Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Need for Speed


Crank, crank, harder, harder...HARDER!


Since I got my cyclocomputer, I have been obsessed with going faster on my bike. My daily commute to work is only 14 miles round trip, with slight a negative elevation change on the way out, which naturally leaves me with a slight positive elevation change on the return trip. As I cannot change clothes at work, I ride in my work clothes, which consist of jeans and a t-shirt. I do wear my cycling shoes and carry my work boots and other necessary accoutrements in a backpack on my back.

(I'm setting the scene here, okay? Be patient and I'll get to the meat of this thing in a minute.)

My shift begins at 4 am and lasts around 5 hours. Average ride time for trip to work: 22 minutes. Average ride speed: 19 mph. Average ride time for trip home: 28 minutes. Average ride speed: 15 mph. Average speed for round trip: +/- 17 mph.

This reflects a minor improvement over the past two weeks since I have been keeping track of my speed (with the aid of my Vetta V100.)

What I really care the most about is my maximum speed on these morning rides. Two weeks ago, I maxed out on the longest downhill stretch at 37.7 mph. Yesterday morning, I finally broke 40. 40.2 mph to be exact. Now remember, I am in jeans and a t-shirt with a 15 lb. backpack on my back. I'm not the most aerodynamic of riders in the morning.

The feel of the wind in my face and the absolute rush of riding at such speeds is tremendous! I'm sure there's a lot of speed that I can gain once I get into my cycling kit and can ride in the crouch position. I'm going to keep working on increasing my speed. I have to find some nice hills on some quiet roads, but I think I can actually break 45 mph or better with the right conditions.

Faster. Faster. Faster.

It really makes the pedaling uphill seem worth it.

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