I’d never thought that possible that early inh the year, but today I already managed to achieve one goal for 2011: pushing my average [on a longer ride] over 17 mph. I did that new route I described in a previous post – 44 miles – in 2 hours and 32 minutes, which makes it an average of 17.3 mph. Part of that success, of course, must be attributed to the bike I rode, the Dancelli. That is definitely a faster bicycle than the Stevens on which I did that ride the first time. And, of course, I must admit this was just a first, and I need to do it again and again, and on different routes. But still, I’m quite happy about myself.
Monthly Archives: January 2011
On today’s ride I had, for the first time in all my bicycling on South-Texas roads, a very – to my mind much too – close encounter with a big rig. It was on FM 887 – a two-lane road without a shoulder – that I was overtaken by a big 18-wheeler despite oncoming traffic. And that driver got that close to me, keeping entirely on the right-hand lane, of course, that I could easily have touched the truck. I must admit that the driver had slowed down a lot, but I still felt quite uncomfortable. Anyway, this was really the first time and I still maintain – as expressed in a previous posting – that the drivers of the big rigs are really considerate.
After I had got a new – suspended – seat post from Germany and installed it, I took the Stevens on a new – and longer – route to try the suspension out. And it really worked. Together with the polymer suspension in the saddle it made the ride relatively comfortable on those fairly bumpy Karnes County roads. The new route took me to Falls City and from there on FM 887, FM 2724, FM 627 and Hwy 80 through Helena back to Karnes City. The route can be seen here at RideWithGPS. I enjoyed the ride a lot despite the sometimes breezy wind [which, finally, did take a toll on me] from the northern quadrant. But that – winds basically from the north – is why I had wanted to go north first and have the wind on my back on the return trip. Somewhat unfortunately, that was only true for the last 14 miles. I had mapped it out on my computer with Mapsource and then transferred the track plus the map(s) to my Garmin GPSmap 76CSx so as to have a map with me on the bike. And that’s why I had to ride the Stevens as only on that bicycle I have the mount on the handlebar to fit the device on/in.
All things told, I was not unhappy with my performance: 44 miles in 3 hours and 5 minutes riding time at an average on 14.4 mph. I know that the Stevens is my “slowest” bicycle as it weighs more than the Dancelli and also has well-threaded tires, which make for more rolling resistance. And my average heart rate of 142 was in the intended range, too. But, as said above, the ride took some of my staying power out of me which I felt on the last five miles. Those were a tad slow and hard-going. But then, just there I had to climb from the lowest point of the ride to the highest. And also, for the last few miles my leg muscles were on the verge of cramping. I really don’t know why as I’ve been keeping up with my vitamins and other supplements, especially magnesium.
As to RideWith GPS: I really like the features on that website, especially that I can have a little (flash) movie that lets me move along the ride, showing elevation, grade [in %] and speed, as well as my position on a map or on GoogleEarth.
With sustained winds of 15 mph and gusts of 32 mph and temps of – right now – 39 [real feel 29] it’s not exactly bicycling weather today.
Now that the new year has come and I have close to 80 miles on my odometer already, I think it’s time to make up my mind what I want to achieve on my bicycle this year. Well, there are some goals:
- My minimum goal is 10 kilometers a day, which would be 3,650 kilometers [2,270 miles].
- A much more ambitious goal would be 10 miles a day [5,870 kilometers]. I’m not sure if I can do that as I’ll be off the bicycle for 5 weeks, touring Germany and England in late spring/early summer; and then there’s always that hot and humid southern Texas summer, which – on some days – really doesn’t encourage bicycling.
- Do my shortest ride here in Karnes County [slightly over 17 miles] in under one hour.
- Push my average over 17 miles per hour.
- Do a few metric centuries.
- Do a real century.
That’s about it. Let’s see what I can really achieve.