My of my favorite Bud's and I joined up for an impromptu ride yesterday. This was the fella that was hit by a car a couple years ago and was in the hospital for 2 months. He then lost his wife a year later to a chronic illness. He is still hobbling noticeably but he is putting in more and more miles on the bike. He REALLY enjoys the freedom and mental distraction that cycling offers. He has worked harder than anyone I know to even get back on the bike to just ride for the pleasure of riding. He has completely changed his cycling focus on performance to pleasure riding--but recognizes the true benefits of being as fit as he can be. He can keep up with most groups on the flats with his 1 1/2 legs but drops off on the hills. However, he has changed his gearing to a 11-36 so that helps him better manage the hills by spinning an easier gear around where we live.
So, it was great pleasure to once again share the road, trade pulls and to push each other to our limits as we've done repeatedly. We didn't have a specific route planned but were enjoying it so much we wound up with 62 miles. He was totally spent but it was one of those good tired feelings due to a pretty strenuous workout.
Just 3 weeks ago I was getting dropped by him and others in our regular riding group. After riding a number of miles over the past several weeks and even spending some time in the mountains I'm gradually seeing the former conditioning return. I can now run my HR up to whatever level I'd like but right now I just cannot sustain for as long a period as I'd like to. But it's terrific continuing to see progress---especialy for both of us.
I'm now more confident that I can physically handle the back to back weeks of touring Colorado so I'll probably wind up doing both Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado.
Now if I can just get rid of those 5-6 extra pounds overnight........