The new 98% efficient furnace is in. We have several new holes in the ceiling, and exterior walls. Can't complain though, we're warm. After almost losing the old furnace on the coldest night of the year.
This years SIR Summer Populaire was considerable easier than last, and I finished in a smidge under 5 hours. A few gently rolling hills and a headwind presented the only challenges along the way. The weather and views were great, and most of the roads were too. I was amazed at how quickly we were able to get out of Olympia and into more rural areas, it was quite a nice treat.
I felt pretty good when I finished, tired - but not overly so. The next day my right Achilles tendon was really hurting though, and I took almost 2 weeks off. My guess is that it was tender after I pushed much harder than usual keeping up with some faster riders, we rode around 17 - 18 mph together, probably 2 mph or so faster than I would have alone. I lost contact with them in the headwind though, I just couldn't keep the pace up.
My goal this year was a 200k, but that probably won't happen. It's hard to find the time for the event, and even hard to find time for the training. I'm stronger this year than last, but I just don't feel confident about doing over 100 miles with climbing, maybe next year. I suppose there is an outside chance I'd try a 200k permanent before winter, but we'll see. I would like to do one more 60+ mile organized ride this summer, but I need to find the right one. Let the googling commence!
Last week, after a very few false starts, my son took off riding without training wheels.
I had removed his training wheels and pedals about a month earlier, to get him used to balancing and steering. As he kicked around the blacktop faster and faster, I was pretty sure he was ready. On the big night, I ziptied a broomstick to the back of his bike. That allowed me to help him balance, without a potentially excruciating backache. He was riding more or less instantly, and I barely used the handle at all. Since he couldn't see me, I just didn't hold it, and trotted along behind him to build his confidence.
A few minutes later, I told him he was riding on his own (he checked with another adult just to be sure I wasn't kidding him) and off he went.
Next step - get a bike that doesn't make him look like he's training for the circus.
Last year my stated goal here was to finish a SIR 200k with a reasonable cushion.
Yesterday I climbed 3rd on Queen Anne and didn't hit my lowest gear once. This is a significant improvement for me, and I think it bodes well for my chances on the SIR summer 200k. I may get some fit adjustments between now and then, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic overall.
I had a really nice ride this past Saturday on my first Flying Wheels. I opted for for the 65 mile route, as I was feeling iffy about my fitness levels and Rob, my riding companion was sure he wasn't up to it.
After driving around a bit more than necessary to find parking (ended up by OobaTooba), we were off. The forecast was for 77 and sunny and the weather didn't disappoint. Rob and I were both in wool and sweating a bit before we even left the parking lot.
The route was great. Not Too Hilly, plenty of shade, not much traffic and some great scenery. I feel like I could ride it several times a year. In fact, I rode part of it earlier this year as one of the SIR training rides. I just love the quiet routes along the river near Carnation; the Burke Gilman is a great resource, but pales in comparison to that.
I felt great completing the ride, and I think the key difference is how much I ate and drank. I tried hard to get 200 - 250 calories per hour down every hour, along with a bottle of water. I usually make a halfhearted effort to keep up the food intake and it bites me every time around mile 35 or 40. Saturday I had enough energy to chase J down from my office after he blew by me at mile 60 or so.
I also did pretty well on the hills, I was really passing people this time out. Now, I need to work on my overall speed too. Plenty of people I passed looked mighty uncomfortable on their carbon wonder steeds with tiny cassettes and low bars. I wonder how much better they'd feel on a bike like my Salsa or Rob's Riv - or Duncan's 'bent for that matter.
Though I was pretty nervous the night before this ride, things worked out well. Now I think I'm ready for the SIR 100k later this summer.
Yesterday I met Duncan and the Seattle Randos for the first training ride of 2010, held along with the Cascade Bicycle Club. The ride was about 38 miles long, with 2,000 feet of climbing, if you didn't go astray. I stayed pretty much on course, thanks to my new GPS, but did miss one turn while talking to someone while my GPS was acting up a bit.
I finished up in about 3:15, including a stop at Starbucks - that's really pretty decent for me. I felt better on the hills than I ever have, so all that hill climbing is definitely paying off. Several of the other riders mentioned how out of shape they were or felt, but honestly I've never felt stronger. I passed quite a few people going uphill, which was a nice change from the feeling of shooting backward through the pack that I had last year.
I'm a bit fatigued today, and only have minor soreness (right achilles and left knee). I was also a bit cold on yesterday's ride, except for the uphills where I was plenty warm. In retrospect I should have worn my knee warmers, but I was afraid they'd slip down and be a pain to adjust under my rain gear.
The weather turned out great - sunny around 50 and not too windy. Really you just couldn't ask for a better winter ride in the PNW.