08 December 2012

May Valley and Mercer Island ride

This one is for you Jeff Reed.

Today was just like the old days. I have been itching to go for a real ride meaning something other than just my six mile commute and with the dry forecast and a solid run planned for tomorrow today was the day. As it turns out, because the route I chose is used by tons of teams for group outings I saw loads of people.

As I was getting ready this morning I was laughing at myself. I have forgotten how long it takes to get ready for a bike ride! Especially if you have not ridden your bike in a while. I had to air up the tires, oil the chain, put on twice as much clothing as when I run, find my cycling GPS, the list goes on and on.

ASIDE - if you look at my GPS data below you will see that at one point I had turned on the auto lap feature so I could see what my pace was while running and five miles into this ride it was driving me nuts so I turned it off.

ANOTHER ASIDE - I got my heart rate much higher than on Wednesday's run! And except for the last effort when I was sprinting up a hill it did not feel as taxing. The perceived effort of these two activities is still different for me.

I had hoped to start by 9 but that became 9:30 and then I finally rolled out of my driveway at 10. Oh well.

The first thing I noticed is my handlebars felt really narrow! All I've been riding lately is my town bike with big, fat riser MTB bars and suddenly my 44 CM road bars felt teeny weeny. The second thing I noticed is that I had gears! And boy were they great to have... :) I was shifting up a storm all day and loving it. Lately I have been noticing that there is no easy way to ride a single speed bike in a hilly town. At some point you simply have to put in a big effort to get where you are going.

As I headed south along the east side of Lake WA I saw no less than three groups of bikesale.com people out for a team ride. It was pretty cool to see that many people out and about.

As I climbed up McDonald's hill I did not have to use my lowest gear, that was a nice surprise. In fact, I felt pretty reasonable; but I wasn't trying to keep up with anyone which sure helps a lot.

Riding along May Valley was a blast. I felt fine, there were almost no cars and I went exactly the speed I wanted. And thank goodness for the toilet at the Squak Mountain State Park parking lot. I sure needed it.

Heading north along Issaquah-Hobart was even more fun because I could go faster! I saw a couple of properties that were for sale on the east side of the road and fantasized what it would be like to live in a house that bordered these woods. Probably kind of fun. And dark. And damp. With no view, Maybe not so fun.

Except for my back which got slowly worse and worse the more I rode, my legs felt better and better the more I rode. My speed coming back on Newport was only a couple of mph below the pace of a spirited team ride and I felt pretty relaxed.

As I was crossing the swamp heading back to Mercer Island I got stuck behind this guy who was riding 'wide'. You know what I'm talking about, he was sort of weaving back and forth and seemed oblivious to anything/anybody around him. I elected to slow down and simply sit behind him. As we rode along the trail some cyclists were approaching us and wide guy jams on the brakes! I was like, "What the...?!" We sped up but then a couple more cyclists passed us going the other direction and it happened again! Why was this guy slowing down so much? He was obviously in his own world and I took the next opportunity to pass him.

When I got to Mercer Island I had not been out that long so figured I better loop it. Here I started getting tired but not too much. Interestingly my cadence had gone up! Usually when I get tired my cadence goes down, I guess I was not that tired?

It was a blast riding around the island. I had to sit up a few times and stretch my back but good times anyway. I was going clockwise and as I got to the last short ascent I figured what the heck and jammed up it out of the saddle as hard as I could. Fun. I still had enough left in the tank to climb up to I-90 in the big(ish - I had a 50-tooth chainring on) ring.

This ride was great! It was so fun to get out on a real bike again I'm just bummed that my back acted up so much. After eating, showering and sitting down for a bit I was freaking crippled and could hardly get up much less walk around. Suck. Serves me right for ignoring my core workouts for so long and for not stretching when I finish a ride.

Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 8:00 AM - applesauce, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 scoop Perpetuem, walnuts
Workout Food 1.5 large bottles each w/3 scoops Perpetuem
Injuries My back got tighter and more sore the longer I rode.
Time of Day 10:00 AM
Workout Type endurance
Weather low 40s, dry, calm
Equipment Redline Conquest Pro
Clothing Sugoi shoe covers, Roubaix knickers, Roubaix leg warmers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, long sleeve jersey, Polypropylene gloves, OR Gripper gloves, cap

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