Instead of watching the Most Decisive Day of the 2005 Tour de France this morning, I took Buttercup out for a ride before it got too unbearably hot. It was steamy, no wind and full sun, but a mild 90-95*F heat index instead of the 100*F+ heat index we will have this afternoon. I still had sweat dripping off the front of my helmet!
Our total distance was 23 miles. I did a 20.1-mile time trial, again in preparation for the Blackwater Duathlon coming up in a couple of weeks. My personal rule for my time trials is that I time myself for a loop and return to the same spot, stop and then check the gauges, so I don't gain any undue advantage of tailwinds or downhills. Today without any wind I was faster than my last time trial of two weeks ago: I managed a 16.7 mph average. That still won't get me to the finish line of the bike leg of my duathlon within one hour, for which I need an 18.6 mph average. That would still only put me in the middle of the pack, judging by last year's results. Oh well, I don't think I'll gain nearly 2 mph before race day even with a big effort - but I'll do my best, nevertheless!
My heart rate averaged 141. That's 20 to 30 beats/min less than running, but you're only using about half as many active muscle groups on the bike, so heart rates are generally much lower. My limiting factor still seems to be my position on the bike - after 15 miles or so my back starts getting achy, plus my crotch gets uncomfortable, and I have to sit up to stretch or stand in the pedals for a while, both of which slow me down. I know, I know, the solution is simply more miles in the saddle.
I was hoping to watch today's stage of the Tour this afternoon, but no, I'm doomed. They're not re-broadcasting it until tonight, which probably means I'll have to endure Al Trautwig and Kristin Gum. UGH. I've already peeked at the results, and it looks like it will be worth watching, nevertheless!