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Commute Report Friday

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Commute Report Friday

Old 03-12-22, 11:06 AM
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Commute Report Friday

Hey all, itís been a while since my last ride report, so I wanted to drop a line into the morning commute to give you a sense of what is going on in the streets.

Weather: 8:17 AM. 48į F and overcast.

Gear: Today Iím riding the Specialized Tarmac SL5 with Dura Ace 9100 and ENVE PowerTap 4.5 clinchers. I know this setup is slower than molasses flood of 1919 but it's supposed to be a rest day today according to my commute plan, so I didnít mind breaking out the beater for it. Up top, weíve got the Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Shadow Jacket and some POC shades with the Carl Zeiss nylon lenses, since it is a little cloudy today and glare isnít a problem. For a head unit Iíve got the Garmin Edge 830 running so I can keep track of the live segments which weíll get to later. HRM is provided by the Wahoo Tickr X, and for shoes Iíve got the Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 ii's on because of the small chance of rain later, I donít want my good ones getting splashed with Downtown Crossing juice.

Fuel: I fueled up for the 9.656 km ride with a SIS nutrition package that included a blend of carbohydrates (22g) and caffeine (75mg) to optimize my morning performance. This is coupled with a doppio Americano (black, obviously) made from George Howell single-origin roast.

I took a few extra gels for the ride to keep my blood glycogen at optimal levels during the sub-maximal aerobic efforts.

Traffic: Right off the bat I had to contend with a route 87 bus that had the irritating tendency to keep interrupting my warm-up spin, which I like to carefully calibrate to wake up the left-right balance on my pedals and core. Once I made it to Davis, I was able to warm up the legs a bit with some 5-second sprint efforts (taking care through the cobblestones), and before long I was catching up to some other riders. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I dialed up the gearing and RPM to push out enough power to drop both of them (one was riding a TREK 7.2 and the other a hunk of chineese spot-welded aluminum that resembled a mountain bike).


Coming through Beacon Street is the most mind-clearing section of the ride. A pure 1-mile time-trialist effort with a proper Alpe díSommerville thrown in climbing up towards Thirsty Scholar Pub. Jockeying for position around some dickhead in an 2018 Audi Q5, I approach the start of the KOM at a respectable but very underwhelming 24 mph. At this point I know I need to up the game a bit, so I crank out the requisite 388 watts and blast by the cement mixers currently rolling towards Inman Square. I miss my own PR by 0.23 seconds, which is a shame, because I shaved both my calves the night before and was hoping the aerodynamic boost would have given me the edge here. Disappointed by not defeated, I headed down to catch up to the rest of the peloton heading east out of Inman square.

Right ahead on Hampshire Street, I knew there was going to be trouble when I pulled up next to the dad from Calvin & Hobbes, riding in full neon-yellow Gore Tex rain gear with front and rear panniers (!) on a Surly Pack Rat, which he had fitted with a rear Copenhagen Wheel. My adrenal glands were pumping at full blast when I realized this guy wasnít going to go down easy. I began to panic inside as I was still only riding mechanical Dura Ace and not Di2 electronic shifting, so I knew my gear changes had to be laser sharp. Each second the light remained red felt like hours, as drops of sweat dripped from my helmet leaving odious streaks on the front of my shades. The other riders in the peloton included a guy on a fixed-wheel converted Bianchi, and a woman on a Cannondale Synapse. Iíd have been more worried about her (even though Strava Segments are filtered by gender) but I noticed it was specíd with Shimano Sora 18. I really did feel bad for her. Green. Light. Calvinís Dad looked over at me as he started off down Hampshire. I pulled on his rear wheel and took as much of a draft as I could while I came up with a game plan. With 7-Eleven approaching fast, I knew Iíd have to initiate a break-away to get out in front well before Kendall square. A police officer ahead waving cars down Prospect Street certainly didnít help the situation. I thought about grabbing another gel for the upcoming sprint work, but it was too late now, Iíd have to rely entirely on my own neuromuscular strength and VO2 max. Calvinís Dad was now taking the main lane, as there were some Cambridge DPW vehicles blocking the bike lane ahead. I wanted to grab my iPhone XS to snap a picture to complain with on Facebook, Twitter, and the 311 app, but I didnít want to get out of aero. I kept right on his wheel and started running through all the calculations on how this was going to play out. Kendall Square was a mere 2,000 feet away now and closing fast. I went full-gas and with legs burning, initiated the breakaway at a blistering 34 mph. Hammerfest. The guy clearly didnít know what hit him as he threw up his hands in exasperated frustration, and I rolled onward towards the Longfellow for the last steady-state effort of the ride. Over the bridge a red-line train was emerging from the Tunnel, and the separated bike lane was filled with slow commuters who probably couldnít even average 120 watts around Watopia. The Longfellow Inbound climb has been attempted upwards of 54,000 times, and while my PR is still 3.8 seconds off of the all-time KOM, Iím sure what given favorable wind conditions and atmospheric pressure, I could absolutely crush it when I come back out on the TT frame with the deep section Zipps. I used the uphill on Cambridge street as a cool-down interval, zig-zagging around delivery trucks and taxis making their way into the city.

Final Thoughts:

The rest of the ride was particularly uneventful, Iíll probably only get 30-40 kudos for it since it was a rest-day commute after all, but I think there were plenty of things to be psyched about and I look forward to the ride home when I can use the darkness to hide the fact that Iím riding on a 5-year old frame and 4-year old group-set. Thereís kids riding around Arlington younger than this thing, so Itís sort of an embarrassment to me at this point. I'll still analyze the ride on Wattboard, Garmin, Strava (with Elevate, duh) and download the raw .fit file so I can include in in my offline database and master CSV. I digress, and hope you all had a good commute as well, as long as you also bike and werenít driving or taking public transit like a chump. Till next time!
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Old 03-12-22, 12:46 PM
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Old 03-12-22, 05:41 PM
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Old 05-10-22, 03:35 PM
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