Saturday, May 1, 2010

There Are in Fact 50 Miles of Road in Newport

This morning my facebook update said I was headed to Newport for a 50 mile ride.  My friend David suggested that there weren't 50 miles to be had in Newport.  Well I can attest to the fact he's incorrect!

I started the ride off on Goat Island in Newport and my route took me around the ocean drive, past the beaches of Newport and Middletown and then into the interior of the island, and then I turned around and doubled back along the same route.  It was a great ride!  Heres a link to the info and route of my ride from my garmin.  I haven't tried this yet here so hopefully this link works...  Click on the "View Details" bit at the bottom of the image to see the full layout of info.

So...    takeaways from today's ride.  I'm really pleased with a few things from today's ride...

1.  That I managed an average speed of 17mph (technically 16.8, but Garmin also offers a "moving" average speed meaning it takes out pauses and whatnot and there it gives me 17.0.  This is higher than the average speed of my last 50 miler which was more like 15.5 although that route had a lot more traffic and obstacles to deal with, although it did have a lot less hills than I had today.

2.  Speaking of hills...   there were lots of hills in today's route.  Look at the elevation profile.  Lots of rollers, and one monster ridiculously steep hill, and several good sized regular ol hills.  I attacked all of them.  Some not super fast, but I pushed hard on almost all of them.  More importantly my gear changing technique is getting better.  I'm learning to change gears at the right times.  I spent a lot of time staring at my speed as I changed gears and learned some good lessons as to when.  I started switching to bigger gears before I had crested the hill and this was leading to faster accelerations coming over the top of the hills so that was great.

3.  I spent about a third of the ride on the big chain ring up front.  Which is somewhere I haven't really been yet.  I've been avoiding it for some reason.  Probably because I was too busy focusing on other things and getting used to the bike.  Today I spent a lot of time in it.  I need to work on my transitions out of it.  But getting into it I was really flying on some of the subtle descents and flats today.  It felt great too!  Its nice when your going 25mph on a flat and cranking away!

4.  Bike handling...   I don't know whether its because my new health coverage has finally started so I'm covered again, or I'm getting less afraid, or I'm getting better around cars, but I did quite well today.  Still some room for improvement as there were moments fighting with water bottles when I got a bit swervy.  But later in the ride I did manage to descend a good sized hill with cars everywhere while riding one handed and eating a powerbar.  I was quite proud of that one.  It was only a week ago I would have been too afraid to take a hand off the bars during a descent.

So all in all a great ride.  And I decided today that I'm going to register for the NBW Century ride coming up in June!  So I had better keep these long rides up!  Once again it felt great to be able to do another long endurance type ride.  And I'll leave you with a pic taken from the Sachuest Point turnaround facing back towards second beach in Middletown.  The route today really was beautifull.  Riding along the ocean makes me feel recharged and happy!

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