Cycling Log 2012

January: I took the month off. It's been an oddly warm and absolutely snowless winter, but my heart wasn't in the hardships of the commute so I figured I just needed a little time off the bike. Was also getting in quite a bit of ice skating (and roller blading, at Guptill's) while Hannah was home. So I got back on for a commute for the first time on 1/24.

1/28: First actual ride of the year on the Roubaix. It was about 42 and sunny enough. I wanted to go longer than I did but ended up in a nice conversation at Watervliet with a 70-year-old man on a tricycle who liked chatting about how he'd lost 100 pounds in the last year by riding his trike everywhere and cutting out the crappy food. We talked for a good twenty minutes. The ride was up the hill to the cemetery, then from Menands up to Watervliet, a quick tuck in at the parking lot for my long chat, then Green Island, over into Troy, back across on the Troy-Menands bridge and down the path again. 1:06 riding time, 27k, avg. 24.2 kph, max 39.7, ending odo 13760.

2/1: Commute with a lunchtime trip to Melville's Mug, because although it was damp and windy, it was up near 60. Insanity. 17.5k (commute plus lunch).

2/2: 14.6k commute. 36 in the morning, colder I think in the evening, with little ice crystals banging my face and my thighs feeling like wooden popsicle sticks. The promised sun never came out. Otherwise, a good commute. On Groundhog Day. Suck it, rodent!

2/4: Saturday ride up to Troy, back through Watervliet and up Spring Street Road, down 9 to Osborne and then down Osborne and along Central to the connection to Washington, then to Stuyvesant Plaza. The sun didn't come out like it was supposed to, which is a good thing because I was bundled for 42 and wind. Met the girls at Stuyvesant Plaza. 1:28, 34k, avg. 23 kph, 48.6 max, ending 13794.

2/7: Bombing the commuter around Albany neighborhoods while Bek had an appointment, with a stop at Panera for a scone and to make up for the lack of cemeteries in downtown Albany. 13k, city average.

Couple weeks off, and not even because it was so cold. There was stuff going on. Anyway, back to riding the hallway in the beginning of March, and then

3/4: From Cohoes Falls to the Nisky Train Station, back on the road to avoid some snow that was still on the path. Then a few minutes of bombing around downtown Troy, where I had to be for weekend logistical reasons. 40 degrees and not sunny, with some snow at the end. 1:26, 34.39k, avg. 24.0 kph (didn't have a lot of pressure even on the flats), max 39.6kph, odo 13829.

3/7: Standard commute. 34 degrees in the morning, longsleeve base layer, long sleeve polo, orange jacket. Regular pants with nothing over. Was fine, but of course it was sunny and no wind.

3/10: Nice sunny day in the 40s, promise of better the next day. Did a quick run up to Troy and then back on the bike path. 1:11, 29k, avg. 24.6, max 44, ending odo 13858.

3/11: Took Lee out for a spin up to Watervliet and back. Didn't really record it, it's about 12k, right?

3/12 and 3/16: Regular commute. Cool mornings but in the 50s in the afternoons.

3/17: Avoiding the St. Patrick's drunkfest, which is almost impossible. Quick ride up to Cohoes, across to Lansingburgh, back down through Green Island even though I meant to go through Troy. First flat of the season in Watervliet, and it took two tries to get the patch right. But a beautiful, beautiful day so I didn't really care. 1:24, 37.8k, avg. 27.0 kph, 40.7 max, ending odo 13896.

3/18: Had to drop Hannah off at RPI, so went over to the Cohoes end of the bike path and tore it up from there. Out to the Niskayuna train station, came back mostly on the road because the path was just choked with people. Had someone catch me in a clot, chatted for a minute, then when we got around the clot I dropped him like a bad habit, which felt good. 1:08, 31.3k, avg. 27.7kph, 51 max, ending odo 13927. By the way, it was about 68 today, and we're looking at a week that's even warmer. Absolutely insane.

3/19 and 3/20: Regular commute. Sick sick stomach on Tuesday, and it was hot as hell, so I learned that I can, in fact, come home very softly on that triple.

3/21: First longish ride of the season, but in keeping with my forgetting of things, I forgot both my jersey (rode in a polo) and my computer. Such a stunningly beautiful day, getting close to 80 but not oppressive. I have literally never seen so many serious cyclists out, not just on the bike path but also on Riverview Road. Started out on the bike path at Colonie Town Park, rode over the Mohawk at Aqueduct and along Riverview Road. (By the way, the MapMyRide map claims there's a "scenic bikeway" along the river at the foot of Sugar Hill Road, so that must be checked out because I've never heard of it.) Back across at the Route 9 bridge (the other aqueduct) and up the hill. 44.8k, no idea of my speed but probably just south of 27kph. Need to add the miles to the odometer.

3/22 & 23: Regular commutes, coming home by Sherwood and the lake.

3/24: From the Crossings out to the bike path by old Nisky, then back in to Cohoes, across to Lansingburgh, through Troy on First and up the HVCC hill by Cottage Lane and home on 4. Second flat of the season, may not have gotten the glass out the other day, had to make a very poor change up against the South End Tavern. 1:47, 45.96, 25.5kph, 46.3 max, 13973 (uncorrected).

3/25: Just a little spin around the lake with Lee, 4.8k or so on the Bianchi, mostly for the sake of saying that I had ridden 10 days in a row, probably for the first time since I was 17. 

4/1: And then it was a solid week off because of travel and other things, including doing some running with Lee on Saturday. Celebrated the Tour of Flanders by getting my third and fourth rear flats of the season -- a snakebite that I didn't recognize as one and missed the second hole with the patch by mere millimeters. Had to call the sag wagon down to Castleton because I couldn't figure out why I was flatting again and didn't really want to -- it was chilly, dreary and about to rain. 1:23, 35.26k, avg. 25.2, max 50.1, 14008 (uncorrected). That was the first run out Luther Road of the season, then down North Schodack to 150, over Brookview into Castleton proper and down the hill, where I was supposed to do some speed work on 9J, but I think a side trip through a cemetery put the snakebite on me. Oh, well.

4/3, 5 & 6: Commute, coming back by Sherwood and around the lake 'cause I just wasn't feeling the 151 hill. About 30 degrees in the morning, regular pants, cotton t, dress shirt and my yellow cycling jacket have been enough with a gaiter and long-fingered gloves, but only because the sun was going to be out and there was no wind, otherwise it wouldn't have been quite enough. The Dunn is under construction and Broadway in Rensselaer is completely torn up, so I've had to stop running around the train station and instead come down Third and cut in by the creek.

4/7: First Nassau run of the season, did a great 27.6 average on the way out to North Chatham and then the crosswind got vicious. Combination of rotten road and howling crosswind (my faithful Indian companion) knocked the hell out of my legs on the way home, and I just kept losing average but there was nothing to do about it, and I didn't want to call for the sag wagon again. Bright sunny day, crisp in the early 50s but man that wind. 2:09, 56k, 25.9kph avg., max 52.1, ending odo 14109 (now corrected for missing k's). South Schodack Road hasn't repaved itself, by the way.

4/8: First did 9.9k around the neighborhood with Lee and Bek. Then decided to hurl myself into a headwind pretty much all the way to Niskayuna, leavened with a bit of a crosswind as I got into Rotterdam. Took the bike path route and then used Van Antwerp to get over to Central Park, which was a nice way to go. Map here. 2:08 in a vicious headwind, 53.2k, avg. 24.8 kph, max 43.3, ending odo 14163 (next time add the 9.9).

4/13: Regular commute. Was off the bike for travel the rest of the week.

4/15: Weekend obligations and yardwork screwed up the weekend rides. When I finally got out Sunday morning I only managed 20k because I had an honest to god blowout, finally deciding that the cause of my last three weeks of flats was that the bead on my Vredesteins must be shot. Exciting blowout out by Chamberlain Hill, nursed it back home.

4/16 and 4/18: Regular commute, a little longer going around the lake.

4/19: For the first time ever, commuted to the Amtrak station, put my bike in a locker and came back for it on 4/20. Only 2.8 miles each way, but still . . . commuted to the train station!

4/21: Went from Colonie Town Park, across the bike path (which is already just not passable, even first thing in the morning, and there were special events on it), down Balltown Road to the Rexford side, then through Crescent to Waterford, crossed into Lansingburgh and came down to Troy. Stopped for coffee and a scone at Spillin' the Beans, sat outside and soaked up the Saturday morning sun, then rode on in the ever-gathering headwind across the Troy-Menands to the path and then to Broadway Bikes, where Lee met me because we needed some gear, she had to cross the river anyway, and I was just going to be out of leg. The wind never seemed like a tail, but it was a gorgeous morning, a little chill at first in shorts, a base layer and short-sleeve jersey, but then it was just perfect. 2:41, 70.25k, avg. 26.0 kph, max 53.2, ending odo 14254 (still need to add 9.9). The next day was cold, gray and windy and I just wasn't up for it, which was dumb because I could be racking up some serious miles on the weekends, which is the only chance I'm going to get.

4/23: Regular commute. Getting ready for the discontinuation of our bus line, so I went out in a fairly miserable cold rain, and still overheated on the other side.

4/24: Regular commute.

4/25 & 26: Another Amtrak overnight!

4/27: Regular commute. The end of April turned cold and miserable.

4/29: First ride on the new Vredestein Fortezza TriComp tires (had been running on a mix of the old Fortezza in the front and an old backup Michelin Krylion in the back. Ran up to Troy and back down, into Washington Park to see the tulips and then back home. 1:52, 42.7k, 22.8 avg. (vicious wind), 45.6 max, 14297 still uncorrected.

4/30, 5/1: Regular commute, then I had to take a couple of days off for oral surgery and its after-effects.

5/5: From Colonie Town Park out the bike path, over to the Rexford side of the river, down to Watervliet and back through Troy, crossed at Menands and inadvisedly took the bike path home. Too many charity events on the paths this time of year, along with everyone else, but coming over from Troy plunks you in the middle of the path, with no quick way to the streets. Brisk wind and cooler than I would have hoped. Stupid hills home take my average down from 27.6 to 26.7. Grrrr. 2:48 riding time, 75k, 26.7 avg., max 58.8, ending odo 14382 (now corrected).

5/6: Over the river and south through Bethlehem, up Clapper Road to 32 and back into the city, quick stop at the Albany Bike Expo in Washington Park. Chilly and cloudy when I left, the sun opened up with a vengeance, and I was stuck in a heavy long-sleeve jersey. Took off the base layer though, and was glad I'd gone with shorts. Still the sun was too high to hang around the expo for long. Had a beautiful avg. over 27 kph until, of course, noodling around Albany and then that climb home. 2:01, 52.55k, 25.9kph avg, 54.2 max, odo 14435.

5/7: Commuting logistics made it make sense for me to just park in Watervliet and ride the path down (too much construction and too many striper fishermen in the Preserve). Then had some extra time after work so spun down to get a picture of the zombie proof storage and then a quick run up into the cemetery, where I found the Van Benthuysen tomb up on a ridge where you have to climb, can't see it from the road. Surprisingly, 28.6k for this commute!

5/11: Standard commute, around the lake.

5/12: From Colonie Town Park up 9 and over the river road to the Vischers Ferry hydro plant, noodled around there a bit, then back and went up Van Vranken Road thinking it would cross Grooms at some point. I may have turned too early because I ended up on Crescent, which brought me right back to the foot of the Route 9 bridge. Then climbed Church Hill Road and down to Waterford, and into Troy where I sat and enjoyed unspeakably beautiful sun among the millions milling about the Troy Farmers Market in Monument Square. Then rode across at Menands and met the sag wagon at ballet. Not that I couldn't have climbed the hill, just didn't see the need. 2:24 (plus lots of hanging out -- at the Whipple bridge, Clute's dry dock, Visschers Ferry, Troy). 59.16k, 26.4kph avg., max 55, ending odo 14494. Was actually about 8k more than that for a couple of errands that I turned off the clock for, but let's be rational.

: Too many things to do so just decided to go hard for an hour, which turned into 1:20. Straight out Luther (by way of the Donna Lynn detour, Couse Corners is still closed) and Sagendorf, back to 150 and down to Brookview, Philips to Gilligan and then up Route 4. Lost time waiting to double back to get to Red Mill Road, but still pretty fast run. It was 80 degrees, or 36 degrees warmer than when I started yesterday morning's ride. 1:20, 36.8k, avg. 27.3, max 53.6, ending odo 14531.

5/16: Cleveland. Did about 40k along the lake on a balloon-tired seven-speed Raleigh.

5/18: Sunny Friday afternoon ride with Lee from the Corning up to Watervliet and back. Gotta check that but I think it's 13k.

5/19: From Colonie Town Park up 9 to Round Lake, where I picked up the local bike path without knowing where it would take me. Ballston Spa was the answer, so went up 50 to the park, across and back down 9 to 67 (didn't feel up to hitting the rollers around the lake route). Into Mechanicville and Waterford, then a sprint into Troy. 3:06, 88.28k, 28.4 avg. (that's right!), max was screwed up again but probably 53, ending odo 14619.

5/20: I'd call it a recovery ride after yesterday's longest of the season, but the point was also to work on some sprinting speed. Down Aiken to 9J, where I did 45-second and 1-minute sprints with 2-minute rests, down to Castleton, which is exactly half an hour from home. Too hot, no food and only a single water bottle, so didn't repeat the sprints on the way back. My average before the climb home was 31kph. 1:04, 31.6k, 29.2 kph avg., 54.3 max, ending odo 14651.

5/20: Commute to the Amtrak. 7.6k. Actually hurt after having rested from the morning sprints.

At this point, I've got 918k on the road, 452.7 commuting, for 1370.7k for the year (851.7 miles). One-third of that total is commuting.

June has turned into something of a disaster, between the porch rehabilitation, a streak of extreme heat, work, etc.

Commuted: 6/4, 5, 11, 15, 18, 19, 22 (skipped 20 and 21 for heat), 25.
6/10: Rode with Lee, then started on a ride home from Colonie Town Park on my own and had a freak accident that put the chainring into my leg. Didn't mark the mileage

6/17: 1:41, 45.6k, avg. 26.8, max 52, ending odo 14813.

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