Tonight called for a quick spin on the bike 12 miles according to the plan; I managed to get home early and so I unshackled the bike from the trainer and headed out onto the road for a nice 6 out 6 back. As cross training goes cycling is great as it uses almost the reverse muscle group than run, quads vs. hamstrings. This week is a run week; I am alternating long runs and long rides, my week ends with a rest day on Saturday and starts on a Sunday with a long something that way I won’t burn out too soon and so this is the the last ride of the week before the next week starts and I long ride on Sunday.
Anyway back to tonight’s ride, where I live is quite hilly and there is a nice just under 14 mile ride which has an almost 2 mile climb at roughly the halfway point, it’s a steady climb and you gain about 800’ it’s also a good benchmark ride, by that I mean it’s long and hilly enough that if you ride it you get a decent workout and you can also measure any improvement the more you ride it, last year I was polishing it off in an average of 1:03. Tonight I was feeling pretty good and I tackled the climb with a high cadence and some aggression trying to set the bar high enough that the next time would be a challenge, the first mile clicked by in 7:20 and pushed a little harder for the second section and got to the top in 6:07.
I stopped to grab some photos of the view and then pushed back off to enjoy the down, it’s been a while since I rode any serious downhills and this is so twisty and turny and is always busy with traffic that I was feathering the brakes to the very bottom; but I was pleased that both miles were sub 3:30 (2:15..phew that’s a bit quick and 3:27) well just sub 3:30 but I did max out at 35mph!
On the next little hill I am up on my hoods and just powering through when I hear a familiar twang, flutter-flutter-flutter, I didn’t even need to look down to know that I have broken a spoke; again! Bother or something close to it I thought! I back off and start the 4 miles at pottering speed to home, I’ve switched off at this point and I am just tooling along listening to my iPod, the flutter of the spoke and rubbing of the rim on the brake blocks as the wheel slowly becomes less and less true. I arrive back home and turn off my Garmin, as I do I catch sight of the time 59:36, 59:36 now there’s a surprise with the last 4 miles in neutral I managed to shave off 3-4 minutes from last years time…wow! And so there’s the challenge for next time!
Anyway so now I have to drop off my wheel and have it fixed at the not so local bike shop, (the LBS is not a dealer for the brand of wheels and they need special spokes) and hope that they can fix it in time for a Saturday afternoon pickup otherwise I’ll have to mix it up and long run this Sunday and ride next, it’s not really a drama more of an inconvenience, and so like the hill it’s just part of life’s ups and downs.