Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Real Ride of the Season

Just got back from a great ride -- while I was able to sneak out once before, I don't really count it . . . it was more to make sure that my legs were still working and just to enjoy an unseasonably warm day. Today, I think, is the official start of the riding season for me. The temperature was in the 60's, a consistent breeze was blowing and everything just went about great.

I decided to start with Sterrett's Gap -- a relatively short but very aggressive climb (some grades reaching 15%), just to get my legs under me. It turns out that I'm a little rustier than I would have liked -- I was wearing my heart rate monitor and had to stop twice as my BPM climbed north of 190 -- once it was for two minutes to get things back to a more reasonable 130, and the next it was for about 5 minutes to get things back to 100 BPM, before the really, really crazy part of the climb. After that climb, though, things went swimmingly.

I decided to follow 944 up to McClure's Gap and then wind my way back into town -- I was actually going to follow Waggoner's Gap back up to 944 and retrace my steps to go back home (and add between 10 and 15 miles to what turned out to be a 25 mile ride), but a few raindrops were starting to hit me, and I figured that I had a good enough ride for a first ride.

After getting guilty emails all winter long reporting no activity, I turned on TrailGuru for this ride -- a few highlights from the service:

Altitude Reading from the ride
This is the altitude reading from the ride -- you see the Sterrett's Gap ascent -- it's the obvious one . . . I really like the whole ride, though, because aside from the biggie, there aren't any hills that you really need to save stamina for, but you're constantly either climbing or thinking about the next climb -- it keeps things interesting.
Speed reading from the ride
Experienced riders can probably draw this map from the altitude reading . . . isn't it funny how, when you're climbing you go slower?
Map of Today's Ride
Map of today's ride

If you're interested in all of the crazy technical details about the ride, check out: My Trailguru Report. I think I'm going to continue using this service - even on the very, very boring rides to & from work . . . if I have the iPhone battery life, why not?

For anybody following what I'm listening to, I started Fluke (or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings) by Christopher Moore. I still think the first Moore book I listed to, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff (Christ's Childhood Pal), may be my favorite book, ever . . . since then, I've gone through Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, and You Suck: A Love Story. I've enjoyed them all immensely -- but a little bit less each time -- I'm hoping it's just because I didn't like all of the rules he created in his vampire world -- so a story about sex and whales might be what I need.