I looked into the Giro coverage on Versus and decided their “weekend only” coverage wasn’t going to be enough for me, so I called Comcast and ordered the Italian RAI TV channel which is covering the race every day. It’s live coverage, but it hardly matters since I have to DVR it anyway. And the announcers, well, they all speak Italian. While very passionate and interesting to listen to, they are less than instructive. Again, no matter, I’m watching for the racing. Though I will miss the insightful commentary of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin, I’m happy to have some Giro to come home to every night for the next three weeks.
I’ve been watching the Tour de France for years, first on ESPN and now on OLN/Versus, but I’ve never seen the Giro d’Italia, the first of the season’s 3 grand tours (Giro, TdF, Veulta d’Espana) that take place over 3 weeks. That will end this weekend, when Versus will start broadcasting the Giro’s first stage this coming Saturday.
Now that daylight savings time is here and there’s a few hours of sunlight after I return home form work, I want to started getting some rides in before sunset. Yesterday was my first ride. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going, I just knew I wanted to get 15 miles in. That’s a short ride, but long enough to get a good sweat going and the blood flowing. It would probably take an hour or so.
So the Tour de Cure went off without a hitch, I’m happy to say. I had a great time. Made the 50 miles (or so – the route was actually only 47 miles and change) without any trouble. Hard to beat cycling through Napa with friends, meeting new people all while raising money for the American Diabetes Association.
It was an early start. I was up at 530 to get everything ready and left at 645 for the hour drive up to Yountville in Napa. It was foggy and cold, which didn’t make me too happy, but it would burn of eventually, so no big deal, right?
It’s about time to hit the sack. I need all the rest I can muster before my big ride tomorrow. I have to get up around 5:30am. That will give me about an hour to get my shit together and another hour for the ride up to Yountville in Napa. Check in is at 745 and there’s a rolling start. I’ll hitting the road with Team Schwab around 8am. I expect to get the 50 miles done in about 4 hours at roughly 12.5 MPH, but I really don’t know since I have no clue what the route is like or what my fellow riders are going to want to do. I’ll be in no rush. The weather is supposed to be great and we’ll be riding through the heart of California wine country. Should be spectacular. I’m going to take a camera and try take some pics.
It’s not late to donate. I’ve already reached my fundraising goal, but if you want to support and the American Diabetes Association, you can do it here.
I finally picked up a computer for my bike. After much searching, I settled on the Blackburn Delphi 4.0. It’s a pretty slick piece of machinery. The thing weighs about an ounce. It’s singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland and water-resistant to three atmospheres. It tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome and Gstaad. More importantly, I get speed, cadence, time, average speed and even altitude if I can figure out how to set the altimeter.
It was a monumental nightmare to get my bike wired up. The instructions were for shit, which is problematic, because it’s amazingly complicated. First I had to get the battery in and that was no easy chore. Then I had to mount the magnet on the front spoke and the wireless transmitter on the front fork. The cadence magnet has to be mounted on the left crank with the cadence sensor on the left chain stay. Then I had to run a wire under the bottom bracket and along the down tube and mount the actual computer on the handle bars, which, of course, I did backwards the first time because I’m an idiot.
The first ride out, I wasn’t getting any readings and after 30 minutes of wrestling with the thing, I was almost ready to give up. The problem was that the magnets were too far apart from the sensors. Both sets of magnets and sensor have to be between 1 and 3mm apart, which is a little tricky with fat fingers like mine. I moved everything closer together, and bingo, I started to get data. Very cool.
The sun was setting, but I needed to get out on the bike to test it out. Here’s the deal on my first recorded ride. I rode from my place up Adeline & Shattuck towards the Berkeley campus, up to Elmwood and back down Alcatraz to my house. The total mileage was 5.54 which I managed in 25 minutes and 30 seconds at an average speed of 12.9 MPH. My cadence was 54 and I hit a top speed of 28 MPH cranking down Alcatraz. Short ride, but it was fun and I needed to stretch my legs before my first 50 miler tomorrow.