Sunday, 13 March, 2005

Bicycle Training Update

Debra and I went out for a 100 mile ride yesterday.  The wind was blowing 20 to 30 MPH from the south, so we headed south into Austin and then out of town to where the road ends, bucking the wind most of the way.  That was a very tough run.  We turned around at about 45 miles, did a couple loops on the Veloway, and headed home.  Having the wind at our backs was a welcome relief.

The problem with the route I choose, though, is that Austin sits in a kind of bowl.  Once we got into town, we had to climb out in order to get home.  Debra got to feeling pretty bad at about 70 miles, so we stopped for an extended break at a convenience store.  A little Gatorade, some stretching, and we were back on the bike.  We finished the ride at an average speed of 12.3 MPH, and total time of about 9.5 hours.  Not very fast, but the wind was brutal.

This morning we left the house at 8:00, planning to do 50 miles.  Wind was south at 6 MPH, so I figured we'd head north and west briefly, then south for the main part of the ride so we could finish with the wind to our backs.  A great plan except that the wind shifted (front coming through), and by the time we turned around to head home the wind was from the north northwest at 15 to 20 MPH.  Ouch.  We ended up doing 46.5 miles (didn't bother riding around the block a few times to make the 50) at an average speed of 13.2 MPH.  Again, not hugely fast, but pretty darned good for somebody who'd never done a long ride before last April.

Physically, Debra's ready for the big ride to south Texas that we have planned for next month.  There's no doubt in my mind that she can do the first day's 135 miles and get up to ride the second day.  Without wind, she'd be able to make all three days without too much trouble.  If the wind is like last year, though, we're both going to suffer the last day.

We have one more big ride before the event:  120 miles on Saturday the 26th.  If we can get up and ride 50 or more on the following day, I'll have no doubt about our ability to complete the full ride in April.