Sunday, June 28, 2009

146.4, 142.8, 146.2, 144.4, 140.8

So much of cycling is about numbers, or can be about numbers, if you are trying to do things scientifically and optimize everything (as I am, and as I try to do)

Don't get me wrong, I love the whoosh in my hair, and the little fright that comes from tipping into a corner at full speed, as well as just in general being outside a lot. I like not using my car to commute whenever possible. But I also like charts and graphs.

The numbers in the title are what happens when you have a thing for riding bicycles in 100 degree temperatures:

146.4 - weight Sat morning
142.8 - weight Sat afternoon, post race, and after 90oz of fluids
146.2 - weight Sat night, mostly recharged (whew)
144.4 - weight Sun morning after making the earth just that bit more humid while sleeping
140.8 - weight Sun afternoon, post ride, and after 140oz of fluids near as I can tell

There's just over 15 ounces of water in a pound. So apparently I'm 80 or so ounces of water away from being rehydrated. It's going to be a long evening.

And that despite every Cat 2 on Team Oakland collectively deciding we were cooked and bailing out to take the BART train home :-) (edit: Maury actually toughed it out and rode home, chapeau, sir)

The cooler air coming in tonight will be very welcome...

In other news, I have been racing some - I've done two races now, both of which were P12 crits (okay, one was P123). Both worked out roughly the same - I was strong enough and good enough at bike handling and pack positioning to be in the right spot when the winning moves happened, and I was mentally aware enough to know they were the right moves, but I didn't have the extra capacity, so I sat in the field. Then the field rolled around until the end came, and I could get in position for the pack sprint but not without my legs starting to cramp a bit.

Why cramping? Good question. My current thesis is that my training bands were way too low (they were, 20% - LT is 256W now instead of 210W from April) so I hadn't trained muscular endurance enough. I've changed that and we'll see in two or three weeks whether things have improved when I toe the line again. It's also possibly diet but in a 60-minute race I think that's pretty easy to discount, though if in 4 weeks I haven't gotten past cramping, I'll work on diet.

That's the haps. Hope everyone has avoided melting

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rain Meditations

If you keep the wind off you, and the rate of incoming water is low, you don't have to stay dry, but you'll stay warm.

Really, a cycling cap to shield the glasses from water, shoe covers to keep the feet from freezing, some fenders to stop water from kicking up and drowning you, and a jacket is about all the gear you need for that.

When you ride by other cyclists who are journeying into the rain on two wheels with you, more often than not you'll share a grin, as if you were both stealing something.

When you ride your bike to BART in the rain and get on the train all kitted out and sopping wet, it's no longer paranoia, everyone actually is looking at you. No one smiles though, and they don't hold eye contact.

Earthworms are everywhere on the pavement when it rains. Someone should play Taps, it's a massacre.

Little glass pieces are everywhere as well. Flatting in the rain pretty much sucks, but finding a huge covered space to change your flat? Priceless.

When a car goes through a huge puddle next to you while riding in the rain, it's fun and comical instead of annoying like it is normally.

One little desk fan is capable of drying out all of your cycling gear in less than 8 hours just by blowing over it.

When it rains a lot, all the people that can't stand riding in the rain and burn out on the trainer become relatively weaker. That's what I tell myself, anyway.