Monday, April 01, 2013

Early Season Form

This past Easter long weekend I managed to get two road rides in the books before the end of March. A good start to the 2013 cycling season and a chance to gauge my early season form. On Good Friday I opted to do the usual club route solo to test the legs and recon out the roads to see how they weathered the winter. Both were good; the pavement in decent condition once you got past the initial climb out of Bedford and the legs surprisingly strong after little attention this past winter. I guess my cycle commuting, ball hockey and intermittent fasting regimen kept me in better shape than I anticipated?

Having completed my 2013 club registration online with Atlantic Chip Friday night I decided to join in an early season Saturday morning club ride the following day.After my solo 70km windy ride the day before I figured I would need a slower recovery effort so decided to "double up" and make it a fasted training ride as well.

The club will not mass start the rides but rather will send off smaller groups based upon experience and ability. We start with the fastest cyclists(usually the racers) followed by experienced club riders and then the slower groups of new or non competitive riders. The last couple years there has been a decided reluctance of  some of the faster cyclists to depart with the lead group. I can only surmise has to do with the formation of "cliques" or pre arranged packs before the club ride starts. As a result I have often found myself  leaving the start in a faster group than I had planned or wanted. This Saturday was no exception as only two cyclists left in the lead group so I opted to join in hoping my presence might "pull" out a couple other fellas. No such luck despite both SR and KB ensuring the pace would be moderate.

I had no illusions that my previous day`s ride and my fasted state would mean I could hang with my two companions even if they took it easy. Both KB and SR are strong cyclists even if it was the early season. To my utter surprise the legs felt really good and the ride out to Fall River wasn't too bad. Joined by three other riders in Fall River we headed out to Laurie Park. Legs continued to feel good but I figured it would just be a matter of time before I would get dropped on the return trip to Bedford.

The return group began with six but the pace quickened and before long we were down to four riders as we reached Waverley. On Rocky Lake road I began to feel the effort but was able to hang with the group until we hit the deceptive little climb by Powdermill Lake. I was the lead rider heading into the climb and soon was off the back with SR but we were able to rejoin KB and AJ who, I suspect, sat up and waited. My day ended at the problematic train tracks on Rocky Lake where I always sit up and cross the railway tracks with caution. Crashed twice on them in the past so I treat them with the upmost respect even if it means I lose touch with the group. A spin back to Bedford and home to Halifax gave me another 70 km ride on back to back days.

My cycle computer was not functioning but I suspect we averaged about 31kph for the ride which for me was definitely surprising considering it was my first club ride since the fall of 2012, I had done a tough solo ride Friday and was in a fasted state. Am I in better early season form than I anticipated or maybe it was just a fluke? Regardless it was an encouraging sign and has definitely piqued my interest on regaining the form I had shown back in the summer of 2011. It was a well deserved recovery drink once home......


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