Category / Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (2007)

STP Photos July 26, 2007 at 9:20 pm

 I am very disappointed in the quality of these photos.  The photographer that was taking the photos at the finish line was lame.  The ones that actually are in good focus I look extra dorky in so I won’t post those!

image_1 image_5 image_7

I had an extra jersey and riding shorts to change into at lunch. 

These pictures make me want to loose even MORE weight.  Oy! 

204 Miles, 12h:20m total! July 16, 2007 at 3:48 pm

After many months of training and tons of time on the bike I have completed the 2007 Group Heath Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.  My stats according to the GPS:

Total Time     (h:m:s)   12:24:36
Moving Time  (h:m:s)   10:07:37
Distance (mi )              202.65
Moving Speed (mph)    20.0 avg.    36.5 max.
Elevation Gain (ft)        +6,094 / -5,976

I started the timer about five minutes before my official start time.  I left the UW at 5:25am and crossed the finish line in Portland at 5:45pm.  My goal was to complete the ride in under 13 hours with stops!  Next year I might try for under 12 and see if I can beet my speed.  Who knows!  That is a while from now.

I was unbelievably grateful to see SAG support at mile 167.  I was in need of a water stop and was contemplating topping at a store to pickup water when like magic "Saggy Bill" and Janine showed up on the side of the road.  Three water bottles and some dill potato chips later, I was feeling well enough to continue.  The only other time I started feeling crappy was at mile 180 and a group of riders came up behind me and passed.  I was able to draft them for the last bit of the ride and that did the trick. 

I experienced Very little stiffness Sunday morning and no saddle sores at all.  I feel awesome and I really am looking forward to my commute to work tomorrow! 

The ride was awesome and the TNT group was fantastic.  I WILL do this ride again. 

This certainly isn’t the END of my cycling, but it is likely the next to last entry in this category.  If the  photo’s of me at the finish line look good, I will likely post those too!

Now I have been SERIOUSLY considering signing up for a Triathlon with TNT next year.  I am a decent swimmer and a reasonable cyclist.  Running will be my challenge, but I am certain with the proper training I would be able to do an Olympic tri.  (Not ~in~ the Olympics!)  I am confident that I would survive a sprint tri if I did one this year.  (I may not be fast, but I would live.)

Another decent day… June 20, 2007 at 8:14 pm

I wasn’t able to ride into work today for various reasons. That sucked, but the weather tonight was nearly perfect for a late evening cruise around Lake Sammamish. Just to make life a little interesting I went around the lake clockwise tonight. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t risk it, but it was late enough that traffic wasn’t insane. My average speed was just under 21mph. Not too bad for a quickie evening ride. [Ride Data]

I am not sure if it is because I am riding more or because I am getting used to a higher performance bike, but I really notice things like my detailer hesitating or the chain skipping now. It could also be that I ride in a lot more rain now than I did in the past too, but I never had to work on my bike as much in Arizona! Ok, I ~know~ some of it is the rain, but some is also my level of pickiness!

I suspect that I could fairly easily do the loop around the lake in under an hour.  Some of the delay was stop lights, but the computer doesn’t count all of that time for the average.  It is ~not~ a race, but it is fun to see what can be done.

I am planning on joining some friends for an after noon ride around the lake tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see how the events compare.  I tend to actually ride faster when I am with people.  I am not sure how much of that is competitiveness or because I can draft a little, but generally speaking I do ride faster.  I always seem to kick it up a notch when I am passing people too.  :)

Over 2,000… June 16, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Today I passed the 2000 mile mark this year riding my bicycle.  Compared to some, that isn’t a huge deal.  I ride with some guys that are already in the 4-5 thousand mile range for the year.  For me it is wonderful. 

Today also marks another first for this year.  I had my first flat.  I can live with one flat per two thousand miles. J It did show me that my rear tire is needing replacement (I have the replacement, but I’ve been lazy).  I’ll probably put the new brake shoes and tires on tomorrow. 

One more first for me today.  In my lifetime I have never ridden more than about 110 miles in a day until today.  Today I road 126.  My average was around 19.5 miles per hour until the head winds in the last 13 miles home from the ride just beat me to a pulp.  I ended up with an over all ride average of 18.9.  The last tenth of a mile per hour clicked off JUST as I was turning into my driveway!  D’oh.

Less than a month to go until the STP!

Peninsula “Metric” Century June 3, 2007 at 8:34 pm

I have done my third 100 mile ride today. The Peninsula Metric Century had the option of doing a full 100 miles in addition to the 100 Kilometer "normal" version of the ride.  I did the 100 mile version.  The ride was fairly challenging and roughly equivalent to the 14 Hills of Kirkland ride the week before.  All in all I think that I had a pretty good showing.  Both rides had roughly 6 hours of ride time.  If anything today’s ride was a little more difficult than the Kirkland ride. At least the metrics from the GPS tracks say it was so. 

This week I will be taking it easier and next weekend I will likely only ride on Saturday.  Then on the 16th I will ride the Flying Wheels Summer Century out of Redmond.  That one I am planning on commuting to because I need to ride a little extra before attempting 204 miles in a single day during the Seattle to Portland in July a month later. 

14 Hills of Kirkland! May 28, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Today I rode another century. 100 Miles in a day. This ride was billed as a very difficult ride. It WAS difficult and challenging, but it didn’t beat me to a pulp. I feel pretty good. (We will see how I feel tomorrow.)

This is the hill profile from the organizers of the event.

http://www.7hillskirkland.com/maps/images/7Hills-Century-Profile.jpg

My average speed on the bike was 17.2 miles per hour according to the GPS unit. That number doesn’t include the 4 stops for food, restroom, and water. Overall the computer says I had 14mph average. I don’t fully understand why the difference between the computer and the GPS’s calculation of moving speed. The computer says my average was 16.1.

I am still getting used to the GPS unit. I turned the thing off during my first stop and I missed about 5 miles of hill data. My numbers don’t sync with the “official” 7900 ft. of hills, but I did miss one of the bigger ones while the unit was off. D’oh! Even with all the hills the ride was about 55% flat. I loved many of the down hills. They were fantastic!

Next weekend I am signed up for a ride that has a similar profile. I hope I feel as good as I did today!

Century One Postmortem… May 15, 2007 at 11:51 am

Now that a couple of days have passed I can comment more fully on how my body responded to riding a full 100 miles in one day. I feel pretty good. The ride didn’t over tax my system and it didn’t wipe me out. I was almost expecting that it would have been too much effort in a single day. The only real effect is a slight soreness in my knees that actually could be from overuse. I didn’t have any noticeable issues with my posterior over the last two days.

During the ride, I had a little neck pain and some back pain but that did not translate beyond the ride. Given the road conditions, I am certain that the nearly continuous jarring of chip seal pavement played a part.

Yesterday on my commute in to work I didn’t seem to have any lingering problems, however on the ride home I was a little fatigued and wasn’t able to push as hard as I would have liked. I think that is most likely because I need to give my body a little more time to recover. I have to run a few errands tomorrow so I won’t be cycling into work. I will switch up the exercise a little at the gym to give some other muscles a workout.

This Saturday is a TnT team ride and the following week I will be doing the 7 Hills of Kirkland Century (it is actually 14 hills of Kirkland and Surrounding areas). This should help given me some perspective on how I will feel after a longer/easier ride. I am still considering doing the Kitsap Metric Century or even the full Century the following weekend.

I’ve already made my months goal of doing at least one century a month through November and I have already committed to riding another. June has at least one that I am committed too and quite possibly two as well. July is the STP. I may have to restate my goal and make it two centuries a month at least during the summer months. I shouldn’t have any problems finding rides through September. October might be a little sketchy and November is el Tour de Tucson.

Last week I was able to commute into work on my bike every day! This week I am likely to be able to cycle 4 days. Friday ~is~ bike to work day and I can’t skip THAT day!

Skagit Spring Classic 2007 May 12, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Today I road 100 miles on my bicycle. My average was 16.5 miles per hour and this isn’t too bad considering the hills and the head winds! I feel pretty good right now and the ride wasn’t overly taxing. This is a far cry from the last couple of centuries that I did. It was over 20 years ago and I really hadn’t trained properly. Tomorrow will tell, but I don’t think I am going to be sore. My body is much better at handling aerobic activity these days and I rarely get a lactic acid build up. The heart rate monitor helps a lot. I know when I am over training.

The real key will be if my bottom is sore or not!

Always someone better! May 11, 2007 at 9:04 am

I have been feeling pretty good about my prowess on the bike of late. I am doing well. Some of it is definitely because of the equipment. A lot has to do with my fitness. Today I was pushing hard up a hill passing a number of other commuters in the process when an older rider pushed right past me without seeming to even notice. Wow! It is these times that gives me something to aspire to. I think it is a good thing that I get “humbled” every now and again.

Tomorrow I am planning on riding in the first century I have done in twenty years. On one hand I am excited, on the other I am nervous. The longest distance I have done on a bike this century has been 73 miles. That day I could have done another 27 without much of a problem. Fun, Fun, Fun!

Nearly Perfect! May 8, 2007 at 8:34 am

This morning was a nearly perfect morning for a ride into work. It was just cool enough and sunny. Today I decided that I would take my carbon fiber bike into work. That made the ride sweet! On the hybrid, my average speed was 15. Today my average speed was 18. The only down side this morning was this idiot lady talking on her cell. For about two miles coming into Redmond the traffic backs up on East Lake Sammamish. On the purple monster, I can easily go 24-25 in this section. Some mornings (like today) this speed is significantly faster than the cars on the road. Fortunately, the shoulder is quite wide and free from debris. My first encounter with this idiot was after a stop light. Talking on her cell she wasn’t paying attention and nearly clipped me cutting onto the shoulder. A little while later after traffic had slowed, again she did nearly the same thing as I was passing again. The whole time she was oblivious to almost everything around her! Vigilance is required when riding to remain safe.

My brother offered me some good feedback on my last post. I have been thinking about finding another group to ride with that is a little faster. The TnT group suits me nicely right now because we are pretty much on the same page. It is that or the strongest rider in our group is MUCH more willing to let us set the pace. I suppose I need to find a little more of that patience and slow it down sometimes. (Or ride a heavier bike!) I do remember what it was like when another friend I rode with wanted to push harder than I did. It is something to think about.

I may have to go home the extra long way tonight if the weather holds. The only bummer is the backpack full of crap I need for work. I don’t want to put racks, lights and fenders on my purple monster. The Hybrid isn’t long for my world anymore. I may have to pickup up a steal framed bike to setup as a commuter. That would be a good compromise. I am going to give it a week, but I am not overly happy with the backpack and I am not sure that will change much. Details!