Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Triathlon Training Day 38: 20 Mile Cycle

I am really beginning to enjoy cycling. However, I am getting bored riding around my neighborhood. Venturing out onto the roads is a rather dangerous proposition considering the large amount of traffic in the area. So, I guess that purchasing a rack for my car is the next best thing. I found a good looking 25 mile ride map here online that is on some rural back roads. This might be how I spend next Saturday morning!

Anyways, I did manage to get in 20 miles in my neighborhood this evening and the wind was non-existent so I averaged 19.4 MPH. My Garmin said I burned 1254 calories but that seems a little extreme to me. I got home from work at about 5pm today and was ready to go but the outdoor temp was 94 degrees - wow! So I waited until 7pm and the temp was all the way down to 89 degrees but at least the sun wasn't as high in the sky and the humidity wasn't bad either. So the ride was actually very pleasant. I was still a sweaty mess at the end but it was still fun.

Also, I am really getting the bug to purchase a Triathlon bike. Right now I have a Schwinn Prelude Road Bike that I got at The Academy for $220 bucks. Overall, the bike is excellent for the price. It is lightweight. It has decent Shimano components. But only has 14 gears. I really feel like this is limiting my top speed. Now the smart thing to do would be to hold off until I finish the Triathlon and see if it is something I'd like to keep doing. And if it is then go buy a nice Tri bike. I keep thinking I need aerobars and clipless pedals but don't want to spend the cash on these accessories when they would be part of the new bike package! Decisions, Decisions...oh, what should I do?

Tomorrow is my scheduled off day but I really want to go swimming. Last swim I did 62 laps and when I got home I realized a mile was 70.4 laps. I missed it by only 8 laps - it has been bothering me ever since and I need to remedy that!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Awesome ride! Your average speed is pretty good, especially when you consider how long the ride was.

    I am also waiting until I get 1 or 2 triathlons under my belt before deciding on a tri bike. I installed aerobars and clipless pedals on my Trek. It has served me well. However, you are right... if you think you may be getting a tri bike, you might now want to invest in the accessories.

    You will definitely get your mile swim on your next session. I can go much more than mile, but I am usually limited by having to get back to work.

  2. It's been years since I was a bike rider, so from what I remember, the limiting speed factor on your bike isn't the number of gears, rather its the ratios of your gear cassette. You can have a ten-speed bike and go faster than a 14-speed bike if your gear cassette ratios are larger, top to bottom, than the 14-speed. There's gotta be a cyclist who's lurking who can chime in with more expertise.

    About your pedals...I suggest you shop for the best pedal set for you. What may come with a bike may not be what you want, or need. There are some that are easier to kick out of, then there are some that are more tricky. I found that out the hard way as I landed on my shoulder trying to get out of my pedals at a stop sign.

    Finally, I'd befriend a local bike shop and their mechanics. Personally, I like REI because that's who I used to work for, and there's one in Houston. They can make suggestions, they may even have an used pedal set they'd let you try (we did that several times). They put on clinics and offer tons of advice. If you think you'll get serious about bike riding, that's what I'd do!

  3. Boomer, Looks like we are thinking the same thing about the tri bike. My Tri is only a 13.8 mile bike ride, which is more than doeable on my Schwinn. I will probably just wait it out unless I find a great deal on a Tri bike!

    Pretty confident about swimming the mile later today.

  4. Steve, Good info about the gearing!

    If the bike portion was longer during my Tri I would probably already have the pedals. I have found a local bike shop over in The woodlands that seems to have some knowledgeable employees. The one closer to my house in Kingwood is a little lacking - seems like they have a bunch of teenagers working and don't really care.

  5. Jeff, Nice. It's always good to get off the beaten path w/ cycling.

    I can't wait to get my body fat under 15% and start pushing for triathlon shape.

    Appreciate the good words on my diet. It's weird how you can eat more and keep losing. I was down 4lbs this morning after eating 3300 calories yesterday and having 4.5L of water...after two days of P90X!


  6. Dave,

    Same way here ... I was eating over 3000 cals and losing weight like crazy. Took awhile for that to compute. Keep up the hard work and you'll be down under 15% in no time.

  7. Jeff,

    Your Schwinn is more than adequate for that Tri distance. Did 3-4 on a cheapo Fuji road bike and I was right in there. Aero bars and pedals really come into play when you get into longer distance events. Plus see if you like it first. You can always rest your elbows on the bar (worked for me) and spend the 20 bucks to at least get pedals with straps over the top. By only having to change shoes once it also helps in T2, drop the bike and just keep rollin. Also, if you don't have them already grab some yanks for your running shoes, so you don't have to worry about tying the shoes.