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new route(6 posts)

new routeMJ
Apr 5, 2002 5:03 AM
I posted on the General board about daylight savings and my new commuting route - the short way to work is 8km - the new route is 17km - about 5km of that is offroad and 3 km of that is down a disused railway trail conversion - the route heads over a big hill - which has proved very tiring

I had one of those mornings that keeps me cycling on Tuesday - I fought to the top of Highgate from the ponds at Hampstead Heath and headed down the Parkland Walk which is all down hill (going to work...) - in the early morning sunshine (and away from the bump and grind of morning traffic) I maintained about 30km-35km per hour for the 3 km trail over gravel, rocks, mud, a few minor drop offs and plenty of ruts - it felt great and reminded me why I ride a cyclocross bike - when I got to the end of the trail (in the drops) my hands and arms were aching and itching - I pulled on to the pavement and everything went quiet until I left the park and resumed my bump and grind in traffic heading to work

I tried to explain the sensation to my wife who doesn't ride but it's hard to explain to the uninitiated the perfect elegance of speed and motion - total loss of self/emptying of the mind - handling a bike over rough terrain as it rocks back and forth under you - picking the perfect line - the blur of green and shafts of sunlight through leaves - slipping - traction - floating over deep gravel and wood chips - sudden loss of speed in mud - brief quiet when you're airborne - downshifting to go faster - almost falling - smooth dirt that rides like a velodrome - banked dirt turns - (and of course campy!)

here's hoping you all enjoy daylight savings as much as I am
re: new routemackgoo
Apr 5, 2002 5:30 AM
Thanks, and I will.
re: new routeatpjunkie
Apr 5, 2002 9:20 AM
oh you wax poetic. Yes, to the uninitiated it is like speaking in tongues. It's nice to hear from people who have to work hard to get their riding in. I set my own hours and live in San Diego so time and or weather are rarely an issue, only my laziness. My commute is about 40K each way, I can shorten it if I ride all road but the dirt beckons. My winter has unfortunately been plagued with injuries (torn calf on a cold morning stair portage {cold in S.D. is low thirties, you can heckle me if ya want, no snow, I know we're sissies}) separated shoudler (Front tire blow out in high speed dirt cornering)
so I'm confined temporarily to the trainer. You guys are keeping me stoked, keep it up.

thanx to my "right coast" brethren

matt
re: new routeMJ
Apr 6, 2002 8:33 AM
not on the right coast - in the UK - in London winter darkness really puts a dent into my riding - consequently daylight savings is a real event

touch wood no injuries for me in a while (good luck with yours) - SD must be bike heaven - perfect year round weather

front tyre blow out in a turn is a recurring nightmare of mine

cold is what you get used to I suppose - my parents live in Baton Rouge - they joined my wife and I in France (Loire Valley) last week for a holiday - I, being used to the cold, found France great (dry, warm, bright) - in the courtyard of the farmhouse where we were staying my wife and I played table tennis in shorts (me without my shirt) while my parents had sweaters and coats on

how many times a week do you manage an 80km roundtrip commute? my 34km roundtrip is 45 minutes each way including traffic & lights - for me it'd be tough to find more time (and keep the wife and the job...)

the dirt does beckon - good luck getting back outdoors - glad you enjoyed the post
re: new route and commuteatpjunkie
Apr 6, 2002 10:54 AM
Re: the tyre blowout, is it a recurring nightmare from experience or just a knot in your stomach? London, the thought chills the bones. My condolences on the Queen Mother. Yes I always tell my friends there are about 360 reasons why San Diego is a great city (it's the number of available training days) I guess it's why all the top triatheletes live here. Cold here rarely implies tights, usually knickers unless we head to the mountains 45 minutes to the East. It pushes 5500 ft elevation (about 1900+ meters) and can be quite chilly (light snow), but once again it is something we are fortunate to do by choice. Our cold days are the equivalent of most places autumns so yes we are in bike heaven as you say.
When my body is well, I commute twice weekly (Tues & Th) it takes between an hour and 5 to an hour and a half. (On a road bike I can just make it in an hour plus, trying to "break that time barrier)
We have routes with very few lights and long low traffic roads where you can get a good hammer in. My girlfriend is a cyclist as well so she understands, we'll be road bike commuting this Spring together (her hours aren't as flexible as mine and she's not as comfortable riding at night). I'm very lucky as my job allows me a flexible commute (plus night mountain bike rides on Wed.). There are four cyclists at our shop (we're in the Graphics business)
including my boss but I'm the solo cross rider.
So yes I'm very lucky (besides the injuries), then again I don't get to take my holidays in the Loire valley.
I'll be riding soon, have a century at the end of the month.
Cheers
matt
re: new route and commute POOR METRICSatpjunkie
Apr 6, 2002 8:13 PM
PS. did the course today (Road Commute is 32 K) Cross Route is 39K. Cross Route takes about 1.5 - 1.75 hrs. Road about an hour. didn't want to sound like more of a hammer than I am.