Riding Behind Joe K. on the first leg of the Princeton-Belmar-Princeton 200k Permanent, originally uploaded by Shane Beake.
I joined a group of seven randonneurs Saturday on PBP. No, not that PBP. This is called Princeton-Belmar-Princeton, a very flat permanent ride owned by Paul S. This was the second time I have completed this permanent and we all got around the course in a very respectable 9:21.
This was exactly two hours faster than my time for the much hillier Bear Mountain 200k last week.I did not have power meter numbers for the PBP permanent because I was riding my 39-year-old Atala. I purchased this bicycle from Stuyvesant Bicycle on 14th Street in Manhattan in 1972. It was my first derailleur bicycle and I was 15 years old.
Five years later, in 1977, I rode it across the country with an American Youth Hostels group. This bicycle and I go back a long way.The bike has been repainted blue (from the original white) and now has an eight cog cluster on the back instead of the original five cogs. The lower riding position is a little more aerodynamic than the more upright setup I have on my Trek 5200. The lower setup doesn’t work well on the longer brevets, but does on the flatter, shorter rides.
The group included several people who are tuning up for the big PBP in France later this month, such as Shane B., Christine N., and Joe K. Good luck guys. I’ll be following your progress with great interest. We also had Al B., Rick L. and Dawn E. It was a very cooperative and friendly group. People went off the front here and there, but nobody was dropped off the back for very long.
It’s been a pretty good week for riding for me. There was a good climb of Bear Mountain last Sunday. Last Saturday I rode a B ride with the Western Jersey Wheelmen. As always, there were lots of hills. I decided to test myself on Lindbergh Road, a familiar climb to me. I later found my five-minute average was 305 watts, just one watt below the highest reading I’ve had on that climb and only two watts lower than my season high on Adamic Hill Road.
However, the Adamic climb was done in March and the 307 watts is far below my season five-minute highs for 2006 (323 watts), 2007 (333 watts), 2008 (339 watts), 2009 (336 watts) and 2010 (324 watts). So this Friday, I went on on my test course, otherwise known as Dutchtown-Zion Road in the Sourlands.I had tried this climb in June and was very disappointed with my 304 watt average for five minutes. I wanted to see if I’d gotten stronger. My strategy was to go very hard for the first half of the climb and then try to hang on at the end where the road gets steeper. This might sound counter-intuitive and likely to lead to blowing up before the end. But I find that the tendency on flatter sections is to ease up and on the steeper sections it’s easier to maintain power, even when fatigued.
I finished the climb with an average five-minute wattage of 323. This reading was especially encouraging, because my cogs are worn and my chain slipped twice on the lower section, breaking my rhythm and probably costing me a few watts on my average. This reading was tied for sixth best ever. Of my top 1o five-minute readings, five of them have now been on Dutchtown-Zion Road.
The best news of all this week was the return of Hillier Than Thou, which will be held on September 18th. I now have to come up with a training plan, which I will discuss in a later post.