Damn I'm slow


I went on a 40 mile training ride today using a GPS unit for the first time.  The results make me sad.

I don't know, I should feel pretty good actually but I don't.  I rode about 50 miles for the day which is quite a lot for me.  Most of the time my longest ride of the week is 11.2 miles, I do that 6 times a week commuting.  I don't really get that much extra riding in so I'm really not in my best riding form.

This was the route that I took.  Originally I was going to ride with a friend but she cancelled on me at the last minute because of the storm.  The storm was totally passed by the time we were going to ride, so it really wasn't an issue but I still ended up riding alone.  That was kind of a bummer, it was a long enough ride that I couldn't listen to Pandora on my phone without completely draining it so there wasn't anything to listen to or anyone to talk to. 

For me riding has always been a pretty social thing, honestly.  I liked riding my bike because it gives me a chance to meet people and talk with them.  There's not a whole lot of human interaction in my world most days so it was really nice when I started connecting with people to ride.  I guess that's really what drove me to riding more often.  I never really was much for just riding by myself, though I have done a lot of that.   You need to get base miles in order to be in good enough shape to keep up on the group rides, right?  So I'd go out just riding to ride to keep myself fit.

Somewhere along the way I lost connection with people and stopped getting out to ride with anyone and my desire to keep those base miles has really gone away.  It seems kind of pointless, I guess.  I know I'm never going to be all that fast or all that good, I'll never race or anything.  Really the social aspect of it is the only reason I would ride anymore and I have the feeling a lot of people wouldn't want to ride with me.

Anyway, I somehow got it in my mind though that I want to race the Powderhorn 24 this year.  I knew nobody would want someone as slow as me on their team so I went for the solo category.  That means a lot of hours in the saddle.  So I'm working on getting back used to riding for hours on end without really stopping much.  It's going to take a lot of work and I doubt that I'll really be successful but I'm trying.

So I am taking off a few days from work and trying to get more miles in.  40 miles seemed like a good target to go for on the first day.  I was pretty happy that my first attempt at plotting out a 40 mile route ended up being pretty much right on the money.  I just estimated in my head then drew it out on gmap pedometer and it was pretty much bang on.  I'd never ridden the whole route as one loop before but I've ridden almost all of the roads.  I think the only thing that I hadn't been on before was the few blocks of 29th between Hennepin and Como.  Other than that it was all familiar routes. 

The thing that was different about this ride from most of my other rides was actually using a GPS to track it and watching my performance throughout the ride.  I posted up awhile ago on Facebook that I was thinking about picking one up and wondering which ones were good and had the best features when a friend of mine mentioned that she had an old Garmin Forerunner 205.  It seems to have most of the functions I need, I haven't googled the manual yet so I don't know everything that I could do.  I picked up the unit this morning before hitting up the coffee shop where the ride was going to start, adding probably another 10 miles to the day.  It was pretty simple to figure out how to change the data and erase all of the previous owner's trip data.  I still need to figure out how heavy my bikes are and add them.  And reset all the 'speed zones.' My friend is apparently quite a bit faster than me, I was in hill climbing range often on flat ground according to the unit. 

It was kind of nice knowing how far I'd gone and how much was left in the ride but I really hated seeing how slow I was actually going.  All in all it took me 3:07 moving time to do the ride.  Average speed was only 13 miles per hour.  To be honest, by the time I was hitting the 30 mile mark around Harriet Island I pretty much lost all ability to do more than turn over the pedals.  I couldn't speed up if I wanted to and I was really flagging.  I did my second stop to eat and drink a bit along the Big Rivers Regional Trail pretty much as soon as a bench showed it self. 

That was actually my second long stop of the ride, I also stopped at the water fountain along Victory Memorial in North Minneapolis.  I took quite a bit of time there, there's a new application that I'm trying out for my phone.  It's called "WeTap" and it aims to allow people to find public water fountains.  As a cyclist this really appeals to me because it's pretty often that you are out on a ride and you need to refill a water bottle.  So I thought the app would be really great until I downloaded and installed it.  Turns out that there are only 5 (now 6) listed water fountains.  This seems really low for a city the size of Minneapolis, I know we have more public water locations than this.  So I'm trying to make sure I map the places that I do know.  I hope that more people will download it and add locations as well, I don't want it to just be a list of all the locations I found.  This was actually one of the features I planned for Bikelove.org, the maps were supposed to not only list off bike friendly streets and businesses but water locations.

That was really about it for the day.  I killed my seedlings by leaving them out in the morning thunderstorm even though they were under plastic.  That makes me feel a little less optimistic about the whole gardening idea but I'm probably still going to try to figure it out.  I'll probably just buy plants though, not try to go with seeds again.

I feel like I should have tried to get some coding work done on the Occupy site today too but I just didn't have it in me.  I did a quick update to Greaserag.org but then got sucked into watching "The Trap" a documentary about how our society has changed via game theory.  It's really enlightening, I picked it up ona recommendation from one of the other Occupy organizers. 

I had someone contact me about Bikedate.mn which I thought was funny given my current stance on whether I'm ever going to find anyone.  I feel like I already tried bikedate and it didn't work, I don't know how much more effort I'd want to put into making it so that it could actually work.  I'd need to figure out how to get it to work with editing the page in the same form as when you add it, rather than having it just go into edit mode in concrete 5.  I don't know how to do that and it sounds like a lot of work so I probably won't do much of it.

I also had someone contact me and talk code via facebook chat for awhile.  Turns out I don't have the first wordpress import and there will probably be a marketplace release soon.  So I'm kind of out there.  I still didn't have everything working, I never did get internal links working.  Now that I think about it more I probably could have gotten it working but now it's a little late.  All the old import links on Greaserag.org point back to the old wordpress.com site.  Yet another thing that I didn't get quite right.  Oh well.  I guess not getting to sell another add on out of the code I developed here is fine, I did really want to do an import add on.

So yeah, that's where I'm at today.  Feeling totally slow and out of shape.  Now with numbers to confirm just how slow I really am, not just guessing in my head that I'm going slow because of how easily all the people pass me.