849m of elevation
I hadn’t been on the bike in two weeks. Had this been late in the season and had I already had lots of kilometres in, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. As it is relatively early in the season, there are causes for concern.
The cat spent half an hour trying to convince me to feed him early. Though I declined, he was persistent. That meant a half hour less sleep. After feeding him, I managed to get in 30 more minutes of sleep and dream a few cycling dreams.
I woke up with plenty of time to eat a little and get organized. This was definitely better than the morning scramble I usually do. I was also pretty efficient with my use of time. I checked my tires while the bread was toasting. I put on my sunscreen while the kettle was boiling. Like I said….a good use of time.
I arrived at the parking lot where we almost always meet. There were a lot of people, but surprisingly very few women had turned out. It was explained to me by Victor, who was riding a rather new Trek Madone (bike envy), that there was a women’s Eagle ride (the E-gals) starting from a separate place. The women sitting astride her bike beside me was totally unaware of it. I hope this is not an every week occurrence. I like the male female balance in the group rides.
We set off and took my least favourite of all the Eagles’ routes. I had to ride it four weeks in a row last year and it dampened my enthusiasm for riding last year. The thing is I don’t know why–but more on that later.
Shortly into our ride, we lost one of our members to a mechanical problem. His bike was rideable, but his shifters were rather loose, and since they also double as the breaks, he felt it wiser to get it looked after as soon as possible. All this happened while the group got separated by a long traffic light.
So, the ride. Despite being faster on many of the sections than I was last year(12 according to Strava), I just wasn’t into it and I am not sure why. It was the kind of ride that makes one question his or her commitment to cycling. The weather was awesome. I had on my UV sleeves so my arms weren’t encrusted with sunscreen and dirt. The group was good. I just don’t know. The scenery was quite beautiful, but it didn’t move me.
Here’s what I think.
I am tired. I worked far too much last week and I slept far too little. I wasn’t falling asleep tired, but I didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm to chase. When they lost me on the climb, I stayed lost. I climbed the hill, but without much gusto. I put a lot of effort into the downhills to catch up (with my size, I can really get the bike moving on a downhill), but by the end of the ride, I could cloze the gap, but I couldn’t eliminate it.
There is something about that route I don’t like. It has a lot of long climbs and lots of short climbs. I’ve just come to associate it with bad days on the bike. I also doubt that I ate very well this week. I wasn’t eating to win. I haven’t gained any weight, but I haven’t lost any either.
Training could be another factor. I know when I go twice a week, things are much better. If I could win the lottery, quit my job, and cycle full time, I could probably get up into that A group. I should also stop making excuses and get out twice or three times a week.
Those sound like possibilities, but I am more likely to put it down as “just not my day”. Strava disagrees on some points (12 personal records), but on the whole I think that is a fair description. On Strava, I titled it disinterested ride. I hope nobody gets the wrong idea.