Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
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Quoted: 102 Post(s)
I've been going to SoCal for a few years now, usually in late Jan or early Feb. It offers me a few things:
- total focus on riding, at least during the day. No work, no errands, no nothing. Just eat and ride.
- shorts or knickers weather, rarely under 45 degrees. Also allows me to do longer rides without worrying about losing digits due to frostbite.
- mental recharge hanging out with good friends (the couple who host me). The husband was my best man, former leadout man, and is the reason I'm here on bikeforums. He's also the reason why I blog. A lot of that stuff started over long talks we had while I was out there. I still haven't gotten around to doing stuff we talked about a few years ago.
- training - goal is to do 25-35 hours one week. With a race at the end of the trip I'll have to take it easy for a few days.
- variety of terrain. Many of my rides involve at least a few 30 minute climbs. I don't get those around here. The 2 hour climbs are brutal.
I have some benefits with my set up.
- I stay at a friend's house. We all get along - me, him, his wife, their son, their daughter, and even their dog.
- As a former shop person (he worked with me) he has a full set of tools. I can do minor fixes on my bike.
- As an bike industry person we'll go visit local shops. The eye candy is pretty impressive - Nytro and the like.
- I give the evenings and weekends to them, babysit, try and cook dinner each evening, etc.
- This means most of my riding is M-F so I'll do mega miles M-W-F and do harder rides Tu-Th.
- They have a washer and dryer so I can wash even my one-off pieces every day (like my LS jersey - just one team one now).
- Group rides available but usually only on weekends. Sometimes I can get in a group on a weekday.
I should add that the main benefit for me is that I can ride my brains out and not worry about anything at the end of the day. I can be the zombie I normally become (after 4-5-6 days) and it's okay. The couple understand what it's like because they've been there. He used to be a 3, she a 2, and both have done some training camp type stuff. So when I'm totally bleary eyed or insist on having steel cut oats they know what I'm going through.
I think that long rides benefit everyone, even those that may not enter a race longer than 30 minutes. I find that I relearn a lot of riding tricks and techniques when I push that time barrier past 4-5 hours. A rider is forced to become more efficient simply because the rider is too tired to be flagrantly wasting energy. To be able to go faster in Hour 6 than in Hour 1 means you're doing fine, especially if (like me) you have waypoints and time goals throughout the ride. Therefore I'm riding moderately hard even at the beginning of a 100 mile day.
During the season I typically ride 5-8 hours a week, and for me 10-12 is a lot lot lot of hours.
Last edited by carpediemracing; 01-02-11 at 03:38 PM.