Friday, May 25, 2007

Which ever way the wind blows, Saturday 05/26/2007

I lead rides for Princeton Freewheelers (PFW) and Central Jersey Bike Club (CJBC). I'll post here for bicycle rides that I lead, general bicycle information and tips or rants and raves about my bicycle rides. Some folks might refer to them as single day tours as they tend not to be short rides. Here's a description of my ride for Saturday, May 26,2007:


  • Name: Which ever way the wind blows
  • Pace: 17 - 18 mph avg (into the low 20's with pace lines)
  • Terrain: Flat with rolling hills (3 - 4, on a scale of 1 (nasty hills) - 4 (flat as a pancake))
  • # of Stops: 3 - 4
  • Destination: Chatworth, NJ
  • Starting point: Village Park, Cranbury, NJ
  • Starting time: 8 AM
  • Club ride: Yes (both PFW and CJBC)
  • Cue sheets provided: no
  • Guests allowed: Yes, within reason
  • Route: Pine Barrens Century

Weather prediction:

  • Sunny
  • 70F at 8 AM (at Cranbury)
  • Winds from the WNW at 5 - 10 mph
  • High for the day 88F at 4 PM (same for Cranbury and Chatsworth)

This is one of my favorite rides, I love riding down to the Pine Barrens. Especially when it's warm. So far I expect to have 6 riders (including myself). The first 20 miles will be a bit disorganised (it always is). After we leave New Egypt (Plumstead) we'll begin doing pace lines. I'll have my new bike (Giant TCR2, Carbon Fiber) which is a little skittish. So I'll be leaving a bigger than normal gap in the pace line until I get used to the bike (I only have 200+ miles on it). Fluids will be a problem between Browns Mills and Tabernacle as that's where the stores are and they're about 30 miles apart. I'll carry 2 additional water bottle in addition to my 3L Camelbak. I'll also pick up 2 additional liters of water in Browns Mills. You'd be surprised at how may people under estimate the amount of fluid they'll need! for a long hot ride.


Well, the ride went off less than perfect but wasn't a terrible ride from a training perspective. I arrived early and was certain I was ready. Turns out I missed my helmet (ARGH!) and the ride started 45 minutes late! We didn't really do pace lines until after New Egypt (@23 miles) and I got the feeling that the group was a bit uncomfortable at first. Once we left Browns Mills the pace lines went well. In fact they worked beautifully and are the reason we kept a decent average. I felt very comfortable int he pace lien with my bike (we had better riders). It was pretty warm and cloudy for most of the ride, probably about 88F (~30C). The wind was mostly out of the West but on the lower half it appeared to be WSW. On the upper half it appeared to be WNW at about 13 mph (guess-timate). At the mid-point we had 2 riders in distress. One said his feet burn like fire and the other had leg cramps. Another rider had a watt meter on his bike and he used that to judge the group's effort. I still don't have my bike computer on so everyone would tell me what pace I was keeping that they were comfortable with. Pulls on the front were limited to about 1 minute (remember we had only 5 riders). I don't know if I could have gone faster but I think I could have. I was having some problems with my right leg, the muscle bulge by the knee was sore but I could still keep the pace line and hill climbing was not a problem. I did take it easy on hills to wait for the 2 troubled riders. By the end of the ride we had 2 groups with group A (who could have ridden faster) about 20 feet ahead of group B. Group B consisted of myself and and the gentleman with the leg cramps. He kept his eyes on my rear hub (really not recommended) and I kept a consistent pace, avoided any sudden moves and road debris or holes. I'd tuck in on the group A pace line sometimes but needed to keep a bit of a distance as my rider couldn't react suddenly to changes in pace or obstacle avoidance. My rider is very used to my riding style.

One the subject of riding styles, the gentleman with the watt meter had a 'smooth-as-silk' pedaling style and bike handling. I rode on his wheel while on Four Mile Rd and it was a joy not to have to worry about wheel overlap (which I avoided anyways) or sudden surges fore/aft or left/right. One day I hope I can ride that smoothly!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Obligatory first post!

I have another blog (Linuxha Blog) which I spout off about things related to Linux and Home Automation. But I needed a place where I could talk about other non-sense not related to home automation. One of the other things that is very near and dear to me is my bicycling. I take it very seriously but not to the point of racing. I'm a member of two bike clubs, the Central Jersey Bicycle Club and the Princeton Freewheelers. I lead rides for both groups and I intend to post my rides and maybe even build a forum on Linux HA for cyclists. For now I'll start here, then my web page for my routes.