Random musings about biking

Ever notice how stoplights are always at the base of a hill, so you’re hard pressed to build up any speed once you hit the slope?

And on the subject of stoplights, ever notice that when you grab your water bottle for a drink at a red light, the light invariably turns green?

I continue to be passed on hills by other cyclists. It seems that most of them have thighs the size of my spare tire. Not the tire in my seat bag — the spare tire around my waist. I bet if I lose 15 pounds, I’d start passing some of them.

Biking is a great way to see a variety of wildlife that you would miss in a car because you’re driving too fast, or miss while walking, because you don’t cover enough ground. On this afternoon’s 18-mile ride, I saw a Roadrunner, a Blotched Water Snake (non-venomous, but about four feet long, crossing the bike path–I almost ran it over), a blue jay (not all that common in this part of Texas), and a tarantula as it crossed the bike path. Cool.

Practiced upshifting before downshifting to the small chainring — making progress.

Also working on clicking into the pedals without looking. Dana is right — it’s more effective that way.

Got passed by four cyclists during my ride this afternoon — and not one of them was an old guy!


  1. says

    I hate stoplights – if I am cruising down a hill and see stoplights I try and slow down and time my run so I can get through. It works sometimes.

    Also, I wouldn’t get worried about being passed by other cyclists. There will always be someone that is faster. The way I think about it is there are heaps of cyclists out just like me. However I rarely see them as they are going at the same speed, but just on a different stretch of road.

  2. says


    Three things to get better:

    1. Learn to enjoy them.
    2. Power to weight is king. Losing 15 lbs will make a huge difference.
    3. If you really want to power up them you have to put yourself into the “hurt” Like LeMond said, “It doesn’t get easier, just faster.”

  3. says

    I have to admit to being someone who loves hills. There is something about the feeling of climbing a long, steep hill really fast… And having lost 30 lbs last fall has really helped me go faster.

  4. rainycamp says

    Thanks for the comments, all you hill lovers. Actually, I’ve got a hill workout right in the neighborhood, and I’ll be riding it Friday. I still think the best way for me to improve on hills is to lose weight.
    Mike, I appreciate the invite, but I got home too late from playing golf with my wife to act on it — although southwest Austin to Cedar Park is a bit much.

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