Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slowing Down

Family responsibilities have finally slowed me down. With so much weekend work building up at home, it is becoming difficult to find the time for long rides. It has also been hard to attempt my usual training rides after work. These get me home too late to be an effective contributor around the house.

I still am able to ride the bicycle trainer in the garage many weekday mornings. However, I have also been trying outdoor rides before work. I have found a route that is just long enough (distance-wise) and hilly enough to be challenging, but short enough (time-wise) to fit into my schedule.

The big loop is ridden clockwise, and the small one at bottom is ridden counter-clockwise.

I ride straight south from my house for a few miles to get to the hills of the nearby towns of Saratoga and Cupertino. Although none of the climbs are especially long, they are steep (up to 17% grade in three places). There is also a stretch that is long, straight, and usually windless where I can attempt to pedal at my maximum, unassisted speed. I have reached 31.5 mph (50 kph) briefly. I can only sustain that top speed for a few seconds.

Tollgate Road branches steeply from a flat section of Highway 9 in Saratoga.

It is a total distance of 22 miles, and a total elevation gain of 2000 feet. I am able to do the whole thing in under one and a half hours (usually 1 hour 25 minutes). This is definitely a good workout. I have to satisfy myself with this until I have more free time for longer rides. I may do only one more century this year.

No comments: