Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken or the egg, a quick end of month - January 30, 2011

Almost put 2010 in the date, still not used to 2011...anyhow.

I grew up always hear the urban legend that you are more likely to get a traffic ticket in your car in the last week of the month than any other time because the police have to meet their quota.  I don't know whether there is any truth to that or not (and every officer I have ever asked denies it), but in my notice of patterns I can tell you for sure there are more people pulled over at the end of the month than any other time.

I don't know that this has to do with a quota.  I think it has to do with the drivers themselves.

On my short driving portion while on my way to work, I have seen more aggression from drivers towards me and each other, more speeding, blatant disregard for anything resembling following the rules of the road and impatience at the ends of each month.  I wonder if it's because of extra stresses at work or bills coming due or something else, but drivers go from their standardly inattentive selves to raging maniacs.  So I wonder if the police force is simply responding to this because they have seen the same trends, if they are more able to find transgressions or if they too are more aggressive at the end of the month.  I would be curious to see any insurance data on this.

What it means for me on my bike is a higher level of diligence and knowing that I need to firmly establish myself in traffic; no daydreaming.

2 horns and 3 "get off the wourldkjsdlkjdflwejrldkjfslejrlklksjelrj" (people don't understand/care that they become unintelligible as they drive past) this week.  Traffic wasn't heavy and there was lots of room to go around, which they all did safely, they were just having a bad day.  So they got a smile and a wave and maybe it made their day better.  Or not.

I did see a lot more cyclists out in the last week as well.  Some regulars that I haven't seen all winter were passed and a number of new/old ones (obviously practiced riders) and ever a few new/new ones (seem more than a little lost).  It was great to have somebody to chase and I got in a couple of hard rides.  I also did pretty good on my mileage, just over 425.

I hope to start adding other information on some cool equipment I've seen lately.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new commute? - January 22, 2011

I know, I know.  It's been a bit.

Really there hasn't been anything to talk about.  I haven't gotten as much riding in as I've wanted due to various reasons beyond my control: being out of town, icy roads, other appointments, etc.

I hope to finish up the month around 400 miles, but that means that I will probably need to do some riding on weekends (which I have been doing better with), nothing long, just getting out.  Commutes have been normal, although I have seen a few more people out.  I am in the process of starting to think about getting the Ibis ready for spring and some of the riding I will be doing.  It's getting lighter out again which is very nice.  See nothing exciting.

The only thing new right now is a possibility that my office will be moving closer to my house.  Man does that bite!

I know that sounds a little backwards, but let me explain.  Right now, through the summer I would be able to ride to and from work and cover nearly 1000 miles a month.  The new place would have me about 400.  That would be great for the winter, but not the summer.  As well with everything else going on, my summer training schedule for the weekend is: one weekend day doing group training, two weekend days doing longer solo rides but start early in the morning facilitating an early return and one weekend off.  This was designed to limit my training to time when I would have been driving anyhow; on the commute.  There is a solution.

I planned out a ride that takes me about 40 miles in the morning with about 2500' of climbing that is variable depending on traffic and time constraints.  I would leave a little earlier for work and get my additional miles in, returning straight to home after work, the remaining 10 miles.  This will give me the 1000 miles a month that I need.  Even better my training time is when everyone else is sleeping and I will get home earlier in the evening then I do now.  It will also almost completely take the second vehicle off the road (not quite, but close) all year round.  Of course nothing about the move has been confirmed.

Right now I need to get my miles up for this month.  I think a couple of short weekend rides are in order if the weather cooperates.  Tomorrow is supposed to be nice (ie, not raining) so maybe a nice short ride before everyone gets up is in order.  I hope to have something interesting in the next few posts, but logistics are a big part of my planning right now.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Row, row your boat - January 4, 2011

It's a new year and I made a resolution.  Twice a week until I am able to get on my road bike and cover the anticipated 300 miles a week, I am going to row.  Even with my current biking and diet, I am barely able to hold my weight in check and this will give my upper body it's much needed attention.

So far my year has gone well, and though I am just curing myself, I am about half way through the season and my bullet proof (if heavy) tires and tire protectors and heavy tubes have rolled free of punctures.  Now I just need to figure out how to get around the ice.

Booked the time off for Idaho, so I will definitely get a shot at that.  The only downside is that it will be early in the season, so I hope for good, EARLY weather.  I will need to get the training in.  The up side is that it is early enough in the year that it shouldn't be scorching hot.

Longer posts coming up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Change of plans - December 29, 2010

I have been meaning to get this post up for awhile, but didn’t have the time/drive/energy.  (Blogging if you’re not naturally a writer by nature is a lot more challenging then I would have thought.)  It is a change of plans for this summer’s riding!

So my initial goal is to get to 10,000 miles by this time next year.  I was thinking 12,000 but with some of the changes this year I scaled that back.  And it’s not as much as it sounds.  With winter commuting I am averaging about 450 miles a month.  Assuming that I do that for 5 months of the year it would come to 2250.  In the summer, my commuting alone will be around 850 miles a month for 5 months, for a total of 4250.  With two transition months of somewhere in between, before any other training I am over 7500 miles.  That only leaves 2500 miles of racing and training or about 100 miles a week during the summer.

At one point there were possible plans to ride in Maui and a better chance to do the S2S.  Both of those are on the shelf for now; instead it looks like in mid/late-June (when it isn’t so hot) that I will do a one day ride to Idaho.  340 miles and about 15,000 feet of climbing.  It’s not a race (well against other people, there will be a “racing” aspect against the clock) or an organized ride, it’s just an endurance ride.  A test to see if I’m cut out to do ultra-cycling, especially after my DNF on the S2S last year.

The positives are, I can set MY pace and not have to worry about what the group is doing, it’s early enough to avoid the really bad heat that I won’t have had time to acclimate to, I can start on my schedule with enough sleep and there is a possibility of multiple support vehicles, taking some of the pressure off of Trisha and the kids.    There really is no need to race, as just by the nature of the ride it will be enough to finish.  The best part: it’s on the way to final destination for a family vacation that includes cycling!

There is a wonderful cycling area where we go in the immediate area and a short drive to Montana.  The extra support vehicles will be in the form of Trisha’s  family all headed in the same direction.  And my recovery can be spent while overlooking a beautiful wooded area above a lake.  Between this ride and a plan to ride to Hurricane Ridge, I am down to under 2000 miles to complete my goal.

While not Haleakela , Hurricane Ride still rises from sea level to almost 8000 feet.  It is a very consistent climb as well with switch backs similar to the one’s I would have ridden on Maui.  This might be a July type ride.  The best part is, I can leave any weekend day and be at the top by early afternoon from my house with a nice total ride similar in length to a century.

One of the things I will be working on is less speed...well not precisely, but that will be the end result.  I have proven that for the amount of time I train as a recreational cyclist I am in the top 10% of the riders around here.  I need to take that power and spread it out over a longer period of time and not burn myself out after 120 miles.  One of the things I will be doing is less group training. 

It has it's benefits, but I need to go out and get my own pace down on longer rides.  That and to accommodate time with my family I have found very few groups that go out at five in the morning.  I am looking forward to some nice challenges this year.