Bikes in the offices

What do I have in a travel week

So many of us travel often, we have a routine, and there are some basic things that are common to all of the work travelers. You arrive to an airport, go to the hotel, go to the office, come back to the hotel, and at the end of the week you come back home.

I try to book a hotel that is closed to the office I have to go, so I can walk during the commute. For me it’s nice to stretch the legs, have some fresh air and relax before or at the end of the day.

Shit, there is not hotel closed to the office

Sometimes I cannot book a hotel closed to the office and then I have to take a taxi, which in some of the cases takes a lot of time to arrive and so much money.

If the hotel is 20 km far away there is not discussion, I need a taxi, a train or whatever, but if the hotel is around 3 to 10 km, to me the preferred option is a bike.

What if the office has an available bike?

If the office has a bike, I would take it, commute to the hotel and park it there (I’m sure they have a secure space to park a bike). Then the following day I can take it back to the office.

To me the math is simple: I can ride a bike, relax during the commute, save money to my company as they are not paying a taxi, the company can say they are promoting healthy behavior and create a corporate social responsibility campaign for that.

With the money I spent this week in taxis you can buy a decent bike and a helmet.

Detractors are probably thinking:

  • I do not want to ride 10 kms,
  • I do not want to ride with this cold/hot day
  • What about the slopes?
  • What about my customer?
  • What about rain? snow? my clothes?…..

I know, there are days you need another type of transport, but for some other days, a bike is perfectly valid. For those who are looking for a excuse, there are thousand, just pick one.

My questions

  • have you seen something like what I have described?
  • Do you know any company that is already doing it?
  • To buy a bike probably is not the best option, but, what about to have an agreement with the local public bikes organization, so the bikes are available for travelers?
  • Any other suggestion?

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.