Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

An unusual day on Kings; I wasn’t last

I was rather surprised how things went on the bike Tuesday morning. I wasn’t the weakest link! Both Kevins were behind me when I got to the top. Very, very strange.

Maybe the Garmin was right. Lately it had been giving me “fitness scores” at the start of each ride that were terrible… -12, -4, that sort of thing. Note the dash denotes a negative number. But today I saw a +2! Got to the Park Entrance faster than… yeah, I looked it up, last August. We’re not talking fast though. Think it was 34 minutes or so, but that’s 3 minutes faster than many recent rides, and I felt good about how I’d done rather than wonder how many more years I can keep doing this.

On the way up we saw turkeys, deer… oh yeah, the usual squirrels.

The unfortunate thing is that my next “real” bike ride isn’t going to be for three weeks. Going on vacation with Karen (a cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore). Don’t think I’ll be ending this year like I did maybe a decade ago (or two?) when Kevin and I did a Santa Cruz ride on December 30th. But given Karen’s health issues, just getting on a plane is going to seem like something that wouldn’t be possible, even a couple weeks ago.

It should have been a return to the Tuesday routine. Instead, back on Zwift.

It’s taken four weeks, but I can finally ride without my lungs hacking me to a halt if the temperature drops a bit. So this morning, after Sunday’s successful “test ride,” I woke up looking forward to getting out on real roads, not putting my bike on a trainer. Unfortunately, Kevin was having trouble with dizziness and balance (a side-effect of his epilepsy meds, which shows up once in a while), and riding alone this morning didn’t seem like a whole lot of fun.

So.. back to the train & Zwift. Someday I’ll figure out why I get about 30% less wattage on Zwift than I do in the real world. I chose a 26.4 mile course that included a fair amount of climbing, hoping that I could match the mileage I would have gotten on the “real” road, but not quite the same amount of climbing.

The lack of power when I’m on a trainer. It’s a real thing. The power measurement from my Speedplay pedals matches the claimed output of my Tacx trainer almost perfectly. So that 30% loss of power… it’s all me. Some of it is undoubtedly rooted in the differences between standing (not sitting on the saddle) while climbing a hill on a real bike vs a trainer. On the trainer, things just don’t move quite the right way. I can climb out of the saddle for an hour without much trouble.. on a real bike, on a real hill. On a trainer, I can only do it for a pretty brief period of time.

Watching the miles ridden so far/miles to go screens was pretty depressing, neither number changing as quickly as it seem they should. I started wondering if I’d be able to finish in time to get to work. But I never ran out of steam, just kept plugging away, focusing on how long I would have been out on my bike on real roads… about this long. I could do it. I did do it.

Best of all, Sunday actually did represent the turning point for the bug that got me (and my wife). Sunday I couldn’t develop much power, but Monday night, returning from work, I saw some decent numbers. And this morning, I really didn’t have any “extra” breathing issues at all.