Recently in sports Category
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.
...is just too slow. More on that later.
This post is long overdue (sorry, Nick). About three weeks ago I took the plunge and seriously upgraded from my starter bike.
43.64 miles. 14.6 average mph/148 average hr. 2 hours, 58 minutes 50 seconds cycling time, and a fifteen minute break in Elgin. One great ride.
I'm already looking forward to next year, as well as the next time I can enter an organized ride. The bar has been set very high; the organization, route, and weather will be difficult to top. The only negatives were trivial. I wish there had been a few more video screens (or at least speakers) near the outside starting lanes; I had a hard time hearing Lance's introduction as well as Robin William's "pep talk." At least Sheryl Crow's rendition of the National Anthem came through perfectly clear.
We started out pretty slowly, only averaging 13 mph for the first five miles. A few riders had an accident on FM 3177 very early on, I felt horrible for the man who was being prepped to load in the ambulance. Once we turned onto Hwy 290 the crowds started to spread out and we picked up our pace a little.
At our rest stop in Elgin, I met my second Brian Raley - a rider from Alexandria, LA that was part of a group of four. Every participant that I met today was from out of town; two girls from California (LA and San Francisco), the aforementioned Brian, and a couple from Springfield, MO. I also noticed a Minnesota license plate in the parking lot.
I'm tired of attempting to write paragraphs, so here's a bunch of bullet points. Pretend I'm a manager giving a presentation or something.
- I really appreciate Rott riding with me and mentoring me as I'm getting into cycling. It really helps to know what "car back" and all that pointing means.
- Thanks to Oscar of the UT Cycling Team for setting me up with my jersey this week, even if he did try to give me a women's jersey first.
- My unofficial sponsorship by my mom led to a great set of pedals and shoes. I was much more comfortable and efficient because of them.
- The "In Honor Of", "In Memory Of", and "Survivor" tags worn by riders were a great idea and inspiration. The most amazing rider I saw was on the the 40 mile route with us - she had an artificial leg. And she was one of hundreds of equally strong survivors.
- I wouldn't want to be a raccoon in the Decker Lake/Manor/Elgin area. We must have passed a half-dozen or more road pizzas.
- I'm glad to have Mary Alice as a cheerleader. She really wanted to come watch me cross the finish line, but I was worried that the Expo Center traffic and parking would be a madhouse. I also had no idea how long I'd take to finish. So, she made me a great congratulatory sign that was waiting for me on the door when I got home.
Today was the most fun I've had in a while. I'm really enjoying cycling - sometimes I miss my organized sport days, but being able to to cover 40 miles under my own power is a great feeling. I must say that I'm pretty happy with where I am after two months. Now I hope I can compete in a few UT Cycling team events in the spring and continue to increase my distance as time goes on.
Colby spelled out everything I'm feeling post-OU. I was going to quote him, but this deserves to be read as a whole instead of taken out of context.
== Shoal Creek Shootout.
I had a lot more fun on yesterday's ride than I did watching the Red River Shootout today.
No such luck, but just about as enjoyable. As it turns out, the SCSO is a ride from Gregory Gym to the real Shoal Creek, and a series of sprints down Great Northern. Yesterday I learned that I am not a sprinter. I got smoked by everyone on the ride - Ernie, Chris Case, and David. I couldn't even catch Alfonso on the last go-round. Hopefully after a few months/years of practice and training I can be competitive, but I can tell I have a long way to go.
I also forgot my HRM strap and the head of my cycling computer, so I have only a guess on the distance - ~25 miles from campus and back.
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.
Is still in progress. This is the first time I've paid much attention to basketball before the end of football season, but TJ Ford is too good to ignore.
It looks like the team is getting used to game speed again, Georgia definitely came to play. I think once our defense gets set a little better and the offense gets the ball in the paint we should be in good shape.