First Seven Weeks

10 Dec

Hard to believe the first seven week block of training is already coming to a close. We’ve been fortunate to get outside most weekends, complimenting our two indoor sessions per week with moderately high volume and periodic episodes of high speed frenzy. Highlights have included the 13 mile tail wind stretch in early November; a Saturday hill sprint ride on the ‘cross bike (I’m still the Mayor of The Preserve), complete with knobby tires and low pressure; a pre-Turkey Day aggressor on which I took a 13 mile solo gambit over the final third of the ride; keeping Eva in check a couple weekends ago as we rode directly into a fierce headwind for the first half of our ride, and finally, another 3 hour road group ride on the unwieldy ‘cross bike.

The tailwind day featured a large group of nearly 35 riders, all of whom showed up expecting a social ride. Fitness levels ranged from regular participants to those nearly brand new to cycling. The task of shepherding the new riders fell to myself and Dr. Wilkes, who admirably remained back with the new folks while most others could not resist the temptation of the tailwind.

Eventually, five of us broke clear and held speeds near 35 mph for the 13 mile duration. Jim Creamer and Sally Yuska remained in the mix; Jim and I recorded max speeds of 43 mph.

A couple weekends ago Eva Cheung led a small group of us guys due west into the teeth of a fierce headwind, slicing her way through as if she were on a social ride. Cyclingprof, Dan Cole and UM-Man, Josh Ginsburg, kept the office cozy in the cool temps. Dr. Wilkes held court on the front when it became necessary to regin Eva’s brutal pace back in.

Several riders have made significant improvements during the indoor sessions. Leading the way is Michele Sheets, raising her average and max cadence comfort level from 80/95 to 95/150! Jilaine Stevens has also exhibited natural athleticism and quick adaptation to the rigors of indoor cycling. Melissa Winget and Ashley Koss have also quickened their cadence and raised their power.

Henry Kim and Ken Green keep the back row birds in check, throwing down the occasional spontaneous attack that even on trainers, we all must still respond to. Although more difficult to hear over the hum of trainer tires on flywheels and the constant 70s music backdrop (Sly And The Family Stone!), Henry and Ken have the keen ears to hear the subtle shift of gears (click, click) that we all tense to on the road.

B.I.T. regulars, Anthony Barr, Larry Stevens, Angelia Kniesly and Robin Barr, have all taken their turns on the front, including leading the core sessions when called upon. And lest we not forget time travelling-Gena, she of the 26-seconds-equals-a-minute time keeper. If not for Gena, we might still all be on our trainers.

It’s been a fun first Session and I’m looking forward to everyone’s improvement in the 20-minute TT this Thursday. We break for the holidays after Thursday and resume training on January 15. Be sure to maintain a routine during our month-long break. Eat well and enjoy your family and friends during this festive season.




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