Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Central Park - population: 1

       Central Park - January 11, 2011 at 8:30pm

One of the nice things about riding in cold or inclement weather is how empty Central Park can get. I took the above photo last night and there's nary a person in sight. Typically, this loop road is packed with runners and cyclists, even in the winter. But yesterday evening... empty. A lot of it probably had to do with the blizzard we were expecting. (You can see the snow starting to fall around the lights in the photo.) New York City seems to have become extremely nervous about snowmagaddons after our last blizzard.

In any case, the impending snowstorm left Central Park free for me to do my usual 3 lap, pre-dinner workout. I wasn't so interested in speeding around the park with sub-freezing temperatures and patches of black ice so I decided to focus on my cadence and footwork. Last year my average cadence hovered in the mid-70's. Not terrible but could use some improvement. (For my non-cycling readers, pedaling is generally aerobically more efficient when you have a high cadence (rotations/minute) with low force.) But the problem for me is that cadence work seems to require more focus than the other types of workouts (i.e. intervals). I get somewhat easily distracted from my targets. So, for instance, this is what my workout from last night would look like... when I was aiming to keep a cadence of 100 for the entire workout:

In my defense, it sucks when you go for a sip of water from the bottle and you can't because it's starting to freeze. It's also not very enjoyable to drink ice cold water when you're already halfway to becoming a popsicle. I have no explanation for the hot chocolate thoughts. But no regrets either.

The other thought that came to mind during my ride last night was that I am not a "hard man" of cycling. And that Andy Hampsten's ride through the snowy Gavia Pass in the 1988 Giro d'Italia was truly an incredible feat. If you don't know what I'm referring to (or even if you are), take a look at this video. He is the only non-European to have ever won the maglia rosa and it was definitely well-deserved that year.


  1. I wonder when the last time the population of Central Park was One!!! Despite the dark and cold, I best that was a great ride!