If you read the lefty blogs, I’m supposed to be dressed in sackcloth, rubbing ashes into my hair and wailing, “Oh, how could I have been so wrong! I am worthless! Kill me instead of the noble Jamil Hussein!” Instead I traded the sackcloth for some Pearl Izumi bike clothes and went for a 40-mile ride on a beautiful crisp winter SoCal day, keeping the cadence high and the cardiovascular system in a nice sweat-inducing upper aerobic zone. Average temperature 60.2 degrees F., wind from the southwest at a maximum of 9.2 mph. No serious climbing today, therefore no rapid descents; maximum speed was a relatively sedate 29.8 mph, with an average cadence of 86 rpm. Now where did I put those ashes?
Today’s ride: 41.88 miles, through some highly active air caused by a storm system moving through southern central California. It was a cyclist’s nightmare ride; brutal hobnailed headwinds in all directions. Kind of like last November 7, come to think of it. No real climbing today, just striving against the atmosphere. Which is actually worse, because it’s noisy.
Today’s ride: 44.63 miles, mostly at a medium pace but with one really hard climb, a 2-mile beast with very steep sections. The weather started out miserable but got warm and sunny around 11:00, just in time to get good and sweaty on the aforementioned steep climb. Average speed: 16.5 mph. Maximum: 48.2 mph on the descent. Woo hoo. Average cadence: 82 rpm. The wind has been cooperative lately—too cooperative. Several readers emailed to let me know about a new sports cam from Oregon Scientific (helmet or handlebar mounted, 30 frames per second at 640x480 in AVI format, takes a 2GB SD card), and I’ve ordered one because I’m curious if 48.2 mph looks as scary on video as it feels in real life.
Today’s ride: 41.02 miles, on another stupidly beautiful SoCal October day. Not too hot, not too cold, no arm warmers needed, just a full bottle of Orange Cytomax and a clean bike. That’s all I need. Not a lot of climbing today, but enough to keep the ol’ cardiovascular system on its toes. Another unusual SSW prevailing wind, so the trip home from the southern regions was speedy. Total mileage for the weekend: 88.47 miles.
Today’s ride: 47.45 miles, on a somewhat meandering but fairly high-paced undisclosed route that involved 1,922 feet of climbing, an average speed of 16.0 mph, a maximum speed of 38.7 mph, an average temperature of 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and a wind speed of 8.6 mph from the south-southwest. The wind direction meant a most excellent tailwind on the return trip, not at all fascist or hegemonic, except maybe in a good way.
Yesterday’s ride: 47.35 miles, with an elevation gain of 2,726 feet on several undisclosed routes in the South Bay region. Almost didn’t ride because rain was threatening in the morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful day. (Last night’s photo thread should give you an idea.) Encountered several animals acting strangely; a pelican standing in the middle of the road (possibly hurt or ill) and a loose, aggressive Doberman Pinscher that gave us a few scary moments. Then on a fast downhill (40+ mph) a squirrel decided to play daredevil and run across the road in front of me, clearing my front wheel by inches. A suicide squirrel. Today’s ride: 43.18 miles without any major climbing, but with some good sustained endurance building upper aerobic intervals. Total mileage for the weekend: 90.53 miles.
Today’s ride: 50.20 miles, into Palos Verdes for a total of 2425 feet of climbing on several undocumented routes, in the perfect 70 degree SoCal climate. The bike paths were remarkably uncrowded, probably because there were several big football games today. Maximum speed: 40.3 miles per hour.
Today’s ride: not a biggie, just 35.09 miles. I took a week off from riding (which I do every couple of months), and this was the maiden voyage, so to speak. If you will. As it were. So it was a lightweight day with no climbing, a few harder intervals but nothing that went into the anaerobic zone. Bike path saboteurs had broken several large glass bottles in a couple of spots, but as usual I rolled right through them (crunch!) without getting a flat tire. (You only get flats when you don’t see the glass.)
Yesterday’s ride: 50.21 miles, again into the perilous urban jungle of Palos Verdes but on a slightly different route. Kept a pretty hard pace over the rollers and on several short climbs, with an elevation gain of 2,123 feet and a maximum speed of 44.9 miles per hour on one descent, when I came across a friend in a van and he let me draft downhill, about 6 feet off the bumper. Big fun. Today’s ride: 37.68 miles, at an easier, semi-recovery pace, with no real climbing. Parties going on in the beach cities, everyone proudly displaying their latest tattoos and piercings. Tomorrow will be even crazier. Total mileage for Sat/Sun: 87.89 miles.