Wednesday, May 2, 2007

3 amigos in the hills of Barkhamsted

Tuesday 2 friends of mine went for a training ride in the hills around Barkhamsted reservoir. Let me first distinguish between levels of rides by their label. There is:

A ride: this denotes getting on your bike alone or with friends and riding your bike at social paces. Talking, seeing the sights, and the occasional stop along the way for coffee, beer (yes, we do do that some times) or ice cream. Anyone can ride and enjoy the camaraderie and scenery.

A Training Ride: This references training so there is an underlying purpose to it. 'To Train and thus get better from it". These rides can be broken into several categories...
Training easy which gives the body more rest then work and is generally not damaging.
Tempo training which basically means a brisk pace is held and it starts to really hurt after a bit.
Hammer fest which basically describes itself. An all out leg ripper that leaves you pretty tired, dazed and more confused then you already are.

A race: this is again what it sounds like, A ride that is done while competing for position against someone else, yourself, or the clock.

Bob Johnson, Joe Rodrigues and myself went out for a training ride that began in "tempo training' and soon felt like it was heading for 'hammer fest'.

We climbed and rode over 53 miles and over more then 4000 feet of climbing...most of it done at what we could handle. Joe and I at least, as we were constantly chasing a very light and spry old man called Bob Johnson. The hills around the reservoir are fantastic as they are great for their length and pitch. Not too steep, but steep enough to give one hell of a workout if you do them hard enough.

I had a good day and was an entirely different person at the end of this ride compared to the last time we three went out. Then I rode back barely keeping from falling over I was so bonked and shattered. Yesterday I worked over Joe and dear old Bob on the last chopper coming into the finish with a pretty sweet jump attack from behind. Bob was working pretty hard to claw back up to me. I'll take that ride to the bank!

It never ceases to amaze me how consistent training creates consistent change. In January I couldn't have ridden 20 miles with out just blowing up and calling for a ride to pick me up. (A cyclists must shameful ride finish if not from bike mechanical failure) Now I am riding back to back rides of 70 plus miles, and hard as well. In a few more weeks 100 mile rides will be an every weekend ability with a 70 miler on the other day 'just for fun'. Amazing.

Well, my legs are pretty tired and I still need to go for a 'light' jog this evening. Better get it done and early to bed.

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