Bicycle Diaries

30 years riding, 15 years writing

All work, no play

Long days and nights on the keyboard.

Finally made it out today, felt good, muddy trails here and there. A rain front was moving in, made for a windy ride, fast one way, into the wind the other way.

Aired up the tires, flying on the packed dirt, thankfully the full suspension keeps it tires down. My speed is picking up, the quads are defined, how quickly old muscle comes back.

distance 13.35 miles, average speed 13.4 mph.

Like being in an oven

The last couple of weeks have been brutally hot. Not just high temperature hot, but like that burst of hot air that comes out of your oven when you’re taking out the cake.

Well, it’s been like that, no outside activities for any of us. A couple of days ago it rained, with the clouds came a cooling off, I took advantage and mowed the lawn yesterday. I finally got to ride today, it was hot, but not oven mitt hot.

Tried to pick up where I had left off a week ago. For the first couple of miles, I was feeling great, I could pedal with ease. 5 miles in, my quads started to take notice, by mile 8, my lungs chimed in.

Fresh legs throughout my ride oh fair Genie.

distance 12.84 miles, average speed 13.8 mph.

Rain to cool things off

We had some needed rain yesterday.

This morning, it wasn’t as hot as it was all week, last night’s rain cooled off the scorching ground. Got out on the bike around 9am, temps were in the mid 70’s and remained that way throughout my ride.

What a scorcher we had this week, is this what we’re going to experience moving forward? Brutally cold winters and energy draining hot and humid summers, no more spring and fall to speak of.

distance 15.40 miles, average speed 12.6 mph.

A scorcher I tell you

All week it’s been in the high 90’s.

Riding this week has been difficult, if you don’t get out early, crack of dawn type of early, you ain’t riding. Though I’ve seen the sunrise a couple of times this week, it’s been from all-night coding sessions.

Today I braved the heat, went out at 10:00am. A pleasant 82 degrees greeted me, came back in, the temp had risen to 87. In a short hour, the ground had gained 5 degrees of heat, it’s a scorcher I tell you.

Tomorrow, crack of dawn, put on my riding shorts, stuff a banana in my jersey, get out the door before I get coding.

distance 8.60 miles, average speed 13.5 mph.

Bridge is up!

Finally, I can stay on my bike and cross over from Monroe Rd. to the McAlpine’s main entrance. No more cyclo-cross antics, I can complete my customary 6.25 mile lap around the Greenway without my feet ever touching the ground.

Legs felt better today, let’s see if I get a chance to ride tomorrow. There’s a heat wave hitting Charlotte, the best time to ride is early morning.

distance 14.57 miles, average speed 13.5 mph.

Legs no pedal

3 days off did me in, too much time off the bike.

Rode on Monday, didn’t get a chance to ride again till today. Tried to follow the Catorce training schedule but my legs just didn’t want to participate in time trial mode.

I did some hill work instead, made those legs pay for letting me down. I have a 5 mile route that I take through my neighborhood that hits all the major inclines, it’s granny gears in some stretches. That’ll show ‘em ;)

distance 11.64 miles, average speed 12.6 mph.


Fourteen week, where we ride for 14 miles, averaging 14 miles per hour. Time in saddle, you do the math.

Tune in next week for Quince week, we’re already gearing up for the festivities. That’s where we have Ben-Gay stations all along the path, with trained masseuses at the ready to work out those cramping quads.

Should we survive Quince week, plans are that we venture out of the dirt trails and into the neighborhoods for some much needed hill work.

distance 14.10 miles, average speed 14.0 mph.

Sunday, show me day

Last day of the week, time to see what we got.

Group rides happen often on a Sunday, giving you the whole to week to train. On a Sunday ride, you go all out, you leave it on the pavement, or in my case, on the dirt trail.

Today was such a day, I pushed hard and saw what I had.

distance 15.80 miles, average speed 13.8 mph.

Upstroke on the Downstroke

Pedaling, once you learn, you never forget. To maintain a constant speed, well, that’s a different story.

Let me tell you about clipping in, and why it’s very important for full pedal motion. By being attached to your pedals, each leg can help out the other complete the full pedaling motion. As you pedal down with your right leg, your left leg is pulling up on the back stroke. Vice versa, 80 times a minute.

That’s how I can maintain a constant speed of 15 mph on those open stretches, bouncing around like a motorcycle.

distance 13.17 miles, average speed 13.2 mph.

Soggy trails today

Rain has been coming down since Monday, the clouds finally cleared enough this afternoon to get a short ride in.

Tried to ride out to the lake but they were in the process of preparing the new steel bridge for the pouring of concrete. No crossing over till Saturday, at the earliest.

The trails were very soggy, like pedaling on the beach, close to the water line. More hill work today, my thighs are starting to show muscle definition, damn that was fast.

distance 10.62 miles, average speed 10.9 mph.