh. The cause of this (and most other) flats is the dreaded sticker. It looks like this:

But soon you are happily zipping down the road, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, logging another happy 40 miles on the Little Red Bike. Of course, there are interesting hazards out on the road, too. I don't mean construction areas, manic drivers, stickers, or even pot holes. Where I ride, I find the most interesting road hazards. Take this morning on Antelope Island:

This fellow wasn't 10 yards from the road.

That's what I call a ROAD HAZARD!

I can't figure out this sign. Can Bison read? Or, if the sign is for us humans, what do we do if the Bison are on the road? (and today there were a hundred on the road!)

And finally, a totally random article entitled: The Environmental Paradox of Bicycling. This is a working paper from the University of Pennsylvania. I would be interested in your thoughts, comments, or even witty retorts on this.

Happy riding all!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday on the Island

Hi all,
This morning I enjoyed a lovely yet long ride out to Antelope Island. Total mileage for the ride; 40 miles!

The island is one of my favorite places to ride mostly due to the lack of cars, trucks, and people! A weekday ride on the 7 mile causeway will usually only net one or two cars. Weekends are different as I see lots of cyclists, horse riders, mountain bikes, campers etc. Today was no exception. As I arrived at the causeway entrance I met a large group of young kids accompanied by several adults and a sag truck who were going to ride across the causeway and down to the Fielding Garr Ranch. In talking to with the group I learned that they absoloutley no idea what they were up to, and that they had no idea how far they were riding! (38 miles round trip). Although I did ride part way across with this group, I wished I could have stayed with them to witness the climb back up the long hill from the ranch. It was obvious to me that these boys had never been on a ride of these proportions. Even the adult leaders had no idea how far they were planning to ride. You can check out the route on the Antelope Island map in a previous post. In any case, they were in high spirits as they headed off on their adventure.

As for me, I rode my usual loop across the causeway, up to the visitor's center, then the long climb back home. Here are a few pictures from a lovely morning. Enjoy!

The intrepid riders. The ranch is in the distance, on the far left edge of the photo.

The things you notice in your rear view mirror! I had to pull over and take this lovely shot looking east, towards Weber Canyon.

Looking south, towards Frary Peak.

My trusty steed.