For today (Saturday) I went on a 38 mile ride through some familiar roads in Seattle and took a trip over to Mercer Island. The Mercer Island circumnavigation was 13 miles, and the road is quite interesting, especially to the east, where you along many ravines. The traffic is fairly quiet, and the ups and downs are pleasant, and not especially tiring. Back in Seattle, we rode down along Lake Washington Boulevard, which is, according to the survey for the Seattle Master Bicycle Plan, both people's favorite road (for scenery) and one people want to manage better, because of the traffic and lack of bicycle path.
Hitomi has a tough time with the traffic. She doesn't like to get passed closely and doesn't like cars behind her. Obviously, many drivers don't like to wait to pass cyclists, as they feel entitled to travel at the speed limit at all times, but it isn't her problem. Being passed too closely happens when you don't take enough of the lane to make the drivers wait for the left lane to clear for wider passing. Being squeezed off to the side is dangerous.
Fourty miles a week isn't really enough preparation for the 200+ for the STP ride. However, we are handling more hilly terrian and we're averaging around 14-15 miles per hour. (I would be just as comfortable at 16-17, but Hitomi can't keep up.) Although 15mph is fairly slow for road cyclist standards, assuming we can keep it, 100 miles can be done in 6:40. Starting at 9AM and with a generous lunch break, getting into camp at 6 or 7PM seems entirely fesible for a full day.
I've been keeping up with flatwater kayaking as well. I like it in addition to just cycling, since it builds my upper body and loosens up the back and shoulders. (Everyone around me seems to have some sort of back issue.) The problem is the weather, which is too windy to be pleasant, and often the rain. Though sometimes, I can convince myself to paddle around Greenlake in rainy conditions. (I got hit by hail on Friday.)
And Hitomi's been taking her weekly cycling class at the gym. Frankly, I'm not too impressed about this class, from what I hear they want her to stand up while pedaling, which is just ridiculous. And why not work on proper pedaling technique? I'm hoping she can pull her speed up.
We'll see how Orcas Island goes next week. Hitomi seems to hate hills, which sound more daunting than they really are. She'll do fine. Possibly the scenery will distract her from the climbs she will face. A ride from Eastsound to the opposite ends of the island will boost my morale, and confirm that, yes, I'm in better physical condition than I was in highschool.