Numbers Don’t Lie

Well, actually they can and they do on occasion, but not in this case.

It’s bike season…at least according to the calendar. The weather in Chicago continues to be crap. We will have a day here or there in the mid-to-upper 70s and then more cold weather. A dismal spring is hard to take especially following a terrible winter.

Yet I started biking in mid-April and rode each weekend except last weekend because between graduation, related activities and rain it just never happened. Most rides have been cold. I tend to layer 2 shirts and a jacket and I am still cold.

Today the weather could be described as adequate, it was in the 60s when I started and the 70s by the time I finished 3.5 hours later. I was wiped by the time it was over. My hope was that I would notice increased speed this week being that I rode my road bike for the first time this year. I had been on my mountain bike until this weekend partly because I preferred the wide tires in the semi-wet weather and partly because my rode bike needed some heavy maintenance. It had been 4 years and approximately 3,500 miles so it was time for a major tune up and some new parts. 

Every ride so far this year has been a struggle and had taken far longer than it should have. Today’s ride felt the same. I broke the 50 mile mark for the first time this year but averaged barely over 15 mph and with a stop after 30, it took 1:33. Once I get into a normal pattern I usually average much closer to 16 mph. Even 1 mph over 50+ miles makes a big difference. I have been depressed about my riding…one of the few things I count on for joy.

So here is where the numbers don’t lie comes in. Apparently mood and weather  impact perception. This is what I wrote on June 11,2007:

I have been adding 5 miles a week to my ride and topped out this week at 48.5. Average speed at a hair under 15 mph which included 8 minutes of nonride time, 6 for a break and a few stop lights.

And in that post titled June Rocks and Rolls I was having a great time and feeling strong about my riding. Yet, the numbers this year were slightly better. Go figure.

I suspect that a little sunshine and warmth are all I need to turn the attitude around. I am tracking to being ready for my annual century ride. 100 miles. Now that is a number that doesn’t lie.

Be Hopeful. Be Very Hopeful

As a counter to yesterday’s post, I wanted to share some good things that are coming your way in the foreseeable future.

Visual implants using technology borrowed from digital cameras may bring limited sight to the blind.

New wind powered electricity technology harvesting power from winds high above the eath’s surface where the jet stream winds are much stronger than earth bound breezes.

NOTES, a surgical approach requiring no recovery time and leaving no visible scars. NOTES stands for natural-orifice translumenal surgegy. Any wild guesses as to how the surgical instuments enter the body? (No printable pictures for this.)

Not peace on earth but signs of good things coming.

It Tastes Like Chicken



I spend too much time reading The Economist.  No articles about JLo, Bradgelina or Lindsey. For fun this magazine publishes an article on how some anthropologist found the same collagen on both a T-Rex fossil and modern chickens proving a genetic link. Is this high brow gossip or what!

So one caveman came upon another chomping on a T-Rex steak. When the first asked how it was, the second replied….

Real Facts. Straight from Snapple

The principle reasons I buy a particular brand of soft drink are taste and price. Yet surprises will also build my brand loyalty. After not drinking Snapple for years I recently tried their ice tea. Good taste. Good value –when on sale. And Snapple Real Facts.

Half the joy in opening my Snapple is the anticipation of the fact for the day. Not all SRFs catch my attention but Real Fact 154 did. In 1985, the fastest bicyclist was clocked at 154 mph. WOW.

I bike. I go far but not particularly fast. Sustaining 20 mph is hard for me. I average 15-16.

Two thoughts after reading Real Fact 154. How can anyone go that fast? I have never even driven that speed. Why in 21 years has no one broken that record?