Monday, August 2, 2010

So good it hurts

It seems like it’s been a while since I went out on a serious ride.  I’ve been on many rides and logged some decent miles but most of my rides lately have been more social in nature.  Don’t get me wrong, I love these rides.  For me, riding along and chatting with friends is one of cycling’s biggest rewards.  But every now and then you just feel the urge to kick it and that’s what happened on Saturday.

There were 3 factors that lead to Saturday’s awesome ride.   First, there’s the afore mentioned need to kick it up a notch (BTW – I didn’t realize this until the ride started).  Next, I created a route that went over the Marshall Wall, which is a challenging ride,  because one of my good friends had never done that climb.  And finally, I had to work all day Sunday, which meant no riding, so I felt justified in putting in a harder effort on Saturday.

We all met at the appointed time and headed out.  As we were rolling along I was waiting for the pace to pick up.  It wasn’t happening.  Instead we were cruising along chatting and taking it easy.  This is when I decided I needed something a little more serious.  So, I simply went to the front and lifted the pace ever so slightly until we were in a nice pace line and the chatting had stopped.  Once we reached that point,  everyone kind of knew what was happening and our serious ride was on.

We rolled along at our nice pace, pushing the little hills and rollers, until we reach our real destination as we make the left hand turn onto the Wall.  Although I had been on the front quite a bit, I was feeling very strong Saturday so I decided to push myself on the climb.  I also decided that meant pushing bigger gears so I stayed in the middle ring all the way to the top.  I was quite proud of myself for pushing a 42 x 25 gear.  At least that’s what I thought at the time but more on this later.

After the Wall, we had one more significant climb, where once again I held the middle ring, and then rollers all the way back.  The pace was still lifted and I finally found myself wearing out just a bit after my long pulls in front and pushing big gears on the climbs.  On the drive home I was already starting to feel the efforts of 60 miles and over 3,600 feet of climbing.  Once I got home I discovered just how tired I was as I struggled to find the energy to get some yard work completed.

When I rolled out of bed on Sunday morning I created the title for this blog because every muscle in my body seemed to be sore.  My back was the tightest but the legs weren’t far behind.  It’s has been quite a while since a ride did that to me and it felt really good in a sick kind of way.  As I spent most of the day working at our company picnic, I definitely felt the efforts from the previous day and by the time I got home I could only collapse in my favorite chair and wait for dinner.

What about the gearing issue?  Well, on Sunday prior to heading to the picnic, I was goofing around in the garage and I saw the box for my new cassette.  I thought it was a 12x27 but it turns out that I bought a 12x25.  This means I was pushing a 42x23 all the way up the Wall.  Somehow, this made me feel prouder and tireder (I so enjoy creating new words) at the same time.

So there you have it!  A fabulous ride with good friends at an elevated pace.  Add to that the beauty of Sonoma and Marin counties and the accomplishment of pushing the biggest gear ever over the Wall and you can see why it was worth every aching muscle.  The soreness will go away but the memory of this ride will last quite a while.


2 Comment(s):

dan said...

nice! that is a tough gear!

Sarah said...

Nice work, Lee! 42x23 - sweet!!