By the Numbers - September 2009

September numbers not too bad considering 5 days lost to "Camp Daddy" (G's school didn't start until 9/9) and client calls finally coming in toward the end of the month. I have to work harder on getting to bed by 10 p.m. so I can wake up sharp and ready to ride early.

No surprise my weight spiked a bit after nearly two weeks of eating all kinds of naughty things like restaurant food, fried fish, real eggs and Mom's cooking.


Leaf Peeping

Distance: 31.7 miles

Time: 1:53:45

Avg. speed: 16.73 mph

Weather: 33-57º

September mileage total: 452 miles


Easy paced ride with Smudger and Ian from Stow, up into Harvard, through Littleton and Acton then back. We started at 7 a.m. and the weather was as cold as I've ever ridden in, but I was bundled up nicely, wearing full-fingered gloves, bib tights a nice eBay wool bike hat with the top layer being one of the new MRC Wool Jerseys. Ian, on the left, is wearing his with an MRC wind vest over the top.


We poked along, chatting and admiring the scenery–a nice change from having to mind the wheel in front of you or dodging cars/pot holes, etc. and made our way up Stow Road, right on Slough and then left back down Woodchuck into Harvard center. I expected to feel some windburn as we sped down the hill, but didn't.

Through Harvard center and up to the top of Prospect Hill, near the Fruitlands Museum where we were treated to this view, looking west:



This was about the point when I realized that I had my Canon G10's ISO set to 800. Oops. You'll notice the excessive noise on Ian's jersey (now fullly visible with his wind vest off).

We wound our way up Poor Farm Road which turns into Pinnacle and keeps going up. How nice it was to enjoy the climb as we went up instead of gasping for breath like I usually do on long climbs.

At the summit, Smudger was calling his dad to arrange a rendezvous for coffee in West Acton as Ian led me down a side street to a decommissioned observatory owned by Harvard University. I'd rode past this place dozens of times and had no idea it was there.

The Oak Ridge Observatory, in Harvard, Massachusetts, formerly operated the largest optical telescope east of Texas in the U.S. Owned by Harvard University, it was operated by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) until August 19, 2005.

There used to be a radio telescope there as well, used in Project Beta, to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It's a shame it's not still in use, Ian said due to excessive light polluition. Cool location nonetheless.


We ambled down the north east side of Harvard into Littleton and then turned east towards Acton.





When we got to West Acton, John's dad had rode out to meet us at a nice little café called Little Sweet Bites, where he treated us to coffee and croissants. Such a nice man, courteous and kind, easy to get to know. I hope I am still able to get on a bike and pedal around when I am his age!


I made it back home before 10 a.m., just in time to pull two air conditioners out of their windows and mothball them for the winter.

View the whole set of photos from this morning here.


True Grit

Yesterday's "return of the creaks" had me re-inspecting various parts of my bike this afternoon. I'm beginning to think I should create a webpage dedicated to chasing down creaks, squeaks and noises... if it hasn't already been done, of course.

FIRST, I made sure it wasn't the front quick release. Still creaky, so it won't be a no brainer this time. Grabbed a handful of handlebar while from the front of the bike and held the front wheel between my thighs and torqued. No creak.

Ok, how about the BB and cranks? I've removed the cranks so many times this year that I no longer feel the dread that used to precede the operation before. Off came the cranks and what do I behold but some nice souvenir sand from my CRW Fall Century spill deposited on the inner sides of both cranks, where they contact the BB bearings and more sand on the BB bearing surfaces themselves:

So with every crank of my pedals, I was powering a nice grist mill, with micro-fine sand as the product. A couple of wipes with a cloth, from the center of each area outward and it was all cleaned up. I hope that none found it's way INSIDE the BB bearings–they didn't feel gritty when I rotated them by hand.

Grease, torque, reassemble. Test ride: creak! Ah, but this time I got the creak not only when I cranked out-of-saddle but when I applied the brakes, which points to headset/stem looseness.

Loosen stem clamp bolts, turn headset tension bolt 1/6 turn clockwise (using hex bolt vertex as guide), tighten stem clam bolts and test ride: Fixored!



Distance: 25.3 miles

Time: 1:12:29

Avg. speed: 20.98 mph

Weather: 74º, humidity 70%, wind NNW5, sunny

September mileage total: 420 miiles


Good, solid ride yesterday along the "CC" route. Moderate-to-hard effort the whole way, average heart rate was 166 BPM. 30 seconds faster and I would have hit a 21 mph pace for the ride.

As it was, I set two PR's on the ride: fastest time on this route and highest average speed for a solo ride over one hour in duration.

NOTE: I held back a bit on out-of-saddle climbs because the "creaks" returned and I was afraid to do damage if the noise was an indication of a serious problem.


Shifting Gears

Distance: 18 miles

Time: 56:22

Avg. speed: 19.15 mph

Weather: 74-73º, humidty 62-64%, wind SW9-WSW9


Not much time to ride today, so intervals seemed appropriate, what with the Jamestown Classic looming ahead of me I need to concentrate more on burst speed than my recent attention to endurance.

20 minutes of warmup at 150 BPM, (only) 5 x 30 second all-out sprints with rest between each until HR dropped to 140 BPM (usually about 2 minutes or so). Really wanted to do 8-10 intervals but quit when the 5th was pretty lackluster. Return home at 160-165 BPM.

Another busy day tomorrow, may have to be a trainer workout...

Assessing the Damage

Took a closer look at my bike this morning while performing a post-century tune up. Things got scratched up more than I first thought.

The bar tape I knew about. Bummer. I really hate having to rewrap that bar.

Moving along, I found some additional scrapes on my left brifter as well as a series of mystery scratches midway down the lever:

These mystery scratches were definitely NOT from the spill: they were not linearly arrayed like the crash induced scrapes, besides, my hands were ON the levers when I went down–I was, after all, trying to stop. I wondered if they were from leaning my bike against something. I checked the other brifter. SAME random scratch pattern there at the SAME height. I got on the bike and put both my hands on the brakes and looked down to where they contacted the levers.

Ah-hah! The scratches are from my wedding band and since my weight has gone down so much, it was slipping off my left ring finger pretty easily so I've been wearing it on the right hand since about July, thus creating the mystery scratch symmetry.

Left pedal took the brunt of the slide (along with my calf), getting the silk-screened "KÉO" logo ground almost completely off. I guess if I was sporting Speedplays, I would have had the side of my shoe ground down instead...

Continuing to look along the left side of the bike, the last of the damage found was some scratches on the rear quick release lever.

With the bike up on the workstand, I also found my rear wheel a bit out of true. Just had them trued about two weeks ago.

And, since I did my powerslide into a big patch of sand, everything below water bottle height was coated in a beige, sandy dust:

Maintenance performed this morning:

  • disassemble, clean, reassemble cassette
  • remove chain, rinse clean w/gasoline (I was out of eco-friendly degreaser), lube re-attach
  • rinse down whole bike, scrub underside of downtube, inside of fork, chainstays and under brake calipers
  • adjusted rear derailleur, cleaned jockey gears (you might know them as "derailleur pulleys")


Sunday Random Bike Pic

Destinazione forno, originally uploaded by Hop-Frog.

CRW Fall Century

Distance: 109.8 miles

Time: 6:58:57

Avg. speed: 15.73 mph

Weather: 37-71º, humidity 93-38%, calm-SW1

Song stuck in head: Old Style - Orbital

September mileage total: 377 miles


Been a busy week and had no time or inclination to make posts about the last two modest workout rides of 30 and 18 miles before today.


Roughly the one-year anniversary of my first century, last year's CRW Fall Century, I was looking forward to besting my performance from last year where I spent the last 25 miles wishing it was over. I felt like I had the right amount of training and rest under my belt and the bike was tuned up nicely. One chink in the armor was that I didn't get a very good night's sleep last night.

It was VERY cold this morning as I rode up to Acton-Boxboro High School to meet some other folks and start the ride. I decided against any leggings as I knew I'd want to take them off not long after the start and did not want to have to figure out a way to carry them. I did have on a medium weight base layer, arm warmers and some thin booties that are great at blocking the wind.

At the high school, while waiting-and shivering, the other participants and I were treated with the appearance of not one, but two hot-air balloons taking off nearby and then flying overhead.

Soon after, Chad, Pattie, Chris P and Lisa L showed up and we got going. The cold penetrated my fingers and legs but was worst on my cheeks. But it wasn't long before I forgot about it and paid more attention to spinning along with the group.

I confirmed with Pattie that she was expecting to ride at an endurance pace today: she is riding in the Kona Ironman in a few weeks and this was her last century before the taper. Good, I should be able to keep up with her then. This was to be Chad's first century and I knew Lisa was apprehensive about keeping up. So, I didn't think I would set any records for a 100 mile ride but thought I would be going at a respectable pace.

Just like last year, an ambiguous road marking led us and many others (20+) the wrong way for a couple of miles. Lisa realized the error, got us turned around and going the right way again.

At about mile 20 or so, I made sure Chad knew I would stick with him if he started to flag. But then I noticed that Lisa was nowhere in sight, so I doubled back to find her struggling up a climb a short ways back.

I kept her company and thought we could reel in the others if she could stay on my wheel but by mile 35 she was starting to cramp or have spasms in her quads. After a little discussion about what she could do about it (drink more water, take some donated electrolytes, etc.) she decided to press on to the first rest stop at 52 miles.

She did pretty well on the flats and of course, could coast down the descents but it was very slow going on the hills, both of us in our easiest gearing and plodding up at a very low cadence (50-60 rpm, sometimes less). And the biggest climb awaited us after the rest stop.

Lisa's cramping got so bad, on one hill, she got off her bike and walked it up.

About 10 miles from the rest stop, I was descending pretty quickly behind and to the right of another cyclist when the two of us came up fast behind a third rider, who was poking along in the middle of the road, where it started to curve to the left. It was the bottom of a pretty steep hill and it doesn't make sense that anyone could be going all wobbly slow like that after descending such a big hill. I mean, he was going like 10 mph in the middle of the road.

It all came off pretty fast but the descending rider in front of me started to pass the slowpoke on the left (he may have even called "on your left") and as he did, I prepared to pass same slowpoke on the right. I should have called "on your right".

Well, wouldn't you know, ol' slowpoke suddenly realizes a bunch of cyclists are bombing down this hill and he's in the frigging way out there in the middle of the road so he decides to swerve to the right just as I am coming by, driving me to the sand-covered shoulder of the road which is rapidly curving to my left. Ahead of me, beyond the shoulder, is a torn up section of rocks and dirt. All at once, I put on the brakes, yell, "JEBUS!" and end up on my left side, sliding along in the sand.

Slowpoke keeps pedaling along, saying, "sorry" as he put-putted on down the road. He didn't even stop to see if I was ok. Douche.

I turned out to be fine. A few other riders asked how I was, which was appreciated. Lisa rode up and I checked out myself and my bike. Damage: 10 day old bar tape scuffed almost down to the handlebar, left pedal ground down on the outside, left calf suffered some road rash. I'm pretty lucky that's all it was.

I didn't see Mr. Road Hazard later when we arrived at the rest stop. It was a few minutes after noon. Lisa decided that she would keep on going and reassess when we got to the 75 mile rest stop. First thing I did was peel off the arm warmers and base layer: it was pretty warm out by that point. I loaded up on PBJ's and Fig Newtons, replenished my drink and made sure Lisa was well fueled before we started up again.

Of course now we had to face "big climb" for this ride. I told Lisa to take her time and I would ride up to the top, turn around, ride back down to where she was and ride up again with her. She actually made the climb without stopping or walking. Progress. As for me, this particular hill is not as tough as Mile Hill Road on the way to Wawa.

We continued along, Lisa seeming to freshen up a bit on the flats but still having no horsepower for the hills. I'm sure the pain came on the instant she started up any incline. I continued to ride up the hills at my pace and either wait for her at the top or double back to meet her and go up again. Even though I wasn't going at the pace I would have preferred, I was getting extra climbing miles under my belt.

We arrived at the second rest stop just before 2 pm fueled/watered up and left. ETA to finish at this point, in my mind, was 4pm.

Lisa really seemed to be doing better, it certainly helped her to know that there wasn't any more substantial climbing to do. On the flats, she was comfortable keeping a 20 mph pace and she even took the lead for long periods of time. Still, any incline over a few dozen yards long slowed her to a crawl.

When we got to Westford, I started thinking about the things I had to do after the ride: a good sign that I was ready for it to be over.

Finally, we found ourselves back in Acton, rolling down Concord Road. The course goes across Rte. 27 and zig-zags it's way back to the high school but I steered us ON to 27 to shortcut us back a little sooner. We arrived back at 3:40 pm.

By the time I got home, I had been about a minute shy of 7 hours on the bike.


Ah, Silence

Distance: 30.8 miles

Time: 1:32:02

Avg. speed: 20.8 mph

Weather: 73º, humidity 59%, wind NW15, sunny

Song stuck in head: Midnight Cruiser - Steely Dan


Creaks eliminated (see below), I wanted to get in at least one more ride before Sunday that had some climbing but could only afford about to spend 90 minutes or so on the bike.

My "DD" route seemed fit the bill: 30 miles with a couple of pretty good climbs. Stealthily, I made it up Stow in 5' 50", not bad but I really did a number on Taylor Street, keeping my speed at 15 mph or better the whole way up. Having a fairly strong tailwind didn't hurt.

Chasing the Creaks

Just spent 90 minutes chasing down the creaks that were coming from "down there" on my last ride.

First thing I looked at was the cassette, I loosened the retaining ring and tightened it back down to spec. Creak still there, definitely sounding like it was coming more from the front but hard to tell exactly where because it only occurred when I was really stressing the bike out of the saddle. Of course, that made it harder to pinpoint the location of the noise because I was farther from the source.

I went for the next most easy thing to check: cranks. Pulled them off, noticing that I forgot to add the washer back in when I replaced a pinch bolt a couple of weeks ago. Grease > torque > test ride... still creaking.

I got off and grabbed the handlebars from the front, pinched the front tire between my feet and twisted. Creakkk. Ok, time to take apart the stem/headset assembly – which I had never done before. I discovered some nice rust between both the top and bottom bearings and the seats in the frame where they sit. No surprise really after all the rain I've ridden in.

Cleaned up the corrosion, reassembled and did another test ride. Crrreakkk.

Sheesh, where the heck is that noise coming from? What haven't I checked. I know it's somewhere between the handlebars and the front... wheel... no, it couldn't be THAT simple, could it?

I unclamped the front skewer, wiggled the wheel a bit, lined it up and clamped the skewer back down.

Creak gone.

So, how much of a ride can I put in now that I killed all this time?


Loggin' the Logey Miles

Distance: 39.2 miles

Time: 2:01:26

Avg. speed: 19.35 mph

Weather: um... warm and sunny, low 70's

Song stuck in head: Jeremy - Pearl Jam


90 minutes on the trainer yesterday. Watched some more of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.


Today's ride was one of those where, even though the results are pretty good, you just feel "bleh" or "meh" and maybe a touch of "feh" about it along the way. They can't all be awe inspiring workouts.

The ride was the MRC Wednesday night route which I chose because I needed to get at least some good climbing in before next Sunday's CRW Fall Century. I plan on taking it pretty easy the rest of the week with some easy-to-moderate effort rides and resting on Saturday.

There was some foot-dragging at home that ticked me off a little bit and I ate a sandwich a little too close to ride time, so as I started off, I had some stomach discomfort and was still simmering over not being able to head out as early as I wanted to.

The early goal was to ride with a moderate effort up to Oak Hill and then work it hard, staying in the saddle, on the way up. I gained some new insight into where my LT might be after the last couple of rides(168 BPM?) so I targeted 158 BPM as "tempo" and kept it around there for the trip to the climb. Once on the hill itself, my HR got to the low 170's and pretty much stayed there the whole way up. I was breathing pretty hard so my guess is I was somewhere in high zone 4. Made it from the stop sign to the mailbox at #223 in 9' 50", a respectable time for going up alone but my reaction was "bleh".

Over the top and into Harvard Center, I started feeling some raindrops. I guess I would have still gone out if I had checked the radar map, but my thought was "Feh, I just replaced that smelly bar tape last week and now it's going to get wet and stanky all over again." Lucky for me, and my bar tape, there was no more rain.

Next up was the Fruitlands climbs. I planned on attacking these out-of-the-saddle but on the first ascent, either my headset or my bottom bracket made a disconcerting creaking sound – staying seated silenced it – and I did the climbs. The last substantial climbing was Scott Road/Bare Hill Road which I completed in the same logey state that I started the ride with.

The rest of the ride back, I alternated between semi-hammering and nearly just poking along. I was surprised to see that my stats were actually respectable. Average speed was only about 1 mph slower than when I ride this route with the gang on Wednesdays during the summer.

Sunday Random Bike Pic

Bicycle Chainwheels, originally uploaded by Leo Reynolds.


What Are The Odds?

Distance: 20.76 miles

Time: 1:00:00 (I don't believe it either!)

Avg. speed: 20.76 mph

Weather: 45-59º, humidity 93-69%, wind NW1-NE6

Song stuck in head: Dissident - Pearl Jam


Ran tight on time yesterday morning so I took a chance that I did not burn myself out too badly on Wednesday and rode the 20+ mile "time trial" course. I knew I'd be taking a rest day today so I didn't worry about being the consequences.

The only mistake I made was heading out with out warming up at least a little bit first. If I had, I think I would have set a personal record for the route. So off I went, a little sore, a little stiff but focussed and determined. I set my mind to the task of maintaining a 160 BPM or so HR, 95 RPM or better cadence and pedaling nice, even circles the whole way. I saw this as a good training ride for the Jamestown Classic.

I was making terrific time almost all the way to the turnaround point until a tentative driver appeared ahead of me, nervously put-putting behind another cyclist. I allow the "cager" about 20 seconds to pass the guy (it was a flat straightaway) when I got fed up, put the hammer down and passed her on the right and then passed the other cyclist on the left.

Around a bend and next, I found myself facing a large dump truck, unsuccessfully turning out of a lot under construction. He saw me slowing (and maybe my look of exasperation) and backed up out of my way.

I finally got to the turnaround point in 30' 35". Not bad but at least a half minute later than I would have without the two hold-ups along the way. I decided that I still could post a decent time as I felt fully warmed up and might benefit from the slight northerly wind.

Along with the time check, I peeked at my average hear rate and was surprised to see it in the upper 160's – my perceived effort was leading me to believe it was about 10 BPM lower. No matter, I kept the level of effort where it was and could live with thigh burn or running out of gas.

I worked hard all the way back down Boxboro Road, across South Acton and onto Red Acre Road. I stayed in the drops the whole time, even while out-of-saddle climbing up the few short hills along the way. Near the end of Red Acre, I finally started to fade a bit but was betting on the likelihood of having a tiny rest while waiting for traffic to allow me to make the buttonhook left onto Pompossiticut.

No such luck: remarkably, there was no traffic on Rte. 117 so I pedaled right onto Pompossitcut with no respite. Up the hill and over I went. On the way down, I looked at my elapsed time: 57 minutes – dang, I thought, I'll have to hurry to cross the line in less than an hour and I have a little more than a mile to go!

I rode the rest of the way back at over 22 mph, including a fairly weak 25 mph "sprint" (I was totally spent) across the line when I moved my speed sensor.

Elapsed time: 1 hour flat! I could hardly believe my eyes. Yesterday, I turned in a ride of exactly 2 hours and today, a ride of exactly 1 hour. This odd coincidence made up for the frustration provided by the slowpoke driver and the dumptruck.

Cadence average was 100 RPM, the highest I've recorded for a non-spin ride. HR average was 168 BPM.


NOTE: iTunes 9 no longer lets you get a URL for the songs in the ITMS, so I'm linking to Amazon now. Figured out how to do it. :)


Forty In Two

Distance: 40.4 miles

Time: 2:00:00 (no kidding!)

Avg. speed: 20.18 mph

Weather: 66º, wind NW10

Song stuck in head: Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell


My wife and I attended a meeting in Belmont this morning, so I slapped the bike to her car and rode out from there after we were done.

From where we were, there were two short hill climbs right away, so I didn't get a good chance to warm up before I got to them. Consequently, I rode for quite a while with a semi-burning feeling just above both knees. It began to fade when I got to Rte. 117 on the Waltham/Weston border.

I dislike riding on 117 for two reasons: traffic and road condition. But I went that way because I was curious about how long it took to ride from Belmont to home, in case I ever make the trip in by bike for an appointment. Lucky for me, it was about 10 a.m. so rush hour was long over and I was surprised to find that the shoulder is not as bad going west as it is when you are headed east. The one exception being the stretch between the RR tracks and the entrance to Drumlin Farm. But since there wasn't much traffic, I was able to ride out into the center of the lane a bit more to avoid the worst of it.

At some point, I realized that I was keeping a decent pace along the 117 rollers and did a quick check of the computer to see what my average speed was. When I saw that it was 19.9 mph (Monday's avg. speed was 19.97 mph), I challenged myself to wind it up over 20 mph for the whole ride.

Once I got to Rte. 27, it was early enough for me to hang a left and ride out my "CC" route the rest of the way. The wind was roughly out of the North which gave me a good boost down 27, along with one panel van that sucked me up to 27 mph at one point.

On Fairbanks, it was a different story: the wind had a westerly component to it and now it was bearing down on me from my right-front quarter. Into the drops I went and kept shifting gears to maintain a 105-110 rpm cadence. As I turned onto Hudson Road and then Sudbury Road, I was going full into the wind. Nevertheless, I was able to keep my speed over 20 mph most of the time.

The hill on Boon Road (just past Honey Pot Orchard) always seems to bog me down. The climb is less than a 1/8 mile in length and only a 6-7% grade, I tend to slow to a crawl on it every time as I did today.

After that, I did a good job of keeping speed and cadence up. Somewhere along Boxboro Road, I checked my avg. speed again and saw that it was up to 20.1 mph. Now a 20+ mph ride was only mine to lose. On the two short hills along Boxboro Road, I stayed in the drops as I climbed and discovered that I don't raise the rear wheel like I sometimes do when I climb out-of-saddle on the hoods.

The wind was now behind me again, so it was a bit easier to keep my speed up. Onto S. Acton Road and then Red Acre I went, and started to feel a tightness build in my legs. Only a few miles to go, I got over Pompositticut and it's poorly maintained surface and resumed my battle against the wind. Down Summer and Concord then a sprint (27mph) to home and I reached down to move my speed sensor (stops the computer).

When I checked my elapsed time, it read exactly 2 hours. That's 2:00:00 flat. So, a new PR for me: I rode OVER 40 miles in exactly 2 hours. Average heart rate was 157 BPM, just like Monday. Cadence was 97, right on target.


Reading List

If you don't already, I highly recommend the snarky ramblings of Bike Snob NYC:

"It struck me then that, in a certain way, arm wrestling and professional cycling aren't all that different. While most people have arm-wrestled at some point in their lives, relatively few are aware of the world of professional arm wrestling. Moreover, to the uninitiated, it also looks a bit silly. The same is true of professional cycling."

Continue reading


Say It Ain't So, Shoeless Russ!

Distance: 30.8 miles

Time: 1:32:24

Avg. speed: 19.97 mph

Weather: 54-65º, humidity 82-57%, calm-SSW4

Songs stuck in head: Dust in the Wind - Kansas, Walk On By - Dionne Warwick (wtf?)


Meant to ride with Carl (MRC) to Wawa and back, starting on the Hudson/East Berlin line this morning. I was originally going to ride to the rendezvous point (only 13 miles from home) but slept a little late so I had to pack up the car and drive there. Once I arrived at the parking lot, I got the bike set up, tires pumped, gloves on, helmet on... hey, where's my shoes?

Fook! No shoes! What I was wearing on my feet just would not do for a 50+ mile ride.

Crestfallen, I took off the helmet and gloves, put the bike back in the trunk and climbed back in the driver's seat to wait for Carl. He rode up right on time, took the bad news graciously and went on his way. I motored home, got set up again, put on my delinquent shoes and finally rode off, an hour later than planned.

Since I had wasted a good part of my time window driving to and from the rendezvous spot, I had to cut my ride short. So, I decided to try to channel my frustration into power output and rode my "DD" route (~30 miles) as hard as I could.

I made it to the bottom of the Stow Rd. climb in 45 minutes flat, with an average speed a bit above 20 mph. I felt very strong going up, especially the last few hundred feet when got out of the saddle and "sprinted" to the top. Time up was 5' 40", I think a personal best. I was able to keep my speed up across Pinnacle and the little rises leading to the Oak Hill descent. I kept the pressure on for the trip down, achieving a top speed of nearly 38 mph.

I didn't exactly bound my way up Taylor Street but maintained a pace that increased as I went up. I was really able to open it up as I went down the other side on Liberty Square Road and then onto Summer/Central in Acton. Even on 27 south towards home, I didn't feel like I was burning out as I went along, pushing as hard as I could.

Turning the corner onto my street, I initiated a "finish sprint", getting up to 27 mph that I maintained until I passed my driveway. Sheesh, just a whisper below a 20 mph avg. speed for the whole ride! Avg. HR for the ride was 157 BPM – sure didn't feel like it was up that high. Cadence avg. was 98 RPM, right where I want it.


It seems that the long layoff did me some good, if today's effort was any indication. The last two days of tune ups/maintenance appear to have finally rid the bike of the various creaks/clicks/squeaks it's been plagued with.


Bikes Crushing Cars

Graffiti in Milan, Italy by "blu" via unurth.com:

Goals for the Fall

This is what I hope to accomplish this fall, before the really cold stuff drives me indoors:

CRW fall century, September 20th - Two weeks away. I really enjoyed this ride last year, even though I was totally spent at the end. My hope is that there will be a few MRC members doing the ride as well.

Major Taylor Century, October 4th - I'm looking forward to exploring some new riding routes in the Blackstone Valley, Eastern CT and Rhode Island.

Jamestown Classic, October 12th - This would be the my second ever road race. The first was a crit, circa 1987 in CT. Participation will depend more on being able to escape family duties on a holiday (Columbus Day) than fitness/experience concerns.

• Sadly, the Wompatuck training series has already ended and the Wells Ave. series has only two more sessions, neither of which I can make. I'm targeting both for next year.

• Get out to some cyclocross events with my camera.


Distance: 57.2 miles

Time: 3:08:55

Avg. speed: 18.16 mph

Weather: 56-76º, humidity 91-57%, wind N2-NNW6

Song stuck in head: Someone Keeps Moving My Chair - They Might Be Giants


Finally back on the bike yesterday (Saturday) after an 11 day lay off. Even though I planned to take some time off, I should have done some indoor trainer spin sessions in the early evening this past week. The "guilt" from not doing any workouts last week was beginning to stress me out.

My weight rose by 5 lbs. over the hiatus which came as no surprise: I paid no attention whatsoever to what or how much I ate. There was much fried food, pancakes and even a lobster bake to contribute to the added bulk. It will be interesting to see how quickly I drop back down to around 165 or so.


Della and I did the old Acton Lion's Club route that runs from Acton-Boxboro High School, clipping the NE corner of Maynard, into Sudbury, Wayland, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle and back to Acton.

At just before 7 a.m., the weather was what I should come to expect for the next few weeks: cool enough to tempt me to put on the arm warmers and/or and extra layer under my jersey. But I anticipated that it would warm up enough that I wouldn't need any additional insulation so I left the arm warmers off.

We planned on keeping the pace moderate and pretty much did so the whole way, with only a couple of short stretches where we each pushed things up over 20 mph across the flats.

Many of the route markers had either faded significantly or had been paved over so we found ourselves doubling back on a few occasions to find the right way. It was nice to find the Lincoln side of Trapelo Road finally repaved – I hope they continue that project eastward into Waltham as that road is a favorite route into Belmont, Cambridge and beyond.

I felt pretty good for the whole ride, no aches or pains apart from a headache that started about halfway through and continued to the end. Plenty of creaks coming from the rear wheel and BB, though. After the ride, I discovered a few spokes had rotated out of line and so adjusted them with a little plastic tool I picked up at Landry's last week.


Today, I finally replaced the stinky bar tape I've been suffering with since the rains of June.

I also double checked the setup on the Bianchi to see how far off it was from the Lemond. Turns out, the Bianchi has 170mm cranks while the newer bike sports 172.5's. That explains why even though the BB-to-saddle-top measurements were the same, the saddle on the Bianchi felt lower. So I lined up a crank with the seat tube on the Lemond and measured the distance from the top of the pedal to the top of the saddle which I then matched on the Bianchi – I think this would be a better way to get the two bikes close in fit.

Next, I dragged the Bianchi back down to the basement and set it back up on the trainer. Now I'll have no excuses when it comes time to ride indoors.

Sunday Random Bike Pic

via shorpy.com: