I want to Ride my bike

Adventures in Tahoe and beyond

Archive for the tag “winter”

Winter Training Camp Part 2

Back in the bay area last weekend….Saturday was the most grueling day of riding. It was 37 degrees as I started out on my 1 minute commute to Peets dressed in my mismatched cold weather cycling apparel. Seriously, with my gaper-ific outfit, I might as well have been sporting a camelbak. I’m fundamentally opposed to buying fancy cycling specific clothing which always seems to be marked up about 10x because it’s for “cycling.” Normally, I can ride fast/well enough that my clothing choices get overlooked….

The good part about starting a ride when it’s 37 degrees is that it doesn’t feel so awful after downing a latte and taking off with a big group of people. It warmed up quickly as we cruised along. I dropped a water bottle as I bounced over a pothole on a descent and suddenly I was wishing I had that camelbak. I’ve never bonked while riding before (only while skiing) and I wasn’t about to on this ride so I focused on eating enough to fuel the scheduled 93 miles.

Ever since the Mt. Tam race was cancelled last season due to a fire, I had been itching to ride up it. I didn’t really think through how it would feel to ride up Tam after 55 miles on Friday and having already ridden almost 80 miles on Saturday until I was starting the climb and wondering why I felt so heavy. I have never felt so crappy about a hill climb. Ever. Even on my worst days, I’ve managed to eek my way uphill at a respectable pace spinning along in my smallest gear when necessary. But on this day, I was disappointed and angry that I couldn’t seem to move faster than 3 miles per hour (possible exaggeration- my computer wasn’t working). How was it possible that every single other person on the ride was able to go faster than I was up that hill? I was annoyed and hated being on my bike at that moment for the first and only time all weekend. After a few minutes, I pulled out a cliff bar, slid forward on my seat, and let go. I realized that the only person judging me was me. And really, that wasn’t going to help my get up the hill, I was already carrying enough extra weight! I decided to make the most of my ascent and to take plenty of time to look around and soak in the beautiful scenery. I think I got my money’s worth of humble pie. Before I knew it, the main climb was over and it was on to the rollers. The descent was fun and by the time it was over, I somehow completely forgot about wanting the ride to be over. I spun around town for another 7 miles until my Garmin said I’d ridden 100 miles. Yippee!

By the time Sunday rolled around, my legs remembered how to ride and I felt like I was starting to get back in the groove. I’m always amazed at how with cycling, you can destroy your legs one day yet feel okay the next. After I finished the ride on Sunday, I packed up and headed home feeling fulfilled and inspired. I still think Mill Valley is sort of strange, but I had a great time and will probably be back.


Coping with the Cold

Liquid motivation

Yesterday’s ride turned from chilly to unpleasant when the sun disappeared behind clouds and the wind picked up. We were at almost the half-way point of the loop i.e. the farthest point from home so we had no choice but to continue on with the ride. With half-numb fingers and toes and only a couple of miles left to go, my riding buddy reminded me of hot chocolate- the cold weather treat. Yes! How could I have forgotten? As we time-trialed it home, I had only two alternating thoughts: 1) Hot chocolate! and 2) Riding outside is so much better than the trainer, even if you can’t feel your hands, feet or face.

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