Quick Summary for September 2011:
Mileage – 270km
Weight (end of month) – 88kg, a loss of 1kg.
My first full month back on the bike, and while I didn’t quite hit my mileage goal, I’m very satisfied that “small-ring September” was a success.
September was very much a ‘tale of two halves’. The first two weeks were spent (as per normal) at work. The 2nd half of the month was much more fun – holiday! It was school holidays, and so we packed up and headed to Burleigh Heads for the fortnight.
My cycling goal for the first couple of weeks was to cycle-commute 3/week. I only hit 2/week, but I wasn’t too concerned about that. The legs are feeling really good and strong, and the small-ring riding has been a great start for my fitness.
I had a ‘breakthrough’ ride in the second week. I left work, and my legs just felt invincible. I ‘held myself back’ on the flats, and on the uphills I didn’t fall away as I had been. I ended up getting home in 56min – a massive 10min quicker than my normal homeward commute time, plus I felt as fresh as normal. Finally the legs are starting to adapt, a great feeling!!
Fortunately, I was able to take my bike with me for our two weeks holiday on the Gold Coast. The plan was to fit in a couple of early morning rides each week. Staying at Burleigh Heads was ideal – lots of group rides start at the Burleigh surf lifesaving club carpark, with rides heading north to the Spit at Southport, or south to Coolangatta (& beyond).
For the first week, I did a solo ride up to Southport, plus a ride down to Coolangatta. For the Coolangatta ride, I was able to tack onto a local group for the homeward leg, which was fun – my first ‘group riding’ experience since my return to cycling!
Week 2 of the holiday, and I could only fit one ride in. I rode with the Gold Coast Masters club down to Coolangatta – I left them there and turned for home (they were heading on a 6-hour ride to Kingcliffe & the Gold Coast hinterland!!).
This ride was another great confidence builder. After a short hill (not many of them along the coast!), an older female fell off the back of the bunch. Myself and another guy sat up and waited to see if she was OK.
The guy said “we should wait and drag her back to the group – what do you reckon?”
“No worries” I replied.
The group had a fair lead on us, and we were riding into a headwind. I decided to ‘test the legs’, and did a long 10min pull on the front of our little trio to try and catch the group. I managed to hold 32-33km/h and a cadence of 82-85 – best of all, I didn’t ‘redline’ (although I was working pretty hard!). Very happy that my legs handled the effort, and I didn’t blow up or need a ‘recovery’ – great signs for the month ahead.
So all up, a very good September on the bike. Now – onto October. Time to up the volume again (aiming for 350km+), plus a bit of intensity. And if the legs keep improving, maybe a return to criterium racing in the last week or two…!!