Morning Wind Sprints

Got out this morning for a short 20 minute ride. Managed to get in four little wind sprints. A little painful on the lungs with the cool AM air, but it felt really good to get out on the bike. I’m going to have to start getting up a little earlier so I can make it all the way to Point Richmond and find some hills to climb. If I could get in 2-3 hour long rides during the week, I think my fitness would increase in leaps and bounds.
I did have to carry my garage door opener with me which was a little strange. I bought a wireless keypad. I just haven’t installed it yet. It’s one of my projects for the weekend.

OYJ Lake Chabot (preseason)

Got back on the bike for the first time since early December and, man, am I paying for my lack of fitness. Had roughly the same trip as last year, except it was a whoel mile per hour slower. I am weak, weak, weak. And the thing is after last year’s struggles with fitness recovery, I told myself I wouldn’t let it happen again. I just couldn’t help it. Persistent pain in my right knee forced a hiatus from the bike. While I’m happy to report that I suffered no knee pain on the ride, I don’t know if it’s because the knee is better or ifI was just going so slowly, it wasn’t affected.
When I review the climbing segments on Strava, Fairmont, Redwood Road from the Golf Course, and Redwood Road from Pinehurst, I was slower than results from 2 and 3 years ago. To be fair those times are probably from the middle of the season when I was at the peak of my fitness and I should get back there, but it’s frustrating.
I know it’s going to be a long, slow process to get back where I want to be and stay there. I need to lose about 10 pounds, which I hope to do by the start of April and I need to spend some serious time on the bike, time which I don’t really have right now. At the very least I need to get the trainer set up in the garage so I can train at night. No more excuses.
Miles: 37.80 mi
Ride Time: 3:01:23
MPH: 12.6 mph
Max Speed: 38.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,532 ft
Flats: 0
More photos on Flickr.
More detailed ride stats here:

Here’s the route map:

40 Year Old Knees

It’s two days before the Waves to Wine 2010. I’m a little worried because even though I’ve got 2400 miles under my belt this year and I’m in good cycling shape, my knees have been bothering me the last several weeks.
Oddly enough it srarted on a flatish ride from Walnut Creek to Sunol and back which is the traditional warm up ride for Monterey. I started to feel some pain in my right knee, just a little twinge at first, but by the end of the ride, it felt like someone was trying to drive a spike through my knee on each pedal stroke. Not very pleasant.
Walnut Creek/Sunol was a 50 miler. So how the knee going to hold out on the 120 miles from Pacifica to Monterey? Not too bad in fact. Not sure why, but I didn’t really have any problems. It’s strange because the next day on a 17 mile recovery ride around Carmel and Pebble Beach, it was back. Not good, but at least I had gotten through Monterey without any trouble.
So when I was on the bike, it was excruciating. I found myself doing all the pedalling with my left leg. This helped, but it’s not exactly efficient. Off the bike, there was no pain at all. I iced it some, but it really didn’t seem to do much.
Last weekend, the club did a 20 mile climb up Mines Road in Livermore. I was totally fine going up, but coming back down fighting a fierce headwind blowing up the valley, the pain was back. Again, not good.
I got myself a neoprene and did a little 8 mile test ride around Berkeley yesterday. It seemed to be fine, but it’s impossible to tell on such as short ride. The brace is a really nuissance though and I’d much prefer not to have to use it, of course.
The first day of the Waves to Wine is pretty challenging. Not only is it 100 miles, but there’s fairly severe climbing, most notably up to the Muir Beach overlook. This is get out of the saddle and grind up the mountain stuff and it’s going to be a real test for the knee. For most of the ride, I plan on sitting at the back of pacelines, doing a pull if here and there, but mostly letting others doing the bulk of the work. But you can’t do this on climbs.
On the positive side, if I’m not feeling up to the whole 100 miles, there are several places where I can choose to bail and take a shortcut. I hope not to have to resort to that, but I will if necessary.

OYJ Monterey 2010

60 Miles to Santa Cruz
View from Devil's Slide
Richard in Pescadero
Santa Cruz lunch stop
Len, Michael and Charity in Aptos
Handiwork of the Douchebag of Justice
Started out a great ride rolling down Highway One to Santa Cruz. It was a little foggy, but that just helped keep up cool on the steep coastal climbs. Lunch at the lighthouse was bathed in sunshine. But the weather really started to deterioerate on the second half of the ride. I had abandoned my jacket and wind vest with the SAG vehicle and was regretting it as we rolled through the strawberry fields on Watsonville. Then we hit the headwinds and it was just murder all the way to Sand City.
Miles 118.47mi
Ride Time 7:15:17
MPH 16.4 mph
Max Speed 42.7 mph
Elevation Gain 6,293 ft
Flats 0
More stuff here:

Here’s the route map:

OYJ Fog City 2010

Twin Peaks Fog
A very foggy day in the city (until the end when we had a nice lunch at the Ferry Building). A brave crew of about 8 of us tackled Fillmore. It was a lot of fun. Sort of a slow ride, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Miles 38.66 mi
Ride Time 3:03:36
MPH 12.6 mph
Max Speed 42.4 mph
Elevation Gain 2,984 ft
Flats 0
More stuff here:

Here’s the route map:

OYJ Three Bears & Some Redwoods 2010

Tunnel Road Fog
Leading the Humane group with Fred. Started as a stupidly foggy day. Moist weather casued lots of flats going up Tunnel. I was lucky and avoided any trouble. The skies broke when we hit Contra Costa County and we had a really nice ride up and over the Three Bears.
I convinced the small group I was riding with to stop at the Espresso Roma Cafe in Berzerkly for a quick lunch on the cyclist-friendly terrace.
Miles 48.54 mi
Ride Time 3:51:27
MPH 12.8 mph
Max Speed 43.9 mph
Elevation Gain 4,142 ft
Flats 0
More stuff here:

Here’s the route map: