Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recent Rides

I haven't been maintaining my sidebar training log. That is because for the most part I have had everything logged on Garmin Connect, which is a nice little site that tracks everything that you do with one of their lovely Garmin GPS devices. I have the Garmin Edge 500 and I have quite enjoyed it.

Here is some snips of a couple of graphs from my last two rides. Yesterday's ride was a little over 34 miles. More than 4000 feet of total elevation gain. I rode from the house up to Skyline Drive and then went up and down some of the roads that connect to it. Skyline is a nice road to use for this. It is right at an elevation of 1000 feet or so. It meanders up and down a fair bit through its journey. Roads that head off to the east tend to go down to near sea level and are fairly steep at times. Roads on the west drop down to around 200+ feet to around 500 feet. They are still good climbs, but the hurt is not as bad. Germantown on the east side of Skyline has grades up near 17% at times. Those sections start to hurt after a bit, their cumulative effect becomes punishing about 2/3 the way up.

Today's ride:

When I plugged the TCX file from today's into a cool site at, that site said that Brianero and I climbed about 1335 feet of total elevation gained versus the raw data of about 1420. The distance was the same.

The elevation gain is really the only feature that I have some reservation about so far with the Edge 500. It relies on barometric readings as I understand it. However, I understand that through the use of elevation points I can strengthen the reliability of the data. I set an elevation point at the house tonight. I get variations on data here at the house when I first start up. Usually, when I leave the house it says that we are about 100 or so feet lower than we actually are. When I return I am usually reading pretty close to what it should be. I am not sure why but I read on the Garmin forum that this is often the case that initial readings are not as reliable as readings about 15 to 20 minutes later. Anyway, at least when I start at the house the readings should be pretty good from here on.

The rides over the past couple of days have been pretty good. Yesterday's ride was solo. It was nice to be out, just riding listening to some good music. Today's ride was with Brianero. He led us at a fairly brisk pace, with one really strong short climb. I was staying up with him as we went up it. I was surprised that this was the case. I should have known that he was saving himself for the end of the climb where it went from about a 10 to 12 percent grade to around 20% for a bit. Ouch.

Anyway, lunch time rides are great. Much better than my commuting rides which tend to be filled with more stops because of traffic and at a slower pace generally than when I am doing a ride like yesterday or a ride with others like today.

I hope to continue these midday rides as work allows. We will see...

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