Summer Shift – From cycling to Yoga

There has been a severe degradation in my posting frequency as of late. This is due to a few external factors that have thrown my routine off a bit.

The biggest shift has been away from cycling, at least for the time being. This is mainly due to the recent rash of severe temps seen in the PHX area. Over 10 degrees above normal temps along with some mild heat stroke a few weeks back have forced me to hold off on the bike for a while.

In its replacement I have started back into the yoga quite extensively. I have also found a new studio in the Central PHX area: taught by Erica. This place rocks, it is literally just a studio, no lounge or retail action here. Just a floor and restroom. Erica is over 10 years experienced in a number of Yoga traditions and works well with novices as well as experts. She loves to kill the abs, which I need, and really adds a lot of variation to the routine everyday.

I am off to Vail for a wedding this weekend so there will probably be little coming from me till next week. So keep the rubber side down and hold them mudras!

Century Training Ride #2

Went for a 12 mile ride at ‘Pace’ meaning I rode at the speed I want to ride the Century in. Right now the goal is 20mph, which I did easily and even had to back off a little.

Cycling in May – Wrap Up

Another good month in the saddle. I am continuing to build milage up and and getting a lot more comfortable riding longer distances and times. Had a number of accomplishments to be proud of and am starting to define what I am looking to get out of my riding.

May Results

In May I logged 336.69 miles over 10 days for 33.67 miles averaged per ride. My longest ride was on May 3rd for 75 miles. This is up over April where I also logged 10 riding days for 246 miles or 24.6 miles averaged per ride.

I also biked all the way into work and back home for a total of 47 miles in just under 3 hours of riding time. That was definitely one of the coolest rides all month as I hadn’t ever rode through south phoenix and was unsure of the route. It turns out to be one of the nicer bike friendly parts of town I have been in. No SUV’s creeping in on me and I just enjoyed it a lot. If you haven’t biked to work I highly suggest it, and if you have let me know in the comments.

My last ride of the month was definitely the best I have felt on a bike in many years. It was intended to be a short and sweet routine jaunt but ended up being a great exploration of East Chandler and Gilbert. I even did some Video Blogging, let me know what you think (be gentle =).

Overall my riding is getting stronger each time I go out. I just feel better and more comfortable. I am also focusing more on my form: using my legs and not my upper body to power the pedals, focusing on pushing forward at the top of the stroke and pushing back and the bottom, and keeping my shoulders and hands relaxed.

June Goals

I know that I missed logging a few rides this month and that frustrates me a bit. So the first goal of June is to log everyday regardless of the distance. I am going to start logging my saddle time and distance at the end of each day.

Another goal is to implement a training program. I am reading a few books right now and will have something planned out tonight. This will help me to focus even further and add to more progression. To this end I have decided on the Program 2: To Ride A Better Century from The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling. Its a 10 week program which will have me ready to go about Mid August. I am shooting for a 20MPH average with a finish time right around 5 hours.

Long Term Goals

Along with the training program I need to setup some goals to accomplish. My

I am looking at a few events in the fall for pushing my distance rides further but what I really want to do is ride from my home in Chandler, AZ to Tucson, AZ and back. Taking back roads I estimate that to be about 212 miles.

Windy Wednesday Grudge Match

Fought a bitter wind from the West today. Felt like the four horsemen were riding in and I had to show them it wasn’t time yet. Hadn’t really thought of riding out till I jumped in my pool and relaxed a good bit. After treading around for a few minutes I got the bug to ride and since I had just spent some dough on new equipment there was no good reason not to go. So I donned the new Pearl Izumi Bib Shorts, Descent Jersey, and Bell helmet (first cycling clothing purchases in over 10 years!) and rolled on out on my trusty carbon/aluminum steed.

As soon as I hooked the right out of my sub division and headed west the wind was in my face like a long winded argument that you didn’t necessarily want to get into, but once you are you grin cause you know you got it licked. I am not an overly spiritual man but there are things that I like to give meaning to that isn’t necessarily scientifically verifiable, either that or I just like to make shit up. One of these beliefs is that Wind has a personality and sometimes you get the same ones and a lot of the time they change up. Sometimes they change up in the middle of a ride. Todays ride was an angry wind. It was shifting all over; mostly it came from the West but some times a bit North or South just like someone throwing a tantrum: you got a decent idea of where its coming from, but there are a lot of curve balls that you weren’t expecting. My new suit felt like armor and this angry wind was getting cut to shreds as I sliced up Alma School towards Guadalupe and I knew I had it licked.

My methods for choosing a route vary a lot. Today I opted for Extension Road north to Rio Solado Pkwy west into Tempe. I had done this with a Sat group ride a few weeks earlier and it was a good time. I knew that once I turned onto Rio it was going to be a full on grudge match with this angry shifting bastard of a wind but I am good at lying to myself and distracting my mind with thoughts about life and the day I had, etc. When I made the left onto Rio it came on full force and I backed my gears way down to keep the RPM’s high. Its a nice downhill into Tempe so I felt good.

However once I hit the 101 underpass things changed. First of all my friend the sun said hasta for another day and secondly my other friend, mr.downhill, changed to flat land. I championed the cause and gave a futile laugh as this bastard wind thought it had me licked. On I charged through to Mill Ave where I flipped Windy the bird and took a left south through the shops on Mill and over to College for a nice sprint back into Chandler.

From there the ride was a spinfest. I met up with a few other riders and we had fun trying to make each other puke by maxing out at 30mph through the neighborhoods of south Tempe. Got some funny looks from people walking their dogs and a few cars were caught off guard trying to cut in front of us. Got in at about 8pm for a 1 hour 37 minute 27 mile ride.

Here is the map of the route, calling it the Rio 27, very original.

I think I will go for another ride tomorrow, suckas!

Bike to Work Day – A Success

Last Friday, May 17th was National Bike to Work Day and while I woke up to a flat tire and settled for the bus, many others participated. How about you?

Discontent with higher gasoline prices and happiness over the nice weather are credited with the 20-plus percent increase in participation this year. Maybe some of them will keep riding throughout the summer. : Biking Bis – Bicycle Touring and More

Record-setting Bike to Work Day in Seattle area

Build a biking habit – Commuting to work

Good article on commuting on your bike to work via Rails to Trails:

Check out our list of basic preparations to enjoy your bicycle commute, and gear up to join hundreds of thousands all around the country.

1. Functional Bike – If you don’t have a bike, or if it’s been collecting dust in the garage for some time, be sure to visit your local bike shop. Staff there should be helpful in getting you set up for bike commuting on virtually any budget.
2. Helmet – A helmet can save your life…

Save the Vodka! Ride your Bike!

Fun article on the Sierra Club Blog about energy use in a Cyclist versus a Car.

The ethanol “alternative”? Well, not really. Instead of burning ethanol in engines, from a transportation standpoint were far better off ingesting the stuff. Driving 48 miles takes more than two gallons of ethanol, whereas only eight ounces of liquor, a mere half-pint of vodka, can fuel a cyclist for the same distance. Happy trails

I suggest having a read through the comments, always fun!

Hey Mr. Green: Is Driving Better than Cycling?