SIR Spring 200km story

Fri, 2013-04-12 17:21

I did the SIR Spring 200km brevet on March 9. On Facebook, someone asked me what I think about on a 9 hour ride, and I wrote the following (I thought I should post this here for safe keeping).

Some things I remember thinking: Wow, it's cold and foggy - the fog is fogging up my glasses - I better wipe off my glasses - The cold's okay - Can I make that light? - 15th Ave goes on forever - This is a nice descent - I can probably turn off my headlight now - I'm certainly not over-dressed - Where is that gravel section? - Oh, here it is - Look, a bald eagle - I already need to pee - Should I stop at this park? - Can I make it to Snohomish? - That rider nearly crashed into my front wheel - There is a nice descent coming up - I'd rather not ride on 180th, but it's short - This is not my usual route to Broadway - This is a really fast descent - This seems like a good group to ride with - But I have to use the restroom in Snohomish, so I'll probably not see them again on this ride - What to eat? - Am I drinking enough? - If I ride with my mouth open, how much water will I get from the fog? - The water fountain is shut off, where will I get more water? - Is that ice falling off that tree? - What is *that* pain? Oh good, standing up for a bit made it go away - That guy is riding faster than I want to ride - I should put on my sunglasses - A manned info control is cool - I remember some of this from September - Oh good, it looks like everyone is stopping at the obvious convenience store in Granite Falls - Payday bar - Oh good, a few riders caught up with me - Oh no, I keep dropping them on little climbs, I should take it easy - Oh, now they're really far back, I guess I'll just press on - Monroe is always a bit confusing - Hurray, now I know the rest of the route by heart and don't need to look at the cue sheet anymore - Drafting off this guy who's drafting those time trialists is really not the best idea - It's against the rules, in fact, but fun - I feel pretty good - Now, I don't feel so good - Well, I'll take a nice break in Carnation - Lots of folks at Sandy's Espresso - I like the lemon-infused water at Sandy's - I'm over 100 miles into the ride - I don't feel great - Issaquah-Fall City road has a nasty hill coming up, but I know it well - I think I feel a little better - Why do we have to descend into Issaquah this way? I like Black Nugget road better - What is that rattle? - Is this the info control? - Yes, it is - I should replace my cleats - Now I really feel like I'm almost home - I should stop and eat - I've been riding alone for a long time - Given how I feel, that's probably best - Newport way is a big hill, but it's very doable - Hey, look at all those people who just caught up with me - But they're not staying with me (?) - Just have to cross Mercer Island - Hey, it's that guy that dropped me before Carnation - He must not be feeling great - I should stop pedaling on all the downhills - Yup, that feels good - Idiots drive through the Arboretum - How far up this alley is the finish? Must be that pile of bikes

riding, 2012

Mon, 2012-12-31 18:14

2012 was a good year for riding. The highlight has to be
the completion of my first 200 km brevet. I am a randonneur.

I rode a little less, in kilometers, than 2011, but my average ride was a little longer: 100 rides, 7208.86 km.

For 2013, I plan to do at least two 200 km brevets, and to do one before June. In fact, I plan to do
the on in March run by SIR. That would really kick my year off well. There are longer brevets (300,400,600, even 1200!) but I think I should do a bunch more 200s before thinking about trying a 300.

Here is an animated gif of histograms of my rides over the last few years. Geek out!

2011 riding summary

Mon, 2012-01-02 11:30

2011 turned out quite well, cycling-wise.

I rode 8128.69 km, which is more than 1000 km more than I've ever ridden in one year. My January, March, August, September, October and December were my best ever. I rode 117 times, which beats my 2003 record of 116 rides. My km/ride average was 69.48, beating 2006's 63.77 high. I rode 26 rides longer than 100 km, which I'm sure is a record. My longest ride was 180.33 km, a record for at least the last 20 years (when I was a teenager I rode a 112 mile ride, so this is right at that level).

Even better than the total distances this year was that I had a great time riding with the Husky Cycling club, last winter and summer, especially. Plus, I've been riding with COGS on Wednesday nights for much of the second half of the year. I really like the folks on all these rides, and it's made cycling more fun than ever.

I've been saying for the last several years that I want to do some 200 km rides. In particular, 200 km brevets with the Seattle Randonneurs. I suppose I'll say it again. They are running a 200 km brevet on March 10. I have no reason why I cannot do it. Let's see what happens.

march riding

Fri, 2011-04-01 17:29

March turned out to be my best March ever, riding-wise, with 583.33 km ridden (my previous record March was 435.67 km in 2007). This really isn't that much (I rode more in January), but I guess it's good for March. It started off great with the Seattle International Randonneaurs' 100 km Populaire on March 5. Had a fantastic time riding with lots of randonneurs. Since then, I've been dogging it: my right knee has been acting up with, apparently, iliotial band issues. Some really painful rides. I've been to see my PT at Corpore Sano a few times, and he made custom foot beds to help reduce lateral wobble in my knees. So far, I've still been having some pain. I decided to take this week off: I rode last Saturday and had pretty noticeable pain from about one hour on, and the weather's kind of sucked this week anyway. I'm scheduled to ride Saturday and Sunday, short rides of 60 km or so. This will be a good test of where things are now.

SIR 100 km Populaire

Sun, 2011-03-06 15:47

I did my very first randonneuring event yesterday. It was the 100km Spring Populaire put on by Seattle International Randonneurs. The weather turned out fine, with temps in the high 40s, with on-and-off sun, and zero rain (though there was a bit of water on the road here and there).

This was also my first ride for which I drove to the start. A lot of SIR events start quite a ways from my house, so I want to get used to driving to events, and this was a good bit of practice. I used my trunk rack, which hadn't been used in about eight years, and it always makes me nervous, but it worked great. I had to pick up my riding buddy beforehand, and it took longer to put the rack on than I had planned, so we ended up taking freeways to the starts instead of the surface streets I'd originally planned. This went very smoothly, and again, is good practice for me, since I don't drive on the freeway all the much.

I only messed up a couple of things. One, I make my own "gel" in a gel bottle, and I'd made one the night prior, but left it at home, so I was without gel for the entire ride. That was okay, since I had plenty of other stuff to eat, but I will want to be more careful in the future. Second, though I put my booties in the car, I neglected to put them on once we got to the parking lot in Woodinville. Like the gel, this worked out okay, since the weather was fine, but had it been quite a bit cooler, or rained, I might have had some unhappy feet. Again, I need to be more careful in the future.

The ride was really terrific. I was smiling the whole time. There were lots of people (over 100, I believe) at the start, and the whole time there were people to ride with. In fact, a group of five of use formed after the mid-ride control in Carnation, and rode the rest of the ride together. At the second secret control, about 30 km from the finish, there were Payday bars, which are my new favorite ride food (just one per ride, max). I learned that they are somewhat impervious to heat: mine didn't melt at all despite spending quite a bit of time in my jersey pocket. Their saltiness is quite welcome late in any ride.

The people on the ride were great, everyone riding very carefully and skillfully. I had a few short nice conversations with a number of folks, and generally had a great time. I didn't feel slow on hills (in fact, at times I felt the opposite) so I think maybe I am strong enough to start riding with these folks, at least for the shorter distances, and that's what I've been hoping to do for years. Hooray!

1000 km ytd

Sun, 2011-02-13 00:32

I rode with one other Husky around the south end of Lake Washington, out May Valley to Tiger Mountain (though we didn't climb it), then to Issaquah and back around the north end of the lake. 113 km total, bringing my year-to-date kilometers over 1000 km. Last year was my previous earliest date for hitting 1000 km: 2/28/10, so this is quite early. I'm having a bang-up winter.

record January

Wed, 2011-02-02 22:01

I rode 648.18 km in January - a record! I'm getting ready to do a 100 mile ride at the end of February (this one), so I've been leading long rides from UW each Saturday. The rides are getting longer and longer, so by the end of February we should be ready.

I'm a little disappointed that this record January is not even as good as last February. However, last February was clearly a freakish month: I rode more then than in any March. I expect to crush my March record this year.

Rain is forecast for Saturday. Looks like possibly another wet 100+ km.

2010 riding summary and resolutions(?) for 2011

Sat, 2011-01-01 17:41

I had a good year of riding in 2010. I rode 114 times, for a total of 6948.74 km in 284.55 hours. This is my second most km in a year, missing last year's record of 7004.54 by a mere 55.8 km. I would have broken this record, but I've been sick for the last week.

Here is an animation of histograms of my rides by km for the last four years.

In many respects, 2009 was better than 2010, riding-wise, though I did have my best February, May, November and December in 2010. Can't complain about that.

For 2011, I must ride a 200 km ride. I've already joined Randonneurs USA, and will join Seattle International Randonneurs as soon as I get my member number. I've been wanting to do a 200km brevet for a few years, and this must be the year.

dark riding

Wed, 2010-11-10 23:27

35 km in the dark tonight. Temp in the high 40s, not warm, heading toward cold, but I bundled up with base layers and good gloves and had a good time. Headlight still working great - no complaints.
I think this night riding stuff will allow me to get in those extra short rides which will keep my form from disintegrating quite so much over the winter. I could ride the trainer, but it's so much more fun to actually ride, and it's a better workout, too.

In one of my precalculus lectures today a student brought up the Flatiron Building, as I was doing an example wherein one wanted to design a park in the shape of a circular sector, given some specifications. I love that building, not sure why.

night ride

Wed, 2010-11-03 20:42

I invited the Husky Cycling folks to ride with me to Mercer Island tonight at 6 PM, but nobody came.

So, I rode around for two hours in the dark. I didn't go to Mercer Island, but I rode past, and then back through, the arboretum, then up to Lake Forest Park, then back to Gasworks, and then home. A nice 50 km for an evening.

I had a Mudflap Workshop at my house on Tuesday, and invited the team, but nobody came to that either (despite a severe lack of mudflaps on Saturday's ride). I'm thinking I need to broaden my cycling circles, but it's hard to do.