Time trial outcome and first solo ride of any significant distance.

There was only one week between the penultimate and final time trial, and I was still feeling kind of beat up, so I took it really easy and didn’t do much exercise between the two. I also had a pizza pig-out the day of the last TT since I usually seem to be in a shortage of energy. The ride went a little better than the previous one. No major discomforts, and I still had enough left to work up a reasonable sprint at the end. I was still having problems with my right heel kicking out for whatever reason. I also was kind of feeling that I wasn’t getting as much power out of my stroke as I should have been. I don’t know if my seat is too low, my cranks are too short (172.5mm) or if I just need to get used to it – I realize that my BMX riding has made me much more of a masher than a spinner. My time was 0:32:43, up from 0:33:02. Not an awesome improvement, but not bad. FWIW, my initial time was 0:37:46. In reflecting on the TT experience, I can understand why I made such a big improvement up-front – I didn’t know what to expect. As a result, I went full out the first time, not realizing there was a big hill in the middle. I almost passed out the first time I went up that hill, but I think that level of exertion led to marked fitness development. In later weeks I attempted to ration my energy and had an easier time making it up the hill. Had I used the same level of exertion and went as far past my comfort level each successive time as I did the first time, I think I would have continued to make big progress.

Saturday I went on my first solo ride longer than 10 miles in quite a while. I opted for the Long Lilly Route since it’s the one that I’m most familiar with, although I’ve only done it 2 or 3 times. The first thing I’ll note is that iMapMyRide seems to be losing it’s tracking a lot lately. As you can see from the photos, my route on the left has all the corners cut off and skipped about 2 miles of my ride from campus, back home. You can compare most of the route to the map on the right of what it actually is. The end result is a reading of 19.8 something miles for a 25+ mile ride. I had to exit iMapMyRide several times to check my

directions, but it appeared to restart acceptably. I don’t know if that was a contributing factor or not. I ordered a bicio (formerly ibikemount.com) “GoRide” iPhone holder in hopes that being able to see what the phone is doing will be helpful.

Weather was a factor on this ride. I think it was around 50 degrees when I started a little before 7p, and it started to get darker and colder about halfway through. I wore compression tights and long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve jersey and my regular bike shorts on the outer. Skull cap, and odyssey gloves were also worn. When I left the house my arms were pretty cold, but became livable (yet still cold) once I warmed up. My face was really cold too, but it also warmed up. My hands as usual were pretty cold the whole way, with some numbness at around 60% of the way through. Mostly thumbs. My feet also were really cold, and probably the most uncomfortable thing the whole ride. I think I will start wearing foot warmers anytime it’s under 50 and past noon. Not sure yet about gloves. I got some snowboarding type gloves at TJ Maxx, but I kind of feel like they are too nice to sweat in. I may take them back and order some Pearl Izumi stuff from
performancebike.com. The compression tights worked really well, however my shorts didn’t seem to fit right over them, so my chamois was totally in the wrong place. As a final clothing note, this was the trial run of my new

glasses, which were $3.40 at home depot. They fit my fat head pretty well, and my only complaint is that they had a slight glare issue, but I think I can deal with it at that price until I can shell out for something nicer from http://www.rudyproject.com/ .

Speaking of glasses, lack of daylight became an issue and I had to take the glasses off even though they aren’t dark at all. For whatever reason, I totally neglected the fact that I might run out of light. I was also riding out in the country where there weren’t any street lights. I couldn’t see my computer or heart monitor, though I could still see the road acceptably. I should probably get a headlight at some point. I’m not sure if I’d rather have one that mounts to the bike, or one that goes on my helmet. (so I could see my instruments)

Another first, I was chased by a dog.. twice! I ordinarily wouldn’t think much of it, but I’d recently read this post on bikeforums about a guy who had a dog take a chunk out of his calf and the ensuing dealing with the owners shady insurance, which put a little of the fear of dog into me. The first one was early into the ride in a wooded, but still residential area. The dog appeared out of the trees. I shouted at it to try and scare it off, which had no effect. I sprinted and he eventually fell back and gave up. The second one was in the middle of a bunch of cornfields. I saw him rolling around in a ditch and hoped he would ignore me, but he gave chase. I again yelled, which again did nothing. I grabbed my water bottle, as I’ve been told that spraying them can be deterring. I was feeling like I had the speed advantage and despite this one having more stamina than the first, I slowly pulled away. I think I’m going to get some kind of dog repellent spray and keep it velcro-ed to the bike.

I am still noticing the foot issue, and this time I was also noticing some sit bone pain on the same side that seemed to be linked to the weird foot position. Need to try some pedals with less float. Despite that, altogether it was a good ride. I like riding in a group because it can make me push my limits and it’s nice to have someone to talk to, but riding alone is good too because I can keep my own pace, and the quiet is kind of nice. The scenery of cornfields and tree-rows in the distance framed by orange and purple sunset skies is really beautiful. This route also had several miles of straight, flat road that I really enjoyed. I was able to keep up a 19-20 pace for a long time with a good, non-painful effort and work on my cadence.

odometer is currently at 215.1.

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