Training for this season

This year I’m planning to ride in at least two cycling events: TD Five Boro Bike Tour in May, and Bike MS in September. I’m on the look out for another event around July which will make it nice and even 2 months between events.

Five Boro Bike Tour

This tour is approximately 40 miles long and since the furthest I’ve ridden in a single day was 23 miles last September, I have some work to do! What I have figured out is that I need to train my body to be able to ride the months, meaning:

  • January = 15+ miles
  • February = ~25 miles
  • March = 30-35 miles
  • April = 40 miles
Cycleops Indoor Trainer
Cycleops Indoor Trainer

My training regime so far consists of two indoor trainer ride in Tuesday and Thursday evenings using videos from The Sufferfest, and a weekend ride on the road. As the weather improve in February and March (fingers cross!), I should be able to ride outdoor on Tuesday and Thursday too. When that happens, I’ll need to choose my route carefully so that I get the necessary interval training, not just endurance/distance. I’ll also be joining the local cycling groups on meetup.com and Princeton Freewheelers for long ride during the weekends.

I’m pretty sure I will be able to tackle the full distance since the route is pretty flat, except very short climbs up the bridges.

Bike MS

There are a number of Bike MS events in NJ in September with various route length. I don’t think I will be able to tackle the century route (100 miles or 100 km) this year yet so I’ll look out for 40 miles or 50 miles event.

These routes, compare to the Five Boro Bike Tour, have long hills to climbs (1000+ feet elevation with 5-7% gradient). I’ll have to adjust my training regime accordingly to improve my climbing ability. There are a few short but steep climbs around my area but nothing that is long and less steep. For that I probably need to drive to Sourland Mountain where Sourland Spectacular was held.

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In 2013, I rode

  • 374.8 miles
  • spent 25 hrs 2 min on the saddle
  • climbed 7159 ft

See it on my Strava profile.

Not bad considering that I only bought my bike on July 29th and started slowly.

Winter time

My cycling has now moved indoor and night time. CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor trainer (sourced from Craigslist), and Sufferfest video equals cardio and strength training for next spring.

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Why Don’t Americans Have Bike Barriers?

The Dish

Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lane

They’ve been proven to save lives in countries such as the Netherlands and Canada, so why their absence in the US? Architectural historian Steven Fleming argues that macho bike culture deserves some of the blame:

A sad irony in the history of bicycle transport is that keen cyclists aided and abetted motoring lobbyists, who wanted the whole road for cars.

Bike store owner John Forester was a keen “vehicular cyclist.” He could keep pace with cars, assert his right to a lane, and gracefully somersault onto the grass if ever a driver looked but didn’t see him. He published these tips in his 1976 book Effective Cycling, with some good intentions, but also a hint of male pride. By the way he opposed the Dutch-modeled cycle tracks he feared would spread to the US, you could be forgiven for thinking his secret fear was being made to ride beside women and…

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Firsts

A few first today:

  • 23 miles ride. First time I rode over 20 miles. Not as exhausting as I anticipated but my legs were pretty shot for the last 6 miles. Still managed to maintain an average of 16 mph though.
  • New road tires (Continental Grand Prix 4000S) are a success! Less rolling resistance but almost as compliant as the stock cycle-cross tires. Though I can no longer ride through loose gravels with impunity like before.
  • New base layer from Under Armour I wore under my short sleeves jersey. It kept me warm at the beginning of the ride in morning but didn’t make me overheat at the end when the temperature rose to low 20s with bright sun. This should keep me warm for my morning rides until a proper jacket is needed.