Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A disciplined bike ride

Some of you have the wrong idea and I might as well get this out of the way right now. There was no hawt blonde in black leather with a whip riding with me. It was 30+ C out and leather would chafe horribly. There was just me.

My first thought was to get a nice long ride done before the heat of the day, then it occurred to me that I need to start learning to ride and run in the heat, and there's no time like the present. So I waited till nearly noon. Putting my stuff out into the south facing patio had me wondering if I'd made a mistake, but it was ok once I started riding.

Today's goal was a longer ride to continue to assess the bike fit, try to keep my heart rate between 120 and 125, and try to spin as easy as possible. I had no idea how far I'd be able to go, but I figured I'd turn around at 2.5 hours or when I finished the first of my drink bottles. I usually have a water bottle and an energy drink bottle going at the same time. It all worked out pretty well.

It took about a half hour to feel warmed up and smooth. About then my heart rate dropped fairly abruptly, and I was able to pick up the pace considerably. After that I got settled in for a nice consistent ride in my desired heart rate. I was on the drops quite a bit and felt quite comfy. There was a bit of chafe in the shorts; a feeling like there was an extra layer all guddled up between my thighs.

I rode south past Black Diamond and turned around at the 54 K mark. I can't remember what the time was. The wind had picked up and I was beginning to feel my legs tiring a bit. So far I'd been really good about staying in my desired range, but it got harder and harder on the way back. By the 3 hour mark there was no way it was going below 125 unless I was coasting, and I was spending more and more time above 130. However, my breathing was still under control. I did all but about 100 m breathing through my nose. The exception was a brief spurt to clear a light.

My speed was the least of my priorities, but I was surprised that my average speed wasn't that much slower than a recent ride on the same road. That was at a hair over 25 Kph, and I had to work at that. This ride was 23.5 Kph average at a much lower level of effort. Here's how much lower - I wasn't sweating much. In fact, what with breathing through my nose, and not sweating much I was so far ahead on hydration I had to stop to pee three times.

My ride was 108 K in 4:40. Toward the end it was harder and harder to stay seated, spinning easy. I wanted to pick up the pace to get the ride over with earlier. I was feeling like it would be easier to ride faster. I talked to myself a lot about sticking to the plan. At the 90 K mark I was thinking what it would be like if I had to turn around and ride back the way I had come. Of course I didn't have the nutrition or support to do that, but it was a daunting thought. 180 K is a long way. Still, I'd like to work my way up to that this fall if the weather cooperates.

In the bike fit department, my legs felt good throughout, and feel great afterward! They would have been happy to continue on for a while yet. My toes weren't so happy. I ended up taking my feet out of my shoes for a while during a long downhill. They were feeling cramped and pressured, even though the shoe strap was loose. My hands never felt numb throughout, but it's clear I need to do more downward dog in yoga. My arms and shoulders are taking a bit more of my weight, I think, or the weight distribution is different and I'm feeling it now. My crotch felt like it was on fire, so I think this is the last time I'll wear these shorts. Any feedback here on the lifespan of tri-shorts?


  1. Tri-shorts life span, a season or so. I retire tri shorts pretty early. That stupid little pad doesn't hold up like road shorts for sure. Sounds like you're getting used to your new bike fit!

  2. So here's what I gleaned from this post:

    There was some hawt blonde in black leather with a whip riding with you.

    A bit of discipline never hurt anyone.

    Unless he wanted it to.

    Plus, I saw you over at Teh L. Moose's implying I'm all grown up and can take care of myself.

    Obviously, you don't know me AT ALL.

  3. 2XU tri shorts last. So do Sugoi. Zoot are crap.

    I'm really excited for you this next year, Keith! :)


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