Sun, 10 Oct 2004

Personal bests

I'm really pleased with my fitness as the cycling season draws to an end. Jenny and I have been continuing our rides after work, but we've had to shorten them to accommodate the fleeting sunlight. Even so, we've been finishing in the dark.

Our standard, short ride has become a 20 mile out-and-back trip from Mirabeau Point to the Idaho/Washington state-line I-90 rest stop on the Centennial Trail. One evening, we averaged 20.0 MPH. We were thrilled with that, having averaged 19.9 a couple of times earlier in the year, just missing that magical 20 MPH threshold. A couple of evenings later, we bettered it with a 20.2 MPH average.

Then, Friday night, we rode a significantly faster 21.5 MPH average.

Those speeds won't win us any time trials, but for a couple who's youngest child will be 21 next month, we're thrilled with them. It's Jenny's first year on a road bike. I can't put into words the feeling I get when, after pedaling for all I'm worth through a difficult section, I glance over my shoulder and see Jenny right there on my wheel, all smiles.

I think I have to credit my recent jump in fitness to the Sunday rides with Joe, Steve, Andy, and the others who have participated. Chasing Joe up the hills and trying to stay with him when he cranks it up on the flats has certainly ratcheted up my performance level.

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