Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lizard juice...

A bit of a hit over the head, but a pretty funny and insightful comment anyway:

Found on Streetsblog.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hollenbeck's video footage

As mentioned in my previous post, I shot some footage at the Hollenbeck race and now I've uploaded it to youtube (note to self: get a Vimeo account). Please excuse the shakiness and mediocre editing. I'm still new to this video thing.

A whole lotta bike

Last Sunday was a day full of various kinds of bike-related events: I volunteered at the Hollenbecks Spring Classic race, organized by the FLCC, and I did a lot of riding. Leaving the house at 7 am, I rode Gunnar out about 30 km to the start of the race, Hollenbeck's Cider Mill in Virgil. It hadn't cooled down much during the night and the forecast predicted a hot and potentially thunderstormy day. I coated myself in a thick layer of sunscreen and hopped on the bike in just shorts and a short-sleeve jersey. Because it was early Sunday morning, I took the most direct route, following NY-366 and 13 to Dryden, and then 392 to Virgil. As expected, there wasn't much traffic and the only thing I was struggling with was the fact that I can't eat that early in the morning and was therefore pacing along on an empty stomach. Nonetheless, I got to Virgil well before the scheduled pre-race meeting for the corner marshals.

After we had been assigned our corners, I had about 35 minutes left before the start of the race and so I decided to ride out to the corner instead of getting a ride. The distance was 9 miles and involved one large climb, meaning that I'd have to put in quite a bit of an effort to make it in time. The racers warming up on 392 at a more leisurely pace were probably wondering why that guy with a Carradice saddle bag and baggy shorts was passing them at maximum effort... Well, I got to my corner just before the other volunteers arrived by car and then had 3 hours of flag waving, videotaping, and waiting for the next pack of riders to come through. After the last rider had made past our corner, I rode back to the cider mill and after hanging around for the little ceremony for the winners, I decided to ride back immediately in an effort to avoid getting t-stormed upon.

On the way to Dryden I could really feel my legs and I decided that I definitely needed water, electrolytes, and calories. Well, what better way to get all these things at once than going to McD and having large fries and a large coke? And indeed, this made me feel much better! So I got going again and thought of ways of lengthening the way back to Ithaca in a way that would make my total kilometrage that day get over 100 (at the McD in Dryden I was at 70km). Initially I thought I'd just ride out to the airport and take NY-34 back into town instead of following Upper and Lower Creek Road into campus. However, as I was feeling really good and the weather had gotten better again, I decided to something a bit more crazy: ride out to the airport but then not return to Ithaca but instead follow the route of the FLCC "Almost Genoa" ride that I had done a couple of weeks ago. And that I did.

For the part of the route that heads north, I was doing fine. The strong winds were mostly coming from the side to back and the route is rather flat. The climbing along NY-90 made me feel my legs again but the prospect of getting to the gas station at the intersection NY-90 and -34 propelled me forward. At the gas station I took a quick break to down a bottle of Gatorade -- and made the mistake of not also topping up my water bottles. On the way back south, first following 34 and then Salmon Creek, I had to head into the wind (even though not as badly as I expected it to be) and my body got more and more complainy. My butt hurt, my legs and upper arms were tired, and overall I felt a bit bonked. The steep climb up Brickyard Rd certainly didn't make things better and I was also running out of water. Anyway, in the end I made it all the way home, having ridden almost exactly 150 km, at an average moving pace of 25 km/h. Pretty epic, I'd say.

Lessons for future long distance rides:
  • find a way to deal with the breakfast issue. Maybe I can force myself to have some liquid calories in the morning?
  • The Brooks did a good job but nonetheless my butt did hurt quite a bit. Not sure what to do about that. 
  • Gunnar rode like a charm. I think running 700x23c tires works very well, even over long distances. I might raise the handlebars a little bit to put less stress on my arms. 
  • Drink more. Eat more. As much as I know how important this is, on the ride I still keep on ignoring this knowledge.
As soon as I have the time, I'll try the 200k to Lake Ontario and back.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April summary

Holy smokes, it's already May! Well, here comes the April summary. Wolfgang was moved around 330 km, Gunnar 176 km, making a montly total of 506 km. Both this and the daily distance of 16.9 km/d are record values for this year. Total accumulated mileage for this year is 1682 km. I'm pretty optimistic that May will be even better!

Odo Wolfgang: 4284 km
Odo Gunnar: 1224 km
Odo total: 5508 km