Friday, January 13, 2012

Vallejo-Benicia-Martinez-Crockett HILLS

I just need to do more climbing this year.  Most of my past rides are mostly flat land with less than 1,000 feet of climbing.  I mapped out this route the night before to make sure I climb more than 2,000 feet.  Before the ride, I warmed up my legs on the trainer for 10 minutes.  It was an easy spin and I kept my heart rate under 125bpm.  I think this surely helps when you know you have some hills at the beginning of the ride.

Riding through Vallejo is always a challenge.  You really have to watch out for cars when they are about to make a turn from the street ahead of you.  Usually I catch people not looking my direction so I have to slow down until they see me.  On top of that, drivers around here are not bike friendly and most do not give you space when they pass you.  Seriously, I do not want to get hit by your side rear view mirror.

Conditions were pretty nice.  I can't complain of the nice sun and temperature we have.  It was a bit windy at the peaks.  It was my first ride up Rose Dr. with my Garmin so I can actually see my stats.  I rode Rose Dr. before with my Trek and I had to stop once or twice to catch my breath.  This time I just plowed through with no stopping.  The wind really got to me at the top but I finished within the top 10 on Strava.

The ride through Benicia to Martinez and off to Crockett was good.  When you pass through the shade,  it felt really cold but when you get back into the sunshine, you could feel the heat on the skin.  Passing through the Vallejo waterfront, you could tell that the construction of roads and the parking garage near the ferry is near completion.  I am happy that they put an nice wide bike lane in that area.

I really liked the challenge of the ride.  I felt that once I did that big Rose Dr. hill, I could blast up any other hill in my path.  I think I would do this ride once, maybe twice a month.  I need to beat my time up Rose Dr!!

My recovery food. Muscle Milk Whey Protein, Cytocarb, Amino Energy, and 2 hard boiled eggs.  That's just over 500 calories.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vallejo to Napa and up Soda Canyon

It was very nice, sunny Wednesday morning in Vallejo.  I better take advantage of all this sunshine we are getting in the area.  I did not want a long or too short ride so I decided to take a trek to Napa.  Initially I was just going to ride to Yountville, but I got sidetracked.

Going to Napa was pretty nice.  Hwy 29 from American Canyon to Napa is tricky.  You could just go all the way through 29 but there is a lot of traffic and trucks whizzing by you at 60+ mph.  So I took the frontage road through the flea market area.  It seems hwy 29 is never cleaned or maintained because there is a lot of glass and rough patches throughout the ride.  I felt good cruising at 20+ mph.  I think my average from Vallejo to Napa was 20 mph.

As I rode through Silverado trail, I saw the sign for Soda Canyon.  I've always wanted to see what was up there since I heard about it from another friend and the Napa River Velo suggested it as a good climb.  So I diverted my route up Soda Canyon.

Initially the ride was fine.  It was good climbing and medium range hills.  I think it got steep after the narrow bridge.  It became wicked steep...  I guess I am not used to climbing because I had to take breaks every 5 minutes or so to catch my breath.  I didn't realize til after the ride when I checked my Garmin that it was 15%+ grade.  It made me wish I had a triple on my bike but my 34/27 gear made it possible.

I kept going all the way to the end to the winery entrance.  It felt good to finally ride up that way.  I think I will try to come this way more often and try to beat my time.  The ride back to Vallejo was fine with moderate traffic going through American Canyon.

When I finally got home, I had low pressure in my rear tire.  I guess there was a slow leak.  I suspect glass...  I hope Caltrans could clear the side of the road once in a while:)

Goin on up... I pass the volunteer fire station.

Getting steep!!

The view!

This was the steep part.

Getting higher

Finally made it to the...

The entrance to the Antica winery

Monday, January 9, 2012

New spoke, new cassette ride before sundown

I put on a couple things on my bike today.  I got $1 spokes from the local bike shop, Authorized, to fix Fuzion F1s I broke the other day.  So I slapped that on and did a little minor truing of the front and rear wheel.  I recently won a 12-17 cassette on eBay so I decided to put that on also.  So I went off for a short ride before sundown...  I hate how sundown is at 5PM.

I had to get used to the gearing since I was missing that 18t cog.  I think that was my sweet spot cog.  So either you have to get little bogged down on a 17t or spin on a 19t.  Other than that, I am happy to have one more gear when I climb hills.

Thats another thing....I need to start climbing more.  Maybe Hunter hill repeats in the future or just keep riding Mt. Diablo.

Laguna Seca Twilight Ride Schedule 2012

We have another great year of twilight cycling at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, CA. I am always psyched about going to this event a couple times a year since I am always down there.

From the Laguna Seca site...

What cyclist wouldn’t enjoy the thrill of a challenging 300-foot climb followed by an awe-inspiring descent? How about the fact that they can do this on a world-renowned race track?

Monthly twilight rides allow cyclists to experience the excitement of pedaling Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, an 11-turn, 2.238-mile course. The ride is highlighted by the legendary Corkscrew turn that drops an equivalent of 5 1/2 stories. Rides run from 5:30–7:30 p.m., and are open to all levels of cyclists. Helmets are required and the cost is $10 per rider.

Each month is hosted by a different local bicycle club, organization or business, some holding competitions such as time trials or criterium races and many with off-track activities such as barbecue dinners, costume contests and giveaways.

2012 Twilight Rides

The Twilight Cycling calendar is set. Be sure to pencil in the following dates (subject to change) to enjoy the magic of riding this historic facility.

January 18
February 15
March 14
April 17
May 9
June 13
July 25
August 8
September 6
October 10
November 14
December 12

Possible Century rides 2012

I am planning to do some of my own centuries...  I have to start planning some.

Vallejo-Fairfield-Winters-Davis-Downtown Sac-Winters

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Broken spoke on the Fuzion F1

I was on my quick hour ride to Benicia when I suddenly heard a ping and my rear wheel came out of true.  I looked down my rear wheel and I see...

Boo freakin' hoo....

I slowly biked back home and hopped on my other bike.  It was almost sundown and I just wanted to go on my usual route.

One crazy thing happened on Broadway... and it pissed me off.  Going 19mph on the side of Broadway, a truck pops out of nowhere past the white line he is supposed to stop behind and I brake and skid to stop avoid hitting the side of the truck.  This guy seriously had half the truck over the white line.  I swooped around the front yelling at him...what a d*****.