Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

Ride reports for everything *but* the Tuesday-Thursday morning ride

Just got back to “normal” but no biking for a week?

A couple enjoying a beautiful winter day in the sun, with kid in tow.
Finally, a “normal” ride for the first time in a while! No rain, a bit on the cool side, but hey, it’s winter, right?

It was a foregone conclusion this would be a relatively easy ride, although things did pick up a bit as we went along. Old LaHonda was a leisurely 26 minutes, just as planned, but inevitably things picked up a bit on Haskins; I’d figured maybe 14 minutes but Kevin and I made it up in 11. It was like so many other rides, where you’re in no hurry to get on the bike in the first place because it’s nice & warm inside, but as the miles go by it just gets better and better.

Still not any better for the poor Mastadon that remains fallen over in the field just east of Pescadero, with the Triceratops still looking on. It’s been at least a year since it’s been upright, toppling after a major rainstorm. It had actually happened before as well, but its guardians had put it upright shortly after. Not this time though.

Pescadero Bakery was crowded with cyclists; first time we’ve seen that in a while! Slight change in the menu; they’d run out of tomatoes so it was a Chicken Club with avocado & bacon. Still darned good. Coffee instead of a coke (since it was on the cool side). And, of course, the cookies.

Stage Road had the usual headwind, but fortunately fairly mild. We modified the usual route by heading back via 84 instead of Tunitas. The idea was to check out the road damage on 84, making sure it wouldn’t be a problem for Kevin on Tuesday’s ride. Kevin only. Unfortunately, I’m off on a biz trip through Friday, missing out on the Tuesday & Thursday rides. It’s actually nice to ride up 84 from the coast once in a while, and remember that it’s not quite as bad as you remember.

Regarding the damaged section of 84, it really doesn’t look all that bad. I won’t be surprised if they do have it all fixed up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, it’s only going to be a couple minute’s delay through the single-lane section for our rides. No biggie.

60 miles, 205 watts weighted average power. Less than 10% below where I ought to be, so maybe things are getting back to normal. Just in time to spend almost a week off the bike again and lose it all! Hate that.

Print Friendly

Rode inside today… that’s a first

I’ve got to admit, I really wanted to be outside today, in that howling wind and driving rain. I can’t exactly define the appeal, but it’s very real and very strong. The fact that almost nobody else would be out there adds to it.

But today I listened to the voices of reason. Be sensible. Stay inside. Go for a trainer ride on Zwift Island because, after all, that’s what we sell to our customers on days like this.

So I had two sessions on Zwift Island today. The first, early in the day, was relatively short and ended prematurely. I took my time and set up the full “man cave” experience, running Zwift on my laptop and using Chromecast to display it on my projection TV at home. You lose a little bit of smoothness doing it this way, but the delay which people warn you about is virtually non-existant. The plan was to make it all the way to the top of the highest point on Watopia (Zwift Island). I was well on my way until… my two free months of Zwift, care of Strava Premium membership, were expiring. Today. In 10km. And the climb was 11km. So, 41 minutes in, and I time out before the finish of the climb. Frustrating!!!

I decided I’d do things differently a bit later, using one of the shop’s demo accounts and just use the laptop, leaving the big TV as just that, a big TV, so my wife could still watch her shows (one show mainly; Madam Secretary). I was going to do the whole enchilada. 30 miles, 2 hours on Zwift Island.

Oh my was that tough! Much tougher than I thought it would be. That long climb up to the radio tower? I should have been able to do 250 watts or so, but instead I was well under 200. The problem? You can’t really stand on a trainer, at least not very well. And when I climb, I stand. Seated, I just don’t get the power. And then I discovered something interesting. If I sit up while in the saddle (basically riding no-hands), available power went up. Significantly. I may have learned something important about my breathing. I had thought I stand on climbs to slow down my cadence, which slows down breathing a bit. What’s more likely is that I stand because I’m simply able to breathe better. Who knew? Without time on a trainer, I might never have figured this out.

Even knowing all that, I’m still not convinced the trainer metrics show an amount of “suffering” (measured in watts and heart rate) that measures up to what I felt. One thing’s for sure. That second, two-hour session, was very, very hard. There is no question that it was a suitable substitute for an actual ride on the road.

Print Friendly