Falling further behind

I wanted to continue with Saturday because the new wheels that I mentioned recently (Swiss Side Hadrons) were finally installed on Friday. They did actually arrive on the day I mentioned them, from the postal service (along with all of our next door neighbor's mail, oddly), but it took me a while to put them on.

Well, Saturday was probably a good day for breaking them in, as it was windy and wet.  Well, the wet part didn't matter, but the windy part certainly did.  The first thing that hit me are how much noise they make.  I didn't realize this until they arrived, but it turns out that they are not carbon fiber wheels, as I thought.  They're lightweight, aluminum wheels with a carbon fiber faring.

There's plusses and minuses to that, and I probably would have bought them anyway, knowing that, but I was irritated that I did not see that mentioned on their website.  That construction was what led to the noise to which I'm referring; it's a regular vibration of the faring that you hear whenever the wheel is moving.  It isn't obnoxiously loud, but it's certainly noticeable.

The second thing was a little bit of a sail effect (a slight, and I do mean slight, lateral force on the wheel; it was barely enough to be noticeable) from winds at low yaw angles and when turning.

The one problem with that wind, though, was it made it difficult to judge performance (and the water didn't help either).  I was a bit slower than usual, but the wind and wet probably caused that; certainly, they were contributing.

In any event, despite the weather, I did the twenty-three mile version of my Arlington trail loop (that actually goes through a bit of Alexandria as well).  I did it in 104 minutes, which left my speed all the way down at 13.0mph.  Considerably less than normal, to be sure.  That was with 888' of elevation, averaging 112W power.  So-so numbers across the board, really.

And with a heart rate of 123bpm, which is fairly high (max 131bpm, which is so-so).  Unsurprisingly, given that, I had 23:36 over 125bpm, which is not good at all.  The only good sign is that the average over that time was 127bpm, which means I was mostly just creeping over the line.  Still, I need to do better.

Sunday should have been a hard ride, but I didn't leave myself enough time for a long, hard ride, which was what I wanted.  How'd that work?  Well, I overslept this morning, so it means that I got hosed up even more, now.  I'll probably need to do another short, hard ride like I did the other day.  That isn't terrible, but it isn't terribly good, either.

As for what the ride was, rather than what it wasn't, I did my fifteen mile loop in sixty-five minutes, for a 13.9 mph average.  That isn't terrible, but again isn't all that good.  Elevation was around 850', and power 113W.  The power number's pretty decent, but that's at average heart rate of 124bpm, which is obviously higher than I'd want.  And my max was 133bpm, though the average while over was only 127bpm.

Riding just has not been going well over the last couple weeks.  I'll discuss a bit more of the why in my next post.

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