Well, I haven’t been riding as much as I’d like lately and, due to some drive train issues on the SS, on the rides I have done, I’ve ridden the full suspension bike. This means that not only has my fitness suffered, but my skills on the rigid SS also suffered.
Well, thinking I had the issues on the SS all worked out, I decided to take it out and give it a go. I was supposed to meet a couple of my friends out at Lake Chabot to do the loop, but it didn’t work out so I ended up riding by myself. Which actually turned out to be a good thing as you’ll see later…
After being off the bike for a while, riding the SS for the first time was definitely different. And of course by different I mean HARD….. The climb up behind the golf course pretty nearly killed me. And it wasn’t just my legs. With the single speed you’re standing the entire time and as a result, my arms and shoulders were getting tired too.
The first benefit of riding alone is that the pace you choose is dependent solely on how you feel and has nothing to do with trying to keep up or stay with a group. Last night, that meant that I could take my time where I wanted and make time where I felt stronger. It also meant I didn’t stop at any of our usual rest points.
I didn’t have a watch but noted my start time and was hoping I’d be back in around 1:45. (my best time for this loop is a little under 1:30) I thought I was actually doing pretty well and was trying to make up as much time on the downhill and flats as I could knowing I was slow on the climbs.
Of course, having ridden the suspension bike mostly, my form was less smooth and more about point and shoot….plus I was tired….which meant that when I hit the bottom of one steep downhill I wasn’t back far enough, my arms weren’t relaxed enough and I hit it pretty firm (ok, hard)….which of course led to a nice loud bang from the front pinch flat…which of course led to a nice over the bars dismount….which of course led to a nice loud uuummmpphhh as I landed on my back…..
Luckily, even at my fastest, I’m pretty slow. So although the dismount probably would have rated at least a 9.5 scoring from the judges, I wasn’t hurt and popped back up like it never happened. (just in case anyone was around)
This is the other benefit to riding alone….no witnesses…no scars…..never happened…
After dusting myself off and getting off the side of the trail, changing my tube, pumping it back up (note to self – the little POS pump sucks, buy new pump) and getting on my way, I made it back to the truck in 1:48 which I thought was pretty darned good considering…..
Today although the back is a little stiff from the dismount, what really amazes me is how tired my legs are. I was actually tempted to work from downstairs just so I didn't have to climb the 16 steps to the second floor..... maybe I should trying riding a little more often so it doesn't feel like I'm always starting over....