“Big Bike” Recovery Ride – Take 2 (Monday – February 18, 2013)

Yesterday we went hiking in Tilden. From Little Farm up the north side to Wildcat Peak. nice and cool, with the wonderful layered views eastward from the top. I stomped it on the uphill and Ben lagged a bit behind with his heavy pack. Downhill, we went off through munchkinland on Laurel Trail, crossing the little bridges and streams. Ben was way out ahead, as I tensed up and started taking little bitty baby steps every time we hit a slope with a gradient steeper than about 5 percent.

But that was yesterday and today it was all about the bike again. Starting out it was chilly, a bit windy and I was happy to have donned the extra layer of nylon jacket before leaving the house. Tailwinds on Key Route gave a false sense of power. Ben pegged it right, that we’d later be bucking against a headwind out on Dam Road.

Sure enough, those headwinds combined with a bit of muscle fatigue from Saturday’s cycling and Sunday’s hiking efforts made for slow going. Legs felt a bit dead, also with a small pinging in the side of my right quad. But I realize this is just my muscles re-aquainting themselves with good work. I’ve got some goals on the horizon, with the Alta Alpina (June 29) and the Grizzly Century (October 5) to get ready for…. as well as some hiking in Switzerland late August – early September.

Baby steps, baby steps. OK first i need to find that Registration card for the Cinderella (April 6)!

Meanwhile, all of my times on San Pablo Dam Road and up Wildcat were below what they were on Saturday. Rather than a low of 6mph heading up Wildcat, i actually saw my cyclometer dip as low as 4.3 mph for a second in the last straightaway approaching the final curve at El Toyonal.

But i’ve seen that before and got through it, so i’m confident if i work hard like i did last year and the previous year, i’ll be seeing some improvement quickly. In the past when i’ve dealt with injury, there’s a time when i think i won’t ever get back. What i’m realizing this time around is that although i’m slowing down in general, these temporary injuries are just that, temporary setbacks. I went from being at possibly my best fitness in 25 years to not riding at all. And it’s time to get my mind on it again.

Close calls: As I reached the intersection of Wildcat/Grizzly Peak to Spruce, I see the Berkeley WM Garbage truck up on Grizzly Peak Blvd heading out toward Spruce, but still well up to the next intersection.  I cross and start my descent, calling out to Ben that i’m here.  We’re heading down Spruce at a good clip and just as we are in the curve at Vassar, the garbage truck is roaring past us on the left (even with uphill traffic coming the opposite direction!).  Idiotic and dangerous!  Then the garbage truck cuts back into the lane in front of us putting the brakes on and keeps up that type of road-block action until Michigan.  Totally unnecessary, as both Ben and I were pretty much going fast enough, around the speed limit.  Pretty disconcerting!

Meanwhile, i made that appointment for a bike-fit with Dr. Jess at Innersport. Yeah, my neck always hurts, but danged it it doesn’t make me happy to be on the Serotta again!

Today’s stats:

24.26 miles (cuz i reset the cyclometer when we left the house, not several blocks afterward)
11.7 mph avg.
26.3 mph max.
2:04:02 total riding time.

Ben’s stats: Much Faster!! (i guess HE’s BACK, too!!)

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