Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life and Work has been Busy

Our Provincial Bird - The Mosquito. 

Life and Work has been Busy.
I have not had much free time lately. I have been working two shifts at work filling in for my afternoon counterpart who is on holidays. On top of that we have had a lot of moisture lately. With the moisture comes the hatching of our provincial bird -  the Mosquito. Thankfully the carbon fiber body of my Quest gives me some protection from being bitten by these Mosquitoes.
               My FUN for the week was completing my 400 km Brevet. We were down to just five riders for this Brevet. Three DF’s, one recumbent and one Quest. One of the riders was our new guy. We stuck together for the entire ride and I found the pace very easy.  I made the extra effort to charge up the few hills we encountered. On this Brevet we crossed the US border and went to Roseau Minn.for lunch. We got to the border and showed our passports. The border agent checked the passports in their computer and sent us on our way. I was last in line when he told me to wait. He had an ear piece in his ear and someone was talking to him from inside the station. A moment later a female agent came out. She wanted to take a picture of the Quest for her Face Book page and ask a few questions about it. I had to speed up a bit to catch the group. Crossing back into Canada was just as good after lunch. We crossed back into Canada at a border stop called Piney. At this point I could have easily speed up to my normal cruising speed and have got home a couple hours sooner, but I stayed with the group. I think I enjoy the social aspect of doing the Brevet as well as the physical and mental challenge. I feel great when I say I did 400 km on a bike in just one day. 
           Even though we crossed from one country to another and back, Yellowmobile has me beat by crossing 3 states in one day. He even took some pictures, while I still have not bought a new charger for my camera. He also posted a great video as well. Take some time to check out his blog.
          I have to give the Quest the weekend off. We are packing up the motor home and dogs for a long weekend of camping.  The Quest will stay home safe in my man-cave (shop) while the other bikes will get used. Next week everything should be back to normal if I survive the Mosquitoes....

Friday, June 14, 2013

Going fast is FUN, But...

I am having too much fun with my Quest. Every day I get my photo taken by people I don't know. People I don't know stop to talk to me about my Quest. I even have women in cars follow me home to see and talk about my Quest. It's a good thing I'm not shy!
         Part of the fun is I can ride it more. It keeps me warm in the winter and I ride more. It keeps me dry in the rain and I ride more. It goes faster in the wind and I ride more. And because I ride more I am getting in better shape and going faster. I do not train like Robert-Jan writes about in his Blog. I would get faster if I did. No, I just commute to work and go on a couple of group rides each week. I do use a heart rate monitor with my Garmin 500. I keep my records on a program called "Cyclistats". It records rides and data, along with maintenance records and weight records. It allows me to see the data in graph form. When you see the average heart beats per km on a graph you see how you body is getting stronger.

As I get stronger My heart beat less for every km I go. Again this would be influenced by the wind but when you average it over a month it show the improvements.
          Also useful is your average speed showed on a graph. It show how your average speed increases as time goes on. The only problem is group rides are slower than my average commuting speeds so a graph might show lower than what I do normally. But it makes me see I am improving.
Now if you were to read Robert-Jan's Blog and read the comments you would read Wim Schermer's comment about training with a power meter. A power meter would be a better way to train and measure improvements, but it would cost more money. Having the only Quest around this part of Canada means I have no other Velomobiles to race against like Robert-Jan.  So I will just skip the training for now and just keep riding, commuting and having fun. 
           Next week my fun will include helping out at the Bike to Work day BBQ. Bike to Work Day is an organized event where we try to get more people to ride their bikes to work. We have people running "Pit Stops" around the city on the bike routes giving out free coffee and Muffins to cyclists. In the afternoon we have a large BBQ in the center of the city for an after work party. That is one day I take off work to help out and set up the BBQ.  And the next Day is Saturday and my 400 km Brevet. If survive all that FUN I will have something to write about next week...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My second 300 km Brevet.

My second 300 km Brevet.

 This was my second 300 k Brevet for this year and I was excited to do it. My first 300 went well. I am really enjoying being the first one to finish this year instead of the last one. I know a Brevet is not a race but it still is fun to finish an hour or more ahead of everyone else.  I was really looking forward for this Brevet. My average speed goes up each week as I get in better shape. I got lots of sleep and took Friday off to rest my legs. I was ready to burn up those 300 km. So I was really disappointed to see only 3 people at the start. A local road race was happening that day so there went some of the regulars. And the strong wind forecast scared off the others. Mark, who was the most experienced one of the group asked me, if I could stick with the group to help the new guy finish. The new guy was only doing his second Brevet. He was young and is good shape but riding a new bike that was just fitted to him this week. This made for a longer ride as the speeds were a lot slower. There was lots of stops for adjustments on his shoe cleats and to stretch his sore muscles. But at the same time I got to look around and see more of the country side.  It was still fun, but in a different way. At the end of the day he finished his first 300 km Brevet. He was one happy tired fellow. He was going to be very sore the next day. I went home and took the Huskies for a 5km run. Our next Brevet is our 400 km on June 22. That should be a great test for me and the Quest.
            When I decided to buy a Velomobile I decided on the Quest XS and it was fortunate that BlueVelo was making them in Canada. The other model that is soon to be available in Canada is the Milan. I have been following the build for a while at    and  I am now following the assembly of another in Milan in Nico's blog Milan - sl . I find the building very interesting but I am glad I bought mine complete as I am having a great time riding it.  Check out those blogs if you are interested in the building end.
            That's all for now from my part Canada....