Thursday, August 31, 2006

HHH 2006

Well, we did it. Keith Hollar and I proved our lack of rational thought processes by riding in the 25th annual Hotter'n Hell Hundred on August 26, 2006. The event lived up to its name it was 104-105 with a heat index of 107+. There was a wind from the south of about 25-28 mph with gusts up to 35. It was hot, windy and dry. Neither Keith nor I won any awards for speediness, but we conquered the day by crossing the finish line.

I rode the farthest ride I've ever ridden at a reasonable clip. Before the ride, the longest I'd been on the bike was 67 miles. This ride turned out to be right at 103 miles. I finished in something like 6 hours, 50 minutes. My on the bike speed (wheels moving, not counting rest stops) was 18.4 mph. My total average speed (counting rest stops, slow start and all) was right at 15 mph.

To further prove our insanity, Keith has already done his standard Tuesday workout ride and I rode 38 miles on Wednesday morning. Let me tell you, after the HHH, 38 miles in 70 degree weather felt EASY! Hopefully, I'll particiapate in a group ride every month or so from here on.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Bike's Here, Big Ride's Comin'

After several maintenance issues with my old bike, I finally ponied up and bought a "new" (to me) bike. It's a 2005 Trek 1200 (pretty nice aluminum-framed road bike with carbon forks and seat post) that was traded in after being ridden for about six months. The original owner decided to step up to a several thousand dollar carbon-framed bike. I reaped the fruits of his excess. Bicycles Inc. gave me a great deal on the bike, fitted it to me, and offered me 90 days worth of free maintenance and adjustments.

I rode it once on Sunday morning. I really enjoyed the ride, but took it back today for some slight adjustments to the derailleurs (the thing that moves the chain between gears) and shifters. I'm planning another ride tomorrow morning before work. The short ride I took on Sunday showed me a glimpse of what I think I'll see tomorrow.

The new bike is about 10 pounds lighter than the old one. It has 27 gears where the old one had 12. It has higher high gears and lower low gears. The frame is aluminum with carbon components, so it will be a little less rough than the old steel-framed bike. The wheels and tires can hold more pressure, so the rolling resistance will be less. All in all, I expect much better performance on the new bike.

As I've posted before, I will be riding in the Hotter'n Hell Hundred this Saturday. I previously said I was only going to ride the 100k, not the 100 mile. Now, I'm wavering. I've almost decided to ride the 100 miler. Both courses share the road for about 30 miles. At that point, you have to go with one group or the other. If I'm still feeling pretty salty, I think I'll go the 100 mile route. Hopefully, this won't be a decision I'll regret. Wish me luck.

-47 - I think I'll quit posting my weight loss at this point. I'm now to the point where I'm actually trying to gain muscle and expect to gain a bit.