Friday, May 22, 2009

intermittent forgetfulness

Saturday, May 16 was a lovely day for a bike ride. I heard it got hot back in Portland. But the hills of central southern Washington were pleasantly warm and welcoming. This is the part of the country through which John Kramer’s “Bingen–Goldendale–Trout Lake” 200k permanent traverses.

On all other permanents I’ve ridden (9 in all) I’ve never forgotten to bring a cue sheet. But this time, it never occurred to me at any point during preparations to print or bring one along. I didn’t even realize the omission until pedaling out of Bingen. Fortunately, the route was the same as the one used for the Bingen Bikenfest brevet in October 2007. Unfortunately, I forgot one fairly important turn.

vineyard on the columbia
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
It’s always interesting the things one remembers and the things one doesn’t. In the morning, I forgot where my wallet was, which made me late to the start. On the ride, I remembered the route out the Gorge (on the Washington side) past The Dalles and on over to Hwy. 97, then up to Goldendale. The Subway/convenience store in Goldendale is a close second in familiarity right after the Thriftway in Newberg.

improv cue sheet
Originally uploaded by tangobiker
John Kramer kindly wrote out a cue sheet on the back of an XTR business card, which worked fine all the way to Glenwood. The 5-mile descent down to the Klickitat River (before Glenwood) brought back memories of the October ’07 brevet (reinforced by this lovely video). I sang Bach melodies all the way down.

But upon leaving Glenwood, I had no memory of which road took me to Trout Lake. It certainly wasn’t the path of least resistance (the only road with a center line). That road is a more direct way back to White Salmon and Bingen, and intersects Hwy 141 at BZ Corners. This mistake caused a rather stressful 11-mile jaunt up Hwy 141 to the contrôle in Trout Lake, and maximum use of all the allotted time.

Interestingly, I didn’t come across another bicyclist all day. Perhaps many were “reaching the beach.” But I was more interested in keeping my goal of a second R-12 intact.

Many thanks to John Kramer for accommodating my relative spontaneity … and um … forgetfulness. ‘Twas a lovely ride.

The rest of my photos are here on Flickr.

Monday, May 18, 2009

personal best … by 4/100 of a second

A “flying 200” (meters) at the Alpenrose Velodrome is used to seed cyclists who race in “sprints” on Fast Twitch Fridays. The flying part relates to the two laps you're given (over 500m) to get up to speed, so that you hit the timing/start line full on. (200 meters is about ¾ of a lap at Alpenrose.)

front straight
Originally uploaded by tangobiker

The hot-rodders (the real athletes) do this distance between 12 and 14 seconds. The record, I believe, is 11:34. My best time last year was a meandering 14:93. It took me all year to get there, as I was usually in the 15's.

Last Friday was my first “Fast Twitch Friday” of 2009, and my flying 200 time was 14:89. While still not fast, it nevertheless feels like an accomplishment.