Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The bucket list update

A comment was posted on my last entry asking to revisit my bucket list from last November. So, I'll do that with a few other observations as well.

I've worked hard this year to get back into shape and, at almost 44 years of age, it takes so much more effort. I have fought a chronic sinus condition that has caused significant upper respiratory issues. My breathing felt somewhat normal approximately 3 months this year - and it's now September. Hopefully, this problem will be rectified with surgery on the sinus cavity scheduled for the third week of October.

So, some statistics for the first nine months.

Total riding mileage: 2,424

It's broken out this way:
  • 1,025 miles has been done on my 1984 Gitane Sprint
  • 185 on the 1984 Gitane Tour de France
  • around 1,100 on my1997 Bianchi Trofeo
  • The remainder have been on my 1987 Trek mountain bike and 1982 Nishiki Marina 12 (that's turned out to be a surprisingly nice riding bike).
I have increased the average mph speed from a year ago to between 20-21 mph on routes up to 30 miles. This is compared to 18.5 to 19 mph averages in 2008.

What's made the difference? I'd have to say it's focused training on hills, intervals and wind. You can't help but get stronger with the wind around here.

As for the bucket list I have accomplished a couple:

  • I Made the Grade - Lewiston, ID - 18 mile ride with a 7 mile, 2,000 ft climb at the end. I rode this in 1984 and have always wanted to do it again. Finished 6th out of 173 at 59 minutes and 58 seconds. This was an absolute blast of a ride. As a comparison, in 1984 I was 18 yrs old, rode a heavy old Peugeot with normal gym shorts and no training and I finished in 1 hr 10 minutes.
  • Manastash Metric Century - beautiful ride in Ellensburg WA the first Saturday in October: Scheduled to ride this in 10 days. My goal is to finish between 3 hours and 3 hours 15 minutes. This is a good fall ride with fantastic scenery.
  • Seattle to Portland - in one day (I last rode this in 1985 and would like to do it again) I am going to strive to do this in the next couple of years
  • RAMROD - Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day - my dad's favorite one day ride
  • Winchester Century - starts around Lewiston, ID
Finally, I had mentioned in November that I wanted to do some time trials. I didn't get a chance to do that in Yakima but did participate in a couple in Ellensburg late in the spring. The course is approximately 4 miles long with a moderate incline for about a mile in the middle of it. I used my 1984 Gitane Sprint with 36 spoke wheels and clip on aero bars to record a 10:25. I was really pleased with this effort - even though I coughed up a lung for two days afterward because of the effort. The next week the time wasn't as good but I still had a blast riding the time trial. If you haven't had a chance to do this type of race I encourage you to do so. It can really strengthen you both physically and mentally.

I have had a lot of fun this year riding and still kick myself for not staying consistent with it over the years. That won't happen again. Heck, I've lost 12-13 pounds this year and have a goal to lose about 10 more for "optimal hill climbing weight".

I have friends riding now who have lost anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds by riding consistently. Stick with it - there's nothing better than the good health and positive attitude cycling provides.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A successful year of group rides

This past Saturday was our last formal group ride for the year. Fall sports, school schedules and life in general has made it pretty hectic to keep going on a regular basis.

Our goal when starting the group rides this year was to create some comradery among cyclists in the Kittitas Valley and provide options for riding partners when you have just had enough of riding alone.

Fall brings shorter days, crisp air for your rides and new goals to work toward for 2010. Spinning classes will start before you know it and winter brings opportunities for cross training.

Thank you to all who joined our rides whether just once or numerous times. I hope you enjoyed the time together and will join us again next year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Touching on cycling laws again

I posted quite awhile ago about specific laws that apply to cyclists. I found a good brochure from the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission that spells out key issues nicely. Some of the key items in the brochure are listed below:

1) What traffice laws apply to cyclists? RCW 46.61.755 - cyclists have all rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver). RCW 46.61.750 - cyclists can be ticket for violations of traffic laws

2) Can cyclists ride side-by-side? Yes, no more than two abreast. (RCW 46.61.770)

3) What lane position would a cyclist use?

When traveling slower than traffic, cyclists should ride as far right as is SAFE. There are exceptions:
  • when preparing to turn
  • when passing another vehicle
  • when on a multi-lane one way road
Cyclists may occupy the middle of the lane when

  • traveling at the speed of traffic
  • when the lane is too narrow to permit a car to share the lane
  • when road conditions (poor surface, drain grates, parked cars, etc) prevent riding to the far right
At intersections cyclists should utilize the rightmost lane or portion of lane designated for their destination. HOwever, if no turn lane is available, cyclists should occupy the left side of the lane to turn left, just right of the center of the lane of travel straight and the right side to turn right.

Some of the most important things to remember

  1. a motorcycle is often hard for a driver to see and we're even harder. Wear bright clothing and even warning lights
  2. Obey all traffic laws
  3. Always scan for possible hazards to avoid
  4. Approaching an intersection always have your hands ready on the brakes for that car suddenly pulling out or turning left in front of you (had that happen three times already this summer)
You can get more information on the brochure I found at the Washington Traffic Safety Commission website.