Y'all remember Brenda Starr Trek, my fitness hybrid bike? She's been my faithful servant and partner in Tri-ing since July of 2012. She took me to work this morning, and in fact, I looped a little farther than the workplace, since I was a tad early, and also since I don't know how much more really good biking weather we'll have. You just never know. So I rode about 9 1/2 miles "the long way around" just appreciating the weather, the scenery, and all.
For the first time since they painted the bike lanes on the downtown streets, I actually USED them. For about three blocks. They kind of freak me out, because they are on the outside of angle-in parking, and I've never much cared for how they laid them out. A car pulled up in the lane beside, even on a Sunday morning when downtown is mostly deserted, but was respectful.
And after work, I rode the trails down to my favorite bike shop where I found an "event" going on. Brenda was about due for a tune up, and I get them for free there, so I went in and they happened to have a free mechanic to look at her and adjust her brakes and gears and such while I went out and drooled over the stuff in the tents set up outside.
Talk about dangling candy in front of a baby... the event was sponsored by an outfit called SRAM, and what they were pitching was power metering technology... power cranks that can be installed on road bikes that feed little computer devices with how many watts of power you are actually producing on the pedals. And get this: they were offering test rides!
Of course I had to try it out. I brought Brenda home first, as they had just sent the bike that would fit me out on a 50 minute ride with someone else. Had my lunch, and drove back over.
You must understand: I had never ridden a true road bike before. These bikes had a different kind of gear shift, a totally different posture for riding, different brake technology. So above and beyond having a gadget measure how powerful my pedal strokes were, I was learning to ride a bike kind of all over again. At least they gave me flat pedals so I didn't have to go whole hog into clip shoes or whatever!
I started out slow, on residential streets, then turned onto the bike path and cranked it up a notch. And discovered cross winds. Aargh! No, I did not crash, but I got to feeling a tad insecure in spots. When I got back, the nice man showed me two numbers. Since I have no reference point, I have little to compare with, but I found one later.
First number: my average Watt production for the 20 minute ride was 60. My comparison - I powered a light bulb for 20 minutes. I have no idea if this number is good or bad.
Second number: my maximum Watt output was 207. No idea where on the ride I was pushing that hard, but I have my suspictions. It is my understanding that one can upload from the receiver device to training web sites and track over time... and now the geek in me comes out. This could be very useful for intelligent training.
So... Brenda my dear, you're a wonderful commuting bike... and a fine touring bike for up to 25 miles... but are you up to an Olympic triathon?
Triathlon is NOT a cheap sport. I may start discovering just how cheap it's NOT. But whatever the expense at this point... I might just decide I'm worth it. But no, I did not purchase a new bike today.
Oh, and yesterday's comparison numbers from the gadgets, which I did not get into the morning blog. Yesterday had a gym strength workout and an afternoon walk. The gym workout included rowing machine for the warmup.
OMRON - 12819
Fitbit Flex - 11605
Spark Activity Tracker - 13008
LIFE continues to be good! Spark on.