I was thinking about Tom's Paradigm shift thingie on my ride tonight.
When I started, I noticed every incline and every slope. Tonight, I stayed in my middle ring the whole ride, I think* for the first time.
I was riding my fast bike, and this makes a big* difference, and on the flats I regularly did 17 mph for long stretches. To be honest, I thought everyone on BF was exaggerating about how fast they went, how far they went, how little they got a used bike for and how much they sold it for. But no, apparently it's really possible. I can see it in the future.
I used to stop and take a breather when I got tired, but now I just slow down to 10-12 mph, and not for long. I still coast down hills, though.
I used to make biking a priority responsibility for the day. Today, I was working since dawn and tired. I had read that it was best to hydrate well the night before a ride, and I was hoping to do my "big ride" today. I drank so much I was up going to the bathroom all night, so I was tired. At the end of the day, I chose a bike ride over TV, knowing how good a ride would feel. A hard, fast ride. Who would ever think I would look forward to that*???
My feet are weird. For some reason, they start to burn and I have to lift and wiggle my toes. I try to point them up, because I find when I make my feet "light", for some reason I start to go faster and have to gear down! So, when going up a hill, instead of putting more pressure on the pedals, I actually make my feet lighter*, and suddenly I'm going faster! Why is this?
I also achieved my goal of going 50 feet no-hands. In fact, I went a couple hundred feet. And I was pedaling, not coasting.
I love both of my bikes, and they're completely different. If only I could find a bike that was a mix of them, I would be in heaven. The atlantis is steel, stable, and comfy, and actually sounds like a car to me. It has racks, and fenders, and a big hub-generated light, and I barely feel the road bumps. I can go off road with it on deep gravel. It weights about 35-40 lbs, packed for the road. Tire pressure is 80, and like riding a caddy.
The Klein is aluminum, fast, responsive, and fun. I can't even carry a raincoat on it. The chain slips off sometimes. It has brifters, which are great when they're quiet. The aluminum tubes are tapered on the inside* for lightness and strength. It was a serious road bike in it's time at 21 lbs. Tire pressure is 120, and like riding an MG midget.
My Klein was a Craig's list find, and it's a bit uncomfortable because of the tires and aluminum. I can feel it in my shoulders and wrists if I go over 15 miles. But I'm always in the mood to ride it.
The Atlantis leaves me unscathed, and I could probably sit on it for an entire day. I can barely lift it. It's really slow, and it's an effort to maintain 14 mph on it. But who's in a hurry?
Unfortunately, I only have one bike with me at a time. I'm going to have to choose a favorite soon, and bring it to KS with me. Any advice?
Oh, and once you start building leg muscles and can go in lower gears without feeling it in your knees, you end up doing more miles in the time you usually have to ride in. But you're still exerting yourself to the same extent for the same time. So I don't think I'm actually getting a better workout on my rides. In fact, I'll have to alter my usual route because it's only taking me 45 minutes instead of an hour.... so those of you who are just starting and riding for an hour, you're probably getting as much cardio as one of the old-timers going an hour. Or not... these are just thoughts after a nice ride.