Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday Nights are for Tired Legs

Building on the non-stop Saturday, Jill and I got up Sunday morning and immediately started contemplating our day. We quickly decided to mountain bike, and that Rabbit Mountain would be our destination. I was about ready to grab Betty the Yeti (Rabbit is super rocky), when I posed the "which bike?" question to Jill and she replied with Nancy.

Uh oh.

My legs were a bit cooked from Saturday, and the gears and suspension would have been nice. But I built Nancy the Niner with the purpose of riding it with Jill, so without second thought I grabbed the singlespeed, rigid and headed out.

Rabbit has a steep, rocky initial climb but it only lasts for the first mile or so. As I started up the singletrack climb, I felt surprisingly good. I was out of the saddle, dancing up and down on the pedals without much effort or pain. I reached the end of the first climb and was pretty sure that was one of my faster times up that section. With only one gear you have two options: pedal or stop.

Jill rode really well, especially after cresting the initial climb. Rabbit has some rocky, technical stuff that can sneak up on you but after shaking off the rust she was moving along really well. I think she is comparably as strong right now as she was at the end of last summer. We did a couple of laps up top, then pointed the bikes down. Strangely enough, the rigid steel singlespeed wasn't quite as plush bombing down the rocks as my 6" travel Yeti. Weird.

Random pics from our ride:

Damn this gorgeous weather!

When I got back from the mountain bike ride, I thought it necessary to go out for a road bike ride. So after a brief stop for some lunch, we got back home and I grabbed Ruby and headed out on a road loop. I decided since I ride the loop out to Rabbit Mountain and back so much, I would go a different route and head to Boulder for a loop of distance that would be determined by how I felt.

You don't realize it, but from Longmont to Boulder is uphill the entire way and it gets steeper right as you hit Boulder (see elevation graph below). I felt OK as I pedaled down the shoulder on the Diagonal Highway, and the sunny skies and warm temps were motivation enough.

As I hit Jay Rd and started to cut over to Highway 36, my legs started to falter a bit. I didn't have the power I typically do, and my heart was beating faster than it should have been. Regardless, I pushed on just using the gears to help me get up the climbs all the while questioning the sanity of going on this ride when I knew that my legs were fried. Only one way to get stronger right?

As I cruised north on Highway 36, or as I like to call it the Cyclist Expressway, I decided I'd bail a couple miles early on to Nelson Rd which would lead me back to Longmont a little quicker. Turning back east was refreshing as I finally found some downhill terrain and my legs started coming back to me a bit. I pulled over under a shade tree to get off the bike for a bit, stretch my lower back and have a quick snack to help get me home.

After the snack, I felt better so I pressed on making much better time with potential energy on my side this direction. I cruised pretty effortlessly till I got to the final climbs leading to our neighborhood. These normally sedate climbs took on teeth yesterday as my legs were just totally cooked from the previous couple of days. I grunted my way up and over, then headed for the house.

Ended up getting in a 40 mile loop with around 1500 feet of climbing, and put in an average speed right about 17mph. I was actually quite pleased to see that I was able to put those kind of numbers up as I was pretty cooked from the start and without having anyone else to block the wind or chat with I wasn't too motivated to push hard.

Here is the elevation profile for the road ride. It doesn't feel like you are climbing the whole time, but you obviously are.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Sounds like you guys had a darn nice weekend in this beautiful weather. Sorry I didn't hookup with you on Sat but I saw the picture. Thanks!

A short (45-60 min) active recovery ride today will do you good :)