Pirineos with the bike

I have been able to travel again a week to the Pirinees mountains with the mountain bike. This is a journey I love to do and I was able to do it after 2 years off.

The first thing is to prepare me physically. 7 weeks riding at least 3 times a week made the difference. This time I prepare the days of training combining climbing, long rides and specific workouts with high slopes.

The speed during the routes is very slow, and this helped me to be at the same pace of the group. It’s vacations, not a ride, so we stop to take pictures, talk to people and this type of things.

We have stayed in Castejón de Sos and Ainsa.

The routes we have done were:

  1. Day 1: Castejón de Sos –  Integral de Gallinero: 40 kms, 1600m positive high. 6 hours ride. Good feelings as I rested some days and the pace was slow. We extended the original ride going to Gabás, so we added an extra downhill. The fact that this week I rested help too.
  2. Day 2: Villanova- Rabaltueras: 20 kms, 1050, positive high, 3 hours. The slopes were more complicated, but the ascend was only 10kms. The downhill is in a forrest and it was very good to stop from time to time an enjoy the views. The cows were in the middle of the path when we were downhilling, so a technical stop was required.
  3. Day 3: Ainsa – Viaje al Inframundo: 55 kms, 1585 positive high, 7:30 hours. We wanted to do this one some years ago, but in summer is not suitable because of the heat. Even today it was a hot day. The travel to infraworld is a ride reaching some abandoned towns and old houses were there is nobody. Today we did not see anybody in almost 40 kms. It was a large day but it was a nice day, as the route description says: it’s a bad route for the body and good for the soul.
  4. Day 4: Ainsa, raining, so no bike today.. so the alternative was a gastronomic route with special meet of the region.
  5. Day 5: Ainsa, Portillo del Vallés: 39 kms, 1360 positive high, 5 hours. We picked this route due to a local rider told us there were less posibilities of mud. The worst part was the start of the downhill on the north face with a lot of water there. The other paths where fine. We started at 13:00 as the whole morning was raining. It was a good decision as finally we were lucky and no more rain falled. The path over a river with stones was fantastic.
  6. Day 6: Ainsa: Saravillo – Ainsa: 37 kms 960 positive high and 1400 negative high. We took the van till Saravillo, there we started going to Badaín, then we stopped to take lunch in Laspuña. After lunch we went to Araguás, Torrelisa and finally Ainsa. The final path over the badlands was amaizing.

You can find all available routes here:

  • For the 2 of Castejón de Sos: Puro Pirineo.
  • For the 3 of Ainsa: Zona zero . We have to thanks again to the guys of the Intersport store in Ainsa for the guidance on the routes and the election of the best ones taking into account our directions and the weather.

Only 2 falls without consequences and the bike without any incident, what else can I ask for?

I hope I can come back next year.

Strava, other conditions: temperature

I use Strava as one of the environments that let me analyze the rides I do. I find very useful the kudos system, the way to show the data, how to compare with yourself, etc.

Yesterday I took my bike in Sevilla. It was October the 1st but there were around 35ºC at 17.30 that was the only slot I had to take the bike.

I did a route that I use to do, and the feeling of doing this route with such temperature is very different than when you perform it at 20ºC.

I understand that the effect of heat in every person is different, it’s also different for a single person depending of other factors. But in general, the effect of the heat reduces the performance of the workout.

For instance, the performance I had yesterday was very different in the first part of the ride than in the second part. Basically the difference was:

  • First half: speed = 2:31 min/km
  • Second half: speed = 2:45 min/km

The reason was not the slopes or the excessive speed during the first half, it was the temperature that provoked me to burn down slowly. The hot wind did not help either, in any case the effort done was useful for my goals, to suffer during the bad days is also a useful training for keeping the mind concentrated and minimize the lose of time.

I would suggest to Strava to add this variable in some type of kudos, or as a separate factor to measure.

III Maratón MTB ciudad de Tarifa

Family traveling, me preparing the vacations to the Pyrenees mountains, and suddenly the possibility to ride this race. For sure I’m still far away of the shape I need for the Pyrenees, but this was a good check point to know how I was.

The total distance, taking into account the launched start was 62.17 km that I covered in 4:22 hours. The majority of the route was a wide path with a lot of stones in the middle.

I was making well till the km 50 where a steep slope told me: “you should save some energy for the other 12 kms”.

The roads closed to the coast have really nice view of the coast. The fog did not let me see Africa.

The strong wind from east was present the whole ride and it made the day a little bit difficult.

Man Boobs

Daryl Morey joined the Rockets as General Manager in 2006 with the idea of launching data-driven decision-making on the team. This included the draft elections.
In 2007 they already had their first model. His first choice was a 22-year-old boy who surpassed the rest in that model.
A picture of this guy was found with a baby face and a , fluffy body … and someone from the scout team nicknamed him Man Boobs.

Man Boobs here, Man Boobs there … At the end, Morey doubted and was not brave enough to push his model in front of the traditional scouting methods, his team of scouters influenced enough.

Grizzlies choose him later in the 48th position. Man Boobs was Marc Gasol.

Morey banned the motes in the selections of players and the following year relied on his model.

Collected from the book “The Undoing Project”, by Michael Lewis.

Bike-a-thon Bridge to the Beach

Last Sunday I participated on this ride organized by ACS (American Cancer Society).

Between the route and the road to home we did 120 kms, which is not a bad distance with the temperature and the humidity we had.

The route itself has interesting parts with nice views and some others that are a little bit boring. The nicer side is all the people riding together and people with bells supporting the riders.PHL-AC-Bike-a-thon

(Start line in the Benjamin Franklin bridge at 6.30)

Ruta por Sierra de Cádiz

Buena ruta ayer sábado con Alfredo por una de las sierras que más me gusta.

Unos datos para el recuerdo

  • Benaocaz – Villaluenga: 4.5kms – 1.45h
  • Villaluenga – Circo: 11kms – 2.45h
  • Circo – Casa Dornajo: 1km – 45m
  • Casa Dornajo – Benaocaz: 2.5kms – 1 h

Total 18kms en 6 horas.

circo-desde-casa-dornajo

Strava heat-map

When I discovered the global Strava heat map I was doing the same thing that the day I installed google earth on my computer: looking for places. The only difference was what to look for: some years ago it was NYC and now it’s the tourmalet road.

So many things to investigate:

  • Countries where adoption is incredible, areas of world where there’s nobody with a smartphone for tracking a workout.
  • I expected more adoption in US, France and Kenia.
  • The use in UK and Netherlands is massive.

Strava-heat-map-2015-January

II Trial Las Palomas, Zahara de la Sierra

El año pasado me quedé sin poder ir a esta carrera, pero este año llegué a tiempo para apuntarme. La organización aprendió de algunos fallos del año pasado y el recorrido estaba muy conseguido: muchísimo sendero por sitios increibles (que sustituyeron al asfalto).

Tuvimos mucha suerte, día soleado y sin viento. Mucho frío como es de esperar un 27 de diciembre.

El recorrido tenía solo 910 metros de desnivel positivo, no los 1400 que marcaban.

Tiempo de la carrera: 3:26:05

Trial-las-palomas