Friday, April 20, 2007


What a glorious warm day! By the time I got out on the bike it was too late for any epic exercise rides, so I decided to follow a perennial favourite - westwards along the lake. I meant this to be a training ride but it really ended up as a very leisurely paced (and totally flat) 50k ride just to soak in the sunshine.

My passion is really for urban cycling, as a practical way of getting around. There really is no point in riding fast in the city - although one wonders why some drivers are in such a hurry to get to the next red light. The only way being fast really gets you ahead in the city is if you disregard rules of the road and have the guts to do this.

I would like to get stronger and faster on the bike for a couple of reasons: loaded touring, long rides I plan to challenge myself with, and just because I love to explore new territory - and being faster allows me to cover more ground in a realistic time frame.

Interval training is a good way to do this. Not naturally being attuned to this whole speed demon aspect of biking, I need incentives to do intervals. These include trying to catch up with moronic drivers to express my discontent, trying to catch up with cute speedy bikey boys that blaze past, unofficially trying to race someone (just about anyone who passes is fair game, but generally they have to look serious about speed for there to be any glory), and my fear of dogs. Last country ride I went on was very slow going into a headwind on chipseal, and at least 3 dogs came running to chase, and that adrenaline shot was good for another 5-10 km/h I didn't know was in me.

Today's ride included a chase on Lakeshore of someone that I noticed behind me for a bit and then passed. I'm cruising along at 35 km/h trying to catch up (I was maybe going 25 before) and he's gaining too much I have to concede defeat. And he's on a hybrid to boot not even a road bike. Sad. I do catch up at a red light and due to better traffic sense (he stops at the curb in a 16' wide curb lane, I stop to the right of the cars in the lane and the left of parked cars up ahead) I am out of the light first. Woohoo. Later on I'm being passed by a quite overweight woman with jeans hanging way down on a knobby-tired mountain bike. Oh well. Its not about speed its about enjoying the sunshine.