Ride Notes for October 18th, 2014

It has been a little over a week since I did a serious ride, but perhaps I should explain. I've been really busy between work and school, so I put off my usual rides. (I rode 12.8 miles on the 13th, but that was commute riding – so I don't count that.) I caught up on all my projects, and my brother and sister-in-law came to town, so it seemed like a good time to get back on the bike (both literally and figuratively).

That being said, my brother-in-law – Andy – agreed to go on my normal 17-mile ride around Saguaro National Park (SNP) and then home again. I have two bikes, a second full set of riding gear, and I gave him the choice between riding my hybrid or my road bike. Andy picked the hybrid, although I did warn him that it was ten pounds heavier and the road bike was better at climbing hills. (I also told him that he might regret his decision.)


I asked Andy what pace he normally rode at, and he said 12 to 13mph. I usually ride 16 to 17mph, so I asked Andy to ride up front and set the pace. (Actually, I didn't think of that until we had already ridden a mile. Darn.) Andy called his pace pretty much on the nose, and we made it to the park after 20 minutes or so. As we started around the park, I tried my best to call out the hills that we were facing. (After all, I have ridden there before.)

To be honest, I tried something of an experiment – I didn't change gears for this ride. For the ride out the park and the first 3.5 miles, I was in my second-to-highest gear, and from the 5-mile point in the park until I got home I rode in my highest gear. My idea was, riding in higher gears for most of the ride would force me to ride a little slower and that should help to balance out our pace. (That kind of worked; more about that later.)

For the most part, we continued around the park with Andy in front, although I had to zip past him at one point when we hit the hills that I call the "Three Sisters." (This was only because I knew how I like to manage my speed through that section of the park; I kind of felt badly about that.) We picked up speed for the couple miles that lead up to Riparian Ridge, but remember how I mentioned that I was trying to stay in one gear? I tried that when riding up the big hill on the ridge – big mistake. I pushed my heart rate pretty high and burned off more calories than I had eaten for the day, so when Andy asked to take a break half-way up the hill – I needed to load up on a pack of Gu to get my electrolytes back up. (PS – That worked.)

After we made it round the park, we headed home. Andy felt a little light-headed; I suggested that he was probably dehydrated. I had given him two 24-ounce bottles of water for the ride, so I asked him how much water he drank – which was 1/8th of a single bottle. (In contrast, I downed a full 24-ounce bottle.)

One last thing about this ride – there was a 20-degree difference between the low temperature (71.6 degrees) and the high temperature (91.4 degrees). I don't reacll ever having seen that much fluctuation in ushc a short ride before.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 10:18am
    • Distance: 17.0 miles
    • Duration: 1:17:02
    • Calories Burned: 558 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 826 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 13.2 mph
    • Peak Speed: 30.6 mph
    • Average Cadence: 45.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 83.2 F
    • Minimum: 71.6 F
    • Maximum: 91.4 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 135 bpm
    • Maximum: 170 bpm
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