Monday, September 28, 2015

Las Vegas

I spent most of the weekend in Las Vegas to celebrate my wife's 50'th birthday. My God it's hot there (106F one afternoon) - you have to appreciate the irony of Sin City being as hot as hell. The best part was the Sigfried and Roy baby tigers.

Amber and I rode The Crema on Sunday morning. On the way back my bike computer registered a temperature of 101F but it always exaggerates - it was really only 87F. I used my Note II with the RWGPS app and it worked great. I love the way I can upload the ride to RWGPS with just the press of a button.

When is it going to cool down????

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cycling the world from my spare room

It was really hot down the hill and Amber couldn't ride with me so I decided to put some miles in on the exercise bike using my website I rode 75 miles in Oxfordshire, England and then 40 miles in Portugal, both while watching the Midsomer Murders series on Netflix.

I rode a final 17 miles in the upper desert (thanks Jim #3) but had the TV turned off for that ride. Interestingly my average speed for the last ride was 20.2 mph - much faster than my average for the first 100 miles of the ride. It seems that watching Netflix makes the miles fly by but in actuality I'm riding slower.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Goodbye Garmin

For some time now I've been growing more frustrated with my Garmin Edge 800. It takes way too long to load a route or find satellites. You have to turn it on five minutes before you start the ride to give it time to get ready.

I recently bought a stem mount for my Galaxy Note II but sent it back because it had a poor design. Today I received a bike mount for my Note II which it rock solid. It's heavy but it isn't going to snap off on the first pothole and send my cell phone flying across the road at 20mph.

I took it out for a spin up to the top of Keller Peak - my weekly sufferfest. I used the RWGPS android app, downloaded the route, clicked "Ride" and off I went. The app doesn't have as many metrics as the Edge but you can read them while looking at the map. I have a dynamo hub and a USB converter so I don't have to worry about running out of batteries.

This app is totally worth joining RWGPS as a basic member.

One of the very coolest things I found is that at the end of the ride you can upload the details to your RWGPS account without having to hook up to your computer. There is also a feature called "Live Logging" which updates your location to your account every few minutes so your loved ones can keep track of you.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Matthew O'Neill memorial brevet

I've been getting some good riding in lately with a 200k permanent last weekend, another ascent of Keller Peak road, and the Matthew O'Neil memorial 200k brevet yesterday. There were about 15 of us on the ride, four of whom had recently returned from successful PBP rides. Eric, Shai, Greg, and Stacey were all wearing their PBP jerseys with justifiable pride.

We started from the Bott house at 7am and headed down to Point Hueneme and then inland to Somis for club subsidized burritos. Amazingly the whole group stayed together except for one rider who flew off the front like a bullet. At the control Foster explained that RUSA had refunded some money to the various regional groups based on ridership and we were using some of our share today which is why this ride was free for CIBC members and we got free food. Interestingly Foster mentioned my night audax ride where I traditionally buy burgers for the riders at the turn-around point for giving him the idea.

It took forever for the burritos to arrive and I could tell some of the riders who like to get through controls quickly were chafing - including me. But the burrito was great and I ate most of it in seconds, it seemed. We had ridden hard (for me) to this point so I knew the group would take off at 20mph which would offend my digestive system. I decided to sneak off before the main group left so I could ride easy until they caught me. Lonnie left with me and we rode a gentle pace and talked until the main group caught us - which didn't take long.

I managed to stay with the leaders until mile 70 when we climbed a nasty hill up to Rincon Point. Then Greg (our fearless leader) and I battled minor headwinds for the last 20 miles to Santa Barbara harbor at mile 92. As we were arriving the lead group was leaving.

Actually they weren't really the lead group because Jonathon Grey was riding his new Velomobile and was destroying us. By Santa Barbara he was 15 minutes and a control ahead of us. He seems to have fixed all the mechanical issues on his new bike.

The lines at Sushi-a-go-go (that's the real name!) were long so we settled in for another long control and chat. This ride is always very social and that's one of the fun things about it. It's late in the year so there's no worries about qualifying for SR or a 1200k.

Greg - looking particularly fearless and leaderly

I finished while Greg was still eating so I rudely left him and took off for the return leg. Just 30 miles to Ventura with tailwind all the way. Alan Tolkoff and a 'bent rider (Jeff?) joined forces and we cruised at an easy 18-20mph trying to catch Lonnie who had taken off a few minutes earlier. We caught up with him after Montecito and rode with him to the hot dog stand at Rincon point where he stopped to refuel.

Alan, Jeff, and I rode easy back to Ventura and for I while I thought we might manage a sub-nine hour 200k despite the long stops. But I had forgotten about the seven miles of climbing and red lights that is Ventura. We got to the finish at 4:10 for a 9:10 ride. When I looked at my Garmin I had a moving average of 17.2mph which means we spent 1:40 off the bike. If I had just grabbed food at the markets I could have taken an hour off my ride time, but where's the fun in that?

We socialized for a while at the Bott home and some local kids showed interest in Jonathon's velomobile. It's a fascinating vehicle.

Jonathon reveals the secret of his speed - he has a co-driver

Thanks to Foster and the Bott family for organizing the ride, feeding us, and allowing us to invade their lovely home.

Here is a pictoral selection of the some of the classic randonneuring bikes that were ridden on this brevet.