Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Are you a solo or a group rider?

Watching the Men's and Women's Road Race in this year's Olympics got me to thinking about how hard it has to be to ride in the middle of a peloton.  I watched as the main peloton in both races lost to a small breakaway group.  It became very apparent that the larger group had issues with organization and working together, where the small group(s) at the front did not and that helped them to win the race.

I am not a gorup rider.  I have been on a grand total of 4 rides which have involved other people and I realize, now, that I was not a good member of the group on most of those occasions.  The reason for this, I believe is my lack of experience in riding with others.

Now that I think about it, when I rode with Robin and Cyn 2 years ago, I chose to follow Robin's lead, letting her "pull" me along.  I really wasn't being selfish about it, I just didn't want to go too fast and drop her, so I let her set the pace.  Since we really weren't riding that close together nor at any appreciable speed, there really was no benefit for me in the trailing position.

I did the same thing a couple of months later when I rode with Mary but for the opposite reason.  I was as slow as a slug and didn't want to hold her up as much as I was, so I told her to go on ahead.  She did, but without getting too far ahead and maintaining contact with me.

I've never really beenon a ride where we were going a significant distance, nor at a fast enough speed where it would benefit us working together, taking turns pulling each other along.  I've ridden over 1300 miles in the last 2 years and all but 25 or so of those miles have been as a solo rider.  I think I need to find otherriders of a comparable skill level and speed to work on my group riding skills.

So, are you a group or solo rider?  Which do you prefer and why?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Short Term Goals

I'm looking back at my almost non-existent riding history for the month of July and I'm realizing that goals are important.  Not just the big goals like riding 2012 in 2012, but smaller, short-term goals like riding so many days in a week, or month.

I knew when I had bike problems at the beginning of the month that my total for the month was going to be low, but not quite as low as it is.  Between mechanical issues, the heat and humidity, a minor injury and various late nights, the mileage has not been there this month.  In fact, as of today, my mileage for the month of July is only 17.6 miles in 2 rides!

I could make excuses and dwell on the fact that I'm falling further and further behind my initial pace to reach my goal, but I know that is unproductive.  Instead I am looking ahead.  Since it is still very warm, I don't want to overstate my goal or over commit myself for the month of August, but I do want to make sure that I am making progress towards my big goal for the year.

With that in mind, I have come up with some mini goals for the month:

First I am planning on riding at least 17 of the 31 days in August.  That averages out to 4 per week for the next 4 weeks plus an extra day for the extra half week of the month.

Secondly, I am planning on riding at least one 20 mile ride and one 25 mile ride during the month.

Third,  My total miles for the month should be at least 200.

I think these are very doable goals for the next month and will help to propel me towards the 2012 in 2012 larger goal.

Looking ahead to September, there is a ride up the Las Vegas Strip on September 22 as part of Viva Bike Vegas which I am hoping to do.  The short ride option is only 17 miles, which I know I can do, but there are some longer options which I might attempt.  I'll wait until the beginning of September to see how well I'm doing, before I make that decision.

Anyone want to join me?

What are your goals for August?


Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm rolling again

I'm finally back on my bike and rolling along.  I realized this morning that its been 4 weeks since I last rode and that is just too long of a break.  Not only did I lose some fitness, but it certainly dug a hole in terms of meeting my 2012 in 2012 goal for this year.

I actually have both of my bikes back up and rolling along.  Some bearings and a good tightening of the bottom bracket on the Univega and a new Shimano crankset on the Diamondback were just what the bike doctor ordered. :)  I was figuring a cost between $125 and $150 for the repairs and was quite pleased with a bill for $62.

I rode 8 miles this morning and felt the 4 week layoff.  I did lose some fitness as my legs were gone at 5 miles, but I know I can quickly gain it back.  I don't think I'll make 5 days riding this week, but I should make 4. 

Keep rolling along!