Bike Journal 8-1-11

Today was a good 20 mile ride from my house in Walnut Creek through Alamo to Danville and back. I’ve done a variation of this ride for a few years now, but this time I tried to mix it up by taking a few more hills than I usually do. In Alamo, there’s a street called Livorna Road that has a pretty steep hill (about an 11% grade), so I decided to take that with a number of other rolling hills (not as steep), and some flat riding where I could really sprint for a few miles. My Garmin computer says I did 20.55 miles in 1:29.24. MapMyRide says I did pretty much the same thing, but that I averaged 13.7 mph. Not too shabby, but not my best average either. I usually average 14.5 to 15 mph, but today I was feeling kind of slow –maybe it’s because I’m not a very good climber, so that blew my average. Ah well, it’s not a race, and I’m not training for one, so no biggie.

One cool feature MapMyRide has is that you can view your ride using Google Earth. It’s a pretty cool video that made me realize how many swimming pools there are in Alamo and Danville. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the video. I’m not sure if you need the Google Earth plug-in/program to view, this but if you do, it’s not hard to download and install — just click HERE to get it.

Highlights on the ride:

1. Some guy on an old Bianchi with jeans, one pannier, and a some old windbreaker was jamming up the road at about 19-20 mph. I tried to keep up with him, but he was one of those ultra competitive guys who had to be out front, so I just said “screw it” and let him be the master of his domain.

2. At the 10 mile mark, I finally got my legs warmed up and really rode strong through Alamo and Danville. Taking that steep climb at Livorna Road really helped get my legs and lungs going.

3. It was a drop-dead gorgeous day that made me very happy that I live in the Bay Area. Very little traffic on the street, lots of time to focus on the ride and think about “stuff.”

4. Felt really great after my ride. I haven’t exercised in two days, so it was good to get out there and peddle off the cobwebs. The downside: riding on the trail can be frustrating because people are just kind of oblivious to bikes even when I call out repeatedly: “Bike on your left.” Jesus Christ on a stick people, don’t you listen! Clearly not.

Anyway, enjoy the video and I promise my next post won’t be about biking — ’cause, you know, that’s kind of boring for people who don’t bike.

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