Sunday I got my best Strava time on Old LaHonda (so, best time in the past 5 years, but definitely slower than back in the day!) and today my best Strava time up Kings. Life could be worse! I do note some difference between Strava time on Kings and what I get on my lap timer though; Strava has me at 25:59 while the lap timer showed 26:17. But either way it’s faster than I’ve been since beginning the long project with my son, which required that I give up fast Sunday rides for the three years it took to bring him up to speed.
Of course, that’s not been an issue for the past two years or so. Just looked up Kevin’s rides up Kings; in June 2010, he’d gotten down to 31:17. June 2011 was his breakthrough month; on 6/9 he rode 29:31, 6/14 down to 28:02, and on 6/23 an unbelievable 26:44. That was the crossover point; he was able to repeatedly ride 26-something times (and eventually 24-something!) while for me, 26-something was becoming increasingly rare.
For the time being, I’m continuing to improve, while Kevin’s suffering a bit from spending less time on the bike than I have. Little things like riding to work & back whenever I can, plus a number of rides I’ve gotten in when Kevin’s had a medical issue of some sort, and once in a while, he’s off with friends doing paintball. I know what I have to do and I do it; Kevin isn’t quite there and thinks it’s a bit unfair that, to be the rider he wants to be, he has to keep at it and that taking a break from riding is something you’ll pay for.
Obviously, it’s a choice. Nobody’s forcing you to go out and try to constantly better your times on the climbs. There’s nothing at all wrong with riding a bike at whatever speed is enjoyable for you. But if you do desire to get faster, to push yourself to find the limits of what you can do, to discover that “wall” where your times up Kings or OLH are consistently within a very narrow window and try to find a way to get through it… then it’s going to be a tough ride, with a few sacrifices here and there.