Today’s weather proved fantastic and to celebrate I went for my first bike ride of the year. During the winter I hibernated indoors and focused on heavy zone training on the spin bikes so I was curious regarding the effects this would have on my actual cycling. Friends and fellow gym associates had mixed opinions on the benefits of targeted spin training versus actual riding. Armed with a high of 68 degrees and a semi-windy day I excitedly packed up and headed to one of my favorite starting spots, Sosbee Cycle Park in Cartersville Georgia.
I tried to focus on more flat-a-ways and fewer hills, additionally I focused on a 12 mile course to simulate and gauge my fitness in regards to the distance of my triathlon bike component in 28 more days. Unfortunately I seemed to have forgotten much of my cycling skills since last fall. It took forever for me to remember how the gears worked and I found myself riding most of my jaunt in the big gear.
I also forgot how to unclip from my pedals as I ran into a chain snagging issue. Not sure what happened to my chain, but it came off the front ring, making a loud clink and clank noise and freezing up completely. Immediately I tried unclipping and only at the last minute did I remember what I was doing. I pushed the chain back on and held the bike up while turning the pedal, trying to spread the grease over the chain. This problem only happened once more on my ride, but not as bad. I think part of it was caused from partial shifting going from the big to the small gear. The 105 shimano shifters have a partial shift that moves the location of the chain on the derailuer. This seemed to be similar.
The first thing I noticed was that my power and miles per hour (mph) were higher than they were last year. On flat to moderately flat road last year on average I was pedaling 10-12 miles per hour and on hills I was going 5-6 miles per hour. Today I managed on average 17-24 miles per hour, in a big gear! On the hill sections I found myself powering up the hills at 8-11 mph and not feeling too tired from the effort.
At the end of the 12 miles I finished within 55 minutes, but I could have easily cut this down by another 10 minutes as I did not go all out and still had some gas in the tank. I am eager to get out there and ride a few more of these and see how it feels to run afterwards. It was great seeing the time spent doing focused training on the spin bike has paid off when getting back outdoors and on the road. Good way to start the season! Til next time.
- Check Your Saddle When Riding With Aero Bars (iowatribob.com)
- It Is What It Is (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Making a Road Bike a Tri Bike, Part I (fitnessandfrozengrapes.com)