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Ride report (Indoor ride 10)

I'm pretty much on track to crack 3,000 miles this year in total miles ridden.  So far, I've got 240 miles logged.  205 of those miles have come from riding inside.  Yesterday I added another 20 miles or so to the goal. To keep myself from completely losing my mind, I've been watching anime to pass the time.  Guin Saga is currently in queue.  Thank you Netflix!  I may want to cancel our subscription every other day, but it's those days when I'm spinning for two hours that I am so thankful.  Ha ha!

On nearly all of my indoor rides, I've been keeping my heart rate way down and right around my lower lactate threshold (128bpm).  Not an easy thing to do as it is maddeningly boring.  I have learned some interesting things about my body though.

  • If I sit up with a slouch and not hold onto the bars and keep pedaling, my heart rate will shoot up a good ten beats per second and stay there.
  • If I sit up and straighten out my back and raise my arms above my head, my heart rate plummets like I'm taking a break.  Eliza's pretty sure it is the affect of gravity pulling my blood down and making it easier for my heart to pump it where it is needed.
  • If I pedal at a very easy pace for longer than thirty minutes, my nether regions will go numb.  Crazy!  The tingly sensation is absolutely ridiculous!  However, if I up the effort I don't have this problem.  Weird huh?  This makes it quite difficult to balance a low heart rate and a numb feeling.
  • If I pedal at a very easy pace my hands will go numb.  I didn't quite expect this.  At harder efforts, the numbness goes away.  Again I didn't quite expect this.  It does make some sense though.  At harder efforts my legs are doing much more work to support the weight of my body and my arms are pulling and not just pushing against the bars.
  • I appear to have really poor breathing technique.  I take short but frequent breaths when I'm not paying attention.  When I force myself to take deep breaths my heart rate plummets.  I need to practice breathing deep and fast.

I can't wait for the weather and my schedule to start cooperating.  All this indoor riding is giving me cabin fever.  Sadly, I think I need several hundred more base miles to really get my body ready for faster riding this summer and fall.  The grind continues...

First outdoor ride of the year

This past Sunday I donned my gear and headed out into the cold to get some real miles on my bike and body.  All told I rode about 35 miles in temps that ranged from 32-37 degrees.  Conditions were great with only a little moisture on the ground and visibly no salt.  Also, the air while cold had some humidity in it.  Each breath instead of freezing your airways was rather pleasant really.  I felt slow though.  Not sure if it's the accumulation of fatigue in my muscles from the lifting and indoor cycling, or if I've just gotten slower.  I won't really know until my next outdoor ride though because my Garmin Edge 800 lost all my ride data.  Gah!  Supremely annoying when the gadgets don't work as advertised.  Ah well...

I did end up wearing a lot of clothes, but I think I've found a happy place for rides in the 30's.

Under Armor Cold gear compression shirt.
Novara full zip cold weather long sleeve jersey.
Pearl Izumi convertible barrier elite jacket.
Novara cycling head and ear band.
Cutter knickerbockers.
Sugio Firewall LT gloves under Seirus Neoprene gloves.
Smartwool cycling mini socks.
Lake CX140 shoes.

My feet were ok, but my toes were cold, so I'll probably need to wear thicker wool socks.

My hands were frozen when wearing just the Sugoi Firewall LT gloves in the first mile of the ride.  These gloves I'm thinking are fine for days in the mid to upper 40's, but definitely not when it's in the 30's.  Under the Seirus gloves, they were alright though not ideal as there was a good amount of bulk in the fingers and they no longer breathed.  IF, I ride more in the 30's and lower, I'm seriously considering getting some road bike pogies from  They are now available on too.  I saw a cyclist ride by with them while in Evanston and had a huge rush of envy.  Warm dry hands on a cold day...  Oh how magical it sounds!

I wasn't sure if the baggy knickers were going to keep me warm enough, but I never thought about them during the ride.  Doesn't get any better than that.

As for my upper body, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  What I wore worked and worked pretty well.  But I've lost a lot of weight and so my jacket doesn't fit well anymore.  I should probably replace it, but this three piece ensemble worked.  It wasn't too bulky mostly because the compression shirt does a great job at being a second skin.  Still, I think this setup could be improved with a Novara Headwind jacket in place of the cold weather jersey and the Pearl Izumi jacket...

We'll see.  Temps are going to dip back down again and bring the snow with it.  Hopefully I'll get to ride outside again in the next couple months, but it doesn't look like it.

Ride volumes

I've been doing some quick figures in my head, and I'm not riding enough on a weekly basis.  Initially I had wanted to ride my bike close to fourteen hours a week during this off season.  A hefty number, but one that I had thought I could handle.  Not to mention it would more than likely get me into a much leaner body shape and shoot my cardio system to the moon.  Right now, on average I'm only doing about five to six hours a week.  Not insignificant, but not nearly enough either.  Riding inside is just so boring...

I'm going to reread the book I purchased and re-evaluate my training plans.  I don't want to venture into high intensity intervals this early in the year, but maybe I will just to keep me from being so bored.

Ride report (Indoor ride 1)

Riding inside is such a chore.  It must be done however.  It's an excellent way to build up my base miles and get my cardio up to a higher level.  It will also account for a significant number of miles in my goal to 3000.  Yesterday, I logged my first ride of the year.  23 miles.  It was boring...  But, watching Thor to pass the time made it more bearable.  Tentatively, I plan on logging about 60 miles or so a week during the cold months ahead.  All of this indoor riding will definitely get me into shape for the hundred miles to nowhere...  I for sure am going to enter it this year.  :)

Night Vision

On Friday, Mike and I went for a ride on the North Branch trail.  Sadly, due to traffic, we didn't get rolling until about 5:30PM.  This would prove to be a problem.  On the way back it got so dark and foggy it was hard to see the asphalt.  Even with my bike light.  To make it even more interesting, I nearly ran over a raccoon.  I rolled right up to the darn thing.  I'm not sure who was more scared, the raccoon or me.  I also got the crap scared out of me by some kids that were hanging out by one of the bridges.  Out of the ether, all I heard was, "Hey bud, how's it going?"  Truly bizarre stuff.

So, I'm thinking of getting a new bike light.  Getting the crap scared out of me in the dark just wasn't any fun.