When I was thinking about what to title this post I had a hard time. I usually try to think of something catchy or use something that occurred during the ride for the title. Yesterday’s ride was pretty run of the mill except for the fact that it seemed overly tough. So why not just say it was a tough 20 miles? At first I didn’t like it because, for a cyclist (whom I consider myself to be), 20 miles shouldn’t be tough should it? I should be able to ride 20 easy miles right? There’s only one hard hill on the route so it shouldn’t be bad. For some reason though it was a hard ride for me.
Sure, I haven’t been on the bike for two days but that means I should be well-rested right? I almost wonder if those two days off were bad for me. The two days were unplanned. I intentionally didn’t ride on Tuesday in prep for a hard hill repeat day on Wednesday. When Wednesday came it looked like rain but I headed to the place where I ride the hill anyway. I got there and discovered my front tire flat. As I changed out the tube a torrential downpour started. So much for riding. That’s why I had two days off.
I felt a little uncomfortable in the saddle yesterday too. Like I hadn’t ridden in a long time and had forgotten how to spin properly. It felt like my feet were in the wrong position the entire time. Granted, I don’t have the best form on a bike but I have a little. I wouldn’t think those kinds of effects would occur after only two days off. And when your uncomfortable it makes the ride feel bad. At least for me it does.
I’ve been on a pretty strict diet lately really watching what I’m eating. The two days I had off I ate OK at breakfast and lunch but ate poorly at dinner. I had some trail mix in the afternoons too which was out of the norm for me. I also wonder if I didn’t drink enough water on those two days off. I always have problems with not drinking enough water. I’m sure the lapse in diet and low water intake could have something to do with making the 20 miles tough.
I’m sure part of the toughness was psychological as well. For those that read my blog and know about White Rock Lake you know that you get every kind of cyclist out there. From big, overweight folks like myself to the uber-athletes riding unbelievable machines. I’m a big guy but I have an attitude that I should be able to do anything and do it as good as someone else my age. Unfortunately that isn’t happening right now (because of my poor fitness) and I think I’m letting the other riders at the lake bother me. I know I can’t hammer it right now with the speed demons but it bothers me that I’m constantly getting passed by them. Granted, I shouldn’t be able to keep up with them right now and may never be able to but it still bothers me. Yesterday was particularly tough because I was passed by a couple of riders that should have never been able to pass me. That stung a little bit.
I will say that there was one particular cyclist that I was just blown away by. I’ve seen this guy before and he epitomizes the look and ability of a pro cyclist. Trim, fit, long legs, unbelievable looking bicycle. He’s hammering it every time I see him. I don’t think it’s a time trial bike but he has the time trial base handlebars with the clip-on aerobars (it seems I’ve seen a lot of those out at the lake lately). The first time I saw him he was doing interval work. He passed me at a pretty good clip and then slowed down (still pulling away from me) and then he sped up again a little while later. Yesterday he was just flying. He must have passed me going close to 30 mph or more. No stopping this time. He just kept going. Amazing really. I think what makes it even cooler is the sound. I know when he’s coming because I can here this deep rhythmic sound as he pedals. It’s got to be a combination of his chain moving over the large chain ring coupled with his tires on the pavement. Maybe you understand what I’m talking about. It just resonates with me when I hear it.
This post actually turned out to be a lot longer than I planned. Am I whining? That’s not my intent. I know you guys/gals don’t want to hear me whine. Just telling you how the ride went and why I think it felt tough.