Friday, March 30, 2007

"Long" Ride

Odo - 3675.1

Everywhere I looked there were cyclists. The first week of my training program is finished. Today's training called for a long ride of 3 hours at an easy pace/heart rate. I exceeded the goal by about 1/2 an hour and rode 41.5 miles. The heart rate monitor estimates that I burned 2690 calories. My path took me from West Seattle, through downtown, up the Burke Gilman Trail almost to the top of Lake Washington and then back again. On the way back through downtown I hooked up with Critical Mass. There was a huge turnout, but I was done riding for the night.
115 miles total for the week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Century and STP Training

Odo - 3616.1

I've committed to ride in the STP (Seattle to Portland). I even went so far as to register. One of the guys that Christine works with is also riding in the STP. He and his cycling buddies have been juggling emails about the ride. They've included my email address so I get to read all of their chit chat. The other day one of the emails said that anyone riding in STP should be up to about 100 miles a week on the bike by now. I know I wasn't up to that much riding to work and back. I think I've been averaging about 60 miles per week.

I needed to do something about it so I broke out my old book, The Lance Armstrong Performance Program, by Lance and coach Chris Carmichael. Now I was looking through the book and the different programs and sort of half a** deciding on when and what type of rides to do and I remembered . . . the Polar website (makers of my heart rate monitor) has cycling programs for training. So I set one up.

It was easy. The program has 6 weeks of exercises (rides) laid out on a calender for me to look at. I just click on the day and it tells me what type of ride to do, the duration, and what zone my heart rate should be at. After my ride I upload the information to the web and can compare the target times in certain heart rate zones with my actual times and heart rates. I can also drag the exercises from one day to another to give myself a little leeway with work. This first week is a great one to kick things off, though, because work is really slow. Tim has been joining me on these rides as he has been getting in less cycling then me.

The first day, Monday, called for a slow easy ride for 1-1/2 hours at a heart rate of 60% to 70% of max. At this percentage this really was an easy ride. I think we over shot the time and rode for 2-1/2 hours which turned out to be about 25 miles. The photos on this post I took on that day. Tim and I both have Nikon cameras and tried out each others lenses. I got to get one of these wide angles someday. Yesterday, Tuesday, called for uphill intervals. We were supposed to ride uphill for 3 minutes sitting and 2 minutes standing while keeping the heart rate between 70% to 80%. It was hard keeping the heart rate below 80% until we found the perfect hill, just the right angle with little traffic. Then you rest for 5 minutes and repeat the interval. The plan said to repeat this this 8 times and we did. I used to hate hills. Thankfully, I don't anymore. You ride, the hill is there, you just keep riding. Much slower, but you just keep riding. Today is an off day. No riding scheduled. Tomorrow calls for 1 hour of spinning intervals, high pedal cadence and Friday is supposed to be a 3 hour long ride.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bicycle Zen

A good friend of mine , David, and his wife went on a bike ride the other day. It was 90 degrees and he drank water, a lot of water. Check out his blog to see his experience with water intoxication. And remember while riding to not only stay hydrated but stay fueled and keep your electrolytes up.

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad I do not have to carry them on my back."

The teacher said, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do."

The second student replied, "I love to see other places and watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path."

The teacher commended him, "Your eyes are open and you see the world."

The third student replied, "The fluid rhythm of pedaling frees my mind, as well as my body."

The teacher praised him. "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly-trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with nature, the environment, and all sentient beings."

The teacher said, "You are riding on the golden path of no harm."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle…."

The teacher replied with a pause, and then, smiling, sat at the feet of the fifth student and slowly said, "I am now YOUR student!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Maximum Heart Rate Readings

Odo - 3535.4

I discovered some things about the HRM (heart rate monitor) over the last few days. First, there is no way my maximum heart rate was at 201bpm (beats per minute) when I rode home the other night. I rode home pretty hard tonight. With as much effort as I did then and my maximum heart rate was only 181bpm. And then only for a few seconds or so. I think a 201 might have killed me. I started a ride yesterday and had to restart the HRM twice because it jumped from about 135 bpm to some crazy number like 220 and then back. The manual says that strong electromagnetic signals can cause erratic readings. Possible sources of these signals include high-voltage power lines, traffic lights, car motors, bike computers and cell phones. Before I read the manual I thought that it was the cold wind blowing through my sweater that was effecting it. After I put on my jacket it this didn't occur. But the operating temperature if the HRM is well below the outside temperature that day, even with wind chill. Could it be that the jacket was shielding the HRM from outside electromagnetic signals? Or maybe I had just moved away from what ever was causing them. Or (and this is probably way out there) could it be that the sweater was generating a static charge that the jacket somehow conducted away. It did hail on me as I put on the jacket. Maybe I was in the field of a possible lightning strike.* Or maybe the government was aiming a new electromagnetic weapon at me or it could have been aliens!!** Anyway I believe something happened, on my way home, the other night causing the maximum heart rate (201) to be false.

According to the HRM I burned about 900 calories riding to and from work today. I just missed my record time home by 13 seconds even though I was fighting a head wind for about 2 miles.

*No I don't believe I was about to be struck by lightning.
**No I really don't believe it to be aliens or the government.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rail Bikes

Just when I thought I'd seen it all in the bicycle world I stumbled across these rail bikes. - Looks like a great way to see the country side. Railroads are generally not steep and it should be quite a smooth ride. Of course they should be road on abandoned lines where there are no trains.

Apparently the idea is not a new one.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Emergency Wheel Fix

I found this on a fellow bloggers web site. He is showing that it is possible to straighten a wheel in the field. Ah . . . just enough to get you home. You will still need a new wheel but at least you are not stuck out somewhere. I never would have even thought of this.
Free advice on how to fix your bicycle: EMERGENCY WHEEL FIX

90's Apartment to OroValley

Back in the early 90's I lived for a short period in an apartment on the south side of Tucson. I had, during that time, purchased a Specialized Hardrock "mountain bike". It was nothing like their Hardrock of today. All steel. Not even front shocks. One day I decided I would ride to my parents on the north side of town and back. I remember it being such a long, grueling ride. It was 15 miles one way. Ha! A walk in the park now days. I uploaded the route as best as I remember it here - 90's apartment to Oro Valley.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Heart Rate Monitor

Odo - 3496.4

I picked up a heart rate monitor by Polar to use while I'm riding. The idea here is to figure out your maximum heart rate and then a target zone that is lower then that to work out in. The heart rate monitor tells you when you are in that zone. I haven't read the whole manual yet but I got a basic set up done. The monitor was telling me my target zone is between 145 - 160 heart beats per minute (bpm). At about 150 I felt pretty comfortable. Going over the lower West Seattle Bridge and up the hill I push myself pretty hard and the monitor was beeping like crazy at me. When I looked at the summery, after my ride, it showed my max heart rate to be 201 bpm and my average to be 147 bpm. The 201 max was surely a fluke.  It also showed that I burned approx. 433 calories. It made a difference to. I got home 31 seconds faster then ever before and this is on Friday when I should be the most burned out for the week. It was a pretty warm, clear night. About 54 F with little or no wind.

From work -
  • Distance - 5.92 miles
  • Average speed - 12.7
  • Max speed - 22.0 mph
  • Time - 27:59
Odo - 3476.2

I had a dream I owned a horse. I was riding and proud that I had become so competent in my horsemanship skills. At some point the horse became a bicycle.

From work -
  • Distance - 5.90 miles
  • Average - 12.4 mph
  • Max speed - 21.5 mph
  • Time - 28:30

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Odo - 3451.2

To Work -
  • Distance - 5.87
  • Average - 15.6
  • Max speed - 34.0 mph
  • Time - 22:16

From Work -
  • Distance - 5.96
  • Average - 12.4
  • Max speed - 25.0 mph
  • Time - 28:37

Monday, March 12, 2007

"A" Mountain Ride

I was just remembering when when I lived for a while at Ajo and I-19 in Tucson I did a ride up "A" Mountain. So I posted it on Bikely. My 90's apartment to "A" Mountain loop.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Alaska Junction to Downtown

I uploaded my daily commute route onto Bikely. Here it is - Alaska Junction to Downtown. My total climb each day is about 169 feet and the decent is about 357 feet. Coming is basically just the reverse. For my Tucson friends I've compared this to a ride I used to do - Oro Valley to Tucson Mall. Almost the same distance, slightly less climb.

Best commute data going to work for is as follows -
  • Distance - 5.82
  • Average - 14.6 mph
  • Max speed - 33.5 mph
  • Time - 23.53
I've also come to find out that my bike weighs in at 30 pounds without rack, pack, lights and lock. Oh what it would be like to have a 15 - 20 pound bike.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bicycle Mud Flaps

Odo - 3430.6

I have seen several people riding with home made, custom mud flaps attached to their fenders. While full fenders will, for the most part, keep you dry, the mud flaps really help in keeping dirt, mud off your chain and chain rings. Once dirt gets in there it just grinds around, shortening the life of your drive train, until you clean it. So I chose to make my own. I went down to the store room to get my tool box and happened to find just the perfect piece of scrap leather. I know that the leather will eventually rot but it's almost 1/4 inch thick and with the amount of mink oil I put on there rotting will take a long time. I used another piece of leather to act as a hinge, attached to the main flap with 2 copper rivets (like those you might find on a Brooks bike saddle) and 2 pop rivets to attach the whole thing to the fender. I've been in medieval reenactment for 15 + years and I know with a little cleaning and oil this leather should last a long time, even with the water hitting it all winter long. However if you don't want to do such maintenance there are other options. Many people use plastic from milk cartons or anything. This website recommends stair tread leather - Bike DIY Mud Flaps. I'm sure this will double my time between drive train cleanings and it's keeping my shoes, socks and pants dryer too!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Downtown Ballard Locks Loop

Odo - 3390.4

I rode 25 miles today. My usual commute to and from work plus the weather was so nice that I rode another 12 miles between shifts. The 12 mile ride was, of course, a loop to and from work. I rode down to the water front, through Elliott bay/Myrtle Edwards park, up 20th ave. 20th becomes Gilman ave. Gilman becomes Government. Up into Magnolia. At Government and 32nd you take a right. This sneaks you down to a foot bridge across some train tracks and drops you right on the Ballard Locks. I walked across the locks. You have to. Took a right on 54th/Market, right on Shilsole, left to NW 46th, right on 9th, picked up the Burke Gilman trail, slipped onto N 36th street through Fremont, across the Fremont Bridge, left onto Westlake passed Lake Union and back downtown. It's a sweet little ride. Seattle is such a scenic city. I uploaded it onto Bikely. You can see the route here - Downtown, Magnolia,Ballard,Fremont,back downtown. Another cool feature I found on Bikely is in the upper left corner you can click Show and Elevation Profile.

My muscles must have recovered over the weekend because I flew home from work tonight. So I feel this is a good time to start some new commute stats to our new place.

Commute data from work -
  • Distance - 6.37 miles
  • Average speed - 12.6 mph
  • Time - 29.51
  • Max speed - 24.0