Jeff of BikeCrave said it best: “One thing I enjoy about cycling is the near-zero tolerance for fakery. You either climb the mountain, or you go back and reach a fitness level that will power you up the mountain. Or you pick a smaller mountain, also known as a “hill.” The point is, you’ve got to start somewhere. It doesn’t really matter where as long as you reach the goal, and you enjoy the journey.”
Oh, yes I know this is the second time I quote Jeff, and the reason is that his statement is powerful and true.
Bike Noob, a blog I regularly visit, recently posted an article entitled “Getting Better At Climbing” and ended his post with the question: “What do you suggest for a noob to become at least a little more adept at climbing?” The question prompted a lot of responses and there was not one without calling out the need for riding more hills/mountains if one wants to become better at climbing. Not everyone has mountains in their backyard, but most have hills and the moment you have a hill you can do repeats.
Along those lines the current Bicycle Magazine issue has an article by Selene Yeager on ‘Finish Faster – Train Now To Kick Your Next Century Into Overdrive‘. This is a good read and outlines a strong weekly plan, and with minor modifications this is the training plan I will follow for the next 4 weeks leading up to my High Sierra mountain century.
Following a rest day yesterday I rode some hill repeats today which amounted to 30 miles and 2440 feet elevation gain. My goal was to ride ‘tempo’, which is a sustainable pace while working hard. I was happy with the result, a 2 hour 4 minute ride, so just shy of a 15 mph average. Best of all I now have a baseline established and it will be interesting (at least for me) to see how next weeks ride will compare to it.
Since I got back on my bike last weekend I logged 146 miles with 6460 ft of climbing, not bad, but not really great either. Before my accident I show over 30000 ft of climbing for the month of June and over 800 miles. One of the most interesting pieces of data is heart rate (HR). Coming off my extended absence from cycling I average 147 bpm, compare to June at 135 bpm. (I either didn’t push myself hard in June or I am really out of shape now). In any case, I am slowly getting back into riding and the fun part is, that every day feels a little bit better than the last.
I haven’t been back to Los Flores Canyon or Yerba Buena Canyon, but both of them are on my radar and I will likely ride Los Flores early next week and pending the outcome Yerba B. later in the week. Yerba Buena is a particular good training ride at 80 miles and 6000 ft of climbing, you get a good workout.
I am looking forward to a fun Sunday ride, for me starting from West Los Angeles, and meeting up with friends in Malibu to cruise up the coast to Port Hueneme Navy Base and back. A relaxed 75 miles in Paradise – Life is good!