Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Outside Ride of the Year

Since the weather looked favorable today, I broke my temperature rules and met the group at Mt Carmel Church for the normal 1:30 Sunday ride. We ended up having 8 riders which according to Charlie was the record since October. I know October was the last time I was on the bike outside too. The temps were suppose to be in the mid 50's but they were not. It was about 50 degrees at ride time and partly cloudy. Little to no wind, at least that's what the weather said. I dressed pretty warm, had a long sleeve bike jersey on top with a Pearl Izumi thermal jacket to keep me warm. Had my tri shorts on the bottom with my CW-X running tights on top of them to keep my legs warm. A beenie under my helmet and some full finger gel biking gloves finished it off. Pretty warm sitting still but as soon as we started moving it was cool. But never cold.

We headed out Kerr Station road and soon the breakaway group consisted of James, Russ, Mark O. and myself. I knew this would not be an "easy" ride. Never is on the bike when there are guys. Before I knew it we were in a pace line and getting some pretty good speed going. On this stretch of road with fresh legs we seemed to be averaging 19-22mph. We took turns pulling and when it was my turn it was 20-22mph. First hill and I could feel my lack of training though. We turned on 236 and when we slowed you could feel the heat, had to keep moving.

Didn't take long and I just couldn't hold that kind of pace and once you fall off the wheel, your done. I decided I would just take my time and catch them later on. Its a lot harder working on your own than in a pace line and I could feel it. My heart rate was high, higher than normal on the bike which just told me I haven't been doing enough lately. The guys stopped at the 236/31 junction and I got back in line heading down 31. This was the best part of the ride for me. It felt like I was in a rocking chair, drafting off the bike in front of me and doing 19-21 mph. The effort was so much easier in the draft. I was dreading the hills on 321/Mt Carmel though.

We made the turn on to Mt Carmel and I noticed that everyone had slowed down some. It was kind of nice as I was working about where I wanted to be and I could hold the line with no problem. I was leading when we made the junction of Mt Carmel/321 spur and I dropped back and told James that I couldn't pull on those hills. I stayed on till the first hill then I fell off the group big time. If you haven't ridden Mt Carmel back into town there are a few monster hills. My legs were singing to me by this time. I tried to keep speed up the hills but the legs were burning out and downshifting was needed. By the time I made the last hill which we always call "Heartbreak Hill", I figured I was going to cramp up anytime. I didn't though and I made it up and over Heartbreak but it was slower than I had done it in probably a year. When I got off the bike at the church, my legs felt like jello. They had definitely gotten a workout. I was disappointed that I couldn't keep up with the guys but then again, I haven't really done diddly squat for almost two months.

After looking at the final stats and then looking back in my log book at other rides on this route, I was pretty happy. I probably worked harder than I normally do on this route but my average speed was about the same or better. Heart rate was high, high, high for biking. Not sure whats up with that other than my pure lack of hard cardio work lately. It was still nice to be out and on the bike, pushing it and seeing the countryside. Best of all, I never really got cold. I was sweating and several times had to unzip my jacket to let in some air. I do need some shoe covers to keep my feet warm. I just ordered some from Performance Bike along with an extra tire that they had on sale.

Here were the stats from the ride:
Total miles - 26.67
Time - 1:33:17
Average - 17.1 mph
Calories burnt - 1722
Avg. Heart Rate - 174
Temp at finish - 49 degrees/partly cloudy

Hope to get at least one ride in before new years on the trainer. I know I won't get to ride outside. I am reducing my lowest enjoyable temperature to ride outside to probably 45 degrees. May have to raise it if I ride when its that cold.

Happy biking everyone!

1 comment:

Brenda's NEEDS to RUN said...

Arland - glad you got outside today on the bike. Sounds like a GREAT workout. I don't know how you guys do that kind of pace on those routes with those hills. Also don't think I could handle the temps today on the bike. I am still going with my 60 degree rule on the bike :)