ACTC ride from Santa Cruz to Monterey

Posted on January 19th, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

SC to MontereyA great day in January in the Bay Area.  I was the ride leader of the 17 folks who left Natural Bridges Park in Santa Cruz on a fun ride to the Monterey Wharf.  Along the way we picked up four other riders thru Santa Cruz and Capitola.  Click on the map above to see the photos.

Only nine of the riders were club members, 8 were Maura and her friends, and the other four were my friends.  All but four rode all the way down to Monterey and four others found different ways home from Monterey.  It is a bit early in the season to knock out a 100-miler but since I ride two or three a month it was just another long ride.

As leader I made a couple of mistakes early on letting one of the riders change the course which split the group until we rejoined at mile 34 at the Elkhorn Superette.  I need to be sure to be out front when we’re making so many turns through a city like Santa Cruz and Aptos.

On top of that, the route sheet didn’t provide any details about some complicated turns on the Monterey Bike Path in Seaside.  I’ve fixed that and uploaded a new version of the route here

I had a great workout chasing Maura’s triathlon friend, Martin, 14 miles from Castroville to the Wharf.  He slowed down a few times thankfully.  Martin left the Wharf after a short break so I rode with club member Spencer the 50+ miles home.  It wasn’t the first time I barely hung onto Spencer’s wheel for a long distance and probably won’t be the last.  It was an excellent workout even though it was a relatively flat ride. 

This was my second century of 2008 so I’m on track to knock out at least 20 again this year.

ACTC Double-D Ride to Sunol

Posted on January 12th, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

ACTC to SunolDeb and David scheduled another challenging ride for the long distance bikers from the club.  About 20 of us met at Almaden Roasting company but as usual David set a torrid pace and by the time we reached the top of Metcalf there were seven of us (David, Ken H, Franz, Ken E, Michael, Spencer, and me) ready to roll onto Mt Hamilton.  Along the way we picked up the dynamic duo of Russ & Sheila.

Out of Alum Rock Park Spencer took a big lead so we didn’t see him until Sunol.  Going up Niles Canyon to Sunol I let David, the two Kens, and Franz get away from us so Russ & Sheila on their tandem and I spent most of the six miles trying to close the gap with no luck. 

Coming out of Sunol I made the mistake of letting Franz, Ken E, Spencer, and Russ & Sheila take off about 15 minutes ahead of David, Ken H, and me.  When the three of us rolled out of Sunol I knew I was in trouble.  I was able to hang onto them until the climb up Calaveras then it was a lonesome ride home for the last 25 miles or so but it was a good workout.  Maybe someday I’ll have a great day on one of David’s mediocre days and I’ll stick with him the entire distance. . .

2007 In Review

Posted on January 6th, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

In December 2005 I committed to riding at least one century a month in 2006 and ended up with 23 long rides (90 or more miles).  For 2007 I decided to continue that commitment and rode 33 long rides (28 centuries and 4 double centuries), posted here.

Late last year I started keeping better track of some of my statistics like miles, time on the bike, average power, heart rate, and cadence.  That tracking has helped me to see that I’m slowly getting stronger, especially when I focus on power and heart rate.  Basically, keeping the power and heart rate up longer during training helps me more than simply putting in the long miles.  Not exactly rocket science but it’s great to see the results of hard work.

In 2007 I rode a total of 7400 miles: 4600 on the road and 2800 on my training bike in my home office.  My average power on the trainer is up from around 140 watts in early 2007 to over 180 watts in the last three months.  My average heart rate is up from around 100 bpm early in the year to over 110 in recent months which is around 60% of my max heart rate.  I’m also spending more time at 75% of my max which helps a lot with conditioning.

In October I started working with Bruce Hendler of AthletiCamps which has been a huge help to my training.  I’m expecting 2008 to be a year of more long rides but much stronger performances thanks to Bruce’s help. 

My main objective in 2008 is to be the best prepared I can be the big rides I’m doing this summer like the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge.  I plan to shave off a lot of time from the rides I’m repeating for the third time this year.  More than that I want to continue to have fun riding with my friends, especially members of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club which I joined December 2006.  16 of my 33 long rides was with the club riding in the Bay Area.  I’m sure I’ll do at least that many with ACTC again this year.  I’m glad I found a group of people who like riding long distances on a bicycle.