TTTT course test ride

Well, it sprinkled some, enough to get the pavement wet for a little while, but we got three laps in on the TTTT course today. The five riders were myself, Greg, Terry, DJ, and our special celebrity guest upright rider, Kalleen Whitford.

The second lap, we went for time, with DJ, Greg, and I all finishing within a few feet of each other. Acording to my gps, my time for the lap was 1:00:47 for a 19.7 mph average. That’s a lot closer to the less-than-an-hour time that was my goal, than I expected. I’m not sure if it was the course, or just me today, but I really seemed to struggle climbing anything. Either the hills are tougher than they look, or I was just not that strong today. It wasn’t for lack of effort; my average heart rate for the lap was 173. I’m not sure how much more than that I can sustain for 20 miles.

The roads aren’t that rough at all, as long as you avoid a few serious chuck holes in the middle of the lanes. Traffic wasn’t bad, either, although I did have to report one road rage infested driver to the authorities.

I enjoyed riding with everyone. It was nice to meet you, DJ. If DJ ever gets around to buying clipless pedals, I’ll never be able to keep him in sight. And if Terry ever figures out how to get himself up hills, I’ll have the same problem with him; he really moves on the flats and downhills. With all the rain, I hadn’t been on a bike since Tuesday. This ride did a great job of curing my cabin fever.

I had intended to visit the Cleburne State Park after the ride, but forgot. Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest in TTTT among rbenters, I went ahead and reserved a campsite for that weekend, anyway. State Park campsites typically get booked up months ahead, and it just cost $18 to reserve a site (the $15 first night fee, and a $3 internet booking fee). If I cancel before then, it will all be refunded except $5 plus the $3 internet fee, losses I think I can handle.

I figure if we participate in TTTT, a campsite there would provide us with three nice things:
(1) A place to recharge headlight and gps batteries, without competing for a probable limited number of outlets at the New Hope Church.
(2) A more quiet place to nap between laps, for those competing on a team, and for support people who need some sleep.
(3) Showers.

I reserved for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, figuring we would want shower access after the normal checkout time, Saturday. All rbenters are welcome to share in this site, but campsites are supposed to be limited to two vehicles, so if quite a few of us are going to participate in TTTT, another of us might want to consider reserving a second campsite.

In addition to campsite fees, there is also a daily park entrance fee per vehicle, another incentive for us to shuttle back and forth to the church with a limited number of vehicles. I have an annual park entrance pass for my truck.

Thursday Night Torture

Thursday Night Torture – May 17th
05/18/07 at 12:13:30 Quote Modify Remove
This was just the usual Thursday night Texas Wheels ride, but there were some notable things about it. I got my first look at Greg’s new Tica (awesome looking bike). He was settling for a Joe Pool dam ride while he learns to handle this bike, and looked like he was having quite an adventure taking off in that crowded parking lot (reminded me of my first takeoff tries on my first bent, a USS Tsunami which I first rode around a parking lot, except that I chose an EMPTY parking lot). How’d the ride go, Greg?

It was a perfect evening, close to 80 degrees with a light north wind. Mark Metcalfe showed up, decked out in his new 2007 RAAM jersey. Wow, spiffy! He explained to me that he was still in recovery mode after his Kansas City 600k last weekend, then promptly dropped me and slowly disappeared ahead of me in the distance, never to be seen again by me on this evening.

My average speed for the ride was 19.7 mph, so I’m still slowly gaining on my goal of 20 mph for this ride. A little maneuver I did let me once again discover that I hadn’t reached my max heart rate on the Corsa, yet. As we made the Lake Ridge turn and started up the first hill, I was, as I always am, riding at the back of the peloton. The three riders in front of me got dropped off the back. There was no point in my trying to catch the peloton, since I would get dropped a couple of miles ahead, on Texas Plume Road, anyway, but I couldn’t resist finding out if I could. I pulled out and sprinted up the hill and reeled in the peloton. It was only after I got home and uploaded to my pc from my gps that I found out what my heart rate had reached during that little sprint: 205.

GDB Airport Ride

I did the GDB Airport Ride today. Paul wasn’t able to make it, but Mike (mschwitz in the yahoo group) brought his Corsa, so there were two bents. This time of year, the ride starts at 8:00 am, and the shopping center parking lot it starts in is west of Preston, across the street from where it used to start.

It was a nice turnout as always, and a beautiful morning, although it got pretty warm and humid later. The wind stayed fairly light. It was the usual trip out to the store, with traffic lights breaking the group into several smaller groups. Mike and I talked and hung out at the back most of the way, speeding up a bit and moving up later.

When we left the store for the airport loop, I kind of got caught up in the middle of the group and let a small lead group get out in front a ways, but then sped up and rode with them the rest of the loop. This group kept a fairly fast pace, but believe it or not, I took the sprints at both the water tower and end of the loop.

Mike was among those who headed back after the loop, but 8 of us stayed for a second loop. We did this loop at a much more relaxed pace. We didn’t get far into the loop before I heard the unmistakable sound of a tube blowing, then the dreaded hiss. It was my front tire. I didn’t find anything in the tire; it looked like a pinch flat. With plenty of help, it was fixed quickly, and the rest of the ride went fine.

I ended up with 69.6 miles with an average speed of 17.3 mph. The biggest thing I noticed was how much better than last year I was able to hold my speed on the short hills on this ride. I guess all that riding up Texas Plume is helping. With only 1538 feet of climbing, and light winds, it was fun to ride this speedy course again. Traffic lights and stop signs were the only things to slow you down today.

LSR 163K populaire

This Lone Star Randonneurs’ ride started at the corner of Danieldale and Clark Road in Duncanville, went south through Cedar Hill and Midlothian, then west to its first control stop at Maypearl, then on to Covington for the second stop. Then, it reversed the route for another stop at Maypearl, then back to Duncanville. The roads were low traffic, with only a few rough spots. I thought it was a very good route. This was my first century ride.

Since I had never done a 100 mile ride, I decided I’d better pace myself for the first three legs of this ride, then see if I had enough left to speed up a bit for the last leg. I used my heart rate monitor to pace myself, trying keep my heart rate under 160 on climbs, and under 150 the rest of the time. That worked out well. I still managed to stay in the front half of the riders, and though I kept a little faster pace than I intended on much of the third leg, just to keep riders in front of me in sight, I still felt good enough after three legs that I sped up and rode with the lead group for the last leg. Jorge pulled into the finish first, and I was right on his wheel.

This group takes time to regroup and chat at all the control stops, and as always, was one of the friendliest group of riders I’ve seen. I also met Kwijybow, and rode with him quite a bit. Nice to finally meet you, Nelson!

I ended up with 101.3 miles, at a 16.7 mph average, and an average heart rate of 141. My gps recorded 3618 feet of climbing. It didn’t really seem like that much. I guess that’s because there are no really brutal hills on this route, and lots of flats. My max heart rate for the ride was 173. I can’t remember the last club ride I did without a higher heart rate than that. I guess that’s why I had energy at the end. There is probably something to be said for pacing yourself well.

I enjoy riding with this group enough, I guess I should join and tackle a 200k brevet. If I can ride 100 miles, I can ride 128 miles, right?