Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"whenever I feel like it" cycling update

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning for some laps in Central Park, my first weekday training ride of the year. It really was "the crack" of dawn: my alarm was scheduled to go off at 6 AM, but I woke up on my own a few minutes before the alarm (despite getting only 5 hours of sleep) and sunrise was a few minutes after 6. I didn't keep a close watch on the time, but I think I got to the park just before 6:30 and rode three laps. The weather this morning was absolutely perfect: cool, with a moderate breeze, and a little sun for warmth. When I checked the time again after the third lap, it was 7:45. I'd ridden 18 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes, which means that I'm a better rider when it's not 95 degrees and humid, like it will be when I'm riding in July and August. It usually takes me about 90 minutes to ride the same laps in midsummer. But it also means that I'm already in good shape for the Five Boro Bike Tour next month and a summer full of long rides.

The clipless pedals and shoes are a major improvement over the toe clips I'd had on the bike since I bought it in 2001. I didn't think I'd see much difference, but I feel like I've got a better connection with the bike and that my pedaling is a more fluid motion with the clipless pedals. Walking in the bike shoes is a different story. I have to be careful walking up and down stairs with my bike. The shoes don't have a flat sole -- they're more like ladies' heels with the heel broken off. When I'm using the stairs I have to make sure I put my entire foot on each step, not just the toe or the heel, or else I feel like I'm going to slip. But as with other things in my cycling habits, I wish I'd made the switch to clipless years ago.

Mileage for 2007: 70
Goal: 1200?
I haven't settled on a mileage goal for this year, but 1200 sounds reasonable.

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