Tailwinds: what goes around, …

Don’t you love wind at your back? Really, literally or figuratively, it is a nice feeling to have the wind at your back. Tailwinds let you move either faster or with greater ease. Yesterday’s ride planning was to have a ride with some distance and not necessarily speed. Just getting in the distance without a maximal effort was the idea as a part of my training for the BP MS-150 in mid-April. It was known that there would be some wind. No big deal for a West Texas kid — I’m just proud when there is no dust in the air!

Bynum was out of town and the other usual suspects had plans so I laid out a 60’ish mile route and an 80’ish mile route. You know, just in case I got to the decision point and (a) felt good and (b) the winds were less than hurricane strength. I have to admit that the wind prospect was a bit concerning. Continue reading “Tailwinds: what goes around, …”

Forrest Gump on two wheels

Call me crazy if you wish, but first answer this.  When does 3 or 4 become 21? Easy. When via email several groups of bicyclists get cross-pollinated and the word spreads, then by 7am on a Saturday morning, 21 riders show up. What a herd that was with riders all the way from me on a bike barely a month up to triathletes who just blew us away. My partner in pedaling Don has already blogged the details so I’ll be more brief than usual (yes, I CAN be brief!).

The route was Marble Falls to the Burnet area via Mormon Mill Road a/k/a CR340, then back on CR330 and CR335 into Mormon Mill Road again and return to beginning. The highest single day I had done previously was 18 miles so the 32.3 miles was scary to think about but turned out to be quite enjoyable. The return was really a downhill run for the most part as shown on this profile:

Click for larger image

The elevation peaks where CR330 branches westward on CR335 and while there are some gentle climbs along the way, it’s mostly downhill until … The Hill. If you’ve ever driven out Mormon Mill Road you know exactly where it is!

On the return trip only a couple of miles before The Hill, we were making nice progress up a modest hill at, I thought, a decent pace when a group blew by us on the climb. Hmmm, odd, it was Keith, Mario, Denise, and I’m not sure who else and why are they just now catching up to us?  Keith came around me, reached out with one hand while climbing, slapped me on the shoulder and shouted “way to go judge” and pedaled onward.

We all wound up at the starting point and discovered why they were just then “catching up” to us … they were finishing 47 miles (to our 32) and in a sense had “lapped” us. Fine riders they are.

The stats, always the stats:

  • Mileage:  32.3
  • Avg. speed:  12.5 mph moving (overall 10.9)
  • Heart rate avg/max:  125/173
  • Total time: 2:58
  • Calories burned:  1946

OK, call me crazy, but I’m hooked on this cycling.  Gotta keep going.