Was planning to do 2-3 hill intervals up East Rock, but it was so windy, and the first one felt so crappy, that I just gave up and rode home via State St. Temperature was around 6 degrees C, but probably 20-30mph winds at the top of East Rock, and a bit slower elsewhere. Lessons learned: I really need some kind of windproof vest or something to wear over the red long-sleeved jersey; the crappy old leggings actually do stay up fairly well under my knickers, so long as I don't walk around with them at all; the thick cycling gloves are perfect for windy weather.
Chilly day (~5 C), but legwarmers under the knickers, and a fleece vest worked well enough. Out Hartford Tpk and then a bit further, took a random left turn and wandered back past Frank van den Bosch's place. Didn't feel too bad, considering that I haven't gotten any exercise to speak of lately.
See, exercise isn't soo bad! Took the "orchard" route down Ridge Rd. around the north side of Sleeping Giant. Except the section of road along the north of the park, which is all kinds of messed up, it was a good ride. Very windy, though. Tried pushing pretty hard throughout. Working hard, I passed a guy on a commuter mountain bike with a rear rack going out Ridge, after detouring on Whitney because of the Yale circuit race up East Rock. Then, for some karma kickback, some dude in a red and white jersey cruised past me on the return on Ridge just after a stop light. I cranked hard to catch him, but at my top non-sprinting pace, I could only match speed. Also, he was cranking at ~50rpm and wearing big headphones. Oh-well.
Out to Wallingford along Ridge Av. and whatever other small roads wander through the suburbs, for a donut at Neil's. The donut was a blueberry-something, glazed, and was very tasty. Felt pretty slow, and couldn't push very hard at the end. I think we all know why. We'll see if I end up doing something about that or not...
Wow. That was a humbling experience. Rode with the Thursday night group from Cafe Romeo. I spent most of the ride as the caboose, so it was certainly a lesson in how out of shape I am. They also took a detour to a very steep hill somewhere northwest of West Rock Park. In the triple+largest chainring I was still only getting about 40-50 rpm on the way up. The recorded max speed was on the way back into Westville on 243, on that long downhill. But there were a number of times when I was up to nearly 60 km/h on the descent on Gaylord Mtn. Rd., Brooks Rd., and Downs Rd. The other riders were nice, and waited up for this slow-poke at big intersections, and a friendly bloke hauled me a ways on his wheel.
East Rock hill intervals. Slow ones. Warmed up by riding out Ridge to 15, then back on Hartford Tpk, so I suppose that part counts as another hill... Probably could have tried another, but it wouldn't have been fun. I saw a couple other people doing the same, plus a few kids on BMX bikes riding down it. With only their feet dragging on the ground as brakes! No helmets, of course...
Oy, another afternoon as the caboose. These Thursday night rides are killer. But, I still tried hanging on, and the other riders are friendly, and waited up after big hills and such. Ride was cut a bit shorter than last week, as we started late. It's been raining a lot, so it's hard to get many rides in. That's my excuse, and I'm stickin' to it.
Part of the Arts & Ideas Festival: slow group ride out the southern part of the "East Coast Greenway". It's basically equivalent to a ride I've done before to Milford and back, but there were a couple of "shortcuts" that avoid some streets. Of course, those shortcuts involve riding in sandy dirt, so they aren't much of an improvement. Got a bit of sunburn in the process. Also did a ride last week to listen/look for birds with a birder. It was fun, but there weren't that many birds, sadly.
You wouldn't know it from the listed average speed, but this was a very fast ride with the Tuesday night group. Small group today (7 people total), and the leaders pushed it pretty hard. Up to New Road, past Sleeping giant, up the big hill and back through Woodbridge. I wasn't at the back the whole time, but I did need a bit of a lift through the hills. Just gotta grit my teeth and bear it.
Solo ride out past Lighthouse Point and back. Looked like there was a wedding going on at the Lighthouse, with a steeldrum (and other percussion) band that sounded pretty good. Lots of people. Riding past the marshy part of the sound (below the airport), it smelled pretty bad. Maybe the heat is playing havok with the algae? Nice ride overall: pushed pretty hard, and the wind kept the heat from being too bad.
Orchard loop past the north side of Sleeping Giant. Pushed too hard at the beginning, so my speed dropped toward the end. Have to remember to start out easier. It was strange to come into town on Ridge to see wet roads: it had rained pretty hard in town while I was gone, but not where I was riding. Alina had gotten pretty soaked while walking the dog. I just received a very light sprinkling near East Rock, but that's it.
Slow and simple ride to try to get Alina back on her road bike. She's still very nervous, and didn't want to go far. Going to have to get her on it a couple times a week to work out the nervousness. Otherwise, she'll probably never be able to ride it again.
Tuesday night group ride, this time with a pretty big group. Many of the riders were new or inexperienced (one lady on a heavy hybrid I'd met on the birding Arts & Ideas ride!). Though the ride was slower overall, I still got swamped on the hills, especially the one going up toward Woodbridge. Met a nice guy (Taylor?) on a cross bike who told me about some MTB routes that go out of West Rock. Worth checking out some time.
East Rock hill intervals. First one felt pretty good, second hurt but I made almost the same time, third one fell apart. It was 10 seconds slower almost from the start, and just kept slipping. At least I managed three of them this time, though! The heat and humidity didn't help matters: it's been 30+ and high humidity for a while now. Almost finished two large waterbottles in an hour and a half! The return home on State St. was pretty slow. Did see two different moped riders stopped by police (one of them by motorcycle cops).
Rode with Alina out Ridge to Hwy 15 and back on Hartford Tpk. She was getting faster by the end, and pushed herself quite a bit on the hills. So maybe she'll be able to get back to riding more regularly. She was less afraid this time, and said she enjoyed it, and didn't come out feeling too sore. I did one ride up East Rock which took 5:25, so at least some of slow time in the last interval was due to the heat and humidity that day: today was perfect.
Another set of hill intervals. Faster than Tuesday almost certainly because the weather was much cooler. I have some consistent time markers along the way, so I can keep track of how I'm doing in comparison to previous runs much better now. I'd have gone on a ride earlier, but my right foot felt like it was starting to swell up, and I wasn't sure if it was worth trying to ride. Turns out, it was ok. Loosened the shoe clasp a click at one point, but was otherwise fine. Next day, there didn't seem to be any more swelling, so that's nice.
West rock trail ride, out around Lake Wintergreen and back, all on the trails. Sad I can't get the time/speed without the speedometer, but oh-well. It was fun, though I still need to replace the grips with something a bit softer, and maybe get my shocks recharged/rebuilt. Trails were mostly dry, except for the few usual muddy spots on the red trail a bit before the entrance. Still need to work on my climbing skills, as I didn't make it up most of the short climbs on the way out. Yesterday's threatening foot swelling didn't go anywhere, so that's good news. Maybe the Benedryl helped?
Solo ride along most of the "usual" Tuesday night route. I pushed pretty hard at the start, and pushed up all the hills, so am pretty sore. I left late, and wasn't going to be able to catcht them, but I think I did ok solo. I cut it off early near Woodbridge, coming back on 63, which was mostly ok (wide road, decent shoulder), except when you get into town there are a lot of traffic lights.
Maybe it wasn't the best idea to bring the mountain bike to the cyclocross workshop. But it was better than having a road bike! This was far and away the most running I've done on a bike ride. ;-) Group met at East Rock park by Canner st., and a racer gave tips on dismounting, mounting, clearing barriers, climbing hills (bike on shoulder w/arm around to the front to stablize the bars), starting and cornering (just practice going fast to figure out your limits). Rode up East Rock afterward with a couple guys. Probably not the best idea, as it was getting quite dark. Don't know if I really want to try 'cross racing, but it could be fun to watch one and think about it. Maybe get cross tires for the SS Redline. I was told people doing 'cross on a singlespeed get mad props from the crowd...
Joined a 7:30 am ride to try to get back into things. Turns out, the morning rides are fast (~18-20mph). I managed to hold on to just past Sleeping Giant, but they lost me quickly in the hills. I headed back on my own but they caught me near Hartford Tpk, and I finished the ride with the 4 guys. Two undergrads (one freshman), and two older guys. Gotta do some more hill intervals!
Nice solo ride out to the south side of Sleeping Giant, then around Quinnipiac and back on Ridge Rd. Went up East Rock once to see how the leaves were (pretty, but didn't amaze me too much), and it was about 6:30 to the top without pushing too hard. That suggests that my usual 5:30 "fast" times aren't very good! Maybe I'm pushing to hard at the start? Or maybe I'm just slow...
Solo ride around the south side of sleeping giant again. Didn't go up East Rock this time, because it was getting dark (at 6:20pm!). Supposed to be the edge of a Hurricane coming this way in a few days so I wanted to get a ride in before it was all wet all the time.