Upcoming rides I'm leading:
Nothing on the schedule.

Show blog entries about: Upcoming rides | Ride reports | My own training

Early-season challenges

15 miles shouldn't be too challenging, but today I went out to test-ride the San Gregorio-Pescadero loop that will be part of the upcoming Cat-3 Distance Training rides, and I was reminded that in early December, most of us definitely are not in the same shape we are in June.

This is an amazingly scenic ride that incorporates a few miles of our Day 1 route along the coast, just after our lunch stop. This is probably the most difficult part of Highway 1 that we ride on Day 1: three short but moderately steep climbs in rapid succession over the course of just a few miles. Many folks don't like these hills in June, especially right after lunch, and I especially didn't like them today.

As if that weren't enough, the ride back from Pescadero along historic Stage Road features two more significant climbs and two more thrill-a-minute twisty descents.

All told, this 15-mile loop has more than 1,800 feet of climbing, and if you divide 1,800 by 15, the result is more than 100, which is my personal definition of a "challenging" ride. (None of my official training rides this season rate more than 100 on this scale.) In terms of hill after hill after hill, this loop feels a lot like the middle of Day 5 of the ride, when we go through Vandeneberg Air Force Base and pack a whole bunch of climbing into one moderately short day of riding.

So the moral here is that I shouldn't be unhappy that today's ride felt much harder than it should have, and you shouldn't despair if your riding in December isn't quite in long-distance form. We have more than five months to go until the ride, and that's plenty of time to get ready for what's ahead.

No comments: