React Longer

I gave blood on Thursday (donation number 51), and although it went fine, I had a ride planned and I was a little curious how my body would react. I didn’t get enough sleep last night, so that compounded a feeling of dread for the ride.

Turned out that I was worried needlessly. My earlier training has left me much stronger and more fit than I expected. Even with the loss of blood, my legs felt strong. The only indication I had of something being up, was any time we hit a steep-ish hill, my heart rate skyrocketed.

My plan was to head out for 1.5 hours, which is what I pretty much hit. I was tired when I got home, but I know I could have gone longer. I didn’t eat anything on the ride, so if I had, I could have easily done another hour.

View June 25 in a larger map

Total Distance: 39.45 km (24.5 mi)
Total Time: 1:52:51
Moving Time: 1:37:03
Average Speed: 20.97 km/h (13.0 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 24.39 km/h (15.2 mi/h)
Max Speed: 52.48 km/h (32.6 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -11 m (-35 ft)
Max Elevation: 74 m (242 ft)
Elevation Gain: 348 m (1140 ft)
Max Grade: 9 %
Min Grade: -10 %

Overhaul Crisp

Last week I had my road bike in the shop to get cleaned up. It hadn’t seen any love in a while, and after the abuse I put it through for the Tour de Victoria, I knew it was time.

A major overhaul was ordered, and some new brake pads requested. 

I got on the machine for the first time today, and wow, it felt brand new again. A new shifter cable was installed, making shifting crisp and quick. The brakes were dialed in, and the whole bike was clean, clean clean.

I should have done that a long time ago.

Action Riders

The day after the Tour de Victoria was the Bastion Square Grand Prix. Since the kids were still up in Nanaimo, Sue and I headed downtown to watch some of the action before we headed up to retrieve our kids.

When we arrived we caught the end of the pro women’s race. Amazing how fast they can go. When the roads are dry that is. On crash corner (Yates and Wharf) they lean their bikes over so much. After riding a road bike for a while now, I know that being able to lean a bike that much is a rush.

An interview with the womens winner.

The champagne toast!

Then the cat 1 men were up. Wow, I though the women were fast. The men were just that much faster. Right from the start they were amazing to watch. So tightly packed, yet no accidents.

This show could have been so amazing if there were a few more cyclists in the shot. The airplane, the harbour ferry, the water, the crowd. All that is missing is some riders.

Killer Feeling

Today’s ride was killer. Great route, and despite the fact that my legs didn’t feel very strong, I think I did pretty well. I made the time I wanted, which was at least 3.5 hours, and my total distance was 90.6 kms too! Woohoo.

The weather was supposed to be rainy, but instead it was cloudy with sunny periods. I was on the verge of being over dressed, which is way better than being cold. I spent a fair amount of time at the front and tried setting a good pace up some of the hills on Kangaroo Rd. We hit some great downhill sections too.

D and T wanted to head off an do Munn’s Rd, but I chose Prospect Lake Rd instead. I had never ridden it, and it is part of my course. Nice road. Rolling hills, pretty scenery, but the road is in pretty rough shape. Now on my own, when I got to the end of Prospect Lake Rd, I had some decisions to make. I was at around 2.75 hours, and if I headed straight home I would be done too early.

I thought I would head over to the Lochside Trail and take that home. As I got close to that, I again realized that would cut my ride too short. I opted to head along the Mr Doug Parkway, then meandered over to UVic, down Foul Bay Rd to Oak Bay Ave, then took that to Yates St.

From Yates it was straight across the bridge and straight home from there. Great ride, but now I am poooooooped and my legs are pretty fried.

View Tour de Victoria, May 6, 2011 in a larger map

View Tour de Victoria, May 6, 2011 in a larger map

Total Distance: 90.62 km (56.3 mi)
Total Time: 4:05:55
Moving Time: 3:50:09
Average Speed: 22.11 km/h (13.7 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 23.62 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 59.40 km/h (36.9 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -14 m (-47 ft)
Max Elevation: 142 m (465 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1307 m (4288 ft)
Max Grade: 26 %
Min Grade: -19 %
Recorded: Sat May 07 08:34:32 PDT 2011

I love how good my riding is feeling though. Since I started training, I have certainly noticed how much I have improved my leg strength, and my endurance. This training has got me jonesing to get out on the trails too. Once the Tour de Victoria is over, I think I will switch over to my mountain bikes again.

Sprinted Back

This past Tuesday I got into the pool for a swim, my first in a few weeks. I felt great. I busted out 700m like it was nothing, and really sprinted the last 50. I should have kept going, but I needed to get some work done that night. It sure was a quick workout.

Yesterday, while in Langley, I went for a ride. I was planning on 3 hours, and I wasn’t planning on any distance. The terrain in Langley isn’t like home. Very flat with rolling hills and straight, very straight. This meant I kept my average speed up.

My route took me along the border to the US. At one point there was a tiny 3 foot wide ditch and then another road with a 36 mph sign on it 🙂 Kinda weird to think how close I was to another country, and how easily one could cross there if they wanted.

My route was an out and back, and on my return trip I saw evidence of a beaver. A bunch of trees had been felled by a beaver, and one of the trees had taken out a fence. On the other side of the road was a large pond, and that was when I noticed the lodge in the middle of the pond. Very cool Too bad I didn’t see the actual beaver though. Further down the road was a family of geese, two adults and eight goslings.

View Tour de Victoria, April 22, 2011 in a larger map

Total Distance: 77.86 km (48.4 mi)
Total Time: 3:00:44
Moving Time: 2:57:30
Average Speed: 25.85 km/h (16.1 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 26.32 km/h (16.4 mi/h)
Max Speed: 55.02 km/h (34.2 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -3 m (-9 ft)
Max Elevation: 92 m (302 ft)
Elevation Gain: 528 m (1732 ft)
Max Grade: 9 %
Min Grade: -7 %

Conditioning Speed

Today’s ride was supposed to be between 75 and 85 km. I was looking forward to the distance, but the few days before the ride didn’t lend themselves to good conditioning. I was working lots, not eating very well, and definitely not drinking enough water.

Still, I got a good sleep last night, so I hoped that would be enough. After a good breakfast I was out the door and riding. I met up with a friend and we started off. Once we got to Prospect Lake road though, I started to feel my week. My legs didn’t have much power and my heart rate rose pretty quickly. I powered up a few hills and willed myself to keep going when I really wanted to take a break.

I’m pretty happy with the ride stats though. 80 km, average moving speed over 23 km/h. Max speed of 63 km/h, weee 🙂

By the time I got home I was thoroughly exhausted. I had some lunch, had a nice, long, hot shower, and now I feel much better.

The big decision I have in the upcoming weeks is what do I do about the Tour de Victoria ride. Do I do the 90km ride with Sue, or do I push myself a little and try for the 140km ride?

View Tour de Victoria, April 16, 2011 in a larger map

Total Distance: 80.99 km (50.3 mi)
Total Time: 3:47:04
Moving Time: 3:28:02
Average Speed: 21.40 km/h (13.3 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 23.36 km/h (14.5 mi/h)
Max Speed: 63.00 km/h (39.1 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -17 m (-55 ft)
Max Elevation: 247 m (812 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1149 m (3768 ft)
Max Grade: 15 %
Min Grade: -16 %
Recorded: Sat Apr 16 08:36:53 PDT 2011

Parkway Time

Sue and I went for a ride today. We decided that since we were going to be in Nanaimo that we would try hitting the Parkway Trail. From the start we hit a hill and climbed. When we got to the Parkway Trail, I was pretty surprised that it was so hilly. I was used to the Goose in Victoria and how flat that trail is. The Parkway Trail was built alongside the highway and isn’t a converted railway like the Goose.

The weather today was great, almost sunny, but no wind. We rolled along nicely and got to talk along the way too. Near the end of the ride, we weren’t at our target time, so we went exploring through upper Lantzville. We only got a little lost, but managed to fix that.

One thing that I tried to do on the return trip from the South end of Nanaimo, was to stay in a higher gear and work on building some power in my legs. By the end of the day my legs were pretty tired.

View Tour de Victoria, April 9, 2011 in a larger map

Total Distance: 57.79 km (35.9 mi)
Total Time: 3:16:13
Moving Time: 2:56:18
Average Speed: 17.67 km/h (11.0 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 19.67 km/h (12.2 mi/h)
Max Speed: 51.30 km/h (31.9 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 7 m (23 ft)
Max Elevation: 134 m (441 ft)
Elevation Gain: 555 m (1820 ft)
Max Grade: 11 %
Min Grade: -13 %

Three Speed

Yesterday’s ride was a three part affair. My goal was to ride to the ferry terminal, catch the 11 am ferry, then ride to Ganges on Saltspring Island. Good goal I thought, especially since Saltspring is a little hilly.

The first section was the flat easy ride. Except for one part. I left a little late, and quite quickly realized that it would be tight on making the ferry. Riding on the Lochside Trail I put the hammer down and rode as hard as I could. I kept having to slow down to pass people, but I would quickly get back up to speed. In Sydney I knew that getting on the ferry was going to be tight, so I started doing an almost all out sprint the last couple km’s. I got on the highway and as I climbed the final hill to the toll booths I could see a police officer on the side of the highway. I could see him raising his laser speed detector, yet no cars were passing me. As I passed him he informed me I was doing 25 KM/H up the hill.

At the booth I though I would have enough time to pay and hoof it down to the ferry. As the window opened the agent asked where I was headed and as soon as I said Saltspring, she sadly let me know the ferry had left the dock at 10:55, and the time as 10:56. The ferry was supposed to leave at 11! Just then my phone started ringing and I knew it was Sue. I was so out of breath I could barely talk. Nothing like riding hard for 1.5 hours to do that.

I then figured I would go for a shorter ride, then get on the 1 pm ferry to Saltspring.

View Tour de Victoria, April 3, 2011 Part 1 in a larger map

The stats for the first leg of my ride:
Total Distance: 34.17 km (21.2 mi)
Total Time: 1:17:30
Moving Time: 1:13:43
Average Speed: 26.45 km/h (16.4 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 27.81 km/h (17.3 mi/h)
Max Speed: 43.20 km/h (26.8 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -17 m (-56 ft)
Max Elevation: 76 m (250 ft)
Elevation Gain: 360 m (1181 ft)
Max Grade: 19 %
Min Grade: -25 %

Pretty decent average speed.

The next leg of my ride I had no clue where to go, nor where I would ride. I ended up riding along Land’s End Road until I hit West Saanich Rd. I knew where West Saanich would take me so I went down there. As I got close to the airport I took another left and headed into Sidney to stop for a coffee and a snack. Then it was back out to the terminal.

View Tour de Victoria, April 3, 2011 Part 2 in a larger map

The stats for leg 2 on the day:
Total Distance: 19.85 km (12.3 mi)
Total Time: 1:07:52
Moving Time: 51:15
Average Speed: 17.55 km/h (10.9 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 23.24 km/h (14.4 mi/h)
Max Speed: 44.25 km/h (27.5 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -11 m (-36 ft)
Max Elevation: 41 m (135 ft)
Elevation Gain: 176 m (576 ft)
Max Grade: 7 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Sun Apr 03 11:01:23 PDT 2011

At the terminal I grabbed a sandwich, a drink, and a chocolate bar, and tried to stay warm. I was so grateful that the lounge on the ferry was heated.

By the time the ferry docked and I got off, my break time was close to an hour. Right off the bat there is a largeish hill. Uggh. My legs felt a little full of lead. I got warmed up pretty quickly and tried to hammer hard and meet up with my family. Then I met my match. A large hill coming out of Burgoyne Bay. I actually stopped partway up the hill to take a breather.

When I finally started the descent into Ganges I was feeling pretty fried. In Ganges I had something to eat, and caught a ride with Sue back to her Sister’s place where we had a great visit.

View Tour de Victoria, April 3, 2011 Part 3 in a larger map

The stats for leg three of my ride:
Total Distance: 14.59 km (9.1 mi)
Total Time: 41:21
Moving Time: 36:48
Average Speed: 21.16 km/h (13.1 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 23.78 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Max Speed: 61.20 km/h (38.0 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -53 m (-174 ft)
Max Elevation: 106 m (349 ft)
Elevation Gain: 199 m (652 ft)
Max Grade: 8 %
Min Grade: -8 %
Recorded: Sun Apr 03 13:32:25 PDT 2011

The total mileage on the day was 68.61 (though my bike computer recorded over 71KM). What a day of riding though.

Trick Stats

Great ride yesterday. There were a few good hills to test the legs too. We headed out to the Metchosin area through Esquimalt Lagoon. The hill out of the lagoon was the big test for me. I started off too strong on the hill, forgetting how long it was. By the top my heart rate had spiked and my vision was starting to narrow. Yikes. Thankfully I made it to the top.

The only mistake I made on the ride was not starting to eat soon enough. I realized 1:20 into the ride I hadn’t eaten a thing. I choked by a gel to get some quick calories into me, then started in on a Cliff bar. That did the trick and I got myself back on my nutritional track, and didn’t bonk.

I even managed to lead the three of us for a while. That felt good to do my part in the ride. I’m still learning the rules to riding in a group, and now that my fitness is picking up, I can start doing my duty at the front.

View Tour de Victoria, March 26, 2011 in a larger map

Total Distance: 73.69 km (45.8 mi)
Total Time: 3:26:50
Moving Time: 3:06:24
Average Speed: 21.38 km/h (13.3 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 23.72 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 55.92 km/h (34.7 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -20 m (-66 ft)
Max Elevation: 63 m (208 ft)
Elevation Gain: 673 m (2208 ft)
Max Grade: 14 %
Min Grade: -9 %

So, the stats above don’t lie. 73+ KMs averaging over 23 KM/H. Pretty happy with that.

Opted Often

Nice ride tonight. I had originally planned to come home, change quickly, then head out for an hour on the road. When I arrived home there were some complications, and I had forgotten to pick up a couple of the ingredients for dinner.

Instead I opted for a trainer ride after a light dinner. Another good workout. I did a 4 minute warm up, 1 hour ride, then a few minutes of cool down.

While spinning I can zone out pretty nicely and just think about stuff. The downside is that when I am not paying attention, my effort wanes as well, and I find myself not working as hard as I should be. Tonight was no different, but I was trying to be more cognizant of what my body was actually doing.

One of the thoughts I had was that the prep I am doing for the Tour de Victoria ride is having an awesome side-effect. My drive to ride has certainly increased. I find myself thinking about riding more often. I just want to ride again. The last few years have seen my riding diminish a little, but now I want to start riding regularly again. It’s good for me, and when I hit the trails, I can take Heart too.