Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perm Loop - It's A Camp

Putting together a sequence of 4 rides/routes that start in Richland and form a large, northward and back loop. The combined routes are shown below:

 

The distances for each day are, approximately:
Day 1: 240km - proposed route map
Day 2: 232km - proposed route map
Day 3: 209km - proposed route map
Day 4: 200km - proposed route map

It can be done, starting in Richland, from hotel-to-hotel in Grand Coulee, Chelan, and Ellensburg. More details to follow.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Just Ride

Well, I took a month off after the DRR 400km. The knee found a new way to complain. I've slowly been building back up. I've even managed a 100km and a 200km. So, in some sense, I'm back to where I was. I've been using flat pedals during the recovery. Cheap ones. They're great. Perhaps they are these, I'm not exactly sure, but it's close:

http://www.wellgo.com.tw/p-image/C136.jpg

This has allowed the foot to take whatever position is needed for me not to notice knees and ankles. It's working. I also have metal pedals; but, the plastic provides better traction with my shoes. As a nice side effect, I don't have to have an extra pair of shoes at work to change into after biking in.

I had been using speedplay frogs, and will probably continue to try to do so. But, will build up slowly on those as well.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 Statistics

2010 is over. The year in training went well. Below are two views: one shows distance-per-year in kilometers, recorded since 2002. The other shows total recored hours exercised per year since 2002. Note that the stats for 2002 are incomplete - the statistics start when I acquired The Finest Technology that 2002 Had to Offer. Anyway, a pretty good year. I hope that 2011 allows me to set personal bests in distance, by a factor of 1.5.

Distance - fourth best year ever, in total distance.
Distance

Time - second best year ever, in total time. I record non-cycling time, and I am even slower than in 2003 - hence the discrepancy between the rankings in time and distance.
Training Time

Jan 1, 2011 Ride - It was cold

This post is mostly about the clothing worn to deal with the temperatures. A little background:

Marcello has organized two first-of-the-season rides in Oregon. The weather looked good for the first of these - clear and cold with no precipitation in sight. I 'needed' a ride for January to make progress on my R-12 attempt. The route was nice. An out-and-back from Hillsboro to Dallas, OR. So, I made the attempt. Finished the ride fine. But, the temperatures were colder than I normally ride.

So, here's what I wore. It worked. Starting at the top:
  • Helmet cover - water proof - but I wore if for the wind protection and an extra layer up top. Had to take it off once it got dark - so I could use the headlamp that attaches to the helmet.
  • Head-sweat - I wear this year-round for bicycling
  • Head band to cover the ears
  • REI brand base-layer t-shirt. Long sleeve. It comes up and covers most of my neck - and seems to do a good job of wicking and keeping me warm.
  • Oregon Randonneurs wool long sleeve jersey. It's the red one.
  • For 2/3 of the ride I wore a standard issue yellow cycling wind breaker. Took it off at the half-way point as I was breaking a sweat, it was the warmest part of the day, and I wanted to dry out before we lost the daylight.
  • Standard issue cycle shorts
  • Knee warmers
  • A very old, garish, pair of tights from Primal Wear. They do a good job of blocking wind, and the keep the knee warmers in place - but have limited insulation. The combination of these w/ the knee warmers is good starting at around 50F.
  • Liner socks (from hiking)
  • Wool socks - for cross country skiing. They came up to the bottom of the knee - adding some insulation below the knee warmers and perhaps adding some compression on the muscles below the knee.
  • Standard issue cycling shoes (mountain bike)
  • Gore shoe covers. These were pricey; but, they have been worth it - a significant upgrade in warmth and dryness over the previous.
Finally:
I used two sets of gloves during the ride. On the 'out' part of the ride, I used an old set of dense-fleece ski gloves (a nice gift about a decade ago from one of my brothers). They were a little soggy from sweat at the half-way mark, so I switched them out for a wool combination: smart-wool liner gloves inside REI's nubby-palmed wool gloves. These worked fine, and might have worked the entire ride.

The above kept me warm enough. If it had been raining, that wouldn't have worked. I would have switched to a water-proof outer layer and lightened up on the other clothing.

Now - for the ride part. It was good-to-great. Here are the heart-rate traces that go with the exertions:

Out: Hillsboro-Dayton-Dallas, with a stop in Dayton at a very nicely ran convenience store. Worked hard the whole way. We tended to have a tail-wind - my ride time for this leg was about 4:30.

Out-1

Back: I stopped to have hot chocolate and chat with Marcello. Then another stop in Dayton. The tail-wind was now a head-wind. The exertion falls off at the end as I'm winding through the neighborhoods and focused on navigation, as opposed to just pedaling hard.

Back-1

The complete set of pictures, such as they are, are available here.

Finally finally: for food I had some simple sandwiches made from Safeway's finest cheap French rolls. Some had cheese and some had salami. I also had a cashew/raisin mix from home, and 2 Lara bars. Two bottles of Heed - went with Coffee (from the excellent convenience store in Dayton), hot chocolate, and NUUN-in-water. Also - Marcello had supplies on the road. I had 6 cookies. No food issues. The cashews worked, again. Had them towards the end of the ride.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bikenfest

It's 2010, early October and the rando season is mostly winding down. But - there's one more ride on the schedule. I sign up for it. Nat signs up for it. Norm signs up for it. Bikenfest. We eventually figure out that we're carpooling from Richland to the outskirts of Bingen to start a ride at 7:30am. To do this we meet at the house at 4:00am to load the bikes and start. To do that I'm promptly in bed asleep by 1:00am the night before. With the usual preparations out of the way, we set off in the dark, driving. Stop at McDonalds for breakfast-analog (Biggs). The tollgate for the bridge over the Columbia at Hood river. Metal grids. Different patterns of metal in different places. Left turn into the park and ride. Bicyclists. We're there as well. 7-ish. We prep the bikes. Register. Greet the other cyclists. It's shaping up to be a great day.

Ride Start Ride Start Mt Hood - From the ride sign-up area

We're off. I turn back to check that the van is locked. It is. I've lost 5 minutes but think I might be able to catch back on. I sort of do. Nat's pedal has de-constructed itself. He's walking up and down the shoulder of Hwy 14 along the Columbia, and trying to find pedal parts. Norm and I press on. The route takes us up and away from the 14. Some good views of the river. Many others have photographed the view as well; but, here are my contributions.

Along the road Along the road Mt Hood - seen from our first climb Columbia River - seen from our first climb Norm at first information control

We gain and then lose on the order of 600feet of elevation. A nice road that ends back along 14.

We cross the Klickitat river, enter Lyle and then a left turn that goes UP. So Norm and I are cycling up. Glasses fogging. A cloud in the valley. It's steep. The altimeter shows rapid elevation gain to go with the slow accumulation of miles. I've been here before (a slow start on a timed ride) and know I'll be able to meet the time gates. We climb. Stop for pictures or clothing adjustments.

View along climb up to the plateau

Somewhere in there I disappear one of the PB&Honey sandwiches (on marble rye) that I've prepped for this. I'm having trouble keeping up with Norm. He's a much stronger cyclist than he was back in March. No comparison. We start to see another rider. Ken. I didn't know that for awhile since we had trouble getting up to him, and only connected at the top of the ridge. He coasts away from us on the other side and I'm still trying to figure out how he did that. The other effect of the crest is the change in vegetation. We went from trees to grass, abruptly.

Looking back towards the tree-covered parts

And we're up on a plateau. Open. We can see Centerville in the distance. The zig-zag road pretty much has that as the only option. We're there. The Kramer is there. Water. Conversation. He's disbursing snacks. I go with the Lara bar (I'm a sucker for those) and, on a whim, salted cashews (from Costco). The Kramer reminds us to carry lots of water from Goldendale to Glenwood. We're off. And eventually in Goldendale at the 76.Subway.DQ. Lotsa bicyclist cooling there jets there. I pick up water, a coke and some rollos (I still have those - must remember to eat them later. Can't go wrong with chocolate and caramel). We head out fairly quickly - didn't want to spend a lot of time at that control, especially when there's a prospect of a hamburger/fries/coffee at the next control.

Norm and another rider drop me on this leg. There pace wasn't in me - but mine's plenty fast enough. Look left: it's Mt Hood. Look right: it's Mt Adams. We're surrounded by agriculture.

Agriculture - and Mt Adams in the distance Agriculture on the plateau, Hood in the distance

Fields. Cows. Hood. Adams. I'm pedaling. The coke is going going gone. I can sometimes see Norm and the other ahead. I figure they're finishing the ride before me, and continue at a pace. My pace. I've ridden this rode before, and the cue sheet is complete w/ elevation profile. The Klicketat river valley is shielded by slight ridge. I get to the top of the ridge and adjust. The cashew packet is opened and placed in a side pocket of the front feedbag. I get a picture.
The start of the Klickitat River Canyon - about to dive in
Drink some water. And then the bike and I dive into the canyon. First overlook there's some folks taking in the view. I wave. They wave. I'm checking the mirror. Nobody behind me. Taking the corners carefully. Life's good. And in a short number of minute it's the bottom of the canyon. Hello river.

Now comes the part where we climb out of the valley. It's a short climb. 1000 feet of elevation (that's about an hour of riding). I do two things on this climb. I have the music on (hard rock works well for me for climbing. The playlist starts with Karma to Burn, winds its way through some related music. I rarely climb something so long that I get to the Hallelujah chorus - didn't this time). I'm eating the cashews. I've ditched the outer layer of clothing for better heat dissipation. And I climb. The bike shorts are black and I can feel the burn from the sun. That's weird. I check: plenty of water. Departed Goldendale with the two water bottles on the bike, and a bonus bottle in the front bag. Also weird is I'm starting to catch up to people that had dropped me earlier. I'm feeling good. There's Ken. I'm caught by Bill Alsup - he's taking pictures of us as we monkey our way up the road. I catch Norm. Start pulling him along. Some yo-yo-ing. Another rider or two ahead and they were very catchable except that Norm and I have other agenda. We agree that the burger/coffee/fries in Glenwood is the way to go. We're an hour ahead of cuttoff times, and so stop. We eat. It's good. The waitress is so kind as to refill our water bottles with ice water. We thank her profusely. And head out.

Adams - near Glenwood

The ride is straightforward from there. A modest climb. Some steep bits. There's Ken again (he'd stopped at the store instead of the diner). Good clean fun on the descent. Trout Lake. Out to the stop sign. It's still light; but, want to make this the last stop before we get in for the evening. We dork up: Reflective gear. Lights on. And, for the first time, I'm cycling from Trout Lake to Bingen in daylight. It's easier than in the dark (anybody surprised?). I see the place where, a couple of years back, Nat and I hung out with Peg waiting for her wheel to arrive. We're falling quickly: lots of 25mph, and ranging from 15-30mph. Our mass is finally working for us. It's getting warmer as we get lower. Some condensation on the handlebar - I move the phone from the mesh on the outside to inside the bag. Light traffic. We make the traditional laments about the climb at the end of the descent before the final descent. In the daylight you can see that you don't want to veer off the road to the right. It'd be a tumble. And next thing you know we're done. I'd figured it for a 12 hour adventure but only ~11:30. Should have dawdled better.

John often has mementos to commemorate the events he organizes. Not to mention the cue sheets; well thought out design. This time, he had these pins for the riders:
The Ride Pin

It was great. Now I have to figure out what's in cashews.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Brevet Prep and Flat-Yak 200km Ride

After some extensive recovering from the DRR 400km - and just letting the ORR 600km go - began prepping for the SIR 600km. This ride goes over 4 passes, and then adds a gratuitous loop around Lake Sammamish - to get the length to add up to 600km. I'd attempted this route 2 years ago and failed-and-bailed at 400km. Rematches are rare - I have a good success rate in rematch-rides.

The recovery phase had to address knee issues and overall fitness. I made some progress on the knee:). Regular weights.

I also worked on the bike. Changed my position on the bike - setting the seat a bit further back. And put the mountain bike gearing on the brevet bike - in recognition of the climbing to be done. Also put on the 'west-side tires': currently Pasala's. I run more flat-proof (and heavy) tires regularly in the east.

Pie Plate

I needed an appropriate test of the bike/rider assemblage. An available ride is the Flat-Yak 200km. It's a relatively easy 200km ride - out and back from Richland to Toppenish/Zillah, with some variations to make the ride more interesting. So I'm off on a Sunday. The ride-thought is to keep the heart rate around 120bpm - this level of exertion will be fairly easy on the joints. And I'll get to see what that effort-level translates into distance and time.

It's always hard to get out of bed early on a potentially lazy Sunday to ride a bike for a semi-absurd duration. But, I do this regularly. The night before is key - prep a lot so it's a quick exit. Get the bike into the den. Make a PBH sandwich. Fill the water bottles (and place in the fridge - under the sandwich). Pack the handlebar bag. Remember the frame pump. Etc. I'm down the hill at the Starbucks a little after 7:00am for my 'official' start time of 7:00am. A donut and part of a cup of coffee later (~7:15-20) I'm on the bike heading West. I finish the coffee while riding and press on. Distracted. I miss a turn on this route I've created and get a couple of bonus miles on Keene. But, otherwise no issues and arrive at Prosser.

It's water, receipt and out. I'd gotten a late enough start that this was a little close, in time. But, I get there w/ about 15 minutes to spare. And depart quickly. Right after Prosser I get to ride here:

Byron Road

And then it's the long stretch to Toppenish. Sometimes on this part of the ride there are views of Mt Adams, and sometimes it's enough to keep oneself entertained while passing the distance.

Mt Adams in the Distance View on the Bike

I get to Toppenish. The Safeway. The half-way point. Coffee and water. I'd finished the sandwich already. I'm sitting there, drinking coffee and taking in the news of the day, and a young man joins me in rando-vagrant-mode. He (reflexively?) asks me for change. I can't say no. Before I can hand it to him he's greeted by a local woman (my age?). He comes back and I offer him the coinage. I get to hear about his life. Relatives. Behaviors. Thinks of being a DJ. He offers to sell me some artifacts. I look; but, I'm not a collector. A friend/acquaintance of his shows up. Wasted. That's my cue to get going.

It's a short ride to the info control at Zillah. The information is on a sign at this cemetery. More flowers than I've ever seen here before. And people staring at the ground.

Zillah Cemetery w/ Flowers

And on through Zillah. Granger. Then one of the nicest stretches of scenery, and quietest roads on the route. Emerald Rd. There's the Yakima river to the right. Orchards to the left. A few houses around. I get a couple of photos of a flock of pelicans. Also saw a Bald Eagle. Huge.

Pelicans on the Yakima

Eventually I return to the relative civilization of small towns. Sunnyside. Grandview then Prosser again. One more refueling - water, coffee, ice cream sandwich. Home by 6:40 (official ride end: 6:27).

Everything seemed to mostly work. Looking forward to a big ride this next weekend.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Getting Ready for Next - Update

Ended up switching to the SIR 600km, June 5. Switch is motivated by work schedule giving the knee a little more time to recover, and additional training time. I attempted this ride a couple of years ago - had a great time but bailed at the 400km mark. Rematches are rare - so will make the most of it. Here's a sketch of the ride:


View Larger Map

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Getting Ready for Next

Next is the Oregon Randonneurs 600km Brevet. A week after finishing the 400km, the body is mostly recovered but with some issues remaining with the left knee. Other issues that emerged on the 400km were saddle related, and upper body/shoulder strength. Accordingly, I've been lifting weights, and listening to the knee. The essential physiological preparation is boring: clean living and exercise. So, it's weights/cardio/stretching every other day, along with (relatively) gradual re-entry on the bike. This next weekend is a local century: The Inland Empire Century. I'm planning to ride it with a couple of rando-riders. If that's ride-able, then will proceed with the 600. If not, probably not.

Bike prep is straightforward - changed out the saddle to a well-tested Brooks, and will add some lower gears to help with the steep climbs along the Oregon coast. The ride is unsupported - with an overnight about 360km in at Lincoln City. I intend to carry everything with, as opposed to using a drop bag.