Thursday, April 22, 2010


According to MapMyRide, I burned over 2000 calories during my 60-mile ride and nearly 2500 calories during my 70-mile ride (a loop to Los Lunas and back). That sounded so incredible, that I did a quick estimate of how many calories I consumed while riding... On the 60-miler: some fruit & nut trail mix, gatorade and peanut-butter cookies. It's possible that that added up to 900 calories. But on the 70-miler I only had the trail mix, so more like 400 calories. Apparently most of the calories for these rides get eaten in the days before and after the ride.

The photo is my new perfect bike food: trail mix with pretzels mixed in for extra carbs and salt. I tried eating runner's goo when I trained for a marathon, but it gave me a stomach cramp which defeats the whole purpose of the terrible tasting stuff. So I stick to real food.

Monday, April 12, 2010

60 Miles

How to plan a 60-mile bicycle ride: Think of a place that seems far away that you can bike to. Map it out and realize that it isn't actually 30 miles away, then find a circuitous way to get there to add mileage. Make sure there are a few good hills along the way.

So here's my 60-mile west side hill climb ride. Starting at my house (the green circle), I went to the Bosque Trail at Central. Headed south along the trail to Rio Bravo. West to Paseo del Vulcan. North to Route 66. West along Route 66 until I hit 30 miles, and then do it all in reverse. This got me 60 miles and 2000 feet of climbing, on a 75-degree sunny day with just enough breeze to keep things interesting.

Apparently, the West Mesa is indeed a mesa... riding west out of Albuquerque, you will first ascend the mesa by climbing the infamous 9-mile hill. I did this on Rio Bravo/Dennis Chavez. Now if you keep riding west (as I did along Rt 66, aka I-40 frontage road), you will eventually drop off the west end of the West Mesa into the Rio Puerco drainage, home of the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. The Laguna Peublo has built the Route 66 Casino there (marked by a coffee mug on the map), and a gas station where I was able to re-fuel with Gatorade and peanut-butter cookies. Rt 66 dead-ends a few miles past the casino, so you can't go further west without getting on the interstate or taking dirt tribal roads. At this point, I turned around and went back the way I came.

From Paseo del Vulcan (on top of the West Mesa) south of I-40, looking east. I could see downtown Albuquerque (the camera phone does not capture landscapes very well).

Looking east near my turn-around point, 30 miles from where I started. The massive white building on the right side of the road is the Route 66 Casino. Sandia Mountain is still visible on the horizon, but downtown Albuquerque is hidden by the West Mesa.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Long Training Stretch

Some people think that a marathon or a century ride is hard to do, but the truth is that training for the event is much harder than the event itself. On one day in May, I will ride 100 miles. However, throughout April I should ride 500 miles altogether and do other workouts in training. This is the part of the training that I like to call "all the pain, none of the glory".

At this point, I start scheduling around training. Last week, I was at a 4-day conference (without my bicycle) and was obligated to get in my weekday training by skiing during free hours in the afternoon. And I had to maximize my 3-hour ski workout by skiing telemark through the deepest Utah powder I could find on gnarly black-diamond slopes. Fortunately there were no chairlift lines to slow me down. I certainly felt like I got a workout, but I did not get much sleep during the conference, since I chose to ski during nap time. Seriously, the conference gets started with breakfast at 7am, takes a long break in the afternoon, and then runs until 10pm every night.

Unfortunately, I missed my group training ride this weekend due to the conference, so after catching up on some sleep this morning I had to do a 60-mile ride on my own. I'll blog about that next time.