April 2005 Archives

things I learned on the Tuesday nighter

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The Tuesday nighter is a weekly informal training ride held in southeast Austin, relatively close to my office. I rode it today for the first time. I had lots of time to reflect during the hour and twenty minutes of pedaling.

  • The difference between riding and racing (or at least training to race) is about five miles an hour. Increasing from 10 to 15 miles an hour is a piece of cake. Going from 15 to 20 means Travis gets left behind.
  • Ten minutes on the bike doesn't count as a warmup.
  • If you can't keep up with the pack and don't know the route, it's a good idea to have a copy of the map with you. Otherwise, you might end up inventing your own and end up at Slaughter and I-35 next to Home Depot.
  • There is some really pretty country east of Austin. I've often driven 183 south and east toward Lockhart, but I'd never been on Old Lockhart Road before. Had I not ridden today, I might never have learned that there is a wild game ranch out that way.
  • Riding on a road without a huge shoulder is not as frightening as I thought, at least as long as the traffic is light. It turns out people don't really want to run you over.
  • My dream of being 20% faster by Saturday is likely to remain just a dream. Maybe I can bring a tow rope to my first road race.

Even though I got dropped in about the first two miles, I'm going to give it another shot sometime. Once the days get longer, I should be able to leave the car in the parking garage and ride to the starting point as a warmup. Also, I need to get some more base miles in and develop the ability to keep up with a group. Maybe by the end of the summer I'll be able to maintain the pace.