Archive for the 'Cycling with Family' category

Truckin’ On a Tandem Up Metcalf

July 17, 2008 7:45 pm

We decided to do the Metcalf Mauler today from the trail head in Morgan Hill. That gives us about 10 miles of riding to the offical start of the ride in San Jose, and total ride of 46 miles. All the way up we had a stiff head wind but the temperature was pleasant.

Once the ride started we were now headed south on Santa Teresa. With the tail wind, we zipped by all the fast riders, who jumped on our wheel, as we took the speed up to 30 mph for the section to Bailey Ave. We all took Bailey over to Malech where we once again had the headwind. At Metcalf we turned right for the 1,000 feet climb.

There are markings at the start of the climb and at the top where we often keep track of our time to see how well we do. Today we set a new personal tandem record, making the climb in 17 minutes and 30 seconds. That is faster than many of the riders in today’s group. I guess we just were inspired by all the watching of the Tour de France and wanted to go out and climb some hills. Both of us took our heart rate up in the high 160’s for part of the climb. Ann’s heart rate when into the high 160’s at one point. Here is the data from Franz’ heart rate monitor. You can see he averaged 168 bpm with a maximum of 172. Also note the split time was 17:30. That measured section has an average grade of 10% so it is rather steep.

Franz was clearing in the “red zone” for most of the climb (the portion between the split No. 1 and No. 2) on this graph.

Here are the same charts from two weeks earlier when Franz did the same climb on his single bike. Then he did the climb in 14:31 and had a slightly higher average heart rate of 175, maximum of 177.

Using our combined weight, the weight of our tandem, and our time, we can calculate our combined power input:

Power required to overcome gravitational resistance: 390 watts.
Power required to overcome rolling resistance: 18 watts.
Power required to overcome aerodynamic resistance: 4 watts.
Total power required: 412 watts (about 3.5 watts per kg).

From the July 1st cimb on a single bike, we can calculate for Franz that he puts out 266 watts on that climb (4.2 watts per kg). Accounting for the difference in heart rate between July 1st and July 15th, we can estimate he was putting out 250 watts on July 15th tandem climb. Therefore Ann was averaging 160 watts (3 watts per kg). Very impressive! On her single bike she would be able to do the climb in about 20 minutes with that power input. Of course we come back to reality when we watch the Tour de France where they have some of the professional cyclists wired and you can see how many watts they are putting out on their climbs. In any case, we claim the age group record for climbing Metcalf on a Tandem.

While descending on the backside our chain came off the crank so we had to stop and get it back on. We were able to catch some of the riders before the next regroup. Then it was for a fast descent down San Felipe.

After the ride we had a nice ride back to the car along the bike trail, aided with a nice tailwind. It was a very fun ride.

Tierra Bella Century Ride

April 19, 2008 5:58 pm

Today we did the Tierra Bella Century ride on our tandem. This was a unique experience because both of us took pictures of the event while riding.

See my photography blog for more information about what we learned from a photographic aspect.

See my family blog for more information about the century ride.

The family that cycles together stays together …. especially if they are on a tandem.

39 Miles on the 17 Mile Drive

March 11, 2008 8:57 am

Yesterday Ann had an appointment in Monterey to have her eyes checked so we decided to take our bikes with us and bike afterwards. We parked in the Park N Ride which has the bike trail go right by it. After making our way through all the pedestrians around Fisherman’s Warf we went on the road and headed toward the 17 mile drive. It was a sunny and beautiful day.

Ann on 17 Mile Drive

I had brought the camera along but after I took this first picture it showed the batteries were dead. We biked for much of the 17 mile drive to Pebble Beach where stopped at the market to buy some AA batteries and also a drink and cookie. We fresh batteries in the camera I took a couple more pictures.

Ann at Pebble Beach

Franz and Ann

We then continued on our way towards Carmel. After passing Ocean Street we rode along the road that passes along the ocean.

Cycling in Carmel

We rode all way until we reached Highway 1 and then turned back and rode through the city of Carmel and then back along the 17 mile drive. We stopped at the Lone Cypruss viewpoint and Ann took a phone call.

Then it was back to Monterey. I grabbed some photos while riding the bike.

We found a great place to stop and setup the camera for a self timed shot of the two of us.

When we made it back to the car we had logged 39 miles. It was a lot of fun.

Two on Tuesday

August 28, 2007 9:28 pm

It is Tuesday so that means two rides, with the first ride with two people. Around 11:30 am, Ann and I headed out on the Tandem up north. We first went up Mantelli, then to Watsonville Road to Uvas. We took Uvas all the way until we bailed out at Bailey, I mean turned right at Baily.

Ann thought we were kind of dogging it today, she said we were not going as fast as we were on Saturday on Uvas. I guess I was a bit tired, at least until I saw a Specialized rider ahead of us about 5 miles before we hit Bailey. I knew we could catch him, which we did. He followed us on the Bailey turn and was closing the gap as we were climbing the short section before the decent. So, I had Ann stand with me as we powered over the short climb. I looked in my rear view mirror and see we had dropped him big time.

I guess I was being conservative on the decent because he nearly caught us. I thought at least he would not turn right on Santa Teressa as we would, but I was wrong. We had a tail wind now so we cranked it up to 24-25 mph. He could not close the gap. I was thinking if he was able to ever close the gap, he might be shocked to see a couple of senior citizens on the tandem.

I had plenty of reserve so I knew we could stay ahead of him all the way to Morgan Hill, that was until some city bus passed us an then cut right in front of us to make it’s stop. I had to almost come to a stop. The Specialized rider was back far enough that he swung out around the bus and got ahead. No fair I thought.

Well that was enough, we both needed food and drink because it was hot, about 95 degrees. We stopped at Erik’s Deli in Morgan Hill and split a sandwich and bowl of soup (our typical lunch there). Then it was back straight home, for a total of 44 miles, averaging 17.1 mph. Not so slow I thought.

I had about 1 hour before I headed with bike and car to Morgan Hill to ride the Metcalf Mauler from there. It was 101 degrees on the car thermometer as I arrived in Morgan Hill at the trail head. Good thing the heat does not bother me that much. I felt fresh a the beginning of the official ride in San Jose and hammered down Santa Teressa, this time South to Bailey where we turn left. I was the first one up Metcalf but my time was no PR, about 14 minutes. No one challenged me, I guess because of the heat. After the official ride I biked back on the bike trail to the trail head. I ended the day with 92 miles total.

Double Up

June 11, 2007 5:57 pm

This was our last chance to get in a bike ride this visit to Utah so we got up early. Well, I guess if you call 8 am early. It was a bit overcast but shortly after we started to bike, it became sunny. It was beautiful weather, just the right temperature as we headed up Provo Canyon bike trail with the plan of cycling up to Sundance. We stopped part way up for these photos by the Provo River.

Ann by Provo River

Franz by Provo River

After we turned off the highway toward Sundance it became a steeper climb, but Ann knew what to expect having done this same route last Tuesday. We really enjoy the Sundance area and spent some time up there taking pictures and eating a sandwich.

Franz and Ann at Sundance


After some restful time up at Sundance we made our way back home. Since Ann had some errands to run and the 25 miles we had biked was not quite what I wanted, I headed up the canyon again, this time going up Squaw Peak. That is a 5 mile, 1600 vertical feet climb. I was disappointed that I didn’t see anyone else on the hill to race against. I stopped briefly at the Outlook Point to take a photo.

Franz up Squaw Peak

On the way down I came upon another rider headed up the hill. Good, I thought. So after going past him a bit, I turned around and chased him down. He was about 40 years old but not that great of a climber so I easily passed him. We met again at the bottom of the hill because he came down faster than I did. He asked my name and where I was from, commenting how good of condition I was in. I just said that I climb a lot of hills in California. So all together I got in about 45 miles, a good recovery day after last Saturday’s fast paced century ride.

Lunch at the Lake

May 7, 2007 1:07 pm

The days have definitely warmed up and it was already in the high 60’s as we left on a bike ride to do the Canada Loop. With the predicted high of over 90 degrees, we decided to climb the Canada side and finish most of the climbing before it got too hot. It was Ann’s first time to climb that hill but she seemed to have no problems. She commented that she had anticipated a steeper hill than it turned out to be. I guess she is ready for Metcalf now!

After reaching the CDF fire station where Canada and Roop roads intersect, we turned right and headed up to Gilroy Hotsprings. It was Ann’s first time up that road and we commented it would have been great to know about all these places when the kids were younger so we could have taken on some hikes. We have lived in Gilroy nearly 30 yeas (less the 13 years in Japan) and it was not until I got into biking and rode with bike groups that I learned about so many neat roads right in my backyard.

After finishing the in and out to the hot springs , we continued on the loop until we reached the turn off for Coyote Lake. About 3 miles into that road we found a nice picnic table in the shade where we stopped and enjoy the gourmet lunch I had carried (peanut butter sandwiches, granola bar and water). It was peaceful up there without all the people you see on a weekend.

After lunch we climbed back up to Roop road and then headed down to Leavsley and back home. As we finished the ride, it was getting a lot warmer, now nearly 90 degrees. The total miles ended up to be about 35 with some good climbing.

50 in under 3

May 4, 2007 8:33 pm

When I started to ride a road bike on June 16, 2001, I recall the first time I went 20 miles, then the first time I went 25 miles. Each was a great sense of accomplishment. It was not until 3 months later I finally went over 45 miles in one ride and I did not exceed 50 miles until October 21st of that year, more than 4 months after I had started to road bike.

Ann, on the other hand, got her road bike on February 5th, and today she rode her first 50 miles ride, less than 3 months since she first started road biking. It is quite unusual to reach that distant within such a short time period. On Monday we went over 40 miles on a ride and decided that exceeding 50 miles today would help her to obtain the confidence she can do the 60 mile ride for the Tour de Cure next month. Anyone who can ride 50 miles on a training ride can ride 60 on a supported ride.

It was raining this morning and cool so we were not quite sure we would be able to ride. Ann decided to run 4 miles on the tread mill and I went out side for a run. The rain stopped, more or less, around noon and we even started to see some sun at times. Around 1:15 pm, we finally left but dressed for cooler weather, in the high 50’s.

The course took us out Watsonville road, then left at Uvas, down to Bailey. We had to fight a strong head wind all the way. We then descended down Bailey over the freeway and over Monterey to the bike path, which we took back to Morgan Hill. From there we took Hill Road, over to Tennant, then back west to Monterey where we enjoyed lunch at Erik’s Deli. The food sure tasted good as we sat outside on the patio in the sun.

After lunch we made our way over to Santa Teresa, then rode that with a strong tail wind back to Gilroy. At times we were going 22 mph. Two guys in San Jose Bike club jersyes passed me at one point but I didn’t need to race them, because I knew I could easily pass them at the pace they were moving. We finished with a bit over 50 miles. It had warmed up considerably by the time we returned and the last few miles in Gilroy were with a temperature in the high 60’s.

So it is 92 miles this week for Ann on the bike, more like a 100 if you count the times in the exercise bike. A good week for her. It was particularly impressive she ran 4 miles and biked 50 in the same day. Kind of like my dual training when I was getting ready for both a double century and a marathon at the same time. Hum, if we only had a tandem, Ann could ride the double century with me. I wonder how she would like being in the saddle for over 12 hours, however.

Fly Like the Wind

April 30, 2007 5:50 pm

Today I slept until 9 am, which is late considering I went to bed at 10 pm. I guess I was still recovering from the Devil Mountain Double on Saturday. Ann and I decided to go on a bike ride. It was very nice weather when we left, around 10:30 this morning. We headed up Hecker Pass Highway and then turned right at Burchill over to Watsonville road, left at Uvas and around the reservoir, turning right at Oak Glen. We then climbed over Willow Springs to Hale Ave, down Hale for a ways then a climb back over Llagas to Oak Glen. We then turned left down to Morgan Hill for a nice lunch at Erik’s deli.

After enjoying a nice lunch on their patio area, with absolutely wonderful weather, we made our way back to Santa Teresa. The wind was real strong now, and it was a tail wind. With the straight, flat road and the strong tail wind, we were flying. Ann stayed right with me as I took the speed up to 22 mph. Then I wanted to see what I could do and got down in the aerobars and really hammered, reaching eventually 32 mph for a brief spell.

We rode Santa Teresa all the way to Thomas Road, then back home on the bike trail for a total of 42 miles. Our average speed was nearly 15 mph hour, which was great. We had a total climb of 1,300 feet. It was a very fun bike ride and I am sure Ann enjoyed it also. She will definitely be ready for the Tour de Cure ride on June 9th.