Monday, June 04, 2007

Recent Biking

It seems like the weather changed suddenly from cold to hot this year. One day, I was wearing my winter cycling jersey and the next, I needed to dress in my lightest summer kit. It's a little hard to make the adjustment to working out in hot weather. I tend to forget to drink enough! Now that the weather is hot, the bugs are out too. It hurts when a big bee or something crashes into your cheek as you are rolling along! But the worst thing is the way the small bugs collect in your helmet and crawl around under it. Ugh!!! I've actually had to stop and take my helmet off and shake them out of my hair to keep from going insane! As you know, I love to watch the birds when I'm out biking, but this time of year, I've learned I have to watch out for them. There are lots of young fledglings and weary parent birds flapping about without paying attention! I've had to brake to avoid running into a few. And, on one drive home from a ride, a tiny, still fluffy looking, baby bird landed on the hood of my truck as I drove slowly at an intersection. I was so worried for it and tried to go very, very slowly despite the traffic. Fortunately, it hopped/slid off to the right side and seemed to make it to the side of the road.

I love my bike so much that I have to be careful not to post too many pics of it on the blog. But it's been awhile, so here it is! My beautiful bike at a little pavilion by Newport harbor. I recently tipped my handlebars forward a little to give me a slightly more aerodynamic position on the hoods and better placement for my hands in the drops. See, I drink matching blue Gatorade, hee hee!

Thursday, I did a 40 mile solo ride twice around Conanicut Island. This is the route the racers do at the annual Jamestown races in the fall. I got an average speed of 16.9 mph for the ride. It always annoys me when I end up with a pesky .9! A 17.0 would have been much more satisfying! Oh well! Here’s the elevation graph for my ride and you can see more data and a map here, if you like.

Friday, was stormy, so I took a day off. Saturday morning, Jeff and I did the Newport Loop again. A lot of bikers were riding the same route including a friend of ours. I think everyone was trying to burn off calories so they could go to the Newport Chowder Cook-Off and consume vats of chowder and mountains of crab cakes without remorse! I'm allergic to seafood, so I can easily avoid those calories. It was funny to see all the people in their "I heart Chowdah" t-shirts walking to the festival. The elevation profile for the Newport Loop is kind of neat. You can see how we go downhill to the beaches and then back up at the end.

Sunday, Jeff and I did the NBW Hope Valley ride with at least 100 other club members. It was hilly, but fun as the scenery was pretty and there was a wonderful, long downhill stretch at the end. Here’s the elevation graph from that ride. Jeff and I worked on our drafting, inspired by pairs time trial racers, and got like clockwork doing 40 second pulls for some stretches of the ride. But it was hard to maintain that on some of the hills and there were also long stretches with very rough pavement. We got an overall average of 16.6 mph. Again, if you're into the bike stuff, you can see more data and a map here. I loved seeing all the exceedingly cute chipmunks over there. I don't know why, but we rarely see them around our home. We must have seen hundreds during the ride. I'm not sure which trees were causing it, but there was an unbelievable amount of pollen in the air. I've never seen anything like it! We were all covered with yellow powder and it was burning every one's eyes. My bike is yellow and my helmet and glasses, etc. It was weird to see it all stuck on my skin too! I was such a strange color! I dread to think how much I ingested, or worse, inhaled into my lungs. Hopefully the rain we are getting today will help clean all that pollen out of the air!

I hope you are enjoying lots of fun, outdoorsy activities too!


suitcaseofcourage said...

Great profiles! But bike pics should always show the drivetrain side - gotta see the bling! ;^)

Kristen said...

I saw the NBW riders gathering in the parking lot, then riding on Switch Rd. and 91, on my way to and from the grocery store Sunday. Maybe I saw you but it's hard to tell with everyone in helmets!
I haven't been bothered by bugs in the helmet yet, but they always seem to get in my eyes/nose/mouth!