On this occasion I picked up the mirror and a new jersey from the shop to support the LBS. I also found a great gift for my dad.
There were three single malt scotch jerseys to choose from and I emailed pictures to see which he preferred. This was the winner. He also sent a selfie taken at that moment of him post ride with a bottle of Lagavulin 16. 68 years old and taking selfies, riding his bike, enjoying life!
|Selfie: Dad making the most of retirement. The prescription Rudy Project frames had to get sent in for repairs so he's stuck with the Bolles for a bit.|
Some advice from the old man- Bowmore 10 is better than Bowmore 12. Some advice I got while living in the UK: when you are in Scotland it's called whiskey not scotch.
From the bike shop it was home for a little Lego time with the kids. We might have jammed on Rock Band 3 for a little bit too. Maybe.
On Tuesday I received a shocking e-mail at work. It was a group e-mail and didn't single anybody out. Apparently, the powers that be do not approve of bicycles being brought into the hospital. I have not ridden my bike to work at this hospital but I know of some who do. Locking several thousand dollars worth of carbon mobile artwork to a bike rack outside the hospital isn't a reasonable alternative for a lot of cyclists. This policy won't make it any more likely that I'll ride in to work. I would never question policies established by commanding officers. It is not as though the military has an interest in promoting fitness of its personnel, as suggested by this headline from the Washington Post on December 10, 2012:
It is also lucky that there is no storied history of bicycles in the military.
|25th Infantry Bicycle Corps|
|Bicycles were big in the British military, with or without adequate dentition|
|Even the Germans has bicycles. This is the outfit I'll need if I spend any more time with Ed.|
I was intent on getting to the Tuesday nighter. I managed to get home in time to ride from the house feeling quite dapper in my new Ride Away Bikes jersey. Despite my resounding victories in back to back cat 5 races the local shop teams are not knocking down my door recruiting me so I figured I would ride flying the colors of the shop without a team. There are two big teams in town: Bicycle Heaven and Bike World. Bobby has also extended an invite from FG Law/210 Cycling. If I race next year I may end up joining one of these teams. We'll see.
I spun down to Helotes easily. We had 15-20 people show up for the ride which is a pretty small turn out. Robert took us down to Galm and then we started turning the screws. I took a pull early on Galm followed by Greg and then Rob again. Pretty soon I was riding 3rd or 4th wheel and the guys at the front didn't seem to want to put the effort in so I came around for another go. Here are the details:
I started with a 1.2 mile effort at 26.6mph and 330W on the east to west portion of Galm before Government Canyon State Park. Then there is a half mile from 14.1 to 14.6 miles where the power drops off as I am back in the paceline. After that I got restless and, as above, there was seeming reluctance to push at the front, so I pulled around for another 1.3 mile pull at 23.4mph and 347W (clearly more of a headwind given the divergence of power and speed). Overall it was 2.9 miles at 25.1mph and 328W over 6:58. Not a bad effort, but not a maximal effort either. I was checking in my shiny new Clearview Micro mirror repeatedly to make sure the bulk of the group was still there. I like to wait until 211 before the group completely disintegrates.
Once we turned onto 471 a couple of the tri guys went off the front as I was sitting in, recovering from Galm. Poor Robert was left out there all on his own pulling. I don't know why nobody would come forward to help out. The others were comfortably sitting on his wheel as he was tiring out and the tri guys were riding off the front. That kind of thing irks me. It even looked as though rob was edging over practically begging somebody to come around to lend a hand. I came forward to help Rob and bridge the gap. Unfortunately, Rob was spent at that point and couldn't hang on. And those guys who wouldn't come around to help him? Well they saw me come around and tried to latch on to my wheel. I didn't like that much. Classic wheelsucker move. I don't mind helping a guy out but I prefer it be somebody working for the good of the group. Just one paragraph ago I was jabbering on about checking the mirror and not riding off the front of the group. Well those kinds of niceties don't apply for the wheel suckers. I put in a little dig to make sure the catch wasn't made and then bridged up to Carlos on his tri bike. It took 0.7 miles at 407 average W and 28.9 average speed (34.3 mph max) to make the catch but it got done.
After making the turn onto 211 it mostly came back together. On the first climb we broke up again with 5 of us going off the front. By the second climb that was whittled down to 3, I think. After that it was me and Chris trading pulls. Chris is a wirey guy on a Cervelo. I may have ridden with him before but I can't remember. At first I could have sworn with that build, that bike, and jersey that it was Skokan. But it wasn't. Chris is a strong rider with a good poker face. I was suffering, we weren't making up much ground on the tri guys, and he seemed cool as a cucumber. I was waiting for him to drop me but on the last climb on 211 it was Chris who cracked first and dropped off the back. I rode over the top on my own and didn't push too hard over San Geronimo before easing up on the downhill stretch that followed. This allowed Chris to catch back on. I figured it would be more fun if both of us traded pulls and pushed each other rather than each riding in solo. We basically two man time trialed our way back into Helotes into the headwind. It was a lot of work. I was trying to put in one mile pulls at about two and a half minutes. Chris and I worked well together and split the workload pretty evenly. We were the first two finishers on traditional road bikes. It's hard to compete with the TT bikes especially when they are ridden by strong riders.
I rode home with a woman named Lori who lives just 3 miles or so from me. She is a nurse practitioner and works with the wife of one of the gastroenterology attendings at Brooke Army Medical Center. Small world! Riding home with Lori took me over Kyle Seale Parkway rather than 1604 to Babcock, and in order to get home after that I had to add on a couple miles because the usual route is closed for road work. I took advantage of the detour to explore a new subdivision that cuts through to my neighborhood.
Here's the ride with photos beneath. If you are reading this on your phone or iDevice and can't see the pictures do yourself a favor and read the blog on a proper laptop or desktop. It seems like too much work for me to get images to show up on non-Flash enabled devices. If anybody has an easy way to embed these slideshows with photos stored in Picasa Web Albums let me know.
Wednesday was the usual ride from Lifetime Fitness. There were seven of us, including two first time riders. John F, who I've ridden with several times, and Orlando, who I don't think I've ridden with before. Both are strong riders and it was good to have them out with us. I had wanted to keep this ride together as a organized single paceline. We were largely able to do that although it did get a little frisky out there at times. Bill was off the back on Cascade Caverns. Eddie had made the mistake of running the day before and he was still feeling it. We regrouped at Scenic Loop (it's a friendly ride even when it's frisky) but Eddie chose to ride in at his own speed and Bill did the same shortly after. We had a good paceline going down Scenic Loop. We probably could have benefitted from rotating more frequently but sometimes you stay on the front a little longer so as to ensure you are doing at least your fair share of the work. Andy veered to the left at one point when I was second wheel and he was pulling. I pulled through on his right. Apparently, he wasn't really pulling off, he just didn't hold his line. Luckily, Andy isn't the type to get offended. It was a great Wednesday night ride. It was a pity to leave Eddie and Bill behind but I appreciate them encouraging us to ride on.
Today was a nice day off from riding. I finally had time at work to write up a case report I've been meaning to do and the afternoon was mostly conference at the University Hospital. That means I got home at a reasonable time and was able to mow the grass, have dinner with the family, wash the dishes, take out the recycling, and eradicate a hornet nest. Now that I've put the monotony of my life down in digital ink for any who are interested, I only have the folding of laundry left to look forward to.