Yesterday I did two things that I was proud of. First, I kept my cadence above 90 (94, actually) for my whole ride (1:30:00). I’ve been regularly riding intervals at the house for the last couple of weeks, and I can tell my legs are definitely improving. I’ve tried to focus on really maintaining a regular cadence above 105 during the interval, and when I first started, I was struggling with recovery afterward. It was hard to drop down after a tough interval and keep pedaling. The temptation is to rest, coast, stop pedaling and “give it a minute”, but the more I concentrated on continuing with my stroke after the interval, the more progress I seemed to make. Now, over the last couple of days of riding on the rollers, I’ve pretty much blasted through them and this week I think I’m going to extend the faster, harder interval time. I’ve started off riding – 10 min. (warmup)/1 min. (105+)/ 3 min. (recovery)/ repeat. I’ll jump to 2 minutes at 105+ then recover for 3 minutes.
The second accomplishment, and the one I’m most proud of is one that might not sound like a whole lot. For the whole ride yesterday I stayed in the drops. I know, I know, what’s the big deal, right? Well, for me, it’s actually pretty hard to maintain that discipline. If you haven’t noticed, I’m kinda older, and on my previous bike, the Trek Alpha, spending any amount of time in those drops was a recipe for lower back pain. The geometry of that bike was just way too aggressive to facilitate that riding posture. The head tube on that older bike was about 4 and a half inches, and lowering your riding position on that bike meant you were basically folded in half. Not to mention even remotely standing up and sprinting in that position was the textbook definition of “squirrelly”. The other downside to that aggressive, older, aluminum frame was the need to constantly move your hands around. It’s basically like riding a tuning fork for 2 hours and the “buzz” alone is enough to make your hands go numb pretty damn quickly.
The Cervelo, with its more upright geometry, significantly longer headtube, and… ahem… carbon fiber frame, just makes that whole proposition much more palatable. I was able to stay lowered, with my head down, pushing a 94+ cadence for an hour and a half. My hands felt great. No numbness, no tingling, and my back felt terrific.
Trust me when I tell you, THIS is why you get a bicycle. I’m pretty sure that’s the closest you’ll come to flying without having wings sewn onto your back.
I think maybe this week I’ll try and videotape a session on the rollers, too. Might be fun to upload a video of a ride. Stay tuned.