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Six Days of Rain: Day Two

April 5, 2011

Ride: 20km—Mineral Springs loop (in reverse)

Weather: Cool, windy

Well this six days of rain thing could be a bust. Beautiful afternoon with sun and warm wind yesterday and fairly dry today. Light drizzle, but nothing that one could justifiably call rain. That wind that never materialized on yesterday’s ride, though? Found it. Right in the face as I struggled up Governors Rd. Governors has a light, 2-3% grade to it. Not enough to even see it in a car, but plenty to know you’re working on the bike. Add in a heavy headwind and this is unpleasant stuff. I was already at my limit by the time I hit the turn off for Mineral Springs. Among the trees and rolling hills, I was protected from the wind and was able to find a comfortable stroke.

Some general observations:

1. Merino wool. For the initiated, I can stop there. For the uninitiated, this is the finest garment material in the world. Warm, breathable, wicking, drying. Good lord! I didn’t even wear a base layer today and managed to stay warm and dry. That’s good stuff! Wool is also infinitely cooler (as in: hipper, neater, etc.) than other material for cycling. It offers an old-school look that is decidedly hard and full of panache in spite of the simple colors. All good.

2. Short distances. All things being equal, I’d love to get in two or three much longer rides in a week, but that’s not especially realistic, particularly since the teaching semester isn’t over yet. 20km a morning doesn’t interfere with the day so much, and should likely become a part of the general routine. After a bit of travel over the next couple of weeks, I’m hoping I can settle into a routine of riding 150km a week, comprised of one longer ride and a series of shorter ones to make up the difference. From a training perspective, the regular riding in short doses allows for more sprinting and more intensive workouts, which studies indicate has aerobic and endurance benefits. Also, the more regular riding has to be better than sporadic riding from a fitness perspective. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

3. If you’re going to make a numbered list like this, it must have at least three points. That’s a rule. So far, this blog has been rather focused on my riding. As term winds down and I have (theoretically) more time, I want to spend more time writing about Rwanda, Bikes to Rwanda, coffee, car-light living, technology, etc. More to come.

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