Tag Archives: strava

Ohmygosh, 6 pages of KOMs? This guy’s really slumming riding with us!

Not as many friendly faces today as you’d normally see on a Tuesday morning ride; just myself, Karl, Eric, Keith… George was off at the National Cyclocross Championships in Madison WI, Kevin (the pilot) was doing the pilot thing, Kevin (the son) was complaining he was too sore to ride after Sunday’s paintball gig and Karen was probably focusing on her ‘cross skills for the upcoming World Championships in Louisville Kentucky in a few days.

What, confused about me letting Kevin have the day off because he was “sore?” Let’s say that I strongly encouraged him to ride, pointing out that his muscles would feel better sooner if he rode. He wasn’t buying any of it, now claiming that he didn’t sleep much either. After a few minutes I gave up and headed off on my own, believing then, as I believe now, that he would have been a lot better off had he ridden. Yes, he’s got a tough dad.

Partway up Kings we met up with Marcus, and rode a reasonable pace to the top. Reasonable meaning that things split up into two groups, with Keith, Marcus & Karl up front, while Eric and I worked hard to find any remaining oxygen in their wake. It was a bit of an odd morning for the two of us in that Eric’s breathing sounded worse than mine (although my heart rate was running considerably higher than his, an indication that I’m not in the shape I should be).

But that Keith person. Nice guy. But deceptively fast. Deceptive in that he’s going to ride at whatever level his training calls for, so you can get the idea that he’s “normal” because he’s riding not that much faster than you are. But when push comes to shove, the guy has a motor, and when he switches it out of idle, watch out. I finally looked him up today on Strava. He “owns” 6 pages of KOMs. KOMs, for those not familar with Strava, are sections of roads where you have the fastest time. Of anybody. If you’re lucky, you can find something obscure and make it your own (or create a new one and “own” it until somebody else comes along). But Keith? He has 6 pages of them!

So it’s safe to say that he’s riding way below his level when I’m in the vicinity. Karl & Marcus & George & Chris & sometimes pilot Kevin might keep things interesting on a ride with him, but Me? I’m working my tail off to kepe his rear wheel in sight.

The sky is always blue when you’re cycling!

You could watch the weather on TV and start to believe that the best days for riding are behind us; that rain is coming, that the days are getting both shorter and colder. And you’re expecting me to tell you not to believe such nonsense?

Good times are where you find them, and your bike is that place. It’s always that place. You go to bed the night before your morning ride, noticing that there’s a bit of a chill in the area, listen to a noise that’s familiar and strangely comforting but then realize it’s the furnace kicking on (is it OK to be comforted by the sound of a furnace?), and you think back to just two weeks ago when you were able to go out without leg warmers. For the last time.

But the sky was blue this morning, and with daylight saving time behind us, it was also light out. Nothing wrong with being comforted by that! And yet, we had only a handful of riders this morning; myself, Kevin (son, not the pilot), Eric, Todd & Jim, joined up on Skyline by Steve L, whom we haven’t seen for a while (he usually rides with the older, er, I mean, more “mature” guys who ride a bit later and stay out of the hills). Looking at the video reminds me just how nice & clear it was as we set a deliberately non-challenging pace up Kings, hoping to avoid Kevin having one of his all-too-frequent seizures. Since he didn’t, I guess it worked! Unfortunately, when you look at our time climbing Kings, you come to realize that he can climb very fast, have a seizure, and finish in 29:30. Or he can climb at a pace where he won’t likely have a seizure, and finish in 29:30.

We did run into a bit of fog at the top, or maybe low clouds. Not bad, but the slight dampness made the 43 degrees up there seem a bit colder. Soon, 43 degrees will feel nearly toasty for us!

Watching the ride play on the video in front of me reminds me that I actually did ride this morning. What would it be like, riding without cameras or downloadable GPS data recording the ride? Without two computers on the handlebars, set to simultaneously display two different sets of data that I think are important (heart rate & speed in numbers large enough for 55-year-old eyes to read)? I don’t know. I understand there are people out there who have no computer on their bike at all, and somehow that works for them. Guess they haven’t discovered Strava yet.