Posts Tagged ‘heart rate’

Went to Elkins yesterday to hop on the Allegheny Highlands Trail,what I like to call it, the Elkins Rail Trail. There’s sparse snow on the ground, and the trail is starting to feel kind of sloppy due to the excess moisture. With the terrain slowing me down a bit, I wasn’t expecting to be going that slow, but I still pushed my hardest.

That is my problem. When casually riding, I still end up in Zone 4-5, trying to finish as fast as possible, regardless if my goal is time or distance. I mean… this is a rail trail… Isn’t it supposed to be about fun and leisure, not blowing up at 186bpm for no reason other than trying to go faster? I don’t race, but this is still off-season.

How do people tell their selves to go slower? Do they bring along their girlfriend/wife (ba dum tsssssh!)? About 2/3rds of the way through the ride, I told myself that redlining this is silly, and I should just be going aerobic… I planned on keeping my heart rate around 140-150.

Didn’t happen. I don’t even think I grabbed my waterbottle until mile 12 or something? I did stop at the Tucker County border (unintentionally) and took some photos and video. Awesome rock walls with ice and snow aplenty. I had to jump over a two foot wide creek to get some of these shots, and this made me feel like a genius wearing carbon road shoes… I never said I was brilliant.

joey's bike shop

Elkins, WV

The Purple Fiddle

Kingsford Charcoal

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Jeff Dye and I, clearly and without a doubt were model examples of all things classic, brazen, and Rule 5. I’m sure we could have some room for improvement, but we’ll leave that for another day.

jeff dye

It was 6:44 PM. Jeff came to my door wanting to know if I wanted to go on a road ride with him. Not wanting to turn down a ride, I kitted up and was out the door in less than five (minutes). As soon as we were on the tarmac, we turned the ride into a hammerfest. Average speed was was about 3.2 kph faster than our typical ride, so immediately, we both knew this ride was business, not some lolligagging group ride. We were only wanting to be out for an hour, and we did 30km, with 610m of climbing. There was also one badass downhill where Jeff hit 80kmh.  He caught up to a Subaru Forrester, and I can only imagine what the driver was thinking about with us trailing it at those speeds.

The ride took us around the Sago Mine; you know, where the 2006 Sago Mine disaster happened? While the mine is sealed and flooded, there are still a lot of coal trucks on these back roads. We saw one of these coal trucks for a few miles until we decided to try and catch up to it. Imagine what you saw on the vintage, landmark American cycling film, Breaking Away. Yeah. The speed limit in that area was 35mph, and when we were tired of being hit in the face with dust from its backend, I decided to pass it instead of slow down. YES. We passed a coal truck. I said something about this being a brazen ride, no? We were so pumped about our pace time, that we hammered all the way until the last hill. The coal truck was several hundred meters behind us, so we took a water break, and let the truck accelerate up the hill, in order to gain momentum. We might be crazy, but we’re also courteous.

sago mine disaster sago mine tallmansville wv buckhannon upshur county cycling rule 5 velominati road bike coal truck

The last 8km of the ride was ridiculous as ever; we had raced cars, coal trucks, and each other, now we must race the sunset in order to get back home before dark.

Just in case you were wondering, Man 1 : Nature 0.

Sometimes just going out and hurting yourself is a wonderful thing. We rolled through the neighborhoods to get back to campus, and had the biggest grins on our faces, knowing that we had just learned things about ourselves that we may have not known before. For instance, I never knew that I could have a 199bpm heart rate. The typical standard for finding max heart rate is 220 minus your age. 196. I have rarely ever even reached that, let alone 199. This was 104% of my max heart rate. This just shows that we left it all out on the road.


My average heart rate was in Zone 5 the entire time, and numerically averages to 176bpm. This once again reinforces my belief that sometimes really stupid rides are great for you.

Have you ever gone out with your friends and tested each other the entire ride? Added a little bit of fun and competition to the mix, instead of the boring as plain grits no-drop group ride? They’re pretty memorable, no?

I suggest before it gets any cooler out, go on a ride with a friend or two, and just try to rip each other’s legs off. You won’t regret it at all.

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Its the first day in over a month without snow coming down, the car snot is clearing off of the slushy roads. The giant bank LCD screen says that it is 40*F outside.

You want to ride.

Today is that day – You get off work and start calculating how much time you have until it gets dark. You know that you just finished putting on new cables, housing, and bar tape and want to try out the shifting on the road. You’re tired of your trainer, and the treadmill feels like a jail cell with a belt underneath you.

Time to ride. (more…)

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