19 Aug. 2013: “Your speed is: 07 (but only if your effort is good enough)”

It’s time to get to work. Yeah…again but I would see just how far of a ride that next town over would be. Hygiene, Colorado is a stop for a lot of cyclists having a brief rest. If you arrive at the intersection on a weekend, you will see a pile of bikes by lunchtime Saturday or Sunday, and people, some oddly, walking around on their hard-soled cleated shoes. The views over there are really good. I rode that same path again. First the gravel loop and then I broke away to Hygiene. I reached the intersection and went south just a little bit to see if what I saw last fall was still there. I think there is an old small English car hidden away in an open barn and possibly visible from the road if the area vegetation isn’t too much in the way. I had to see but no dice for me that day. I went up the road to the north of the intersection about a mile then turned around and rode back home. My phone app (Strava) displayed the whole route. 11.8 miles and it took me an hour on a 30 pound fat tired full suspension mountain bike. There were also other little things I discovered about this app. There are some segments of the route people have designated as, well, as a timed section. Something you can see your performance on and compare it to anyone else with the same app. If I paid some money to this software I could see where I stand against other nearly 40 year olds in the area. I might have to do that.

The difference between a mountain bike and a road bike on identical sections of road is shatteringly depressive. As a demonstration, I passed one of those ‘your speed is’ radar signs. I found out that it will not register a speed unless you are going 7mph. 6? Oh your’re not worth a street signs time! 7 is just fine so it will display your slowness. 07 it said. Then It said 12 and a cyclist on a carbon Cervelo went past. Grey hair, slow cadence, 100% faster and he was not trying. I was learning how far I had to go if I wanted to keep up with even a slow group of riders. I also really had to find a decent road bike at this point. I did a third ride on my K2 six days later and it took about the same time but I felt a lot better. I had been at work for another week and ate properly and got in my exercise in varying hotel fitness rooms. The leg work is really going right and I’m finding out the right cardio.

Where I stand in the Chainring: Determined but pragmatic. I knew I wouldn’t have instant success yet especially in a county that breeds Olympic athletes, but things are falling into place with the exercise in hotels making a difference on the bike when I get home, even if minor it’s progress.

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