Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Last Days in Florida...
Weather was perfect temperature wise at around 72 degrees, however there was a serious crosswind coming in off the ocean at a steady 15-20mph. Fun! Especially with a deep rim front wheel. Good practice right? So off I went. A lot of A1A is sheltered enough that the crosswinds were milder in some places. I don't think they ever went away. My plan was to ride thirty miles back the way I'd just driven, turn around and come back. Turns out the crosswind on the way out felt more like a cross/slight tailwind, and on the way back was very much a cross/headwind. There were several times I'd notice on the way out when I was effortlessly cruising at 22mph at 100-120watts. Definite tailwind action there!
The way out went by nice and quickly. I was having a blast out there, the weather was perfect, traffic was light and I was grooving a nice pace. The crosswind made it fun and kept me on my toes too. Once I hit the turnaround point the way back was a lot more interesting. The way back had the headwind to deal with so I was working alot harder to maintain the same speed. I pushed myself to go hard and not let up and try and maintain a 20mph average for the ride. Interestingly if you compare the way out to the way back my average wattage on the way back was 40 watts higher than on the way out for the same distance. But thats what it took to hold the average speed I wanted.
Now the interesting thing about rides like this is that now I have to think about power strategies in this situation. If I was faced with this course as race... would I ride it like I did focusing on speed? or rather use the data from this ride to interpolate an average wattage as a goal and work harder on the way out, and less hard on the way back into the wind ending up at the same average power. I'm guessing thats the better strategy... but I'm still reading and learning about power and figuring it out as I go. I am enjoying having that data to look at though.
So on the way back the other interesting thing that happened is that I almost went right over the top of a convertible. Some beach goers in a volvo convertible pulled out of a parking lot without looking and then when they saw me crusing right at them promptly stopped. So I jammed on my brakes and prayed. Couldn't swing into traffic as there was a car there.... so I just started braking and cursing. Pretty sure the kids in the back seat learned some new words that day. Mom look FREAKED that I was going to crash right into the side of her car. Hec I was freaked too! Luckily enough I stopped just a few inches shy of their door despite losing traction and my wheels sliding. I even managed to clip out. Definitely a little scary!
So here's a pic taken along the route. Note the crosswinds in the palm trees.
Posted by Nick Wisdom at 1:55 PM