Ride Notes for September 16th, 2014

It's amazing how much of a difference changing some of your gear can have.

If you read my blog from last Saturday, I mentioned that my feet were hurting during many of my long rides. I have known for some time that switching to cleats would be better than my existing configuration where I had been using toe clips for the past few years. Until recently all of my rides had been fairly short – 10 miles or less. But sometime this past Spring I decided to slowly increase my mileage, and by the end of Summer I was riding over 100 miles per week. As I did so, I occasionally made some upgrades to my existing bike, but I was still riding a hybrid – which isn't the best bike for hill climbing or long-distance road riding.

With that in mind, I worked it into our budget to replace my hybrid with a dedicated road bike, and I switched from toe clips to cleats. Today was my inaugural ride with my new road bike, and I chose to ride my usual 17-mile course from my house through the Saguaro National Park (SNP) and home again. I'm still building up my confidence on the bike, so it seemed as though I was riding slower than I would normally ride while I got used to the feel and controls of the new bike. But that being said, I still managed to complete the SNP loop 2¾ minutes faster than my previous personal best.

2014-09-17

I attribute the increased speed around the SNP loop to two primary factors: my new road bike is 12 pounds lighter than my hybrid bike, and switching from toe clips to cleats. Both of these changes gave me increased climbing power, and as I get more comfortable on the new bike I would expect my hill climbing to improve a little more.

The only downside of my new bicycling setup is – I have been very spoiled with regard to road dampening. My hybrid has much larger tires, which absorb more of the bumps in the road that I encounter on my rides, and whenever the road grew too bumpy I would enable the shock absorbers on my front forks to absorb even more of the unnecessary abuse. With my road bike, I have none of those dampening features, so I feel every nook and cranny in the road; I'm just going to have to get used to that.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 4:38pm
    • Distance: 17.0 miles
    • Duration: 1:06:19
    • Calories Burned: 571 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 1,161 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 15.4 mph
    • Peak Speed: 28.8 mph
    • Average Cadence: 58.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Minimum:69.5 F
    • Average: 68.0 F
    • Maximum: 75.2 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 144 bpm
    • Maximum: 171 bpm
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