Here I am Sunday on a mountain bike ride with the East Side Boys. We climbed Williams Hill, which as the sign indicates is the 2nd highest point in Illinois, which is about as prestigious as being the second best surfer in Utah, but its the best we got.
My ride was very pleasant; despite the fact that it began with almost solid climbing my back gave me very little pain. I’ve been working the core and stretching alot, but it could have just been a good day? No crashes like last week and nothing broke on the bike so I’d call that a very succesful mountain bike ride.
As I mentioned I’m now riding with the East Side Boys, let me explain the significance of this. The Shawnee National Forest is really big, but spread out and divided up. A big chunk is on the west side and a big chunk is on the East side, where I live. Any casual glance at a map will show that the East Side is much bigger, it also has many more miles of trails.
The Shawnee Mountain Bike Association was started in Harrisburg on the East Side but eventually moved to Carbondale on the West Side. Many of the original riders are known as East Siders and have a reputation for riding hard, long rides on technical rugged trails. In the past when I’ve tried to ride with these guys I’ve been left behind despite their best efforts to keep me in the group and I’ve never stuck with it because I don’t want to burden their rides with my lagging behind.
Now it appears I can keep up, at least on a 3 hour ride, the 5+ hour rides that are common in warmer weather may be a different story.
I did another trainer test last night, exact same conditions as last week, 4.2o miles for a 25.1 average speed. A slight drop from last week, despite what felt like more effort. Not a bad thing though, I shouldn’t expect massive improvements every week, I want to see a more gradual increase in output.