Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back in the saddle...

As mentioned on Thursday, this week I have been focusing on putting in some quality time on my bike mostly on the trainer in the garage which, as anyone who has a trainer will know, has a finite level of interest, currently about 20 miles or so, I have also concentrating on stretching and foam rolling my ITB.

I had planned to shoot for a 100 mile week on the bike and by this weekend it was well within reach:

Sunday; 17.02
Monday; Rest, I had a late night airport pick up at LAX
Tuesday; 18.01
Wednesday; 20.14
Thursday; 18.10
Friday; Rest

Total; 65.17

Saturday morning had an early start, the alarm went off at 5:15 and I was out the door by 6:00am. On the way down the hill from my house I realized that I was somewhat underdressed, I was rather glad that I had added a pair of running tights, albeit at the last moment to my pile of clothes that I had sorted out the night before. It was here that I stared at the pool of light thrown by my bike’s light and my headtorch and started to dread any form of downhill. Fortunately the first 3 miles were on the flat followed a short two mile climb, this helped to get the blood flowing, unfortunately this was followed by a short descent and then a longer one over 15 miles mostly in the dark and mostly with me gritting my teeth against the cold interspersed with me screaming in an attempt to distract my mind from my steady loss of feeling in my fingers and toes. After an hour of this daylight arrived, the sun was still behind the mountain ridge and there was little warmth in the air. I made my way west towards Malibu and the Pacific Coast Highway heading towards the last major pre-dawn downhill with gritted teeth and some yelling, this drew an odd look from a couple of early surfers who where getting into their wetsuits, I was on the flat and finally warming up from some pedaling action. The sun made an appearance from behind the mountains and I could see it glint of the spray as the waves crashed onto the sandy shoreline.

The return leg of this section goes through Topanga Canyon, this is a long climb from sea level to the summit at just under 1500’ over the course of 15 miles, I thought I was making good timing and managed to push up the steepest section of the climb at a fair pace averaging around 7-8mph. I rode through Topanga Village and settled into a nice comfortable pace with a pretty good cadence, around 85rpm, then I got “chicked” I did not hear her behind me, she rode past, nodded and disappeared off around the next bend, I never saw her again yet alone caught up with her! I consoled myself by saying I was a runner anyway, but even so.

I finished the climb and dropped into the San Fernando Valley, to be honest I dislike downhills like this it's too fast and very twisty, it’s not helped by drivers who are determined to draft off of me even though I am in the little lane off to the side of the road, but I managed to get down in a fashion. I had one eye on the time and had said I would be back around 9.30 this left me 40 minutes. I had covered about 35 miles and I knew the route back would add another 5, I then thought I could push for 50 miles, this would be the longest ride since I rode the London to Brighton charity ride in 1998. A little kink on my route added a few extra miles and I rode past my turning focusing on a small loop that I run occasionally which I knew would be around 8 miles. I was against the clock now and was counting backwards on the mileage, I completed the loop and was on the home stretch which was a half mile along the main road and then a short climb back to my house. I arrived back at my house at 9:45am, fashionably late, with 47.52 miles on my Garmin, not quite the 50 miles, another 10 minutes would have done it but that leaves me wanting more.

So my final Garmin stats for the week:

I have no idea how this fares compared to cyclist or a triathlete, but for me, well, I am very pleased. My knee is sore, but a good sore, like I worked it hard not it’s injured so some ice etc will take care of that. One more week and then I'll strap on my running shoes and see how my ITB fares. It's another five weeks to Leona Divide

Here is the Motion Based data:


  1. Very nice week, those are some solid miles!

    Plus your numbers look pretty solid. Hopefully the chick that passed you was good looking. That usually makes up for it. ;)

  2. i am really really proud of you for taking the time off you need!! you are a brilliant athlete!!!!! :) that's hard to do!

  3. That's FANTASTIC!! NICE work.

  4. Why us?...right!! ITB SUCKS!!!!!

    Now that I have gotten that out of the way I am trying to move on. I do not want to be part of this club anymore. Hope that does not upset you :) .... LOL!!

    Me and my bike... it is not running but we will live for another day.


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