Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hojack x 2

It was a nice sunny 47°F day.  It's still rather wet out there so I decided to ride the Hojack Trail again.  It's got wet muddy parts but I don't feel too bad messing up that trail.  It gets destroyed in spots without my help anyway, and it tends to heal up ok.

So I rode from home to the Hojack, to the end and back to the trail start.  I've been trying to push myself in preparation for the SingleSpeed-A-Palooza, so I thought about repeating the Hojack to the end and back again.  At the time I felt ok and was just starting to feel a touch of fatigue, but not enough to stop me so I rode it again.

My last 30 minutes of riding were very uncomfortable.  I was saddle sore and my legs were screaming.  Home seemed like forever away.  Once I got there I was ready to collapse.

I rode about 23 miles, which is just a few miles short of the race, but I'm still a little worried.  This was a road and generally light trail ride.  Sure there was some spots of thick mud to power through, but the SingleSpeed-A-Palooza race will be significantly harder.  Though I rode the majority of my ride in my high gear, which is more taxing, and I won't have that in the single speed race.  So that pushes my ride at least a bit closer to race difficulty.  I hope the saddle sore issue will just work itself out with more riding over the next month.

My legs continue to be very tired and I'm about ready to fall asleep.
23 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes.

Muni on Road and Hojack - 2013-03-30

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

For the past few weeks I've been working on a project in my basement workout/workshop room to install a flat screen monitor from the ceiling.  I thought it'd be cool to use my Roku and watch P90X videos, muni videos, and movies while I'm working out or working on projects.  I went a little extreme and made a custom ceiling mount that allows me to rotate the monitor 360° and slide it from the workout area to the workshop area.

Here's a picture showing the workout area half of the room.
The monitor is turned towards the elliptical and a headphone cable is hanging from it.  The A/V and power cables are all kind of slapped up behind the monitor for now, but I'd like to improve that.  The rails are attached to the ceiling joists with spacers to leave about an inch gap.  The monitor is mounted on a trolley that slides on top of the rails. The mount hangs down between the rails so when I rotate the monitor the trolley can't rotate.  It works very well for my purposes. I can move it to the workout area or the workshop area, and rotate it to see from anywhere.

So yesterday I was psyched up to watch a movie while using my elliptical machine.  Since I'm preparing for the Singlespeed-A-Palooza, I set my elliptical program to the maximum of 99 minutes and chose Strength Intervals at level 8, whatever that means.  Towards the end it did start to feel comparable to a hard muni ride.  Everything was telling me to stop about 20 minutes towards the end.  My legs are feeling it today.

Despite the sore legs, I wanted to get out and ride on this sunny, though 27°F (-3°C), afternoon.  Nothing beats training for a sport like doing the actual sport! I rode the road, Hojack, and route 104 path again.  The Hojack has much less snow, but much more mud.  Actually the spots with snow where very compact and hard which was preferable to the mud.  Some spots were actually quite dry and nice.

I had my first major spill on the road.  I was in high gear heading south on the shoulder of Dewitt Rd.  The gutters of a side road kind of merged into the shoulder.  I was moving at about 10 mph, hit this bump and bad things happened.  I don't remember exactly, but I probably dismounted in front, planted a foot on the ground and rolled from there.  All I remember was the sound of my Camelbak scraping on the road.  I immediately stood up, felt pain in my knee and elbow, grabbed my uni and stepped off the the roadside.  My thin cargo pants were ripped where my knee hurt but my long underwear was fine.  I suspected I was bleeding a bit, but everything seemed functional so I took inventory and moved on.

I found my ride along the 104 path annoying because of the intersections.  My timing was bad and I had to wait for every light.

I headed through North Ponds park and decided to cross the Hojack and check on the Bird Sanctuary Trail.  It was soft, muddy, and clearly needs a lot of work to be a sustainable trail.

Then I crossed into the Chiyoda trail expecting the worse.  And that's exactly what I found.  I had no choice but to walk 95% of it.

When I got home I inspected my war wounds.  Nothing too crazy but still painful.  I found an abrasion similar to my elbow's on my hip.

I rode just over 15 miles.

Muni on Road, Hojack, and 104 Path - 2013-03-17

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Preparing for Singlespeed-A-Palooza 2013

Over month ago I registered to ride muni at a bike race called the Singlespeed-A-Palooza.  This race is for singlespeed cycles only.  One of my Albany muni buddies, Steveyo, has done this race several times on a non-geared muni.  He has a great writeup here for his 2011 race. The race is April 28th and is about 4.5 hours away, near Poughkeepsie in Stewart State Forest.  In the past it was two 12 mile loops, but this year it's a single 25 miles loop.  I've never ridden that far, but I thought it would be good motivation to ride more and stay fit.
I remembered hearing that registration filled up within a few days last year, so I encouraged a handful of muni buddies to consider it and register as soon as it opened.  At the beginning of February, registration opened with 250 spots and they all filled up in just a few hours.  Three of us got in! Myself, Robi from Albany, and Claude from Maryland!  A few weeks later the race organizer opened up 50 more spots.  So it will be 297 bikers and 3 muni riders.

To get trained, I had started doing P90X again over back in January and, without being strict about it, I made it through about three or four weeks.  But then work got very busy and I was working extra hours.  Finally things are getting back to normal and I need to get back to training.

Today I rode on the road, the Hojack trail, and the Rt 104 bike path.  The Hojack had way more snow than I expected, and again, it's the footprints that really make it hard.  It got bad near North Ponds park, so I cut through and tried the Rt 104 bike path.  That was generally better, but on the section that crosses to the south side, it was all snow.  It must take something like 10 times more energy to power through.  I'm pretty sure the shade on the south side has prevented the snow from melting, just like with the Hojack.  At Bay Rd, I headed north mostly on Dewitt and Adams back up to the Hojack where it intersects Vosburg.  Thankfully the shoulders of these roads were generally flat.  Unfortunately this end of the Hojack was no better.  But it seemed like my best choice for heading back, so I did my best to power through.  The snow was wet and crunchy, but some of it was more solid and wasn't too bad.  I got a few bumps and bruises from sliding head first on the ground three or four times, but nothing too bad.  By the time I hit Klem, I'd had enough and followed the streets home.  I avoided 250 because of its insanely slanted shoulders.

I rode 14.5 miles.

Muni on Road, Hojack, and 104 Path - 2013-03-09