Wednesday, December 16, 2009

42-Damn You Wintery Gusts!! And...My First Honk!!!

Success!! Day 42

Weather: 30 deg F. cold, a crazy headwind
Time I left my house: Late (surprise) 8:25 am
Time I arrived at work: 9:01 am
Distance: 8.08 miles
Avg. Speed: 15.1
Max Speed: 22.4
Time: 32.14 min.

Pre-game: There’s got to be a better way. With all the prep work once my wife leaves, I should be out the door after I feed the little guy. I got him to the sitter’s by 8:14 am, but didn’t get out until 8:27. Go figure. Of course I was late. I don’t think I’ve been on time all winter. It’s also all the layering.

Bad ride today. Well, bad in a sense that the headwind was like the bully pushing my head down with his straight arm as I was swinging away at him. The cold wasn’t a factor, (I was suited up with the blizzard jacket, a neck gaitor I use snowboarding, my Specialized winter BG gloves with Thinsulate flex, my tights and EMS breatheable waterproof/windproof skullcap), but the dang wind! It didn’t help that I haven’t been on a bike in a week and a few days, so I’m apparently slower. Hopefully, it’ll get better. I’ve really got to find a way to get out on time. I’m really trying. And my parents have screwed us again (although, not on purpose) so I don’t have that Friday liberty of leaving at 8:00am.

However, I did get my first honk, which was pretty humorous. It was a lady in an SUV. I was running out of shoulder, I looked back and signaled to take the lane. I took it and heard the big honk. I stopped at the light at the intersection and waited for her. She was turning and I motioned that she had nothing in front of her, so go ahead and turn. She lurched up and rolled down her window,”What, you can take the whole lane now?!!” And drove off. I wanted to yell,”Well, yes, actually!” but it didn’t matter. I had my neck gaitor on and really was over it. Awesome. Unfortunately, motorists are ignorant or forgot we cyclists can take the lane just like they can. Especially those SUV soccer moms on their way to school/work.

UPDATE: The ride home.

Weather: 34 deg. F cool, crazy headwind
Distance: 8.43 miles
Avg. Speed: 14.0
Max Speed: 21.8
Time: 36.18

It’s been cold and windy which is such a challenge to make any sort of good time home. At some points during the ride I was only on the second ring (the middle ring, not the granny gear, although I was tempted) so it was pretty rough. It’s the first time in a long time whether I was making a good choice to ride today, all things considered. But like anyone doing this, it’s now a challenge. And it’s personal.

There was a coworker who was going to her car as I was putting on my gloves outside before I set out home. She said her son tried it for two days and gave up. (I give him credit, his ride is much longer- Valley Stream to Syosset is a hike compared to my 8 mile jaunt). And she mentioned she thinks we’re crazy. She did like that I was well-lit because I was wearing my PB rear blinky.

Winter is just hard…. Blizzard alert this weekend. We’ll see what happens.

Friday, December 4, 2009

41-Back On The Saddle... So to Speak

Success!! Day 41

Weather: 46 deg F. cool, a little headwind
Time I left my house: Late (surprise) 8:27 am
Time I arrived at work: 9:02 am
Distance: 8.08 miles
Avg. Speed: 15.7
Max Speed: 23.3
Time: 30.59 min.

Pre-game: I really tried this time. Although bundling up would prove to lose a couple minutes. I should wear all my winter gear (tights and jacket) to the sitters when I drop off the little guy, even though I look like an alien in all that wear.

OK ride today, it’s been a while (two weeks) since my dual flat in the dark and rain… so I was a little cautious and apprehensive. I just wanted to get to work. BF suggested to get some Schwalbes or Armadillos which cost a pretty penny, but are worth the investment. My legs weren’t up to par and the speed/time shows it. I was so late it was embarrassing. Changing out of my winter gear is timelier and I got to my desk at 9:11 am... I can’t believe how warm I got with the Addidas Blizzard jacket. I need to tune up my gearing, a low gear, it’s been jumping so I’ll have to take a look at that this weekend. It’s supposed to be a quiet/snowy weekend.

Hopefully, it’ll get better.

UPDATE: The ride home.

Weather: 50 deg. F cool, a little headwind
Distance: 8.43 miles
Avg. Speed: 13.9
Max Speed: 23.3
Time: 36.31

Well, the cookies I had ordered from a coworker arrived. It’s a Crayola cookie dough and cookie design kit that my kid would love to make. I couldn’t NOT bring this home this weekend… especially if Saturday called for snow (which it rained… ALL DAY I might add…) So during lunch I got some bungy cords and found an old box to rig the dough and the bucket of cookie design kit into. I have to say, the Schwinn held up pretty nicely; being a touring bike, I knew it wouldn’t have any problems. I kept it on the middle ring for most of the ride, and obviously, no TT records here folks. I also was extra cautious at night what with the double flat the other week so I shouldered the bike for the shady parts. But… success!!! Needless to say, we made the ugliest cookies known to man… but the kid had fun!