This weekend was the first time I’ve ridden hard or long on back-to-back days. Yesterday (no write-up) I rode at the velodrome because it was so windy out. But, I made the most of my indoor time. I rode 30 miles in an hour and forty minutes. There was one 5 mile stretch where I was riding with a paceline going 24-26 mph! And, I remained the last rider, so would drop off a bit when the lead changed so the leader to join the line again just ahead of me. This meant I had to sprint above and beyond the pace line speed to catch back up on every lead change. My max speed for the day was 29.5 (on the blue line, not down in the spinter’s lane!). The last 40 minutes was not nearly as fast-paced, but it was no walk in the park either. So, when I left the velodrome, I knew I had gotten a good workout!
Today, I followed that up with a lower-intensity, longer (as measured by both time and distance) ride. I rode the now familiar route up to the Horsetooth reservoir trail head. I dare say, one of my favorite parts about that as a turn-around point is that it has a nice, clean, restroom and a hand pump in case I need drinking water.
As soon as I left the house, I could feel some fatigue in my legs from the velodrome ride. I had several conversations with myself about NOT trying to push the pace, and NOT trying to catch any “rabbits” today and to just stay focused on a comfortable pace. It took me all of 45 minutes to really warm up. It was chilly and I think my muscles took a bit longer than normal to warm up (even with long tights and several layers up top) and although the fatigue never went away, I kept the pace moderate and dropped it even lower if I started to feel any “burn.” By the time I got to Masonville and turned right to start the climb to the trail head I felt good and had a nice, steady pace going. I was passed by a few riders — something that has been happening less and less lately — but I let them go and just stuck to my moderate pace. My time to the top was 1:41:45 and I expended an estimated 1290 calories to get there, Ave HR as 116, max HR was 151. I tried real hard to eat and drink while riding today — with limited success. I did manage to work my way thru one package of shot blocks and drank about 3/4 bottle of Cytomax. Need to do better though….
It was sunny and warm at the trail head. The sun felt wonderful and I was sheltered from the breeze and felt absolutely bathed in the warmth. Knowing that I would stiffen up if I stayed too long, I headed back down after about 5 minutes of basking. It was a chilly descent. I stopped about half way down the hill when I felt something kinda bounce on the spokes of my rear wheel. I had a backpack on and thought perhaps one of the straps was dangling too low and hit the spokes. Turns out, my iPod shuffle (tiny little thing…) had come unclipped from my jersey’s rear pocket and was swinging free from the end of the ear phone cable! On at least one swing it had clanged off the spokes! Now, that could’ve been a very serious accident had it gotten tangled up in there as I descended at 30+ mph!!! Lesson learned…. gotta be way more careful in the future.
There were lots of riders out today, all with huge smiles on their faces. Only a couple of big groups. Mostly I saw smaller groups of 3-6 riders and more singletons that I’ve seen in quite a while. On the return trip, I came upon the randonneur (I guessed this from the bike setup, his rather upright position and his comforatable pace) and recognized him immediately as a fellow I met briefly on a ride last fall. He and a friend were out previewing a brevet ride for the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club. Today he was doing a 200K “permanent” – a permanent is like a brevet except you can schedule with the organizer when to ride it. I rode with him just south of Masonville and he was headed to Louisville with plans to get there by sundown!
The rest of the ride home was rather uneventful. There was a 6-10 mph wind out of the south, so I just put my head down and focused on a steady pedalling effort and tried not to let the wind bother me. Easier said than done, but as long as it was straight on, I really was OK with it. I’m still not fond of cross winds. Luckily, they were not a major factor in today’s ride.
All in all, my first back-to-back was successful. I covered 45 miles today and 30 at the velodrome yesterday. If I continue to increae the length of my weekend rides over the next 9-10 weeks, I should be in good shape to take on the long back-to-back-to-back-to… rides of the tour.
But, only time will tell….
Todays Stats: (From the Garmin, ODO from my Vetta bike computer)
Distance: 45.72 mi
Ride Time: 3:17:37
Ave Speed: 13.7 mph
Max Speed: 36.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 3085
Elevation Loss: 2958
Est. Calories: 2334
Ave HR : 115 bpm
Max HR: 151 bpm
Z1 (< 103): 39.34 for 7.4 miles
Z2 (< 120): 1:32:19 for 22.7 1miles
Z3 (<137): 1:17:45 for 15.4 miles
Z4(<154): 12.34 for 1.8 miles
Z5(<171): 0 for 0 miles