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Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Stats

I've added weekly stats for 2009 under the Daily Mile widget on the right side bar. Hopefully my weekly distances and average speeds will increase while my weight decreases. My target weight is 180's an ambitious goal so we'll see how it goes.

Last week was a disappointment for riding. The week had a lot of promise with the children away for the week, but other things got in the way. I had wanted to de-thatch the lawn for a few years now so last Friday was the day. Of course, I got a late start for numerous reasons, including being on call for a crisis brewing at work and a one hour wait at the RMV to get my license renewed. I had wanted to start in the morning but didn't get going until 2:00 pm. After that the domino effect controlled the rest of the weekend, which meant no ride on Friday and short rides on Sat and Sun. I understand those kinds of weeks are going to happen but it still aggravates me to no end.

Week Ending 4/26/09

  • Sat 4/25 - 18.9 mi - 16.4 mph
  • Sun 4/26 - 22.6 mi - 16.0 mph

This week will be another thin week for riding. I'm heading off later today to a project site in New Jersey where I'll be working for the next few days. Hope I'm back in time and the weather holds for rides on Fri through Sun.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mid-Week Update - W/E 4/26/09

After riding three days in a row to end last week, the plan was to take a rest day on Monday, ride Tues or Wed, ride Thur or Fri, and then ride the weekend for a total 4 days of cycling. The weather forecast even dove-tailed nicely with this plan, and furthermore, all days were in play this week as the kids were shipped off to Gramps and Grammy's house for the week (school vacation week...bless my parents!). Unfortunately, the timing of the rain conspired to prevent any dry after work rides through Wed, and today, well I guess you could call it one of my lazy-ass days. I just could not motivate myself to pull on the tights and the heavy-weight jersey and face those gusty westerly wind again tonight. It might have actually been easier to do it if the forecast for the next few days wasn't so spectacular...but for today, it was just too easy to wait the extra day for more proper riding conditions...without any layers and hopefully no gusty winds.

April = August

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, we're going to have June-like weather this weekend. That means shorts and short-sleeve jerseys for certain...some of us for the first time at least for the jersey (at least that's the case for me). But remember, even though the calendar says April...the sun strength at this time of year is equivalent to that of August. Don't forget your sunblock folks!...especially if you're going out on a long ride. Karen gave that warning last weekend...and it sort of came the hard way. Seems worth repeating just prior to this first truly made for cycling weekend of 2009.

Enjoy your rides all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekly Summaries

Picking up where my last post left off, here are my weekly riding stats for the past two weeks:

Week Ending 4/12 (I track my weeks from Mon through Sun)

  • Wed 4/8 - 20.1 mi - 16.3 mph
  • Thur 4/9 - 17.2 mi - 15.6 mph
  • Fri 4/10 - 22.6 mi - 16.1 mph

Total for week of 59.9 miles at a weekly average speed of 16.04 mph.

Week Ending 4/19

  • Mon 4/13 - 18.6 mi - 16.3 mph
  • Wed 4/15 - 16.1 mi - 16.3 mph
  • Fri 4/17 - 25.4 mi - 16.4 mph
  • Sat 4/18 - 19.2 mi - 16.6 mph
  • Sun 4/19 - 17.2 mi - 15.9 mph
Total for week of 96.5 miles at a weekly average speed of 16.31 mph.

I'll be adding weekly stats - total miles, average speed, and my weight - to the right side-bar shortly. Yes, I'll be including my weight so the public can see if I'm full of crap about my goal of getting down to 180 pounds.

These have all been good early season rides...though most were coolish and all were windy (at least they all seemed windy to me....some brutally so). As much as I hate riding in windy conditions, I know the extra effort will start paying off soon. One thing about my rides so far is that I find the average speeds to be remarkably consistent. This is unusual for me. In past years, my average speeds over the first few weeks of riding at similar distances were typically erratic and wide ranging from low 14s to mid 16s mph. The only thing I can attribute this to is my handful of fixie rides over the winter and my attempt at keeping the off-season as short as possible (as lame as that effort was).

I'm still getting use to it, but the new ride schedule with Tuesdays and Thursdays generally reserved as off days (due to family schedules, not by choice) is working out fine. Although I still don't like the idea of riding on Mondays, a day I use to count on as a rest day after long and/or hard rides on the weekends.

Speaking of weekend rides, this Sunday offers a special fund raiser ride event down in the MA South Coast area (Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham). The event is to raise money for and awareness of the proposed Mattapoisett bike path, a portion of which has already been completed. Ride distances of 15 to 40 miles are being offered and the registration fee is small ($20). John has more details about this event on his blog. These are my old stomping grounds and the roads are excellent for least they used to be...and loaded with great scenery. I'd like to participate in the 40 miler, but the time commitment for me to get there and back and ride would be approx. 5 hours and I'm afraid the yardwork at home is already starting to pile up. There are many organized rides that I'd like to do later in the year when the yardwork dwindles I'm thinking I should stick to plan and ride a 30 miler or so around here. We'll see.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Music To My Ears and Riding Update

Here I am once again...finding it hard enough to find ride time around all the other commitments of family life while not allowing this blog to wither and die on the vine. I need to find a way to ride AND still have time to blog! As a result of my latest lapse, this post is not exactly the most timely with respect to its main topic...the music.

Yes, the music to my enduring seasonal chorus I look forward to hearing each year as much for the sweet sound as for the emergence of the Spring renewal it represents. This year, I first heard them the night of my daughter's birthday (date of my last post) as the in-laws were leaving. On my next ride 2 days later, I passed a spot in Plainville where the music was deafening...a roadside vernal pool perhaps. I'm talking of course about the spring peepers...also known as pinkletinks on the Vineyard (a fact I just learned). After our long and lingering winter, it's been good to hear them on my rides including my ride tonight...a nice reminder of the fact that warmer weather WILL arrive eventually.

Click on picture to hear the "music".

As for my rides, here's a summary of my mileage and average speeds since my last post:

  • Fri 3/27 - 18.3 mi - 15.7 mph
  • Thur 4/2 - 14.4 mi - 16.0 mph
  • Sat 4/4 - 17.1 mi - 16.0 mph (strong wind)
  • Sun 4/5 - 22.6 mi - 16.0 mph (strong wind)
  • Wed 4/8 - 20.1 mi - 16.3 mph
IMO, not too bad, but not too good either. I like to think of it as the "ramping up" phase. But once I start the training schedule with after work rides I try very hard to keep the momentum going. That means adding miles and riding days. Right now I'm only shooting for 3 to 4 rides per week with the max distance ranging into the 20s. I'd like to get to the point where I'm riding 5 days per week with after work ride distances ranging into the 30s and at least one long weekend ride in the 40-60 mile range. We'll see how it goes, but it's good to know that it will get easier as the temperatures warm up and the daylight hours grow.

Today's ride was a good example of keeping the momentum going. It would have been so easy to bag today's scheduled ride given the cold and wind and snow flurries my wife saw at work. I was really in no mood to ride all day, but I left work like I was going to ride and when I got home the wind had mostly died down. I started feeling better about riding and lo and behold I ended up doing a 20 mile ride and felt great doing it.

I didn't think I would be wearing my PI InsulaTour winter riding jacket again until next Fall, but the 44 deg temperature at ride time demanded it as well as the winter tights. Good call...I was never cold nor overly warm during the entire ride. The InsulaTour jacket has worked out well with temperatures in the 30s to mid-40s. When I wore it once or twice with temperatures in the 20s I found that I couldn't stay warm enough for an entire 12-16 mile ride. The cold too easily penetrated the back of the jacket, especially the back of the sleeves, which by design have no wind break material for breathability/water management.

I was looking at the NBW ride schedule a few weeks ago and noticed that the Triboro ride in my area was scheduled for this coming Sunday. I figured I'd join them for the 35 mile loop and get to know some of the club members. Now of course I realize that Sunday is Easter and I'll be lucky if I get any type of short ride in with all the egg hunts the family is preparing for the kids. Oh's always something!