Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tuesday’s work-outs, July 4

Coach Steve wrote:

Cycle 90"" total with 3 x 10"" tempo effort at 95-100rpm (4"" easy spin RI)
Weights and strength circuit

I wasn’t able to get out for my ride until later—my good bike had been languishing in my office since Friday morning. So I toddled over to GoodLife’s McCaul Street branch and tried to figure out what to do. Weight work always perplexes me. Coach Steve has us start with the bench press—something I know how to do! The last time I did one, a month or so ago, I was able to press 50 lb (i.e., a 25-lb plate on either side, plus the bar, of course). So I did again: 12 reps, a rest, and 12 reps.

Coach Steve then has me do shoulder press with dumbbells. I guess I could’ve done that—but instead I did them with a bar. I started with 50 lb—big mistake; barely did 8 reps. I downgraded to 30 lb, and was able to do 12 reps.

The free-weight room was surprisingly busy, although the rest of the club was quiet. (It was 11:30-ish in the morning.) I wandered around like a lost child, wondering what Coach Steve meant by a hip-flexor machine. I ended up doing leg presses. Don’t leg presses exercise the hip flexors?

Finally, I spent some time on the club’s new abductor and adductor machines, this at Dr Sarah’s behest. To my surprise, my knees felt better after these machines, which is an odd data point.

For the bike ride, I headed out about 18:30 local time. From my office, I rode west on Richmond Street, south on Peter Street, which becomes Blue Jays Way, south on Navy Wharf Court (making vehicular left turns and stopping fully at the all-way stops :-), east on Bremner Boulevard, south on Rees Street, and east on Queen’s Quay. This is quite boring, with lots of traffic signals. Especially on Queen’s Quay the lights seem particularly synchronized to present a cyclist with a red light at every interseciton. Frustrating, especially on a light road bike with Look pedals.

Just before Queen’s Quay meets Lake Shore Boulevard and Parliament Street, I turned east on the Martin Goodman Trail, which at that point is a sidepath on the south side of Lake Shore. As I’ve written boringly elsewhere, I don’t like to do anything resembling a work-out on multi-use paths, but this section of the Goodman Trail is a good connection between Queen’s Quay and the Port Area. As usual, I deked off the trail just south of the Keating Channel in Cherry Street.

It was at this point that I was rebuffed in my attempt to help someone. The last time I had a stochastic cluster of cyclists needing help, it was three men in one evening. Tonight it was two women. The first was walking what looked at a glance to be a fairly serious road bike—though with those Canadian Tire–type white reflectors in the back wheel. Anyway, I asked her if she needed anything. When I said I had CO2, and tubes, and a frame pump, I could see her eyes light up, but she eventually declined, saying someone would come pick her up. I took her leave with a shug, continuing south on Cherry Street, and east on Commissioners Street. It was here I tried to do the high-cadence “tempo effort”. I have to guess at the cadence, but I kept it high, and worked at not bouncing. I still find it very hard to blow through traffic signals, but I didn’t slow down much. :-)

South on Leslie Street, and my second maiden (or more likely matron) in distress. A woman trying with obvious frustration to use a mini-pump. Mini-pumps are for in-the-middle-of-nowhere, I’m-out-of-CO2 situations, so I rolled to a stop and offered her my frame pump. Of course I ended up using the frame pump myself to pump up her tires. A total newbie: she didn’t know how to open a presta valve (hence her frustration with the mini-pump), and it would seem she’d never pumped up her own tires; they weren’t flat—they were just flattish.

Finally, back on the road: south on Leslie Street, east on Unwin Avenue, for maybe the last time. The surface is so bad it’s intolerable. There are a lot of better places to ride, IMO.

North on Cherry Street, whose surface, at least, is nice and smooth now that the road’s been resurfaced, and east again on Commissioners Street. At Leslie Street I turned (unaccustomedly) to the north. I was behind an old MagicVan, whose driver didn’t respond to the green light. I went around to their right and remarked (with a smile), “The light’s green.” The woman in the passenger seat took a break from lighting a cigarette to say, “He’s practising.” Ah.

At Lake Shore Boulevard I turned east onto the Goodman Trail, which is once again a sidepath. This is the only section of the Goodman Trail that I can think of is actually quite good for work-outs: wide surface, excellent sightlines, no distractions from the side; so I poured it on. At Coxwell Avenue, I turned into Ashbridge’s Bay Park, and here my style had to change. From here to the end of the trail at Fernwood Park Avenue, through Ashbridge’s Bay Park, Woodbine Beach, and Beaches Park, even on a worknight evening, there are ’way too many folks, children, dogs, even a platoon of wheelchair-users to go fast. That didn’t stop some guy in wannabe pro gear from blowing by the slowpokes, but you won’t see me do it. I’d time my so-called tempo efforts so that this was my rest.

The Goodman Trail kind of peters out in Beaches Park at the junction of Fernwood Park and Fir avenues. A series of turns, up Beech Avenue, and I was at Queen Street.

Normally, Queen Street is a terrible place to ride, especially a skinny-tire road bike with Look pedals, but the easternmost end isn’t bad, so I was able to move with some dispatch. At Blantyre Avenue, not seeing any traffic, I turned north opportunistically, and then east on Kingston Road, through Birch Cliff, past Birchmount Stadium (now under reconstruction; it’s where the movie about Sir Roger Banister, Four Minutes was shot.)

I was now in Scarborough. North on Midland Avenue, back west on St Clair Avenue, fast, fast, fast. Why don’t you see more cyclists here? Dunno. A good vehicular left turn at O’Connor Drive. The usual mess at Don Mills Road, but I’m getting used to it.

An opportunistic left turn at Wolverhampton Avenue, along Woodville Avenue, then south on Pape, and home. Totals: 21.54 miles, 1:30:14, for 14.3 mi/h, maximum 26.6 mi/h, probably in St Clair just west of Victoria Park avenue.


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