Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back to the hills

After two weeks in which the only riding I got in was on my short commute to school, I decided that the beautiful autumn weather and my ever-tightening pants meant that I needed to get in some quality saddle time in. Without enough time to hit the trails I pumped up the Cannondale to 135 psi and pointed my handlebars to the southeast to take on the Hiedelberg Escarpement.

The last time that I headed this way I met with rather dismal defeat, and today I was even less prepared: poor nutrition? yep; fattyboombalatty? check; lazy? uh-huh; lack of sleep? guilty. However, I might be a little wizer. Rather than map a route that took me rather straight to the top, I took a longer, more gradual approach to the top of the ridge. I'll probably wear out my 26 tooth cog if I do many more rides like this, but by getting in a groove and rolling I at least was able to avoid the walk of shame.

The fall colors were nice, and while it was never cold, by the time that got to the ridge the wind was chilling my ears pretty nicely. This route was much longer -- possibly my longest road ride of the year, embarrassing though that is -- and the rollers once I got to the top of the hill really took a lot out of me. By the time that I limped back in to Albany I was ready for a hot shower and some eats.

Here's a map of my ride for your cartographic enjoyment. The total ride time was just a little over two hours and twenty-two minutes; take a whack at those number Adrawk!


felonious said...

That's 40 more miles than my legs have seen in the last month. I miss hills.

DukePirate said...

Believe me, I'm pleased that I was able to survive with as little trouble as I did. I can feel the miles in my legs this morning, but I can still walk, which is a good thing. More than my legs, though, is the pain in the little support muscles of my neck and the, er, painful body-meets-saddle parts, which are a little raw.

No mountain biking for you this weekend?

curveship said...

My number wizardry only works for long steady climbs. Rolling rides or up-and-downs have too many unknowns, the biggest being how big a hole you punch through the air.

It's good to see that a change in location hasn't stopped you from letting the world know the state of your undercarriage.

40 miles out there probably equals 60 or somesuch here.

DukePirate said...

40=60? I dunno. I like the 2:22 here = 2:22 there, but I'm sure that falls apart pretty quickly, too.

I was thinking about it, and while I was plodding slowly up the hills (I saw 8 mph - 10 mph for most of them, it seems), I also got to absolutely rip down some of them. On some of the other rides I plotted routes that took me too sharply down bad roads with lots of blind curves, which means that I wasn't able to take much advantage of the drop, but with this ride I was really able to tuck in an do some real distance at 30+ mph, and even a little at 40+.

It doesn't all even out, but I feel like I'm able to gain a lot back on those descents: when I tuck down small and get to rolling my inertia and the relatively heavy wheels do a great job at holding speed, so I figure I'm gaining a lot more than someone who might get blown around more. (It was a windy day.)

I'm a good non-technical descender.

I'm not sure what any of that means, but I'll be sure to keep track of my direct ascent time in the future for your data crunching.

co2cycle said...

now wait just one new york minute! wait, what's a new york minute? is that more or less than a normal minute? somehow i think a north cackalacky minute is much much slower.

DukePirate said...

And tastier?

curveship said...

How much ya wanna know? You're right that you get some back on the downs, but it doesn't even out. The main reason is that speed averages over time, not distance. So if you go up a hill at 10 mph and down it at 30, your average speed isn't 20 but 15, 'cuz you spent 3 times as long going up. There's also an effect from wind drag squaring with speed, so that a climb that costs you 50% of your speed going up will only give back 40% on the way down.

And you're right that a minute is a minute, but in terms of training, you get more from the minutes where you're goin' harder. In fact, current state of the art (Andy Coggan's "Training Stress Score") says that intensity is squared, so "training dose" = duration x intensity^2. People tend to naturally go harder on the hills, so you get more from hill minutes than flat minutes. That is, assuming you don't have a powermeter. With a powermeter, terrain becomes much less significant.

DukePirate said...

Ah, math: I remember that! Thanks for the quick explanation. That makes sense and helps to make a few things clearer to me.

I think that I so seldom get out to ride now the last thing that I want to do is to think about training, but this might be something to take up in the spring. Adam, I know that you've done a great job at using technical information to make your training more efficient, and I think that makes sense. I'm not sure that I'll ever buy a power meter -- as equipment goes, it's just not very exciting -- but I like the way that you're thinking about your on-bike time.

There's actually a hill climb race -- TT format, I think -- here in a few weeks, but I don't think that I'll be partaking. I'm interested in seeing how I stack up against some better-prepared riders, but maybe not enough to pay for the humiliation.

Brian said...

Hey jm- enough with this paved crap...let's hit the dirt soon, eh?
Pinebush to Spier, you pick.

DukePirate said...

Brian-- believe me, I'm itching. I'm out for another two weeks though -- I'll send you an email. As long as you promise not to scratch my stanchions...