We went on our long Saturday ride yesterday. We ate a bowl of oatmeal before we left. I felt great and was able to do the gradual 4-mile climb with less exertion than the day before. 12 miles later (1 hour 15 minutes on our heavy hybrids), we stopped to eat a banana and drink more water. At about the 20-mile point, we stopped at the LBS for the bike adjustment and while we were there I test-rode the FCR mentioned in the other post. I noticed I felt very hungry in the shop (normally, I eat small, frequent meals all day). After we left the shop, my legs felt dead. We were on a flat street and could not get my legs to go so I finally insisted we stop to eat the oatmeal raisin cookie we took and drink more water. We continued on and stopped at the bagel shop where we split a bagel w/peanut butter, then went home. We rode 28 miles (our longest so far... we add a few each week). We ate a good lunch, stretched, and soon I felt terrific again. I thought that today would be a complete rest day.
But today, I'm considering an active recovery ride tonight. My leg muscles are still sore but not uncomfortable.
My question: When do you decide to take complete rest (no riding at all) vs. a recovery ride the following day? I know some soreness is OK, but if it is accompanied by exhaustion and fatigue that's a signal that a complete rest day is in order. But leg soreness only? Seems to me an easy recovery ride is a good thing to do.
I'm curious to know your experience with this and if you've noticed any impact on your progress when you take a recovery ride vs. a rest day, if any.