Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Heart Sunday Morning Rides!

Boss on Rancho Vistoso.

We went out for an early morning ride, and I'd forgotten how hot it gets in Tucson at daylight. The Sun comes up and gets to work right away, Gentle Reader of This Blog!

The Boss is a strong climber, and if I'm going to keep up, I have to work.

This morning we were working with my new heart-rate monitor along with my new bike computer, which has cadence. We've figured out my Maximum Heart Rate, which I believe on Big Fire Road, was 183--you can take the formula of MHR= 220 - 48 (my age) and my Max should be around 172--but Alan says that's probably off, and that 183 is about right. Alan worked out some heart rate zones for me, and from what we're doing, I believe that up around 183 was probably pretty close.

With our long gradual climbs this morning, we were riding at a faster pace/cadence, and not going up into my max zone. Alan wanted me to try and keep my HR below 160. It's taking me a little getting use to--because I must confess to you, Gentle Reader, that I'm a Masher--a big guy riding in the big ring all the time--such that Alan commented one time that I ride like I'm on a fixie. So I'm trying to actually use my gears, ride at higher RPMs, and not mash in that big ring all day.

The Cadence and the heart rate monitor are starting to make sense to me--in a way its like a tachometer the way I see it--the trick will be to ride at the high cadence in upper heart rate zones, for the duration of El Tour for example. That's going to have to be at least 6 hours. That's what the goal here is--finishing El Tour in under 6 hours for a Gold Finish time.

Calle Concordia--Pusch Ridge and then the Catalina Mtns.

Masher no more!

You can see the heart rate monitor on the handlebars... One thing about my heart rate monitor is that it went kind of wacky when under some power lines in Oro Valley, and a few times when we passed intersections.

The Boss.

Intersection of Oracle and Ina, heading East.

There's still construction on my commute route, which is just behind us--but as soon as that's over, I'll be back on Ina and enjoying the smooth new pavement. This part of the road up to this light from where I parked at the YMCA, was very rough, mes amis. Also, automobile drivers are making a right turn and usually going pretty fast. With the modest incline, its tough to go much faster--I've had a few close calls with people speeding and not paying attention. There's no bike lane going East either, right up at the intersection. So, I take the lane and the drivers just have to wait.

Corner of Ina and Oracle.

Every day of the week, there's always group that pulls into this cafe at the corner. We would stop, but we still have to ride home. These guys must be done and live close. If you stop, eat, have coffee--before you know it, its closing in on 100 degrees. Anyway, the place is too busy for my taste, and sitting outside would suck because there's just the drone of the busy traffic.

East on Ina Rd and into the Catalina Foothills.

I think in maybe a month, the road construction will be done and I'll be back on my regular commute route that you see up there. The bike lane is wide and there are few lights to slow you down, and not too many businesses where people are pulling in and out of traffic.

Cheers! Bruce


Big Clyde said...

Hey, Bruce. I live around these streets and love the pictures. Good luck with your training during our summer heat. Do you ever ride late at night? I'm told it's pretty safe and very cool (if you have a good enough light).

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hey Big Clyde

I've ridden a lot at night during brevets--but usually out in the open desert. I have a generator hub that's bright like a motor-cycle so that's okay; you can ride faster when you can see the road.

My commutes in the winter are almost always in dark--but pretty cold if I remember right!

Cheers! Bruce

Dan Trued said...

When you are talking about hrm's and cadence you'll probably get a zillion different opinions but this is my experience as a weak rider. If I'm over 160 bpm, I have trouble breathing. Cadence should be over 80, for spinning, but for me I have to concentrate to keep it above that rate. And in this kind of heat, you'll be using 10-20 bpm just to cool the body. Watch it drop for the same effort in the winter.

stay cool,


Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hey Dan,

Yeah I noticed this when I was riding home today--temp was 101 and there was a stout headwind (as always) coming out of the Northwest making me work pretty hard. It was like riding in big blow dryer--tonight I'm pretty beat...

Cheers! Bruce