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Heart Rate Zone based training

Old 02-14-22, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by benetga View Post
Thanks for replying. I think I'll take your advice and only have one intense Zwift ride per week. It does become somewhat addictive trying to push that FTP number.
Good plan. I find Zwift great for high intensity race sims. I always push myself that bit harder when there is competition and Zwift certainly provides that! But definitely needs to limited. If you just kept on thrashing away, you would soon hit a performance plateau and then start going backwards with all the accumulated fatigue.
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Old 02-16-22, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
.......

Another very recent book (c. 2020) I would highly recommend is The Midlife Cyclist by Phil Cavell. He takes a middle-ground approach on volume vs intensity and makes it very clear that none of the current research in this field is conclusive. He speculates that it will be another 20+ years before we have definitive answers, although he forms his own opinions as did Friel et all.
I bought it and read it. Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing. It is a good book, it has many pearls of wisdom. Some of it might seem very basic but I bet every older cyclist could learn a thing or two from this book. It isn't a training book. The only downer were that the case studies were all negative, it would have been nice to have had a shining example of an athlete who did it right.

The one champion cyclist MD was pretty clear, 90% riding should be below VT1 or as he said, 60-70% of max heartrate. The other 10 or so percent should be higher intensity but he says it should not be too high. Maybe I do my intervals too hard, I don't hold back. If the session is not going really well, I stop. He is saying doing them at 105-110% of FTP, I do them at 115-118%. Thought provoking. I have always believed intervals have to be done at your absolute best and if you are not fully recovered, why do them. Just go home and rest a bit more. They are saying do them at a little bit lower intensity, maybe add another rep or two but do not do really high intensity. Very interesting. I'm going out now for an interval session on my hill, I might give it a try for 4-6 weeks.
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Old 02-16-22, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I bought it and read it. Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing. It is a good book, it has many pearls of wisdom. Some of it might seem very basic but I bet every older cyclist could learn a thing or two from this book. It isn't a training book. The only downer were that the case studies were all negative, it would have been nice to have had a shining example of an athlete who did it right.

The one champion cyclist MD was pretty clear, 90% riding should be below VT1 or as he said, 60-70% of max heartrate. The other 10 or so percent should be higher intensity but he says it should not be too high. Maybe I do my intervals too hard, I don't hold back. If the session is not going really well, I stop. He is saying doing them at 105-110% of FTP, I do them at 115-118%. Thought provoking. I have always believed intervals have to be done at your absolute best and if you are not fully recovered, why do them. Just go home and rest a bit more. They are saying do them at a little bit lower intensity, maybe add another rep or two but do not do really high intensity. Very interesting. I'm going out now for an interval session on my hill, I might give it a try for 4-6 weeks.
My fave set, back when I was your age, was 4 X 8' X 4 @105°. I didn't have a PM then, but now I know that's what I was doing and what I do now. Sometimes I do harder 3' ones, but not as often. Another favorite set was 3 X 45" X 5' OOS hill sprints.

I read the book, too. My only real beef with it was the pedaling business. I do what he says not to do, him saying that's not now the pros do it. From my experience, I'd say that's poor reasoning.
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Old 02-17-22, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
My fave set, back when I was your age, was 4 X 8' X 4 @105°. I didn't have a PM then, but now I know that's what I was doing and what I do now. Sometimes I do harder 3' ones, but not as often. Another favorite set was 3 X 45" X 5' OOS hill sprints.

I read the book, too. My only real beef with it was the pedaling business. I do what he says not to do, him saying that's not now the pros do it. From my experience, I'd say that's poor reasoning.
105% of FTP for 8 minutes sounds like a fairly low training stress? How hard are they? Is the trick a short (2-3 minute?) rest interval or what rest do you use?

A study I read suggests that short Rønnestad type intervals are better than the longer ones for athletes over about the age of 60. Seiler's research shows the adaptations are the same for long vs shorter intervals as long as the total work is the same but he did not have old subjects and his study was short in time duration. I wish I saved the link but the gist was shorter Rønnestad were better at losing less VO2 max for older athletes, meaning they still declined but declined about 2/3 the rate. Again, not 50 year olds.....60+. My stock intervals had been 5 x 5 or maybe 6 reps at max aerobic capacity or about VO2 max, so, much harder than 105%. I have also done Tabatta intervals of a block and some 6 x 20 at 95-96% for ability to do long rides hard. The rønnestad intervals are 3 x 13 x 30/15 at .....I forget the power level but it gets you 19.5 minutes of work above threshold about an hour including warmup, time between sets, and cool down. I tried them on the road yesterday, impossible to control the power precisely on such a short duration (I was aiming for 500 watts) or at least for me. I have a smart trainer that I do not use, I should try to find a file for Rønnestad and learn how to use the damned thing and just take the medicine(intervals) on the trainer instead of the road. The VO2 max intervals are so easy logistically but maybe I should not be working/pushing so hard. I really do not know. I only ever do intervals if I am fresh and that can be 5 days or 10 days. My microcycle is 10 days, 7 days is too short for me anymore. I do three 10 day cycles and take a rest.....that is my block, I typically only get 4 hard vo2 max interval sessions in a block with 1-2 easier 20 minute interval sessions (up to 6 x 20 if fit) and 1-2 long rides like brevets, the rest is just lots and lots of Z1/Z2 for fun. That always worked. I do use heart rate on the long rides with keeping a close eye on decoupling

My probably mistaken belief was that to increase pPGC1-α and therefore induce improvements to the mitochondria, the interval load (watts) must increase right to the absolute hardest effort possible as one gets fitter; otherwise, there is no stimulus. If my average watts on my 5 minute hill kept going up over many weeks, I knew it was working. Not a lot of record keeping or analysis. If my time got shorter, average watts higher, and W' went below zero.....all is good. If not? Need more recovery to get stronger. (not to say this is the only path to improve one's mitochondria)

Why change? Getting older. My body has changed. Especially with two injuries (backpacking accident and bike accident) last year. Maybe I have been doing it wrong. (I did have a coach once, too much intensity week after week.....took me 4 months to recover). Thanks for your advice. I really not sure what to do. I am just getting fit enough to do harder intervals. Looking to do either a 300 or 400 in 3 weeks. I have to qualify for the 1200K and it is very hard with the residual pain from the crash but it is what it is. Maybe easier and more frequent intervals might make sense at this time.

In case you have some insight. Sorry for the babbling. I recovered well after 200k on Saturday. I did take 3 days off just in case. My legs are not sore after yesterday's intervals. Plan to do a 3 hour Z2 ride today.

Do my intervals on the trainer???
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Old 02-17-22, 09:18 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I bought it and read it. Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing. It is a good book, it has many pearls of wisdom. Some of it might seem very basic but I bet every older cyclist could learn a thing or two from this book. It isn't a training book. The only downer were that the case studies were all negative, it would have been nice to have had a shining example of an athlete who did it right.

The one champion cyclist MD was pretty clear, 90% riding should be below VT1 or as he said, 60-70% of max heartrate. The other 10 or so percent should be higher intensity but he says it should not be too high. Maybe I do my intervals too hard, I don't hold back. If the session is not going really well, I stop. He is saying doing them at 105-110% of FTP, I do them at 115-118%. Thought provoking. I have always believed intervals have to be done at your absolute best and if you are not fully recovered, why do them. Just go home and rest a bit more. They are saying do them at a little bit lower intensity, maybe add another rep or two but do not do really high intensity. Very interesting. I'm going out now for an interval session on my hill, I might give it a try for 4-6 weeks.
I've started doing my intervals a little less full-on than I used to. Not so much due to reading this particular book, more from following Neal Henderson's advice and the fact that he has toned down most of the Wahoo interval workouts over the last 12 months. TrainerRoad also talk a lot about "minimum dose" intervals. I think the theory is that you still get most of the adaptation, but recover quicker from the slightly reduced stress and there is less risk of injury or overtraining. It's probably simply a lower risk/reward strategy (as Friel discusses in his book)

But most of these books, including Friel's, do point out that it's a very individual game and a changing game at that. To some extent you have to work out what works best for you on an individual basis at any particular point in your journey. I'm still trying to figure out my optimum training volume. I get the feeling it's too low at the moment, but my performance is strong and I'm avoiding injury. So I'm not going to overthink it!

I noticed Phil Cavell was very negative about indoor training, which I thought was just a personal thing. I'm the opposite and don't go anywhere near the road from November-February! I also do ALL my interval training indoors as it's just far more controlled. My outdoor rides are almost exclusively endurance training rides and actual events.
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Old 02-17-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I've started doing my intervals a little less full-on than I used to. Not so much due to reading this particular book, more from following Neal Henderson's advice and the fact that he has toned down most of the Wahoo interval workouts over the last 12 months. TrainerRoad also talk a lot about "minimum dose" intervals. I think the theory is that you still get most of the adaptation, but recover quicker from the slightly reduced stress and there is less risk of injury or overtraining. It's probably simply a lower risk/reward strategy (as Friel discusses in his book)

But most of these books, including Friel's, do point out that it's a very individual game and a changing game at that. To some extent you have to work out what works best for you on an individual basis at any particular point in your journey. I'm still trying to figure out my optimum training volume. I get the feeling it's too low at the moment, but my performance is strong and I'm avoiding injury. So I'm not going to overthink it!

I noticed Phil Cavell was very negative about indoor training, which I thought was just a personal thing. I'm the opposite and don't go anywhere near the road from November-February! I also do ALL my interval training indoors as it's just far more controlled. My outdoor rides are almost exclusively endurance training rides and actual events.
Phil Cavell's perspective on indoor training also seemed a bit extreme to me, too. I ride thru the winter on the roads but there are times when it is dangerous to ride on the roads due to ice and snow.

A few years ago, there was a lot of grumblings online about trainerroad plans wiping people out, so, it makes sense what you are saying.

I am going to venture into using my trainer for intervals. It isn't as if I did not gain some positive effect from yesterday's attempt at the shorter intervals, but the times were all over the place as were the power levels. Finding a better road would have helped. Times varied by 3 seconds and power levels by 70 watts. That can't be good. These variations would be eliminated with the trainer (Tact Neo 2), if I understand how it is supposed to work. The workout also was not hard enough because my HR only got to 143 after 13 reps. Quite different than Tabatas where you just go all out, no finesse. If I was just using HR, the workout would seem easy on paper but it felt pretty hard. My understanding is the last repetitions, my HR should have been more into the mid 160's. I might have to play around with the rest intervals.

One thing that I know is how to identify my training load and if it is too much, so, I am not too worried about trying something new. I could not yet find the study I read showing shorter intervals are more effective for dinosaurs.
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Old 02-17-22, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
105% of FTP for 8 minutes sounds like a fairly low training stress? How hard are they? Is the trick a short (2-3 minute?) rest interval or what rest do you use?

A study I read suggests that short Rønnestad type intervals are better than the longer ones for athletes over about the age of 60. Seiler's research shows the adaptations are the same for long vs shorter intervals as long as the total work is the same but he did not have old subjects and his study was short in time duration. I wish I saved the link but the gist was shorter Rønnestad were better at losing less VO2 max for older athletes, meaning they still declined but declined about 2/3 the rate. Again, not 50 year olds.....60+. My stock intervals had been 5 x 5 or maybe 6 reps at max aerobic capacity or about VO2 max, so, much harder than 105%. I have also done Tabatta intervals of a block and some 6 x 20 at 95-96% for ability to do long rides hard. The rønnestad intervals are 3 x 13 x 30/15 at .....I forget the power level but it gets you 19.5 minutes of work above threshold about an hour including warmup, time between sets, and cool down. I tried them on the road yesterday, impossible to control the power precisely on such a short duration (I was aiming for 500 watts) or at least for me. I have a smart trainer that I do not use, I should try to find a file for Rønnestad and learn how to use the damned thing and just take the medicine(intervals) on the trainer instead of the road. The VO2 max intervals are so easy logistically but maybe I should not be working/pushing so hard. I really do not know. I only ever do intervals if I am fresh and that can be 5 days or 10 days. My microcycle is 10 days, 7 days is too short for me anymore. I do three 10 day cycles and take a rest.....that is my block, I typically only get 4 hard vo2 max interval sessions in a block with 1-2 easier 20 minute interval sessions (up to 6 x 20 if fit) and 1-2 long rides like brevets, the rest is just lots and lots of Z1/Z2 for fun. That always worked. I do use heart rate on the long rides with keeping a close eye on decoupling

My probably mistaken belief was that to increase pPGC1-α and therefore induce improvements to the mitochondria, the interval load (watts) must increase right to the absolute hardest effort possible as one gets fitter; otherwise, there is no stimulus. If my average watts on my 5 minute hill kept going up over many weeks, I knew it was working. Not a lot of record keeping or analysis. If my time got shorter, average watts higher, and W' went below zero.....all is good. If not? Need more recovery to get stronger. (not to say this is the only path to improve one's mitochondria)

Why change? Getting older. My body has changed. Especially with two injuries (backpacking accident and bike accident) last year. Maybe I have been doing it wrong. (I did have a coach once, too much intensity week after week.....took me 4 months to recover). Thanks for your advice. I really not sure what to do. I am just getting fit enough to do harder intervals. Looking to do either a 300 or 400 in 3 weeks. I have to qualify for the 1200K and it is very hard with the residual pain from the crash but it is what it is. Maybe easier and more frequent intervals might make sense at this time.

In case you have some insight. Sorry for the babbling. I recovered well after 200k on Saturday. I did take 3 days off just in case. My legs are not sore after yesterday's intervals. Plan to do a 3 hour Z2 ride today.

Do my intervals on the trainer???
This is pretty fun. We all have our little ways, don't we? My perspective is as a member of a 30 y.o. social riding group which specializes in Sunday competitive group rides. I've been riding with these folks for 24 years, probably 48 Sundays/year. Plus event rides and a group tour for a week once a year. Besides the fun of having a group of long-term similarly minded friends, the purpose of this group is to force ourselves to train to be able to do these rides. I've had the pleasure of watching and studying these friends as they've aged. I'm 10 or so years older than almost all of them, so I've always been the future. As my curve has steepened, they no longer say, "I hope I can ride like you when I grow up." Besides, I only ride our tandem with the group now, partially to avoid getting pulled into climbing duels.

I'm now the oldest still-riding member of the group, ever. Many have aged out. The most common reason for aging-out has been Afib. That heart book is all true. I have scarred ventricles myself, but no Afib. There are a couple of younger riders who also got Afib but had ablation and continue to ride. Others succumbed to blood pressure meds. Some riders' doctors have said "No more." So my main drive is no longer to get faster, but rather to minimize getting slower while not damaging my health further.

I should mention that I'm totally untalented aerobically. When I was in Basic Training in the Army, one of the requirements to get out of Basic was to be able to run a mile in under 8' in combat boots and fatigues. I made it with a few seconds to spare. Nonetheless, I've had good success in getting trained up well enough to ride a hilly 200 in under 8 hours and an easier 400 in under 15. I am fairly talented anaerobically and have done a 3 hour group ride with a TSS of over 300. There's a fair chance that I can still beat anyone in the group in a hill sprint.

My training method is simply to do these 3-5 hour Sunday rides, riding to exhaustion by going out hard and keeping it up until I struggle to just finish. I'll usually get 45' in HR Z4, 2' in Z1, maybe 3' in Z5. On the few weeks without a Sunday group ride, I'll do (or try to do) something like 1 ride with OLP, 1 with 105% intervals, then sweet spot intervals the next day, the rest below VT1. On weeks with a group ride, I'll do 1 day OLP, the rest often VT1. These mid-week riders are most often indoor rides though sometimes I'll do one 35 mile hilly ride on my single, all zones or a tandem mostly VT1 ride. I don't have a serious schedule I try to keep. If I'm tired, I take a couple days off and have a random easy week...

So my main thing is survival as a cyclist for as long as I'm able to ride well. I limit the high end. I occasionally go all out on a group ride, but usually not over what my heart thinks is OK. I saw Moses once at the top of a hill and don't want to repeat that. Back in my late 50s and early 60s I did have long anaerobic duels on climbs, but don't do that anymore. That's probably the source of the ventricular scarring.

My advice is to take the long view. You can't keep that up forever and you'll really hate not being able to do it al all. Been there, seen others do that. Don't worry about being fast. Just worry about being able to keep doing it. When I was riding brevets, I often thought it would be fun to ride just under the time limits, see how slow I could ride if I put my mind to it. That might even be a good strategy for the long term. Put on a big cassette and ride the short brevets at your 1200 pace, Do the high end stuff indoors, ride a slow-ish 200 almost every weekend. Might be interesting, even fun.
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Old 02-17-22, 01:45 PM
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Macabre as it sounds, I'd like to have sufficient aerobic reserves in my 80's so that if I get hurt, I can get back up walking. I have seen too many instances where a person's normal daily activities are almost at their threshold. When they get injured or have surgery, they have no reserve to recover. It was very sad to see my dad go that way. He just could not get up and he withered away.

I don't have any particular objectives although I am fancying maybe getting my bike and me all spiffed up to try to crack 60 minutes for 40km.

Phil Cavell says something like don't get injured. No kidding. I could easily bang off 40 pushups last year. I cannot do a single one now. Pathetic. I'm working on it but not really getting stronger.
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Old 02-17-22, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Macabre as it sounds, I'd like to have sufficient aerobic reserves in my 80's so that if I get hurt, I can get back up walking. I have seen too many instances where a person's normal daily activities are almost at their threshold. When they get injured or have surgery, they have no reserve to recover. It was very sad to see my dad go that way. He just could not get up and he withered away.

I don't have any particular objectives although I am fancying maybe getting my bike and me all spiffed up to try to crack 60 minutes for 40km.

Phil Cavell says something like don't get injured. No kidding. I could easily bang off 40 pushups last year. I cannot do a single one now. Pathetic. I'm working on it but not really getting stronger.
No, not at all macabre. Our previous oldest rider works out in a gym almost every day. No Afib problem if he keeps the HR down. The gym is by far the more determinative factor. A much younger ex-group rider can't get his Afib under control. He has a wall of k-hound medals. Just sayin'.
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Old 02-17-22, 03:35 PM
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I skip beats (PVC) sometimes. My heart "pauses" for up to 8 seconds while sleeping. The Cardiologists say my heart is good, no problems. Keep exercising. I keep crossing my fingers. In Phil Cavell's book, there were many cyclists with MI and blockages. A CT cardiac calcium test cost me $47 and shows no blocks, zero. Well worth it to me. I have always felt (per my MD, LOL) that managing inflammation was critical. Some inflammation provokes improvement in fitness but chronically using the glycolic pathway is to me in my opinion....problematic. So, I work mostly on the aerobic engine. Since I have do not race anymore, who cares although I did some Masters races a few years back.

Lot of older riders have aFib.....that is a tough one.
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Old 02-22-22, 01:47 PM
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Heart Rate Zone based Training

Before Power Meters became commonplace I did train by HR, But I TT'd by HR and ended up with A Fib that developed near max HR. After a couple cardiac ablations A Fib was mainly eliminated. I currently train and race with a power meter and am happy to report no significant A Fib episodes in quite awhile. With an ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator), I get a download of the ICD every six months and haven't seen significant A Fib episodes in a couple years. At 80+ I recommend power meters as a safer mode of training,
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Old 02-25-22, 07:49 PM
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This month has been a washout in terms of cycling due to ice and snow, so I’ve been working out at our rec center.

I really like using the climber. I can check HR when I need to and I’ve now used it enough to know the power required at the the useful speed (workload) settings. So I can do a simple workout at a constant HR or spice it up with 2 or 3 minute intervals that lift my HR some, rather like our typical hills.

The forecast is a steady warming trend for the next week and by then the ice should be gone and the trails back to just mud! Should be able to ride by then! 👍

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Old 03-20-22, 06:10 PM
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As an undisciplined sort, I have not subscribed to any regimented training plans (heresy on this thread). I briefly started one on Zwift and was bored to tears. Being a mediocre cyclist at best, in my hay day I imagine I could have held my own as a Cat 4, but didn’t have the genes or time to commit to more. No doubt if I had committed my time to a training plan at that time I may have gone up a level. At 67, I still enjoy challenging myself on climbs and keeping a healthy pace. However with aging has come the reality that too much of a good thing (riding hard) is now a bad thing. My strategy now is to ride at about 75% most of the time, but still go full gas on short climbs, so I get into VO2 area briefly. Since climbing is my thing, I usually go out of my way to get in some long climbs but have backed off on attacking and now just ride them at a moderate pace. Did participate in a 40,000’ climbing challenge last November but only made it to 30K, but my climbing speed definitely improved. Don’t do HIIT, but after hard efforts I will give myself a recovery day or a slow spin. If I can average 18 MPH over 30-40 miles with 2000’ climbing, I consider the ride a success. But that’s just my unstructured thing and realize that in no way do these ramblings contribute to heart rate or power meter discussion, but I do pay attention to my stats and ride as my body dictates.

I do have a little issue with trying to get fastest times on Strava segments for my age group. I’ll take all the little victories I can get.
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Old 03-25-22, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Use this formula and approach if you want to develop the power to make 15-16 mph into the wind. Nothing is simpler or more effective for your goals.

https://philmaffetone.com/180-formula/
I adopted this approach when you posted the link, and really felt it was beneficial. Going between the turbo trainer and rollers, and forcing myself to stay at my Maff number instead of going all out instinctively. There was still snow on the ground, and I hadn't taken my new bike on the road for it's first actual ride yet. I live in Central NY and was reminded this week when I got out on pavement that it's not possible to maintain a Maff number here in hill country...
I leave my house into a 40 mph decent for almost a mile and then it's a roller coaster ride in every direction. I guess my rides are all pretty much full effort rides due to the climbing. I've been riding here for 10 years, and do enjoy it, but now being more interested in that endurance training HR zone, I wish there was some semi-flat ground around me to just go percolate along on. The climb home is never a hill I look up and think is going to be fun.
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