Tuesday, 20 July, 2004
A few notes on the bicycling front:
- One of my coworkers is an avid bicyclist: former mountain bike racer, manager of bicycle shops, and a real gadget freak. He brought in his Garmin eTrex Legend GPS last week and offered to let me use it on the Katy ride this past Sunday. I know, I probably should have got one of these about four years ago, but I wasn't convinced that it was useful. After using it on two rides, I think I'll be putting a GPS on my "must have" list of cycling equipment. Although I'd really like one that has built-in cadence counter and heart rate monitor.
- I've long suspected that my cycling computer was mis-calibrated, even though I measured the tire's circumference and programmed it into the machine. Sunday's ride with the GPS confirmed my suspicions: the cycling computer was reading about two percent high. This assumes, of course, that the GPS is accurate--a good bet, all things considered. I re-calibrated the computer Sunday night and today it agreed exactly with the distance and average speed that the GPS reported for my ride to work.
- As I expected, Lance Armstrong won today's Tour de France stage and regained the lead. I'd be pretty surprised to see him lose it now.
- It occurred to me yesterday while I was paying for Gatorade and water at the convenience store halfway through my ride that any money I save in gas by commuting on the bike is at least partially offset by the cost of fluids and Power Bars. I don't always need to refill my bottles on the way home, but when it's hot and I'm riding hard the two liters I carry doesn't last much more than an hour. I guess I could wear the Camelbak that holds 100 ounces, but it's very uncomfortable to wear in the heat.
- I've scheduled my monthly century ride for this coming Saturday. I'll be rolling out at first light, hoping to get most of the ride finished before it gets too hot. In August I'll be riding the Hotter'N Hell Hundred. September is open because they've moved the Waco Wild West Century to October 2. I'll have to skip that one this year because I'm already planning to do the Texas Time Trials on October 9, where I'll compete against the clock to see how far I can ride in 12 hours. I considered doing the Waco ride with Debra, but that's not the course on which to do your first century. There are too many hills and the roads are very rough.