17 July 2011

fixed gear ride

Funny how your goals get 'adjusted' as conditions and your motivation changes.

Way back when I had wanted to participate in the Rapha Gentleman's Ride on Saturday but then I woke to rain and Saturday turned into a day of slothliness. I ate, watched television, ate some more, repeat. Rumor has it there was also alcohol involved. Back on Friday the forecast for the weekend looked better on Sunday than Saturday so when the rain started Saturday morning I figured no biggie, I'll make it up tomorrow.

Originally I planned on a long (100 mile) ride by myself on Sunday.

I woke up Sunday. I started watching the TdF. Then it was 9 AM. No more time for 100 miles.

How can you maximize the benefit of a limited ride window? You never coast. And what better way to not coast than riding a fixed gear.

So I aired the tires and rolled out.

ASIDE - I just want to point out that my max speed of 33 mph is not too shabby… and there were sections where I maintained 27 and 28 mph for seconds.

Back when I last checked the forecast it predicted warming and drying on Sunday but as we all know, the NW Is nothing if not fickle when it comes to weather. Let's just say I'm lucky it was warm enough because I got pretty darn wet.

The first raindrops arrived when I got to Bothell. Just after I had to climb a mother of a hill because the last couple of miles of the Burke Gilman Trail were closed. Of course I saw the detour sign and of course I ignored it thinking there would be some way for me to sneak through. There was not. So up to Bothell Way I went.

Road and trail closures were the theme for the day. In Kirkland the park at the north end was closed for some sort of street fair. I noticed it just in time to avoid entering the park.

As I got closer to Bellevue the rain started coming down good and proper so I donned my vest. I was really surprised how warm I still was as rain = hypothermia in my mind. I guess I've been living in the NW too long… I didn't have any shoe covers or rain coat but I did have my phone which has a radio so I was grooving to Preachin' The Blues and Johnny Horn is damn good.

In Bellevue there was another road closure and this time I got lucky because I really wanted to go a certain way. The sign was at the bottom of a really steep hill and boy am I glad the road was still open when I got to the top.

I kept snacking and sipping my bottles but the rain was bad enough that I told myself I was going to head across the lake on I-90 if it didn't let up and what do you know… just as I neared the bridge the rain abated some. So I kept on heading south. Good times.

My legs usually tighten up on longer fixed gear rides but today was just the opposite. I was getting tired but I was also feeling more fluid the longer I rode. Nice! Just south of I-90 I hit 33 mph on a descent and was then able to maintain 28 down a longer hill. Coming down Juanita it was a chore to sustain 27 so I was definitely getting better/looser.

As I rounded the south end and started to head north the rain almost stopped and the DJ on the radio changed (which was a good thing - I can only take so much Blues) and I was able to settle into about 22 mph all the way up Rainier. I guess this meant there was also no headwind! :)

Dropping down to Seward Park I saw yet another road closure sign and was about to utter something inappropriate when I saw that it was Bicycle Sunday. Glad I exercised some restraint. All they way up Lake WA Blvd I had a big smile on watching little kids ride around, jump out in front of, stuff like that. But I had use of both lanes so it was easy to swerve and avoid them. I saw one guy on a hand bike meaning he was using his ARM to power the cranks. That's right, not only did he not have use of his legs but he only had use of one arm. And he was still riding! Way to go mister - that is so cool. I wanted to high five him but his arm was occupied and I suddenly felt like an ass for even considering this so just rolled by.

I had been taking small detours all the way around the lake just for fun and to add a few miles and when I got to Mt Baker Beach I turned left, crossed Rainer and then rode up Beacon Hill. This is such a nice green space and it was so quiet. Except for the one guy who was walking down near the top and yelled something completely unintelligible to me. He looked kinda sketchy so did not slow down or ask for clarification.

When I got home my back was a little tight that was a super ride. And really, I have not ridden in the rain in ages so since it was warm I can't complain. Plus my bike had fenders!

Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:00 AM - cereal
Workout Food 2 sample size Clif Bars, 1.5 large bottles each w/1 tablet Nuun and 2 scoops HEED
Time of Day 9:00 AM
Workout Type endurance, power intervals
Weather upper 50s, rain at times, cloudy, pretty calm
Equipment Single Speed Bike
Clothing bib shorts, Craft short sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, wind vest, cap

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  1. 3000 feet of climbing on a fixie is a good ride.

    Good call!!

  2. @Jeff - I had no idea... gotta love those GPS-enabled cyclometers. :)


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