This guy puts my/anybody’s riding issues into perspective

Go ahead, click on the photo to make it larger, so you can read the mileage. That's just 3 years of riding.
Go ahead, click on the photo to make it larger, so you can read the mileage. That’s just 3 years of riding.
I was going to write about how awful I felt this morning, how it was absolutely the worst-day-ever as far as my breathing is concerned, how Kevin and Marcus just “rode casual” and quickly distanced me up Kings. And then, after getting to the shop and even coffee isn’t doing anything for me… then Bob P comes in to pick up his bike.

That’s Bob, in the picture. And that’s his computer, showing 11,138 miles on it, his total for the past three years (since he last installed a battery). Quite a few miles for an older guy, right? 3,712 miles/year. In general, he’s riding about 100 miles/week. Gets out on a regular basis and rides “The Loop.”

3,712 miles per year. I should feel really good about doing roughly twice that. Of course, his bike is set up differently than mine; more for comfort than for speed. Not the way I’d ride, for sure! In fact, Bob’s riding a converted mountain bike, which is going to be way slower than my machine. He’s probably doing 30% more work than I do. What could he do on a bike like mine?

Well, it’s not too likely a bike like mine would make sense for a guy like Bob; a little bit more stability might not be so bad, because, here’s the thing, Bob is… get ready for this… in two months, he’ll be 94. He’s not acting like any 94 year old I’ve ever known. If he were on Strava, he’d kill his age group. And he’d do it with respectable times too! His average speed, including stops, is about 12 miles per hour.

When I grow up, I want to be like Bob.

Print Friendly

Watch out for falling branches

IMG_0428_DxO1200What a nice morning to ride! The heat wave gone, first regular Tuesday/Thursday ride for me in over a week, it felt good to be out on a bike. At the start we had Kevin (pilot), Mark & George, picking up Marcus along the way. Younger Kevin didn’t ride this morning, having had a bit of a rough night (a bunch of seizures keeping him up; thankfully, they didn’t continue through the day).

Mark flew quickly off the front, trying to catch his girlfriend Liz, who had gotten a head start 7 minutes earlier. Why didn’t I think of that? I made no attempt to follow, but stayed with Kevin & Marcus for as long as I could, dropping off the pace just past the park entrance. George, who’d already done the “morning” ride, was taking it easy behind me. Of course, I didn’t know just how easy, so I was always concerned he must be right behind that last corner, ready to accelerate and fly past at any moment.

In the end it was a pretty slow time for me, right about 29 minutes, 1001 VAM (meters climbed/hour, cutting it rather close to that magical 1000 number) and 285 watts. That last number, 285, is a problem. At 29 minutes, that number should be lower; the fact that it’s that high means I’m still carrying too much of Las Vegas with me. That’s 7 watts more output than a ride 2 seconds faster about a year ago. Not good!

Liz after telling the paramedics sorry, she's not going away in an ambulance. At this point, she didn't realize how bad the collarbone separation was, and thought maybe she could ride. She's tough!
Liz after telling the paramedics sorry, she’s not going away in an ambulance. At this point, she didn’t realize how bad the collarbone separation was, and thought maybe she could ride. She’s tough!

Much more not good was arriving with Kevin, Marcus & George at Sky Londa (after descending Skyline from Skeggs) and not seeing Mark or Liz. We waited a few minutes before I told them I’d head back to find them, and then do the last part of the ride in reverse to meet up with them again. Yes, I found them; just a couple hundred meters away in fact. They were right behind us, less that 20 seconds, and ran into a large tree branch in the road. A large tree branch that, less than 20 seconds prior, hadn’t been there or the rest of us might have hit it! Liz got the worst of it, ending up with a separated shoulder. She was in surprisingly-good spirit about it; that’s just the type of person she is.

So watch out for debris on the road. Our recent hot weather has probably weakened a lot of trees, and the roads we enjoy riding on are actually the most-likely to have issues because they don’t get much car traffic (so we’ll be the first to come across the problem).

Print Friendly