Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Better and better.

Haven't bothered to write anything in here for a bit. Cycling is definitely coming along...Ryan ended up getting a 2002 Fuji road bike as well as the rest of the necessary cycling stuff. I've done a couple 36mi rides to the shop and back, one of which with Ryan, and we can do 20+ miles easily at around 15mph, which is way better than I was last year.

Looking at the records...there is one week this year and last year that I didn't ride at all...weird. My average everything is higher than last year at least, time, distance and average speed. Goal is in a couple weeks do several 50+ mi rides, if time/weather allows me to.

On hot days (like today) I really don't feel like getting on the bike...thankfully I don't mind getting out on the water. We both have kayaks now, and as of yesterday, we each have a sport-designated vehicle. He carries boats on his, I carry both bikes on mine (new racks, yay!).

Last night we did an 18 mile ride with Dan, Dave and Larry (the first two BevCy regulars, and I rode with Larry in Plymouth and this was his first group ride). We stayed together for some of it then broke apart. The heat was really getting to me, and I definitely did not drink enough water. Ryan and Dave took off and finished the last three miles with a 19mph avg, and I finished with the other two a couple minutes later, thankful to be back. We had plenty of sunlight to go for an extra few miles but I was really hurting. I wasn't necessarily pushing myself, but I just had a lack of wanting to. I felt a bit weak and had no motivation, with bouts of ability where I could push it. Most of the time I just felt it enough to turn the pedals.

Next ride is Wednesday night, and I'm hoping it's cooler. If not I'll be sure to down more water before and during the ride.

Our bikes. Aeros have been off for awhile.

His bike

Him on his bike

Kayaks on the car

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ice Cream!

Went for a ride with Ryan to Soc's Ice Cream and around town a bit. Ended up doing 7.5 miles and was a pretty easy ride as he only has a mountain bike. Nothing special to report...though here are some pics:

Depending on my motivation I might clean the bike up since it's getting kinda dirty.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Went down to Plymouth and rode with Larry. We did 17.4 at a pretty easy clip since it was his first ride of the year.

Here's Larry:

We rode out to Myles Standish State Forest and through there, where apparently they have bike races:

One of the rangers was in a pissy mood and stopped us to ask if we were parked there. Since we clearly looked like cyclists who drive places to ride. Ehem.

Also had a guy catch up to us and pass us, which I used as an opportunity to race him (per the sign, of course). After half a mile or so I let Larry catch up, and we ran into some water, where we got to portage the bikes:
The guy in blue is mister speed-racer.

Here's some other pics from the ride:

On the way home we ran into this guy, and I completely missed my shot with my invisible shotgun:

Since the road to the beaches was closed and we cut our ride short, I had a bit of time to explore the area via car:

So it was a nice easy ride for me...Larry will probably be sore tomorrow. Going to ride to the ice cream shop tomorrow with Ryan and see how his mountain bike fares. Monday I'm planning a ride to Beverly Cycles and back, which will be about 30 miles.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Been a week!

I went to my parent's place in CT for Easter weekend. I brought my bike and all necessary gear, cuz I figured I could use the training in the hills.

Saturday I did a 28 mile ride...started out with a ridiculous climb, where I had to stop every so often. I rode through some of my old haunts, and loved it. I'll definitely have to bring my bike anytime I'm down there.

Here's are pics from Saturday:
the route

Sunday was a rest day, since I really pushed myself on Sat. I did manage to make my right forearm sore playing badminton against my sister. Monday I went out for a shorter ride, 19 miles. I lessened the amount of hills but I still had to stop on the steep ones. I guess my focus for climbing isn't there yet, nor is my power.

Pics from Monday:

the route

view from the top of the dam, in between lake mcdonough and barkhamsted reservoir

same place as above, but looking north, and down at the bike

rolling pic, almost as much tech stuff as my car ;)

I got home about an hour ago from a 13 mi ride with the Beverly Cycle crew and Ryan. Within the first mile I hit a decent pothole, one of those small ones you don't see right away, and can't really ride out of. My frame pump detached itself and lodged in my spindles, so I couldn't pedal. I don't really remember much, but I slowed down real quick and a couple of the riders behind me crashed into each other...one breaking the rear seat stay, the other getting a chunk out of his elbow.

I understand it was my fault, since I think I stopped fairly quickly and I feel pretty bad about it, but I don't think it was an unavoidable situation. There was enough room to go around since I was pretty much on the curb, and enough heads-up time to slow down since I was staring down at my pedals and not pedaling, but, that didn't happen. I don't blame them for being pissed, but like Bill said, accidents happen.

I think I'm going to take tomorrow off from a ride, both to let things cool, and also to go out on a Friday night and not get sweaty (will probably be an indoor ride). Saturday I'm aiming for a longer ride, though I may go down to the south shore and ride with someone who's been making excuses not to ride.

Tonight was also cold and starting to rain... wind vest did well keeping the rain off my front, but it's mesh in the back, so my long sleeve jersey was pretty soaked. Couldn't see anything either...was getting dark and glasses were covered in water. All-in-all tonight's ride kinda sucked. Here's hoping the weather's at least better this weekend.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hit my limit...

It was my own fault...I went into Boston for an interview, and by the time I got home it was lunchtime. So we went straight to the Mexican place for food...brought it home and I had a brew to go with it.

I totally forgot I was supposed to go biking later on. Mexican food + beer + cycling indoors (where I can't just draft and cruise along) = uhUHUGHuhUG

I did a solid 45 minutes before the heartburn and indigestion ended the training...no end sprints for me TYVM. So yeah...next time, let's eat right before a ride.

I usually have a sandwich or something lighter about an hour before a ride, then a gel 15 minutes before the ride, and every hour or so afterwards, following up with a Luna bar within 30 minutes of getting home, along with plenty of water. Pasta is great for the night before a ride, as well.

What do you guys do for food before/during/after rides?

Oh yeah, and the reason why we were on trainers? It's raining all of March, hopefully instead of June like last year.

Edit: well she sure looks like she's having a good time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm not a very good cyclist...

...in the cold.

Went out last night for a fast 15 miles. Did 15mph avg, which sucked because there weren't too many hills...but the WIND and the COLD.

Wore tights and everything I have for top layer, but forgot a hat, full-fingered gloves and shoe covers. Those would have definitely made the difference. Only a couple miles in and my quads just seized up. I feel bad because I was riding with two guys who were clearly faster than I, but last night was just not the night.

I could definitely go riding today, but I'll take the rest and go for a ride tomorrow or Monday...we'll see how the weather is.

Also, been using my HRM for rides, now that I have it working. On the sprints the other day I hit 190 as my max...no idea what it should be at...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Even though it was a fair bit cooler than yesterday, Dina and I still got out on a ride.

Did 25 miles in just under 2 hours...rode up some pretty good hills (mile-long hill on the Lynn Fells Parkway). Wore just about enough for the ride, but was pretty chilled at the end. LS baselayer, new Fat Cyclist jersey, LS jersey and just shorts. I think I should pick up some knee-warmers since my knees are hurting pretty bad, and that's because of the cold.

Here's some pics:

Supposed to ride tomorrow and do stretching afterwards but I may not...depends how sore I am tomorrow. Above is the dashboard on my bike now. Took off the aeros, moved the speedometer and added the new HRM. HRM needs new batteries, and Target was out of them when I was out and about.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I can't see!

Couldn't see for the last 15 min or more of tonights ride. It was kinda dark out. Bill gave us a route that was way too long (he took the guys plus Sandi, I took the girls plus Dave) and we gave up at Gordon college and had him and Greg pick us up! Then Dina gave us a hurried lesson in stretching, which she'll do in completion on another ride.

Here's the only picture from today's 17.9 miles:

That's Dina teaching Bill how to curtsie how to stretch his hip flexor.

I also got my new jersey in the mail today!! But due to chilling breezes, wore the longsleeve jersey instead. Sucked it up with the shorts on, but I threw on pants ASAP.

I think I may drag the bf out to a bike path tomorrow...just to ride around and take goofy pictures, we'll see.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Rode outside today with some peeps from BevCy. Was mostly an easy going ride, till this long hill Bill dragged us up, of which I was not a fan.

Did 15 miles at a lil over an hour. Here are some pics:

Also got this today in the mail:

Tried it on and got it working and set-up...can't wait to try it on the ride tomorrow! Should be getting a shipment of GU and some new socks tomorrow, and hopefully sometime within the next few days I'll get my new Fat Cyclist jersey from Twin Six :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What's that???

That up there? That's the sun. It's been missing, and is thankfully back in full force.

Did another two hours last night on the trainer during the last of the storm...and hopefully will be riding outside from now on...

Here's a couple pictures of the aftermath:

This one was the Target parking lot in Saugus...and the blurry thing in the middle of the water...yeah that's a Mercedes. Was there all day, stuck in several feet of water.

It's nice an sunny now...planning to go on a ride tomorrow morning at some point!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trainer who?

I did two hours on the bike (on the trainer) today. First hour was doing echelon riding and bridging to breakaways. Second hour was listening to Xena.

No really, she calls herself Xena, as in:

I looked online briefly and couldn't find anything about her...but it was some sort of amateur cycling training...and the participants in the video made us feel better about ourselves. Talk about a cross-section of America; it included the woman who persistently complains about her bike (and the guy who shakes his head in response).

Not too many of us were a fan of the video, though we agreed it gave us a decent enough workout...it was just boring. Or maybe we were spoiled from our outside rides this past week. My legs are definitely feeling it though.

Who here has been on a trainer over the winter? Have any similar experiences with videos? We train at the shop, so we have a pretty wide selection (I would've even picked hill climbs over bridging gaps), and I feel sorry for those who buy stuff they never use again.

Going to do another hour on the bike tomorrow night, then a few days of rest. Here's hoping for some more near-60 degree weather within the week. Taking pictures while riding inside doesn't make for exciting blog posts. Until someone falls off the trainer...which has happened several times (I won't mention names).

Oh...and anyone have recommendations on aerobars? I have a set on my bike that I wouldn't mind replacing...in order to be comfortable the pads would have to be set farther back...which makes climbing sucky when I don't have the handlebar clear near the stem...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Does your bike shop know who you are?

This is a post about loyalty...shop loyalty.

Back in CT where I started cycling, there was pretty much only one shop I went to, until they moved and changed owners, which coincidentally was the same time I moved up to school. Now when I go back I go to another shop, which feels a bit friendlier, but still not as awesome as my shop now. Plus, they're never open when I'm at my parents.

When I went to school I lived behind and a street over from a bike shop, which means convenience was the key. I kept going to that shop, and that shop only until I realized they would never change. Neither of the owners seemed to ride, and they never hosted rides. This turned into a big deal since I was forever looking for someone to ride with.

A couple years later (last October) I started looking for a place to bring the bike to for a tuneup. There are four bike shops in Beverly (Google says five, but one went out of business a couple years ago). The first is the one I wasn't happy with, the second is right down the street, and though I've never gone in, I never will. They reek of elitism and trendy, with all those heavy 'beach cruisers' hanging in the window. No thanks. The third I went in to check out, and though it was new, it was way too clean (seriously, bikes are dirty things!), the prices were high and I got a strange vibe. The fourth is my shop of choice, Beverly Cycles.

I went in there on my way back from shop #3 on a whim, and have been back there at least once a week (lately almost everyday). First thing that happened when I walked in was Bill, the owner, asking if I wanted to make myself a sandwich. Then we bullshitted about everything except bikes. Then we actually talked about bikes, and found out his rates, and I had found my new shop. By the third trip I felt like part of the family.

Oh yeah, and they host rides, so far inside, but outside rides are forthcoming. I've met a lot of great friends, and I can't imagine making another shop the place to be Mon/Weds and Fri nights. I even have a nickname.

So, do you have shop loyalty? Does your shop know who you are?


Went for a ride today, as promised! Met up with Dina at her house in Essex, and we took off for Gloucester. I wasn't too sure how I would be considering that I A- was still wicked tired and sore from Fri/Sat and B- didn't have anything for lunch. I downed a Gu and was good for half of the ride, when a much needed Luna bar was inhaled.

Started off at ~18-20 mph on the flat/slight uphill, which is great since gradual uphills are usually my downfall. I can stomp up a short, steep hill well enough, but having that much effort for an extended time HURTS! It hurt today, I'm in a fair amount of pain, but we both rode great. I am definitely at or above the level from the end of last season. For some strange reason, both of us felt like we shouldn't be as good as we were, considering we've just been on the trainer, and it was awesome. The indoor training has definitely helped, especially doing the hill training last week (which involved putting the front wheel on blocks).

We did 24.37 miles in 1:45, so an average of 13.8, but there were a fair number of hills that, well, I didn't want to climb. I did however SPRINT up a hill, and have a witness to corroborate. It was absolutely gorgeous out (see the pics below), and just the right temp for the first ride. It was a tad cold at the end, but we stopped a couple of time for food/Gatorade. The driveway came up unexpectedly but I was happy to get off the bike for the day and head home. Was dark by the time I parked. It's supposed to be nice again tomorrow, and then getting colder the rest of the week, so I don't know when I'll get outside again.

Also, not sure if I'll do the ride inside tomorrow, seeing as I'm hurting like heck now (walking up the stairs was interesting) and I'm scheduled for a two hour ride tomorrow. If I go it may just be to get on the bike and pedal easy. I definitely don't want to over train this early in the season.

I was thinking about another topic for a blog post, which I'll write and post tomorrow...it's about shop loyalty...so if you have any insight, feel free to send me an email, or comment on Twitter.

Here are some pics from today's ride!

Went for a ride today with a chick from the inside rides.

Did 24.37 miles in 1:45, so 13.89 mph avg, not bad for the first real road ride...much more motivated when I have someone to ride with.


Dina and I

fastest time of the day

cool shadow


my bike

Dina's bike