All posts by Mike

What’s your cadence?

As we head up Kings, a pair of riders in front of us is turning left onto Tripp. I didn't know you could do that! Not climb Kings? That's un-American. Especially when you turn tail right in front of it.
As we head up Kings, a pair of riders in front of us is turning left onto Tripp. I didn’t know you could do that! Not climb Kings? That’s un-American. Especially when you turn tail right in front of it.

It’s January, getting pretty close to the middle of winter, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise if it’s 34 degrees in Woodside as we start the regular Tuesday/Thursday morning ride, but it really didn’t seem right that it was only up to 39 when we got back! Good thing modern cycling apparel lets you ride comfortably in weather like this without dressing up like an eskimo.

Kevin, Kevin, Eric, Marcus & Nigel joined me this morning for what all agreed ahead of time was going to be as easy ride up the hill, but younger Kevin decided to end the truce as soon as we started up through Huddart Park (via Greer). Things started coming apart after we got back onto Kings; I held on until about half-way up at which point Marcus, younger Kevin and Nigel rode away from me. Kind of getting used to that. Marcus was pretending to have a nasty cold but not pretending so much that he didn’t kick the pace up further, dropping Nigel and challenging Kevin to successfully charge past him on the final part of the climb. At least that’s what I’m told; I was quite a bit further down the hill at the time.

The high points were Kevin not having a seizure and noticing that he’s bringing his cadence to a literally-higher level. He’s always known that my too-low cadence can be improved upon, but today we joked that riding with the older Kevin, who’s cadence is ultra-slow, is convenient because he can use older Kevin’s cadence like a metronome. He just has to exactly match each of older Kevin’s pedal strokes with two of his own.

Riding with Champions; We’re getting the band back together

Over the weekend two of our regulars had traveled to Austin and come back with something more than an appreciation of Texas music and beer. Karen Brems won the Cyclocross National Championship in the 50-54 division, and George Smith took 2nd in the geezer, I mean 59-64 age group. Very impressive! Both showed up on our ride this morning; that’s Karen far right, George far left.

We also saw the return of Nigel from Great Britain (he’ll correct me if I’m supposed to say “UK” or something else that would demonstrate how little Americans understand our friends in Europe). And Karl, who dropped off the map for a bit. And Joe H, who moved to Colorado. Plus the usual Kevin, Kevin & Eric. 9 in all, I think, just about all of the regulars and semi-regulars except maybe Marcus.

Pretty much the same old story heading up the hill; I could hang with the fast guys up to the park entrance, and then drift off the back and watch them ride away. Kevin, Kevin, NigelĀ & George rode at a pretty good clip until Nigel blew up before the wide open section. Joe had dropped back and was riding with me, picking up what was left of Nigel and then rounded a corner to find Kevin on the ground, having a seizure. Guess you could say his engine seized up from the effort. He claims he was hanging up there just find, which would have given him about a 26 minute time (looking at his Strava data, he was stopped for about 2 minutes, 50 seconds, and when he resumed his way up the hill, he wasn’t going particularly fast, ending up at 30:50).

I blame Kevin’s seizure on his new-found love of lower gears for climbing. He was averaging 74 rpm on the lower flanks of Kings; mine was 63. Kevin (Pilot) isn’t recording rpms, probably because he doesn’t have a cadence transmitter hooked up, but could also be because the computer thinks single-digit rpms are erroneous and tossed out.