Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It starts to stink when there is a heat advisory for the afternoon. Add a headwind to the first half and a tailwind to the last and you have a recipe for a really hot ride. A headwind as you are working harder, and a tailwind as there is not as much cooling breeze for you. It was 113 degrees during my ride. I worked fairly hard for 40 minutes and then headed back in. I did see a couple out there riding their bikes, they were just tooling along though. Probably pretty smart. I found that with soaking my hat in the canal and splashing water on the front of my jersey I could get by, but it was a losing battle so I am glad I didn't have to be out in it any longer.
I don't know how effective training in the heat is. It definitely was not my fastest ride, but it was something I figure. I got a lot more benefit mentally and physically than if I hadn't gone out at all.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Bruce overslept so it was just me and August heading across a very dark and still Mesa. It wasn't voted Forbes most boring large town for nothing. I ended up using the hub light at the last minute as I figured we'd be in the dark for a few hours and it sure is nice to have all that light on the road. I mean I can see lizards and other small creatures scurry in my light, even spiders. If you have to travel in a bubble of light in the night, it's nice to have a large bright bubble.
Picket Post mtn.
Bruce and I hung out at the rest stop in Superior refilling our bottles and listening to the rest stop lady regail us with tales of vandalism and how we should not expect that rest stop to be open in the next day or two. This is unfortunate as this little rest stop is a very nice place to stop and pause a minute. Anyway, after we made sure August was ok we took off to climb the hill of the day and arrive at the top of the world.
Spires in Devil's Canyon
The descent was wonderful until I started to have funky bike wobbles. I have descended probably hundreds of hills at 40+ mph but never had a problem. This morning, I kept thinking it felt like my back tire was flat since it seemed like it was hitting the cracks pretty hard. This led to me tensing up my arms just when I should have been relaxing them at the first sign of shimmy, and before I knew it I had the tacoma narrows bridge wobbling, shimmying, and waving under my butt at 42 mph. We were just entering the tunnel and all I could think about was getting the bike stopped before I did a face plant or the cars behind us ran me over. The bike was shaking all over as I slowed down. It seemed like forever as I did the funky jiggle through the tunnel looking for a place I could crash where I wouldn't get run over. In the end I saved it, much to the relief of Bruce who was behind me. Needless to say I took the rest of the hill slower while I tried to relax my arms so they wouldn't do it again.
By the time we got to Gold Canyon it was in the mid 90s and Bruce tried the ice in a sock trick and I must say when I tried it at his urging a ways down the road it was quite effective. I downed a couple of strawberry milks at Gold Canyon and then we were off after Bruce made some repairs to his seat bottle holder.
I had originally planned on getting back around 10 so I hadn't brought sunscreen which I probably should have. One thing that did go right is I hydrated well and weighed in right were I was before I left so that was good. I would end up with 103 miles with a 16.3 mph average over 6 hours and 19 minutes with 4061 feet of climbing. Not a bad mornings work really. What more can you ask for? A long road, a big ascent serenaded by songbirds, cold water, ice, and a pleasant person to talk to while you ride. It doesn't get any better than that really.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I am not going to write a lengthy blog entry tonight. It's late and I lost a lot of sleep Saturday due to my waking up 3 AM to get a ride in before we drove up to Flagstaff for my 20 year high school reunion. The pictures kind of tell it though.
Though it was early, I did see a few other cyclists climbing Usery. The temp was 81 degrees at 3:30 am. I found a spot that was 73 just before dawn over near the lake but that was a strange pocket of cool air and not the norm.
Riding along road next to lake.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The clouds are beautiful though and I am soon climbing up past the Phoenix Mtns enjoying the cloud formations hoping one of those cells is raining on my house way out east.
My legs are burning as I hurry to beat the sunset. I climb the last hill and am pushing across the top of the hill and speed up to 27mph down the other side and hold it down towards Tempe. At one point a guy on a nice Cervalo time trial bike tucks in behind me. I'm going 25 and breathing hard but he holds on. I don't know if he is just cooling down or if he is enjoying the pull but he stays on for a few miles before pealing off just before the hill down onto Curry road next to Papago park wishing me good luck as he turns west. I check me computer and notice I have averaged 19.4 mph to this point. I have hopes of hitting a 20 mph average before the park and ride. I am hurting a bit but I still hold it above 20 heading back into Tempe. By the time I reach the park and ride I am at 19.7 mph and at 57 minutes and change. Not 20 but it's still a good time.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Back to today's commute though. I haven't done a full commute in with it this hot yet. Not to mention I pushed it pretty hard today. I am working on developing power in the aero bars. With my increased flexibility from my hamstring stretches I have been doing, I have a much flatter back in the bars these days. It still has a curve towards the back but the front is flat. I used to make a big half circle with my back which led to neck pain and in reality, very little aero benefit. I am much better now. My current challenge is to try and get as much power to the pedals in the bars as I do sitting up. So far I am faster on flats or downhill, but any uphill however slight it is sees me going faster in the upright position.
Today I managed to stay at 23-25 mph most of the way accross Mesa which isn't too bad. It was warm but I was doing ok. Getting into Tempe though I was getting hot. In fact as I got closer to Camelback Mtn. my times dropped and I was losing the battle against the heat since I was working REALLY hard and the terrain tended to the uphill. It was in the lower 90s. Somewhere around Camelback road I started getting sweat in my mouth. My buff (really cool product with many uses, one of which helps wick sweat off your forehead) I was wearing was keeping it out of my eyes but the output of sweat was enormous.
I did manage to push out the last 3 hills but I couldn't have taken much more. Just at the spot I start my cooldown I got a flat, which actually turned into 2 thanks to a pinchflat. I am not looking forward to the ride down to the bus stop this afternoon in 110+ degree heat. I am going to fully dress out for the ride and couldn't care less what all the business types on the express bus think. It will be better than business clothes drenched in sweat and the desert dweller has to dress to the conditions. Now to go put my waterbottle in the freezer.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Leaving Pleasant Grove and approaching American Fork canyon.
Flowers near the summit
A frosty Paul at the summit
Tunnels in Provo canyon