Today's workout: not much for scenery.

Riding around in circles in a parking lot. Not much scenery, and what there is, you get to see a lot of.

I think I would have trouble doing this every week, but this week it worked out pretty well. I feel like the engine I need is half-built. From a cardiovascular standpoint, I have what I need, which is good, because cardio capacity doesn't change all that fast, so in the 92 days from now to PBP, my cardio will improve, but not drastically. The two areas I'd like to be stronger are in getting the metabolic furnace able to throw more calories out, and to have greater leg power so I can produce higher power for longer without fatique.

Metabolism comes from doing long rides. I have the miles laid out between now and PBP, so the thing I want to work on now is power. Since going faster requires more power, you can work on power with "speed" work. (And I want the power not to increase my maximum speed, but the speed I can sustain for days on end.)

So, warm up and then go as fast as possible for about 20 minutes, say for 2 reps. This is too long to get through it with an anaerobic sprint.

The other complicating factor is that the replacement for my broken middle chainring won't come in until Thursday, so I needed a pretty flat course that would allow me to stay in the big ring.

So, ride out to Husky statium, and do loops around the parking lot. Good enough.

Yep, a pretty flat loop.


The mother of all road debris

OK, not as impressive as the truck that dumped an entire rack of window glass in the street in front of my building, but I didn't pick up any of that --the city and the glass company handled it.

This is pretty impressive compared to the normal bits of metal I remove from the streets. Two nine foot aluminum brackets. They had been in the street probably only a few minutes when I came by, but passing cars were already beating them to bits. By the sound of it, some of those drivers will later find out that they damaged their tires. Eventually, cars would probably have smashed them into something like aluminum ninja stars. Nice. It's actually a felony to not secure your load properly in Washington. The meatheads who let these fall off of their truck are why such laws are necessary.


Baker Lake 400: a little damp

A pretty day riding from Redmond out to Baker Lake on the flanks of Mount Baker, then back to Granite Falls. This isn't the prettiest scene, that would be up in the mountains. But this was a convenient place to stop.

However, while the day ended in Granite Falls, the ride didn't. We still had to get back to Redmond. It started raining. Then raining harder. Then harder still. All together, over an inch of rain between about 8pm and 2am. Total time: 19h 57m. My goal was 20 hours, so I guess that's good.

Oh, and I broke the middle chain ring a few hours into the ride. I could shift through it from the big ring to the little ring, but it took about twice as long as blowing a shift would normally, so impossible in a pace line. Consequently, I spent a lot of time in the big cog and the big ring, not wanting to lose momentum while I shifted up a few cogs, then dropped the chain from the big ring to the middle, then without applying much force shifted from the middle to the small ring. Then shifted up a few more cogs. Then once the hill flattened out a bit, the same thing in reverse. To avoid all that, I ended up standing on the pedals a good deal.

Oh, and I hit a dog in the rain. A big dog. Ran right out in front of us. I hit it behind the shoulder so it might have a cracked rib but at least not a broken shoulder, and the dog ran off, so I think the dog's OK. I was surprised I didn't go down, but I hit the dog dead on and I'd managed to slow down some already, so it all worked out.


Weight Trailing

Lead automobile wheel weight. Removed from Nickerson Street.

Fishermen aren't supposed to fish with lead weights any more. Consumer electronics are increasingly lead-free. Bad for the environment, children's brains, and so on. Not hard to understand.

So why is it still legal to haphazardly smash a blob of lead to the rim of a poorly-made car tire, in the full knowledge that it is likely to come flying off at some point, be pulverized by passing cars, and end up in stormwater, as dust in children's lungs, and so on?

What is the great social benefit from putting these weights on car wheels? AFAIK, basically nothing happens to the car when these weights fall off, and wheels that are slightly above completely crappy can't even have these weights put on them. Why do we tolerate this nonsense?


Must Be Spring

A shiny new spring, removed from Western Ave at Warren. Sven thinks it's part of a bicycle suspension. Maybe.


Cytokine Storm

One consequence of the Rainiest Seattle Spring Ever is that all of the trees pollinated at once, namely Tuesday.

When a doctor describes your current health with the term "Cytokine Storm," you know it's a bad year for allergies.

Tree sex season can't end too soon. Really, get a room y'all.


Debris Field Report

On January 3, I reported spikes in the road at 26th Ave and E. Galer to SDOT. As of this morning, they're still there.

The city puts these spikes into the road to hold down air hoses for traffic studies. They're supposed to pound them down after the traffic study is over. They don't always do that, and based on the number of these I see around town, I think they may not pound them down most of the time. Even when I point them out to SDOT, the crews seem to have trouble finding them. Are they really that hard to see? I don't have any trouble spotting them, and my eyes certainly aren't what they used to be. Maybe SDOT should use nails that are easier to spot, or else keep better track of where they put them. When the crew is pulling up the air hoses, it really should be pretty easy to figure out how many nails they have to pound down.

Look how shiny the heads of these spikes are. Plenty of people have been running over them. This is a designated, signed bike route, and the spikes are about 3' from the curb, where most bikers ride on this street.