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Had a great ride Tuesday, Just wanted to glory for a minute or two...(1 post)

Had a great ride Tuesday, Just wanted to glory for a minute or two...BowWow
May 22, 2003 11:50 PM
Last Tuesday after work I jumped on the Centurion and headed East. There was a stiff (20km/hr) west wind blowing, and I wanted/needed to ride. I arranged with my wife to give me a 40 minute head start, then come and fetch me in the car, wherever I managed to be. I really hate riding into the wind, so out-and-back was out of the question...

I felt good, and the tail wind was at just the right angle. I hit the big ring pretty quickly, and on the first slight downhill managed 45 km/h (about 28 mph) without any difficulty. The first climb blew by easily, and I was getting warmed up nicely. I kept the hammer down, and managed to get the average speed up to 40. I didn't feel the need to coast, the "big hill" flattened out under my wheels, my breathing was steady, deep, not painful, but operating at close to capacity (is this the "lactate threshold" I keep hearing about but don't quite understand yet?), and my legs just felt great!

At the 40 minute mark I started to feel the first flickerings of a cramp tickling across the surface of my left calf. I drank a couple of gulps of water, ignored the twinges, and they faded into the distance with the rest of the landscape... there is absolutely no feeling in the world like cranking the big ring, watching the pavement blur past your feet!

My heretofore PB one-hour landmark, Shear's Hill, fell at the 50 minute mark. I was really flying! 10 minutes off the PB! And I still had plenty of power in my legs! I slipped to the rivet and spun up as fast as I could - I glimpsed a cadence of 118, then caught a blurred 70 km/h as I sprinted down the backside. I've seen 80 km/h on that drop, and was hoping for at leat that, but only managed 71.5 before I spun out. The lungs and legs were really burning... coasted down to 50 km/h then hit it again.

In the past my wife had caught me at about the one-hour mark, so I pushed on, keeping the speed above the 41 km/h average mark. I wanted to see just haow far I could get in one hour.

At this point in the ride the wind was cross, coming from the left front, so my effort jumped. But I was still feeling good, and the next landmark was looming! Rounded the next curve and the wind was again at my back with three km to the grain elevators... Sprinting was beyond my capacity at that point, but I kept the hammer down and managed to pull 45 km/h for the final 3k - and the last minute felt like an eternity!

At exactly one hour I passed the silver grain elevator at Magrath, 41.5 km from home. 41.5 km/h (25.79 mph) average, held for one hour! And I still felt strong!

I slowed to 35 km/h to cool down, expecting my wife at any moment, but still managed another 3 km before she caught me. It was a great ride, wind-assisted to be sure, but the fact that I had good jam in my legs after pushing 42 - 45 km/h for over an hour really has me pumped!

Thanks for letting me blow my own horn for a bit. Man I love this sport!!!!

Steve