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Weekend Ride/Exercise - Dec 10/11/12

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Weekend Ride/Exercise - Dec 10/11/12

Old 12-11-10, 05:16 AM
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Machka 
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Weekend Ride/Exercise - Dec 10/11/12

How was your weekend of cycling? Did you ride inside or out? Is anyone out doing winter sports now?


We just got in from successfully completing a 200 km (actually 209 km) randonnee in 12:45 on the tandem. The ride had 1515 metres (4970 ft) of climbing, most of which was in the first 50 km. We surprised ourselves by doing better than expected over the first 50 km.

Low was about 8C (46F) and high was about 23C (73F) ... and I have a light sunburn on my wrists from where I pushed up my sleeves while riding. Thus begins my odd patchwork cycling suntan.

Photos to follow.

Last edited by Machka; 12-11-10 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 12-11-10, 05:18 AM
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Going out today. 60* at 5:00 AM rising to 77*
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Old 12-11-10, 05:40 AM
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60km Friday night. 50km coming at 4am Sunday morning.
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Old 12-11-10, 07:38 AM
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I'll be doing the bicycle shop non-drop ride at 10:00. It's supposed to be upper 50's then, warmer than the last week or so.

I got in a 33 mile ride last night. My wife is in a community choir, and she left early for a Christmas concert at a local church while I took off on my normal 20 mile ride. When I got back to the house, I discovered I had neglected to take my keys. So I rode to downtown Garland and hunted around until I found the church where the concert was, and went in and inquired where the choir might be. So a kid there leads me through the auditorium (with scattered attendees already there), and needless to say, I feel a bit out of place clip-clopping through the sanctuary in tights, reflector vest and bike helmet. Anyway, I found the choir room, stood where she could see me, and after a minute she came to check on me. I told her the problem, she says, "Well, you should have taken your key!" Doh!, wish I had thought of that one. Anyway, got her car key, went to the car, rummaged around and found her purse, got the house key, raced home, changed clothes, drove back up to the church, bought my ticket and saw about 3/4 of the concert. And the concert sounded great, I thought they did a fine job, although she was more aware of their messups and didn't feel quite as good about it.

Tomorrow, got some running around to do, and then the Lone Star Randonneurs Christmas party that evening. Not sure if I'll actually get any riding in, but there will be some bicycling-related-activities, so that should count for something.
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Old 12-11-10, 07:40 AM
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And I just noticed your palm-tree Christmas tree. Cool! But I'll bet you're just doing that to rub it in while we're all stuck in winter up here!
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Old 12-11-10, 07:42 AM
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I am ready:
https://www.wunderground.com/weathers...?ID=KTXLEAGU13
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Old 12-11-10, 08:01 AM
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70s today and tomorrow, will surely do group and solo rides over this weekend
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Old 12-11-10, 01:29 PM
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Made the ride, windy and cool, good company, had a great time.
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Old 12-11-10, 02:45 PM
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Woke up to find about a 1/2 inch of snow on the ground today, so that kept me off the road. Stayed dry inside doing some yoga and riding my stationary bike. Tomorrow I'll head to the gym for some strength training, and maybe some swimming.
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Old 12-11-10, 07:22 PM
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Machka, I like your posts

Did a 200k today, Brookshire-Belleville-Burton-Brenham-Chappell hill, then Belleville and back to Brookshire.

Did it solo all but a few miles, and a best time for me, 8:52 total time, with 8:12 of that with wheels rolling, only 40 minutes total for breaks with 4 stops.

On a GOOD day it usually takes me 10 hours in that part of the state so this was by far the best ride, except being solo for the ride.

Great roads and the wind wasn't as bad as I feared, as it was a tailwind basically the last 25 miles. Rolled through old downtown Brenham and it was cool with all the christmas shopping going on.

low 70s as a high, truly a great day to go riding....it's supposed to get down to the high 30's tonight.
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Old 12-11-10, 07:26 PM
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1:30 on a trainer w/ the collegiate team
:45 on a trainer alone w/ a workout video

(My teammates don't want to press it hard it seems, I brought a laptop, videos and they all opted to stare out a window for an hour and a half and talk.... might explain why I consistently drop them on real rides.)
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Old 12-11-10, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
And I just noticed your palm-tree Christmas tree. Cool! But I'll bet you're just doing that to rub it in while we're all stuck in winter up here!
Well, it is summer here (although today has a certain chilly, winter-like quality to it) and there are palm trees in the town where I live ...
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Old 12-11-10, 10:41 PM
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The story of the 200K ...

The "On Ya Neddy" 200K started and finished in our neck of the woods - just 70 km from where we live. It is one of the few events that does, so we decided to take a look at the event, and particularly at the ride elevation profile. I was ready to write the ride off when I saw the profile ... 1515 metres (4970 feet) of climbing, mostly in the first 50 km ... but on the way back from our event last weekend, we decided to take a little detour and see it for ourselves. It looked challenging, but we thought it might be managable on the tandem. There was only one spot along the way which I looked at and said, "We'll be walking that". I was, however, a bit concerned about some of the descending.

Rowan works a short shift early in the morning on many weekends, and because he had taken last weekend off for the event we did, he was on duty this weekend. So he was up and gone at 3:45 am. I slept in until 5 am, and we were on the road shortly after 6 am, and arrived in Mansfield earlier than expected. Lots of time to get set up and to chat with Tim who was there already.

The overnight low was 8C (43F), so the morning was chilly which I thought would be a good thing in light of the fact that the first 50 km involved a lot of climbing, and it was ... at least we weren't baking out there in the heat like we did last weekend.

We took the climb steadily and actually managed to keep up a reasonable pace. Also, although there was a lot of climbing in the first 50 km, it wasn't 50 km of climbing. There were flat areas and some downhills so we could rest a bit before starting the next bit. And we did walk the bit I thought we might walk. We just don't have the gearing on the tandem to handle anything that steep.

There were two significant descents in that section. The first took us around several switchbacks and hairpin turns with great views out over the valley and only a tiny little railing between us and that valley. The second was at the end of the 50 km, a descent into Whitfield, the first control. It didn't have quite as many switchbacks and hairpin turns, but was longer.

I am not particularly fond of descending and I am not particularly fond of speed on a bicycle. Straight descents where I can see where I am going aren't too bad, but twisty-curvy descents make me very nervous. This nervousness is enhanced on the tandem because I feel completely out of control of the situation. So, it would be an understatement to say I did not enjoy the descending.

When I am extremely nervous, panic-striken, etc., for some reason my arms go numb and tingly like they do if you sleep with an arm curled up under your head. I've had my arms fall asleep in the middle of speeches before because I was at that level of nervousness.

On the first descent, my arms fell asleep and as we hit the bottom of the descent and started to climb, I felt like I was going to faint. Everything went dark and tingly for a moment. About halfway down the second descent, my arms fell asleep ... and so did both legs from the hips down!! I couldn't feel anything and thought I was going to fall off the bicycle. Rowan told me later we had hit about 60 km/h at that point and he thought we could take it up to 70 km/h, but he slowed down and we took the rest of the descent at a more reasonable, comfortable-for-me pace.

I was so relieved when we reached Whitfield! We both thought that it was going to be touch and go arriving there within the time limit, but we arrived with about 40 minutes to spare!! Whitfield has a lovely cafe so we took a break to get something to eat and drink.

The next 50 km to Glenrowan was probably the toughest stretch of the ride. We were into a wind and the road felt like it was one long gradual climb that seemed to go on and on forever.

One of the interesting things about this section was all the evidence of flooding. There has been a tremendous amout of rain in this part of the world, and we could see debris from the floods earlier in the week caught in the fences. The ditches were still full of water, and in one place we had to ride very carefully down the middle of the road through a fairly deep area of water that had covered the road. There was some concern about a bridge in Moyhu, but when we got there it seemed to be all right and was opened to traffic again.

Glenrowan is the home of bushranger (bandit) Ned Kelly, a hero/villian of this part of Australia, sort of along the lines of Louis Riel (Canada's hero/villain), so just about everything we encountered as we cycled into Glenrowan had something to do with Ned Kelly.

We picked a place to stop, and had scones, jam, and cream ... well, Rowan had the cream for both of us, and I couldn't finish my scones. Last week, I was eating everything in sight every time we stopped. This week, I just didn't feel all that well.

While we were still in the Glenrowan area, I really wondered if we would finish the ride. We left Glenrowan with 5 minutes to the control closing time, and it was still a bit of a slog for the first 12 km or so. We weren't really gaining any time, and I was not feeling good at all.

Fortunately 12 km after leaving Glenrowan we turned, and on the next leg of the journey we had some wind behind us which helped us along, and the terrain changed to rollers so we were able to rest and lift our butts off the saddle on the downhill bits. We stopped to walk once on a gradual ascent just simply to get off the saddles. During this stretch the temperature reached the high for the day of about 23C, but I had been feeling really warm for some time.

Rowan has hooked up a computer on the back of the tandem so I can see our speed and distance etc., but for some reason we haven't figured out how to change it from miles to kilometers, so when it works, I'm constantly doing mental translations. And on both last week's ride and this ride it has ceased working partway along. This time it stopped at 54 km. But I figured out how to calculate our distance based on the time. Coming into Glenrowan we were doing 1 km every 5 minutes. Leaving Glenrowan we were doing 1 km every 4 minutes, and as we continued and the wind was working with us a bit more, we were doing 1 km every 3 minutes. Doing these calculations kept me amused.

Another good thing about the way back was that there were a number of turns ... ride 10 km, turn left. Ride 5 km, turn right, and so on. That broke the ride up for me so that I was able to get through mentally. I would focus on riding to the next turn and wouldn't think about the ride beyond that. Riding 5 or 10 or 15 km was manageable, whereas riding 90 km was not.

At Swanpool, the next control, I started to perk up a bit and feel a bit more energetic, and we had a decent run back into Mansfield. Chris, the ride organiser, came out to check up on us when we had about 15 km to go. Although we were last, some of the other riders weren't all that far ahead of us.

We finished the 209 km in 12 hours and 45 minutes.

It was a tough ride for us with more climbing in 200 km than we have done before on the tandem, but we were really pleased how well we, and the tandem, handled the climbs at the beginning of the event.

We figure that the tandem we are currently borrowing, a KHS, is good up to about 300 km, and even though we use Brooks saddles, our butts have been really suffering for various reasons including the fact that we don't stand up or move around as much as we do on single bicycles. But we are also struggling with sore hands and believe that our sore hands and butts have something to do with the aluminum frame and design of the fork.

We are looking at steel-framed tandems from St. John Street Cyclery and they will not sell tandems with forks designed to take disk brakes because it requires the forks to be over-engineered which then compromises handling and ride comfort. The KHS has a beefy fork that is designed to take disk brakes (or V-brakes as is fitted standard on our bicycle), and over roads that have heave cracks or potholes there is a lot of road shock coming through to hands and arms even though we are running only 90 psi in the tires.




Last edited by Machka; 12-12-10 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 12-11-10, 11:10 PM
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60 miles on our tandem. Gina had a root canal, posts and a build up at the dentist yesterday (prep for a crown) so we rode the tandem just in case she started feeling pain. We got to our usual turnaround then she said she was feeling good so we added a few more miles, 42 is our usual.

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Old 12-12-10, 12:06 AM
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mid 40F's today with sun and no wind soooo quick 22mi ride before work today. trying to teach my friend how to ride out of his saddle on hills.. i need some steeper hills to force it on him i think haha
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Old 12-12-10, 06:15 AM
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200k on Saturday from Woodbine MD to Dillsburg PA and back; start temp 22F with a little snow/frost on the ground. It warmed up to 40F. Just 7200ft of climbing over the course. Many of us got flats; I got one, but quickly patched the Road Tubeless tire and moved on.
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Old 12-12-10, 07:53 PM
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Sunday - about 2.5 km of walking to stretch things out.

And I actually feel pretty good today. When I did the first 200K at the end of October, I was a lot sorer than I am now.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:10 PM
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Nice report Machka, I can't even fathom almost 13 hours in the saddle.
It felt nice to get 34 miles outside yesterday....
Much better than the 100 minutes on the rollers this afternoon.

Anyone know where I can buy some motivation to get me through the next couple of months?
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Old 12-12-10, 10:25 PM
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Didn't get a single mile in today. But I did go to the Lone Star Randonneurs Christmas party this evening, and got the LSR "Newbie of the Year" award.
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Old 12-13-10, 01:09 AM
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Only got it 16 miles today mostly all at elevation. It's was about 81 degrees. Got in 30 miles yesterday somewhere in the mid-70's. Gotta love So Cal. Need more ride time though...
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Old 12-13-10, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Didn't get a single mile in today. But I did go to the Lone Star Randonneurs Christmas party this evening, and got the LSR "Newbie of the Year" award.
Congratulations, Stephen!
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Old 12-13-10, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Didn't get a single mile in today.
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Congratulations, Stephen!

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Old 12-14-10, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Didn't get a single mile in today. But I did go to the Lone Star Randonneurs Christmas party this evening, and got the LSR "Newbie of the Year" award.
Yes, congratulations!! You've done a lot of randonneuring events over the past year!!
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