September 2004 Archives

Another side of Metallica

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training update

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Last week was a good one for cycling. I made it to the veloway for the first (and second) time, and did my first S. Mopac loop.

I was supposed to meet a friend at the veloway on Tuesday, but we never managed to get our plans worked out. No matter, I went on my own and had a great time. I had never realized how close it was to my house (4.4 miles) or how popular it was. Even on a weekday there were several dozen cars lining La Crosse.

I rode five loops (~3 miles each), averaging 16.4 mph. I had been warned about the one hill on the route - I saw the sign for it the first time around, then proceeded to miss it each time afterward. Nothing like coming around a corner and realizing you're about five gears off from where you should be. During the ride I also spent about a quarter mile behind a rollerblader who was skating 17 miles an hour. I was impressed.

Wednesday I drove up north to pick up a trainer that some new friends (Jason and Wendy) graciously offered to me. It's in great shape, and I expect I'll put a lot of miles on it over the winter. I was very happy to help them reclaim some garage space, now I just have to figure out where it's going in mine.

On Friday, my heart rate monitor arrived. I had been debating back and forth between a Polar and the Sigma Sport, but the Polar I wanted was about three times the cost. I finally concluded that the main reason I wanted it was for all the extras that aren't going to benefit me at my current level.

I had a chance to test the HRM on Saturday. Rott came over for a morning ride and proceeded to kick my tail...and I don't even think he was working that hard. We rode from my house to Mopac; Slaughter is much easier to cross at 9:30 on a Saturday morning than 6:30 p.m. on a weekday. Once we got south of La Crosse, he started pounding on the pedals and got over 24 mph. According to the monitor, I was at 97% of my max heart rate for the first 10 minutes or so. I may need to tweak my calculations - or my pace. I really enjoyed the route, but I need a lot of work on hills. The ones we hit weren't all that steep, but I was still wearing myself out on them. We made one veloway loop and then a short circuit through my neighborhood so we could top the 20 mile mark.

Later that afternoon, I finally made it to 360 Cycle Works to pick out some clipless pedals and shoes. Thanks to my mom's generosity, I was able to make the purchase months before I had originally planned. I decided on Speedplay Zeros. They were recommended by multiple people, and I think the float will go well with my duck foot riding position. I installed them last night and I'm hoping to test them out tonight. At the very least, the smaller pedals will make it easier to throw my bike in the trunk when I'm heading across town.

Now that I've got all my accessories, it's time to just get out and ride. That seems to be the hardest part. But with less than three weeks until the RFTR, I will have to make the time.

I am...

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... A Bar Code Reader!!!
Beep... $2.49!
You are a highly competent individual who has societal value whereever you go -- whether you are in the busy stores of Madison Avenue or the outposts of Burkina Faso, your ability to decipher the indecipherable brings praise and jealousy.
While some are put off by your occasional beeping, most find it subtly soothing. Do not be afraid to assert yourself -- your timidity is by no means an asset. To achieve success, however, never leave the philosophy of simple math that got you where you are today: the checkout counter.

PS - I was serious about being assertive: that skirt really is 30% off!!!

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