Took the Long Way Home

After Saturday’s lovely twilight ride with Lauren and Erik, I resolved to get some more evening rides in while we’re still at maximum daylight. Since I was in Belltown for an appointment that ended at 5pm Monday, the natural choice was to bike around the lake counter-clockwise.

Rush hour traffic downtown pretty much sucks on a bike, but at least it kept me from going too fast too soon. I took my standard route out: 5th Ave -> S Jackson -> 12th and then on to the I-90 trail. Here I got my first of many great views of Mt. Rainier.

Biking along Lake Washington was spectacular — clear skies, not too warm, and surprisingly, not very much traffic. I was a little nervous about whether I’d remember the route properly, but it turned out to be easy to follow. (The only tricky part is in Bellevue where there’s a tiny sign on an overpass that says “<- Seattle | Factoria ->”).

I stopped briefly at Coulon Park and got myself an iced tea at Kidd Valley (probably a mistake — see below — Elizabeth will be drinking only gookinaid from here on out) and took a quick refueling stop.

Biking up Lake Washington from the park was lovely. Many places I could see the lake through the trees and it had a wonderful summer vacation feel. Unfortunately for us bikers, there’s a lot of new condo developments going in along this part of the route. Pray that the county successfully purchases the nearby rail line so we won’t have to bike through the increased traffic that’s bound to come.

There’s not a lot to say about the section along 116th and 118th except that it’s really boring and ugly. If I do this again soon, I’ll take the I-90 trail back over to Seattle and go up Lake Washington to the arboretum. That would’ve been much nicer.

Anyway, somewhere before entering the 520 trail, I really started hurting. My legs kept threatening to cramp up. It felt like two mice were jockeying for space in each of my calves. Somewhere along the trail, there’s a place where you exit and re-enter. On the side of the trail at re-entry there’s a big “Wrong Way, Do Not Enter” sign on the trail. It really pissed me off until I realized it was for the freeway off ramp paralleling the trail. Doh!

After that I made it uneventfully to the Sammamish River Trail, where I took two refueling breaks. I was getting hungry! Usually I don’t actually get a rumbling hungry when exercising, but I sure did yesterday. By the time I cleared Log Boom, I was ready to be home now!

Anyway, the whole thing took me almost 5 hours, including rest breaks plus a stop to help a group of kids in distress. I really hoping this doesn’t mean I’ll need 15 hours to make it from home to Kelso!

Oh, and apparently, all the cool kids bike only clockwise around the lake. In the whole trip around I neither passed or was passed by bikers going the same direction until I hit the Sammamish River Trail, though I saw many, many bikers coming the other direction.

Pacific Raceways: CCW with S-Curve, and I suck at hills

Today was another S-Curve day at Pacific Raceways. I thought I had some energy, but after my first warm-up lap, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. Just not fully there today. I felt my legs were tired, and I wasn’t terribly comfortable on the bike for some reason. Plus, I managed to forget my HRM, which bugged me.

I managed to hang on for 4 laps I think, then got popped on the back hill. I muscled it out and finished the remaining 5, including one after the rest of the 4/5s finished. More of a pride lap than anything. My back was sore — probably due from a heavy weight lifting day and exercising the lower back — and overall, well, blech.

And I suck at hills. Yeah, I know CCW w/ S-Curve is a rough hill, but it’s basically a 50-foot 90-foot climb… shouldn’t be enough to get me. And if it was just the S-Curve, I’d be easier, but Enumclaw, Ravensdale, and previous runs…. all points to a need to push more on the hill! So, time to do some research and start getting the legs in shape for next season. Yeah, a bit early already, but I’m likely in Europe last half of July, and August is when everything starts winding down. So, may as well look ahead now!

PR S-curve

Two Good Rides

Lauren and Elias’ rideI rode this morning with Elias on the Tandem – he did 8 miles! And I was able to navigate hills with him on there. I can definitely tell when he helps and when he just spins his legs (Anthony can vouch for this with Emma too)

Then when Ruben and Greg came home, Elizabeth, Erik and I did a quickie to Redmond and back. I saw Anthony up in Bothell zooming the other direction.

Twilight RideThe Garmin said 14.3 moving average for 42.3 miles, but I know we were really booking it in some places. Erik split off for dinner at the RedHook Brewery, Elizabeth and I continued until I split off at 100th (should have been 97th, I jumped the gun).

Depending on weather conditions I might try for a short ride in the morning or just hitting the trainer. The day starts out with a 30% chance of showers and gets worse as the day progresses.



Cascade RAMROD 7Good Morning Ride Fans,

Saturday morning found Greg and myself up at 6:45 am and driving towards Lakemont to the start of the ride. The hill climb up Lakemont is daunting because as you are driving up the steep hill, you realize the only way home at the end of the ride will involve you climbing it again to get to the car. The sprinkles while we were loading the car were making us wonder if this ride were a good idea, but by the time we got to the ride start everything is partly sunny and dry. The ride was a 100 mile loop south to Enumclaw via Ravensdale and back up to Lakemont via Black Diamond and Factoria. The ride leader was especially cruel in that he specifically chose side routes that had the steepest/ugliest/gnarliest hills I have ever seen on a ride. The majority of them were relatively short, but to end the ride on a 1200 foot climb is just not nice.

The only things of note were that for the first time this season my inner leg cramped while I was in the 95th mile and I realized I was just pushing to hard for too long. I was doing a paceline with a bunch of young’uns who were leading it out at 22-25MPH pacelines which was a little beyond my capacity (at least for 100 miles). Luckily some of my compatriot riders realized the same and we ended up taking the last hill at our own pace. Fortunately, the cramping disappeared after a mile of riding (slower) and standing up and stretching on my bike. It was intense enough I was worried it was going to lock up my right leg and cause me to fall off my bike.

I still want Lauren’s triple for RAMROD, but I was able to slog out some very steep hills on my double.

Greg was a trooper in that he did the entire ride using a very heavy bike, and large tires which put him completely out of drafting zone of the rest of the group. That said he soldiered through the entire ride and we were both able to get back in time to do kid duty and let Lauren and Elizabeth go out for a ride.

Obligatory trip stats:
104Miles, 7700 feet of elevation gain. 15.9mph base

5 _very_ steep multiple mile ascents.

Weight makes a difference (at least for my wimpy legs)

Today, in lieu of a long ride, I wound up riding my bike to my 3 hours of softball – at the south end of Mercer Island. I took my trusty 12 year old Specialized Allez because I needed the panier to lug my gear.

Although I love my Allez with all it’s faults (like the top tube being too long for me, and the components are old (probably needs new hubs, etc)), I can tell you that I really really really appreciate my new Rodriguez bike – the S3 sport bike. With all my gear, plus the additional weight of the bike, panier and rack, I was probably lugging 20-30 lbs more than I do on a regular training day.

My average speed was approx 2mph less than it usually is. I told Ruben that having the panier (especially with the headwind) made it slower going on the flats and downhills, but it was most noticable going up hill – where it kind of felt like someone was holding onto the back of my rack and trying to make me go slower.

Still I managed to make it down there in 1hr 10 minutes – and got a coffee on the way. Home was pretty similar, although I stopped to chat with someone I know who lives along the bike route near the Arboretum.

Pastry Powered at Flying Wheels 2007

Flying Wheels MotionBasedAh, a lovely day for a long ride. Ruben, Elizabeth, James, and I did the Cascade Flying Wheels Summer Century , a lovely tour on the east side of Lake Sammamish. It had been raining the week before, and forecase called for a 30% chance of rain. Well, Ruben came to get me about 7:30, and we were off. In Ruben’s words:

Great day for a bike ride!

Erik and I headed out at 7:30 on the Burke Gilman Trail to get to the ride start at Marymoor. There was the option to drive out, do 100 miles and then drive home, but that seemed silly. So we ended up biking out to Marymoor, catching up with Elizabeth (who also biked out) and James. The weather was lovely and the 65 mile route had enough hills to keep it entertaining. We all overdosed on peanut butter, bagels and clif bars. By the end of the ride I would have killed for an egg burrito with a steak, and James was talking about taking a hard salami to cut up and eat while riding, and Elizabeth thought about cubed cheeses. Can you tell we were tired of all the sugar and cheap carbs on the ride?

Ruben FW 2007 pic 03The weather conditions were overcast with occasional sun breaks which kept the weather warm enough to ride without a jacket, but not so warm that you ever felt overheated. There was some opportunities to tuck in some pacelines, and on one of the down hills I averaged 31 MPH for a mile and peaked at 44MPH. The total ride was 108 miles and well supported. Next year I take Elias on the tandem…..

Erik FW 2007Ruben is far too modest, but he’s looking in great shape for RAMROD. Clearly, my race training has put me in shape for short races – 2-3 hour hard intensity. I was doing fine until about the halfway point, 55 miles or so. Then I started to run low on gas. Yeah, there are decent hills on the ride, and my bike probably has 10 pounds on Ruben’s, not to mention my 25 pounds of gut. But that’s no excuse — I just haven’t been pushing on the endurance as much as I thought, and it showed today!

For the second half of the ride, Ruben and I went ahead of Elizabeth and James. We found a couple of other riders in a paceline, and made some reasonable time. Ruben took a monster pull — clearly he still had plenty of gas left in the tank. I sat on his wheel for a few miles, and then let him go ahead on the beginning of the last, and biggest, hill. I was talking to a woman in a Velo Bella shirt… and she mentions so casually, “Is this the 3-mile hill?” Yeah, not something I really wanted to hear. So I huffed it up mostly in the granny gear. Just before the top of the final summit, my right calf started to cramp hard. I quickly got to the side and rested it for a bit… it was fine for the rest of the ride.

The only other issue that cropped up was on the final steep downhill. My rear tube got a small leak – puncture at the rip in the tire from a glass shard I ran over 6 months or so ago. So I pulled off at the side halfway down, pumped up the tire a bit to get me back, and was off. I caught up with Elizabeth and pulled her in to Marymoor, where I swapped the tubes for the ride back at the Pedro’s tent. Ruben, Elizabeth, and I then headed home for the recovery portion of the ride — check out the HRMs below!

Erik HRM Flying Wheels 2007Erik HRM Flying Wheels 2007 part 2

Pacific Raceways – Flats Point per Lap

Today I raced PR on the flats in a 60 minute point-per-lap race. The difference between flats and flats point-per-lap is that on flats, the first guy across the line wins. In point-per-lap, each lap the first rider over gets a point, and most points wins. This changes the strategy a lot, as there tends to be a lot of sprinting at the end of each lap as well as an attack by the pack to overtake the sprinters as they try and recover.

Some of the other Winos there mentioned how tough the race tended to be. As there were only 2 other 4/5s, I decided to sit in and just go for a pack finish and figure out the race. The race was a bit weird… both preme laps were actually very slow. There were also a few well-represented teams that were clearly trying to work the crowd — the FSA guys as well as Old Town Bicycle crew did well. A few times 4-6 riders from the team would speed up to the front and give one of their guys a great leadout for the point. Zoka had a number of riders there, but they didn’t seem to be working as a team on the win.

I sat in… on the first preme lap, Jamie got a flat and bailed, leaving just Jon and I. I had plenty of gas at the end of the race, so clearly I could have pushed a bit more, but I wanted to make sure I knew what was going on first. Besides, sprinting for the last finish turns out not to matter in a point-per-lap race… it’s at best a pride thing.

PR Flats

Sunday Solo

Ruben Ride 2007-06-10The ride to today was Seattle to Snohomish and then up the Interuban to Arlignton. Despite the forecast for 30% rains, know was to be found and we had a slow ride out with some great pie in Snohomish. That said my ride back was a little more stressful as it was 2pm and I was 50 miles away and had to be home by 5pm (I got home by 5:30) the second part of the trips is noted by the higher heart rate. That said it was lovely day to ride as I could do it with just lycra and a short sleeve, and figured out how to attach my jacket to my bike using the velco and turning the thing inside out. (I have only had it for 2-3 year, and wondered what the velcro was for…duh).

Everett Street Scramble

Everett Street Scramble routeGreg, Emmett, Elizabeth, Laura, and I did the Everett Street Scramble on a very rainy Saturday. The rain forecast for noon arrived about 8 AM and lasted throughout the early afternoon, so we were quite soaked. Turns out this also reduced the participation in the scramble — there were only 2 teams in the Family / Bike division: Teriyaki Donut, which is Greg and Emmett, and Maybe He’ll Nap, with Elizabeth, Laura, and yours truly.

We decided to do a southern route first, planning on shooting north if we had time. It turned out we managed to forget the cover to the trailer, so we ended up rigging a shield using spare map cases and duct tape. It worked OK, but Laura got very cold and was in some distress, so we didn’t end up going all that fast. At Point 53 (the offshoot about mile 9), we stopped for a bit, dried out the trailer, and make Laura a garbage bag parka. This worked well and made her more comfortable, so we made decent time back up to downtown Everett. We made a few hill mistakes quickly though — the next point was in Forest Park. We went down a huge downhill, and then had to huff right back uphill to Point 41. Then, we circled around on Mukilteo Blvd going down and back up a steep hill, versus staying high and taking Federal due north. But hey, we needed some exercise.

In the end, we arrived about 15 minutes early (so 2:45 total), and had earned 590 points, which was good enough for 2nd place in Family / Bike, and 3rd overall. A solo cyclist was second overall, and Greg & Emmett, the other Family / Bike team, took first with a whopping 920 points. They took a northerly route first, correctly going for a flatter route initially. Then they cruised south and took most of the points.

Overall, I’m reasonably pleased with how we did… I think for any future ones, a map case on the handlebars would be key just to keep track of where we’re going. Plus, extra clothes for Laura — the rain was a killer!

As always, for your enjoyment, the HR stats. Lap markers indicate when we hit a point.

Everett Street Scramble HRM

Cat 4 Baby!

I forgot to post what came in the mail on Monday:

The following request to change your USCF category has been approved
and processed by USA Cycling:
Member: Erik Selberg
License: Road Racer
Request to change category from Cat 5 to Cat 4

Yeah baby!