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Some interesting developments this week. More distance and meeting my time goal. I set a goal of ten hours a week. I hope to meet or exceed that each week. I set a mileage goal of ten thousand kilometers for the year. I’ll need to ramp up my game to catch up, I’m currently around seven hundred kilometers behind. This second week required digging int the back of the closet for those warm layers I don’t normally ever need but a few times a year. This week has been those few times. I also found the Garmin Vector 2 pedals are battery hogs, but that may be due to the poor quality batteries I have on hand. Out on a ride the right battery went dead, but what alerted me first was a clanking on the crank arm. The connector from the battery unit had come free, likely from when I kicked up a stick when I had to jog quickly to the right to avoid a close passing car in the bicycle lane. That was a big enough bump on the stick my Apple Watch thought I’d fallen.

Nope. I did stop and look for the clunking stick, but it had fallen free as I slowed. I spun the crank and wheels and was rewarded with quiet. Off riding again fifteen kilometers later another bump and a big clunk, clunk, clunk. Stopped in the big ring and smaller cog of course, find the problem, plug the connector in, and check the battery life; dead.

The dead battery was easily dealt with once I got home. The left battery died as I was getting up off the floor from replacing the right. I took care of that one as well. All good and back in working order. I’ll be monitoring my battery consumption for sure.

Twice now, I’ve ridden my blink lights to dead. Running the batteries in each to nothing sometime during a ride. The headlight always goes dark first. In the first full week on the road I managed to ride ten hours and forty-eight minutes. The second week, having two more days left, I’m managed six hours and thirty-six minutes. My now usual route should get me into about the same time as that first week with a little bump in total mileage. I am slowly getting faster.

Now, being a person of a certain age, I am set to get an annual physical next week that will include an EKG. Nothing is popping up to indicate any heart issues, but I asked and my doctor feels it prudent to be proactive and check things at this stage. I think knowing I’m going into longer rides with more hills and more effort will be less fraught if I know things are as good as anyone can tell. The tests never rule out the freak incidents, but some peace of mind.

Week two has yielded cool riding weather, cold in fact for me. I had to resort to shoe covers, winter weight socks and base layers. All that has meant a very full laundry basket and drying rack in the shed.

Three Days Riding Kits – Mix-n-Match Voler, Castelli, Specialized, Buff and Pearl Izumi

I skipped the wet days because I’m lazy and really did not want to deal with the mess riding in the rain and muck create. Plus rain makes drivers into bigger idiots than usual. I’m not a racer, I can afford to skip the bad weather riding.

The cooler weather was not without its advantages though. I managed to sort out a kit mix that worked for my weather conditions. When it was the coldest, mid fifties °F, I found my Pearl Izumi thermal bottoms, Shoe covers, Smart Wool running socks with thicker toes and heels, Voler Black Label bibs and summer top with the Voler tank top base layer, Castelli arm warmers, Buff light neck wear doubled over and Castelli wind vest with summer gloves worked fine. I always wear a Voler helmet liner for sun and keeping my head a bit warmer when in the cold. I found I do have to modulate the gilet zipper to keep myself cooler and not sweating. A thermal gilet might be better, but I figure I’m almost out of cold weather riding again.

Apple Watch Version 4

On Thursday It was warmer so I only wore the Voler tank top base layer, vintage summer jersey and bibs. Both worn with Castelli arm and leg warmers, Smartwool socks and no shoe covers. The buff is my now usual neckwear. It bunches at the back of my neck a little, but I’m becoming used to it. I figure come real summer weather, I’ll likely stow the Buff in a back pocket.

I normally feel chilled more than too warm so the leg and arm warmers will hang in there as usual kit for a while longer. One advantage is this saves on sun screen.

Now, I’ve figured out what kit works and what combinations don’t and most important which pieces of all the stuff I own work with weather and adapt the best for riding from the coast inland and back, across the middle of the day. I don’t ever need to wear my Pearl Izumi rain jacket other than in full on rain or drizzle with the thermometer dips into the fifties. My shoe covers are not waterproof and the wool gloves I have I’ve not bothered with wearing here in Southern California. We are warming into Spring here and tomorrow looks to be a very warm day. I will more than likely skip the base layer and wear the gilet. I can pull that off when I get warm and stow it in my back pocket.

I have not been eating anything on my rides and only drinking water. It has been cool enough so one large bottle just lasts the whole ride. My goals are coming along nicely. At this point I’m trying to keep my heart rate down in Zone 2 which in turn keeps my power output down in Zone 1. I’m burning fat these days more than building on my FTP or much endurance beyond getting used to two or more hours in the saddle. Next week I’ll begin adding the Antonio hill and a bit to the route. I’m looking to work up to a regular three hour ride. That will require finding an additional almost hour or saddle time. Once I can do that reliably day after day, I’ll revise my weekly hour goal. After that I see the metric century once a week as a real possibility. My bike handling and balance are coming back too with all this regular riding outdoors. I still have a bit of trouble getting my foot in the clip quite more than I want. The pedals spin very easily after rebuilding with the adapter kit and Phil Wood waterproof grease. And yes, properly torqued to spec. I’ve never become as accustomed to these Shimano pedals or the Speedplay before than as I was to my SPD’s or before those, Time and Look and Mavic. When these Garmin Vector 2 power meters quit being supported, I’ll switch to a crank based dual sided powermeter. Though accomplishing that requires a new drivetrain and mechs and levers. Probably a new bike though so there is that. Things to day dream of while on those long hot climbs.

Cheers, until next week, keep riding. Stay safe out there.

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