I took the race bike out for a spin on Saturday. It’s funny how even if I haven’t been on him for six months it feels like only a weekend has passed since jumping on for a ride. I’ve done enough training rides on George, my 4 year old Trek, this year to feel like I have my riding legs under me. Meaning that more or less I have the confidence to go out pretty aggressive with a good pace and kept that going for about 3 hours.
Yesterday we started out with two good hill climbs then a long 15 mile flat, followed by a few hill climbs and finishing off with some rolls into the finish. The start up Market and Juanita were taken at a aggressive pace, I wanted to feel plenty worked by the time we got to the top because I knew we’d have time to recover on the long down hill on the back end. I was riding with a friend Chris and he can descend on a down like a rocket, so I knew it would be a challenge to keep up with him and he’s a confident rider so that always makes a difference.
Heading into the flats the trail was getting pretty busy, but I knew once we got about a mile or two past some of the parking lots it would open up. I hadn’t, like I said, been on the race bike this year yet so I was curious to what kind of speed I could maintain over a 10 mile stretch at a hard effort. I usually train at a 80-85% perceived effort, but I wanted to hit the flats closers to 90-95%. I didn’t tell Chris, but he was on my wheel and a strong rider so I knew he was up for it. We averaged 22 MPH through the flats for a distance of about 10 miles, not bad for only being March!
We still had about 22 miles left to go and the hill climbs ahead of us weren’t terrible just the slow constant 2-3% grade up for about 3-4 miles. It was a great day out, lots of sun and an eagle along the water to look at. We finished the day with 42 miles and a welcome ride back to the car. Not bad for still being winter