Friday, October 19, 2007

Mix'n it up a bit.

Well, I have been on the road bike all week (thank you, thank you very much! First full week of bike commuting in awhile) and today I thought I woul d mix it up a bit. So, with a desire to do something funky and different I decided I would ride the recumbent today. I haven't been on the old beast since the 600k back in April and found I had a lot of things that needed to be put back together but I managed to find the back wheel and the cargo seat bag. Eventually I had everything ready (amazing how simple it is to commute with your everyday commuter and then when you switch to another bike how it is like preparing to go on an expedition when you start collecting the patch kits, pumps and various "just in case" items).
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the legs felt really good considering I hadn't ridden this thing for 6 or 7 months. Average speed was about what I had been doing lately on the roadbike. As I proceeded into the commute my mind wandered into brevets past and I started to think of ways I might be able to sneak one in after my Marathon in February. Perhaps a 400k would be possible? Hmmm, I would prefer the 300k if I had to do one with little or no training but 2 weeks after a marathon might be a bit of a tall order. Thanks to the recumbent, training my posterior to handle 14-16 hours in the saddle was not that big a deal. If I could keep the cadence high and the pedalling easy it just might be possible considering I have been doing the series the last few years and endurance tends to linger for awhile, plus it wasn't as if I wasn't doing anything aerobic between now and then (riding the bike 5 days a week, swimming and running) Hmmm. I guess I could always dnf if it got too bad. Then the brevet demons started to circle around me head (c'mon Paul.... you know you want to do it..... do it Paul......ride the brevet Paul......your are a randonneur..... you must ride...... it is your destiny).
So, by the time I had arrived at work I figured that what I had thought would be a no brevet season had turned into a maybe just 1 brevet season. The cool side too is that if I go into the ride with a mindset of taking it easy it will be a just for fun ride and I will be able to socialize a lot more with all my Randonneuring friends (who I kind of feel like I ditzed by not planning on doing the full season this year and branching out into triathlons).
Then heading south a guy on a nice looking trek passes me and does not acknowledge my good morning. Well, buddy, if you pass me and don't acknowledge a good morning that gauntlet is thrown! Although this was a rest day I figured I was going to play a limited game of taunt the roadie. The rules of the game are, if you are passed by someone who looks like they might be taking themselves a little too seriously and might be trying to show the recumbent who is boss, then it is your duty to catch up to them slowly and pretend you want to pass to make them ride faster and eventually blow up. So, I followed him about 50 feet back for 3 miles or so and after the 3rd light I knew I would be turning right soon so I figured I would find out if he really was being snobbish or not so I thought I would give him one more chance and I caught him and pulled alongside. "Nice morning for riding huh?" I said. After a few seconds he replied in a breathy voice, "Yeah, (gasp).. just perfect". So I don't think he was snobby, but perhaps he was playing a bit of the dog and rabbit game. Truth be told, he did have me on the upper end of my rest pace and perhaps, just perhaps, on a rise or two I strayed above it a bit (oh, and I should mention that there was a stiff headwind which he had to fight more than me, but that has nothing to do with my catching him, no not a bit :) ).
I took it easy the rest of the way down Chandler into work and got there just after nine. Yup, it had been a slightly chilly but perfect morning for riding.
Brevet, hmmmm, 300k? It is my favorite distance and doesn't require too much night riding (discovered on the 400k last year the medications I am on and extreme late night riding don't mix. At least solo late night riding anyway). Maybe I'll do it.


Vik said...

Hey Paul - there is a nice 200K in Utah on 1 Dec this year. If I lived a little closer I do it. Might be worth checking out.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hi Paul,

Nice post--ride hard, mon ami.



ps Susan P is going up to Utah for that 200 vik is talking about. Maybe you could get a ride...