A new personal record and consistency in my pedaling cadence is making me feel like progress is being made.
Week #2 of training for the 2016 Allianz Cycling Tour is in the books. Along the way I set a new personal record.
Week #2 Highlights
- I set a new personal record of 46.54 miles in a single ride.
- I’m learning to cycle at a more efficient cadence (90 rpm avg) which is helping me to ride more miles with less fatigue.
- You have to have mental stamina to handle long rides when the temps are in the 20’s and the wind gusts hit 32mph.
- I miss MTB rides on the downtown trails with Scott and my other training partners.
The Weekday Rides
This week I rode three nights after work on the LifeStyle stationary bike at the Allianz gym. For those that don’t know, Allianz Global Assistance has a fantastic gym in the Richmond, VA office. I’ll take a picture of the facility this week and share in next week’s update. Back to my rides…
All three rides on the stationary bike were designed to be a high cadence (90-100 rpm) ride to simply get my legs used to longer miles. Looking at the image above you can see that I rode 19.2, 16.2 and another 16.2 miles each night. I set the timer to 60 minutes each night. My total miles included a 5 minute cool-down period.
Tuesday and Thursday I set the bike to fat burn which is designed to keep my heart rate at a constant. On Wednesday I set the bike to hill plus which is much more engaging for me. Even though I was riding hills, I focused real hard on keeping my cadence at a constant. It seems to be helping me ride longer distance with less fatigue.
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
|Avg Speed||17.2 mi/h|
Wednesday Feb 10, 2016
|Avg Speed||14.6 mi/h|
Thursday Feb 11, 2016
|Avg Speed||14.8 mi/h|
The original plan for my two rides this weekend was simple. Head out to the Virginia Capital Trail and ride 50 miles on Saturday and then do the same thing on Sunday. However, extreme cold and high winds forced me to change things up a bit.
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
This weekend we’re getting payback for having had so many warm days in December and January. Today, Feb 13, 2016 the temps remained in the 20’s and it was windy with a passion. We had wind gusts over 30mph and what felt like a constant wind in the upper teens to lower 20 mph range. But that didn’t stop me from riding… ’cause I must be crazy!
Instead of starting my ride at the Four Mile Creek Trailhead like I did last week, I drove another 20 miles east towards Charles City County.
I was planning ahead for the extreme cold and high winds. My plan was to ride 25 miles into the wind, then the last 25 miles would be with one heck of a tailwind. The tactic proved successful. Even though I didn’t quite make it 25 miles before turning around, it was a mental positive to be pedaling in the crazy high winds while telling myself that it would be an easy ride home on the second half.
Again this week I had to dodge the massive amounts of gumballs and also several large icy patches that required me to get off my bike and walk gingerly across thin sheets of ice.
Needless to say there very few people on the trail today. I saw one runner and a pair of bikers. Everyone looked cold. Very cold!
|Avg Speed||15.7 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||125 W|
|Elev Gain||1,109 ft|
Sunday Feb 14, 2016
After such a brutal road ride yesterday on the Virginia Capital Trail, I couldn’t muster up the energy for another 50 mile attempt. Instead, I would grab my Giant Anthem SX 27.5 and hit the James River trails with my best friend and fitness nemesis Scott Terbush. Recently, Scott heard those magical words… “Scott, you ARE an Ironman” and is the perfect training partner for me.
Last week in my recap I mentioned how I had forgotten my tire repair kit. I also mentioned the need for a checklist and how I should use it before leaving the house. It’s apparent that I need to create something both for myself and other cyclists. When Scott and I climbed out into the cold from our warm cars, Scott said he couldn’t ride because he left his winter cycling boots at home. Seriously, I’m left to ride in the cold again…? Hey wait. For some strange reason I brought a second pair of winter shoe covers. Crisis avoided! I’m building that cycling gear checklist dammit!
Now that we’re sitting at Barker Field Dog Park and ready to go, it was time for a plan. We decided on a recovery ride on what we hoped were frozen trails since my legs were shot from yesterday’s ride and Scott is just getting back into things after his recovery from shoulder problems.
We decided to hit the North Trail first, then when we got to Tredegar, determine if we would head out to the Poop Loop. The trails were perfect along the North Trail and our legs felt good when we got the the Tredegar parking lot so we decided to head on out to Poop Loop.
Once on the Poop Loop the trails took a turn for the worse. Instead of frozen ground, things were sloppy muddy. So instead of harming the trails, we turned around and headed to Buttermilk. When we got to Forest Hill, we took the easy way out and skipped those trails and continued along Buttermilk to head back to our cars.
All in we had about a 15 mile ride according to our bike computers, and 14 miles according to our GPS units. We both have the Garmin Forerunner 920XT and find that on the trails which numerous tight switchbacks, the distance measured from our bike computers never match that which our GPS watches indicate. In the end, I was fine with a 14 mile ride.
|Avg Speed||8.3 mi/h|
|Avg Watts||128 W|
|Elev Gain||860 ft|