Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Taking that time off

Today was the second group ride here in Ellensburg and we were lucky to deal with moderate winds (after four horrendous days of 25 mph + steady wind) and a nice 19 mile route.

I'm not sure about the others in the ride but I felt pretty strong. I rode the 9.5 miles to the start (slightly downhill and with some wind) at a 23.5 mph avg pace. The group ride averaged 15-17 mph and then I had the 9.5 mile uphill trek home which took 36 minutes.

On the way home I pondered why I felt strong today and I could only come up with one thing - rest. I've been very busy with coaching my son's baseball team and watching my daughter play softball. Because of our six days a week schedule at the ball fields the riding is a little more sparse and has to be of good quality. This past week consisted of:

Sunday - group ride - total 34 miles
Monday - 8 miles - shake down ride for my daughter's Trek that was just overhauled
Tuesday - 21 miles - in 20+ mph winds on one of my 1984 Gitane bikes.
Wednesday - day off
Thursday - day off
Friday - day off
Saturday - 35 minutes on the indoor trainer

So, that's a total of only 63 miles for the week. However, when I was by myself I pushed hard and kept the heart rate up in the 170-180 range. My normal riding schedule usually has a day off after three days of riding to give my old knees a break. Now, with the two extra days off I'm feeling more refreshed and extra power in the legs when I climb back in the saddle for a ride. I'm not losing nearly as much aerobic capacity as my brain thinks I am.

So, train hard, but take those rest days. Even if your rest day has some riding in it - take it slow and easy and give yourself a chance to recuperate.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Group ride #1

I want to thank the riders that showed up today for our first group ride. We had a total of 7 cyclists (including one tandem) meet to tackle the first ride of the year - a nice 23 mile relatively flat course on an absolutely gorgeous spring day.

We will continue every Sunday through the summer with the exception of holiday weekends - Memorial Day, Labor Day and July 4th weekend. Other than that all are welcome to come and ride with us and enjoy the comradery and conversation that comes with cycling together.

I apologize for the fuzzy photo but it gives an idea of the beautiful day we had.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Conquering the hill

Four weeks I posted about my struggles up one of the steeper hills in our area. shows steady gradient of 7-9% with the steepest part at 11%.

The fact that I failed to make it up that hill and almost passed out trying had really bothered me. In contemplating what may have gone wrong I started pointing the blame at over aggressive riding at the bottom of the hill.

Yesterday I had 90 minutes of free time while my daughter was at softball practice. I was determined to tackle that hill again. So, this time I rode an easy 18-19 mph pace to the hill, tackled the early bottom portion without pushing real hard and then settled in for the big part of the climb. It wasn't too long before I hit the lowest (39-26) gear. After a hundred yards I realized the hill was just too steep to sit the whole way. I shifted to the 39-23 and stood up for all but the last 400 yards or so. Lowest speed was 6.5 mph and the high toward the top was 10.5 mph.

The best part of the ride was the downhill - 50.1 mph was the maximum. And, it was still as exhilirating as it was 23 years ago.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Group Rides start soon

Spring is finally trying to make an appearance here in the Kittitas Valley. The four days of 65+ degree weather since Saturday have been a blessing to those who tolerated the wind and cold of March while trying to ride outside.

Sunday, April 19th will be the first day for group rides. The start time is 1:30 pm and leaves from the Ellensburg High School parking lot. Early season rides will be 15-20 miles and will lengthen as the season goes on. Riders are encouraged to ride more after the formal group ride if the desire is for a higher mileage total on the day.