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Topic: Cycling

Messages: (69) 1


Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/9/2000

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# 57

Cycling

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride my bike. I have a nice Cannondale that cost almost $1000, which I bought last year. Why a Cannondale? It's the only one I could find that fits my 6 foot 9 1/2 inch frame without spending almost $5000 on a custom frame. Thankfully, it's also the best bike I've ever owned (well, the current one is about the same as the one it replaced, which was destroyed).

Two years ago I'd built up my endurance to the point that I was riding about 35 miles per day, two to four days per week. That all came to an abrupt halt on September 8, 1998, when I was hit by a car. The accident left me with a crushed bike, a (left) collarbone which was completely snapped in two places, and a crack that ran the full length of my (left) shoulderblade all the way up into the rotator cuff of my left shoulder.

Ouch.

Last year, the year after the accident, I only rode about 240 miles total. There were a number of reasons, but I honestly don't think any sort of "accident-phobia" was one of them... after all, I did ride 240 miles.

As a result of my limited riding time, my desk job, and lack of other forms of exercise, I've put on a lot of weight and lost most of my endurance.

This year, I'm getting back into shape. I'm even keeping an online diary of which days I ride and how far.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/9/2000

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# 58

Cycling Diary

My Cycling Diary, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

Summary

First, here's the performance graph for my cycling this year, displaying my average miles per hour for every ride. The numbers on the left represent the MPH, and at the bottom is the date of the ride (actualy, every fifth date, because they wouldn't all fit).

Cycling Performance Graph

Here's a summary of my riding season, so far.

Date Total Days Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Avg. Length Avg. Time Avg. Speed
May, 2000 7 127.7 515 18.24 Miles 74 Min 14.88 Mph
June, 2000 9 164.27 606 18.25 Miles 67 Min 16.26 Mph
July, 2000 12 319.62 1142 26.64 Miles 95 Min 16.79 Mph
August, 2000 15 393.04 1361 26.20 Miles 91 Min 17.33 Mph
September, 2000 6 169.59 565 28.27 Miles 94 Min 18.01 Mph
Total 49 1174.22 4189 23.96 Miles 85 Min 16.82 Mph

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/11/2000

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# 65

New Route

I tried out a new route today, on my bike ride. Actually, it was my regular route, plus a side street that didn't go where I thought it was going to go. For about ten minutes, I thought that I was lost!

"Follow the sun, it will lead you home!" (Too bad my bike didn't come with a sextant!)

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/14/2000

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# 71

Ouch, I Hurt

After I'd finished with the wood and the stones, I went for a bike ride. 15 miles in about 63 minutes. Blah, that's slow. However, this time I picked a route with a really, really long hill.

My entire body hates me right now.

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Author: Jim Woolum

Date:5/15/2000

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# 74

RE: Ouch, I Hurt

Seth,

Have you tried the Terry Men's Liberator bike saddle, per chance? (http://www.mtbr.com/techtalks/general/messages/5168.html, http://www.aardvarkcycles.com/saddles.html)?

I'm trying to find someone who's tried one of these.

Jim

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/15/2000

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# 76

RE: Ouch, I Hurt

On Monday, May 15, 2000 at 4:00 PM, Jim Woolum (jwoolum@onebox.com) wrote:

>Have you tried the Terry Men's Liberator bike saddle, per chance?
>(http://www.mtbr.com/techtalks/general/messages/5168.html,
>http://www.aardvarkcycles.com/saddles.html)?
>
>I'm trying to find someone who's tried one of these.

When I assembled my current bike, the manager of the store (that I was buying it from) made a weak attempt at selling one of these saddles to me. Unfortunately, he didn't try very hard, as I ended up buying something else. I've read about these Terry saddles since then, though, and wish I'd been persuaded to try one out.

I think I'll get a new saddle this summer. Probably either the Terry Liberator or the Terry Ti-Race Libarator.

Seth

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:6/4/2000

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# 102

Route Map

Here's the route I'm going to try today. If it works out to my liking, then it will be my official "new route". If not, then I'll just change it to something else tomorrow!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:6/25/2000

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# 132

A Three-Day Week

Hey, I finally had another 3-ride week. Haven't done that since the first week of riding this year.

Unfortunately, I feel like I've hit a plateau. I rode the same route every day this week, and my time didn't really improve at all. Perhaps this is my punishment for takign 10 days off. ;-)

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:6/26/2000

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# 136

Could It Be a Five-Ride Week?

In the last seven days, I've ridden four times: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That's pretty good, but if I ride again today (which I'm planning to do in just a few minutes) then I'll have ridden 5 times in seven days. I haven't done that since 1998!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:6/26/2000

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# 138

Yes It Could!

I did it! I'm totally exhausted now, almost to the point of being sick, but I managed four days in a row and five days in the last week. Woo hoo!

Maybe I wouldn't be so exhausted if it wasn't so darn hot out. It was about 90 degrees (Farenheit) when I left the house, with probably 80% humidity. I probably shouldn't complain yet... it's only going to get hotter!

Tired and happy... good night!

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Author: Sean McMains

Date:6/27/2000

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# 139

Re: Yes It Could!

Go, Speed Racer, Go!

Congratulations!

Sean

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:7/16/2000

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# 188

500 Miles and Loving It

I hit the 500 mile marker, finally!

To be precise, I've now ridden 506.1 miles this year. (Actually, that's the amount of my riding that I've tracked, the actual mileage is somewhat higher.) I'd guesstimate that I hit the 500 mile mark somewhere around downtown Mystic, on my way home today.

I've been trying to decide what my total mileage goal for the year should be. 1000 miles? 1250? 1500? The latter seems unlikely, but at the pace I've been riding this week (6 of the last 7 days), I think I could do it.

You can see the details of my rides, if you want to, in my Cycling Diary.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:7/23/2000

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# 195

Saturday's Long Ride

There is much that I want to remember about this ride, besides the sheer length of it (43.83 miles).

For starters, I found that my bike is not actually falling apart as I thought it was. The chain was getting rusty from lack of grease, and that was causing the rear derailleur to jam occasionally, and was also contributing a lot to the bike's noisiness. So, I stopped at Mystic Cycle Center (darn, they don't have a web site yet) and bought a small bottle of chain grease and a new pair of gloves.

What a difference! The chain is working perfectly, shifting is smooth and trouble-free, and the only noise from the bike is the humming of the tires, which is a sound that I truly love. The new gloves are great, too. The old ones never did fit very well (I have very large hands), and were worn out, but the new ones fit great (like a glove). Best of all, the new gloves have very thick gel padding right at the ball of my hand where the most pressure is put on the handlebars. I've had a dozen pairs of riding gloves, but never any as comfortable as these! (With the last gloves, my ring finger and pinky would go numb on both hands after about an hour. Not so with the new ones.)

I rode through downtown Mystic, and followed Route One to Westerly, then took Main Street to Watch Hill Road, then to Shore Road and finally to Atlantic Avenue. When I reached the far end of Atlantic Ave, I'd been over twenty one miles, and my average speed was 18.6 MPH... that's better than I've done in at least three years!

Unfortunately, I ran out of water on the return trip. I suppose it's more accurate to say that I ran out of melted water, as my CamelBak was still full of ice. Darn insulation is too good in that thing, it wasn't letting the ice melt! So, I visited Roy and Laura Bounds to get some Water. Laura's father Perry (in his 70's) was walking across the driveway when I pulled in. I explained that I needed some water, so the old ham walked back to Roy and Laura's door and acted like he was dying, begging them for some water. He put a little scare into them, I think, until they saw me standing behind him. Perry's a funny guy. :-)

I must have averaged around 16 MPH on the return trip, but that's OK as it was such a long ride.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/2/2000

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# 208

One Down, Nineteen to Go

My first ride under the goal for the month of August went very nicely. My time was a couple minutes higher than I'd have liked, but I'm attributing that to the weather which kept me off my bike for most of the last 9 days.

Only 19 rides and 475.77 miles to go!

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Author: Mark Morgan

Date:8/2/2000

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# 209

Re: One Down, Nineteen to Go

Yay! I know you've been cursing the foul weather (which, honestly, I didn't send you in exchange for our sunny weather), and it's nice to know you could finally get out.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/3/2000

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# 212

Cycling in May

My Cycling Diary: May, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

    Date     Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Comment
Saturday,
May 27, 2000
33.8 132

Actually two rides. Rode to the Small's house for a picnic, had my first meal of the day and hung around for a couple hours, then another ride to get home.

Sorus Tuckus!

See the weblog for more info on today's ride.

Friday,
May 26, 2000
15.0 57 Rain, more rain, work, and a yard that needed attention all kept me from riding for the last week and a half. I guess the break, and the yard work, did me some good!
Tuesday,
May 16, 2000
15.2 62 15.2 miles in 62 minutes. That's a pretty good improvement over Sunday, especially considering it was the same route plus a brief stop on the side of the road where I thought I saw our missing grill cover, and a very short "wrong turn" that required me to turn around. Still, even without those, I was over a minute faster than the previous ride.
Sunday,
May 14, 2000
15.0 63

After I'd finished with the wood and the stones, I went for a bike ride. 15 miles in about 63 minutes. Blah, that's slow. However, this time I picked a route with a really, really long hill.

My entire body hates me right now.

Thursday,
May 11, 2000
16.1 66

I tried out a new route today, on my bike ride. Actually, it was my regular route, plus a side street that didn't go where I thought it was going to go. For about ten minutes, I thought that I was lost!

"Follow the sun, it will lead you home!" (Too bad my bike didn't come with a sextant!)

Tuesday,
May 9, 2000
20.35 85 Rode to Art's house and back. Legs replaced with flimsy rubber bands.
Sunday, May 7, 2000 12.25 50? First ride this year!
7 Riding Days 127.7 miles 515 min. 18.24 Miles / Ride

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:5/16/2000

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# 78

It's Good To Improve

15.2 miles in 62 minutes. That's a pretty good improvement over Sunday, especially considering it was the same route plus a brief stop on the side of the road where I thought I saw our missing grill cover, and a very short "wrong turn" that required me to turn around. Still, even without those, I was over a minute faster than the previous ride.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/3/2000

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# 214

Cycling in June

My Cycling Diary: June, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

    Date     Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Comment
Thursday,
June 29, 2000
18.98 67

Now this is a serious improvement! I rode Friday through Monday, and then took Tuesday and Wednesday off. Today's ride, on my regular route, was a whole two minutes faster than my best time this year!

I still have a long way to go, but the strength returning to my legs — and the endurance and efficiency to my cardiovascular system — feels just wonderful.

Monday,
June 26, 2000
18.95 69

Oh man! Four days in a row, and five of the last seven.

I was tired when I left today, but I was exhausted when I got back. My muscles need a rest.

Sunday,
June 25, 2000
15.4 59

Rode to Roy and Laura's house for an ecclesial picnic with Graham Mansfield of Adelaide (South Australia).

It was really windy! I hate riding into the wind as much as I like riding downhill.

Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to ride home the wind had died down but it was getting dark, and traffic was heavy (beach traffic was going home). So, Frank Locke took me home (thanks, Frank). Oh well!

Saturday,
June 24, 2000
18.95 69

Hey, I finally had another 3-ride week. Haven't done that since the first week of riding this year.

Unfortunately, I feel like I've hit a plateau. I rode the same route every day this week, and my time didn't really improve at all. Perhaps this is my punishment for takign 10 days off. ;-)

Friday,
June 23, 2000
18.91 69

Boooorinnngggg! Same ride as Tuesday, and there was nothing remarkable about it at all.

A boring day on the bike is still better than most other things I can think of.

Tuesday,
June 20, 2000
18.65 69

This was a slight modification of my regular route, so I still need to get back to Misquamicut to finish the really long one. Maybe on Friday?

This ride felt good, which was strange since it had been a week and a half.

Saturday,
June 10, 2000
21.15 78

What would have been a very long ride (almost 40 miles) was stopped when I visited my Grandparents' place to refill my water bottle.

Still, this was an excellent ride, with a new record average speed (for this year, not career), and I feel great.

Thursday,
June 8, 2000
18.11 68

Finally got a chance to try out the new route I laid out on the map. It only added on three miles. Duh!

Still, today's average speed was the best ever. I was right at 16.0 miles/hour until I slowed down for the driveway, when it dropped to 15.9.

Oh, one other thing... this was my first ride with the new saddle that Corinne bought for me. I like it!

Saturday,
June 3, 2000
15.17 58

Regular route, ridden backwards. This made the giant Old Mystic hill, which is normally too steep and twisty to really get a lot of speed, incredibly hard to climb. Going down the other side was a blast, as it's long and relatively straight and down!

9 Riding Days 164.27 miles 606 min. 18.25 Miles / Ride

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/3/2000

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# 216

Cycling in July

My Cycling Diary: July, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

    Date     Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Comment
Friday,
July 29, 2000
21.45 74 Not a whole lot to say about this ride. Sorry! Maybe I'd have more if I'd remembered to record it when I rode, instead of four days later.

Saturday,
July 22, 2000
43.83 153

Read the full story.

Thursday,
July 20, 2000
21.35 75

Very nice ride today, mainly because the weather's been surprisingly cool and dry. I passed three other riders, but none of them were "real" riders, so they don't count.

Monday,
July 17, 2000
18.86 65

I felt totally alive and energized on this ride, and got my best average time of the year!

The only problem I'm having is with my bike, as the rear derailleur will occasionally jam up for a split second if I'm within a certain gear range. Besides being disconcerting, it's also annoying, as this bike only has about 750 miles on it. I guess it's time for a tune-up, but that means I'll be bikeless for a week! On second thought, maybe I'll just suffer through it for a little while longer, and hope it doesn't get worse.

Sunday,
July 16, 2000
39.22 138

This was beautiful! Almost the same length as the ride from 12 days ago, but a full 9 minutes shorter! Woo hoo!

I think this was my best average speed of the year.

Oh, one last imporant detail: I've (finally) ridden over 500 miles this year! See today's weblog page for details.

Friday,
July 14, 2000
21.37 77

This was the fifth day in a row, so I was tired (haven't done that in years), but at the top of the Old Mystic hill I was passed by another rider (didn't hear him coming, or he'd never have passed me). I pushed myself incredibly hard for the next few minutes, to keep right behind him on the downslop. If no for that other rider, my time would have been a minute or two longer, I think.

Thursday,
July 13, 2000
21.49 78

Tacked on a little extra today, to see where a certain road would take me. Turns out that at the bottom of a long hill it tried to dump me onto Route 2, right in the middle of all the construction. That was a drag, I had to go all the way back the way I came. I'll just have to find another way to add a few miles to my route.

My average mph for the route was about average, which is actually pretty good since it's the fourth riding day in a row.

Wednesday,
July 12, 2000
18.88 69

Took it easy today, just didn't feel like pushing myself too hard. Of course, the only other rider I saw the whole time was going the opposite direction, which is just no fun at all.

Tuesday,
July 11, 2000
18.75 66

Nice ride, weather was warm but dry today. Would have had a better time if I'd been eating better... all I had today was lunch: two pieces of chicken. Not exactly a healthy or high-energy diet.

Monday,
July 10, 2000
18.99 68

Lousy ride. Very hot and sticky, and I'm not eating well.

Tuesday,
July 4, 2000
39.29 147

Thirty nine point two nine miles.

I hurt.

Had to do it, though, as I probably won't get to ride again until this weekend. Tomorrow afternoon I have an important conference call with one customer, and then tomorrow evening I'm driving to Philadelphia to meet with another all day on Thursday. Being gone for a day means I'll have too much to do on Friday to allow myself the luxury of a ride.

Thursday,
July 1, 2000
36.14 132

Woo hoo!

Thirty-six point one four miles!! That's the longest ride I've done since the accident... in fact, that's a couple of miles longer than my regular ride before the accident! I'm tired now, but it's a good feeling... this ride wasn't "too much for me" they way it would have been at the beginning of the season.

12 Riding Days 319.62 miles 1142 min. 26.64 Miles / Ride

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/3/2000

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# 218

Cycling in August

My Cycling Diary: August, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

I set a goal for the month of August: at least 20 rides, and at least 500 miles. This is the first time I've set a specific goal for my riding!

You can see my current status at the bottom of the following table.

    Date     Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Comment
Monday,
August 28, 2000
33.00 113

Read the full story.

Sunday,
August 27, 2000
21.85 74

Read the full story.

Friday,
August 25, 2000
28.67 96

Read the full story.

Tuesday,
August 22, 2000
26.54 89

Mystic Cycle Center did a pretty good job with the bike, though the rear tire still kisses the brake with every revolution. Nothing like it was, but I'm surprised it does it at all. It's not bad enough to slow me down, it barely even slows down the wheel when it's spinning freely, but it's not perfect.

The gentleman that I was speaking to at MC when I went in to pick up the bike (I think he was the owner) did a pretty good job of talking me into upgrading my components this winter. I'll bring the bike in when the season's definitely over, and they'll give it a complete tune-up, replacing the front derailleur, both shifters, and the brakes. He also talked me into clipless pedals (snap-in style) with riding shoes. Right now, I use clips and sneakers, which is real hassle with my size 15 feet!

He's trying to talk me into buying a much larger bike from a small manufacturer they work with that specializes in oversized bikes. It's tempting... their largest stock bike is significantly larger than my canondale, though it's almost $1500. If our finances are good enough this Winter, I'll do it. (About five years ago, I was very close to buying a Wiegel frame, one of the best in the world, hand made right here in CT. How much? $5000! That's why it didn't happen, though it was a tough decision at the time.)

The ride was pretty good. My speed was right up where it should be (that is, at the top of the performance chart), though it wasn't quite as long as it should have been.

Monday,
August 21, 2000
21.54 73

Read the full story.

Friday,
August 19, 2000
28.63 97

Read the full story.

Wednesday,
August 17, 2000
28.58 97

Read the full story.

Wednesday,
August 15, 2000
28.52 98

Read the full story.

Friday,
August 11, 2000
20.74 74

Blah. This ride sucked! I think I must be coming down with something... no energy at all. For the first time in years, I got off my bike and just walked. For almost a mile! On a fairly flat section! Just didn't feel like pushing the pedals down any more.

Wednesday,
August 9, 2000
26.49 94

Read the full story.

Tuesday,
August 8, 2000
26.49 93

My time was down slightly from yesterday, but not enough to worry about. Could just be due to the later time that I rode (I didn't even leave the house until after 6 PM). Still, I hit my highest speed so far this year: 45.1 MPH (while descending Pumpkin Hill Road).

Monday,
August 7, 2000
28.32 99

Very good ride! It's extremely humid today, and in the 80's, but I still shaved two minutes off of the time for this ride, compared to Friday, August 4.

Saturday,
August 5, 2000
21.09 77

All I'd had to eat all day was a steak. Dummy.

Friday,
August 4, 2000
28.35 101

Read the full story.

Tuesday,
August 1, 2000
24.23 86

My first ride under the goal for the month of August went very nicely. My time was a couple minutes higher than I'd have liked, but I'm attributing that to the weather which kept me off my bike for most of the last 9 days.

Only 19 rides and 475.77 miles to go!

15 Riding Days 393.04 miles 1361 min. 26.20 Miles / Ride

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/4/2000

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# 224

August 4, 2000: 2/20+

Physically, I just wasn't quite up to snuff today: just didn't have the energy that I thought I did when I started... but it was still an excellent ride.

Riding down Pumpkin Hill Road is such a rush! I hit 44.2 miles per hour, and it just seems to last soooooo long! Climbing that hill (Tuesday was the first time) is definitely worth the effort (which actually does take approximately forever), as it gives me the extra miles I need to meet my goal, and descending that hill is like riding a roller coaster!

At 44 mph, I was going 19 mph over the speed limit. I actually rode in the middle of the lane instead of on the shoulder, because I was (more than) keeping up with the cars in front of me (though a safe distance behind them). Nobody needed to pass me, at that speed!

I honestly wish there was some way I could videotape that part of the ride, from my perspective. Oh well, I don't have a helmet-cam, so you're out of luck.

I also got slightly lost today. Duh! Missed my turn from Gallup Hill Road onto Pumpkin Hill Road, and ended up at the High School near downtown Ledyard. I could have continued that way to get home, but it would have been further than I wanted to go... and I would have missed Pumpkin Hill!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/9/2000

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# 229

Up, Up, and Away

I'm pleased to see that my performance has been steadily improving since I started riding in April.

Here's a graph of my performance, rated only by the average miles per hour of each ride. It doesn't take into account the number of miles I rode, what I had to eat, how hot and humid it was, or anything else that affects performance, so it's not quite as informative as you might think at first glance. Still, you can see that generally, my performance has been creeping up from the very beginning.

Cycling Performance Graph

Note that this month I've been riding a new route, which is 26 - 28 miles long, versus last month's regular route which was only 18 - 21 miles long. So, while there was a slight drop in performance this month versus the end of last month, I think I'm still improving.

See the summary of my Cyclist's Diary, and the Cycling in August page, for more details. I'm 5 for 8 so far this month (remember my goal: 20 out of 31 by the end of the month).

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:8/9/2000

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# 230

RE: Up, Up, and Away

I see you added a graph of your progress.

You could probably put some of the values in an Excel spreadsheet and do some simple statistical analysis with projections on future performance. Then you could compare actual vs. projections.

Don

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/9/2000

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# 231

RE: Up, Up, and Away

Well, I wrote a script that generates the graph in Frontier, automatically, so there's no work involved in it. I don't have Excel, and well I know people who do (like yourself), I'm really just not that excited about statistical projections... the challenge is to do better than I've done before, not to do as well, or better than, my performance curve indicates.

However, I should give you credit for inspiring the graph. You mentioned something about it yesterday, which is what got me thinking about it in the first place.

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:8/9/2000

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# 232

RE: Up, Up, and Away

Curious about a script that generates a graph. Are you using a third-party tool for the output? If not, how does one generate a graphic from within Frontier?

Don

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/9/2000

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# 234

Use LibGD to Generate GIF's with Frontier

Don,

I'm using LibGD, from Arn Lesikar. It's a DLL with a full suite of scripts that live at extensions.libGD, and which add a full suite of GIF-building commands to Frontier (but it's not terribly intuitive).

Every line on that GIF-chart had to be plotted explicitly. Thankfully, once you get the hang of it, it's not hard to make the chart quite nice looking.

As you can see, I've now added a "running average" to the chart, in yellow.

I could have used clip2gif, also, but LibGD is much, much faster. Been using it for years now, I like it. :-)

Seth

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/9/2000

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# 233

Construction!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/15/2000

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# 256

August 15, 2000: 8/20+

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:8/16/2000

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# 257

RE: August 15, 2000: 8/20+

Anyway, make sure you check out the performance graph on the Cyclist's Diary. That spike on 8/15 is nice!

The graph is starting to look like one of my mutual technology funds. That should be inspirational for you and me. :-)

Don

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/17/2000

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# 258

August 17, 2000: 9/20 (and loving it!)

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/19/2000

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# 261

I've Reached the Half-Way Point

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/22/2000

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# 265

Major Hardware Failure

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/26/2000

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# 276

Still Climbing, but Won't Reach Twenty Rides

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:8/31/2000

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# 293

I Blew It

I'm very unhappy about this.

I was all set to get sixteen rides in the month of August. Not quite my goal for the month, but not bad. It rained on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I was feeling horrible (Corinne thought it might be a case of food poisoning from the ham that I insisted was still edible), but today the weather was good and I was feeling great.

So what went wrong? (Warning: Technical comments follow.)

I suddenly had a bright idea for a performance improvement in Conversant (the software that runs this site). The was related to how it's configured to download mail: it integrates with a POP3 server.

Right now, after downloading a message, it closes the TCP stream, and then re-opens a stream (usually with the same server) to get the mail for the next mailbox. Closing and opening streams has some overhead, and provides no benefit, so I rewrote the scripts to leave the stream open to the server and just reissue the "USER" command when it was done with the first mailbox, to open the second mailbox.

Great idea, but POP3 doesn't support that!!! Duh!!! The UPDATE state of a POP3 session specifies that the TCP stream is closed, and no amount of begging was going to convince the POP3 server to loop back into the AUTHORIZATION state.

Yes, I should have checked the RFC on this before I started on it, but I was so excited about the improvements I was sure this would bring, that I jumped right into it. Lesson learned.

I only wasted a couple of hours, but it was after 6 PM when I'd finished putting everything back the way I'd found it, and that meant the second half of my ride would be in the dark, which is very bad.

So I didn't ride for a third day in a row, and my cool idea for an optimization was a total flop.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/1/2000

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# 299

Broken Spoke (August 27, 2000)

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/1/2000

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# 300

Comaradie, and Cooling Off... Twice (August 28, 2000)

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/1/2000

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# 303

Cycling in September

My Cycling Diary: September, 2000

This is the cycling diary for 2000. See this year's.

I'm a cyclist. I love to ride, on the road, for long distances and as fast as I can. This is where I keep track of my rides, and my performance.

My goal for the month of September is 12 rides, and at least 300 miles. Yes, that goal is significantly lower than my goal in August, but I have two good reasons: first, I didn't meet my goal in August, I only rode 15 times; and second, September almost always has more rain than August, so there will be fewer days available for riding.

I usually don't ride much at all in September, so even 12 rides will be a significant improvement.

You can see my current status for this month at the bottom of the following table.

    Date     Distance (miles) Time (minutes) Comment
Thursday,
September 14, 2000
28.48 93

Read the full story.

Tuesday,
September 12, 2000
27.40 92

Read the full story.

Friday,
September 8, 2000
42.37 144

Read the full story.

Thursday,
September 7, 2000
21.19 70

Read the full story.

Tuesday,
September 5, 2000
21.21 70

Read the full story.

Friday,
September 1, 2000
28.94 96

Read the full story.

6 Riding Days 169.59 miles 565 min. 28.265 Miles / Ride

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/1/2000

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# 304

A Good Beginning for September

Now this is the way to start off the month: a new record speed, with a vengeance!

28.94 miles, in 96 minutes, gives me an average speed of 18.09 miles per hour. That's not just a new (personal) record, it's also the first time I've topped 18 mph (average) in almost two years.

Unfortunately, I don't have anything very exciting to say about today's ride. No problems at all with the bike, traffic was normal, the only riders I saw were coming towards me, and I just felt like I had more energy than I needed!

This new personal best does beautiful things to the performance chart, doesn't it?

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/5/2000

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# 308

Ho Hum... Yet Another Record

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/5/2000

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# 309

Something to Prove

As September 8 approaches, I can feel myself developing an attitude. I have something to prove, to everybody around me but especially to myself. That date marks the second anniversary of my big accident. I can still feel a little bit of paranoia in me, and in my family, about the intersection I was passing through and the date I was doing it... it's totally irrational, but that's what paranoia is!

I'm planning a long ride that day, at least 40 miles, and I'm going through the Evil Intersection twice (once each way). I've been through there a few times this year, so it's really not a very big deal, but not on "that date".

It's also the day before my twenty-eighth birthday.

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Author: Brian Carnell

Date:9/5/2000

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# 310

RE: Something to Prove

For my 11th birthday I received a new bike and promptly managed to almost kill myself on it. It was just a cheap BMX-style bike but the great thing is I lived in a very rural area so we could really ride our bikes even as young kids without having to worry about cars too much, which was what caused my accident -- because I wasn't used to cars driving back in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't very cautious.

Anyway, I'm tooling along and I saw something on the left side of the road. I'm in the middle of nowhere with no cars around for miles so I switch lanes to pull over and check it out. The next thing I know I am airborne and I can hear my new bike being crunched like a potato chip. I'm doing my Superman imitation for what seems like forever but couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 seconds and I'm wondering what the heck just happened.

What just happened was a Cadillac, which I swear must have had the quietest running engine on the planet because I never heard it come up behind me, decided to pass me just at the moment I switched lanes and it gave me a huge nudge.

I was, fortunately, unhurt but very narrowly. I landed precisely on a 3-4 foot section off the side of the road that was the only place that wouldn't have resulted in severe injury or death (where I feel was so covered in weeds, etc., it felt like being dropped onto a matress from 15 feet or so).. Three feet to the right and I hit the pavement very uncomfortably. Five or six feet more to the left is a 60-70 foot drop into an enormous gravel pit.

As it was, the old lady who hit me got the worst of it because she was badly shaken up, and apparently felt guilty about the whole thing for many months afterward even though everything about the accident was completely my fault.

It took about 3 or 4 months before I'd get back on a bicycle.

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:9/5/2000

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# 311

RE: Something to Prove

Seth,

I understand apprehension in such matters but you have the willpower and perseverance to overcome the day. I wish you well on your cycling trip to come. You are so positive in your attitude to succeed that the prior accident is nothing to fear.

I myself have had a number of close to death accidents or situations in life. While they all are educational in some form, they are not a deterrent to my future actions. I think you will find the same when you cross that intersection with ease.

Have a great ride, my friend.

Don

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Author: Mark Morgan

Date:9/5/2000

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# 312

Re: Something to Prove

It's also the day before my twenty-eighth birthday.

Okay, I didn't need to know that you're younger than I am.  Really. (32 this December, you young whippersnapper.  Don't talk back to your elders!)

When I was fifteen, I lived just down the road a bit from my Uncle Bill.  Bill had very recently divorced his first wife, Laveda.  Not very far from both Bill's house and ours was the printing business that Bill inherited (well, bought) from my grandfather.

One night I went out bike riding with my friend Gordon.  The whole neighborhood is a warren of little suburban side streets connecting to collector streets.

So I'm riding my bike.  Meanwhile, ex-aunt Laveda is looking for Bill, angry about something.  She didn't find him, which apparently did not improve her mood.  She went roaring up one of those collector streets at 45 miles per hour, according to the skid marks.  It was dusk.  She was angry.  I was young, and clumsy.  Go on, predict the end.

I don't really remember the accident--the last thing I remember clearly is riding around the little suburbia around our house.  Apparently I whipped out in front of Laveda and she slammed into me and my bike.  The front end of her Honda Civic was wrecked.  My bike went under her front wheels, and I went head over teakettle over the hood, slamming my head into her windshield, breaking both my legs and cracking my collarbone.

I remember having a vivid dream of learning to ride my bike at my grandma's house.  I think the connection was gravel: in reality I was lying in the gravel by the side of the road, in the dream I was lying in the gravel in grandma's drive way.

In reality, I was screaming obscenities and random German (I'd just taken a year of it).  Spent a week in the hospital, a month in a wheelchair, and three months on crutches.  My left leg was really shattered--they put it back together with a metal bar with seven holes in it, through which they screwed seven screws right into the bone.  I still have it, I call it my erector set.

I understand that feeling of being jumpy.  In that wheelchair I felt like the world's biggest pinball.  Coming home from the hospital a car would turn in front of us, oh, say, five blocks away and I'd panic.

Wonderful story--now that it's over.  Reports of serious mental damage are greatly exaggerated.

Really.
---------------------------
Mark Morgan: mark_morgan@yahoo.com
http://www.VoicesOfUnreason.com
A resource for writers and readers of all stripes.
-----
Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny....'"

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Author: Brian Carnell

Date:9/7/2000

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# 315

Re: Something to Prove

Mark wrote:

"In reality, I was screaming obscenities and random German (I'd just taken a year of it)."

That's the weirdest part of accidents -- the way you react in shock right after the event. I was involved in a very minor car accident about 10 years ago where it was raining and the guy behind me didn't stop quite in time, hit my rear end and then pushed me forward into the car in front of me. It was very low speed and there wasn't even any physical damage to the cars to speak of, but I was immediately out the door cursing and just talking and not making any sense at all for about 5 minutes or so until I started to calm down and I had this feeling like I had just had an out of body experience and I was just now reclaiming control.

When I was hit on my bike as a kid I had a similar experience where somehow I realized that I had been involved in an accident and it was my fault and this idea just popped into my head that the cops were going to come and arrest me and I sat there for several minutes blabbering incoherently at the women who hit me about not wanting to go to jail! Very surreal.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/7/2000

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# 316

RE: Something to Prove

On Thursday, September 7, 2000 at 2:35 PM, Brian Carnell (brian@carnell.com)
wrote:

>That's the weirdest part of accidents -- the way you react in shock right
>after the event.

Here's how things happened, from my perspective (as I've remembered it all
along), the day I had the accident:

I left my house, planning to go on a 35-miler. This should have taken me
through downtown Westerly, RI, out to the beaches of Misquamicut, back
through Westerly, and home again.

Instead, I left the house, rode for a couple miles, and then suddenly
Corinne was walking into the room at the Westerly Hospital, and I said,
"there she is!"

I can remember a brief flash of seeing a tan-colored car coming at me from
the left as I passed through an intersection, but it's just a flash.

I told everyone (EMT's, police, and hospital staff) that I was single and
lived in Westerly with my parents. That would have been true five years
earlier, but I'd already been married for over a year, and hadn't lived at
home for five (I lived at home for a few months when I was 20, after moving
back to RI from VT). I even gave them my old phone number! Very weird.

My parent's didn't live at the old address or phone number any more, but
thankfully the nurse was smart enough to look up my parent's current phone
number in the phone book, and called them. My Dad dropped my Mom off at the
hospital, and then went to get Corinne.

The whole time my Mother was there, I'm told, I acted like I was still 20
years old, in my worst slump ever, working at McDonalds and living at home.

What's cool, and I suppose rather romantic in a painful and bone-breaking
kind of way, is that I came back to my senses the moment Corinne walked into
the hospital room. Everybody had to tell me, all over again, what happened
to me, but that was the last time.

Seth

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/8/2000

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# 318

Start Your Engines

It's been two years, almost to the minute, since my big accident.

I'm getting ready for the long ride, I hope to leave at about 2:30 (21 minutes).

Here's my route plan. If I go missing for a couple of days, you'll know where to send the hounds.

  1. Start at 76 Dogwood Lane
  2. Dogwood Lane to Curtis Street to Haley Road
  3. Haley Road to Gold Star Memorial Highway
  4. NLT/GSMH to Cow Hill Road
  5. Cow Hill Road to Mystic Street
  6. Mystic Street (becomes Allyn Street) to Route 1 (aka Boston Post Road, aka Old Post Road, aka New London Ave)
  7. Route 1 to The Intersection and then to Main Street in downtown Westerly, RI.
  8. Main Street to Beach Street
  9. Beach Street to Watch Hill Road
  10. Watch Hill Road to Shore Road
  11. Shore Road to Ocean View Highway
  12. Ocean View Highway to Bayberry Drive
  13. Bayberry Drive to Clark Avenue to Atlantic Avenue
  14. Atlantic Avenue to Weekapaug Road
  15. Weekapaug Road to Shore Road
  16. Shore Road back to Watch Hill Road
  17. Home the way I started

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Author: Mark Morgan

Date:9/8/2000

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# 319

Re: Start Your Engines

It's been two years, almost to the minute, since my big accident.

I'm getting ready for the long ride </2000/09/05> , I hope to leave at about 2:30 (21 minutes).

Good luck!  I hope you break a personal record.  It's been, what, 17 years since my big bike accident and going past that spot the other day still brought back ugly feelings.

Superstition aside, it's nice to put some closure on the past, isn't it?


Side Note: <http://www.mapquest.com/cgi-bin/ia_find?link=btwn%2Ftwn-map_results&randomt9&event=find_search&uid=ud98o7hax6i1f6xe%3Arxqzalha2&SNVData=3mad3-h.fy%2528w2x5fb_%2529z2why2%253bpq%257c0u6%2Cp7%253bz2u.hqu%253b%2528UX%2512%2515%252bEJV%2518%252bMN%2516%252b%2>

Are they kidding me?  I imagine that making an online map application isn't easy, but isn't there any way they could use server-side programming to clean up crap URLs like this?  That is a disgusting thing and unworthy of the bandwidth it takes to send it to the world.

Bah!

---------------------------
Mark Morgan: mark_morgan@yahoo.com
http://www.VoicesOfUnreason.com
A resource for writers and readers of all stripes.
-----
Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny....'"

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/8/2000

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# 321

Closure

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/7/2000

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# 317

Taking It Easy?

I tried to take it easy today. Really! I don't want to be too warn out for tomorrow's extra long ride, so I paced myself.

Still, I was only a couple of seconds behind my last ride, which was a season high, and I probably would have beaten that record if it weren't for the fact that the wind was rather stong and right in my face for the second half of the trip.

I know at least some of the tricks riders use to reduce their surface area, tricks that are especially important when riding into the wind (on a windless day, riding at 15 miles per hour results in more than 80% of your effort being spent on overcoming "wind resistance", and the percentage goes up with speed). Unfortunately, I'm a very big guy, riding a bike that's a little bit too small for me, so I really just can't take advantage of all the tricks. I can pull my elbows in, and keep my head down and my butt up... but nothing I do is going to make me present a "small surface" to the wind.

I'm not complaining. I love my sport!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/12/2000

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# 322

After Three Days Off

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/14/2000

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# 323

What Are Records For?

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Author: Sean McMains

Date:9/16/2000

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# 325

Re: What Are Records For?

Hey, congrats on the excellent ride! That's gotta be a great feeling!

Are the clipless pedals the ones that the shoes connect directly to with a little fastener on the bottom? I fall over whenever I try to use those. :-)

Sean

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/16/2000

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# 326

RE: What Are Records For?

On Saturday, September 16, 2000 at 7:20 PM, Sean McMains (sean@mcmains.net)
wrote:

>Hey, congrats on the excellent ride! That's gotta be a great feeling!

Yes, it is. I was going to ride today, too, but I should have gone already
(I wanted to go around 2:30 PM) and I'm hungry and frankly I just don't feel
like it.

:-)

>Are the clipless pedals the ones that the shoes connect directly to with a
>little fastener on the bottom? I fall over whenever I try to use those. :-)

Yes, those are the ones. You fall over on the bike, or when you try to waslk
in them?

I guess I could understand falling over when you're coming to a stop. You'd
try to put your foot down, but you forget to twist right so the foot stays
connected to the pedal... and down you go.

You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of that, would you? ;-)

Seth

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Author: Philippe Martin

Date:9/16/2000

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# 327

RE: What Are Records For?

At 20:21 +0000 16/09/00, Seth Dillingham wrote:


>I guess I could understand falling over when you're coming to a stop. You'd
>try to put your foot down, but you forget to twist right so the foot stays
>connected to the pedal... and down you go.
>
>You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of that, would you? ;-)

PRF! You sadistic! ;-)

Flip
--

______________________________________________________________________
Philippe MARTIN (a.k.a. Flip) mailto:flip@macrobyte.net
http://www.MacrobyteResources.com http://www.Free-Conversant.com

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Author: Sean McMains

Date:9/16/2000

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# 328

Re: What Are Records For?

Yes, those are the ones. You fall over on the bike, or when you try to waslk
in them?

Yes. :)

I guess I could understand falling over when you're coming to a stop. You'd
try to put your foot down, but you forget to twist right so the foot stays
connected to the pedal... and down you go.

You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of that, would you? ;-)

Oh, shush, and go make the Conversant calendar work. :-)

Sean

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/18/2000

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# 330

Morning Rush Hour

I love early morning rides! I've only done two of them this year, but I'm going to try to stick with them for the rest of the season. The "biker's high" is a very real thing, and it seems to stick with me all day when I ride in the morning. When I ride in the afternoon, I ony get to enjoy it for a few hours before I go to bed.

If I do stick with morning rides, I'll have to get out of the house a bit earlier than I did today. I didn't leave until after 9 PM, and I felt some pressure to get "back to the office", so I shortened it to just 21 miles. I'll try for 7:30 tomorrow morning.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/21/2000

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# 334

More Broken Spokes!

I guess the rear wheel on my bike needs to be replaced. I went for a ride today, and had only gone three miles when I heard at least one (I think it was two) spokes snap. The rear wheel was, again, badly warped and rubbing on the brakes.

I wanted to use the $100 gift certificate from Mom and Dad on clipless pedals, but I need the wheel more than I need the pedals. I'll buy the pedals this winter, for next season.

Today has not been a good day.

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:9/21/2000

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# 335

RE: More Broken Spokes!

Seth,

Do you know how to straighten spoke wheels?

You might be able to save yourself some money by doing it yourself first.

Good luck!

Don

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/22/2000

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# 337

Rolling Along

I had seriously considered ending my cycling season a little early this year, after the last set of broken spokes. Fortunately, I woke up this morning to another beautiful day, and I just couldn't do it! So, the bike is now at Mystic Cycle Center having a brand new wheel built and installed.

In fact, it's time to pick it up and try it out.

Oh, one last thing just to keep me honest. I'm going to add yesterday's 4+ mile ride to whatever I do today. I can't let a bad wheel totally ruin my average for the month!

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/16/2000

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# 324

How Could I Improve this Graph?

I'd like to improve the performance graph a little bit, but I need a suggestion for a statistical formula (or perhaps a process) which I absolutely can not remember, and I haven't been able to figure it out.

The problem with the current version of the graph is that it includes two numbers which paint a very incomplete picture of my actual cycling performance.

The first number, shown in the yellow line, is my year-to-date average speed. It's actually rather meaningless, it would be more useful if it showed the average speed of the last 5 rides, or something like that... essentially, it would be a smoother version of the other line on the graph.

The second number, shown with the white line, is the average speed of each ride. This is useful for determining my performance on a given day, and shows the "trend" of my performance by looking at the entire graph, but it's incomplete because it doesn't tell you how many miles I rode in that day. If I were only to ride for 10 miles, I could probably achieve an average speed of 21 mph, but if I ride for 45 miles I've (so far) only managed 17.5 mph.

So, the best graph would be some combination number which is something like a "grading system" based on the number of miles ridden that day, and the average miles per hour.

I've had a few ideas. Perhaps something like this would do the trick?

(today's avg speed X today's miles) / (total avg speed X total avg miles)

That would give me a general score for September 14 of 1.30, versus a general score for May 7 (my first ride of the year) of .82.

Is that a totally bogus way of doing this? I honestly don't know. Can anybody suggest something better?

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Author: Donald W. Larson

Date:9/18/2000

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# 331

RE: How Could I Improve this Graph?

The first number, shown in the yellow line, is my year-to-date average speed. It's actually rather meaningless, it would be more useful if it showed the average speed of the last 5 rides, or something like that... essentially, it would be a smoother version of the other line on the graph.

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Actually you can do all the averaging you want. You can take the mean, or the numerical average, etc. If you're trying to show day-to-day improvement, then you need to display those relationships using only two values <today> / <previousday>.

(today's avg speed X today's miles) / (total avg speed X total avg miles)

It seems to me you would want:

(today's avg speed X today's miles) / (total avg speed X total miles) to keep the same relationship.

Don

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/18/2000

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# 332

RE: How Could I Improve this Graph?

On Monday, September 18, 2000 at 8:41 PM, Donald W. Larson
(don@macrobyte.net) wrote:

>(today's avg speed X today's miles) / (total avg speed X total miles)

What I'm looking for is a performance grading system.

I think that something like my suggestion would work, because it makes my
average speed for the year into the "baseline". If I were to ride the
"average miles" at the average speed, I'd score a 1. If I ride faster for
the same number of miles, or slower for more miles, I could still score a 1.

Does that make sense?

I'm just looking for a way of measuring my actual performance, which can't
be expressed simply as miles per hour or distance travelled... it's a
combination of the two.

Seth

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:6/29/2000

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# 148

Shaved Off Two More Minutes

Now this is a serious improvement! I rode Friday through Monday, and then took Tuesday and Wednesday off. Today's ride, on my regular route, was a whole two minutes faster than my best time this year!

I still have a long way to go, but the strength returning to my legs — and the endurance and efficiency to my cardiovascular system — feels just wonderful.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:9/6/2000

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# 313

Age versus Physical Performance and Endurance

A report on NPR this morning, that I'm listening to as I type this, says that physiologists are starting to realize that the performance/endurance decrease that comes with age may not be as real as once thought.

Stated another way, most people have believed for a long time that the human body's atheltic ability peaks in the late teens and early twenties, and then starts to fade out. Consider the American Olympians: twenty years ago, the average age of the team was 21.

The report said that Physiologists are finding that this performance peak and subsequent decline may have been socially engineered: after training for years to reach the Olympics, most athletes then needed to start a "real life"... the Olympics didn't allow paid athletes to compete, so there were very few who could manage to start a family, manage a career, and still continue the training process necessary to stay in the best physical condition.

This year, the average age of the American Olympic team is 29 (or 28, not sure which they said). Professional ("paid") athletes are now allowed to compete, so more of the athletes have been able to make their sports into their careers, through paid competitions and endorsements.

Noone is claiming that age is an advantage in endiurance-related sports, but they are starting to claim that it may not be the disadvantage we all once imagined.

I'm in my mid-to-late twenties (not sure where "almost 28" fits in there), and I'm actually below the average age of an American Olympian... yet some friends and family told me this year, repeatedly, that I shouldn't expect to achieve the same cycling performance that I had when I was 21. I'm glad I didn't listen, as I'm doing as well now as I ever did, and I'm still improving. I may not be an Olympian, but in the race against my own body, I seem to be pulling ahead.

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Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:10/17/2000

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# 364

Cycling Season's Closed

I haven't mentioned cycling here in awhile because I consider the season to be over. I have stats for two rides that haven't made it into the diary yet, but I don't think I'll be riding again until Spring.

There have probably been seven or eight days, since my last one, that would have been nice enough for a ride... but we're also quite busy at Macrobyte now, so it's harder to justify the one and a half to two hours per day that a ride requires (including shower time, etc.).

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