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Daily Archives: September 12, 2012

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SPEED 2

Today’s search term has something for the contrarians. Thankfully, unlike many of my excellent posts, this one won’t take up much real estate on the front page:

How much easier is a road bike than a mountain bike?

A road bike isn’t easier than a mountain bike – at all. It’s faster… 20-30%

If it’s easier, you’re doing it wrong. ūüėÄ

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SPEED… And A Great Reason To Track Workouts.

Something funny happened on the club ride last night. I didn’t have enough time to get the cleats installed and aligned on my shoes last night before the ride so I just packed up and headed over.

It was another windy evening, and I hung out with Mike, our once Nationally ranked triathlete for the warmup…our warmup of¬†six miles* was into the wind for the first half and keeping a pace of 18-19 mph was tough into the 15 mph wind. This led me to believe that we’d have a nice steady ride, around 21-22 mph.

Oops.

On the bright side, I did get to see exactly how far I could hang on at speeds averaging 26-28 mph… And a couple of those were into the wind, lucky me, it was my pull for one and that’s what did me in.¬† The distance I can maintain that speed in a group¬†would be¬†six miles (the first mile was a breeze at 20 mph).

Now originally, because I don’t keep track while I’m riding, just after I dropped I was already¬†kicking around titles for¬†a post about how tired I was and that I needed to take a day or two off because I dropped so early – until I heard my Endomondo chick spit out a ridiculously silly number… “8 miles in 21 minutes and¬†[inaudible] seconds”… Holy crap folks, I was certain I heard that wrong.

As I dropped off the back, I passed the B group but kept my speed down¬†hoping that would¬†allow some of the others who fell off before me to catch up.¬† It didn’t happen, so I kept on by my lonesome and picked up the pace.¬† I was battling the setting sun to get back before dusk so I didn’t have any time to watch the paint dry but I didn’t kill myself either.¬† I managed to 2:45 – 3:15 minute miles for most of the rest of the ride but that stretch at the beginning killed me.

When I’d finished, I knew that the first several miles were fast but I had no idea that¬† they were that¬†fast and I was certain that I wasn’t able to hang on because I was just flat out¬†tired from too many days on the bike in a row (15 straight)…¬† Until I looked at the details on Endomondo (my tracker of choice).¬† The reality was that I performed very well considering the speeds that we were hitting and my current level of fitness.¬† Most of the guys that I ride with use a cycle computer, I’m one of the few that tracks with my phone, but being a noob, I need the data so I don’t jump to unecessary conclusions like I did after dropping off the back.

Now there’s no doubt, it’s time for a day off and I’ll be heading to the bike shop later to get my shoes done and a minor tune up done so today will be as good as any and I’ll have another on Friday because we’re expecting rain – and that’ll be perfect before my 200k on Saturday, but the point I’m trying to get at is this;¬† If I have the data from my ride to look at after I’m done, it helps me filter out the garbage that I’d otherwise entertain as plausible.¬† That keeps me from making rash decisions based on improperly interpreted performance input.

Just a thought.

*It makes me chuckle that my warmup for the main ride is longer (and a lot faster) than I was capable of as the main ride last year…