Doing the math

Posted in Triple Bypass at 18:18 by RjZ

Over and over again, I’ve been doing the math and trying to figure out if I am going to finish the Triple Bypass before dark. I think that must be why they schedule the thing in summer, so that the days are longer.

It’s 120 miles. A typical recreational rider can keep up an average of 16 to 19 miles per hour on the flats. (Sorry for the imperial units here, but the route is miles, so my speed has to be as well.) That’s 6h20m to 7h30m with no breaks;

Triple Bypass Route

Triple Bypass Route

there are five stops along the route and I will be using them. At the moment Last year when I was riding I think I could hold a good 17 mph pace. Although clearly not for a 120 miles, a distance I have never actually completed.

But then there are these hills. They’re mountains, but I like to call them hills so that I can forget that there’s 40% less oxygen than at sea-level at the top of them. Or that it can snow in summer. Right, there are these hills. Long climbs don’t really lend themselves to the same average speeds. I don’t know what the average rider does up climbs, but I know that I managed only a 7 mph pace during my ride up Colorado’s paved 14er, Mt. Evans.

The Triple Bypass is 55 miles of downhill (yay!) and virtually no flats, so we’ll call the other 65 climbing. At my pace that’s 9h30 minutes of climbing. I sure better go fast on those downhills if I expect to make it before they close the route down.

Clearly the answer is speed on the hills. How to get there? I am open to suggestions, but my plan is <gasp> intervals. Even USA Today (so you know it’s true) reported that intervals can get you fit in just three minutes a day! Intervals are painful and when I tried doing them the first time I started running they made me throw up. This time I plan on starting slowly, incorporating my heart rate monitor into the mix. Into my workouts (really, they’ll start soon!) I am going to insert at least six reps at 30 seconds each of high intensity at least zone 5 heart rate work. 

That means my normal slow jogging pace and three minutes of sprinting thrown in; my normal boring trainer pace and three minutes of stand on the pedals pushing. Same thing for riding when the weather finally permits. Anybody think this will help? Sound like a good program?

Because faster is the only I am going to finish this thing!


  1. erin said,

    February 1, 2009 at 12:24

    please video tape yourself during the ride. this should be hilarious and there’s no reason any of us should miss out on it. :)

  2. RjZ said,

    February 2, 2009 at 17:46

    That would mean carrying extra weight. No chance.

Leave a Comment