Return of the Old 13 Time Trial.

Yeah this is another one of those posts.  I’m working my rear end off and not losing weight, at least not very much.  I think I am getting stronger though and I guess that is really what counts. 

Daylight savings kicked in right before we left for Alabama and I’m just starting to get back into the routine now that regular life has replaced spring break.  It’s dark outside when I take my morning jog now, which I did in shorts and  t-shirt this morning.  The sweet thing is now having an extra hour of light to ride, it’s now easy to get outside exercise in after work like I did today.  More on that later. 

Sunday I got in a tough mountain bike ride.  It shouldn’t have been tough, it should have been a cakewalk.  It was a big 14 person group ride with a big mix of riders including some women.  I started the ride with boundless energy, I honestly felt like I was some kind of genetic freak super human.  I would be among the first up every climb where the group would wait around to regroup, then I would back down and climb up with the back of the pack.  I hardly stopped.  Then I found out some of the more experienced riders were doing a bonus loop on some SWEET SINGLETRACK tm.  Sweet Single track means one thing to the EAST SIDE BOYS, “hard.”  The bonus loop nearly killed me and I dragged myself in last place, fighting cramps and out of water, I was down but not out.

On an interested side note the Forest Service was doing a controlled burn in the area and we rode through it.  Very interesting ride, and I happened to have my video camera.

Now what I really wanted to tell you about is the crazy wind I rode in this evening.  I’ve been wanting to do a time trial similar to the one I did last August.  Tonight was not a good night to do it for at least two reasons, 1 being that it is insanely windy, 2 being that I am very sore from a bad decision in the gym yesterday.  I’m not ready for 3 sets of 5 x 225 lbs. squats yet as my legs are telling me today. 

Despite ample reasons to stay inside and relax or take an easy spin, I decided to go ride my guts out on a Time Trial.  The honest truth is I never pushed myself as hard as I could, my legs were too sore, but I can’t deny the outbound trip was killer hard.  I tucked down low in my drops and managed a 14.5 mph average, but the wind was pushing me around and deafening my ears to all but the sound of my heart beating.  

The return trip was one of the most exhilarating 13 minutes I’ve ever spent on a bike.  I was literally spun out several times on flat land, it was like I had a motor.  My return average was 25.6

With my Polar computer I was able to record the ride and analyze the data.

So what did a I learn from my analysis. 

  • Riding in a headwind slows you down
  • Riding in a tailwind speeds you up.
  • I thought that I was working harder in the headwind, it turns out I worked harder in the tailwind, people say all the time how important mental outlook is and I think this supports it.  I felt like my effort was useless in the headwind and therefore put out less effort.   

My average speed for both legs of the TT is around 20 mph.  Last year around this time I did a similar out and back TT on a windy, though not nearly as windy, day and had a 15.5 average.  Yes I know that means almost nothing, but at least it makes me think I’m much faster now then I was last year.

I just logged all my miles up and found that I’ve got 466 for the year so far, which is 40 more than I rode the entire first quarter last year.  I’ve got another week until the end of March to add miles.  That 466 miles only includes actual outdoor bike rides, I have no idea how many miles of stationary rides I’ve done, but I’d guess that if I counted them I’d have well over a thousand by now.

So thanks for the encouragement all of you have given me and thanks for reading the blog!


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Mountain BIking, Rides, technology (geek), training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Return of the Old 13 Time Trial.

  1. tracywilkins says:

    Boy, that’s an interesting finding……

    I wonder how it would compare if you got on a flat road and spun fast in a low gear, then put it in a hard gear and maintained the same speed for the same distance?

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