Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Back in the saddle

Monday night seems a long time ago. That was the last night I went riding on my bike. The other nights of the week I did some spinning on my indoor trainer, but it just isn't the same.

Last night was the Thursday evening Sunshine ride. It was nice to connect with the guys and do some actual riding for a change. Turns out the training might not move me forward, but it seems to help keep me from sliding back.

John and Billy started off kind of fast. It made me wonder if this could be a tough night for me. Besides, I had just put a new Specialized Toupe saddle on my bike. It replaces the stock one that came on the bike. The saddle was level and I thought I was ready to ride. Problem is the new saddle is so much thinner than my old one that I needed to move the seat post up to get proper positioning for my legs.

I rode with the saddle low all the way to the base of the Furman side of Paris Mountain. By that point, my legs were beginning to feel like they were going to explode! I stopped and told the guys to go ahead and that I would catch them on the other side.

It took longer than I hoped to get the saddle fixed and I wondered if I would be able to catch them. Stopping to fix the saddle gave me some time to recover, so at least I wasn't too tired. I pointed the bike up Altamont and gave chase.

About a third of the way up, I pass a group of cyclists on the side of the road. It appeared they had ridden to this point and were now loading their bikes up in a truck. I think I recognized at least one of them - Jonathan - I knew he was taking up cycling, but hadn't seen him out. I didn't stop to find out because I was needing to catch my group.

Finally, I rounded the final turn to face the wall. Wow, very close to me was Webb, a new rider Troy was just ahead of him, and there was Art riding with him. I almost caught the end of the group after spotting them at least a minute.

Art and Troy were too far ahead for me to catch, but Webb was close enough that I figured I could pass him. I moved up two rear rings, came out of my saddle, and pushed up the wall.

I've learned that it is the wall that gives you time. If you are willing to push it and suffer those last few yards, you can take at least 15 seconds off your total time. I was suffering this time! My legs wanted to stop and my HR hit 190, but I kept going.

About 20 feet from the KOM line, I passed Webb. Up ahead I saw John, Billy, and the rest of the crew. They were joined by two of my Facebook friends, Jimmy and Scott. I had been trying to connect with Jimmy for a couple of weeks, so it was nice to finally meet him in person.

13:53 - that was my time up. Not my best time, but at least I can now consistently stay below 14 minutes. Most importantly, I am able to recover so much better right now. Before, I would do a ride like that and just crash when I got home. Last night I felt like I could have done the ride again.

I'll be writing a bit more about my new saddle on my Greenville News blog. So far, I'm liking it.



At 10:38 AM, Blogger sandy said...

I was in the group that you passed about a third of the way up Altamont. In fact, the bike being loaded onto the car had a major mechanical failure at the top of Altamont. Luckily, no one was injured and one of our group riders was nice enough to go get his car to load up the bike. Thanks for not checking to see if a fellow biker was okay. In fact, Altamont has never been too difficult for us to ride.


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