Thursday, March 4, 2010

Long Layoff

It has been a long time since I was able to do a serious bike ride. I have only been on the roads once in 2010, and that was a short ride.

This is due to a combination of a month-long vacation out of the country, seasonal illness, a baby to care for, and the regular winter rains. One or more of these factors have made weekend riding impossible.

This has actually served as an experiment in conditioning. I had tapered down my riding at the end of last year, and did no riding in January of this year. When I tried riding my bicycle trainer in my garage in mid-February, I noticed the difference. I was struggling to keep up while keeping a pace lower than what I usually do.

Since then, I have ridden the trainer three more times and rode my usual short training route on a sunny weekend. Now I feel myself recovering my fitness level. Winter will be over soon enough, and I need to set some goals for this year.

I had entertained thoughts of attempting a double century again. I did not do one in 2009. However, I am starting at a lower fitness level and I know I will still have limited time to train. It is clear that I am unlikely to be able to get myself strong enough to do a double century.

Centuries should still be within my grasp. On any single day in 2009, my fitness level was such that I could have ridden a century with minimal preparation. I am not at that level now. If I can find just a little time to ride on weekends, with occasional long rides, I should get strong enough to do several centuries in 2010.

I received a flyer in the mail notifying me that this year's Mt. Hamilton Challenge is April 24. It is probably my favorite century, and I have done it each of the past two years. I really want to do it again. It is about one and a half months away, so it will be a challenge to get into shape for it. I probably will not reigister for it until I improve my conditioning over the next few weeks.

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