I've been commuting by bicycle to my office for about a week now. I've done this on and off for a couple of years, but this summer I'm going to make an effort to ride to work daily. It's not a major feat, only about a mile and a quarter and most of it by trail. I've always been a little embarrassed that I drive, but errands and driving the kids around make it easier to bring the car.
On the way home the other night, en route to the trail, my timing was such that I jumped in with my local club's evening ride. About a dozen riders in full kit on road bikes and me in street clothes on my 32 pound knobby-tired mountain bike. They were winding down the ride, spinning easily, probably about 20-21 MPH. I got in the paceline thinking that this oughta be fun. And it was. A little goofy, perhaps, but fun. I had company for the three minutes it took to get home and some incentive to finish work early next Tuesday. Maybe I'll start the ride with them as well.
If Mr. McQuaid thinks signing this charter will end doping, I'm afraid I'll have to ask him to submit a sample to LNDD to make sure he's not on something. If the key elements of the pledge are submitting DNA samples and having riders to pay a year's salary along with a two-year ban if found guilty of doping, then it's going to be more of the same, only now with higher penalties. And why should the riders sign this pledge if it is optional? They get nothing in return. No matter what you may think of Floyd Landis, we will never know if he doped. His privacy was violated when his 'A' sample results were leaked to the press and the lab that tested both his 'A' and 'B' samples(!) was shown to be less than fully competent (there were issues with at least how they operated the equipment and with the sample chain of custody.) In addition, it was shown that the lab knew it was testing his 'B' samples to confirm their own 'A' sample results. His defense has bankrupted him (or nearly so). And the entire process of testing the athletes has created an atmosphere of mistrust. Where are the protections for the riders?
If the UCI wants to clean up cycling, there's far more work for them to do.
Rained out. Drove out to DeKalb with 8 friends. Had pancakes at a diner in Elburn trying to see if the weather would break. It wouldn't. We drove home and did a 40 mile ride locally where it was dry. Can you believe it? Just 80 miles away and we could have ridden all day. Oh well, there's always next year.
Cyclists seem to be frequently (constantly?) looking to lose weight. I listen to the weekly Scientific Americanpodcast and heard a very interesting interview on their June 20, 2007: Science Talk podcast. Brian Wansink, Ph.D. has written a book called Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. I think he has hit on some key issues why it can be so hard to lose weight. There were obvious ideas, like not being fooled by "low-fat" foods that are usually high in calories and there were more insightful (and surprising) ideas like using smaller plates (and narrow, tall glasses) so that you can better judge how much you are eating. Being more mindful of what we are eating is a far better solution than restrictive or faddish diets. Looks like my library has the book (but someone has it out) and has ordered the book on CD.
Somewhere I read that a real recovery ride is so slow that you have to take a different route so that your friends don't see how slow you are riding. Friday, I tried doing a recovery ride keeping my heart rate below 70% of max. This was easy on flat road where it meant keeping my speed at about 15 MPH. The trouble came when I hit a hill (like an overpass, I live in the flat lands), I had to climb at about 7-8 MPH to keep my heart rate low enough. Now I understand why one might want to take a secret route.