My buddy, Chuck texted me just before 2pm to let me know he’d be at my place to ride at 5. My legs were smoked after the weekend’s cycling and we’re going to have a big night tonight… Sunny, 75° (24 C) and single-digit wind speed…
My friends, without some wind to tamp down the spirit, $#!+’$ gonna get fast tonight.
So, after a veritable bunch of miles over the weekend, I let Chuck know that I’d be taking it easy to spin my legs out for the club ride. Chuck agreed, he was feeling pretty hit, too. Fortunately, Chuck and I know something most recreational cyclists don’t know (or can’t fully grasp): A day off just before a hard ride is worse than two hard days in a row. The best thing for tired legs is an easy spin with a fairly high cadence.
We rolled out to what approached perfect conditions. 68° (20 C), barely a breeze, and impeccably sunny…. and unlike rides past, where one of us gets a little too fast, it was tame. We started out at 17-mph and didn’t get much faster than that. It was a “hands on the bar tops” night and it was nice.
We stopped at the bike shop for a minute to say hey to Phill, whose truck was in the lot, then took off again. In Chuck’s text, he’d mentioned that he wanted some bonus miles, something around 25 in lieu of the normal 17-1/2, because it was so nice out. I obliged, and we added another 11 miles cruising around different neighborhoods. Our average pace ended up at just over 16 mph and I never broke a sweat. The ride was exquisite. While I would never advocate training slow to get fast (other than a small nod to long, slow distance), as I always say, slow days have their place and that one was perfectly placed.
I woke up feeling fresh and ready for this evening’s festivities. As Ricky Bobby once said, “Hang on, baby Jesus… this is gonna get bumpy”.