Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Bicyclist Left Behind

Politics aside, one of the components of No Child Left Behind is the testing of students to measure their achievement, or lack thereof. I want to bring the same concept to my bicycling.

Earlier this year, my personal “assessments” were simple – I measured how far I went and how much elevation I climbed. It didn’t matter how fast I went being that my only goal was to enter and simply finish the Tour of the Unknown Coast.

But now I’ve got this crazy idea that I’m going to get into bicycle racing. There’s nothing that should prevent me doing so except for one small detail – I’m slow.

I creep along at a snail’s pace when riding my bike, even when I try to go fast. So somehow I need to start a training regimen that will make me ride faster.

As usual when confronted with such a challenge, I revert back to everything I learned on my high school’s cross country team. Distance training is all well and good, but you need to do a lot of sprint work if you want to improve your speed.

So today I rode the “fancy” bike to the Airport Business Park and pedaled around a loop. The idea is that I’ll pedal around this same loop a couple times a week for the next several months and measure my progress based on the numbers generated by my bicycle computer.

If I’m making progress, my average speed should steadily improve and perhaps even the top speed.

My first foray was a little clumsy, being that I was still trying to figure out the bicycle computer and I had to stop and make some adjustments to the bike. I also accidently had the computer measuring everything in kilometers, so I had to do some conversions. I figure it will take a week before I have a decent baseline of numbers that I can use to measure my progress.


Date: 9.12.07

Trip: From house to Airport Business Park. Around loop for a total of 6.3 miles. Return home.

Trip Time (bicycle in motion only): N/A

Trip distance: 13.4 miles

Average speed: 16.6 miles

Maximum speed: 22.6 miles

Calories burned: 585


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