Monday, November 28, 2011

Speed: the Darker Side

The inner competitor in my wants to go fast. Really fast. My goal is to keep up with the racers who train on my regular routes. They seem to average about 21 mph on the flats, and can smoke me on the hills.

I currently can maintain a nice pace at 17 to 18 mph on the flats (in the top 2/3 of the ride, anyway), and tend to average about 16 mph on the ride as a whole (including up hills at 10 to 12 mph, and down hills at 25 to 40 mph).

Of course its always easier to go faster during a group ride than by myself, and on a shorter ride than on a longer one. On such rides, I can top out at 18 to 19 mph, if I really push myself.

While I'm looking forward to the challenge of achieving my speed goal (and will post on how I plan on achieving it), I wanted to take a look at why I wanted to achieve that goal.

First, I'm naturally competitive in athletics; when I try something, I want to be best at it. However, this cuts both ways. Its good to get me motivated to keep trying, but mentally I don't like competition, always preferring cooperation. Because my nature and my mind are at odds, I can convince myself to turn away from an activity when I think I'm getting too fierce. (For instance, when I was younger, I once ripped a basketball out of the hands of a coworker, and felt so bad about it that I never played basketball again!)

Second, I am really only as good as I am. That means riding with superior riders will only get me so much of a boost — I'm not the sort of rider who can push himself to the limit. This can be discouraging, especially when riders who I thought weren't as good smoke me on hills, or pull out of a straightaway barely panting.

Third, I hate the idea of being a show off, but can't help it! When I ride with my mates, the inner beast wants to be the first to the next rest stop, and I have to tame him. Part of the point of the ride is the group effort, riding together for fun and companionship. Another part is exercise, so I do like to get my heart rate up. Its a delicate balance to get the right ride in.

The AIDS Lifecycle will challenging at 7 days and 545 miles. Getting up to speed will take a lot of effort, but remembering why I'm there in the first place (for fun and to be a supportive team member) will also be challenging.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's ride

Did a 50 mile ride this morning: my house to Beals Point and back. I felt so sluggish! Still my average speed was 15.6 mph; for the mileage, its not so bad. Here's a picture from yesterday's ride in Vacaville.

Friday, November 25, 2011

At Beals Point

Half way through!

Fall in the river

8 miles in. Lovely morning on the American River Bike Trail.

Today's ride, 11/25/11

I'll be riding from my house to Beals Point and back. The ride is roughly this: Google Bike Map to Beals Point. The weather should be nice enough: clear skys, lots of sun, 47° F (8.33 c), and no wind. If I see any turkeys on the trail, I'll be sure to stop for a photo!

See you on the trail!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Testing Email Posts

Looking forward to adding posts by email. Here's a sample pic:

Post-Thanksgiving Training Rides

So, I'm planning on riding about 180 miles this weekend, if I can manage it. On Friday, I'll ride 50 miles from my house to Beals Point and back. On Saturday, I'll ride 30 miles with the ALC riding group (if the ride happens, if not, I'll run my own route). On Sunday, I'll ride 100 miles from my house, to Folsom Bike, and up into the hills north of Folsom...and back again.

I'm feeling a bit fat from post-Thanksgiving remorse. Didn't eat too much, but I also got no exercise today at all! Plus, I need to keep my waist small -- I just bought two new suits for work. With 32 inch waists, there is no room to spare for extra pie!

I hope these rides will jump start my winter training. I'm always looking for training partners. Please write to me in the comments!!

Off to bed now. I want to get up at 7:00 am tomorrow — finish my ride early and get in lunch, a workout, and maybe some afternoon shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preparing for the AIDS LifeCycle

I need your support!!

Riding in the AIDS LifeCycle is something I've wanted to do for many years — since I first moved to San Francisco in 1991 — over 20 years ago. 2012 is the year I'll be riding. Seven days, 600 miles. Its going to take quite a bit of time, training, and dedication. I think I'm ready for it; I've been riding nearly every weekend for six months, and riding a minimum of 70 miles a week and and average of 100 miles a week since then.

I've committed to raising $5,000 by June 2012, and I'm asking for your support. To donate, click the "Donate" link, or go to my ALC page. Fundraising is scary part. But I know that you guys are as committed to ending AIDS as I am. Your donation here will help in that effort; and I'll post about where your money is going to go.

This blog is about my efforts, and the efforts of the other riders in training, preparing for, and finally riding. I'm hoping to post lots of pics and resources for riders and benefactors alike. So, keep up to date on your investment by reading my posts here.

If you're riding, let me know, and I'll add you to my blogroll.

And please comment! I need all the support I can get!