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Peaking in Two Months

September 7, 2011


One of my favorite tongue-in-cheek references on the Velominati site’s lexicon is “I’ll be peaking in two months,” a suggestion that one’s best is always in the imminent future. But I have data to back that up. Here is a rough outline of the kilometers I’ve ridden per month: Cycling Chart. Adding another dimension, here’s a chart of the number of rides by month: Cycling Chart 2. Another way to gauge fitness is to examine the length of individual rides; here is the number of rides over 80km: Cycling Chart 3.

Accounting for an excessively snowy February, I’ve been on the up-and-up consistently all year—all this to say I’ve been riding more and further. I’ll let the data geeks determine how many kilometers I’m likely to ride in November and December (and on how many rides) based on these numbers. I guess the more interesting numbers—numbers I don’t have—would chart average speed and cadence and heart rate in order to measure fitness and performance along more reliable lines. I suppose measuring the amount of climbing would also qualify some of the distance numbers. Maybe wattage, too.

Back to what I can measure. Keep in mind, I was away for the final week of June and also off the bike for almost two weeks at the end of July. That they should show a marked increase over April and May might be the result of a lighter load at work, but my sense is that this is a fitness issue. Similarly, August’s number of kilometers would have been a physical stretch in April, but was relatively easy and comfortable in retrospect. Looking ahead, I expect the increases will taper out a bit and the number of rides should just about level off. I think three rides a week (weather permitting) is a realistic limit; if two of them are longer rides—in the 100km range—then I should be shooting for 250km a week.

Maybe a part of next year’s riding log will incorporate a more careful and comprehensive analysis of these kinds of numbers. Last year, I taught a senior seminar on the history of quantification, and while much of my riding this year has been geared toward resisting a devotion to numbers, I’d be curious to check on this kind of progress, too.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2011 5:48 am

    Re: the other measurables in Para 2…you know how to attain all of these, a slight dodge of Rule #74 and join the other Velominati over on the dark side that is!

    • September 16, 2011 12:51 pm

      I’m still resisting. Every now and then I wish I measured more and measured more carefully. Other times I’m reminded that I just like to ride. I may still cave. My colleague posted his data for the ride we shared last week. Interesting to see the numbers, but not very useful to me: he spins much faster than I do (and goes slower on hills and into wind), so it wasn’t indicative of my own ride other than the distance and climbing. His heart rate would be different, etc. I guess if this was a proper outfit, I should be posting routes and leaving the data, rather than submitting random shots of the countryside as a means of inferring “I was here during the ride…”

  2. xyxax permalink
    September 16, 2011 2:48 am

    The distance chart looks like an epidemic curve.
    An outbreak of kilometers! Run for your lives!

    • September 16, 2011 12:52 pm

      ‘S okay: snake venom is the cure. I got some by the rattle right here… Crap! Well that hurt. Never mind…

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