Thursday, April 22, 2010

Biking - Another loaded training ride

Today started out sunny, mild, and calm, so I planned to get out for another ride with everything loaded on the bike. My original thought was a 22-mile loop that started out with an 8-mile climb, and total climbing of 1,600+ feet. But I just wasn't sure I had quite the legs yet for doing that with all the extra weight. So I settled instead on a 32-mile relatively flat (600+ feet) loop from Schenectady to Amsterdam and back along the Mohawk River. What I hadn't counted on was a northwesterly wind at 15-20 mph, gusting close to 30. And Amsterdam is due northwest of Schenectady. The climbing loop might have been a better choice.

The 16 miles to Amsterdam was like one long climb because of the headwind. I had trouble maintaining even 11-12 mph, and actually had to drop to my small front ring on a couple of the normally easy minor rollers on NY5S. The bike definitely catches a lot more wind with the bags hanging on it. And then, of course, there's also the gravity factor. That part of the ride was a character builder.

Crossing the river into Amsterdam and heading back southeast with a tailwind, I clicked into the big ring, sat up straight, and enjoyed the ride. I probably averaged 16-18 mph, and had a couple of stretches going well over 20 with little effort. It was like a totally different ride.

So of the three kinds of rides I need to be doing right now (short/hilly/loaded, long/flat/loaded, long/hilly/not loaded), today was of the 2nd variety. Eventually, I'll need to get to long/hilly/loaded, but that's for another month down the road.

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