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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 01-07-12, 09:09 PM   #1
david58
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What the heck happened - Where did it go?????

Weather was decent today here in Oregon, so planned a ride with a buddy. Met at the Rogue Hopyards (so we could recover-nutrate ourselves with good Rogue beer at the end of the ride), and before we started the buddy noticed a mechanical issue. Crap. Solo ride.

We had planned a metric century, so I started that direction. Man, after warming up I was riding fast! That sure didn't last long...

By mile 25, the low battery light was flashing. It was a 40 round trip I took, wisdom winning for once, and the last three miles were torture. But there was beers and a burger waiting, so I toughed it out.

Wow. In the summer, a 100 miler was really pretty trivial if I hydrated well. Then in September, I went to riding with my wife on weekends, to help here prep for a 45 miler, her first organized ride. Sick and off the bike two and a half weeks in November. Many too many beers in December. I am officially a wannabe again.

Never thought it would have faded this fast - I commute at least 3 days per week, and have two good climbs to deal with every day on the way home. At least I got calibrated. I will certainly push harder on the commutes home, and will hit the trainer harder this week. Still want to get the 62 miles next Saturday, since it is my last chance for a January century, unless I measure in meters instead of miles/kilometers. But man oh man, at 53 years old, it goes away quick!!!
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Old 01-07-12, 09:18 PM   #2
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You lose it really fast. My general formula is that it takes a month to recover fitness for each week you don't ride. The Rogue hopyards are a fun place. The trick is to ride there more often -- rode there twice in November myself...

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Old 01-07-12, 10:16 PM   #3
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It probably varies from person to person but now that I am over 50 it seems like I can only go a few days without my exercise and the body wants to shut down.
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Old 01-07-12, 10:25 PM   #4
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You lose it really fast. My general formula is that it takes a month to recover fitness for each week you don't ride. The Rogue hopyards are a fun place. The trick is to ride there more often -- rode there twice in November myself...

Rogue Hopyards is a nice, easy spin from our house (going home, the hills are in reverse, though).

Today was a good wakeup call - I now have been officially calibrated. Sadly, I have airplane tickets for 9 of the first 16 weeks of the year.

And as good as today was, the sliders, ice cream, and three beers probably didn't advance my cause today. Mogul Madness is one good brew...
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Old 01-07-12, 11:49 PM   #5
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Don't know how old you are, but in my 60s I can promise from experience that things will only get worse. Twenty years ago, I did my first century on zero training, just an occasional 10-15 mile ride. A friend phoned on a Friday night and asked me to ride with him on Saturday, and I made it. I probably won't do any more, but if I do, I'll have to train for months.
Possibly related note: I had a long hospital stay last fall with four weeks of almost complete bed rest. The docs told me that each day in bed requires three or four days of rehab to regain full strength. That's been accurate in my case--I started therapy in mid-November, and I'm just now getting most of my function back.
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Old 01-08-12, 05:55 PM   #6
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Feels like I lost about 60 miles of fitness. Probably didn't observe the best recovery meal I could have, only three beers, sliders, and ice cream....

Quads are quite sore, I really could have used a light spin today. But I have certainly been served a warning - I am going to have to work hard this winter to maintain a decent level of fitness so springtime isn't miserable as I try and climb back in again.
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Old 01-08-12, 08:11 PM   #7
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It doesn't take long to start to lose fitness. If you can't ride outside, I recommend spinning classes. If you get a good class and instructor, they can be quite a workout. And this is something you can do with your wife ... if you're faster than she is outside, you're not going to drop her in a spinning class. She'll be right there beside you.

Pick one that is intermediate, or better yet, advanced. Instructors vary, so you might also want to ask a few questions, such as ...

-- Does the instructor also ride his/her bicycle outside? It is preferable that they do so they have some idea what you're trying to achieve.
-- Does the instructor do "jumps" in class? If so, pick another instructor.
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Old 01-08-12, 08:27 PM   #8
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It doesn't take long to start to lose fitness. If you can't ride outside, I recommend spinning classes. If you get a good class and instructor, they can be quite a workout. And this is something you can do with your wife ... if you're faster than she is outside, you're not going to drop her in a spinning class. She'll be right there beside you.

Pick one that is intermediate, or better yet, advanced. Instructors vary, so you might also want to ask a few questions, such as ...

-- Does the instructor also ride his/her bicycle outside? It is preferable that they do so they have some idea what you're trying to achieve.
-- Does the instructor do "jumps" in class? If so, pick another instructor.
Since I commute, and the local burg doesn't have a fitness club where I can get into a good class, I have gone to using a Kurt trainer and Sufferfest videos on the days I don't commute to work. I just hadn't realized how, since I'm riding in the dark both directions, just how much I was backing off on the intensity of the commute ride because of trying to be safe in the dark. My wimpiness was a very timely, good wakeup call.
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Old 01-09-12, 05:39 AM   #9
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By mile 25, the low battery light was flashing. It was a 40 round trip I took, wisdom winning for once, and the last three miles were torture. But there was beers and a burger waiting, so I toughed it out.
Just wondering...did you eat well that morning? Sounds like you might have run out of fuel rather than fitness.

I just turned 60, and am lucky enough to live where riding year-round is feasible. I'd really be up the creek for fitness if I had to stop.

As for the burgers and ice cream...weight goes on more easily as we age, and is tougher to get off. Just sayin'...
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