06 May 2011

Bike-commute day 19—to gym and home

There's nothing like the challenge of a rabbit to make a bike ride interesting. Almost at the same moment I wondered Why does my heart rate seem to be so slow? ahead of me at a curve I noticed a bit of yellow-red movement. It disappeared, and I was intrigued to see the colors again. My speed increased, and soon my heart rate began to climb above 134. I saw the yellow-red again as the course straightened: Yes, another rider leading me on the way. It wasn't at that moment only one, but two riders approaching the crossing at Airway Boulevard. One was the yellow-red kit, the other had a darker red appearance. Still perhaps a half mile ahead, they crossed together, and it was only as the colors separated more that I realized the yellow-red was the faster, the overtaker. The rabbit.

As I approached Airway, traffic caused a precious wait, instead of a mere stop. Both riders ahead passed the curve and drop toward the former Multi-Service plant. Once clear of traffic, I crossed the four-lane street and a set of pedestrians on the crossing sidewalk. I passed the curve and drop where I had last seen the riders just as another pair of riders who had been riding toward me left the bikeway through the access to Wright View. I caught a glimpse of the two riders ahead, and they had separated by perhaps 150 feet. The red rider had yet to reach the 90-degree corner beyond the Multi-Service plant, and the yellow-red rider had reached the tunnel formed by the canopy of trees along the bikeway.

I passed the red rider, a sporty-looking woman, before we reached the tunnel-canopy, and I saw the yellow-red rider still ahead, just negotiating the turn out of the tunnel. Now our separation was holding at about 150 feet, each of us well matched. But north of Fairpark Avenue, he must have tired a bit in the next stretch of canopy and I had a renewed burst of stamina, in which my HR rose to the ride's maximum of 146 bpm. I approached as close as 15 feet before he crossed Smithville, and I passed him in the middle of the weaving bikeway that passes from Smithville to Springfield Street. At that intersection, he pulled onto Springfield Street and continued east toward Wright-Patterson airbase, while I pulled into Eastwood Park as a connector to the Mad River Bikeway.

Awww, I was hoping to get a chance to greet and meet as we rode together into Dayton. Disappointed but still full of energy, I continued on with greater speed than usual, up to the point of jogging over to East Monument Street to bypass the flooded bikeway adjacent to the Mad River.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 62 to 68°F at 17:49
Precipitation: none
Winds: 5 to 10 mph from the north
Clothing: skinsuit; ankle socks. open-finger gloves.
Bike: Trek 850 hybrid
Time: 01:00:31 for about 16 miles
HR 132 bpm average, 146 bpm maximum
Bikeway users: 9 cyclists, ~15 pedestrians
4th Garmin day. Playback.

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