Sunday, June 7, 2009


Once again I had to forego the usual Sunday ride with the Austin Flyers to attend grandson, John's, 5th birthday celebration at noon in College Station. That is not to say I didn't get a ride in. I left the house (driving) at 5:45am and by 6:05am started the 360 Loop ride. This is the same 42 mile ride where I lost 10 minutes (see previous post) for some unexplained reason. Today I felt smooth and strong and was able to spin up the hills with relative ease, including Steiner Ranch. But...... While my time was good, within 4 minutes of my alltime best, I thought it should have been better. Once home and showered and driving east, I had time to disect the ride and all the variables that go into what makes some rides faster than others. After tossing out a lot of reasons, it suddenly came upon me that I had changed equipment! Wait, that's not true, it wasn't a Eureka!-moment at all.
I crested Steiner and passed 2222 as I cruised down 620. A young woman on a bike merged in behind me and I said "hi" but didn't slow down to chat. I held 23-26mph for several miles but got stopped at a light. Only 15 seconds, but she had stopped behind me so we exchanged a few pleasantries. She had just started her ride, I was two hours into mine. Green! I took off and again powered up to 26mph and a mile later turned onto Anderson Mill, and into a slight headwind. With my speed dropped to 20mph, still good, I saw in my mirror the rider behind, inexorably catching up and passing me. She was folded nicely into her aerobars and had a quick cadence.
So, as I drove to College Station, I realized my very best time occurred when I had aerobars and regular chain rings (I'm in a compact at the moment). It wasn't that my slow speed cut into the time, it was the lack of high-end speed. Also, the previous computer paused when I stopped, and although I knew both the overall time and saddle time, I only recorded saddle time. Now, my current computer pauses. Next month I'll re-install the aerobars and have a new drive-train. And, yes, I'll be ready to set a new pr.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Like, political spin. Can I count my mountain bike rides on rail-trails as double my road miles? After all, they take lots more energy. I got around to reading Ben's Blog, and realized I hadn't posted my May mileage. As of the 18th I had 456 miles. Then we hit the road for the Dakotas. I managed to find trails in Wichita, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; Pierre, South Dakota; and Medora, North Dakota. Those were after driving all day, and in addition to the Mickelson Trail. In all, my bike computer registered 174 miles. Now, if I could count that as 348, I would be in range of my goal....
I actually tracked daily mileage on my Garmin Forerunner 201, and felt no need to write down the dailies, since I could recall them on the 201 when I got home. Unbelievably, the last ride, which took very little effort, just sitting on the bike from Independence Pass (12,095 ft) seemed to have done something to it. The Garmin help folks at least got it to where I can turn it off (by doing a Master Reset), but turning it on takes pushing the Enter button instead of Power, and none of the buttons work. I planned on using this hiking, but it won't be back in time. Oh, Well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Or, why I will be in Leadville for the 100 mile mountain bike race. A little background: my cycling friends from California and Oregon did a great adventure in Utah. California went home, but Oregon then met up in Twin Lakes, Colorado with another cycling friend from Denver. Meanwhile, Marilane and I were finishing our own adventures in the Dakotas and stopping by Denver to meet other cycling friends for a few hours. We added a couple of days to our vacation and drove over to Twin Lakes to spend some time with our other friends, plus see some fabulous scenery.
The closest town to Twin Lakes is Leadville, about a half hour away. We drove through there on the way from Denver, but our intention was to leave Sunday morning early and go in the opposite direction, not seeing Leadville again (probably ever). Now comes the God part. The website for the church in Leadville posted a Mass at 4pm Saturday. Great! We could go to mass, then have dinner. Apparently, that mass time was cancelled last year and the website never updated. Thus we had time on our hands before eating.
Down the street from church is a book store, the Book Mine. I had copies of my book, although left them at the motel. Since we were there, I took a bookmark and went in to try to sell a few copies. More precisely, to induce the owner to take them on consignment.
Owner Carol Hill was very congenial and we had a good conversation, plus an agreement to take the books on consignment. Part of that conversation included the Leadville 100 MTB race, which coincidentally starts right in front of the bookstore! Carol invited (perhaps not a real invitation, but I interpreted it as one) me back in August to do a Meet-the-Author presentation. Austin to Leadville is a long way to go, but we deliberated while driving back to Twin Lakes to pick up the books and deliver them. Who are we to ignore Divine Intervention! Marilane had the opportunity to browse the whole store and complimented Ms. Hill on the outstanding selection and inventory. So, if in Leadville, make it a point to stop by and by all means, mention this post.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Close enough. I actually hit the goal (150.6) mid-month, but then we took the trip to the Dakotas and I didn't know what eating away from home for two weeks would do to me. This was a dual-purpose vacation: me to ride the Mickelson Trail and Marilane to visit additional state capitols in her quest for all 50. We captured four. Details in upcoming posts, but the Mickelson Trail runs from Deadwood to Edgemont, South Dakota and even though it is a rail-trail, the riding was quite strenuous. So much so, I ran out of gears on one particular stretch from Deadwood to Rochford. Since I was on my suspended mountain bike, that means I used up some really low gears. To be more precise, I ran out of heart-rate rather than leg strength. Somehow I mixed up my heart rate monitor and strap, bringing the wrong strap for the monitor, so I can't say if I set a new max, but my perceived exertion was a 10.