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Croc Wins in a Death Roll

June 17, 2011

Today’s ride: 77km—Rattlesnake Point (again)

Weather: Warmer and sunnier than Tuesday

If I death-rolled the crocodile on Tuesday (which is a fairly generous assessment), then I suspect I’m the one who got death-rolled today. I woke up with a very stiff neck and shoulders (which made looking up, left, or right pretty uncomfortable), and didn’t climb as well as I would have liked. What I did have today, though, was company. A couple of my colleagues also ride, and the three of us enjoyed a very pleasant ride together, repeating my Tuesday “practice run.”

After “scouting” Rattlesnake Point’s climb on Tuesday, I rather hoped the second ascent would be better than the first. Not so. For starters, it was warmer. For seconds, on Tuesday—just as I was about to blow up—I noticed a woman gardening at the edge of the road; point of pride necessitated that I carry on until I was out of sight. No gardener today. I resisted the temptation to sprint up the first half of the climb, but that didn’t seem to spare much energy in the tank. I put some considerable distance on my colleagues during the first two thirds of the climb and was able to recover in a driveway while waiting for them to catch up. As I started to join them, though, I took my turn out of the driveway a little tight and found myself on a steep gravel pitch, which forced me to clip out of the pedals and start again. And then struggling on the final two turns. I didn’t feel good. While I accept that I’m not built for climbing, I will need to continue to work on this climb, which is tougher than any other ascent around here. Let’s call that a goal for 2011.

Another feature of the ride was noticing the different cadence styles. I don’t mash a big gear anymore, but I don’t really spin, either. I can do both, but my comfort level seems to be somewhere between the two. Indeed, one colleague seemed to prefer spinning in a lower gear, while the other turned a heavier gear. I think I fit somewhere in between for the most part. I also need to work on my efficiency (which I expect is as much an experience thing as anything else). I lost a lot of momentum on rollers, either from finding myself in the wrong gear, or being a little tentative on the descent portion. From a fitness perspective, the extra work was hardly taxing, but from a performance level, riding with others really highlights one’s deficiencies. More to work on. Many of my rides have involved just riding, but some explicit concentration on specific aspects of technique might be worthwhile.

Happy weekend, all!

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