Monday, March 24, 2008

Nice weekend for a ride

Thos (a visiting rider) had a bit of a bad day as he broke his handle bar early on my weekend club ride. Luckily he wasn't leaning on it when he discovered it was 'loose' (broke). He refused to turn around and continued the ride. He still had the left (front) brake but he couldn't shift or use the rear brake. He still managed to keep up (good work Thos) and we averaged a nice 16.8 mph pace over 65 miles. Early on Mark had suggested that we cut the ride back to the 50's because a few of us couldn't ride this last week (it was very windy) but I was determined to hit a metric (hence the extra meandering above). Next week it's going to be about 75 miles so I have several choices:

It will depend on which way the wind blows (literally) but I'm thinking Allenwood. I wanted to do that this weekend but with Easter the local roads would have been too crowded. So I opted for the lesser traveled roads South. I'll probably do Sergentsville in two weeks and only add a little more mileage since it's so much more hilly. Pemberton the week after with more mileage to put it in the mid 80's (I'll post a new route). The reason for the early long mileage is that I'm training for the Longest Day (register here). That and I like long miles. ;-) This year I have a nice 130 - 140 mile ride but I'm not sure how well that will go over. I'll need to discuss that with my riders.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This year's first commute!

Yesterday was a good day to commute (19 miles one way). It started out at 30F and quickly rose into the low 40's. I think I was slightly over dressed as I would get hot from time to time. The wind would make me a bit cold but the hills would block the wind and I'd heat up nicely. I had forgotten how difficult it was to ride my Truk (Trek) 1100.

The reason for the name Truk is that have a BOB trailer that I tow behind the Trek and the thing handles like a truck. My Trek 1100 hails from 1995. It was my first 'expensive bike' that I picked up at a year end sale. It was the bike I did my first Longest Day with. I didn't like it for the Longest Day as the seat sits flat (I tend to go nose down, a lot).

Anyway, the triple helped with the hills as the trailer really slowed me down a lot. The trailer changes the bike's handling in a big way. When you hit bumps in the road you feel it on all three tires. If you're not ready for it it can cause you to lose your grip. When you hit a small dip the front wheel becomes light as the third wheel dips and the center wheel becomes the pivot point. This can cause you to lose control when going you're going fast so you have to take it easy on the descents. Turns are interesting because as you lean the weight of the trailer wants to straighten you back up. The faster you go the more pronounced the effect. And finally it take a lot longer to slow down and stop because of the added weight. Still the trailer is very useful as a training tool. My legs are still feeling the climbs, 2214 ft total over 40 miles. That's more than most of my centuries (I'm a flatlander, which means I ride in an extremely flat area). I'll have a few more hilly centuries this year and this should help.