July 21, 2010

Favorable Winds

It's Wednesday.  Which I am finding is a great day for me to ride my bike fast.  I wasn't really into it as I pulled out of the driveway, though.  I tooled out and came up behind a truck at the light.  He took off on green and I followed, hitting 21 mph before he pulled away about 100 feet later.  At that point I had to decide, do I keep it at 21 mph and shoot for the TWTT record or just soft-pedal in to work?

My new PR is 9:55.72!  Yeah, I chose correctly.  After yesterday's big effort I was unsure about my abilities.  I pulled up the the first split about 5 seconds slower than yesterday.  The confirmation came as I turned south and hit Nemesis Hill.  I hit 42 mph and held my top gears as long as possible in the flat.  I knew I was close, and maybe...just maybe could go sub-10!  Through the last traffic signal I looked down to see 9:18, which is a few second's slower than last week, so I really drilled it!  I didn't consider breathing...everything was on auto as I concentrated on spinning circles of power.  It all paid off when I looked down at the new record.  Sweet success! 

What made me faster today over yesterday?  Perhaps a slight favorable wind, and possible good timing on the traffic signals.  Those are the main factors that come to mind.  Whatever the case, I'm pleased with the result!

July 20, 2010

Pain Tunnel

Today's TWTT went pretty well.  No new records, but a valiant effort.  I can honestly say I left nothing out there.  I pushed it all the way in.  Time: 10:11.

Then while at work I took a moment to check up on the Tour de France.  They had been riding for 5 hours at that point and were 3.5 miles from the finish.  One man had been going at it alone for more than half the day.  He still had a chance to win the stage.  My pain tunnel was an overpass compared to what he must have been going through!

July 19, 2010

Respect the Saddle

I love my saddle.  I haven't always loved my saddle.  When I first began riding longer distances a few years ago I found that my saddle was no good.  I was always sore.  I figured I just needed to callous, but after a season of riding, my first cetury ride was accompanied by plenty of discomfort!  After that I set out to replace that saddle and relieve the anxiety that tainted my ride.

I quickly discovered that there are a great variety of saddles, and for the most part...they don't come cheap.  I looked at all kinds of shapes and sizes and wondered how much I would end up spending before I found THE saddle for me.  At that time I discovered that a friend of mine, Jon had been blogging about his experiences building bicycles over at Sabrosa Cycles.  When I zoomed in on pics of his bikes I saw the same saddle repeated over and over.  The brand was Brooks.

Looking further into that brand I found a legacy of simple comfort.  The thought of a one piece leather saddle suspended front to back over steel rails eased my anxieties and opened my pocketbook.  I signed up as soon as I'd saved my pennies (maybe even before I'd saved 'em)!  Sitting on that newly installed saddle was a liberating moment.  Even in its stiff, un-broken state, that leather was MUCH better than the foam-over-plastic number that had come with the bike.

So when a friend was over last night, and he admired that saddle...I gushed with excitement.  I love that saddle.