Friday, December 30, 2011

Rapha Festve 500 - day 8

You know that feeling when your kids wake you up at 3 am and you just want to go out for a ride? Today I did just that. At 3:42 am I started my Garmin and headed out in the darkness, again. My goal was to do about 120 km with an average speed of 25 km/h so I wouldn't be late for work. I did the same route as I did on the last day of the Festive 500 last year. In 2010 we had -12∘C and a lot more snow so I knew I was going to be faster this year.

-2∘C today so I had my warm gloves on. 

After riding about an hour and a half in mostly dark forests it was nice to ride through some villages with street lights and houses with lamps turned on.

Still happy!

When I was riding through Leksand I was about half way. Here I ate a Snickers and drank a little Coke, which I had brought with me. My average speed here was 25.0 km/h. I felt that I had been in the saddle for 2 hours and 20 minutes but I wasn't exhausted or anything. In addition to the candy and Coke the wind was now going to be in my back so my confidence was high. From here on I could take it a bit easier yet still go faster, the perfect combination!

When I left Leksand I set up a goal to rase the average speed from 25.0 to 26.0 and when I arrived at work my Garmin told me that I had an average speed of 26.1! It was a balance act trying to reach that goal but at the same time trying to preserve as much energy as possible. I had to ride home from work as well!

115.4 kilometers in 4 hours and 25 minutes with an average heart rate of 144, look at the complete Garmin data here. I never got to see the sunrise because at this time of year the sun rises at about 9 am.

Today I was only working half-day and I ate a classic Swedish shrimp sandwich, or Räkmacka as we call it.

After work it was time to sit in the saddle again, but this time in daylight!

Gravel/ice roads

Not quite as fast as my shadow

Studded tire, icy road and forest. No surprise here!

I decided for a detour when i got to Falun and caught up with some friends. Really nice with some company when my legs had started to hurt, even if it only lasted about 15 minutes or so.

Adding 43.03 kilometers to the morning ride gives me 158.4 kilometers today and 429.37 kilometers in total during this Rapha Festive 500. You'll find Garmin data for my ride home here.

158.4 kilometers in 6 hours and 3 minutes and a half-day at work and still I made it home before 2 pm!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rapha 500 - day 6

Being a bit behind schedule I knew I had to go out for a ride yesterday if there would be any hope left to make the magic 500. Because of the promise I made to myself that I would not use valuable family time I went out when the kids were put to bed. So this ride started at 8.49 pm in total darkness, a ligth rain, some wind and +1 degree C. Perfect conditions!

The storm Dagmar did not only take some trees down with her, it also ment that almost all the snow disapered. Not much winter feeling left, even if some christmas lights do their best

I opted for a small and "cozy" road on my way back home. That road was partly completely covered with ice, which made it very interesting in the darkness...

After 1½ hour the rain stopped and a bit later the asphalt sparkled.

Not much action in central Falun when I got back

Got back at 11.30 pm, adding 64.53 km to my Rapha 500. Average speed: 25.2 km/h and average heart rate: 141.

Total kilometers after day 6: 270.97
Yesterdays Garmin data

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 4 of the Rapha Festive 500 - Ride to Redemption

One day late, but I blew into pieces yesterday and today my family and I have gone back to Falun where we live. That's why I haven't updated this blog. This weekend I used the power of Internet to find some company for a monday ride. It is always much nicer with company on the rides, plus I really don't know where to go in Stockholm... Three strong men came to my rescue: Mats, Johan and Christian (who also is doing the Rapha 500). They were all riding road tires while I was riding with my studded tires...

That's me in the Bianchi outfit. Photo: Johan

After 1.45 of the ride I had an average heart rate of 165 (84.2% of my maximum) and was thinking of how long I could make it without blowing into pieces. Luckily (for me anyway...) one of the other guys lost some power so we had to slow down. Towards the end we did some sprints and power climbs to get rid of any energy left in our bodies. It was a great ride and it was fun to ride with some new company. They are actually thinking of going to Falun to do one of our Sunday rides.
Cycling + Internet = A better world

Here are some photos from my smart phone:

I came home with shattered legs and almost 94 more kilometers to the collection.

This gives me a total of 206.44 kilometers with 4 days to go. It's time to move up a gear! Garmin data here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rapha Festive 500 - day 3

So today it's the third day of the Rapha Festive 500 and also my second day of riding my bike. Didn't expect a ride today but when my wife asked me if I wasn't going out for a ride I really had to go. Yesterday we celebrated christmas (in Sweden we celebrate christmas on christmas eve) early and then we drove to Stockholm for a surprise visit to my mother in law and my wifes sister and her family.
So now I'm in Stockholm. The sun goes down at about 3 pm this time of the year so I knew I was going to ride in the dark. I looked at some maps and decided for a route on mostly gravel and dirt roads because I didn't want to be in the Stockholm traffic in the dark.

We are staying at my mother in law, she lives in a suburb (Husby, Kista) about 15 kilometers north of central Stockholm and it only takes a few minutes to get to this place where there is no traffic and quite a few small dirt roads.

A few minutes later I was out on the damp dirt roads

I really need to get my self a decent headlight so I can enjoy also the dark rides

Going back to the suburb

A short ride is better than no ride. Today I got another 28.82 kilometers to the bank.

My bike picked up some dirt from the roads today, so it will probably be less dirty next time...

 Total kilometers: 112.58, you'll find todays Garmin data here

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rapha - The Festive 500 day 1

One year ago I entered the Rapha 500-challenge and you can read about my adventure here. This year I am doing it all over again. My preparations have not been so good this year and I am entering this after eleven rest days due to a stubborn cold. I could make it, or I will get really sick. Only time will tell. Last year I commuted by bike to work, giving me lots of kilometers without using valuable family time. My family is the most important thing and I will try to ride my bike when my family is not so affected, and this time I'm only working two of the nine days. I'll do my best to reach 500, but it ain't the end of the world if I fail.
On the other hand, I am now more experienced and knows what is waiting for me.
It's 500 kilometers in 9 days, that is 55.6 km each day! And I can tell you that I ain't riding every day which means that I have to do more kilometers every day I'm out riding my bike. Tomorrow we are celebrating christmas and after that we are going away for a couple of days. I might bring my bike because otherwise I know I won't make it, but tomorrow I will add 0 kms to my account.
Today I was working so I took my bike with a detour to work this morning. +1 degree Celcius, dark, headwind and slush on the roads made it so much harder and slower than I had predicted.

5 am, and I am full of energy!

Waiting for the Garmin to find some satellites

The front light went out after only fifteen minutes...

Fortunately I have a smart phone with a flashlight app, so I held the phone in my hand for two hours and 14 minutes...

Snow on the roads now, but we are expecting a week with temperatures above freezing and some rain so on new years eve it might be all gone

2 hours 29 minutes, 53.95 kms, an unimpressive 21.7 kms/h and a average heart rate of 149 (76% of maximum)

Recovery @ work

The ride home:
My Festive 500 bike, an Bianchi Zurigo with studded tires, fenders and a huge saddle bag

Studded tire and some slush. When I was going home it had started raining and the temperature was up to +3 C.

On my way home I had a lot more solid surface, giving me some extra speed

I don't mind riding on snow...

But all this slush is really slowing me down

Aside from the rain it was great to be back in the saddle again, towards the end my energy levels was low and when I got home my legs where shaking when I walked up the stairs.

1 hour 15 minutes, 29.83 kms, 23.7 kms/h and a average heart rate of 152 (77,6 % of maximum)

Total kilometers after day 1: 83.76
You can find my complete Garmin data from today here and here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011