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Woohoo, I did it! I completed the ride with the A, B and C grade riders today without taking any short cuts.
It took me 11 attempts. When I first started I aimed for 9 or 10 attempts.
Usually when I got dropped it was because my legs simply gave up. I'd try but I had no energy left to push harder and the pack would sail past. Today there was none of that. We even had a lot of red lights which make the ride hard because the lead riders have a rest then take off at warp 8.
My tactic in all these group rides has always been to try to stay in the front third. This allows for being slow to clip in at a green light and to not get dropped on that hill. I also try to find a larger rider to draft.
Now why did I complete it today?
Was it the fact we had a long weekend last weekend and I rode an extra 130km including an 82km ride? I did have slightly sore/stiff legs and did absolutely no exercise for 2 days until todays ride. Was that extra weekend effort enough to just put me up to a new level?
Was it the fact there was a two day event on the table lands over the weekend and these guys, who probably competed, were just taking it easy?
Was it the first use of GU energy gel?
I'd like to think it was. That'd be an easy way to gain such a big benefit.
The calories for this ride were actually the lowest of any of the 11 rides I've done but I'd put that down to the fact I was in the pack the entire time drafting and not out by myself for a third of the ride like I usually am.
My thoughts :
I do feel the pack was going a little slower but it may have only been an illusion because I was riding so well. I still had to hit 36km/h up that little hill (I call it little now I'm one of the elite riders ) and 51.4km/h somewhere on the course.
I doubt they were taking it easy because I was on the bike just as many hours as they were and although not going as hard, it was a big effort for me plus they had the Tuesday ride to 'take it easy'.
Todays average speed was 33.6km/h (for 30km of the 35km) which was faster than I've done it before. The problem judging if they were going slow is that I've always taken short cuts so even today I only got details for the first 30km to add to my spreadsheet for comparison to the other rides. The ride is actually 34 or 35 km and that last 4 or 5km was up to 48km/h. Even at that speed I went from 7th to about 7th last out of 30. I was riding at 48km/h and the were pasting me, turds!
I reckon it was the 82km weekend ride giving me a little more stamina and the GU giving me the extra energy when I normally run out. I felt good the entire ride and was looking forward to the final sprint and didn't feel buggered even when hitting 48km/h towards the end. Well maybe a little when hitting 48km/h but not as bad as when I used to get dropped at 40km/h.
I'll have to start my spreadsheet of results again with the details for the entire 35km ride. No wait . . . I'll see if I can go with them again before I do that.
Anyway, after today's effort I'm feeling confident for the next two races. A criterium and a road race.
I'm in third place overall in D grade with the current first place already gone up to C grade so he's out of the picture and the current second place contemplating going to C grade. I wouldn't mind if he stayed, he's only 7 points ahead and about my age, weight and fitness level. The big threat is the current 4th place (2 points behind me) who is an ex C grader, only raced two thirds of the races this season and doing very well winning the last couple of races. I missed a race due to a flat battery, looks like that could be the difference between an overall place or two at the end of the season.
The next rider is over 20 points behind so if the current second place stays, I'm looking at a third place at worst in my first season assuming no injuries. Can't complain about that, unless there were only 3 riders in D grade.
Well done Tuco !!
Must be something in the air this morning, as on my morning ride (a bit nipply) I almost averaged 31km/hr and at some stages was keeping over 38km/hr on the flats. The traffic lights buggered up the average, but I felt very good.
The time for the 29km today was 56m 57sec, and back in March it was 62min for the same route.
I'd be proud of your efforts Tuco, just as I am proud of mine
Two kilometres stones in 4 days.
Hopefully I can make it 3 in a week and win a race with more than 2 riders in it
Bloody traffic lights.
My bike computer stops when the bike is stopped so my average is accurate.
You've got to love averaging over 30! Now your next step is 35km/h
So does mine, but it still drags the average down - deccelerate and re-acclerate back to speed, plus a few seconds for the puter to start & stop.
For me it is more of a rythym that gets disrupted.
Tuco, another milestone. You'll be in C grade in the not too distant future.
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Well done Tuco, I think that the extra km's the last week had alot to do with it.
I rode two longer rides a few days ago (55km and 77km) and last night I did my best average speed on my training distance (36kms) of 31.7km/h. I did not feel like I was going so fast. Missing a bit of low down juice (still recovering from the long rides) however still pulled my best time over this short distance.
So I reckon those extra long rides are probably a big contributing factor. I wouldn't overdoo the long one's though. I reckon you could burn yourself if you do more than one or two a week. Especially if you don't allow enough time to recover.
Whoa! settle down, one or two 82km rides in a week? I've done one in a life time! I'm 44 and need twice as long to recover than when I was 24.
Seriously though, we'd be looking at one every two to three weeks if we're lucky. It has to be on non race Sundays and when we can rustle up at least 5 or 6 riders to make it easier.
It's official, I'm not as good as I thought I was. I couldn't keep up with the fast guys today. Last week must have just been a slower ride.
Today was over 40 and I dropped just off the back but got up to the front at a red light. I got to the base of the hill up the front, turned the corner and bugger me if we didn't have a red light so there was no fast attack of the hill.
I got dropped off over the other side of the hill but kept going without a short cut then a few kms later a short cut group caught me and the 5 of us caught the group.
We were cruising at about 38-39 and it was easy then the dreaded red light. These guys see red lights as a challenge and go even faster after one. They took off and were at 43 and I had to go up to 48 to catch up and that buggered my legs. I had to drop off a few kms later. If there were no red lights I reckon I could keep going or maybe if I hadn't of been the one leading the catch up then I may have kept up.
I eventually caught a group of 5 stragglers and we cruised at low 30s for the rest of the ride.
Still a good ride at 32.3 km/h ave for 30 km with about a third out on my own. I suppose I can look at it as good time trial practice
Oh well, the glory was there but short lived. At least you did it once, and that is a start.
Did a solo 39.6km ride with an average of 31.36km/hr and with a minor tailwing managed a short sprint peaking at 52.35km/hr
Did a bit of the ride with a fair h/wind, but managed 40km/hr for some of the sections with a tailwind. Buggered afterward but pleased
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