Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Bike

I bought my wife a new bike yesterday. It's a Felt F6. I've not heard of Felt bikes before but the local Don's bike store carries them and the wife loved it. Typically she came home and told me she had found 'her' bike. She told me "It's a Felt and it's black and yellow". I asked her what model, what groupo, etc? She had no idea :-) It turns out it has SRAMApex.

Somehow she had managed to get the saleswoman down to $1800  and they would eat the tax (thanks Miriam). So my wife now has an entry level carbon bike to replace her 15 year old Italian steel Marin which is no posted on eBay. It's yours for $200.

If the Santa Ana winds calm down this afternoon as they are predicting, my wife and I will head down to the SART and take it for a quick ride.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's better than French Fries?

I rode my monthly Santa Ana 200k yesterday. Like all long rides, I learned something. It's easy to learn new stuff - you just have to pay attention.

It was cool enough to ride during the day at last. At 8:30am it was a lovely 66F and stayed around 75 all day - briefly touching 80 at the coast. I even had a little rain - the lightest of mists, as welcome as morning dew to a thirsty rabbit (poetic, ain't I?). I had a moderate headwind for the last 30 miles to the coast - perhaps 10mph.

I'd made a deliberate effort to take this ride easy. Instead of riding straight through the first 60 miles I stopped and ate a double-double at In-and-Out burgers. For those of you who are not familiar with In-and-Out I pity you.

At the turn-around point at Huntington Beach I ate a lovely turkey and avocado sandwich and then turned around expecting a well-deserved tail wind. Well I did get the tailwind but for some reason I was bonking horribly so I could barely hold 12mph on the flat with a 10mph tailwind. Pathetic.

So the question is how can I bonk right after an ideal carb heavy meal. It's happened before but I still haven't figured out why. I kept waiting for the sandwich to kick in but it never did. It's like the sandwich had no nutritional value at all. After an hour of bonking I realized I needed more calories. Fortunately I had an Odwalla bar with me (my first ever). It was pretty good and got me to the 90 mile mark, although still a little slower than normal. I'll be buying some more.

At the 90 mile mark is the Lucky Greek - I've mentioned it before. I bought a large order of french fries and a large cherry coke. So now I can answer the question 'What is better than french fries?'. The answer is french fries eaten out of my top-tube bag and washed down with iced coke from my water bottle. Apparantly there's about 400 calories in a large order of fries and about the same in the coke and it was just what I needed to recover fully from the bonk and finish strong.

That's something inexperienced riders don't understand - you can recover from a massive bonk.

I think I had a tailwind all the way home. I swear it was fully 20mph for the last 40 miles of the permanent. Even though I had a headwind on the way out and bonked on the way back and stopped to eat a nice relaxed meal at two of my three stops, I still managed a sub 10 hour 200k which is about par for me even when I'm 'hammering'. Maybe I should be more relaxed about these things. Hammering doesn't seem to improve my time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First ride of Lucky Greek

Last week I rode my new Lucky Greek Permanent Populaire after work. It was nice and cold with a storm headed in but with a strong headwind. Had zuchini at the Lucky Greek. Nice tailwind home. Tried to finish in 4h30 but took 4h45 so Panera was closed when I finished. Need to ride faster next time.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Still working on next year's 600k route

Rode 75 miles with Amber yesterday and it was finally cool enough to enjoy. I wanted to try some modifications to last year's 600k final loop. The return section through Irvine just has too many stop lights. The idea was to pick up the 'Regional Bike Path' as early as possible, then work up to Chapman and finish along Walnut. However, the route to the very start of the bike path is complex and requires a lot of left turns on busy roads. The climb up Pioneer, Jamboree and Chapman at the end of a 600k wasn't a good idea either. So it looks like we will pick up the bike path at Alton, which is much easier to navigate and still avoids quite a few stop lights. We'll be finishing the ride either on the old Sunflower route or on MacArthur - a test ride is required to determine which feels safest and is easiest to follow.

I'm looking forward to riding my new 100k permanent populaire on Wednesday after work. I think I can start around 4:30pm after work and still get home and showered at a reasonable time. I'm going to try to ride that once a week while the weather is suitable. I'm also planning on riding my October R12 next weekend.

Last week I rode a total of 230 miles. I'm halfway from Lands End to John O Groats - somewhere in Carlisle. It's a wonderful ride, except for the day 7 which was pretty mediocre. I jumped on the scales for the first time in several months and I was amazed to see that I've lost 20lbs in that time. That's so cool.

I'm supposed to take Sundays off but I really want to ride! My rules, I can break them if I want.