Monday, May 30, 2005

5/29/05 Today's Ride

Route: 40.3 miles, London loop with return via Echo Valley to 830 to Rocky Branch.

Weather: mostly cloudy, mid 70s, light wind.

Performance: average speed 16.1 mph, time 2:29:46. Average HR 134.

Comment: Not bad when an endurance ride has heart rate stats not diparate from recovery rides. One of my best average speed to distance ratios since 5/18. Plus I only exceeded my maximum HR for 56 seconds the whole ride.

On another note, it never ceases to amaze me how everybody is in such a hurry to get somewhere. I saw at least four near head-on collisions today caused by impatient drivers blowing by me, blind curves or hills be danged.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

5/27/05 Today's ride

Route: 50.1 miles, extended Dorthae loop to Robinson Creek to Echo Valley (end-to-end) to Sam Parker Road to Woodbine route, return via Campground Road.

Weather: partly cloudy, mid 70s, breezy.

Performance: average speed 15.1 mph, time 3:19:38. Average HR 139.

Comment: My second half-century of the year. I started to crash toward the end (~40-45 miles) but still kept a respectable average speed. HR very cooperative. I had success with semi-meditation today...thinking about other things while riding lets you look down with surprise at the miles piling up on the odometer. Today's topic was Revenge of the Sith. Good movies always stick in my head for days afterwards, unlike bad ones that I can't remember the next day.

Random obervation: I saw a roadkill collie on the side of highway 6 outside of Woodbine. I recognized him as one who gamely chased me each time I passed through, yap-yapping, nostrils flaring. I imagine all cyclists experience a bittersweet feeling at such a sight.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Thoughts on Jeopardy's Ultimate Tournament

Dang, I could have made some money on this. See my 5/3 post on my finals prediction (ignore the Frank Spangenburg part though). I had Rutter as the champ too.

Everybody seems to be surprised that Ken lost. It's interesting to me how many people automatically assume that he is the best ever because he won 74 straight games. While it is true that his was an amazing accomplishment, there are plenty of players from the 5-day-limit era who could have pulled off similar feats had they been given the chance. To me it seems coincidental that they lifted the five-day limit and then just a few months later Ken comes along and does what he does. Only time will tell where Ken stands in the Jeopardy annals. I predict that we will see at least one or two more "mega-champions" over the next few years.

Ken is an excellent player, no doubt. He stayed right with two of the greatest Jeopardy champions of all time. But in this tournament, he was simply a giant among giants.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

5/10/05 Today's ride

Route: 23 miles, Queen Hill Road to Stewart Road to Dorthae to Robinson Creek to Echo Valley to 830 to Rocky Branch to Spring Cut Road to Sweet Hollow.

Weather: partly cloudy, mid 70s, light wind.

Performance: average speed 15.4 mph, time 1:29:36. Average HR 139.

Comment: I felt good today, energy to burn starting out. I wasn't sure how things would go after running down my tank yesterday. Good recovery ride. And yes I know, my endurance rides are some people's recovery rides!

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Monday, May 09, 2005

5/9/05 Today's ride

Route: 35.7 miles, Stewart Road to Dorthae to Robinson Creek to Echo Valley to McHargue to McClure Bridge to Fletcher Road to 229 to Westerfield Road to 830 to Sam Parker Road to Old 25 to Watch Road to Cardinal Heights.

Weather: mostly sunny, 80.

Performance: average speed 14.5 mph, time 2:28:42. Average HR 136.

Comment: I just didn't have the legs today. Started to crash around mile 23 and had to creep back in the low teens. My energy bar didn't help. Did get to see some new territory in the Westerfield Road / 1810 area. Ahh the dogs were ready to frolic today. All winter and nobody to chase!

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5/8/05 Today's ride

Route: 10.6 miles, Sweet Hollow to Ohler Road to Cardinal Heights loop.

Weather: partly cloudy, mid-70's, light wind.

Performance: average speed 16.9 mph, time 38:12. Average HR 149.

Comment: I don't know what it is about my energy level on these Sunday after-work rides. I'm pretty tired before I go but once I get out I feel better than I do on my off days. Another short one due to the time, but brisk pace. I could have gone much longer. I ate a classic cyclist's fueling dinner today in the form of spaghetti and garlic bread. Tomorrow would be a good day for another half-century. We'll see...

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

5/4/05 Today's Ride

Route: 9.5 miles, Dorthae to Sweet Hollow loop with Stewart Road add-on.

Weather: Sunny, low 60's, wind ~10 mph.

Performance: average speed 14.9 mph, time 38:42. Average HR 165.

Comment: I had to cut this one short today due to apparent tachycardia. I felt fine, if a little tired after working for two days, but nothing out of the ordinary. I gave up hopes of spontaneous cardioversion after reaching Hopewell Church halfway through the ride. It was a little chilly in the wind anyway. Another setback after a near-record-total-distance April (228.3 miles) which saw my heart rate and general stamina improving significantly (34.5 miles @ 15.8 mph @ 130 HR by month's end). Too much work and too much cold...

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Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament of Champions

I have to mention tonight's loss by Bob Verini in the UToC (I am wont to use alphabet soup on you guys, but that one takes a while to type). As I wrote in my first entry, Bob was part of my earliest memories of the show, and it was sad to see him go down in his first game. He just never really got back into the game after losing it all on his early Daily Double. But, so goes a tournament in which all competitors are superb and one game decides it.

Tomorrow night another playa from the past returns in Frank Spangenburg. I remember him as the best I had ever seen during the regular season but also as someone who had disappointing showings in tournaments (e.g. Super Jeopardy and his Tournament of Champions). I hesitate to call him overrated like some at the message boards have been doing, just someone who doesn't do well when the pressure and / or competition is / are higher. I would like to see him win his game but don't think it will happen.

My prediction for the final is (depending on semifinal matchups, of course): (Jennings), Rutter, and Vered.