Ride Notes for September 30th, 2014

If you've been keeping up with my blogs (and why anyone would is beyond me) then you might have noticed that it has been a week since my last cycling-related blog. This doesn't mean that I went for a ride and failed to write about it - I actually took a week off, because I really needed to do so. Let me explain - I switched to a new road bike, and after my ride on September 20th, my hands and wrists were really hurting. I discussed my situation in detail in the blog that I wrote after that ride, but the pain persisted for several days. I knew that I could do permanent damage if I kept riding, so I took several days off to recover, and I took my bike back to the shop for another fitting. After several days of ibuprofen and ice packs, I was ready to try again on my regular 17-mile course from my house through Saguaro National Park and home again. All of that being said, my hands hurt a little bit after this ride, but the pain was nowhere near where it was the other day.

Overall this was a good ride - my time was slightly slower than my personal best, but not by much, and it was a perfectly acceptable ride after taking a week off.


I rode part of the way around Saguaro National Park with another cyclist, but that wasn't a planned event - I arrived at the park just before the other cyclist, and he queued up behind me while I was showing my annual pass and ID to the park ranger who was on duty (who knows my as one of his frequent fliers). I took a few seconds to store my things in my riding bags, which gave the other cyclist time to pass me at the park entrance. Once I started around the park, I appeared to be riding at his pace even though he was clearly a stronger rider, so I simply let him keep the pace for both of us.

However, he got stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle, and I don't wait for those - I just pass them when there's room. So I called out that I was passing him on the left, and I humorously remarked "Ugh - Tourists" with an air of feigned contempt as I passed the other cyclist. After I passed the car, I was on my own until I reached the large hill on Riparian Ridge around the backside of the park. I'm climbing the hill better than I used to, but the other cyclist managed to catch up to me over the 1.5 miles to the high point of the ridge. As he drew up next to me, I humorously quipped that I hate that hill. He agreed, but he said that he liked using that hill to work on his hill climbing skills. (Which is what I'm doing, of course.) Just to make sure that he didn't get the wrong idea about me, I pointed out that I was only joking when I made my earlier comment about the tourists since the park is actually for the tourists, and he laughed.

We rode side-by-side for the next mile or so and talked about cycling in Tucson, then I pulled behind him so we could ride through the wash before Javelina Rocks (which I wouldn't want to try next to another cyclist). That being said, he rode through the wash at a much greater speed than I felt comfortable to ride, so I fell behind him by a couple of hundred feet, and we extended the gap between us when we went through the next wash. I tried my best to keep his pace apart from riding through the washes, but we didn't line up again for the rest of the ride. Nevertheless, I made it home in just over an hour, so I have yet to meet my goal of breaking the one-hour mark for the ride.

One last item of note - I mentioned in a previous blog that I'm trying to figure out the best way to have a mirror on my new bicycle. I really need to see the traffic around me, but the mirror that I used on my hybrid's handlebars doesn't appear like it's going to work for my road bike's drop-style handlebars. With that in mind, I tried out a helmet-mounted mirror on today's ride. OH - MY - GOSH. That was a terrible experience. I tried very hard to adjust to it, but I thoroughly hated everything about it, so I ripped it off my helmet within the first three miles of the ride. Ugh.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 4:16pm
    • Distance: 16.8 miles
    • Duration: 1:05:26
    • Calories Burned: 629 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 823 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 15.4 mph
    • Peak Speed: 28.0 mph
    • Average Cadence: 60.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Minimum: 73.4 F
    • Average: 78.2 F
    • Maximum: 80.6 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 150 bpm
    • Maximum: 174 bpm
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