WARNING - Long Post - Cliff notes: Rode 56.5 miles , avg in the 14s, thought it was very hard. By the end of the ride someone asked how I was and I said I just want off this darn bike!!! But feels great now.
For the new reader: Background: New to biking...chubby... and well who can believe I am off riding a road bike, meeting a ton of men (ok and women) and having a blast...
Well - yesterday was a doozie. At some point I yelled to my friend - that my Pine Mountain Century was easier. For some reason hangin with the boys was a bit tough. I met my riding group (I can not believe I can say that....my riding group! I' m a biker... cyclist..)
Anyway - Ok so we met up at Contes in Conyers..and rode off. There had been lots of talk about increasing our speed which made me nervous and raring to kick it up a notch. I did not sleep well that night - just thinking about it. I was nervous and did not want to hold the group back. So about 34 poeple or so headed out after a lecture - on we would not be going fast... (Many of them are really good- not necessarily pros but whoosh they can ride...this is there Training Base mileage ride.. and they stay slow for it - or what they call slow).
I was determined to try and stay in the front... and I did for a lot of the ride!:Jump: At times I was last (well last for the people who did not turn back) and for a long stretch I was last in the top group... so there were a ton of people behid me but it felt like last..but in a good way.
I had 2 men help and encourage me (I just love that!!) so the tips I learned - which to you guys are like duhh to me are stuff to work at:
1. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathe deep...
2. Cadence =- stay in middle gear (They made fun of all my gears.. as my one coach was on a fixed gear)\
and spin fast -constantly adjust gears with right hand so I am pedaling easy. (To tell ya the truth none of the ride felt easy!)
3. Feet level not pointed down.
Anyway - They were very nice to help me. Told me to relax and slow down at times as I was way in the middle of the pack and did not need to tire myself out.
Anyway - lots of normal GA hills... and according to most people's computers 14.5 mph and 56.6 miles (I have a loner as mine is inthe shop and it says 53.47miles and 13.79 avg and which I will ignore since a bunch of people had the higher mileage... and one person has a garmin.)
Anyway the avg increased... but holy batman on my computer it only says 13.79... the gang said it was high 14's...
At lunch (after the ride) one of the guys was complaining bout the pace to someone. That it was way too slow (last ride) but he is going to get a talking to... as they are not trying to scare me off. But jeesh let's agree we were at say 14.5 and that my loaner bike computer may not be right. The avg last week was 13.4 (per a fellow rider - since I had no computer that week). That's a pretty big increase.
The other big thing.. we ride with one rest stop (At a store) and that's it. I am used to going and resting -like in a charity ride - where are the fig newtons and helpful volunteers and cute guys in outfits at the stops?
Summary - 54.5 miles...avg estimated in the 14s.
And today I am trying to get up the courage to go ride...but well did not get to sleep til very late - and so I believe am passing on today's ride... seems windya nd the ride starts in Conyers - about 45 minutes form here.... Might go shopping instead.
OK that's the story. I know boring without pictures... see last weeks ride.. and weel lots of bikers...lost of fun...and The Bee!
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.