Thursday, March 19, 2009

Solvang Century Recap

I’ve had a couple of days at home to relax and recover from the Solvang ride, which by the way, was a lot of fun. Not only was it fun riding, but it was fun sharing the ride through blog posts, facebook and twitter. You can see a few pictures from the weekend in Solvang on the sidebar. I look forward to continue sharing not only rides but my progress in terms of training and weight loss.

Solvang was a really nice example of how focused training can improve performance. In the weeks since the Tour de Palm Springs, I decided that I needed to work on a) Climbing hills and b) Spinning. In a way the first goal is easy because the only way to get better at climbing hills is by climbing a lot of hills. But the spinning part, that one requires patience. Most of us want to get on a bike and turn a big gear and “feel the burn” and go fast that way. But for extended efforts I’ve come to believe that it’s better to perhaps turn a smaller gear, but do so at a faster cadence. It fatigues the muscles less and getting good at it means you don’t loose speed, and in fact, you can gain some.

Although I'm still working on these skills, things wen't well last weekend. The first 23 miles were pretty fast. I attacked on short hills and was patient on longer/steeper hills. The last couple of miles before the SAG station around mile 23 there was a lot of headwind. The loop around the city of Lompoc was slower, in part because of traffic and lights. Once we got back on highway 246 things got a bit challenging. Most of that ride are long climbs, nothing too high or too steep, but climbing nonetheless. Although the downhills are nice and long as well, I had to fight getting too discouraged. There were some section where I was going much slower than I wanted to. On the last climb into Solvang I caught up with Molly, (she skipped the Lompoc Loop), and we headed into the finish line together. It was a lot of fun.

Up next... Rosarito-Ensenada Fun Ride.

Here is a map of the Solvang ride...

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