Scenes from the biker life

Scene 1, Sunday – first club TT of the year. The course would be familiar to Solobreak and anybody who raced the Blue Hills Classic. It’s about 11.4 Km, with a nice 1.1 Km, 5%-average hill in the first third just to screw up your pacing. I put on the dork suit and made a run, and shaved a couple of seconds off my PR. Here’s a graph of my power from this week’s run (yellow) compared to my fastest from last year (red):

TT Power Comparison

Though the x-axis is time, it’s pretty easy to key a few locations on the course to the power curve. We start at the gas station near the corner of Canton Ave and Blue Hill Parkway. The first 0-power dip is the corner of 138. The second is the oblique right from 138 onto Canton, where I get out of the tuck briefly to freak out about traffic and not hitting the curb. The last 0-power moment I think comes near the intersection with Atherton, where we start the final descent to the finish. There, I stay on the aero extensions but freak out momentarily about picking my way through the potholes near the shoulder.

Hey, at least I’m consistent.

Comparing the two graphs, I see that I was maybe 10 or 15 seconds faster to 138 this time, but gave some of that advantage back on Canton. Average power overall on the two runs was the same, but this time we had light winds from the northeast instead of light wind from the south. Unquity is essentially southbound until the state police barracks, so the wind conditions probably helped a bit there, and held me back when headed northeast on Unquity. If I had thought to check that before the race, I may have pushed a little harder at the start.

The next run is 8am on June 27, and if you’re in the neighborhood you’re welcome to drop in. Just get in touch.

Scene 2 – the tail end of MTB Day in the Blue Hills. We showed up barely half an hour before they closed, but they had the obstacle course open. Andrew got to ride his first seesaw, and he also won the bike limbo contest. The dude on the 26″ unicycle gave it a good shot, but he was no match for a skinny 8-year-old on 20″ wheels.
Scene 3 – Monday’s bike commute – well, calling it a commute is a bit generous, because I just ride a couple of miles down to the train station. The full commute takes more than an hour, and while I probably should do it, I usually don’t. This week, I’m practicing my underway camera technique. The dang thing has too many buttons.

Monday’s commute passed uneventfully. Tuesday morning, I was admonished by an SUV driver to “get on the sidewalk” as we cruised through a school zone. In the evening, I rode down to meet the family at Andrew’s baseball game and was nearly right-hooked. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I’d have been caught under the wheels of a Mini. I’ve lived in Canton for three years, and this is the first time I recall being insulted on the road in town. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last.

Can’t we all just get along?