Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hill training; life's ups and downs...

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.

The San Fernando Valley

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!

Did somebody order twisty and turny 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.


  1. Sounds like expensive Drama, albeit good training.

  2. Sounds like a great ride broken spoke and all!

    Have a great weekend

  3. Sorry about the spoke. My parents live riiiiiiiiight there in Woodland Hills...

    (I'm an El Camino grad, myself!)

  4. i'm glad you made it home with the broken bicycle!!!! good to know that's possible. i just read about your contest results. nice work organizing that!

  5. That sucks Stuart...maybe this is a sign that you need to go trail running this Sunday w/ us??


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