One Final Late-Summer PR

>> Thursday, September 04, 2014

I've often talked about going for an early bike ride once each week. Well, those days are about done, because I'm getting back home before there's much light in the sky - it's a little too dangerous.

Before throwing in the towel on my 4:00 a.m. bike rides, I wanted to see if I could set a PR on my normal short "go-to" loop - it's basically "U-shaped" with a flat top. The "flat top" is Summit Ave, and then I head south along River Road until it turns back to the north as Shepard Road. I climb back up from downtown to Summit Ave, and I head home. With an out-and-back to get home, the loop is about 15.5 miles:


Riding it counter-clockwise from the upper left.

Because it's an urban ride with lots of areas you have to slow up or stop (at least 9 stop signs and 17 stop lights), it's not a speedy ride. I've never broke 20 mph on this short ride - 19.9 is my PR. I've had a 22.x mph average getting to downtown St. Paul (upper right of that map), but then climbing into downtown and climbing up Ramsey Hill has knocked my average back down. (And that ONE time I was over 22 mph at that point was because I had a strong tailwind along Shepard that then KILLED me for the final 4 miles home - but that was the ride with my 19.9 PR.)

Well, earlier this week, I hit downtown with a 21.0 ave. That's not great, but it's better than average. And it was a calm morning, so it wasn't "wind aided." I climbed through downtown and up Ramsey, and my average only dropped to 20.0 mph! I think I've only been at or above 20 mph once or twice before by the time I climbed Ramsey. I hit the lights well, and only had to stop twice I think. Oh, and I was wearing my meshy construction worker reflective vest over my jersey, so I didn't feel very "sleek" when I was in aero.

Anyway, I think my PR on that loop was 46:30 on July 13 (19.9 overall average). Earlier this week, I did it in 45:55, which was good for 20.2 mph. Sweet.

I might use my "bike skill" (sarcastic quotes there) one more time this year - I'm thinking about 1 last duathlon before winter comes. And then it's all about running for the "TC Looney Challenge" (10K and 5K one day, 10 mile the next) in about a month!

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