Archive for August, 2013

early morning quickie

Posted in ride reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 20, 2013 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

Now that school is upon us, my typical 1-hour training rides three days a week will be compromised for the foreseeable future.  But, I was able to get up this morning and hop on my mountain bike before the sun came up.  I made my way up Double Oak Way on one of my usual climbing routes.  Not much to see other than the sun coming up and a bunch of large spiders.  Back home by 6:30 to get the kids up and at it.

Normally I would have extended my climb by another half-mile or so to make it a Cat 3, but time was short on me today.  Strava link here.

Sun peaking up on Hwy 41.

Sun peaking up on Hwy 41.

Sunrise over Double Oak Mountain (actually taken on another ride)

Sunrise over Double Oak Mountain (actually taken on another ride)

As if the locked gate at the top of Double Oak Way weren't enough of a deterrent, EBSCO installed several of these spiders between gate pipes.

As if the locked gate at the top of Double Oak Way weren’t enough of a deterrent, EBSCO installed several of these spiders between gate pipes.

IMG_2456

highest point of this morning’s ride.

poor pavement...the reason why I always do this ride with my MTB or CX bike.

poor pavement…the reason why I always do this ride with my MTB or CX bike.

There are countless old jeep roads like this one.

There are countless old jeep roads like this one.

Getting ready to descend down the steep part of Double Oak Way - about to hit 44.3 mph on the way down.

Getting ready to descend down the steep part of Double Oak Way – about to hit 44.3 mph on the way down.

Advertisements

ride report – Saturday August 17th

Posted in ride reports with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

On Saturday I was able to hook up with some guys from Homewood to sneak in a long ride in (possible) preparation for this year’s BBC Century….I say possible because my wife might be out of town, which means I would need to stay home with the kiddos.

My buddy Alan Dobbins invited me to join his usual group of neighborhood cyclists as they were embarking on their longest group ride to date – a 72-miler beginning and ending at Alan’s house.  Along for the ride were a total of nine guys: me, Alan, Johnny Garlington, Josh Reidinger, Chad Etheridge, Todd Harrington, Brad Gowing, Mitch Stephens, and Cam Colvert.

The ride started on a route towards Ross Bridge on Shannon Oxmoor Road, then west to pick up Lakeshore Parkway heading back towards Homewood, continuing into Mountain Brook via Old Leeds Road and a bunch of other streets I wasn’t familiar with.  By now, a few of the gang would have to split off early, leaving me, Alan, Johnny, Josh, Chad, and Brad to continue on.  We rode into Irondale, picking up Rufner Road until we reached John Rogers Drive in Roebuck.  After passing the backside of the dogtrack, I pretty much had no idea where we were since I have never been on the following section of Hwy 78 before.  Eventually we would return to an area I was familiar with as we passed The Shops at Grand River and made our way towards Leeds.  Just prior to this, Brad had to duck out, leaving me, Alan, Johnny, Chad, and Josh to finish it out for the long haul.

We stopped at a gas station in Leeds, where the lady at the counter basically raised her nose at me while I handed her my sweaty $10 bill….making some snide remark to her coworker about how she needed more hand sanitizer.  Whatevs.  I should have made a snide comment about her smelling like the bowels of an ashtray, but I guess I missed my window to be snarky and make a good comeback.

Next up, we absolutely crushed it on Rex Lake Road and Sicard Hollow Road.  By the time we reached Pumphouse Road in Cahaba Heights, we had ridden 61.5 miles but I was still feeling really strong and wanted to go ahead and see where I could put myself for the KOM segment on Strava.  So, I hustled my way to the top of the hill at Miss Myrah’s BBQ having a good feeling about being about to be decently up the ladderboard.  Then we made one more stop at a BP station in Cahaba Heights before heading back to Homewood via a ton of great riding roads in Mountain Brook: Overton, Brookwood, Overcrest, Cherokee, Overbrook, and Canterbury.  We finished up having ridden 72.5 miles and climbing between 4600 and 5500 feet, depending on who’s GPS you look at.

It was a great ride with a solid group of guys…hopefully I’ll be able to hook up with them at the BBC Century.  As someone who primarily rides alone out in the sticks of Shelby County, it was nice to ride with some good folks on a ton of semi-urban roads that I had never before ridden.  Post-ride, I uploaded by ride data from my Cateye computer, only to find that I had neglected to clear my previous ride data before starting our Saturday ride.  Therefore, it was thinking that I was simply resuming my morning ride from Thursday, which means it thought I had ridden for over 50 hours….the massive amount of time data caused my upload to crash and therefore I lost all of my Strava data.  The leg-burning effort I made on Pumphouse Road was all for nothing (post note: I made it around 3:35 to 3:40, which would have put me around 90th out of 330….so not as good as I thought while riding).  That just means I need to get out there again to redeem it.

A link to the mapmyride route is as follows (or just click on the images below for more information): http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/359094457

Befriend me on mapymyride if the link above doesn’t grant you access.

ride map detail

ride map detail

ride map detail

ride map detail

ride map detail

ride map detail

overall ride map

overall ride map

can't recall location...likely around Mtn Brook.

can’t recall location…likely around Mtn Brook.

can't recall location...likely around Mtn Brook.

can’t recall location…likely around Mtn Brook.

Heading from Rufner towards Roebuck

Heading from Rufner towards Roebuck

heading from Rufner towards Roebuck

heading from Rufner towards Roebuck

On Sicard Hollow Road

On Sicard Hollow Road

On Sicard Hollow Road

On Sicard Hollow Road

On Sicard Hollow Road

On Sicard Hollow Road

 

GPS showdown

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

A couple of years ago I did a GPS showdown between my old Garmin 205 and my then-new Timex Global Trainer GPS.  Now that I have become hooked on Strava, I became disenchanted with the Timex as it does not support upload to nor export to Strava (shame on you Timex for not working this out).  So, most of my rides where done with my Timex on the handlebars and my iphone with the Strava app running in my pocket.  I like the data that is produced with the Timex, which is uploaded to Training Peaks…..but not having direct Strava compatibility really sucks.  Then my iphone app started getting extremely weak GPS signals and oftentimes would not record any ride data.  I tried updating the app software, but it didn’t improve.

So, I started looking around and doing some research on low-priced GPS units that could directly export to Strava.  I really didn’t want to spend the $200+  on a Garmin Edge 500, and ended up instead getting a much cheaper Cateye Stealth 50.  Cateye uses their proprietary Cateye Sync software for downloading the ride data from the unit.  The software is fairly straightforward and user-friendly, and offers one-button uploading to cateyeatlas.com and strava.com.  It also allows the data to be exported as several different file types such as .gpx and .fit that can be imported in Training Peaks.  The Cateye Atlas website pretty much sucks, but at least the data is there.  I typically go to Strava anyway.

I recently did two GPS showdowns, this time between my now-old Timex and the new Cateye Stealth.  My first ride was on July 7th on one of my typical quick training routes on the mountain above Mt Laurel.  It is mostly pavement with little tree cover, so I figured the satellite signal would be strong enough to get a good shakedown.  My second showdown was on August 2nd while riding trails at Oak Mtn State Park.  The July Strava ride data can be found here.  The August Strava data can be found here.

First, the comparison from July goes like this: Timex = 11.03 miles, 13.8 mph avg, 2651′ elevation gain; Cateye = 11.30 miles, 14.5 mph avg, 1257′ elevation gain.  Having ridden this ride numerous times, I knew that the elevation gain should be much closer to what the Cateye showed than what the Timex showed.  Plus, I have always known that the GPS signal on my Timex would occasionally get spotty and rob me of some mileage.

For the August comparison, I forgot to start the Timex until 5:15 into my ride.  Nonetheless, the ride data looked like this: Timex = 13.03 miles, 9.4 mph avg, 3507′ elevation gain; Cateye = 15.4 miles, 10.5 mph avg, 1296′ elevation gain.  I had covered right at around 1 mile when I turned on the Timex, so it should have finished only 1 mile different from the Cateye.  Instead, it was off by over 2 miles.  And once again the Cateye proved to be closer to what the elevation gain should be.

So, with these two shootouts I can realistically state that the Cateye Stealth 50 more accurately records both ride distance and elevation gain as opposed to the Timex Global Trainer GPS.  Another thing I like better about the Cateye is the cleaner mounting option (rather than the rubber ring that snaps around a handlebar for the Timex).  What I have found that I don’t like, however, is that sometimes when exporting to Strava or Training Peaks the Cateye will only send partial data (such as only giving credit for 3 miles after a 15-mile ride).  This has usually happened when I am exporting multiple ride files at once, so I will hold out hope that it works properly when doing just one ride at a time.

All in all I’ve been pretty pleased with the Stealth 50, and think that for the money it is a good investment.  It pairs with my speed/cadence sensor on my CX bike, which allows it to give more accurate readings for speed and distance, along with the added benefit of cadence data.  Next time I get a chance I plan to do another GPS showdown while on a road ride with the CX bike paired with the speed/cadence sensor.  Once that comparison is done I will try to post an update.

Cateye Atlas ride data from July

Cateye Atlas ride data from July

Training Peaks ride data from July

Training Peaks ride data from July

Strava app ride data from July

Strava iphone app ride data from July – obviously way off

topping out point of July ride - 7999 Double Oak Way

topping out point of July ride – 7999 Double Oak Way

Cateye Stealth 50 (left) and Timex Global Trainer (right)

Cateye Stealth 50 (left) and Timex Global Trainer (right)

Cateye Atlas ride data from August

Cateye Atlas ride data from August

Training Peaks ride data from August

Training Peaks ride data from August

Cateye ride map from August

Cateye ride map from August

Training Peaks ride map from August

Training Peaks ride map from August

Strava iphone app ride data from August

Strava iphone app ride data from August