Velodiva and I had four great days of cycling over the holiday. It started with a race up Mount Hamilton on T-Day, 30 miles on Friday, track workout on Saturday and a group training ride on Sunday. Our training is focused on building strength and power.
Sunday, we did Old La Honda repeats 3.2 miles / 7.2% average grade. We did the first climb at 90% or approximately 1 minute slower than your best time. At the top, the coaches told me now on the next climb, go half way up in my big chain ring. I suggested that I had two gears that worked. My lowest gear which they had forbidden me to use and the one I just used. They were not impressed with my argument.
I descended and saw two of the P/1/2 guys in our group on their second time up climbing in the big ring. I thought what the hell, we only live once and one can change out knees like cassettes - right?
I did the 50/25 and it felt weird climbing due to the lower cadence. I had to stand a lot and the 20% switchbacks were tough. My Cervelo, due to the short chain stays, did not like the cross chaining. I shifted to a 34/17 which is the equivalent of the 50/25. I made it with no problem. My legs and knees feel great today, but I am happy to have a rest day.
The big chain ring drill is a great confidence booster and strength builder. But you younger 50+ guys be careful. If you are not at least a racing age of 59, you may hurt yourself.