Thursday, April 17, 2008

I love the smell of carbon in the morning...

This morning my email inbox had a note from my man Brazo wondering if I'd like to hit up a 9:00am 30-mile ride. I headed over to his house, and we took off on a favorite training route of his. It was a really great ride - the roads were in good condition and the scenery was spectacular, and there was hardly any traffic. I'll definitely be repeating the route. The only blemish on the day was the crazy ass squirrel who came flying out from across the road, hell-bent on colliding with my rear wheel. I apparently ran over his (Brazo witnessed the whole thing - all I could do was stupidly shout "Ah!" when I saw the wee beastie flitting directly my way). It was a non-event, but was a first for me - roadkill by bicycle (I assume he died, anyway - he continued running into the woods). Could've been a lot worse - I had visions of my first real ride on the new machine being my last.

Anyway - by day's end it was a 35.5 mile ride for me (including the miles from my house to Brazo's). My first report from the new machine is a very positive one. It was extremely comfortable - my legs felt fresh all day long. I consistently was climbing hills in higher gears - often surprised to find I had one more to drop down to if I needed it. I'm more aero in the new bike - the frame, and so my position, is more compact. I didn't know if this would create havoc for me to physically have to get used to it or not, but it felt familiar at once. Most interestingly, I averaged 18 mph over the course of the ride, which included a 9 mile stretch into a headwind at 17mph (by the way, I did not wear the aero hat today), and quite a few hills - one or two pretty significant. My heart rate averaged below 130 - I never felt like I was working hard at all, or that I was pushing the bike. It was just a nice, smooth, comfortable ride, and I was consistently going faster than I would've thought - assuming I was going 16 or 17mph, then glancing to see 19 or 20mph. Best of all is that my legs felt very fresh after the ride.

So - there were discernible differences for me on this machine as far as comfort and efficiency. A side effect of that might have been more speed than usual. This weekend I intend to ride the Ironman loop, and that should give me a better sense of what, if any, real differences in performance I might be experiencing, as I have some idea of a baseline for general speed on the loop (between high 16's, low 17's mph...provided the day isn't in the 50's with wind and rain...)

Oh, and next weekend is my first race already! Woot!

Shout out to Brazo for the great ride - thanks dude, let's do it again soon!


Borsch said...

That sounds like an awesome ride! I'm hoping for one of those on Sunday!

P.S. That's a sexy looking bike!

robert said...

Your comment about racing this weekend made me wonder if we would be swimming in the same wave, so I looked it up at J-hawk. I didn't realize you lived in Stoughton, we're just north of town off Williams. Small world.

As for j-hawk, your one wave behind be. I can only hope to hold off that sexy blue beast on the bike leg. Nice purchase. Best of luck next weekend.