Made progress on todays ride and noticed a few things...
Had an awesome ride today. Didn't ride as long as I would have liked because I had a special lunch today that I didn't want to be late for.
Thanks to interval training, clipless pedals, and bar ends, I was able to climb 3 hills today that I know I was never able to do. To make things better, the climbs were done in the middle gearing since my FD decided it didn't want to go into the small ring today. I was very pleased my ride overall. I was faster than I was for my ride going by the computer. All in all it was a great day even if it was short. Not that a 13 mile ride in 1 hr and 30 min is that short.
I also was able to get a good feel for my Thudbuster that I got in May but due to weather hadn't really gotten to use. I must say it helps a lot. Really took the bite out of those small jarring bumps. I usually get flank pain on both side after a rough ride from all the bouncing, none today. Clipless is a must for all those who are considering them. I honestly wish I got them sooner. I also felt that the bar ends helped too. I know there are a lot who don't like bar ends, but for me they were tremendous aid in making it up those big hills today.
Now if I could just stop breaking things on my MTB. I'd be really happy.