Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 3 of bike to work week.

Monday night, I entered the Capitol City Criterium and Pioneers Park Grand Prix Cat5 events this weekend. I paid the fees, I no longer have any excuses. (Let's not bring up why I didn't do any of the UNL Cycling events in April.)

My commutes are doubling as training rides. My morning ride was cadence. The antelope creek trail has some gentle ascents and descents as it parallels the creek just east of UNL's campus. In a 39x19 (I think?) gear you can ramp right up to 150rpm on those descents without spooking runners or dog walkers with your speed. My goal was to hold that as long as possible on an ascent. I managed to keep 130 in the same gear.

The path under the zoo bridge is a good place to do a spin-up exercise before you get to A street. Pop into the 39x26 and let it rip. I hit 193rpm at one glance. Speed was 22mph.

Between A and South is another place to do a spin-up, but I use the big ring because of the great visibility on this stretch. I managed to hit 26mph, but had to cut it off because I couldn't pass two walkers moving in opposite directions without hitting one of them or taking my skinny tires into the grass.

The rest of the commute is great for long spins. I keep it at 120rpm and in the small ring. If I go above 125, I upshift. Likewise, if my cadence drops to 115, I downshift.

My ride home is all about power. I keep it in the big ring. If the cadence is over 100, I upshift. Below 85, time to downshift. Grind that shit out!

I get off the rock island at Calvert and take that to 44th. There are some short and steep hills.

44th from Calvert to Van Dorn is probably my favorite stretch of road to ride in Lincoln. It's downhill, goes on for what seems like forever and has only two cross streets. I have encountered 3 moving cars on it during rush hour this year. It's a good respite from climbing over 33rd and 40th streets.

I feel sorry for the folks who live near 44th between A and O streets: winter has got to suck. I wonder how many cars get stuck there? There are three short and very steep hills.

Dobson Construction added another hill for me to climb, but I brought the wrong bike:
44th and K

I've also been tracking my ride times and heart rate monitor data (when I remember to strap it on) for the past several weeks so I can track my fitness progress. 

My heart rate monitor doesn't stop monitoring data when the bike stops. It keeps ticking time away, giving me an accurate representation of how long it takes me to get from point A to point B, instead of "bike is moving, collect data; bike is stopped, stop collecting data" that my bike computer does.

My six mile route (35th to A, A to Rock Island) has a great deal of downtime while waiting for traffic to clear at Vine and O streets. If I take the trails, I get to add another mile and some change because I cross 27th three times, but I have less downtime since those crossings are not "at grade".

I didn't realize how much less downtime until the data for the last couple of weeks were staring me in the face.

My ride times on the short route are anywhere from 19-22 minutes on average, while my heart rate monitor times are anywhere from 28-30 minutes.

My ride times on the longer trail route are 26-28 minutes, while my heart rate monitor times on the longer trail route are anywhere from 28-31 minutes.

I'm not going to waste any more time waiting for motorized cages on Vine and O. Thanks to the Elaine Hammer bridge, I can spend that time riding instead of wishing I was riding.

Today's mixed trail/street mileage was 13.3 miles.

As for the races this weekend? I haven't done a mass start event since the summer after high school, 16 years ago: I'm gonna get my ass kicked up one side Saturday morning and down the other Sunday.

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