Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Approaching Optimal Operating Temperature

What a gorgeous Tuesday! It was West Bend’s first 80-degree day since Sep. 19, 2013. Early in the afternoon I did a 46-mile, out-and-back Eisenbahn State Trail ride on my cyclocross bike, evaluating its readiness for Sunday’s Gravel Metric. The bike performed well and I felt pretty good too. Look at the consistency of my effort over the entire distance:

Split 1: My house to Campbellsport
Split 2: Campbellsport to Eden
Split 3: Eden to Campbellsport
Split 4: Campbellsport to my house

An average moving speed of 16.4 mph isn’t too shabby over 46 miles of a mostly gravel surface. I want to ride well at the Gravel Metric and today’s training ride was a good confidence booster.

Later I joined several of my Team Pedal Moraine teammates at New Fane for mountain bike time trials. Our two fastest racers were there and my times didn’t compare favorably to theirs, but I am showing improvement. On May 3—my first time on singletrack since my crash in Lake Geneva last September—I turned in laps of 31:30 and 31:50. On Sunday I cut my lap times down to 28:17 and 28:16. Today I completed my first lap in 26:59. I did a second lap just because all of the other guys were doing a second lap, but I was pretty well cooked. I completed Lap 2 in 28:37, a nice surprise. I could tell I was going slower and I thought my time would be much worse.

I still have work to do—I always will—but there’s measurable progress and that’s good motivation. With very favorable weather in the forecast for the remainder of the week, I’m looking forward to more hard efforts on the bike.

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