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Performance Buh-Bye

Performance Bicycle

The local bike shop. At its best, it can be a place where dreams come true, and the home base of a close-knit community of like-minded friends. Despite eking a meagre livelihood in an endangered corner of the shrinking retail landscape, I’ve rarely known a bike shop to close.

That leaves me a little emotional after the recent closure of Performance Bicycle, a 38 year-old national mail-order chain, with 104 brick-and-mortar retail storefronts.

My history with PerfBike goes back to 2002, when I had just resumed riding as an adult. Back then, they were just another faceless mail-order company whose business was quickly supplanted by Amazon, so I didn’t think about them again until I moved to Pittsburgh in 2015.

In Pittsburgh, Performance had an actual retail storefront in a local strip »more

Catch the Wave

It’s been a while since I looked at what a typical year looks like. In the distant past I’ve shared a bar chart that showed my average mileage for each month of the year, and more recently I showed how my weight fluctuated throughout the year.

But those are indirect measures. Now, with eight years of heart rate data available, I can average my chronic training load (CTL, aka “Fitness”) for each day of the calendar year. That’s the chart that follows.

Since this is averaged data, there are absolutely zero surprises here. I train up during the spring, peak in the summer, gradually tail off through the fall, and bottom out in the winter.

Looking more carefully, the year can actually be broken down into six discrete two-month periods:

  • Pre-season: mid-Feb to mid-Apr
  • Training season: mid »more