Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thu, Mar 13, 2008 - 30.35 mi [Cycling]

Thu, Mar 13, 2008 - 30.35 mi [Cycling]
30.35 mi in 01:56:53 hours at 15.58 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite. [Cycling] A really good ride today. This is the first weekday 30 mile ride in a long time. The last 30 mile training ride I did at speed was back in December. I did a 30 mile ride with Molly a few weeks ago. After Solvang I've been feeling really strong on th ebike. I was able to maintain a 15+ average mph for a full 30 miles. My goal is to do that at Tour of Tucson Mountains. I need to do a lo to hill reps in the next few weeks. Solvang proved to me that I can climb, although slow, so now it's time to work on gaining some speed up the hills.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Solvang Half-Century Sat, Mar 8, 2008 - 50.69 mi

Sat, Mar 8, 2008 - 50.69 mi

50.69 mi in 04:04:00 hours at 12.46 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite.

Did the Solvang Half-Century today. I had a decent average. Lots of hills and a strong headwind for the first 23 miles. I'll write more later, I'm beat tonight.

Posted from My Cycling Log

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tour of California: Stage 7

On February 24, Molly and I decided to brave the elements and go to Pasadena and watch the peloton battle the final 30 miles of the Tour of California. In truth, I decided, Molly indulged. We arrived fairly early, and for a while it looked like we might avoid rain. We checked out the booths and collected free swag. I had joked about wearing a Team Jelly Belly jersey on my next big ride, I thought it would be funny given my more than ample physique. So Molly threw down the gauntlet by buying the jersey. (Here I am in Jelly Belly gear) I'm hoping the team will adopt some sort of reverse sponsorship and will pay me not to wear it. But I digress.

We scoped out our spot about 100 meters to the finish line and guarded it for an hour as if we were waiting for the Mainstreet Electrical Parade at Disneyland. It began getting more crowded and at around 2:30pm, the announcement came over the loud "The breakaway is about two minutes away." Almost on cue, as the peloton approached the Pasadena Rose Bowl, the showers began. People flocked from all around to get their spot. Nobody cared about the rain.

The CHP drove by, then came the race judge in the yellow lead car, then the Mavic Neutral support motorcycle and then the lone cyclist. Tom Zirbel, of Bissel Pro Cycling, had gone out the front of a breakaway that had been out in front for most of the day. Zirbel had a 1 minute lead with 30 miles to go. The last 30 miles were 6 loops around the Rose Bowl and surroundings. Each lap was about 4.5 miles. A minute later the 3 remaining riders followed. A few minutes later, what remained of the 180 man peloton that had started the Tour of California came through like a locomotive. In the first lap the chase group closed the gap to about 15 seconds, but for 4 laps after that the gap remained. Each lap we questioned whether the peloton would catch the chase. And with each lap we became more and more convinced Zirbel would hold them all off. Zirbel was impressive and the speed of the peloton rain and all was a sight to see.

The CHP vehicle came around for the last time, we expected Zirbel to be in the lead. To our surprise, the chase group had caught him. George Hincapie, former lieutenant to Lance Armstrong and now captain of Team High Road, was charging hard and opened up a gap the peloton was bearing down behind. In the end, Hincapie decisively won. The veteran took them all to school. The peloton came in with Team Astana protecting yellow jersey wearer Levi Leipheimer. It was a sight to see!

We stayed for the awards ceremony, which was a lot of fun. When the winners left the podium we were standing a few feet away from the likes of 2nd overall winner David Millar and Christian Vande Velde the 3rd place overall winner. As we were leaving Levi was a couple of feet away, although surrounded by, of course, bicycle police.

Here are some pictures of that day...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wed, Mar 5, 2008 - 12.18 mi

12.18 mi in 01:05:39 hours at 11.13 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite.

This will probably the last ride before going to Solvang. I may take an easy ride tomorrow, but I doubt it. I wanted to do some hill reps today so I came home and did 3 loops around the Home Loop course (see map below). The first hill rep reminded me how much I'm NOT Alberto Contador. As a matter of fact, The Girl is probably carrying the weight of three Albertos with about a tenth of his ability. It also reminded me how much I need to do more hill reps as part of my regular rides. I've been sticking to the flats of the Silver Strand ride.

In any case after stopping to catch my breath before finishing the first rep, I reminded myself of riding within myself. The next two loops were relatively easy. Perhaps I could push it a bit more, but for the ride in Solvang this Saturday, I want to take advantage of the flats, and just get over the one or two larger climbs. :)
Posted from My Cycling Log

Solvang Half-Century 2008

Ready or we go. Molly and I are going to Solvang this Friday to do the Solvang Half-Century ride. A half-century, of course, is a 50 mile bike ride. The last few weeks have seen limited riding on both our parts. I'm not sure how we'll do. For me however, it's a warm-up to the Tour of Tucson Mountains ride (70 miles) that I'm doing in April. Here's a map of what the ride looks like...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mon, Mar 3, 2008 - 20.80 mi [Cycling]

Mon, Mar 3, 2008 - 20.80 mi [Cycling]
20.80 mi in 01:22:00 hours at 15.22 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite. [Cycling] A good ride, although I can always feel it when more than a couple of days go by without getting on the bike. My left thigh was cramping and I never quite got comfortable on the bike. I did have a nice easy pace on the way out.

On the way back I cruising with the wind behind me, then I got passed by a woman with a full DeWalt racing kit on, I can only imagine she's on the team. I hung on her back wheel but she turned it around about half way from my 10 mile return. I didn't follow her for long, but she made me realize how much I was dogging it. I need a riding partner that's a bit faster than I am. Perhaps it's time to join a club? Solvang is this Saturday!
Posted from My Cycling Log