I took three rides this weekend and each one has a little story.
I wallowed in indecision about where, when and what to ride then the phone rang at 7:30. My old buddy Terry, or Super-T as I like to refer to him on this blog, wanted to ride. This would be our first ride of the year together, and his 4th ride for the year. He wanted to do a mild 30 mile ride which I was OK with because I wasn’t feeling to froggy. To further the mellow vibe I took out my Nashbar Touring Bike.. Shortly into the ride he mentioned how good he was feeling and wanted to make the ride a 45 miler that would go over Williams Hill, which would be much harder. I said I couldn’t do that because I promised my wife I’d be home by noon.
When we got to the turn around for the 30 miler Super-T commented on how easy it had been thus far and how we could make the Williams Hill portion of the ride if we hussled. He then gave me leave to hurry home if he couldn’t make the pace to get home in time. I gave in and we continued on our way.
Climbing Williams Hill on the NTB was actually fun, the super low gearing (24×28) which used to be a necessity for me to get over the 3 mile climb now allowed me to easily spin with almost no effort over the entire hill. At the top I checked my time and distance; I had one hour to ride 16 miles and a few big hills stood between me and home. I bid my riding companion a fond farewell and flew down the mountain. I felt a bit bad about leaving him behind, but if I made a promise and Terry was looking a bit pecked at the top of Willaims Hill. He was going to struggle up the next two climbs. I made it home with about ten minutes to spare, and if I had to guess about 30 minutes before Terry. He was riding really well especially for having only a few rides in this year. I hope he sticks with it.
Shauna wanted to ride some different roads and also needed to go to Marion so we did a hilly 45 mile ride South of Marion on some of my favorite roads in the area. We took it easy and again the NTB allowed me to cruise in an upright, comfortable position, I really enjoy riding this bike. We made several little stops and took photos of a few roadside attractuins that I haven’t took after riding by some of these things many times. Near the end of the ride the big hills on route 166 were starting to get Shauna down, but 2000 feet of climbing will do that to a person. If it wasn’t the hills it might have been the relentless winds, they did help us keep cool in the warmer temperatures, but 8 mph on flats is not fun. Shauna continues to become a stronger rider and more importantly is having a good time.
I woke up and looked out the window, in the back of my mind there was the small desire to take a long solo ride today, the branches bent by the wind at 6:30 AM changed my tune. I finally made a decision to do intervals. I’ve never really done intervals on the road, but I did hundreds of them over the winter on the trainer. I started off into the headwind doing 2 minutes on 2 minutes rest, after 5 of those I did 3 minutes, then went down to some 1 minutes, and finished off with a couple of tough 5 minute intervals that were mostly up hills.
I wouldn’t exactly call riding intervals fun, but it made an otherwise dull 2 hours of windy riding into a workout. I spent way to much time looking at my Polar, and while many folks will not approve I took my mp3 player, which gave me several ideas for music videos featuring riders grinding out tough hill climbs in fast forward.
So I got about 120 miles in over the last 3 days hopefully ending my slump from last week. My wife keeps reminding me I have a big trip coming up and I need to get my gear prepared, which I will no doubt put off until the last-minute. Getting the gear ready is easy, getting the Matt prepared is a bit more work.