Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hundred Mile Weekend

Katie and I had our first 100 mile weekend on the tandem, and she also had her longest ride to date on Saturday -- a 63 miler down to the San Gabriel River Trail and back via the Rio Hondo trail. We've met some really fun people through the weekly Coates Cyclery rides, and it looks like Katie has found some other women who like to mountain bike. Our definite slow area on the tandem is climbing. We like to be out front on the downhills because the tandem carries so much momentum, and on the flats we are steady once the pace levels out. During stop-and-go riding or sprints we are pretty sluggish. We're probably ready to tackle a 100-mile century ride or some longer climbs in the mountains.

Last week was quintessential southern California, weather-wise. Highs rarely peaked over 90 and it was in the high 50s riding to work each morning. Just about perfect. Today was warmer at over 97, and it looks like the rest of the week will follow suit. I met another "easterner" today, a guy from West Virginia, who mentioned that he really misses the changing of the seasons. I know that I'll miss fall colors and the smell of leaves, the crisp air of fall and winter, and riding in the snow with studded tires. I think, however, that the novelty of year-round sunshine and warm weather will take a little while to wear off.

I've started a practice I call "casual commute Fridays". My work commute is a bit under 24 miles round trip each day. Monday through Thursday I like to ride pretty fast, almost treat each ride like a training ride. I also ride on my fixed-gear track bike to practice spinning and staying fast uphill. On Fridays, I relax a little, ride my comfy touring bike, swap the cycling shoes for a pair of sandals, and just cruise. I also take the opportunity to explore new routes and side streets I haven't seen before. At some point I'll probably write a post on bike commuting, but things like casual commute Friday sure help to keep commuting interesting.

Other than riding this weekend (yes, we sometimes do other things), a coworker gave us his tickets to the Angels game Saturday night. Despite not following baseball at all, we really enjoyed the night out, and I really enjoyed the three stadium hot dogs I ate. Too bad those dogs didn't enjoy our 40 mile ride in my intestines this morning...

Back to the grind tomorrow. I've really got to start getting to bed earlier.

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