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Hills, heat, haze, Ohio valley in summer

Posted Aug 23 2008 11:50pm
A couple of people have told me lately that I've been bitten by the cycling bug. They are correct. Two or three have said they are proud of me for sticking with it and confessed they didn't think I would have.



I took smoking cigarettes and replaced that activity with another. First was walking and then trying to run. Second was cycling. The walking/running slowly faded as my enjoyment with cycling increased.



I love to ride. It's hard stuff. I said in my last post that I need more rural rides with hills. I rode a club ride last night that was fantastic and a couple of hills were very hard. I arrived at the ride start about 45 minutes early. It was in Southern Indiana and I was unsure of the total time it would take me to get there from work at the end of the work day. The temps were in the low 90s and had an air quality alert. This was the first time I did this ride and began to worry about the heat and such. What I found out is that 85% of the ride was in the shade and the temps dropped by at least 10 degrees in the shade and more at the bottom of the valleys. I managed to bugger my other knee, not as badly as I was on the left one, but got some nice road rash.



Riding these hills are hard for me. But I don't want it to be easy. I want and need a challenge right now. I've set goals of averaging 100 miles a week on the bike. Now I'm thinking that needs to double next spring. But I have to figure out how to do that and still get my work done and not upset my husband even more by not being at home much.



Dixie rode with me last night. She's close to my age, single, and is from Illinois. She raced quite a lot until last summer. She has been coaching me, giving me tips and helping me on the hills. I mentioned to the ride captains last night that I suck at hills and Dixie said, "I'm gonna kick your butt! You are doing great, but need to be positive about yourself." I am working on the positive while trying to maintain my realism. I told her that I won't quit and I won't.



Rode Monday and Wednesday. Had long work day on Tuesday and I didn't get home until 11 pm. Temps were 95F today and not so good air quality. Thought I'd ride tonight, but this ride would not be shaded and cool like last night. I'm not sure my asthma would do well on a day like today. I'll do an easy ride tomorrow. Then 50 on Saturday morning. I think I'll limit my urban rides to 2 a week max. Too many traffic lights. One fellow cyclist said that those rides are when I need to do my sprint workouts - race to the next light when the current one turns green. Sounds like a plan!



I want to do a century in September. I need to get more miles. I want to race in the spring, so I hope I'll have enough base and time in the saddle that I can be somewhat competitive (age group).

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