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Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring in January

The weather has been very spring like lately often times with temperatures in the 70's. Sometimes I think it even smells like spring. All I can say is "enjoy it while you can".

Last week was a good week for me on the bike. I rode five of seven days which is pretty normal for me, but I increased the distance. For Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did a 30 mile loop; I call it Hour Loop plus Scenic. I did group rides on Saturday and Sunday (Three Amigos and Sunday Afternoon Ride). I ended up with around 175 miles for the week. That is actually pretty good for me and may be the most I've ridden in one week for a long time.

I have been wanting to ride Hour Loop plus Scenic for some time now, but never really had the time. I like the Hour Loop because it is simple and takes me a little over an hour. I have always liked Scenic 25, but I just don't ride it like I use to. I've come to the conclusion that I MUST start riding Scenic Highway more just to get the hills in. So, by combining the two routes I get a route that is a little longer, has some hills, and combines two of my favorite loops.

I am hoping that I can make this route my standard ride. I have created some variations that add the Escambia Fill and/or UWF in order to add a little more distance to this route. The biggest problem in doing the longer routes is going to be time. As it is, this route takes me close to two hours. I am hoping that I can start riding this route twice a week (maybe Tuesday and Thursday) and then on Wednesday ride something a little longer. I have a 50 mile route that I'm really wanting to ride, but I'm not sure I want to try in solo.

So far this year has pretty good. That's nice, only three weeks. Hope your year is going smoothly as well. Later...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DLV News for 2012

The Dick Lane Velodrome (DLV) in Atlanta has published the dates for the 2012 Pro Series. These races are very exciting to watch and racers from all over the country come to participate. It is truly amazing to watch the pro-level riders race against each other.
5/12 - The Kerin
7/7 - The Omnium
9/8 - The Madison
All of the above dates are Saturdays. Racing starts at 3pm with the main event starting around 6pm. There is a spectator fee of $5 for these events. On the preceding Friday night there are also races called "Need For Speed". I don't think there is a spectator fee on Friday nights.

DLV has also published the dates for the beginners classes. For those that are not locals to Atlanta it is best to participate in a weekend class. Currently there are two scheduled: 3/12-13; 7/30-31. Every rider that wants to ride on the velodrome must participate in a beginners class. For all information on the beginners class click here.

I am really looking forward to race season at the velodrome. Weekly racing starts the first week of April.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beautiful Weekend

This was past weekend was absolutely beautiful with temps in the 70's. You would have never guessed it was the first week of January.

Saturday we took advantage of the weather and road Around the Bay with the Firestone and Summit group. It was a bit cool to start; my son and I both wore arm warmers which we took off at the first rest stop. Riding across the Escambia fill we did encounter some thick fog. It was so thick I had to take my glasses off to see. After reaching the end of South Spencer Field Road the group split into short/long route groups with the hope of rejoining at the 2nd rest stop. The ride down Hamilton Bridge Road into Milton was very nice as the road had recently been repaved. None the less, we were ready for that first rest stop to shed some clothes and get some stores.

The 2nd leg of the route was quite pleasant with a strong pace. Again we had a little split into 2 groups with the slower group going down Garcon Point Road (county rd 191) and the faster group taking county road 191C to later rejoin. The faster group did catch the slower group on Garcon Point Road not too far north of the toll booth. We waited at the toll booth for some of the slower riders. My son got yelled at by the toll booth attendant for not riding on the sidewalk; so in the future, everyone should ride on the sidewalk when going through the toll booth. Riding over the Garcon Point Bridge was the easiest that it has ever been; there was no wind to speak of. The water was so glassy and pretty.

We regrouped at the Walmart gas station and then headed home via Tiger Point and along the sound for the 3rd leg of the route. The short route group had already come and gone before the long route group arrived. I personally had gotten dropped and chased all the way to the Gulf Breeze Hospital where the group was waiting to regroup before going over the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Again, the water was slick and beautiful.

At the end of the ride I had roughly 60 miles with and average of 18.7 which isn't too bad considering all the really slow sections. In the faster sections we all worked pretty good together trying to maintain a steady pace. I really enjoyed this ride and I'm glad that my son got to ride it too. I always enjoy riding with him. Sure wish I had some pictures to share.

Sunday I road with a small group out of Firestone and Summit. We did a little loop that took us around University Mall and then downtown and back home. It was a nice spin to work out some of the soreness from the previous day. Again, the temps were nice; it was shorts and short sleeve weather.

All I can say is it sure is great to live in Florida.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Good Bye 2011 - Hello 2012

It's that time of year again to do the self-evaluation and setting of goals for the new year.

First I need to talk about the last couple of rides.

Saturday, the last day of 2011, saw my son and I riding with the Firestone & Summit group doing the Perdido Key Route. It was a foggy day, the worst of it being on Lillian Hwy as we rode by Perdido Bay. We had a fairly strong group for this ride, but Dana did a lot of pulling and I had to work really hard just to stay on his wheel. When it was over I had an average speed of 19.2 mph which might be a record for me on a group ride.

On Sunday, the 1st day of 2012, I rode with my son and a friend of his from college; we rode the Spanish/UWF/Scenic route. I was really feeling tired from the previous day's effort. Needless to say I couldn't keep up. It was a very hard ride for me. The hills just killed me.

2011 Review

I did a mid-year review here. Not much changed since that review; I continued to go out of town a lot for business which set me back. I knew when I made the goals I was going out on a limb, but I really thought I would make those goals. I'll address some of the 2011 goals:
  • I only raced 3 events, not the goal of 6. These 3 events were earlier in the year. I could have raced our local Pensacola Classic, but I just didn't believe I was anywhere close to competitive. I did go to the DLV track in Atlanta quite a bit during the summer.
  • Mileage for the year was 3,342 miles, not anywhere close to the goal of 5,000. I find it interesting that for 2010 my mileage was 3,280. When I compare 2011 with 2010 I basically did one more long ride for 2011. Not much difference between 2011 and 2010.

2012 Goals

After the disappointment of not reaching goals for 2011 I am very hesitant to publicly state goals for 2012, but I'll give a try.
  • Six events - This is the same as last year, but I'm going to put a twist on it. By events I'm not going to limit it to races. That means Ride Yellow and similar rides will count as events. I do want to do more races than last year, but I'm going to have to take into consideration time, fitness, and costs. I hate to admit it, but costs is a factor this year. By the way, I've already renewed my USAC racing license.
  • Improve on the track - I really enjoyed riding on the velodrome. I'm still considered a beginner, so hopefully for 2012 I can move up. The problem is that it takes going to Atlanta quite a bit and that costs both time and money. Non-the-less, I want to ride track and improve.
  • Be More Competitive - I don't want to keep finishing last in my races. I would actually like to win. I've already started working towards this goal by making some life-style changes. The effects will take time to realize. I do need to lose weight so that I can go up hills better. Right now hills really do me in. Loosing weight is not going to be easy. I also plan to push myself more so that I can be a factor/player in the outcome of races. This goal is hard to measure except by not finishing last anymore.
  • Mileage - for 2012 I'm going to set a goal of 3,600 miles. That isn't the 5,000 of last year's goal and it's just a little over the actual miles for 2011, but it's a goal and looking over the history of the last few years is both more than I've been riding and obtainable.

That's it, four cycling goals for 2012. I really believe I can reach these goals. Happy New Year every one. I hope that 2012 will be a great year on the bike for all of us.

PS - I want to add another goal that is not really cycling related. I want to blog more and take more pictures. I want to add pictures to the routes that I map with MapMyRide, plus it would be nice if my blog posts also included pictures.