Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
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Sounds like a good hard ride. The advice is good as well. Learning good form can be very helpful. That does not mean that you have to be a slave to good form. Some of the best riders in the world have been know to have bad form. You just have to find out what works well with your body. Breathing is also very helpful. I am still very thankful for the the Pilates classes I've taken in the past. They have helped me tremendouly with breathing control. This is good with both high output workout (like your ride), or helping to calm the body (when passing a kidney stone).
One thing that I read in Bike Magazine this year that helped a lot as well is to gear down a notch ones you get out from the front and get back into the middle of the back. That way if you've been working hard at the front you can back off the effort just a little so that you can get your breath back. This works up to a point. When I ride with the local club I would say that I classify as being "reasonably fast." The main reason I can hang with the fast group for a while is that I'll show up warmed up at the ride so I can ride at about 21 mph (flat no wind), as soon as they warm up they start pushing 22 to 23 mph... I'll be left behind. There is usually a 2nd group that is not quite so fast and I'll be able to hang with them no problem. It is good fun to push your self a bit, but if you go too far it definitely stops being fun.
I am glad to hear you are still able to get out and ride long distance. How cold did it get? The weather here is descent for commuting most of the time, but not so nice that you want to go ride 50 miles. The other day I did have a suprise 30 mile ride. I rode to work, and was about to send one of my co-workers off to a remote office to meet up with a vendor. It turned out I was the only one who had time to get there. So after a nice 5 mile ride in 12F weather I head out to our other office 10 miles away. This other facility is in one of the poorest parts of the city so I had to take my bike inside. I could take the elevator to the 2nd floor, but had to carry the bike up to the 3rd floor (bike weights about 50 Lbs with all the bad weather gear, food, and drinks). My toes were painfully cold by the time I got there, but the hands were VERY happy in my new Climmits wearing only thin full-fingered gloves. I ate my lunch there and downed most of the fluids I had with me (bike was now a few Lbs lighter) and was ready to head back. The temps now were up to 18F and it was a great ride back. All told I rode 30 vs. my usualy 10 miles that day. It was GREAT. I will the long rides.