Thursday, January 31, 2008

California - Day Two

My day started pretty normally except for one thing. I woke up, sat up, and, through my bleary unfocused eyes, saw a little blonde haired boy sitting in his crib.


I'm not in Connecticut anymore.

I picked up said boy, put him on the floor, and let him run to his mom. I guess he'd woken up during the night but I never knew.

I went for a nice prelim ride with Julie. With a paid registration for the Tour de Palm Springs (55 mile), my hosts both need to get a few miles in to get used to the bike again. I typically go overboard the first day I'm here and planned on doing maybe 3 easy hours to ease myself into the radically different weather and the 3 hour time difference.

I was pleasantly surprised with the weather. For the first time this year I put on just shorts, a short sleeve jersey, a long sleeve one, and a vest.

After an hour of riding and talking, Julie returned home to work. I kept going, thinking I'd get in maybe two more hours. After shedding the LS jersey I rode north into Oceanside, dropped by Pacific Coast Cycle, talked a bit. I got a bit cool so put the LS jersey back on and started back south. I figured I'd ride south past Carlsbad, turn around after a bit, and head back to make my 3 hour easy ride.

I kept catching riders going easy and being passed by those going, well, faster than me. I wasn't feeling very social so I'd sit up and let both the caught and the catchers pull away from me. Alone again, I'd start rolling, periodically looking at the SRM to see my wattage, heart rate (i.e. effort), and sometimes speed or cadence.

The wattage took some new significance. The other day I read the SRM manual and they talk about checking some number every time you ride. I hadn't for a while so I checked. The number the SRM wanted: 249. The number in the SRM: 487.

I put in 249.

My wattage jumped up a bit.

Actually it jumped a lot. I found my steady state efforts were 300+ watts, not 200. Yet my softer efforts still remained well under 150 watts, and my half hearted jumps weren't exceeding 1200 watts. It seemed to be correct but my threshold number seemed to be higher than I originally thought.

(Either that or I'm getting in shape).

My speeds were a bit higher than "normal" (i.e. the beginning of the base miles). I found I was breaking 30 kph when just cruising along, not getting stuck at 28 or 29 kph. I also noticed my little "roll the gear a bit harder" efforts were netting perhaps 40-45 kph.

Unfortunately no 50-55 kph speeds, the ones I like to see.

I met up with a guy Andy. He caught me so he was one of the faster ones, but he also held back, not intruding on my riding space. At one point the lane ended and I looked back to see if it was okay to move over. I heard a "It's clear" from behind me. Even in my unsocial state, this struck a chord. Here was a polite, friendly, and respectful rider.

He finally pulled up and asked how I liked my bike. It's virtually a rhetorical question because the bike is so good, but when I looked over, he was riding a CAAD9 (I think). I told him I liked the bike, we got talking, and then he told me he was thinking of doing a crit.


If there's one thing I love doing, it's talking to polite, friendly, respectful riders who want to race a crit.

So, although I'd been on the bike for over 2 hours after Julie returned home, I didn't turn around. I kept riding and talking to this guy. I told him some of my standard tips (some of which are contrary to "popular" tips), we talked tactics, and then, after a lot of talking, we hit some PITA hill.

The first hint should have been his slamming his bike into a super low gear. I doggedly rode my gear, shifted, slowed, shifted, slowed, until I was in some absurdly low gear.

Andy, politely, didn't scamper up the road. We rode side by side, both of us hovering around 290-300 watts.

Which, I realize now, is probably about my threshold. I'd told him earlier it was 255 watts, but that was a year ago and on a trainer. Now, with an adjusted SRM, some miles on my legs, it's closer to 290-300 watts.

At the top I told him I needed to turn around. I'd been on the bike for a while, been away from the house for 5, and I was, as it turns out, 2 hours away from home.

I suffered a bit on the way back, trying (unsuccessfully) to beat the dark, and rolled in a tad over 7 hours after I started. Sugar-wise I had an Enervit gel, an Enervit fluid pack, and a bottle of Enervit electrolyte drink. I drank most of my bottle of water, too, but that was it.

So much for taking it easy the first day.

1 comment:

Eddy A. said...

It was great riding weather this morning back here on the east coast. But then it started raining and hailing as I approached the top of a giant hill. Then the water started freezing on my bike and i was sliding down the hill trying to get home safely, which I did. I'm jealous!!!