Sunday, June 29, 2008

Epic Commuting

So this past Wednesday was Bike To Work Day. I have biked in part-way a couple of times in the past few weeks. But never the full distance. The full distance is 15 miles. My first commute on bike was to drive in about 1/2 way (7-8) miles and ride in with friends through a state park. I avoid most of the traffic, and don't get too winded going in. I had a great time...
The second (and maybe third) time I biked in, I would bike to the light rail station -about 11 miles away- and take the light rail to work. This was a good distance, and I was a little worn out after the ride. But still not too bad. My times door-to-door were around an hour to an hour and a quarter.
On Bike To Work Day, I decided that I would like to go the entire distance on human power. I wussed out a little, and biked to the light rail on my trek into work, but decided to "go the distance" on the return trip. The first few miles flew by. I was going downhill, feeling good, and listening to my exercise mix. --On a sidenote, I need to update my mix. It isn't as inspiring as it was when I first made it. --

The aerial photo shows about 7 miles of my route going home. My route follows the purple or the blue going in a southwest direction, and then the red or brown to the south. The problem is that the trail ends for a few miles and I have to go by street, before connecting to the trail again. I had looked and looked at the route, but not well enough apparently, because I got lost!!! Now I need to qualify my "lost" statement. I knew where I was if I was driving home, but I could not find the trail. I hunted around, hopped a fence, and ended up at our local garden center without any trail going south in sight. This is somewhat discouraging, especially when I have been following the GDR. The Great Divide Race goes along the rockies from northern Montana to Southern New Mexico. Contestants have to be self sufficient the entire time. I have read about how this rider was lost for an hour here, or an hour there, but it is in the wilderness, with no other trails around. I am riding in a large city, and can't find a bike trail. :( Well at least I knew where I was. I ended up taking a heavily trafficked road for several miles, but made it back to familiar territory. This time, the trip took two and a half hours. I estimate I went about 30 miles that day. I was pretty sore the following day. Now I just have to gear up for our alpine loop ride in September of 60-90 miles.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Specialized Helmet Replacement Program

It's a little known fact that Specialized has a helmet replacement program. I bought my first one in 1995 (albeit grudgingly for a mountain bike class in college). It developed several nicks and dings over the years and eventually suffered a fatal blow during a crash. I went into a dealer and they swapped me out my old for brand-new one.

Now things are a bit different. If you own a Specialized helmet, simply call the main switchboard at (408) 779-6229 and ask about the helmet replacement program. They'll get your information and mail you out a 20% coupon.

I'm now the proud owner of a new Chamonix Specialized helmet.


Here's to the folks riding the GDR and Tour Divide. Helmets off to you folks. Listening to your call-ins and watching your SPOTs fills my mind with crazy notions of following you in your epic of epic rides.

Good luck to Geoff, Mary, and the rest!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wardsworth Creek, Revisited

Riding Time: 1.15.01
Actual Time: 1.54.41
BPM Avg: 155
Miles: 6
MPH Avg: 4.7
Elevation Gain: ~1100 feet

In an effort to recover my lost pump from my last foray on Wardsworth, I decided to invite my brother-in-law for a quick ride. Maybe, I thought, I'll not only get in a great ride, but recover my awesome pump.

Yes on the former, no luck on the latter.

I'm not entirely sure my numbers were accurate on my last ride. I had some issues with my HRM and my computer (inadvertent button pressing, etc.) One thing for sure was the distance. I was seriously this close to the top last time when I turned around - only .15 miles away.

Maybe it was the fact that I was with another rider, but I felt I pushed myself a bit harder this time than last. It was validating to be on a ride with someone who bikes a whole heck of a lot more than I do and, for the most part, keep up with him. I still have tons of work to do before doing an epic, but at least I know where my starting point is.

Me earning the climb.

Riley tries to hold a line on the uphill.

Riley on top of Everest Wardsworth. 

This time I made it!

Though there was still some hike-a-bike areas, I was on my bike much more than last time.