Monday, May 31, 2021

Some Notes To End May 2021

May is a spring month in Washington County, not a summer month, so again we took the bad with the good as the weather fluctuated wildly. We had some days in the 80s, some days with wind chill in the 30s, and everything in-between. We had rain, but not too much. And we had wind … lots of wind. I didn’t have big expectations coming into May, so I’m satisfied with what I got: 17 rides for a total of 550 miles, my highest totals so far this year. Add another 47.4 miles of walking/hiking and it was an active month. Looks like I may have lost a couple of pounds. I’ll know tomorrow when I do my “official” monthly weigh-in.

There was bike racing in Wisconsin—four of my Pedal Moraine teammates competed in the WORS season opener on May 16—and there was bike racing around the globe, with very competitive UCI Mountain Bike World Cup races and a terrific Giro d’Italia. May also was a month of steady progress in the development of the new mountain bike trails at Heritage Trails County Park near Slinger. And here in West Bend, the city has started to install the signs for our first official bike route, the “orange loop.” This is all good stuff!

I did a little shopping in May, adding two jerseys, another pair of bib shorts, and a couple of better water bottles. I’m looking for a new helmet too, but I don’t need much more. I appear to be finishing a process I began last year when it seemed like all my cycling kit wore out at once.

June should be a high-mileage month for me. It typically is, and last June was a personal record: 843 miles. But June will be somewhat atypical this year for the Tour of America’s Dairyland. ToAD was canceled outright in 2020 because of the pandemic. It’s back for 2021, but it will not feature the Downer Avenue race that, for me, was its signature event. Weather permitting, I will be an unmasked face in the crowd in Grafton on June 19 and in Shorewood on June 25. Somebody beer me—the good stuff, not that watery, low-cal, domestic swill—and let’s all start to feel normal again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Finally: 1,000 Miles In 2021

I was on a mission today … a slow, wind-blown, and by the end chilly mission to reach 1,000 miles, year-to-date. With 5 miles to go I was very conscious of the 13° temperature drop and I retreated to my house for the arm warmers I had talked myself out of about 2 hours earlier. Oh, well. Mission accomplished: my first 1,000 miles of 2021 are complete. This is the latest date on which I reached 1,000 miles since May 28, 2007, and I now have a streak of 6 seasons in which I reached the milestone later than the year before. I’m starting to wonder whether I ever again will finish this goal before the end of April. I haven’t done so since 2017. It probably doesn’t matter, but I always thought April 30 was a good target.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Finding A Little

Today's route, completed counter-clockwise.

If this blog goes silent, then you can be sure I’m not happy with how things are going on the bike. Such was the case for the last couple of weeks. This month began with a pair of 80° days but then rapidly dropped below normal for two weeks. I struggled to find the motivation to ride. I wasn’t completely idle—I did a lot of walking/hiking and I stuck to my strength training schedule in the home gym—but in the first 12 days of May I reached for my bike only 3 times.

Things look like they’re about to get much better: I reached for my bike 3 times in the last 4 days. Today’s ride was by far my fastest this year. Friday’s ride was by far my hilliest this year. The week to come will be much warmer than the week that just ended. I hope that means I can record my first 200-mile week of 2021. I need to start cranking those out like I did last year.

Today’s ride, my 28th this season, got me to 719 miles. I am well behind last year’s pace for both metrics. But I’m going to make an earnest effort to surpass 1,000 miles by the end of May. In a good year, that’s a number I see by the end of April. Yes, I’m that far behind. Good times are coming, though. Better weather, better attitude. Better attitude, better performance.